Hi All! Happy Friday! For a short week, this sure felt like a long week. Anybody with me there?
I am really struggling with getting back into the swing of things this school year. I can’t seem to establish a good schedule. I think I’m trying to do too much and I wind up not really accomplishing anything at all.
In addition to the usual things that are on my plate, I’ve got a to-do list that’s a mile long before we head to Ireland next week.
Yup – Ireland. Did you all know we were going to Ireland next week? Not all of us, mind you, just my husband and me. Which is why I probably haven’t mentioned it before. Because while I am excited to see a new country, and grab a quick getaway with Mike, I am more than a wee bit apprehensive – okay I am a complete and utter wreck – about leaving the country without my children. We will be about 9 hours away by plane – which is reason enough for me to dread this trip. (I hate flying. I’m not afraid, exactly, I just hate every single thing about it. But that could be a post on its own). I know I just need to put on my big girl pants, suck it up and endure the long flights for the amazing experience that will be Ireland; but, I have definitely been trying to ignore the fact that my husband and I are both leaving our kids behind on a different continent. Yikes!
I know they will be in good hands. And it’s not like I expect something bad to happen. But as a mom it is my job to think about all the things that could go wrong. And think about them I do.
To distact myself from hypothetical disasters I decided to focus instead on some of the things that I’m loving this month. Without further ado, here are a few of my favorite things: September edition:
Third Love T-Shirt Bras
These are hands down my favorite bras. I know they are expensive, believe me I know. I resisted buying them for soooo long. But I was always hearing them advertised on the radio and on my favorite podcasts. And the company allows you to try before you buy – you can order a bra and try it for 30 days before your credit card is charged. Eventually this policy won me over and I broke down, tried the “Fit Finder” on the website and ordered the recommended 24/7 Classic t-shirt Bra in pale pink. As I waited for it to arrive I second guessed myself. $68 for a bra? Really? But when it arrived I immediately fell in love with the color. I raced to try it on and I LOVED it! Somehow, I calmed myself down and convinced myself I should actually wear it for a few days before I declared it the perfect bra. So I did. Everyday. And before the month was even out I ordered two more and threw out most of my ill-fitting bras. I am a 32C and it is hard to find bras that fit just right. I almost always have a gap in one (or both) cups and the straps slide off my shoulders. But not so with Third Love. Over the course of the last year I’ve picked up two 24/7 Classic Contour Plunge Bras, which have the perfect amount of light-padding and a 24/7 Classic Strapless Bra, which is still a strapless bra, but the best one I have ever owned. Now my bra closet is happy and complete.
General Finishes Milk Paint
I know, just last month I was heralding the convenience and performance of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. And here I am with another paint favorite. But the truth is I had not yet discovered General Finishes Milk Paint when I wrote last month’s post. Well, I mean I had heard of it, of course. But I had never tried it. It seems that chalk-type paints get all the glory; but, personally, I think that Milk Paint just might be better. As I mentioned, we (actually I) am doing lots of home improvement projects around here, and my latest one is updating a traditional, colonial desk with a shiny wood finish to a more modern black make-up table for Kelly. After reading up on the benefits of milk paint: no prep, can be used on a variety of surfaces (including cabinets and walls), it’s both easy to distress (which I am not interested in, at least for this piece) and provides a durable finish, it’s low odor, non-toxic and made of safe eco-friendly ingredients, and it is cheaper than chalk-type paints, I decided to give it a try. Boy, am I glad I did! The paint went on smoothly and two coats beautifully covered the piece in a rich, lustrous color. As soon as my new gold bar handles arrive this piece will be back together and ready for it’s second life in the 21st century. By the way, I purchases my Milk Paint at Spruce Home & Gift – an adorable little home decor boutique that features affordable traditional and timeless, high-quality, unique pieces that are perfect for today’s modern lifestyles. If you are a local reader, please check them out.
Beautycounter Resurfacing Peel
Ahhh – my latest favorite Beautycounter product. Although picking a favorite BC product is like picking a favorite child – nearly impossible and it changes by the day. LOL! I have been in love with this amazing Overnight Resurfacing Peel since it’s launch. On nights when I am too tired to deal with serums, oils, night creams and the like I always take the thirty seconds to smear some peel onto my face and neck. This AHA/ABA peel is formulated with 15 botanically-derived acids that help improve skin texture and minimize the appearance of pores, fine lines, and dark spots without irritation or over-drying. It clears away dull surface skin cells, and soothes and nourishes from within to reveal a brighter, more youthful-looking complexion. Lord knows I need that. Of course, the Overnight Resurfacing Peel is formulated without the synthetic fragrances, PEGs, and formaldehyde-based preservatives commonly found in peels. So why do I love it so much? Since I have started using this peel I have definitely noticed that my skin tone is more even and brighter and my pores seem less visible. And apparently I am not the only one who loves this stuff – right now there are over 1200 5-star reviews on the website.
I have been loving white pumpkins lately. Since we painted our family room last year, and the rest of the house is scheduled for a paint job later this fall, my home colors are decidedly more neutral (woohoo!), with pops of blue. Last year I struggled a little bit because my traditional fall decor just looked “off” in my new room. So I have been slowly collecting more subdued fall decorations in shades of white, cream and gray, and I absolutely love the crisp, clean, fresh look of white pumpkins. Obviously, these non-traditional gourds would be at-home in any decor, but I especially love them with all my neutrals.
The Blue Zones Solution
One of my favorite approaches to healthy, sustainable living comes from The Blue Zone Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People, by Dan Buettner. Buettner examines the nutrition, fitness and lifestyle habits of some of the world’s longest-living communities, or “Blue Zones” as he calls them, such as Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula; Ikaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California. Not surprisingly, these populations rely primarily on whole food, plant-based diets. However, Buettner points out that it’s not just food that contributes to a long, healthy life. Each of these groups also consistently gets regular physical exercise (through their daily activities and work) and maintains strong social bonds. While nothing in the book is earth-shattering, it presents a simple approach to healthy living that each one of us can adopt. I like the no-nonsense approach, the practical solutions he offers and the recipes at the back of the book.
You guys – this book! I LOVED it! Magpie Murders is a modern take on the classic British detective novel. This thriller contains twists and turns that will keep you guessing and put you right in the middle of the mystery. I had to force myself to put the book down and turn off the lights each night – which, if you know me, is highly unusual because I love my sleep. But I couldn’t wait to figure out this whodunnit. And now that I know the ending, I want to go back and reread the book to see if I can recognize all of the clues. If you like crime fiction or mysteries, do yourself a favor and read this book.
Because if two books on the list is good, three is even better. I mean – you can never have too many books. 😉 Actually, I am pretty dang impressed that I even had enough time to read three books, much less books I liked enough to add to this list. Big Game, is the third book in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs intended for middle-grade audiences – although I have to admit I love all his books. It follows twelve year old Teddy Fitroy, FunJungle’s resident sleuth as he investigates an attack on the zoo’s endangered rhinoceros. It’s a fun mystery complete with multiple suspects, lots of action, gross bodily functions, slapstick comedy, red herrings, and a healthy does of animal trivia that kids will love. Although this is part of a series, each book is a stand-alone read, without spoilers. I love to read children’s literature for a number of reasons. Sometimes, it’s all I have the brain power to handle; but more importantly, I like to read the same books as my kids so that we can talk about them. And this series is a favorite of all of us.
I’ve written about Aerial Pilates before. You can check out all the amazing benefits of this fun, full body workout here. But after a month long break from teaching aerial classes I am back in the studio and I am flying high. My body just feels so much looser, longer and stronger when I take the time to decompress – literally. And no, that’s obviously not me. Kelly just looks so much more graceful than I do I figured I’d share her beautiful picture.
SuperSeedz Snack Packs
I recently found these SuperSeedz 1 Oz. Mini Pouches in my local Walmart and I am so excited. I am always on the lookout for quick and healthy snacks on the go. These cute little packs are perfect for my purse (because I almost always have “purse-fo0d”) and the kids lunchboxes and they come in a variety of flavors, My favorites are the Sea Salt and Somewhat Spicy, although I did enjoy the Maple Sugar and Sea Salt when I was craving something sweet.
I hope everyone has a great weekend!