Life…

Typically, I’m ready for the weekend.  This time, I’m extremely ready for the weekend!  Life has thrown more than a few curveballs at me this week (this includes my fiancee, who is doing his best as well).

What have I been up to?

My greyhound injured herself last week, so I have been tending to her.  She is required to wear the infamous “cone of shame.”  However, within a couple days she figured out how easy it was to slip it off.  Ugh!  IMG_8142

I assisted and supported my dad on his MS 150 bicycle ride.  That’s 195 total miles for Saturday and Sunday.  He did extremely well and enjoyed the ride.  I drove.  The route was absolutely gorgeous!  Most of the ride was along the A1A corridor from south Jacksonville, Florida to Daytona Beach, Florida.  Amazing.  Great turnout.

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Interviews are…well, occurring.  I’ve made impressions, even good ones.  That just doesn’t seem to be enough to get hired.  So, for now, I’m teaching part-time and caring for others’ furkids.

Each day is a different kind of struggle.

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Hope on the Horizon

Finally.   Officially, I am an adjunct instructor for the college facility on the local navy base!  I’ll be teaching Introduction to Geography and World Geography.  As crazy as some may think it is, I will also be substitute teaching in the local public schools.

Honestly, we’ll see how it all works out.  I’m just happy to have something in the realm of work.  The college environment will be totally different than the other…

Here’s to a new adventure!

Keepsakes. :)

Spring cleaning? It’s that time of year! So, okay, I have really made those efforts yet. However, mom and I came across this sign from our move from Connecticut back to the South. We couldn’t keep the actual poster anymore so this digital version of it will have to work!

Great IMHO…less physical space! Space is of value to mom and I. We have way too much stuff. In two houses, we are storing four households: my parents’, mom’s parents’, my Great Aunt Wilma, and mine (both stored and inherited). Fun, right? Yeah…sure. 😉

Sarcastic, fun random post indeed!

“Adios!” from the Fulton Family Cookie Company!

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Limited Edition: Birchbox Finds

An assortment of full-size drugstore beauty products to try out for $18?  Yes, please!  (See the picture below to see the actual retail prices!  What a deal!)  This girl has trouble selecting new products to try when the time comes to restock on facial cleansers, lip care, mascara, etc.  You can imagine how quickly I jumped on this opportunity to try out some new products!

What are my usual stand-by’s and preferences?

Merle Norman has my favorite mineral foundation, concealer, hand cream lotion, eyeliners, facial moisturizers, and some eyeshadows.

Clinique is my go-to for eyeliners, mascara (I have sensitivities), and eyeshadows.  I’m currently trying out their Laser Focus line of anti-aging products.

My preferences are not on the inexpensive side of the spectrum, but they are definitely not ultimate high-end preferences either.

Limited Edition Birchbox Finds: The Full list with retail prices

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Frieda Frizz Ease® Nourishing Oil Elixir

Hair products I am constantly changing out.  I only have a few that I’m committed to.  This John Frieda option directly competes with one of them.  After using this elixir on my fine hair to enhance shine and smooth out flyaways, I was happy with it.  I’m not willing to replace my favorite product, but the Frizz Ease is a good second.  PLUS, it’s much more cost-effective.

Rating: Works well for me.  Good chance of purchasing after supply is exhausted.

Rimmel London Stay Glossy 3D Lipgloss (Back Row Smooch)

Lipgloss is one of those products I use very rarely.  I’m a lip balm girl — preferably a tinted lip balm.  This product can be used on top of any lip balm or lipstick.  This product goes on super slick and stays for a while.  Reapplication is a must…I’m not good at that.  Go figure.  It has a pearlescent shine to it that provides the “3D” look.  I’m not wild for it.  There’s no flavor or scent either, so that doesn’t draw in my heartstrings either.

Rating: Meh.  It’ll work, but I will not go out of my way to purchase.

COVERGIRL Bombshell Volume by LashBlast™ Mascara

Very, very good alternative to my more expensive preferences for mascara.  No clumping.  Great lash separation and volume.  My skin and eyes did not react at all which is wonderful!  The only complaint was the extra time it took to remove the mascara.  Of course, that’s a good sign that the product will stay over the course of a day.

Rating: For cash-strapped moments or emergency makeup trips, this is a great find for my make up repertoire.  I will definitely keep this in my “must have” file.
COVERGIRL Bombshell Shine Shadow by LashBlast™

This product is a home run.  I am constantly experimenting with my eye color.  My inner child always wants to use glitter, shimmer, and shine.  Sparkly = Happiness.  Of course, since I am a grown-up now sparkle must be used in moderation 95% of the time.  This product allows me to smooth a layer of shine to my matte eyeshadows.  Given that this product is white, it is a good highlighter with a high concentration of use.  I’ve used it for a subtle shimmer in the corner of my eyes to brighten up my look.  Obviously, I’m still experimenting.

Rating: A new mainstay in my eyeshadow collection and routine.

NIVEA Kiss of Care & Color (Sheer Pink)

NIVEA has always been a trusted brand in my mind.  Their products have rescued my chapped and sore lips on many occasions.  This product is no different.  My lips feel soft, smooth and conditioned.  There is really no flavor, but it is not waxy either.  Just soft.

Rating: As someone who tends to misplace many of her lip care products and tends to carry many in her purse, this one will probably be purchased for regular use.

Bioré Self Heating One Minute Mask

This mask makes my face feel cleaner than it has in years.  Very happy with it.  I’m lazy when it comes to washing and polishing my skin.  Thanks to Birchbox I’m learning some new habits courtesy of the products BB proposes.

Rating: Good product.  Will probably purchase for my evolving skincare routine.

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure™ (Kook A Mango)

Okay, so I wasn’t really sure about this nail polish.  It’s actually a base, top and color gel polish in one.  Being the anti-manicured female that I am, I had no idea what the description was talking about.  The color didn’t help.  Kook A Mango?  Really?  It’s a neon orange with a pinkish tone to it.  Those people who know me well know that I detest orange unless it is Autumn.  So, in the name of adventure, I coated my toenails AND my fingernails with Kook A Mango.  I’m surprised.  I like it.  Now, if I hadn’t been adventurous, I never would have known that orange was a decent color for me to wear.  I’m also excited that the polish is in the same family of neon colors that are in my Under Armour headbands.   Did I mention that the finish is gloriously smooth?  That’s amazing when you consider the childish nature with which I approach nail painting.

Rating: Surprisingly wonderful.  Will definitely purchase in different colors!

Birchbox hit this box out of the park!  I’m so glad I jumped on this opportunity.  I LOVED trying and discovering each one of these products.  I’m also happy that I can find them in my local store.  Yay!

I hope you guys enjoyed reading my reviews and opinions.  Please let me know what you think.  Also, if you feel inclined to join Birchbox and to subscribe to their monthly sample boxes please contact me OR use this Referral Link.

Find this box here: Limited Edition: Birchbox Finds while the supply lasts.  BB has 300+ FIVE STAR reviews on this box and counting!

Pippa’s Playtime

My greyhound knows EXACTLY what to do with a kiddie pool. Her antics just don’t seem to get old for me or my dad. He couldn’t help but laugh when Pip made herself comfy in the water.

Thought I’d share. This retired racer’s life is definitely spoiled and amazing. :). She’s my joy in so many ways!

She’s adapted beautifully in my parents’ house. I’m so proud of her. We are enjoying the perpetual warm weather…obviously.

#Greyhound #GreytLife #pooltime

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Giving Up is Not in my Blood

Adversity.  That is what I have gone through since before the beginning of August.  So much growth in such a small span of time.

What helped keep me going?  Outside of my friends and family, it was an ideal.  A simple, yet very powerful concept:  Flag Nor Fail

They happen to be a company; one that I will continue to support.  I discovered them not too long after the founder’s wife (IFBB Pro Dana Linn Bailey) turned pro in Women’s Physique (a women’s bodybuilding division).  I’ll be honest with everyone here, I wanted to start my own company founded on similar ideals.  It was not to be.

Initially, their clothing simply meant hardcore training to me.  Then, as life took its twists and turns, I discovered the more profound definitions.

  • In August 2012, my health took a dive with a complicated gallbladder removal.  I spent the next seven weeks struggling to simply function.  After that, I had minor procedures every 3 months until this month!  – HOLD STRONG
  • In January, I made my luck by finding and “landing” my dream job that I currently LOVE.  –  CREATE YOUR WORTH.
  • Most recently dealing with the loss of a very special and influential friendship that turned toxic and detrimental.  – WEATHER YOUR STORM
  • Now, I’m living my life with new people supporting me, following my goals and dreams, loving my work, and loving in general. – WORK IS IN MY BLOOD, ALL DAY & ALL NIGHT

Rob, Dana, and the rest of the FNF team, your existence has made a difference in my life – in the gym and in my everyday life.  You are almost family to me in many ways.  Keep on working and working HARD!

Changes

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My life has taken a drastically different road than I anticipated it would one year ago.  I live in a new state, work a new job, and now the people I surround myself with have changed.  I definitely didn’t think what has happened in the last month was remotely possible.

The transition process took weeks – it was anything but pleasant.  I’m on the down-slope now.  However, the decision was heartbreaking and enlightening.  I’m still in shock and “grieving” over the friendship that was lost.  It was truly one of the most influential and meaningful ones I’ve had in my lifetime.

Moving forward, my dreams are similar and my support system will change.  I have not felt this kind of strength before.  It brings new meaning to “strength in adversity.”  Which directs my memory to a quote from Mulan spoken by the emperor, “The flower that blooms in adversity is rarest and most beautiful of all.”

The nickname I was given by this person is one I will forever identify with.  I’ll miss hearing it, for sure.  I’ll always be Fe (elemental symbol for Iron) in my heart.  She’s the woman I aspire to be – strong, fierce, and beautiful.

I do miss my best friend of many years.  Even though things have gone sour and paths have divided, I hope the best for them.  Every day I am thankful for their season in my life…