You Really Never Know What You Might Find In There…

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Did you see Sarah’s post over on Venus Trapped In Mars earlier this week about what she’s got going on in her purse?  She cracks me up, but I found it so intriguing! There’s something about seeing what’s in someone’s bag that I find to be so insightful. (Is that odd?) Naturally, my first thought was ohhh I want to do this!, followed quickly by hmm…better see how gross it is first.

Lucky for you (and much to my surprise) it wasn’t as filled with trash as I initially expected. What’dya know.

I’m a bit of an open book. Maybe my life is just a bit too boring, but aside from some seriously unfortunately school pictures from junior high, I don’t have much that I care about keeping hidden. So from the time we started dating, I’d invite Mr. B to grab whatever he needed from my purse. Except, here’s how it would actually play out:

Mr. B: Do you have any gum?

Me: In my purse, outside pocket.

Mr. B: [Brings me my purse. Usually holding it with out-stretched arms like it’s a bomb that may explode at any moment.]

Me: [Retrieves gum and hands it to Mr. B] You know, you could just get it yourself. That’s why I told you exactly where to find it; I really don’t care if you go in my purse.

Mr. B: Oh, Ok. I just didn’t want to go through your purse. [Still holding purse like it might sting him because I’m so amused by his discomfort that I continue to let him hold it.]

Me: No biggie, now you know.

…Until the next time he needs something that happens to be in my purse, when this exact scene replays itself again.

At first, I thought it was adorable. Oh, how sweet! He respects my privacy! Not even a little bit necessary but awww love him! But after a few years together, I’m starting to think he’d just rather not deal with the hot mess that is my handbag. It’s legit. You really never know what you are going to find in there. Here’s what’s going on with my purse today:

WhatsInMyBag

 

1// The bag. I adore Michael Kors, but I’m also kinda poor. I scored this on clearance at Macy’s. Oh, and I had a gift card. So let’s not pretend I’m all fancy with my designer goods. Also, it’s the size of a small carry-on so I love it even more because I can unnecessarily tote my entire life around.

2// Joey’s new harness because he was too chubby for his old one (and he can magically slip the collar off of his head when he doesn’t feel like being on a leash anymore.) He’s now officially a medium-sized dog. *Tear* our little baby is growing up.

3// My MK wallet/wristlet. When I don’t feel like carrying luggage around this puppy can also fit my cell phone (sans-cover) and a lip gloss. Again, don’t be impressed; I scored it on sale at Zappos.

4// A squished pack of gum with one and a half sticks of gum left. Yes, sometimes a whole piece is too much for me so I chew half pieces. Feel free to judge me.

5// A selection of lip glosses that I always have on hand but rarely use – including Smurfett Mood lip gloss (yep like a mood ring). I know, I’m an adult. Whatev, I love it.

6// Burt’s Bees lip balms. I have these stashed everywhere – I love them.

7// Day Planner. I’ve tried SO MANY TIMES to switch to my phone calendar but I just can’t. I’m old-school like that.

8// Notebook. For notes and such. Usually used for grocery lists, to-do lists and blog ideas, but it’s pretty universal.

9// Earrings.  No idea why they were in my purse, but I had been looking for them for a while so I was pretty pleased to find them.

10//  9 hair bands (in assorted colors, because duh I need options), 3 bobby pins, 2 jumbo bobby pins and 1 mini hair claw. I have a lot of hair, and I never know when it will annoy me. Also, I have this theory that every time I have zero hair ties I end up needing one, but if I have, oh say, a dozen or so I won’t ever need to use any of them. Obviously there is no middle ground, so I can’t just carry one or two.

11// A sample chewy…something(?) from the checkout counter at GNC.

12// The business card of a rodeo event coordinator. Because we live in the country and play with horses and cows.

13// Fingernail clippers and gold nail polish. I have no idea. I guess at some point I thought I’d give myself a mani on the run??

14// Lotion. It annoys the crap our of me when my skin feels dry.

15// Allegra. I puff. And itch. Especially when the leaves fall.

16// Car keys. And house keys. And the only bottle openers we can ever find. (Look close, there are two bottle openers. One looks like a regular key.)

17// Wadded up receipts and gum wrappers. Usually there are many, many more and they are accompanied by crumpled, expired coupons.

18// A Tick Twister for removing ticks because I’m a fur mama. (See also: I live in the woods.)

19// Keys for the farm buggy/the vehicle that gets me out of the driveway in the winter.

20// An assortment of cheap sunglasses. My sunglasses theory is similar to my hair band theory except with this addition: the cheaper the sunglasses, the less likely I am to lose them.

21// My cell phone. We have a love/hate relationship but I really couldn’t live with out it.

22// Not pictured: mystery crumbs. I rarely put food in my purse, and when I do, it’s a granola bar still in the wrapper. I have no idea where the crumbs come from, but they kind of gross me out.

Honorable mentions (not in the purse right now, but they can usually be found there):

HonMentionBag

23// Makeup bag. Often accompanies me everywhere I go, but rarely gets opened once I leave the house, despite containing additional hair ties which I clearly need.

24// My camera. The good blogger in me has intentions of taking pictures of everything I do/see/eat, but the bad blogger in me drinks wine and forgets. Or drinks wine and takes blurry “action shots”. Whoops.

So, yeah, there’s a lot going on in there. I get why Mr. B is afraid to blindly stick his hand in my purse. You really never knows what you might find in there.

What’s lurking in your handbag?

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17 in 17

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There are 17 full weeks left in 2013, did you know that? Yep, there are. There isn’t anything overly-significant about that, except that I’m making a list of short-term goals, and the end of the year seems like a good finish line.

See, last week I stumbled across this amazing post over at Kayli Wanders. She created a list of goals for herself, but instead of things she wanted to do, her list was all about things she hopes to learn. That’s totally genius, right? So naturally, I had to borrow the idea.

My goal is to learn 17 new things over the next 17 weeks. What would I like to learn? So glad you asked!

17in17

1// How to make Hollandaise sauce. I hear it’s a little tricky, but I want to master it!

2// How to re-purpose a large piece of furniture. I have a children’s desk that I’m hoping to turn into a wet bar. It’s a lofty goal, I know. It’s been sitting in my basement for months now, it’s time I learn to do something with it!

3// How to polish a copper tea kettle. My grandmother gave me a really cool old tea kettle, but it’s very tarnished. I want to learn how to shine it up so it looks prettier in my kitchen.

4// How to take better photographs indoors. I know indoor/artificial lighting isn’t ideal, but since it’s unavoidable sometimes, I want to learn how to improve my technique.

5// How to play fantasy football. My friend talked me into signing up for my first ever fantasy football tournament, but I have no clue what I’m doing – yet!

6// The basics of dog agility. As I’ve mentioned before, I’d like to learn how to do this with Joey, so it’s on the list.

7// How to create a custom blog header with image mapping. There are a few things I’d like to spruce up around here, and my header is one of them. A few weeks ago, Sarah over at Venus Trapped in Mars posted a tutorial on how to do just that. I book marked it, but I’m making it a goal to actually sit down and learn how to do it. Since her wisdom helped me figure out how to quit being a no-reply blogger, I’m confident that her how-to will have me understanding it in no time.

8// How to install crown molding. We recently gave our spare bathroom a makeover, but it still feels like something is missing, so I’d like to learn how to install crown molding in there. Maybe once I learn how to do it, I can install it in other rooms of our house too.

9// How to make a pretty cat-eye. I can never get it right; my eyes always end up looking uneven. I’m not usually so incompetent with eyeliner, but the cat-eye baffles me. So I’m on a mission learn how to do it properly.

10// How to use manual mode on my DSLR. It intimidates me because I have no idea what I’m doing.

11// How to clean out Sally’s feet. Mr. B always has to do this for me because I’m so afraid I’m going to hurt her with the pick. (It looks sharp!) I need to learn how to do this myself, without hurting my poor horse.

12// How to make – and can – homemade salsa verde. I don’t think making the salsa verde will be hard, but I have no clue how to can anything.

13// How to make homemade laundry detergent – that smells pretty. I’ve made homemade laundry detergent before (it saves a ton of money!), but it doesn’t smell as lovely as the store bought stuff. I’d like to learn how to fix that.

14// How to make blackberry pie from scratch. It’s Mr. B’s favorite, so I’d like to learn how to make it for him.

15// How to make homemade doggie treats. If I’m spoiling Mr. B, I may as well spoil the fur babes too.

16// How to embed Grooveshark into blog posts. I spent hours trying to make this happen last week, and nothing I tried worked. I need to learn how to make it work, so that I don’t have to #backthatazzup with YouTube every week.

17// How to make GIFs. They make me smile every time you awesome ladies use them. I want to learn how to do it too!

Do you ever set short term goals for yourself? Are they ever about things to learn, or are they mostly things to do?

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Wedding Beauty: The Bizarre Thing I’m Washing My Face With These Days (It’s Amazing!)

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As I’ve told you, I’m on a mission to find make-me-pretty goodies before our wedding next year. One of the places I’ve found inspiration has been Pinterest, where I stumbled across this gem, which suggests washing your face with regular ol’ coconut oil. That’s right, coconut oil. Like, out of the pantry. 

CoconutOilFaceWash

I love coconut oil. I use it all the time in the kitchen. But as a face wash? No way, I thought, I’m not putting any kind of oil on my face. Eww. But then I started feeling adventurous and figured eh, what do I have to lose? I mean, worst-case-scenario it would make my face feel like an oil slick and I’d have to re-wash it with my handy-dandy classic,  Neutrogena Transparent Scented Facial Soap. So I tried it.

I rubbed a dime-sized amount of coconut oil all over my wet face and neck. I rinsed with warm water, but could still feel the oil all over my face. I gently patted my face with a towel, and, as promised by the pinner, my skin still felt oily. It didn’t look very oily, but it felt slick and kind of gross. But then, something magical happened: my skin sucked it all up. After just a few minutes, my face no longer felt greasy. In fact, it felt wonderful! Clean, fresh, soft and plump. It made my skin feel beautiful, and not a bit oily! Actually, I still needed moisturizer in a few dry spots. 

My skin is “combination”, at best. After a morning shower, it feels dry and tight, but by the end of the day, it feels greasy and disgusting. I was afraid washing my face with oil would exacerbate the problem, but actually, it has helped my skin find and keep a nice balance. I’m still more oily by the evening, but it’s not nearly as bad as it used to be.

I now use coconut oil to wash my face twice a day, and I can’t remember when my skin has felt better. I was worried that rubbing oil on my face all the time would cause breakouts, but my skin has cleared up – and it stays consistently clearer, all month long. I also use baking soda (mixed with a little bit of water to make a thick paste) about once a week to exfoliate. I just rub it in small circles, rinse, and follow up with a normal coconut oil wash. The baking soda really helps soften my skin, especially combined with the coconut oil.

What odd products do you use in your beauty routine? Have you found a product that makes you love your skin? Tell me about it!


Wedding Beauty: How to Shop for Beauty Products When You Live in the Sticks

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We’re getting married! You already know that, but I’m just so dang excited. There are many, many reasons why I’m thrilled to marry Mr. B, but I’ve stumbled upon yet another reason why getting married rocks: the upcoming wedding gives me the perfect excuse to go nuts trying out new beauty stuff. After all, this will likely be the most photographed day of my life; I want to look and feel beautiful. So I’m on a mission to find the best beauty products, routines, tips, and tricks. To find what works for me, I have start experimenting. How fun is that?!

Well, that is easier said than done. As you know, I don’t live anywhere near…anything. Specifically, I don’t live in an area where I have access to boutiques, cosmetic stores, or departments stores with an expanse of beauty counters. The nearest town where I could peruse such shops is over an hour away, and because that particular area’s selection of such things has dwindled in recent years, I’d likely need to go farther. While not impossible, driving an hour and a half to go shopping for new makeup and skin care is inconvenient  Plus, knowing that I can’t easily “just sleep on it and come back tomorrow” will likely lead to costly, impulsive purchases. While I don’t plan to avoid this approach completely, I do realize that I’ll need to find other means of acquiring beauty knowledge and goods. 

One great resource I’ve found is BirchBox. It’s fabulous. You sign up online, and each month they send you an adorable little box with high-end beauty samples. I’ve  been a subscriber for a few months now, and so far, I’ve received nail care, cosmetic, skin care, hair care and fragrance samples (and one month, chocolate!) If I decide to order the full-size products of anything I’ve sampled, I can do so and get free shipping. Plus, if I leave a review on the product page, I’ll earn points, which add up to discounts on any product purchases I make. Membership is $10/month, but it’s definitely worth it.

 

Filled with all kinds of girlie goodies!

Filled with all kinds of girlie goodies!

I love finding the pink box in the mail, and I have access to products I wouldn’t otherwise know about, let alone be able to sample. And since there is an incentive for members to give their honest opinion on their purchases and samples, the reviews are a great resource when shopping for products I haven’t sampled yet. I used “wedding beauty” as an excuse to join BirchBox, but I will likely keep my membership after we are married. It’s just so fun to get a box of beauty goodies each month!

I’ve also been finding lots of DIY beauty tips and product reviews on Pinterest, which is how I found my new, super-weird face wash (more on that another day).

How do you find out about new beauty products? How did you learn about your favorite tips and tricks?