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Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you and your family are having a wonderful day together! I am thankful to be with mine and grateful for the many blessings we have. Enjoy your turkey! Gobble Gobble! 

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Growing up, we always started Christmas morning by opening up our stockings.  I couldn't wait to see what Santa had filled it with.  When I married into my husband's family, I became a part of their tradition of stocking stuffers.  I think we all have more fun purchasing stocking stuffers than gifts.  We each buy stocking stuffers for everyone, which can get a little bit challenging given the number of family members.  It is tough to get creative, but so much fun!  Here are a few stocking stuffer ideas in case you are stumped this year.

Stocking Stuffers

Kate Spade Scented Candle - I think a good scented candle is always a great gift!  Especially when the candle is super cute and can be recycled into a make-up brush holder, pen holder, etc.  I certainly would not be upset if this candle made it's way into my stocking this year.

Flex Pot Clip - For the woman (or man) who likes to cook.  This is a great way to keep your spoon nearby without having it drip.  Or having to clean a spoon rest regularly!  I grabbed one of these to use as a stocking stuffer and my husband promptly confiscated it for himself.  I guess it was a winner.

J.Crew Factory Flannel Flask - Buffalo check is everywhere this year; it can even be found in bar ware!

Tervis Goblet - Obviously my preference would be a Badger one, but there are many different design options to choose from.  Tervis always makes a great gift.  And now that my "wine glass" can fit in a regular cup holder, it is sure to be a very Merry Christmas!

She Leaves a Little Sparkle Mug - What coffee lover's morning wouldn't shine just a little bit brighter with this mug?

Bobino Cord Wraps - Are you cords always a mess?  I know mine are.  I think just about everybody can appreciate these cord wraps appearing in their stocking on Christmas morning.

J. Crew Factory Flannel Check Bow Tie - Because what guy out there doesn't need a buffalo check bow tie?

Soap & Glory All the Right Smoothes - Have multiple girlfriends to buy stocking stuffers for?  These travel-sized body butters will be a hit.  Super moisturizing for dry winter skin and they smell great!  Buy a couple of these and give one to each of them.  You might even have one left over for yourself. ;-)

Ok so now for the big debate:  Do you wrap your stocking stuffers or leave them unwrapped? In my family, we wrap stocking stuffers.  In my husband's family, they don't.  So of course, our first Christmas together, I am wrapping away only to be told on my very last stocking stuffer, that his family doesn't wrap.  That year, they got wrapped stocking stuffers. =)

Linking up with  Cheers Y'allA. Liz AdventuresMiss Dixie and Southern Style for their My Favorite Things series.

A Weekend of Football and Friends

Hey there Monday.  How are ya?  You seem a lot friendlier knowing it is a short week this week!  And it is certainly going to be a jam packed short week getting ready for Thanksgiving weekend.  I can't wait to see my family starting Wednesday night!  But before we get to all of the fun and chaos of the holidays, I was lucky enough to spend this past weekend with my other family.  My waterski family.  Not everyone could make it, not even close, but it did my soul some good to be with this group.  Do you have friends like that?  You don't see each other nearly enough, but when you do it fills you up?  My waterski friends do that for me.

Many of us have been friends since our freshman year of college and over the years a few more trickled in, but we have been a very tight group since day 1.  This past Fall marked 10 years since we took the University of Wisconsin waterski team to Collegiate Nationals for the very first time.  This was us back in the day.

We couldn't let the anniversary go unnoticed so a reunion weekend was planned.  Somehow only the women's team was able to make it, but we had a great weekend together!  The hubby was a good sport as he ended up being the only guy for parts of the weekend.

Friday night we drank wine.

Saturday we headed out to our old coach's barn to watch the Badger game and spend some time together.  By barn, I mean a barn that has been re-done and is gorgeous!  It certainly didn't look like this 10 years ago!  The Badgers gave us quite the scare at the end of the game, but we managed to pull out a win.  Thank goodness!

Our old mascot still lives out at the barn!  Yes, it is a shopping cart.  Don't ask, but we loved the thing and took it to every tournament with us.

So obviously a group shot with the shopping cart was a must!  Somehow I was the one to end up in it.

Shopping cart shenanigans followed.

Saturday night we went out to one of our favorite restaurants for dinner and a drink, while watching the Badger basketball game.  It was a great weekend for UW athletics!  We made zero attempt to hit up the bars.  We just can't hang like we used to, lol.

I miss everyone all ready and can't wait until we can plan another reunion weekend!  We have a blast all together but boy is it exhausting!  I think it's going to be a 3 cup of coffee Monday.  How was your weekend?  Have a great short week!

Linking Up With Champagne and SuburbsB Loved BostonJoin the Gossip and I Have a Degree In This

My Christmas Wishlist

Am I the only one scouring other people's wishlists and gift giving ideas?  I get such great ideas from other bloggers for gift giving.  And I usually find a few things that I didn't know I wanted.  But now I do.  So thanks guys!

Today I'm linking up with Cheers Y'all, A. Liz Adventures, Miss Dixie and Southern Style for their My Favorite Things series. (Can you tell I found this link-up through my blogger friend Kelly who lives in the South? Texas to be more specific.) This week is Christmas wishlists, so I thought I would share some of things I am hoping Santa will leave under my tree this year.

Christmas Wishlist

I have a serious handbag addiction.  For real, if there is a support group out there, I probably need to be in it.  So I am trying to make a concious effort to buy bags that are classic and I will use forever (or at least for a really long time).  I have been eye-balling the Le Pliage for years.  I love that is is light weight (nylon) and packable.  With how often we are on the go, it would get a lot use!  I thought about going for red, but black goes with everything, especially when we travel, so there you have it. 

My mother-in-law just got this jacket, and after seeing it I knew it was going on my wishlist.  It is super light weight, but has the Columbia Omni-Heat, which is really warm.  And since we are already seeing temperatures 15-35 degrees below normal, I think this will come in handy this winter.  I also have the Land's End Down Long Chalet coat on my list for those days when it is REALLY cold.

What kind of blogger would I be if I didn't have one of these on my wishlist?  I got the pink one back during a Labor Day sale and I love it!  I wear it all of the time.  So I know I will get a lot of use out of another one.

A few weekends ago when I went to Sephora to get my makeup done, this was one of the palettes they used on me.  And I absolutely fell in love with it.  But rather than spend MORE money, I decided to wait and put it on my Christmas list.  The colors in it are gorgeous!

I know several different women who sell Stella & Dot.  One of them was wearing some layered necklaces the last time I saw her which I loved!  The disk had her and her husband's initials.  She also was wearing a Signature Engravable Bar Necklace with their anniversary date on it.  So I am hoping my hubby gets me the disk for Christmas and the bar for our anniversary. =)  Conveniently, my initials also happen to be our initials.  It works out well.

I love Soap & Glory products.  They have so many cute sets this time of year, that I won't be disappointed in this one or any others show up under the tree.

After getting a travel size of this with my Sephora beauty points, I immediately fell in love.  This scent just lifts my mood.  A larger size has been on my Christmas wishlist since the first sniff!

What is on your Christmas wishlist this year?

Christmas decorating and football.

After having a 3 day weekend last week, I think every Monday should be part of the weekend.  I know Thanksgiving is coming up and I very ready for  a long weekend.  It still seems so far away, even though it is right around the corner.

Because we have a lot going on over the next several weeks, we decided to start decorating for Christmas this weekend. (You either love me or hate me right now).  Putting Christmas up in November just works for us.  I don't feel like we skip or under-appreciate Thanksgiving at all!  I just prefer Thanksgiving to have Christmas lights. =)

Last year we got a "grown-up" tree for our family room.  What a difference it made!

Friday night we put up the tree and decorated it while enjoying a little pink champagne.  It's one of our traditions.  We always enjoy a little champagne while putting up Christmas decorations.

Saturday was spent running errands, watching football and getting some chores done around the house.  It's always a great weekend when the Badger's kick Nebraska's booty.  Especially when you get to enjoy your Christmas tree while it is going on.

Saturday night we relaxed with some adult beverages and enjoyed the tree.

Sunday was quiet.  We slept in, watched some football, I cleaned up my office to make room to start wrapping Christmas presents soon.  All-in-all it was a lovely weekend.  We still have more decorating to do.  We put up a tree in our living room that we are going to save until Thanksgiving weekend and outdoor lights still need to go up at some point.  I will do a closer look at our tree and decorations as December gets closer.  As always, the weekend was too short!  What did you do this weekend?  Are you for or against pre-Thanksgiving Christmas decorations?

Linking Up With Champagne and SuburbsB Loved BostonJoin the Gossip and I Have a Degree In This

Friday Favorites: My Sephora Haul

Yaaaaay it's Friday!  Happy dance, happy dance, happy dance!  Even though it was a short week, Friday couldn't get here fast enough!  I'm so excited to decorate for Christmas this weekend!  Anyway, hopefully saw earlier this week, I had quite the haul from Sephora last weekend.  I've been having a blast playing with all of the different products this week.  Here are my favorites so far:

1).  Ole Henriksen 3 Little Wonders

I started off with the Mini Set to give this skin care line a try (definitely budget friendly).  I. LOVE. THIS. SKIN. CARE. LINE.  After less than a week, and I am noticing some major changes to my skin.  It's brighter and more fresh looking, pores are noticeably diminished and a few of my dark spots are lighter already.  Not to mention blemishes are clearing up and fine lines are improving.  I will absolutely be purchasing a full size kit of these products.  And another of the mini for all of my upcoming holiday travel.  If you are looking for anti-aging and anti-acne (because yes at 31 years old I still break out.  The things you don't find out until you are older...), I would highly recommend checking this out.  It is challenging to find skin care products that address both problems.

2).  NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna

All of my summer bronzers are way too harsh now that I have lost my sun-kissed summer glow.  This bronzer is the perfect natural shade on my winter skin tone (medium-slightly olivey).  I have really been enjoying this product to add a little bit of color to my face and for some light contouring.  I haven't had a reason to do any heavy contouring yet, but I have a feeling this bronzer is going to work beautifully.  I've put the NARSissit Cheek Kit on my Christmas wishlist for travel and on-the-go because it contain this bronzer, Orgasm blush (a must have in any woman's make up collection) and a highlighter.

This is my first Laura Mercier product and it is leaving me with a great impression of this beauty line.  This foundation is so natural looking, while offering great coverage.  It is very buildable to hide problem areas, while still not looking like you wearing a ton of makeup.  The color descriptions are so helpful for being able to pick out shades as well.  I am currently using Honey, light-medium with neutral/slightly warm undertones.  (I am curious to see what my summer shade will be.  I'm guessing Amber.)  The only challenge with this product is the packaging.  It is liquidy and you need to shake it up before use.  The liquid does go all over the place a bit, inside the cap.  It is worth dealing with for a great product though.

 I also picked up the Smooth Focus Pressed Setting Powder - Shine Control which has been fantastic.  I tend to get shiny as the day goes on and this powder, which has no color to it, has made a difference.  I am far less shiny by the end of the day.  And if I do touch up, I don't feel or look like I have caked on more make-up.  I will definitely be checking out more Laura Mercier products.

4).  CoverFx Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment

CoverFx is not a brand I am very familiar with.  The make-up artist who worked with me on Saturday brought this and the Cream Concealer out to use on me and so far I am enjoying both.  I think the combination of this primer with the Laura Mercier powder is what is making the difference in my level of shine.  I also think the anti-acne treatment is helping my blemishes clear up.  The concealer hides my dark circles and dark spots better than most.  I would definitely call both of these products a win and they are worth checking out.

5).  NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow

Sooooooooooooooooooooo gorgeous!  These eye shadows are pricey but O.M.G.  They can be used wet or dry and have absolutely beautiful pigmentation.   I picked up the shade Himalia and I think I may go back for Dione, and possibly Subra.  At $29 a pop, you probably aren't going to rush right out and buy the whole collection, but investing in a couple is  absolutely worth it.  (Darn, I should have bought more when they were 20% off!)

That is all for this week's favorites and my Sephora haul.  I hope this was helpful for those of you who might be looking to try out some new makeup.  Have a great weekend!

                           Linking Up with Meet at the BarreThe Farmer's Wife & Hello Happiness

Sephora, the Packers and Buoy's 4th Birthday

It's Tuesday, but it feels like a Monday.  Sorry my weekend update is a day late, but I had a 3 day weekend this weekend so really today is my Monday.  Which is great because it is Tuesday.  Yay for a 4 day week!  I was grateful for a 3 day weekend at home.  It was nice to get some projects done (or half done) and just have some quiet time at home.  A lot of sleep got caught up on, some cleaning and cleaning out got done and the Sephora VIB sale happened. Friday night I came home to find home made pizza being cooked (stay tuned for the recipe). Yum.

Saturday was my Sephora Saturday. (At least I cleaned out the basement for awhile first, right?)  Any of you who love Sephora know that 20% off sales don't happen very often.  I took advantage of the VIB discount this weekend to go get some new makeup.  I've been having a hard time color matching my winter pasty complexion to foundations and decided I was in need of some help.  So I scheduled a 45 minute make over late Saturday afternoon (which really turned into an hour and half) and had a blast playing with make-up.  Here is what I walked away with.  A little make-up, a little skin care, a little too much money spent....Whoops!

Oh, right.  And stop at Ulta because I was dying for this Real Techniques brush set (the big one.  The small one just hopped into my bag I swear.) and had a 20% of one item coupon there.  Look for posts later this week showing you exactly what I bought and how I am liking my purchases.

Since I was all made up and pretty, the hubby took me out to dinner on Saturday night.  We just went to a local pub close to our house, but it was nice to get out and have a date night for a little while.  Sunday we bought a Christmas tree for my parents, got some more projects done around the house and then watched the Packers clobber the Bears.  I was one happy camper!  The hubby, not so much.

Monday.  Monday was glorious.  I slept in, watched some Hallmark Christmas movies over coffee, did a little cleaning, did a little laundry.  It was just lovely.  I wish every Monday could be spent like that.  Which bring me to today, Tuesday.

Since it is Buoy's 4th Birthday today, here are some adorable pictures of him from this weekend.  This little white ball of fluff brings so much joy, laughter and personality to our lives. I don't know what we would do without him. Happy Birthday Buoy Boy!

  Buoy in his travel bag from when he was a baby. (I don't know how he squishes himself in.  He has a bigger one.)  This is where he hangs out when we clean the basement.

Sunday Snuggles

How was your weekend?  Have a great week!

Linking Up With Champagne and SuburbsB Loved BostonJoin the Gossip and I Have a Degree In This

November Goals

Crazy.  I just logged into Blogger and my page views were 4440 with 40 posts.  Glad it wasn't all 6's!  So enough on that tangent.  Back on track.

Wow it's November.  Man did that happen quickly.  Thanksgiving is around the corner, which means so is Christmas and the end of the year.  I know I got something accomplished this year.....  Like a lot of people (I think?  or maybe it is just me?) I'm starting to reflect back on the year and I'm trying to figure out what I want to accomplish before the year is over.  I'm trying to get into the habit of writing down my goals, since you are more likely to accomplish them if you do.  Right?  Isn't that what I've heard?  Some of these are specific and time sensitive.  Others are larger, general life style changes that will be on-going.  But I'm going to start with November and see how it goes.

1).  Finish our Christmas shopping.

Yup.  I am one of those people.  I started Christmas shopping months ago and only have a few more gifts on my list to finish up.  When my hubby and I started doing Christmas together, I quickly realized the gift giving pool got quite a bit larger than I was used to.  I start shopping early out of necessity.  It is easier for me to spread the cost out by buying vs. saving and then doing it all in December.  Plus it is much less stressful.

2).  Decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving.

My hubby hates this one, but tough cookies.  Thanksgiving was late last year (like it is this year) and because of that we hardly got to enjoy our Christmas decorations.  December flew by in a whirl of stress and I didn't sit down to enjoy Christmas until January.  Not. happening. this. year.  Which leads me to goal number 3.

3).  Slow Down & Enjoy the Holiday Season.

This goal will stretch into December, but it starts in November.  As long as I keep getting things done this month, I will have time to enjoy the Christmas season next moth (ok, really starting with Thanksgiving).  At least that is the plan.

4).  Work Out 4-5 times a week.

This year I've been going in work out spurts.  I'll do really well for a month or two and then fall off the wagon for awhile.  I'm back on it now and I intend to stay on it.  I'm doing TurboFire right now, and while it is a 6 day a week program I'm trying to be realistic with myself.  If I can get 4-5 days of works out in a week, I'm calling it a win.

5).  Eat less processed food.

We have fallen into the trap of eating a lot of processed food (for years now) because it is quick and easy.  It is not doing our health or weight any favors, so we are trying to cook a lot of more and eat a lot less processed food.  I'm not going to say none because we are human, but a lot lot less of it.

6).  Use my blogging calendar/Pre-blog more.

Awhile back, I purchased this beauty.  I bought her so I would sit down at the beginning of each month and start to map out some blog posts.  I knew it would help me be more consistent in my posting.  And I genuinely think it will!  If I ever actually sit down and use it. :-/

7).  Clean the house.

Clearly I wrote these in no particular order, because in order to accomplish goal #2, I need to get this goal done.  The ultimate goal I am working towards is getting some cleaning up starting in 2015.  Just someone to come through once or twice a month to help us stay on top of things.  Trust me.  We need it.  We are definitely getting closer, but a lot more cleaning out and cleaning up needs to happen first.

Not very glamorous goals are they?  But if I can accomplish these goals, life will become more balanced.  And I think that is one of my big over-arching goals that I am just now realizing, is finding the balance in life.  Something I am not great at, but when I do find it it feels amazing.

Do you have any goals this month?  I would love to hear about them!

October Recap: Utah

Holy moly did October fly by quickly!  So quickly in fact that I didn't get a chance to blog about a few of our adventures, mainly our trip to Utah.   Over Columbus Day weekend, we took a quick trip out to Utah.  We ski out there every year in the winter, but had never visited in the fall.  It was one of our bucket list items so we saw an opportunity and took it.  Boy is it gorgeous out there!

My parents were out there so it was a great, quiet family weekend.  The hubby golfed one day, we took the dogs on several long walks, drove around the valley and explored and just enjoyed the beautiful fall color.  Here are some photos from our trip.

We had a great time going out in the Fall.  I think it will definitely be a trip worth repeating again.  There is plenty to do even when there isn't snow on the ground!

Halloween, Errands and Cross-Trainers

Last week dragged by and of course the weekend flew by!  Does anyone have an easy button to fix that problem?  This weekend was one of those weekends.  We got a ton done, but didn't really get much done if that makes any sense at all.  Friday was obviously Halloween and we handed out some candy to the trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood but that was pretty much it.  Got a work out in, had some dinner, watched a movie and headed to bed.  Exciting, right?  It was one of those weekends that really made me miss living near friends.

To see friends, we have to travel, which gets old and stressful after awhile.  It was really nice to have a quiet weekend at home, but it would have been really nice to be social and do something with friends as well.  One of these days, we probably should put some time and effort into making a few friends locally but with the schedule we keep, it is tough.  And having no kids for natural introductions to people seems to make it even tougher.  One of these days we will find a balance, maybe?  And since are currently childless, of course we dress up our dog (ok really only long enough to take a picture).  Buoy really doesn't like his turtle costume.

Saturday was spent running lots and lots of errands.  Both the hubby and I were in serious need of some cross-trainers.  We both have been doing our workouts in running shoes.  Turns out running shoes and that whole lateral movement thing just don't work well together.  So we went on a hunt and I walked away with these.  I had been fighting the whole light weight cross-trainer thing because I had a bad pair awhile back that gave me zero support.  Well fast forward a few years and apparently these shoes have come a loooooong way.  I started  TurboFire last week (which spurred the need for new shoes) and can't wait to try these out with today's work out.   Jumping around the store, they felt amazing (and I'm sure I looked ridiculous)!

I also picked up a winter shade of foundation and a few red lipsticks to try before the holidays.

We had big plans to go see a movie Saturday night, but after being gone all day we decided to stay home and hang out with the puppy.  Getting that extra hour of sleep was glorious!  My how things have changed.  There was a time, not too terribly long ago where I looked forward to an extra hour out at the bars.

Sunday was spent getting chores done around the house.  Laundry, some yard work (the hubby, not me), cleaning out a few closets.  I know we were productive, but it doesn't feel like we even made a dent in what we needed to accomplish.  I'm looking forward to a 3 day weekend next weekend so we can hopefully finish up our to-do list!

Sorry for the boring weekend update, but it was a very uneventful weekend.  Hope yours was more exciting!

Linking Up With Champagne and SuburbsB Loved BostonJoin the Gossip and I Have a Degree In This