My New Happy

Monday, March 18, 2019

Tell Me All The Beauty Hacks

Happy Monday!  How was your weekend?  It was a mixed bag over here.  College boy had to go back to school, but the sun was shining and it finally felt like spring.

I've been looking forward to this day with The Blended Blog.  Makeup and beauty were not on my radar until about five years ago, so I'm excited to learn all the things from my friends in blog land.  

But I couldn't ask without giving something in return, so I do have a few things to share:

1/ My friend Dawn told me about a new sample box service called Pinch Me.  You fill out surveys, choose your samples (some are even full size), then share feedback.  The best part - it's totally free!

2/ I'd been having trouble recently with blemishes, and nothing was working to clear them up.  Somewhere I read about trying Tea Tree Oil, and it's a miracle!  While I don't love the fragrance, this one from The Body Shop is vegan and it works wonders.
3/ My eyelids have been hooded and droopy my whole life, which of course is getting more pronounced as I age.  I've watched tons of tutorials, but this is the best so far at showing how to apply makeup to mature eyes.

4/ Speaking of eyes, Rodan & Fields' lash boost really works for growing eyelashes.  BUT, it's so expensive.   My sister switched over to Rapid Lash at Ulta, so I decided to give it a try too.  I swear, it works exactly the same, for about 1/3 the price.

That's all I've got!  Be sure to head to The Blended Blog and link up your beauty hack posts.  I can't wait to read them all!

Friday, March 15, 2019

The Power Of Yes

In this crazy, fast paced, overwhelming world we live in, saying no is often a very good idea.  It's usually at the top of the list if you want to de-stressify, slow down, and find more space.  Sometimes no is what's needed.

But what if we said yes?  What if saying yes opened doors, created opportunities.  What about the power of yes?

Admittedly, I tend to be a "no" person.  It fits perfectly with the "what if's", another of my specialties.  Who knows what will happen if I say yes?  What if it's something scary or bad?  It's seems safer to stay in my comfortable cocoon, right?

And yet...

What if something amazing happened?  What if somebody asked, and I put aside my doubts and fears, and it was exactly what I needed?  In January I promised myself that this would be the year I'd grab the happy and embrace possibility.  No going back now.

The universe answered, with two big questions.  And surprisingly, I said yes.

The first yes was agreeing to be Editor of the Forever Fierce Newsletter, "The Spark".  I had no editorial experience, no idea what I was doing, or how to begin.  But Catherine had faith in me where I had none,  and for the first time in forever I saw what she saw.  

I'm having a blast.  Week after week I'm slowly learning and figuring it out, and I've tapped into a skill set I didn't know I possessed.  I've made so many friends, interviewed amazing women, and gotten back some much needed self confidence.

The second big yes happened last week, and I won't share the details yet, but I'm so excited I've been bouncing off the walls.  It's an opportunity to work with two women that I love, and admire, and want to be like when I grow up.  Except they're younger than me.  But whatever. 

It's the heart afraid of breaking, that never learns to dance
It's the dream afraid of waking, that never takes the chance
It's the one who won't be taking, who cannot seem to give
And the soul afraid of dying, that never learns to live.

--Bette Midler, The Rose

I want to dance, take chances, give, and really, really live. Don't you?

Say yes.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

16 Going On...Best Looks From Your Teens

Happy Wednesday and welcome to TBB Style with The Blended Blog.  Our fabulous hostess this week is Nicole, so be sure to pay her a visit and add your post to the link up!  This week we're doing something really fun, and I can't wait to see everyone's teenage selves.  

I'm not sure there were any "best" looks from my teens.  I was a teenager in the 80's; in fact, I turned 16 in 1983, smack dab in the middle of a very questionable fashion decade.  We had spandex, ripped jeans, lots of lace, high waisted jeans, parachute pants, huge earrings and hair, neon... We wanted to make sure you could SEE us!

Well, except me.  I was more about blending in, and I tended to go for the preppy look.  Pastels, popped collars, sweaters.  Very minimal accessories, but I always had my trusty Swatch Watch (which are back, apparently).  And hey, there's my natural hair color!

On my actual 16th birthday, I chose a rugby shirt, Levi's 501 jeans, and a skinny white belt.

Mom jeans and bomber jackets.  On both of us.  Might be why we appear to be in a prison cell?

My favorite Gunne Sax dress.  Light blue swiss dot tulle, lots of lace and puffy sleeves.  Oh, how I loved that dress.  George wasn't a fan, although the guy sitting next to me (Chris something, I think?) seems to be pretty into it.

Reading through my list of 80's fashion trends, it seems that many of them have been reinvented today, and I like most of the modern versions.  Except parachute pants.  Please, may we never see parachute pants again.

What was your teenage style?  Has it come back around?

Head to The Blended Blog and link up your posts, or follow along on Instagram with #TBBStyle.

Monday, March 11, 2019

A Few Of My Favourite Things

Happy Monday!  In honour of all my Canadian friends, I'm using the "u" today.  Speaking of which, today at TBB we're talking some of our favourite things.  And speaking of THAT, are you a fan of Ariana Grande's new song?  I definitely prefer Julie Andrews' original version.

Enough rambling.  On to a few of my recent favourite things!

1/ Anko, my new favourite store.  This Australian based retailer reminds me of Ikea, without the furniture.  Cute, trendy items at great prices.  Conner is moving into his new house in a few weeks, and he needs all the things.  We shopped at Anko on Sunday and got quite the haul.

2/ Old Navy Rockstar Jeggings, my favourite jeans.  Perfect rise, perfect fit, and so comfy.  Without a button, they lay flat in front for a smooth look.  I love all the Rockstars, but the Jeggings get special mention.

3/ Imperfect Produce, my new favourite way to buy fruits & vegetables.  We've been eating healthier around here, but I tend to buy the same things at the grocery.  This company sources the "ugly" produce directly from farms - the stuff that stores won't take - and delivers a box to your house every week.  You can customize your box, or be surprised.  And it's about 30% less than the store.

4/ Saranghae Skincare, my favourite beauty routine.  My skin is getting so dry as I age, but this line keeps me hydrated and a little less wrinkly.  Saranghae is very customer focused, full of heart, and features non-toxic, vegan products.

5/ Write With Me:  3 Things with The Horton Family, one of my new favourite link ups.  This month, Laura wants to know:

-Do you believe in luck?  Why or why not?  Maybe, a little bit.  For example, my grandma was super lucky when it came to winning contests.  She won almost everything she entered.  But I also believe in making your own luck and calling things to yourself, with a positive attitude.

-What was your favourite thing about yesterday or today?  Well, today is Monday, and I used to hate Mondays.  But then I read somewhere that you shouldn't automatically hate 1/7 of your life.  So true!  So now I try to see Mondays as a fresh start, a chance to make it a great week.

-Show us the last picture you took, and a short description of it.  I took this last night at my sister's house, where we were having a family birthday for my mom and Conner.  Sunday family dinners are the best.  Especially when they're at someone else's house!

Have a great week and be sure to link up your favourite things posts at The Blended Blog.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Feeling My Age - Or Not

What a week.  Is it Friday yet?  Okay, good.

In my heart and in my mind, I feel young.  And I try not to look in the mirror more than necessary, so I'm caught off guard when something reminds me of how long I've been on this earth.

The first was the death on Monday of Luke Perry.  Admittedly, I was never a huge Beverly Hills 90210 fan.  The show ran during a decade when I was getting married, building a career, and having kids.  No DVR, no Hulu, and not a lot of time to watch TV during the week.  But I tuned in from time to time.

His death, at the age of 52, from a stroke...was shocking.  I'M almost 52.  I don't know the state of his health or what was going on in his life, but still.  When a person, who was young when you were young, dies of something that seems like an old age disease...well, it makes you think about your own mortality.

I'm so sorry for his family and friends, and for Luke himself.  I'm sure he had so much left to do.

When I heard the news, I literally had to take a seat.  The fact is, I'm not a young'un anymore, no matter what my mind or heart says.  Am I taking the best care of myself possible?  Eating the right things, exercising the right way?  Doing everything I can to prevent a heart attack, a stroke, cancer?  So much to think about.

And then something much less important happened yesterday, but it made me feel my age yet again. 

While out running errands, a woman approached me at the store.  I smiled at her, expecting something pleasant to come out of her mouth.  Nope.  I don't remember her exact words, but the general idea was that the jeans I was wearing were completely inappropriate for someone my age.  And she just thought I should know, since clearly no one else had told me.  Then she walked away.

I stared after her in surprise, unable to come up with a single thing to say.  Quick, witty retorts have never been my forte.

The apparently offensive jeans.

I like distressed jeans.  I think they're different and fun and this pair in particular is super comfy.  My initial reaction was to be upset and a little humiliated.  Was she right?  I found myself hurrying through the store, wondering if I looked silly, walking around in a trend that's probably intended for someone much younger than me.

But by the time I got back to my car, I was angry.  She was wrong.  And definitely not entitled to make me feel bad about myself, or judge me and my choices in jeans wear.

The death of Luke Perry and the clearly-not-up-on-the-latest-fashion woman at the store left me feeling my age this week.  Or maybe not.  How I live, in mind, body and heart, are really up to me.  I'll keep working towards being the best I can be, and the universe will decide if that's good enough.  

And no matter what, I'm never getting rid of these jeans.

Monday, March 4, 2019

TBB Asks: Shop Til You Drop

Happy Monday, friends, and welcome to another edition of TBB Asks.  Today we're talking about shopping, which just so happens to be one of my favorite subjects.  Can't wait to hear what you all have to say!

1/ Nordstrom Rack, Loft, and Kate Spade are current favorites.  Honorable mentions to Target and an adorable hometown boutique called Hoity Toity.

2/ These days I shop mostly online, although I do enjoy heading to the outlet mall near my house.  I'm kind of over regular malls.

3/ Sweaters, I suppose.  Must be why I have so many.

4/ Is there anything more tortuous than bra shopping?  Maybe jeans?

5/ I don't think it's possible to choose.  I love the short navy trench I bought in Paris.  Recently, it's my Michael Kors puffer coat, and I've worn it almost everyday this winter.

6/ Definitely with others.  It's so much more fun to shop with friends, and they point out things you might not pick for yourself.

7/ Target has the best bargains, especially on their clearance end caps. 

8/ I enjoy thrift store shopping, and have found some fabulous things over the years.  It requires a lot of time to find the best treasures, however, so I haven't been in awhile.

9/ Paris was pretty amazing for window shopping.  New York too.  Honestly, any city in which Grumbling Grace is shopping is the best.

10/ In the 80's, I loved Princess Diana's style.  Lately, Lady Gaga has been killing it with her stunning, classic dresses.

Come back next week for more TBB Monday fun!

Friday, March 1, 2019

Now I Know What I Got Myself Into

24 years ago today, on one of the happiest days of my life, I became a mom. 

My pregnancy hadn't gone well.  Conner was five weeks early and in distress, so his delivery was a little chaotic, and he was whisked away to be checked by a team of doctors and nurses.

A week later we brought home a six pound bundle of screaming red head.  He was premature and tiny and not at all happy about being in this world so far  ahead of schedule.  Most days I wondered what I had gotten myself into.

But the days go by quickly, and soon the crying baby grew into a whirling toddler.  Conner was quick tempered, full of endless curiosity, and completely exhausting.  I've never known another child who could talk so much and bounce even more.  I was still wondering what I had gotten myself into.

Time marched on, and then he was a boy.  With school projects and hockey practice and bicycles and so much dirt.  Still quick to anger, still full of energy. But oh, those blue eyes and freckles.  

Just like that, he was a teenager.  Driving and sports and girls.  So kind and full of empathy, always worrying about his friends.  And suddenly taller than me.

Then one day, I realized that time needed to slow down.  Where was my tiny baby, my little boy?  He was going to grow up and....leave?  And once again I wondered what I had gotten myself into.

But time didn't listen to me.  It didn't slow down.  And today that screaming red head is a 24 year old man.  Conner is smart and thoughtful.  He's thriving in his career, and as a birthday gift to himself, he's signing papers for his very first house.  

And now I finally know what I got myself into.  A lifetime of doing the greatest job in the world, being a mom.  He'll always be exhausting, and I'll never stop worrying.  But I get to watch him keep growing, keep becoming.  The baby is gone, but an amazing human being is in his place.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy birthday, son!
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