Saturday, December 27, 2014

Dreams Come True: Baking Edition

Merry post Christmas! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with your family and friends. I certainly got in a lot of time with all of the people that I love, and that is my favorite part!

While Christmas certainly is not about the "getting," I feel extra blessed this year- for several reasons.
One of those reasons are a handsome (heavily bearded) guy in my life who I am particularly fond of. And I am incredibly thankful for him and all of the things that he is.  And…he may or may not be pictured  below in a very mysterious photo.

I can't help myself. 

Also, I am thankful when he brings these kind of things into my life…
This happened!

I talk a lot less about baking and a lot more about products on this forum, but the truth is, I spend a lot of my down time baking and trying new recipes. I have wanted one of these beauties for years. YEARS. I thought someday it might happen,  but I certainly didn't expect it to be any time soon. To say that I am thrilled with my new Kitchen Aid would be an understatement. My baking game just took an unexpected step up.

So, yes, I am feeling a little extra spoiled this year, and today I got to put my new dream machine to use! I have had bread-baking on my to-do list for a few months now. For some reason when I see "yeast" and "rising" I get a little intimidated. But with the help of my kneading attachment, I went ahead and tried it out.

My little adventure today….

I got this recipe here if anyone is interested. 

Anyways, on a more serious note, I really am feeling overwhelmed with a lot of love this season. And as much as I feel the love, I also have seen how much shorter life can be than we anticipate. As much as we believe that our loved ones will be with us forever, sometimes that is just not the plan. The holidays are a great time to see our families and friends and let them know how much they mean to us. But, so is everyday. Starting today, don't  forget to say "I love you" and maybe hug a little longer. Each day we have with each other is just another day to show how much we care.

Merry (post) Christmas!
And stay tuned… of course I have some new products to review.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Current Favs

Hey! It's about time for another addition of current favorites. It's Winter time and that means I am cringing and running to and from my car like a giant baby. It also means I am spending a lot more time buying random items and products than I EVER should be. So, without any further delay….

1. Isotoner Gloves

If you live anywhere where you find your body in pain due to the temperature, do yourself a favor and grab a pair of Isotoner gloves. Why I have never owned a pair of these prior to this year is BEYOND my understanding. This has literally been a game changer for me. I actually don't hate my life as much when I am driving to work in the morning. And I can touch the steering wheel again. Bonus!
They have a lot of cute and practical styles. And I now own two pairs.  Pictured below are my favorite pair. 
Women's Cable Knit Gloves- Thinsulate Lined in Ivory
2. Eyeliner discovery

This is more of an announcement. I know I am not the first NOR the last person to do this, but I have started using my eye shadow as an eyeliner- and I LOVE IT. 
In my Naked 2 palette  there is shade called "Blackout". A few weeks ago I had a crisis in which I was not at home and realized I had forgotten my eyeliner. I improvised with a fine tip brush and this shade…. and I couldn't believe how much I liked it! It was such a smooth and soft look as opposed to the sharp lines you get from a pencil. I honestly haven't even used my eye liner since. I have had the best experience when I put my eye shadow primer very close to my lash line before I start. Simple, quick, and a better look if you ask me! 

Oh man. As if I need any more caloric intake during this season, I made a huge mistake and bought a couple of pints of this heavenly concoction. I don't even have anything to say except for if you are having a bad day, locate this at your local grocer and wait for the turnaround. 
I am a huge fan of the Sea Salt Carmel and Fudge Brownie flavors. 

A fancy picture from their website. My mouth is watering. 

That's all for now! 


Friday, December 19, 2014

PSA: Arctic Zero Follow Up

Some of you may have read my PSA about my feelings on my Arctic Zero purchase. Not good. The folks over at Arctic Zero (Hi Lindsey and gang!) must have stumbled across my post, and they contacted me regarding my feelings about their product. 

The next thing I knew, a box showed up of all of the flavors Arctic Zero had to offer! 

Lindsey advised letting the ice-cream thaw out to a creamy state and then giving it a try. I have to say that I STILL haven't tried all of the 6 flavors they sent me, but I will tell anyone who is looking to try this, that Sea Salt Carmel is where it's at in terms of this product. 

I finished at least half of the pint. 

So, here is my new verdict. This product is not ice cream. It's just not. And if you have a sweet tooth like I do, it may not be satisfying to you. But if you are looking for a solid substitute for a frozen treat- by all means- give this stuff a try!

And as a side note, a big THANK YOU to the Arctic Zero team and also an A+ for your amazing customer service efforts. Whether or not I ever fall in love with AZ, I will be extremely impressed with your business efforts. 

Thanks again!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Love Radiance

This post is LONG overdue. A couple of weeks ago I had to run a quick errand at the NE Crossroads Outlet in Gretna. My plan was to be in and out in approximately 5 minutes.

Until I saw they opened a Bare Escentuals store..that day… as in an hour before I got there.

It would take you a few minutes of browsing this blog's history to find out I LOVE Bare Escentuals make up. So when I found out that the first 100 customers were getting $25 off of every $50 spent, I had a mild heart attack... to say the least.

I stocked up on my usuals, but I also bought blush from their line. For some unknown reason, I have NEVER used their blush. I love my NARS blush in Orgasm and have always felt like blush is somewhat…expendable.. for use of a better term. Anyways, since I was getting a crazy good deal, I decided it was time to see what their blush was all about.

It's called all over face color, but I use it as a blush- in "Love Radiance" and I have to say, I am a big fan! No big surprise considering I haven't stopped using their products in about the last 10 years.

All Over Face color in "Love Radiance"

Anyways, I don't think I got over my excitement from this unexpected deal for the next 24 hours. I called everyone who I thought would care and fell asleep smiling because I knew another deal like this wouldn't be coming anytime soon.

Sometimes I can't even believe how lame I am.

Anyways, try the blush out if you haven't yet. It doesn't disappoint!


Thursday, October 23, 2014

PSA: Arctic Zero

Hey guys.

I am going to make this short and sweet, a little PSA if you will.

Ice cream is good. I want it every night. Actually, I would take a little ice-cream after every meal. It makes everything better.

I stumbled across Arctic Zero on a health blog and thought… hmmm…. could it be? A pint of ice cream for 150 calories? Sign me up!

So I purchased it (FYI - I have only seen it at Hy-Vee and Wal-Mart) and brought it home. Post supper time, when I typically start debating if I should drive through Runza for a twist cone, I busted into the freezer for my first AZ experience.

I sure was excited. I purchased the cookies and cream flavor…. as it is my standard go-to flavor in the frozen dairy department.

Experience as follows:
First bite: Mmmm. Cold. Frozen. Mostly like ice cream. Not as creamy, but good.
Second bite: I guess it tastes like cookies and cream. Sort of.
Third bite: This tastes pretty watery.
Fourth bite: Why is this called cookies and cream?
Fifth bite: Am I eating frozen sand?

There was no sixth bite, gang. Don't waste your $5-8 (depending on where you get it) for this poor ice cream substitute. It's just like I thought… if you want dessert, go big or go home.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Talent Lists

Friday through Sunday of this past weekend was devoted to meeting up with some of my girl friends. We voyaged to Denver and got in some serious QT. In typical gathering style, we purchased a few bottles of wine, Oreos, chips and ice cream for our first evening together. Our spread looked like we were suffering from one giant, collective break up.  Which, by the way, we are not.

Side note: Who do I need to contact to get Blue bell ice-cream in Omaha/Lincoln? Or am I missing it somewhere? HELP.

Anyways, while we were chowing down, one of my friends mentioned her “talent list.” Wait… what? I don’t have a talent list. Also, what is that?

Apparently a couple of the ladies had previously done this. In short, a talent list is pretty self explanatory. It’s a list of things you are talented at. And it’s supposed to be specific.

As in…

Giving= unacceptable talent list material

Thoughtful gift giver= acceptable talent list material

… or something. I think. So, we started making our own talent lists. Some talents are funny. Some are random based off of past events. Some are obvious.

Even so, it is so much more difficult than it sounds. A million things begin to run through my mind. Mainly, what am I good at, anyways? I don’t know! I can’t think of anything. I am certainly not athletic. I have taken the strengths finder…  are those talents? Nope… too vague.  Panic was setting in as I realized I actually didn’t have any talents. Well, this is upsetting. I am not good at being put on the spot, I know that much. We will call that an anti-talent.

The activity ended up turning into something that I am quite certain a group of guys would never partake in: essentially going around and identifying what we thought each individual was talented at. And let me tell you… this is an activity that you should do with your people. (It is better fueled with wine and sugar, but do as you please).

I am sure you are all dying to know what my talent list ended up looking like. Unfortunately, it’s written on a paper towel and is not in my possession. And it’s certainly not my point. My point is somewhere along the lines of “how we see ourselves is so much more negative than how the people who love and care about us, see us.” See,  I was literally incapable of thinking of more than a few things that I knew I was “talented at”. But these women, who have known me for (some) shorter periods and (others) a long time, had no trouble identifying my talents.
Que: so many warm and fuzzy feelings. And I swear it wasn't (just) the wine.

As an activity (if you aren't hurting for a little free time), jot down a few things that you believe yourself to be good at. If you are familiar with your talents, by all means, continue on! But if you, like many of us, struggle to come up with more than a few, ask a close friend or family member to identify a few of your "talents." You will most likely be surprised to see how you are perceived by the people who know you best.

Let this be a reminder to us to never forget to tell the people we love what we really think is great about them. We all have less than pretty qualities. But for most of us, the good qualities outweigh the bad. Find the good in others… and focus on those things.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Motherboard

I believe this has been my longest blog hiatus, ever. About two months ago, my computer decided to pull the ultimate prank and refuse to turn back on. It started doing this frightening beeping sound when I tried to charge it.   Though I know nothing about computer repair, something told me this was not good.  I hesitated to google the symptoms. Everyone knows how that goes… one minute you have a sore throat, and the next you are dying of a rare disease. Same for computers. So… I did it anyways because I like to get the facts up front. It didn’t sound good, and I was scared.

Like any normal person would do, I went into denial and put my computer in the closet, hoping it would rest up and turn on in a few days.  Well, fast forward a few weeks, and my computer wasn’t making the healthy recovery I had hoped for. I caved and took her in. A week went by before I got the official diagnosis… the motherboard. I am sure my blank stare encouraged the computer repairman to dumb down his spiel and say “We need to send it away to get repaired or replace it. It’s shot.” Wait, what?! I have only had this MacBook for about 3 years. Don’t these things have like, lifetime warranties? Aren’t they indestructible? Am I making these things up?  I saved my temper tantrum and instead told him to do what he needs to do… what do I know anyways?

Well gang, my computer is finally healthy. Coincidentally, I still haven’t picked her up. Blogging from my phone is tricky, but I like the challenge. And I didn’t want to leave anyone hanging any longer. That is, of course, making the assumption that anyone is “hanging.”


Anywho, it is Fall! Over at my apartment, I am bathing in pumpkin scented everything. Literally. Have you guys tried Pumpkin Latte and Marshmallow from Bath and Body Works? I was like a kid in a candy shop when I saw the fall scents were out. I smell like pumpkins, my apartment smells like pumpkins, I am ingesting pumpkin flavored goodies…. It’s chaos around here. If you go and buy anything pumpkin scented (to wear) this Fall, I would make it THIS. Yum.

So, I am going to keep this short and sweet because typing for an extended period of time on my IPhone screen makes me want to gouge my eyes out with a spoon.  



Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What Not To Watch: Movie Edition

Today we are switchin' it up... don't worry, I have a lot to say about lipstick and hair mousse, but today we are going to discuss a little issue I am having.

I LOVE  a good movie. Love it. Going to movies is one of my favorite things to do. I enjoy arriving right on time so that I can see every preview, smuggling in various food items (I've managed several difficult feats including Valentino's and frozen yogurt), and the overall atmosphere and excitement of what is to come.

Unfortunately, I can't recall the last time I walked out of a theater just THRILLED and excited and amazed by a great movie. What is going on? Am I becoming a harsh critic or have the recent movie releases just really, really....sucked?

Sunday evening equaled date night in my little world and we browsed the movie selection prior, carefully critiquing and viewing several different trailers. I am typically up for a comedy and on this particular night, we chose Tammy (starring Melissa McCarthy) expecting her to deliver something hilarious (I am thinking Bridesmaids style).
Well gang, (as my Dad would say) let's just cut to the chase: don't waste your time. If you saw the previews, commercials and movie trailers, turns out you saw everything funny about the movie. There were a few parts (seen in the previews) that I genuinely laughed out loud at, but for the other 80% of the movie I was just wishing it would get over with. The movie takes several weird turns for the serious side as well. Whatever happened to your good, old fashioned, straight up comedy? A few parts of the movie became so serious that I started drifting off into a candy coma. Just kidding, I didn't even smuggle candy in...AKA horrible decision. I couldn't even eat my sorrow away with this one. 

Anywho, long story short, save yourself the money and time and make a better selection than we did. 
This is an I'm-bored-on-a-Friday night-and-am-going-to-hit-the-Redbox selection...maybe. Honestly, you could probably do better. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Covert Affair

I am a die hard Naked 1 & 2 palette fan. I don’t have 3, or else I would probably rave about that, too. I love them and encourage everyone I know to purchase them.

I say all of this because I think I am feeling a little guilty about my recent betrayal. I haven’t purchased an eye shadow (aside from when I bought #2 last year) in several years. I just haven’t felt the need…

So,  I was in Bare Escentuals getting a routine color match on my foundation, and the next thing I know the sales associate is doing my eyes, lips and a full face of makeup. I wasn’t really complaining of course, but she thought it would be a fun idea to try purple eye shadow. I told her to go for it because I had plans to work out and I knew it wouldn’t matter if I looked like a toddler who got into the makeup drawer afterwards.

I’m sure you can guess what happened… I’ll save you the long drawn out story… I really liked the purple. It is a Bare Escentuals palate called “The Covert Affair” featuring Air (a satin taupe) and Catch Me If… (a rich mauve shade). 

Since I felt bad about not purchasing the foundation ( I already had the one she matched me with at home) I felt some sort of obligation to make a purchase after all of her hard work. After leaving I was very annoyed with myself for spending $20 on two little colors that I probably would never wear. In an effort to make myself feel better, I decided I WOULD wear it. All the time. And I just have to say...this stuff is pretty awesome! I usually wear it to work, and so I don’t bother with a primer, and I am FULLY impressed with its stay power! At the end of a work day, I rarely have any creasing and its still looking nice and shimmery. I would say that’s quite a feat when its 100 degrees with 90% humidity in Nebraska these days.

So… bottom line, big fan! If you are looking for some fun new colors, venture out and have them sample a few shades until you find one you like. They are pretty good at picking a flattering shade particular to you!  And what better way to wrap up a Monday after a holiday weekend than a new eye shadow? That’s what I thought….

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Favorites (june) Edition

Oh no... a month has gone by and I've neglected this little corner of my world.
So much has been going on and it's been hard to keep up with normal life, however, I'm finally settling down and excited to share a few (random) things I am currently loving. 

1. Wet brush
Looks like a normal brush, right? Wrong. Look for that little "the Wet brush" logo. 
So when I went to Lark for my Blowout, the stylist used a Wet brush to comb my hair out post wash. If you have long hair, I feel like it's Hair 101 to know that combing it out with a brush is often a disaster. Maybe I am speaking for myself, but it creates more tangles and much more time. For that reason, when I saw her coming at me with a brush, I assumed disaster. Imagine my surprise when she effortlessly detangled my hair with this magical "Wet brush" device. I bought one shortly after and am still (confused) and amazed at how well it works. I have almost completely ditched my hair pick at this point. I don't know what their secret is.. it looks like a normal brush...but I'm telling you. I see these everywhere... I got mine at Beauty First. I've also seen them at Sally and they are on Amazon for a few dollars cheaper. Try it!

2. Batiste
I know I have already mentioned Batiste dry shampoo (and yes, it is still my current favorite) but last week I ventured out of my comfort zone and bought the "blonde" edition. As you can see, they have several shades to accommodate different hair colors. I am LOVING the blonde type, even more so than the original. It smells really good and it's nice to not worry about any white powder traces in your hair. 
I snapped this at Beauty First so you can see the options

3. Banhwich Cafe
AHHH. Sometimes it seems like if I am not talking about products, I am talking about food. And maybe it seems that way because it is that way. Guys, you have to go here. HAVE TO. If you haven't already. It is a north Lincoln spot that opened a few years ago. I went a couple times at random, and then quickly became addicted. Then I kind of forgot about it, then I went back and became re addicted to the point that I can hardly drive by without going there. This isn't a great review for the overall cafe because I always get the same thing... this delightfully spicy and full of flavor chicken sandwich. And bubble tea. Ohhh bubble tea. So much going on while drinking that stuff. It's just overwhelmingly great. My standard Banhwich meal featured below. And now my mouth is watering. 

Strawberry Bubble Tea 

4. Concerts
Easily one of my favorite parts about Summer is  the massive increase in outdoor concerts. It's overwhelming to the point that I have a concert listed nearly every weekend until September. Whether I will actually attend all of these is somewhat up in the air.. but I want to. The combination of country music and a Summer night is so hard to beat. 
David Nail 
Zac Brown Band 

Alright, thus ends just (a few) of my current favorites. We'll chat again soon!


Monday, May 12, 2014


Hi everybody!

Just a quick post for my Lincoln people (or if you want to travel!) ... simply(FIT) is offering FREE Pilates classes this week. Yes, FREE. I don't think that happens too often!!

For those of you that missed "Winelates" last week.... it's just that. You missed out! Look how much fun we had..

This week will be just as wonderful, sans wine. Pilates is a phenomenal core workout and Roxanne is an excellent instructor. If you haven't tried Pilates and have always been curious, this is the perfect opportunity.

The location will be different this week and the schedule is below! You have nothing to lose....

And, while you're at it, check out simply(FIT) blog for fun exercise tips and good reads in general! 

Happy Monday,

Thursday, May 8, 2014


I've been sitting on this post for a couple months now, so I am super excited to share! contacted Sweet & Modern back in March. Prior to that, I had no idea what was, so I'm going to do my readers a favor and assume none of you do either. So, to get you up to speed.... this is an excerpt from their website:

A fresh concept in fashion - customization

eShakti believes that all women have the right to wear affordable fashion that is made for them and makes them look their absolute best.
Our Story: eShakti began as a small website offering basic cottons and modestly embellished pieces. As we grew, we were tasked with providing design and fit solutions to meet our customers' needs. Today, we are an international fashion design company making custom clothing. Offering both style and fit customization for women size 0 through 36 is the heart of our business.
How do we stack up?
To simply put it, custom clothing does not have to be expensive. By keeping up with technology as it is advancing, we are able to provide customization at a modest cost. Our design teams are based in New York, California and India which gives us a diverse fashion perspective. Our clothing is made in India in our own factories and in local factories that produce some of the leading brands at retail. We do not stock any sizes. Since each style - whether standard sized, custom styled or custom sized - is cut to order, we do not have to warehouse our merchandise. Therefore, you will notice that every style requires your height measurement, whether you are customizing or not. This ensures you a "truer" fit. We ship directly to you. That helps us to keep our fashion affordable.
Our Customer Service teams are based on both the east and west coasts in the US. You can reach us between 8 AM and 4 PM PST, Monday through Friday, by calling our toll free number 1-855-374-2584 (1-855-ESH-AKTI). If our lines are busy, kindly leave a message and we will return your call within a day.
Your opinion matters to us
When a customer writes to tell us that she is unhappy, we take it seriously, and we set the processes in motion so that it does not happen again. Some things can be fixed quickly while others require more time. You can be certain that we address every concern. so generously gave me the opportunity to preview some of their items to share with all of you! The cool thing about is the customizable clothing option. If you check out their website, you will notice each piece (upon ordering) can be customized to your height, size and style. I love that! 

Anyways, I picked this cute, classic-looking red dress from the website and it arrived within 14 days. Unfortunately, I didn't actually measure myself, so it didn't quite fit me how I would prefer.'s customer service was AWESOME and was willing to accommodate the return and have a new item sent. However, in the meantime, my gorgeous and model-like cousin tried the dress on, and it fit her perfectly. And, coincidentally, she had an event that week that she could wear it to! 

Here she is, so sweetly (and stunningly) modeling the dress for me!

And again, at her event!

Granted, she does any piece of clothing she wears a favor, however, this dress is SO cute. I'm a little obsessed! And that's why I'm SUPER excited to tell all of you that eShakti is offering all of my readers a discount!

Head over to and customize a piece today! When you check out, enter "sweetgines" to receive 10% off of your order, valid 5-7-14 through 6-7-14. 

Thanks for reading! 

Sunday, April 27, 2014


If you follow along with the blog then you know I'm a little bit obsessed with Blow Bars (or blow dry studios or blow salons... or whatever you want to call them!) I documented a few of my blow out experiences in the last year here and here.

Of course when I heard that they were opening a blow dry studio in Omaha, I was pretty excited. Granted, it's not Lincoln, but seeing as how I don't think there are any others in the state of Nebraska, Omaha is a pretty great place for it to go. And... subsequently I started working in Omaha a few weeks ago, so I knew an appointment was in my near future.

I have to start by saying Lark was fantastic! I actually was able to schedule my appointment on their website (extremely convenient) and I received a confirmation email right away. Also, I had a few questions that I asked via email and they responded immediately with the details. Not that I needed any more reason to be excited, but their customer service was fantastic!

So I scheduled my appointment the morning of (coincidentally also my birthday...highly recommend giving yourself a salon treat for your birthday!) and got in with no problem at all.

First of all, Lark is darling. I loved the decor and atmosphere and I was so excited to be there! Lark uses all Bumble and bumble products, which I had no experience with previously. The wonderful Lark stylist washed my hair (the shampoo smells SO good by the way.. always a bonus)  and was very intentional about finding out what kind of style I was going for (which I really appreciated!). The whole blowout lasted a little over an hour from wash to finish and it was so relaxing. There is something pretty wonderful about someone else doing your hair!

I'm slightly disappointed in myself, because after all of my previous blow outs I took a picture, and for some reason I didn't this time. So, trust me in saying I had some wonderful volume, shine and soft waves. I loved the Bumble and bumble products, the end result, and the kind and friendly staff ...and basically my whole experience at Lark.

Lark offers blowouts for $40 across the board... which is a great price for the experience and result. Your hair will feel so amazing... if you haven't tried it yet.. try Lark!

Check out their website here. You can browse various styles AND book an appointment! Next time you have a big event (or just feel like getting pampered!) and are in the Omaha area... I highly recommend booking with Lark- you will not be disappointed!

Friday, April 4, 2014


I have some pretty fantastic friends. And they sure do know me well.
Remember Kate?

Kate & I pre wedding waiting around. Her makeup=flawless. In the word's of Kate... "Obsessed." 

And while we are at it, the happy couple post nuptials. Have you seen a more gorgeous duo? Ashley was a stunning bride! 

Yes, the same Kate who so graciously handed over her NARS blush? Well... I got to see Kate at a bridesmaid lunch last weekend and she surprised me with my (first) Butter polish!
My new polish in "Primrose Hill Picnic"

Lauren from Lauren Elizabeth always references her love for Butter polish and I have actually been dying to try it. I just...haven't. It's not surprising that Kate picked this up for me. We roll on the same product obsessed wave length and I was absolutely thrilled.

But nothing can top how excited I was AFTER using this product! Kate's (and others) rave reviews are definitely legitimate. This polish goes on (literally) like butter! So smooth and easy to apply. And DRY in minutes. Minutes!!!! As in 2-3.  I didn't even use a top coat.

I might as well not delay the inevitable... going to need this in every shade of pink, stat.

Thanks Kate! ;)

PS- If you haven't tried butter... it's about that time!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Empty Hands & Open Hearts

I have mentioned before how much I enjoy my Jesus Calling devotional, but some days it is so on target with my life that I'm slightly blown away. (I shouldn't be of course!)

Today was especially true and I wanted to share some thoughts that I had.

I hate being needy. I think I try my hardest, daily, to not ask too much of the people around me and to not be a burden to the people that I love. I am sure this is true for many of us. We live in a culture that encourages independence and working hard for that reason.... so we don't have to ask much of anyone else. The reality of the situation is that we are all extremely needy, regardless of how we have perfected our independence, or how much we try not to rely on others. In fact, we were created to need others, but mostly, we were created to need God. The beautiful part is, he wants us to need Him. It's not a burden...God isn't annoyed when you want to feel His presence, He isn't busy when you are unsure of the next step to take, and most importantly, He already knows our needs. He sees our weaknesses and fears and is ready and waiting for us to come to Him.

The words today said "My power flows freely into weak ones who are aware of their need for Me. Faltering steps of dependence are not a lack of faith; they are links to My Presence."

I love that quote because it shows us that when we falter, when we try to rely on's not a reason to beat ourselves up when we fail. It's a reminder that we are linked to someone so much more powerful than us.

Isaiah 40:29-31 says "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. "

God knows the depth of our weakness. He knows how hard some days are and how tired we become with various situations ... and sometimes life in general.

So today, I want to remember that when I stumble, when I worry, when I question the future... God is holding out his hand, waiting for me to remember that my weakness is a reminder that I simply need His strength.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Dry Bar - Chicago Edition

I love these salons. They are cute, fun and they make your hair feel SO GOOD. This last summer, I had my first blow bar experience  in Denver. It was a fun experience and helped me to know a little about what I wanted/what to expect for time #2.

Fast forward about 9 months and I am in Chicago for the weekend! My sweet friend Emily knew about my obsession with the blow bar and immediately informed me when she discovered the Drybar going up (within walking distance!) of her apartment in Chicago. 

Drybar is a very well known blow bar location. They have salons throughout various states such as California, New York, Texas, Arizona (&more)  and.. now Chicago. 

Emily is a fantastic host, in more than one way, but she was on top of reservations and let me know that ours was set in stone for Saturday morning! What a GREAT way to begin the day's festivities. 

These are a few pictures I snapped of the Drybar in Chicago... such a cute place! 

When we got there, we had our option between coffee and mimosas..also a pretty great way to start the morning out!

Here is Emily and I... pre blow out (and makeup). We were pretty excited :)
So, one thing I didn't know is that Drybar has their own line of products that they use specifically. These products smell SO good. Indescribably good. 

and here I am getting the "Southern Belle" treatment. In the "look book" this was described as curls and lots of volume. 

For those of you wanting to try out a drybar/blow are my tips that I have acquired so far! 

If you know you want a specific VERY specific. At the blow bar in Denver, I said I wanted a lot of volume, but didn't get it. So, this time, I exaggerated to the woman how much I wanted. And..even when she was finishing up.. I told her I actually wanted more. They really want your hair to look how you want be specific! 

I would have liked a little more curl, however I blame that on myself, as I told her I wanted a "loose curl" and that means different things to different people. That, and I am pretty sure she used a keratin treatment in my hair, which completely kills my hair's ability to hold a curl. 

Emily was very specific with her stylist about the type of curls she wanted, and also that she DIDN'T want the big hair that I was going after. 
The key is to let them know... if you don't have a preference...then sit back and enjoy! 

This was such a relaxing and fun thing to do. While only my second experience, it was the best by far! My hair smelled and felt amazing afterwards. 

Emily and I... post blowout! Emily's hair looked absolutely gorgeous! 

And.. as mentioned.. I fell in love with the mousse she used in my hair.
 Mainly because of the smell.. just incredible! Of course, I forgot to buy a bottle before I left, so now it is en route to my home! (You can order all Drybar products through Sephora online!)

If you are looking for a fun way to treat yourself... this is it! Unfortunately for my local readers.. we don't have any Drybar locations in Nebraska. However, Omaha recently opened a blow bar called Lark! I have yet to go, but it's on the list! Yay!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Dry Shampoo Wars

So, it turns out I have become obsessed with experimenting with dry shampoo. I have posted before about various dry shampoo products before... including non salon Suave products, Tigi Dirty Secret, straight up baking soda... I've been around the dry shampoo block a few times.

I have been using the Suave brand pretty religiously for over 6 months now because A) it smells so good and B) it works fairly good as well. But... I'm just over it. For whatever reason. I didn't feel like I was getting the results I needed and while I love how it smells, that's not a good enough reason anymore.

Enter my new experiments...

Last week I purchased it's a 10 Dry Shampoo and Conditioner in One. The sales rep recommended it as her favorite dry shampoo, and I take product recommendations seriously.
Honestly, I didn't read anything about the product. She said it smelled good (selling point) and worked wonders for her.'s my take. The first day, my hair seemed super shiny, but already a little greasy. I admit, it smelled great though! However that is not the job of a dry shampoo. Day two... we had a situation on our hands. And not a good one. Why did it look like I dipped my head in cooking oil?! Emergency hair wash. It's a 10 fail.'s the deal. I neglected to read that there is keratin in this product. Keratin, while a wonderful product, does not work for me. It makes my hair greasy and static-y...AND my naturally wavy hair wont hold a curl to save it's life when under the influence of keratin. 
So...if you have SUPER dry hair...this might be for you. I simply cannot do it and will never buy this product again. It's also a little bit pricey (I paid close to $22) and the combination of these qualities just did not work out for me. Sorry it's a 10... I LOVE your other products, but unfortunately this is not one of them. 

I hate to be negative. Okay, time to bring in the good stuff. Sometimes all it takes is a product that does WHAT IT SAYS it does to get me excited. I'm so lame sometimes and I'll be the first to call myself out. Ladies (and gentleman..maybe?) this needs to be your next dry shampoo purchase. Trust me!
I am on day 3 (and that means of no washing for those of you who aren't following) and here are a few of my results...
1. Non greasy hair
2. Clean, fresh & light scented
3. Extra volume (yes please!)
4. Added texture
Best of all...I paid $12 for this. That is almost half of the other product. Kind of... math isn't my strong point. BUT..I noticed this was listed at $8 for a lot of online retailers. Even better!! 

I am ecstatic about this stuff. Easily my favorite dry shampoo...ever. 
Don't judge me, but I might even push the limits and see what Day 4 brings. Wish me luck! 

*For those of you who are curious, YES... I still shower. It's called a shower cap, people. I didn't abandon basic hygiene. 

Do yourself a favor and get out there and get a bottle of Batiste! Also... they make it in color specifics. I haven't tried it yet but that might be next. I love it!

Stay tuned for a recap of the best blow out I have had (thus far!) and more exciting reviews! 

Happy Thursday!


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Thankful Thursdays

The best way to combat negativity is THANKFULNESS. I try to remind myself of this when I hear my thoughts become harsh, and my attitude...not so pleasant. For every one thing that is annoying me, there are so many things I can think to be thankful for.

Here are some random things I am thankful for today...


A little something I have been whipping up at home...just what I need to get me through these (maybe?) last few weeks of Winter.

2. I know I have mentioned the Jesus Calling devotional before, but truly! This daily devotional is one of my favorites. I don't  actually read it daily, but when I do, I feel like there is always an application to a current situation or that day. Love this encouragement! 

3. Emojis. 
I know, lame right? But what I am getting at here...these clever little graphics actually add a significant amount of humor to my day. Also, my Dad includes them in EVERY text. Seriously, all of them. No need for relevance. It makes me laugh so hard. And I am thankful for laughing!

4. Community
In my line of work, I see a lot of people fail..simply because they do not have community around them. I know its cliche, but I am incredibly thankful for the community of people that I have around me. I feel fortunate to have such a wonderful support system! 

5. My phone
I know, I know. Again... materialistic. My phone allows me to stay in constant contact with anyone and everyone I care about. It brings me random laughs throughout the day. It keeps a schedule of my work activities all day long and reminds me when I need to be somewhere. It directs me to the various places I travel. It wakes me up in the morning. It helps me track progress. It enables me to capture moments with family and friends. 

I know that I don't NEED a phone. It's possible to live without one. Just saying.. I'm THANKFUL!

And that's what this whole post was about, anyways. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Product Review: AG Hair Cosmetics "Sleeek"

First of all, I think maybe I should give a shout out to Beauty First for having so many awesome samples and giveaways! I have found some products that I really love as a result of this, and plus, it's always great to get to try new things. 

This month, Beauty First hooked me up with AG "sleeek" (yes, thats 3 'e's' people) Argan Conditioner. 

"sleeek" claims to be...

"truly transformative, this rich conditioner turns course, kinky hair into sleek and smooth." 

Can we pause for a second, and just talk about the people who write the descriptions on products? OF COURSE I am going to buy it when you say it like that! That would be a fun job. Anywho, moving on. 

Since I only had the conditioner, I washed my hair on this particular day with Biolage hydrating shampoo. I used the sample of the AG "sleeek" post shampoo. 

My first indication of how a conditioner treats my hair is always when I start combing my hair out. My hair SURPRISINGLY untangled very easily. Another thing I noted was how quickly my hair was drying, before I could even get to my blow dryer. ( I believe this is fairly common with Argan products). Anyways, I love that. Less work under the heat for me. 

So, fast forward, typically when I blow dry my hair, I get a significant amount of frizz that I have to deal with afterwards (if I don't use any blow dry spray products, which I didn't). However, on this day, my hair was so smooth! It wasn't perfectly straight or without ANY frizz, but there was an obvious improvement. 

I'm impressed! Maybe it doesn't take a lot to impress me in the product world, but my hair is generally wavy and frizzy before I take things into my own hands, so I think this was a pretty positive change. 

Lastly, my hair had a really fresh, light smell that I couldn't place exactly. Scent is a selling point for me however, and so this was important! 

Conclusion: YES. I would recommend this product. I am not sure how it would hold up as a daily use conditioner (I am thinking maybe your hair would start to get a little oily, depending on hair type). However, I would for sure use this stuff again when I am needing to get my hair under control! Good stuff. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Confessional Friday

Hey all! I had sweet plans for the blog this week, and... I've been sick. So lame. I am writing this through my stuffed nose and watery eyes. This is sooo the weather's fault. You can't go from snow boots to flip flops in the same day and not have repercussions! C'mon!

So, for fun today, we are linking up with A Blonde Ambition for Confessional Friday!

Alright... here goes.

1. I cheated on my clean eat. Twice. Once with cookies, and once ( do you count that? It was within the same hour) with bread and Nilla wafers. Sorry I'm not sorry.

2. I listened to only 90s music all week. Backstreet, Weezer, Britney and I are all back on a first name basis.

3. I went back to bed for 3 hours after working for 1...two days this week. Again, not sorry.

4. I haven't worked out since Tuesday.

5. Last but not least, I have been wearing the same outfit since yesterday at 4:00 PM. Okay, maybe I am a little bit sorry about that.

Going to change now. And going to the gym, maybe.


Friday, February 14, 2014

High Five for Friday!

It's Friday! And that means we are linking up with one of my favorite bloggers Lauren from From My Grey Desk blog!

This week in highlights (apologies in advance for my slightly unexciting week!)

1. On a routine Beauty First stop (I had 10 minutes before a meeting. What's  a girl to do?) I scored some half price nail polish. Nothing screams "Spring" like pretty pink pastels!  Oh, and I won't be waiting until Spring to put these to use!
L-R "Bottom's Up, "Exceptionally Gifted, and Sexy Lady"
2. Yesterday it was 56 degrees. Enough said.

3. Exciting win for Nebraska Basketball! I have been sad that I haven't made it to a game in a few weeks (work related!). The stars aligned and I had a few hours free from work AND a ticket given to me! Yay! And a great game.

4. My rediscovered love for sweet potatoes with cinnamon on them. Call me crazy, but this is practically a dessert. YUM! Also, a fun tip for a quick sweet potato (in case you do not typically eat them!) Wash, rinse, and wrap the sweet potato in a damp washcloth. Microwave for 5 minutes... and DONE. Woohoo! 

5. AND.. since it's Valentines Day.. shout out to all of my wonderful friends and family. Love you more than anything! 

Happy Friday Everyone!