Sunday, December 21, 2014

Like Those Chips, I Can't Have Just One Favorite Christmas Memory

When my buddy, Cherdo, invited me to her Favorite Christmas Memory blog hop, I was excited and figured it would be easy. I love Christmas and have many great memories. Turns out, just like those darn BBQ chips, I can't have just one! Here are three that stand out.
1. My first Christmas working in the real world. In high school I worked at a chain music store. I enjoyed it UNTIL Christmas time. I thought Black Friday was rough. Oh no.  Listening to Christmas albums for hours and hours every shift was torture. Dating myself here but the hot band then was New Kids On The Block. We played their Christmas album a minimum of two times per four hour shift. That was the Christmas I came to appreciate Alvin and The Chipmunks Christmas album. It was a welcome reprieve.

2. My first Christmas as a teenager. Like most kids, I loved getting up super early on Christmas  morning and making sure everyone else was up so they wouldn't miss the fun. When I was thirteen my uncle repaid me in full for my kindness by sending windup singing Santa toys down the hall by my room every 15 minutes from 5 am til I finally got up.

3. My first Christmas coffee. Back in the day, my parents drove an old beat up VW van. We had moved up north and had flown down south to visit family. We flew back in late Christmas Eve right into a snowstorm and subzero temperatures. Of course that was the night that the family van's heat failed. As my dad drove the two hours home from the airport my mom made us put on all the clothes we had packed and huddled between me and my sister. Ahhh, the days before seatbelt laws. About an hour in, it was so cold my parents got truly worried so they pulled into a hospital and we piled in the waiting room to warm up. It wasn't the cold I really remember about that night. It was the nurses. They were so kind. The only warm drink they had was coffee but they sweetened it with as much sugar as they could. Then they took turns chatting with us and even played Barbies briefly. It always stuck with me that though they were pretty busy they took time to care for random people, not even patients, in the waiting room. So my coldest Christmas memory is really the warmest.
I could keep listing more but my seven year old is tugging at my sleeve to go make surprise cookies for his brothers. So, I'm off to make more Christmas memories.  Wishing you and all of yours the merriest Christmas and happiest holiday season.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Beauty tip from airlines?

Rule #4

Do you ever feel like the crazy lady in frame one of this pic?  I do!  I'm running around all the time trying to do things for the kids, my husband, my job, etc. Just like frame 1, I don't smoke and I think that pic next to it is a watch showing that I am always running late. I get so frustrated and wound up that I start shaking and throwing yellow Tupperware containers, especially when my kids roll their eyes at me. 
At least that's what I see when I look at that picture. As we all know it's showing what to do in case of a loss of cabin pressure. Air masks will drop from the panel above.  If traveling with young children, please place the mask on yourself first before helping others...zzzz.  See I think I never got the wisdom of that before cause I was always asleep during the safety spiel. 
But there is wisdom there. If only we would take a little time for ourselves - to rest, relax and restore our sanity, think how much calmer our family and work like would be.  Refilling our mental energy stores allows us to help those around us and protects them from having to dodge incoming Tupperware!  So Rule #4 take time each day to do something for you. It's not selfish - it could save a life!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Boundaries Are Beautiful

Rule #3
So, you've figured out your priorities and made some rules to help you actually make them priorities. But what about when real life happens? Let's use the example of family dinner time. Say you decide that you want to have a sit down dinner with your your 3 nights a week. You look at the activities schedule and decide Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays are the nights you have free so they will be sit down dinner nights. For a while this works great but then, of course, real life rears it's ugly head. One kid has an extra sports practice on Thursday.  And then of course the next week you are asked to attend a parent meeting on Tuesday. What do you do? My answer used to be that of course we would just skip sit down dinner that night because it was no big deal, right?  And guess what?  Every time I decided to skip it, just this once, I was demonstrating that family dinner really wasn't that big a priority. My family and I got that message and we stopped intentionally keeping that time free. Family dinner stopped happening in my house.  Instead, our weeks were filled with random activities that popped up rather than with the activities that I had said were my priorities. 
Don't fall into that trap of letting the random activities fill your time.  Make rules that work in your life and honor your priorities. If you are going to break a rule, make sure it is for a high priority reason.  Those rules create boundaries on your time and attention. Those boundaries are what will allow you to create the life you want rather than the life that sort of happens.
Rule #4 coming soon and I promise it's one you will want to do!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Turn your ideals into priorities.

Rule #2
Now that you have identified your top priorities, make some rules to safeguard those. One of my top priorities is spending time with my kids. Real time not time in the same room while we are all doing other things. That has been an ideal for a long time for me but I didn't make it a priority by making rules to make that time happen. Now I have set family time hours each day. During those hours, I only do things with my family. Not big or organized things. A lot of the time, it's just making dinner with my two younger boys and then having a sit down meal with the whole family. Sometimes it's just a simple walk with them. It doesn't have to be fancy, it just has to be consistent. So, make some rules that will help you turn your ideals into priorities.  Living an intentional life that is focused on your priorities is beautiful.
Rule #3 coming soon...

Monday, November 17, 2014

Frazzled Ain't Fabulous

Living an intentional, unfrazzled life!
As women, most of us love reading makeup tips or checking out the latest fashions.  But I'm coming to understand that real beauty isn't what you put on the outside. Real beauty comes from finding balance in your life. Fess up. How many of us are also searching for the latest time saver, organizing strategy, or whatever magic trick will help us stay on top of our crazy schedules?  See my hand raised, too?  Guess what?  Frazzled ain't fabulous! Racing here and there, mega-multitasking and packing three days worth of to dos into one day is no recipe for beauty or happiness.  You've heard what I'm going to say before - finding balance is the key!  I hear your response cause it was mine. "Yeah, exactly how am I going to do that?  It's not all bonbon eating and soap opera watching here! I'm getting my kids where they need to be, doing my job, volunteering at the school and church...What exactly do you want me to do?"
I have a few rules that I think will help. Today, I'll share the first one. Think about what your priorities are. What is most important to you?  How do you define a successful life for you?  Spend some time really thinking about it. Write it down. Then put those things down in order of importance. Rule two coming next!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Take Off The Mask!

I attended an amazing advanced instructor training this weekend. I knew it would be physically demanding. Little did I realize that a training for fitness instructors would be emotionally challenging as well!!  Two questions our trainer asked resonated with me. "What mask are you wearing? Why?"  At first I thought this was silly.  I fancy myself a very open and friendly person. I don't put on airs or wear masks. But as the weekend went on, I realized I was wearing a mask. Turns out my desire to be liked by others is stronger than my desire to be authentic. Rather than let people in on my true feelings, I put the mask on and pretend so that I don't make waves. More importantly, I realized that I am afraid to be a strong and powerful woman because I'm afraid that I might offend others. I don't know when I equated strong with rude or powerful with offensive.  My trainers were both strong and powerful but they weren't rude or offensive. Quite the opposite, they were honest, inspiring, humble and REAL!  Just in time for Halloween, I am determined to rip off the mask and  Not rude, overbearing me. Just me. Strange post for a beauty blog but I think that living with the mask off, allowing yourself to be vulnerable and true to yourself, is what beauty is all about! Who is going to join me?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Two Changes For Perfect Three Minute Everyday Eye Makeup

 How does a busy mom with little makeup experience put on eye makeup?  Hurriedly and usually with lots of interruptions, right?
Wake up, shower, get dressed, put on makeup, pour coffee in go mug and race out the door.  That is my usual morning routine. Sure some mornings you can add fun variables like hunt for keys while cursing under my breath, pull clothes out of dryer like crazy woman looking for something clean, etc. but you get the idea.  But I have found two routine change ups that have made my morning easier - and no this is not going to be anything do your laundry more often, set stuff up the night before or whatever.  These are two things I actually do!

Flip flop one is an obvious one - drink the coffee before putting on makeup!  Seriously I drop more makeup and poke myself in the eye more times than I'd care to count!  Drink the coffee first!

Second one works even for natural morning people - Put Your Mascara On Before You Put On Eye Shadow.  Yep, I capitalized it cause it was that revolutionary to me.  I can't tell you the number of times I have my makeup done and am just putting on the mascara and boom, I smack myself in the eyelid or eyebrow with the mascara wand. Then I'm smearing it off along with the makeup I just put on.  No more! Put your liner on first, then mascara, then shadow!

So let's talk 3 minute eye makeup:

Step 1: Make sure you put primer on your eyes when you are putting it on your face. 

Step 2: Line the upper eye lid. Pick a color that works and isn't too harsh for day. I personally find black a little too much for daytime for me.  I prefer a dark blue or brown. If I'm feeling particularly wild I might go for a plum or green.  Yep, that's me going wild!

Step 3: Put on your mascara.  Pick one that gives you volume and lengthening. This helps your eyes stand out and makes you look more alert!  (Step 3b is wipe off any mistakes before you put on the eye shadow.)

Step 4: Use two fairly neutral eye shadow colors - one light and one a little darker.  I'm a fan of matte especially for daytime looks. It's much, much, much more forgiving. Sweep the light shade across the lid.  Take the darker one and press it into the crease and then down to the lid on the outside corner.  Blend well.  See how it works in this pic?  Super easy, super fast!

Then refill that coffee cup and go!