Just wanted to let you all know that I've finally updated my About Me page with an extended bio!

Conquering the Classics: Intro & Pollyanna


As you may have noticed I have a new tab up under my banner called "Conquering the Classics." It's a new feature I'll be doing where I'll read classic books and then give (quick) reviews of them once I've finished. From the page,
"It has always been my goal to read as many "classic" pieces of literature as possible, and when I found 95% of the below titles for FREE on Amazon (for the Kindle), I knew it was finally possible to attempt this goal! I have downloaded all of the titles below and am going to try and do reviews of each after I have finished them. I have no set timeline for this, but I'd like to get through more than half in 2014."
The first book I've read from my list is Pollyanna by  Eleanor H. Porter.


So I got about 10 pages into this book before I realized that it was probably not my kind of book.  But I decided to stick it out to the end because I've seen it on so many "must read" lists. This book was just too sappy sweet for my taste and I didn't find it to be particularly well written. Someone "ejaculated" a phrase every few pages and even without today's, ahem, inappropriate connotation it was off-putting simply by it's frequency. The book wasn't quite as predictable as I thought it would turn out to be, but I found the ending to be unrealistically idealistic. If I wanted to read an interesting book about a child being brought up in a big old house by a relative that didn't want them I'd re-read Flowers in the Attic. Just kidding. No seriously, don't read Flowers in the Attic unless you want your entire life to be ruined.

My rating:

Sunday Social


1. What is the best New Years Eve you’ve ever had?

The year I fell in love with N! It was New Years Eve 2006/7 and I had been planning on going to Greeley with my best friend to her boyfriend's frat party. There was a guy there I was *kind of* seeing but didn't have actual feelings for. That morning my parents gave me the big "oh hell no" to that plan, so I had to stay home. Instead of pouting all night I decided to send N an AIM and ask him what his plans were. Because his friends were all 21 and he was still 20 they were going out to a bar and then meeting him at a party. We decided to go to Village Inn together for dinner while waiting for everyone else, and it was at that dinner that I realized I was in love with him. He was laughing at something I was saying and the realization just hit me! We started dating a few days later and didn't exchange official "I love yous" until many months later when we had been living together for awhile, but that was the first night I knew!

2. Are you doing anything for NYE this year and if so what?

We don't usually have plans except for a nostalgic dinner at Village Inn- we both end up falling asleep long before midnight, but this year my dad got us tickets to the Avalanche game! I'm really excited!
3. Name a book we should all read come January?

Well I just finished The Brothers Karamazov (it's been on my reading list for probably 10 years!) and it was good enough to recommend but I'm still upset about the epilogue. :/

4. What are your new years resolutions?

Continue to be proactive about my health. My GI issues have been rapidly declining and despite my unwillingness to spend MORE money, I need to get this stuff figured out and get back to the doctor. I'd also like to try going gluten-free as a trial some time within the next year, but I also REALLY don't want to so we'll see. ;)


Our Life: Christmas 2013

Christmas was a flurry of activity this year. On Monday we met N's grandpa and step-grandma for lunch, on Tuesday N drove up to visit his dad's grave in the morning and then we went to my parents that night, and on Wednesday we opened up gifts at our house, then went to N's mom's house, my parents house, and my grandmas house! We had a lot of fun, but I'm glad things have settled down- at least for the time being! I didn't get as many pictures as I wanted to this year, but I captured some very special moments.


Thursday Thoughts

- Christmas is already over folks! I hope everyone, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, had a fantastic day yesterday! We traveled from our house, to N's mom's, to my parent's, to my grandparents and R was spoiled mightly along the way. I'm so thankful we have such a wonderful extended family, and I loved being able to see so many of them yesterday!

- N and I didn't exchange gifts yesterday since we're going to wait for the after-Christmas sales. I'm eying a Paperwhite Kindle (since R killed mine last week), the Naked 2 Palette (THAT R WILL HOPEFULLY NOT MURDER FOR A THIRD TIME!!!), and some new Uggs. Or maybeee two new pairs of Uggs. Because god knows that's exactly what I need!

- Right now I really want to take down all the Christmas decorations, especially our horrific fire hazard of a dead tree, but I have no motivation. Maybe tomorrow...
- We got my car back from the body shop on Monday and she looks fabulous! They also gave us a can of the extra paint they used which was really nice. Unfortunately she is misfiring like crazy and is pretty much un-driveable. We've been using N's Honda which is 1) tinyyy and 2) grosss so I'm hoping he can get my car fixed ASAP.
- I finally finished The Brothers Karamazov a few days ago and all I have to say is "wtf Dostoyevsky?!?!" I spent like 750 pages getting close to those characters and you ended it like that?! Apparently, "Dostoyevsky intended it to be the first part in an epic story titled The Life of a Great Sinner, but he died less than four months after its publication" so I forgive him I suppose. But I still feel totally ripped off about that epilogue. Now it's time to dive into another classic!


This or That Tuesdays

This or That Link Up
Time for another fun edition of This or That!

This weeks questions are about holidays:
1. Halloween or Thanksgiving?
HALLOWEEN! Halloween is without question my favorite holiday ever. Although I do thoroughly enjoy eating Thanksgiving food.
2. Christmas or Your Birthday?
Now that I'm old and birthdays aren't as fun I'm going to say Christmas. Watching R get excited about Christmas is better than all the birthdays in the world.
3. Visiting Relatives or Your Relatives Visiting?
Luckily most of my family lives close by in Colorado, so I'll say visiting relatives because our house is too small (and 99% of the time too messy) to have guests.

4. Valentines Day or St. Patrick's Day?
I really enjoy Valentine's Day because duh, candy but St. Patrick's Day is my best friend's birthday and despite the craziness I usually go out for her birthday party (R in tow because I'm a terrible parent- I don't drink though.) My friend turned 21 while doing a semester abroad in Wales so I flew out there for her birthday and we flew to Ireland. It was pretty awesome to be in Dublin for St. Patrick's Day! There was lots of barf on the street though, so you know.

5. Black Friday or Cyber Monday?
Now that most websites have Black Friday sales I'll pick that. There's no way in hell I'd ever go out to a brick and mortar store on Black Friday, but this last year I bought a Dyson online.


Tuesday Troubles

Stolen (with permission!) from Jen at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom!
- Ok, ok I know it's technically Christmas Eve and I shouldn't be troubled, but it's only 12:21am here and I haven't gone to sleep yet so I'm just going to say that right now doesn't count as Christmas Eve yet.
- I was going to make bacon infused vodka for my parents for Christmas, and I totally freaking forgot. I think I'll buy the supplies tomorrow and then set it up and tell them how to let it sit/ then serve. I dropped the ball on my family so bad.
- We also don't have gifts for N's nephews or little brother yet but since we're just going to get them all giftcards I'm not too worried. I have a pretty devious plot actually. Since Toys 'R Us sells video games, and you can use Babies 'R Us giftcards at Toys 'R Us, I want to get all the boys Babies 'R Us giftcards as a joke. N's big into pranks with his older brother and sister and I think this would be a crack up.
- We met up with some dear friends today who are home for Christmas and I got to hold their new four month old baby. He was just the sweetest thing and the trouble is that it makes me kind of sad I'm not going to have any more babies. It's not that I want any more babies- on the contrary I'd teleport my uterus out of my body this very instant if it was possible- it's just that I'm sort of mourning that I won't do it again and that my own experience with having a newborn was so terrible. :/

- Since N's been home since Saturday we've just been lazing around and making a huge mess. Seriously the house is a disaster, but when is it not? Tomorrow I've GOT to feel good enough to do some cleaning so that Santa doesn't get too grossed out and just go back up the chimney.

- You know what I really want for Christmas? Just one day without nausea. Just one day where I could eat and drink food and not feel like I need to be sitting next to a toilet. Just one day where I don't need to take any nausea meds, or deal with their unpleasant side effects. Just one day, ok Santa?!
That's all the complaining for now! I hope you all have a very merry Christmas Eve/ Christmas Day!

A Few Of My Favorite Things

I love hearing about the products other people use on a daily basis. Their tried and true favorites. Too often I'm reading (or writing!) reviews of makeup (samples) and there just isn't good enough information to persuade me to buy the product. In the race to get reviews up ASAP (which is a good thing, just difficult) it's hard to really give products a fair shake. That's why I decided to shout out some of my actual favorite products, and I hope to write more posts like this in the future!

1. Lush, Jumping Juniper Shampoo Bar: I have the delightful difficulty known as "combination hair." My roots get very greasy, very easily thanks to the strange nursing hormones still circulating throughout my body, and my tips are as dry as straw thanks to seven straight years of bleaching. Since R's birth I had been on the lookout for a shampoo that cleansed my roots while leaving my tips intact, and I tried many other Lush shampoos before chancing on this in Las Vegas of all places (there was a Lush AND a Starbucks in my hotel, it was what I envision heaven to be like.) I was a bit hesistant about trying a solid shampoo but when I used it for the first time I realized that all I had to do was rub it on my head like a bar of soap, and it foamed up beautifully! I have been using this shampoo bar for a year now, and I have no plans to ever use anything else!

2. Supergoop!, Daily Correct SPF 35 CC Cream: When the BB cream trend hit America (finally! I was thisclose to ordering some from Asia!) I wanted to jump on the wagon so bad. Unfortunately I have been having huge problems with my skin ever since having R (thanks again nursing!) and I needed to find something with a little more coverage than the average BB cream. When Birchbox sent me a tiny sample of this Supergoop! cream, I decided to test it out with no expectations. When I saw the gorgeous coverage and how well it matched my skin I was hooked. I've ordered two full size tubes since, and though I often wear powder foundation over it for extra coverage, this has replaced my foundation for good.

3. Lush, Rose Jam Shower Gel: I almost wasn't going to include this on my list because I only found out about this two weeks ago, but I have fallen fast and hard. My mom and I were grabbing stocking stuffers at Lush and I smelled this on a whim, and that was all I needed. One of the sales associates told me to wash my hair with it (after I use my JJ bar of course) so the smell stays with me, and does it ever! I find myself smelling my hair throughout the day and swooning. Cruel, cruel fate has made this a limited edition item, so I will be back to Lush as soon as possible to try and stock up until next year!

4. LancĂ´me, Cils Booster XL Super-Enhancing Mascara Base: This stuff is magical. It's a primer for your mascara that amplifies the length of your lashes. I have literally had people ask me if I was wearing fake lashes when I use this under my mascara. It is definitely worth the money!

5. Urban Decay, Naked Basics Palette: If you don't have this palette already, you need it, trust me. Although it doesn't have the glitz and glamor of it's big sisters, it has six of the most perfect matte shades you could ever want. I use Venus, Foxy, and W.O.S. for highlighting, Naked 2 for subtle color, Faint for my brows (it is the PERFECT brow color for medium-dark brows!), and Crave as eyeliner. All the shades have the perfect pigmentation that all UD shadows have, and the possibilities of use are endless. This palette gets far more use than any other one that I own.

6. Bobbi Brown, Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner (Black Ink): I always line my upper and lower waterlines in black. I know some people say you shouldn't do that because it's not great for your eyes, but I poo poo that because I look completely haggard if my waterlines aren't blackened. Seriously, I need to get them tattooed. Anyway, for a long time I used a waterproof Chanel crayon, but they discontinued it and I was heartbroken until I discovered this. You apply it with a itty bitty brush, and it's definitely not as user friendly as a crayon, but the color lasts a really long time on your waterline, and could probably make a permanent mark somewhere else on your skin- it is that good! They didn't use to sell it at Sephora and the last time I went in there I asked the sales girl if there was something similar I could use. She smiled and pointed me towards a brand new display and lo and behold there my beloved Bobbi Brown pots were! Sephora is carrying them now and will get the entire BB line in the Spring. Huzzah!


Sunday Social


1. What is your favorite holiday season tradition?

Well, it used to be going up to the mountains to cut down our own (sad looking) Christmas tree, but we haven't done that for a few years now. And actually I hated doing it when I was little, haha. We don't have many traditions so I'm sort of grasping here, but I really do think cutting down a tree will be more fun when R is older. Especially if there is Starbucks involved.

2. Do you have a certain holiday movie you watch more than others? If so what is it?

I really don't since I'm not huge on holiday movies so I'm going to have to say The Nightmare Before Christmas with certainty this time.
3. Show us your favorite decoration or pinterest decoration you wish you could have.

I am so in love with this NBC tree! Unfortunately N is not. :)


I also wouldn't mind a set of these for my yard! With Zero at the head of course!

4. What is your favorite holiday song?

Are you sensing a theme? I really love this re-mix though!

5. What is your favorite holiday dessert?

N's aunt and cousin make the BEST sugar cookies ever, and they always give us a tin for Christmas. Since the first year I tried them I've claimed them as my own. N doesn't really like that either but you can't stop a girl and her sugar cookies!

6. What is on your wish list this year?


A girl can dream right?! In reality it's just money to pay off some medical bills. Although I wouldn't say no to a couple pairs of Uggs. ;)


P.S. Rest in peace Clair Davis.

Our Life: R's First Dance Recital

Today was R's first dance recital and I won't lie, I barely slept a wink last night because I was so nervous. R loves dance class, but she also loves to walk into the studio, and collapse on the ground and cry/ whine out of shyness. I was really worried that with the crowd and all the other kids who she didn't know (there are 5 classes like hers at the studio now!) that she would freak out. When it was time for her to go into the wings I though I was going to have a heart attack. But when they called the little girls out on stage she went "Reagan's turn to dance!" and trotted right out there. She was awesome! When it was over I breathed a huge sigh of relief. And I got some very cute pictures to boot! Some are blurry because like an idiot I forgot to put my camera in sports mode, but they are cute nonetheless!

Subscriptions: Treatsie December 2013



So What Wednesday

Today I'm linking up with Life After I "Dew" and saying so what if...

 - The Freedom Mobile went to the auto-body shop today to get fixed and I miss her.

- I got a rental (first time I've ever had one myself before!) and they gave me a Chevy Impala... When N called Enterprise they asked him if he preferred an SUV or a sedan and he said it doesn't matter. What?! It totally matters! I am an SUV girl all the way. I haaate driving small cars. This one isn't so bad all things considering. I'm just glad I have a car to drive.

- R cried all the way home because she didn't want to drive in the new car. She even had to give the Commander a kiss before we left it at the shop. It's too bad we couldn't rent a Camaro for her. ;)

- It's actually kind of sad we needed a rental in the first place. Do you know how many cars we own? Six. Six freaking cars. And you know how many I can drive? One, and that's my car. We have a 1989 Honda Civic (stick) that is N's daily driver because it gets great gas mileage, a 1987 Jeep Wagoneer (automatic but carbureted and requires a special hand to drive) with a hole in the transfer case, a 1967 Camaro that needs a new motor (N's grandpa is building him one!), a 1997 Jeep Wrangler (stick) that we bought from N's mom and are trying (desperately) to sell, a 2006/7 Jeep Commander (automatic) that N bought for cheap at work because it has a blown motor (he just bought a new motor for it and will hopefully put it in soon), and my 2007 Jeep Commander (automatic). We used to own an 80 something Monty Carlo that was N's high school drag racing car but we recently sold it. N was sad but we have TOO MANY CARS.

Here is the current Google Maps view of our house, haha.

- I need a haircut SO BAD. SO FREAKING BAD. My ends are awful but I have no idea when I could make an appointment and I hate paying to just get an inch trimmed off my hair. Our across the street neighbor cuts hair and once trimmed my ends for me, but I hate bugging her! Maybe I will bribe her with some treats.

- R's recital is Saturday and I'm way more nervous than I should be. It's going to be like 20 2 year olds trying to do a dance in front of a huge crowd and I just know it's going to be a shitshow. But cute nonetheless. If R freaks out she probably won't be the only one. Hopefully...

- We didn't go see Santa this year. We've gone to Bass Pro Shop the past two years for pictures and she was shy enough last year to warrant me being in the picture, but this year she is just too deep into her shy phase. She falls down on the ground and cries any time a stranger gives her attention (it's so fun!) so I know she wouldn't do well with Santa this year. Hopefully next year!

- I can't believe Christmas is a week from today. Where has this month/ year gone?!


This or That Tuesday

This or That Link Up
Time for another fun edition of This or That!

This weeks questions are about Christmas:

1. Celebrity Christmas Carol's or Chipmunk Christmas Carols? 
Oh god celebrity carols PLEASE. There are few things I despise more than the chipmunks singing anything. R is not allowed to watch that show or any of those movies ever. EVER!

2. Gift Cards or Gift Baskets?

I really don't mind either. I like gift cards because you can get exactly what you want but I like gift baskets because all the shopping work has already been done for you, haha. Honestly now that R is 2 and a total pain in the butt to take anywhere I'm much less excited about getting gift cards. Thank god for internet shopping!

3. Naughty or Nice?

Hey all things considered I think I've been pretty nice. R on the other hand... She's lucky Santa thinks she's so cute. ;)

4. Getting Everything on your wishlist, or Giving Someone Everything on Their Wishlist?

Giving! I mean, am I allowed to answer any other way? ;) Honestly, being a mom on Christmas is even more fun than any of the Christmases I had as a child. There is nothing like watching your little one get excited about something you've given them. I'm really excited to see how R reacts to all her gifts this year- especially since she's this year is the first year that she's really old enough to appreciate them.

5. Presents on Christmas Eve, or Presents Christmas Morning?

We've always done presents on Christmas morning but I've been considering moving it to Christmas Eve since we go to N's mom's in the morning and then my parent's right after that. Plus it's the most fun to open up gifts at my parent's house because they spoil ALL of us!


Sunday Social

1. What are your favorite Holiday Movies/TV Specials?
I'm not really into holiday movies, although I did enjoy elf. Can I say The Nightmare Before Christmas again? I think that counts. This may sound weird, but I like watching the Harry Potter movies during the holidays. They have Christmas scenes in them so that definitely counts. ;)
2. Do you do any volunteering during the holidays if so what? If not what would you do?

I don't now, but in high school my mom would take my siblings and I to a soup kitchen. I'd love to volunteer at a (no-kill) animal shelter some day.

3. What is your favorite toy received as a child for the holidays?
It was this exact set!
One year I got a complete set of Spice Girls dolls and I was over the freaking moon. To say I was obsessed with the Spice Girls is a major understatement.
4. What was your must have item in high school for the holidays?
I was always so jealous Verizon had this pink one instead of
the peach-pink AT&T had, or the magenta-pink T-Mobile had.
The latest and greatest cell phone or iPod. First I wanted a phone with a color screen, then a phone with a camera, and then a razor, and then a pink razor. ;)
5. What do you do on Christmas Eve?
My parents always do Christmas Eve dinner and growing up they always let us open one present. I think I'll continue that tradition with R.


Subscriptions: Birchbox December 2013


We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming...

 Columbine High School 4.9.99   -   Arapahoe High School 12.13.13

I will never forget April 20, 1999. I was in fifth grade at Bear Canyon Elementary School in Highlands Ranch, CO. It was towards the end of the school day when the announcement came over the intercom that we were on a lock-down and that no student would be allowed to leave without their parents. We didn't know what was going on, but there was a particular unease in the atmosphere.

When my mom came to pick up my siblings and I it was apparent that she had been crying. She told us that something had happened at a nearby high school, but she wouldn't tell us what. My brother and sister were too young to care, but I was troubled. When we got home she sat by the TV again but told us we could not watch. I went up to the master bathroom and looked out the window; I could see helicopters circling in the distance over what I would later learn was Columbine high school.

N was much closer in proximity to Columbine. He was in seventh grade at a middle school that fed into both Columbine and the high school that he attended. They were locked down until the evening when their parents had to retrieve them.

The woman who had cut my hair since I was a baby lost her step-daughter, Rachel Scott, in the shooting.

One of my good friend's husbands was there, at Columbine, when the shooting happened. He witnessed some awful things but doesn't like to talk about it.

It's a small world and all of this was too close to home.

Today when I heard the news of the shooting at Arapahoe high school, I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. This kind of thing should have never happened again, and not only has it happened many times since Columbine, but it happened again at a school 8 miles from Columbine.

Today I took Reagan to dance class, and because we were running late I took a faster route, and passed right by Columbine. I looked at the library, facing the road, as I drove and a chill went down my spine. For all the innocent people that died there, for the person who was seriously injured in today's shooting, for everyone who has ever been affected by a shooting, and for the world at large.

My thoughts right now are with those that have been affected by today's shooting, and every time this happens I will hope against all hopes that it will be the last.