Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Soooooo I'm a bit of a wreck this week..yup yup I am. 

It is beyond crazy with to-do lists and dinners with friends and last minute things as we pack up Alexa to leave for college on Friday.  So I've slacked from the blog to spend time as a family and get all our stuff done before we get on the road. And with Alexa sharing an apartment with 3 other girls we had to outfit her with a lot of things that you wouldn't get for just a dorm room. So we've been busy and its all good busy and spending quality time as a family.

So please bare with me while I get this crazy girl settled at the Univ of South Carolina and muddle through my own emotions. I promise to get some posts up late next week when I'm somewhat back to normal. This has been pretty hard emotionally so I'm struggling as is the hubs...but its all good and we are proud of her and so excited for her new journey the next few years.

But I'm a momma....you know what I mean...its hard.

The Dean 4-pack is shrinking to a 3-pack and I'm not so thrilled about it!

So have a wonderful week & I will get my head screwed back on and butt in gear next week for you all. I have lots of pictures and things to share :)

Friday, August 1, 2014



Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  We don't have much planned which is nice...some downtime and catching up on outside chores and grilling out about sums it all up.

Last night we saw Guardians of the Galaxy which was a lot of fun and I definitely recommend seeing it.  We saw it in 3D which I don't really like but the teens insisted...it wasn't too bad but I ended up with a migraine, in my old age I can't take that 3D stuff very well LOL.  The movie has a killer soundtrack too and my new ringtone is "Hooked On a Feeling"...yeah I couldn't help myself ;)

Thought I'd share this pic that I had up for Throwback Thursday on Facebook in case you missed it.  I promise to have vacation pics up next week when I have some more time.  Hard to believe they are both so grown-up now........

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Few Faves....

I know, I know....I've been on vacation for 2 weeks and I still haven't done a picture post.  I promise its coming..but I only have 2 weeks left with my daughter before we pack her off to college and I'm trying to make the most of my time.  Once that is done I will have LOTS of time to post all sorts of things here on the blog...you can't get family time back and that has always been my #1 priority.

But I thought I'd pop in here with a few of my newest favorite things...in case you want them to be your newest fave things too..hahaha (or not)!!

BTW...I ordered this bag this week...thanks for all those that commented and voted on this post here...I ended up with the red but a different pattern.  I think I will love it!! You can make your own bag combo here too if you want ;)


I like to use some eyeshadow that has a bit of shine or sparkle in it on the middle of my eyelids, the corners and on my brow bone....makes me look more awake (thank god) and gives your eyes a lift..without the surgery $$.  I bought some of this CoverGirl Bombshell shine shadow while on vacation and I just love it!  It goes on like a balm...light & smooth and never too heavy and the color lasts, so its great for summertime.  I got the Ice & Copper colors but it comes in others...nice for days when you need a quick pick-me-up too but don't feel like putting on a full face.

If you follow this blog you know I have a slight obsession with dry shampoo because I have fine, dry hair that goes a few days between shampooing. I've tried many and love few let's put it that way.  I read a good review on this new Herbal Essence Dry Shampoo for colored hair and figured I'd try it...plus I had a $2 off coupon...bonus!  And you know what....its pretty darn good. Lightly smelling of roses but not overpowering, comes out in a nice wide spray and does a good job of soaking up oil.  So I definitely like it as a cheaper alternative to some of those more expensive versions.

Have you seen these?  They are pretty darn cool I tell ya...it fits over most containers (cups, water bottles, pitchers, etc) so makes it very versatile.  You can keep it near your faucet and use it whenever you'd like or carry it with you while you are traveling...save you money on water bottles that's for sure! I really like it and the design was ingenious. 

If you love nail polish like I do...you may want to try this?  A lot of the new glittery, textured nail polishes are a PAIN-IN-THE-A$$ to get off...literally my hand cramps up trying to get it off and that's with using a base coat.  So OPI came out with this base coat called "Glitter Off" and its AMAZING (hear me singing)!  So you put it on as a base coat, let it dry and then apply your textured nail polish on top. When you are ready to take it off...it PEELS off pretty easily...GENIUS I tell ya..just genius!

Ever have a gap in your pants in the backside...does it make you crazy...you've tried everything to no avail.  Then let me tell you about this cool product I discovered...it makes it go away.  I have a couple pair of pants that I LOVE but they gap in the back so badly that I don't like to wear them when I have a tucked in shirt or a sweater that may rise up a bit.  And I don't want anybody seein' down my pants LOL!  These come in different colors but they work like magic, are under $9 and easy to put on...so if you got a back-gap (hehehe) these are a quick solution.

Just a few things I thought I'd share........

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I Want...You Want??

Oh the Decisions.....

So today we've left at 6 am to make sure we are down in Columbia, SC before 4 pm.  Alexa has to take her foreign language placement test at University of SC at 4:30 that day.  Then the next 2 days are orientation and registration for classes.  She actually has to spend the night in the dorm one night with fellow students (hehehe) and James and I have our own schedule of events to do as well.  Then Saturday we head down to Orlando thru the 24th for the REAL vacation at Disney...Mickey has missed me y'all ;)  Gonna get my lil Olaf and I will be posting him all over the place on Facebook and Instagram...stay tuned.

OK SO I NEED HELP...well I need lots of help most days..but truly I do....
I have been looking at these bags and drooling, clicking on them, changing them, adding them to my cart....I'm pretty sure if they keep track of site-clicks they are probably laughing at me right now.  I really, really want one but can't decide which one I want....so I will keep clicking till I get back from vacation hehehehe!

So in case you want to customize, personalize and have fun clicking to make your own bags too....check out Barrington Bags HERE!  (PS..I'm not affiliated with them so I don't get any free or discounted...just a fan of the bags sharing with you)

Here are my top 3 picks for ya....can't decide on color or pattern. I need like 10 but I'm pretty sure the hubs is NOT on board with that decision LOL!  OH and you can get them monogrammed them with your initials too...bonus :)

Here's it in a fun chevron navy pattern:

Or in Red...my fave color:

or in a neutral camel/tan houndstooth pattern that goes with anything?

So many options...oh the decisions......
What do you all think?  
Did you play and make a favorite? What is your fave?

Saturday, July 5, 2014



I'm sorry, I'm sorry.....I've not been 100% healthwise and some days I just haven't had the heart to work on projects right now.  I am knee deep IN projects though...although none are finished enough to share but one...which I will share this week with you all. 

So bear with me please....this spring and summer are a bit crazy.  With graduation (that's done thank goodness), summer vacation and then getting Alexa settled in college....there isn't a whole lotta down time to work on things.  
MAYBE by fall it will settle down again? Yes? LOL!

Anyway this is just a catch-up post in case you don't follow me on Instagram or Facebook where I post often.  
I won't be posting much the next 2 weeks since we leave Wednesday for University of South Carolina for Alexa's orientation for 2.5 days and then down to Disney World for the rest of the time.  A much needed BREAK for everyone that's for sure.

Aren't these snowball hydrangeas gorgeous?  Mine haven't blossomed yet but these were at the outlets and just too beautiful to not take a picture of.

I may or may not have done some shopping at the J.Crew, Banana Republic and Gap outlets last week.
Lots of awesome sales....sundresses for $29, tank tops for $15 and shorts for $15...I stocked up!

I went for happy colored flowers in my table centerpiece that my Dad made me...love the bright colors.
You can read more about the centerpiece HERE if you missed it.

One of the Father's Day gifts I got the hubs finally came....a signed baseball by Ian Desmond of the Washington Nationals.  It helped benefit a great charity so it was a win/win for everyone!

I took the kids down to DC on Thursday to watch the USAvs.Belgium FIFA Soccer game...always fun to watch those in a big crowd. We got a great table surrounded by TVs early and ate a few appetizers while waiting for the hubs to get there. Unfortunately TeamUSA lost but it was fun anyway. Then we mozied on across the street to watch our Washington Nationals play a game (2nd time that week lol).

Lots of lettuce coming out of my garden lately....I've been giving it to everyone LOL!
Tomatoes are pink so I should have some before we leave....told my neighbors to take whatever they wanted while we are gone on vacation to enjoy.

Thank you Hurricane Arthur for the FABULOUS weather we had on Friday for the 4th of July....in the mid-70's with a breeze & bright blue skies...gorgeous!

We celebrated at our fave crab shack Lowry's for some yummy steamed MD Blue Crabs covered in Old Bay for lunch...so good!

I was actually chilly enough by 4 pm that I had to change into jeans...so this was my 4th of July style.
Abercrombie skinnies, Gap t-shirt and Gap white jean jacket.

We went to see "TAMMY" at the movies and it was pretty good...definitely funny but with more serious moments.  NOT as funny as Bridesmaids, The Heat or The Other Woman...but good.

Then we had a late night dinner at our local IHop...for some of our Dean antics...I'm sure they groan when they see us come in because we always are acting goofy and laughing loudly LOL.  Naw, they love us there...I think ;)

Alexa snuggling with Winston....I think he's ok with it this time...somedays he's not LOL!

Tonight we are off to see the fireworks at our neighborhood Golf Club and then I'm down at my mom's tomorrow to drop the doggies off (sniff sniff). The boys will be at a Nationals Game and Alexa at a friends so mom is on her own ;)

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

I Cheat..Do You???


In case anyone thinks I have it together 110% of the time I'm here to dispel those very silly notions.  
I, like you go through each day just trying to keep up with everything that happens in a normal or abnormal day.  And with 2 active teens, a husband who works late & travels much, and 8 animals there is ALWAYS something going on.  And some days I need any help I can get to do my best and look like I'm keeping up ;)

So here are a few things I cheat with to save time, feel better and look better:

I love dry shampoo...it not only freshens up your hair but gives it some volume too.  I wash my hair every 3rd day because my hair is dry and unless I'm sweating heavily it just doesn't need it.  I've tried a few expensive dry shampoos but I always come back to this Dove one...it has a faint, nice smell and its easy to use and gives my hair some body. And best of all its under $5 and lasts a long time. Walgreens has it for $4 here.

Shapewear....I love it and have a drawer full of it for every occasion.
Hey I'm 40, I've had 2 kids and lots of surgeries...I need all the help I can get some days.
I have some Spanx but the one piece I love the most is Flexees by Maidenform Women's Fat Free Collection Hi-Waist Boyshort. Its under $20, fits fabulously without rolling up or down, is thin enough for most clothes and will smooth out the lumps & bumps ;)  Now if its 95 degs outside with 90% humidity you won't find me wearing this...don't ask me about the time I did and tried to take it off in a bathroom stall, in the heat with sweaty skin...not a pretty site & very joke-worthy ;)

I wear a BB face cream (Ponds Luminous BB Cream) every day even if I'm not wearing makeup...it has spf and is moisturizing and evens out my skin enough to make me look somewhat less zombie like.  So when Jergens came out with their BB Body Cream I had to try it...and I LOVE IT!  Its great as a lotion and has just a teeny bit of color and some highlighters in it that smooth your legs. Now its not a heavy coverup so it won't cover scars, veins, birthmarks but it does just smooth things a bit.  It doesn't sweat off and leave marks either. I really like it a lot and it comes in different tones and is under $12...you only need to use a wee bit so it lasts too.

Before I put on makeup I use a primer of some sort...I have many including Smashbox more expensive one...but I love anything that can smooth out my skin and pores a bit and keep my makeup on especially in the summer.  My newest obsession is L'Oreal Paris RevitaLift Miracle Blur Cream ...Amazon has it fairly cheap at $14 (free ship with Prime too) so I order from them...my drugstores have it for around $19. It just fills in your pores and with or without makeup makes your skin look smooth.

I love coconut oil...I mean I love it!  I get mine from Tropical Traditions after reviewing them all online last year I found it to be one of the best.  I use it to cook with, I put it in my smoothies, I use it on my dry feet and nails and I use it as a hair mask.  Its all around good stuff.  Much better for you to cook with than traditional oils too.  And I swear by it for dry skin.

I use Crest Rapid WhiteStrips a couple times a year to keep my teeth nice and white.  But I use this Listerine Whitening Pre-Rinse every other day before I brush.  Yes, that's right...you rinse your teeth FIRST and then brush.  Its kept my teeth nice and white and kept me out of the dentist's chair for fillings too :)  It is my #1 secret to keeping your teeth white without a huge $ investment. Check your drugstores because its usually under $6 (I buy mine from Walgreens for $4).

Let's face it...we can all use a bit of a bump to help us look brighter, fresher and for me MORE AWAKE.  I use highlighters like its my religion...seriously.  Many eons ago I was a makeup artist for Clinique & Lancome and I learned the benefits of using highlighters to help you out and I've always had some in my arsenal.  I really loved Benefits Watts Up highliter stick but its pricey so was thrilled when Sonia Kashuk came out with something almost identical for a lot less HERE. $10 compared to $30...def a good trade in my opinion.  I use this on top of my cheekbones, brow bones and inner corner of eyes. It just brightens you up and it goes on smoothly and stays put.  I've even used it as a pretty eyeshadow during the day as it just brings light to your eyes and makes you look like you had a fabulous night's sleep...something I lack in ;)
Whoever invented the crock pot needs lots of rewards...one of the best inventions EVER!  I own 4 crockpots LOL...I have a round one that is 20 years old that was an engagement present & works fab and then this one above which I love because it holds longer items better like roasts and tenderloins. My friend Pat got me a zebra one that I use for parties and then I have a mini one I use for hot dips. This Crock-Pot Programmable Cook and Carry Oval Slow Cooker  is a fave of mine because of its shape, also programmable time settings (30 mins to 20 hours) and it is easy to transport if you are going to a pot-luck!  And all that for under $40.  ONE-POT-WONDERS I call them...I have an arsenal of recipes, always looking for more but have never been disappointed by my crock pot.  Especially nice during summer because it doesn't heat up the kitchen and you put your food in and forget-about-it. Great for days you are short on time...prep in the morning and just GO!
ZAQ Dew LiteMist Diffuser
 I am a HUGE fan of essential oils...I've been studying up on them for the past few years and try them out for many different uses (some of my fave uses & recipes soon to come on a post).  The less chemicals and toxins in my house, body and garden the better.  I mentioned I have 8 animals (6 cats and 2 dogs) and I HATE smelling them...I don't want my house to smell like a kennel...you feel me?
So I use an organic cat litter (clean all 6 boxes multiple times a day) and I use these Essential Oil Diffusers (I have 3, one on each level of my house).  I use the Purification Oil to dispel odors in the house...they work beautifully and keep my house fresh organically.  I like this one the best because it has auto-shut off and seems to put out the right amount for my house.  There are many on the market and you can use a tealight diffuser but I like the electric ones because I can run them without worry.
An easy way to deodorize or scent your home.

Maxi dresses
They hide a multitude of sins, make dressing for the day easy, and are definitely on trend.  I have 3 and Alexa has 2 Lush maxi dressees from Nordstroms...they are usually on sale for less than $40. They fit great and I love them for traveling because they don't wrinkle much.  Slip one on add some jewelry and sandals or wedges and you are DONE. Easy peasy for those days your brain can't handle putting an outfit together LOL! (Patterned & Solid Dresses STILL on sale for $38 HERE)

What's Your Favorite Cheat??

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