Thursday, May 12, 2011

Preparing for baby…


This is NOT the “I’m pregnant!” announcement.  In fact, that announcement is at least a year or two away, or that’s the plan… (Sometimes we plan and God winks, so who knows what His plan really is for us.)

This post is REALLY about my struggle with preparing my body for pregnancy and motherhood.  I am currently extremely out of shape and overweight.  It never affected my everyday life until recently- I’ve always been a “bigger” girl, but it never bothered me.  Lately, though, I have gained even more weight and lost a lot of energy.  Right now my weight only bother me; when I’m pregnant, my weight will become a problem for my baby. 

So I really need to work on losing a good bit of weight within the next year or two.  But where do I even start?  I have always been an emotional eater and, with financial stresses lately, I feel like I’ve been eating even more. 

Give me some suggestions on how to start losing weight and getting myself in shape and ready for baby!

New Blog Sign-off

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Favorite Things- Beauty Edition

If you follow me on Twitter, you have seen me singing praise choruses to Neutrogena products.  I just can’t help it- I LOVE Neutrogena’s stuff!  I have found most of it to be such good quality and so effective.

My very favorite thing is the whole wide world (besides hubs) is…

I talk about this stuff ALL the time.  I can’t say enough!  Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer Tinted Moisturizer has changed my skin and changed my life.  Before I discovered this, I used foundation and concealer almost daily.  I found that my skin was breaking out more and more, which made me use more and more cover-up.  I finally got so sick of it that I stopped using it altogether.  I went without it for a while, then discovered this miracle.  It provides just enough color to even out my skin tone, but also hydrates me and evens out any lines I might have (which is the benefit of the Retinol treatment in it). 


I started using Cover Girl’s TRUBlend Minerals Loose Powder when my skin cleared up years ago.  I haven’t used another powder since.  It covers cleanly and evenly.  It adds a little bit of a glow to my skin and makes me look so fresh and dewy!

I have used Neutrogena Healthy Skin Blends blush/ bronzer in a couple of different shades.  During the summer, I wear “Healthy,” which is a bronzer.  During the winter, I use “Pure.”  It gives my cheeks a rosy glow, without being too heavy.

When I graduated from high school- now SIX years ago, I bought the Bare Minerals basic kit, with foundation, Mineral Veil, Warmth, and this brush.  I moved past the make-up, but have never stopped using this brush.  I wash it at least once a month and it has lasted so well!  It is soft, provides great coverage, and so well-made. 

I almost exclusively use Maybelline mascara.  For the longest time, I used The Falsies because it gave me tons of length and definition.  Lately, though, it started being less effective.  So this weekend, I switched to One on One and really like it so far.  It washes off easily and doesn’t clump.  The length isn’t quite what I want but I think it works really well.

There you have it, my favorite beauty tools!  I have simplified my make-up regimen over the years because I think I look best with minimal make-up.  These products are what keeps me looking healthy and young!

New Blog Sign-off

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Favorite Things- Good Skin Edition

Always a contradiction, I am a huge product junkie, but I am also extremely cheap.  My budget (and common sense) requires me to bargain shop, coupon, and skimp where I can in order to purchase the things I need to be beautiful.  Because of that, I use exclusively “drugstore” products.

I have hereditarily bad skin.  My teenage and early adult years were plagued with a horrible complexion, many dermatologist visits, medicine galore, and, finally, a round of Accutane (which is a seriously intense acne medication, requiring blood tests, birth control, etc etc).  FINALLY, after hundreds of dollars and a lot of heartache, my skin was clear!  Hallelujah!  My complexion completely changed and was perfect.  Years later, however, I found myself breaking out a little bit more.  I tried Proactiv again, which was a waste of money.  THEN I started using Neutrogena’s Complete Acne Therapy System about a month before my wedding.

This stuff is amazing!  It is truly a complete system, which uses both Salicylic Acid AND Benzoyl Peroxide to combat both acne and blackheads.  I was so pleased with this system- until they stopped selling it everywhere!  I think it can still be found online, but not in any stores near me.

So I set out to find my own similar products that would work the same way as the complete system.

Some people’s skin might be too sensitive to use a scrub every day, but I have found this to be the best thing for me.  I use Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Acne Wash Daily Scrub twice a day.  I am very careful to wash off all make-up before bed, so that my breakout-prone-skin won’t have any extra stuff clogging it.

I use this religiously in the mornings.  It hydrates my skin and keeps me from breaking out during the day (which, apparently, is a huge problem for me.  I can have perfectly clear skin in the morning and three or four new zits when I go to bed.)

I use this stuff religiously at night.  It is fairly strong and can have the tendency to dry out my skin.  If I feel like my skin gets a little dry, I just skip it for a night and everything is back to normal.

All of these products work together to keep my skin looking fresh, smooth, and clear- thank GOD!  After years and years of horrible skin, I feel like I finally have the clear, beautiful skin I always wanted.

New Blog Sign-off

PS Stay tuned for My Favorite Things- the Make-Up edition, in which I will reveal the LIFE-CHANGING make-up secret that has drastically changed my skin!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Meet Me on Monday!

I really like doing linky parties that help me get to know other bloggers better.  The “Meet Me on Monday” party is one of my favorite!

1.  Caesar Salad or Garden Salad?

Garden!  I love a good garden salad with cheese, croutons, and yummy ranch dressing.  In fact, my salads are probably higher in calories than most side dishes!!  My very favorite salad in the world is the Texas Roadhouse Chicken Critters Salad- pictured below.

2.  Will you be watching the Royal Wedding on April 29th?

I might!  I usually substitute teach on Fridays, but if for some reason I’m home, I will probably tune in.  I think Kate is very lucky, but I hope she knows what she’s in for.  All of the public scrutiny must be torturous!  I do loooove that ring though!

3.  Last thing you spent lots of money on?

That’s a tie between my iPhone4 and our new apartment.  We spent a fortune in fees and pet deposit in order to move in.

4.  Window seat or aisle seat?

Window, as long as I’m sitting with someone I know.  Aisle, if I’m by myself.

5.  Do you know your blood type?

B+!!  The cutest, most cheery blood type there is!

**All photos are linked back to their source**

Please join me in linking up with this party!

New Blog Sign-off

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What I’m Loving Wednesday

I am linking with Jamie for my first What I’m Loving Wednesday!

My current (and most serious) obsession:

The incomparable and completely gorgeous Miss Stevie Nicks.  Her illustrious history, including numerous love affairs, millions in record sales, and triumph over drug addiction, are just so interesting to me.  Her music fills a void that, I think, no other artist, living or dead, fills.  just. plain. love.  If you don’t get it, listen to “Edge of Seventeen.”  The end.

So we all wore rompers when we were little girls, right?  And I really never would have thought they would come back in style.  BUT they did!  This particular romper looks so comfy and EASY.  You can accessorize it in a number of ways, maybe even transitioning it from day to evening. 

I have two Longchamp bags in medium: one in brown and one in black.  I adoooore them.  They are so roomy and classic.  I tie a scarf on mine, for a little bit of individuality.  LOVE a good Longchamp bag.

ARTICHOKES!  Ok, y’all, I have to admit something: I hate most vegetables.  I eat corn, carrots, zucchini, potatoes, most beans and cooked tomatoes.  That’s about it.  I don’t do peppers, broccoli, etc. etc.  One day, though, I decided to try artichokes.  Aaaaaand I am now obsessed!  They are awesome on pizza or with chicken and I just can’t get enough.

And, much like every good Southern woman, I am loving nice, cold glasses of sweet tea.

New Blog Sign-off

Monday, April 11, 2011

Meet Me on Monday


1.  Who would be your dream celebrity date?
2.  Do you have any food restrictions?
3.  How much time do you take to get ready in the morning?
4.  Sausage or bacon?
5.  Do you Google, Bing or Yahoo?


1. My celebrity dream date would probably be Jon Hamm.  He is such a good actor and just so handsome!  Hubs already knows not to even look at my face when he’s on tv haha.

2. My only food restriction is that I can’t drink milk or I have a very upset tummy.  I pretty much can (and do) eat everything. 

3. I usually only take about 30- 45 minutes to get ready these days.  When I was younger, it took longer because I would always do my hair and a full face of makeup.  Now I’ve streamlined my routine to include less makeup (look for a makeup regimen post coming soon) and less hair drama. 

4. Depends.  I usually prefer sausage (maple sausage, to be exact), but sometimes a girl just needs a good piece of bacon!

5. I use Google Chrome as my web browser, so I automatically use Google.  I greatly prefer it to any of the browsers I’ve tried before- including Safari.  It’s just the most user friendly to me!

(All photos link to their original source)

Please join me every Monday for Meet Me on Monday!

New Blog Sign-off

Staycation, all I ever wanted…


My IRL-bloggy bff Yankee Belle B is hosting a really neat swap!

staycation swap

(Is that picture not TOO funny?!  That’s the closest hubs and I will be getting to a vacation this year, that’s for sure.)

In order to take part in the swap, B asked us to write a post about our ideal staycation.  So, here goes…

I have two different ideas of a fun staycation.  The first would be to have tons of fun day dates with the hubster.  When we were dating, we would do stuff like go to Piedmont Park and people-watch, then go to lunch or go to dinner and then relax in front of a fun movie.  We never really did anything that was hugely expensive, but it was so much fun to spend time with each other.  I would love to spend some time doing that again and maybe add some new types of things, such as the Atlanta Botanical Gardens or Callaway Gardens, to the roster.

My second idea of an amazing staycation would be all about me…  a SPA day, where I treat myself to homemade facial treatments, (maybe) a mani/pedi, (possibly) a massage, and some time to read, relax and nap.  Most women don’t take very much time for themselves and I am no different!  I would love a relaxing and pampering day to myself.

Stay tuned for what I get in my swap box and how we spend our STAYCATION!

New Blog Sign-off

PS I really need to change my signature box; I’m not  the NEW Mrs. Manis anymore.  Saturday, April 16th is our 6 month wedding anniversary!