Dreams To Do

November 2013 archive

100 Things I’m Thankful For

While I’ve fallen into quite the blogging rut lately (honestly, I just really have no motivation to blog right now), I do want to take some time to continue my tradition of posting 100 things I’m thankful for. I love doing this every year around Thanksgiving because it helps me feel centered as to the true meaning of the holidays. If you haven’t already done so, feel free to join me!

Obviously, I could fill my whole list up with the names of the people in my life who mean something to me, but I won’t. Instead there will be a whole lot of clumping going on. 🙂

  1. My family
  2. My friends
  3. My co-workers
  4. A cozy home that we own
  5. Our cars
  6. My Billy dog
  7. Peppermint mochas
  8. Infinity scarves
  9. The prospect of the future
  10. Pizza (particularly stuffed crust from Pizza Hut – yum!)
  11. My health
  12. The Bar Method
  13. Honey crisp apples
  14. My girls at Daily Mom
  15. Opportunity
  16. Turning 30
  17. My camera
  18. My blog
  19. The blogosphere of all you fine people!
  20. Good fictional books to escape with
  21. Hulu & Netflix
  22. The Internet
  23. My macbook
  24. My phone!
  25. Social media
  26. Christmas music
  27. This holiday season
  28. Snuggles with my babies
  29. My hubby’s cooking skills
  30. Falling in love
  31. Ugg boots & sweatshirts
  32. Chocolate
  33. Smoothies
  34. Electricity
  35. Our fireplace
  36. Makeup
  37. Monthly beauty boxes 🙂
  38. Cloth diapers
  39. Curious George & Super Why (my kiddos’ favorites!)
  40. Weekends off with my family
  41. A job with great benefits
  42. Income
  43. Freedom
  44. Statement jewelry
  45. My beautiful engagement ring
  46. Our cozy bed
  47. Photography
  48. Lightroom & Photoshop
  49. Experiencing the 4 seasons here
  50. Travel
  51. Hawaii
  52. Airplanes
  53. Kisses & Hugs
  54. Chocolate covered gummy bears
  55. Santa
  56. Summertime
  57. Friendship
  58. The brave, strong people in our military
  59. The leaders of our country
  60. Feeling safe
  61. Growing older and wiser and more confident in myself
  62. Dreaming
  63. Jesus
  64. Google
  65. Costco
  66. Three-day weekends
  67. Doctors
  68. Medicine
  69. Holidays
  70. Art
  71. Being creative
  72. Continuing to learn new things
  73. Hand-me-downs
  74. Target
  75. A hubby that loves to shop with me 🙂
  76. Girls’ nights
  77. Date nights
  78. Family nights
  79. Water
  80. Hot showers
  81. The Oil Cleansing Method
  82. Trying new things
  83. Cozy mittens & hats
  84. Pillows & blankets
  85. Air conditioning
  86. Seltzer water
  87. Restaurants
  88. Mail
  89. Email
  90. Surprises
  91. Living close-ish to both sets of grandparents
  92. Where I grew up
  93. Where I live
  94. Nature
  95. Flip-flops
  96. Nail polish
  97. Shopping trips with my daughter
  98. Seeing my mom every weekend
  99. Growing up with Andy
  100. Living my dream, exactly where I want to be

Ahhhhhh, such a great reminder of how blessed I truly am. Sometimes life feels rough, but I know that it’s just an illusion. In reality, the number of things I’m grateful for far outweigh the number of things I wish I could change. I hope you feel the same. And I REALLY hope you have the most wonderful Thanksgiving day today, surrounded by family and/or friends you love the most.

Back to Birchbox

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m addicted to monthly subscription beauty boxes. It is just too much fun to have a surprise to look forward to each month. While I’m too cheap to subscribe to them all, I can easily afford $10/month for one.

For several months I was a HUGE fan of Ipsy. I loved the cute, reusable bags stocked full of fun and funky makeup to play around with. However, over time I started getting some of the same items over and over again and I realized that my junk makeup bag was quickly filling up with things I may never even put on my face. Now, I did discover a couple of my new favorite products via Ipsy (like Josie Maran Argan Oil and Pacifica Body Butter), so I definitely enjoyed my time with them. But, I was ready for a change.

After researching the MANY subscription beauty boxes out there, I decided to return to Birchbox because I didn’t want to spend more than $10/month. Birchbox was the one who originally broke my beauty box cherry, but after a few months I wasn’t thrilled with the type of product I kept receiving. I wanted more makeup! That’s why I originally switched to Ipsy. BUT, now that I’m thouroughly stocked in mass quantities of sparkly eye shadows and black eyeliners, I’m ready for more variety. So, back to Birchbox it is.

I just received my first Birchbox and I’m happy to be back. I absolutely loved everything I received this month. Here’s a quick rundown of what I got:

>>> Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator. OMG, love this! I was totally in the market for a good exfolient and this may just be it. I’ve only used it once, but I loved the way it made my skin feel.

>>> Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter Pencil. So, funny thing is that I actually received this EXACT same pencil from Ipsy a few months ago! Ha! Good thing it was one of my favorite products. I highly recommend. I use it at the inner corners of my eyes, my brow bone, and even as a lip gloss base! Very versatile product.

>>> TOCCA Hand Creme (Grapefruit Cucumber). Great consistency, but I don’t love the smell. It’s fine, but nothing I want to eat. 🙂 I do love that this is the perfect size to throw in my purse, though! And God knows I need more lotion with this dry winter weather!

>>> Chuao Honey Comb Dark Chocolate. YUM. Enough said.

>>> Color Club Polish in Top Shelf. Love. Such a pretty light gold color. Perfect for the season and so far it is 4 days on my nails without a chip in sight.

So, who knows if I’ll stick with Birchbox for the long haul, but I do know I’ll probably always have some sort of monthly beauty subscription going on. For someone like me who’s had the same makeup routine since high school, it really helps to open up the possibilities.

What about you? Are you a beauty box addict, too? Do ya have a fave?


The Strength of a Mother

Sometimes I feel weak, but miraculously I find the strength just when I need it. It comes from being a mother. My ability to put on a happy face and fight through pain and discomfort has multiplied since becoming a mom. It’s an amazing thing.

I remember being pregnant with Leila, feeling nauseaus during those initial months and doing nothing but coming home on lunch breaks and taking naps, and getting home at the end of the day and lounging for hours on the couch watching TV. Never could I even have imagined at the time what it would feel like to have real responsibilities while feeling ill.

Last weekend I got struck with a nasty, feverish cold. Andy worked Friday-Sunday, 9am-7pm, and it was just the kiddos and I during that time. There were moments when I prayed to God for both kids to nap for 3 hours so that I could, too. It took every ounce of strength just to prepare lunch and dinner for them. But, I did. The strength just appears because it HAS TO.

Sunday was the worst ever. We all stayed in PJs until 4pm when I rallied to take the kids to Disney On Ice. Leila was looking forward to it so much even though it was the last place I wanted to be. We went (just the 2 kids and I to meet up with a friend and her family) and ended up having the best time. Once I was dressed and medicated and out of the house in fresh air I felt so much better.

On Monday I stayed home from work to recover some more and Andy and I got in a ridiculous fight. I wanted to break down and go to sleep and disappear from all of them for a while, but I didn’t. I held my kids, I played puzzles, I made snacks, we snuggled, I smiled.

Being a mother gives you a super power: the ability to push aside your own issues and pains for the comfort and happiness of your children. It’s true that it is one of the hardest jobs imagineable. But, it truly is an amazing feat.

Come say hi to me on Instagram ( @dreamstodo)! I feel like I’m more active there these days than my beloved blog.

Labels make me happy.

For being such a serious, deep thinker, I really am so easy to please. The littlest of things can make me giddy. Take labels for example. No, not labels as in names for people and things, I’m talking physical labels that you can print off and stick to stuff. I love the organization labels provide, but mainly I love the personalized touch they add. I may or may not have created a label for my notepad at work that says “Ariel’s To Do List.”

I recently discovered the company Kidecals that specializes in awesome personalized labels and stickers for kids and babies. BUT, their label options go far beyond kids and babies. They have everything from waterproof, ultra-sticky labels for your kiddos’ coats and water bottles to fun labels for your computer keyboard or home canning project. I’m actually thinking that instead of spending a boatload on Christmas gifts for extended family, I’m going to fix up some of those cookie in a jar mixes and order these customized labels for them. Love them!

So, I just got some Kidecals labels in the mail and let me tell you about them. First of all, I ordered labels for both Leila and Landon to stick to all of the things that regularly get left behind at daycare (coats, sweat shirts, lunch box, etc.). Not only were there a TON of adorable designs for both boys and girls, but these labels are top notch quality. I haven’t washed any clothing items with them adhered yet, but the labels are made from a thick vinyl that is supposed to stay on even through the wash. And the colors are bright and vibrant!

kidecals-1 kidecals-2 kidecals-4 kidecals-3 kidecals-5

Anyway, if you’re a label lover like me you may just want to check out Kidecals. Gah, now I want to organize my kitchen with these chalkboard labels!

Use code kidecals15 to get 15% off your order!

I was sent one sheet of labels in exchange for this review and purchased another sheet on my own because I love them. Love them!

In the blink of an eye.

Just a couple of weeks ago we were walking around our neighborhood in the glorious sunshine, orange leaves raining down on us. The peak of fall beauty.

And now, we’ve already had our first snow and the rain is currently pouring down. The trees are bare. The red leaves are now in soggy, brown piles lining the streets.

Fall flew by in the blink of an eye. Kind of like life seems to fly by in the blink of an eye.

Before we know it, we’ll be old and grey.
Our kids will be grown up with families of their own.
We’ll be dreading our 70th birthday instead of our 30th.
We’ll be wishing we would have tried this or done that when we were young – when we still had the energy and potential and drive.

Next week I will have been with my current employer for 7 years. Seven! That boggles my mind. That’s longer than I spent in college which seemed to drag on forever at the time. In terms of my job, the time seems to soar. Kind of like the fact that my daughter will be starting kindergarten next year. WHAT?! She was just a baby in my arms! I was just a new mom trying to get a grasp on parenthood! Oh time, why must you disappear?

As we get older, each year is a smaller percentage of our total time spent on this earth. That is why time seems to go faster as we age. Our perspective changes. I don’t want to let it pass me by. I want to savor each and every second and season. I hate goodbyes. I hate change.

I’ve been soaking up this quote lately and thought I’d leave it with you today. Gosh I love some good inspirational words!

What are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for? What do you want to happen right now in your life? If you’re anything like me, you probably don’t have answers. And, that’s ok.

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