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F o r t y • F i v e

F o r t y • F i v e

F o r t y •  F i v e

I cried the day I turned 40. True story.

Looking back I don’t know why.  I was on a beach with my husband on a romantic getaway, 4 healthy kids back home being taken care of by parents who were still here with me.

And somehow, I had let my mind become consumed by what I thought society wanted me to be and what I thought that turning 40 would never allow.

I had never been that person. My entire life I would have said I was more of a leader than a follower, more of an “I don’t care what anyone else thinks, this is what I’m doing”, more of a confident young woman than a woman that needed assurance from the outside world that she was still good enough.

And yet there I was feeling that exact thing.  On a beach, with a man who loved me, I felt like I had hit a tipping point and it was all downhill from there.

Even as I type this it’s hard to read back and I’m questioning whether I’ll even post it.  Because no one wants to admit their weaknesses, admit they are vulnerable.  Was it nothing more than a fear of wrinkles that had me in such a state that day?  Could I really be that vain of a person that I could begrudge another year on earth if it meant trading in my youth?

I don’t know the reasons, I wasn’t even aware it had happened.  All I knew was that it was not how I wanted to feel, this was not the best version of ME.

Pre-40, Post-40 is how I think about my life now.  Mid life crisis?  Nah. Because the truth is that none of us know when we are celebrating the birthday that is actually going to be the one that marks our “mid-life”.  Crisis? No. A crisis is when you are losing a loved one, or a job, or your home, or going through a divorce, or an illness. A crisis is NOT being given another year to spend on this earth, THAT is what we call a gift.

After that birthday I did a lot of soul searching, priority placing, heart healing, emotional purging.  For lack of a better term... I basically spring cleaned my inner closet.  Got rid of what hadn’t severed a purpose in a couple of years, added items that brought me joy, that made me feel good and I would be easily able to access.

The pre-40 me hated confrontation and literally avoided it at all cost.  The pre-40 me weighed herself 3 times a day, obsessed over every calorie she put in her body and let a neon number on a scale dictate the type of day she would have.  The pre-40 me worried if my decision to stay home full time to raise my family instead of utilizing that University degree was something I would one day question.

But then it happened 💫 the POST.  And it came with a vengeance and never looked back.

The post-40 me who has to watch that her mouth doesn’t get her in trouble because she does not like to back down or be taken advantage of, ever.  The post-40 me who has not stood on a scale since I came back from that beach vacation.  The post-40 me who worries more about feeling healthy and strong than I do about about a neon number.

The post-40 me who sees a {pre-40} nine year old who watches my every move.  Who listens to every word I say and whos biggest compass to what she values about herself will be me and my words.  The post-40 me who is hell bent on showing my daughter that there is nothing more attractive than confidence.

Genuine Confidence.... and it doesn’t come from what I thought it did all those years prior, it does NOT come from the reflection in the mirror.  It comes from what you do for others, how well you love, how genuine your relationships are, how you feel about what you did during the day when your head hits the pillow.

Yes, “you look good you feel good” - it can be true - but it’s like walking on a frozen lake.  If your insides don’t match, if you aren’t walking on a solid foundation to keep you steady than you’ll crack.. eventually.

There is no amount of makeup, botox, filler, hair dye, procedures or numbers on a scale that will do this for you.  These are the things {for me} I now look at as a cherry on the top, like wrapping a package with a ribbon.  But if that sundae has no ice cream, if that package is an empty box than those finishing touches aren’t going to help you live a truly happy, genuine, confident life.

If you’re not happy, get happy.  Stop waiting for someone else to change this for you.  Take inventory of those you choose to interact with, socialize with, give your time to, attention to, heart to.  Prioritize them, feed & water them.. they don’t grow themselves.  Pull the weeds, they are literally sucking the life out of you and yes, preventing you from growing into the person you were meant to be.

I am not just turning 45 today, I am literally doing cartwheels into it.  I am hell bent on making it my best year yet.  On loving those around me the best I ever have.  To find new ways to help those around me.  Of accepting and requiring the love that I know I deserve from those I let hold a place in my life.

Happy Birthday to all of us today, it’s never to late to revamp, start over, change course, start fresh.  You only get one trip here, and you never know when it will be over - make it count, make it special, make it worth it.

XoXo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MAKEUP ROUTINE - NIGHT

MAKEUP ROUTINE - NIGHT

I hope you had a chance to watch my "unofficial, unprofessional, makeup tutorial" ;) 

I am going to separate these posts and videos into 2, one for day and one for night.

How I use all the products and why I love them can be found in the video.

Below I'm listing and attaching the product links for everything I used in the video.

FACE:

Primer: Armani Master Primer.  The one in the video has SPF 40, this is the one that has replaced it and does not have SPF.  (you don't need SPF in your primer)

Click HERE for Primer 

Another good Primer option is SMASHBOX photo finish 

Click HERE for Smashbox Primer 

Applicator: my all time favorite to apply concealer, foundation and bronzer

Click HERE for applicator

 

Under Eye Concealer: Tarte Creaseless, I use the shade "light beige"

 Click HERE for concealer 

Foundation: Charlotte Tilbury MAGIC foundation, I use the shade 4.5 Medium

Click HERE for foundation 

Bronzer: Chanel Soleil Tan

Click HERE for bronzer

Blush: Tarte Color Play Volume II 

Click HERE for Blush (will be the same for eyeshadow)

Highlighter Stick: Younique Cream to Powder, I use the shade Golden Frost

Click HERE for highlighter stick. * this is my friends page that i purchase my Younique products through, feel free to use whoever you want, i do not sell this

Highlighter Powder: BECCA shimmering skin perfecto, I use the shade OPAL

Click HERE for highlighting powder 

Finishing Powder: MAC - This will help set your makeup, translucent and light.

Click HERE for finishing powder

Eyes:

Eyeshadow (and blush) palette: Tarte Color Play Volume II

Click HERE for palette 

Brows: Anastasia Brow Wiz, I use the shade medium brown 

Click HERE for brow pencil 

Eyeliner: MAC "Engraved" pencil 

Click HERE for eyeliner 

Eye Brightening Pencil: Thrive Cosmetics 

Click HERE for brightening pencil 

Mascara: Younique Moonstruck, I wear it in black, non waterproof

Click HERE for mascara 

Brush Set: if you don't have all the brushes you need or just want to update and replace your current ones, this set has you covered for all the brushes you will need for face and eyes.

Click HERE for brush set

Thanks for reading (and watching) it was fun to do, I promise to try and get more professional for the next one!

 

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Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide

It's that time of year when you feel like you are constantly finding to find the perfect gift without breaking the bank, especially when who you are supposed to give to seems endless!

Bringing your favorite bottle of red, white or bubbly might seem un-original, but adding something fun to go with it makes it a perfect choice.  Like gift #1,2,3,4 or 5.

Home body? Give them a festive winter candle and tie on #8 to make it a little "extra".

Coffee or Tea lover? Grab a holiday blend of coffee or tea and pair it with gift #9 or 10.

Something "just for her"? then gift #11 or #12 would be just the thing.

Hoping you can find something on this list to brighten someones Christmas.

1.  I love glasses and mugs with cute sayings, it makes me smile when I reach for them.  Giving just one of these wine glasses would be fine, add a bottle of wine or gift #2 or #3 with it for more.  Click HERE for wine glass. $15.95

2.  "Which one is my glass?"  This no longer needs to be a question.  These wine glass markers allow you to write someones name on it to prevent them losing it!  The marker comes off in the dishwasher which is an added bonus.  Click HERE for wine glass markers.  $8.99

3.  All summer long when I was insta storying from the lake I was drinking from these and getting all sorts of questions asking where they were from.  Sturdy, un-breakable and pretty make these a great gift option.  They don't even have to be used for wine, they're just that pretty.  Click HERE for white glasses. Set of 4, $41.99

4.  I mean... these little guys hang over the rim of your glass and serve as drink markers (if you don't want to use the wine glass markers).  Each is wearing a speedo with his name written across his bottom.  These are sure to get a laugh while you are serving drinks - fyi... they stay in place!  Click HERE for drink markers. $9.29

5.  This would be beautiful tied around a wine bottle with a ribbon - just to add a little extra.  It's like a piece of jewelery that makes any bottle sitting on a counter look gorgeous.  Click HERE for wine stopper. $28.00

6.  Can I get one in each letter of the alphabet?  They're all just so pretty!  Again, you could just give one coaster with the receivers first or last name initial or you could do a set of 2, 4 or 6 if you're feeling generous.  These coasters would be a great gift combo with the wine stopper above.  Click HERE for coasters. $16.00 each

7.  Ahhhh let me count the ways I adore this candle.... and everyone else who walks into my house while its burning ;)  I promise this candle is wonderful for the winter season.  Pair it with gift #8 for an added bonus.  Click HERE for the NEST Hearth Candle. $42.00

8.  Once you use the Wickman you'll never blow out a candle the same way again!  It eliminates the black smoke that comes from the wick when blown out and the big ball that sits on top of your wick that when lit ignites a big flame.  Trimming the top off the wick with this tool catches the ball in its clasp until you empty it in the garbage. No more smokey candles!  Click HERE for the wickman. $10.95

9.  The most efficient and stylish travel coffee mug there ever was!  Available in 3 different sizes, all fit your drink holder and all eliminate the "tin" flavor that comes from drinking hot coffee or tea from a metal travel mug.  Adding a bag of Starbucks Christmas Blend coffee or a Coffee Shop gift card to this would be a cute and appreciated gift by most!  Click HERE for travel cups. $23-$28.00

10.  Again.. for the tea or coffee lover.  These quick ship gorgeous tile mugs would match perfectly with a great bag of coffee or box of tea.  Adding the receivers initial just makes it more personal.  Click HERE for mugs. $10.00 each

 

11.  It's all the rage and yet a lot of women wouldn't take the time or spend the money to do this for themselves, which..... makes it the perfect gift.  Salons have popped up everywhere that are open strictly for washing, blowdrying and styling your hair.  A gift certificate for just one or even a package (many places will sell a 5 pack punch card) is a great way to make someone feel appreciated!  I can't link one specific place here because they will vary by city.  The large chain here is called BLOWOUT, google search for one in your area and make a trip over!

12.  Going on 10 years of remaining my all time favorite hand cream.  Also, if you have a store near you they do a beautiful job of wrapping!  Again, this is something a lot of women wouldn't spend the money on so being gifted it is a perfect way for them to feel pampered.  Click HERE for hand cream. $29.00

 

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Hosting a Baby Shower like a Pro

Hosting a Baby Shower like a Pro

So you've offered to host a shower for your friend and her upcoming bundle of joy! It's exciting but it can also be stressful because you want it to be perfect for her right?  Here's my take on hosting a shower with little stress and enjoying the process along the way.

Step 1.

There are some important decisions you need to get out of the way before you even begin.  I would recommend you leave these decisions to the mom-to-be.  You are there to host and maybe even guide, but not decide.

1)  Will the shower be only women or co-ed?  This definitely changes the direction.  The one I hosted was women only.  Also, often there will be more than one shower, if she is already having a co-ed one or an all women one try to offer the opposite.

2)  Date, Day of the Week and Time.  Personally, I like the shower to be about 6-8 weeks from her due date but sometimes schedules get in the way and you go with what works.  Sunday afternoons tend to work because they are usually free of obligations with kids sports or Friday and Saturday plans.  I chose the Sunday afternoon slot, 2-5pm.  If it's co-ed you may want to go with a Friday or Saturday night and make it more of a party.

3)  Kids or no kids? I put this out there because once you set the rule it's easy to put out there.  We chose no kids because we didn't want to distract from the mom-to-be's day.  Also, this is her first so it wasn't like she had her own to bring.  And let's be honest, give a young Mom an option to have an afternoon kid free (with Champagne) and you'll get the fastest RSVP in history ;)

So now you have your foundation for your shower.  These answers will help give you your direction.

Step 2:

Invitations:

Paper or Evite?  Yes paper is beautiful but man we have gotten lazy and you are much more likely to get a RSVP if you give guests an easy, electronic way to respond.  Plus if you have any changes you need to make it's the easiest way to relay information.  You can also attach a link to any on line gift registries she may have.

I sent the mom-to-be a link of baby girl shower invitations from Paperless Post and asked her to pick her 3 favorites.  Some women like to be surprised but I wanted to give her the option to pick a direction.

Make sure to send your invites out 4 weeks before the shower date.  Follow up with people who are taking their time to respond.

Ask the mom-to-be to give you her list, remember this is for her, not you.  She can also help you collect email addresses for people you don't know.

See the options from my favorite on-line evite site Paperless Post HERE

Step 3:

Colors / Themes

If you know the gender of the baby you're half way there.

Think about the mom and what her style is.  Yes it's your house but it's her shower so try and tailor it to her style.

Start with the invitation and let it be the guide to the rest of the shower decor.

Try and keep a constant color theme throughout, from the flowers to the balloons to the napkins to the icing on the cake.

I found the "Welcome to Sarahs Baby Shower" and "Mom-osa Bar" sign on Etsy and used the colors on the flowers as a guide for the rest.

You can find this etsy shop HERE

Step 4:

Decorations:

Personally, I love balloons and flowers - who doesn't?  It's the quickest way to make your house feel like a party!  

I went to a local party store that I adore, Welcome sign in hand and had them play off those colors for the balloon choices.

Balloon garland has become my newest obsession and it just has a magical feeling about it.

The hand painted balloon with the baby's name was done by the shops owner, Lauren.  I had it placed in my foyer for when guests arrived and then moved it behind my friend while she was opening her gifts.  She took it home with her, hoping it lasts forever!

My front porch with the "Welcome" sign and the balloon wreaths with BABY & SHOWER attached were the perfect way to welcome people.  I gave my friend the wreath that said BABY to take home and they will hang it over their mailbox or on their door once the baby is born to let people know.

I also did bunches of plain latex balloons with weights that I just placed in each of the rooms I knew we'd be in.

If you live anywhere close to Franklin, TN you have to take a trip to Rock Paper Scissors, located on Main Street.  They have the most beautiful invitations, party supplies and of course, balloons.

You can check them out HERE

or on Instagram @therockpaperscissors

Flowers:

You may have seen me on my stories taking my vases straight to the florist.  This is helpful if you don't have a green thumb.  That way you don't leave with too many or too little flowers.  Again, I played off the color theme with the flowers.  

I got my flowers from Garden Delights in Franklin.

You can check them out HERE

Food & Drink

Here's the thing that's pretty much a given with women, at an all female party. They aren't going to be shoving large items of food into their mouths.  They won't want to put large portions on their plate, I didn't make the rule, it's just what it is. 

With that said, go for small, bite size food items.  

Offer a meat and vegetarian option.  Offer a vegetable, a fruit, something crunchy and of course dessert.

After scouring through Pinterest I found these great ideas to serve fruit and vegetables.  It's a way to have a bit of everything but only requires your guest to add one object to their plate.

These veggie cups are visually pretty, allow you to put multiple vegetables in and most importantly - double dip!

Fruit skewers are another great choice as you can put a cube of different fruits all on one stick.

We offered 2 kinds of sandwiches which we served on small Hawaiin rolls. Chicken Salad and Pimento Cheese.  Both of these were made ahead of time and then we just assembled them onto the rolls before the shower.  

We also did a tray of toasted Phyllo pasty shells that were stuffed with Chicken Salad.

HOW DID I NOT TAKE A PHOTO OF THE SANDWICHES???!!! 

For something crunchy we stuck with tried and true Chips & Salsa.  

The dessert? Well you saw me talk about my favorite Petit Four's from The Brentwood Flour Shop Bakery. You can find their page HERE

I used a 3 tier glass desert stand and filled it and kept the remainder in a box and replenished as needed so it didn't look overcrowded.

 

Again, large cakes get messy when cutting.  I would for sure recommend sticking with bite size dessert.

Because I like to do "stations" I had the dessert on it's own little counter. Complete with plates, forks, napkins and this adorable Floral Letter I found on Etsy.  The flowers looked real but aren't, they are attached to wood and come with a hook on the back.  

Taking the first letter of the baby's name, I used it as a decoration and then gave it to my friend to take home with her.  It would look cute tucked into a bookshelf in a nursery.

You can check out the Etsy shop I purchased the letter from HERE

Let's Talk About Drinks and Dranks! 

Alrightyyyy! You need to cover your bases.  Start with your non-alcoholic drinks.

I chose: Water, Unsweet Tea with Lemon Slices, Soft Drinks and Tea & Coffee when we had dessert.

And just because the mom to be can't have a fun drink doesn't mean the rest of you can't!  

I filled a large bucket with white wine and my new favorite rose to serve at parties, BABE Rose!  The cans are adorable and the saying on the back is hilarious.  I found some cute paper straws at Target to go along with them.

And now to the biggest hit of the Shower!  The Mimosa bar, or in our case, The MOM-Osa bar.  What a fun idea this turned out to be and let's just say there was no champagne left behind ;)

The Mimosa bar consisted of a cute sign I found on Etsy (same as welcome sign site, I just asked her to make me one with the same colors) explaining to people what to do (really more for decoration than actual instructions).

* Important to note you should add the champagne before the juice to prevent overflow!

I ordered great Champagne flutes from World Market that came in a set of 12 for $24.99 in a storage case which makes them easy to store in a closet for when you aren't using them.

The local liquor store recommended this champagne to me when I told her what it was for.  She said it was their best seller for events and Mimosas because it was a great quality at a great price point.  She was right, it was awesome!

I purchase 3 glass carafes from Target to hold 3 different juices.  I did orange, pink grapefruit and cranberry-pineapple.

Then I had 3 small glass bowls for fruit to add to glass.  I chose strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.

I found chalkboard stickers at Hobby Lobby and used a Chalkboard marker to label all the jars.

* I would suggest pouring the champagne yourself and keeping the glasses on a tray to limit the amount people are pouring and to prevent a big mess!

Click HERE for the Champagne Flutes

Click HERE for  the Glass Carafes

Click HERE for Chalkboard Stickers

Step 5. To Game or Not to Game?

Ahhhh the dreaded Baby Shower game / activity. They can be cheesy but they're also a good way to fill in time.  I found this cute one and ordered it from Amazon. I had my friend and her husband answer the questions before hand, everyone filled out their card and then I read the questions and then the parents to be's answers.  The funny conversation came from the crowd not agreeing ;)

You can purchase this game HERE 

So all of the above were the "foundation" of the shower we had.  

Invitations, Decorations, Food, Drink and a Game (or not) were the necessities.

Something to remember is that if you are the host than YOU are in charge of keeping things moving along.  You can't expect people to just start eating, or pour themselves a drink, or the mom-to-be to start opening presents.

I knew we had 3 hours.  I gave the first 45 minutes for people to arrive and get drinks.  Then I moved them on to food, literally take people and start pushing them towards the food line.  Once I noticed plates were done I handed out the game sheets for them to fill out.

Give them a couple minutes warning to finish and move them into another room for a change of scenery.  We played our game and then let our friend begin opening her gifts.  It was during this time we served dessert and coffee.

I hope this has given you a little help with planning a shower in case you needed it.

Honestly, at the end of the day, making the mom-to-be feel special and "showered" with attention and love is what is most important.

Good food and drinks and some pretties are all you need to make it even better.

All this baby talk is making me feel a little nostalgic, and envious of all that she has to look forward to and it almost makes me want another.... almost.

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Decorating like a Professional - when you don't have one

Decorating like a Professional - when you don't have one

Furniture shopping can seem overwhelming, I speak from years of experience.  Decorating the Lake House will be my first time decorating a house on my own - start to finish.

A few of the things I’ve learned from watching the professionals over the years would be:

Don’t buy for a room on a piece to piece bases. Don’t say well I love this couch and then I loved this lamp and then I REALLY loved this piece of art. You have to think of the room as a whole.  Start with your anchoring piece, the big one, your favorite one that the rest of the room will work to compliment.

Stay in the same color pallet but use various shades of it.  Instead of mixing too many colors in a room mix your materials instead to give the room some texture.

Always be mindful of what other rooms have a view of the room you’re decorating and make sure they don’t fight it on the color spectrum.

Invest in pieces that will get the most use (couch, coffee table) you can get amazing accessories at home goods stores that are really inexpensive.

Buying a sofa in a neutral or at least solid color allows you to change the look of the room just by switching out throw pillows or a blanket.

Adding green house plants or trees gives a room a whole new life.

Lighting is EVERYTHING in a room! And I don’t mean the fixtures.  Put a dimmer on a switch and watch your room transform!  All your ceiling light fixtures and can lights, dim them! Use soft, low watt bulbs for your lamps.

If hiring a professional decorator isn’t in your budget you still don’t have to be on your own. Most large furniture stores offer free design services where they will help you measure your space and recommend items that will fit the room and go with each other, take the help!

Can’t wait to show you the Lake House, we are so close to being done.  My husband and Arnolfo deserve some praise as well.  I keep wishing we had filmed the whole thing bc it would have been half renovation show and half comedy.

ps* My favorite interior wall color has always been Benjamin Moore White Dove and more recently Benjamin Moore China White.  

 

 

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