Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Makeup of 2013

A few faves I've fallen in love with this year. You all likely are aware of my long time love affair with MAC makeup. I love it. I truly do. Almost everything I wear is MAC. But this year I ventured out into the "drugstore" realm, and found a few gems that are definitely worth sharing. I have not given up any of my MAC faves, but just added to them with some affordable options. This post is for things that are *not* MAC.
Exception: Lipsticks - I still haven't found anything that I like the look, feel or wear-ability of, as much as MAC's. My go-to shades for 2013 were Honeylove (on the Left, it's a creamy nude shade) and Blankety is my current #1 (on the Right). I wear these with either the Spice or Stripdown liner (MAC), depending on the look I am going for (Stripdown is the go-to choice these days)

Benefit's Watt's Up! Highlighter - $30 at Sephora. Although pricey it will last your whole life long, almost guaranteed. I use this when contouring my nose, usually. Sometimes on my brow line too. It adds light and life to your face without making you seem like you're trying to pretend you are 20 years old again, with glitter or glimmer.

I use this bronzing powder for contouring my face. It is Sephora's Los Cabos #3, and about $17. It is a "matte universal tan", and with my skin tone, gives the perfect contour 'shadow' without adding shimmer, or looking dirty/orangey. 

Elf's eye shadow primer. It's $3 at Walmart, and for the price, can't be beat. Does a great job at keeping that powder perfectly in place!

My ultimate fave mascara's. Sephora's Full Action is $15, and I got it from Brian for Christmas 2012. Although, I do combine my mascara's (don't just use only one, I use about 3, one on top of the other) - it lasted me all year. It was my one request for a Christmas gift, I wanted another one! (I got it:-). And Benefit's They're Real ($22) is uh-may-zing. I can actually use it alone, which is saying something for me, and my mascara addiction, for sure. These two, are stunning, adding both volume and length

I got this on a super discount at CVS drugstore - 75% off, making it only about $2 I think. I am not sure if it is discontinued - I sure hope not. I've had it for about a year now, and love it. For a quick, "smokey" eye look, that lasts, doesn't crease, and literally applies in seconds, I adore this product. It's Revlon's ColorStay Smokey Shadow Stick 220 Volcanic. I only use the grey side, I am not a fan of the sheen on the white side, but the grey side makes it worth the "waste" of the white that I will never use.

Well, not new to me in 2013, but my old standby eau de cologne's - My fave is So Pink (Gap), and Brian's fave on me is Love Spell (Victoria's Secret). His discovery of this scent (in approx. 2007) is kinda funny...he smelled it on a random woman walking past him in the mall, and instantly fell in love (with the scent...I think...haha). Sooooo, I think it kinda lives up to it's Love Spell name;-)

This past year, these are the colours that were consistently on my nails, day in day out. They match everything I own, and I simply adore them. Essie Vanity Fairest, Sally Hanson Complete Salon Manicure 660 Pat on the Black, Sally Hanson Complete Salon Manicure 812 Nightwatch, and an excellent top coat, adding both sheen and strength for no-chipping etc...Seche Vite. I was given this, but am in love, and I think it can be purchased at beauty supply stores.

I use this a lot for quick run-out-the-door makeup application - This covers my dark under eyes pretty well with no concealer at all! Maybelline's Dream Matte Mousse. I apply & blend with my fingers, instead of a sponge for this one. But I like the way it feels, I like the way it looks, and I like that it does not have sunscreen in it. I have the shade Porcelain Ivory Light 1, and really like it. This was given to me by someone who didn't like it...but I'm a fan.

This eyeliner is really great. It's not necessarily "quick" to apply, unless you are good with a brush:-) BUT. The colour lasts and lasts, and doesn't run. I also LOVE the shade, and it's all around my absolute fave liner, possibly of all time. It is L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hour Lacquer Liner in 172 Navy. It's dark enough to look black without quite the harshness of black (other than this, I wear dark brown liners, as the black ones somehow accentuate something "off" in my skintone/eyes.

This past year, I started playing around with fake lashes. I bought a 3 pack of these ones from off amazon, for around $8. I've only used 1 pair so far, two are still brand new. You can see the new packages on the left, and the ones I have worn on the right. I cut/trimmed them, as they were too long for my face. I have a heavy brow, and the falsies reached up over my eyebrows even (which looks ridiculous, by the way). So they come plenty long! But you are welcome to trim them to a length that adds volume and drama without looking unnatural. I watched youtube vids to perfect my application method, and once you've done it once or twice, it's very easy to do. It's also not obvious that you are wearing fake lashes, when done correctly. I had worn these on about 4 or 5 separate occasions (to which Brian commented that I looked good), and then one day he saw these on the bathroom counter and balked. I had to point out all the times I was wearing them, and he never knew...I think I've worn them about 10x over the course of the year, and still don't need to break out a new pair yet, so they are definitely not pricey!
A few "selfie" pics of my makeup from 2013 - I guess I don't have a ton, actually. Mostly because I find taking pics of oneself...awkward.
I was wearing ALL of the above in this pic (and more! :-) (lips were Blankety, and nails were Nightwatch)

No fake lashes in this pic. Lips Honeylove, and brown eye liner, not the navy one, but wearing the volcanic smokey shadow stick:-)
Fake lashes, navy liner, Blankety lips, and lots of They're Real mascara

No fake lashes, navy liner, smokey shadow stick...among other products too.
Funniest makeup moment of 2013 - just in December when I went to pick up the kids from a choir practice at church - I was wearing what is to me, a normal amount of makeup in an everyday look. Meaning, basically it's all there, but nothing "over the top" or ultra dramatic...and a little girl about 3 years old says to me "Wow. You're wearing a LOT of makeup!"
Her mom about died. I just laughed and said "yup! I sure to do love makeup!" and her mom said she is really into makeup right now, and wishes she could wear more, haha. I suppose in this regard, I am a very bad influence on 3 year old girls :-)

Birthday Wish - Video

Anyone who can decipher this wish, please tell me:-D I need help on this one! Haha

Friday, December 27, 2013

Boxing Day

So, part of Kenna's gift this year was a dollhouse. A playmobil one! Since everyone was back to work on Thursday/Boxing Day, we set out to have a bit of fun...

For anyone who may not know, Playmobil is the greatest toy known to man. Seriously. And also, I owned ALL OF IT, growing up. Not even kidding.

So around 8 in the morning, I went up to the attic, and found it all. Tote, upon tote, upon tote. I believe I brought down six 18 gallon totes, and there was maybe 1 or more still up there.

The kids eyes were bugging out of their heads! I assured them that we would NOT be using all of this. At least not all at once. Growing up, we had a large room, with five 8 ft tables in the center (so you could only walk around the perimeter of the room) set up with all our stuff (and we still had bins that weren't being used). I don't have enough space for that right now, although, someday, it would be fun!
I located the big Victorian house. Wish  me luck!
As I was setting up the house, Kenna was full of questions - ridiculous, picky little questions like what colour was the curtains in the kids room and stuff. So I said "I don't remember, we'll have to see" - I guess I said that a few times to all her inquiries, and then she says "Of course you don't remember, this house is back from when phones were clipped to the wall!"

Oh yes. Back in those crazy old fashioned days (known to me as the 90's and to my kids as the nineteen hundreds).

I bought this house, with my brother Jared (we bought and shared most of our things together, while Brent and Lauryn had their separate sets/things)...I was 13 years old when we got this Victorian house - So this is a vintage 21 year old doll house!
Assembled!! Notice the smaller Victorian house in the corner - I gave her that to play with last year, to "test out" her responsible-ness. She used it with Playmobil 123 things inside. I took it down and packed it up, we don't have room for both set up:-)

This is only a fraction of the people - only people. Wow. It was overwhelming, actually.

Some of the totes. So many toys.
Ok, so I started this around 8:00am, and when Brian came home at 4ish, I was just starting to assemble Brooks' barn. It took ALL DAY! But it was a fun day!
Isaac is reading the paper, William is riding the hobby horse.

Janet, with tea

Earecka, Spencer and Milo, the cat

It's all set up!

Brooks has the animals, a pony barn, and the cowboys/farmhands. It's about all we have room for on the 5ft table in Kenna's room

Happy Girl!

Toys built to last!
The kids were oohing and aahing over all the things we didn't use. I suggested maybe each year we can swap it out and set up a new thing each year to use (one at a time, instead of all at once, for space reasons). I have many more buildings and houses they can use (although this dollhouse is the largest, and grandest)

Christmas Adam, Christmas Eve, and Plain Christmas

Brooks likened these three days, and their names to God. You know "like, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, and Plain God"

Christmas Adam: New holiday tradition for us, starting this year! We went shopping with Brian and I got to pick out my gift - I was really in need of a "nice" purse. All my purses/bags are messenger style, over the shoulder, cloth, comfy, and useful...and attractive enough, for what they are. What I do not own is a single purse I can wear with heels, or anything a little 'dressier'. Granted, I don't have occasion for this very often, but I'd bring it to church...and Brian's work Christmas party really accentuated the need for something a little less cas to go with nicer outfits. I told Brian just what I wanted. It was not complicated, I think "Fancy, but not too fancy. Leather, but dull not shiny. Black or dark brown, not tan. 1 strap preferred, but short straps either way" Uhhh. I was trying to be helpful, so I got something I can use for years! - Well, I guess all the specificity scared him a little, and he let me pick it out myself:-) There is something fun about surprises...but there is also something fun in getting the exact thing you want - so I don't mind losing the surprise for the perfect gift:-D

This Nine West beauty is what I picked out! I loooooove it! It looks shiny in the pic due to the flash, but it's the "dull look". Perfectly my style.
Then we watched The Nativity Story movie as a family, and I think that will be a yearly tradition. It really brought the story to life for the kids, and they had all kinds of questions they had not thought to ask before (including Grey's heavy duty Q - when all the boy babies were being killed he says "did dose babies know Jesus? So they can go to heaven, right?"

Suggested Christmas Adam tradition: Family Movie Night (The Nativity Story)  & Shopping for last minute/perfect gifts:-)

Christmas Eve: Our church was holding a service, but Brian was not feeling well, so we skipped it. --And kinda glad we did, as he ended up throwing up in the night:-(

I had already planned to deliver a few homemade gifts earlier in the day, and we saw "real Santa" driving around in a car full of presents and toys. "Race him, Mom!!" was Grey's battle cry:-). We met Daddy for lunch, and came home to rest and get ready for fun!!
We ate ice cream sundae's for dinner. A hit and a half! We've never done only ice cream for a meal before, with no other food, and the kids were on cloud nine! I did include bananas in the sundae...for a "real food" feel :-)

We let the kids open a Christmas present - Despicable Me 2. We all watched it together, and it was hilarious! Then we all played Boggle together, and had lots of fun. Brian won, of course:-) It was the kids first time to play, and it was fun to see them "get it" with each  passing round, finding more and more words. They did great! We put them to bed around 9:15, and they were again, thrilled with this "late night" fun:-)

Plain Christmas: We had Dale & Lauren over for brunch, as well as Dale's parents (Ray & Kitty). He is an only child, and they only live a few minutes away from us, so it was fun to have them come over and share in the festivities too.
 We took turns opening gifts, and the kids were so patient waiting to open the next one, and excited for what everyone else got, and excited to see the gifts they gave opened, etc. It was a really cute, fun and special morning.  I was really worried Brian, who was sick in the night, would be in bed all day, but thankfully, he felt much better in the morning, and as the day went on. Whew. A quick bug, and all of the rest of us are fine!

 Everyone loved their gifts, and got to work, right away on making good use of them...

Christmas Day nappers
I love homemade things! These are some of my fave gifts from this year - stocking stuffers made by Lauren! She made me homemade vanilla extract (it's made with a vanilla bean, either vodka or bourbon, and lots of time to sit and blend). And for Brian - Bacon Jam. Yes. Jam. Lol. It's a sweet and savoury jam, will be excellent on biscuits, I'd imagine. Then also a Bacon seasoning "rub" for other meats etc. Can't wait to try!

The boys got skateboards (hence the helmet to go with:-), and lots of Lego from their Cousins Gift Exchange. The Lego sets are really really cool...

He's captivated! And his new fox looks on...

 Some leftovers! YUM!

Chocolate Pecan Pie? YES PLEASE!
It was a wonderful day, full of laughter, memories & good food. So grateful for friends and family to celebrate with! And thank you ALL for the excellent gifts!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

This is a vintage Christmas greeting. If you can call "vintage" 10 Christmas's ago;-)

This was our first Christmas, married, in 2003 (I mistakenly posted it to youtube as '04). We lived in a suburb of Rochester, NY, and the Kennedy family had recently moved alllll the way to Alberta. We were making a little webcam Merry Christmas video to email to them. This is the outtakes. You'll see why...

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone! Enjoy family, friends, and celebrate the birth of our Saviour!

This Is Jesus

This is a song I heard for the first time this year. It is rare/not popular yet, so there are no youtube videos of it, etc. I bought it on iTunes, and it is fast becoming a favourite Christmas song on my playlist. This is Jesus. He has come!


Centuries passed without a sound
The prophets silenced long ago
The words of hope and joy were no where to be found

The town of David was forlorn
Isaiah's promise long forgotten
About a king who would be born
Not from man but God begotten

Then one night, a light shone in the dark
The angel Gabriel did say
The child of prophecy to Mary will be born
Whose kingdom will not pass away
Whose kingdom will not pass away

This is Jesus, He has come
Came to rescue fallen ones
This is Jesus, He has come, He has come

When the boy became a man
He stumbled to a wretched cross
He bore the curse of all that Holy wrath demands
He bled for us

He is the servant and the lamb
He is both priest and sacrifice
He is the Prophet, King, and coming Son of Man,
He is the Christ

This is Jesus, He has come
Came to rescue fallen ones
This is Jesus, He has come, He has come!

The night is over
The day has dawned
Turn to the Saviour
Do not fear

The night is over
The day has dawned
The God of Heaven has come here

This is Jesus, he has come
Came to rescue fallen ones
This is Jesus, He has come, He has come.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Christmas Adam

This morning, I had a dentist appointment...at 9am. Boo. So on my first day off...there was no sleeping in! While I was still waking up/refusing to get out of bed, even though I likely should, Brooks comes in...

Brooks: Is today Christmas Eve?
Me: No, it's December 23rd
Brooks: So is it Christmas Adam?
...it took me a second to get that...haha!! So I delve into a lengthy explanation of the meaning of the word eve, and it's various uses, and explain that it is not named after Eve, in the Bible.
Brooks, with a somewhat "eyes glazed over" expression: Oh. So...do we get to open presents on Christmas Adam?

...Sometimes it's really hard for me to tell if my kids are genius, or really really dumb.

But I'd say, a new holiday tradition has been birthed.

Happy Christmas Adam, all!! (Bolgerism;-) I think that maybe we'll come up with some celebratory traditions so we can do this every year...the 23rd is also Festivus (of Seinfeld fame), so we have some competition for the holiday. Although, perhaps the inspiration can be chalked up to the greatest Festivus miracle of all time. ;-)

Earring holder

For a long time (like...about 7 years), I've worn the same pair, or so, of earrings. After having babies, my body composition changed or something...and I couldn't wear anything fake at all. Well, the budget for gold jewelry ain't what it used to be, thats for sure;-) It was simple, but not necessarily fashion forward of me in any way, but I was fine with it. I am not huge into jewelry (but I do love rings). I wear the same necklace every day (my vintage pearl loves), and on special occasions, I'll put on something "costume" or fancier.

Anyway, about 6 months ago, I tried a pair of fake earrings, and noticed that they didn't burn my ears within minutes. Wow and yay! I have slowly started building up my collection of fun earrings. I can't wear them forever, but definitely for about 6 hours or so, until I notice they start to feel like they are getting irritated. Thankfully, not many events last that long, so I'm good! So now, I'm into earrings!!

I definitely don't have a lot of earrings, as you will see, but I didn't have a place to put them, and it was getting a little unwieldy trying to keep track of them on the surface of my dresser. Pinterest to the rescue for a quick DIY. On Pinterest, everyone used this lace idea which I loved, with an empty picture frame. But I don't have any picture frames and really wanted to do this one on the cheap. I do have quite a few blank canvases for my painting projects though...and I had a pair of pantyhose/tights with a lacy pattern to them, and a run...so my thought was to just stretch the pantyhose over the canvas and cut/staple the edges down. It would work fine that way, but I felt my (black) hose were not "pattern-y" enough for what I wanted, look wise. So I bought some lace from Walmart's fabric section, and it came to $1.99, and I have enough to probably make 2 more of these.

Canvas (mine is 8x10, any size would work)
Paint (optional - I choose a fun green)
Office Stapler & Staples

Paint the canvas and let dry. Stretch the lace over the canvas, cut to fit, and staple in place on the back side. This takes (paint drying aside) less than 5 minutes.
All done! Earrings all hanging place!
I hung this on my master bathroom wall, it's kind of like art, really - it looks so pretty, and it's also functional!
Close up

Close up

Friday, December 20, 2013


Well, things are coming together nicely for Christmas. I left my shopping until really late this year, but it was pretty easy to catch up...in less than a week, I got it all done! We only buy our kids 1 present each (they get some from other family members, which means they get about 4-5 presents each, which I consider to be more than enough. It's about all *I* can handle anyway, haha!!)

It's been really fun to watch their "giving" hearts grow. Yes, they do have their wish lists (topping the wishes this year are umbrellas, a Believix Fairy (that flies), and a skateboard. I think they will be pleased with the results;-) But they really don't focus on what they want, too much. Maybe because they don't get much/everything they desire? - not on a regular basis anyway. It's been easier than I would have thought it would be to focus their little hearts on giving to others, and not worrying about what we will get in return.

They used all their points at the Awana store this year to buy presents for the family, and they are so excited to give them! Grey bought something for Kenna & Brooks, and 2 cars for himself...that he will share with Mom & Dad he said:-)

And I've been making a few handmade items to give to people. Just as a small gift, or a "stocking stuffer" type thing. It's fun for me, and hopefully people like getting them - not tooo cheesy or "homemade" looking! I think I already posted about the drink coasters I was making.

Here are a few more things I've whipped up to give away...
Some 3x3 cards, in a little box.
More little cards. Black and gold. So elegant!
Buying a gingerbread house "kit"...definitely hitting the easy button there, but anyway...the store had a few options - gingerbread, a chocolate cookie house, or a Hello Kitty sugar cookie house. I don't like gingerbread, so I suggested we get something better tasting. Let the debating commence. After a few minutes of back and forth, Brooks hands the pink box to Kenna and says "For you, since you're surrounded by boys". Haha. So nice of him to think of his sister. Regardless of the colour, it's all candy and icing, so the boys really don't care that much - as long as there is candy! We waited for a day when Daddy could do it with them. He hasn't been home much recently (while they are still awake anyway), so he helped them decorate.
"Gingerbread" house-making

Happy little faces
I made a big snowman cookie to give away. He's soo cute!
hmmm. I can't get him to rotate:-/

Cute nose!
 And I made a spare big cookie for us! Last time I made these, I made 4 of them, and gave them all away, and the kids were so disappointed. I promised them the next time I made a big cookie, I would make one for us too.

But I ran out of icing to do ours - so it's totally ugly, but will likely be entirely gone tomorrow, so who cares, right?! It is funny to me the contrast though. One so cute, one so not.

If you've been keeping up with my Instagram feed, you've seen basically what has gone on around here. It's been pretty relaxing, just a few small things each day to get ready for the holiday. I have the turkey in the freezer, and very close to all the other ingredients for sides and stuff on hand. We are looking forward to a relaxing day (1.5 days off for Brian. Which in "Brian time" is like 2 weeks off!), eating lots of yummy food, enjoying each other's company, and thanking the Lord for all His goodness to us - from sending His Son to earth, to our daily provisions and extras for "wants" like Christmas gifts.