Monday, March 31, 2014

Katie Lately.

* This weekend was a great one! We spent Friday night with some friends and ended up being out much longer than we anticipated, but it's hard to go home when you're having such a great time! Saturday was a totally lazy day for me. It was rainy and yucky, so I read and finished Me Before You, which wasn't my favorite book. We spent Saturday night in true married people fashion-- playing card games at home. It was great.  :)
* Sunday, we went to the NASCAR race in Martinsville with my parents. Holy wow-- it was SO cold and SO windy (it snowed and sleeted on our drive there). Thank goodness that my mother brought some extra blankets for us to use. The race was a great one, but I was so glad to get back in the warmth of our car!
* Tonight is the series finale of How I Met Your Mother.  On one hand, I'm so sad.  I've loved this show for years and am sad that it'll be over.  On the other hand, it's had a long run, and the magic is gone a little bit.  It's time for Ted and the Mother (do we know her name??) to ride off into the sunset.
*  I've been reading in spurts this year.  Some weeks, I'm not reading at all.  Then other weeks, like this past week, I'll read 4 books.  I love weeks like that where I get in a good rhythm with some really great books.  One of my favorites from last week is Sarah Addison Allen's Lost Lake.  This book was fantastic.  A full review will be coming soon!
* One other thing I can't believe I haven't blogged about yet are these delicious treats I made for our Bible Fellowship game night the other weekend.  They were all huge hits, so hopefully I'll get these recipes up this week!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Book Club Friday-- I've Got Your Number.

GoodReads Synopsis:  Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her “happily ever after” begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill but in the panic that follows, her phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect! Well, perfect except that the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading his messages and wading into his personal life. What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other’s lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls, and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents... she soon realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

My Thoughts:  I loved this book.  It's got the usual ridiculousness and misunderstandings associated with any Sophie Kinsella story, but it was super cute.  I really liked the main character, Poppy.  She was incredibly sweet and caring, albeit a little ditzy.  She's much more likeable than Becky Bloomwood (of the Shopaholic series).  It was a light, funny read that I definitely recommend!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Weekend Recap.

Friday was my mom's birthday, so the family was coming to our house that evening.  I had planned to come home at lunch on Friday to finish cleaning.  But when I got there, the house was almost completely ready!  Donny had gotten off early too, so was home before me to get stuff done.  I'm so spoiled by him.  He does so much housework-- far more than his "share" that I'm able to come home most days and not worry about it.  What a husband!
For dinner, my parents, my mom's parents and sister, and Donny and I all went to dinner.  One of the best things about spring coming is the fresh fruit that's all of a sudden available and abundant!  Yummy!
Then we came back to our house for cake and presents!  I got the cake from a new bakery, and it was DELICIOUS.  We had a great night celebrating my mom's big day.  :)
(forgive the blurry photo-- I forgot to upload the ones from the good camera earlier...)
Saturday, we spent the morning at the Apple Store getting Donny's phone fixed since it was being wonky.  And to celebrate a weekend of 65* weather, I painted my nails accordingly.  Too bad that the weather didn't continue to cooperate this week...
Saturday night, we went to Donny's favorite place-- Buffalo Wild Wings.  I don't love it, but since he cleaned the house, did multiple loads of dishes/laundry, and more, I thought I could suck it up and go with him to get some wings.  :)  I came SO close to winning trivia, but alas... I came in 2nd.  Boo.  When we came home, we watched the Dallas Buyers Club.  It wasn't the best movie I've ever seen, but it was good.  Matthew McConaughey was so creepy as Ron Woodroof.  He definitely deserved his Oscar.
Sunday after church and lunch at grandma's house, I decided that I had to go back to Old Navy to get a sweater that I had tried on on Saturday.  I wasn't sure I liked it at first, but since I was still wanting it the next day, I went back to get it.  I also picked up some other items on clearance, including some leggings!  How am I so late to the leggings party??  They're comfy like yoga pants but still cute.  I can't believe it took me this long to buy some, but I'm in love.  
I also started a new book this weekend. I've been having a hard time getting into any book I've started and really missing a new Michael Connelly book. So, I started a book that's kind of similar-- another police procedural-- by Alafair Burke.  It's a little different since the lead character is a woman, but I like it so far!

How was your weekend??

Friday, March 14, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mom.

Today is my mom's birthday!  She is ALWAYS there for me no matter what.  She loves me unconditionally and encourages me always.  I can't imagine where I'd be without her.
The older I get, the more I realize how much I need her, how wise she is, and how much I'm becoming like her.
Happy birthday, Mom!  Looking forward to celebrating with you tonight and for many more years to come!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

It's Finally Over.

Y'all.  I don't even know how to process this season of the Bachelor.  Juan Pablo is easily the worst bachelor in a long, long time so I didn't really care which one he picked.  But of course I had to watch to find out.  Clare dodged a bullet came in second.  I really did not like her all season long, but last night she started to get a brain when he said that infamous "inappropriate comment," then was swayed by his sexy accent and charm.  It couldn't have been his words because, once again, he didn't. say. anything.  The man is incapable of dealing with real issues and have a real conversation.  He just talks in circles until he hypnotizes people with a lot of nothing.  

Finally, when he told her he wasn't picking her, the spell was broken and she was done with his manipulation. Her reaction to him at the final rose ceremony was probably my second-favorite moment of the show.

Unfortunately, Nikki is still drinking the Kool-Aid.  Juan Pablo didn't propose since he wasn't "100% sure," but he gave her the final rose and said he wanted to keep dating her.  I actually didn't have a problem with this.  Why force a proposal when it's too early in your relationship?  In real life, most people aren't getting engaged after only eight weeks.  So, it didn't bother me that he only asked her to be his girlfriend.

What did bother me was his childish behavior during the After the Final Rose show. What's with trying to hide your feelings? Doesn't he understand that that only makes people want to know more? The way to get people/media off your back isn't to tell them that you have a secret that you won't tell. And what kind of moron becomes the Bachelor and thinks that he can escape the media when he's done? A dumb one. Thank you Sharleen for expressing what we were all feeling...

And seriously, what's with Nikki?? How is she okay with this kind of manipulative, controlling boyfriend??  I was actually surprised that they were still together by the After the Final Rose show.  

The one good thing that did happen last night is that Andi is going to be our new Bachelorette!!  I have a little soft spot for Andi since she's a lawyer like me.  She even went to the same law school I did (even though she was several years behind me)!  Plus, she gave Juan Pablo the talking-to that he deserved.  I'm looking forward to watching her season!

What did y'all think??

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Recent Beauty Favorites.

I haven't done a beauty favorites post in a long time!  I've been in kind of a routine that I like, not changing anything in a while.  But since I got some new stuff around Christmas, I wanted to share some of my new favorite things.

Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara-- Fun Fact:  I haven't bought mascara in years.  I use the mini ones that come in the Clinique free gifts.  My grandma always buys her Clinique products during the free gift days, and she gives the mascara to me.  The Clinique Lash Doubling and High Impact mascaras are so wonderful that I haven't needed to buy anything else.  But I got this as part of my birthday gift from Sephora last December and have been using it ever since.  I really, really love it.  It's lengthening and volumizing without clumping.  I don't know if I'll spend the $24 on it when I run out since I do love the free mascara that I currently get, but it will definitely be a consideration.
St. Ives Collagen Elastin Facial Moisturizer--  I bought this due to a recommendation from Jenn.  Since I turned 30 at the end of last year, I wanted to start being proactive with my anti-aging skincare.  It's SO hydrating that I think it's the perfect nighttime moisturizer.  (For daytime, I prefer something with SPF, which this doesn't have.)  I love how my skin feels after I put it on and in the morning after I wake up.  And the best part is that it's such a great value.  The container is huge (10 oz) for only $4.79 on amazon!  
Naked3 Palette-- I can't say enough about the Naked3 palette.  I adore almost everything that Urban Decay does, and this takes the cake for me.  I have used literally every single shadow in this palette (which is unheard of for me) and love them.  My favorite combo is Burnout on my lid, Liar on the crease and outer corner, Dust under my brow and in the inner corner, and Blackheart as a liner.  LOVE.  The only thing I do hate is that I can't go buy my favorites individually.
Fresh Sugar Rose and Fresh Sugar Advanced Lip Therapy-- This winter has been brutal on my skin, my lips included.  I've tried a billion lip balms, and nothing works like these.  I love to slather on the Advanced Therapy at night to sleep in and wear the Rose during the day.  The Rose gives a nice wash of a pink color.  There are a lot of other shades (coral, plum, cherry, etc.) if this one isn't for you.  But they're all incredibly hydrating and last a long time.
Mary Kay Satin Hands and Soap and Glory Hand Food-- Speaking of dry skin, my hands are out. of. control. dry.  It's almost impossible to keep them hydrated when I'm having to wash my hands constantly to avoid the sicky germs in my office!  I've stocked up on hand sanitizer, but even the alcohol in that strips moisture.  There's literally nothing better in this world than the Mary Kay Satin Hands set to help my hands stay moisturized.  It's a three step process, so I usually only do it once a week, but it's AMAZING.  The Hand Food is the best solo moisturizer I've ever used.  It smells amazing, isn't greasy, absorbs quickly, and lasts a long time.  So, so great.
Victoria's Secret Love Spell-- One of the girls in my office got me hooked on this stuff.  I know that people like different scents, but this is quite possibly my favorite of all time.  VS describes it as a blend of cherry blossom and peach.  I think I smell some citrus in there.  But whatever it is, I'm obsessed.  I bought every product they had in this scent and love love love it!

Tried any of these?  What are some of your other favorite beauty products?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Revisiting the Past.

Last week, I spent Wednesday through Friday in Chapel Hill at the UNC School of Government for a continuing legal education seminar.  It was probably the best CLE I've ever been to, and I've been to a lot (we have to have 12 hours of CLE each year).  I learned a lot that I'll actually be able to use!  

But more than that, I was so excited to be back in a place that I love.  I only lived in Chapel Hill/Durham for three years, but it feels like home to me.  That was the place where I grew up, where I became the person I am today, and where I really deepened my relationship with Christ.  I really can't begin to describe how important that Chapel Hill is to me.  No matter how it changes from one visit back to the next, going back there always feels like I'm going home.  

Speaking of things that change, there was a new (to me) burger place off of Franklin Street-- Buns.  And since I had a little time before things started on Wednesday afternoon, I decided to stop.  It wasn't a Bad Daddy's burger, but it was still really yummy!  It had my favorite kind of fries, so I was a happy girl.
After we got done on Wednesday, I went to Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh because it's the ONLY place in North Carolina that has a Lush store!  I did exercise a little restraint-- I only bought four bath bombs even though I wanted to buy everything in the store... 
And I picked up takeout from Carino's, which is my favorite restaurant ever.  Again-- the only one in NC is in Raleigh!   
Then I settled in for the evening to watch UNC beat NC State in overtime and read Allegiant.  It was a lovely evening!
Thursday, I did another tour of my old stomping grounds and picked up Chinese food from the place my old roommate and I went to all the time.  But either they've started using some crazy peppers or I'm getting old because I never remember my mouth burning like that before!

By Friday, I was ready to come home.  I missed my husband, I missed my bed, and I missed being in my own space.  As I left the conference, I drove through the campus and reminisced a little.  It's nice to go back to visit Chapel Hill, but I realize that I've grown out of that place.  As hard as it is to imagine, it's been nine years since I graduated college. NINE, y'all. I'm not that 18 year old girl who lives in the beautiful little college bubble anymore.  Sometimes I miss her, and I miss the bubble.  But, we grow up.  And growing up is wonderful.  It's just nice to revisit the old days every now and then.  :)

"But sometime when the springtime comes and the sifting moonlight falls, 
they'll think again of this night here and of these old brown walls, 
of white Old Well and of Old South. With Bell's deep booming tone, 
they'll think again of Chapel Hill, and -- thinking -- come back home."
-Thomas Wolfe, UNC class of 1920