Style Saturday: Be Bold

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I love a bold lip. It pops against my pale skin, and adds a bit of color to my mostly neutral wardrobe.

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From deep berry to a bright red, I think it’s the perfect perk up for winter.

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These are my current favorites (from left to right): Rimmel As You Want Victoria, Rimmel lasting finish Kate 30, Wet n Wild Sugar Plum Fairy, Wet n Wild Stoplight Red, Vincent Longo Americana, and YSL glossy stain 9 Rouge Laque.

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I picked up the two Wet n Wild colors because they’re a perfect dupe for two MAC colors that I wanted to try before spending more money. Sugar Plum Fairy is a perfect match for MAC Rebel. Stoplight Red is the same color as MAC Ruby Woo. I love them both and wear them often, so I’ll be picking up the MAC ones that I have heard have a better texture soon.

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This lip gloss is divine in texture and I love the spade like applicator. I’ll be purchasing more colors soon.

Bold lips don’t have to come across as super out there. If applied with the finger gently pressing into your lips they become a nice stain as well.

I think these colors are the perfect way to brighten up winter. Are there any bright colors that you love?

Pancake Perfection

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I want to be that family that has pancakes every Saturday, preferably with a nice fruit salad and mimosas. But we’ve been in this house 4 1/2 months and I still hadn’t braved pancakes. My grandmama’s cast iron flat pan I always used for pancakes has a ring on the bottom, so wouldn’t work for the glass cooktop (we won’t even talk about my antique cast iron waffle pan). I’m still getting used to an electric hob anyway, so I’ll admit I was a bit afraid.

However, today I woke up and told them, “We’re having pancakes.” I quickly looked up a new buttermilk pancake recipe, which can be found here. They were so tasty I’m writing it down as our new go to. I switched pans after the first pancake was a bust, but finally one of the old cast iron pans was the right size. Sure, there were a couple ones with hints of being cajun (i.e. blackened). In the end, though, we ended up with enough pancakes for all 5 of us. While the pancakes cooked I made coffee, heated up a saucier of butter and maple syrup (we don’t have a microwave), and toasted pecans in the previously too small pan. Sliced a few bananas, and suddenly there it was: brunch.

It wasn’t perfect, but it was just right. We ate in the conservatory, with the sun streaming in and the babies enthralled with their first taste of pancakes. Not a bad way to start a Saturday at all.

Hello Again!

Bonjour! Welcome back! I’m so very pleased to be writing here again. It’s been nearly 2 years (which is complete insanity), and boy have I missed it. At the time we were dealing with facing not having more children (biologically) and it was nice to get away. But I quickly realized I just needed a vacation rather than a real new start. So here we are. If you’ve stuck around, thank you! If you’re new, hello!

MoietE

So, a quick catch up for those who didn’t follow over to Seeking Small!

• Garret got orders to go back to England! We were elated (and a wee bit terrified)!

• On a trip to drop our dogs off with my family, we discovered I was pregnant nearly 18 months after the miscarriage. Surprise! Super excited!

• Turns out my feelings were correct…..twins! Oh my! Surprise!Twinkles9mo

• Lots of packing, move date kept getting pushed back, eventually for a total of 7 months (thanks in part to a super rough and scary pregnancy).

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• March 16, 2015: Charlotte and Amelia made their arrival 5 weeks early. Rough first week, but they were perfect. Eleanor was ridiculously excited to be a big sister!

• June 2015, moved back to England.

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And it’s been a whirlwind since. We lived in 3 different hotels/ short term rentals while we looked for a home and waited for it to be ready. G’s temporary schedule has been insane. And being a mama to the Twinkles? Well I don’t recommend it for the faint of heart!

So, will posting be regular? Yes. My sanity depends on carving out some time for me. I will definitely be writing about reading the KonMari books and my feelings on simplifying our home and life. I’ll also be posting about how I’m attempting to get back to me, especially when it comes to style and making time for self care. And I’m going to attempt to be brave and do some vlogging, mainly cooking (since we all know I’m passionate about food!).

I cannot wait to settle in. So feel free to grab a cup of coffee (or three) and make yourself at home. I’m so glad to be back, and cannot wait to write more!

 

 

New Beginnings

For those of you who don’t follow on Facebook, I’ve begun a new blog.  It’s called Seeking Small, and it incorporates more of my life (which currently involves a lot of Eleanor).  I have loved writing here, and I plan to continue when the whim hits.  But 2 years ago my life got rocked hard by entering mamahood, and I realized that when this blog became more of a discipline to write rather than a labor of love, that perhaps it was time to figure out something different. 

At first, I thought that perhaps I could simply change it up here, but that just didn’t feel like a good fit.  I’d write a ton of posts that never got published because it simply didn’t feel like the right place.  And so it would be silent here.  I’d try and think of categories, to maybe jog my brain into writing more to no avail. 

After chatting with a friend (Heather from Our Kids Mom….whom I’ve known since I was a pre-teen) I realized the answer for me really lay in starting over with a new blog.  After much consideration (agonizing really, if we’re being honest), I chose Seeking Small because for me, it spoke to bridging the old and new.  I’ve always tried to seek our small pleasures, small moments in this crazy life.  And the new blog gives me a spot to really dig deeper and be real.  I wanted to create a space where I could celebrate the beautiful mess that my life so often is. 

I know that not all of my readers will be interested in more mama things, and that’s okay.  I will occasionally post or cross-post here.  But the majority of my writing will be there and I do hope you’ll wander over and check it out. I’ve felt a peace this week that has been missing when it came to my
writing.  It’s hard to describe, but I feel like the new blog just feels
like home for me.  I want to thank you all for reading and engaging with me both here and on other platforms (and e-mail!). 

Merci,
Kate

LIfe As I Know It

This year I’ve slowed down, tried to be more intentional.  I stop in the middle of a blog post because I have a 2 year old grabbing my hand, ready to set off on wild adventures.  I take time to sit with a hot mug of tea and sew or crochet or knit.  As I type, Nora flips over the end of our sleigh bed and comes up and says, “Hey.” It’s her soft way of checking in when she’s been playing by herself.  She’ll repeat it until you acknowledge it if you’re in the middle of something.  This time there is no wait, I smile, and say, “Hey love.”  She points to the wash cloth I’m crocheting, the one I’ve told her is for her and says, “Me.” 

2013 I spent wanting it to hurry up, for the next stage of life to begin.  And when it didn’t, when life was the same, beautiful, but less full than I imagined, I wanted to rush it.  I wanted to hurry along to something, even if I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.  Even now, with the balancing act of different baskets (rather than keeping all of our eggs in one), I want to hurry, hurry.  But I force myself to pause.  To acknowledge today and it’s beauty. 

So now, I take it slower.  I walk to the park and sit and just watch the clouds while Nora runs like a banshee to go down the slide over and over.  I point out birds or talk about spring being around the corner.  We stomp through the last remnants of snow piles, feeling the icy snow crunch beneath our feet. 

Heart shaped biscuits

Our first year here was slower, and then the year before G’s deployment, we were fighting and rushing and then with the pregnancy, the quickness of everything just kept on running along.  This year has been more like the first.  I take time in the small things.  I have my favorite necklaces displayed on our dresser, carefully choosing one each day.  I’ve read more, relaxed more, and loved more. 

Color matching toys I made for Nora.

Sunday style posts were a bust because honestly the weekends are so full of life that I forget to pause and take photos or blog.  Maybe Sunday supper would be best.  We’ll see.  I’m just glad to be living a life full of meaning and intentional steps even if it’s only for me and my little family. 

Valentine’s Day Art

I have had an idea for something I wanted to make for G for a bit.  And what better day to try it out than for a Valentine’s Day pressie?  I got out some card stock, some leftover paint, and got to work.  I eyed the paper, and free-hand painted this:

I thought it was cute, and sums up both of us really.  Nora was super excited, and as soon as G got home today, pointed to where I had it and so I let her give it to him.  He thought it was awesome, so now I just need to find a frame and put it up!

Snow Magic

That first winter we moved here was magical.  I baked a lot of bread, made a lot of stock.  We sat around talking by candlelight, cozy and warm.  This winter, maybe because of the cold, or maybe because we have a 2 year old, but has been a little magical in the ways of old. 

I haven’t made any bread yet (really need to), but I’ve baked and cooked.  Sewn and crafted things for Eleanor.  Spent time just reading and watching the snow fall. 

Tonight I’ve made dinner (ham roast with roasted carrots and mashed cauliflower and potato).  Then I’m on my second batch of ham stock (I end up with 2-3 gallons per ham). 

I whipped up a batch of carrot greens pesto that yielded enough for 3 meals (using 2 bunches of carrot greens).  I’d never thought you could use the carrot tops for anything like that, but it tastes fresh and spring-like. 

I’ve taken all the peel off of the lemon I used for the pesto, and carefully minced it and put it in the freezer.  Peeled ginger and put it in the freezer (apparently it keeps it nicely and makes it easy to grate).  And I have gingerbread biscotti finishing in the oven (my first time making biscotti!). 

So the house is warm and cozy, my 2 year old is out playing in the snow at night (she’s snow obsessed and was literally in hysterics wanting to go out), and I’m ready to settle in and work on a few things for her.  And the glow of the moon upon the snow makes it seem just a little more than a regular night. 

Tart Cherry: 1 Insomnia: 0

For the last week I have seriously not made it to bed before 5 a.m. any day.  Which I recognize is a problem.  Sleep and I have a love/hate relationship.  I love sleeping once I’m there, but I hate going to sleep.  So much to read!  So much to do!  So much to ponder! 

But I’m been exhausted lately, and finally fed up with my sleep habits.  As much as I like being able to stay up until the sun comes up, I’d like more energy during the day.  It’s a clear sign I’m getting older (I used to easily be able to live on 2-3 hours of sleep), and I need to take better care of myself.

So, my aunt e-mailed me suggesting trying tart cherry juice.  Apparently my Uncle Ron takes it, and as I’m pretty sure he’s the healthiest person I know, it sounded like sound advice.  I watched a Dr. Oz episode on it, learning about the natural low dose melatonin in it, and bought a bottle of concentrate. 

We’re all 3 now drinking it nightly.  Last night was the first night.  We slept in past noon yesterday, so I knew it might be difficult, but before midnight all the lights were out, I was threatening Nora with expulsion from our bedroom if she didn’t settle down, and we eventually all fell asleep.

I woke up at 6 a.m.  I told myself I needed to go back to sleep, but quickly realized it wasn’t going to happen.  Nora was up before 7:30.  So, here I am, 10 a.m. and debating a morning nap.  But, overall I’m quite impressed by how refreshed I felt by 6 a.m.  I will keep the facebook page updated with how well this tart cherry juice works for our family!

Style Sunday: Drugstore Beauty

Living on a tighter budget, while also wanting to play more with hairstyles and make-up means that if I want to try something, I need to think cheaper.  Luckily, thanks to Pinterest, it’s easy to find good make-up that doesn’t cost a lot.

I’ve been wanting to try Revlon’s Matte Balm in Sultry, but every single Target I have looked at has been out of these!  Apparently they’re very popular.  Still, I decided to try one of their Just Bitten Kissable balm stains and chose smitten.  It’s a beautiful pop of color!  I’ve been keeping it in my bag to use daily.

I’m also loving Rimmel’s Kohl eye pencils in both the Soft Kohl Kajal jet black and the Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl in nude.  I use the nude on the bottom waterline of my eyes to make me seem more awake.  It has helped a lot (still dealing with insomnia, so I’ll take all the help I can get!). 

 And finally, I picked up Rimmel’s Stay Matte pressed powder in Transparent.  I like it a lot, it’s great to just set everything, and at $4, was much cheaper than anything I’d found before.  It lasts, blends well and looks beautiful (but keep in mind, I’m super pale, so the color really doesn’t work if you have some color).  
Soon, I’ll take pics of these on me and post them to the facebook page.  Unfortunately the weather here has not been cooperating for good lighting for pics.  I’ve been so pleasantly pleased with how these look that I can’t wait to show you!  Hope your weekend was relaxing and full of joie de vivre!

Zzzzz

I missed writing Thursday’s post.  Because I fell asleep before 10 p.m.  Oh yes, yes I did!

Yesterday I was up before 8 a.m., getting Nora and I ready for a play date.  Then after that play date we had another with the moms’ group.  Hours of children and playing and chatting left us both tired.  Dinner was chips, salsa, guacamole and some microwaved quesadilla things from Trader Joe.  After catching The Big Bang Theory, we promptly fell asleep (in our clothes).  Woke, undressed, and went to sleep again.

At 2:25 this morning I woke up.  And tried desperately to get back to sleep.  Then woke again at 5 with G.  Then tried to get back to sleep.  We slept until after 11.  Seriously.  I apparently needed some major re-charging.

So here I am, a Friday.  G took Monday so we have a 3 day weekend.  I’m guessing this will involve lots of sleep.

Hope everyone has an amazing weekend!  I’ll be back on Sunday, hopefully refreshed and ready to share some style bits with you.