Monday, March 2, 2015

The Gratitude Project.

{From my mother's surprise 60th Birthday this past weekend!}

{The theme was "Cooking Up a 60th" so we had this cake made for the occasion!}

{We pulled it off!}

{Birthday girl with The Harper side!}

{Birthday girl with The Osborne side!}

{Mom & her sweet college roommates}

1. My mother's birthday! On Saturday my sweet mother turned 60! My dad and I planned a surprise party for her, which we pulled off beautifully, if I do say so myself! So the #1 thing I am grateful for this week is my mother and her 60 years on this earth. It's such a comforting feeling to be surrounded by people who love your mother so much, and that's exactly how Saturday night's party was. I am grateful beyond words for her and everything she has taught me, given me, and done for me. She is truly the most generous, faithful, and selfless women I have ever known! I feel blessed to have had such a shining example of a mother, wife, and friend. When I open my mouth to speak, when I look in the mirror every day, and when I meet people who knew her as a child and young woman, I am reminded that, thankfully, I AM MY MOTHER'S DAUGHTER!

2. My sensitivity - I am very sensitive. People who know me well (or anyone that attended my wedding or bridal showers) know how sensitive and emotional I am. I was reminded of that this weekend at my mother's birthday party. We did a little "roast" on her that evening, and since there's hardly anything to "roast" her about, it ended up being a sweet and emotional tribute to her. Of course, I said something. And of course... I cried. No surprise there. I used to be very embarrassed of that quality and hated that I couldn't talk about anything near and dear to me without becoming a red-faced puddle of tears. Even as a young girl, I couldn't get up and speak about my parents or family without crying. At church every Mother's and Father's Day, kids could get up and read letters they wrote to their parents. When I was younger, I would always write a "thank you" letter to my parents and get up in front of the whole congregation and read them. One after the other, kids would get up and nicely (and audibly) read the touching letters to their mother or father. Then I came up to the podium…. and cried my way through my letters. Every. Single. Year. It embarrassed me until I got older and realized it is just WHO I AM. My grandfather was very emotional his whole life, always speaking from the heart and shedding a few tears in the process. As a result, my mother is also very emotional. There wasn't a morning growing up that she didn't cry after reading our devotional around the breakfast table. I guess all those mornings rubbed off on me, because now I, too, am emotional. At 32 years old, I am finally ok with that. I know that, if I'm speaking from the heart, to -or about-  those I love…I will cry. I will cry reading and writing birthday cards. I will cry thanking those that have done something special for me. I will cry at movies…and corny Super Bowl commercials. I will cry telling someone how much they mean to me. I will cry reading devotions or touching stories. I will also cry writing this blog post. Because like I said… It's just who I am, and I am very grateful for that.

3. Positive affirmation - I'm human. Of course, I love positive affirmation. I am specifically talking about positive affirmation in terms of my blog and this "Gratitude Project" series I'm doing. I've gotten several texts and emails from friends telling me how much they enjoy it and how it's made them more aware of things in their lives that they are grateful for. I'm thankful for people who go out of their way to tell me those things, because it makes me feel like I'm making a small difference in this world. I draw a lot of inspiration from those around me, so I hope I can do that for others, as well.

4. Safe travels home to West TN - This might seem like a given, but I am so grateful for safety and traveling grace on our trips home to West TN. We've been home a lot since the holidays, and the trip this weekend was particularly nerve-racking due to all the pot-holes and road damage on the Interstate. I think there are still nail marks on the passenger seat in my husband's car because I was so nervous going home this past weekend!! I'm grateful for safe travels on those special trips home!


{I felt this quote was a perfect one in honor of my mom (and my dad, too!) for her birthday week.}

Friday, February 27, 2015

LLIA Favorites: Eye Shadow

It's no secret that I love makeup. I remember when Sephora first opened,  I was in college, and it was an online website only at that time. (I'm aging myself, I realize this) My dad would see my debit card statements and ask, "Lindsay…what is Se….phor….a?" GULP. I love it all! A few weeks ago, I shared my favorite blushes. I got some requests to do a post on my favorite eye shadows, and this post is one that I am SO excited about! Besides lipsticks, eye shadows are my favorite thing to buy experiment with! Read below to see my all-time favorites, and please share your favorites with me in the comment section!

 MAC's All That Glitters Shadow - Let me start be saying this: This shadow DOES NOT have any glitter in it. I have no idea why they named the shadow that, but I can assure you, this is not some glittery eye shadow you used circa 1985. It is the most beautiful peachy-nude shade with a bit of a sheen to it, which gives the eyes/skin this incredible glow! It is my ALL.TIME.FAVORITE! I get SO many compliments when I wear this eye shadow! It's the perfect nude for any skin type, and it looks good all year long, whether I have a tan or not. All That Glitters is one of my holy-grail products, for sure! This is the shadow I use pretty much on a daily basis, along with black liner and mascara. I tend to run late a lot all the time, and this shadow is so easy to swipe on and go! I do use an eye shadow base/primer to ensure the color stays on all day. Another reason I love using a primer is to make sure the color goes on the eye exactly how it looks in the pot. 

Top to Bottom: Maybelline Color Tattoo Pot in Barely Branded; MAC Rubenesque; MAC Painterly

My favorite eye shadow bases/primers are MAC's Paint Pot in Painterly, Bare Study, and Rubenesque. I've recently discovered a cheaper alternative for MAC's Bare Study: Maybelline Color Tattoo Pot in Barely Branded. It's the one I use the most now. Looks great under any eye shadow! I also love Urban Decay's Eye Shadow Primer Potion.

MAC's Amber Lights Shadow - This is another must-have eye shadow for me! I love the beautiful coppery/bronze color alone or mixed with MAC's Coppering shadow for a more bold metallic eye! This shadow is pretty on anyone, but it looks especially good on blue eyes. Orange is opposite blue on the color wheel, so it makes blue eyes pop! {Tip: If you want to find colors to compliment your eyes, look at the color wheel and see what is directly across from your eye color!}

{My Woodwinked is almost gone, so I found this picture online here.}

MAC's Woodwinked Shadow - Besides All That Glitters shadow, this shadow is the one I use the most. I loooooove it! The makeup artist that did my wedding makeup used this on me, and I fell in love with the soft bronze color! It's so easy to wear! It looks like a nude bronze shadow, if that makes sense. It's not overwhelming or hard to wear at all. I love putting Maybelline Color Tattoo pot in "Bad to the Bronze" on first, then putting Woodwinked over it and lining my eyes with MAC Teddy Eye Liner. So pretty and easy... and lasts all day! That paint pot is another must-have for me. It looks good all alone, too, for days you want to have a little color on the eyes. This is another eye shadow look that I throw on when I'm running late because it requires no thought, and you don't have to be precise when putting on the eye liner! 

{I couldn't get a good picture of the actual color, so I found this one online here. There's also a great swatch of Tan next to MAC's Woodwinked and All That Glitters on that site, if you want to see them next to each other!}

MAC "Tan" Pigment: I use this beautiful rose gold pigment all year long, but it looks especially good during the summer when I have a tan! I love this color all over the lid, worn alone, with just mascara! I also wear it a lot with Bobbi Brown's shadows in "Toast" and "Camel" in the crease. When doing this look, I put the Tan pigment all over, then put "Toast" in the crease, then layer "Camel" on top of it. (see colors below) 

{Bobbi Brown eye shadows. L to R: Bone, Toast, Camel}
{These are great everyday colors, too! Use "Bone" as a brow highlight!}

{MAC Shadows L to R: Folie, Saddle, and Antiqued}

These shadows are proof I use colors other than nude and bronze! I love these all on their own or mixed! My favorite look to do with these 3 shadows:
1. Put an eye shadow base down. (I use MAC's Constructivist or Maybelline's Bad to the Bronze)
2. With a flat eye shadow brush, pat Folie all over the lid, up to the crease. But no higher than that!
3. Take a fluffy eye shadow brush and put Saddle in the crease and buff it out really well.
4. With the same flat eye shadow brush as before, gently tap Folie just in the center of the eye lid.
5. Line your eyes with any liner in brown and black! Add mascara!

{Left: MAC's Coppering; Right: MAC's Mythology}

I just had to include these two. I don't wear them alone, but mixed with other things, they look great! For example, as I mentioned above, I love mixing "Coppering" with "Amber Lights" all over the lid with no eye liner! (Looks good with black liner, too, but I like to keep it simple..ish… haha) I've recently been loving to layer "Mythology" over my "All That Glitters."It is SO pretty and just takes the nude color to the next level. 

This $12 beauty has become a new favorite for me! I saw a girl with cool eye shadow one day at the mall, over Christmas. So naturally, I tracked her down and asked her what she had on. She told me about this amazing palette she got on Amazon! The colors are beautiful and richly pigmented! You can create so many different eye looks with this single palette. Instead of going on out buying individual colors, try this instead! You won't be disappointed!  


MAC's "Teddy"
MAC's "Coffee"
MAC's "Costa Riche"

My fave: L'Oreal Extra Intense eye liner in Carbon Black (super black, stays all day, blends easily!)
Urban Decay's 24/7 eyeliner in "Perversion" (I used to use this one but the above L'Oreal one is even better and cheaper!)
MAC's Fluidline in Blacktrack (This used to be my go-to gel eyeliner, until I found the Maybelline one. Both are great…Maybelline is just cheaper!)
Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in Blackest Black

Makeup Forever Aqua Eyes in 10L Bronze (my favorite eye liner! I use this mostly on my bottom lid and rims for a pop of bronze. I use this a lot when I'm wearing the "All That Glitters" eye shadow with black liner.)

If you want to see better/other pictures of the colors I mentioned in this post, just google the names. There are TONS of pictures and tutorials using these colors and many more. Hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Coconut Bliss Balls

I cannot, for the life of me, remember where I got the recipe for these yummy Coconut Bliss Balls! I am always emailing myself recipes and screen shots of things I want to make. I usually add the source of the recipe on the emails, but evidently I was too excited about making these bad boys to include that info. So to whoever made this recipe… THANK YOU! Well-done! I have a serious sweet tooth, and these are the perfect thing for after dinner or a mid-afternoon snack. If you make these, let me know how you like them!

Yields 13-16 balls

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup raw organic almonds
1 cup fresh Medjool dates (8 dates), pitted
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Dark)
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
pinch of sea salt
Optional: chia seeds, cinnamon, dark chocolate chips, diced dried cherries 
(I used 1-2 tbs of chia seeds)

Place almonds, cacao and shredded coconut into a high-speed blender or food processor. Process on high until ingredients are similar to a flour consistency. Add the remaining ingredients and blend on medium to high until fully messed into the dry ingredients. Pour mixture into a bowl. Spoon a tablespoon worth of the mixture in between your hands and roll to form a ball. Mixture will stick together, just keep squeezing and rolling! Repeat until all the mix is used. Roll the balls in extra coconut flakes. Place in the freezer for 1 hour and serve.
Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.