Sunday Confessions 05

The United States of Becky


I confess:  Dennis and I have finally started watching The Walking Dead {affiliate} and I'm so glad we've gotten around to it.  The first time we tried watching the series we got 3 episodes in and didn't like it at all.  Some of the characters seemed flat and there were some situations that were absolutely unbelievable to us (I'll buy zombies but not that you're sleeping with your husband's best friend weeks (months?) after the zombie outbreak), but now we can't wait for Jack to go to be so we can get in an episode or two.

I confess:  My best friend wants to take a girl's trip to Las Vegas.  I'm all in except for the fact that I've never been away from Jack - like ever - and I don't know who would take it worse, me or Jack.  But Vegas.  I think I need a girl's trip even if it means Jack and I both cry ourselves to sleep.  Also, I have no money.

I confess:  I take an embarrassingly long time to write my blog posts.  I can never seem to just sit down and crank out a post.  Even if Dennis and Jack aren't home to distract me, there are about a million other things that do and once I finally get into the zone and the writing is flowing, I usually have to switch gears.  ADD sucks.
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Houston Auto Show



Wow!  Where do I even begin with the awesomeness that was my experience being an Influenster with the Houston Auto Show?  First I guess I could say that I don't know a thing about cars except for what I find aesthetically pleasing (if Dennis had a dollar for every time I exclaimed, "Oh my god, look at that one!!!"), and second, you don't need to know a thing about cars to have one hell of a time while you're there.  I totally had a hella good time while covering this event.  And third, and I think this should be pretty obvious, but this is a sponsored post (and of course all opinions are honest and my own - duh).

Preview Night Gala 

As part of our coverage of the  auto show, the Media Influensters were invited to attend the Preview Night Gala the night before the Houston Auto Show actually opened to the public.  This was a super swanky affair and no detail was overlooked.  The food was delicious (and there were a ton of options), the bar was complimentary (and not just beer and wine - whaaaaat!  Hello gin and tonics....), there was fun live music (Beetle), crowd entertainment (check out this magician), and we got to see (and touch and sit in) all the pretty cars before anyone else.  Also, I got to dress up and wear heels, so the whole night was a huge win.
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Weekend Snapshots 04



Happy Monday, everyone (or at least as happy as a Monday can be).  I hope your weekends were fabulous and that you took some fun snapshots to share with Ariana and I (because I'm loving this link-up!!!)  Today's Snapshots are brought to you by a hyper-focused cheese grating Jack.

This weekend was mostly uneventful - Dennis had to work so I decided I needed to take the time to do some much needed house cleaning.  Saturday, Jack and I didn't even leave the house, but that doesn't mean we didn't have a good time.  First thing on Saturday morning, Jack decided he was Bob the Builder {affiliate} and I was Bob's assistant, Wendy.  Naturally, I had to put Jack in his work shirt and tool belt.  This went on for most of the day.  Jack would say, "Mo-Wendy, I'm hungry," or "Mom-Wendy help me build."  My favorite was, "I'm going to work, Wendy.  Bye, Mommy!"

One of my big tasks on Saturday was to finally take down the Christmas Tree.  Yes, my Christmas tree was still up.  I'm not proud, but whatever, I've been busy.  Jack helped hold open the front door and made sure no cats escaped and was very proud of the fact.  He was also really excited to have access to his drum set again.

Jack found some cheese graters while I was putting away dishes and to get him to stop trying to grate the drawers, cabinets, chopping block, and door frames (and really anything else he could see), I agreed to let him grate cheese for lunch. He thought this was just about the coolest thing ever and grated almost an entire block of cheddar cheese.  Then on Sunday when I told him it was lunch time, he ran full speed into the kitchen and was all, "Grate cheese, Mommy!  Me grate cheese, Wendy!"

Saturday evening, I watched the Houston Ingress players create a memorial field art in the shape of a ladybug for a local Enlightened Agent who passed away.  The field art was cross-faction (meaning both opposing teams worked together to create it), and took almost 24 hours to fully complete (as well as weeks of planning).  I know that doesn't make much sense if you don't play Ingress (and you should totally check out the game - it is so much fun!!!), but field art of that magnitude takes a ton of cooperation and effort.  Anyway, I watched from home as the whole thing came together and made me feel all warm and fuzzy to be part of such an awesome gaming community.

Sunday was more house chores the first of which was cleaning the cat boxes.  There is a dark side to having six indoor cats.  We keep the boxes in a closet under the stairs that lead to the upstairs apartment and Dennis installed an exhaust fan to blow the cat smell out of the house, so thankfully our house doesn't smell like we have six indoor cats, but scooping litter in such a small area can really leave you feeling yucky, so I tried to sneak into the shower without Jack noticing (ha!), but that didn't work.  After the shower, Jack wouldn't let me get him dressed even though the house was chilly.  Instead, he insisted on curling up on some towels in front of the heater.  And that was a lot of exposition for one simple sentence about Jack in front of a heater....

Jack and I went to the grocery store that afternoon, and I got into a The Princess Bride {affiliate} quote off with an employee at Trader Joe's.  Can I just say that Trader Joe's is the best freaking grocery store ever??  I also happened to run into a chick I went to college with and haven't seen in like 12 years.  I didn't snap any pictures of that, though.  I do wish I'd gotten a selfie with the TJ's employee, though.  That night, we all watched a movie during dinner and Jack got all crazy when I tried to take his picture and was all, "No, Mommy, take my picture like this."


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Win Tickets to the Houston Auto Show



I'm not a huge car enthusiast.  I don't know a thing about engines, or torque, or doodads and whatsits, but I do know a pretty car when I see one (and that's the important part, right?), so I'm pretty excited to announce that I'm an ambassador for the Houston Auto Show this year (sounds fancy, I know!) and that I'm giving away 2 tickets for admission to one lucky winner!

The Houston Auto Show is going to debut more than 700 new domestic and foreign cars (you can be the first to see them!) including alternative fuel and electric vehicles, and concept cars.  I'm really interested in seeing the concept cars (when are we going to get flying cars, anyway?).  There's going to be a brand new dirt test track from Camp Jeep (which sounds awesome), and Ram is going to have a Ride and Drive Interactive Test Track.  Plus, and this is my favorite part, you can test drive any of seventy (yes, seventy, as in seven-zero) new cars from 16 different manufacturers.  I've got my eye on the Porsche - if it's an automatic transmission.

The Houston Auto Show is at the NRG Center and runs from Wednesday, January 27 through Sunday, January 31.  Tickets are $12 for adults, and $5 for children 6-12 years old.

Wednesday - Friday  Noon to 9:30pm
Saturday                    10am to 9:30pm
Sunday                      10am to 7:00pm

Tell me, what's your dream car?


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Sunday Confessions 04

The United States of Becky


I confess:  I've been having this weird recurring dream where I'm dating J.J. Watt.  For those of you not in Houston, J.J. Watt is a sportsball player on the professional sportsball team here in Houston (can you tell how much I know about sports and sportsball in particular?).  Anyway, this dream is bizarre for many reasons.  J.J. Watt isn't an unattractive man, but he's not really my type, (why does he keep showing up in my dream - I mean, why not Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hiddleston, or Channing Tatum??? - also, J.J.  is a baby), my hair in these dreams is always on point (like I must have a professional hairdresser on call in my subconscious dream land), and when I'm with J.J. Watt, I'm always really confused as to where Dennis is.  GET OUT OF MY HEAD, J.J., I'M A MARRIED WOMAN!!!

I confess:  I finally took down my Christmas tree.  Yesterday.  I'm not proud of  it, but there, I said it.  I took down my Christmas tree on January 23rd, yes, almost a full month after Christmas.  This is a shining example of why I need those Three Words for 2016 so badly.

I confess:  I have three stray-ish kittens in my backyard that I need to find homes for, but they're really really cute, and I really like having them in my yard, so I'm dragging my feet on finding them homes.  Two are really friendly and one is like, fuck you (but keep feeding me).  Also, about a week ago, another random and unrelated kitten decided she needs to live in our backyard, too.  Help me!  I'm becoming the Crazy Cat Lady (again).
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Valentine's Day Nail Wraps from Jamberry


Valentine's Day is right around the corner and no matter how you plan to celebrate, you can have an easy and stylish manicure thanks to Jamberry's Valentine's Day themed nail wraps.  This year, Jamberry has released eight different designs, six in regular size and two in junior size, so there's sure to be something you'll love.  The designs range from simple & sweet to fun and funky mixed-manis and as always, Jamberry wraps are always Buy 3, Get 1 FREE!  Order yours now to wear them for Valentine's Day!

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My favorite is definitely Hearts Aplenty - I love those sparkles - and I definitely want to get Pop Heart (I think that one is good for any time of year).  Tell me, what's your favorite design?  Do you have any plans for Valentine's Day and need a good manicure?
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Home Remedies for a Sore Throat


For some reason, Jack and I always seem to get sick in the month of January.  I don't know if it's because we made it through the stress of the holidays and our bodies just can't take any more, the crazy erratic Texas weather (high 75, low 35 - what?!), or the jumpstart of increased activity in the New Year, but whatever it is, Jack and I have been rocking winter colds for about a week now.  We aren't sick enough to justify a visit to the doctor (and colds are viral anyway, so there's not much the doc could do for us) so I've been babying our sore throats, runny noses, and coughs at home.  Of all the symptoms of a cold, having a sore throat is the most bothersome for me.  I don't mind blowing my nose or coughing, but I just cannot deal with a sore throat!  Or rather, when I have a cold, a sore throat is what I treat most aggressively.  Here are my home remedies for a sore throat.

A Spoonful of Honey:  Honey is amazing at reducing the pain of a sore throat.  As it coats the throat, it acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, reducing swelling and inflammation.  Honey is also naturally antibacterial and antiseptic which can help prevent a secondary infection.  Honey creates a protective barrier between a sore throat and air (ugh - I hate the way breathing hurts when I have a sore throat!) making it possible for me to sleep at night.  I take one spoonful of honey every few hours at the first sign of a sore throat.

Salt Water Gargle:  Warm (not hot) water plus a teaspoon (or two) of salt is a miracle solution for a sore throat.  Warm salt water helps reduce throat swelling which in turn helps reduce pain and discomfort.  Salt water also acts as an antibacterial agent, again, reducing the possibility of a secondary infection.  Warm salt water is soothing, too.  Just make sure the water isn't too hot (hot water can make inflammation worse) and that you don't swallow the solution.

Throat Lozenges:  And I'm not talking about any throat lozenge.  Find one with zinc in the ingredient list.  Zinc helps boost your immune system and can shorten the length of a cold.  I like these lozenges and these rapid melts{affiliate and affiliate}, but beware, if you have too many of them, you can get a funny filmy taste in your mouth that just kinda sticks around.

Herbal Tea:  Sipping on warm (not hot) herbal tea with plenty of honey and some lemon also soothes sore throats.  This is one of my favorites {affiliate}.  Drinking tea also helps keep you hydrated and dehydration can make a sore throat even worse, so make sure to drink plenty of fluids even if it's not tea.

Ice Chips:  Between cups of tea, I like to suck on ice chips.  Again, this helps with hydration and the cold from the melting ice also reduces inflammation as well as numbing the throat.

Anti-Inflammatories:  I also make sure to take an over the counter anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen.  If your throat is too sore to swallow a pill, you can take a children's liquid variety - just make sure you take the appropriate dosage.  And this goes without saying, but I'm not a doctor so if you have any questions about this, make sure to consult with your doctor.

As you can see, I don't take having a sore throat lightly.  At the very first sign of having a sore throat, I start doing all of these things and am usually able to keep the worst of it at bay.  Of course, there have been times when my sore throat isn't from a cold and is caused by something else.  I've had tonsillitis and strep throat numerous times and that obviously called for a doctor's visit (or two), so make sure you see your doctor if symptoms don't clear up in  a couple of days or if they worsen.

Are there any home remedies you use that I didn't cover in this list?  I'd love to hear about them - drop me a comment and tell me what works for you!
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Weekend Snapshots 03



Hey ya'll!  I'm back again for Weekend Snapshots #3 with Ariana and our super awesome link-up (make sure to share yours, too)!  This week's snapshots are all about the Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Half-Marathon!  I've been getting back into running and going out and watching everyone who ran the marathon and half-marathon is one hell of a way to get inspired!

On Saturday, we went to the YMCA to work out (Dennis surprised me with a family membership to the Y on Monday, and it's amazeballs - I'll have a post coming about that soon!).  Unfortunately, we got there after the childcare had closed for the day, and the indoor pool was closed because of thunderstorms in the area (which made no sense because it's an indoor pool, but whatever), so I was the only one able to workout.  Dennis was understandably upset, so we went to Frank's Pizza afterward for lunch, you know, to feed his sorrows.  I think Jack thought both pieces of pizza were for him.

After pizza, we went to the Marathon Expo (so I could feel like a "real" runner).  Dennis and Jack felt like runners, too, and we spent a few hours poking around all the vendor booths.  I found out about some really cool 5K races coming up (with finishers medals no less) that I want to participate in and got some new running stickers for my truck.  Jack had fun looking for our friend Jenny's name on the board of participants (even though he can't read).  He kept saying, "There's Jenny's name!  There's Jenny's name!"

Then it was home and time for tacos.  If you're going to cheat on your diet, you might as well have pizza and tacos on the same day.  Amiright?  Jack kept photo bombing my attempt at getting an Instagram worthy pic.  He's such a ham.

The next morning I was up at the ass-crack of pre-dawn to go watch all the marathoners and half-marathoners.  I knew people running in both races and wanted to get a good spot where the marathon route splits off from the half marathon route so I could see everyone.  I tried to get to the turn last year, but left the house too late and ended up not being able to get there.  Well, this year, I got there with plenty of time to spare (about an hour before the elite runners came by my spot).  Check out this video I took of the elites running past my spot.  OMGtheyaresofast!

After I finished watching all the runners (and handing out donut holes - runners love donut holes), I went home so Dennis could go play D&D with friends.  Jack and I just hung out and did chores the rest of the day.  Jack started getting the sniffles and running a fever, so we didn't do anything else.  Poor little man.

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Sunday Confessions 03

The United States of Becky


I confess:  I'm writing this on Monday afternoon, but I'm going to date the post for Sunday.  Why?  Lots of reasons.  Jack got the sniffles yesterday and I didn't have any time to sit down and write (and essentially wrote this in my head on Sunday so that counts), and this is my blog and I do what I want (please read the last half of that sentence in Cartman's voice from Southpark).

I confess:  Farts are funny.  They just are.  I don't find them offensive and chances are I'll almost always laugh at them.  What can I say?  I have the sense of humor of a 12 year old boy.

I confess:  As funny as farts are, I won't fart in front of other people.  I find it absolutely mortifying.  Dennis and I have been together almost 15 years and I still won't let one rip in front of him (other than when I was pregnant - things got kind of crazy then).  I sneezed yesterday and let a small one rip in front of him and I nearly died of embarrassment.  He giggled and said, "Awww, that was cute."

I confess:  I blushed just typing that.

I confess:  I'll totally fart in front of Jack, though.  He thinks it's HILARIOUS!!!
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Heart Health Awareness


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Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States?  One in four of every female deaths in the United States is attributed to heart disease and only 54% of women are aware of heart disease as their number one killer.  Sixty-four percent of women who die suddenly from coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms {source}.  Those are some scary statistics.

What can you do about it?  First, educate yourself.  Know the facts about heart disease, and tell your loved ones about the risks and symptoms of this disease.  Get healthy.  Manage your weight, manage your stress, eat healthier, exercise, and if you smoke, stop smoking!  Help fund research and education.  And spread the word.

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Jamberry is helping with two new wraps to support the American Heart Association:  From The Heart, and  Love Is Why.  For every From The Heart and Love is Why wrap purchased, Jamberry will donate $2 to the American Heart Association.  Now you can show your support and wear your heart on your fingertips.

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Three Words



I've spent the last couple of weeks trying to formulate my resolutions for 2016.  While I think it's nice to have a clear idea of what I want to accomplish in the new year at the absolute beginning of the year, January 1st isn't some magical date where the slate is miraculously wiped clean and things start fresh (wouldn't that be nice!).  That miraculous clean slate can happen on any day of the year and can happen more than once per year (sweet!) so I'm taking my time to really decide what I want to get out of 2016.

Three words seem to stand out when I start thinking about the year ahead and I'm starting to think they're going to be my words of the year (that's still a thing, right?).  I just can't quit shake them and I think these words are going to help me shape my goals for 2016.  Or at least I hope they will, lol.

So what are these uber important words?  The three words that are going to help me shape my year and change my life and rule the world?  I bet you're dying to know, but let me tell you something first....just kidding.
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Weekend Snapshots 02



Welcome to Week 2 of Weekend Snapshots!  This week's snapshots are brought to you by the park next door to where my parents lived when I was born (and my mom took me to literally every day for the first three years of my life).  I spent the weekend visiting my Mom and Sunday was too pretty not to take Jack for a run around the park.

Ariana at 3twentysix and I are linking up again this week.  The link up is open from Monday to Friday to share your Weekend Snapshots with us and we'd love to see them!  The linky is at the bottom of the post.  And if you'd like the entire linky to show up on your post, you can get the code for the widget here.

This weekend really started on Thursday when Jack and I drove from Houston to Shreveport.  I had just gotten on the freeway in Shreveport when my front driver side tire had a HUGE blowout.  It was super scary, but we were safe and everything turned out fine.  It took two hours to get the spare put on, though, and I had to pee the entire time.  Jack thought the whole thing was a fascinating adventure.

Friday Jack and I had to get the tire replaced.  We spent most of the day in our pajamas not doing much while my Mom went to work.  Jack had so much fun at the tire shop once we got there!  Especially with these three stacks of tires.  They were definitely his favorite.  He also got a kick out of his shoes squeaking on the linoleum flooring and we played a few games like only step on the colorful tiles or only step on the blue tiles.  I knew he needed to move around and play (two hours in a tire shop is tough on a toddler) and my challenge was keeping him from being that kid being all crazy in public.  I think we did pretty well.  He made friends with the three ladies also waiting for their cars to be worked on.  He's such a charmer!

After the tire was fixed, we went and visited my Mom at the used bookstore where she works.  Jack loves it there!  He "helps" my Mom put away books and plays with her in the aisles.  I missed the picture of Jack making my Mom lay down on the floor with him to "nap."  The two of them together is hilarious.

That night, Mom made BLTs with her homemade fries.  I somehow managed to stay within my calorie goal for the day even with this delicious meal.  Those homemade fries - I swear I could eat my weight in them.

Saturday I went for a run, only the jogging trail I usually run on was totally flooded.  The trail runs along the bank of the Red River and the river has been super high for months.  I ended up running from point a to point b and back to point a (then repeat) for 40 minutes to get my miles in.  I felt a little silly at first, but despite the cold weather, there were about 5 other people doing the exact same thing.  Jack ended up taking a 3 hour nap (yikes) that late afternoon and I was totally trapped under him.

Sunday we had so much fun!  Mom encouraged Jack to eat his breakfast by using these little plastic zombies that she got for Christmas.  He thought it was hilarious and he ate (without too many tears), so I call that a win.  After breakfast, he really wanted to paint his nails, so we broke out some polish.  He also painted Mom's hammer, her legs, and a couple of zombies.

Then it was time for the park.  This is the first time we've taken Jack to my childhood park.  He was brave enough to try sliding down the fireman's pole and was so excited about it.  Then we went running along the trail (I seriously have so many pictures and video of this it was hard to narrow down just a couple to post).  He would veer off the trail to run up and down the hills (and up and down and up and down), and then we found this huge tree limb that had fallen down.  Jack turned the tree branch into his house and invited Mom and I in for birthday cake.  I love toddler imaginations!

After the park we went to the supermarket for dinner supplies.  Mom and Jack rode the merry-go-round outside the store a few times when we were done.  It was really cold this visit so Mom decided to make her chili (my favorite!).  Jack loves to help in the kitchen and if you ask him, he's the one who cooked dinner that night.


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Sunday Confessions 02

The United States of Becky


I confess:  I've been a die hard loyal customer of my preferred grocery chain for about 15 years.  I have refused to shop anywhere else because I enjoy the convenience of knowing what I can find there, I love the products they offer, and I like my shopping experience there.  But now I'm in the market for a new grocer.  Let me tell you why.  A new law has come into effect here in Texas that allows people to openly carry firearms in public.  I don't want this to become a gun debate, but I hate the new law and it makes me very uncomfortable.  As private property, business can choose to not let people open (or conceal) carry while on their premises as long as they post a sign.   My preferred grocer is the only major grocery chain in Houston who is not only NOT choosing to opt out of having open carry in their stores, but is supporting the law.  I put my money where my mouth is and will not be supporting businesses that support and encourage what I think is a dangerous practice.

I confess:  The use of the word female in place of woman or women drives me fucking crazy.  I don't know where it started, and it seems, in some instances, to take the place of some other really derogatory words that women are called (and perhaps in an effort to be less degrading to women), but somehow I find female to be even more offensive.  I feel like the use of female instead of woman or women degrades women beyond what the typical cliche demeaning words do.  Woman refers to a person and female refers to an animal.  And it's bad enough to hear it in song, but it really makes my blood boil when I hear it when referring to a woman's accomplishments.  Like, I saw it used on FB as a caption to the picture of a woman being sworn in to a judge position and the caption said something along the lines of, "The first female sworn in..."  And while this is technically true, she is a woman and a female of the human species the caption would've been that much more meaningful if it had said, "The first woman sworn in..."  If it was a picture of a man it wouldn't have read, "The first male sworn in..."

I confess:  I would stay in pajamas all day long if I could (and sometimes do).  I usually don't get dressed for the day until right before I leave the house and have had more than one day where I change out of the pajamas I slept in and into the pajamas I plan to wear for the rest of the day.  I at least don't go out of the house in my pj's anymore, so there's that.  I love yoga pants and leggings are my new jam, but even though they are super comfy, they don't hold a candle to pajamas.  I even change back into pajamas the minute I get home from work.  I don't remember the last time I ate dinner in regular clothes (other than out in public).

That's all of my confessions for this week.  Go read everybody else's and link up at the United States of Becky!
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January StyleBox by Jamberry: Vintage Meets Modern


Jamberry has released the designs for this month's StyleBox and I am totally crushing on all of them.  January 2016's StyleBox theme is Vintage Meets Modern and features one vintage floral and one sleek modern design specially paired to compliment each other.  StyleBox is Jamberry's new monthly subscription box and comes with two exclusive wraps (or sometimes one wrap and one lacquer) plus the basic application tools to apply your wraps.  Plus, every couple of months, Jamberry includes a special bonus in the boxes - this month's box bonus is a code for two FREE Chatbooks!

This month’s StyleBox is all about combining the best of the old and the new. Inspired by whimsical florals and contemporary design elements, there is no better way to welcome in the new year than with these beautiful wraps!

Here's how StyleBox works:  First, you find out your signature style, either Classic, Trendy, or Feminine by taking this fun quiz, then you choose which plan works best for you - StyleBox subscriptions start at just $25 per month (which is less than you'd pay for two sheets of wraps!), and finally, you receive fun and fashionable nail wraps in your mail every month!  You have until the 15th to sign up and receive the Vintage Meets Modern box with those two free Chatbooks.

Curious about Jamberry?  Want to try a sample?  Email me and I'll send some your way!  I know once you get them on your nails, you'll love them as much as I do!!!  Let me know what you think of this month't s StyleBox in the comments!!!




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How to Resist Temptation in the Face of Junk Food

healthy eating, health tips, counting calories


It's no secret that I love junk food.  Candy, cookies, cake, chips - these are just some of the foods I love to eat and cause me to constantly fall off the diet train.  I'm an emotional eater and whether I'm happy, sad, bored, or celebrating I never reach for something healthy to stuff in my face.  That's why I don't keep junk food at my house.  It's best to just remove the temptation instead of trying to fight it.  And that works most of the time.

But what about when I'm not at home?  If you're anything like me, saying no to an appetizer or dessert at a dinner party, snacking on fruit instead of cookies or pastries at a business meeting, ordering a salad when everyone else is having a burger and fries, or not diving into the chip bowl at a party can be next to impossible.  I go out of town once a month to visit my Mom and she loves to stock up on my favorite junk food because she knows it's a treat I don't allow myself when I'm at home.  She also has plenty of healthy alternatives for me, but when faced with either mini chocolate donuts or yogurt for breakfast, the chocolate donuts win every time.  What's a girl to do?

Since I don't want to wreck my diet this year, I've come up with these 5 tips for resisting the temptation of junk food when Little Debbie is staring me down:

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Day in the Life, January 1, 2016



Happy New Year!!!!  2016, here we go!!!  This year started off really low key - on New Year's Eve, we always go to Den's BFF/Brother's house and pop fireworks, and as usual, we stayed out wayyyyy too late and ended up sleeping in.  Even Jack stayed up till the early hours of the morning thanks to a disco nap he took from 11:45 pm till about 1:30 am (he just missed midnight - whomp whomp).  Jack woke me up at 10 am and that felt too early, lol.  We spent most of the day lounging around and then went to my MIL's to cook our traditional New Year's Day meal of corned beef, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and black eyed peas.  I documented everything as usual with Instagram and if you want to do your own photo an hour day, I've been using the hashtag #dayinthelife!

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Weekend Snapshots 01


Happy Monday!  I'm super excited today to introduce a new feature here, Weekend Snapshots.  My friend Ariana over at 3twentysix has been featuring her Weekend Snapshots for forever and I've felt all inspired by her weekend coverage and convinced her we should collaborate and do a weekly link-up of snapshots (so if you want to get in on the action, the linky is at the bottom of the post and closes on Friday!).

My inaugural Weekend Snapshot (to borrow from Ariana) is brought to you by a selfie in the park on a gloriously sunny and cool Sunday afternoon.  My friend Jenny suggested we go out for a walk and I just couldn't refuse.

But first, let me tell you about Saturday.  We were still recovering from NYE and had a pretty low key day.  We all woke up at the same time and Jack helped me make coffee.  He LOVES helping in the kitchen and especially enjoys the Keurig {affiliate}.  I think it's the lever and buttons that he finds so appealing, plus it makes a little noise and fills up a cup.  I'll usually let him make some "coffee" for himself which is usually apple cider or hot chocolate - he even has his own little cup and goes "Mmmmmm, coffee good," whenever he takes a sip.  He really cracks me up!

We mostly lounged around the house and did a few chores, then headed to Home Depot to pick up some paint for a project I'm working on.  Jack's favorite place is Home Depot and is the only store he recognizes.  When I ask him where he wants to go it's always Home Depot.  He told Santa he wanted Home Depot for Christmas, and when he finds out we're headed to Home Depot he's always super excited (can we get this kid an endorsement deal???).

After Home Depot, we went to the Ingress First Saturday event at Oyster Creek Park.  It was cold and drizzly (my favorite), and Jack had a great time running around the park with us in the dark.  Oyster Creek Park is really nice and I hope to go back there during the day to see some of the art and statues there.  We had so much fun and got a chance to meet some opposing players - it's nice to put a face to an in-game name.  I was also excited to level up in Ingress at the event!!  Woot!

After First Saturday, we went to eat at the Cici's Pizza near the park.  Jack wasn't interested in the food so much and wanted to play video games instead.  Luckily, he thought he was playing this driving game while the previews were playing and it saved me some quarters.

Sunday, Dennis went to play Dungeons and Dragons {affiliate} with some of our friends.  I miss playing DnD, but we've been so busy lately and have had to ask my MIL to watch Jack more than usual that I just can't justify having her babysit for an additional full day every couple of weeks.  Instead, I planned to run some errands and get some chores done until my friend Jenny suggested we go for a walk in the park.  That was just too enticing an offer to pass up.  Errands and chores could wait on such a beautiful day!

Jack rode in the jogging stroller for about the first mile then decided that he wanted to run, too.  He ended up running/walking about a mile and a half that afternoon!!  I could tell he was so excited and proud to be running like all the other people in the park.  He kept yelling, "Jack running!  Jack running, fast!!!  Zoom!!!"

After the park we rewarded ourselves with a trip to Coco's Crepes and Coffee. And let me tell you that place is oh so yummy!  I ordered a Caramel Crisp Latte and a Smoked Salmon Crepe and I had to stop myself from licking the plate.  I want another one just writing about it!

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Sunday Confessions 01

The United States of Becky


I confess:  I really hate Play-Doh.  I mean, I loved it as a kid and I let Jack have some (just because I hate it now doesn't mean he can't have it - he loves the stuff), but it smells funny and I absolutely cannot take it when the colors get mixed. Plus it's always getting left out and then it dries up and gets all crumbly.  Then those gross little crumbles end up all over the table and floor (how are they so dry and sticky at the same time???) and I have to sweep a million times.  But I soldier on and fake it till I make it whenever Jack says, "Mommy, play Play-Doh with me.  Make bricks for house."

I confess:  I'm really nervous about 2016.  I don't exactly make resolutions, but like most everyone else, I feel like the slate has been wiped clean and I have a chance to start fresh with changes in my life for the new year.  I'm worried that I'm going to set my standards too high for the new year, crash and burn, feel like a failure, and make no progress forward.  I'm working on making attainable goals that are specific, measurable, and realistic for this year, so hopefully that helps.  But I'm still worried I'm going to go down in a giant self imploding fireball of doom and failure.

I confess:  I forgot my shoes when we went out of town for Christmas, and instead of wearing sneakers with my nice dresses for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners, I decided to show up at my Grandma's house barefoot.  Classy, I know, but my family doesn't care and my toes looked super cute.  Plus, it was (unfortunately) unseasonably warm for the holidays so my toes didn't freeze.  Even if it was cold I would've gone barefoot, though, and no matter the temperature, I probably would've kicked off my shoes as soon as I arrived anyway.
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Jamberry's January 2016 Sister's Style and Hostess Exclusives



It's no secret that I'm a Jamberry Junkie.  I love Jamberry so much that I'm an Independent Consultant for the company - partly so I can qualify for the awesome discount and partly because I want to share with everyone how amazing these little high-tech nail wraps are!  Srsly, I love these things!!!  Every month, Jamberry releases a limited edition Sister's Style Exclusive wrap and this month's design, Blossoming Love is so cute! It comes in the new satin finish (think a matte metallic) and I think it pairs perfectly with So Bugged, Wild Child, and the Pink Lemonade lacquer.  Blossoming Love is only available until the end of January 2016, so if you think this is a must have wrap (and you know you do!), don't wait to place your order.  Plus, Jamberry wraps are always Buy 3, Get 1 FREE*, so you can mix and match to create your perfect Jamicure!

 

Playful florals and charming hues of pink and purple make this design a must-have! Show off your romantic side and pair this wrap with one of our colorful lacquers or as a full mani for a look that is all about being flirty and fun. 

Jamberry also releases a Hostess Exclusive wrap every month and the only way you can get one of the Hostess Exclusive wraps is to host your own Jamberry party!  I offer online parties, home parties, and catalog parties and they're always a blast!  Plus, if you host a party in January and you reach $400 in sales (which is super easy, btw), you earn 50% more rewards plus 5 additional half-off items!  Sweet!!!



Florals are always oh-so sweet. Featuring bright orange and green hues,this design is perfect for an afternoon picnic or exploring the town!

But wait!!!  There's more!!!  If you host a party that ends by January 15th with $400 in sales, you also get a free Valentine's Day wrap, Love Letters!!!  How cute are these wraps?!!?  I love them!  With all these extra rewards, there's really no reason not to have a party!!


What do you think about this month's Sister's Style and Hostess Exclusive wraps?  What would you pair with them?  Let me know in the comments!!!

If you're curious about Jamberry and want to try before you buy, email me at reinventingjess [at] gmail [dot] com and I'll send a sample your way!



*B3G1 excludes premium wraps, lacquers, and TruShine Gel System


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