July 30, 2012

Getting Out of the Monday Slump

Today started out rather sleepily. I put on some coffee for Parker and myself (accidentally forgetting to pour the water into the coffee maker- fail) and the three of us sat in the living room. Scratch that- two of us sat and one of us was bouncing happily in his bouncer. We sat like this for a little while, sipping away, and then decided to go on an outing to the library. Once we got there, Miles and I headed to the children's section of the library while Parker went to find his books. While Miles and I were reading one of the cute cardboard books, a little boy (who seemed to be around four) came up to us and started talking and playing with Miles. It was really sweet.

I think that one of my hopes is for Miles to enjoy reading like Parker and I do. Reading is one of my favorite pastimes, whether it a magazine, and online article, or a new novel. When we were planning Miles's nursery when I was pregnant, we decided our theme would be Adventureland. Diving into a good story is one of the first ways we can encourage Miles to live a life of adventure!

How was your Monday?

July 29, 2012

Our Week (In a Nutshell)

Whew! I just finished my political science summer course tonight, and I have to say that it is such a relief that it's done and I am proud of myself for pushing through this intensive course in such a short amount of time. Now, only about a week and a half left of my psychology course, a ten-day break, and then it's time to jump into the fall semester! I'm taking Intro to Chinese, two business courses, a history course, and Intermediate Piano. It should be a fun and busy semester. Let's backtrack a little to the beginning of this week. I left off last week with my family getting together to play Phase 10. As we all were leaving, my brother Ernie and I decided to stop by the convenience store to buy a lotto scratcher (we like to do this every now and again). We each got one and kept winning free tickets until I won $3, bought three more scratchers, and then didn't win anything (moral of the story: stop while you're ahead!). 

This week was rough in that Parker was working so much. I felt like I hardly saw him- and to be truthful, I hardly did- but chose to take advantage of the time by enjoying my family, getting out of the house (like I wrote about here), and just enjoying the beautiful weather. It was such a relief when the weekend came, though. Parker is a gentleman and a comedian all rolled into one handsome guy. Firstly, when it was "that time of the month"- or Shark Week as he likes to call it- I was feeling miserable and went into the bathroom to do my hair and makeup for the day. As I walked out, there was my sweet husband with a glass of water and two Tylenol (gentleman). Yesterday morning, I notice that Parker is wearing the weirdest T-shirt I didn't even know he owned (it's from the movie A Christmas Story and has a picture of a kid's face with his tongue stuck to a metal pole) and said something about it. He goes, "It was in the back of my closet, so I decided to wear bring it out for 'What I Wore Saturday'!" and then proceeds to be a goofball while I snap a quick picture (comedian).

Today marks Miles turning seven months old! I really can't believe it. This will probably fade as Miles gets older, but every month so far I've looked back and remembered the day he was born- all the details of how I felt that day, the anticipation of knowing that I was about to meet my son. Little did I know just how much my love for him would grow from the moment we met. Even when he reached a relatively small developmental milestone like rolling over from back to stomach I felt so proud, like it was the biggest accomplishment in the world. I love you, Miles!

July 27, 2012

Let the Games Begin!

Photo credit
I am so excited for this year's Olympic games! My favorite two sports are gymnastics (former gymnast here!) and the high dive. I caught the tail-end of the opening ceremony online, but will watch the replay of it tonight on NBC (side note: how disappointing is it that NBC didn't live stream the opening ceremony? I think it's kind of ridiculous). The Olympics are so exciting to me- the history, the different nations coming together...I can't wait to see how everyone does!

What are your favorite Olympic sports to watch?

This Week the Trend: My Etcetera Jar

This week I've decided to make good use of my "etcetera jar" that I found on sale at Target (where else would you walk in for dish soap and walk out with this sort of thing?). Parker thought this jar was just plain silly- if I didn't like it so much or find it so useful I might agree with him. This week I found myself quickly tossing something in the jar that I would designate a home for later. So what exactly finds a home away from home in an etcetera jar? Ipod cables, a stray pacifier, stamps, bobby pins, pennies (someday I'll get a fancy piggy bank like this, but it would take my whole collection of pennies and then some to even afford that little guy!), and an unopened bottle of wine bottle stoppers that I bought from World Market.

So, what've you been reaching for this week? I started "This Week the Trend" as a way to showcase your current must-have that you find yourself reaching for constantly: it could be a book you can't put down, new music, a product for yourself/home/babies, fashion find, etc! Here are the rules:

1. Kindly link to your specific post, not your blog's main page.
2. Please link back to me- grab a button!
3. Spread the blog love and click on any of the links below- who knows, maybe you'll find your next favorite thing!

Joie de V

July 26, 2012

Sometimes I Just Shake My Head at Myself...

Yesterday, I found myself doing the most ridiculous thing. I had grabbed the laptop from our living room and brought it into bed with me (mistake- let's leave technology out of the bed!) during Miles's morning nap, and all of a sudden a notification popped up for a low battery. I ignored it initially, trying to finish up what I was doing, but then it started going into hibernation mode. I jumped out of bed frantically, and ran down the hallway back to the living room to get the power cord as if I were responding to a Code Blue on Grey's Anatomy. Sadly, I felt probably felt just a little less relieved to get my laptop revived than a surgical resident bringing back their patient from the brink. 

This got me thinking: technology probably has a way higher spot on my priority list than it should. Sure, it's so great to be able to journal my thoughts and happenings and share them all with you- and yes, computers and phones are wonderful for so many reasons (like this, this, and this). But sometimes, it's good to focus on actually doing instead of just watching someone else take charge (hello, Fitness section on Pinterest). So, today Miles and I went to the farmer's market and bought fresh fruit, eggs, and flowers instead of doing our same ol' same ol' at home. It wasn't a big deal, but it was a whole lot of fun to wear Miles around the market and let him try a slice of peach for the first time. He was definitely a fan.

Are you all addicted to technology, too? Or am I the only one? :) 

July 25, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday

Today I had two WIWW photographers- my sisters- and we had so much fun walking around and taking photos for this week's What I Wore Wednesday (via The Pleated Poppy).

Here are the details:

Sunnies: Chanel
Gold butterfly earrings: Pac Sun
Tee: Cynthia Rowley
Watch: Juicy Couture (available now in my Poshmark closet!)
Pants: Gap
Platform sandals: Target

I was surprised and excited to find that these pants are a bit too loose for me now- that's always a good feeling! I've been trying to get back into my workout stride, but haven't quite hit it yet. One day at a time!

July 24, 2012

I've Finally Gone Over to the Dark Side...

...Twitter! I held out for as long as I could but now I'm out there, 140 characters or less, just like everyone else. Follow me at @joiedeveralynn!

Two Weeks (In a Nutshell)

My, my, my- how time flies when you're busy! I feel as if I've been buzzing back and forth lately like an insanely busy bee. Sometimes, I get caught in the rhythm of familyhomeworkeatsleep so intensely that time just gets away from me- but life is so good. My grandparents are visiting from Nashville (I don't want them to ever leave), so we've been having a lot more family time than usual. Whether it's playing Phase 10- our family tradition- or going to watch my brother at one of his BMX races (he's sixth in the state!), it's been nice to have our group all together.

This last week, Miles went in the pool for the first time! At first he wasn't liking it at all, but Grandma Joyce offered to hold him and he fell asleep in her arms for about an hour. Once he woke up, we tried again and (after he got used to the temperature of the water) he loved it. We floated around the shallow end together and it brought a smile to my face every time Miles did his "froggy legs" (so stinkin' cute, I tell you). Since it was his first time in the pool, I wasn't sure what to do about the diaper situation so I put him in a cloth diaper underneath his cute little swim outfit- it worked out great.

The last couple weeks have also brought about the advent of The Face. Yes, it needs capital letters because it's hilarious! You see, we noticed that Miles started making a particular expression whenever he was really excited about something- his little body perks up, his eyes widen, and he has this full-to-the-brim smile. It really is funny.

Other Miles discoveries this week? He loves to be upside-down, and he has no problems being his teenage aunties' fashion guinea pig. They were dressing him in their hats, vests (the one he's wearing in the picture above was confusing to me- it looks like faux...carpeting? I have no idea), and other accessories. With all the Bravo TV I watch and him finding out early what not to wear, he may just have an interesting style future ahead of him!

Parker and I still got to go on our weekly date, made possible by our family. It's so nice to have that time just the two of us, and we work hard to keep it a priority. We went out to lunch and it always makes me laugh at just how stuck in a rut we are at restaurants. But hey- we know exactly what we want!

I'm surprised to say that the summer session is already almost over! This is my last week for one of my classes, and then I'll only have two weeks left of my psychology course. I think it's about a ten-day summer vacation for me and then fall starts- good times!

Whew, I'm all caught up! Off to bed.
Happy Tuesday!

July 20, 2012

This Week the Trend: Coconut Oil

Some months ago, I was wandering through Trader Joe's oils and sauces (looking for something new and exciting for dinner) and stumbled across a jar of coconut oil. I had heard of its many uses, but after trying it myself I'm putting it right near the top of the Hippie Magic list. Some my favorite ways to use it are as a treatment for the little patch of eczema on the back of Miles's head (I also used it when he had really intense cradle cap as a newborn), as a makeup remover for myself, as a great way to pamper my feet- I need to do this more often because it's fantastic- and a wonderful treatment for a dry scalp (ever since I had Miles my head has been so dry, but this is perfect and I use Bumble and Bumble's clarifying Sunday shampoo afterward if I feel like my hair is still a bit oily). I would highly suggest keeping a jar of coconut oil around the house- you never know when it'll come in handy!

So, what've you been reaching for this week? I started "This Week the Trend" as a way to showcase your current must-have that you find yourself reaching for constantly: it could be a book you can't put down, new music, a product for yourself/home/babies, fashion find, etc! Here are the rules:

1. Kindly link to your specific post, not your blog's main page.
2. Please link back to me- grab a button!
3. Spread the blog love and click on any of the links below- who knows, maybe you'll find your next favorite thing!

Joie de V

July 18, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday

Nice jeans, Mom!
 I'm celebrating another July birthday today (you'd be amazed how many of my family member's birthdays are in July)- my mom! She is a strong, determined, kind, and fiercely protective mama who I am very thankful to have in my life! I came across a photo today of her and me when I was about four or five and it's one of my favorite photos of us because she has that "mommy love" look on her face that I feel with Miles- just so blissfully happy to love and be loved by her little one. There are a lot of things that she was a stickler for when I was growing up that I still find myself hearing her voice with even as an adult- for example, correct grammar (especially "he and I" or "him and me") or how to determine the appropriate length of shorts or the right fit of swimsuits when shopping for summer (a source of endless frustration for the teenage me, but helpful now- no one wants to see Queen Victoria if you know what I mean!). Needless to say, I appreciate her and love her to pieces. Happy Birthday Mom!

Today I'm linking up with The Pleated Poppy again for What I Wore Wednesday. I'm just now starting feel more like my normal self after my cold (how sad is it to get sick in the summer?) and I decided to will myself back to full strength by not dressing like I'm sick (also known as a black hoodie and grey yoga pants) and putting my bronzer to good use. Here are the details:

Gold leaf earrings: Pac Sun
Cardigan: Forever 21
Top: Target
Cargo jeans: Pac Sun
Gold flower sandals: Steve Madden

I hope you all are having a great week! 

July 15, 2012

And the July Giveaway Winner Is...

...Lisa! Congratulations! Thanks to everyone who entered and stay tuned for next month's giveaway!

(The results of this giveaway were generated via Random.org.)

July 14, 2012

This Week the Trend: Kleenex and Chicken Noodle Soup

In a fog. 
Hello, lovelies. I apologize for not writing sooner, but I'm just now making my way back into the land of the living after being super sick for the last couple days. It's terrible! I don't get sick very often, but when I do it really takes its toll. That, and my sudden realization that my two course exams are still due on the same dates, had me scrambling to get everything in order and to try and will myself into feeling better ASAP.

If you haven't already, take a moment to enter my July giveaway! You have until the end of Sunday to enter.

I hope you're all having a fantastic weekend!

July 11, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday

This week, I was really looking forward to Wednesday because it's my husband's birthday! And boy, do I love birthdays- I think they're almost as great as the holidays. Parker doesn't feel the same way at all (Christmas is by far his favorite day of the year!), but I try to make his birthday amazing anyway. I got him subscriptions to two of his favorite magazines- Mental Floss and Time...nerd alert!- along with a new watch, since I had just realized the one he currently wears fastens with Velcro (second nerd alert- I love you honey)! Miles and I went in search of suitable birthday cards, and emerged from the store triumphant with cards that were not too mushy, not too "funny", but just right. Once we got home, I let Miles play to his heart's content in the bouncer while I got to work on the finishing touches of Parker's present. When it was time to work on Miles's card to Parker, I decided to try tracing my little guy's hand as a cute touch. It was hilarious! I was laughing, Miles was laughing, and he was moving...a lot. But we finally got it done, and then went outside to sit on the driveway waiting for Parker to get home from work. He loved his gifts- mission accomplished!

Now, on to What I Wore Wednesday (once again linking up with The Pleated Poppy. It's been a bit foggy here in the mornings, and I took that as a great excuse to bring out this sweater (which I love!). Also, I didn't do anything to my hair except throw it into a messy bun- this is my go-to hair "style" (if you could even call it that...there really isn't any styling involved) when I'm busy studying, or just feeling lazy. Here are the details:

Sweater: Kensie 
Necklace: Target
Grey tee: thrifted
Jeans: Seven for All Mankind
Moccasins: Minnetonka

Happy Wednesday everyone! Don't forget to enter my July giveaway- you have until the end of Sunday to enter!

July 9, 2012

Our Week (In a Nutshell)

Happy Monday, everyone! I just realized that I completely forgot to do our recap post last week- the combination of Miles turning six months, enjoying the experience of him starting solid foods, studying, and Parker home with a bit of extra time off last week was just completely time-consuming in the best way!

This past week has been so much fun, I don't know where to start- I suppose I can backtrack a little bit with Miles starting solid food. So far he has tried bananas, watermelon, strawberries, apple slices, chicken, beef, carrots, strips of pancake, scrambled egg (don't worry, it was egg-yolks only- I got called out on Instagram for not clarifying!), and his absolute favorite- clementine slices. He loves gumming the little slices to absolute oblivion, dropping them, and then looking over at me (that's my cue to hand him another). I think it must feel good on his gums- he's got a tooth coming in, but it's not where I expected at all! It's on the bottom on the right side of his mouth- isn't that interesting? I thought for sure he'd be getting some of his front teeth first. In any case, he loves clementines. I'm really happy that he's had no adverse reactions to any of the foods he's tried thus far. 

Since Parker had a little extra time off this week, we started the Couch to 5K program (which I mentioned in last week's WIWW post) and I hate it. With a passion. Firstly, I hate running. And secondly...I hate running. I'd much rather do two P90X workouts back to back than go for a run. One time this week, my two little sisters joined us and it was absolutely hilarious- I do not miss the years of teen angst, let me just say! The combination of, "People can see us! I look fat!" (girlfriend, please) to "Veralynnnn, I wish you could go get the car..." and then lots of giggling. Parker noted that there usually isn't quite so much girlish laughter on his workouts...poor guy, at least he had Miles to commiserate with. We ran around in the sprinklers once we got home while Parker and Miles pointed and laughed. I love my sisters!

Gotta love Rosie Pope!
Thursday afternoon my sister from another mister, Deja, came over to chat while I baked. Let me tell you something about Deja- she doesn't like to just sit back and chat in the kitchen while I pretend I'm a baker extraordinaire/domestic goddess. Nope, nine out of ten times she comes over she starts cleaning (I don't know if you were aware, but I'm not really a neat freak). I used to try and stop her, but now she pretty much has free reign and cleans as she pleases while I cook. We get so much done when she's over, because I wind up cleaning too and before I know it- voila!- the house is clean and there's two loaves of challah in the oven. Then we sit on the couch to watch Pregnant in Heels, and good times are had by all. 

My sis-in-law Jessica and I went to the farmer's market in SLO on Thursday night. I really do enjoy a good farmer's market, and this one is tough to beat. We noshed on Mediterranean pita wraps for dinner, savored freshly-baked chocolate eclairs, and sampled many other treats. What did I walk away with this week? A jar of the best strawberry jam I've ever had, a quart of fresh milk (so delicious), and a very happy stomach! 

The rest of the week and weekend was mostly filled with studying and just "laying about the castle", as Parker likes to say. My courses are going great and the summer session is just flying by- thank goodness!

I hope you all are having a fantastic Monday- don't forget to enter this month's giveaway!

July 7, 2012

July Giveaway!

Image via Billy Cotton
I'm so excited to announce my July giveaway! Lately, some of my favorite activities have been connected with coffee. Spending time with my friends, sipping and chatting away while our little ones play (well, mine watches intently while the others play) is one way; the other is when I enjoy some Me Time to study or write, my favorite drink in hand.

For my July giveaway, one reader will win a set of four Billy Cotton white stoneware cup and saucers! Aren't they pretty? I think they're the perfect companion to a cool summer morning or to bring out when your friends stop by.

To be entered to win, follow the blog via Google Friend Connect and leave a comment below. The winner will be announced on July 16!

Good luck!

Meet My New Friend, Poshmark!

It's too bad Friday just passed, or this would totally have made This Week the Trend! Going along with my previous post about sifting through my belongings and purging the clutter, I decided to take a trip through my closet. I was surprised- there are shocking amounts of items I no longer wear, or have only worn for one special occasion or another. It just so happens- wouldn't you know- there's an app for that! Meet Poshmark, the app that lets you sell items from your closet and buy from others! I highly suggest you check it out. I had a pair of brand new pumps that didn't fit (and were bought, unknowingly, on a final sale)- I tried to sell them twice on Ebay with no luck. Less than an hour after I posted them on Poshmark, they sold! I'm one happy girl. You can shop my closet by clicking the link I've added to my sidebar.

Happy Shopping and Happy Weekend!

July 6, 2012

This Week the Trend: Target's White Sand Oasis Candle

I'm very particular about scents, especially for our home. I don't like candles that are too fruity, smell too much like food, or anything that remotely reminds me of a pine tree. I scoured Etsy and found some I think I might like (although they're a bit expensive, I will try them when I have a little extra spending money), but a couple weeks ago I was wandering aimlessly around Target and found their White Sand Oasis soy candle. It is a dreamy combination of sandalwood and vanilla and all I have to say is I should probably stock up on this candle before they change scents or sell out!

So, what've you been reaching for this week? "This Week the Trend" is a way to showcase your current must-have that you find yourself reaching for constantly: it could be a book you can't put down, new music, a product for yourself/home/babies, fashion find, etc! Here are the rules:

1. Kindly link to your specific post, not your blog's main page.
2. Please link back to me- grab a button!
3. Spread the blog love and click on any of the links below- who knows, maybe you'll find your next favorite thing!

(Note: This week I'm also linking up with Naptime Review and her Favorite Product Fridays! I was thrilled to be featured for last week's post on The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook and the Clinique Dark Spot Corrector- thanks Julie!)

July 5, 2012

Foodie Love: Challah (...Holla!)

Image via Smitten Kitchen
It's no secret that I am a lover of all things carbohydrate. One of my favorite recipes is challah, a delicious egg bread with a pretzel-like crust (it's no wonder I enjoy it so much). It's a kosher bread traditionally baked for Shabbat dinner- however, you don't have to be Jewish to enjoy it! Here's a little secret- if you have any left over the next day, it makes the most amazing French toast. A-mazing. Here's the recipe (via Smitten Kitchen) with my simplified instructions on the six-strand braid: 


1 1/2 packages active dry yeast (1 1/2 tablespoons or 3/8 ounces or 11 grams)
1 TBSP (13 grams) plus 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
1/2 cup (118 ml) olive or vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the bowl
5 large eggs
1 TBSP (14 grams) table salt
8 to 8 1/2 cups (1000 to 1063 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup raisins (about 70 grams) per challah, if using, plumped in hot water and drained
Poppy or sesame seeds for sprinkling.

1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon (13 grams) sugar in 1 3/4 cups lukewarm water.

2. Whisk oil into yeast, then beat in 4 eggs, one at a time, with remaining sugar and salt. Gradually add flour. When dough holds together, it is ready for kneading. (You can also use a mixer with a dough hook for both mixing and kneading, but be careful if using a standard size KitchenAid–it’s a bit much for it, though it can be done.)

3. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Clean out bowl and grease it, then return dough to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until almost doubled in size. Dough may also rise in an oven that has been warmed to 150 degrees then turned off. Punch down dough, cover and let rise again in a warm place for another half-hour.

4. At this point, you can knead the raisins into the challah, if you’re using them, before forming the loaves. To make a 6-braid challah, either straight or circular, take half the dough and form it into 6 balls. With your hands, roll each ball into a strand about 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. Place the 6 in a row, parallel to one another. Pinch the tops of the strands together. Here’s how to braid the challah:

Outside right strand over 2 strands.
Second strand from the left and move it to the far right.
Outside left strand and move it over 2.
Second strand from the right over to the far left.
Start over with the outside right strand. Continue this until all strands are braided.

For a straight loaf, tuck ends underneath. For a circular loaf, twist into a circle, pinching ends together. Make a second loaf the same way. Place braided loaves on a greased cookie sheet with at least 2 inches in between.

5. Beat remaining egg and brush it on loaves. Either freeze breads or let rise another hour.

6. If baking immediately, preheat oven to 375 degrees and brush loaves again. Sprinkle bread with seeds, if using. If freezing, remove from freezer 5 hours before baking.

7. Bake in middle of oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden. (If you have an instant read thermometer, you can take it out when it hits an internal temperature of 190 degrees.) Cool loaves on a rack.
Note: Any of the three risings can be done in the fridge for a few hours, for more deeply-developed flavor. When you’re ready to work with it again, bring it back to room temperature before moving onto the next step.

So, as you can see, a lot of this is inactive prep because of the risings- however, it is well worth the wait! There is nothing is like fresh bread- holla!

July 4, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday

Happy Fourth of July, everyone! It's that time again to link up with The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday! I included two extra photos today- one of what Miles wore (that little jacket is just too cute!), and one of my workout clothes. I feel like this first outfit probably isn't my best look- I wanted something loose and comfortable, but I'm so petite it doesn't really do anything for me. Here are the details:

Outfit #1

Top: Target
Jeans: Target
Shoes: Sven clogs

Workout Clothes:
Top: Thrifted
Shorts: New Balance
Shoes (not shown): Vibram Five Fingers

Parker got off work a little early today and we decided to go for a run (we're doing the Couch to 5K program). We walked and ran a total of three miles, and it was not fun! I tend to be grouchy when I exercise, and poor Parker was trying to make conversation along the way. It went something like this:

Parker: So how're you doing?
Me: (gasping air)...Fine.
Parker: How's your mom doing?
Me: Why...(gasp) are you...(wheeze) talking... to me?!

Anyway, I was glad when the workout was over and we had run from our house to Parker's parents' house. I chugged a bottle of water and cooled down from the run while we visited...and then we got fast food on the way home. Oops.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

July 3, 2012

DIY Romance: Driveway Dates

Once Miles is tucked in bed for the night, one of my favorite things to do is turn off all the technology and head outside with Parker to sit on the driveway and talk while we enjoy the nice evening weather. We usually take drinks with us- or a blanket if it's a little chilly- and reconnect, just the two of us. It's a great idea when you are on a budget, don't have a babysitter, or just want to get out into the fresh air- if you don't have a driveway, use a balcony! It really is refreshing and the little amount of effort it takes is definitely worthwhile.

The Driveway Date

You'll need: a blanket, your beverage of choice, and your significant other
Make it fancy: add a small candle, and maybe a bit of dessert
Directions: park it on the driveway and enjoy!

Let me know if you try this- I'd love to hear!

July 2, 2012

Music Monday

I'm sharing my workout playlist for this week's Music Monday. It's a wacky combination of tunes, no doubt (I really don't listen to rap or hip-hop any other time than when I'm on a run, now that I think about it), but it's the extra push I need to keep going and get past the, well, running part.

Workout Mix

California Love- Tupac (feat. Dr. Dre)
Carry Out- Timbaland (feat. Justin Timberlake)
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough- Michael Jackson
Can't Get You Out of My Head- Kylie Minogue
Hung Up- Madonna
Toxic- Britney Spears
Right Round- Flo Rida

Lucky for you all, I don't wear a hot pink leotard when I work out like Madonna does...

Know Thyself

Image via Time Magazine
For one of my summer courses' orientation activities, I had to take the Myers-Briggs personality test. I'm always interested in these sorts of things, even if some of them are hit and miss. This one was really accurate, though- almost like looking in a mirror. I'm surprised at how eye-opening it was (it was sort of like cracking open one really long fortune cookie) and have been mulling over the results ever since. According to the Myers-Briggs test, I'm an ENTJ (Extroverted Intuitive Thinking Judging). Among other things, it describes the ENTJ this way: 
"There is not much room for error in the world of the ENTJ. They dislike to see mistakes repeated, and have no patience with inefficiency. They may become quite harsh when their patience is tried in these respects, because they are not naturally tuned in to people's feelings, and more than likely don't believe that they should tailor their judgments in consideration for people's feelings... In their personal world, it can make some ENTJs overbearing as spouses or parents... ENTJs want their home to be beautiful, well-furnished, and efficiently run. They're likely to place much emphasis on their children being well-educated and structured, to desire a congenial and devoted relationship with their spouse."
I <3 Asians...seriously.
Well, if that doesn't sound like a natural born Tiger Mom/Wife, I don't know what does. Yikes. At least it does goes on to say:
"ENTJs who have managed to avoid many of the problems associated with their type are wonderful parental figures. They are remembered fondly and valued by their children for challenging them at every turn, and thus promoting growth and development. This type of knowledge-seeking usually becomes a lifelong habit for their children, who turn into responsible and independent adults."
I was sitting in front of the computer, open-mouthed. I kept thinking things like, "Am I going to ruin my poor baby boy? Am I bad wife?" I came to the conclusion that I can take the strengths of my personality work for me (being efficient and able to get things done) and challenge myself to overcome my weaknesses (impatience when I realize I can't run the entire universe and have everything go my way- ha). As a daughter of a parent who was an extreme ENTJ (so, it's hereditary...), I know firsthand what it's like to be on the receiving end of an overbearing, unbending personality- a Tiger Dad, if you will- and I still have resentments as an adult. In a way, though, I'm thankful because it is the best example to me of why and how I should be a better version of myself, both as a wife and a mama.

Anyone else out there fighting their inner Tiger Mom? Or have any words of wisdom to share? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

July 1, 2012

Cleaning Out the Product Drawer

I was inspired by Morgan the other day to embark on the challenge to purge a lot of unnecessary clutter from my home. This is by no means an easy task- Parker and I have a knack for holding on to things like you wouldn't believe. Some things are sweet (like our old letters from when we were dating), but some things are just plain old. For example, Parker likes to hold on to old faded T-shirts from high school. He finds it sentimental- I don't get it. Although to be fair, he's probably just as puzzled with the amount of hair and beauty products I hold onto. (That's right, I'm a product hoarder.) I don't really have a lot of makeup, because generally my routine is very simple- another post for another time- but I have tons of different hair, skincare, and lip products. As I was cleaning, I found my five favorite lipsticks and thought it'd be fun to share in case anyone's in the market for a new color to add to their collection.

1. Lips au naturale
2. Chanel Rouge Coco Shine 57, Aventure- $32.50:The Chanel I like because it is very light and sheer- I find myself reaching for this one the most on a daily basis because it's just a comfortable, pretty shade.
3. MAC Cremesheen A32, Speed Dial- $14.50: The MAC is a non-sheer bright pink that is bold but not too bold (like I wrote about here).
4. Laura Mercier Sheer Lip Color, Bare Lips- $22.00: The Laura Mercier shade is a great neutral- I remember buying this specifically for work.
5. Maybelline Moisture Extreme 545, Dark Rosewood£4.09: I first bought this Maybelline lipstick when I lived in Munich; not only does it smell great, it's more like a heavily tinted lip balm. I like that you can wear it very lightly or layer it for full effect.
6. Palladio Herbal Lipstick, Coral Punch- $5.99: Palladio is actually one of my favorite makeup brands- I use their rice paper and liquid eyeliner- and this is their take on the very popular red orange trend. It is intense but it's still one of my favorites.

There you have it! I'll admit, I never thought I'd post an entry on makeup because I'm not by any means an expert on the topic- however, I've found that even just a quick swipe of color across my lips can help me feel more put together and pretty on most days when my accessories are a baby on my hip and a coffee in my hand!

What's your favorite lip color?  I'd love to hear!
Part of The Naptime Review's Mom's Monday Mingle.