Friday, November 28, 2014

TIGF - The Hubs

Hosted by Ashley, Laura and Nay

I can't wrap up this month of giving thanks without celebrating the one person in the world who means more to me than anyone else.  I saved him for last because not only did I have a birthday this week, so did he, so it seems fitting to give him this final TIGF for November.  I tend to put Nate on a lot of my TIGF lists, but believe me, he deserves every bit of of praise and thanks I can give him. Cause while you all may think I am pure sunshine and roses every single day, well, yeah, not really. I'm a woman after all!  He's a saint for what he puts up with from me sometimes!

He does so much for me and Oliver and he does it without being asked or expected to.  He just does it.  He cooks us dinner every night.  He loves to cook so one day we just started sort of letting him be the one to make all of our meals and I have never appreciated it as much as I have in the last year and a half of being pregnant and then having Oliver.  And everything he makes is pretty damn good I must say, I'm very spoiled in this department!

He works hard, so, SO hard, at a job he doesn't always love, because he knows it helps our family. He is working hard to try to advance as well because he cares about the future of our family.  

He is a part of the Christian music group that we're both in, even if it isn't his most favorite thing in the world, he does it because it's something he can do with me and he knew it was extremely important to me.

He encourages me to slow down and have some fun.  I've always been a bit high strung, gotta get this done or that done now.  He reminds me to stop and smell the roses.  He always knows what I need before I do and can recognize when I'm getting burned out sometimes even before I do - he'll remind me to take a day off of work or to go take some extra time in my bath at night or he'll simply pour me a beer or a glass of wine and just sit and chat with me if I need it.  He never complains if I need to take some time out with my girlfriends, he's always happy to be sole parent in charge of Oliver for a few hours so I can get out and do that.  The other day he said something like "I know you need your friends, you get snaky without them sometimes."

And of course, speaking of Oliver, he is simply the most amazing father.  While he always wanted to be a dad, he was worried he might not be a good dad, but from day one he was a total and complete natural.  When Ollie was a newborn, he could rock a swaddle better than anyone I knew and was far speedier at diaper changes than I was!  He's taken such care with making Ollie's food and teaching him to eat solids.  He has been a huge support in all the things that fall to mom - with nursing and night wakings and what not.  And the two of them just light up when they play together, it makes me smile more than anything.

We've been together 16 1/2 years, married for 8 1/2 years and parents for almost 1 year and there is no one in this entire world I could imagine going on these journeys with.  I just simply can't remember a point in my life without Nate in it.  He is my person.  He is my everything.  And I'll never stop being grateful for not just all he does for me but for the life we've built together.  

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thrift Style Thursday - Boots

Well, I'm cheating.  This post is technically going up before Thursday just because tomorrow is a family day and I plan to take the entire day off, but I wanted to get up a Thrift Style Thursday post for the week, so here it is a little early!  Last week was actually supposed to be boots and this week was supposed to be coats, so I'm just flip flopping them, you get boots today.  And man, do I love these boots!

Last month when I met up with Megan and Nora of two birds at b. (a resale shop) in Minneapolis, Megan found these awesome boots and thought I might like them.  They just happened to be my size and they just happened to be something I was looking for.  I have a pair of taller black boots, but wanted something a little more "bootie" like, so I felt these fit the bill.  They're crazy comfy even if the heel on them is a little on the pointy side!

Shirt - Kohls, Sweater - American Eagle (thrifted)
Leggings - Old Navy, Boots - b. resale
Necklace - Stella and Do

I love these boots with leggings or jeggings.  They're also very warm which is great now that we've had snow and cold for several weeks at this point!  This entire outfit was super comfy for a day at work when I was the only one in the office.  Looking at it though, maybe I should have waited to wear it on Thanksgiving when elastic waistbands are appreciated.  I kept joking last year I should have kept one pair of maternity pants for that reason!

So anyway, there you have it!  As I said, no post tomorrow, I'll be off enjoying Thanksgiving with my family.  I'll be back for my weekly TIGF post on Friday, because I feel gratitude does not stop just because Thanksgiving will be over.  I hope all of you reading here in the United States have a great Thanksgiving holiday!

(For more Thrift Style Thursday fun, check out our Facebook group)
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Review - Winter Scents from the Gnarly Whale

I'm super excited to bring you this review today!  I have recently become a brand ambassador for the Gnarly Whale and have been given an opportunity to review some of their brand new winter scents! The Gnarly Whale shop provided me all of these products for testing purposes and review.  

I received three different products to try out.  The Hair Beach Waves in Sugar Plum, their brand new Makeup Remover in Natural and Green Tea Toner in Peppermint.  These are only just a few of the new scents they are offering for winter, but if the others are anything like these, I can tell you they are all awesome!

The peppermint toner is possibly my favorite of the three products.  I have been using their Tea Tree Green Tea toner for several months now and I absolutely love that.  I have read that peppermint can be really good for acne prone skin though because the peppermint can help dry up spots and is also calming for redness, so I was curious to try this one out.  I have to say, I love the way this feels on my face when I use it!  It warms up your skin and then gets cool, you can almost feel it working!  It's such a fresh feeling, I have made this part of my morning routine because it helps wake me up a bit and then I use my other toner at night.  The peppermint fragrance is fantastic too and the nice part is, it does fade quickly so you don't have to walk around smelling like a candy cane all day.  Love it!

Next up is the Hair Beach Waves in Sugar Plum.  Now I know you're all going, Beth, you have short hair, why would you use beach waves?  Well, I have found that this kind of product actually helps give me some volume.  I spray a little in my hair before I blow dry it and it kind of helps perk it up a bit.  Not to mention, it's nice to scent your hair a little bit!  The sugar plum scent is really nice, it's not too sweet which is nice.  I have used sugar plum scents from a few more commercial type places that I won't name and they can get almost cloying in their sweet smell.  This is light and lovely.  I just might want to grab this smell in a body spray too before the season is over!

Finally we have their newest product, Makeup Remover, in a natural scent.  I was pretty excited about this too, sometimes I feel when I wash my face with just soap that I don't always get all of the makeup off my face.  Enter this product.  It's very easy to use, you use it with a cotton pad and rinse with water and then cleanse with your regular soap after that.  I do feel like my face is getting more clean at night since I've been using this.  I like that there is no scent too, there's really no need for it to have any fragrance.  The only downside is that is not meant to be used as a eye makeup remover, so I still need to use something separate for removing that, but overall I really like it, you don't need much to take off your makeup either, so I think this bottle should last me quite awhile!

Overall I'm very impressed with all three of these products.  I am pretty sure I'll be grabbing some more the toner and makeup remover for sure, like I said, the beach waves really are more just for a little spritz in my hair than anything else, but I'd definitely recommend them to someone with longer hair too!

If you'd like to see more of what The Gnarly Whale has to offer, you can check them out at the following links:

I'd definitely make sure to visit them over the holiday weekend here, rumor has it there might be some good Black Friday deals to be had all weekend long, can't say more than that so you'll have to check it out for yourself!
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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Birthday Reflections

Hey hey, it's my birthday.  I'm 33 today.  I like something about the sound of that.  I kind of like double numbers and the number 3 is my favorite number, so maybe that has something to do with it. At any rate, here I am.  I wore a fun outfit today to work because well, birthday.  If you can't have fun on your birthday, then there is something wrong with the world.  So, there are foxes on my legs today.  Yep.  I did just say I was 33.  No shame.

I find myself a little reflective today.  I promise not to get too deep here, but it's amazing all the things that transpire in one year.  A year ago today I was just a week away from meeting my son for the first time.  I did not know the roller coaster that I was about to get on. A year ago today I was a different person than I am now. And now, this is not to say that parenthood is awful or ruined me or my life or anything.  It's quite the contrary, it's been a wild ride full of ups and downs and it's been the thrill of a lifetime.  But it has changed me.  I am not the same Beth I was a year ago.

It was more than just becoming Oliver's mama this year.  I saw a lot of changes in the world around me too, work things, relationship things, family things.  Things happened this year that were amazing and beautiful.  Things happened that I also never expected and have at times even left me a little sad. But I stand here today in a good place.  I have accepted my place in this world, the direction my life has gone and the person I've become and dare I say, I even love her?

Sweater - LOFT (consigment), Blouse - Mossimo (Target)
Skirt - Gap (Thrifted), Leggings and boots - Target
Bag - Coach Outlet 

Self acceptance is a beautiful thing.  And it may just be the best gift I have given myself this year. And the other part of this is, while I don't believe I'm the same Beth at 33 as I was at 32, I am still Beth.  I may have added "mom" to the list of things I am - wife, daughter, friend, etc, but I'm still me. As Jenny says to Forrest Gump in that movie "you'll always be you, just another kind of you."  I think that's true.  We're always evolving and changing and growing - even when we're adults.  It's just taken me until now to be ok with that.

So here we are.  The beginning of a new year of life and another chapter and I am smiling and happy today.  I think it's going to be a good year.  I wish you all the same inner peace I'm currently enjoying.  Thanks for all the support this year here on this little old blog too and sharing in my life. You're all the best!
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Monday, November 24, 2014

Scarf Swap

About a month ago I was surfing through either Twitter or my blog reader and somehow stumbled onto a Scarf Swap that the blog Jessica Lynn Writes was hosting.  I immediately signed up given my new obsession with scarves as of late and I also figured it would be a fun way to meet other people.  I had the best time over the last couple of weeks emailing and getting to know my swap partner, Acacia from Hello Lovely. Today is the day to share our goodies, so here is what she sent me!

She found a fun green and blue infinity scarf from Target.  We both agreed infinity scarves are awesome because you don't have to work super hard at figuring out how to tie them!  I thought it was super sweet of her to also include some Russian Tea, hot chocolate and some fun Christmas crafts for me to do with Oliver.  So sweet of her to include something for him!

Shirt, sweater and pants - Old Navy
Scarf - Target via swap
Boots - from mom

I adore the scarf, it's warm and cozy and perfect for another cold snowy day here in Minnesota!  I look forward to giving that tea a try soon here too!  I hope Acacia enjoys the scarf I sent her as well, I found an adorable mint one from Old Navy, I had a hard time giving it up!  I was happy to do so though so she can have a pretty warm scarf to enjoy this winter too.

I love participating in swaps, this one was super fun and I've made a new friend!  Acacia was an awesome swap partner, I can't thank her enough!  I am looking forward to a couple of blog Christmas exchanges in the next month as well.  This is such a fun time of year!

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