Monday, December 28, 2015

Birthday & Christmas 2015

Christmas has come and gone and NYE is quickly approaching. We had a green Christmas, which was a-ok in my opinion, but it poured rain on my birthday, which wasn't so nice. I'm beginning to plan my epic feast for new years and am gearing up to accept my resolution. Everybody must have one; that's just the way it is. 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Decking the halls

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Seriously though, I'm 100% on board when it comes to decorating the house for Christmas.  Twinkling lights, scented candles, and an all around cozy atmosphere.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015


I hope everybody had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family. Luckily for us, the snow melted, but it rained a bit on Thanksgiving day. I got up early Thursday morning, worked out, got dressed, and headed to my mom's to help cook for the 13 guests she was expecting. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

First snow fall

Well, winter has officially shown it's ugly face as of yesterday morning. Throughout the course of the day it went from this to this.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Skin care

Now that the colder and windier weather is upon us, I think it's important to talk about skin care.  Fall/Winter weather dries out my skin causing dry patches, redness, and flakes. Luckily I have a really good skin care routine that aids any signs or symptoms of Jack Frost's war on skin.  I've been using these products for a few years now and they've never failed me. I used to have a bit of Rosacea years ago, and once I stuck with a good skin care routine, it nipped it in the bud. Here's what I use every night before bed.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

November begins!

November has arrived and the autumnal vibes continue to flow. We've had some beautiful weather here lately, we're talking 70's and sunshine. So bizarre, but so good. :) It's been cool in the morning, warm during the afternoon, and then dips back down again at sunset.

November kicks off the holiday season and everyone starts planning their holiday festivities. Not sure exactly what I'll be doing for Thanksgiving yet, but I have been thinking about what I'm going to wear. I"m thinking winter whites, cognac, and fur... hmm...

Here's what's been keeping me cozy this week:

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Weekly look book

Happy Halloween! 

The week of Halloween has come to a close. I can't believe October is ending already; the year sure does fly. Following are the looks I've been wearing this week.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Two week recap

What a gorgeous Autumn day! Although yesterday was kind of on the rainy side, today has been absolutely beautiful.

I woke up around 8:30 and made a cute little breakfast for the hubs and I
How cute are these miniature egg white omelettes? I made them in a muffin pan with red bell pepper, red onion, and some smoked salmon. Then I proceeded to cut up a banana to present a smiley face. Haha, who said you can't have a fun breakfast in your 20's? 

The rest of the morning was spent weeding the front planter and raking the lawn. Crunching around in the fallen leaves was so much fun, even though I know the grass is going to be covered again tomorrow anyway. :p 

It's nice to be home and catching up on some chores. Last weekend we were out of town helping a relative move. It was nice to be away, but I'm happy to be back in the swing of things. I finished the novel I was reading, Alice in Zombieland, and moved on to the next! I'm currently 60 pages in to this book: 

I'm trying to create better habits and get rid of some bad ones. The day after we got back from our trip I had a dentist appointment. Needless to say, there will many more trips in the near future. :(

I'm putting into effect "No Wine November" starting November first. I always say I'm going to have just one glass with dinner then end up drinking the entire bottle and falling asleep on the couch. Whoops, haha. 

I've been doing quite well with the whole, "cut back on sweets" aspect of things. Not that I went crazy or anything, but I used to never eat sweets, and I lived. Why have them now? It's not like I need them, so I'd rather just get rid of them all together. I'm sure my dentist would be happier with me if that were the case also, and I'm a cold turkey kind of gal. 

Have a wonderful week and carve lots of pumpkins!


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Weekly recap


I'm so happy that the weekend is upon us, as it's supposed to be a gorgeous one: 70's and sunshine. I don't have any big plans except working a bit around the house and (hopefully) making some sushi tonight. Yum!

Here's a recap of what the autumn weather inspired this week.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Baking Season

Last night after work I decided to take the night off from Insanity (I ran 3 miles during lunch anyway) and decided to do the complete opposite: I baked muffins!

And not just 1 kind of muffin... but 3! All in all I made 24 total (that's a lot of muffins) so I figured, why not share the love, and I gave half of them away to my in-laws.

This idea came to me when I realized I had a lot of mashed pumpkin still in my refrigerator from the Maple Pumpkin Chili that I made in the slow cooker over the weekend. So I hopped to it.

The first batch I made have oats, pumpkin, and maple syrup. 
Batch number two was the same as #1, but I substituted honey for maple syrup, and added dried cranberries. 
Both of these would be great for breakfast with your morning coffee. They're very dense and therefore very filling. 

Batch #3 is more your traditional muffin and included oats, pumpkin, dried cranberries, brown sugar, whole wheat flour, etc. These are more of a treat, with them being a bit sweeter, fluffier and higher in calories (137 to be exact)

They turned out so good! I'm glad I had plenty of pumpkin puree left. I hope to try more baking in the near future. I love to cook entrees, but for some reason baking/desserts and breakfast don't really inspire me. 

Also, last year I don't think I did anything with a pumpkin except carve out a smile, so I'm happy to be experimenting a bit more this season. 

I have a pumpkin and apple soup of my sleeve also *squeal*

Enjoy the pumpkin spice season while it lasts and have a good week. :)


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Fall Favorites

Autumn is definitely in the air. Not to the point where one must wear a coat, but to the point where you're not going to get crazy looks if you walk out of the house in a pair of leather mid-calf boots.

Fall fashion musts:

1. Pancho -- I used to tell myself that I would never buy one of these things, and I think my 3 years in retail where we sold them and they were constantly falling off the hanger made me hate them even more. Recently though, I've been a bit intrigued by this armhole lacking garment, and I'm currently wrapped in this aztec printed poncho from Express.
                        *Need I mention it substitutes as a blanket? Winning*

2. Boots, boots, and more boots -- I don't care if they're booties, knee high, mid calf or half calf (someone had too much coffee this morning) they will be in my closet and the main attraction of my outfit. This past weekend I purchased these Tahari booties and am currently lusting over these Sam Edelman over-the-knee boots. I always love a good suede, and basic black boots can be paired with almost anything.

3. The right accessory -- Fall also lets us appreciate all things that provide extra coziness such as scarves, beanies, and leg warmers. These are a few of my favorite things! Oh the endless possibilities of mixing and matching makes my heart warm and cozy.

4. Nail game -- Fall nail polish reminds us that there really are 50 shades of grey... and black. My favorite brands include OPI and Butter London. (I'll do a separate post on my favorite colors for fall soon). Both brands are always on point with the latest trends which accompany cute color names.

So go, be merry! Drink lots of cider, coffee, tea, and eat endless amounts of donuts from your local cider mill. Carve pumpkins, light candles, and enjoy every sounding crunch of leaves under your feet. Spend time in your kitchen baking pies and stirring soups and stews. Go to your grocery store and appreciate not having to spend your life savings on a few honey crisp apples.

And as always...have a great day! :D


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Warrior Ride 2015 & Welcoming Autumn

Now that the 2015 Warrior Ride is over and Autumn has officially arrived I'm hoping to get back on schedule with everything.

Like anyone in the mid-west, I love the summer to fall transition and last weekend I dedicated Saturday and Sunday sprucing up our house for the season.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Labor Day Weekend

I am feeling on top of the world for a couple of reasons this morning.

1. It's the start of a (much needed) 3 day weekend. 

2. I have plans to do a little shopping today and Monday.

3. Yesterday I finished my first month of Insanity!

Now, I've done Insanity in the past, and what I love about it most is that it's hard, it remains interesting/motivating, and it WORKS.  I've done workout videos in the past (I'm not a gym person) and they've been just okay, but Insanity is a winner in my opinion. 

For the next week I'm on schedule to do a recovery video to get myself ready for the (even harder) second month which consists of 1 hour long intense interval circuit training videos. But since I own the deluxe version, I can swap my Core Cardio and Balance video with the Max Interval Sports Training video if I choose to do so (and I think I will, at least on and off to keep things interesting and more challenging).

All you need is (and what I use)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Back to Basics

Last weekend I made a pit stop into one of my favorite stores: Express. I really didn't have anything in mind when I went in, but they were having a sale so I decided to take a look around.

Something you need to know about me is that I'm the type of person who will buy the same item in multiple colors if I like it well enough.. and that's what I did.

I love Express' Portofino button down shirts. Their quality is fantastic, they never go out of style, and depending on the pattern/color one buys, they basically can be worn year round. They can very easily be worn with blue jeans, skirts, or dress pants at the office.

They also happened to be having  a sale that day (buy 1, get 1 50% off) and they had several back on their sale rack. I picked out four:

The top two were on sale and the bottom two were full price.

I've worn two already (top two). I paired the snake skin shirt with a pair of black dress pants and heels and the navy, red, and white striped top with a pair of flared blue jeans and classic Sperry boat shoes.

I'm thinking white skinnies with the blue stripey one and perhaps a deep denim with the red.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Ulta's Free Gift with Purchase : What to Expect

Thursday morning, I opened my vanity drawer to discover that I only had one more application of my NYX retractable black eyeliner remaining, so a trip to Ulta was on the agenda as soon as I got out of work. 

I haven't been in Ulta for a while. I've been trying to be good and not buy so much makeup, except necessities, so I figured I'd take a look around. 

After wandering around for 45 minutes swatching all the lovely products I strolled over to the drugstore section to discover that if you spent, I believe it was $20 or more, on any Ulta brand product(s), then you would receive a free gift. 

I picked out two of their brushes, a buffing brush and a large eye shadow brush, and was told at the register that I could pick one of the three different colored bags on this large table near the entrance. They offered, gold, silver, and a pretty plum. I'm also not sure if all of the contents are the same in all the bags, or if they give you different colors depending on the bag you picked but here's what was in mine, and what you can generally expect if you decide to take advantage/stumble across this offer. 

3 eyeshadow quads. (Ulta brand eyeshadows are actually pretty good quality. I actually wore the blue, green, and cream already and they weren't terrible) 
2 duo eyeshadows. (1 is matte, the other has a glitter top coat that isn't quite my cup of tea) 
1 lip stick 
1 lip gloss
1 mini nail polish (The color is "Bittersweet" which is a deep oxblood)
1 double ended eye liner (black and brown) 
1 full sized mascarra (which I also tried
. Wand is nice, formula is milky)
1 liquid eyebrow filler (not my shade, will be thrown out, unfortunately) 
3 brushes (1 for shadow, one for blush (so it says, but I use it for highlight since it's slightly flat), 1 flat shadow brush, (which I like for paint pots and cream shadows)) 
1 top zip cosmetic bag with tassel
Following is a closer look at some of the products:

Saturday, August 8, 2015

August Update

Greetings from this very rainy Saturday morning!

I just finished working out, I lit a candle, and have settled in with a nice hot cup of salted caramel flavored coffee.

Last week my husband and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary!  Every year we take a small trip to get away and celebrate. This year, we visited some family I have in Cincinnati and then from there went and visited some family I have in Pennsylvania.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

“Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.”

Summer is my favorite time of year. I love how it stays light well after nine o'clock and when I wake up at 4:30 in the morning to grab the blankets the sun is just starting to rise. I feel like I really do have an entire day to do whatever I want, and I always want to make the most of it.

I feel guilty and gutted if I spend my afternoon or evening sitting on the couch reading a book when the weather is absolutely breathtaking.  That doesn't mean I have to give up reading though. Now, I'll put my book in a small back pack and bike over to a park or sit outside of the library and do some reading there.

 Sometimes it's fun to pack a blanket and a snack and soak up some rays. Being outside is enough to put a smile on my face. It makes me happy.

My current read is The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, who sets different goals every month of the year to make her life happier. So far it's been a good read, and it's a nice change to my otherwise first choice of fiction novels.

With that in mind, I think I'm ready to take the plunge and join a class. I've been really giving yoga some thought to help me relax and be around other people who are interested in the same activities as I am. I start my new job on Monday, and I want to go in with a new state of mind. It'll be great to finally have the opportunity to pursue ideas and activities that have been bouncing around in my brain for months now.

Not only was this 4th of July weekend, but it was also a weekend to celebrate my new beginning.

I'm excited for what's to come in the next few months, and I hope that I'm able to make the absolute best out of it.  I think it's important not to take life for granted. Today I even hopped on the treadmill after a few weeks off due to an injured foot, and it felt amazing!

Remember to do what makes you happy. And if you find something you like, do it, and do it often. I hope you guys had a great weekend and a lovely holiday. 

“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.” 
― Tom Bodett


Friday, July 3, 2015

Recap of the week

Let the 3 day weekend begin! This week has been crazy, but with the holiday up ahead there is plenty of relaxation in store... I hope.

Here's a round up of what the week has been like:


Saturday, June 27, 2015

The great hunt

Eons ago I went into Sephora and bought way too much. (Crazy, right?) With my purchase I was told I could pick out a free sample of something that they had in those cute little glass cubes at the register. Placed in my bag was a soft pink tube of a wonderful mascara that I wish I never would have chosen because now I'm in heaven. 
For the first time I was able to try the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara. I had heard a lot of great stuff about this, but I just have a hard time shelling out $23 dollars for a product that has such a short life.  The next day I tried it out and that's when it happened: I fell in love. The wand, the brush, the formula, everything was perfect, and it settled on my lashes beautifully. I used every last drop and when I ran out I was a little gutted. 

I used the rest of my other black mascara, old faithful, my L'Oreal Telescopic, but it suddenly wasn't the same. I missed my Too Faced and I had to have it in stock in my makeup drawer forever. But the hefty price tag left me a little torn. I made the decision that if I could find a drug store dupe I'd be all set and that would be the end of it. After a lot of research I found out that the Rimmel Scandaleyes Retro Glam was similar, along with the L'Oreal Power Volume 24H. 

I'm the type of person who matches my eyeliner and mascara to my outfit, so if I'm wearing black I wear black eyeliner and mascara, and if I'm wearing brown or neutrals, I'll wear brown mascara and brown eyeliner; so I always have both in stock. I went into Ulta and found both dupes. 

For $5.99 Rimmel offered a very similar brush but the formula was awful. I've never had to put on so many layers of mascara in my life. It was flaky, light, and not exactly what I was looking for. L'Oreal was a bit better, and was $7.99. The brush wasn't quite the same. I bought brown because I needed both and I would go back for the other color once I decided the winner. 

Do you know how hard it is to find a brown mascara??? Why do we need seven different shades of black, anyway? I'm a makeup junkie, and I still argue that black is black. Feeling rather disappointed in this, I decided to grab Better Than Sex anyway. 

Ughhhh nothing compares! Why, WHY do I always have such expensive taste. What's that noise? My wallet crying. Now if they can produce this baby in brown, my life will be complete.  I feel like there has to be something comparable out there with a small price tag, but alas, the hunt continues. 

If you're aware of any dupes, let me know in the comments. I'd love to try them out!

-XO Angelle

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Life update

After four months... I'm back! At least I hope this is the beginning of a steady stream of updates. The last time I posted was in February and now that summer is here and the warm weather is actually here to stay I've kept fairly busy.

With working full time and trying to be outside and staying active as much as possible I'm finding it difficult to find time to sit down and stare at a computer screen. So here I am at my dining room table at quarter to 8 on a Saturday morning sipping my morning cup o' joe and ready to roll. Perfect. 

So what's new with me? Well, in March I discovered that I actually enjoy running.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Truth: Eye shadow palettes.

Eye shadow is my thing. Always has been; always will be There's something about playing around and experimenting with different colors and textures that I find super relaxing and enjoyable. So when a new shadow palette comes out from one of my favorite brads I'm all over it.

Truthfully though, I've made a few bad calls, regretting a purchase I've made due to poor quality or I just find that I really don't reach for it like I used to.

On the other hand, I've made some solid decisions and have found that I've used the same palette hundreds of times or created hundreds of looks out of just a few colors. I bring them with me on trips, and consider them my holy grail.

So let's get down to business about some of the palettes in my collection:

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year!

I'm back! Now that the holidays are officially over I'm ready to get back to business.  The past month has been a whirl wind of shopping, wrapping, cooking, cleaning, and family gatherings... and to be quite honest, I'm a little worn out. 

But since I haven't been around, here's a look on what you've missed. 

Susie Home-Maker: