From An Awakened Eye

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lavishly Love {Favorite finds of 2010}

 My friend Meredith over at Lavishly Love blog inspired me to write this post. And since some of you received gift cards and cash for Christmas I thought I would give you a few good ideas on where to spend it. These are my favorite finds of 2010.

For the kitchen & Laundry...

Love this stuff! Borax... I use it in the place of bleach and also with the dogs blankets. Very safe to use with any color of fabric... so it's where Clorox 2 snagged it's idea from. This stuff has been around for years. I actually saw an antique tin of Borax in the mountains this year of it and it pretty much looks the same except it's in a box. I have also used it to clean the shower and the hot tub outside. It would be great for the kitchen sink, except mine is a black granite composite and it is hard to rinse it off of the semi textured surface. Sounds weird I know, but on your typical ceramic/acrylic white sink it would do the trick without the chemicals. Which I love!

 Love, love, love this detergent! I had used method for about 2 years and my hubs never really cared for the smell, or lack there of... although they have improved since chaging to the pump style bottle.  So I read reviews about the Arm & Hammer Essentials and also snagged a coupon for it on a super double week and J picked up our first bottle. He loves the smell and I love that it is non-toxic, which I always look for in cleaning products. So it's a perfect fit for us. I may end up using the essentials free for the baby, haven't decided though. I'm sure it wouldn't be a bad decision, the only thing that holds me back is the no "baby" smell. The other "baby" detergents have added dyes, phosphates, bleaches, and petroleum- based cleaners which all grab your clothes and emit themselves and you breathe them in. Yuck, can we say carcinogens? So it may be Baby Ganics (on sale BOGO free see link for details), A& H Essentials free or Methods Sweet Pea depending on whats on sale. If your interested in knowing more about the yucky list above and the effects of the go here for a simple run down.  

The shark mop! You can buy this thing anywhere. It is a steam mop that has a removable pad that Velcros to the gray piece on the bottom that you see in the picture. My mom tried out 5 different steam mops before she decided on this one, so I trusted her reviews and went with it, I am so glad I did. I bought ours at Sam's Club and it came with a handheld steamer that we also use for the shower.You could use the hand held for your counter tops too for sanitation. But now the mop has been "improved" and comes with a purple "dust" type pad. I would still recommend it. I love that you just pull the covers off and put them in the washing machine and wha' la! Don't expect them to come out white as they were before you used them, but at least they are "clean". They also offer the shark mop and vaccum combo that would probably be nice too. I have a central vac so not really worth it for us. Again I can only speak for the plain shark mop. 
   I like using some type of cleaner with the mop, just for the smell of a clean house and I normally grab my method for the hardwoods and the ceramic tile...

  I love the no rinse factor plus chemical free here too! I have used these for about 2 years and I just don't want to try anything else. They last a good while too. I normally pick these up from Target.

Ok so moving on to you!
For the face...

  Love these products by Orgins. Before becoming pregnant and being on clomid it really messed with my hormones and caused breakouts. At least that is what I blamed it on first until I realized that it all happened when I started using MAC foundation. I know bummer, I just loved the coverage, but it didn't love me. So I took the foundation and primer back to the MAC counter and received a full refund. Long story short I turned right around and walked into the Orgins store for a mini facial and LOVED the way the product felt and decided to give it a try. I have since converted from my salon grade cleanser that I had to grab when the salon was open which was only during my working hours and was a pain, so I love the conveince of ordering this online or picking it up at my local mall.
So to break down my favs from Orgins I have combo skin, or at least I did. Since using these prducts I have become pretty much normal all over. The cleanser is A Perfect World which my hubs starts singing What A Wonderful World when he reads the label in the shower. I love that it takes just a small amount and it doesn't have a taste or smell.  My latest purchase is the Modern Friction, this a twice a week natural dermabrasion that I keep in the shower for simple rinse from the face.
I also use the toner or "moisterizing lotion" form the A Perfect World collection after cleansing and masking.  
And the one I can't live without is the serum White Tea Skin Guardian
It makes your skin look so vibrant. I can litterally put it on half of my face and see the difference. It gives life to you skin.  You apply this before the foundation. I love the light feel of the Stay Tuned foundation. It is light weight and the coverage is moderate so you can wear it all year long. 

Now I could not let go of one of my MAC products... 
MAC paint pot in painterly. I have not found an eye shadow primer that works better and last all day. I have had my paint pot for almost 2 years now and I use it daily with a concealer brush. So it's worth the money.  

For the hair...

It's a 10 miracle leave in product. You can go here to see why I love it so. I have the pink bottle that they released in October for breast cancer awareness. You can pick this up at any salon.

Lastly pregnancy...;)

Things I love that have helped during this pregnancy...
I have loved {every} item in this pregnancy kit by Earth Mama Angel Baby

I found it at Babies' R Us for 19.99, I felt like it was a splurge, but obviously I found a great deal.

So that is my list of Lavishly loves for 2010.
Link up to share your lavishly loves
that you have discovered over the past year
that you just can't live without.
Blessings for 2011!

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Have yourself a merry {little} Christmas

Wow what a day! I will have to update this post tomorrow. Good tidings to all and to all a good night! Praising God for sending His Son to this Earth for us! How humbling... I am in awe.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Baby It's Cold Outside

Brrrrr!!! I am not a winter girl for sure and for some reason winter has hit the Carolina's early and hard. Today I heard the comment "this is Wisconsin weather" from one of the doctors I work with. I slippped on my way into the building this morning on ice in the parking lot... can you say not expected?!?  This chick will have to be more careful. Thank God my reflexes still work after an added 20 lbs to my tummy and I didn't hit the ground. Whew... can we say close call?
  Any how... what are you planning on doing tonight on this dreary cold winter night?  I am taking my cold and going home to some hot apple cider and jumping in my pj's faster than anything. Dinner will consist of soup and grilled cheese for sure. If I had the energy I would wrap some presents, but I just don't have it in me.  This cold has gotten the best of me ;(  
  So what are you doing tonight?


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Crafty... Decor and gifts under $5 oh my!

So my house is a mess and I just don't have the energy to do it all, so I will get it all decorated and tiddy by Christmas. LOL then I will have to take it all down, but oh well. I am loving life with in and the excuse to put my feet up and just have to remind myself to not worry about it. I mean my husband can leave clean laundry on the couch for a week and not think twice about it so what's wrong with me? It takes a big effort for me to learn how to be more of a Mary this year for sure.
I say that, but the Martha in me won't stop. I am such a busy bee. I also have a thing for a pretty house with creative pretty things in it.  So my "Martha" has been screeming inside because I look at all these cute ideas on some of my favorite blogs and just can't keep her tame inside.
I mean I haven't gone over board or anything, but here are a few cute ideas I have found to be cute, cheep and not much effort or time.

 Sarah at {Life Sweet Life} shared this oh so cute FREE printable download that I had printed into an 11x14 for under $3. I am putting it in a frame that I already have and putting it in the guest bathroom.  I am out of ink in my printer and so I just had Sam's print the banner on (3) 8x10 photo paper. I figured that it would last longer than home printer paper in the bathroom. So all I have to do is glue or sew ribbon to the top and hang. The  glitter trees are oh so cute, but J would give me a stink eye if I broke out the glitter in the house. He has a rule that it is to only be used outside as in... the cold 17 degree stiver me to my bones, outside and I just haven't brought myself to do that yet. Anyway.. Enjoy her post and hope you grab some cute ideas from Sarah...

This weekend I am hosting the Ladies' Annual Christmas Brunch at our church and I read this post on Proverbs 31 and I really want the focus of our brunch to be {Unwrapping His Christmas Presence}. How cool is it that I found a FREE download over at Lil Luna's that is oh so cute and I can print them for .17 each and give to every lady who comes so she can frame and serve as a reminder through this busy season.... I am just so excited about this!

Also April over at {You Me and the Kid}  posted a really cute idea for epsom salt tarts and snowmen ornaments... cute gifts for under $5!  I love epsom salt goodies and actually took a lavendar epsom salt bath last night! Love it!


Jenny H

Monday, December 6, 2010

Blogging tip... Secuurity!

Just incase your worried about someone creepy taking your personal pictures or anything from your blog, just copy and past this code and place in in your side bar as a HTML gadget, you don't even have to name it just put a . in the title bar.  It will prevent people from right clicking and taking your stuf!  I can't think of a more creepy thing than to see your family or baby's picture in a foreign magazine or internet site.  Happy and safe blogging!
Visit the Polka Dot Pig for the code.
sorry about that...
Let me know if it works for you!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sending Joy and Cheer!

This is our Christmas card this year! I am so incredibly humbled that we have a new addition to it this year.  I just can't believe I am going to have a baby!  Some days it seems so sureal and others very real. We talk about him all the time and wonder what he will like and who he will look like. Oh to dream about this sweet baby. My heart is overflowing with joy!

Gift Tag Story Christmas 5x7 folded card
Make a statement with custom Christmas cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving: Life within

Today I read the devotional entitled Perspective Precedes Thankfulness. I completely understand the title.  Today I am thankful for my infertility struggles. I am thankful for the 19 months of completely trusting in God and the intense spiritual growing that took place over those months.  I am thankful for all the countless nights of seeking desperately just to feel the hem of His garment. I am thankful that I know how to reach His heart and that He hears me. Not that He didn't before, we just have a greater bond through it all. I know His voice better and He knows mine. My perspective on life has completely changed and for that I am so greatful. 
  As a pediatric nurse and now a cardiac nurse I have known the preciousness of life, but have never experienced the mirical of it.  All I knew was girls all around were having babies and I was helping them live in the NICU and in the Children's Hospital. It seemed like "what happens" to everyone. How nieve I was. I am so thankful to have matured to this new perspective reguarding life.
  Perspective changes everything. It can change the look of a photo drastically. In learning to shoot photographs I learned the importance of perspective and always liked finding a new perspective that no one else would think of in the class. I would climb to different heights or lay down on the ground and find that my pictures turned out completely different than the others'. I learned that in changing my perspective the "same" world looked completely different than I could ever imagine. The same with this journey, my perspective has sompletely changed and therefore my thankfulness has changed.
  So today I am reminded of some of my favorite verses that held me close to Him in the hard days and now remind me of the journey I am now on the other side of...

"Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything,
by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.
 And the peace of God,
wh ich transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and
your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7, (NIV)

"Remember that you were slaves in Egypt
and that the LORD your God
brought you out of there with a mighty hand
and an outstretched arm."
Deuteronomy 5:15 (NIV)

"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
We do not know what we ought to pray for,
but the Spirit himself intercedes for us
with groans that words cannot express.
And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit,
because the Spirit intercedes for the saints
in accordance with God's will."
Romans 8:26-27,  (NIV)

 "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
according to His power that is at work within us."Ephesians 3:20, NIV

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27 (NIV)

"He has made everything beautiful in its time.
He has also set eternity in the hearts of men;
yet they cannot fathom what God
has done from beginning to end." 
Ecclesiastes 3:11,(NIV)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010 bump memories...photoshoots gallore

Wow that was a weekend? It felt like a work week!  J and I both worked on Saturday and it was pretty much all day for us. I ended up with 4... yes 4! shoots and J had to meet with 2 clients about an hour away... twice!  The dogs were groomed. We had our family photos made. We attended the Tucker Thanksgiving (friends J grew up with). All this in one day!  This pregnant girl was hungry and tired for sure. I couldn't feel my body when it landed on the couch Sat night about 9pm.
  Over all it was a busy accomplished weekend. Glad last weekend was a lazy one ;) We of course had date night Friday and we started by going to USA baby. J had never seen the baby's furniture in person. He likes it and tried to help pick out bedding. That turned out to be more challenging than I ever dreamed. He likes simple and I like color. It was cute... he started putting together his own combo of cordinating bumper pads, sheets and bed skirt into the cart. We just couldn't find a sheet to tie all the colors together. I did go back to babies r us on Sunday night and we decided on this....
His daddy fell in love with this little guy and just had to buy him!
He is a snuggly blanket. I think Eli will love him!
This was my main goal to purchase this weekend... g diapers.

Aren't they precious? It's the new cloth diaper reinvented...

I think I am partial because of the little "g" on the back of them.
My nick name is "G".
So he will be my little "g".
Look at this precious munchkin on the front of the pack...
Just can't wait to hold my little "g".
I only bought the disposible refills because they were on sale with a $5 off coupon! 
We will use those when we go to church and out places.
Otherwise we will use the cloth, hemp inserts.
Oh and this is Eli's first load of laundry!
Many many more to come. 
I just had to wash a few to enjoy the smell and dream.

We were able to sneek in our own photoshoot this weekend for our Christmas cards and since the dogs were groomed Sat. I figured it was the perfect time. So this is what we came out with...

so blessed to have this new "bump" addition to our pictures this year.
I almost cried several times when just J and I were together doing ours.
I am just SO THANKFUL for this life that is inside me and
I am PRAISING God for this precious gift.
Last year was so hard for me at this time and I am
just so thankful that this year is so joyous for us.

Praying for all of you who are waiting for your "Promise".
It will happen!
All in God's timing for sure.
I can not tell you how perfect His timing is with Eli.
I always knew it would happen in the right time, but it
still hurt like a death every month just the same.
So I hope you read this post and found hope.
God is Faithful!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I will post more later on my photoshoots so you can see my work!
Happy Monday!


Monday, November 15, 2010

Lazy 101

 This weekend was so nice. J and I had nothing on the agenda and it was so nice to not have to be anywhere.  Friday night I was wanting Mexican so we headed over to Tequilas for date night.  It was so yummy that we couldn't stop and cleaned our plates... well my definition of clean is leaving some beans, rice and the sides. J's def. is literally scrapping the plate clean! lol  He even ordered Flan!  We did not finish  that thanks goodness. We had ordered it in Aruba at Iguana Cantina and it was amazing and he was hoping for the same experience... well lets just say I took 2 small bites and let him enjoy the rest.  Not worth the calories.
  So being use to walking every night after dinner in the open air malls or the beach, we decided to do the next best American thing and walk around Target! lol  I kinda used that as an excuse to see how he would do with baby registering {wink}. He didn't go the with me to register for our wedding and I hated that he didn't so I wanted to include him in the experience...  Then he zoned out....he lasted about 45 min {chuckle}. He said, "now I think your just scanning to be scanning." That's when I had to explain the different sizes because to him it all looked the same. He all of the sudden took a huge interest in the colors of the baby nursery. I found him over next to a car seat rubbing the fabric saying "I like these colors". It was so cute!  He also pointed out a wall color on a poster above shelve to point out what color of blue/ aqua he likes.  I just melted. I had dreamed of getting lost in the baby section for so long and now it is an incredible reality!  We just laughed as he pointed out in that incredible moment that I had dust all over the front of my bump and boobs. Which was kinda embarrassing because 2 of the guys in our college class at church had kindly stopped to say hello at that exact moment. So in my dusty mess I said hello while trying to somehow not breath in the dead skin that was attached to my shirt! lol  Can we say gross!  All over picking up a humidifier box to read the specifications... geeze. We just laughed and proceeded to continue scanning thermometers and such. It was fun for me, but not for him. He basically said I have no idea what you are registering for. I had to explain the snack cups with the slits in them and that it was okay that I registered for them in purple and green, because that was the only color options available.  {chuckle}
  Afterwards we went home and watched a movie with the girls (our pups) all snuggled up around Eli. They love to lay their head on my bump, it is so cute. It happens at a random moment and if J jumps up to get the camera they move. So then onto Saturday...
  I spent the whole day editing pictures for Jenny H Photography. My CS3 locked me out and didn't like my serial number so I had to figure out a different way to edit. Then disaster hit Tue night... I deleted some pictures from Aruba!!! yes, deteled before they were saved safely on a CD.  Needless to say I am sick to my stomach, but hopeful that a friend can help me recover them. So I need a break tonight at church to just be.
Okay so here are a few pics from Aruba...