Five things on Friday


1. It’s spring! According to the calendar, anyway. I made my inaugural spring-is-here Slurpee run yesterday and surprised my office friends with a treat. It felt so good to sip that sweet nectar when it isn’t 30 degrees outside. Also, thank God it’s no longer 30 degrees.

2. Speaking of spring, I also broke out my John Mayer albums on my drive home yesterday. John transitions the seasons for me. The old stuff, I’m talking — “Continuum,” the Trio set, his live sets. I sang “Good Love Is On the Way” at the top of my lungs and remembered a time when it gave me such comfort and hope. “I’ll be lonely but I know I’ll be okay . . .”

3. And speaking of not being lonely, four years ago today I walked into a coffee shop and saw a smiling, curly-haired man striding toward me. That was my Spencer. ❤ It’s our date-aversary! And though we now have an official anniversary to celebrate in November, I can’t let today go by without acknowledging that fateful afternoon. Love you, Spence!


4. Lipstick. I’m so into it right now. I received the new Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in an Influenster box and am obsessed with how glam it made me feel . . . even if I was dead-exhausted and already in my pajamas when I checked the mail. Lipstick is just such a grown-up thing to wear, you know? Until I went on my great hunt for the perfect shade for the wedding, I’d never paid it much mind. Things have changed. I love this pink! And it is very moisturizing, I must say.

Not exactly transfer-proof, though . . . tread carefully!

Spence with kiss

5. I ate muffins every day this week. These, in particular, and I’m now contemplating making healthy-ish muffins in batches every weekend so I can watch “The Pioneer Woman” on my DVR before work and stuff my face with baked goods. Everyone knows you can’t watch a cooking show without something on which to nosh, and I eat enough fruit during the day. Muffins all the time.

Red lip contrast


I like the idea of being the woman in red lipstick.

Perhaps more than actually being the woman in red lipstick.

It takes courage to wear red. Real, tangible, serious confidence. I wouldn’t have had it a year ago, when I was heavier and downtrodden and uncertain about life in general. But 2013, for as tough as it’s been, has also provided opportunities to grow and change and act a little wild.

I walked in from my lunch break yesterday wearing a bright, bright, really really bright red shade. I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect kiss-proof shade for the last few days, knowing I want to rock a red lip for the wedding but decidedly do not want my soon-to-be husband to do the same.

A trip to Ulta yielded a sample of a Stila color, but it had flaked and kissed off on my diet soda by mid-afternoon. When Spence and I met to grocery shop in the evening, I “tested” it with a smooch — and, um, yeah. My guy looked freshly kissed, all right. Kind of cute in a romance-novel way, but definitely not going to work before 150 of our nearest and dearest in a few weeks.

A coworker is lovely and quite knowledgeable about all things makeup — and she was impressed with my choice. Though I never leave the house without something on my face, I rarely rock bold shades. I spend way too much time drinking and eating on the job to worry about mussing up my looks and, to be honest, I’m just not that fussy.

But she liked the red lip. With my fair skin, super-dark hair and brown eyes, the red really pops. “You’re high contrast,” she said. “Has anyone ever told you that?”

They hadn’t. But I like it.

Though I feel like a vampy vixen in red lipstick, I also feel a little self-conscious in the shade — almost like I’ve worn a too-revealing dress, you know? Lipstick is reserved for special occasions. And as we draw closer to W-Day, I’ve had to get serious about finding one. I’m having a professional do my makeup that morning, but she recommended getting my own lipstick so I can easily reapply throughout the day. I agreed easily, not too concerned, but I really should have been.

I should have been.

Because finding the perfect no-smudge, gorgeous red lip color ever for my wedding?


Like always, I’ve turned to the trusty Internet for help with this life-altering decision — and found several lists of recommendations. I imagine I’ll be off to the drugstore on my lunch break for a little research. I’m leaning toward the Revlon or Maybelline products because, well, they’re in my budget. But if anyone has a favorite or some advice, please feel free to share!

I know I’ll find something — and hopefully something my fiance won’t have to wear, too.

And either way, I like the idea of being high contrast . . . a measure in extremes.

I want “bold” to suit me.

Red sunglasses

Juice Gems — a few of my favorite things

mark_lipglossLike many women, I’m on a constant quest to find a new makeup product that will somehow change my life. I can’t believe I’ve never blogged about it before, but I’m totally obsessed with . . . lip balm. I’d say Chapstick, but I’m pretty sure that’s a brand — and I’m not obsessed with the brand, just the product! I can’t stand having chapped lips. Few people actually enjoy having chapped lips, I’m sure, but I mean it really drives me crazy. To the point that I actually carry around about five different lip products in my purse, ranging in color and texture for the look and feel I’ll need at any given moment.

There’s one big problem with lip products, though — some of them are . . . gross. They don’t taste good. And they wear off easily, or they’re sticky, or they’re too glossy or flat or strange. Okay, that’s actually a string of problems with lip gloss!

But I’ve found one that has made me insanely excited — Juice Gems from Mark, the Avon-based company. We have an incredibly sweet Avon representative, Corinne, and it breaks my heart not to place an order with her, ah, every week . . . so, you know, I’m constantly stocking up on Avon products. Just to help her out, see. There’s nothing really in it for me . . . besides tons of lipstick, eye shadow and affordable jewelry!

So in my never-ending attempts to help Corinne, I picked up a set of the Juice Gems in holiday flavors. Once I saw gingerbread listed, I was sold. Honestly, I’d sort of purchased them with the intention of giving them to my mom for Christmas . . . but found an alternate product for her that I think she’ll love (no, Mom, it’s a secret — you’re going to have to wait until Dec. 25 for all to be revealed). In addition to the gingerbread flavor, we also have candy cane, apple cobbler and iced cookie. They all taste nice — not that I’m licking them or anything, but you know what I mean! — and the color is really pretty without being over-the-top. And — most importantly — they’re not sticky! I can’t stand sticky lip gloss — the kind where you’re constantly pulling your lips apart, they’re so weighted down with goop. Gross.

So my great lipgloss search is, for now, temporarily suspended! When I find a product I like, I usually stock up for fear that my town will become flooded, the stores will close and I’ll never be able to find that perfect shade of mascara or eyeshadow again. Unlimited supply of gingerbread lipgloss, here I come!