Friday, January 31, 2014

Snow Days

Round 1



Round 2

All these snow days completely mess with my schedule. Schools shut down and as a teacher and student that's a double whammy for me.  My college classes for the most part are moving right along, but things feel rushed which makes me anxious.  January has not been a fun month.  I am happy it's the 31st.
I have another busy week ahead some exciting things and some rather boring and routine things, but at this point I really am looking forward to getting back into the routine of things.  I am running out of snow day activities to occupy myself, so I hope it's over and warmer weather is on its way.

xoxo Gwen

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Pocket Scavenger by Keri Smith

I picked up this book last summer and I got going on a few pages and then my life just got busy and I stuck it on my bookshelf until inspiration sparked.  Today was that day.  This afternoon (in 2 hours actually) I will be in the dentist office getting a root canal.  Yikes!  I am nervous and anxious so I had to find something to keep me busy this morning/early afternoon.  Added to that was the absolutely depressing weather the past week and I just had to do something.
Needless to say it's afternoon now and the sun is shining and feels so good.  I just had to go for a walk and pick up some things to pop in, glue down, and tape in the book.

I'd also like to pick up Wreck this Journal also by Keri Smith.  It looks like lots of fun.  Have you tried any of the books in this series?  I'd love to see some of your pages!

xoxo Gwen

Friday, January 17, 2014

Mini Drugstore Haul

Target and CVS mini haul

Purchased at Target:  

Essie nail polish #024 color Marshmallow.  I have been wanting to try this color forever!  I love a classic white nail even though I think it's not an everyday color.  Better suited for winter parties and summer time. That didn't stop me from base coating my nails, applying 2 coats of Essie Marshmallow and topping with my RUSH 60 second high speed top coat.  Loving it so far.  $8.49

Maybelline Baby Lips lip balm #95 color Strike a Rose.  I bought this on a whim because I hoped it would smell like roses.  It doesn't and it is tinted {in my opinion} a juvenile pink color.  I probably will not be wearing this often - if at all.  $3.49

Purchased at CVS:  

CVS brand Cleaning & Makeup remover towelettes.  These are cheap and work great for me.  This was a repurchase.  The scent is fresh and the towelettes have a soft texture.  They nourish with vitamin E and triple tea antioxidant complex. (lost receipt)

Marc Anthony Curl Defining Lotion.  I absolutely love this product!  It is another repurchase.  My other tube is almost completely gone.  The first time I purchased it because I have long, thick and curly hair.  It can be challenging, so I am always on the lookout for good and cheap products for my hair.  I had never tried a "lotion" for my hair before.  The texture of the product is similar to a gel like lotion.  The scent of this product is also amazing.  It is a light lemon scent that reminds me of lemon meringue pie.  100% satisfied with this product! (lost receipt)

Maybelline Baby Lips lip balm #05 Quenched.  Another repurchase.  My mother in law "borrowed" mine when she was in the hospital and after her release she never gave it back.  I enjoy the smooth application and the summertime scent of this product.  Not lending this one out.  $4.29 

Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 foundation #820 color Creamy Natural.  I bought this product to replace my old Covergirl Nature Luxe foundation (which I loved)!  I just bought this last night so have not used it yet.  It promises all-day flawless coverage, lasting power of primer, coverage of a concealer, and blendability of a foundation. $11.99

xoxo Gwen

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I had this idea for awhile.  I actually started it with leaving sticky notes on mirrors when I went to restaurants and public bathrooms.  I occasionally slipped one into a book in stores and libraries.  Now there is an official website that you can go to for inspiration and encouragement about this project that has grown into so much more than the founder and creative director, Hannah Brencher, ever imagined.

You can participate in the requested letters bundle, become a campus rep, or just read over the hundreds of ideas, letters, and words of encouragement on the site.  It's a great way to continue the art of letter writing in a day of social media, texts, tweets, and pins.  Please join in this movement, it's one I strongly believe in!

Meanwhile, be on the look out.  Now that school has started and I am out and about more often keep your eyes peeled for one of these treasures.

xoxo Gwen

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Books & Reading

One of the few things I can remember and loved about my childhood is reading.  I remember getting my own library card and going with my stepmother to the library and checking out books.  I remember getting books for Christmas and sitting in front of our kerosene heater and finishing the book in one sitting.  Ah, those were the days.  The Babysitter's Club was the first series I actually read.  My stepmother spoke of Nancy Drew and I of course checked those out as well.  By the time I was 11 or 12 I was reading true crime, mystery and law books by Patricia Cornwell and John Grisham.

I still read Patricia Cornwell (the Kay Scarpetta series) religiously.  I am slightly behind on the series, but I have them!  For Christmas I even got a signed copy of Dust (the newest in the series).  I about died with joy.

With the new semester started I do hope I can find the time to continue reading, even if it's just at night before I make myself shut the book and turn off the lights.

Image from Pinterest
What books have you been reading?  What is your favorite book?  Any recommendations?

xoxo Gwen

Monday, January 13, 2014

This is how it happens....

Last week I went to the gym and attempted to keep up with #45MilesInJanuary but both treadmills were out of commission for one reason or another and then my Jeep's battery died and I ended up walking home in the cold.  It took what seemed like forever before we got the new battery installed but now the Jeep is purring.  Friday I left the house around 8:30 a.m. and didn't get home until 9 p.m.  I had to pick up books for school, had a lunch date with a friend, met another friend in order to do some birthday shopping and then met up with my ΑΣΑ sisters.  It was a great day.  Saturday and Sunday were pretty much a blur because I spent Saturday visiting the in-laws, and getting things ready for classes (which start today) and yesterday, Sunday I was confined to bed.

Now, faster than anyone wanted is the Monday that spring classes begin.  I had a great break, but it always goes by too fast and I often reflect on the things I did not get done rather than the things I did.  On a positive note I have one assignment partially completed and that makes me feel accomplished for this Monday morning.

#45MilesInJanuary update 

Stuck at 17 miles...

xoxo Gwen

Thursday, January 9, 2014

It's the simple things...

Yesterday I had one of those days where nothing was going right.  I woke up late.  I forced myself to go to the gym and both treadmills were broken in one way or another.  The stationary bike wasn't working.  My Jeep would not start and I had to walk home in the cold.  Finally, we figured out it was my battery and I got a jump so I could park the Jeep back at my apt.  After Daniel got home we went and looked at 3 separate places for a battery and none of them had the size I needed.

I guess we all have those days.  It was depressing and I was in a bad mood for much of the day.  I made hot tea and tried watching my shows and relaxing but I would always get side track with something.  So yesterday was a bit of a jumble, that's for sure.  When I talked to Daniel about it he said we had to have bad days to appreciate the good days.  I don't know if I actually believe that, but it reminded me of this....

xoxo Gwen

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

One of those days....

Wake up late.  Don't want to go to the gym, but know I need to.  Get to gym and the treadmill I always use has an error message.  Try to use the other treadmill and it makes a loud clicking noise.  Not good.  Try the stationary bike.  Won't even power on.  Really?!  Hit the sauna for 12 mins.  Jeep won't start, have to abandon my Jeep and walk home.  Cold.  Thank goodness I brought my jacket.  Friend is upset with me because I don't want to go out this Saturday night with her.  Another friend won't answer her phone.  Use jumper cables to get Jeep home.  Fiance has to go back to work.  Will get new battery tonight.

I think this calls for some coffee and Netflix!

xoxo Gwen

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Yesterday I had my dentist appointment.  Overall things are good, but I did crack one of my molars just before Christmas.  They were able to x-ray the tooth yesterday and come up with a plan to save the tooth. That was good news.  The bad news was the price.  I am currently only picking up the occasional substitute teaching shift because I am in school full time during the fall, spring and summer semesters.  I have attempted to supplement my income by selling Avon, but so far my schedule is so busy I am unable to find the time to properly network to be successful at it.

In an effort to help pay for the cost I opened a page on GoFundMe and I also added a widgit to the right to assist with easy donations.  Thanks to anyone and everyone who supports me!

#45MilesInJanuary update

This morning was in the teens, but I still made it to the gym to add 3 more miles!
Grand total: 17 miles

xoxo Gwen

Monday, January 6, 2014

Blue Monday?

As I was working out this morning I had my headphones in, but I was watching the Today Show on mute. January 6th is known as Blue Monday.  They said because kids are returning to school (not me - that's next week), back to work, and New Years Resolutions.  This makes no sense to me.  School, ok maybe that's a bummer, but work and New Years resolutions?  If you don't like your job then quit.  Maybe it's the getting out of bed part that's the real bummer.  With the weather in the low 20's and below across most of the country I don't blame ya!  Of course... again, that doesn't effect me either.  It's a breezy 66 degrees here.  And if you've already failed your New Year resolution(s) there is plenty of time to get back on track. It's only day #6.

Over the weekend I did some shopping.  The 3 items I got really reminded me how my style is a mix of bohemian and preppy/classic.  A furry vest from Aeropostale that I got on sale for only $20 which was 70% off!  Then I picked up a Lands End navy/white fleece pullover for 40% off and a white oxford button down for 50% off.  The deals were amazing and I should have picked up a few more things, but my birthday is right around the corner!  Today the Lilly Pulitzer sale is going on and I have not ordered one thing.  I would like to get the Gretchen Dress, but probably won't.  That's my life as a college student with no money.

Saturday shopping
Sunday morning "puff pancakes"
Pet Peeve:  People who text while driving.  Seriously is the text that important?!  In Virginia it is against the law to text & drive, but that didn't stop this woman.  VA license plate # I R3AD.  I think by read she meant her text messages.  Before anyone can say anything....I was not driving (duh!), I was the passenger!

 #45MilesInJanuary update

Friday Jan 4th
Friday Jan 4th
Jan 6th - 2 miles on bike
Jan 6th - 3 miles on treadmill

Grand total so far: 14 miles

xoxo Gwen

Friday, January 3, 2014

Fleischmann's Pretzel Creations

It's no secret I love soft pretzels.  Carnivals, movie theater, shopping at the mall, restaurants... if there is a soft pretzel available I am purchasing one.  So yummy!  There are several recipes online for make at home pretzels, but silly me I have never tried them.  However I recently ran into this at my local grocery store.  I have purchased their bread mix before and had wonderful results so I had to try these.

With easy to follow instructions I was well on my way to heaven (in pretzel stick form).
The kit comes with everything you need minus 3/4 cup water and 1TBSP oil (I used vegetable oil).

Soft Pretzel Baking Instructions:
1.  Stir together pretzel mix, yeast package, warm tap water and oil.
2.  Cover dough and let rise for 25 minutes.
3.  Shape the dough.

**I started with the traditional pretzel shape but after failing twice I resorted to stick shapes**

4.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
5.  Combine 6 cups water with baking soda package in a deep saucepan and bring to a boil.
6.  Use a spoon to lower your pretzel shapes (one at a time) into the boiling mixture for 10 to 15 seconds.
7.  Remove and place on a prepared baking sheet.  Continue with remaining pretzels.
8.  Sprinkle each pretzel with salt.
9.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown (I did 11 mins and they were perfect!)

In addition, after removing the pretzels from the oven I rubbed each one with a pat of butter just until they were lightly glistening.

They were absolutely delicious and addicting!  I can't wait to try them again.  Next time I hope to master the traditional pretzel shape.

#45MilesInJanuary update



That's another 3 miles for today.  Bringing my total to 6 miles so far.

xoxo Gwen