Friday, April 29, 2011

Naked Palette!

I totally forgot to post about this! I got a call from my local Sephora (I was on a waiting list for a couple of weeks) that the Urban Decay Naked Palette is in and they're holding one for me!!

I cannot WAIT to try out the all the colors/different combinations!

I'm excited to try out the primer potion as well.. I kind of wish they still included the dual-end eye pencils with the palette, but I hear the new brush is pretty good, too.

Oh, between this and the Royal Wedding it's like Christmas! Not to mention tomorrow marks the 1 year anniversary of us signing on the dotted line for our house!

Fun Fridays!

It's Royal Wedding Friday too!!!!

I woke up about a half hour ago (just in time!) and I'm sitting here with my coffee loving every minute of this beautiful event!

Later on, my Mom is coming over so we can plan out more of my yard/garden project!

This weekend I have a gig with the band on Saturday and Sunday is shaping up to be a fairly quiet day so far

Ok, back to watching the Royal Wedding :)

ETA: Forgot to link up at Make sure you check out Jen's blog!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Personal Day = Cleaning Day!

I took today as a personal day from work...we get 2 a year and they don't carry over.. I realized a few weeks ago that it was almost the end of the year and I hadn't used up any of my days, so I needed to act fast! Originally I thought I might use a spa gift certificate I got as a birthday present from Brandon last year..but then I would have had to wake up early with him, drive him to school, hang around for a few hours til the spa opened, and eventually pick Brandon up from school at 3...didn't really sound like fun

So instead, I decided to just let the day unfold...

Ironically, I did get up early (to make Brandon's lunch) and instead of crawling back into bed, I made breakfast and coffee, watched GMA and then magically had the motivation to vacuum, dust, rearrange furniture, do a few painting projects, wash several area rugs, and basically do a lot of household tasks that had been hanging over my head for a looong time.

Because pictures are more fun than words sometimes, here's a look at what I did:

Love my Dyson!
(and that was after vacuuming 1.5 rooms...yikes...)

Rearranged these 2 side tables to make one big table and made better use of our space!
(I don't have a good "before" picture otherwise I would have posted it!)

Tidied up the coffee table and corralled all our "stuff" into baskets!

A bookcase-type thing the sellers left behind

(Can you spot it in this picture?)

We used it during the remodeling/painting process too to rest paint brushes/materials, etc

I wanted to bring it back into this room, but it needed a little update first. So I found some black spray paint in the garage and went to work:

It's upside-down in these pictures, because I knew I didn't have a full bottle of spray paint left so I painted the bottom first - that way if it looked horrible I wouldn't finish the rest and you'd never see my mistake!  But thankfully, just one coat of black spray paint gave it a black/brown effect that I really liked, especially because you could still see the grain of the wood.  I ran out of paint halfway through so I still need to go back and paint the top part of the shelves/sides, but I couldn't wait to put it in the room and add some accessories:

I switched up a couple things in the close-up photo to balance things out a bit

Maybe someday I'll do floating shelves on that wall, but for now, this works - and it's free!

My other painting projects from today:

A mirror my Mom had grabbed awhile was pale green with pink edges 
(can't really see the pink, I know!)

Metal towel bar from the downstairs bathroom

Spray painted white! (along with a coat hook rack left behind by the sellers!)

Whew....I'm exhausted, but it was worth it...I'm currently washing/drying more blankets and thinking of washing the living room curtains too, since they are COVERED in cat hair...I'm hoping they'll shrink up a bit in the dryer too..then maybe the cats won't be able to use them as napping spots!

Thursday's colors

Turquoise & Caicos by Essie on my nails:

And orange-y red, in the form a beautiful tulip (popped up overnight!):

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

Link up at to share what you're loving today!!

For me, I'm loving that I spent 2 hours outside yesterday afternoon/evening to turn this:

Into this:

(I know the pictures aren't the was about 8:00 PM when I took them.)  

I'm really happy with how my little mulching project turned out! I went to Home Depot after school and picked up some garden tools, 2 bags of mulch, some top soil and little flowering plants (to be planted later!) I've never done anything like that before, so I was pretty proud of myself. Can't wait to mulch around our rhododendron bush too!

Here's the rest of what I'm loving:
  • I'm taking a personal day tomorrow! No real plans yet, but if the weather's nice, I'll probably do some more yard work, maybe go for a run.
  • The Royal Wedding is in 2 days! Since I was only a fetus when Charles & Di got hitched back in '81 I figure I should watch this one, so I can tell my kids/grandkids someday!
  • This amazing product from Garnier:
I've been using it for about 3 weeks now and I am in love! I'm planning a separate blog post on this, complete with before/after pictures, too, so stay tuned!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Movie Mondays!

Thinking of starting a weekly post about recent movies I've seen (either via the theatre or Netflix!)

Thanks to the lovely week-long vacation I just had, I was able to watch several movies (I mentioned them on my Wednesday post from last week). Some were ones I had seen before, some were brand-new. My favorite of the bunch was probably "An Education"

It's based on a book by Lynn Barber (thanks Corey for spotting this!) and the screenplay was written by Nick Hornby (same guy who wrote the screenplays for "About a Boy" and "High Fidelity" - 2 movies I have not seen either but would like to!)

I don't want to give away the whole story, but basically, it's a coming of age story, set in a little suburb of London in 1963 I believe...the protagonist in the story, Jenny, must choose between an education at Oxford or an "education" with her new (and much older!) leading man, David.  I'd never seen Carey Mulligan before (maybe this was one of her first films?) but she was absolutely fantastic!! If you haven't seen it yet and you're a sucker for British accents and period films like me, you need to!

What movies have you seen (and loved!) recently??

Back to reality

The reality of work!!!

We had a lovely vacation (did some yard work, go to sleep in late, spent some QT with both families) and I guess I was ready to get back into my routine, but man, I could have used another day to just veg!

It's hard ending your vacation on Easter Sunday, especially when most of your day is spent driving around to visit family!

We had a nice ham dinner at my mother-in-law's and then spent a few hours visiting at my sister's.  I got some cute pictures of my niece with Brandon that I'll post later on.

Now, I just need to get through these next 3 days (taking a personal day on Thursday!)

Good thing I stopped here on my way to work:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Fun Fridays!

It's Friday, Friday...I'll let you finish the rest!

Today I get to hang out with this cute little lady:

My niece Lyla!

Tonight Brandon and I will sing at my parent's church for Good Friday services

Tomorrow morning I'm running a 5K which I don't feel prepared for at all! Oh well, at least it'll give me an excuse to have a decent run this week! (Vacation = lazy Sara!!) Tomorrow night we'll sing with my parents again for Holy Saturday

Sunday is Easter! Mass in the AM, then visiting both families.  I bought a few cute dresses at Target but I'm worried they're too summery for the semi-Spring like weather we've been having lately..we'll see!

Sunday also means the end of vacation.. :( But I have a feeling the last few weeks of school are going to FLY by!!

Link up at to share your Fun Fridays!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesdays!

I'm certainly not loving this dreary, cold New England weather we're having today - gross!!

But I am loving my lazy vacation so far, which has included/will include:
  • catching up with friends
  • learning some new tunes with the band
  • visiting both sides of the family
  • meeting with a dog breeder tomorrow to potentially pick out a puppy!
  • watching movies, both old favorites and ones I've been meaning to watch! (Fried Green Tomatoes, Dirty Dancing, Best in Show, Eat Pray Love, and An Education)
  • singing at my parents' church for Holy Week, an annual tradition that I've missed for the past 2 years because I was involved with shows!
I'm also loving some recent warm-weather purchases at Ann Taylor Loft/Target:

This top (the one Holly blogged about here)
But in this griege-y color (Couldn't find a bigger picture online, because the top is only sold in stores) On sale for $24.99 plus 40% off that! Score!

Cute spring-to-summer top

Perfect kind of tank for school - I can pair it with a light cardigan or use it as a layering piece with the white top above. Got this in the grey, a light peach and a pale blue. $9 at Target!!

Another great top for school (got it in the green shown and a pale blue) 
Love the material and the $10 price!

Now if only the weather would cooperate!! C'mon sun!

What are you loving today? Head over to to link up!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Top 2 Tuesdays!

Vacation's almost half over :( But yay for another installment of Top 2 Tuesdays. Head over to to link up!

This week's topic is "Top 2 Things You Collect"

I definitely had to think for a bit on this one before coming up with my Top 2...that was until I realized both were sitting in my purse!

1. Vera Bradley products:

Ever since purchasing my first VB bag in 2005, I have been obsessed! I know a lot of people are "over" the whole VB scene, but for some reason I can't get enough of their fun prints and cute purses, wallets, tote bags, etc. My mom is also equally obsessed so I have a partner in crime when we hit up the VB stores/outlets!

Here's some evidence of my addiction to all things Vera:

(The placemats on my coffee table at the moment)

My school bag (which is also on vacation this week!)

My wallet - love those spring time colors!

2. Lip gloss/chapstick

Here's what I took out of my purse (yes, just one purse!) 

(L-r: EOS lip balm in Summer Fruit, Burt's Bees in Pomegranate, Nivea Milk & Honey, Smith's Rosebud Salve, Neutrogena MoistureShine)

I also have one more in my car:

Hi, my name is Sara and I have an addiction to keeping my lips shiny and soft!

Don't forget to link up!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Gotta make hay while the sun shines...

...which translates into: "It's a semi-nice day today, let's get out and do some yard work because it might rain tomorrow!!"

And we did just that!

Since we moved into our house last June (I can't believe it's almost been a year!), we've focused all of our energies on tearing down wallpaper, painting, ripping up rugs, etc. Unfortunately, that meant our quarter acre of land was put on the back burner until we were ready to tackle it.

Today was the day!

Because of the crazy weather we had this winter (click back here and here) our yard was covered in broken tree limbs and other debris

Here's the pile of yard waste my Mom and I created after about an hour of walking around:

And I forgot to take before pictures (in true Sara fashion!!) but here's more of my "hay-making" from today:

This lovely section used to be poison ivy....that is, until my husband killed it last summer with about 4 rounds of pesticide! Today we found the root of the ivy, pulled it up (yes we wore gloves and boots!) and got rid of a bunch of leaves, pine needles, other yard debris. (Oh, and the green plants in the upper left corner aren't poison ivy in case you were worried!) Because this section doesn't get a lot of sun, I'm hoping to find a cute little bench and maybe some flagstones/stepping stones. Or perhaps plant a few flowers that grow well in the shade. Haven't really decided yet..but it is NOT staying a giant dirt pit!

You can see the poison ivy in this picture (the green stuff to the left of the garage) - pretty, right? YUCK!!

Cleared out the leaves under the rhododendron bush

Part of my pile I cleared out (Had to take a picture as proof!)

Cleared away some of the leaves so that the daffodils/jonquils don't get smothered! Need to go back with a smaller rake and get the rest. We're planning on mulching around here and the rhododendron bush too.

We trimmed back this bush because you really couldn't see the front door very well (especially on the left-hand side) I'm thinking of trimming a little more of the right as well so it doesn't hang over too much.

Oh, and here are some pictures of where we plan to finish fencing out the rest of the yard:

You can sort of see the neighbor's fence in this picture (right-hand side). Our fence would start there and then attach to our house a little behind the A/C unit (on the left). And after consultation from my Dad, he suggested we install a gate on this side as well (not just the opposite side of the yard near the driveway like I had planned. Dad's are so smart!!)

Another angle of the neighbor's fence.

Opposite side of the yard. We'll have to make an "L" shape so we won't end up with a diagonal line from the neighbor's fence to our house. We'll put a double gate right where the driveway/pavement starts and that will connect to the side of the house.

Not sure if any of that made sense!!

Overall, a good start to our "Yard Makeover" project...which reminds me, I need to make a separate post of that and list all of the things we're planning to do with the yard this summer!

Um, and yes, that would be a candle in one of the front windows..from Christmas...scroll back up if you missed it the first time... (hangs head in shame..)