New Mommy Makeup

Even though I’m a New Mommy and perpetually tired, I still like to make some attempt to bat away the crazy with a little makeup each morning. It gives me a small sliver of normal. Don’t deny me some normal, ok?

Here are my picks for a quick morning/during-nap-time makeup routine. I timed it and it takes 3 minutes tops.

New Mommy Makeup

New Mommy Makeup by thecandace 

1. BB creams are all the rage these days and they are mostly a glorified tinted moisturizer. It checks off your foundation and moisturizer in one step. BAM, done!

2.  Since BB creams tend to offer a light coverage, you can go in with a concealer where you need it most (under those zombie eyes, for example). The NARS creamy concealer is highly rated by beauty gurus. It covers everything. Well, almost everything. Obviously, the panicky, darting, New-Mommy-Eyes will still give you away every time.

3. Blush will add some life back to your face. Although pricey, these Amazonian clay blushes have super strong staying power. Because new Mommies have no time for touch ups!

4. You’ve heard me rave about the Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze. This is a one swipe eye shadow that does not budge once it sets. It’s cheap and awesome and you can use your finger to apply it. I’m still using mine even though I got it well over a year ago. If you want more of a champagne vibe, Barely Branded is also a great color.

5. Mascara. Game changer. That is all.

6. Smear on a tinted lip balm (with SPF!) and now you are so money, Honey.

If anyone has quick tips for hair, I’d love to hear them! My typical dirty roots and flat ponytails are even grosser now that Amelie has a habit of belching puke into my hair at night. Sometimes, it even pools in my clavicle as well. Good times.

Make me up before you go go

Boys beware, it’s about to get all XX chromosome-y in here. You should hide, seriously.

I’ve been really into makeup recently, I can’t help it. And I’ve watched way too many youtube tutorials and reviews than any rational 33 year should so I figured: why not share all I’ve “learned” while you were off being productive members of society?

I’m no beauty guru. In fact, far from it. It’s just that in the past two years, I’ve been slowly replacing my old junk makeup with a decent foundation (a pun!) of makeup essentials and I wanted to share with you what I’ve come up with so far. Let’s talk girly stuff!

Brushes: Although it’s taken way too long for me to admit, a good set of brushes is KEY. They are an investment (ie: not cheap) and that’s why it’s taken me so long to make the jump. You must have them but you don’t need a lot of them. Sigma makes really nice ones – like the travel set I got for Christmas. It has all the brushes I need: foundation, angled blush brush, powder brush, eye shader, pencil, angled eyeliner, and a fluffy crease/blending brush. I also bought a separate “fuller” foundation brush (from Sephora with a giftcard from my MIL) but I should have bought this one instead – it’s half the price:

If I was recommending a set to someone though, I’d recommend this Essential Kit, also by Sigma.

It has every brush your heart could desire, plus it’s luxurious because it’s full sized (compared to the stubby handled travel kit brushes).

An added bonus to having nice makeup brushes? It’s makes putting on makeup FUN. Who would deny you some daily fun, anyhow?

Brush cleaner: If you are going to spend your hard earned cash on brushes, you’ll need to clean them. Since I’m relatively new to all of this, I need some suggestions. I have the Daily Brush Cleansing Spray by Sephora which is a nice quick fix (and smells good too)

but it doesn’t offer a “deep clean”, especially when it comes to my mucky foundation brushes. And since you are swiping those all over your face, you kinda want them to be clean, you know?

I just splurged on the MAC brush cleanser recently.

I think it’s good so far but I don’t have much to compare it to. My only complaint is that it goes way too fast, especially for $14 price tag. I’ve heard I can just use Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo instead, which I might try when I run out.

Foundation: I wish I had wonderfully flawless skin, but truth is I have a lot of redness (even a purple birthmark under my nose) that needs hiding. All of the beauty guru’s rave about Revlon’s Colorstay foundation and I agree. I have the one for combo/oily skin but they also make one for dry skin.

Beware, it’s thick and you have to work fast but the staying power is excellent. It has great coverage, if you are looking for medium to full coverage. (If you’re not, you’re a lucky duck). Since it’s from the drugstore (and always on sale somewhere), it’s price is right. I’ve also heard good things about Revlon’s Colorstay Whipped foundation

which apparently is easier to work with and has a less matte finish. I’m going to give that a whirl when my current bottle is zapped.

Setting powder: I’m stuck (for now) with one from Physician’s Formula but it’s too “powdery”. It clings to my eyebrows and sits on my face fur. Not cute. I’ve been skipping it all together but in the summer I need to control shine and it’s always helps your foundation stay put. I’ve heard good reviews about these two: MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish Natural

and one from the drugstore: Rimmel Stay Matte Powder

I’ll be trying it someday when my wallet hasn’t been weakened by home improvements and baby supplies.

Concealer: Currently I have MAC’s Pro-longwear concealer and it has great coverage – I like to use it on the birthmark under my nose.

My one complaint is it’s packaging (well, and the price too). The pump spews out way too much product. I save the extra in a little container so it doesn’t go to waste, but it’s annoying nonetheless. I’m looking for a drugstore alternative – recommendations?

Under eye concealer: Folks seem to like the Maybelline Instant-Age Rewind under eye concealer so I took the plunge.

I like the formula, I think. I’m new to under eye concealer though. What I don’t like is the packaging. The “clicker” thing broke on me, so I’ve gone all ghetto with it by breaking open the top. It’s messy and uncool. Also, I don’t use a special setting powder for that area and I’ve noticed the product settles into my fine lines. I’m on the hunt for a new one (preferably drugstore) but not until I’ve used this stupid little bottle up.

Bronzer: Thanks to the beauty gurus advice, I’ve discovered a MATTE bronzer that is cheap and awesome. It’s NYC Sunny Bronzer and you can find it at the drugstore for under $3.

Blush: I’m loving Tarte’s Amazonian Clay blushes. I have Dollface (light pink)

but they come in a wide range of colors. I prefer the ones without shimmer because I’m getting old and shimmery blushes just draws attention to that. They look a bit scary in the pan but these blushes blend out easily and are long wearing. They are pricey though, at $25 a pop.

I also have the cult favorite, NARS Orgasm, which is a lovely blush (a gift from MamaP!). It’s a peachy pink with golden shimmer, which really suits my skin tone. I usually only wear in the evenings because the shimmer can look preposterous on my haggard old lady face. Night time is much more forgiving. Although, I rarely do anything past 7pm these days so maybe this is not a product I’ll repurchase…

MAC has an amazing collection of blushes as well, but I’ve resisted. Their Well Dressed is supposed to be oh so nice – anyone have a favorite blush from MAC?

I don’t own any myself but Wet n Wild Color Icon blush is supposed to have great color payoff (pigmentation) and it’s crazy cheap. Wet n Wild sure has stepped up their game since the days of my youth! That brand used to be total crap.

Eyeliner: Although these come in an array of deliciously fun colors,

I think having a true black or a coffee brown in your collection would be all that you “need” for a 30-something lady like me. I currently have two blacks – Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-on pencil in Zero (I hear Perversion is even “blacker”) and NYX Slide-on Pencil in Jet Black – and one brown, Stila’s Damsel. The Urban Decay pencil is awesomely long wearing and doesn’t smudge on me. It’s also a whopping $19 (owie). I was hoping the NYX would be a inexpensive substitute, but since I have oily eyelids, it travels on me. I’m using them up anyway. These two drugstore finds come highly recommended: Physician’s Formula eyeliners or Maybelline Masterdrama eye pencil, so I may give those a try in the next round.

A random tip: Eyeliners are multipurpose. You can smudge them out all over your lid for a nice wash of color (especially the funky colors) or to use as a base to layer shadow over top. It helps the shadow “stick” and adds depth. Who knew?

Eyeshadow primer: Didn’t know you needed this? You do. It prevents your eye makeup from creasing and fading. I love Urban Decay’s Primer Potion.

Although, Two-Faced Shadow Insurance is supposed to be the bomb.com. They are both expensive but worth the cash.

Eyeshadow: Oooh, eyeshadow. The really fun stuff. There should technically be two categories: cream eyeshadows and powder eyeshadow. Maybelline Color Tattoo, hands down, is the best drugstore cream eyeshadow. It’s blendable, buildable, and does not budge. Although it comes in a handful of wild colors, I have Bad to the Bronze – which I use a base to layer powder eye shadows over or just by itself for an all over lid color.

It’s really beautiful, especially sheered on on my fair skin (otherwise, it could tend to look ruddy). I think it would look so yummy if you were of Indian or Mideastern decent, or just darker than me (a very PALE person). I wish Maybelline had a permanent neutral beige color tattoo in their line. They came out with Barely Beige this fall, but it was limited edition and impossible for me to find. For high end, MAC makes their famous Paint Pots but I haven’t splurged on any of those yet – I hear the Maybelline Color Tattoos out perform them anyway.

I did however, splurge on a MAC eyeshadow quad. They cost a fortune, an absolute fortune.

I cringe just thinking about it. I hope they are worth it. I picked four uber neutral shades (mostly matte) that will play nicely together or be fine worn on their own. One comfort I have is that they will last for forever. *Crosses fingers*.

MAC isn’t the only one that makes buttery, blendable, pigmented eyeshadows. Stila, Dior, Makeup Forever, Too Faced, and Urban Decay are all strong brands. Urban Decay’s famous Naked Palette is a beauty guru all time favorite.

At $50, it’s an awesome deal since it has the perfect range of shimmery and matte neutrals and the looks you can make with these eye shadows are endless. I wish I would have bought this over my MAC quad.

Supposedly, with a good eye shadow primer, even drugstore eye shadows work very well. The Revlon Colorstay Eyeshadow Quads (I’ve been “eyeing” the one in Moonlit),

NYX, and Wet n Wild eyeshadows (found at most drugstores) are known to be really great products. And so cheap, comparatively.

Mascara: There are loads and loads of mascaras out there. It’s overwhelming. I like (along with many others) the Covergirl Lashblast mascara. It’s cheap, the brush is big and the formula is not too “wet”.

I’ve tried only a handful of others but they performed sadly on my puny lashes (or flake off throughout the day), so I keep coming back to this one.

Brows: Man, I hate (DETEST) the drawn-in brow look. It’s gross. But, my brows are 1. poorly shaped and 2. patchy. I need a brow intervention. I realize that I will have to invest in some sort of brow product/routine, but for now I am too lazy. The Revlon Brow Fantasy is supposed to be good – anyone out there tried it or like something else better?

Lips: There is SO much lip candy to chose from, it’s hard to take. From balms to glosses to lipsticks to lip stains to lip plumpers to lip butters, what’s a girl to do?

MAC makes decadent lipsticks. They smell of vanilla, go on very creamy and have a massive color selection. Try one, just for fun! I’ve heard Chanel, YSL, NARS, Tarte all make stellar products as well, and you will pay dearly for them.

But, the drugstore has everything a girl could want. Revlon, Maybelline, Burts Bees and Neutrogena do lip products well – but I think you can find a gem in any line – even Bonnebell (old school, eh?). I’ve only snagged one Revlon lip butter and am waiting patiently to experiment more with drugstore lip goodies. For now, I must stay the course and use up the products I’ve bought over the years before I dance around with new ones.

Eye-makeup remover: My least favorite part of the day: removing all of these products…especially mascara. Right now, I’m using Sonia Kahsuk’s eye makeup remover (sold at Target) and I like it so far. It’s not cheap by any means (especially for drugstore) but it seems to do a good job.

So, that’s it (albeit, very long winded). Any favorites of yours that didn’t get mentioned?

Yeah, yeah, I know true beauty is adoring every crinkled inch of your body, drinking loads of water and being a kind presence in the world – but sometimes a good coat (or two) of mascara or a swipe of concealer helps get you by, you know?

P.S. I might do a toned-down make up discussion for Mommies/just plain busy ladies that don’t have tons of time in the morning to primp and play, nor endless money to spend. Would you hate that or not mind so much?

A worried heart.

Our ultrasound is officially tomorrow. It’s “the big one”. You know, where we get to find out the gender of this little person inside of me. Finally, I can zero in on nursery colors, pick out the name, round out the registry and plan, plan, plan! It’s going to be such a relief to know so I can get to all of the fun stuff, right?

Well, to be honest, I have a worried heart. I can’t help it.

Not only do we find out the gender, but we find out lots of things at this appointment. Is the baby’s brain growing properly, are the arms and legs proportional, is the spine maturing normally – the list goes on. Basically, is my baby ok?

I can’t help but fret. Fret about what I didn’t eat, fret about what I did.  Fret about drinking too much coffee and not enough water. Did I run too much and too hard early on, when I was trying to keep this all a secret? I haven’t felt any movement except for a burble late Sunday night, is that a bad sign? Has there been something, all along, that just didn’t go right when all of those cells were splitting and changing into Life?  All of these questions are swarming around my brain and it makes my heart achey inside.  I’m nervous for Wednesday.  I’m scared.

Even with my heart in my throat, I still pat my Bump and whisper “I can’t wait to see you.”  It’s true, I really can’t.  Whatever happens, it’s going to be alright.

How very Pinteresting

So, last weekend I was eating dinner with the founder of Pinterest (true story) and I decided, albeit a million years too late, to explain what this Pinterest thing is all about.

(And although tempted, no, I did not wear my Pinterest shirt to the dinner.)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m probably close to the last person on Earth to get aboard the Pinterest train.  In fact, one of the earliest adopters of this startup was my dearie Emily Griffith, whom I’m always quick to copy

(see?  Matching outfits.)

but it *still* took me until last summer to give “Pinning” a try.  I didn’t quite understand what I was missing out on and maybe there’s a single soul out there who feels the same way.

What IS Pinterest?

It’s basically a pretty way (ie: visual using pictures) to organize anything from the web you find inspiration in and that you’d like to reference later on; whether that be a Christmas cookie recipe you’d like to try, a beautifully designed kitchen you’re dreaming about for a future home, creative pumpkin carving ideas, a new exercise routine you’ll never try, a knitting tutorial, and endless more.

See, back in the day, you’d flip through magazines and clip out (p)interesting articles, quotes, pictures, recipes, whatev and maybe, just maybe if you were Martha Stewart, you’d put it in a pretty binder, never to look at again.  I’d bet that most of us have drawers of clippings and such stashed in the stupidest places (crumpled at the bottom of your purse, in a bin in the garage, piled frighteningly on the fridge)  But now, we are inundated all of this virtual inspiration from design blogs, personal blogs (I know, it’s a heavy weight I carry, being so inspiring and all) and so many other sources that there was an actual need to organize all of that data.  I *used* to email myself links that would get buried in my inbox, never to be unearthed again.  But, Pinterest solves that problem.  Boring words aside, I think you really need to *see* it to understand it’s usefulness.

Welcome to my Pinterest board:

It’s not much, but it gets the point across.  I have 7 categories.  You can have as many or as little as you want and you can name them whatever you want and they can be ANYTHING (like photography, gardening tips/sources, books you want to read, etc).

Mine are as follows:

Holiday Hogwash – I pin any cute homemade Christmas gift ideas, free printables for gift tags, pumpkin carving ideas, holiday specific recipes to try, Easter egg crafts, etc, like my inspiration for last year’s Halloween costume:

Muy Importante Calories – There are so many amazing recipes to try, my head wants to explode.  This is where I store them for later on.  I’ve tried lots of recipes that I’ve found from Pinterest and they did not disappoint.  I haven’t made them yet, but can you only imagine how good these cinnamon sugar donut muffins would taste?

Miss Fashionista Here is where I put cute outfits I’d like to copy, hair and makeup tutorials.  Like, how DO you do that swanky Fish Tail Braid?  Pinterest taught me.  There is a whole world of stylish people out there that put together outfits/do hair for you and all you have to do is copy the crap out of it!  Viola!  Instantly fashionable, like her:

Wordy Here is where I pin adorable art (say from Etsy.com) that I’d like to buy for our house one day, quotes that I don’t want to forget, and anything that just fills my heart up with some wordy love.

Hubs Should Buy Me –  Obviously, this is where I SUBTLY pin things I am hoping/wishing will make it into my Christmas stocking or birthday gift or anytime gift (just for being awesome, you know?).  A lot of it’s jewelry from Etsy, some Minnesota Gophers gear, adorable workout clothes.  That sort of thing.

Home is Where the Heart Is –  Here is where I put anything home related (duh) that I want to remember, such as: how to make homemade earth-friendly cleaners, Menu planning, cleaning schedules and this DIY indoor herb garden:

Crafty time – I put any DIY (do-it-yourself) lovelies that I’d like to try or, most likely, that I’ll never get around to doing but still.

Oh, are you someone that doesn’t really spend enough time online to find inspiration on the web?  You’re someone who has no clue where to look to find fun new recipes or gardening tips?  Here’s the other really, really nice thing about Pinterest.  It’s a “social” thing (like Facebook) so you can find your friends and follow them.  Usually, your friends have similar (p)interests and so all you have to do is watch what they are pinning, and REPIN IT.  It’s like copying but way more classy!!!

The other nice thing, and this is *very* important in Internet land, is linking back to the SOURCE of the recipe, idea, inspiration.  You can stow away that great idea to try later – Pinterest will always lead you back to the orignal source.  So, like, if all of you pin my famous chocolate cookie recipe to try later at that cookie exchange, I’ll still get the credit.  Word.

Before I sign off this monster post, some quirky fun Pinterest facts:

Although a super nerdy technology startup, Pinterest users are not the typical folks that use new software.  Usually it’s the early adopter, twenty-something nerdy guys, typically living in Silicon Valley or the East Coast.  You know the ones, that are always upgrading their laptops and cell phones to the next newest best thing?

No, the Pinterest wildfire roared in the Midwest amongst the most unlikely user base:  Females.  More specifically, MOMS.

You see, (just generalizing here) Moms like to scrapbook, garden, cook, decorate, craft, organize, clean.  Pinterest is the haven for organizing all of these great ideas they have bouncing in their brain on their way to pick up kids at soccer practice.

Nowadays, almost everyone is using it (my high school girls and my MIL) and I think you should join too.  Why not, eh?

Clothes The Front Door!

Clothes.  I love them.  And they frustrate me to NO END.  Let’s talk clothes therapy, shall we?

Here are my issues:

1. I LOVE clothes (and accessories and bags and shoes!) but I don’t like having lots of them.  It’s a “having too much stuff” issue for me and causes me more anxiety than you’d probably guess.  I consider it clutter.  I’d much rather have a super small wardrobe that has more turnover, than a closet full of tired choices that I am supposed to remix into something cute and fresh.

–By the way, there is an entire corner of blogland where ladies are *amazing* at remixing what they have.  I’m always so inspired!  Obviously, I super suck at it (we all regretfully remember my painful attempts with the Wore Zone series.  *shudder*)  The thing is, you need a fairly large “base closet” to work from for remixing to be successful.  Check out this blog and this one, if you want to inject new life into your closet by remixing. It’s seriously an awesome concept, just not for me!

2.  Back to me.  I’m cheap.  Like really, really cheap.  Being a bargain hunter should be a good thing, right?  Sometimes, though, I find myself buying lots of cheap stuff that I don’t like as much instead of investing in a few quality pieces.  Too often, my “great deals” get shipped off to Goodwill faster than you can believe and that incredible “score” was actually just money thrown down the toilet.  And now that I’m on a super tight budget, the struggle to find a good balance is even more difficult than before.  Those “mistakes” really hurt now.

3.  Along with being cheap, I shop mostly piecemeal with no further agenda in mind.  I’m always quick to buy the cute shirt on sale, but drag my feet when it comes to investing in a good pair of jeans, shoes, shorts, sweaters, etc.  You know, the expensive stuff!  I never shop for “outfits” and then I stand admist my hodgepodge collection of clothes and wonder why I have so much stuff but nothing to wear!

4.  I drool over fashion trends and think it’s important to feel stylish and put together.  I really admire fashionable people (hi, Emily!) and walk away from those encounters inspired to do better.  But, I finally admitted to myself that being fashionable is actually not a talent of mine.  I’m not good at it.  NAPPING, on the other hand, is something I do very very well.

5.  When shopping for clothes, I haven’t been good at recognizing my lifestyle needs.  When I worked in the office – I needed office appropriate attire that was also age appropriate, workout clothes, and casual weekend wear.  Due to issues #1-#3, I owned a sorely incomplete set of each and always felt frustrated and ill-prepared, no matter what the event!

So.  When I happened upon that garage sale in July – I went plumb crazy in that awkward closet of mine.  Anything I wasn’t sure what to do with or how to piece into an outfit, I priced to sell and oh boy, sell it did.  My (already small) closet dwindled to scraps!  It’s probably for the best, our closet is tiny anyway.  Mentally, it was a relief to have a fresh start.  I’m hoping that from here on out, I can work on building a closet that’s more mindful than before – all the while on tight budget.  Cross your fingers for me, because I don’t think this will be easy!

My “solutions” to Issues 1-5:

Sol1:  I realize that having a small wardrobe is a good thing – for my head, for my wallet and for our serious space limitation in this apartment.  I’m giving up on the idea of remixing and instead, concentrating on having an ultra efficient set of clothes.  I don’t mind wearing things often, as long as it’s a complete outfit that I feel comfortable in.  That’s what I’m going to *try* to do from here on out.

Sol2: This one is hard.  My budget is small.  I would *like* buy those beautiful boots that cost $250 (which  would probably end up being worth it in the end) but my annual budget would go up in smoke.  My goal is to have less stuff, but more quality pieces.  I’m going to do my best, but it’s going to be difficult to conquer my old mindset.  I’m not good at recognizing “investment pieces” versus ordinary pieces I could find somewhere else, for less money.  Have any rules-of-thumb that you go by that might help me out?

Sol3:  I have two solutions that I’m hoping will solve Issue #3.  One, I made a super specific list of basics that my closet is lacking at this moment (such as denim trousers, a 3/4 black blazer, a grey raceback tank, etc) and I’m focusing on filling those needs.  I tried to assess what items would really pull together the few pieces I have left in my closet.  And I’ve actually been sticking to this list since my budget rolled over in July!  Secondly, once the basics are filled, is to buy in OUTFITS.  The whole shebang.  I figure, it’d be way better to have only one complete outfit for each season than a mishmash of random items that don’t really work together.  Yep, you heard me.  Only ONE outfit per season!?!  You’ll see why in Sol5.

Sol4:  I’m trying to accept that, although I love the thought of skirts, blouses, heels and piles of accessories – I actually crave simplicity.  I crave flattering but comfortable layers.  I crave flats.  I crave warmth.  And I crave functionality.  If I were to characterize my style, I guess it’d be “sporty casual”.  I’m not a dress-up girl.  I’m going to try and remember that when I start mulling over that pair of mint skinny jeans, believing they are my ticket to Fashion Island.  It’s funny because my twin LOVES to get all dressed up for fancy occasions.  He would do it every day if he could!  I just find it stressful and a huge departure from my normal “style”.  And when I do have to put together an outfit, I’m going to copy someone else that knows what they are doing!

What I wish I was like:
What I actually wear:

Sol5: I run in the mornings, work from home and then head to practice each afternoon.  As for the weekends, Hubs and I do yoga, go on hikes, bike to restaurants and work in the garden.  Truth is, I spend a lot – no, a majority – of my time in workout clothes at this moment in my life.  It just doesn’t make much sense to throw on an outfit with accessories, just to peel them off a few hours later for practice or a bike ride.  In the winter, I’m less active but I just want to be cozy and warm.  I don’t go out much, get dressed up or head in to an office.  So, right now, my lifestyle needs are a more adequate set of workout clothes (especially when it comes to the winter season – I hardly have any cold weather gear) and at least ONE every day outfit (for each season) that I would wear to a casual dinner or a get together.  I know my life and wardrobe needs will probably change – but for now, this is what I am going to focus on.

So, that’s my plan.  Let’s hope mapping it all out will give me some sense of direction?

Is this the most boring post you’ve ever laid eyes on or is this an issue you struggle with too?  Any tips that work for you?

Camping with Candace

I secretly bugged out for a camping trip in the mountains with 27 high schoolers (oh my).  I’m one of three adults and we are setting up camp in right between the girls and the boys tents (a human buffer, if you will) so no funny business happens.  Little do they know, I rarely stay past 9.30pm.

Also, I’m not much for camping but I think living in Colorado has inspired me to be more rugged.  I made sure to pack all of the essentials:

*body spray

*homemade chocolate chip cookies

*6 outfit changes (we’ll be gone 2 days total)

and this classic eyeshadow palette, which screams camping to me:

Think I’ll survive?

Blogiversary!

At the end of June, I celebrated my second year of blogging.  My blogiversary, if you will.  For two years, you people have been reading my crap.  So sorry about that.

Some stats?

Total blog posts written: 320.  I’ve got so much more to chit chat about too, so hold on.

Total comments: 4,028 (!!) plus one super snarky one from a lady that I decided not to publish.  How rude!

Average visit duration this year: 1:29.  This is probably beefed up for the days that I spend reading old blog posts when I should be cleaning.

Number of unique visitors this year: 4,878 (yowzas!)

Most hits on a post: My skillfully crafted Halloween costume, I’m a hoot, but only because I linked up to a famous blog (Young House Love) to show it off.

Most comments on a post: This one, when we *finally* sold our house and racked up 31 comments!  At least half of them are mine because someone has to pad the stats around here.

States visiting thecandace: Most of my visits are from Minnesota (surprise!), then Colorado (most likely me creeping on my own blog), then South Dakota (hi, Kate!) and then there’s a strong showing from Wisconsin.  Although not many hits are from other states, I’ve got representation from all of them so I feel pretty important.

Number of spelling errors and misposts: Far, far too many.  More to come.

Other than the main search, “the candace” or variations of, the second search that led people here is “vomit”, which I am undeniably proud of.

Other searches worth noting:

  • garden gnome costume –> YES!
  • frozen banana stand
  • mustache onesie tutorial
  • a girl petting a scraggly dog –> ???
  • blonde hair with dirty roots –> Welcome!  You’ve come to the right place!

If you’re not ready for another year of this, I totally get it.

To see last year’s recap, travel in time to here.

Happy birthday to me!!

Today holds the promise of a brand new year of life and…

Picture courtesy of here.

(getting the crap highlighted out of my hair also helped in this endeavor.)

I couldn’t be more grateful for all that I have and all of the people I share my life with – they fill my heart up to the very brim.  I’m blessed, I tell ya.

xoxoxoxo,

birthday Candace

Be My Guest

We’ve had a handful of house guests since moving out to the mountains (mentioned here, here, here and here and I have yet to tell you of MamaP’s last trip out!) and we always prep in the same way: clean, buy groceries – especially breakfast foods since Hubs makes a mean one, put out fresh sheets/towels and Hubs roasts coffee.  Oh and lastly, and I set out this skinny basket we got for our wedding (love you, Leia) in the bathroom with a card, washcloth and miniature bath goodies.

I didn’t get the chance to use it much when we lived in Minnesota, except when our house was on the market.  Coincidentally, the one time I forgot to set this out to ‘stage’ our bathroom was the *only* time we got an offer.  Maybe I should take a clue and stop using it but I think it’s just too cute.

The fuzzy basket tucked inside was gifted to me from a friend (thanks, Mary!) long ago and I think it’s perfect to slip in an arrangement of bath yummies.

It’s nothing much and not especially crafty, but it gets me super excited for the arrival of my guests.  Plus, now I can justify the decision to put this on our registry, even though Hubs gave me the side eye at the time.

Any old wedding gifts recently resurfaced like mine or any special routines you do when you have overnight guest?