My life has been wall-to-wall Malala Yousafzai over the last few weeks, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Do you know about Malala? Certainly you saw media coverage of her in 2012 when she was shot in the head by the Taliban in her home country of Pakistan on her way to school, for speaking out in favor of girls being educated, in direct defiance to the Taliban. She was 15 years old. Malala made a phenomenal recovery and now spends her time campaigning for basic human rights and the educational needs of the underrepresented populations across the world: girls, children and refugees. Over the weekend a documentary about Malala’s life, He Named Me Malala opened in theaters across the country and I’m telling you to go see it right now. It’s funny and moving and brilliant and will make you want to get involved with this campaign ASAP. Malala is endearing and funny, smart and sweet, and the movie about her life thus far (including winning the Nobel Peace Prize) will make you feel like anything is possible. If one teenage girl is getting it done, certainly you can too.
Go here for a list of movie theaters … >> find out more...
I’m not a dreamer. I don’t mean I don’t have dreams while I sleep. I mean I don’t naturally sit and dream up things about my future. However, as a healthy exercise for the mind and soul, every so often, I sit and make myself dream. Recently I did this around travel destinations. I encourage you to do the same. Make a travel bucket list. If anything, your search on the web will be delightful eye candy to all the beautiful places in the world!
My travel bucket list consists of…
1. Bali. My husband and I both have a fascination with Bali. The beauty of it simply takes my breath away. A bungalow right on the beach? Yes, please.
photo credit: The sunset@kuta beach via photopin (license)
2. Brazil. I have LOTS of Brazilian friends and I’ve yet to step foot on the South American continent. I think it’s high time to see what all the fuss is about. A vacation in Rio, perhaps?
photo credit: Blue Hour in Rio de Janeiro via photopin (license)
3. Ireland. I’ve been to Ireland, but it was a short visit. Our “tourist” day was misty and cloudy, so we didn’t get to … >> find out more...
I have never taken the time for a girls’ weekend with friends. I’ve done girls’ night out, lunches, breakfasts, and day outings, but never an extended period of time, with just my girlfriends. I’ve been married for 14 years, come this October. Those of you that have had girls’ weekends, bravo!
The truth is, life is so busy, it’s difficult to find the time. With our family, we treasure travel time, and each weekend together, and work to maximize our moments together. With family as our primary priority, fun extras like a girls’ weekend, tend to get pushed further down our list. I was thrilled to participate when Choice Hotels said they want to get people out there, into one of their 5,000 locations across the US, and connect face-to-face. You can do the same. Remember to sign up for a free membership with Choice Privileges and start earning points, and perks, with your stays.
So being forced to get out of our routine, and get together with my friends from middle school days, was invigorating. Most of us hadn’t had a girls weekend, since we’d been married, and the trip to Napa was the first for a couple of my friends … >> find out more...
Once in awhile a package lands on my doorstep full of random beauty products, or toys, or kitchen paraphernalia. And to most of the time I give the contents away to someone who can make better use of whatever it is, than me. Most of the time the packages are full of stuff I just can’t get excited about. This is not one of those times. This is one of the rare exceptions when something shows up that I can’t stop talking about and sharing with my friends, and now I’m going to share it with you. So get excited.
First of all, in a marketplace jam-packed with beauty products, I get really excited by clever ad copy and funny, tongue-in-cheek branding.
You have my attention, please proceed.
Soap & Glory is a United Kingdom brand, (figures. all the good stuff comes from the U.K.) with a handful of bath + body products and some basic cosmetics. I have yet to try anything beyond the four products I’m about to endorse wholeheartedly, but I’d imagine that’s about to change.
Let’s start with the Sexy Mother Pucker gloss stick + Sexy Mother Pucker Pillow Plump lip gloss, shall … >> find out more...
Life is hard sometimes, you know? Sometimes it’s messy and downright ugly, which is why the beautiful stuff is so great when it shows up. But sometimes the beautiful stuff takes an awful long time to get to your door, and when that happens, you have to make your own beauty. Which I think is the very best kind.
I’ve been pretty sick lately. In fact, as I write this, I’m in my pajamas, wearing a foxy orthopedic wrist brace. I’ve been horizontal a lot, lying in bed, feeling a lot of sadness about this broken body of mine. It gets overwhelming sometimes.
As I was recovering in bed this morning after a terrifyingly painful and debilitating migraine last night, I felt powerless to accomplish all the things I want to do, never mind the things I need to do. But as I thought about it, I realized how awesome my life really is, and how important it is to get perspective and be grateful when things just flat out suck. So I’d like to share my list of things to be grateful for when things are hard.
10 Things To Be Grateful For When Life is Hard… >> find out more...
If you’re looking to try a new (but simple) hairstyle for fall, this braided half-up look is the perfect solution. It works for everyday or you can easily dress it up for a date or even a wedding. This works best with hair at the shoulders or longer, but could certainly inspire hairstyles for shorter cuts as well. And really, braided styles are easier than you think.
To start, make sure you have clear elastics, bobby pins, and a curling iron. You may also want hairspray and a finishing creme to prevent frizz. Let’s get started!
First you’re going to create two small braids on either side of your head. I always recommend holding the braid in the direction you’re going to pin it so that you don’t get any weird bumps, etc. Then pin both braids from one side at the back of your head and repeat on the other side. Remove the clear elastics and add in 1-2 more bobby pins to secure the braids in place. Finish by curling the hair that’s left down (you can also leave it natural or straighten it!). I also used Dove Flexible Hold Hairspray to keep the braids in place without making the curls look … >> find out more...
It’s Quote Of The Week time!
This week’s quote comes from one of my favorite authors, John Green, a young adult author most prominently known for his book turned movie, The Fault in Our Stars. First of all, if you’re not reading YA you’re missing out on some of the best authors in print, and John Green is no exception. His work is ethereal and wise, and the writing in The Fault in Our Stars is so beautiful I weep every time I read a section of it.
This quote happens to be from The Fault in Our Stars, a moment on its way to somewhere else, and I love every word of it.
Petit Elefant Quote of the Week
You are so busy
you have no idea how
Isn’t that a great quote? Ugh, I love it.
If you’re new to this series you can catch up on it here: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7.
Have a great week, hope you enjoy it!
… >> find out more...
A good book is the cure to all ills in the world, I genuinely believe that. I’m always reading something, and since I discovered Overdrive, an app that lets you check out books through your local library, but online, my world has opened right on up. With my Kindle I’m listening to between 3-5 books a week and it’s the very best. I’m listening to / reading all the awesome books I haven’t had time to read over the last several years and the best part is I get to “read” while I do all the boring, mundane things in life. Like laundry and dishes, and while I make dinner every night. Now I not only look forward to doing chores, I knock out two birds with one stone. Everyone wins, especially me.
When I started plowing through several books a week, I started a blog post with approximately one hundred and one million books to recommend. But the thing is, I’m reading so many books the list now has too many books on it, and it’s always growing. So I thought, what if we started a virtual book club, where I share my … >> find out more...
Halloween is coming! Are you ready to get your DIY on? It’s time to bust out those pumpkins, costumes, treats and all things spooky and sweet. We’ve put some of our favorite Halloween DIY projects in one place, so read on for some great projects and crafts to do with your family this month–all of them simple and totally fun!
1. 3 Crazy Easy DIY Halloween Costumes
Looking for some super easy costume ideas for your kiddos? You’ll LOVE these three! They are gender neutral, fun, and adorable.
2. Halloween Treat Bags
Spooky little ghost bags filled with yummy treats! The cutest. Just right for class parties or delivering Halloween treats and prizes to friends.
3. Orange Pumpkin Craft
Turn little oranges into cute jack-o-lanterns with this pumpkin craft! It’s super easy, and your family will love seeing these little guys on the dinner table.
4. Easy Ghost Suckers
This is the best craft for your kiddos to do all on their own, and one that’s been making the rounds for generations. Makes for a sweet treat too!
5. Silver Pumpkin DIY
Isn’t it amazing what a little spray paint can do? Transform your pumpkins into fancy home decor that can be enjoyed right … >> find out more...