November 2014 archive

How I truly Feel About Turning Forty

Turning Forty

Last year on my 39th birthday I was already looking ahead and talking about turning 40.  I was a little bummed about it.  Society puts a lot of pressure on certain milestone birthdays and this is one of them.  Random ideas would pop into my head about what turning 40 really meant for me and how my life would change.  Would a number really change me all that much?  I guess that is the big question.

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My 40th birthday!

At first, I was most concerned about outwardly things.  Would I have to stop wearing skinny jeans, cute boots, and shirts with a little bling? Do forty year olds wear that type of clothing?  Do I have to cut my long hair and get a bob or pixie haircut?  Then I realized I’m not going to change my personality, my style, my hair color or cut just because one day I’m 39 and the next day I’m 40. Age is just a number and it truly is about what kind of person you are and how you live your life.

Now That I’ve entered a new decade and I’m looking for face products to decrease wrinkles and dark spots, I’ve reflected upon the stages in my life and decided this is the age I would choose to be. If I had the chance, I wouldn’t go back.  Here are several reasons why:

Why I Choose 40

* I think I will always want to be 10 pounds thinner, but I’m actually in the best shape of my life (other than when I was a dancer at 16).  I’ve taken up running and my entire family works out together at the gym.  I’m excited to be spending this quality time with my family while instilling in them the importance of fitness from an early age.

*  I’ve learned things don’t have to be perfect and not everything can be controlled.  In my 20’s and early 30’s I had a hard time with this concept. Trying to control everything is a hard way to live especially when you have young children.  That is too much pressure and sets your family up for a lot of unhappiness.  Kids need to see us learn from our mistakes to see how we handle obstacles that may arise unexpectedly.

*  I have definitely become wiser which has made me a better friend and listener.  I think at this age you truly find out which relationships work for you and which ones are zapping your positivity. You have a better understanding of where people are coming from. Life is too short to spend with people you really don’t care about and who don’t lift you up.

Be at Peace

All the experiences I’ve had have made me the person I am today.  Luckily, I haven’t dealt with too much loss in my life and I have found a peace in my 40’s that I really didn’t have in my 30’s.  I think that comes more from within.  Everyone has flaws, but I’m a pretty confident person, because my confidence comes from me knowing my self worth.  Not in a number on a scale or the latest botox treatment. If you are beautiful on the inside your personality and positivity will radiate outwardly and keep you young at heart.

You’re only As Young as You Feel

Age is just a number.  Live in the moment.  My daughter is a sophomore and I truly love the family trips and holidays with my kids right now.  I know she will be leaving in a couple years for college.  I am trying to live each day to the fullest and truly savor every memory.  Now of course life gets in the way of our plans and things happen, but it’s great to have a purpose, set goals, and try new things.  This is an amazing new chapter in my life and my plan is to live it to the fullest.  I started my blog at 40.  You’re never too old to dream big. I’m looking forward to this amazing year and to see what God has in store for me.  Oh and by the way, I don’t think any one makes a big deal about 41.

Yours truly,

Jenn

 

My 10 Favorite Books of All Time

My cousin challenged me to make this list 2 months ago and I blew it off.  I knew there was no way I was going to be able to narrow my faves down to 10.  Not only am I an avid reader, but I’m also a reading specialist.  When I started my blog I knew I was going to eventually sit down and force myself to come up with that list.  It took me quite some time, but here goes.  I had to think about fiction, non fiction and even break it down more into categories like Young Adult books. But I think this list is a good representation of some of my favorite books of all time.

Top Ten Favorite Books

  1. The 5 Love Languages and (The 5 Love Languages for Teens) By: Gary Chapman (NF)
  2. The Happiness Project– By: Gretchen Rubin (NF)
  3. Look again- Lisa Scottoline (F)
  4. A Fault in Our Stars- John Green (F)
  5. The Hunger Games  Triliogy– Suzanne Collins (F)
  6. The Twilight series -Stephanie Meyers (F)
  7. The DaVinci Code – Dan Brown (F)
  8. Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas -James Patterson (F)
  9. The Giver – Lois Lowry (F)
  10.  Tripping the Prom Queen – Susan Barash (NF)

Most of these books you have probably heard of or can easily find.  I wanted to give you a little info on the Prom Queen book.  I think every mother and older teen should get a copy.  I literally keep it by my bed in case I need to reference back to it with answers to my daughter’s questions.  It talks about women’s relationships from an early age right into adulthood.  It is so fascinating when you understand the female dynamic you’re not as shocked when things don’t turn out the way you expected. I don’t think it’s a good idea to teach our daughters to be cynical, but I think we need to teach them to be a little more careful with whom they share their inner most thoughts.

Let me know what you think.  Are any of these your faves too?  Did I surprise you with any of my choices?  Let me know a couple must reads from your top ten list.  It’s harder then you think to sit down and make this list.

Yours truly,

Jenn

Dark Spot Corrector Reviews

Aging Gracefully

I am at the age where I am trying very hard to stay out of the sun and take care of my skin. I recently reviewed two skincare products and I thought I would share my findings with you. I have always had very freckly skin.  I do not burn easily and I’m not fair, but I have quite a bit of freckles. I’ve always liked my freckles, but this summer they seemed to mesh into one big dark spot all over my face.  This was displeasing so I went searching for the best dark spot corrector.  The moisturizer I was currently using at the time was the Clinique Moisture Surge so I thought I would try the Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector .  Boy that is a mouthful. I bought the 1.7 oz bottle and it was a whopping $76.00.  They do have a 1.0 oz bottle.  I think that runs in the $40 range. Their product’s goal is to reduce dark spots, age spots, and past acne.  Their clinical trials did show that over 50% of people made improvements after 12 weeks using the product twice daily.  There were numerous online reviews and most were very positive earning a 4/5 star rating.

Product Review

The other product I tried was Garnier Skin Renew Dark Sport Corrector.  This product also came in a 1.7 oz tube, but the purchase price was $16.99.  Their product claims your face will instantly look brighter and more evenly toned.  In 4 weeks, you will have less discoloration and spots will fade.  In 12 weeks, the size of your spots will diminish.   The reviews online were pretty positive and they earned 3 1/2 stars.  The Garnier product does have a slight perfume smell.  However, I’m very sensitive to most scents and this did not bother me at all.

Garnier’s a Hit!!

I used both products faithfully and I preferred the Garnier product over the more expensive Clinique.  I tried Clinique first since I was already using some of their facial products.  I saw little to no difference in dark spot or discoloration changes on my face.  When I switched to the Garnier product there was almost an instant change. The dark spots on my cheeks started lightening up.  The only thing I noticed in the Garnier product was it did discolor a little around the outside of the tube.  The manufacturer did mention this on the label and said this happens when high levels of vitamin C are exposed to air. However, it doesn’t change the product’s effectiveness.  It didn’t bother me I just thought I would mention it.

The most expensive product did not work the best in my case. However, everyone’s skin reacts differently to products. I wish I had bought the 1 oz Clinique bottle from the start.  Do you have any dark spot corrector products or anti-aging products I should try?  Please let me know in the comment section.  I am always looking for recommendations for great products.

Yours truly,

Jenn

My October Favorites

October Favorites

It’s that time of the month where I get to share my favorites with you.  Now my obsessions can become your new addictions.

Check out my favorite way to keep up with the day’s latest news.  It’s called The Skimm at http://www.theskimm.com.  The 2 female founders pack a big punch by delivering the top headlines, entertainment, and sports to keep you informed in an easy, quick format delivered to your inbox at 6 am daily.

This is going to be one of my favorite female buys for the holidays.  It is a wristlet Clutch from Express.com (click here) ranging from $59.00- $99.00 The stylish leopard clutch has room to carry what you need for a night out while charging your phone at the same time.  What an amazing gift for your family, friends, and get one for yourself while you’re at it.

Modern Muse is one of my favorite perfumes.  Estee Lauder has made an adorable pink, solid perfume compact that is perfect for traveling or to stash in your purse.  They are kind enough to give 100% of the proceeds from this product to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Taylor Swift’s 1989 album is of course going to be on my list.  She is my favorite artist and a great role model for young girls and for me (an old lady compared to her).  This album has a pop vibe and a different tone.  Taylor definitely sings as if she has found herself and doesn’t need to rely on another person to find happiness.  Good for her.  Some of my favorite tracks are Welcome to New York, Blank Space, and Bad Blood.

I need to discuss the new show I’m loving.  I am enthralled with How to Get Away with Murder. Academy Award Nominee, Viola Davis plays the criminal law professor and lawyer.  Each year she chooses a group of students, from her class, to work with her at her law firm.  These students help her solve cases that are happening each week on the show. However,  The students are caught in a situation where they may need a lawyer.  If you haven’t watched it yet, it’s a must see.  Any show that Shonda Rhimes is involved with is going to be a hit.

Lastly, My favorite new App is ASAP54.  You take a picture of a look you love and it searches over 300 brands until it finds similar looks. It also gives you prices and purchasing information.  If you don’t like those looks there is also a stylist button option.  If you choose to use the stylist, you will have 5 more looks within 24 hours.  It’s like having your own personal stylist at your beckon call.

Yours truly,

Jenn

Fall Decorations

Table Decorations

I love decorating for the holidays.  In the Ely family, the holidays start at the beginning of October.  I don’t do a whole lot of spooky Halloween decorating. I do some black and purple decor, but mainly my decorations center around the fall theme so I can reuse them for Thanksgiving. Decorations are expensive and if you can reuse something for another holiday then it’s definitely a smart  buy. These gold chargers on the table can be used from October through the New Year. Now that is something the hubby will appreciate!

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Place settings can be used for fall and Thanksgiving

Another decoration I invested in are lanterns.  They are amazing and have tons of practical uses for everyday decorating and special occasions. I use them for holiday decorating, parties, and special entertaining events.  For decorating the inside of my fall lanterns, I used some leaves, gourds, pumpkins and an assortment of dried flowers. I really think they add a nice touch to the already existing mums and pumpkins.  I got my lanterns 2 years ago at Pier 1. If you’re looking for some check at Lowes and Target.  I have seen lanterns there for a great price.

Fall Front Porch

Porch decorations with lanterns, mums and pumpkins

Yours truly,

Jenn

 

 

 

 

25 Things About Me

 

25 Things About Me

I thought it was time we got to know each other a little better. Here is a

list of 25

facts about me.  Please continue to interact and leave comments so I can

get to know you better.

1. I’m deathly afraid of clowns.

2. I met my husband on my first day of college.

3. I won a ton of coloring contests when I was younger, but I can’t draw at all.

4. My left foot is slightly bigger than the right one.

5. I’m obsessed with reading.

6. I can’t read in the car or I get really car sick.

7. I am a list person.  After I mark several things off my list, I write a new one that’s all nice and neat.

8. I keep all my old calendars.

9. I got my belly button pierced after having my second child.

10. I worked at a water park when I was a teenager.

12. I have an amazing nephew that has a cochlear implant.

13. My wedding ring dates back to the 1950’s.  It was cut by hand.

14. I started school when I was 4.

15. My freshman year of college I had to get 6 stitches on my brow bone.

16. In 2006, I wrote a preschool series called “Mommy Teach Me to Read.”

17. Pet peeves- When people use the wrong form of there and your. When people eat with their mouth open. When I see an used bandaid on the ground (especially at a water park). Remember I used to work at one.

18. I have insomnia so I do a lot of work at night.

19. When I travel, my carry on bag and purse weigh 25+ pounds.

20. I have a 5 pound teacup Maltese.

21. I don’t like watching shows at their regularly scheduled time. GO DVR!!!

22. My Master’s degree is in Reading Education.  I am a certified K-12 reading specialist.

23. Every year we throw a huge 4th of July party.  I do the planning and my husband does an amazing firework show at the end of the night.

24. I’m very competitive.

25. I didn’t get glasses until I was 24.

 

Yours truly,

Jenn