Blogmas! (Day 25) Happy Christmas!

Blogmas is over! Oh my goodness, I didn’t know if I’d make it through!

Thank you all for reading my Blogmas posts, and for your comments! I enjoyed reading your posts and getting to know you and your holiday traditions from the U.S. to all y’all overseas.

Whether you celebrate the holidays or not, enjoy the day with your loved ones!

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

❤ Cherilyn Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

Blogmas! (Day 24) Christmas Eve!

It’s Christmas Eve!

Christmas is tomorrow!

2018 is one week away!

Blogmas is over tomorrow!

Holy yellow snow!

Ok. WOAH. Let’s slow it down a bit.

As it is the last few days of December, I usually spend them reminiscing over the year, and reflecting over how I can do things differently in 2018. I don’t beat myself up over the past. Rather, I think about how I handled situations that arose and make it a goal to handle issues better in 2018.

I want to slow down more in 2018.

I want to get back to the things I love: camping, photography, kayaking, and traveling.  I need to refocus and reintroduce myself to the things I once loved that I put on the back burner for whatever reason.

I want to stop making excuses.

I want to concentrate more on my health and fitness. Again, more excuses kept me away from the gym, and my absence only made getting back into the hang of going again much more difficult. I need to remind myself how I felt after I worked out. How seeing my body change for the better made me feel better.

I want to decide what I want to do with my life. I know. I’m 45. I should already know what I want to do. But I don’t. And I’m OK with that. I’m OK with continuing on this path but I know I can do more. I’m not too old.

I want to make this blog PHENOMENAL! I’m working on changes, and I’m excited to see just how far I can take this.

2018 is going to be awesome, y’all. I can feel it.

In case you’re not on here tomorrow, Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. ❤ Enjoy your day with loved ones. I am looking forward to reading your posts on how you spent your day.

❤ Cherilyn Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

Blogmas! (Day 23) The Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

On Wednesday, December 20th, we had our company Ugly Christmas Sweater party. Only a few didn’t participate, but those that did proved to be some tough competition!

My Ugly Christmas Sweater is posted here.  I made it myself because you really can’t buy an Ugly Christmas Sweater; they’re just not ugly enough. I decided to make a complete ensemble as a Christmas tree. I even had the star topper headband. I wore brown pants to represent the trunk of the tree.

Here’s a photo of me (far right) with a few of my coworkers: Chris, Heather and Brandon.

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Top photo from left to right: Chris, Heather, Brandon and ME! Bottom left photo: Brandon, Tabby and Heather. Black and white photo: Tabby, ME and Heather. Third photo on bottom: Corey, Antonio, Alexa and Joe. Bottom right photo: Heather and ME!

The contest and our party was a great time! Heather won Most Flammable and took home the main prize for Ugliest Christmas Sweater! Brandon won Most Rash Inducing! I took home Most Creative.  🙂

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Top left photo from left to right: Corey and Winner of Ugliest Christmas Sweater Heather. Top right photo: ME, Bob, Corey, Heather and Brandon. Bottom left photo: Jeff and Ron making the tough decisions of who to award Most Creative, Most Flammable, Most Rash Inducing and Ugliest Christmas Sweater. Bottom middle photo: Heather and Brandon. Bottom right photo: The winners! Heather (Most Flammable and Ugliest Cristmas Sweater), ME! (Most Creative) and Brandon (Most Rash Inducing)

After the contest, we all exchanged gifts. My manager handmade a personalized blanket for 15 of us, as well as a personalized ornament.  Each blanket was made to represent our personalities.

My blanket has the cutest outdoor theme because I love the outdoors and camping. The back of the ornament has the seven slots to represent my Jeep. ❤ The meaning behind both gifts is touching and thoughtful.

Everyone loved the Snowman mason jars. 🙂

Looking forward to a new year with these goofballs!

❤ Cherilyn Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

Blogmas! (Day 22) The Christmas Tag

IT’S DAY 22, Y’ALL!

This is my first year blogging and my first year participating in Blogmas.

So, yeah. Blogmas. The Christmas Tag. Good grief, guys, it’s been a tough tag. I really didn’t think it would be what with so much crap available to write about Christmas. But, it’s been a difficult task coming up every day with an idea related to Christmas.

I started off strong, but then life got in the way and I knew I was going to fall behind. And that’s OK. Blogmas can be whatever I want it to be. I don’t have to post every day. But, I wanted to. In order to keep up, I’ve had to write several posts ahead of time. Thank gawd for the ability to schedule posts. I’ve done about three to four posts in a 2 day block of time, and it’s really been nice to have that as an option.

Blogmas has been a fun tag. I have enjoyed reading everyone’s posts; from all the different gift ideas, the Q & A’s, to the Do’s & Don’ts. It’s nice to learn about y’all.

Have you enjoyed the Blogmas tag?

❤ Cherilyn Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

Blogmas! (Day 21) New Year’s Eve Traditions

The year was 2002.

NYE TraditionI introduced my girls to what would be our New Year’s Eve tradition for years to come: Watching 200 Cigarettes while wearing party hats and drinking sparkling grape juice in plastic champagne glasses.

200 Cigarettes is a 1999 indy film produced by MTV (rated R) starring Courtney Love, Ben Affleck, Casey Affleck, Gaby Hoffman, Christina Ricci, Marth Plimpton, Paul Rudd, Janeane Garofalo, Dave Chapelle, Kate Hudson, and Jay Mohr.

The film is summarized by IMDb as “a collection of twentysomethings trying to cope with relationships, loneliness, desire, and their individual neuroses”.

WARNING: The clip has adult language

Even with my girls living on their own, we all still hold up our tradition and we text each other that we’re watching the movie. It’s sad that we’re not watching it together, but I love that we all still keep up with our quirky tradition.

Do you have a movie that you watch every year? What traditions do you have for New Years eve?

❤ CherilynBlogmas2 Thanks for Reading

Blogmas! (Day 20) The Christmas Tag

Taking this post from Kristyn (The Life of Kristyn), I have answered her questions for Blogmas Day 20! Christmas is just around the corner, y’all!

1. Do you start your Christmas shopping on Black Friday or wait until the last-minute?
I am mostly a last minute shopper, however, I do get some early online shopping done on Black Friday.

2. If you could be in any Christmas movie what would it be?
A Christmas Story. The time period the movie is set is back when kids could play outside without much worry. Basically, it reminds me of my childhood. Also, I would love to have Ralphie’s parents as my parents.

3. Which do you like better: Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
Christmas day!

4. When does your family put up your Christmas tree and who decorates it?
The tree goes up a few days after Thanksgiving. We don’t have a tree this year, though. The holidays just kind of snuck up on us so we’re going tree-less. 😦

5. White lights or coloured lights?
I used to love colored lights, and I still do, but as I get older, I prefer the classic look of white lights.

6. Are you guilty of peeking at your presents or do you like the surprise?
I have been known to peek, but I try not to because I do like the surprise.

7. Would you rather live in a gingerbread house or in Santa’s Workshop
Definitely Santa’s Workshop. I’d eat the gingerbread house. 😉

8. Tell us your Christmas Eve traditions!
As a child, Christmas Eve was the night we’d all pack in the station wagon and go look at all the Christmas lights around town. Then we’d go home and open ONE gift and spend the rest of the evening until bedtime watching the Christmas specials on TV. As an adult, it’s just a cosy night indoors, watching Christmas specials on TV until bedtime. Once my grandchildren get a bit older, we’ll do the traditions I had as a child.

9. If you could be under the mistletoe with anyone who would it be?
Anyone? Hmm… Norman Reedus. He’s such an odd looking fella, but I absolutely LOVE him.

10. What tops your tree?
An angel.

11. Can you name the 12 days of Christmas?
Partridge in a pear tree/Two turtle doves/Three french hens/Four calling birds/Five golden rings/Six geese a laying/Seven swans a swimming/Eight maids a milking/I CAN’T THINK OF #9!!/Ten lords a leaping/Eleven pipers piping/Twelve drummers drumming

12. Have you ever gone Christmas caroling?
Yes, though it has been many years.

13. Do you countdown to Christmas? If so, how many days are left?
I do not countdown. I couldn’t even tell you what today’s date is. 😉

14. What are some foods and treats you can count on having every holiday season?
Apple pie and pumpkin pie. I’m hypoglycemic, so we don’t have a lot of sugary treats during the holidays.

15. How has Christmas kept its magic for you as you’ve grown older?
It’s just the time of year that does it. The music, the movies that are on TV along with the classics, the children and their excitement.. all of these things help to keep the Christmas magic alive. ❤

Great questions! Now it’s your turn! You’ve been tagged! Remember to tag me and Kristyn so we can read your answers!

❤ Cherilyn Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

Blogmas! (Day 19) Homemade Snowman Mason Jar Gift

I wrote a post on making these but didn’t break down how I made them! I got the idea last year when I made the same jars but as reindeer and filled each jar with chocolate/salted caramel gourmet pretzels.

What you’ll need:

  • Mason jars with lids (8 oz)
  • Black spray paint
  • Orange craft paint
  • Paint brush to paint the jingle bells
  • Medium jingle bells
  • Googly eyes
  • Medium black buttons
  • Ribbon (If you’re like me and not too crafty, buy lots of ribbon)
  • Glue gun with plenty of glue sticks
  • Top hat ornaments (optional)
  • White candies/cookies/pretzels

I needed 15 jars, so I purchased two cases of the mason jars with lids from Walmart. Each case was under $8.00. I also purchased black spray paint, medium sized jingle bells, orange craft paint, paint brushes, lots of ribbon, a bag of black buttons, and top hat ornaments. I had googly eyes from a previous craft.

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First step was to paint the lids and inner caps black. I wanted to give the snowmen jars a top hat effect. I laid out some shipping paper on my lanai table and laid out all fifteen lids and their inner caps.  I spray painted each one with several coats. I probably should have primed the lids, but because I’m not a regular crafter, I didn’t think of it until I noticed the black paint was taking some work to stick. Eventually, it all came together and the lids were a nice black color.

Next, I painted the fronts of the medium sized jingle bells orange. I wanted a cute way to represent the snowman’s carrot nose. I was hoping that the jingle bells would still jingle after being glued onto the jars, but they don’t. I took great care to ensure the little clanger inside the jingle bells didn’t attach to the hot glue, but it didn’t matter. The jingle bells don’t jingle. So, after the jingle bells dried, I glued them to the middle of each jar. Sheesh, how many times did I type jingle bells?

Jingle bells.

Then I took the googly eyes and hot glued those to each jar. I pretty much burned off my fingerprints doing this, so I can’t offer tips on not burning yourself. I know traditionally snowmen have coal eyes, but I wanted my snowmen to have googly eyes to give more of a cartoon-y, silly look.

The ribbon was a bit tricky. I used one ribbon as the length template and cut 15 ribbons. I glued a ribbon to each jar to give a scarf look, and then glued on a black button to the middle.

A lucky find were the top hat ornaments at the Dollar Store! I didn’t want to go ham on this project but these top hats were just too adorable. I bought them to finish the look.

To finish the jars, I filled them with these yogurt pretzels from The Fresh Market. Each container was $9.99.Christmas Pretzels

I was a bit disappointed that they didn’t have white chocolate gourmet pretzels. Last year I used pretzels and was hoping  to do the same this year. These yogurt pretzels were the next best thing, and they actually taste pretty good.

If you don’t want to limit yourself to white candies or cookies, you can paint the jars white and fill them with other treats.

 

The finished look:  IMG_0209.jpgAfter finally completing this project, I suggest using something other than jingle bells for the snowman’s nose. I’ve had to re-glue several because they keep popping off. And they don’t jingle. 😦 They do look cute, though.

Overall, this project cost $75.00, making each jar about $5.00. I’m happy with the way the jars turned out!

Tomorrow is our work party! Can’t wait to take these in for my coworkers! 🙂

❤ Cherilyn  Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

 

Blogmas! (Day 18) ipsy Unboxing Christmas Edition 2017

Here we are with the ipsy Christmas unboxing! I love this; it’s like an early Christmas present! 🙂  This is my final December unboxing.  I’m looking forward to what ipsy has in store for us in 2018!

If you’re not familiar,  ipsy is a beauty subscription service for $10/month.  You receive 5 beauty products; some deluxe sample sizes, with the occasional full size product. Everything arrives in a cute zippered makeup bag.

This month’s theme is Snow Globe and the bag is gorgeous! ipsy December2It’s a wintery mix of frosty blue and sparkly silver with a Tiffany Blue-ish zipper pull. The ipsy logo is embossed in silver.

Let’s get to the goodies!

ipsy December1

 

I’m not too impressed with this month’s bag, but it’s not a total miss. I guess I was just expecting something more festive to end the year. Even if everyone doesn’t celebrate Christmas, we ALL celebrate the new year. Oh well. 🙂

If you’re interested in trying out the ipsy subscription service, click my referral link here. If you’d rather check out ipsy without my referral link, clicky clicky here!

❤ Cherilyn Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

Blogmas! (Day 17) Would You Rather – The Blogmas Edition

Hello, lovelies! Taking from Aimee’s post, I thought I’d answer her Would You Rather questions – Blogmas Edition!  Please feel free to copy and answer for yourself, but don’t forget to tag me and Aimee so we can read your answers!

Would You Rather

Let’s do this!

  1. Would you rather not celebrate Christmas this year or not celebrate your birthday this year? I’d rather not celebrate my birthday. I prefer celebrating Christmas because it’s so much better! Everyone gets gifts on Christmas. 🙂
  2. Would you rather get many small presents or one big present? Oooh, that’s a tough one. There are some big items I’d like, but it’s also fun to have many small presents, too. Hmm.  I’ma say one big present because I can buy myself all the small presents. 😉
  3. Would you rather be at home for Christmas and get presents or go to Disneyland but not get any presents? Definitely be at home. I do not like theme parks AT ALL so going to Disneyland would not be fun for me.
  4. Would you rather eat fruit cake for two days or candy canes for two days? Well, without a doubt, CANDY CANES BECAUSE FRUIT CAKE IS YUCKY.
  5. Would you rather live in a giant gingerbread house or ride the Polar Express? Another tough question! If I lived in a gingerbread house I’d soon be homeless because YUM. I love to travel so sign me up for Polar Express!
  6.  Would you rather see “the Nut Cracker” or dance in “the Nut Cracker”? SEE the Nut Cracker. Although, me dancing in the Nut Cracker would be hilarious. But I’d probably pull a muscle and not be able to walk for a week. Let’s just play it safe and stick with See. 😉
  7. Would you rather be covered in Christmas lights or tinsel? Christmas lights! Tinsel bugs me so much.
  8. Would you rather swim in a pool of eggnog or a pool of warm cocoa? Well, I’d have to choose warm cocoa because how uncomfortable would it be to swim in eggnog?

These questions made me laugh! Such a good variety of quirky questions! Thank you, Aimee, for posting this and letting me play along!

❤ Cherilyn Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

Blogmas! (Day 16) Boxycharm Unboxing Christmas Edition 2017

I was dying to get my December Boxycharm in the mail and it arrived a day earlier than expected!

If you’ve not heard of this box, Boxycharm is a monthly beauty subscription service. For $21/month, you receive 4-5 full sized beauty products in a cute little black box.  Each box is always worth $100+!

Let’s get to the goodies!

  • RealHer Blush Kit  ($32.00) – The shades in this blush kit are gorgeous, but I think there is only one I can use.
  • Beaute Basics Bronze Essentials ($39.95) – A pretty shimmery bronzing palette, but I will be passing this on.
  • Tarte Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara ($23.00) – I really like this mascara! It gave my lashes crazy length! The wand is stiff, which I really like. It grabs each lash and coats them nicely, but not thick and goopy. I am always asked if I’m wearing falsies, and nope. I can’t apply false lashes to save my darned life. 

    December Boxycharm

  • Pretty Vulgar My Lips Are Sealed Lightweight Liquid Lipstick in Secret Sabotage ($24.00) – I’m wearing it in the photo and it’s such a pretty color. It doesn’t dry down making it transferable, but it’s light, not sticky and so very pretty. It did kind of run into the fine lines on my top lip, but if I just use the elf cosmetics Lip Lock Pencil, the color didn’t run. The packaging is pretty with gold accents and roses on the cap. I didn’t notice much of a smell.
  • Crown Deluxe Blush Brush ($12.00) – This brush is seriously soft. It will be put into my brush rotation.

Total box worth: $130.95

Overall, this is a decent box. I like the blush and the bronzer palettes, but honestly, I know I won’t use the bronzer palette and I may only use just one of the blush shades. I’m diggin’ the blush brush, the mascara and the liquid lipstick. Every box can’t be a total win, but it’s not a total loss, either.

If you want to check out Boxycharm for yourself, click my referral link here!  If you want to check out Boxycharm and subscribe without clicking the referral link, clicky clicky right here!

❤ Cherilyn Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

Blogmas! (Day 15) Another Early Christmas Present to Myself

This Blogmas post is going to be a bit different. We’re going to get a little serious here. I titled this Another Early Christmas Present to Myself because I was going to wait until the first of the year. But this is something that can’t wait, and though money is tight during the holidays, this was a gift I needed to give myself. Here’s how it went down:

A sun spot I have had on my leg for about 7-8 years started to change. At first it developed redness around the top edge, and looked a bit larger. Then within a week, the entire spot was red and itchy. Then a few days later it definitely grew in size and was a dark red.  The photos don’t really show just how dark red it was, but it looked like a blood blister.

During all this spot changing, I was googling like crazy to see if I should be worried or if I should wait until the first of the year when my health insurance kicks in. The answer was a no. The spot would not look the same if it was split in half, it had grown significantly in size and was a deep red in color. It went from a light tan freckle color to blood red in less than two weeks.

I headed to the dermatologist on Friday, December 1st at 9:30am.

The doctor could not say anything other than there was definite cause for concern because of its fast progression. She did a punch biopsy, which removed the entire spot from the inside out, stitched me up with three stitches on the inside of my leg and three on the outside and sent me on my way with instructions to return on December 15th to have the stitches removed.

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The biopsy results would take a week, however, the dermatologist called me a few days later with the results:

Precancerous, but the biopsy removed it all.

When I got the call, I was at work, sitting at a poker table. We’re not supposed to be on our phones at the table, but this qualified as a call to take no matter what. After I hung up, I almost started crying because I hadn’t slept in weeks and now I could stop worrying. Under normal circumstances family is the first to find out these things, however, since I was at work and sitting on a poker table,  all my players and coworkers were the first to know. 🙂 I can’t even begin to describe how overjoyed I was, and still am, with the outcome. ❤

My message to you is DO NOT WAIT. If you notice something funny, even a slight change, DO NOT WAIT to have it checked. I had three spots checked and the other two were nothing. Even better if it turns out to be absolutely nothing. Please know that melanoma is a fast and aggressive cancer. Who knows what the outcome would have been had I waited a couple more months? The spot had changed so quickly in a 2 week period that had I waited, I don’t want to think about it because I didn’t wait. And the spot was removed. And those precancerous cells are no longer there.

This would qualify as the best early Christmas present to myself EVER.

❤ Cherilyn Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

Blogmas! (Day 14) Another Gift Idea

I didn’t think about this gift idea when writing my first Gift Ideas post, and I am kinda glad I didn’t because this gives me another post to write because how many things can one write about every day until Christmas?! I am enjoying Blogmas, especially reading y’all’s posts, but holy cinnamon-smelling pine cones, it’s a difficult tag to keep up with writing-wise!

I was distracted by the opening of a bag of potato chips and I forgot what the heck I was doing.

Oh yeah.. another awesome gift idea! Subscription boxes! RIGHT?

I am currently subscribed to three:

  • Boxycharm ($21/month) (it’s my fave so it goes first)
  • Ipsy ($10/month)
  • MorpheMe by Liveglam (Offers Lipstick, Nail polish and Morphe brushes subscriptions at $19.99/month)

I did get Sephora Play for a few, but with everything coconut being all the rage right now, I had to cancel because I’m allergic to coconut everything. Yay me.

Some other popular beauty box subscriptions are (Prices below are for U.S.):

There are even FOOD boxes! And skin care boxes! And nerdy boxes! And boxes for pets!

I used My Subscription Addiction to help with this post.  You can go to their website or just keep readin’ here because I’ve also made it a bit more convenient for you to choose which boxes you’d like to check out by linking ’em below because MERRY CHRISTMAS, YA FILTHY ANIMALS.  All links will open in a separate window:

  • Click here for all the boxes available for women and men who love beauty
  • Click here for all the boxes available for men
  • Click here for all the PERIOD boxes
  • Click here for all the FOOD boxes (I subscribed to Graze for a good 6 months and enjoyed it!
  • Click here for all the geeky/nerdy boxes
  • Click here for all the boxes available for pets
  • Click here for all the boxes available for $10.00 or LESS

Beauty subscription boxes are an affordable way to try new products whether you’re a makeup pro, or just starting out in the vast and overwhelming world of cosmetics.  It’s nice to get a little box of surprise goodies each month.  Receive a product you don’t like, already own, or isn’t your color? There are also a lot of groups to trade products with other members, and I think that’s such a great idea.  Search around Facebook, and even in the comments of the beauty box subscription Facebook pages.  Just be mindful of how and who you trade with.

The food boxes are also amazing. I have a friend who has food allergies. She’s allergic to everydamnedthing, and she is subscribed to one that sends her prepped meals. It saves her from having to research every little thing to make sure it’s safe for her to eat.

Did’ja even see that there is a PERIOD box? I don’t know why I all caps PERIOD. I chuckle when I change the font color to red. 🙂 I promise I’m not a 10 year-old boy.

So, you get the point with the boxes. The possibilities are endless. And who doesn’t love receiving boxes with awesome goodies in the mail?!

❤ Cherilyn Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

Blogmas! (Day 13) Oh the Places I’d Love to Go for Christmas

I live in Florida. That means sunshine and 100 degree weather

all

year

round

Well, with the exception of hurricane season, which is July through November, but it’s still hot as hell, just a tad rainy and windy, too.

Living in Florida can make getting into the Christmas spirit a bit difficult. How can one be winter holiday festive while wearing shorts and flip flops? And that is why I decided to share with y’all my winter holiday festive Christmas travel bucket list. I only have a few places I’d really love to visit for the holidays…

This first one is a no brainer:

New York City. Ice Skating in Central Park. Rockefeller Center. The Rockefeller Christmas Tree. Dyker Heights Christmas Lights. The Holiday Window Displays. FAO Schwarz. Empire State Building.

Reykjavik, Iceland. The Oslo Christmas Tree. Christmas Valley. Christmas Markets. The Botanical Gardens. Ice Skating at the Town Square. The Northern Lights.

ALASKA. Seriously. It’s Alaska. Bald Eagles. Fishing. Northern Lights. Festive Downtown. From Anchorage to Fairbanks to Juneau to the North Pole, Alaska promises to be beautiful at Christmastime. While I was browsing online for this post, I came across Christmas in Fairbanks which is a website of a home in Fairbanks, Alaska that has internet-controlled Christmas lights!

fairbanks

I played around for a few minutes. It works and it’s so funny to see it work, and to see the lights go off and on because others are playing along!

Where in the world would you like to spend Christmas? Have you been to New York, Alaska or Iceland? Tell me all about your visit!

❤ Cherilyn Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

Blogmas! (Day 12) Books I’ve Read in 2017

Wow! Day 12! I’m just about halfway done with Blogmas! I’m only goin’ until Christmas day, y’all. I mean, it is Blogmas not Decemberas, right. 😉

I thought an interesting post would be to list all the books I’ve read in 2017. I only read when I am at work thus the short list. I don’t have the time discipline to read when at home. Currently, I am not reading as much at work because we are in our busy season, which means I am actually working more than I am sitting on my arse. 😉

Before busy season began, I managed to read quite a few books, though:

  • Billie Holiday Lady Sings the Blues
  • Billy Crystal Still Foolin’ ‘Em: Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys
  • The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  • Etta James Rage to Survive
  • Steve Martin Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life
  • Carol Burnett In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox
  • Carol Burnett One More Time A Memoir
  • Tim Conway What’s So Funny: My Hilarious Life
  • Carol Burnett Carrie and Me: A Mother-Daughter Love Story

And I am currently more than halfway through with:

  • Ronald Reagan An American Life

Autobiographies are my favorite genre, and I am a huge fan of comedians from when I was a child. Comedy has been a lifesaver in more ways than one. I am also a huge fan of blues, jazz and R&B from the 20’s through to the 50’s. The next book to read after I finish Reagan’s autobiography is Johnny Cash Cash: The Autobiography.

I don’t know if I can top the amount of books I read in 2017! I’ll give it a try!

What books have you read in 2017? Is your goal to read more in 2018?

❤ Cherilyn Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

 

Blogmas! (Day 11) Early Christmas Present With Bonus Review

I bought myself an early Christmas present and it arrived a few days ago. 🙂

I decided to upgrade my facial cleansing brush with the Ultimate Skin Spa Facial Cleansing System from Vanity Planet.  I really want the Clarisonic, but it is a bit out of my budget. The Vanity Planet website has their Facial Cleansing System listed at $125.00 but there are codes everywhere, even on the VP website for 70% off. I was able to purchase this one with shipping/tax for $44.00.

I have the Conair True Glow Battery-operated facial cleanser brush and it is an awesome cleansing brush for $15.00. The downside is that it only has one brush type available. Other than that, this brush is fantastic and worth it if you don’t much care to switch brushes. You can purchase it online, but I picked up mine at Walmart.

This brush from Vanity Planet comes in this pretty little purple case, is water resistant and requires 2 AA batteries (not included).  The brush has two speeds and comes with three different brushes:

  • Daily Cleansing Brush
  • Exfoliating Brush
  • Silicone Brush

Upon removing it from the box, the case is decent and sturdy. The brush and its components fit nicely inside and it’s a lovely pastel shade of purple. My first impulse was to touch the bristles of each brush. I really like the silicone brush. The bristles are not too soft but not too hard so as not to cause damage to the skin. I am disappointed with the exfoliating brush. It is just as soft as the daily cleansing brush. I did put in a request with Vanity Planet for a replacement brush but I haven’t heard back yet. As it is the holidays I understand a delay in response.

My first time using the brush was with the silicone component to remove my makeup using the elf Cosmetics Hydrating Gel Melt Cleanser. This didn’t work too well. The elf cleanser isn’t the best to use with a brush. It is best massaged into your skin with wet fingers. After cleansing my face, I decided to use the silicone brush as an exfoliator with the elf Cosmetics Exfoliating Scrub. The cleansing brush has two speeds.  I used speed 2 to exfoliate my face. I actually really liked the silicone brush for exfoliating! I’m sure I’ll prefer the exfoliating brush replacement, but in the meantime, the silicone brush felt nice against my skin. It wasn’t harsh and my skin felt and looked good after.

Overall, I would not pay full price for the Vanity Planet Facial Cleansing System. Yes, it is nice, but I think I’d enjoy the Clarisonic much more. Had I not been impatient and swayed by such a discount, I could have saved to pick up a Clarisonic gift set. I will continue to use and enjoy the cleansing brush from Vanity Planet as it does do what it’s supposed to do without issue.

I give the Facial Cleansing System from Vanity Planet 3 out of 5 Freshly Cleaned Faces.

Do you ever treat yourself to an early Christmas present?

❤ Cherilyn Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

 

Blogmas! (Day 10) Christmas Gift Ideas

As mentioned in other posts, I enjoy buying gifts. I like the challenge of finding something special for someone that will either become a sentimental gift or is already a sentimental gift.

I thought I’d share some of my gift ideas that are a bit different than the other gift idea posts that are floating around.

Here we go!

If you’re wanting to purchase a unique handmade gift, Etsy is my favorite online place to find these special gifts.

One of my favorite Etsy shops belongs to my photographer friend, Dave. His shop is Outerbostonia Photography. Dave’s photography is gorgeous, and anyone, even those who aren’t artsy fartsy, will love and appreciate Dave’s exceptional talent. He may even make a special order for you.

If you have little girls, or even teen girls who like handbags and purses, the shop Southlandgirls has the cutest crocheted little handbags! handbagA few years ago I bought myself two from a shop no longer on Etsy. They’re perfect size for keys, wallet and phone. Even as an adult, I received many compliments when I carried one. It’s just a unique gift and one that will be cherished as though you crocheted it yourself.

I can’t sew a button and I can barely brush my teeth without making a mess, so there’s no way I’d even attempt to make one of these. I think any girly girl would love a cute crocheted handbag.

Once I subscribed to ipsy I realized I would have more makeup bags than I could ever use. FullSizeRender.jpgGifting them to friends/loved ones filled with beauty products will soon be a gift idea that I’ll use! So, on that note, a great gift idea would be a cute makeup bag and fill it with the mini face masks from Sephora.

 

Each mask is $4.00 and they have 8 different varieties. You could even buy a few sheet masks and fold them to fit inside the makeup bag. Include a Pore Refining Face Brush from elf Cosmetics and you’ve got yourself a great inexpensive gift for your bestie who loves face masks.

Another great idea using a makeup bag or an unused ipsy bag is to fill it with travel sized products like the Benefit Roller Lash, travel Mac Fix Plus, or this cute Tarte Limited Edition Precious Picks Color set. How awesome is that set and it’s only $10.00!tarte

I know some of the travel sized items can be a bit pricey, but you can pick out 3 items around $10.00 each and use wrapped candy as filler. The options for filling a makeup bag are endless.  Just use some creativity and you can create a gift that is practical and meaningful. And as a bonus, if you’re a horrible present wrapper as I am, it’s a gift that’s already wrapped! Slap a bow on it and a curly ribbon on the zipper pull and you’re done! 😉 Or it’s a gift that is perfect for a cute gift bag.

Do you have a quirky friend, coworker or family member? How about that friend that is difficult to buy for? Well, how about a couple pairs of silly socks for their gift? socksMy favorite website for goofy socks (because I LOVE goofy socks) is The Sock Drawer.  They have holiday themed socks, as well as your average silly socks for the rest of the year. 😉 They always have socks on sale and they have goofy socks for men, also. Buy several pair and stuff ’em in a stocking. I bought one of my male coworkers a pair of the Mixed Tape socks. We’ve worked together for 2 years and I’ve always said I don’t know if I should slap him or make him a mixed tape, so the socks with the mixed tapes were my way of saying that he’s an OK dude.

He still wears them. 🙂

My last gift idea is another custom gift and one that I had a friend make for myself. 🙂 I give myself the best gifts. Everyone knows someone or knows someone who knows someone who makes decals or tee-shirts. Buy 6 or 7 stemless wine glasses from the dollar store and have decals put on them for makeup brush storage:

brushesOr, for your wine drankin’ friend, pick up a stemless wine glass from the dollar store and have your decal-making friend make a custom decal to put on the wine glass.  wine

This custom wine glass one is perfect for my friends. 🙂 Image is from Pinterest.

Custom made items, even those that you don’t actually make yourself, are great gifts that provide wonderful, long lasting memories. I always think of my friend Heather, who made my brush holders for me. It gives me a smile.

I hope this post has helped you with some unique gift ideas for your friends and loved ones! This was a fun post to write for Blogmas!

❤ Cherilyn Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

Blogmas! (Day 9) MorpheMe Unboxing Christmas Edition 2017

It’s time for the first Christmas edition unboxing! ipsy and Boxycharm are on their way!

If you aren’t familiar, MorpheMe is a subscription service through Liveglam that offers $30 worth of Morphe brushes for $19.99/month!  The brushes come in a bubblewrap envelope with a cute little accordion card that has brief descriptions of each brush.  I have been subscribed since February and have received a wide variety of brushes.

This month’s brushes are a gorgeous red color with synthetic bristles.

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  • RG6 Tapered Blush ($11.00)
  • RG8 Flat Buffer ($10.00)
  • RG18 Round Crease ($8.00)
  • RG24 Blending Fluff (7.00)

Total box worth: $36.00

I don’t typically throw new brushes into the rotation right away, but I’m going to give these a try. I am especially curious about the RG8 Flat Buffer. It looks like it could be a smaller version of the Y6 Pro Flat Buffer. I was hoping for some killer brushes for the month of December, so this is a bit disappointing. The brushes are nice, but they could have sent some premier brushes for the holidays, even if it’s just two or three. These aren’t that bad and the color is gorgeous.

If you’re interested in signing up, clicky clicky HERE (this link will get us both a free brush!), or clicky clicky HERE if you don’t want a free brush. 😉  It’s $19.99/month.

❤ Cherilyn Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

Blogmas! (Day 8) What Christmas Means to Me

Christmas means a stocking with unwrapped candy thrown in it. Christmas stocking candy isn’t candy if it doesn’t have bits of red lint attached to it. And not just any candy.  It was this candy crap:

candyI don’t recall the significance behind these candies, but there has to be one because there are about 345 varieties in this one can and only 2 of them are worth eating. The rest are only good enough to throw at your siblings.

Besides the red lint horrible candies, my mom put an orange and a handful of nuts in our stockings. If memory serves, this tradition dates back to the Depression when times were tough and citrus was considered a luxury.  Even though I wasn’t born until 1972, and the Depression ended in 1939, five years prior to my mother’s birth, she felt it necessary to teach us this part of history with a visual rather than a chat at the dinner table. As an adult, I can appreciate the history lesson, and even as a teenager I can let it slide. As a six year old? I want candy canes, chocolate and a few of those Lifesaver books that all my friends used to get in their stockings. candy2

Raise your hand if you remember those.

Christmas means alternating turkey and ham. If we had ham at Thanksgiving, we were having turkey at Christmas. I didn’t like when my mom would make a ham because she’d stick cloves all over it, and I hate cloves. The meal was unpleasant every other Christmas.

Christmas means the greatest Christmas specials on t.v. :

  • Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • Santa and the Three Bears

Santa and the Three Bears was my favorite when I was a little girl.

Christmas means twinkle lights, the smell of a Christmas tree, and making my annual horrible ornament at school. I was not a crafty child. My star usually just looked like a circle. My mom was kind though, and my ornaments always found their way to the back of the Christmas tree.

Christmas means mailing off the entire Sears catalog to Santa. Who needs to write a list when I want everything in the catalog?

Christmas means baking Santa’s cookies with my mom. We always made him peanut butter cookies.

Christmas means waking up at 4AM on Christmas morning and forcing my mom to wake up so we can open presents.

Christmas means dinner with my family. It was usually just the four of us (mom, sister, brother and me) because the rest of our family is in Canada. But to be honest, I liked it when it was just the four of us. It wasn’t chaotic and loud. My mom had on her country Christmas favorites playing, and we’d finally get along for a little bit. After dinner we were able to eat our pie in the living room while watching The Wizard of Oz. And we’d get along again for another hour.

Christmas means the world to me.

❤ Cherilyn Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

Blogmas! (Day 7) My Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I’ll keep this short and sweet because I know you be busy, yo.  <—- I’m really sorry for that.

There’s no need to lie and say that I’ve been exceptionally good this year. I don’t know how you do it, but you know when I am sleeping, you know when I’m awake, you know if I’ve been bad or good, so I’m going to bribe you for the things I want, how do you feel about cake?

I’m just gonna jump in with both feet because life isn’t any fun when you’re hesitant. At least that’s what my fortune cookie from last night said. I think.

I only request two things:

I would like a blue parakeet. Tiffany Blue is my favorite color, but I will love any variation of blue.  Of course I will need all the things that are required when you have a parakeet, like a cage, bird food, a mirror, one of those beak cleaning things, etc. Oh, and a cover for the cage because I hear it helps to quiet the birds at night. I know I typed birdS, but I assure you, I only want one bird.

Last but not least, I would LOVE a new Macbook Pro. Mine was just diagnosed as a paperweight, and I miss it more than I miss eating cake.  I still eat cake, I just eat smaller portions of cake. So, to be accurate, I miss my Macbook Pro more than eating larger portions of cake. In fact, I’ll give up the bird for the Macbook Pro.

Thank you for flying around the world and giving people awesome gifts. Say hi to the reindeer, and of course, to the Mrs.!

Lots of love,

Cherilyn

 

 

Blogmas! (Day 6) To Wrap or Not To Wrap

I LOVE buying gifts. I love everything that involves buying a gift, including the research for those challenging gift ideas.

I HATE wrapping gifts.

If I have to wrap gifts, it’s not a pretty sight. I have to sprawl out on the floor, scissors and tape, tags, bows and ribbon scattered about. Usually one side of the gift has more wrapping paper than the other, or I’ll tear the wrapping paper by tugging too hard, or I’ll tear the wrapping paper while having to do some contortionist move to avoid tearing the wrapping paper just to reach the scissors because I left them on the other side of the wrapping paper.

The gift bag? The gift bag was created for people like me. I’m not an engineer, and I feel wrapping presents requires a degree in engineering. I either overshoot on how much wrapping paper I need or I grossly undershoot. Is undershoot a word? I know you can be overwhelmed , and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed? 

I like bows and ribbons and sticky Christmas tags. I like sparkly tissue paper and arranging it delicately over and around the gift. Gift bags aren’t messy. I can’t tear a gift bag. And if I tear the sparkly tissue paper, who cares? I usually buy it in bulk because tissue paper only comes in two sizes: a pack with 3 sheets and a pack with 827569283604 sheets.

Do you wrap? HOW DO YOU DO IT, MAN?! I envy you.

❤ Cherilyn Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

Blogmas! (Day 5 ) My Most Memorable Christmas

I have struggled with this post so much that I wasn’t going to write it.

I don’t have one specific Christmas that stands out above others. However, when I think of Christmas, I usually go to my memories of living in Germany from 1996-2000.

Winter was cold enough to wear scarves and hats and gloves and boots and comfy down coats. The Germans love festivals (they know how to throw a party) and each town had their Christmas markets (Christkindlmärktewhere the aromas of baked goods and glühwein (German mulled wine) filled the winter air. We created a new tradition in our new home country to attend the Christkindlmärkte and then go to the closest tree farm to pick out our Christmas tree.

I miss wandering around a Christmas market in the evening drinking warm glühwein from a collectible festive mug, browsing various market items to include cuckoo clocks and delicious German foods under a tent filled with twinkly white lights.

The German traditions of Christmas are so much different than what we were used to, but we adapted well, and even incorporated German tradition into our American traditions.

I feel blessed to have experienced such wonderful times.

 

❤ CherilynBlogmas2 Thanks for Reading

 

 

 

 

 

Blogmas! (Day 4) Christmas Trivia

This Blogmas quiz is going around so I thought I’d have a go at it, however, I have modified it a bit.

  • When do you start getting excited for Christmas? 
    • I start getting excited around November. I’m not much of a Thanksgiving person, so I’m usually ready to move on to Christmas pretty early. On December 1st, I change my phone ringtone to Carol of the Bells. 🙂
  • Have you ever had a White Christmas?
    • Yes! From 1996-2000, I lived in Hauptstuhl, Germany and we had an intense white Christmas my first year, and tiny white Christmases thereafter. Though the snow made everything sparkly bright and beautiful, I prefer to live without it.
  • Do you open presents on Christmas Eve?
    • When my girls were little, it was our tradition to open one gift on Christmas Eve. Now that my children are adults, we don’t really have a gift exchange anymore. If we do gifts, we save the opening until Christmas morning.
  • What is your traditional Christmas meal?
    • The meal varies. We will go from a turkey one year to a ham from Honeybaked Ham to smoked filet mignon to a smoked brisket. The meat doesn’t matter to me because all I want is the green bean casserole and sweet potatoes!
  • Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
    • Yikes! This is like naming all of the seven dwarves! Ok, so this took a bit of thinking and singing out loud, but I think I got them all:
    • Dasher
    • Dancer
    • Prancer
    • Vixen
    • Comet
    • Cupid
    • Donner
    • Blitzen
    • Rudolph
  • Is your Christmas Tree real or fake?
    • REAL! The best smell of Christmas is the tree! I don’t even mind the mess because a real tree is worth it.
  • BE HONEST! Which do you prefer:  Giving gifts or receiving gifts?
    • I prefer giving gifts. I am big on finding gifts that are either already sentimental or will become sentimental. I love putting thought into what I get for my loved ones. I also enjoy those gifts that are a challenge to find. When my youngest daughter wanted a specific High School Musical nightgown, I searched the world for it and ended up finding one overseas. She wore it until she outgrew it as a nightgown and it fit her as a t-shirt!
  • What made you realize the truth about Santa?
    • I’m not really sure. I think I always kind of knew but wanted to believe so I played along for years, and in fact, I still do play along. It’s fun to believe in the spirit of Santa.

These were fun questions! Go ahead and answer them and tag me in your posts!

❤ Cherilyn Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

Blogmas! (Day 3) Christmas Flicks

On today’s Blogmas, I am going to share THEE FIVE BEST CHRISTMAS MOVIES EVER.

    A Christmas Story
    If you have not watched this movie, stop what you are doing and watch it NOW. Then watch it again on Christmas eve and then watch it again on Christmas day. Better yet, if you are in the U.S., set your idiot box to TBS and watch it on a 24 hour loop.  Learn these quotable movie lines because you’ll be quizzed later: “You’ll shoot your eye out!”, “Ohhhhhh fuhhhhhh…”, “FRAH-GEE-LAY, that must be Italian!”, “I want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle!”  🙂
    Elf
    “OooOooh, what’s a Christmasgram? I want one!”  This is such a feel-good, funny, and charming Christmas movie. Buddy the Elf is a tad annoying, but you fall in love with his free spirit, his innocence and his passion for what he believes; that he is an elf.
    This is another quotable movie, so get to watching and if you don’t say “I just like to smile, smiling’s my favorite” or repeat “Fran-cisco” a hundred times over, keep watching until you do.
    Die Hard
    If you haven’t seen the “It’s not Christmas until I see Hans Gruber fall from Nakatomi Plaza” meme, you’re doing the Christmas season wrong, my friends.
    Yet another quotable movie, Die Hard is THEE Christmas movie. Ask anyone. Go on, I’ll wait.
    The Twilight Zone marathon
    Ok, so this one isn’t really a movie, you got me on that, but it is a must watch in between the 24 hours of A Christmas Story. 🙂
    A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
    This movie takes me back to my childhood. It holds such special memories of watching this in my living room with my family. I’m not much of a religious person but my favorite part of A Charlie Brown Christmas is Linus explaining the meaning of Christmas:
    What are your favorite Christmas movies?
    • ❤ Cherilyn

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Blogmas! (Day 2) Christmas Decorating

I love Christmas. From the festive music to the smell of Christmas trees to the shimmering decorations, it’s my second favorite holiday after Halloween.

I’ve always been one to go ham on the decorations. I just moved into my current house not long ago so I most likely will not be decorating this year, but here’s a glimpse of just how ham I go when I had my townhome a few years ago:

I don’t have stairs in my current home, but I loved decorating the stairway with the bows. It was such a lovely touch to the inside decor.  What do you think?

How do you decorate for the holidays?

❤ Cherilyn

Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

 

 

Blogmas! (Day 1) Ugly Christmas Sweater!

On December 20th, we’re having an Ugly Christmas Sweater party at work. Normally, I don’t participate in these things because if you remember from this post, I am not a crafty sort of person, and buying a pre-made ugly Christmas sweater just doesn’t seem right.

This year I decided to participate and because I was already in the crafty mood, I opted to make my Ugly Christmas Sweater. It’s more of an Ugly Christmas Long-sleeved Shirt because here in Florida sweaters are difficult to come by. I picked up this green shirt and the earrings at Walmart. The decorations were purchased at the Dollar Tree. The santas were on a headband that I dismantled for another reason you’ll see that further down the post. I purchased the green LED lights from Walmart LAST YEAR to put on my Jeep for Halloween.  There are also jingle bells scattered across the garland to make for a wonderfully annoying jingle throughout the evening.

And here is my Ugly Christmas Sweater!

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Oh, it gets better… (Open in full screen for optimal lookage):

 

And because my look is that I am a Christmas tree, it isn’t complete without… (Open in full screen for optimal lookage):

 

The holidays are going to be fun this year.  🙂

What do you think of my creativity? It’s more of an Annoying Christmas Sweater than anything.

Show me your Ugly Christmas Sweaters!

❤ Cherilyn Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading