I Sang the National Anthem

In 2015, I had the honor and privilege of singing The National Anthem before a Fort Myers Miracle baseball game. There were 1,500 people in attendance.

I was nervous even though I had a few months to prepare. Hell, I had practiced for this day since I was FIVE.

I’m not a pro, I don’t get paid millions to sing. When I went to vocal training, I made it clear that I wanted to sing our Anthem as it should be sung, without grandstanding, but with great honor. So, this is the only time I will ever be able to kick Fergie’s arse at something. 😜

I am incredibly proud of myself for being given this honor. I know my singing isn’t perfect, and it is a tad pitchy, but I’m not a professional. And I remembered the words. 😊

Thank you for listening.

❤️ Cherilyn

Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day, lovelies! ❤

I’m not the romantic sort. Never have been, which is weird according to my friends.

I’ve just never been into the mushy love stuff. It all makes me uncomfortable, which brings me to the point of this post. 🙂

Many years ago, I read Shopgirl, a novella written by Steve Martin. shopgirlYep, that Steve Martin. I loved the book so much that I was thrilled when it was made into a movie starring that Steve Martin.

It’s been many years since I last watched the movie, but it’s currently playing on HBO so I watched it when I was out with the flu. The entire movie is sweet, but I relate to Steve Martin’s character, Ray Porter, much more than Claire Danes as Mirabelle Buttersfield. The ending of the movie brings me to tears every single time.

I was that girl who never allowed herself to fall. Ok, correction.. I was that girl who never allowed herself to ADMIT to falling.  In love.

I’d never admit it until it was too late. Sometimes that was a blessing in disguise. Sometimes I lost what would have been great loves because of my stubbornness, or fear.  Or both.

It was both.

At 2:02 is where I most relate to Ray Porter, and at 2:06 is where I really lose it when the camera pans to Mirabelle’s face. I’ve seen that face. I’ve even been that face. I don’t know which is more painful.

I think you’ll like the novella and the movie.

Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all.

❤ Cherilyn Thank You For Reading

 

 

Tattoos

I have four.

I had wanted a tattoo since my early 20’s but waited until my late 30’s just because I really wanted to be sure I was ready for the commitment.

I decided on an owl on my back. As a nature/wildlife photographer, birds are my favorite to photograph. I love owls, and living here in Florida, we have many different species of owls here, one being the burrowing owl.

This tattoo took 2.5 hours and after it was finished, I wanted to go back in for another. I can’t remember what year I got my first tattoo. If I had to guess, I’d say 2011. I am in love with my owl. ❤

First Tattoo

My second tattoo is the birds on my collarbone. The two birds represent my two daughters. Again, a bird theme because I love birds. I will add two smaller blue birds, for my Grandsons, and a third smaller bird for my third Grandbaby due in September from my oldest daughter.  We don’t yet know what she is having. ❤

My third tattoo is an aperture because photography is my passion. Most don’t know what the aperture is and I usually tell them the tattoo is from Chase Bank and mandatory to get if your mortgage is through them. 😉 This tattoo has since bled into almost one big blob and needs to either be covered up or re-worked. I am thinking of having it re-worked with white to separate the lines.

 

My fourth tattoo, my beloved peacock sleeve, began in December 2014. I have 15 hours at $100.00/hr invested in this sleeve. While the colors aren’t what I was going for, I do love the tattoo and I get many compliments on it daily.  I had always wanted a peacock sleeve. I love peacocks; I think they are one of the most beautiful creatures ever.

The first photo is the outline, which took four hours. The second and third photos were the coloring sessions, each at 4 hours.

The below photo is the last of the work I have had done and was a three hour session. This is how my sleeve currently looks.

24775012_946088218887030_6766099313660565898_nI still need to have some work done on my sleeve, and then to think of a background, if I decide to go that route.

It is incredibly important to search around to find an artist who takes the time to listen to your wants and is open to your ideas. My artist for my sleeve came highly recommended and while he did an amazing job, he didn’t listen to me when I said what colors I wanted and did not want. My tattoo is beautiful, but not what I had in mind colors-wise. As a tattoo is on your skin forever, it is well worth your time to do your research in selecting an artist. Do not be embarrassed to ask to see past work (any artist should have a portfolio) and ask questions. I will not be returning to him for future tattoos.

Also, cheap tattoos are not always good tattoos. You truly DO get what you pay for. An hourly rate between $100-$150 is pretty common in my area. That’s not to say that an expensive tattoo can’t be a crappy tattoo. 🙂

Occasionally I am looked at with a scrunched nose. That doesn’t bother me. I don’t mind questions by others, but it is rude to say “I’d NEVER do THAT to MY skin”, and the popular one that I get told all the time “I don’t like when pretty ladies have tattoos”. Well, you are entitled to your opinion, but you are not entitled to tell me your opinion. 🙂 It is also rude to ask how much a tattoo costs. I don’t mind if others ask me, though, because I know they’re just curious. I always answer with “I have 15 hours at $100/hr invested”. Often I am asked for the story behind my tattoos. Well, there isn’t one. And when I say that, I am greeted with a disappointed “Oh”. Sometimes the meaning behind tattoos is personal and private.  Sometimes there isn’t a story behind a tattoo. Most everyone I know who has tattoos do not like being asked the meaning or story behind their choices. It’s just another opportunity for the non-tatted person to sneer when the meaning or story isn’t wowing enough. I also don’t mind when people ask me about the pain. People are just curious, and I find it’s easier to just answer the questions with a smile on my face. Being nice helps break the stereotype of us being ex-cons or druggies. 🙂

I know that tattoos are becoming more socially acceptable, and I’ve never been denied employment because of my tattoos. I’ve only been asked to wear long sleeves. Even as a professional in the corporate world, I didn’t have to cover my sleeve. I am pleased to see that those of us who get tattoos as a method of expression aren’t being discriminated against quite as much anymore.

Do you have tattoos?

❤ Cherilyn Thank You For Reading

Life

Hello beauties!

I have had my Grandson since Friday which means I haven’t had a moment to write!

I have two Grandsons. Dante is 3 and Josiah is 5.5 months old.  They are the loves of my life. I love these little boys more than I love my own children. 😉  If you have Grandchildren, you’ll understand this love.   ❤

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Regularly scheduled blogging will resume this week! 🙂

I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!

❤ Cherilyn

Q & A Time!

I thought I’d do a Get To Know Me post with some questions I found around the internet.

  1. If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? I’d be out exploring with my camera. If I didn’t have to sleep, I’d not miss a shot at any time of the day/night!
  2. What fictional place would you most like to visit? Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, of course.
  3. Are you usually early or late? I am always at least 15 minutes early to everything. My mother raised me to believe if you are on time you are late.
  4. What’s your dream car? I have two dream cars, and I currently drive one. My Jeep is my dream vehicle (it’s not a car 😉 ) and any BMW 7 series. If I ever get a luxury vehicle, it will be a BMW. I also used to want a Maserati. 🙂
  5. What is the luckiest thing that has happened to you? In 2007, I, along with 40 other coworkers, won the lottery. The entire pot was $56 million, however, we split $7 million dollars, each taking home after taxes around $130,000. It was a surreal moment.
  6. Where would you spend all your time if you could? I would spend all my time in the wilderness. I could walk in the woods for hours. The wilderness along a river is ideal.
  7. What is one of your favorite smells? Rain. I love the smell of the air when and after it rains.
  8. Describe your dream home. My dream home would be a small cabin in the woods, along a river, on 100’s of acres of land, with no one in sight. I love seclusion and the sights and sounds of the wilderness.
  9. What is the best and worst thing about getting older? The best thing is the wisdom and experience that comes with age. The worst is the decline of health.
  10. What is the most annoying habit that others have that drives you crazy? Nail biting. I absolutely HATE seeing people put their hands/fingers in their mouths. Our hands are so dirty and I cringe at the bacteria people are putting into their mouths when they stick their fingers in their mouths. Also, the sound of nail biting makes me insane.

Please feel free to copy the questions and input your answers on your page! Tag me so that I can read your answers!

❤ Cherilyn  Thank You 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 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 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 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

 

Sunshine Blogger Award

How awesome it is to find myself nominated for the Sunshine Blogger award by Charlotte! Check out her blog A Touch Of Charlotte for wonderful posts on fashion, reviews on makeup, posts on travel and lifestyle posts.

Thank you, Charlotte, for this lovely honor!

Give Charlotte a follow.  You can thank me later. 🙂 ❤

Here are the rules to follow for the Sunshine Blogger Award:

RULES

  • Thank blogger(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions that the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 11 blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

These are my answers to Charlotte’s questions:

  • Who is your role model?
    • I would have to say my mother. I learned many things from my mother, but the best things are my manners and work ethic. She continues to be my role model.
  • How would your friends describe you?
    • My friends would say I’m a goofball and brutally honest.
  • Do you have any pets ? If so, what are their names ? If not, what pet would you like to get?
    • I have two dogs: A Boston Terrier named Tux and a Shih-Tzu named Carson.
  • What’s your favourite thing to do in your spare time?
    • I adore photography. So, anytime I can spend outside with my camera is a great time.
  • Imagine you could be a fictional character, who would you be and why?
    • The first character I thought of was Harry Potter. He’s a wizard who uses his wizardry for good. Also, I really would love to have an owl and a Nimbus 2000.
  • What are the top shops that you like to buy things from ?
    • Sephora
    • Ulta
    • Walmart
  • What are your fears?
    • SPIDERS
    • All bugs, really.
    • Ladybugs scare me, too.
    • So do butterflies.
  • What is one thing that you wish that you would have known when you were 13?
    • 12 years of school goes by a lot faster if I’d have just shut up and enjoyed it rather than complain how it sucks and that I hate homework and blah blah blah. Also, to skip college and go to a trade school.
  • How would you describe your style?
    • I’d say sloppy. But apparently I’m punk with black hair, wearing converse, and quirky socks.
  • Are looks or personality more important for you?
    • I prefer personality. You can be Jason Momoa hot but if you’re as exciting as a table, it’s just not gonna work out, ya know?
    • jason momoa
    • Mmm, Jason Momoa.
  • What gets you up every morning?
    • If it wasn’t my infant-sized bladder, it’d be my dogs because they have to pee and they’re hungry. 😉
    • I get up in the morning because I love my life. I know that sounds so rom-com, but it’s true. And I have two Grandsons that make it worth getting up in the morning. ❤

And my nominees for the Sunshine Blogger Award:

The Style of Laura Jane

Queen of the Girl Geeks

don’t give a jam

Currently, Lately

fortyflirtyfabulous

Ok, now here are MY eleven questions for my nominees!

  1. What motivated you to start blogging?
  2. Do you play any musical instruments? If yes, what do you play and why did you choose said instrument? If no, do you wish you could play an instrument and which would you choose?
  3. What is your favorite sound?
  4. What would be your dream adventure?
  5. What was the best book you’ve ever read?
  6. What has been your proudest achievement?
  7. Who do you go to for advice?
  8. So, you’re stranded on a desert island. What five things do you have with you? To make this even more interesting, you can’t pick obvious things like your family, your bestie, your dog (or guinea pig) (or lizard) (or cat).
  9. What is your biggest pet peeve?
  10. What calms you?
  11. Early bird or night owl?

❤ 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

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Homemade Holiday Gifts

Holy moly, it’s that time of year! The holidays are right around the corner and usually I am scrambling at the last minute to get gifts for my coworkers. Last year I decided to get crafty and make my coworkers reindeer mason jars filled with chocolate/salted caramel covered pretzels.

Before we continue, there are 7 things you should know about me —–> 1) I am NOT a crafty person. 2) I dislike crafts. P) I can’t count. 8) I have no idea where how and when I obtained a glue gun, but I have one and I also own 854567 glue sticks.

Last year I made 12 of these jars and the aftermath left me with:

  • Second degree burns on my fingertips from the hot glue.
  • I was trapped at my dining room table in a hot glue string web.
  • I dropped 68964567896 googly eyes on a TILE floor.
  • They bounced everydamnedwhere.
  • I had to buy 9876546898656 red noses just so I could use 12.
  • I had to run to The Fresh Market 17 times because I kept eating the gourmet pretzels.
  • I had to buy new pants because I kept eating the gourmet pretzels.

FullSizeRender (1)Yeah, I know. They look more like funny faces being held up in a robbery. 😐  Despite the burns and the incredible mess I made making these, I think they turned out super cute and my coworkers loved them.

Homemade gifts make such an impact because of the thought, the time and effort. I don’t spend any time outside of work with my coworkers, but they’re people who still deserve a thoughtful gift made with love. ❤

This year I am making the same type of jars only I am making snowmen with white chocolate pretzels.

Here are two of the jars minus the white chocolate pretzels. IMG_9129 I have made 8 so far.  I ran out of ribbon so I had to run out and grab more.  I’ll have all fifteen jars completed by the end of next weekend.

It’s far too early to buy the gourmet pretzels.  I like the way they turned out! The noses are jingle bells that I painted orange.  I spray painted the lids black to give the top hat appearance but then I found these adorable top hat ornaments at the Dollar Store! I had to buy them! I am in love with how they are turning out! Much cuter than last year’s reindeer that look like they’re being robbed at gunpoint.

Whattaya think? I appreciate your feedback!

Are you a crafty person? Do you make homemade gifts for family, friends and coworkers?

❤ Cherilyn Thank You For Reading

Boo! Get To Know Me Halloween Style

Halloween is my favorite holiday. When my girls were younger we’d decorate the house and throw the best Halloween parties.  We had the foggers and the giant spiders and the strobe lights and the zombies hanging from trees and the graveyard in the front yard. We had a stoop where we’d set out a cd player and blast spooky Halloween sounds on during the night. Dogs wouldn’t even walk on our side of the street!

And our costumes. We weren’t the cutesy costume family. We dressed up with fake blood and gore. Scaring the poo out of the kids was my favorite. 😉 And they loved it! This is the only photo I could find from 2006. I wish I had photos of me as Evil the Clown! Out of all my costumes, Evil the Clown was the best!

Halloween 2006

Our Halloween parties were memorable with me telling the kids a ghost story incorporating their school and using some tidbit facts that I quizzed their parents for weeks before. At the end of the evening, Homemade Halloween songs cd’s were included in the goodie bags and then we’d have a group photo taken.  I’d use a 1 hour photo service to have the photos ready for the parents at pick-up. Touches like these helped make our parties the event that kids wanted to attend.

When we moved into a smaller home, I sold all of my costumes and decorations.  It pained me to do so, but we just didn’t have the space for the containers upon containers of decorations. Now that I have two grandsons, I am slowly building back up my collection.

Do you celebrate Halloween? Share your stories with me! Thank You For Reading

 

 

Hurricane Irma – Part WHEW!

We survived Hurricane Irma!  We live in an area in Southwest Florida where the hurricane hit us as a Category 3 on September 10th.

Gusts up to 140MPH. ​

 

​This was taken as we pulled up to our house for the first time.  We were overwhelmed at the mess in the front yard.

We had to cut away through trees for almost 45 minutes just to get to the front door.

We decided to evacuate to a more hurricane-safe home just ten minutes up the road from our home. I was stubborn and hesitant to leave the comfort of my home, but decided it was the best decision.  I am glad that we did because if we had left our vehicles in our driveway, they would have been crushed by falling trees.  We were also considering moving the vehicles to the back yard where they would have been fine, damage-wise, but we wouldn’t have been able to leave because a tree fell on the gate.


Returning to our home the next day was stressful.  One access street was blocked thanks to a downed live wire.  The other two streets were flooded with downed trees blocking the roads.  I drive a Jeep so I drove over a tree and through the flood water to our home. I couldn’t park my Jeep on our driveway because of a fallen tree, so in the below photo, my Jeep is parked on our front lawn.


As many trees that are on our property, and as many that fell, only one just grazed the house and created minimal damage on the storm gutter. We are so incredibly fortunate.

This is the downed tree that hit the roof and damaged our gutter and is also blocking our garage.

This is the Royal Poinciana in our back yard. I wish I would have taken a photo to show how massive this downed tree is.  It’s fallen over our fence into our neighbor’s yard.


Again, we are so incredibly fortunate that the only damage to the house is to the gutter. We had a close call with flooding with the water reaching only 20 feet from our front door. We went almost 6 days without power.  Power was restored just this morning.  Cleanup begins on Tuesday.  We can’t wait to get back to normal.

Yes, hurricanes are a part of living in Florida, and we are fortunate that it has been 12 years since our last hit (hurricane Wilma).

I hope everyone else in Irma’s path is safe and sound with little to no damage to your homes.
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Hurricane Irma

I live in Southwest Florida and am in the projected path of Hurricane Irma.

I’ve lived in Florida for 13 years and am no stranger to hurricane warnings and actual hurricanes. I drove through Frances when I moved to Florida, and I was here when Hurricane Wilma hit.

I am prepared. I have hurricane shutters.  I have a big ol’ bin full of supplies, plenty of water and canned goods.  My vehicles are gassed up, as is my generator.

Anyone in the projected path, please be safe.  Get prepared now.  Don’t wait until the last minute.

Y’all will be in my thoughts.

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Thank YOU!

Thankful/GratefulAs I write this, I have 64 readers!  That is amazing!  I am incredibly thankful and grateful for each one of you!

The interaction is the best!  I love knowing that I wrote something someone can relate to, or that I wrote a review that gets someone excited to try the product. Sharing in this capacity is incredibly fulfilling.  I want to create more, and read more about you, and find more people to interact with and learn about.

Why I started this blog: I started this blog after doing several product reviews on my Facebook page.   I originally wanted to do YouTube videos, but I lack the confidence presently to take that step.  To venture into the video world, I started doing a weekly face mask Facebook post with a video of opening, explaining and using the face mask.  The posts did very well, and I started getting requests, and even had friends join in and post their own videos with reviews.  With the Facebook posts taking off, I decided to start this blog.  I haven’t introduced this blog to my friends and family just yet, and I may not.  I kind of like the separation.

Since starting in late January, I have come to “know” some pretty amazing people! From reading posts about beauty to posts about life, poetry, inspiration, and of course, the reviews on products from all over the globe, and FOOD, this is such an incredible platform that I am truly thankful to be a part of!  Y’all are incredible and I am so fortunate to get to learn about you!

Why the blog name cherilyn does?: When I had the idea to do YouTube videos, I wanted a name that didn’t pigeonhole me into one genre.  I wanted to do things and post videos about those many different things from photography, to beauty/makeup, to off-roading, to cooking and exercise, and more!  I want to share the places I go and the things I do.  🙂 Each video was going to be titled in the format cherilyn does kayaking or cherilyn does off-roading.  Rather than title each blog post in this manner, I decided to title the entire blog as cherilyn does…

This post is a Thank You to all of you.  You are appreciated.  ❤

Thank you for reading and for your continued support!

Things I Love

Earlier yesterday I read a sweet post from the beautiful Meena (makeupandmeena) titled Things I Love.  After reading her words, I was inspired to write my own post filled with the Things I Love.

With Meena’s permission, I have linked her Things I Love post here.

Here are my
Screen Shot 2017-04-15 at 8.33.23 PM

(These are in no particular order)

I love my family.  We live pretty close to each other, but we don’t see each other all that often.  Busy schedules tend to interfere.  ❤

I love my grandson.  I know he constitutes as family, but he deserves his own little paragraph. My grandson, Danté, is 2.5 years old and is my best friend.  I love him more than anything ever in this world.  I cry happy tears when he’s asleep in my arms, and sad tears when I watch my daughter drive away with him crying in the backseat. He is my world, and I’d do anything for him. ❤

I love my dogs.  I have a Boston Terrier and Shih-Tzu. They are pains in the arse, but I can’t live without them.  ❤

I love all things beauty. That includes YouTube.  I watch more beauty tutorials and reviews than shows on television. I love makeup and face masks. Buying products and sharing my thoughts on them is fun and keeps me busy.  ❤

I love the small group of friends that I have.  Thanks to being burned many times in my life, I set high standards for those I choose to hang around with.  I have many acquaintances, but a pretty wonderful small group of friends that I actually spend time with and confide in. ❤

I love my Jeep. I never thought I’d see the day where I love a vehicle so much that when I walk away from it, I turn around to get another glance.  I have wanted a Jeep since I was about 10 years old. Finally, at 41, I bought one. It’s expensive, not just with the monthly payment, but with the upgrades and the modifications, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  I’ve met so many amazing people, I have gone to many beautiful places to ride, and have participated in events that raise money for charities, including a charity to support the families of fallen Law Enforcement Officers. ❤

I love Christmas music.  I will sing Christmas carols all year round (and annoy everyone around me). My absolute favorite Christmas song is Carol of the Bells by Trans-Siberian Orchestra (listen here – at 2:48 the beat DROPS, ya’ll).  ❤

I love my black Converse Chucks.  I have to wear dress pants and a nice blouse to work, but I refuse to wear anything else on my feet but my black Chucks. In fact, I only wear my black Chucks to work.  On my days off, I wear flip flops or tennis shoes. ❤

I love frozen marshmallows. I don’t eat them very often, but I enjoy a few as a yummy snack from time to time. Freeze ’em then eat ’em.  Thank me later. ❤

Last but NEVER ever least, I love photography. It’s a hobby, it’s a passion. From landscapes, to flowers, to my dogs, to wildlife, my ultimate dream is to work for National Geographic. ❤

I hope you have read and enjoyed Meena’s Things I Love post, and enjoyed reading mine!

I challenge YOU to write your own Things I Love post!  If you accept this challenge, please include a link to Meena’s post.

Don’t forget to tag me so that I can read your posts! ❤

 

I Feel Pretty – Thursday’s Makeup

Two posts in one day!  I’m uppin’ my game, y’all!  I am going to break down today’s makeup routine as I tried out new products that I’ve had for a while, and two products that I received just yesterday in my April Boxycharm!

Yes, I am reusing the photo from my Cargo Cosmetics Essential Lipgloss review for this post because it’s the only pic I took, and I do not like taking selfies.  My bathroom lighting was too harsh so I was in my living room in front of my sliding glass window.  It’s a bit overcast here in Florida today, so I apologize for the lighting issue. Also, I don’t know how to take selfies.  I’m the photographer, not the photographee. 😉  And holy nostrils, batman.  Cargo Lippy

I don’t usually wear makeup on my days off, but I spent the day out with a girlfriend, and that requires a done up face.

Here we go!

I moisturized with the Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation moisturizer. I did not prime or add color correcting concealer to my face today before going in with my e.l.f. flawless finish foundation in porcelain (now called natural). I wanted a sheer foundation look today so I used my beauty blender for application. Once my foundation was on, I dabbed a bit of the e.l.f. hd powder in sheer to set my foundation. Then it was time to add a bit of brow powder from the Convertible Brow from The BrowGal.  Today was my first time using this product and I LOVE it.  It came in a beauty box (I think Boxycharm) and it retails for $35.  I used the black powder on my eyebrows. I know, I am in need of some serious eyebrow shaping; I’m workin’ on it! 😉

Once my brows were done, I applied the Rimmel London ScandalEyes flex mascara on the top lashes (those are my natural lashes, y’all) and applied the e.l.f. Volume Plumping mascara to my lower lashes. Next, I used my Ofra Rodeo Drive highlighter that I received in my April Boxycharm.  I apply the highlighter on my cheekbones. Then I applied my Too Faced Love Flush blush in Love Hangover.  I always apply my highlighter before my blush.  At 44 years old, I can’t bling too much because it draws attention to my wrinkled under eyes. This process gives me the most beautiful and subtle glow that still leaves me beaming for the gods.

 

Ok, can I just say the Too Faced Love Flush blush in Love Hangover… this blush is so danged beautiful!  I have been using it every day since I bought it. It is my absolute perfect shade.  I bought it for $13 at Ulta during their 21 Days of Beauty.  It retails for $26, which is a bit too pricey for me, but I may just have to repurchase when this one’s gone.

So, after all of that beautyness, I use a clean brush to remove the excess mascara because UGGH I ALWAYS HAVE EXCESS mascara, and then I’ve decided to try something new. I am in love with e.l.f.’s Mineral Mist (Revitalizing Mist), which they have discontinued (and I am heartbroken), and have decided to try it as a setting spray.  I wrote a post about this magic mist here.  I must say that it’s 5.5 hours later, and my makeup still looks pretty danged good. I think I’m onto somethin’ here!

I did not wear eyeshadow today, so, I finished off my look with the Cargo Cosmetics Essentials Lipgloss in Umbria.  Read my review on this product here!

I hope you are having a wonderful day! ❤

Saturday – Getting To Know Me

Today is Saturday, and I have my 2.5 year old grandson (His name is Dante) until later this afternoon.  He’s still sleeping as I type this (it’s 8:07AM).  ❤

As it is my day off, I don’t wear makeup or wash my hair.  I do wash my face thoroughly in the morning and then moisturize moisturize moisturize!  My skin is so incredibly sensitive that I really need to have a day or two during the week to give it a rest from product.  If I’m going to be outdoors, I will use a BB cream with SPF or just plain ol’ sunblock on my face because I live in Florida, and well, I may as well be living on the surface of the sun because Florida is pretty danged close. 😉

On days that my skin really needs help, I’ll use the e.l.f. hydrating water sheet mask for a bit more hydration.  I know I’ve rambled on about this mask before and there’s a reason for that! If you have not used this sheet mask, do yourself a favor and pick up a few.  For $3 USD on the e.l.f. website, you won’t be disappointed.  I say pick up a few because if you only buy one, you’ll be disappointed that you didn’t order more to have on hand.  I haven’t used any of the other e.l.f. masks.  If you have, let me know your thoughts!  I’m kind of interested in the bubble mask.

For days I don’t wash my hair, I use Loma Fortifying Repairative Tonic.  It’s a light oil that only requires one tiny pump to tame the fly aways and make my hair look shiny and healthy.  I am not a fan of dry shampoos; they make my scalp itch.  I picked up a 4.25 fl. oz bottle of the Loma tonic from my hairdresser for $20 USD.   A little bit of this stuff goes a long way.

Do you give your skin and hair a day off from product?

Have a great day, y’all!  ❤

Music – 1987

Why You Treat Me So Bad – Club Nouveau

I went out with some friends last night and the DJ played this song.  I was amazed that I remembered the lyrics as I haven’t heard this song in over 20 years! Hearing it brought back so many memories.

 

The year was 1987.

I was 15 and a sophomore in high school.

Such a different world all those years ago. I very much lived in the moment.  I didn’t think too much into my future because I wanted to do so much that I decided to just allow life to move me in whatever direction it felt.  At 15, I experienced much heartbreak and pain, and I wasn’t fully aware of how it would impact me and mold me into the woman I am today. I wasn’t aware of my inner strength, and if I could go back, I wouldn’t change a thing.

At 15, I wanted to be a songwriter, a singer, a performer, a comedian, a dancer, a choreographer (Ohhh, I had moves back in the day!), a pilot, a poet, a wanderer.  I had big dreams.

I accomplished 4 of those.  😉

Life is beautifully strange.

What song(s) take you back years?  Share your song stories!

Blah

I have been battling with a stomach virus since Monday.  😦

There are so many posts I want to write, but I’m just not feeling it at the moment.  I want to review the beautyblender, a Jeffree Star Lip Ammunition lipstick, and so much more!  UGGH!

Today is my day off and I am doing nothing but resting (and watching Game of Thrones).  I am hoping to be back on track with posting soon!  If I feel better this afternoon, maybe I can post my beautyblender review.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week!  Hang on, the weekend is almost here!

 

A Peek Inside…

Besides makeup and beauty, I LOVE the outdoors.   From walks in the park, to photography deep in the swamps, to taking my Jeep across the country for rides that benefit charities, or rides to just ride, I adore the outdoors.

Today through Sunday, I will be in Bartow, FL for the annual Jeepin’ with Judd Jeep event for charity.  It’s a weekend full of trail rides and obstacle courses, with vendors and food, camping, and 1000’s of my Jeep friends from all over the country.

If y’all are wondering what my Jeep looks like:

Dirty Girl Jeep

So, I’ll be out and away from makeup (and showers) for three entire days of playing in the mud (and cow poop).

Makeup posts will continue next week!

Whatever you’re doing, have fun!

Looking forward to catching up when I return!