Monday, January 30, 2017

Make-Up Monday!

Since everyone gives Monday a bad wrap I thought I would put a fun twist on it and talk about a couple of cosmetic products that I love.  When I say I love them, I mean they are the tried and true standard and always are in the "routine." Today's post isn't actually about make-up but rather the very beginning and the very end of your make-up routine.  These are two steps that if you are skipping you are losing valuable hours of great looking make-up.  I only added these into my routine in the last year and I can't believe how I made it without them!!!
Although, I have always loved make-up and work in the industry, somehow I managed to avoid using a primer before putting on my foundation!  I think I thought it was just one more product to buy that would not make a difference.  Rest assured this is a product you NEED, if you aren't using one.  After applying your moisturizer this is the first thing that should go on.  It smooths your pores and readies your skin for makeup.  I can tell a huge difference if I put on my make-up with or without primer! 
The next must have on my list is the very last thing you put on...a setting spray.  If I was wary of the primer you really should have seen how I felt about setting spray and all it's claims of glory...but, they are true.  With Setting Spray you lightly mist your face when your make-up is complete and it helps it stay on all day looking dewy fresh.  That is a huge plus when you live in a warm climate where the humidity loves to attack not just your hair but also loves to melt that make-up right off!  So, if you aren't using a setting spray get one right away. 

Adding these two elements into your beauty routine will be minimum effort for great results that will keep you looking fresh and glowing all day!  Happy Make-Up Monday!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2017


I am reading this book right now...actually "working through it" as it has some interactive self-work to help you grow.  I really am enjoying it BUT I am stuck already...only 33 pages in!  In this section the author encourages you to determine what your passion is, what you truly love.

 "Life Inventory: What are you missing? What makes you feel deeply alive? And how can you fill your heart up with that even if just a tiny bit?"

 It seems like that should be a pretty easy fill in the blank, right?  Well...once I started really thinking about it I couldn't come up with a single thing.   It isn't that I am not missing something or that there aren't things to make me feel deeply alive and fill up my heart, I just don't know what they are anymore.  There was a time when I knew. There was a time when I knew what I loved, what my calling was, what brought me inner peace and joy.  Now, not so much.  So, tonight I am sitting here pondering what to write in that "I love...." area so that I can start adding more of that into the mix of my life and heart but am frustrated that it is so hard!  I think we all want to feel like we know ourselves, but in this season of life I am still floating and trying to figure out where I fit in.  It is like being homesick but not knowing where home is.  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Frugal Friday!!!

How was your frugal week?  Mine was pretty good.  We only ate out 1 time and that was actually delivery of pizza for the National Championship Game (CLEMSON WON, in case you had not heard...just saying!)
So my big savings was food this week.  I only picked up the basics that we needed as we needed them (last night on the way home from work I made a quick stop for fresh lettuce, tomato, dog food and milk.)  Otherwise, I shopped and planned through what was in my fridge, freezer and cupboard.  A couple of weeks ago, I went to the downtown farmer's market in my town and bought a meat pack from Orvis Hill Farms which guided me through my meal prep and gave the basis for a menu.  It was nice to have the freezer with meat in it but not so much that I felt no direction, so I think this "meat plan" may be a good way for me to plan and keep me from spending to much "on the way home from work."  A new meat traditional meat market just opened up in my town so I need to check it out because they often have "fill your freezer" deals that include a variety of meats and poultry. 

The downside of my budget was some unexpected medical expenses as both my sons had accidents (unrelated) that resulted in 3 sprained ankles between the 2 of them.  So, I had some drugstore expenses I didn't expect and angle braces are not cheap!  But, thankfully, no one was broken although they were in a lot of pain.  By the way, if you have  a Sonic close to you their ice makes the best ice packs and you can by it in 10 pound bags for under $2.00. 

Let me know your Frugal Tips!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

No snow day for us...


When I opened my Facebook page today I saw lots of lots of pretty, fluffy snow pictures from friends around the South  It is just a cold, rainy day here. It also has a pretty big dose of dreary.  Sometimes I don't mind rainy days, especially when I can stay home and cuddle up with a book but today isn't one of those rainy days.  We have had a week of rainy days, and now this one is really cold.  I need some sunshine!
Maybe it is because I have 2 sickies (well, actually 3 sprained ankles and 1 virus between 2 boys) at home today that kind of puts a damper on things.  With both boys under the weather, it does make the day seem kind of blah.  I keep "thinking" of things I should be doing but obviously I am not doing them.  Although, I did get the self cleaning oven to clean!  I realized someone had spilled something that was causing massive amounts of smoke to billow from the oven when I was baking cinnamon rolls this morning for breakfast.  So maybe that started my day off on a dreary note as I was trying to deal with a house full of smoke and it too cold to open the doors and windows and air it out?  Mostly today, my house has been a place where lots of sleep has been found, which is good due to one boy who needs to stay off his foot and the other who is sick and needs to be off both feet.   
So, you may have just read the most boring blog post ever, but I am thankful that even though the days is damp and grey, I have a safe, warm place to spend it.  Oh...and tomorrow is supposed to be SUNNY & 35!  Whoohoo!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

An Amazing thing happened 20 years ago today at approximately 4:25 PM...

This handsome man made his early and unexpected entrance into the world!  He has kept me on my toes since. He is talented, smart, funny and strong.  I am so glad to have been able to share in his life.  I love him more than he will ever know and ever let me I am sure!  I am so grateful to God for this young man and what he brought into my world.  I am blessed.
Happy 20th Birthday, sweet baby boy!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Have I mentioned I am a Single Mom?

So, have I mentioned it a time or two...that I am a single Mom?  Maybe not, because I don't really like the label.  I never wanted the label but the court system and an ex-husband decided it should be my new label. I didn't get a say in it, just got it slapped on my forehead.  In all honesty, it has taken me about 3 years to adjust to the title.  Now, I just say it....

Anyway, the purpose of this post is not to lament being a Single Mom, though we can do that some other time if you like.  The purpose of this post is to ask other Single Moms, "What is your most challenging logistical part of single parenting?" 

For me it is dinner time! I seriously hate grocery shopping, not to mention finding time to do said errand and then the heart attack at the register.  See why I would just rather ignore it?  But, I can' hard as I have tried I can't.  First, I have finally realized how much my kids miss a Mom who cooks and that really hit me hard in the [Mom Fail] department. Secondly, I can't afford to eat out continually and I know it isn't the healthiest approach to life.  So, those two reasons  have given rise to find the motivation to try to bring my kids back to the table for meals, even if they are a bit on the late side if I come rolling in from work at 7:00 PM.  I think it is good for us to eat together and not scattered through the house or in front of the TV.  It is a nice time to at least make some connection in a non threatning environment.  I miss that family time and I am making a determined effort to bring it back for myself, but also for my boys...they need that Mom who cooks! 

So what is your Single Mom Challange???

Monday, January 2, 2017

Meet me on the Twitter and if you like join me on Instagram too!

If you haven't already, would you do me a huge favor and pop over and follow me on Twitter. Join in the conversation and lets share good in Social Media rather than all the ugly (I have been guilty of that, as well, but am trying to make sure that I only put good out there because in a blink of an eye I realized the world is just too full of ugly.) Southern Sparkle on Twitter!

Also, I guess I should favorite form of Social Media is Instagram!  I just love pictures.  I love taking them and looking at them.  Come join me in bringing more beauty in the world: Southern Sparkle on Instragram  I am also a Google+ user and would love to meet you there! Southern Sparkle on Google+.

I took a long break from Social Media and it was good for me.  It came at a time when I was at a loss as to who I was and who I wanted to be.  Now, I am using Social Media again but do have strong feelings that I want to use my little, tiny spot in this world as a place for transparency and positivity.  My life is NOT perfect and not pain free.  I have demons I battle within my heart just like everyone else and I do not want Southern Sparkle to ever portray a "magazine perfect" life.   I am blessed beyond what I deserve and I do want to share that and always know I have done nothing to earn those is a God thing and to Him goes all the glory.  Join me in being a positive movement in Social Media to be real with our struggles and our victories in 2017! #bethechange

Before we totally move on, I thought I would do a quick recap in photos of our holidays!

We [I] started by changing up our tree d├ęcor this year.  I have to admit it was a pretty radical shake up in these parts and I got lots of strange looks from the natives when I announced such a rebellious streak in changing the tree!  I decided to use real cotton (still on the bush!), cardinals and burlap as garland.  It was a big departure for me and for the kid,s but I think once it was completed they really liked it!

We even had outside lights this year for the first time in a long time!
Also, I added a touch of Santa to my office space and my Dining Room
Side Board had just a touch of glamour to it! 
This is the first year I have been excited about Christmas in several, so it came out in a bit more decorating than I have been doing.  It was nice to feel like a child and get excited when I pulled up to my house at night as saw all the lights twinkling.
And what is Christmas with out some sweet Puppy dog kisses!
I got to visit with a friend's little lovers and they always make me smile!
Christmas Eve arrived and the party really started! There was food, crazy antics (that comes naturally when you get all my kiddos and all the dogs under one roof...I lovingly refer to it as the Bumpus Hound Reunion!)
For Christmas Eve we went with traditional Low Country Seafood (though those crab legs may have been bought in Georgetown, SC...I have a sneaking suspicion they aren't least the shrimp was fresh off the boat!) My sweet girl made Shrimp and Grits because who doesn't love a little Shrimp and Grits?  I even caught a picture of the newlyweds sneaking a smooch! 

I got some really wonderful gifts from my parents and all my boys I do have to show off a favorite for this year (just overlook my first thing in the morning look....Santa still manages to wake my children up early on Christmas Morning!)  It is a portrait from my very special Daughter and Son-in-love's wedding. I will cherish it always because it has all my family included. I can't wait to get it framed and find just the right place to hang it so I can see all of my loves every day.
I was blessed to have vacation between Christmas until actually tomorrow (though work will sneak in today I am sure!) so there were some fun times just enjoying free time.  On New Year's Eve I got to walk the red carpet and felt quite like a movie star!  It was a major departure from last year when I think I slept through it!
Welcome 2017!
May your year be filled to the brim with abiding joy!