What’s Saving My Life This Winter

I love the discussion going on at Modern Mrs. Darcy about what’s saving us this winter.  It’s so true that it’s easy to be glum and to complain to each other about the drudgeries of winter, but isn’t it nice to think about the things that are helping us survive and even enjoy this season? I think so! I really wanted to link up with her last winter, but I chickened out because it seemed like all of my things were vapid little vanities.  But you know what? Pretty little things make me happy.  So! Here are my silly and more serious things that are saving me this winter.

  1.  Pretty nails:  I have a deep weakness for the Essie display at CVS.  I picked up their color  Stones n’ Roses yesterday and it’s just perfect.  It’s a soft peachy-pink that is just a whisper of spring.  Sara and I are both wearing it!IMG_5454
  2. Clinique Naturally Glossy Mascara This was the one and only mascara I would buy back when I first started wearing mascara, because it never clumps and never gave me spider eyes.  But somewhere along the line, I fell into that line of thinking that my eyelashes needed to be full! plump! look fake! and I bought all the trendy mascaras that we supposed to achieve those looks.  So, last month after I got pink eye, I needed to buy new mascara and I thought, “hmm, maybe I’ll go back to my old Clinique Naturally Glossy.” Best decision ever!  It’s just as good as I remember it, and it was a reminder to me that I don’t like clumpy, volumizing mascara, I just want something to emphasize my natural lashes.  
  3. Burts Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Sweet Violet Speaking of emphasizing my natural features, I finally found a lip gloss that does that!  I think there was a Small Things Blog post a long time ago that talked about finding a lip color that’s like your lips but better, and I’ve been obsessed with the idea ever since then.  I’m not a lip stick gal, at least not yet, so I was thrilled to stumble upon Burts Bees Tinted lip balm a little while ago.  Sweet Violet is that perfect purply-pink that plays up my lips’ natural color.
  4.  My birthday! Every year just when I think January is going to get the best of me, my birthday rolls around at the tail end.  It saves the month every time.  I feel bad for all of you who don’t have a winter birthday to break up the drudgery, I really do!
  5. Books: I’ve been eating up the non-fiction like whoa lately.  Earlier in January, I read the Rule of St. Benedict for my book club, which was a nice reminder for me of the need for structure, order and self-discipline in the home.  Then there was Secrets from the Eating Lab by Traci Mann, which I took some lessons from (more on that later) and now I’m finishing up These Beautiful Bones by Emily Stimpson of the awesome blog The Catholic Table.  I’m really loving this book.  I love her take on the broader lessons of Theology of the Body, and how it branches into hospitality, manners, how to dress and take care of one’s home and the sacredness of food.  I can’t recommend it enough!
  6. Lent is coming soon:  I know this sounds odd and maybe seems a little  masochistic, not to mention probably my most famous of last words, but I’m really pumped for Lent this year.  This is my first Lent in 5 years that I haven’t been pregnant or nursing, so I feel like I have no excuse not to really work on self-denial.  Plus, knowing that Lent is coming so soon means I’m relishing my birthday cheesecake and evening wine while I can! I still haven’t completely decided whether I’m going to do a Whole 30, but for sure, I’m going to give up sweets and alcohol and attempt a 40 Bags in 40 Days.  But, (reeling myself in) in this last week before Lent, I’m going to really be praying for Him to tell me what I need to work on this Lent. 

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    I also relished these bacon wrapped, goat cheese filled dates on my birthday. All of them. By myself.

  7. Exercise: The beginning of January really stunk, (and then I got pink eye) but then when I was reading  Secrets from the Eating Lab, the chapter about the necessity of being physically active really jumped out at me.  I’d fallen off the bandwagon with exercise.  I was still getting a run or a DVD in once or twice a week, but not most days like I had been last summer.  No wonder I felt so blah!  Traci Mann writes in her book, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults should get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week, which boils down to about 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days a week.  Ugh, I make so many excuses! Sometimes I’ll have a good run on Saturday or Sunday and then do nothing the rest of the week.  That once a week run isn’t really doing anything for me the rest of the week, mood wise or health wise! No more excuses, I’m aiming on getting my 150 minutes in because it’s the bare minimum of what I should be doing to be healthy, and I know I’m much less grumpy and anxious when I’m exercising regularly.
  8. Dave:  Gosh.  I married up.  He’s just such a good, patient and fun Dad and such a self-sacrificing spouse.  I don’t know what I would do without him, no matter what time of year it is!

8 thoughts on “What’s Saving My Life This Winter

  1. I just read These Everyday Bones over the summer, and it was one of my favorite reads in a long time!
    Happy belated birthday 🙂

  2. Oh the Essie displays- how can one not stop and gaze? And I want to devour that plate of goodness- glad you had a great birthday splurge!
    Also, about Lent- I've been kinda gearing up for it too in a not-dreading-it manner and was thinking maybe it's because (for me anyway) the Christmas-is-over blues seem to hand around in stagnant January? And Lent means a change/ something to plan for/ moving on with the year?

  3. Love this post! I'm anxious to hear your thoughts on Secrets from the Eating Lab – you're the third person to mention it!
    And same here about Lent: this will be the first year in a LONG time where I'm not newly pregnant (and sick as a dog) or nursing a lot, so I'm hoping it's really fruitful for me too.

    • I really liked how common sense Secrets from the Eating Lab was. Her whole take on obesity not being an epidemic was interesting… and maybe a little misleading. If you read the whole book, you see that she's not saying "keep on being obese, it's not bad for you!"; she does advocate a healthy active lifestyle. And I like how she talked about the stigma of being overweight and the negativity that obese people receive from doctors, bosses, etc., is flat out wrong. But beyond that, I really liked what she had to say about being active, and I really liked what she said about aiming to be at your leanest liveable weight. I've never been and never will be petite, and it's refreshing to read that we shouldn't all be aiming for that. I mean, I knew that, but it's nice to read it!

  4. It's amazing how a little new makeup can REALLY perk things up! I used my recent bday money on some much-needed makeup and hair product updating. It helps me actually WANT to get dressed/groomed in the winter (a feat for me in the winter/at a million weeks pregnant! :P)

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