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~ 12 Days Swaps ~




How was everyone's holiday? Full of fun, family, and friends I hope!! Did you get everything you wanted?

I had a few days of gifts from visiting family, then of course I received 12 days of gifts from Jennifer over at Busy Being Jennifer. Super sweet gal!! I loved getting to know her. Be sure to check out her blog to see what she got from me!

Super cute Starbucks ornament. Sadly it broke so I didn't get to hang it.

A little makeup bag. You can never have to many!

Chalkboard sign that can be used for ANYTHING!! This actually would have been good for a baby announcement I did for a friend a few weeks ago. 

Cute little bag. Again.... you can never have too many bags!

A little smelly good candle!  I'll probably light at work and make my office smell good!

Another ornament that is super cute. Did she make it? If so, I need to learn.

More Starbucks! I've never had the Christmas blend, can't wait to try!

2 wax cubes (wrapped separate).  And for the life of me I can't get this picture to flip. It's flipped correctly on the computer, but when I upload it, it does this. Help? Anyone?

Lindor chocolate! My fav. If you haven't tried, go get some now! :)

BIG MUG!!  Love drinking from these. Sadly it was broke too, so I won't be able to use.

You'll probably laugh at the time it took me to realize what this was! LOL!  It's little things for your tub when you take a bath. LOL!  I was like, do I eat these? LOL! Don't judge! :)


Shew... lots of gifts! I love swaps and CG Swaps is always having good ones.Click on Upcoming Swaps at the top of the page, go see what's happening for 2015.



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~ Moda Voxbox ~


 
Another voxbox!  I love getting these! Who doesn't? Let's get started.
You can see me and my silly Youtube video here.  I hate my voice! Who doesn't hate their own voice?!

Rimmel London: Scandaleyes Rockin' Curves Mascara, Moisture Renew Lipstick, and Moisture Renew Lip Liner


Why red Influenster?  I never wear lipstick, only gloss (not too glossy).  But for testing purposes, I applied this red and didn't rock it! It's just the color, not the lipstick itself. The lipliner threw me for a loop though, it was clear. After reading, and not making assumptions, it was to keep it from "feathering" into your wrinkles. I know you know what I'm talking about! 
As for the mascara, I wear it daily!  I'm normally a covergirl, but I might just be switching to Rimmel London! The only thing I didn't like is that it didn't state it it was waterproof (or did I overlook it?). The "wand" I loved, it was wavy, it made for an interesting first try!!! Take a look:



Puffs Softpack

Winter! Cold! NEED PUFFS! That's really all I need to say. As of right now I have 3 boxes of puffs; living room, bedroom, and on my desk at work. The good thing about the puffs softpack is they go in my purse easily (or in the compartment in your car).



Lord knows I'll need to purchase more if we get a real Christmas tree this year (still not tree yet), allergies were HIGH last year for about 6 months. Thank God for puffs and their softness.

Hair Food Moisture Hair Mask




I wouldn't say I'm harsh on my hair, I don't use ANY product, just alot of HEAT! With heat comes dryness! After the first use of the Hair Food, I didn't notice a difference. The smell was sure nice though!  Honestly, I thought it was going to make my hair oily.  It didn't. I did use it a few more times and I could tell a difference, my hair felt healthy and full of moisture, but not oily!  :)

Swiss Miss Simply Cocoa


It's getting cold. You want something warm! What better way that cocoa!  Especially this one. It has ingredients; sugar, cocoa, nonfat milk, salt, and natural flavor. The only question I wanna know is what is the natural flavor? Regardless, it was yummy! The only thing I was suggest is adding marshmallows!


Jergens Ultra Healing Extra Dry Skin Moisturizer



No doubt it's winter. And no doubt your skin is going to dry out! I took the Jergens challenge and used it on my hands for 7 days. Big question, could I tell the difference? The answer is, just a little! Given it's winter and my hands were super dry it took longer than the 7 days for sure.  I got a little trail tube so it stays in my purse, which I love! :) 

Resource Spring Water


This bottle makes the water look so crisp and clear! I try to drink tons of water every day, on the weekend it's pretty hard to do that.  I hydrated with resource during my Thursday volleyball game also at work the next morning. Did you know they offer delivery? They do! Sadly, I wasn't in the area (work or home) that it could be delivered.  Not sure why, but that's the only complaint I have.



** I received these products from Influenster for testing purposes. **


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~ Lentil Salad ~


 
I eyeballed this salad for weeks! The color really called out to me.  I got the recipe from Skinny Taste. You should seriously subscribe to their emails, I get tons of good recipes (healthy too).

First and foremost, I used my ninja for the majority of the vegetables, only because I'm not a fan of them. I'm sure you're asking yourself, "Then why did you wanna try this?" The answer is.... I just wanted to try something new.  The older I get the more I wanna try new things

What you'll need:
  • 1 cup dry brown lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup finely diced carrots
  • 1/3 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper



In a saucepan combine lentils, bay leaf, and thyme.  Add enough water to cover about an inch and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until the lentils are tender, roughly 16 minutes.



Drain the lentils and take out the bay leaf. 



Put your lentils in a large work bowl and add all your other goodies (carrots, celery, red pepper, red onion, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper). Toss and serve chilled or at room temperature! 

Now for my thoughts on this dish:  it didn't do it for me, no need to sugar coat it.  I just didn't like it (maybe because it's healthy?).  It lacked flavor. Have you made this before, what would you add?  

Next soup I wanna try is the Creamy Lentil Soup from Skinny Taste! Maybe it'll taste better?



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~ Buffalo Chicken Chili ~




 

It's that time of the year for soups!!!  My neighbor made some buffalo chicken chili the other day and I decided to try and make some for myself.  I added beans to mine! Yum!

What you'll need:
  • 4 cups of shredded chicken (I used rotisserie and it was so much easier).
  • 1 can of northern beans
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • 1 cup of salsa (chunky or not, your choice)
  • 1/2 red onion (diced)
  • 1 1/2 cup of chicken broth
  • 2 packages of dry ranch mix
  • Buffalo sauce (your choice)
  • Olive oil
  • Corn (optional)



 First you'll sauteed the diced red onion with the olive oil. Then you'll add the shredded chicken, buffalo sauce (to your liking, but don't over do it), and 1 package of ranch mix. Saute that for a few minutes.


Then you'll move everything into a bigger pot. Combine everything, which is the chicken mixture, salsa, chicken broth, more buffalo sauce if you desire, beans, and 2nd package of ranch mix.  Simmer on low until heated thoroughly.

Now, I'm sure you can do this in the crockpot, I did not try.
Also, as mentioned above you could have added corn which would have been good.

More optional items would be heavy whipping cream at the end, sour cream, or green onions.

As you see my optional items were cheese and avocado.  The avocado just topped it off!!


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~ 12 Days of Christmas Swap! ~







Who doesn't love a swap?!
Who doesn't love mail?!
Who doesn't love meeting new people/bloggers?
This is my 4th swap and I'm pumped! My last one was this time last year (only because I took a blogging break) so I'm due for a new one.
I'm participating in the 12 Days of Christmas Swap with Chaotic Goddess Swaps! Wanna join? Click here to sign up but make it quick, it closes November 10th!
Can't make this one?  Book mark this page to Upcoming Swaps so you can be ready for the next one!





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~ Curious what I've been up to? ~


As promised here I am telling (or should I say showing) you what I was up to during my blogging hiatus. As much as I love my readers some stuff will be left out just because it was a little personal. No worries, things are getting better and maybe one day I'll talk about it.  :)  If you followed me in Instagram or FB some of these might look familar to you.

What better way to talk about where I've been or what I've been doing than to show you in pictures. Who doesn't love pictures?!?! So, here is a photo dump, I'm sure no one will complain.

March we had some of that white stuff that falls from the sky, which doesn't come often here, so I took full advantage!


  video

When it does snow, lots of ice comes with it. We lost a building at work.

The ice we had when we opened the garage.



Tried some new recipes (no worries, they will be making a visit on the blog soon).




I did my 2nd half with my running buddy, with no training. Yeah... bad girl!  But I still finished. I did sign up for a full in April 2015, which I will be ready for!




Crawfish boil, which are always amazing!



Did some trail running with some friends, not sure how we stayed on course, it got kinda iffy there for awhile.

You'd get lost too! :)
 I got another Voxbox from Influenster.



My cousin got married, beautiful wedding!



Attended CMA fest, only 1 day. Boo!  :(




Did my 4th Tough Mudder and for the 1st time I made it across the monkey bars! Super proud moment!


My nephew was born!



4th of July activities.




Took a cruise with some friends, much needed disconnect from the world!





My dad came to visit, I think the last time I seen him was about 2 years ago.


 
And of course from then on out I've shared on here (skydiving, another vox box, etc.).
I probably left something out, but I hope not!!  Lord knows I could have added a ton more pictures!
Now its nearing the end of the year, do you have any fun plans?



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