The Best of 2017

The best of 2017. Sounds weird when it was a year most would consider not the best. But, borne out of this year was good books I may never have read without the tough days, more lipstick than a girl could ever need because I tend to shop my feelings, and still a joy that has come from these hard days.

I’ve read some of my favorite books this past year. No, I have not been more impressionable in my emotional state. They were darn good books. Right now I’m reading Struck by Russ Ramsey. So good. His own medical trial is different from ours, but yet, it’s the same. Michele Cushatt is one of my favorite writers. I’ve read two of her books this year and loved them both, I Am and Undone. I Am was an easy to read daily bible study. Perfect for my life filled with “Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom” and the constant interruptions of hospital life. Undone has a medical theme; living an unexpected life. (I’m sensing a theme in my book choices.) Ann Voskamp wrote the bestseller, The Broken Way, and I really enjoyed its easier reading. It was a little less poetic than some of her others and more real life. I like real life. And finally, Matthew West took some of his songs and put them to book in Hello My Name Is. Or maybe it’s the other way around? Either way, he is funny and I loved hearing some of the background to a few of his most popular songs. And he always points me back to Christ in book or in song. What were your favorite books of 2017?

Lipsticks! So many to choose from. I wrote about my favorites this year that came from a weak moment shopping spree. But truth be told, my favorite lipstick of the year is from Stila. I love it in Brûlée. Get it online or at my go-to retail therapy location, Ulta.

The favorite blog posts of 2017 might not make any happiest moments of the year lists. But what I’ve found is joy isn’t always found in just happy times. Just because we are faced with trials doesn’t mean this equates to only misery. Joy comes from something, somewhere, someONE, other than a circumstance. I have learned to trust Jesus more this year than ever before. Because of this, 2017 has been a good year.

Top 5 Posts of 2017:

I hope you found Jesus here in 2017. I hope you know you aren’t alone in the special needs walk, be sarcastic to get though the nonsense, and you can’t go wrong with new lipstick.

Much love, S.


Lipstick Review is Backkk!

I could hear the people chanting, “Bring back the Lipstick review!” Or maybe it was just the voices in my head. Either way. The long wait is over. Basically, a much younger friend told me my lipstick was “spot on.” (Young people lingo. This is good, right?) I took it as a compliment. And the inner-chanting for the lipstick review began.

Plus, I’m tiring of writing of the hard days. We had a good night last night. We actually left the house as a family for the first time in months. And by ‘left the house’ I mean we went somewhere fun. No hospital, ER, doctor appointments, just family fun. And there was lipstick. Not that chapstick lipstick I normally wear. Which is great and amazing and deserves its own review. But real lipstick.

I’ll stop the suspense. My go to lipstick of the moment is — Lorac PRO Matte Lip Color. I got sucked in to one of those last-minute checkout counter displays at Ulta one weak moment during the hard days. I was shopping my feelings and bought four. They were on sale, okay! Half off was my excuse. Little did I know these would become my favorites and most complimented (two compliments) lipsticks.

Number 1 — EASY. This is my requirement for all lipstick. I have to be able to put it on without looking at myself, rub it in, go. And then not look at myself later and think, “Dear God, what was I thinking and where is my reliable chapstick?”

Number 2 — It lasts. It lasts and doesn’t give me flaky chapped lips that I just have to dig for ole’ reliable again.

Number 3 — EASY. I know I mentioned this already. But I want a lipstick to be not just easy to put on and wear. I want it to be easy to carry around. In a pocket, my purse, the car cup holder, wherever. I don’t want it to melt in the summer or be rock hard in the winter. I don’t want to sharpen it. I don’t want those pencil slivers poking me when it gets down too far and I need to sharpen but don’t have a sharpener. You know? I want the same thing all the time. EASY.

Yes, I bought four. Remember, I got them HALF off. Bargain city. And the colors were amazing. So many of them looked good on my skin I couldn’t decide. So, four. I have Greige. Apparently, greige looks good on walls, fingernails, and lips. Dusty Plum is light lavenderish, pinkish, taupe-ish: one of the compliments was, “I love that! But, I could never wear purple lipstick!” Thanks, I think. I didn’t think it was that purple, but maybe? Cabernet sounds like red wine, of course, but is really just a brown. And it was the color that was “Spot on!” And my favorite, but least worn so far, Aubergine. Not many chances while in the hospital to wear dark eggplant lipstick. But, I’m ready now that fall is here. It’s coming out.

I love Lorac cosmetics (Obviously, I bought four lipsticks.) because they are made for those of us with sensitive skin. And my skin can be a bit persnickety. This lipstick comes in a satin formula, but I love the matte. And as I’ve said before, it lasts. One and done. You get what you get for the day. Except maybe a swipe of that ole’ reliable chapstick. Maybe that will be the next review …

Long, Lost Lipstick Review …

The long, long Lipstick Review is back! I know you were awake at night wondering where it went. So I shall keep you wondering no longer …

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
One of my most favorites … Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil. I wear the color Sex Machine. Nars has the unfortunate habit of giving their makeup sexually charged names. So purchasing their products can be a tad tricky. But that’s what the internet is for, right? One of Nars’ best sellers thankfully doesn’t look good on me so I don’t have to worry about its name.  I’m sure they do this to embarrass the straight-laced girls who were given the Life Cycle Library as ‘The Talk’ and who shall remain nameless. But, yes, I am quite familiar with the Life Cycle Library if you were wondering.

Back to the lipstick … It’s in my top five, probably top three, favorites. It is long-lasting without being to dry and flaky.  It still goes on creamy but isn’t all gooey and tacky feeling. It’s a pencil so I can throw it in my purse or the car and don’t have to worry about it melting all over in the summer months.  And there are oodles, 19 to be exact, of colors to choose from and find your perfect match. It comes in glossy or satin but matte is my favorite. It’s best for us girls who like lips that look like lips and not shiny disco balls most of the time. (But Nars does have that options if that’s your thing.) One of my favorite things about this lipstick is how great it is for layering with others. I can change its color from light to deeper just by what’s under it. And I still reap its benefits by wearing it on top.

The downside: At $26.00 it’s a tad pricey compared to the supermarket stuff.  But this does last me for-ev-uh.  I only buy one or two sticks a year. It used to be difficult to find and I could only get it on the website or in a mall.  But these days there is a Sephora in every JC Penney’s store, even in my little hick-town. It’s becoming much easier to buy without having to pay shipping.  I don’t always like the makeup that has a bunch of mineral oil and chemicals. I lean towards the natural products. My skin just does better. No where does it mention that this does not have those icky things. So I am assuming it does. In fact, if you want an ingredient list you have to email them. I think I’ve said it before, we ladies eat most of our lip products. So I don’t want to be eating too much yucky lip goo. “Lipstick, it’s what’s for dinner.” Bleh. But if I’m going to die from eating too much yucky lip goo ~ I’m going to die looking good in this stuff!

If you have a hot date you need to get gussied up for or if you are just running errands with the kids, this lipstick will do both jobs well.  If you only want to buy one lip product, this is a good one. So if you have peachy or yellow undertones, have fun buying that Nars bestseller as your color choice. But if you are pink like me, save some of the Sex Machine for me!  (So tacky, I know.)

On a side note: I have just realized while I complain about the chemical ridden lip products, none of my reviews have been about the natural products that I love. The next shall be just that. My all time favorite lipstick, which is not just my favorite, but natural as well!  Too bad I only do reviews about every nine months, eh?

For your viewing enjoyment ~ or torture depending on how you feel about Kenny Chesney. But as soon as Evan hears this playing he will want to hear his favorite singer over and over. And over.