monday musings.


>> Finally made it to yoga last week and really loved the class. I wish Fresh offered more 1 hour classes because sometimes I just don't have the attention span for 90 minutes. I'm always drenched in sweat after this monday night class and deliciously sore by Wednesday. 

>> I made Jessica's Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip cookies from her new cookbook, Seriously Delish. They turned out amazing (especially after letting the dough sit in the fridge for 24 hours). I brought them to a friends house for dessert on Wednesday night and they were a hit. I baked off another batch on Thursday and topped them with flaked salt...unreal. 

>> I'm thinking that this is going to be the season of the crock pot for the Thomas household. After reading reviews on this amazing site (seriously, check it before buying anything), I think I've picked out the perfect slow cooker and I even made a new Pinterest board dedicated to 8 hour recipes. We're going to be hunkering down this winter, cozy and well-fed! Do you have any favorite slow cooker recipes?

>> Speaking of preparing for winter hibernation, I've been trying to think of some ways to battle the winter blues by doing fun, at-home workout routines/videos. I scored myself a copy of Jillian Michael's 30-day Shred (should be hilarious) and I've also heard amazing things about T-25. I tried Barre3 at one point but couldn't get hooked. Any other suggestions?

>> A friend turned me on to this new app that I'm seriously obsessed with - it's called Think Dirty. Basically, you can scan household products (like cleaning supplies) or beauty products (face cream and body wash) and it'll give the item a "dirty" score on a scale of 0 to 10, 0 being squeaky clean and 10 being pretty harmful. I think it's an awesome tool and just makes you more aware of the products you're using around the house. I'm thrilled that many of the beauty items I've switched to scored a 0! Also, if you find that you're in the need for some new home products that are free of nasty chemicals, sign up for The Honest Company (discount with my referral link!) to get tons of great home, bath, and baby products that are totally safe.

>> We were in the city this weekend for a NEEDTOBREATHE concert which was fab. My sweet friend hosted us not only on her couch but also at the restaurant she works at! It was a fun weekend trip, one of our more pleasant trips into NYC. We also discovered a new band, the Oh Hellos, who opened for NTB. 

favorites // mascara


I rarely leave the house without mascara. I don't know what it is but I just feel totally naked without it. My routine in the morning involves, putting on my make-up (everything but mascara), blow drying my hair, getting dressed, and then, last step, mascara. There have been a few occasions when I've forgotten and felt completely naked. So weird. 

That being said, you know I've tried 1 million different kinds to finally settle on a few favorites. I tried many of the drugstore versions and was a lover of the Maybelline one in the yellow and purple tube for a long time. Then my mom bought me my first DiorShow mascara and my world was rocked. 

Here are a few varieties that I'm currently addicted to for various reasons. 

I'm on my 4th or 5th tube of this stuff. I was first introduced to it by a few Trish loving friends a few years ago. The unique thing about it is that the formula coats your lashes in little tube so when you wash it off, you gently press on your lashes to pull the tubes off. Best part about this? No raccoon eyes! Amazing! The formula really lengthens your lashes and for someone that doesn't use (or know how to use) a lash curler, it gives your eyes the perfect amount of pop. It's expensive, yes, but worth it. You know it's good when I keep buying it over and over again.

I was skeptical about this all natural mascara initially. I love the W3ll People line but I didn't think I was ready to break up with my trusty Trish mascara. When I visited the Birchbox store, the girl helping me had these amazing long, gorgeous lashes. So I asked. She said she was wearing the new W3ll People mascara. Done. Sold. Bought a tube on the spot and really do love it. The goes on really smooth and I love the brush. Only downside, it does smudge easily so I just try to keep my hands away from my eyes when I'm wearing it. 

I use this one the least of the three but I like having it on hand. It packs a big punch and it's build-able which is great for going form day to night. The formula is actually supposed to "re-wet" itself when you reapply later in the day so that it doesn't clump. I also really like Bobbi Brown's Everything mascara. It's really silky and creates a natural look. I use both every now and then.

Also, a few mascara tips!
  1. Don't "pump" your wand in the tube. That just pushes air into the tube and causes it to dry out really fast. Instead, twist the wand around the tube to get more product if you're running low. 
  2. When applying, place the wand at the base of your lashes and wiggle it slightly as you pull the wand toward the tips. You can also very slowly close your eyes as you brush the wand to really sure you get the tips. That's what creates a big impact. 
  3. Know when it's time to toss the tube. Mascara only lasts 3-5 months depending on how frequently you use each tube (3 if it's every day). Also, since it's a product that's near your eyes, it's not good to let it sit around for awhile and then use it after six months. Think gross eye infections. So toss those old tubes and pick up a few of my faves!

book review // wild


Despite the polarizing reviews I read about this book on Goodreads, I knew I had to read it anyway, mostly because my darling Reese will be staring in the movie version coming out in December. I actually really enjoyed it and often found myself wondering if I'd be able to do some of the stuff Cheryl did. 

The book follows Cheryl as she spends several months hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. First of all, that's pretty amazing especially because she did it alone. Secondly, I found it to be a really interesting story highlighting the amazing things our bodies are able to do. I was frustrated that so many reviewers spent so much time critizing the character of the author...who let's remember now, is writing a memoir so this is actually her life! I get not going along with a novel which is a made up story but to discredit someone's actual life experiences seems pretty out of line. 

Either way, I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to see the movie with Reese. I think she'll do a great job (she can do no wrong) and it will be neat to see the story come to life. Go get it!

monday musings.


>> You guys, last week was hard. And the weekend, even harder. Ugh. I'm pretty glad that week is behind us so that we can start fresh today. You know those weeks...when you're actually excited for Monday? Yea, it was one of those. C and I were basically passing in the night and didn't eat one meal together. We both had really busy days followed by several evening commitments. Saturday was a mess so we spent all day Sunday catching up. 

>> I think I've finally discovered my favorite yoga class/teacher - I hope it never goes away. However, as I'm heading out the door to said class, dressed and excited, I get an email saying it's cancelled. Grrrr. Needless to say, that kicked off the not so great week because then I couldn't motivate myself to do anything active at all. 

>> The bright spot of the weekend was finally finding some time to watch church online. I LOVE that we can live stream Cornerstone services at HPUMC, our old home church in Dallas. I miss it a lot, especially the people. It was such a fun surprise to see Elizabeth preaching on Sunday. Elizabeth officiated our wedding ceremony and it was so so so special. It's the one piece of the wedding I wish I had on video. She is so good to us. 

>> The picture above is from last weekend when we were in Baltimore. C's mom hooked us up with amazing seats for the Blue Angels air show in honor of the 200th Anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner. You can see more pictures on my instagram.

>> I did the big winter/summer clothes swap out on Saturday and found several more items to send to the Fashion Project. I'm trying to think strategically about what I'll use the Nordstrom gift cards towards - probably something I wouldn't normally pay full price for like a coat or boots. I have my eye on these but they are currently out of stock in my size.

>> I cut my hair short again over the weekend and can't decide how I feel about it. I think I just need to get used to it. I like it short during the winter so that it doesn't get tangled in scarves or coats. Something weird is going on with my bang situation though. This is the cut I showed my stylist. Also, anyone else in the market for a long bob? Check out my pinterest board!

{recipe} easy weeknight pasta toss


I just found this post in my drafts from a few months ago. I probably never published it because I didn't have a picture of the dish. Oh well, this was a pretty delicious meal so I think it's worth sharing! 

It's no secret that we love pasta in our house. Pasta, however, can get pretty lame especially because I prefer not to use jarred sauces (sugar!). I typically have a batch of my delicious meat sauce in the freezer for emergencies but sometimes it's nice to mix it up. I love watching The Pioneer Woman because I feel like her recipes are very adaptable. She was making this penne the other week and that's where the inspiration behind this pasta came from.

In Ree's episode, she uses shrimp and doesn't add any veggies. I also cut back on the amount of cream used which is why I reserve a bit of the pasta water in case the sauce needs to be thinned out. We had some left over roasted chicken and some frozen peas so I tossed that with the sauce. The best part about this recipe is that you can use whatever meat/veggies you have on hand. I think this would be great with asparagus, roasted broccoli, baby scallops, chicken sausage etc. This is a great recipe to use to clean out your fridge!

the connecticut river


For our anniversary, my mom wanted to give us "paper" so she gave us tickets for a schooner cruise on the Connecticut River and suggested we also check out the Gillette Castle. Though the weather was iffy (holy humidity!), the whole day made for a fun excursion. We even rode the country's second oldest ferry. 

kennebunkport, me


We've been doing our best to take advantage of some free weekends as well as our close proximity to a bunch of really cool small towns. A few weeks ago, we got up early, booked a room on Hotel Tonight and hopped in the car for a few hours to drive up to Kennebunkport, ME. 

We were so lucky to get a last minute room at this adorable B&B because EVERYTHING was booked when we initially looked. I've never used Hotel Tonight before but it was awesome, and kind of a rush! You feel like you're getting such a deal when you snag a last minute room.

Eat // David's KPT for dinner (also a B&B!), and Mabel's for a lobster roll

Play // Take a sunset sail on the Schooner Eleanor

monday musings.


>> So in all honesty, I have just not had time for this space lately. It's not that I'm uninspired or anything, I have like a million posts in draft form, but by the time I have an ounce of free time, all I want to do is relax with C, watch Masters of Sex, and maybe sip on some whiskey. So blogging has become low priority. And you know what, that makes me anxious. HA! I'm crazy. That being said, here are some monday musings for my 6 readers. 

>> We spent this weekend in NYC for a wedding - one of C's college friends and prior roommates in Dallas. It was a great weekend but after several late nights, it was a pretty sleepy train ride home Sunday afternoon. A few highlights: meeting sweet friends at Sarabeth's by Central Park for brunch, finally finding the perfect pair of nude patent pointy toe 3" pumps (that didn't cost a fortune), putting in a solid 5,000 steps traipsing around NYC with Lizzie, and dancing the night away with Mr. Thomas.

>> After deciding Saturday morning that I was not satisfied with the dress I brought with me to wear to this wedding, I made impromptu plans with Lizzie to stop into Zara to try to remedy the situation without spending a fortune. I hit the jackpot and not only found a dress for the wedding for $40 but also scored another dress that is basically perfection (don't judge it by the image online, it's way cuter in person #comfy).

>> Go order these two cookbooks immediately (here and here). Jessica's blog, How Sweet Eats, has been a long time favorite and my go-to when I'm feeling the need to try a new recipe. She's really a gem. I stumbled Stephanie's blog, i am a food blog, through a post on Jessica's blog. How fitting. All this to say, stop reading monday musings and order yourself a copy of their new cookbooks which just launched last week. Cook all the things. Thank me later.

>> I threw out a quick plug for the Fashion Project in a previous post but I feel the need to elaborate due to the success I've had with them. If you're in the process of organizing your closet and maybe switching out clothes for the season, this is the perfect thing to sign up for. They send you free bags, you fill them up with gently worn clothes, send them in, they sell them on their marketplace and donate 55% of the profits to a charity of your choice. Oh, and for every 5 qualifying pieces, you get a $40 Nordstrom gift card. Let me just tell you, I mailed in about 20-25 pieces, and got $120 in Nordstrom gifts cards. Just saying. So go sign up now (it's free!).
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