Friday, January 27, 2012

Looking for some fun? Have a bonfire!!

I know there are a lot of awesome things to do in the world that don't involve a beach. I lived in such a place for the first 13 years of my life. Life was good and fun but, man... I really didn't know what I was missing!! 20 years later and I find myself happily married to a man who is part human/part sea mammal. I am raising little ones who also have a love for the ocean air and don't mind sand between their toes. We are just a 20 minute drive away from the nearest beach and 40 minutes from our favorite surf spots. Tonight we were happy to make the drive to celebrate the birthday of a friend.

This is the Birthday Girl, Thira. Thira has a sweet calmness about her. She has a very natural approach to the world and life and I don't think she has a judgemental bone in her body. We like to refer to her as "The Baby Whisperer". Not only is she good with babies but with the older kids as well. When we arrived at her bonfire birthday party I was not surprised at all to see her at the smaller fire set up for the kiddos. I met her a long time ago but have begun to know her better within the last year or so through camping trips, temple date nights, holliday gatherings, birthday dinners, and (of course) beach outtings. Thira is as sincere as they come and I always come away not only feeling like a better person for knowing her but wanting to be a better person because of her example.

Here is my hubby and Mister Birthday Girl. (We'll just call him "Mark".... since that's his name and it's just easier for many different reasons)
If there is anyone in the world who's hunger for surf could match or even rival that of my husband's, it's this guy. It's no surprise that he chose a beach bonfire as the setting for his bride's birthday gathering. He even showed up extra early at the beach to surf set up. I don't think I've ever seen him without a grin on his face. It must be all the surfing.

The grins were contagious tonight as there were hot dogs to roast and long time friends to hang out with.

(I'm not crazy. The triple flash of my camera just makes me look that way.)

And what's a birthday party without some sort of slide?

So the next time you're planning a party or if you're just looking for some cheap family fun on a Friday night consider a beach bonfire. But don't forget to invite us beach bums!

See ya at the beach!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Common Scents

Funny how the simple things in life can give us the happiest of feelings. Lately I smile inside everytime I see this...

I don't know what it is. The charming little tray? The interesting bottles? Or just the simple femininty of it all? But I love it and I love choosing each day which one I will wear.

I used to not be a perfume lover, or even a perfume liker for that matter. I'm sensitive to smell and many perfumes give me headaches. But as I've matured I've found what works for me and my husband now has a well-trained sniffer and has surprised me with a few fragrances that I never would have thought I could tolerate let alone love! This is the most perfume I've ever owned at one time and I've decided I want to know just exactly what is in each one that draws me to it. Let's break it down from the oldest to youngest.

This is the first perfume I ever purchased. After hugging a family friend I could smell her the rest of the day and I had to know what it was. I'm not crazy about how it smells straight from the bottle but when sprayed on your skin it smells different. It is a combination of honeysuckle, spicy carnation, citrus, warm musky notes and rose.

This perfume by Bob Mackie is no longer being made but fortunately can still be found if you (or your husband) know where to look. It is the first scent that I could wear everyday and not get tired of. I can't even remember how I found it. A magazine ad, perhaps? It has notes of oriental flowers combined with the softness of woods and musk.

I'm definitely not a fan of Paris Hilton but I am a huge fan of her Can Can! I first started wearing this scent in oil form from when I hosted a perfume show for my sister in law. The oil is what's in the adorable Peacock perfume bottle that I just had to have. It's a fun and flirty combination of cassis, clementine flower, wild orchid, nectarine, musk, orange blossom, woods, and amber.

This was another find from my sister in law's perfume oils. I have to admit that I need to be in the right mood to wear this one but it is of moderate strength so it's won a spot on the tray. It's a mix of honeysuckle, gardenia, jasmine, praline, amber, caramel vanilla, and sandalwood.

A few years back our women's group had a "favorite things" exchange. Each of us was to bring some item that we love and share it with the person whose name we drew from a basket. When I saw my friend, Martha that evening I gave her a hug and commented on how good she smelled and asked her what it was. She whispered it was Brittany Spears' Fantasy and that it's what she brought to give away. I secretly hoped it would be my name she pulled from that basket and what'd'ya know?... It WAS!!! She handed me the cutest little bottle of this stuff and I blew through it faster than Brit shaved her blonde locks from her head. This year Martha suprised me with a gift set for Christmas so not only do I now have a bigger bottle but the shower gel and bubble bath to boot! Thanks Martha! We both love the soft blend of kiwi, white chocolate, musk, lychee, jasmine, orchid, and quince.

I was surprised with this bottle of Flowerbomb for Christmas this year by my hubby. It's the most expensive bottle of perfume I've ever owned and I will now be on the hunt for it at discount stores such as Marshal's and Ross because I cannot see myself ever living without it. I jokingly say that it's "liquid lingerie". It smells so good that if asked to put on something "pretty" (read "sexy"... sorry moms) I think I could get away with just wearing this and call it good. I am amused by the juxtaposition of the feminine, pink-tinted liquid in a bottle that looks like a glass grenade. I purposely don't wear this everyday. Not because I don't want to but because I want it to last and I like to wear my other perfumes, too. But even on the days that I don't wear it I take off the cap and smell it so I can get my daily fix of tea, bergamot, freesia, jasmine, and rose orchid. Viktor and Rolf put the BOMB in Flowerbomb!

This is another one I can't live without. It's a men's fragrance so it's obviously not one that I wear but one that I try to keep constantly stocked for my man. I was flipping through a magazine one day and could barely focus on any of the articles as this tantalizing scent was distracting me from, well, EVERYTHING! I became under it's spell as I could think of nothing else but to find a bottle and find it quick. He I had to have it! I went out that day and purchased some. When he wears it (which is almost daily) I seriously want to just nuzzle into his neck and stay there all day. It's the Happiest Place On Earth as far as I'm concerned. I think it's the male counterpart to my Flowerbomb. (They have a women's version but I haven't sampled it yet.) This is a very masculine combination of sandalwood, cardamom, amber, grapefruit, nutmeg, bergamot, violet, patchouli, and star anise.

A few others worthy of mention is Victoria Secret Halo (which I don't think is available any longer) and Burberry Brit. In the end it looks as if I'm a fan of honeysuckle, woods, musk, among other things and all things Flowerbomb!

What kind of common scents do YOU have?

A New Start

So I've been a horrible blogger. A pathetic documenter. And a forgetful photographer "picture taker". I actually started a blog post last week where I was awarding myself with the title of "2011 Slacker of The Year" and proving my slacker status by posting pictures of the year's events that have gone un-blogged. My pictures were taking too long to upload and in the end I think it would have been a long post with no real continuity or rythm, if you will. I've decided that I'm going to start the new year off without stressing over my failed blogging habits. I'm no longer going to stress about things being in chronological order or be disappointed in myself if I don't blog each and every day because, let's face it... that's just not realistic (for me).
We recently had friends over for New Year's Eve. It was a fun night full of games, food, fireworks, and sparkling cider. Plenty of opportunity for great pictures but not one was taken. The next day we hosted more friends for individual, homemade pizzas and a family sleepover. I thought about capturing my kitchen table, dusted white with flour and cute bowls filled with toppings; the kids rolling out their dough and the beautiful masterpieces that came out of the oven. But instead I enjoyed the moment and decided to forgo the picture taking. I'm allowing myself to just go with the flow, take the pictures when I want, blog when I want in any order that I want and I think by so doing the posts will come more often if I just let it come naturally. I'll let it come on a whim instead of forcing it just for the sake of documenting it.
So in the posts to come it'll be current events mixed with previous happenings. Or just one or the other. But I look forward to it being without that old monkey on my back named "guilt".
I know a nomination for Blogger of the Year or any such award will never come my way but at least I won't be in a one-woman, self-imposed candidacy for the Slacker Award anymore. This is a guilt-free zone now. Hallelujah and Happy New Year!