Sunday, May 28, 2017

Navy Blue and White

The other day the kid went to a birthday party at noon, and Andy and I decided to go on an impromptu date. If we don't take advantage of a few free hours here and there, we never go out by ourselves. It was a chilly day, and we ended up going to an Italian restaurant; it was very nice to get away and enjoy some adult time and delicious food.

I decided to wear my new(ish) navy and white blazer, white jeans, a blue/white polka dot blouse and a skinny blue/white scarf.

Navy Blue and White Blazer  

I like the outfit, but I do realize that the scarf pushes it quite a bit in the direction of a flight attendant uniform...  So next time I would probably not wear the scarf but a statement necklace instead...

Navy Blue and White Blazer
This post contains affiliate links, and benefits from actions taken on the links.

Questions: Do you like navy and white together? What colors are you wearing today? 

Be well,

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Simply Earth Essential Oils Natural DIY Beauty Products

Several weeks ago, I was contacted by Simply Earth and asked if I was interested in reviewing their Essential Oil Recipe Box for free. The ingredients in the box I received allow you to mix your own natural beauty products with 100% pure essential oils. I am very interested in what I put on my skin and have been wanting to try essential oils for a while now and therefore said yes. As always, all opinions in this post are my own.

Simply Earth* is a subscription box that has a new theme every month. The box I received allows you to mix different beauty products. I did a bit of research and found out that prior boxes included ingredients and fun recipes for candles, cleaning products, lip balm, bath bombs and more.

In each box, you receive five essential oils, containers, and six to seven recipes as well as recipe ingredients. You can pause or cancel your subscription at any time. You also have the option to buy just one box without subscribing. Additionally, you can subscribe to one box every three months.

The box arrived smelling great - just a faint hint of the essential oils that were inside! In the box I received were the following products:
  • Geranium oil
  • Cypress oil 
  • Juniper berry oil 
  • Lemongrass oil
  • Castile soap
  • Camellia seed oil (a carrier oil)
  • 2 roller bottles
  • 6 recipe cards

I was very excited when I saw the recipe cards; they are beautiful, and I looked forward to making several of the recipes right away. Here are the recipes my box included:

  • Body scrub
  • Makeup remover
  • Under eye serum
  • Natural shampoo & body wash
  • Natural conditioner 
  • Natural facial cleanser

The first recipe I made was the body scrub.

I love the simple ingredients, and the scrub smells amazing and works very well. Plus, it's very easy to mix the oils with regular kitchen ingredients - sugar and honey. It's definitely my new go-to scrub.

The box even comes with little stickers for each of the recipes included. I stored my body scrub in an old marmalade glass and added the sticker to the lid.

The second recipe I made right away was the under eye serum. My under eye area is definitely a part of my body I pay special attention to. While I want a product that works, I also worry about the side effects of the ingredients in many products. In fact, I’ve been using an under eye cream that works quite well, but I won’t buy it again because I don’t like the ingredients and their potential side effects. I love the simple ingredients of the under eye serum, and it does hydrate my under eye area very well. I also like that the box comes with convenient roller bottles, which is perfect for storing and applying the oil.

Simply Earth Essential Oils Recipe Box

I have been intrigued by subscription boxes for a while now, but the items in most boxes don't entirely interest me as they often include products I know I'll never use. The Simply Earth Essential Oils Recipe Box* is different because the essential oils are 100% natural and can be easily mixed into all kinds of nourishing and natural products. I also like that there are easy recipe cards, but that you can also experiment a bit on your own. I'm already planning to use some different oils in my next batch of body scrub, and I'm also looking into using the oils I received to make a natural bug repellent! Finally, I like that even though this is a subscription box service, there is some flexibility in terms of frequency of boxes, pausing, or even just buying a single box.

Simply Earth Coupon Code

Simply Earth* has a special coupon code offer for my readers. Here is what you can get:

A FREE OIL ($10 or less) on your first purchase! Shipping not included.
A FREE DIFFUSER when you subscribe to the monthly Essential Oil Recipe Box.
*The code can only be used once and not on the same product.

The Coupon Code is: ANDREALEEFREE

Questions: Have you ever tried essential oils? If so, what did you use them for? Have you ever made your own beauty products? If so, what did you make? Finally, have you ever signed up for a subscription box? I never have, but I've been curious for a while, and I'm really tempted by the Simply Earth box as I know I'd use the products in it...

Be well,

*Disclosure: I received the Simply Earth Essential Oils Recipe Box for free. As always, all opinions are my own. After trying the box, I was offered to become an ambassador and because I believe in the products, I accepted. That means that if you sign up through one of my links, I will earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Striped Skirt in Livermore Valley Wine Country

It seems like we are making a lot of trips to Livermore Valley Wine Country lately. I think it’s because it’s not too far (less than an hour from Silicon Valley) and usually not overly crowded. Plus, I love the scenery and the open space that’s everywhere…

A few weeks ago, we spent a relaxing afternoon at one of our favorite Livermore Valley Wine Country wineries. We enjoyed barbecued food, a little wine and some corn hole. I remember years ago, when we were younger, a visit to wine country always meant stopping by multiple wineries. But as we are getting older, one winery is enough…

I decided to wear a striped skirt that I bought last year on clearance and hadn’t worn yet. The skirt has grey and off-white stripes, and I was a bit uncertain what to pair it with. In the end, I decided on a black t-shirt, but I look forward to experimenting a bit more. Let me know if you have any ideas in the comments!

For a bit of color, I added red accessories: a red necklace, red sandals, and a red bag.

I’m not sure why I decided to play corn hole with my bag on my shoulder...

I love the wine country landscape…

Question: What should I wear with the skirt next? I need some ideas...

Be well,

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Green and Yellow

Several weeks ago, I mentioned that I am not the biggest fan of green but that I own more green items than I thought. One of the green items I rediscovered in my closet is my green and yellow t-shirt. I paired the t-shirt with my white jeans (which you have seen several times) and added a yellow bandana.

Green tee 1

Green tee 2

Green tee 4

Questions: Do you wear bandanas? I love bandanas and have to wear them more again...

Be well,

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Graphic Tee, San Francisco Presidio, Walt Disney Family Museum

Visiting the Presidio in San Francisco 

A few weekends ago we visited the Presidio in San Francisco to attend the Cider Summit. It was a relatively cool day, and I wore a graphic tee with a matching scarf; I bought the tee and the scarf in Germany last summer but had never worn them. I added my long black cardigan, comfortable jeans and flats as we were walking on grass (last year I wore sandals with a low heel, and they didn’t work out all too well on the grass, which is very uneven with many holes, etc.).

When I bought the t-shirt and scarf, the sales associate wanted to sell me a matching grey cardigan. I ended up not buying it as it was quite pricy. But looking back, I realize that it was the perfect grey to go with the t-shirt and scarf. It also was great quality, and I know I would have worn it for many years. I hope I’ll find a similar one soon.

There are great views everywhere in the Presidio.

SF Presidio 1

The building on the right in the background houses the Walt Disney Family Museum, which we visited later in the day.

SF Presidio 2

I love all the pretty buildings and doors in the Presidio.

SF Presidio 3

We had to get a shot with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

SF Presidio 4

There are several cannons on display.

SF Presidio 5

The lawn in the Presidio is a beautiful place for the Cider Summit.

SF Presidio 6

Having some fun getting cider.

SF Presidio 7

Visiting the Walt Disney Family Museum

This was the third year that we went to the Cider Summit in the Presidio, and every year we say we should really visit the Walt Disney Family Museum, which is right there. This year we decided to keep our visit to the Cider Summit short and headed to the museum after about an hour and a half.

Andy had done some research online and was concerned that we didn’t have enough time to see everything. The online reviews that state that you can spend an entire day or more at the museum are correct. There is so much to see. However, a couple of hours were enough for us to get an overview, especially since the kid didn’t feel all that well toward the end of the day.

The museum is a true treasure-trove of all things Disney, from the very beginning to the present day. I would like to go back some day and do it all justice. We saw a lot but could have spent many more hours reading and looking at all the interesting exhibits. While younger children will enjoy the drawings and movies, older children who are interested in reading the many descriptions and details will probably get more out of visiting the museum.
The Walt Disney Family Museum 1
The Walt Disney Family Museum 2
The Walt Disney Family Museum 3
The Walt Disney Family Museum 4
The Walt Disney Family Museum 5

The kid wasn’t feeling all that well at this point.

The Walt Disney Family Museum 6 
There is a nice view of the Golden Gate Bridge from inside the museum.

The Walt Disney Family Museum 7
The Walt Disney Museum 8
Questions: Did you ever decide not to buy something and then regret it? If so, what was it? What was the last museum that you visited? 

Be well,

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Sentence a Day: April 2017

April was a very busy month, and I'm glad that I documented some of what was happening by writing one sentence a day. I'm very glad that I started joining Sarah and Leslie in writing one sentence a day in January. You can read my January sentences here, my February sentences here, and my March sentences here.

Saturday, April 1, 2017
I fell asleep after 4 a.m. and got up at 8 a.m. to go downtown with my parents for some appointments; then we did some shopping and enjoyed a lovely lunch.

Striped T-Shirt

Sunday, April 2, 2017
I got up early and met my aunt in Hannover, and we visited the Herrenhäuser Gardens; the visit was too short, but we had a wonderful time together.

Hannover Herrenhäuser Gardens

Hannover Train Station

Monday, April 3, 2017
Another early day as my mom had to be in the hospital by 9 a.m.; I picked up my dad at noon at the stroke/aphasia center, and we had some coffee with my mom at the hospital.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017
My mom had her procedure done today and wasn’t doing very well afterwards; I’m glad that I was there to be with her until 8 p.m.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017
My mom had hoped to be released today, but she had to stay another day; my dad and I visited her and we had lunch there and coffee.

Thursday, April 6, 2017
My mom was finally released from the hospital; she is doing okay but was very tired.

Friday, April 7, 2017
We went downtown and enjoyed a nice lunch and did some shopping; everyone was sad because I’ll have to leave tomorrow.

Saturday, April 8, 2017
It’s time to fly back “home;” the week went by so quickly, and I’m physically and emotionally exhausted, but I’m really looking forward to seeing the boys!

Sunday, April 9, 2017
I slept pretty much all day after getting up very early and putting the finishing touches on my spring quarter classes.

Monday, April 10, 2017
The first day of the quarter is always exciting!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Taught my class, did some prep work for the rest of the week, took a nap, and made it to the gym (which I’m very proud of!).

Wednesday, April 12, 2017
This jet lag is getting ridiculous; I’m still waking up at 12:30 a.m. and am not able to get back to sleep.

Thursday, April 13, 2017
Same old same old; will I ever have a normal night’s sleep again???!!!???

Friday, April 14, 2017
Andy and I went on a spontaneous date to Livermore Wine Country; it was sooo nice to spend some quality time together.

Saturday, April 15, 2017
It was a beautiful day today, and we went on a long walk in Shoreline Park.

Shoreline Park Mountain View Walk

Sunday, April 16, 2017
It was a cold and rainy Easter.

Monday, April 17, 2017
It rained again today even though it was not forecasted; I shouldn’t complain as the dry season is right around the corner.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
It’s been tough getting my workouts in while dealing with terrible, terrible jet lag (still waking up at 2/2:30 every morning), but I’m proud that I got a really good workout in today.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017
I collected my first writing assignment of the quarter today; I’m excited to see what my students wrote but also feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of papers to read and comment on.

Thursday, April 20, 2017
Today was a busy day of grading papers.

Friday, April 21, 2017 
I did a lot of grading, but I also made it to the gym and enjoyed a beautiful evening walk with my boys.

Saturday, April 22, 2017 
We spent the day at the Cider Summit in the Presidio in San Francisco and at the Walt Disney Museum; unfortunately, the kid started feeling sick toward the end of the day.

Sunday, April 23, 2017
The kid was sick, so we didn't do much other than run some errands and going to the gym.

Monday, April 24, 2017
The kid stayed home from school today.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Another sick day for the kid made getting my work done a bit challenging.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017
It was a busy day, but I got lots accomplished and even made it to the gym.

Thursday, April 27, 2017
Our townhouse complex got painted today, and I got stuck inside by accident with no way to get out for a few hours; I also chipped one of my front teeth a bit - not the best days.

Friday, April 28, 2017
I started cleaning up our patio and bought some plants; looking forward to lots of flowers and some veggies growing; I missed our nice patio since we have been waiting for the house to be painted since Thanksgiving, and I pretty much neglected it since then...

Saturday, April 29, 2017
I didn't feel very well all day but started to feel better in the evening, and we got out to the park and played frisbee; it was the perfect way to end the day.

Sunday, April 30, 2017
We went to a bbq and the kid played cornhole and read his book.

Question: What were your highlights in April? Are you going to join us this month and write one sentence a day? It’s lots of fun to look back at the month; I promise.

Be well,