Tuesday, December 31, 2013

January = Ab Challenge

So we all indulged a little over the holidays- Christmas cookies, late night mixers with friends and the homemade hot chocolate. I know I was a little nervous to see if my “work pants” still fit this morning so I think an Ab Challenge is highly appropriate!
We have two options:

Option 1-

Hip Hop Abs with Shaun T

You can purchase it here!

Jessica and I will be doing this video. It comes with multiple workouts and a calendar to tell you which one to do each day. All of the workouts are around the 30 min mark so it's only about 2% of your day!

Option 2-

We found this challenge that incorporates sit-ups, push-ups and planking to really work your abs!



Happy New Year's Eve!!!

<3 Rachel 
P.S. Make sure to wear a little extra blush and lipstick tonight if you are planning on taking pictures! The flash of a camera tends to take a little color away from the face! Apply an extra coat of mascara- it adds instant glamor!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Perky and Strong- Squat Challenge Finale

Ok ladies so the squat challenge was a rough one to start out with BUT we did it! We are (almost) finished!!!! Doing up to 250 squats can be such a pain in the tail (he he he) but Jessica and I agree that we are a little “perkier back there" and our legs feel a lot stronger!

 As I mentioned in a previous post… we both took measurements of our thighs and rear and there were no changes (despite a few pounds gained during the Christmas festivities).

Maintenance- We agree that 250 squats are a little too much for one to do every day. We can both see ourselves “maintaining” by doing 50-60 squats a day (or every other day)! We  felt like we could see the benefits and think it was a success!

Stay tuned for our next challenge- it’s going to get us in hip-hop shape!

<3 Rachel

P.S. You know you’re getting older when you’re super excited about getting a new washer and dryer!!! They both have the steam function!!!! They will be delivered on New Years Day- what a way to start a fresh in 2014! (Well- after I wash all the clothes, sheets and towels used since ours died the day before Christmas Eve!)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

On Compromise and Wrapping Paper...

As you may recall the big debate in our home before Christmas was whether or not jolly, old St. Nick was going to wrap our Jack's presents before leaving them under the tree.   After several discussions, and only one or two arguments, we decided on the only solution that ever seems to work for us.  We did it my way.  Of course I'm joking!  We compromised—Santa wrapped some gifts and left some unwrapped. 

Steven and I came to the only conclusion that could ever work.  And the one that has always worked when it comes to the rare occasion that we stand on opposite sides of a problem.  We met in the middle.  That's what we do.  That's how our relationship has always worked and how it thrives.  

And really, it's a debate on Santa and wrapping gifts. It's not one of the biggies when it comes to raising children.  But when we decided to stop digging in our heels and ask about what really mattered, it was a no-brainer.  Because that is a super easy question to answer.  We matter.  Not how my Santa did things.  Not how Steven's Santa did things.  Those are wonderful memories and definitely part of who we are.  But what matters most now—right now—is how Jack's Santa does things.  And he does things how we choose.  A little like mine, a little like his.  And always like us. 

I hope your Christmas was wonderful, no matter how Santa left your presents.  Because, ultimately, it doesn't matter.  Not at all.   

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Caffeine & Concealer! 

Really, no one puts it better than Linus.  We hope your day was filled with the love and joy of the season!

Rachel & Jessica


Monday, December 23, 2013

Winner! White Bean Chicken Chili

I was taking a nice leisurely stroll through Pinterest the other day on my lunch break.  (Yes, I was actually on my lunch break.)  Warning:  do not pin while hungry!  It's a lot like going to the grocery store hungry, minus the quick access to actual food. 
About a month or so ago I started following a food board full of pretty pictures of food I never thought I would actually make.  You know the kind; salads a little too perfectly green, pasta the somehow looks good and good for you and desserts that really might involve mama slapping.  The best part?  The board's name is Damn Delicious.net.  Love! 
On this particular day, my beautiful pin board of choice had gifted me a wonderful link to a white bean chicken chili recipe.  You wouldn't know it by today's weather in good ol' NC, seeing as it's almost 80 degrees and raining, but it's winter.  And there's nothing better than soup in winter.  Even hot winter.
This chili has five ingredients.  Yup.  FIVE.  I can do anything that only requires five ingredients. I've included the link to the recipe here.  I can't take credit for any of this (recipe or pictures)—all of that goes to the author of Damn Delicious.   And she deserves a great deal of credit, because damn delicious it was!  Even the husband enjoyed it.  I've already got the ingredients on my grocery list for next week!  
A few notes:
  • This is labeled as a chili but I think of it more as a soup, simply based on the lack of that usual chili thickness.  No matter, it is still wonderful!  (It does get thicker over time in the fridge, but never super thick.)
  • The recipe calls for six cups of chicken broth. The box of Swanson's is exactly four cups.  I substituted the remaining two cups with water and it was great.  A friend that made this left the two cups out and she was just as happy as I was with the end result. 
  • There is a little kick to the chili.  It does get hotter, the longer you have it.  So day three's leftovers are spicier than day two's. But, take it from the Queen of All Things Mild, you can handle it. 
  • I used a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from Lowe's Foods for my chicken.  Good decision.

- Jessica

Thursday, December 19, 2013

My 6 month old has an email address

Yes, you read that right. You might think I’m some crazy woman- you might be right! But let me tell you why I did it….

Every holiday or special occasion, I send an email from his account to all the grandparents and give them an “assignment” (I also push for them to send him random notes too when they feel inspired!). These assignments might be to tell about their first car, how they met their spouse or a favorite memory. I will make a book out of all of their emails and give it to Jett when he turns 18.

So if you figure I’ll go by State Employee holidays- that’s 9 a year plus one for his birthday, 10 emails from 4 grandparents over 18 years = a 720 page book of precious stories from his grandparents.

Yes, a handwritten note would be better but, let’s face it- they are all working adults and writing a note takes so much more time than shooting him an email.

Plus, I got him a pretty cool email address (as long as Gmail is still cool when he’s old enough to need one- I mean we all remember AOL)! Who knew there we’re so many people named Jett- I didn’t get my first choice (or my third) but if I’d have waited another 10 years I know it would have been taken;)

 <3 Crazy Woman Rachel

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Santa Ain't Got No Time For That!

There are few things that my husband, Steven, and I get in what I would call real fights about.  I'm talking true, in-your-face, if-you-say-one-more-thing-I-just-might-have-to-throw-something-at-you, yelling matches. I'm not saying that we don't get snippy or snide from time to time. And I'm certainly not saying that we are immune to, dare I say, sarcasm or passive-aggressive comments. For the most part, we're good about talking out what's on our minds and dealing with what's going on.  Plus, we just usually get along. 
This generally harmonious union gets pretty shaken up when one particular topic gets brought to light. And here lately, it's been brought up a little too often.  And that little bit of destructiveness revolves around the jolliest of symbols for the holiday season.  It all started with a question. Does Santa wrap the gifts that he brings?  I know what you're thinking?  That's it?  That's what all the hooplah is about?  And the answer is a resounding YES!  The discussion of this one measly topic makes my blood pressure go up and threatens to start a migraine. 
So here's my take (and also why I'm right).
I grew up with a Santa that did not wrap gifts and I have no intention of having a Santa in my house that does.  Oh, the big guy in your house did?  Yeah, don't care.  Go sit with my husband and pout about it, because you get no sympathy from me on the subject.  I plan to win this argument.  And I will do so by sheer, brute force if I have to.  It's that serious in our house, folks. 
My husband's Santa wrapped everything.  Good for him.  Glad he had the time.  Or the want.  Or the misguided thinking that lead to such poor decision making.  And because he grew up in a house where everything was so lovingly placed in paper, he believes that his son should have the same.  In fact, he wanted to try and guilt me into such behavior.  He actually said to me, "Why aren't my traditions important?"  Well, to that I remind him that the boy already has his face and his last name—two things I don't see him getting rid of any time soon.  Deal with it, my friend.  By the way, my husband also likes to state that our Jack gets his stubborn streak from me.  Well, let's prove it to Daddy, shall we?
My sister and I got gifts from our Santa unwrapped while the ones from our parents were wrapped up.  That's just how we did it.  Steven likes to argue that seeing everything laid out takes the joy and surprise out of it.  Well, seeing as how he's never had his gifts unwrapped I'm not sure how he can make such a broad statement.  But that's just my opinion.  My other opinion, is that he's wrong.  Period. The end.  We were always excited to see what we received from Santa, and looking at our perfectly placed piles (Santa was always so, so good at pile-making) never took away from anything. 
I tried to tell Steven that if he wanted to have Santa wrap gifts—HE could make sure that happened.  And he told me he would—in bags.  Are you kidding?!  Santa can't wrap in bags!  Come on, man, get it together!  How is Santa supposed to carry around a bag full of bagged items from house to house?  There's no way. And, if you're going to wrap, you need to do it right.  So I pulled the offer.  And got annoyed that it was even accepted (no matter how poorly).  
Everything about this annoys me.  Aggravates me. 

I'm sure this seems silly.  Maybe it is.  And I'm sure this has everything to do with how (and possibly where) you were raised.  I have a few friends that grew up around here that had Santas that wrapped.  Sigh* Tragic.  But for the most part it seems to be a "you ain't from 'round these parts" type thing.  Now The Hubby grew up in North Carolina. His parents?  New York.  Slightly different.  Not better, not worse.  And really, unless we're talking about whether or not Santa wraps gifts, no big deal. 
But we are.  And we are currently a week from Christmas and I'm not sure we've actually come to an agreement that we're happy with.  Because I do want Steven to be happy.  As long as he's happy doing it my way, of course.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Let's Get Physical

I don't think Rachel or I have ever been really shy about the fact that we're not exactly what you'd call "into fitness."  I am sure I can speak for her when I say that we'd love to look like girls that spend hours in the gym but neither of us is willing to actually put in the time.  We're not gym rats.  And I don't think anyone should hold their breath waiting for that day to come. 
I'm not even the best at being very encouraging when it comes to exercising.  In fact, not that long ago, I believe my advice to Rachel about physical activity literally came to the conclusion that she should just eat a cookie.  I mean, right?  Shouldn't we all just eat a freaking cookie and be happy?! 
Except, in the end, we won't be completely happy. Not if we do nothing but eat cookies.  What we've been trying to figure out lately is how to find the balance.  Between enjoying that good stuff (the cookies, the cakes, the sauces and pastas and yummy breads) and the good for you stuff (the veggies, the fruits, the leans meats and proteins).  And, yes, adding in some more exercise.  Because moving more does make you feel better.  So that's why we've been collecting a slew of upcoming physical challenges to do.  Just something so that we've always got something going—something to make us move. 
Yesterday was Day 15 of our Squat Challenge. And there have been some bumps in the road for both of us.  I forgot them all together on Day 14.  My family was at the beach for our yearly Christmas trip and I am sure I was in some sort of food coma.  The whole four-day excursion was too much.  Too much sugar, too much bread, too much food in general. (Too much fun!) The only things I did not indulge in were exercise and water.  Go figure. 
Instead of not doing the Day 14 squats, I did them on Day 15.  And I did the squats for that day.  That's 275 squats for anyone that feels like counting.  In one day.  By the time I was done, my thighs and that area right under my behind felt like a small (or relatively large, to be honest) fire had been started.  When I tried to walk, I shook a bit.  You know, like Jello. Or parts of California during an earthquake.  
They may not have been pretty, but I did them.  And I will be encouraging and say (and really mean it when I do) that you can, too.  If you've given up, start over.  If you want to do half of what the challenge asks you to do, go ahead.  And if squats aren't your thing (I'm sure they are someone's thing), find something else.  Except eating cookies.  Well, maybe just one.        

Friday, December 13, 2013

Getting Older (Part One)

Jessica and I have had a few conversations about how our product choices have changed since we've gotten older, our once "fresh face look" that only required mascara and chapstick now requires a lot more products! Two things we agree on that are must haves to pep us up are blush and concealer.
I've used concealer in the past (mainly on blemishes and my birthmark) but now…. I need it under my eyes! About a year ago I noticed that I just looked extra tired so I got a Neutrogena Healthy Skin Brightening Eye Perfector and started using it daily. It worked very well! I even bought a second tube /wand of this (which as mentioned before- is a big deal). This product brightens, de-puffs, conceals and treats the dark circles- what else could you ask for?????
You can find it here!
I used the Light shade in that one and that shade got a little light for me so I went on a hunt to find another one with more coverage. I have seen this Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Spot Concealer + Treatment on multiple pins on Pinterest and was very curious if this would work for me. The appeal of "sponging it on" was huge and it also promises to cover and treat dark spots! I got the Light/Medium shade in this one. I have been very pleased with this concealer! It offers more coverage than the Neutrogena one and is super easy to apply!

You can find it here!
Also, while your out shopping for stocking stuffers, look for this ChapStick in Gingerbread Kiss. IT IS MY NEW MUST-HAVE!!!!! I've only been able to find it at Wal-Mart in the checkout section so far!
Be on the look out for Getting Older (Part Two), it'll make you blush;)
<3 Rachel

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Your Elf on the Shelf Needs a Timeout

Disclaimer:  All opinions expressed in the following post are mine.  Uh, that being Jessica.  Rachel may or may not feel this way about The Elf on the Shelf or elves in general.  In fact, I've found her to be very open-minded when it comes to the elf population.  Where she stands on elf-related antics, is something you'll just have to ask her yourself.   
I'm not sure what kind of excuse you could possibly give me right now for not knowing who The Elf on the Shelf is.  However, just in case you've been doing a ten year orbit of the moon, I'll explain.  This little toy elf, that your child names, is introduced to your family at the start of the Christmas season.  Every day he or she sits in a new place in your home and watches your child's behavior.  (Hmm, that sounds a little creepy when you put it that way.)  At night, when your little one is sleeping, the elf flies back to Santa and reports what they've seen.  The good.  The bad.  The mommy's lipstick all over their faces. 
There are some rules.  The elf cannot be touched because that will make his or her magic disappear.  And, though your child can talk to the elf, the elf cannot talk to your child.   One-way conversations may not be that new in your home.  Especially if you have a teenager or a big football fan that lives with you. 
Ok. So all that to say this.  I love the elf in our house.  His name is Snowman; a moniker bestowed on him by our 2 ½ year old.  He has so far found himself anywhere from the windowsill in our bathroom, to hanging from the fan, to crashing Jesus's first birthday party in our nativity scene.  But in a nice way.  
What you will not find our elf doing is drawing on the family pictures with a sharpie.  Or pulling toilet paper up the Christmas tree, molesting a Barbie doll, or any other behavior that if I found my child doing or preparing to do would only end in tears. 
Now, I'm all for Snowman having some fun.  Swing from a fan?  Sure.  My child can't get up there.  Hang out with other toys and have a party?  Not a problem.  You get down like it's 1999, Mr. Elf.  I'm not going to stop you.  I am, however, going to drop-kick you to the attic if you tear up my kitchen by writing on my counters with chocolate syrup. 
I think we've gotten a little off track with our elves, people.  They are supposed to watch your children and help them be good.  They're not there to promote naughty behavior.  I mean that's a little counter-productive, don't you think?  Being creative with your elf is wonderful.  Giving him or her total control to terrorize your house, is not. 
All I'm saying is this.  If you let your elf write messages in flour, good luck justifying that time-out sentence you dished out to your little one that does the same.  It's no different than when we get our Jack all riled up and then want him to calm down in an instant when we are "not playing" anymore.  Well, he's still going at it, and he's two.  So, his switch doesn't flip that fast. 
But maybe you don't care if your elf writes on the mirror in lipstick (Do you not have paper in your house?) or the sink with toothpaste (Really, not even a post-it note or something?).  Maybe you don't mind cleaning up after a magical toy that makes your child be good (you hope) while being bad (good luck).  My little guy doesn't need any ideas.  He can do bad all by himself. 


Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas Must Haves (Part Two)

I'm just going to throw it out there.  I'm stupid excited about Christmas this year.  And it's not that I don't always love Christmas, but something about this year seems a little different.  Maybe it's that our two-year-old, Jack, is finally excited this year.  I mean, every time he walks into the house in the evenings to find the tree, already lit by timer, he gasps as if he just saw the tree lighting in New York City.  Every time.  Or it could be that we've managed to not be so overly booked up with things to do this year that we can actually enjoy what we have chosen to take part in.  Don't get me wrong, we're busy, but we're not too busy.  Or maybe it's that my relationship with God is that much stronger this year, and Christmastime, more than ever, seems like such a special time.  The beginning of a season so amazing—so meaningful. 
But whatever it is, it's got me wanting to live in a perpetual state of Christmasness.  (Is that a word?  I'm thinking, no.)   I would like nothing more than to have everything I eat taste like chocolate and peppermint, hear Christmas music everywhere I go, and have to be bundled up from head to toe because of the cold.  I am in a constant state of adoration for twinkling lights, road side tree lots and anything, anything that bears the image of certain leg lamp that will forever be a part of my family's Christmas Eve.  My dream life—and where I might go in my daydreams at long stoplights—is a world not unlike Love Actually, and there is not one Claymation movie that I have not, nor do not want to see.  Again.  Like, now. 
Rachel recently started off the Christmas season for Caffeine & Concealer by posting her must-haves for Christmas.  So, I thought I'd share mine as well.  Here are my top three decoration must-haves…
No Christmas in our house would be complete without our favorite ornaments on a real tree.  I'm sure you fake tree people have your reasons for doing what you do.  And I'm sure they are valid.  But here we do real.  Real smell, real sap, real needles every-stinking-where.  Yeah, it's a mess.  Yeah, last year's tree never drank any water and was probably a huge fire hazard by the end of the first week we had it.  And yeah, you pay for a new one.  Every.  Year.  But I would not have it any other way. Because there is something so amazing about walking through trees, smelling that smell, and finding the perfect one.  Or not so perfect.  But ours.  
My stocking?  From Target, circa 2010.  Jack's stocking?  From Target, circa 2011.  Steven's stocking?  It's the huge one on the end.  It came from his mom's house, circa 1990-something.  That's the best.  Something passed down, year to year, from childhood home to grown up house.  It's a sweet reminder of Christmases past.  And a bear to load. That thing stretches for days!  So I generally stuff paper in the bottom.  Shhh, don't tell. 
It would not be Christmas in our house without our Nativity scene.  This is why we celebrate.   This is why we have a Christmas.  We love Santa. We dance around to songs about elves, and watch movies about a furry Grinch and reindeer that fly.  But we worship and praise what the Lord created.  We cherish what He did for us that Christmas so long ago.  When He sent His son.  And this is our reminder.  Santa is great.  But our God is the reason for it all.  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

For the Love of Nail Tek

I'm kind of obsessed with fingernails.  I love when they're dressed up in the polish equivalent of the LBD or simple and classy with just a coat of clear polish.  I like them to sparkle in multiple colors.  I like them super shiny, like the polish is never going to dry.  (I'm not so much a fan of the matte finish—unless we're talking an accent nail—but the trend is growing on me.)
There isn't a cosmetic section in town that I haven't perused, searching for the perfect shade.  Just one more pink.  A blue, slightly more blue, a little less purple.  Oh, have you seen that red?  No, not that one.  The one there!  A gray that's more true.  A green that's so much fun for Christmas.  Something with lots of glitter.  Well, that's a bit too much.  But that one's perfect!  I could go on for hours. 
However, despite my love of all things nail-related, I have to admit that the natural state of my fingers and toes is not a pretty one.  So let's talk nails for a minute.  Not polishes, stick-on decals or removers, but actual fingernails.  Specifically, let's talk thin, peeling, brittle or otherwise unhealthy nails.  The kind that grow out only to chip at the first test of strength.  The nails that look beautiful for about ten minutes after they've been painted, then peel away in layers, leaving you with a sad excuse for a manicure.  The ones that aren't straight, bend this way and that, and are literally see-through.  If you have these nails—or some variation of—then you and I have a lot in common.
Despite my best efforts to baby my hands, I always ended up with mismatched fingers. A hand with some nails, nicely shaped and polished, shamefully mixed in with those that have broken and/or peeled into ugliness.  I can't stand for them to look so out of order so I end up cutting them all—usually down to a very, very short stump.  And then I wait.  Wait for them to grow again into what would hopefully be a nice set of nails this time
As I've gotten older, the nail situation has gotten worse.  And, as with any beauty issue, I turned to Rachel and asked for some assistance.  Her suggestion?  Nail Tek.  This little miracle product has done wonders for my nails.  It helps keep them strong when I do not have polish on them, and helps seal in the polish as a wonderful top coat. 
Personally, I've never been a lover of top coats.  Extra steps have never been my cup of tea.  However, this stuff dries so quickly, that it's worth the extra 45 seconds (if that) it takes to give your manicure the extra long life it deserves.  I'd say, on average, my polish is lasting a good four or five days longer after using Nail Tek.  And I do NOT baby my nails anymore.  That went out the window after the actual baby came in to the picture over two years ago.  I wash my hands—a lot (No, thank you, potty training)—and there is always something being cleaned up, picked up or scrubbed up. 
And the best part?  When I use Nail Tek properly (Yes, there are directions.  Yes, you should read them.  Yes, you should follow them.  They are easy.) my nails do not peel.  They are so much stronger and they are not near as thin.  I can really tell when I've stopped using it for a little while.  Laziness with nail care does not go away overnight.  And it does creep back in, even after knowing how wonderful this product will leave your nails.  And that's exactly why I have three broken nails as I type.  And exactly why I will start my Nail Tek regime tonight! 
If you have problem nails, you really should give it a shot.  You can find it at Ulta.
I've got a few Pinterest nail pins that I'm going to be trying out for you (some that seem a little too good to be true) and I need to get my nails in tip top shape before I do. 
Plus, it's Christmastime.  And that golden, glittery polish hiding in my bathroom deserves to be seen.  Don't you agree? 

xo, Jessica

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Me, Me, Me...

So, I got my feelings hurt yesterday.  Good, old-fashioned, she-made-a-random-comment-and-made-me-cry kind of stuff.  It was nothing earth-shattering, nothing life altering.  But it hurt, and I couldn't stop my reaction.  The second what was said, was said, I stopped being a 32-year-old mom with a laundry list of big girl, real world problems and responsibilities and turned into a sulky, sad kid—unsure of how to handle my next move. I was angry at the person that hurt me and saddened by their lack of even realizing what they had done. 
I was in my car, driving home, thinking over what I needed to do and how I was going to handle this situation.   And, let me tell you, I was coming up very short.  All I could do was play out imaginary conversations that will never happen in my head.  You've done that, right?  Where you say exactly the right thing to make your point and seem like the hero in the movie that is your life?  The problem is that the other person usually never sticks to the script and what you're really trying to do is build yourself up while pushing them down.  We're a lot braver in our daydreams.  But we're a lot meaner, too. 
About half-way home, I shut the radio off and started talking out loud.  Yep, I'm one of those people. (I also use my hands, in case you were wondering.)  If you ever see me driving down the road, having a full-on conversation with an empty seat beside me, don't freak out.  I'm just talking to God.  I have lots of really awesome conversations with God in the car.  And talking out loud helps me stay on track.  Plus, sometimes actually hearing what you're praying for or about, can make it more real and can help you work through it more than you think it would. 
So I asked God what to do.  How do I fix this?  Do I say something?  Do I just let it go?  Show me the way, Lord.  Help me make this better.  I talked it out the rest of the way home.  And it was there that I got my answer. 
I told my husband about what was happening.  And he very nicely, with a very genuinely quizzical look on his face, asked me, "Why does it bother you so much?"  And I couldn't answer him.  He was so kind in his demeanor.  He wasn't accusing me of being irrational (though that's what I was being).  He never said that I had no reason to be upset (though I didn't). And he never made me feel like a child (though, let's be honest for a second, I was acting like one). He listened to me and then he asked me a question.  The right question.
And my only honest answer was that I didn't know why it bothered me. Because ultimately it really had nothing to do with me.   
I'd been asking God how to solve my problem.  And God showed me, through Steven, that what I had was a ME problem.  I had taken something personally that wasn't even about me.  And I had allowed it to hurt me, when it never should have.  My friend didn't know she'd hurt me because she'd done nothing that should have.  I was too ME-oriented in the moment to see it.  And I had hurt myself.
It's not that hard to get wrapped up in the ME of our lives.  I do it often.  How does this affect me?  Will this bother me?  Did they think about me?  Does this take me out of my comfort zone?  Will it inconvenience me?  But ultimately, we're not supposed to live our lives with the ME in mind.  The decision my friend made, and the comment that followed had nothing to do with me.  And there's nothing wrong with that.   But we're so used to a society that tells us to put ourselves first that we end up with hurt feelings when the whole world doesn't revolve around, well, me.  Or you. 
And if you ever feel like you're getting overwhelmed with the ME in your life, talk it out with God.  He's always there to listen.  Even to rambling conversations, on long drives home, when all you seem to do is talk about ME. 
xo, Jessica

Squat challenge (Day 3) - pep talk

Just a reminder about the squat challenge!! Don't forget ladies- we have 60 to do tonight! I know it burns- believe me! We can do this! 

Jessica and I took measurements of our thighs to track inches lost during this challenge. (Neither of us are willing to share the numbers but we will let y'all know if there is a difference at the end!)

Sorry I couldn't get any cute pictures- all the ones I found pertaining to squats were kind of inappropriate! Motivating yes but well, a lot of butt:)!

<3 Rachel

Monday, December 2, 2013

Our first Christmas

This Christmas is going to be extra special! You see last Christmas I was a pregnant married woman but this Christmas- I'm a mom! Our baby, Jett, will be six months old at Christmas. And now I feel a whole new sense of what it means to decorate for Christmas! So I thought I'd share a few items that I "had to have" to add  some spunk to our decorations!

Elf on the Shelf
This was actually a gift to Jett last year (before he even got here). I'm not sure if I would have bought it for him quite yet as he is too young to understand the concept yet but, I have to admit I like having him out! He adds a whimsical touch to my otherwise plain decorations!

Plate and cup for Santa's milk and cookies
I mean hello- Santa won't like coming by if we don't leave a snack for him! 

Charlie Brown Christmas Tree
I wanted to have a little something Christmas in Jett's room so I felt this dinky tree adorned with a single red ornament and Linus' blanket used as a tree skirt would be the perfect!

So there are my "had to haves"! Please comment with your Christmas "must haves"! Jessica and I would love to hear about them!!!

<3 Rachel

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Little of this, Little of that

Happy Sunday, Everyone!  Just a quick note on a few things…

·         December 1st is here.  And you know what that means for all of you that have decided to join us for our Squat Challenge.  Day One is 50 squats.  And let me start by saying if you’re still doing them wrong, try going to YouTube and searching “How to do a squat properly.”  The first choice is from POPSUGAR Fitness, and it is a great how-to video.  My knees were hurting from doing them wrong and watching this video corrected me.  Also, squats work your bum, hips and thighs so if you feel it in any of these areas, you’re doing things right.  The main goal—at least for Rachel and me—is to add some curve to an otherwise flat backside.  However, your entire lower body should benefit from the next 30 days.  So stick with it!  We can do this!  (right?!)

·         The first day of December is also when lots of people start advent calendars in their homes for the Christmas season.  Our church is doing a 25 Days of Christmas Devotional in the same tradition.  There is a story for each day, leading up to Christmas Day.  You can find the link to it here.  While you’re following along with our squats, why not follow along with us and work out your faith as well?  We think you’ll really enjoy connecting to the true meaning of the holiday season this way. 

·         We’ve had a few people ask us how you follow our blog.  If you check us out from a desktop computer (not sure if this works the same from your smartphone), there is a column on the right that is labeled Followers.  There is a button you can click on called “Join this site.”  Simply click on that and follow the instructions. You will receive email updates when we post new things to the blog and you can share things you like with friends that haven’t discovered us yet!  So go!  Follow away! 

·         Along the same lines as the ability to follow question, we’ve had quite a few of you try to leave comments and it not work.  We believe we have fixed this issue by enabling everyone to leave messages for us.  And we truly welcome your feedback.  We want to hear from you, so please feel free to comment on anything we post. We’ve been told that it may still be an issue from your phone, but you can definitely leave comments from a computer.  If you’re still having problems leaving comments, let us know by email:  caffeineandconcealer@gmail.com.  
Have a wonderful week!  Tomorrow's Monday; don't forget your Caffeine & Concealer!