Friday, February 27, 2015

Weekend + LINKS

Hi Everyone! What are you up to this weekend? I wish I could say I would be relaxing, but with a two year old, that's not quite possible! We will be taking our daily walks to the park, working around the house and maybe catching an open house or two. Yes, I'm looking at new homes! Mike is building a bench for the GORGEOUS table he made for us (Blog on that soon I promise) and we are also getting a visit from my FAVORITE Aunt Cathy. Can't wait to see her. It's been about 10 years! 
Check out these links from around the web and enjoy YOUR weekend...

~I printed out THIS weekly routine checklist to help keep myself organized. I'll let you know how it works out!

~I want to start sneaking more veggies into Tommy's diet. Gonna start with this GREEN MONSTER (that's what we'll call it) spinach smoothie.

~Just got this new LIP STAIN in "Flirtini," from my latest ipsy package. I love it! It's changed my life!

~MY FAVORITE OSCAR DRESS this year, just happens to be worn by my favorite girl.

~Made THIS LENTIL CHILI, brought to you by Ashley over at "Turquoise and Teale" a few weeks ago and it was delicious! Perfect for this chilly weather.

Have a nice weekend...

Photo VIA

Monday, February 16, 2015

Valentine's Day

How was your Valentine's Day? Ours was nice and relaxing. I woke up with Tommy and the two of us made heart shaped, hug and kiss pancakes with eggs. It was a chilly morning, so we lit the table top fireplace (see here) and when Michael woke, we all sat down for a nice breakfast together.
Next,  Tommy and I went on a long walk and then headed to the park while Mike went out and got flowers for me and balloons for Tommy. The rest of the day we put together new furniture (FINALLY got some chairs for the table, and an entry way table) and I LOVE them! Post to follow about that, and the best part of all?
Michael and I had a Valentine's date! Some dear friends offered to babysit, and Mike and I went to a new restaurant for dinner. It was so nice to be out together. Just the two of us. 
Hope everyone has a beautiful day filled with love.

Tommy made his dad a Valentine's Day card, only to pick all the stickers off before handing it over!

Even Jake got a pancake!

And the balloons? A HUGE hit! Literally!
Have a great week everyone. ( :

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Valentine's Day Concert.... Tommy Takes the Stage!

Photo courtesy of Suzi McGuffin

Every year Michael does a public concert for Valentine's Day, and it's the best! It's outside, and people bring blankets, lawn chairs, candles, and a picnic dinner with Valentine's Day treats and lots of wine. It's the perfect place to bring family or a date and this year we decided to bring Tommy to see his dad perform for the very first time! We really didn't know how he would react, but there he was staring up at his dad and clapping with a huge smile. 
During the second song (Unforgettable) Michael asked Tommy if he would like to come up on stage, and without hesitation he ran up in front of a thousand people to be with his dad. People applauded when he stepped onto that stage, and so he returned the applause, which of course added to the cute factor along with a huge,"Awwwwwww," from the audience. He seemed to feel at home on that stage..... too at home, because before we knew it he was walking around going up to the musicians who were still trying to play. I ran up to grab him and made a quick exit backstage where a tantrum ensued and the screaming was louder than his father singing. I know this because everyone told me! He just couldn't understand why he couldn't be onstage. Probably not a good idea to bring him up so soon, because the rest of the two hours it's all he wanted to do, but it was a fun moment, and a memory we will never forget!

What are you doing for Valentine's Day? Michael and I are having dinner at a new restaurant we haven't been to, and I'm so excited. Mostly to be out on a date with my favorite guy! Other than that, I'll be making a Valentine's Day breakfast. Heart shaped pancakes are on the list.
Wishing everyone a Happy Valentine's Day filled with LOVE.

Photo courtesy of Bobby Brennan
Photo courtesy of Maxine Earhart

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Valentine's Day Photoshoot

Valentine's Day is a very special day in the Andrew household. It's the day Michael asked me to marry him, and February 14th was also our babies original due date, so it would only be fitting that Tommy's 1st photo shoot would be a Valentine's Day shoot!
I'm not gonna lie, I was a bit nervous. I just didn't know how he would handle himself, but Sydney from Sydney Marie Photography assured me he would be adorable so I thought why not. Lets do this!

Sydney immediately made Tommy feel comfortable, which of course put ME at ease. She has a sweet, calmness about her that is ideal for children, and she had props! Props! I mean..... what toddler doesn't like props right? So, the kid was excited, and Sydney started snapping away. After what felt like 10 minutes max, she said,"Okay, I think I've got what I need. I thought....What? Really? Are you sure? Then Sydney asked me if I wanted to jump in for a few shots, and I was hesitant (you know, not too confident with how I was looking ) but I did, and we were off!

That night, Sydney sent me three shots, and I was thrilled! They were beautiful!!!! One was better than the next.
 I'm making Valentine's Day cards for family members and the only problem? I can't choose just one! Check out more of Tommy's Valentine's Day shoot at Sydney Marie Photography and help me decide.
If you are in the Orlando Area, Sydney is currently having a Valentines Day special. For just $40. you can do a 1/2 hour session with Sydney and believe me, that's a STEAL, and the special runs through February 15th! Sydney also does head shots, Business shots, family shots, senior shots, you name it.
Check out her sight HERE and give her a call!
or email

And those few mommy/Tommy shots I told you about? Check them out! I LOVE them so much and I will cherish these shots with my little Tommy forever.....
Thank you Sydney!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday & My Album Cover!

 My album cover?! Really? Come on!
After much hesitation, I posted this "Selfie" on Facebook yesterday. Why hesitation you ask?  I don't thoughts went something like this. "What am I, sixteen with this selfie post!? Or....... "Will people think I'm just vain?" Anyway, after putting WAY TOO MUCH thought into it, I posted it because from a photography standpoint, I thought it was a good photo. The response I received? Overwhelming! People were asking me who the photographer was, which totally made my day! Well...... that and people telling me it was beautiful which will never get old for my 42 year old ego! The funny thing is, this picture was really just a fluke. The photography planets just seemed to align that day. Here is how it went down.

It was one of those days when I had time for a quick shower, but not makeup thanks to Little Lord Fauntleroy" AKA Tommy,  so I skipped the eye makeup altogether except for a little mascara which I NEVER do, and just put on BRIGHT lipstick. Mac Viva Glam to be exact! So, there I am sitting with my little buddy on the couch, the sun shining brightly through the window and we began to take selfies, because Tommy loves a good selfie of himself! We took the first picture, (him making faces of course) and I immediately noticed the forgiveness of that warm overexposed sunlight. Forgiveness on my wrinkles that is!

I've learned from my husband, who is a GREAT photographer (add that to the annoying list of things he does well) that overcast days are best for photography, but that bright sunshine became natures photoshop, and I just couldn't pass the opportunity up! So what did I do? Why I did what any loving mother would do. I shoved Tommy out of the shot which threw us both back to a laying position on the couch and while he squirmed on my lap I quickly took the shot, and BAM my album cover was born!
In my opiniion,  here is what makes THIS photo a great photo.

1. Overexposed lighting is very forgiving on wrinkles and imperfections. Take note anyone over 35! There are many photo filters that will give the same effect.
2. Contrast. The lightness of my hair against the darkness of the sofa and black shirt really makes this photo pop, as well as the contrast of my lips against my skin. The same will be true of a brunette against a bright white background.
3. Natural! Aside from that bright lipstick, this photo is very natural. Makeup is important, but you don't want to be too made up. Let the real YOU shine through.
4. Composition. From the angle of the face, to the texture of my hair laying just so, to the contrast of the light and dark is what makes up the composition of the photo, and EVERYONE has a flattering angle. Find it!

Because this photo was taken in a laying position, I had to rotate it to make it face front. Who would have known right?

Simple as that. I have a pretty expensive Canon, but this photo was taken with my iphone. Photography is not about the camera. A good camera will NOT make you a photographer. It's a combination of so many things. Look at photographs that you love and really study what makes them so appealing to your eye. Be creative and practice, practice, practice!
Have a great weekend everyone, and take a selfie, or two or three!

Friday, January 23, 2015

This Guy + LINKS

Happy Friday everyone!
What are your plans for the weekend? We're supposed to get some cooler weather here in the sunshine state, and I can't wait. Cooler meaning mid sixties which equals perfection as far as weather goes. I know a lot of the country is FREEZING so I just need to rub that in a little bit. ( :
I'lll be with THIS guy who is getting bigger by the minute. Michael and I were just discussing the other day how overnight he seems to have gone from baby to little boy. Currently his fav past time is jumping on the bed and saying,"I did it!" Pretty much after EVERYTHING he does. Michael says he speaks in exclamation points and he's right. Every word is loud and full of excitement. Hopefully he can manage to keep this enthusiasm throughout his lifetime. 
Wishing everyone a peaceful weekend. Check out these links from around the web.....

8 Questions to ask yourself to help you declutter.

+ I might have to treat myself to this oversized scarf to stay toasty this winter.

+ I've made this winter soup twice this month and it's a BIG hit with both Michael AND Tommy.

+ Currently reading this book per Oprah's request

+ In case you missed the 2015 Oscar Nominees


Thursday, January 15, 2015

January 2015 IPSY Glam Bag!

I received my FIRST ipsy Glam Bag today! 
You have no idea how exciting this was. When I saw that hot pink envelope in the mailbox I nearly screamed!  I've been on a waiting list for 3 months, and the anticipation was killing me! 
For those of you who have never heard of ipsy, listen up! Each month for just $10. you receive 4-5 deluxe sample or full-sized beauty goodies (including makeup, skincare, hair care and nail care), along with a stylish makeup bag. When you sign up, you fill out a questionnaire with questions about your eye color, hair color, skin tone and style and then ipsy matches you with colors that should work for you. Fun right? Just $10. and the shipping is FREE! Not to mention, the products retail for at least $20. Want to see what was in the January 2015 Glam Bag? Keep reading!

And this months ipsy bag contains............ drumroll please!

-Blue and white plastic makeup bag with orange zipper from ipsy-Kind of underwhelmed with this bag. It's plastic and kind of cheap. Might be good for the pool in the summer.
-Elizabeth Mott All Over Shadow Brush (Retails for $10)- LOVE this brush. Quality!
-Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Moisturizer (Organic)- Nice clean grapefruity smell. This will be nice for travel.
-Probelle Nail Lacquer Into the Blue (Retails for $6)-When I first opened this I was like,"Wow! Blue!" But guess what? It's a really nice blue, and this polish goes on very smoothly.
-bellapierre Shimmer Eyeshadow in Exite (Retails for $8)- Nice for evenings on browline.
-Pacifica Natural Mineral Coconut eyeshadow in Treasure (100% Vegan)-LOVE this shadow. Really natural. A great match for my coloring.

In all, I was pretty happy with this months Glam Bag. I will review them every month, but if you want to get a Glam Bag yourself, sign up at

Treat yourself!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Seasons Ending

Seasons Ending! 
I took the tree down and UNdecorated the house this weekend. Worst part of the holidays right? But, it was time to say goodbye to 2014. The Holidays were good to us, but I am welcoming 2015 with open arms.  Here are a few pics from the end of OUR holidays.

(this little blue car on my step)
I saw this little car on my stairs and just had to take a picture. Never in my life did I ever imagine I would have a little boy running around messing up my house! Blessed!

(Butterfly ornament in memory of Cali Rae)
I received this sweet Butterfly ornament in honor of Cali from a wonderful woman whom I have never met. She also shares the sorrow of a lost little angel, and I am hoping to meet this beautiful caring new friend in 2015.

(Burlap wrapped Starbucks Coffees)
A sweet treat from another good friend. I especially love the wrapping!

(Tommy the Tiger)
 I'm looking forward to many more Christmases with this little guy! Sunglasses and hats are all the rage right now. Michael and I are thinking he just might be from the Vaudeville days. He is stealing my heart more and more everyday and is the best blessing of all.

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Bring it On 2015!

It's that time of year! 
The time where we make our New Years Resolutions that we rarely stick to. Bravo to YOU if you do, but I usually don't quite follow through. Don't get me wrong, I go into it with great intentions, but something usually derails my plans, and I end up putting my resolutions on hold. Often put on hold for good reason, but this year? This year? I'M READY!  2015 feels like it just might be one of the best yet. It's just a feeling I have. A feeling deep in my soul. 

Mike will be performing and as much as I'd love to be with him, I will be home drinking a nice bottle of Veuve Clicquot while "Imagining my desires." in 2015, with my sweet baby boy asleep in the next room.  What are your plans? Any resolutions for 2015? I have a list. Here it is....

-Less TV, more books
-Take a beach vacation with my family
-Eat healthier
-Write more cards
-More date nights
-Buy new underwear (don't we all deserve new underwear?)
-Operation LEA (this is the biggest! Blog post to follow)

Wishing everyone a fun, safe, and Happy New Year! 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

An Andrew Christmas

How was your Christmas?
It was pretty magical over here. It's amazing how much Christmas changes once you have a child. You realize that it's all about them. As it should be!
With Tommy being a year older, opening gifts was much more fun. He didn't really understand why he was getting all those toys, but he wasn't gonna fight it!
We started our day with coffee and THIS....

and it was DELICIOUS! It's called "California Breakfast Casserole." A layer of turkey sausage, a layer of tomato, a layer of avocado, eggs, hashbrowns and cheese baked and then topped off with salsa and a dollop of sour cream. Yum! Want the recipe? Get it HERE. Oh, and those little pastry balls are Danish pancakes courtesy of Trader Joes. Also GREAT!
Then it was on to opening gifts.

And then................

It was just the three of us, so Michael said not to make a fuss over dinner, but I said that was more the reason to make a fuss! Why should we always go all out for everyone else?
And it was nice. ( :

Baked Cod
Creamy Garlic Mushrooms
Roasted Parmesan Cauliflower
Sweet Potato Gratin
Green salad with pomegranite seeds, almonds, green apples, and feta with a blueberry basamic
Salted Carmel Gelato

Joy To The World!