Saturday, October 29, 2011

Weekend Musings

 Shot with Canon EOS 1000d/Kit Lens

It is technically still Saturday in the land of the Red, White, and Blue, but I find myself unable to sleep. It’s the third night in a row that I’ve had trouble sleeping, although I thank heavens that last night and tonight my sleep routine was delayed merely by an excessive amount of thinking and not the excruciating migraine I endured the night before that. On a lighter note: I survived my first migraine, everybody! Hurray for milestones! Except, you know, not. At all.
Friday marked the beginning of a large creative project that may or may not turn out to be something super exciting and great. It’s too early to speak up about anything now, but things are looking promising. I feel a bit insane for taking on yet another task at this point in life, but when inspiration strikes…you have to answer, right? If all goes well you’ll be hearing more about this in a couple of weeks.

I don’t know why sleep is so difficult to take hold of these past couple of nights. I lay in bed, husband next to me sleeping like a rock, unable to silence the thoughts jumping around in that head of mine. Really, they will not stop jumping…I think they may be square dancing. Or perhaps their dancing is something a little more refined…like the Macarena. In any case, these thoughts are what result in my being up at 3 AM and dictating each moment of my life for all to read about.
What, you ask, could I possibly be pondering that keeps me from getting that beauty rest? The answer is as broad and unclear as it is vague: I’m thinking about life.
The future is quite unclear for us at this point in time. Both of us agree that we want to live in America long term, but the more I stay in Germany the more reluctant I am to leave. Thoughts of school, degrees, diplomas immediately cause my blood pressure to increase – so many people I know have school figured out to every last detail, wheras I am still staring down into a gigantuous sea of decisions, too indecisive or commitment-phobic to just pick one.

Hah. The girl married at 19 a commitment phob? That’s Irony.
I kid. I’m really not a commitment phob. In fact, my relationship with my husband is something – maybe the only thing – that I am 100% sure about. Although I have no idea where exactly I’ll be a year from now, I do know this: Steven will be with me and that will make any situation a whole heck of a lot better.

I started (yet another) journal this weekend. One of the first few pages I titled:
  Steps Toward Living a Happier, More Enjoyable, Incredibly Fulfilling life. 
The list I made is as follows:
  • Write a page a day in this journal, being sure to include what I am grateful for.
  • Read one chapter (at a minimum) of scripture each day.
  • Limit computer time. Time blog posts. Only check social media once or twice.
  • Read. More. Books.
  • Take a deep breath and remember that you can’t always do it all.
  • Never forget that the whole point of life is to live it.
That is all I have so far. Any additions?

Happy Almost Halloween, My Dear Friends!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fresh Faced Friday: Two Great Looks and How to Get Them

Fresh Faced Friday
Whoohoo! TGIF! I am super excited about today because one of my best friends is coming into town. In fact, I’m probably off exploring Frankfurt with him right now as you read this!   I’m also really excited about todays FFF post. I’m going to be explaining how you can get two of my favorite looks this season: One sweet, one sexy. You can play around with these looks, altering them to make a daytime look more suitable for a night out and vice versa. Let’s get started!

Sweet: Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink

Products Used
Final products for pretty in pink

1. Milani Mosaic Blush
2. Mac Paint Pot in Soft Ochre
3. Sephora Colorful Duo in Pale Pink and Cream
4. Covergirl Lashblast Mascara
5. Mac Cremesheen Glass Lipgloss in Just Superb
6. Mac Matte Lipstick in Pink Plaid

I love this look in the fall and winter months. It is so bright, fresh, and natural looking! Follow these steps to get the look:
  • Apply concealer to blemishes and uneven skin areas. It’s a very natural look so there’s no need to bother with foundation, but if you feel your skin needs to be evened out a bit more, lightly apply a sheer powder.
  • Sweep pale pink eye shadow all the way from the lashline to the brow line. If you want a slightly more defined look apply a darker pink or plum eye shadow to the crease of your eyelid.
  • Curl eyelashes and lightly apply mascara to top and bottom lashes
  • Use a large kabuki brush to apply blush (I used Mosaic Blush) to the apples of your cheeks.
  • Sweep a matte pink lipstick over lips and top with a corresponding or clear gloss. The gloss is important because it gives your lips a fresh, wet look.

Sexy: Silver Smoke.

 Smoky Sexy Eyes

Products Used:


1. YSL blush duo in Nude. 
 2. Loreal Paris Felt-Tip Liquid Eyeliner 
 3. Rock For Ever Smoky Eye Palette 
4. Mac Select Sheer Pressed Powder 
 5. Revlon Matte Lipstick in Nude 
6. Covergirl Lash Blast Mascara

This look makes me feel sexy without feeling overdone. It’s a twist on the smoky eye that uses shades of silver and gray instead of charcoal and black. I’ve styled my hair in large, chunky waves and worn an outfit I think is both sophisticated and a little edgy: A favorite band T-shirt paired with a blazer and a cowl scarf, with well-tailored boot cut jeans, a pair of black pumps, and a couple of statement bangles. It’s important to balance out the eyes with a more subdued blush and nude lipstick.
Follow these steps to get the look:
  • Unless you want to end up with grey powder everywhere, work on your eyes first. Using an eyeshadow brush, apply light gray or silver powder from lash line to brown line.
  • Use a dark gray, charcoal, or black powder to define the crease of your eyelid. The more powder you use in the crease, the more dramatic the look.
  • Use the felt-tip liquid eyeliner to carefully line your eyes just above the lash line. Be sure not to make this too thick.
  • With a small eyeshadow brush or your finger, apply silver or white eyeshaddow to the inside corner of your eye and just underneath your bottom lashes.
  • Coat eyelashes in Mascara according to one’s taste.
  • Apply concealer and foundation, being careful not to make it too heavy.
  • Using a brush, dab blush along and underneath cheekbones.
  • Apply nude lipstick and dab with tissue.

What’s your favorite look this season?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What a Beautiful Day!

I posted early this morning some nostalgic photos from a trip to Greece (You can go look at them here) but I decided that I needed to write a little more. Subsequently, you can find me over at Enchanted Aria today, where I'm sharing a few tips and lessons learned about blogging in the (VERY) short time I've been a part of this amazing blog community. Definitely go check it out!

Greek Memories

I'm feeling a bit nostalgic today.
This time last year I was in Greece.
It was one of my favorite vacations of all time.
And as it gets colder and colder up here in little old Deutschland
I find myself reminiscing about these Greek October days, as hot as ever.
I thought I’d share some photos with you today.

Greek Island Water
Athens Mount
Athensgreek island alleyParthenonGreek IslandHydra Greek IslandsSwimming in GreeceTemple of Poseiden

Fabulous, Fabulous memories.

What was your favorite getaway?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Let’s get rich and buy our parents homes in the South of France.
Or, you know, we can just go there ourselves.
It is official. Steven and I will be spending Thanksgiving weekend together in the South of France. My head is already full of romantic and beautiful daydreams about it. I. Am. So. Excited. November needs to hurry up and arrive already! We will be having our traditional Thanksgiving dinner the weekend before the actual holiday, as Germans obviously don’t receive the vacation days. in other words, it works out perfectly.
Le Sigh.
Has anyone been to Marseille or Montpellier? Any activities or restaurants to recommend? Advice is certainly appreciated!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Healthy Zucchini Bread Recipe and a GIVEAWAY WINNER!

Hello my beloved blog friends.
How are you this Monday morning?
Oh? Yeah, me too.

On Saturday I baked yummy zucchini bread that was a total hit with Steven's friends. I used this recipe which I found on All Recipes, but made some MAJOR changes in order to make it a lot better for you. I was nervous about changing so much but I went with my gut and I'm glad I did - it tasted great and I thought the consistency/texture was downright perfect! First, I halved the recipe. The original recipe used white flour, 2 1/4 cups sugar, and 1 full cup of vegetable oil. Not. Healthy.

Here is my revised recipe below.

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour.
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. honey
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 eggs
2 medium zucchini, grated.
1/4 cup low fat Greek yogurt.
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
1/4 cup chopped walnuts.

Step One:
Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit

Step Two:
In a medium/large bowl, mix dry ingredients together.

Step Three:
In a medium/large bowl, mix wet ingredients together. (Including Zucchini.)
Note: Do not drain the zucchini, if you do you'll remove necessary moisture from the bread.

Step Four:
Combine the ingredients and mix well using a wooden spoon.

Step 5:
Add to a greased loaf ban and bake for 45 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

And that is it! I cannot begin to tell you how easy it is to make. And with all whole wheat flour, over 1 1/2 cups less sugar, high in protein Greek Yogurt in place of oil, and double the can truly eat this bread guilt-free!

and now onto the real reason why you've visited this post today. A giveaway winner!
A big thank you to everyone who entered.



from Mrs. Alana's Miscellany!


Please email me with your information so we can get this fabulous necklace to you right away (:

Happy Monday, everyone!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Wild Boar Almost Totaled Our Car.

This weekend was blissfully laid back. I baked Zucchini bread, made chili, Steven and I watched a movie and cuddled. On Saturday we drove up into the German countryside to spend time with Steven's family. It was his younger sister's birthday. Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, Janine!

We had fun. Good food, good family. After dinner (and yummy desert!) the whole family played the game Werewolf, which as a Mormon I've played many, many times in my youth. I've never played it in German, though, so that certainly made things more interesting. I love being part of a family so fun, loud, silly, and loving. It pretty much rocks.

On our way home Saturday night, there is a stretch of road we must drive with nothing but dense forest on either side. There are no street lamps, so it is DARK. Even with the car's brights on we still found it difficult to see far ahead of us. I saw something up ahead on the road, a silhouette, but had no idea what it was. As we drew closer I kept staring at the shadow, but the shape was unrecognizable to my untrained eyes, especially in that light. Because I didn't know what it was I didn't speak up about it, and Steven hadn't noticed it all. Until...

Three. Two. One.

In case you hadn't guessed by the post's title, there was a wild boar hanging out in the road.
with all of his wild boar friends. 
about 10 on them, although they were still on the side of the road and nothing more than shadows.
Still enough to make me freak out.
Needless to say we got out of there pretty quick, they were quite large and we didn't want to think about what those tusks would have done to our vehicle...or our bodies...
Seriously though, those things are supposedly super aggressive.

And that was pretty much my weekend. Werewolves and wild boars.  I was a bad blogger and didn't take any noteworthy pictures, so I thought I'd share some wedding pictures instead. Why not, right? Haha!

Tell me about YOUR weekend! Please?

Today is the last day to enter my giveaway!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fresh Faced Friday - A VLOG Sock Bun Tutorial for Short/Thin/Layered Hair

Hello Friends!
I am excited to announce a new weekly feature on this here blog.
After posting this tutorial on how to make brown sugar facial scrub, I received a few sweet emails requesting more information about my skin care and beauty routines. Those emails, in combination with how much fun I had posting that scrub tutorial, are the inspiration for this feature: Fresh Faced Friday! Stop by each Friday to find beauty related tutorials, videos, inspiration, and more. Sounds fun, right? 

The Look: 
Coat: H&M. Blouse: Zara. Jeans: Promod. Necklace: H&M.Hair: Sock Bun
try to ignore the tangerine colored walls.
they came with the place. 

An AMAZING trend I've seen going around blogs/pinterest is the fabulous Sock Bun. Using a sock, a hairtye, and a bobby pin or two, a regular messy bun is transformed into something much fuller and polished looking. I LOVE doing this, but unfortunately I am not blessed with the long, thick hair that makes this process so easy. My hair is thin, runs just past my shoulders, and has a whole bunch of layers, which made following the original how-to instructions for the sock bun quite frustrating. 

If you have shorter, thinner, or layered hair like me...all is not lost. I've found a way to make it work...and I'm going to show you how in MY FIRST VLOG EVER! But please be kind/patient, having never done a video like this...well, let's just say it's full of nervous ranting. 

This has quickly become one of my favorite hairstyles. I'm a nanny, so having my hair out of the way is really important. I used to do this with a super messy bun or a loose ponytail, but it always made me feel sloppy. With this look I feel polished and presentable while still having all of my hair out of the way.

You can put your bangs up or down, add a funky headband or ribbon, the sky is the limit!

I hope you enjoy :) 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tutorial! All Natural Brown Sugar Facial Scrub - So Amazing!

Last week, I ran out of my favorite facial scrub. Being in Germany, I knew I wouldn't be able to find my favorite brand. Instead of experimenting with potentially expensive, chemical and preservative filled alternatives, I decided to try making my own scrub to see how it went. I like the idea of using all natural beauty products, especially when they work!

Well people. I freaking love this. My skin feels SO good after exfoliating now, much better than it did when I was using my favorite store-bought brand...and the best part is it's basically free. I had all of the ingredients in my pantry ready to go! It's an incredibly fast and easy process - it literally took me less than five minutes. 

Natural + Cheap + Fast + Easy + Really Awesome = I really really need to share this with you right now. 

You will need:

1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1.5 Tbsp. Honey
Jar/Airtight Container
Bowl for mixing
Spoon for mixing.
That's it! :)

and you're done! Couldn't be any easier, right?!?
I have heard that adding a squeeze of  lemon juice is also a good thing - citrus serves as a toner and contains vitamins which are good for the skin. I also read online that one person cut open liquid vitamin e capsules and mixed in that liquid as well - vitamin e works wonders for the skin, so if you have said capsules on hand...I say go for it! 

About honey:
Honey contains mild alpha hydroxy acids. These acids are very safe to use on skin and can loosen bonds between the dead skin cells, making exfoliation more effective. These acids are also able to increase elasticity, balance out oily skin, stimulate collagen production, and minimize lines and wrinkles, making your skin more vibrant and younger looking! Honey contains amino acids, which help the skin retain its essential moisture.

About Brown Sugar:

Brown sugar has a similar texture to wet sand, but it's still abrasive enough to remove old skin cells without causing your skin harm or irritation. The moisture in brown sugar won't dry out your skin as you exfoliate. Exfoliation removes not only dead cells from your skin but other impurities that may be clogging your pores. Brown sugar is a source of B vitamins due to its molasses content, and vitamin B is an antioxidant that can help prevent signs of aging.

Store-bought exfoliants contain preservatives that keep them stuck together. The brown sugar mixture does not, and will separate. It's really not a problem - just keep a popsicle stick or a spoon with the scrub in your bathroom and stir before each use.

I really hope you try this and enjoy it as much as I do!

Monday, October 17, 2011

100 Followers! A GIVEAWAY! Yeeeee!

100 followers in less than two months.
I am over the moon.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
In these seven weeks (it's only been seven weeks, guys!) I have had so much fun, 
made so many great friends 
and have been truly inspired by all of the beautiful individuals out there.
Essentially: You rock. Now it's my turn to give something to you.

For my first giveaway ever, one lucky winner will receive this fabulous owl necklace from After Nine to Five.
It is pretty much the cutest thing ever.


1. Be a follower of my blog AND like Roots, Wings, and Other Things' brand new Facebook Page.
2. Leave a comment saying that you did so/are already doing so.

Additional entries:
1. Follow Roots, Wings, and Other Things on Twitter
2. Follow Roots, Wings, and Other Things on Bloglovin'
3. Follow Roots, Wings, and Other Things on Pinterest. 
4. Tweet about this giveaway and provide a link here.
5. Post on Facebook about this giveaway and provide a link here.
6: Two additional entries: Re-blog about this giveaway with pictures of the necklace and a link to get them here!

Important: For each additional entry you must post a separate comment. For additional entry #6, you must leave two comments. The winner will be chosen from the comments using a random number generator.

The winner will be announced next Monday! I'M SO EXCITED. 

A Brand New Week!

The Look:
Sweater: H&M. Pants: Forever 21. Shoes: Forever 21. Pendant: H&M
Not much variety in my shopping habits, huh?

Ah, Monday again. How time flies!
I've decided to look at this week as an opportunity. It will be a week of making changes, reaching goals, and redirecting myself a bit. I'll let you know how it goes. 

What's going on in my kitchen this week:

Butternut Squash + Pesto Pizza
Guilt-Free Baked Alfredo Pasta
Mashed Potato and Mushroom Casserole 
Quick and Yummy Salad 
Cheese and Apple Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Potatoes

If you haven't told me about your weekend yet, do so now! 
You can read about my weekend here.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Weekend Update: Day Trips and Palace Gardens

The Look:
Blazer: Zara. Top: H&M. Necklace: H&M. Trousers: Promod.
Boots: FourStar. Bag: Promod. 
Headband: a fabric belt, pulled off of a shirt from Zara. 
Bracelets: Thrifted.

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. My man and I sure did! It was much needed, too, as we'd had quite the hectic week. Online finals, new classes, and a trip to the hospital (more on that one later) meant that it was absolutely necessary to spend the weekend relaxing in order to recover.

On Saturday the hubs and I took a day trip to Würzburg! Did you know that's in Bavaria? We didn't know either! I have decided that I LOVE Würzburg. It's not an incredibly large city but it's packed full of charm and history. Sitting right on the Main river (Main is pronounced MINE in German) the historic buildings and cobblestone streets have totally stolen my heart. 

On one side of the river sits the Marienberg Fortress (pictured above.) Isn't it impressive? It's quite high up on a hill - we'd already hiked up a significant portion of the hill before I took this photo - and is really quite impressive. I would feel sorry for any medieval army who tried to siege this place! But I'll give it to them, it had quite the view.

The old bridge over the Main (AlteMainbrücke) brought us from the fortress to the rest of the city. Your history lesson for the day: The bridge was built in 1472, but the statues of the saints were not added until 1730. 
 We spent the day exploring, perusing the produce stands in the square, and relaxing in the gardens of The Residenz, a beautiful palace that was named "the nicest parsonage in Europe" by Napoleon. Not too shabby, right?

Outside of the Palace

It was such a beautiful day! The air was crisp but not freezing, making it a truly perfect Autumn day.
Steven and I had too much fun playing with light as it got darker. The result:

We finished off the evening with delicious Italian food. I had Spaghetti Carbonara, can anyone say instant comfort? :)
How was your weekend?


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