February 11, 2014

Love Yourself First // DIY Beauty Treatments with Bigelow Tea

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

Regardless of whether you're attached or single this Valentine's Day, there is still a reason to celebrate - and that reason is YOU! I'm sure we've all heard the old adage that "You can't love or be loved until you love yourself first" ... so this week I challenge you to warm your heart with a cup of tea and a good book, or to gift yourself with a fancy box of chocolates and a bouquet of flowers ... and most importantly, to remember to treat yourself with the same love, honor, kindness, patience, compassion and respect that you expect to give to and receive from others.

And since a little pampering never hurt, I've put together eight of my favorite at-home beauty treatments (which are all made with common goods found in your kitchen!) so that you'll be looking and feeling your best this week.

February 10, 2014

He Offered Her The World And She Said She Had Her Own

TJ's arena was in use the entire month of January, so I hadn't stepped foot inside of it since late December. For the first time in a long time, I was actually excited this past weekend to watch a game.

I know that sounds bitchy of me ... but after spending approximately 10% of the last seven seasons freezing my ass off in rinks and waiting for what feels like hours for TJ to emerge from locker rooms ... it sort of just becomes a routine, you know? 

I don't walk into the arena and watch the same game that the regular spectator does. I watch my husband at work ... and I watch the game from a very different pair of eyes - ones that fear the worst every time he's slammed into the boards and down onto the ice because I immediately think that he's got a concussion ... and ones that fear the worst when he misses a pass or the net and I envision him meeting me after the game with his bag thrown over his shoulder telling me that it's time to go home.
Because that's hockey for us. It's not just a Friday or Saturday night out.

Snuggled up warm and cozy at the rink with my cowl from HappyKnits
Use promo code HAPI14 for 14% off your purchase

TJ is turning thirty in June ... and I've recently found myself thinking about what life after hockey will be like. He's not a spring chicken anymore ... I know, I know, every time I try to explain this to someone who isn't familiar with how hockey works, they just laugh at me ... but now that he's played X-amount of games and he's considered a "veteran", there are only four spots on every team here in the States for him to play on ... and the true reality is that he is becoming old balls when there are 18, 19 ... 23, 24, 25 year olds who are trying to find their place in the hockey world, too. 

When TJ and I met with the man who married us a year and a half ago, he asked us many questions to learn more about us both individually and as a couple. We found ourselves explaining how we met, where we've lived, our accomplishments, our goals ... and when we were finished, the man said something so poignant that has stuck with me word for word ever since: "So much of the dynamics of your relationship have revolved around hockey, what will become of it once hockey is over?"
TJ and I both looked at one another and we couldn't find an answer. 

Don't get me wrong, our relationship is built on a solid foundation of friendship, love and respect ... but the structure, the floors, and the walls ... many of them have been built around hockey seasons and schedules and moves and navigating together through the highs and lows of "living the hockey life" ... so much so, that it's difficult to imagine what our life will be like once this chapter of our lives is closed.

Cheering on #13 this weekend with my ring from Gem & Blue
Use promo code FRIENDOFGEM for 10% off your purchase

No one probably noticed this except for me, but after our meeting with the JP, things within me and around here started to change. I no longer promoted myself as a "hockey wife" which was a "title" that I had embraced and that had worked for so long for both me and one of my best friends when we began marketing ourselves in an uncharted "hockey wife blogger" territory for over two years.

You see ... I no longer felt like being a "hockey wife" was an honor or a privilege or a title.

Because, I mean really ... what does "hockey wife" even mean? I'm not married to the game of hockey. I'm married to a man who just so happens to play professional hockey. And one day, it's all going to end. What will that make me? An ex-hockey wife? Ew. No thanks.

After we were married TJ went on to play for a team where everyone from a few of his teammates to the fans to the front office addressed me as "Mrs. Fox" - thumbs up for the respect and pseudo-acknowledgement ... but not one person ever bothered to get to know me as more than "Mrs. Fox." I was just TJ's sidekick ... his behind the scenes counterpart ... his "hockey wife" ... and it was suddenly beyond irritating.

And that was the year that sealed the deal, where I relinquished the "title", and when I decided that I never, ever want to be known as a "hockey wife" ever again.

I am the wife to a man whom I love "to the moon and back times infinity" ... and this blog is simply where I share our story.


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February 7, 2014

20 (More) Things You Should Know About Me

For someone who sits and talks about herself here 99% of the time, I find a fun challenge in coming up with a list of things that I have never shared here before. Well, don't quote me on that ... I talk/type a whole lot...

See version 1.0 of 20 Things You Should Know About Me by clicking here, and read the next 20 down below:

Oatmeal Boot Cuffs (or boot decorations, as TJ calls them...) c/o RubyBlueKnits
Use code REPEAT10PERCENT for 10% off!

1. I went to Catholic school from grades K-12.
2. My middle name is Elizabeth.
3. I am the oldest of four children - I have a 23 year old sister, a 22 year old sister, and an 11 year old brother.
4. I firmly believe that either me or the 11 year old was a surprise. It's still TBD. (spill it, Dad!)
5. My parents are still married.
6. I have a tattoo of a dancer on my lower back.
7. I was senior editor of the yearbook committee in high school.
8. I broke my left cheek bone last year when I blacked out in a hospital hallway.
9. I'm very self conscious about my smile now because I can totally see that it's crooked.
10. I am Polish and Native American.
11. I started my first "real job" at a restaurant when I was 14. I worked there for 10 years. Tip your waitress.
12. I'm a big sap and routinely cry during the sad parts of TV dramas and commercials.
13. I brush my teeth in the shower.
14. I wish that normal working hours were 7pm-3am because that's when my productivity kicks in.
15. In high school I took a Psychology of Serial Killers class and it continues to fascinate me today.
16. The original Charlie and The Chocolate Factory is my absolute favorite movie.
17. When I was little I was split between wanting to be a dancer and wanting to be a racecar driver when I grew up.
18. I was lactose intolerant as a child and now I think that milk smells like vomit.
19. If you stopped by my apartment unannounced, I'd likely be wearing a tee-shirt and sweatpants. Or no pants.
20. I'm thankful that blogs are typed, because my handwriting is seriously atrocious.

What are some random things about YOU?
Is there anything you've ever wanted to know about me that I've never talked about here?


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February 5, 2014

I Won The Hostess With The Mostest Award Because of TGI Friday's

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

TJ came home this past Sunday around 1pm after a week long roadtrip. He wasn't sure when he got in if we were going out or staying in to watch the Big Game, but together we decided to just stay at our apartment and invite a few of his teammates over since he was so exhausted after a week of traveling. This was a great game plan until I realized that I had absolutely nothing prepared for party guests, our fridge was bare, and the game was starting in three hours. We quickly zipped over to Walmart and headed straight to the freezer section where we picked up a couple of packages of TGI Friday's Loaded Cheddar & Bacon Potato Skins, Honey BBQ Chicken, and Mozzarella Sticks to try out.

TGI Friday's appetizers are restaurant quality snacks and require zero prep work ... which basically means they saved our Game Day party along with my sanity while getting ready for our fiesta.

#TGIFGameDay #CollectiveBias

While I had the hot appetizers cooking in the oven, I quickly threw together some simple finger foods like cheese and pepperoni, fruit, pickles, crackers and chips. The potato skins, chicken and mozzarella sticks came out of the oven in less than twenty minutes, and all I had to do was place everything on cute football themed platters and set it out on our table. Our spread was quite lovely (and delish!), if I do say so myself.

You guys. This fruit dip? It's amazing. Mix together one block of cream cheese, 7oz of marshmallow fluff, one container of pineapple Greek yogurt, and a small can of (drained) crushed pineapple. You can thank me later.

And wham, bam, thank 'ya ma'am, this concludes the blog post in which I accept my Hostess With The Mostest Award, all thanks to TGI Friday's. 

(I'm not sure how many people were actually in the running for the award ... but I have heard that it was a very tight race.)

Do you have a go-to appetizer for parties and get togethers?
Please share it in a comment below!


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February 4, 2014

Ten Reasons Why I'm Jealous Of My Dog

1. He is told that he is beautiful/cute/handsome everyday by e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e he meets. Even when he's told he's ugly, it's a backhanded compliment: "Oh, he's so ugly he's cute!" When I look ugly, I just look ugly.
 2. He has an expensive fur coat. I don't have a fur coat. And the zipper on my winter coat is currently jacked up and broken. So that's that for that.
3. He never finds my hair allllllll over him.
4. He sleeps and lounges for 85% of the day. I love sleep. Love it, I tell ya. Brutus doesn't have to go grocery shopping or work or cook dinner or do the dishes. He just sleeps and lounges all day. And no one judges him.
5. He has never once said something stupid out loud that he can't take back.
6. He gets to be naked all day, every day. I hate wearing clothes. Specifically, pants. Brutus never has to put pants on to go outside. 
7. He isn't self conscious about his body. Every time we go to the vet I'm sent home with paperwork about how obese he is ... but he just brushes it off and rocks his bod with killer confidence. 
8. He never has to return emails or answer phone calls.
9. He eats expensive, grain free and organic food every day.
10. He goes to the dog spa at least five times per year. I can't even tell you the last time that I had a mani or pedi.

When we live in a world where doubletaps on Instagram are like social currency, and my phone explodes with "hearts" every time I post a photo of Brutty on there - it's safe to say that I'm jealous of him. But he also keeps us 'pup'ular, so I guess I'll keep him ;)

Are you jealous of your dog, too? 

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February 3, 2014

Because This Blogging Thing That I Do Here Is Weird

Last weekend I was up in Vail and I didn't take a single picture of myself or the people that I was with. When I'm with my family or friends, taking photos of us to post here is a complete afterthought because I'm not really comfortable with posting their photos on the internet for the entire world to see.

I feel like that's asking to be on the next episode of Catfish, or that it requires a consent form or something.

Because you see ... the internet is weird. And this blogging thing that I do here is weird. 

When I first started writing, my only loyal readers were my dad and my grandmother. But then my target audience changed. And I found my voice. And now I write, and I write, and I write some more, but I'm writing for strangers. Yes, I write for myself ... but I can honestly say that if no one read my blog I probably wouldn't continue to write like I do here. I'd keep a paper journal or something.

I like to pretend that no one I know "in real life" reads my blog because it keeps me vulnerable and open and honest and real, until the censor button starts blinking in my head and I start sweating and thinking and worrying and wondering and telling myself things like, "Well shit, I don't want my dad to know that I'm having baby sex. I'm supposed to be the next Mary Immaculate ... I hope that post didn't show up in his inbox this morning." Hi dad.

It's weird when my blog comes up in conversation with "real people" because the people who know me in "real life" know that I'm fairly simple and basic and actually pretty flipping boring ... so the fact that I can turn something and craft it into a five hundred+ word blog post is ... well, weird of me.

So basically, I sit here and I publish big pieces of my life and my heart, and my personal thoughts and ideas and experiences onto the interwebs ... and yet I don't want anyone that I know "in real life" to actually read it. Because that makes all kinds of sense, doesn't it? 

For some reason, I just feel much more comfortable with the stranger in Zimbabwe having the key to my (online) diary than I do sharing even a half of a page of it with my "real" family and friends. And I have no scientific explanation for it other than: Blogging is weird.

And I guess since I'm a blogger that means that I'm weird. And I guess since you're reading this, you're weird too. So thank you for that.

Do you feel awkward posting photos of your family and friends on your blog?
If no one read your blog would you continue to write?


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