Stuff Jenny Forgot

Can you hear me now?

I think I remember how to do this! I only had to reset my password like 18 times but I am IN and we are BACK! If only someone had tried to steal our identity and go viral before now, perhaps our blog wouldn’t be defunct. Oh well! Big shout out to Lyz or whatever her name was for spurring us into action.

But anyway, we are alive and well and have been doing lots of fun things for the past couple years. Jenny mentioned some, but I thought I’d try to make her Non-Comprehensive List slightly less non-comprehensive, so I took a stroll through our Instagram feeds.

My LORD that girl takes a lot of pictures of herself.

At least she doesn’t mind looking like a moron in some of them.

Anyway.

Let’s see, what did we do for the past two years?

Well, we had two more editions of #SpreadsheetThanksgiving.

I’ve come a long way since the American cheese and spaghetti crock pot incident, people.

Our kids went trick or treating together. It was the 14th year in a row for these two.

Can you believe that? Me either. I would have been crying if I had not decided to take a red solo cup with me this year. Do you know how much wine fits in one of those things? A LOT. I think I stunned the neighbors by actually, like, talking to them as we walked through the ‘hood. Wine makes me FEEL THE THINGS, evidently.

Jenny’s been through several different phases of obsession since we’ve last talked. This photo demonstrates two such stages.

Someday I’m going to make a list of all the things she’s been enamored by over the years. CVS, coupons, mascara, the list is endless. I’m sure many of you could help me out with this endeavor.

She never tires, though, of her own face! And it’s only gotten worse now that she is in love with her hair.

Karma is a funny thing, though, because all the time I’ve spent making fun of Jenny’s vanity has come back to bite me in the @ss in the form of my 14 year old daughter, whose prized possession – a gigantic floor-to-ceiling mirror – brought Jenny to tears.

Well there you have it, the highlights, at least as far as we remember them. Thank you for the warm welcome back to our little corner of the internet, friends. We’re glad to be home.

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The Ring

Hello, friends. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’m dropping in to say hi, and because – after so long – I have a story to tell.

Here we go.

When my mom turned 16, my grandparents had a ring made for her. It was a unique design, and it contained the diamond from my grandma’s engagement ring. When I turned 16, a number of years after my mom had died, the ring was passed down to me.

Later that year, I sat in sophomore English class as the teacher read from a book. The passage ended:

Inherit their strength, their resilience, and become who you choose to become.

I’ve never seen it again and I don’t know to whom I should attribute it, but that phrase struck a chord with me and I immediately jotted it down. It reminded me of my mom and grandma – both exemplary models of strength and resilience – and this simple sentence told me that I could draw upon those traits while still forging my own path. The ring, then, served as a tangible reminder of the “tough stock,” as my grandma would says, from which I came.

Years later, in 2003, my purse, containing my car keys, wallet, cell phone, and a brand new tin of Altoids, was stolen. I was in my first trimester of pregnancy and rather hormonal. While in retrospect, the theft was not a huge deal, the whole experience felt quite traumatic at the time.

A year or so after that, I realized I hadn’t worn my ring in a while, as my fingers had swollen during my pregnancy. It was then that I had a distinct memory of putting the ring in the inner pocket of that purse, the one that had been stolen.

The ring was gone. I was devastated.

I’ve told this story many times over the years, and I always say that I consider it a blessing that it took me months to realize the ring had been stolen, too; it would have taken an already-emotional situation into the next stratosphere.

Regardless of putting that spin on it, though, the sadness I felt about losing my ring hadn’t waned. I didn’t even have photographic evidence of it, despite magnifying every picture I could find of my mom’s or my own hands. It was gone, but it was often in the back of my mind. Just a few months ago, I read an article about inviting what we need into our lives – the law of attraction, so to speak. As I read the article, for whatever reason the ring came to mind. It was impossible, though, for it to come back into my life, since it was at the bottom of a landfill.

Or so I thought.

Last month I had been scheduled to fly to Chicago for a professional conference, but my flight was cancelled the night before due to an impending snow storm. That morning, Andy and I awoke to an alarming sound coming from our bedroom wall. An alarming chewing sound. An alarming chewing sound that suddenly stopped when I pounded on the wall.

Yeah. This was not good.

An investigation of our basement led us to the indisputable conclusion that mice had invaded the storage area right below our bedroom. I can hardly even type that sentence without shuddering. I am deathly afraid of mice (something I definitely inherited from my grandma and presumably my mom, as well) and I was NOT AMUSED with this development. However, since I had planned to be out of town, we had the entire day free (which never happens) to deal with the situation. Cleaning out this part of our basement had been on our to-do list for ages, but we never had the time and/or motivation to do it. Suddenly we had both, and we decided to do it right. I went to the store and spent $100 on plastic tubs, rubber gloves, and garbage bags (which spawned a number of questions and theories from the people in line behind me, including one person who said “If Andy doesn’t show up to work on Monday, we know where to look!”) and we went through every item in every box; we uncovered stuff we forgot we had – posters that had hung on Andy’s wall in college, pictures that we had actually had to send away to develop, all sorts of junk.

We kept some and pitched four times more.

It was Marie keep-only-what-brings-joy Kondo on steriods. Because mice.

As I sifted through a box filled with my high school mementos, I stumbled across a scrap of notebook paper.

Inherit their strength, their resilience, and become who you choose to become.

That little scrap of paper without a doubt brings me joy, and it went in the “keep” pile.

We continued through the storage room and moved on to an adjacent closet, where I keep my out of season clothes. (Or where I kept them, until I had to throw them all away. Because mice. My sweaters, though. Lord have mercy, it pained me.) In any case, this closet also contained a small cardboard box that I had never unpacked when we moved into our current house (it’s only been 10 years…), which evidently contained whatever happened to have been on my nightstand at the time. Reader’s Digest, a half-finished cross stitch project – important things like that. It also contained a small wooden box, which was full of safety pins. As I dumped the pins in the trash bag, something caught my eye.

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The ring.

It was there, in my house, for the past 13 years. Even though I remember looking there for it before. Even though I remember seeing it in a zippered pocket of that old purse. Even though I thought it was impossible that I would ever find it again. It’s here.

I truly don’t have words to describe what it means to me. More than two weeks have passed, and every time I glance at it on my finger, I am surprised to see it there. And the chain of events that led me to find it — the canceled flight, the disturbing sounds inside the wall, the day devoid of any plans or obligations, the determination to de-clutter our house in a way we’ve never done before — it’s incredible.

For years, this ring represented the strength and resilience of my mother and grandmother. Now it also serves as a reminder to trust that life will bring us what we need, and that nothing is impossible.

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Upgrade Your Beauty Products for Fall With the Meijer Beauty Sale

*This post is sponsored by Meijer. All opinions are my onw!

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know that I am uber-vain and I LOVE my beauty products!! Mascara, blush, lipstick, eyeshadow, BRING IT ON. I want it all! Now, I love to coupon and get my beauty products for cents on the dollar, but I know a lot of you just AIN’T GOT TIME FOR THAT. And, you want the convenience of a one-stop shop, too. If that’s you, I’ve got great news for you: there’s a heck of a beauty sale at Meijer this week. You can get buy two get one free cosmetics and BOGO 50% on almost everything else! And if you DO  happen to clip a coupon or two, there are some great ones in the paper this week and online at coupons.com to help you get even better deals.

A photo posted by Jenny Rapson (@jennyitup) on

Above are some of my favorite cosmetic products that Meijer sent me to review. I have to tell you that that L’Oreal Paris LUMI powder glow illuminator is a real superstar. Not only do I use it to highlight my cheekbones, I also use the darker part of it as bronzer and contour between my jaw and cheekbone AND, in the photo below, I am also using the lighter shade of it as eyeshadow on my brow bone and to highlight the inner corner of each eye. This is such a fantastic multi-tasking product! There are a couple other colors available and I am dying to try them as well.

jenny-makeup-look

Another favorite beauty product, which I’ve never tried before, is this NYX lib butter in Merengue. Here, I used it alone over a neutral lip liner, and it stayed on REALLY well – more like a lipstick than a gloss. I love the fresh, natural, light look of wearing this lip butter with just liner, but you can also wear it over lipstick too, to add some flair and long-lasting shine to your favorite lip shade.

A photo posted by Jenny Rapson (@jennyitup) on

In all of these photos I am also wearing a FANTASTIC pressed powder from Maybelline over my foundation. It’s called Maybelline Better Skin and I love it! It’s really long-wearing, and it’s not heavy but it goes on great – a little goes a long way. Just one pat of the applicator will do it, you don’t have to apply multiple coats. It definitely makes me want to try the res of the Better Skin line.

A photo posted by Jenny Rapson (@jennyitup) on

This next photo gives me the opportunity to showcase another new lip product I’d never tried before: Maybelline Color Jolt intense lip paint. I LOVE IT. It goes on really easily with a soft applicator and it stays on for a looong time. I just applied a small amount over lip liner — a little goes a long way!

maybelline-color-jolt

My super-smooth hair in the photo above should also be commented on. It’s thanks to these three amazing products: L’Oréal Paris Extraordinary Oil Shampoo and Conditioner and the Conair wet brush. This shampoo and conditioner is so amazing, it totally smooths by dry, wavy-frizzy hair. It works SO well that I no longer have to use the smoothing styling products I used to put into my hair before I blow it dry. So by using this shampoo and conditioner I’ve been able to cut a product out of my routine, saving me time and money. PLUS, it makes my hair WAY easier to straighten once it’s dry and helps the straight last longer, too. After two weeks of use, I am a BELIEVER.

A photo posted by Jenny Rapson (@jennyitup) on

The Conair wet brush cuts tangles out of my wet hair like nobody’s business. I have really thick hair and I can’t believe how easy it is to brush out when it’s wet with this brush. In addition, it works great on my daughter’s long hair and has GREATLY improved our relationship when I brush her hair out after she showers! I am not even kidding! How did I not KNOW about the Conair wet brush!! I want to cry for all the years I’ve lived without it.

There are some other notable products that I’m going to cover in a Facebook live video that I’m going to do on our Mommin’ It Up Facebook post tonight. I will embed that video here when I’m done. The video will include Maybelline Color Tattoo eye shadow and Neutrogena MositureSmooth color stick.

I hope to see you on Facebook Live tonight, but until then…get to Meijer for some amazing beauty deals this week, September 11-17th!

Updated with Facebook live video below! Check out how I use the L’Oréal Paris LUMI True Match powder!

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