Our Winter Wonderland Experience!

img_2719

Taking a break from writing the Proverbs 31 series, I wanted to take some time to finally upload our pics from our mini “Winter Vacation” a couple of weeks ago.  San Antonio never gets real snow.  Well, one time back in 1985, but even that was called a “100-year snow,” for us.  Soooooo  we decided that since we missed going to the beach/island this Summer due to so many car issues, that we’d instead drive up to the mountains in New Mexico for a little less than a week to see if we could catch some snow for the boys to see!

It was the best decision ever to do this – our oldest had so much fun!  I’ve never even seen snow like we saw on the last 2 days there (we planned it somehow just right)!  It was so exciting (and FREEZING COLD)!  It made me SO GRATEFUL that we live in South Texas.  I love the heat… yes, even the really extreme heat we get in the Summer.  We live very close to a great waterpark and have access to swimming all day if we want.  It’s bliss ❤  🙂

But as for New Mexico’s mountain chill – wow!  We had all the correct clothing and even snow boots for everyone, but mentally, I was so not prepared for that level of cold!

We stayed a little cozy cabin in the area of a ski resort (that wasn’t open for a few more days – we got the best price because of this, and yet we still got to see their ski slopes with “created” snow).

img_2735

This day wasn’t actually that cold, hence the hoodies (they had layers of clothes underneath though!).  These were some photos of the bottom of the slopes at the ski resort.  We weren’t sure we’d be able to play around there so I didn’t wear my snow boots, the boys did though.

img_2736img_2737img_2731img_2733

img_2744img_2745img_2746img_2747img_2748img_2749img_2750

New Mexico with it’s deserts and mesas and mountains was incredibly beautiful!  I’m not posting a lot of our pics of exploring the town and the mountains because I tend to take too many anyway, but I wanted to show the most exciting parts for us: the snow!

I loved seeing all the thousands of fir trees, and we were lucky to get to see it before and then after the first snowfall of the season.  I thought it’s scenery was equally as beautiful – it was that stunning.

img_2794img_2764

Our big window in the cabin the morning after the big snowfall.

img_2908img_2822img_2911

Our patio showing just about how many inches we got overnight in the mountains!  Wow!!!

img_2917img_2918img_2919img_2920img_2921img_2922

Our adorable little cabin!  It was a great stay and experience we’ll never forget.

img_2939

So. Beautiful.

img_2937

Thanks for reading 😉

Advertisements

Beauty Basics – Fall & Winter Skincare

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

No make-up, fresh skin, that’s wearable in the early mornings of Fall and Winter, is something that I used to not be able to do.  Summer skin seems to retain more moisture and oil naturally, making going make-up free almost preferable.  Who wants their makeup sliding off in the heat?  But with the dry, cracked, or acne-prone skin of Winter?  It’s a whole different ball-game!

As I’m getting nearer and nearer to being in my 30’s, I am embracing the peacefulness of feeling literally more comfortable in my bare-faced skin.  I love it!  ❤ I love the minimalist approach.

Of course, there are things I do though, that help me to feel this confident when make-up free.  Here are some things I’ve done over the years that have been proven to create skin that doesn’t need makeup.

Fall & Winter Skin Care Tips

  • Wash face with cleansing wash or basic face soap every day, I wash in the morning and at night
  • Wash with a specifically gentle exfoliant once every day.  I currently use a giant bottle of The Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash by Philosophy.  It’s the 32 oz, and lasts for about a year.
  • Use a thick, anti-oxidant rich moisturizer or even a basic oil (Castor Oil works like a dream and is extremely inexpensive) to sleep in at night.  Only use the oil a couple of times a week.
  • Take Omega 3 Fish Oil capsules to repair skin from the inside-out during the dryness of Winter, this also benefits your hair, making it grow faster than normal.
  • Get enough sleep!  It’s amazing to me, how much our bodies repair even minuscule damage done each and every day by free radicals that affect how we age.  If we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies literally do not have enough time to repair all the damage accrued in the day.  Sleep is one of the best anti-aging secrets then, and you really can’t make-up for lost sleep during the week, by trying to sleep extra hours over the weekend.  Our bodies just don’t work like that.  Get enough sleep each night, and wake up to healthy, beautiful, glowing skin.

Olive Garden’s Pasta e Fagioli

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I love Italian food – I love learning how to cook this delicious kind of food in our home, at much cheaper price than eating out!  We rarely go to Olive Garden, but we went awhile back, and since this pregnant woman here has become obsessed with soups as of late, I ordered this tasty starter.  It’s an amazing and delicious twist on the original Italian countryside dish.  Pasta e Fagioli is a combination of pasta and beans – hence why it was prevalent across the country, from the Mediterranean to the Alps – many people could afford to use beans for sustenance in replacement of meat, especially in the lean winter months of Italy.

Olive Garden’s recipe includes a generous amount of ground beef, adding a richness and full-bodied flavor to the traditional soup.  I used Todd Wilbur’s copycat recipe from topsecretrecipes.com, the link can be found here. 

This soup was such a huge success with my family… I made a ton of it so that we could have plenty of leftovers – and it was still gone too fast for me!  I made some modifications for my picky eater 4-year-old, instead of julienned carrots I used carrot puree – you really cannot taste it with the tomato sauce, yet you still get the vitamin-enriched soup.  I also (this is a true cook’s confession here… very sad) omitted the beans so that my picky eater wouldn’t freak out at the site of them in a pasta dish.  I’m pretty sure this downgrades our Pasta e Fagioli, to simply “Spaghetti Soup” or something horrendous!  Oh well.

Oh for that day that he’ll be more open to interesting things other than chicken nuggets & macaroni and cheese!

Moving on, the recipe is found at the link, and keep in mind you really can modify it in whatever way you wish, it is traditionally used with ditali (at least, in America), but in true Italian countryside fashion, use whatever noodles you have handy!  I used egg noodles simply because my 4-year-old loves them.

Happy Eating!