Connecticut Girls Pint Out: Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. Tasting at Inishmor

I love craft beer. It’s a fun hobby that I share with my husband. We love to go to breweries and do tastings and seek out new brews. One day, I found Connecticut Girls Pint Out on Facebook and started following them. Recently, we stumbled on their booth at the Thread City Hop Fest and found out they were doing an event super close to where I live. My friend Ashley and I decided to attend that event seeing how neither of us had a night out in forever and it sounded awesome.

The Captain Lawrence Brewing Co Small Plates and beer at Inishmor was awesome! I’m so glad we went. Alex, the owner of Inishmor, put together a yummy menu of small bites to pair with three FULL SIZED pours of Captain Lawrence beers. Here’s the menu:

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My favorite beer of the night was Sun Block. Immediately after my first sip, I told Ashley that I tasted coconut. Sure enough, Marcus from the brewery explained all the hops used to make this seasonal and mentioned a coconut flavor! It’s really a great beer for summer and I love finding new, refreshing beers for hot summer days.

It was great to meet other ladies, near and far in Connecticut who love beer as much as I do. At one point in the night we were whipping out photos of our kids – furbabies and human babies! I had a really great time (I won some swag!) and I even signed up for the next event – a homebrew class where we’ll make our own IPA and get to come back in three weeks to bottle and take home a six-pack.

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If you’re a lady into brews, I highly suggest checking out your local chapter of Girls Pint Out. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to make new friends!

Allure Beauty Thrills 2015

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Two of my favorite things are: A good bargain, and fun beauty products. Allure magazine curates a beauty box each year and I’ve tried in the past to snag one to no avail. These puppies sell out quickly because they are such a great value. Somehow I was able to order one this year and it arrived last week. I’ve tried a bunch of the products out so far so I thought I’d give a little review. This is not sponsored in any way.

The box was $44.95 plus shipping and it’s all full size, drugstore beauty products.

(This post probably seems a bit out of place after my last post about getting rid of excess stuff. What can I say, I’m a walking contradiction? Ha! But really, these are all products I would use so I thought why not. )

Aloxxi – Lightweight Sculpting Wax. I used this once so far. I like it ok, it does provide texture to my hair (I cut it pretty short recently so I like adding it to the ends for something extra). Not sure if I’d purchase it again.

BIC – Soleil Glow Razor. I gave this to my mom since I just stocked up on razors at Target.

Biore – Charcoal Pore Minimizer.  Used this once so far and I loved how it made my face feel afterwards. I’m planning to use this twice a week – my pores are large and can get clogged easily and I think this will help.

Cetaphil – Intensive Moisturizing Cream. I already love Cetaphil and use their cleanser daily in the shower. This moisturizer worked well on my feet after spending the weekend gardening.

Dickinson’s – Original Witch Hazel Daily Refreshingly Clean Cleansing Cloths. What a mouthful that was! I used this cloth once so far. I don’t think I’ll use it often as I don’t like using Witch Hazel. It dries my face out. Also, you can’t use these cloths on eye makeup so really, what’s the point?

Clear Scalp & Hair – Active Damage resist Ultra-Nourishing Shampoo & Conditioner. I used both and I already liked the Clear brand. I can’t use the conditioner at every wash because it seems to dry my hair out.

Colgate Optic White – Express White Toothpaste. This claims to get your teeth whiter in 3 days and I think it’s true. I feel like my teeth are a bit whiter which is helpful since I drink coffee daily. Not sure I’d repurchase though.

Colgate Optic White – Toothbrush + Whitening Pen. I’ve only used the pen once so far so not sure how I feel yet. I really didn’t like the application though, but I like that you can just put it on and go about your day.

Derma E – Anti-wrinkle Vitamin A Glycolic Cleanser and the Retinyl Palmitate Creme. I really like the cleanser. It gets off my makeup and my face feels great after. I’ve been using the creme at night and my face feels a lot smoother so that’s a plus.

Dove – Advanced Care Antiperspirant/Deodorant with NutriumMoisture and the go fresh Revitalize Body Wash. I haven’t used either yet since I mostly use more natural deodorants but I’ll keep this for the days that I work out as I think it’s stronger than the natural deodorants. I’ll try the body wash when i’m done using the other wash that came in the box.

Jergens – Natural Glow Instant Sun Sunless Tanning Mousse – Deep Bronze. I’m excited to try this to even out legs but I’m nervous since it’s darker than I would normally try.

John Frieda – Frizz Ease Nourishing Oil Elixir. I’ll probably give this to a friend since I just bought a (more expensive) oil for my hair.

MD Complete – Even Tone & Texture Accelerator. I’ve used this a couple of times and I think it’s ok. It is hydrating but I’m not sure I am noticing more even skin.

Not Your Mother’s – Clean Freak Cleansing Conditioner. Haven’t tried this yet, but I do love Not Your Mother’s brand.

Physician’s Formula – Eye Booster Instant Lash Extension Kit. I was greatly intrigued by this since three step, fiber mascara is all the rage lately. And actually, this was the reason I bought the box since I knew this mascara alone is about $13 at the drugstore. I wore this during the weekend and gardened with this on and I have to stay, it never smudged or flaked and lasted all day.

Ponds – Rejuveness Anti-Wrinkle Cream. I already gave this to my mom. I do not like the smell of Ponds creams.

Revlon – PhotoReady Eye Art Lid + Line + Lash and Ultra HD Lipstick. I like the lid color of the Eye Art kit, but the sparkles? Nope. Won’t buy this again. And the lipstick is a color that does not go with my skin tone so maybe I’ll give that away too.

Secret – Outlast Clear Gel. I’ve actually been using this on days I’ve been gardening and doing yard work and it’s worked really, really well! Lasts all day.

Suave Professionals – Luxe Style Infusion Volumizing Weightless Blow Dry Spray and Sea Mineral Infusion Exfoliating Body Wash and Visible Glow Self-Tanning Body Lotion. I’ve used the Blow Dry Spray once since I don’t blow dry my hair often. It was ok – didn’t really feel like it did a whole lot. I really like the exfoliating wash. The scent is not overpowering at all. I think I’ll try the tanning lotion next.

Phew! What is that, 25 products for $45? Not shabby. It also came with a booklet explaining each product.

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What do you think? Want me to give you a heads up when this is available again next year?

The Magic of Getting Rid of Sh#$

I love podcasts. Love, love, love them! I listen to them on my commute to work, on walks, when I’m cleaning up or cooking dinner. One of my recent favorites is Atomic Moms which is two moms who talk honestly and openly about balancing it all. A recent episode I listened to “Life Changing Magic”  talked about that book. The one that is invading all of blogs and twitter. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. That one. I hadn’t heard of that book until I listened to the podcast. The funny thing is, after I listened to the podcast, I read Ashley’s reviews of the book and now I really want to read it!

The podcast inspired me with stories of getting rid of stuff that doesn’t bring you joy. Clothes, books, nick knacks, gifts from other people you don’t have use for, etc. I went home that afternoon and went to my closet and got rid of the clothes that I haven’t worn or that I have worn recently and I never feel happy wearing them. Soon my car looked like this:

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Two full bags of clothes to drop off at Salvation Army and I have another bag of clothes to bring to the consignment shop. After I was done, I had tons of hangers left and I had space on my closet shelves. My closet is now paired down to things I truly wear and it’s so much easier to not only put away my laundry each week, but getting dressed in the morning is a breeze.

Sure, I used to purge my closet a couple of times a year before. I tried the whole “if you haven’t worn it in a year, toss it!” saying. Oftentimes I found myself still hanging on to things and talking myself into keeping clothing I never ended up wearing. This time, I was more honest with myself and just threw pieces of clothing into my bags and truly let them go.

It’s been a few weeks since I did this and….I don’t miss any of it. There’s not a single piece of clothing I regret tossing. It’s freeing.

I still have to tackle the rest of my house, but little by little we will get there.

In Which I Complain About Snow and Other Updates

Hi! Long time no…write. If you live in New England or watch the news, I’m sure you know how much snow and bad weather we’ve gotten the past few months. This winter was terrible and it affected me in ways that weather hadn’t affected me before. I was moody, feeling blah and just had a lack of motivation. Being stuck inside and having to endure snowstorm after endless snowstorm just gave me and my family cabin fever. We are just finally starting to see all that snow melting and finding that, yes, we do indeed have a lawn!

What’s cute in December is not cute in late March. Winter is a Stage 5 Clinger.

A photo posted by tangiblehope (@tangiblehope) on Mar 28, 2015 at 4:55pm PDT

So that’s sort of why I took a blogging break. During that time, I picked up a new hobby! I started loom knitting. Knitting was always something I wish I took up when I was younger and even had various knitters in my life try to teach me, but I couldn’t get the hang of it. I read Jen Lancaster’s book and it inspired me. With a 50% off coupon in hand, I went to Michaels and picked up some looms and yarn and knit my first scarf! I was so impressed with myself and have since knit cowls and scarves and hats and headbands. Being stuck inside most of winter was a good excuse to sit on the couch, binge Downton Abbey and knit. It’s a great feeling of accomplishment to finish a piece, especially if it’s a gift for someone.

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We’ve also planned a couple of summer vacations! We are going to Canada to meet up with some great friends for a few days. This meant that we had to get passports (yeah, I haven’t left the country much!). It’s still weird to me that you need a passport to go to Canada but c’est la vie. Like my French, eh? We’re also going back to Disney World, which may be our last trip as a family of three. Nope, not pregnant, nor are we trying. But we’ve always had a desire to have one more child. With the cost of daycare it’s hard to afford two children in daycare at once. That would seriously be another mortgage payment. So we are trying to time it so that Emily will be starting Kindergarten.

During this time of waiting to start trying (I’ve learned a lot about patience!), I’ve been focusing on getting my eating habits and myself in shape. I gained some winter weight and finally faced the music as I saw my weight creep up. My motivation at the time was to be able to fit into the pretty bathing suits I bought last summer that I loved but they were already a size smaller than my usual size, and with my winter weight gain there was no way in hell they would fit me again. I logged back into myfitnesspal and started hitting the gym again. I also found a great app for strength training at home which I’ll have to write a post about! In the 3 weeks since I started this, I’ve lost close to 4 lbs but most importantly, I feel so much better!

So what’s new with you? I’m hoping to pop back in here this week with a couple of DIY projects we’ve done around the house lately, so look out for that!

Out of My Comfort Zone

I love to take pictures – you know that. Being behind the camera is my comfort zone, no doubt about it. I’ve been lucky enough to be hired to take pictures for other families and capture moments in time that they will cherish years from now. It’s why I do what I do.

Well, it’s time for me to update my website and pursue this hobby a bit more. Step one (for me) is to get some head shots done. I had a fresh haircut and a cute dress and a great location in mind. My little family and I trekked out there and I set my camera’s settings and stepped out of my comfort zone as my trusty assistant (aka my husband) took some photos of me. He did a really great job! I love how the pictures came out. Check them out.
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Adorable, right? I couldn’t resist getting some of my 3 year old too. In all her farmer’s market face painting glory.

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It was such a lovely day – the sun was shining bright, it was a tad too warm but this big birch tree provided tons of shade. It was a fun shoot even though I did get stung by a bee walking to the tree (it’s finally not hurting anymore!).

Lesson learned: take my camera out more and don’t be afraid to get in front of it!

June Update / July Goals

Another month has flown by! I have to say that I’m really loving having these goals out there. I feel like I’m more apt to keep to them and I love a little accountability. Let’s see how I did in June.

Read 3 books. Blew this one out of the water! I read 5 (!) books in June! I finished Paddle Your Own Canoe and Mockingjay as well as 3 others. My favorite was We are Water. We’ve had the TV off lots during June which allowed me to have more time to read. It’s definitely refreshing. We signed up Emily for a summer reading program too!

Declutter our bedroom. Nope – hasn’t happened. We enjoyed more time outside and at events on the weekends than working on decluttering. I should save this for cooler months anyways.

At least 1 beach day and 1 hike with my family. Half done. We bought a yearly pass to the state beaches and parks and went to the beach in June. Still need to make it to that hike.

JulyGoalsGather up some craft supplies to sell. I don’t have as much time to devote to making cards and scrap booking as I used to and I have a ton of stamps and other accouterments sitting on shelves and in boxes. I might as well gather some together to sell somewhere.

Get our house powerwashed. We found a really great guy to do it, just needs to be scheduled. It will be so nice when our house is sparkling again.

Have an awesome vacation. We have friends visiting for a week in July and it’s going to be a good time. I hope to edit/share photos from that week before the month ends!

Read 3 books. I know that I read 5 in June and I really should up this number but with vacation and other things going on, I want to keep it realistic.

May Update / June Goals

Let’s see how May went, shall we?

Read 4 books. Fail! I only read one…and it was an audiobook. I started 4 books in May but never had the attention span to actually finish any of them! Summer hits and so do the outdoor projects and activities and that’s my excuse. Woops.

Schedule a dentist appointment for EmilyJust realizing that I have a message out to the dentist and haven’t heard back about an appointment and it’s been 6 days so I need to follow-up on this. So this one is in progress. Turns out they didn’t get back to me because they’re not accepting new patients but we’ve scheduled Emily for Scott’s dentist instead.

Plant my garden. Done! I have cukes, tomatoes (two heirloom) and herbs all planted. We also planted some flowers and some perennials but I have one or two more planters I need to finish.

Keep my phone somewhere else when I get home.Sort of? Not too great on this. Some days I was, some days I wasn’t.

June 2014 Goals

Read 3 books. I’m going to keep doing monthly reading goals because I’ve committed to reading more this year. I’m in the middle of one audio book (Mockingjay) and one ebook (Paddle Your Own Canoe). Let’s see if I can keep it up!

Declutter our bedroom. Last month I finally put away laundry…I seriously hadn’t done that all year. When I got frustrated with not having space in my closet or drawers for all the clothes, I started purging. Two garbage bags later, I rid my closet of clothes that made me feel dumpy and frumpy when I wore them. I still have two more drawers to go through before I feel I’m complete with this task. The bedroom has also become a place where we stick old furniture and things without a home so those pieces need to leave this month – whether they go into the basement for storage or donate them somewhere. I’m reclaiming my space!

At least 1 beach day and 1 hike with my family. We’ve wanted to get a pass to all the state parks and I think this year is the year. It pays for itself after 3 beach visits so we might as well. There’s a great hiking trail near our home that we haven’t been on this year yet so June will be it!