Friday Faves

What I’m reading, loving, cooking and wearing this week:

  • Because I worked in entertainment news, this one was fun for me to hear – Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes are expecting a baby together.  Besides the obvious love most of us women share for Gosling, I happen to adore Eva Mendes.  I met her once at a press junket and she could not have been sweeter.  That’s going to be one gorgeous baby!
  • Saw this post re: ’15 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy’ and thought it’s definitely worth sharing.  Still struggling continually with number 6.  Especially this week.
  • Camo at Lululemon!  This print sold out quickly when released a few months ago but they brought it back due to popular demand!  They also have racerbacks in the same print if that’s more your thing.

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 [photo credit: lululemon.com]

  • My favorite makeup blogger is starting a new series on Eyeshadow School – important stuff, people!  I, for one, am super excited for some new techniques.
  • This is a pretty awesome writeup on Reasons to Blog.  They’re all pretty compelling and although I’m still a newbie, I’m already finding many of them to be true.
  • It was a week of very simple dinners and this one did the job for Thursday.  I know I overdo zoodles but they’re healthy, quick, and satisfying!  That’s just zucchini ‘spiraled’ with sautéed pesto chicken sausage topped with a white cheese mix.

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  • And this pretty much sums up my week – a challenging one with a clingy, teething babe, a preschooler protesting swim lessons and shuffling 3 children around from place to place.  So happy the weekend is finally here!  Have a good one!

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Fashion Forward

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Over the past year, I’ve been working on weeding out old items from my closet and slowly replacing them with higher quality, more versatile pieces that will last longer.  You may wonder what, if anything, this has to do with self care.  I think that as a stay at home mom it’s been hard for me to buy things for myself, knowing I’m not bringing home a physical paycheck.  So I would skimp and buy inexpensive things or not much at all.  It wasn’t that my husband minded.  In fact, he’s always encouraged me to buy things for myself – it’s me who has held back for some reason.  Well, not anymore!

For one, I’m done having babies and that helps a lot, not being in an “in between” size anymore.  I hesitated in between pregnancies spending too much on any one item because I didn’t know what my body would be like going forward.  Now that I’m confident our family is complete, I feel like I can make more of an investment in my wardrobe.  And as I’ve mentioned, I’ve come to the realization l feel better about myself when I put together an outfit rather than don my typical mom uniform of workout clothes.  Those are best saved for ‘staying at home’ – a misnomer for me because it’s something I rarely do.  And lastly, I have changed my mindset about feeling I shouldn’t splurge just because I don’t bring home a paycheck.  What I do all day long is hard work!

I started reading up on fashion blogs to get a feel for which items are essential pieces and work well with several different ensembles.  I still have a lot of work to do in this department but little by little, I’ve made some progress.  The past few date nights I actually felt like I had some clothes and shoe options to work with!  Prior to that, I was always changing at the last minute, trying to find something more flattering or that better fit the occasion.

What to do with the discard pile?  I’ve sold many items at consignment stores and through Poshmark, an app I have on my phone similar to ebay but just for women’s fashions.  Some went to goodwill, of course, and another pile went to a girlfriend.

Another option is donating to Fashion Project and receiving a $40 gift card to Nordstrom for every five designer items you send in.  This one’s a double win because they also sell your clothes and donate part of the proceeds to a charity of your designation.

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[photo credit: fashionproject.com]

As I’ve gotten rid of older clothes, I’ve been shopping here and there to fill in the gaps as our budget allows.  One thing I’ve been on the hunt for is dresses now that it’s warmer.  But without going out and spending upwards of $100 for each one, I’ve been hitting up consignment stores instead.  On one recent trip (sans children) I scored 8 pieces and paid just $90.  Two of the items were new with tags – such a steal.  I forgot how much you can find at stores like these – I guess I need to frequent them more often!

Another way to add quality pieces without breaking the bank is shopping at stores like Nordstrom Rack and Marshall’s – also don’t forget to check out gilt.com and Rue La La for discounted prices on designer items.

I’ve really enjoyed the process and have come away with a few shopping dates with girlfriends as a result.  It’s fun being creative and most importantly, knowing I value myself to put time and effort into ‘me’ each day!

 

Top Ten Tuesday

1.  I’ve been really craving smoothies lately – so refreshing in this heat!  I’m can’t wait to try this one soon.  I’m a fan of anything with almond butter.

2.  If your hair could use some moisturizing from excess sun exposure and pool time, try It’s a 10 miracle leave-in product.  They’re not lying when they say it’s a 10!

3.  I’m hoping to hop on the kimono bandwagon soon.  I fell in love with this Pinterest outfit and also this look on andeelayne.blogspot.com.

4.  Longing for a good summer novel?  Check out Emily Griffin’s latest – I haven’t started it yet, but I’ve read all her other books.  Always a quick and enjoyable read!

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[photo credit: emilygriffin.com]

5.  If you’re out of recipe ideas and love seafood, this one is a staple in my house – only 6 or so ingredients and super easy to put together.  I tend to gravitate toward light dishes for summer.

6.  I can’t get enough of the Boho fringe look – I’m currently coveting this bag I saw on OC Style Report’s instagram.

7.  The Moscow Mule has been a popular drink in this house lately – complete with these copper mugs!  If you’re going to do it, do it right.  Told you my hubby takes drink making seriously!

8.  If we host a party any time soon, this platter is an absolute necessity!  Can you say heaven?  My mouth won’t stop watering.

9.  I’m not a huge DIY-er, but I’m kinda dying to make one of these with my husband’s help.  You should see the condition of my jewelry at the moment.  I need some organization!

10. I love this picture and quote.  Hopeful with endless possibilities…a nice place to be.

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[photo credit: blog.freepeople.com]

I hope everyone has a great Tuesday!!

 

Summer Lovin’

Summer has me lovin’ lots of fun beauty and clothing items – here are a few standouts!

Bobbi Brown blush in Apricot – it was love at first sight!  I adore how the color brightens up my face. Definitely my new favorite.

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Okay, this mascara is hands down the best.  I don’t know why it took me so long to try it.  The girl at the Benefit counter at Macy’s told me it’s the number one mascara in the world and they sell one every five seconds.  SOLD.  She was right – this mascara coupled with my eyelash curler is a-ma-zing.  Finally, a mascara that delivers.

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Bobbi Brown BB Cream.  Of all the makeup products I own, Bobbi definitely dominates the bunch.  Love her BB Cream – it goes on easily, offers great coverage, and is comparable in price to other BB Creams.

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Franco Sarto ‘Divine’ wedges – I have been on the hunt for a classic black wedge for some time.  These are not only adorable, but they’re a great price and sooo comfortable.  And I hardly ever wear heels so that’s saying something.

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St. Tropez  Self Tan Mousse.  A friend turned me onto this last summer.  It distributes pretty evenly, covers well and the color lasts a few days.  I feel so much better with a little color on my skin!

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NYX Matte Lipstick in Hippy Chic – I love, love, love this color!  I’ve been into NYX lipsticks for awhile…they’re affordable at $6 apiece and they’re super moisturizing with good pigment.  This is such a fun summer color!

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Mom Makeup

Over the past year, makeup has become a bigger part of my daily routine. As I mentioned, I feel it is part of taking good care of myself to do my hair and makeup just like I did when I was driving to a physical job each day.  I have always done some makeup, but in the last year and a half or so, I’ve started following blogs on the subject to learn proper application. My favorite makeup blogger is Cara Brook, who runs the site, maskcara.com.  I’ve learned what highlighting and contouring can do for your face and tips on what to do differently for family photo sessions.  She also is great about giving drugstore recommendations and when it’s best to splurge on a quality product, which I appreciate.

One of my favorite and most applicable Maskcara videos is her four minute everyday makeup look – some days, let’s face it, that’s about all we have in the morning (or afternoon!) to spend on our faces.  Cara is a mom herself, so she gives a very practical way to get your face done with children at home to care for.  I hope you find her makeup tips as helpful as I have!

 

 

Bronze Beautifying

Last month, a girlfriend and I went to a Nordstrom makeup event, where we received hour-long makeovers by Bobbi Brown artists.  I love stopping by their counter from time to time to get some good tips, but this was even better, in that it was an hour long!  Plus, the cocktails and girl conversation we got to have beforehand made the day so fun!  I had plans that night to go to a fancy restaurant, and having my face done by a professional made getting ready so easy.

I purchased a few Bobbi products that day, but my bronze Shimmer Brick compact is by far my favorite.  Especially for summer, I love the glow it adds to my face.  I was still a little bit unsure on how to use it, but this awesome MM&L video gave me the perfect tutorial.  If you haven’t subscribed to the MM&L channel on youtube, don’t wait!  These girls’ videos on mostly makeup and hair are so addicting and help people like me who are pretty clueless when it comes to these things.

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Also, I noticed that Shimmer Brick is on sale at Nordstrom right now!  It’s the perfect addition to your summer makeup routine.