The Hard Days

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You know those days where you are so utterly exhausted as a parent because everything seemed to work against you from the moment you woke up? I had one of those not too long ago (chances are good it was a Monday). I don’t even remember the details of the day except it’s likely the morning began in the 4 or 5’oclock hour, which happens oftentimes with my youngest. I’m sure the rest of the day involved an argumentative 5-year-old, siblings fighting over every little thing, errands that needed run, and maybe a sickness or two. I honestly can’t even recall. But I do know it was one of those nights where my husband had an event that would go past bedtime. So I was on my own with the kids and the day seemed to last an eternity. Continue reading “The Hard Days”

My daily makeup routine

On any given weekday, I am likely to use the same spread of products for a quick look – and by quick look, I mean “I have 5 minutes to throw all of these items on my face.” And now that my daughter is in school every day, there is so much else to get done that I feel I have even less time than I used to. But I feel that it is important I get myself ready for the day, because it is part of taking care of myself. Continue reading “My daily makeup routine”

Self-Care Redefined

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The term ‘self-care’ has been used all over lately – I see it hash-tagged on Instagram, in quotes on the Internet, and in so many other places.  I think for some, it can have negative connotations – especially in the parenting world.  For me, though, self-care was a term in my vocabulary years before I became a mother.  But it means something totally different to me now. Continue reading “Self-Care Redefined”

Looking and Feeling Your Best

IMG_4844For me, part of self-care has been spending time on myself each day to look and feel my best – which can be quite challenging with little ones!  Somewhere along the way in my motherhood journey, I stopped caring quite as much about hair, makeup, fashion and working out.  It wasn’t that I let myself go, but I just couldn’t muster up the time or energy once my second baby arrived.  I found myself in my ‘mom uniform’ of yoga pants and a tee pretty much every day with little to no makeup. Continue reading “Looking and Feeling Your Best”

Pretty Little Boxes

The other day a girlfriend asked me if I had ever heard of Birchbox, the subscription service that delivers a box of beauty and lifestyle samples for the reasonable price of $10/month.  I had, in fact, heard of Birchbox – my husband and I had subscribed for a few months earlier in the year.  Neither of us were blown away with the items we received, so we cancelled our service after maybe 3 or 4 boxes.  It got me thinking, though, what are some of the things we can do that promote self-care and a thought for ourselves in the midst of busyness?  Besides carving out time to be alone, what are some small, tangible ways to create that value?

What is it that brings joy for only YOU?  What’s your guilty pleasure that puts a smile on your face?  I encourage you to find whatever that may be and bring some of it into your life.

I don’t know what it is about receiving things in the mail that makes me giddy with excitement, but I think Birchbox was revolutionary in promoting such a service.  I personally just felt they fell a little short in the product selection.  I wanted more beauty products like lip gloss or mascara samples, but what I mostly received were skincare products, candles and chocolates.  Fortunately, there are about a million other boxes available to subscribe to.  And thanks to Sarah at bitsandboxes.com, you don’t have to do any of the research yourself.  She’s done it all for you!

I love her recent post on Fabletics, Kate Hudson’s workout line.  For $49.99 a month, you’re able to choose a 2 or 3 piece workout outfit, according to Sarah (and your first outfit is only $25!).  Sounds great to me.  I’ve heard nothing but amazing reviews about Fabletics so far.

If workout gear isn’t your thing, have no fear – Sarah has you covered.  This is her list of several other box subscriptions, from beauty boxes like IpsyGlossybox and Julep, to The Honest Company to Just Add Honey (teas) and Love with Food (organic and all-natural snacks).  There is a box for anything these days.

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{photo c/o ipsy.com}

Of course, you can also subscribe to a magazine and that’s fun to receive too!  I love when I get my Real Simple each month – I’ll try to make time to sit and browse it when the kids are asleep or my husband is playing with them.  I know I’ll be getting a few other subscriptions too, when my stepson’s school fundraising begins.  At least this is one obligatory purchase that will keep on giving, instead of sitting at the back of my fridge like the cookie dough I bought last time.

As I mentioned before, it may be as simple as a drink from Starbucks that makes you smile, or maybe even a new pair of earrings on your routine Target run.  At the end of the day, it’s nice to feel valued and to know that you made yourself a priority, even if in a small way.  Obviously, we all have our own budgets and interests, but I encourage you to do whatever it is that feeds your soul on a daily (and perhaps, monthly) basis.

 

 

 

 

Monday Mantra

My mantra lately:

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I need to practice what I preach this week!  It’s been long days lately – I think summertime messes with routines a bit.  Plus more daylight means longer days I guess?  Oh, and it doesn’t help my 3-year-old is fighting the nap lately – nooo!  The dreaded dropping of the nap!!  I have wondered and worried when that would come to fruition.

I went to Michael’s over the weekend with my family to get some supplies for a few fun projects around the house.  I’ve been feeling the itch to get a few things hung and some projects accomplished.  I think that will help me to get my creative juices flowing.  I plan to involve my daughter for one of them, which will be a fun thing to do together.

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I was able to get to Nordstrom for their anniversary sale last week and purchased a few fun things – the best one being this ‘Pale Pink’ blush by, of course, Bobbi Brown:

photoThe MM and L girls have always recommended it and give a great tutorial in this video – along with Bobbi’s Shimmer Brick in bronze which I love too!

Hope everyone has a great Monday!

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.