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”

Tuesday Favorites

A little Tuesday roundup of some of my faves and on my list to grab:

  • MKZara Body Curve jeggings – the best part about these jeans is how comfortable they are and the second best part is the price.  At $39.95 you can’t go wrong.
  • Michael Kors ‘Josephine’ wedge – I own other Michael Kors shoes and absolutely adore them.  I hear this wedge is the most comfortable one around.
  • Alex and Ani stackable charm bangle.  I own two of these (starfish and butterfly), and they are my go-to for day and night.  Hopefully, I’ll be adding this feather bangle to my collection soon.

Continue reading “Tuesday Favorites”

Top Ten Tuesday: August 5

1.  If you’re a Costco addict (like no one in this house), this is a great write-up on items that truly are cheaper there – including a Dyson vacuum, which has seriously changed my life this year.  Did I just say that about a vacuum?

2.  It’s our family picture shoot in a few weeks, so time for a refill on my Makeup Forever HD Foundation – never take photos without it!  Definitely going to re-read these tips for taking a great photo.

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3.  Too lazy to stop by the jewelry store to clean your rings, like me?  Try this easy DIY method using dishwashing soap and a toothbrush.

4.  Sorry, but this pic is just amazing – we are planning a Fall trip to NYC next year…really wish it was this year!

5.  Today is the last day to enter the Lookbook Store contest on Andee Layne’s blog – would love to win one of those prizes!  But even without winning, the pieces at Lookbook are super cute and totally affordable.

6.  We’ve been soaking up the summer sun and going on many an adventure these last few weeks before school starts back up.

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7.  In doing that, I’ve been keeping this quote at the forefront of my mind.  ‘Cause inevitably, plans will end up changing with little ones in tow!

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8.  Can you say genius?  Need this ASAP.  I’m a bubble bath indulger – definitely part of my self-care routine.

9.  Despite my recent epiphany about social media, this was too good to not repin on Pinterest:

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10.  So glad I came across this article from Women’s Health re: 7 Things No One Told You About Caffeine – they further support and justify my addiction.  Phew!

Hope everyone has a fantastic week!

XO, 

Monica

 

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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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!

 

 

Self-Care 101

If you’re not quite sure what I mean by this term ‘self-care’ I’ve been throwing around, I’ve put together a little list of what it means to me.  Since becoming a mother, I really feel the importance of caring for myself in a new way.  Before I had children, I was already practicing taking care of myself by listening to my body in new ways, getting regular massages, creating healthy meals I could savor, having a bubble bath with a glass of wine on a Saturday night instead of going out.  I consider all of these ways to honor my body and slow down if that’s what I feel my body calling me to do.  Even when I became pregnant with my first child, I still did a pretty good job of it all – prenatal massages, yoga, regular exercise, walks on the beach, meditation days, you name it.  But it’s crazy – the minute that baby is born, you don’t know what hit you! All of a sudden it became 95% about the baby and 5% me – OVERNIGHT.   When they say nothing prepares you for having your own child, boy, is it the truth! I was shocked I couldn’t find the time to get a shower – it’s five minutes, what the heck!? Cook dinner? Forget it.

Over time I learned a new normal and figured things out, of course. But in that process I didn’t spend enough time on me. I spent every waking moment of the day making sure my baby’s needs were met. This meant sometimes forgoing my own basic needs. Yes, I realize this is parenthood, but for me, I had started to neglect myself in many ways.  I finally realized what was awry and started to make some changes. I joined a gym.  I signed up for a mom’s group at church that included childcare so I could have adult conversation and a meal I could actually savor. I started getting a sitter in the day sometimes so I could get out alone and my husband and I began going out on more dates. Over time, I could definitely see my old self shining through again.

Here is a list of the self-care practices I use regularly:

1. Deep breathing.  Take a breath.  Exhale slowly.  Do it again.  I especially find this useful when I’m having a trying moment with my toddler.  I simply breathe.  Okay, I pray sometimes too.  But these deep breaths keep me from saying something I’ll potentially regret!  Age 3 is testing me like no other!  If you take a breath, it buys you some time to think before you speak and centers you a bit.

2.  Do something childlike.  This may sound sorta weird, but I find coloring or making collages with my daughter incredibly therapeutic.  I recently took her on a “girl date” where we spent all morning together and my favorite part of the day was swinging side by side at a park and imagining the play structures were castles.  It takes me back to a childlike freedom and helps me avoid thinking of any to-do lists or adult things for a short time.

3.  Yoga.  I wish I could say I practiced this lately, but I haven’t.  Not for several months.  But when I do, I feel so connected to myself and my body in a way I can’t describe.  Breathing into my body while moving and flowing – there is nothing like it!  I’m sure for some of you running has that same release for you.  I’ve never been a runner, but I certainly understand the mind/body connection that must come from it.

4.  Limit media access.  I’ve said before that I am not a huge fan of social media.  For some reason it just makes me feel worse sometimes.  If I’m feeling I need to really take care of myself, I find that it’s good to limit media in general but especially social media.  Personal connections are more meaningful and feed my soul in a way that, thankfully, Facebook and Instagram can’t.

5.  A hot bath.  I’m such a fan of the bubble bath.  I could sit in one for the whole night, I think.  Take a magazine and/or a glass of wine and just sit back and relax.  There is nothing like it.  Pure heaven.

6.  Put on makeup, do your hair, and dress in something other than workout gear.  My stay at home mom attire of yoga pants and a tee were cozy, yes, but I didn’t feel like my best self.  I’ve started putting together fun outfits with accessories and I notice a change in my demeanor when I know I look my best.  This is not to say I don’t sport my old mom uniform from time to time still, but I really do try and put together a fun outfit most days.

7.  Book a sitter (or trade with another mother) and get a pedi, go on a walk, get a massage, go shopping.  Even if it is running errands alone, you’ll feel refreshed from not having to meet anyone else’s needs but yours for a little while!

8.  Ask for help if you need it.  Seriously.  Being a mom is no easy task.  Laundry piles up, your to-do list makes you want to cry, and the whining and nagging nearly send you into hysterics.  If you have family nearby, ask them for help.  That’s what family is for.  If not family, then ask a friend.  I have asked friends for help so many times when in a pinch or having a hard time.  No one minds!  We have all been there.

9.  Meditation and/or Prayer.  When I was living in Los Angeles, I was blessed to be a part of a great group of girls led by close friend and author, Kristin Ritzau.  Every week, Kristin led us through some sort of meditation or contemplative prayer in her living room.  I also attended many of Kristin’s retreats, where I was able to connect to myself and God in new ways each time.  My favorite thing has always been walking a labyrinth – I always feel God speak to me in a profound way in this prayer walk.  For other meditation tools and ways to connect with yourself and God, check out Kristin’s spiritual direction page.  I often practice one of more of these tools to center myself if I’m feeling overwhelmed with life.

10.  Realize that you’re not perfect and you’re allowed to have bad days.  It’s important for your children to see this too.  I have a friend who said she had a hard time in life when she realized everything wasn’t perfect all the time, like her parents had let on.  The disappointments of life felt overwhelming to her.  It’s ok and even healthy to model that mom does not always say the right things or handle each situation perfectly.  This modeling gives your children permission to fall apart in a safe place if need be.  As a parent, this has been a hard concept for me to grasp.  I’m a recovering perfectionist and I have to accept it’s okay to show my kids my true self, even if it isn’t always pretty.  I went through an intense 12-step recovery for perfectionists, also led by Kristin.  Her book, A Beautiful Mess, is a must-read for perfectionists who are exhausted from trying to keep it all together.

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I’m so thankful for this journey of self-care I’ve been on.  Without it, I can’t imagine where I would be.  My kids thankfully get to see my best, imperfect self on a daily basis, and I know the three of us are better off for it.

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.