Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Great Mascara + Cheap Price = Fabulous

This Jordana mascara is at Walgreens. I paid maybe $3 for it and it works better than high end ones I have used.

Below is a shot of a single swipe of the mascara on the left side compared to nothing on the right.
Hope that helps you save a few bucks while we all recover from holiday spending. And yes, I wear a blue turban while getting ready in the morning.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The perfect red lip

    Christmas is almost here. I adore Christmastime and will continue to fully immerse myself in the season over these next few days. However, I did want to touch base with all of you on one particular subject.
Red lips.
   Do you wear red lips this time of year? Do you ever wear red lips? I always, always, always admire the women rocking the red but have tried and tried to no avail to wear it myself. Whenever I look at myself in the mirror after application I seemed to fall into one of two categories.  One, a small child playing with her mother's lipstick or two, a clown that has escaped the circus. It doesn't help matters that my husband (who usually admires what I wear) shakes his head and smiles that "I wish you weren't wearing THAT color" smile.
    Below are the three red colors I own, all of which I admired so much on strangers that I asked them what they had on and then hunted it down and purchased it. Now that is true admiration. Have no fear, at some point I will be wearing red lips...maybe tomorrow is my day since it is CHRISTMAS EVE!!! Until I get up the guts to take the red lips out of my bathroom here are a few colors for you brave ones to test out. 

Rimmel 850 Rouge (worn by a stunning worker at Anthropolgie)
MAC Ruby Woo (worn by one of my favorite bloggers, this one looks marvelous in photographs)
Shiseido RD 607 (worn by one of the mothers in my son's kindergarten class)

Pale skin has its perks, look how true to color those swatches are!
Left to right: Shiseido, MAC, Rimmel

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Cookies

We made Christmas cookies. It was a total blast. The kids blew me away with their ability to do it all with minimal help. Not sure how I feel about that aspect of it. Anyway a few shots....and then the bad news....

Judah got sick the next day which meant we could not share any of the cookies with anyone as we had planned. Boo. Oh well. At least we are over that hump in the road. (fingers crossed)
Hope you are enjoying some festive activities.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


“I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow, the million moving shapes and cul-de-sacs of shadow. There was shadow in bureau drawers and closets and suitcases, and shadow under houses and trees and stones, and shadow at the back of people's eyes and smiles, and shadow, miles and miles and miles of it, on the night side of the earth.”
― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar  

Thursday, December 11, 2014


If you are scurrying about looking for the perfect gift...look no further. I chanced upon this lovely website over on the blog of beautiful Shalice, who you should be following if you are not.
The booties!!  Timeless, unique, well made, on SALE! I know they are a bit pricey, but please remember they are well made shoes that will last for years to come. Get them before they are gone. If I had not blown my stash on gifts already I would be scooping a pair up rather than posting this blog.
And for your drooling pleasure, a few of my personal favorites.

All images taken from www.mattbernson.com

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Kid Craft: Watercolor Gift Tags

Especially during this time of year it is fun to involve your little ones in creating special touches on anything and everything. The other day, while painting, I was joined by my 5 year old and 2 year old, which is a very normal occurrence around here.  I try to let them join in on the activities I am able so I watched with self restraint as my two year old slopped my beautiful watercolor paints all over my pricey watercolor paper. "Kids should be allowed to use nice things", I kept repeating in my head as I watched her chat away while filling the blank white with color here and there. No perceived order to her painting or obvious color choices...nothing I was excited to hang on my refrigerator, but would because I love her. Then I had an idea.
About two weeks ago I purchased this wonderful tag punch. I have used it so many times I already got my 50% off total purchase price out of it. If you enjoy gift wrapping or embellishing then this item was made with you in mind. Vera's sweet little painting was cut-up and punched out and low and behold these stunning gift tags were created.
I love them. You don't have to because I do. I love the colors she chose, I love the freedom of stroke, but most of all I love that she had the biggest hand in creating them. She was rather proud of her ability when I showed her the finished product. I cannot wait to top presents with her creation. And truth be told, I tried to recreate them for my sale and found myself marveling at her superiority at choosing color pairings and effortless beauty. It is always special when you stumble across your child's ability in unknown areas.
So, if you are looking for a fun craft to do with your little ones then you have an option.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Jolliest

Life is good. And until I have some sort of rhythm back in my days I leave you with this photo of my baby girl...who was made for this shirt for obvious reasons. Hope you're getting your jolly on.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Blush of the Season

 Below you will see my all time favorite blush brush and my current favorite blush of the season. Both are available at Ulta and the brush is even on sale right now! The blush is called Tea Rose and is made by the company NYX. It is under $10 and you can always find a coupon for it. I enjoy it for this time of year because it is a cream. A cream blush stays longer (on my skin) and gives a softer glow to the skin than a powder blush. It can be tricky to apply a cream blush (at least that is what I have heard from other ladies) but it is an easy skill to master. Sometimes I feel like women give up learning skills in makeup when they pursuing learning to do so many things in life. Cream blush should really not be a hurdle for us ladies, I mean really.
I am keeping it short and sweet because I have a to-do list a mile long...but I did want to let you know I am still alive....and wearing blush.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Current Favorite: Necklace

I was trying on clothing at Evereve (formally known as Hot Mama), a rare occasion only made possible by birthday money. As I returned to my dressing room with an armful of goodies the sweet sales lady held out her hand to the clothing I already had placed in my room, "Hope you don't mind but I accessorized the clothes you picked out. It is a slow night and is fun for me to do."

Of course I didn't mind, she was especially kind and since I knew I was not going to be purchasing any of these beautiful necklaces it was not a problem. I am a pretty die hard fan of Forever21 and Charming Charlie jewelry since their prices are cheap and for the most part I cannot tell the hugest difference between their stuff and the expensive stuff.

Then I saw this necklace. I took the bait and tried it on with a shirt that was just an "eh" shirt. Bam. Loved the shirt, it suddenly appeared polished and hip...all because of that little necklace. I tried it on with a few other tops and then, in a final attempt to convince myself it was a pass I put it on with my original outfit.

So good.

I pulled the trigger and already know is going to be one of my closet staples. As I dressed this morning was excited solely because I knew I got to top it off with this lovely gem.

It hits all the right notes
1. classy but set apart enough to not be boring
2. lightweight ( I made the mistake of purchasing a very heavy necklace once and have worn it all of no times)
3. great color-but a neutral that can go literally with anything
4. dress up, dress down-it works with both looks

And now, without further adieu the necklace.

I tried to link up to it on Evereve's website but cannot find it....sooooo you just might want to go to a store and check. They have it in a silver as well and I just might need to get it too.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Aeropress: How To Use

I enjoy coffee more than any other drink out there. To me the whole experience of brewing and drinking a cup is comforting and therapeutic. I own five different devices that I can brew coffee with and enjoy each of them for different reasons.
Recently on Instagram my friend Dar asked if I had used an Aeropress. She and her husband (a coffee snob-her words not mine) used this mode of brewing and said it was amazing. I googled "aeropress" within ten seconds of reading her comment and found a trail of people praising this as the best way to make a cup of joe. And the real kicker, super fast execution, reasonably priced gadget. I was sold.
I bought one for Nate's birthday (which is also my birthday, I know crazy) because he shares this coffee obsession with me...(sidenote: the man didn't drink coffee until we started dating...just another reason I picked a winner!!).
The hype is valid.
Go get yourself one or come over and I will brew you up a cup.
It won't take long, just 30 seconds.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Hand and Cloth

It is getting to that time of year when all anyone really wants to do is snuggle up on a couch with a blanket in front of a fire.
I don't have a fireplace anymore and my heart is still recovering so let's move on from that picture portion.
A couch and blanket I do have and boy do I plan on spending some quality time snuggling on it with my babes and hubby. Blankets can be a tricky thing, I would never have thought it but I can be kinda particular about what I am wrapping myself up in. Whenever I ask Nate for a blanket he always prefaces bringing it to me by asking..."Your favorite one?"
I guess I have a favorite. I also prefer a certain side of it over the other one-but trust me I am not as high maintenance in all areas of my life (I hope!).
I rarely purchase blankets and to be completely honest I think every single blanket (besides baby ones) we have in our home was given to us. It just never occurd to me to buy one.
And then I saw these beauties......and the thought did indeed occur to me.
all images taken from here
Those colors. Those patterns. Be still my beating heart.
They also have stockings. Nailing it on every level. I purchased one for each of us last year and will add one more since sweet Eliza needs one. The stockings are my favorite part of our Christmas decorations they are so entirely my style! So if you need a new blanket or stockings I suggest you order from here, their cause is as beautiful as their blankets.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A snapshot of today...

I feel like today this is a good picture of my life.

Trying to have order and accomplish things but realizing I have four small children who want to be just that, small children. I pick up, they play with put away toys. I sit down, they need something. I try to have a moment alone, they happily join me. I want to relax, they want to go go go. I want to daydream about decorating for the holidays, they want to live in the present.
Yes-I know you can relate to this...if you have children or not. This is kinda how life happens. Not always in opposition to itself but often enough. And life is meant to be lived and I believe enjoyed (as far as one is able) so I am going to try to marry these two perspectives of what a Saturday should look like. I know it will involve disappointment on both sides but I am optimistic it will involve some satisfaction on both sides as well.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

a discount and tip

About a month ago I went to the Anthropologie store opening in Naperville. I purchased the sweater below for $100 plus tax. Ouch. After coming home and thinking about it for a while, I decided to return it. For me $100 is a lot to drop on a single clothing item! (hello, I could buy a whole new wardrobe at resale shops for that!!) I did miss having the sweater though and kept it in my basket online to check to see if the price ever dropped. And to my delight it did-and then to sweeten the pot today they are running a promo for 20% off of all sweaters (even sale sweaters!!). I called the store to see if they had my size in stock so I could save on shipping and handling. But they didn't.
Did you know if they don't have your size in store they will have it shipped to your house FOR FREE!? (some of you are probably saying...duh, yeah we knew that...wish you had told me!)
Sooooo I'm feeling pretty proud of myself for waiting a month.
And if you have been eyeing any sweaters there you just might want to get them now.
image taken from here

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

adding mature sparkle

Honestly overall I am not a fan of glitter on a woman. It too often reads childish for me.  However, I have discovered a way glitter looks good on any woman, no matter what their age. Nail polish. Not the big white chunks of glitter you find on the painted fingers of young girls, but the more refined shimmer.
 Zoya Pixi Dust nail polish reads sparkly without reading kid. It has a level of sophistication to it because it has a matte finish rather than a shiny one. The Pixi Dust is to be layered over any polish and left without a top coat. It has a gritty feel to it, almost like a sandpaper once dried. My favorite way to wear the Pixi Dust is in a neutral shade over a similar hue of polish. Below I paired Zoya's Pixi Dust in Godiva with Chanel's Trapeze and the end result is just what I like. Festive and eye catching but not "senior prom", if you know what I mean. I plan on wearing this combo a few times for the coming holidays. Do you have any polish selections you go to for celebrating this time of year?