Monday, November 12, 2018

Beauty Basics for the Makeup Beginner

I recently did a questionnaire on Instagram about what you guys want to see here on the blog and one of the most requested topics was makeup!  I have a bunch of make up posts planned for you girls but I figured I would take it back to the very beginning and start with the basics.  Shortly after I had Roman, I realized that I hadn't worn make up or hardly even fixed my hair in what seemed like years.  I had the boys only 18 months apart and somewhere between the back to back pregnancies, I sort of lost myself.  I desperately wanted to feel like myself again and get a little confidence back that I lost.  When I went to do my make up, I quickly realized that I was completely lost with the new trends.  Highlight and contour was now a thing, I had never worn lipstick before and all of my eye shadow palettes were several years old.  So, I was starting from square one with learning how to do makeup again and building my collection.  I have learned a lot since then but still love to do a very minimal look sometimes!
So let's get to it! Everything I used for this simple "everyday" make up look is in this post.  It's quick, easy and doesn't require many products.  The products I used are a combination of budget friendly beginner products and tried and true staples that I can't stray away from.  This look is very minimal and great for those who still want to wear something on their face to feel a little more put together.

1. Foundation
Foundation can really be a personal preference.  I have used high end foundation and budget friendly.  One of my favorites and one that I am currently using is the L'oreal Infallible Pro-Matte 24HR Foundation.  It's great coverage, not too heavy but also buildable, and my favorite part is that you can pick it up right at the grocery store.

2. Concealer / Highlight
I have talked about this before but my absolute staple for under eyes and hiding my dark circles is Tarte Shape Tape.  IT. IS. THE. BEST.  Fantastic coverage and great for brightening up your under eye.  If you are using this as a concealer and highlight, you will want to go quite a few shades lighter to really brighten up.

3. Bronzer / Contour
On days where I do minimal makeup, I use bronzer as my go-to for as much as I can.  I use it to contour, warm up my face a little and as my blush as well.  It helps to simplify products used and cuts out a few steps too.  Great for a quick makeup routine on busy days.  I've been using Rimmel Bronzer that I picked up at Walgreens recently and love it for a budget friendly option. 

4. Eye shadow
My absolute favorite brand for eye shadow palettes is Urban Decay.  They have several palettes within their Naked line which is made up of the perfect neutral tones that are great for beginners or anyone who is on the timid side when it comes to adding color into your makeup routine.  This was one of the first things I bought when I decided to upgrade my beauty products and I still use these palettes almost every time I do my makeup.  For this look I used the Urban Decay Naked2 Basics.  

5. Mascara
Just like foundation, this is a personal preference.  I have really tricky eye lashes that are somewhat stubborn when it comes to a lift so when I find a mascara that I like, I stick with it. This Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara by L'oreal is FANTASTIC!

6. Setting Spray
Setting spray is something that I added to my beauty routine about a year ago and I haven't looked back since.  Urban Decay's All Nighter is a great one.  My makeup stays right in place all day and the travel sized bottle has lasted me forever! (They really nailed it with the name on this one!)

7. Lip Stick
On days where I don't necessarily want to wear lipstick but don't like a naked lip, I usually just cover my lips in a nude lip liner.  My all time favorite is NYX Retractable Lip Liner in Nude.  It's the perfect pinky nude to warm up your lips just a bit.  I buy them in bulk. :)

8. Extras
Brows - Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade
I use this for my brows.  I usually just fill in very very lightly on days like this and I'll go a little heavier for a full glam day.  I love the pomade.  I know some people prefer the pencil but that is something that I could never master.  I use color Light Brown.

Contour - NYX Wonder Stick
If you are wanting a little more contouring than using your bronzer, this is what I usually use.  It's super simple and very budget friendly.  I have been wanting to try out a few others but I'll probably stick with this until it runs out. :)
I have never used the highlight side because I love my Shape Tape too much. 

Ok so that wraps up my super light makeup days!  All of these products are what I consider my basics.  I can wear just these for a very minimal look or I can add in a bunch of other products to take it full glam.  Either way, these are what I use every time I do my makeup and great products to start building your collection!

Shop the post below!


Monday, November 5, 2018

3 small things to ensure a great day

Happy Monday, friends!  Here we are on our first Monday following the time change and I am making the most of it!  I know the time change is often dreaded and I myself am not a huge fan of the Spring ahead but the Fall back, that one I can get behind.  I don't know what it is with this time of year but we always ALWAYS fall off schedule.  On most mornings we are scrambling to get dressed, fed and out of the house before school actually starts which means we are rolling into the parking lot about 10 minutes late.  My daily goal for the past 2 weeks has been to get to school before the late sign in starts (we always make it just in the knick of time!) and that is NOT something I am proud of.   It's tough around this time of year when the fall festivities really start ramping up and we are going to bed late and starting off our mornings all on the wrong foot.  That's why I love this time change.  It gives us the perfect opportunity to get back on track with minimal effort considering we've been running 30 minutes behind lately.   So today I'm giving you 3 ways to make the most of your mornings to ensure that you have a great and positive day!

1. Wake up before everyone else.
I have noticed with myself that when I go to bed early or even just at a reasonable hour, it is so much easier to get up in the mornings.  I mean obviously this sounds like a no-brainer but we all know how easy it is to lose track of time when it feels like you finally get some time to yourself after a really long day.  I am guilty of this far too often.  My mornings are so much more productive when I start my day off early causing the rest of the day to follow suit.  When I get up before everyone else, or at least just the kids, I am able get lunches packed and eat breakfast much more efficiently than when the kids are up and I'm trying to do a million things at once.  When I get all of the busy work out of the way first, I am able to really focus on my kids and be attentive with them before getting them off to school.  This makes my morning so much smoother and I honestly feel like the kids have a better day this way too. 

2. Reflect, express gratitude and journal.
One thing I love to do is reflect first thing in the morning.  When the house is still quiet and I can think about what I am grateful for and how I want my day to go.  I like to do this first thing in the morning because I truly believe that your first thoughts of the day will set the tone for the rest of your day.  A few years back, I went through a really challenging time in my life and everything around me was affected by it.  I decided to take charge of that time and used it as an opportunity to redirect who I was and what direction my life was going in. I did that through expressing gratitude and journaling.  Every morning, I would start my day off with writing down 3 prayers and/or positive thoughts about either myself or someone else.  Then I would write down everything I was grateful for and what I wanted to work on that day.  I would do that through positive affirmations.  Taking it one day at a time was the easiest way for me to make small changes that amounted to one big overall change in who I was and I have been in a much more positive place ever since!

3. Do something for yourself.
I know that as a mother it is so hard to get time to yourself and actually doing something for yourself is so easily overlooked.  Adding something to your day that is entirely for you, whether big or small, can make a world of difference.  Over the summer, when I felt like the kids were driving me crazy, I started going back to the gym.  It made a huge difference in how my day went.  Having an hour to myself to do something entirely for me changed everything for me from improving my mood, giving me more patience with the kids and just overall contributing to feeling better about myself and my role as a stay at home mom.  Find something for you!  It doesn't have to be the gym, it can be anything that you enjoy doing or anything that gives you the opportunity to clear your head for a bit.  It could be taking a bath, reading a chapter or 2 out of a book before bed or even just having some quiet time first thing in the morning before everyone else wakes up.  Regardless of what you decide, find something for you and make it a habit to incorporate it into your daily routine. 

These 3 things are what I want to get back to.  I often struggle with being consistent in these areas and with the time change, I am making it a point to bring them back into my daily routine.  I feel better about myself and life in general when I am practicing all of these habits.  It is so important to me to have good days and be in good spirits, not just for myself but for my kids as well.  I am a better person, wife and mother when I am in a good place and these 3 small changes help put me in that direction.  I hope that you too find some inspiration in making small changes that amount to one big positive change because having a good day and feeling great about it is everything!


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Halloween 2018

As the kids get older, it seems like we end up with more and more events and activities leading up to Halloween.  Roman's birthday is the 29th so adding that into everything we have going on and our heads are spinning!  This year we had Trunk or Treat at Roman and Callie's preschool on Monday followed by Trick or Treat at Loyal's school on Tuesday.  There were themes to both (for me at least!) so that made for 3 days straight of dressing up!

My Trolls theme for Trunk or Treat called for a pretty accurate costume and really fun make up.  I had so much fun with this one!  I made my entire costume, along with all the props for my trunk, and I love how it turned out.  Poppy was a HUGE hit amongst all of the little kids!

The theme for Loyal's Trick or Treat at school was story book characters.  Right off the bat he said he wanted to go as The Three Little Pigs!  Aside from being so proud of him for coming up with something on his own, I thought it was such a cute idea and so easy with having 3 little kids to be the three little pigs!
I couldn't sit this one out, of course, because what's the three little pigs without the big bad wolf?!
I had so much fun with this look!!!  We had already bought Halloween costumes so I didn't want to put much money into another round of costumes so everything here was DIY'd!  For my look, I wanted the focus to be in the make up with a little bit of fur accent.  I love how it turned out and the boys thought it was so cool.  I wonder how long I can get away with this kind of stuff before they're mortified by it?! LOL
To answer a few of the questions that I got on Instagram...
I glued over the ends of my eyebrows with an Elmer's Glue Stick and then covered it with foundation once it dried.
I used the Urban Decay Naked Smokey Palette for pretty much everything.
The dark shading around my face was with an old powder eye brow fill.  Worked great!

And now for the night of Halloween!
We really wanted to make this about the kids.  There has been so much hustle and bustle lately so we put them in their costumes that they picked out and just did the neighborhood thing.  All the neighbors gathered out in the yards and pre-gamed with pizza, my white chicken chili and s'mores while we waited for the sun to go down.  My family came over, the kids ran around with the most excitement and we all had such a great time!  I didn't take many pictures because Halloween night was a night for us to live in the moment and it couldn't have been more perfect.
Loyal picked Iron Man which was a solid choice for him.  Roman threw us a curve ball after months of taking about nothing other than being a Ninjago Lego for Halloween and instead went with a classic pirate.  And last but certainly not least, we have a Frozen obsessed Elsa who wore her costume for 3 days straight and pitched a MEGA fit when the time came to take it off and change into pj's.  Fun times!
Hope everyone had a safe a fun Halloween! Xo

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Trolls Trunk or Treat

As my kids get older, it seems like there are more and more Halloween festivities we are attending.   Add in that my sons birthday is the 29th and we are slammed!  I was a little hesitant to add on Trunk or Treat to my plate but I had never done one before so I was excited to participate!  Me and the kids decided on a Trolls theme pretty quickly and after that it was off to the drawing board.  I got on Pinterest to search for some inspiration and ideas and I soon realized that there just wasn't much that I could find.  There were a few good ones but not much information or close ups.  I am always the do-it-yourselfer when it comes to these kinds of things so I wanted to make sure I went all out on this one and document all of it!  So without further ado, here is my Trolls trunk!

Trolls Trunk or Treat

I wanted my trunk to be super bright and colorful with some sort of green background to complement the scenery in the movie.  The Trolls Tree was the idea behind my scenery so I used 2 plastic tablecloths in different shades of green for the backdrops.  (I recommend lime green and kelly green.)  I drew the tree out on poster board and painted it using 4 shades of green.  To replicate the highlight and shadows of the tree in the movie, I dabbed the paint on with a sponge and buffed/smoothed it out with a paper towel.  The tear drop papers handing were made out of bright card stock that I drew freehand and cut out.   The big creepy flowers were great colorful accents to go with the rainbow streamers on the sides of the car which made such a statement as you were approaching!  I used blue painters tape to attach the streamers and was totally safe using it on my car.  I also wanted to include some significant characters and scenes from the movie so I, of course, had to make Cloud Guy!  

How to make Trolls Cloud Guy

For Cloud Guy, I sketched him out on a piece of white poster board, cut him out and glued cotton stuffing to the poster board with a hot glue gun.  His eyes, mouth, hands and feet are all made with sheets of felt that is glued to poster board.  For the arms, I glue a wood skewer to the back to make them a little more firm and not so floppy.

Trolls Logo

The Trolls sign I also sketched on poster board.  I just took the cover of the movie and replicated the font.  Once I cut out the letters, I glued silver glitter cardstock to the poster board.  I attached wood skewers to the backs of the letters and stuck them in a styrofoam block to make them stand upright.

The big creepy flowers were also made of felt and poster board.  I had long stems that were attached but the wind was not in my favor this day. :(

And now for the best part....


When I decided on the Trolls theme, I knew I HAD to dress up and really go all out!

DIY Trolls Poppy Costume

I made the entire costume and I am so happy with the turn out!  My dress is felt that I sewed together with a straight stitch on the sides and shoulders.  I hot glued all of the accents on using leftover felt from the trunk.  My headpiece was the best part of the costume!  It was fairly easy to make using just a few products.  I used pink pipe cleaners to make the shape of the headpiece.  I wrapped 2 around my head, attaching them together so that it was tight and stayed in place on my head.  Then I attached vertical pieces of pipe cleaner that all came together at the top and wrapped another pipe cleaner around all of the ends to keep them together.  All of the vertical pipe cleaners were attached to the headpiece by simply wrapping them around it.  Hopefully all of this makes sense by looking at the picture below!  Once the headpiece was made, I wrapped strips of hot pink tulle around the headpiece bringing them up vertically with the vertical pipe cleaners.  I did this by taking a long piece of tulle, folding it in half and looping the ends through the center fold in the tulle.  (If this part doesn't make sense then search Tulle Skirt Tutorial on Pinterest and it should explain it better.)  Once the tulle was covering the entire perimeter of the headpiece, I brought all of the ends up together the same way I did the pipe cleaners, and tied a piece of tulle around the ends to keep them upright and together.  For the felt floral headband, I cut everything out and glued the pieces on with my hot glue gun.  

Poppy was such a hit, you guys!  I can't tell you how many pictures I took with kids or with my trunk!  My makeup was my favorite part, even if I did forget to put on my lashes lol.  I used this lip stick & lip liner combo.  I used the lip liner for my eyebrows, nose and lips.  I used this white liner to make the dots on my cheeks.
Me with my sweet girl holding our trophy!  I got 2nd place :)

Friday, October 26, 2018

White Chicken Chili

I cannot remember where or when I came across this recipe but it was years ago and I have been making it ever since!  I have altered it a few times since finding it and it has evolved into my style of cooking.  The great thing about any chili recipe is that you can add or subtract items to make it the way that you like!  I usually always prefer extra tomatoes and corn in any soup while going easy on the beans.  I make this recipe every year for Halloween and it has become a tradition in our house.  All you really have to do is throw everything in the crockpot which is perfect for how hectic Halloween night can be.  Not to mention, who doesn't crave chili once the Fall weather is in full swing?!
  My husband and sister both love when I make this chili and my husband has actually come to like it more than traditional chili!  The Philadelphia Cream Cheese in really gives it a creamier texture than traditional chili.  It's creamy and cheesy and with a hint of Mexican flavor, this is a savory and unique twist on chili.  I don't love beans that much but I do know that black beans are packed full of benefits so I try to incorporate those into recipes when I can.

2 Chicken Breasts
1 8oz Package of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1 can of Rotel
1 can of black beans (Drained & rinsed)
1 can of corn
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 14oz can of chicken broth
1 small onion
1 jalapeno
1 Package of ranch seasoning
Mexican Chili Powder

Add all cans to the crockpot, draining corn, tomatoes and black beans.  Dice onion and jalapeƱo, adding to the crockpot as well.  Lay chicken breast on top.  Cut Philadelphia Cream Cheese into small cubes and scatter it around the chicken.  Sprinkle the Ranch dressing seasoning all over.  (I actually only used about half of the Ranch packet.)  Season with cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper to taste.  You can always add more seasoning later!
Cook on low for 4 hours.

After about 3-3.5 hours, remove the chicken and shred it.  I shred mine using 2 forks and it works perfectly.  Once shredded, add it back to the crockpot and stir.  Cook a half and hour to an hour longer depending on chicken.

Serve and top with sour cream and cilantro.  My husband likes to top his with a little shredded cheddar because he's extra like that and still wakes up in great shape after eating double cheese chili. :)
I sometimes serve this over rice and that is super good!

Like this recipe? Pin it below!


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Thank Heaven and the Stars for little girls

It's still so surreal to me that I have a little girl.  Growing up with my sister, I always envisioned having girls because that was all I knew.  Then after having 2 boys, I didn't really know what the future held when it came to having another.  When my husband and I found out we were expecting a third, we went ahead and assumed it was another boy and I was actually pretty excited about it.  I will never forget the phone call from the doctor when they called to give me my 12 week screening results...and also the gender.  I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT.  A girl!  We were having a little girl.
She is so much more to us than we could have ever dreamed of.  To say that she completes our family is an understatement.  Now that she is almost 2, I hate to say that it is absolutely flying by and it makes me so sad.  Every single day with her is amazing and there are so many things about these early years that I want to lock in my memory and never forget.  Her little feet, the fountain on the top of her head that was just like mine as a little girl, her blankey and stuffed animals, her nursery, her big blue eyes and cute little smile. 
One of my most cherished keepsakes in Callie's nursery is a custom star map that I have framed above her crib.  GreaterSkies creates the most beautiful maps of the stars that can be personalized with your special date, place and time.  They recently launched their new new Little Stars line that shows the stars and constellation on the day that your child is or will be born!  As soon as I saw the beautiful pink and mulberry colors of the girls print, I knew it would be perfect for a sentimental piece in her nursery!
I love the personalization that we went with for Callie's print!  It means so much to me and really puts into words how we feel for her.  The prints come in 3 color options and you can personalize your print with anything you want.  You also have the option to download your print or have it framed and shipped.  We had ours framed and I can't say enough about the quality!  It is top notch and definitely exceeded my expectations!
You will forever be our brightest shining star, baby girl.

GreaterSkies prints are the perfect keepsake for any important date.  The Little Stars line makes for such a sweet and sentimental piece to have in your own home or would make for a unique personalized baby shower gift!
Here is a better look at my personalized print so that you can see the true color and detail.  The colors are stunning!
If you are interested in your own print, GreaterSkies is offering a 25% discount on any printed or printed and framed maps!  All you need to do is click HERE and enter the code FALL25 at checkout!

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