Thursday, October 31, 2013

Send Your Skin To Proactiv Rehab

Happy Halloween!!

I promised this video awhile ago and I never happened so I decided to make it today.  I don't know about everyone else, but my skin became addicted to Proactiv.  So much so that every time I missed even one day of using it, I would have a huge breakout.   Here is how I broke my skin's addiction, hopefully it will help others as well.

Used During the Transition

Neutrogena Clear Pore Daily Scrub

Yes To Tomatoes Daily Balancing Moisturizer

Yes To Tomatoes Daily Clarifying Cleanser

Using Now
 Simple Smoothing Facial Scrub

Simple Foaming Cleanser


Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Tone Correcting Moisture, SPF 30

Olay Total Effects 7-In-1 Tone Correcting Night Moisturizer

Monday, October 28, 2013

Kaptivating Beauty

Don't worry, I know how to spell captivating. The K is on purpose because today I am reviewing...Kardashian Beauty products! Woo hoo!

As you may or may not know, the Kardashians are somewhat of a guilty pleasure for me.   I DVR the show.  I have a favorite sister (Khloe, duh) and I am especially happy the Jenners are appearing on the show more ( oh hi Brody.) I also am a fan of their Sears clothing line, so when I found out they were starting a beauty line awhile back, I couldn't wait to get my hands on them!

I was sent the "En-Joystick," "Radiant Shimmer Lip Crayon," and "Cabana Collection" nail polish to review. The En-Joysticks are lip products that I absolutely love.  They make it extremely easy to precisely apply the lipstick - which is a must for those of us with lips on the thinner side.  The retro red seems to be a shade that is universally flattering, not to mention very "in" for fall.  The color is more on the matte side but no where near drying.

The Radiant Shimmer Lip Crayon is a beautifully unique bronze lip color.  I will admit... I was skeptical.  Bronze... on my lips? With my skin tone?  But I put it on and it was surprisingly flattering.   Not to mention moisturizing.  It's not a bright metallic look, but instead a subtle neutral shimmer. Very suitable for Fall.

Lastly, the Cabana Collection nail polish.   I was especially excited about the "Sunrise" shade.  It's a gorgeous dark chocolate color with a bronze shimmer.  Another great beauty product for Fall and Winter.

Overall this collection is high quality and on point with trends. Another Kardashian pleasure for me!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Come together, Ladies

I had a thought tonight and felt the need to write it out here while it was on my mind.  Because... I think it's an important point.

As much as women want to criticize the media, men, and the fashion industry for pressuring us to reach unattainable goals and achieve their vision of perfection... WE are our own worst critics.  We criticize each other.  We put down and demonize those who make different lifestyle choices than our own. We do it to ourselves.  If we can't respect our differences, how can we expect the rest of the world to?

Now, I'm not saying ALL women are like this.  Or that those who judge others are horrible people.  Because, lets face it, it's what we've grown up seeing generations of other women doing it and even the most kindhearted, open minded female has her catty moments.

How did I come to think of this tonight? Well I was looking at my son play. My 27lb, 29 inch, not yet 10 month old son. And I remembered all of the exclusive breastfeeding advocates' words to me when I decided to supplement formula while breastfeeding.

At the time, my son was 5lbs 3oz. No, he was not born a big baby.  He was dressed in preemie clothing for the first couple of months of his life. I had planned on breastfeeding exclusively.  To the point where I hadn't even bought many bottles. That all changed when I was told by the hospital pediatrician that my son had lost 10oz and was at risk of going below 5lbs. 

It had been almost 5 days... and I had just learned my milk still had not come in.  My son had not been eating.  He was literally starving.  I was upset. Not that I couldn't breastfeed, but that I hadn't been made aware of his weight loss or my lack of milk until then.  I wouldn't have let him be hungry if I had known.   I knew I had to give him formula. And I had no problem with it. For the next few months, I breastfed and bottle fed formula.  We had no problems switching back and forth.  Eventually we discovered my son also had allergies, and the restrictive diet I had been on in order to be able to breastfeed took a toll on my own health, so I stopped and started feeding him formula exclusively.

Those who were adamant about EVERYONE exclusively breastfeeding were less than pleased with my decisions. And they let me know it.  "It's supply and demand.  If you hadn't supplemented you would've caught up."  But as I look at my son I wonder... would I have caught up?  And at what cost?

My son is now about 5 times his birth weight.  Most babies are a little more than double their birth weight by a year old.  Fact is, my son wouldn't have thrived if I hadn't introduced him to formula.  And I doubt I would've ever been able to keep up with his demands.

To give an idea of how quickly he grew - he only wore 3 month sized clothing for a week and a half before he had to go to 6 month. He wore 6 month clothing for a less than a month before going to 9 month and so on.  At 3 months his GI specialist determined liquids could no longer satiate him and we would have to start giving him rice cereal.  The more I learned about his demands and how rapidly he was growing, the more confident I became that I had made the right decision that day in the hospital.

When I explained this to my critics the common reply was "Babies have been breastfeeding since the dawn of time. BEFORE formula was even around.  What do you think happened to babies then, huh?"  What do I think happened to babies then? They died. Or their growth was stunted. People seem to forget that BECAUSE OF modern medicine having a baby is no where near as dangerous as it was "at the dawn of time."  And the infant fatality rate is much lower as well.

Now I have no problem with those who exclusively breastfeed or with those who exclusively bottle feed for that matter.  I do have a problem with those who don't respect that there is a choice.  And just because someone makes a different choice than you've made, doesn't mean they're wrong. And it doesn't mean they need to justify their choice to you.

When I look at my big boy and think of how those women gave me such a hard time while I was probably the most vulnerable I've been in my adult life, it makes me sad.  As women, we should support each other during these times.  Not make them more difficult.  Not make a woman have to justify her choices when she's trying to adjust to a completely new phase of her life. 

So before you make that snarky comment or point out that your choice is a better one... remember this... women fought for us to have the right to choose.  Back then, they were fighting men, the government, what probably felt like the world.  And now we're going to be our own worst enemy? After all of that, we're going to tear each other down? Lets not undermine the struggle those women went through by condemning each other. 

Of course if a woman is leaving her 4 year old home alone to fend for himself, then yes we question that.  But on things like hospital or home birth, breastfeeding or bottle feeding... we need to be a bit kinder to each other.  And a bit more supportive.  Remember how you felt when you had your first child... and be kind.  Yes, it is a very joyous time, but also a very difficult time.   And for those who have yet to have children... remember this is something you haven't yet experienced... and you may feel differently about many things once you do.  It's easy to judge if you've never been through it, but no one can tell you how becoming a mother feels. It's something that can't be accurately described in words. Experiencing it is the only way to fully understand.

So ladies, come together. Support each other.  Be a positive energy instead of a negative one.  Be informative without being critical.  We can set an example for our daughters and show them, contrary to popular belief, women can get along. Even those who have their differences.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Go on... Go Smile!

There is one simple thing everyone can do to instantly look more beautiful.  Smile.  I know some may be self conscious about their smile, but believe me - being and looking happy is always more attractive.  There are so many things you can do to help you feel more confident in your smile.  Taking care of your teeth, of course, and -this is something I do regularly- use whitening products.

My love of coffee is no secret.  And even though it stains my teeth, I just can't give it up.  In the past, I used Crest Whitestrips. But those ended up making me teeth horribly sensitive to whitening products.  Eventually, just having the strips on for a few minutes would be painful. So I stopped using them. And relied on whitening toothpaste, which kept my teeth from looking too bad, but still didn't give me the white I was used to.

So for years I have been skipping the whitening products and just using toothpaste, figuring this is as good as it is going to get. Then, a few months ago,  I received a few products from GO SMiLE to review.  I was excited to try them, but prepared myself for the familiar dental pain whitening products usually brought along with their magnificent powers.

The first product I tried was the TRULY Whitening Toothpaste System.  This product was the easiest to fit into my routine since all I had to do was switch my normal toothpaste for this system.  This system has 2 parts. A polisher (which is like regular toothpaste) and the whitening gel.  You simply put a pea sized amount of each on your dry toothbrush and then brush for 2 minutes. Super easy and best of all painless. That's right, no sensitivity.  I continued using this for about 2 months. I used the On The Go Teeth Whitening Pen a few times through out the months as well. The pen is also easy to use and definitely on the go friendly.  Just use the pen on your teeth, leave on for 20 minutes and rinse.

I definitely saw a gradual change.  My teeth not only look whiter but also healthy and shiny.  I found with other whitening products my teeth were whiter but also had lost their shine and looked a little dull.  This whitening system gave me white, healthy looking teeth that looked naturally radiant. 

And did I mention - NO PAIN! Love this system and this brand and recommend it to anyone looking to feel more confident in their smile.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Ooops! Blog Postings Will Now Continue!

Ahhhh!  I haven't updated in awhile!  This mommy has been juggling a lot lately and I have been very blessed with another writing opportunity that I've been working on.  BUT I  WILL keep up this blog! Instead of short daily postings, I will be doing longer weekly postings.

 Yesterday I received my October Ipsy bag and to be honest, after I saw my glam room for this month, I decided to retake the quiz.  This month's bag isn't a total flop like last month's, but there is still A LOT of products I would've chosen over what I received. The only product I was really excited about that I received was the Zoya nail polish.  Because I got the color I wanted!  Below is my video review. Hope you all enjoy!

This is what was in my Ipsy bag this month

This is the rest of what was offered

I would've chosen the Wet n Wild eyeshadow, the Ofra sultry lipgloss and plumper, and the Buuxom Lip polish instead of the La Fresh wipes, Sexy Hair gel, and Nourish Organic lotion.

We'll see how next month goes!

Friday, October 11, 2013

TV Makeup To Love

Often, when I get to watch non-kiddie programs, I see TV makeup that I love.  I often forget to make note of it.  Not this time!

Here is a list of my favorite TV makeups

The Blacklist

The makeup artists of The Blacklist do an excellent job of providing great makeup for the ladies of the show.  I find that with police/crime type shows female agents, police, detective are either super glammed up or looking way rough.  The ladies on the blacklist have a beautifully happy medium.

Gilmore Girls

Ok, so this is an old one.  But I always loved how fresh faced "Rory" and "Lorelei" were.

The Big Bang Theory

To be honest, I just like Penny's makeup in the show.  I love how her character often sports different looks according to her mood or the occasion.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fall Makeup Trends

I love how a season change can bring out tons of creativity from fashionistas and beauty queens.  It usually translates into more looks and products for us to experiment with.

This season's makeup trends are especially fun!

Copper Eyeshadow
  This is perhaps my favorite trend... because I already have (and wear) copper eyeshadow and love how it brings the green out in my eyes.

Red lips
 Bold red lips are in.  This is a little scary for me since I don't usually wear a lot of lipstick but I'm willing to give it a try!

Matte Lips

 MAC's Matte Lipstick anyone?  It's now time for 0 shine so leave your gloss behind. 

Bold Eyeliner

The cat eye is majorly trending at the moment.  Lots of creative, strong eyeliner is a must for this Fall.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Alba Botanica Review

Alright everyone! Let's get back to beauty!

As I've expressed before, I've been trying more natural beauty products since having my son.  During pregnancy I was inundated with information on the possible effects of parabens and other synthetic ingredients.  Very scary for any new mom and it's something I get questions about often.

Luckily, I can now recommend products from Alba Botanica for women concerned about ingredients that are potentially harmful in their beauty products.

Alba Botanica's good & clean towelettes are great for getting a clean, makeup free face quickly.  One side of the towelette has texture for scrubbing and the other side is smooth to cleanse and tone. 

I used these towelettes to remove my makeup one night after a long day. I was too tired to pull out the cold cream and tissues, as I usually do.  And too tired to deal with that mess. I opened these towelettes and had a clean face within a minute or so.  It was very easy and mess free.  These are also great for traveling or to keep in your purse.

The alba Botanica Hawaiian Deep Conditioning Minute Mask is another product I recently experimented with.  First off, it smells great.  I find most "Hawaiian" products smell a little like sunscreen, but not this product.  This hair mask has a scent that reminds me of an upscale beach resort and spa.  Very luxurious and relaxing. More importantly, this mask makes my hair feel super smooth and soft without weighing it down or darkening my blonde. It's quick and easy and can be applied in the shower.  It easily fits into my beauty routine.  I just use it instead of my regular conditioner so I am able to use it even when I have an action packed day.

If you're looking for effective products that provide a safe, quick, and enjoyable beauty experience try Alba Botanica.  Not only will you be getting some new go-to products, but you will also be getting some affordable products as well.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Halloween Fun

October is in full swing! Pumpkin patches are opening, fall decor is up, and yummy treats are being made.   So what's missing? Crafts! That's right! Crafts are a great way to give your kids a creative outlet and you'll also have keepsakes for years to come.  Although my son isn't old enough to do crafts with me, I still like to look up and stow away ideas for future holidays.

Here are some of the cutest Halloween crafts I've found this year.  Brought to you by Spoonful. Spoonful not only provides craft ideas with age recommendations for each craft, they also have recipes and other DIY projects listed on their site.  Take a look at some of the highlights below (view full craft detail by clicking on the craft title.)

Closet Monsters


Spirit Jugs

Acorn Pumpkins


Awesome Arachnids

Pumpkin Window Cling 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Oops! Mommy Bloopers

Happy Saturday!

I put together a quick video of a few "Bloopers."  Feel free to have a little laugh.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Cooking Groove and Makeup Splurge/Save

Yesterday I finally got my cooking groove back!  I haven't really made a true blue homemade meal since I got pregnant. I was too sick during pregnancy and then too tired/busy after my son was born.  But yesterday I made this baby.

Yum yum yum! It was delish! It's from one of my favorite recipes (found here) with a few improvises.  I forgot to buy a garlic clove so I just used garlic powder on the chicken.  I also don't measure out the spices. I just sprinkle and eyeball it. I also spray the chicken with olive oil since I like the skin to be crispy.

It's a super easy, fresh recipe so I thought I'd share that with you all.

I also wanted to share some beauty splurge/budget beauty items. These items are comparable in quality.  They also happen to be some of my favorite products.

Tinted Moisturizer / BB Cream / CC Cream


Supergoop! CC Cream

This is by far my favorite of the CC/BB cream products I've tried.  It's also $30.  You don't have to use much.  A drop the size of a pea is enough coverage for my whole face.  It leaves a very natural matte finish.


Pond's BB Cream

At around $11 this BB Cream has many of the same qualities as the Supergoop! cream.  It's very light, leaves a matte finish, blends easily and requires very little product for adequate coverage.  The difference? The Supergoop is made up of 100% all natural ingredients and include ingredients that can actually make your skin healthier instead of just making it appear healthier. Though Pond's does claim to give dark spot reduction results in as little as 2 weeks.



Mac's Fleur Power Satin Powder Blush

Younique's Blusher in "Sweet"

I chose to do both of these because they are tied for my favorite blush. Both great quality. The Mac blush is a common beauty favorite and I believe the Younique blusher will be soon. Younique's blusher is high quality mineral make-up that I've also figured out how to use as a tint/cream blush (I will make a video on that, along with other simple beauty tricks, soon.)


ELF's Studio Blush in Tickled Pink  

Retailing for only $3, this blush is the best value I've seen in a very long time.  High pigmented, it goes on smooth and blends well.



MAC's Eyeshadow in Rice Paper

This eyeshadow is a very pretty nude peach color and one of their best sellers. I love all of MAC's eyeshadows because they are so pigmented and smooth.


NYX Eyeshadow in Sahara

NYX is a great alternative to MAC Eyeshadows.  They have very similar colors and are of great qualities.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

For the Men

Ladies, it's time to help the men in your life.  Very often I see men in ill fitting clothing.  Most of these men probably don't care.  As long as they can get the article of clothing on, buttoned, and zipped it's all good to them.  But when it comes to making a great first impression or appearing professional at work, fit does matter.  Check out the image below.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

It's a Mama Thing

Woohoo! I finally got some time to sit down and go over my Mama Voxbox I received from Influenster. This is my 2nd box I've received (I've only been a member for about 4 months.)  So I fully believe that if you put the effort into this program, you will be rewarded. 

Below is my video review.  In the video I cover what was in the VoxBox and also take some extra time going over the Dr. Scholl's product. Below the video review is my written review for Annie's Macaroni & Cheese Microwavable Cups.

Annie's Macaroni & Cheese Microwavable Cups - White Cheddar

So the reason why I do not have this to show in the video above is because...I ate this Mac & Cheese the day I received my Voxbox in the mail.  I literally couldn't wait to try it. I love Velvita's Mac and cheese but know it is anything but natural ingredients and figured Annie's would be a better alternative.  I was happy to find another microwavable product to add to my meals since I do not have a lot of time to spend at the stove these days. I did love the taste of the product.  Once the cheese [powder] was mixed in and set, it was very gooey and delicious.  The only thing I didn't like was the look of it after first microwaving the product. It just looked slimey and yucky.  I thought that once I added the cheese powder it would look better... it still looked gross.  I almost didn't try it, but then the cheese started to set and it started to look more like a yummy mac and cheese dish. If you can get past the look during the prep processes, this is a quick, yummy snack or meal.

Such a Bliss-ful experience

Ready for the products I'm obsessing over this week? Here they are!

They are all by a company called bliss.  Bliss not only makes true spa beauty products, they also have spas all over the world.  Their products and services are meant to not only make you look and feel healthy and gorgeous, but also give a bit of happiness.

Check out the video below