Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July Obsessions/Favorites

Is it just me... or is Summer flying by?!

Here they are - July Obsessions/ Favorites!

1. COVERGIRL and Olay  the Depuffer
This is my new favorite under eye concealer.  Eliminates puffy eyes while covering dark circles.  Every busy lady NEEDS this product.

2. Facebook Page Humans of New York

If you haven't started following this page, you need to.  It is filled with tons of interesting, personal stories of every day people walking the streets of New York City.  Its often inspiring, touching, and amusing.

3. Perfectly Posh The Daily Grind Body Scrub

I recently started using coffee grounds as part of my daily face scrub. This product is what turned me onto it.

4. COVERGIRL Lipslicks Smoochies Lip Balm in Luv Bug

I use this balm every day.  Its moisturizing and provides just the right amount of color for a polished look.

5. Urban Decay Perversion Mascara

They aren't kidding when they say bigger, blacker lashes.  An easy step for the seductive eyes look. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Coffee = Beauty... Seriously

My long standing love affair with coffee is no secret to those around me.  Many days it is my elixir of life; the nectar that keeps me going.  However, it also plays another very important role in my beauty routine.  It helps keep my skin clear and glowing.

My relationship with coffee began when I was in high school.  The new, trendy beverage was this frosty concoction of sugar, milk, and coffee that went by an unusual name - a Frappuccino (yes, young readers, I realize this dates me.)  From the first sip I was hooked. Frappuccinos lead to Macchiatos which led to flavored lattes which eventually just turned into a love for coffee with cream, no sugar.

It wasn't until recently, however, that I discovered another use for this beloved beverage.  Those precious used coffee grounds that usually make their way to the trash shortly after brewing my hot coffee have another use:  As a facial scrub.

It sounds odd, but I now swear by this beauty routine.  The texture of the grounds scrubs off dull, dry skin while the caffeine energizes tired skin and reduces the look of puffy eyes leaving a tightened, youthful look.

I personally just mix used coffee grounds with one of my (non medicated) gel facial cleansers to create a daily scrub.  I do wash with my regular cleanser after rinsing the coffee scrub as well.
For those looking to create an all natural coffee scrub, follow the recipe below.
Mix the following for a simple scrub.  Add honey or olive oil for added moisture

1/4 cup used coffee grounds
2 to 4 pinches sea salt
1 egg white

And just for fun... here is my anthem.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Mommy Things I've Learned (1.5 Year Mark)

My son recently (well... within the last couple of months) turned a year and a half.  Its so crazy how fast time flies once you have a child... but also how much information and events are packed into that time.

I know I composed a "things I've learned" at the one year mark and I think I did one at 6 months before then (maybe I didn't? )  But here are a few things I've learned in the past 6 months that may be helpful to other mommies.

1.  No More Expensive Diaper Pails!
You do not need to spend a ton of money on a fancy diaper pail.  I literally learned this a few days ago.  We had originally received the munchkin Arm and Hammer diaper pale (runs around $33 retail) before our son was born.  After bearing the brunt of my constant abuse (HAVE to get as many diapers in those special expensive blue garbage bags as possible!!) it finally broke.  Not wanting to pay another $33 for a poo poo diaper holder, I bought the Safety First Diaper Pail, which was on sale for $11.99 at Babies R Us.  And guess what... other than the fact that I can use REGULAR (inexpensive) garbage bags with this diaper pail... and that it is easier to get the diapers into the pail... I notice no difference.  Lesson learned.

2. Baby Gates? More like Toddler Gates
You will need them.  Especially if you have a boy.  The ones with the doors built in them are fabulous.

3. Personalities Come Out During Socialization
My son recently started going to "classes."  You know those toddler classes where the parents stay and sing songs and let the kids run around and do developmental exercises? Yes, those.  Its so much fun for him and its nice to be around moms with kids the same age.  I've really started to notice how he is NOT a scared-y kid... at all.  At home he has a temper and sometimes wants mama... but out with other kids? Hes just happy to be running and playing.  He's been hit in the head with plastic calls and pushed down... it doesn't phase him.  He just gets back up and runs some more.  He's even one of the kids that is willing to try new activities in class first. 

4. No More Veggies!
I've been told its "normal" for kids at this age to suddenly start rejecting food they once willingly, even eagerly ate.  For my son, its vegetables.  The secret we use to get him eat his vegetables in order to form a taste for them?  We went back to baby food, warmed it up, and added butter and salt.  Truly delicious and successful! (Don't worry... we are now backing off the butter and salt little by little.)

5. Priorities! (as usual)
Whenever things get frustrating now that I'm caring for a full blown toddler... I try to keep things in perspective and remember my priorities.  When I look back at today years from now, what is going to seem more important?  Eating my sandwich in peace...getting the laundry folded right this second... or spending quality time enjoying my son in this precious stage.  Most times it works.  Sometimes it doesn't ... but by then my son has usually done something to make me smile or laugh making grumpy mommy go bye bye and bringing the return of goofy mommy.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

MAC Moody Blooms

Its been awhile since my last MAC review but I just had to cover one of their amazing Summer lines!

I feel like this line in particular has been overshadowed by both the Osbourne's line and by the gorgeous Alluring Aquatic line.  I am even guilty of over looking this line in favor of the other two.  But as it turns out, Moody Blooms is one of my favorite lines MAC has produced.

Moody Blooms seems to perfectly combine seductive neutrals and stunning brights. The Sheen Supreme Lipsticks are my favorite product of the line. I love that this lip color is highly pigmented and still has the look of a Lipglass  without being drying.
Color: Moody Bloom

The Moody Bloom Sheen Supreme Lipstick is a Bronze Plum lip color.  Now I know what you may be thinking 1. A non-coral/red/pink lip color in Summer? or 2. Bronze lip color?! Do you know what decade we're in?  I too was skeptical about this lip color.  I gave it a try and am loving it.  It shows as more of a shimmery neutral and is great for both a natural every day wear  look or as a compliment to bold eye looks.  Its a very unique color that seems to compliment most skin tones while giving a very refined, subtle look.
Color: Venomous Violet

Venomous Violet is another surprising lip color for a Summer line.  This deep berry lipstick isn't as dark on as it appears in packaging.  While Moody Bloom is definitely on the neutral end of the spectrum, Venomous Violet is on the seductive end of the spectrum of this line. Think what your lips would look like after being stained from eating a combination of raspberries and blackberries.  That is Venomous Violet.  Its definitely a striking color, but not one that is too much or too intimidating for those who tend to be less daring in their makeup adventures.

Color: Blooming Mad
 This line also offers a selection of brights; available in the eye shadows and blushes.  The eye shadows are, of course, high quality, highly pigmented and easily blended colors.  One color that I was instantly drawn to was Blooming Mad.  This frosty, midtone ultra violet is reminiscent of a gorgeous orchid.  And definitely falls in with the "color of the year" for this year.  Its beautifully feminine when blended for a subtle look but can
also be applied for a more bold, bright look.  Speaking of bold, Lucky Green is definitely what I would call a bright Summer color.  This frosty midtone lime eyeshadow is quite striking, even in the pot. Those looking for something bright without being psychedelic... this the shadow for you.  Somehow it still comes off very polished when applied.  Giving more of a sophisticated look instead of... well the teeny bopper look some other brands' brights give.
Color: Lucky Green

 Lastly, but certainly not least, one of my makeup must haves... Blush!  The Moody Blooms Powder Blush has a selection of two colors.  Bred for Beauty is a matte midtone blue pink and a very bright flush of a color.   Worldly Wealth, however, is a little unexpected.  This frosty/shimmery peachy bronze color is perfect for Summer.  Use it alone as a bronzer blush or layer on top of your favorite pinks, reds, corals for a glowing look.  This blush caught me by surprise - in a good way.  Its perfectly aligned with any Summer look and definitely has multiple uses for multiple skin tones.
Powder Blush in Worldly Wealth

Check out the Moody Blooms collection for yourself at your local MAC boutique or counter!  But hurry! The collection is selling out and will be gone by August 1st! 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fresh Summer Look Without Foundation With COVERGIRL

 Hi Everyone!

By now, I'm guessing most of you all are experiencing your Summer weather.  This may mean your daily beauty routine has changed due to your makeup melting off in the heat and humidity.  Check out my video below to see how to get a fresh, put together Summer face without using foundation!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fashion Post: Comfort and Style Part 2

Comfort and style.  Together.  When it comes to women's shoes.  Is that even possible?! 

YES!  I'm sure a lot of you ladies feel the same way I do and are tired of your "cute" shoes being so uncomfortable.

I've started feeling like this more and more lately.  Now that I'm a mom, I don't get nights out without my son very often.  So when I do I am thrilled to wear something other than my mom uniform of a tank, shorts, and flip flops/sneakers.  But then, as the night goes on and I start feeling more and more discomfort from my shoes, the more I wish there was a way for me to spend my evening looking fashionable and feeling comfortable.

Well, I've finally broken down and realized there is... Its just one of those things that I may have to consider "investment" pieces.  The following shoe brands are both cute and comfy.  I highly recommend checking out DSW.

Cole Haan
Cole Haan shoes are not often marketed as comfort shoes.  But they definitely are very comfortable.  I actually found this out years ago while searching through the DSW Clearance section.  I found a pair of $150 Cole Haan shoes on sale for $ my size(pictured above, but mine are a pale pink color.)  Whaaaaat?!  Um, yes I'm buying these.  It was a bonus that they are one of the most comfortable pair of shoes I own. 


These shoes are made for comfort but have been coming out with "sexier" designs over the past few years.  They're so comfortable I've even worn a pair of Söffts walking through New York City for an entire day without any pain or discomfort.


Born was usually my choice for "work shoes" since I worked in an office, but was still on my feet a lot of the day. They're made for comfort but I feel they could improve on their selection of heels.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Beauty Myths Debunked! Brought to You by Venus

Growing up, we ladies hear so many myths when it comes to beauty.  How to get the best look, how to avoid disasters, and family beauty secrets are some of the things the older and wiser women in our lives have shared with us all, right?

Turns out... some of that stuff (maybe even a lot of that stuff) is simply not true.  So in honor of Summer, warmer weather, and more skin showing, I've decided to share some of the biggest beauty myths when it comes to skin, thanks to the lovely Venus Dermatologist Dr. Jody Levine. I also tested a myth or two on my own beach trip JUST to make sure. 


Myth #1: Saltwater Causes Irritation
I've always been told NEVER shave the morning of going to the beach because it causes irritation and that yucky stinging feeling.  Turns out, the irritation is caused by the little nicks and cuts a low quality/dull razor leaves behind.  So the morning of my beach trip I shaved using the Venus Embrace Sensitive Razor. This razor features 5-blades and a ribbon of moisture.  Later that day I braced myself for the all too familiar sting the ocean tends to give my freshly shaven legs...only to find... I felt nothing.  No irritation. No discomfort! Best of my sensitive skin was perfectly silky, smooth

Myth #2: Exfoliating Can Only Be Done With a Loofah

Because I am always looking for beauty shortcuts... this is one I already knew. Shaving is also a form of exfoliation so there is really no need to exfoliate your legs before shaving. Be sure to keep those gams moisturized after any sun exposure or time in the salt or pool water, ladies! 

 Myth #3: Warmer Weather Means Growing Hair

This is one I have definitely heard over and over.   According to Dr. Levine "Hair lightened by the sun may give the illusion that hair is growing faster."  I think we may also notice stubble a bit more in warmer weather since we are more likely wearing clothing (shorts, little skirts, sundresses) that expose our... and the look of that shave we decided to skip.  This is where the  Venus Snap with Embrace Razor comes into play.  Pop that baby into your purse and when you notice your legs are not looking so silky smooth, excuse yourself to the restroom and quickly take care of that problem!


 Myth #4: Sensitive Skin Isn’t To Blame

Many women think they have sensitive skin when using a poor quality razor could actually be the problem.   In fact, compared to other hair removal solutions such as waxing and creams, shaving is actually recommended by dermatologists, including Dr. Levine, for sensitive skin.

And there you have it!  Skin myths debunked!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Wonderful World of Disney: A Guide for Parent’s With Small Children

“What’s the right age to bring kids to Disney World?” This is an age-old question that doesn’t really have an answer. Every kid is different, and there are a multitude of factors involved, including how far away from the parks you live. Some parents bring their kids when they’re just a few months old, others swear that 7 is the perfect age.

We say that Disney World is fun for all ages, and with the right planning you can have a great trip no matter how young or old the people in your party are. There are 3 main categories of planning a trip with small children: accommodations, food, and park touring. Let’s take a look at some of the best tips for each category.

Where to Stay in Disney World

If you’re driving to Disney World, staying at a hotel or resort that’s near Disney, versus a resort on Disney property, is a no-brainer. You’ll save a significant amount of money compared to what you’d pay to stay on property, and you’ll be within 15 minutes of the parks.

If you’re flying down it may seem tempting to skip the car rental, stay on property, and use Disney’s transportation system. However, many families find that it’s actually less expensive to get a resort off property, pay for a rental car, and pay for parking at the theme parks. You’ll also have a lot more flexibility when you want to return to your resort for a little rest and relaxation – which is a must with small children!

Resorts Vs Vacation Homes

One of the biggest surprises for first-time visitors is how affordable it can be to rent a vacation home. They start at just $99 per night, have numerous bedrooms, full kitchens, private pools, and even washers and dryers.

You may also consider one of the nearby resort hotels that have impressive amenities of their own. Remember that touring with small kids likely means taking a trip back to your resort or home in the middle of the day for a little wind-down time, so take that into consideration. The peace and quiet you’ll find at a vacation home rental can be well worth it.

Food Planning: It’s Not as Simple as it Seems

Many first-time visitors show up with a few of their kid’s favorite snacks and assume they’ll find plenty of spots to eat in the parks. This strategy will certainly get you fed, but it can lead to spending way more on food than you’d like, and spending an awful lot of time in lines. Consider these simple tips to help you keep your food budget within reason and experience some of the best food Disney World has to offer.
  • Bring your own snacks. You can bring outside food and beverage into the theme parks, and can even bring a soft cooler – though hard coolers are not allowed. Bringing food for young children is a smart move because you never know when they’ll refuse to try something new.
  • Eat at less popular times. If you’re traveling in the summer months, you could experience waits of more than 30 minutes just to get food at a counter service restaurant – unless you plan properly. The busiest times for lunch are noon to 2 PM and the busiest time for dinner is 5 PM to 7 PM. If you go before or after these times, you could have no wait at all.
  • Plan character meals months in advance. There are numerous restaurants in each theme park that offer a meal plus interaction with Disney characters. These can be a ton of fun for the kids, and give parents a much needed chance to sit down and cool off, but reservations can be gone long before your visit. Plan your character meals as much in advance as possible so you can get all the meals you want. Reservations open up 180 days in advance.
  • Head back to your vacation home or hotel for meals. If you’re staying close to the parks, then it’s an easy trip to just head back to your home base and have a delicious meal you prepared yourself. Once again, it also gives you a chance to relax and recharge. Vacation homes have full sized refrigerators, ovens, stovetops, and everything you need to prepare and serve a meal.

Tips for Choosing the Right Attractions

There are height restrictions on many rides, which will narrow down your options, but don’t assume that your child can handle a ride just because they’re tall enough. Disney World attractions can be loud and dark, but no one knows your child better than you. If you’re not sure which rides are appropriate, check out some YouTube videos and watch the ride from start to finish. Check out these other tips to make the most of your time in the parks.
  • Plan your itinerary for touring the parks. Understand that your kids only have so much energy. You don’t want to burn them out on the first day. Plan your days around their abilities, their level of activity, and don’t be afraid to take breaks for naps.
  • Prepare your kids for characters. Many kids are frightened by the characters at the parks, who can be up to 6 feet tall. If possible, expose your kids to life-size characters before the trip to see how they react. When you’re in the park, go up to the character first and give them a hug. This will show your kids that they’re safe.
  • Bring medicine and first aid items. Talk to your family physician to see if there are any special medications your kids might need. Bring plenty of sunblock, wet naps, and wipes to the park with you each day. They’ll come in handy!
  • Get a park guide. Even if you’ve researched before you leave, always stop to get a park guide when you enter the park. You can check the show times for that day, plus note where all the first aid and baby care centers are.
Your trip will be a magical one if you follow these simple trips. We hoped you liked this article it was written by Check them out of you are thinking about going to Orlando.

Please Welcome Our Guest Writers!

Because Summer is now in full swing and many take a trip down to our neck of the woods around this time, Mommy Diaries (Of a Florida Mom) is proud to announce we will be having guest writers from provide some great tips for traveling in the Central Florida Area!  Be sure to look out for their articles here and get the most out of your vacation to our home and your paradise!