(End of) Summer Beauty Faves

Yeahhhh… I didn’t cook anything today. No, wait- I made bacon this morning. And toast! But that’s it. Isla and I met Brian for lunch at Green Papaya, and then late this afternoon the kids and I met friends at the pool and ended up just eating dinner there. SO, how about a beauty post instead??

You guys know that I’m a makeup/beauty product junkie, which is funny because half the time I’m barefaced with a greasy ponytail. Sexy! But I do love new (to me) products, so here’s what I’ve been loving this summer- makeup, hair, skincare, fragrance:

1. Benefit Big Easy Liquid to Powder Foundation- I don’t wear foundation often, but I got a sample of this when I purchased Benefit’s They’re Real Push-Up Liner (suuuuuuuuucks) and really like it! I wear this when we go out or when I want to look a little less like a trainwreck. It’s not super thick so it doesn’t make my freckles look weird, and it does a great job of controlling oil.

2. Josie Maran Matchmaker Powder Foundation- I kind of grew to love this. When I first bought it, I wasn’t a huge fan- but it’s pretty perfect for summer when you want to control shine and kind of even things out. If you don’t want a ton of coverage, use a big fluffy brush to apply… if you want more, use the pad that comes with it. I’m on my 2nd compact, and it’s really rare for me to re-buy products. So yay.

3. Josie Maran Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Oil- Can you tell I love Josie Maran products? I bought this after seeing a gorgeous makeup tutorial by Maskcara where she used it to give a really natural glow to cheeks and lips. It’s SUPER moisturizing and gives a dewy finish to cheeks. I usually set it with a little loose powder and the blush stays all day. I like it on lips too- it’s very hydrating and the color is gorgeous, but you do have to reapply pretty frequently. Don’t be freaked out by the intense color (I have it in Always Cherry)- you just need a teeny, tiny dab and it sheers out nicely.

4. Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Light/Medium Matte Bronzer- It’s a bronzer that smells like chocolate. THE END. No, but really I love this because a lot of bronzers contain shimmer, which I do not need in the summer. I’m already shiny enough, thanks. This is matte and isn’t too dark for my pasty skin. And it smells like chocolate.

5. See that sad little nubbin of a pencil?? It’s my Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow Stick and it will be a SAD DAY when it is gone. They’ve discontinued it and kind of reformulated into these Aquamatic Shadow Sticks, which are glittery and NOT the same. This is the perfect bronzey copper color and it stays on forever. I originally found it on this everyday warm smokey eye tutorial by Pink Pistachio and then bought it in like 5 colors.

6. CeraVe Eye Repair Cream- I love CeraVe, so I was really excited to spot their eye cream at the drugstore. My eyes are pretty sensitive and a lot of products sting and make them puffy, but this is really soothing and absorbs quickly. I apply it in the AM and can put on makeup within 5 minutes.

Now comes the Stuff That Smells Amazing section.

I’m big about smells. I use those stupid Downy Unstoppables because they make our laundry smell soooooo goooooood (probably due to a thousand unpronounceable chemicals), I buy the seasonal Method cleaning products as soon as they hit shelves (Honeycrisp Apple! Sea Salt Lime!), and Brian has officially banned me from buying more Scentsy bricks. Wah. So scent definitely factors in when I’m buying products… and these are all delightful.

7. Davines OI/All-in-One Milk- I got a tiny packet in a Birchbox and as soon as I opened it was like HOLY MOLY WHAT IS THIS?? I don’t even care what it does. I want it. It smells so clean and fresh, and it really does smooth out frizz and add shine without making my hair greasy. Loves it.

8. Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion Silkening Body Wash- Okay, this stuff is less than $3 at Wal-Mart and smells incredible. I use the lotion, too. I don’t really know how to describe it- clean but a little spicy? It’s niiiice.

9. Hello by Harvey Prince- Another Birchbox find. It’s the perfect summer scent- citrusy with a little floral. I kept this little bottle in my gym bag, and every time I would spray it on in the locker room, someone would walk in and go, “What smells so good??“  The scent lasts a while, too. If you follow Harvey Prince on Instagram, they post coupon codes pretty frequently.

10. Jenna Hipp New Moderns- My friend Marie at Beauty’s Most Wanted sent me a couple of cool fall colors from the Jenna Hipp collection, but I had to snag this set when I saw it at Costco. It’s 8 gorgeous, flattering colors ranging from cream to oxblood. I’m particularly smitten with the dusty grey-purple shade. The polishes are Five Free (no hazardous chemicals or toxins) and last a surprisingly long time. I went almost a week with no chips. I actually love the tiny bottles because I never finish a bottle of polish before it starts to separate and go bad. Sorry, my photography skills obviously suck so check out the link for a better representation of the colors!!

I always feel like such a big dork when I do these random beauty posts, but I enjoy reading what other people are using so I figured I’d share too! Any great products I should try??

Tomorrow is my grandfather’s funeral and we have a full day of family stuff, followed by Isla’s school open house tomorrow night. I’ll do my best to post but I may be passed out from exhaustion by 9. If so, have an amazing Labor Day Weekend!

Posted in August 2014 | 1 Comment

Soup’s On

This morning Isla and I headed to Whole Foods to meet friends at the weekly story time. I took Jack to this a few times when he was little, but he was pretty uninterested in the whole thing. I was pretty shocked when Isla plopped herself down in front of the storyteller and listened to the whole book! It’s such a cute set up- they provide snacks and a craft, and it’s FREE on Tuesdays at 10am (at the Park Lane Whole Foods, not sure about other locations).

I’ve been craving soup recently, which totally makes sense because it’s 100 degrees outside. I’m also burning pumpkin candles, which should come as a shock to absolutely no one. Wishful thinking, I guess. Anyway, while Isla was napping today (my only productive time anymore is when she’s sleeping, so from around 1:15 ’til 2:40 when I have to wake her up to go get Jack… ugh) I made a batch of turkey chili taco soup. I made this a TON last year, and the only part I change is using a packet of ranch dressing mix in place of the taco seasoning. I feel like it makes it a little more kid-friendly. I also use mild ro-tel.

Both kids loved it!!! This never happens! Isla dipped tortilla chips into hers, and Jack stirred in cheese and mixed veggies (weird). I’m glad my kids are little soup lovers, too. I’d definitely recommend this recipe. It’s very quick and requires minimal prep, plus it makes a huge batch.

Hope everyone is having a good week!

Posted in August 2014 | Leave a comment

Sad Squish

Today Isla and I were driving to a playdate after dropping Jack off at school, when she announces, “Mommy, I really sad.

I asked her why and she replied, “I miss my brother. He not here.

UGH. Talk about breaking my heart!! I was so worried about this and have been trying to keep her busy while he’s at school- playdates, meeting my parents or Brian for lunch, splash park- but she really misses her Bubbers. She starts school next week so I know that will help a little, but I still feel for her. He’s been her playmate for literally every day of her life. Poor Squish… though I have to admit, I’ve really enjoyed getting some one on one time with her. She’s pretty hilarious. This is her in the car the other day- she just does her thang:

Last week I made this pork tenderloin in the crock pot, but then we never had a chance to eat it. SO I reheated it tonight for dinner and threw together a big salad to go with it. I make this recipe a lot- sometimes I throw in veggies, sometimes (if I’m feeling really ambitious) I serve it over mashed potatoes. This time I layered onions, mushrooms, carrots and sweet potatoes at the bottom of the slow cooker before adding the pork. I’ve never used sweet potatoes before- it definitely added a little sweetness, but nothing overwhelming:

Haha, that’s a very brown meal. Jack gobbled up the veggies! Always a good thing.

Posted in August 2014 | Leave a comment

Weekend Recap

Hey guys- thanks so much for your kind words about my grandfather. Your comments, messages, texts, and sweet deliveries mean the world to me, and is incredibly comforting to have such an amazing support network. Lots of love to you all.

This weekend was really busy, which was a nice distraction. On Saturday we headed to a birthday party for one of our cousins, and Jack and Isla had a blast swimming and playing. Then on Saturday night the kids had a sitter while Brian and I met our friends Kira and Todd for dinner at HG Sply Co. (haha, I’m so predictable) and then headed to another friend’s 40th birthday party. So much fun to have an adult night out!!

Today was my sweet nephew’s 1st birthday party. I’m obsessed- he’s officially the best baby ever. So chill and happy. And he went to TOWN on some smash cake:

Gahhhh, so cute- right???

After the party, we ran to Central Market for some groceries (this daily lunch-packing thing is no joke!!) and I picked up my favorite sushi roll for dinner. I can’t remember exactly what it’s called- Caribbean roll, maybe? Anyway, it’s crab, tuna, salmon, mango and avocado and comes with this insane citrus-y dipping sauce. I could eat five… hundred. Five hundred.

Off to get everything ready for school tomorrow. Jack is doing FABULOUS and loves school so much! There was a lot of mama anxiety there so I am incredibly happy and relieved that we seem to have found a good fit for him. His sweet teacher sent out an email today telling us all of the things that they were going to do this week. I read it to Jack and thought his head was going to explode. Let’s hope he’s always this excited about school!

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Sad Day

This morning around 6:30 my dad called to tell me that my sweet grandfather had passed away in his sleep. He went into the hospital just last week with some health issues and was diagnosed with kidney failure. The doctor estimated 6-12 months, and Grandpa opted to go home and begin hospice. I think we’re all still kind of in shock that it happened so quickly. My parents and brother were over there last night and said that Grandpa was very alert and joking around with them. We saw him on Sunday and Jack told him all about starting school this week. Ultimately I’m so fortunate that my kids were able to get to know him- he was an amazing Grandpa (Grumpy to Jack and Isla) and they adored him.

Earlier today I went through old pics and found some favorites of sweet Grumpy:

I’m heartbroken but glad he’s no longer in pain, went peacefully and is in a better place. We miss him dearly already.

Posted in August 2014 | 8 Comments

First Day!

So… big first day of school! I’m not going to lie, the day started out a little shaky. I went in to wake Jack around 7:15, which is only like 15 minutes earlier than he usually gets up. Um, he was having NONE OF THAT. He threw a fit, said that he wanted to go back to bed, refused to get dressed. Good times! But Brian- being the more patient parent, apparently- went in and asked if he wanted to go with him to pick out a donut for his first day of school. Talk about a 180. He was Mr. Personality after that.

A few First Day pics:

Brian and I (and Isla) walked him to his classroom. He trotted right inside and didn’t give us a second look. Rude! But really… such a relief.

Isla seemed a little lost today, but we stayed really busy. I took her to the splash park this morning for a MOPS playdate, then we met my parents for lunch. I put her down around 1:15 for a super short nap before we had to pick Jack up at 2:50. Thank God she fell asleep right away. We are definitely not used to keeping such a tight schedule. So long, lazy summer…

Jack hopped into the car this afternoon and announced that he LOVED his new school and asked if he could go back tomorrow. Hallelujah!!! He was all chatty about how they learned how to put their stuff in their cubbies, all of the daily “jobs” like turning out the lights and wiping tables (he’s REALLY excited about the table wiping), how he “…tooted a few times but made sure to say ‘Excuse me.’” (OMG- welcome to my life, teacher), how they get to go to the library tomorrow, and on and on. Such a huge relief! And he also promised me that he would be nicer tomorrow morning. We shall see.

So there’s our big day! And I’m exhausted. Mama isn’t used to waking up this early, either. Catch y’all tomorrow!

Posted in August 2014 | 1 Comment

Last Day of Summer Vacay

Well the backpack is packed and lunch is in the fridge. We are READY for pre-K. I’d say our last official day of summer vacation was a success. Per Jack’s request, we hit up the pool for a few hours:

At some point while we were there, he took about 500 of these…

In other news, I’m back to the beloved avocado toast at breakfast- but this time I added FETA (*jazz hands*). Seriously, you should try this. First, a few friends raved about this bread at Costco and how it makes the best toast ever. I have to agree:

Then I mashed up the avocado with some lime juice, spread it on the toast, and sprinkled with coarse salt, fresh ground pepper and feta.

Fab-u-lous. Give it a try!

Wish us luck tomorrow! I think Jack is secretly excited but won’t admit it. I keep asking him if he’s looking forward to his first day, and he tells me, “YES. Wait, I mean no.” Hopefully he changes his tune before 9am tomorrow!

Posted in August 2014 | Leave a comment

Quite Finished

In high school and during summers in college, I worked as a waitress at a local Italian restaurant. One day another waitress got really fed up and just walked out. But before that she penned this big note for the owner and stuck it to the clipboard with our schedules. The note? In giant letters: “I QUITE.

That’s right. She quite that job. And I’m writing to tell you that I’ve decided to quite this Whole 30, just 7 days in. Here’s the thing… it was a great experience the first go-round. I had a ton of energy, weaned myself off of artificial sweeteners, did a fab job of planning meals and snacks, and had an all-around great time. THIS time, however, I failed to take into account that we would be attending 34985 meetings in the month of August as school gets ready to start, plus we’ve had some family stuff to deal with. Basically my motivation to meal plan and devote half my life to cooking has tanked.

So I did a Whole 7! Yay me! But seriously, I may decide to do another one once we’ve settled into the whole school routine and I’m not away from the house 3 nights/week..

Speaking of, tonight Brian and I had orientation at Jack’s school. I really like his teachers and it was fun getting to hear about their schedule and what they’ll be learning. I can’t believe we only have one more day of summer break!!!

My dad babysat the kids while we were at orientation. Apparently Isla wanted no part of dinner, but cake pops? Yes, please!

Brian and I picked up sushi for dinner after our meeting. Nope, salmon avocado and cali rolls are NOT whole 30, but they are freaking delicious (and easy). That’s as good as it’s going to get for now.

Off to bed- Jack has announced that he wants to spend his last day of summer at the pool, so that’s where we’ll be.

Posted in August 2014 | Leave a comment

Whole 30, Round 2: Days 5-7

Hey guys! Well it seems like we’re diving head first into the whole “school” thing. On Friday we had Meet the Teacher at Jack’s new school, today Brian and I had to go up to the school for a volunteer training, and then tomorrow night we’re back for orientation. Poor Jack is just not sure about all of this change. On Friday he told me that I could, “Go ahead and call a babysitter because I am NOT going to meet my teacher.”

Luckily he seemed to like his classroom and his teacher is really sweet. Oy, prayers for Wednesday. I’m realizing that Jack just doesn’t do well with any type of change. He got really upset a month or so ago when we bought a new coffee table (!!), and when I offered to get him a new backpack for school (he’s carried the same one since he was <2), he told me that he would get a new one when turns 18 and leaves for college. So that’s awesome.

I didn’t snap many pics this weekend. Saturday was busy with errands, and then today we visited my grandparents and then I had a MOPS event, so I didn’t get home until after 10. We did grab dinner at one of the few restaurants where I can find a Whole 30 meal, Nazca Kitchen. Butter leaf tilapia tacos with roasted butternut squash on the side:

Jack and Isla being sweet at dinner.

They kill me. This afternoon Isla threw a fit at my grandparents’ house, so Jack sat down next to her and she put her head in his lap. He then proceeded to stroke her hair while SINGING TO HER. Holy geez. Love their sweet bond.

Sorry I don’t have more pics for you!! I’ll try to do better this week, but it’s going to be a crazy one so who knows. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Posted in August 2014 | Leave a comment

Whole 30, Round 2: Day 4

Let me just tell you what we’re dealing with here tonight.

Jack is playing the up-down-up-down-not going to bed game, per usual. Of course he had to use the bathroom just one more time. So I’m sitting here blogging and he comes out of the bathroom and into the living room.

Jack: “Hey Daddy? I just licked that thing in the bathroom.”

Brian: “What thing?”

J: “Next to the toilet. The blue thing.”


Yep. Yes he did. But don’t worry- “Just the top part! Not the bottom.”

Ohhhhhhh, well ok then. All is well. Maybe this was the wrong week to start Whole 30? I need wine.

Onto food things. I tried another new recipe for dinner tonight, PaleOMG’s beef, broccoli and cashew stir-fry.

I modified the recipe for Whole 30 by leaving out the honey, but otherwise I kept everything the same. It turned out pretty good! Next time I might cook the meat separate from the sauce (plus that whole using-marinade-as-sauce thing is a little sketchy from a food safety standpoint… but y’know, we lick plungers around here so I’m sure it’s fine). OH and I did add mushrooms as well.

Served over cauliflower rice:

Hope everyone has a great weekend! We have meet the teacher at Jack’s new school tomorrow and I think he’s a little nervous. Can’t believe summer’s almost over!

Posted in August 2014 | Leave a comment