Where did September go? I swear just yesterday it was my birthday and now tomorrow is October first. Then again, it’s been a busy month… I’ve had at least one meeting or interview or deadline scheduled for every week day this month (except Monday’s interview, which had to be cancelled and I’m still miffed, but that’s life) and weekends have been just as full. I was completely taken by surprise when I looked at my calendar and realized that today was the last day of September. And then I remembered that I hadn’t even done my Ipsy post.
September’s bag was pretty great! Once again, only one product was a little disappointing, if only because I’ve actually used it before.
IPSY♡NYX 3 color shadow palette
I love this palette! It make for a quick smokey eye that is appropriate for daytime but could be done up for night. It’s been my go-to eyeshadow since I got it.
I’ve even used the sponge applicator and it isn’t terrible (but I do still prefer my RealTechniques brush).
Pixi by petra mini brow trio
I get lots of compliments on my brows, which is weird to me… but they must stand out? Anyway, I’ve never actually used a brow powder before this one. I think I really like it, but I feel like it makes them all, HELLO EYEBROWS.
City Color City Chic lipstick in One Night Stand
I wasn’t super sure about this color, truth be told… It’s almost, magenta? It reminded me a bit of a shade worn my my grandma’s friend, actually. I tried it on, though, and thought…not bad. Now I think I actually like it. Also, this:
I have been applying it very carefully so I don’t mess up that cute little heart.
ACURE brightening facial scrub
This one I’ve actually used before. It’s okay, but not really my cup of tea. It smells very herby and looks kind of like poop…
But whatevs. Y’all know I loves me some exfoliation, so I’m using it.
NAOBAY Oxygenating Cream Moisturizing
I wish this one was bigger. It smells just like an Estee Lauder lotion I used in high school (it was given to me, I wasn’t intentionally using old lady stuff). Every time I put it on I get a lovely whiff of show choir memories. That’s really the only reason I love it so much… I mean, it is a nice lotion, but I don’t really notice anything remarkable.
I am wearing everything from this month’s bag in the photo above (well, not the scrub, obviously), but can you tell? Not really, thanks to the horrendous lighting situation in the bathroom. It doesn’t help that I only remembered to take a photo just as I was about to wash my face… So this makeup went through two meetings, a Starbucks run, and a trip to the gtocery store. Plus typical life with a toddler.
I also got more of my hair cut off last weekend, and I have discovered that I can aim a air dryer at it until it’s mostly dry, run some styling balm stuff through it, and it’s actually presentable.
Hashtag, team short hair
Hey! If you want to sign up for Ipsy, click here. Ten bucks a month gets you a nifty bag and five fun beauty samples to play with!
Often, when I explain to people that I work from home I think they picture something very different from the truth. After all, lots of characters on your favorite tv shows have home offices, with fancy architect tables and gorgeous leather desk chairs. I can see why someone might assume that I also have a beautiful, Pinterest-worthy office at home.
But friends, it wouldn’t be farther from the truth.
The wonderful people at WeWork asked me to share a behind the scenes look at my office space, and I was more than happy to do it… but after having a look at their shared office spaces (not yet near me, sadly), I have developed a major case of office envy.
We have a third bedroom that I could use… I even went as far as to move my desk in there. Then I decided to store most of my (rather extensive) yarn stash in that room… and I may have put a few boxes of stuff in there… and what I’m trying to say is no, that is not so much an office as it is a storage space at this point in time.
So where exactly does the magic happen?
Well, a lot of the time my office looks like this:
O likes to get his laptop and practice ABCs while I’m working. He also likes to drive his tractor/choo choo/ truck over anything I’m trying to write on.
This is my office if I happen to be working on a food post. I have given up trying to keep those little fingers out of anything.
On days like today, my office is in my car, and in a banquet room of a Best Western. You can get a surprising amount of work accomplished by making work calls on your way home from a giant networking meeting.
It helps if you pick up a cold brew coffee and a breakfast sandwich, by the way.
Some days (and maybe these are my favorites), my office is wherever my crochet hooks are. I love spending time trying new patterns and working on new items for my Etsy shop.
Of course, I haven’t given up hope for an honest-to-goodness office quite yet. I actually have a rather lovely Pinterest board dedicated to the idea that one day I will have a real home office.
I’m not holding my breath.
If you do happen to live near a WeWork location, check them out. Seriously, the Hollywood Boulevard location looks like an art gallery. I could probably live there.
Hey, wait…Is that allowed?
I get a lot of questions about the products I review… Mostly, questions about how I get so much stuff.
I firmly believe that you can find just about anything for free or at least very inexpensive on the internet. Here are some of my favorite sites that let ou do just that:
For a meager 10.00 a month, you can get a cute bag of beauty samples (and the occasional full size product) sent right to your home. I recently received my first bag and fell in love… I’m still using all of the products I got! Click here to sign up.
Influenster is a completely free way to get all sorts of great products to try out and review. Lots of full-size stuff here, I’ve received insoles, lotions, shampoo/conditioners, makeup, tea, and tons of other stuff. In this case, you do have to make some effort… so sign up by clicking here, connect social media accounts, and then start doing badge activities. You’ll get your first box before you know it!
You already search the web, so why not get rewarded for doing it? Sign up here, then start using Swagbucks as your regular search engine. There are other way to earn, too… like watching videos and participating in offers. Trade your bucks in for gift cards or paypal cash.
Download this app to start collecting points just for walking into certain stores. Scan specified items for more kicks…then turn them infor gift cards!
This is another app. Take pictures of receipts whenever you shop to fill your piggy bank. Some receipts earn you a spin on the slot machine, and you can wil 100.00 or the dollar amount of your last entered receipt. Download it here.
Did I miss an awesome app or website? How do you save money?
Ok, I finally jumped on the Ipsy bandwagon. What’s not to love about getting a cute bag filled with beauty products every month, right?
I got my first bag this month, a couple of weeks ago and I think I’m in love with this service. Want to see what I got?
Well, duh. That was a stupid question.
The houndstooth bag isn’t really my style, but it’s cute and might come in handy one day. The stuff inside, however… I was really happy with everything!
Hikari lip gloss in Merlot
This formula is a little stickier than I like, but the color is awesome and it has some real staying power.
Briogeo Blossom & Bloom volumizing spray
I tried this for the first time yesterday, and I liked it. Did it make my hair poofier? Hard to say, but it smells nice and my hair was super soft.
Oh, and I got my hair cut! I’m wearing the lip gloss in this pic, too.
Trust Fund Beauty polish in Elegantly Wasted
I don’t know what sort of wizardy this is, but this stuff dries so fast! The color is really nice, and they don’t use a ton of nasty stuff in their polish. I like it.
Starlooks Pro Luxe Longwear eye liner pen
My preferred method of lining my eyes involves plain ol’ eyeshadow and an eyeliner brush. A lot of pens I’ve tried end up smearing everywhere the second I finish applying the liner…Not this one! It stayed put all day, no smudges. I’m pretty impressed, and I think I’ll see if they offer other colors.
Lather Ultra Mild Face Wash
This was really the only thing I was only eh…about. I used it with my face brush (best purchase ever, by the way) and it did make my face feel clean, but I don’t know that this would be helpful for acne or oily skin. Still, it’s the perfect size for travel, and it didn’t make my skin worse, so…I’ll keep it around.
So is it worth the ten bucks? Well this is only my first bag, but I’d definitely say yes! It was like my birthday or Christmas when the bright pink envelope arrived…And I had a ton of fun trying out the new goodies.
If you’re into trying new things and you love beauty products, click here to check Ipsy out. Sign up is pretty easy, and you’ll take a little quiz so they can customize your bags. Don’t worry too much about the quiz, because you can retake it anytime to make sure you get products you love.
I’m already excited about next month’s bag!
Is it just me, or is everyone having babies all of a sudden? I think there are at least five ladies I know that are expecting, and a handful recently welcomed little bundles. Where are all of these babies coming from?
Wait…never mind. I know where they come from.
Of course, whenever I talk to my expecting friends, the conversation ends up focusing on being healthy. I can remember being extremely conscious of my health during my pregnancy, and I know a lot of women feel the same way. Check out the nine tips I discovered that got me through that wild nine months** (including a couple to combat the dreaded morning sickness), and let me know what your tips are in the comments!
- Eat! Look, right now is not the time to count calories and go crazy avoiding carbs. Now is the time to eat! Your baby needs a lot of nutrients, so make sure your diet is full of fruits, veggies, and lean meats. Your doctor will discuss any foods you need to avoid (like raw fish). As much as possible, stay away from a lot of junk food and sugary snacks. Otherwise? Go ahead and fill that plate…
- But don’t go hog wild. …But, you just said to eat! I know, but here’s the thing…You still have to be sensible about what, and how much of it, you’re putting in your body. Your doctor will talk to you about a reasonable amount of weight gain, and trying to stay close to that limit will help you continue to feel great through your pregnancy. Gaining too much weight can cause a number of issues that range from mild discomfort to dangerous for you and baby.
- Take that vitamin without feeling queasy. Prenatal vitamins are a must, but sometimes they can be a little hard to swallow (literally… have you seen those horse pills?!). Taking them on an empty stomach is a sure way to make you feel a little barfy, and I found that if I took mine mid-meal I could avoid that. Even if you can just eat a couple of crackers before and after taking your vitamin, it will help***.
- Combat that morning sickness with food! Try this tried-and-true from a friend of mine: Before going to bed, put an (unopened) bottle of water and a granola bar on your night stand. Before you even get out of bed in the morning, eat the granola bar and wash it down with some of the water. My friend did this every morning and swore it kept her morning sickness at bay. Keep snacks in your purse, and if you get that hungry/sickie feeling during the day you can get a little something in your stomach to settle it.
- Cherry Coke to the rescue? Ok, I know I just said to avoid sugary stuff but… This is a trick a nurse told me about. Whenever they have someone that’s got some pretty nasty nausea, they have the patient sip Cherry Coke. Something about the cherry syrup seems to calm the stomach. I’m not saying you should be chugging it by the gallon, but if a snack isn’t helping to calm the beast you might give it a shot.
- Breathe deep to avoid barfing. There are a lot of natural ways to calm the morning sickness monster, and a friend of mine sword by this one: Take a long, even, slow breath in through the nose. Release it slowly through pursed lips. Continue until you feel better. Sure, you might look silly stopping a conversation to do this, but I think you’d be more embarrassed if you barfed on your boss’s shoes!
- Exercise You don’t have to be as hardcore as the CrossFit mom, but a little physical activity every day will go a long way toward keeping you feeling great. Talk to your doctor first, but consider water aerobics. The water in the pool will support your belly, and your back might get a little relief!
- Don’t read all of those pregnancy books A friend of mine let me borrow a couple of hers when I first found out I was pregnant, and I think I got to chapter two before I had to put it down. It was terrifying! It was like going to a family reunion and listening to all of your female relatives drone on and on about their horror stories. Look, it may not be a bad idea to have one around for reference, but don’t sit down and read it cover to cover. You’ll only stress yourself out with all of the what-ifs you’re reading about.
- Find a doctor you trust I adored my OBGYN so much that now I actually look forward to my yearly poke-n-prods. She and I developed a wonderful relationship, and I trusted her completely. She was able to quiet my fears and I always felt like she was really listening to me. If you have a doctor you don’t feel comfortable with, go somewhere else. The rapport between you and your doc can set the tone for your entire pregnancy, and it’s a stressful enough time as it is. Do you really need to add not liking your doctor?
So there you have it, my favorite tips for a happy, healthy pregnancy. Do you have any tips to share? How did you fight the morning sickness monster?
** I may have been on The Doctors, but i am not one. Please get your doctor’s ok before doing anything!
** Please be cautious when taking any type of pill when you’re pregnant. There are some potential dangers out there that could put your baby at risk. Zofran, for example, is an anti-nausea medication that has been reported to cause birth defects. Please consult your doctor and do your research first!
Click here for more information.
As much as I love summer, I kind of hate dealing with what to have for dinner every night. Most days, it’s just too damn hot to get the oven going. I could probably live on salad during the summer months, but The BF wouldn’t appreciate it.
The good news is that we have a crock pot. I rely pretty heavily on ours, but especially during summer months when I’m not about to sweat it out over a hot stove. There are tons of websites dedicated to crock pot cooking and make ahead freezer meals (something I really want to try!), but if you’re like me that might be a bit too much planning. I like to fly by the seat of my pants. I like to go with the flow! I like to throw a bunch of stuff in there and cross my fingers!
So anyway, I know this will sound weird. Brats are for cookouts. They go with sauerkraut, not tomato sauce. I know, but just trust me. The brats cook in the sauce all day and they’re so tender that they are better than meatballs. You may never go back to squishing through ground meat to make balls when you find out how good this is.
Turkey brat spaghetti
6 turkey brats
1-2 cans of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 small onion, quartered
4 cloves garlic
1 green pepper, quartered
Salt and pepper
So you can make this as simple as pouring the sauce into the crock pot, adding the brats, and letting it cook on high for about four hours before turning it to low until the brats are cooked through.
If you want to snazz it up a bit, toss the optional veggies in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast on a parchment lined baking sheet at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until you get some char. Toss them in a food processor after they’ve cooled a bit and pulse until a chunky mixture forms. Add that to the crock pot with your canned sauce and brats. Delicious!
I used macaroni noodles because they’re easier for my boy to eat, but you can use whatever pasta you like… just boil it according to package directions and drown it in sauce and meat. And cheese, duh.
Serve with a salad and garlic bread. Make sandwiches or pizza with the leftovers. Go ahead and call me a genius. Just chew that bite up first, ok? It’s not polite to talk with your mouth full.
If you’ve been coming here looking for food lately, never fear! I have a new recipe to post soon. It’s all of my favorite things, too: easy, easy, easy, and tasty!
For now, though, I need to tell you about this Turmerex Turmeric 95% extract supplement. If you’ve ever had curry, you’ve had turmeric. It has a warm, slightly bitter flavor and is used in lots of Indian food. It’s actually part of the ginger family, and (like ginger) has a lot of health benefits.
Turmeric is used for arthritis, heartburn (dyspepsia), stomach pain, diarrhea, intestinal gas, stomach bloating, loss of appetite, jaundice, liver problems and gallbladder disorders.
It is also used for headaches, bronchitis, colds, lung infections, fibromyalgia, leprosy, fever, menstrual problems, and cancer. Other uses include depression, Alzheimer’s disease, water retention, worms, and kidney problems.
Some people apply turmeric to the skin for pain, ringworm, bruising, leech bites, eye infections, inflammatory skin conditions, soreness inside of the mouth, and infected wounds.
So this little spice does a lot of good things!
Recently, Vitavana sent me a bottle of their Turmerex supplement for testing purposes. I used it for about a month, just to give it time to work. I don’t tend to suffer from a lot of the issues turmeric is thought to help with, but I can say that I generally felt less bloated and my knees didn’t get nearly as grumpy during all of this rainy weather we’ve been having. It’s worth trying if you’re having some mild issues and want to find a natural remedy. Of course, you need to talk to your doctor first. I might be a genius, but I’m definitely not qualified to be dispensing any medical advise. Ok? Ok.
I didn’t notice any aftertaste when taking this, which was nice. I’ve given up on some supplements because the taste was so bad. Also, I didn’t have any stomach issues with this one…I made sure to take it with food as directed, and I had zero trouble.
Do you take supplements? What do you do for bloating? I need some good ideas because my body is rejecting dairy as of late and I REFUSE TO GIVE UP CHEESE.
**I received this product at no cost in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. **