Another fun glam bag arrived at my house this month! As usual, I was pretty happy with my goodies except for one product that I just didn’t like.
Beauty Without Cruelty premium botanical lotion
This stuff is a dry skin lifesaver! I’m already getting dry, itchy skin on my hands. This stuff has no smell at all and sinks right into my skin without feeling greasy. I’ve been using it after I wash dishes to keep my hands from getting so dry that they crack.
LA Vanilla rollerball perfume
Ten years ago, I would’ve turned my nose up at this scent. I’m not sure how to describe it, but it’s like a warm, spicy vanilla…maybe with some amber or musk hanging around in there? I could Google it, but where’s the fun in that? Anyway, I’ve been wearing it a lot sinch I got it, and I think it makes for a great fall scent. It also layers well with my usual perfume. Bonus!
MICA Beauty cosmetics cream eyeshadow in Bronze
This stuff is SO GOOD, you guys. Dab it over your eyelid primer with your finger and you’re done! It really works with my hazel eyes and boy does it ever stay put. I fell asleep in it and it was still perfect when I woke up the next morning.
Royal & Langnickel medium eye shader
Well…it’s a brush. I honestly haven’t done much with it. The bristles are a bit stiffer than my RealTechniques brush, but I don’t necessary think that’s a bad thing.
the BALM Meet Matt(e) Hughes long lasting liquid lipstick (COMMITTED)
Everyone’s all apeshit over the BALM products and here I am like, nope. I pretty much hated this the second I saw it… First, that color is super wrong on me. Second, I can’t do long wear liquid lipsticks. I feel like they suck the life out of my lips. I will say, however, that the minty, chocolaty smell is pleasant. Other than that, this was not a winner for me. Also, am I missing something? Who is Matt Hughes?
Do you get a glam bag? What was awesome this month? Did anything totally miss the mark?
If you haven’t subscribed yet, click here to subscribe and take the quiz It’s all kinds of fun to get a bag of surprises in the mail each month!
Also, don’t forget to enter the breast cancer research giveaway! I’m adding the liquid lipstick from my Ipsy bag to the prize. I unscrewed the lid enough to see the color and take a tiny sniff, but that’s it!
Hey, guys! Did you know that today is #NoBraDay? I just learned about it on Twitter, and it’s pretty self explanatory. We ladies are supposed to skip putting our bras on today in an effort to raise awareness about breast cancer.
I’m totally serious.
The thing is, I think by now we are ALL aware of the fact that breast cancer exists, and everyone knows that it sucks. We don’t need to raise awareness, but we could be trying to raise money. After all, medical research ain’t cheap.
If you haven’t yet, please consider donating to my fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Every donation gets you an entry to my giveaway…and who wouldn’t want to wear this super cute hat and scarf (lovingly made by me, of course)?
Here are the details:
I did some research, and I found the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. After checking out their website and doing a little digging through Charity Navigator, I planned to set aside part of the money I make through various crochet and writing projects this month for a donation.
I’ve set up a Fiverr gig for anyone that would like to add to my donation. The beauty of Fiverr is that you only have to part with five bucks. That’s right, five measly dollars. Sure, you can donate more (as much as you like!) by ordering multiple gigs, but it’s totally ok to stick with one. To check it out, and maybe throw your five bucks in the hat, click here!
At the end of October, I will cash out the money from this gig and send it to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. I’ll keep you updated on the gig’s progress throughout the month, and I’ll even post a screenshot of the donation just so you know where your money went. Fiver does keep 1.00 of every purchase as a processing fee.
So there you go! Donate five bucks and you get a chance to win an awesome hat and scarf combo (plus anything else I decide to throw in your prize), PLUS you get to feel like an awesome person for helping a good cause.
My goal for this fundraiser is to get to at least $100.00. That’s only 25 donations!
Also? We all get to keep our bras on. I can assure you (judging by my last trip to Wal-Mart) that bras are wonderful and should always be worn in public. Because let’s be real… The only thing I’m going to be aware of if you participate in No Bra Day will be your unsupported lady pillows, okay?
So please donate, and share this post with your friends. Every little bit helps!
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?
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.
Sometimes (not right now, hello hormonal breakouts!) I get asked what my skincare routine is like. I hear from ladies that are around my age that are struggling with their skin and I want so badly to help them…I know what it’s like to get hit in the face with turning 30 and then having a baby and suddenly your skin refuses to behave. Boy, do I ever.
In high school, my face behaved really well considering how lazy I was about washing it. Like, wetting a washcloth and rubbing my face with it was my whole routine. The only time I paid any real attention to washing my face was after a show choir performance, because that was usually the only time I wore makeup. And boy oh boy, did we ever cake it on. I can remember thinking I looked like a clown, only to be told I needed MORE BLUSH! MORE RED LIPSTICK! Can you put some glitter somewhere?
It was the only time in my life that I was able to go through an entire tube of red lipstick. Boy, those were the days.
Now, I even think about putting foundation on and I get a bump on my chin. Pluck my eyebrows? Suddenly tiny pimples pop up in place of the hairs. I have blackheads for days, and I swear no pore strip or scrub on this planet will ever get rid of them for good.
I got really sick of feeling a little like Quasimodo every time I groom my eyebrows. I was tired of the “Guess what, it’s PMS time!” pimple pop up on my chin like clockwork. I needed to do something, clearly (get it?), but what?
I read a ton of beauty blogs, including XOVain (the comments on the articles are usually as good or better than the actual post), and I found that a lot of ladies were really into African Black Soap.
It seemed weird at first…To be honest, some of the stuff looks a lot like you’d be washing your face with a turd. I found Shea Moisture African Black Soap on Amazon, and since it looked a lot less like poop than some of the others I ordered it.
This stuff smells like bubble gum and turns your shower black (e-cloth to the rescue!), but it does really seem to do something great to your skin. I use it on my body and face in the shower, with a pair of exfoliating gloves like these from The Body Shop.
About once a week, I use St Ives Apricot Scrub instead of the African black soap on my face. I know some people aren’t fans, but until I find something that actually exfoliates the way this does, I’m sticking with it. Don’t scold me.
Every day after washing my face, I use Valentia Even Glow Serum to even out my skin tone and plump things up. I actually got my bottle for free to test and review. After using it for about a month I have noticed quite an improvement in my skin… I feel like my color is more even and my face looks more…plump? Juicy? In a good way, though. Like, younger. You have to go easy with this stuff at first or you will probably break out or notice some peeling. I had both for a hot minute, so I backed it down from morning and night use to only once a day and saw a big difference. There’s a nice citrusy smell that reminds me of those chewable vitamin C tablets… Do those even exist anymore?
It’s important to use a good moisturizer with your serum. At night, or if I’m not putting makeup on, I use SheaMoisture African Black Soap Problem Skin Moisturizer. Just a heads up…It doesn’t smell very nice. Still, it’s good stuff!
If I’m putting makeup on, I use Clean & Clear Morning Burst Hydrating Gel Moisturizer, which smells really nice and isn’t thick or greasy at all. It works perfectly under my It Cosmetics Your Skin But BetterTM CC Cream with SPF 50+ (which is seriously my favorite thing on the planet).
So that’s the skincare routine that seems to work for me… For now. What are your favorite face products? Am I the last Apricot scrub diehard on the planet?
***Valentia sent me their serum free of charge for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.***
***Post contains affiliate links***
Well the contest went on longer than I originally intended. Apparently, my beloved Samsung Note 3 decided it was going to take a gimongous crap on me in the middle of running this contest. It was really the least opportune time for that to happen, because I also have a few other things going on that require me to be able to communicate.
The boy and I drove to the nearest Best Buy after Sprint customer care said I could upgrade early since I’d had their service for so dang long. It pays to be loyal, I guess (or just too lazy to switch carriers). We spent a hundred years waiting and chatting with a Samsung rep, and I finally decided on the Galaxy S6. Not only did I pay nothing out of pocket that day, I also walked away with a $100.00 Best Buy gift card just for upgrading. Not to shabby, I think!
If you happened to be in the same Best Buy while I was there, I was the lady with the antsy toddler that suddenly yelled, “I LIKE WINE!” for no reason. For the record, no. He has no idea what wine tastes like.
So now that I’m back in business, I can announce the winner of the e-cloth giveaway!
Congratulations to allaboutcoupons4fun! I’m sending your contact information to the lovely people at e-cloth so you can claim your prize.
Thanks to everyone that entered and shared!
**e-cloth was kind enough to provide one shower pack to me for reviewing, and one to the lucky winner of this contest. All opinions in the review are my own.**
I’m going to be honest, here. I hate cleaning. It’s not that I don’t do it, I just don’t enjoy it. I’m constantly looking for shortcuts and “hacks” (I really hate that word…) to make cleaning easier so I can go on to more fun things like playing outside with my boy.
One of my least favorite chores is cleaning the shower. I don’t know why, but I’d rather have someone dump a bucket of fire ants** over my head than stand in the shower and scrub that stupid thing. I don’t even know how it gets so dirty…
Ok, that’s not true.
The BF works outside and occasionally comes home covered in mystery stuff that I guess has to go somewhere… like, all over the walls and floor of the shower. And I shouldn’t act like he’s the only one to blame… I don’t generally get super dirty (just sweaty), but my favorite soap stains the shower walls.
In case you wondered, it’s Shea Moisture African Black Soap. I love it, and it’s been great for my skin, but somehow I manage to get it everywhere.
Needless to say, our shower needs frequent attention if it’s not going to look gross. I tried a handful of cleaning solutions I found on Pinterest, including the Dawn dish soap and vinegar one, and I wasn’t impressed at all. The store-bought cleaning solutions worked (sometimes) but they gave me an awful headache from the smell and I was always worried that O would come up behind me and grab the bottle when I wasn’t looking. Sure, I could wait until nap time, but I’ve already got a hundred and one other things crammed into that ever-shortening time slot.
When I found e-cloth, I was seriously skeptical. I was supposed to believe that this cloth was going to clean my shower (like, really clean it) with nothing but water? Uh, yeah. Next you’re going to tell me that a tomato is a fruit.***
What exactly is e-cloth? How about I let them tell you:
e-cloth’s superior microscopic texturing easily penetrates hard to remove soap scum, built up grime and water marks. Remarkably, the only cleaning companions are water, and you, so there are neither harmful chemical fumes nor any chemical residue left behind. The Shower Cloth is for thick grease and dirt. It comes with a handy grommet and power suction hook for hanging on any hard surface. The Glass & Polishing Cloth is for light cleaning and final polishing. (Not for use on electronic screens and delicate lenses.) e-cloths really are different and give a fantastic chemical free clean with just water. If you take care of them they will last for years. e-cloths work so well that you will get a lint-free, smear-free clean with just water.
e-cloth microfiber cloths are made of millions of tiny fibers that pick up dirt which normal cloths just leave behind. When we say tiny, we mean each fiber is about 1/200th the width of a human hair. These tiny fibers attract moisture and oil, lifts and traps dirt, grease, grime and bacteria. Leaving your surface clean and polished with no chemical residue left behind. This process is healthier with no chemicals used. There is no chance for potentially harmful fumes and residue. This is important to children, as well as allergy and asthma sufferers.
Save money by reducing the use of paper towels and chemicals. E-cloths come with a 300 machine wash guarantee giving you years of cleaning performance and savings
The super nice folks at e-cloth sent me a shower pack to try… And even though I was still pretty skeptical, I was excited to try it out. Included in the shower pack is a shower cleaning microfiber cloth, a suction cup hook, and a glass and polishing cloth.
I barely got the stuff out of the package before I dashed into the bathroom to try the glass cloth. Since our shower doesn’t have a glass door, I tried it on the medicine cabinet mirror…Which was covered in toothpaste splatters and toddler fingerprints. Without even getting it wet, I had the mirror completely clean and streak free in less than a minute. Say what?
The next morning, I tried the shower cloth out after my shower. Before I turned the water off, I soaked the cloth and wrung it out a bit. I then turned the water off and used the cloth to wipe down the shower walls. When I stepped out of the shower, I was pretty happy with how nice the walls looked after very little effort on my part.
I’ve been using the e-cloth for almost a month now, wiping everything down after I shower, and I’m super impressed with how great it looks. The best part? I no longer have that, “Ugh, I have to clean the shower today…” feeling.
Now if they would only come out with a set of cloths for every room of my house.
Silly me, they totally have that already! I’ve already got a wish list a mile long now that basically includes everything on their site. I mean, they even have a line of stuff to clean your body.
Because they’re so awesome, e-cloth has offered to send one lucky reader a shower pack of their very own! Entry is pretty easy…
3. Come back here and leave me a comment about your least favorite chore.
Contest will close at 12:00am EST on June 22nd. Winner will be chosen at random and be notified by email.
Due to some major technical difficulties, I’m extending the entry period until Tuesday, June 30th]
The entry period for this giveaway has closed. Check back tomorrow to find out who won. Thanks to all that entered!
This contest is open to residents of the USA only. I received my e-cloth free of charge in exchange for my honest review. Post contains affiliate links.
**Please don’t really do this.
***Tomatoes totally are a fruit. Just making sure you’re awake.
We got up early on Saturday morning and made the journey to the Big City for PBS Kids in the Park. My boy LOVES PBS shows like SuperWhy, Dinosaur Train, Daniel Tiger, and Curious George. He was beyond excited to meet the characters he watches, and he even got to have a snack and do a fun craft with Curious George. As we walked around Military Park, he would point at the different characters and yell, “HI ALPHA PIG!” and “I LOVE WORD GIRL!”
He was slightly disappointed that Word Girl didn’t bring Captain Huggy Face, though.
After we’d seen all there was to see at the PBS Kids event, we took a stroll down the canal. Indy is really a beautiful city, and in the summer I highly recommend taking a day to just walk around aimlessly.
O even got to feed some ducks after a nice boy gave him some cereal.
Our walk took us closer to the circle, and we remembered that Pride was also going on that day…So we decided to check it out. O was asleep in his stroller, so we took our time checking everything out. We even bought a bumper sticker!
Because it was so hot, and also because some big dummy (ahem, me) forgot to put sunscreen on, we headed to Circle Center mall because, air conditioning. O was still sound asleep, so we took advantage of the massage chairs that were sitting in the lobby. Two minutes for a dollar sounds like a hell of a bargain when you’ve been walking all day.
I also ended up with some cool new shoes.
Once O was awake, we grabbed dinner at Rock Bottom Brewery and stopped for ice cream in a shop on Monument Circle. By the time we started making our way back to the van, it was close to 8:00.
This also happened, and now I wish I had been holding my phone the entire time. I’m guessing we actually walked close to ten miles altogether.
On Sunday, we ventured over to our town’s Strawberry Festival for lunch. Our first stop was to visit The BF’s grandparents, who always display their pedal tractors. While O was playing with the tractors, I decided to rest my weary legs by having a seat in his stroller. I was unable to talk The BF into pushing me around. For lunch, I had a bison burger and cheese fries topped with bison chili. Delicious! The BF had some ribs, and we both shared with O. Even though I didn’t really want to.
After lunch, we stopped at our friend’s photo booth before heading home. O thought it was great fun to wear the helmet and watch himself on the screen.
I capped off the weekend by finishing a book and having a glass of wine… Well, I tried to drink a glass of wine, but I managed to nod off before I even drank half of it.
Hashtag, old people problems.
Ok friends…Let’s consider this an intervention of sorts. I see y’all (mostly ladies, but some dudes) posting these ridiculous sayings and usually incorrectly attributed quotes that are typed over pretty pictures in equally pretty fonts…And I just don’t get it.
Some of them are pretty funny… But a lot of them just make the sharer look a bit like an asshole. Here, have some examples:
First things first… Sorry to burst your bubble but it’s highly likely that she didn’t even say this. Okay?
Now. I’m guessing you’re probably expecting a bunch of, “Amen!” and, “Hell yeah, sista friend!” comments…and you’ll probably get them… From all of the other spoiled, whiny, entitled people you know. Pro tip: tantrums stop being excusable around the age of…four, maybe?
…or maybe he’s just sick of your shit. If you’re posting this, I’m going to assume that you’ve probably got a handful of failed relationships under your belt. Take a second to consider the common denominator… There’s a huge difference between being strong and being an unbearable bitch.
Nope, sorry. A truly successful woman is too busy being…you know…successful to worry about what people say or think about her. And if a lot of people are “throwing bricks” at you, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your behavior.
This one is spot on. All of what I’ve said is my opinion (except the bit about the Marilyn quote being wrong)… So feel free to go on merrily hitting the share button and yelling, “UH HUH, THAT’S RIGHT!” whenever you see some pretty font on a nice background. Just know that you might not be sending the message you intend to.
Oh, come on…this one is just funny.