Monday, May 31, 2010

Summertime make-up (stuff I heart)

It's summer! At least in my world. Officially, according to, the first real day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere is in June. Blah, blah, blah. Regardless, it's getting warmer and warmer!

I'd like to do a favorite list for summer foundation-ish. If you keep reading, you'll see why it's called "ish". Mind you, I'm not a make-up guru. I've never received my MAC diploma or attended a single class on how to appy make-up. I think my only real credential is that I am a Sephora V.I.B. (very important beauty insider). Meaning, I've spent some hard earn $$$ at that store. It's the Toys R Us/Nordstroms of it. Plus, you can order on-line and get samples.

Now that you know my credentials, let's move on.

Drum roll please!!!!

1.) Nars: Sheer Glow Foundation
It claims it can improve skin brightness, radiance, and texture leaving skin with a luminous, sensual glow.

Seriously, who out there couldn't use a little luminous, sensual glow? Especially when you're getting a few hours sleep and running around chasing the kids, doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc. You get what I'm saying.

This is my favorite! I seem to reach for it more often than not. The consistency is pretty light. It's very easy to blend. You don't even have to use a loose powder to set it. The coverage is nice. It looks like skin...not too matte and not really glowy (even though it says it gives a glow).

Seriously, who's skin really glows? Healthy, maybe.

Although, it is recommended for those that have normal to dry skin, I still use it. I have combination skin. T-zone can look like an oily mess if I'm not careful. I don't even touch up after a 10-12+ hour day.

Sadly, it doesn't have a SPF. You'll still need to use a primer or moisturizer to protect against the sun. Say no to wrinkles and skin damage!

Speaking of damage, it'll run you $42 at Sephora.

This product claims to be a lightweight foundation that can be reapplied as necessary

Who really wants to reapply foundation during the day? Actually, who has time to reapply?

It's definitely more of a foundation than a tinted moisturizer. It just seems thicker. I still like the coverage. Skin looks more matte rather than the sheer look you would expect from a moisturizer. I prefer the oil-free formulation to help with that oily T-zone.

It does have a SPF 20. I had a harder time finding my ideal shade. Overall, a good product that's easy to use.

Again, $42 at Sephora.

States it is a mineral-based foundation that gives flawless coverage

It does offer good coverage and it's buildable. It's easy to use: swir, tap, buff (I think that's what they tell you to do). Skin looks natural but better after using it. It has a SPF 15. It offers a pretty good range as far as colors.

My pet peeve is that the powder gets everywhere. The guy at the store told me to punch a few holes on the sticker of a new container to eliminate overload. Tried it and it didn't work. Maybe I'm just messy.

It'll run you $25.

The products range from a foundation, tinted "moisturizer", and powder. I find for the hot summer months, these tend to hold up. I use all three. It depends on my mood, what I'm doing that day, how the stars are aligned and what my horoscope says.

Side note: All products were purchased using my money. Reviews were done by my own experience using these products and claims were those of the manufacturer.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend remembrance

The law will never make men free, it is men that have to make the law free.
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Henry David Thoreau

Memorial Day weekend! A long weekend of activities that include BBQs, the great outdoors, hanging out with family and friends, and lounging around. Like always, I have a list of things that I need to get done, all before tonight when the ring of the phone means that work is calling and I need to come in. Prior to that, we have social engagements that are scattered throughout the day. My day includes a mix of laundry, cleaning, photo shoot, errands, etc. It stresses me out just thinking about it. Don't worry, you'll read about it.

I just decided that I'm going to make an exception. Although, I am having a difficult time with it. I will fit in a couple loads of laundry and an errand or two. The rest will have to wait. It'll be there tomorrow. It'll be there the next day. No one will be injured in the process.

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance. To remember those that served, so I can enjoy being with my family and friends.

Thank you to those men and women!

Side note to the large pile of laundry: tomorrow is a new day. Watch out!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Nocturnal Ninja

Night has finally fallen upon us. I can call it a day. As I fall deeper and deeper to sleep.....BAM! I get kicked in the rib. BOOM! I get karate chopped in the face. One minute I'm looking at a foot in my nose. The next minute I'm being pushed closer and closer to the edge of the bed.

It's another visit from the Nocturnal Ninja.

Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and even the Tooth Fairy visit less than this sneaky Ninja. I can usually expect a few visits during the week from this butt-kicking fighting machine. This Ninja knows how to slowly wear me away. Hours of sleep have been lost.

The Nocturnal Ninja, also known as my 3 year old daughter, sneaks into my bed and performs 360s that can win a gold medal in the Olympics.

I actually tried to contain her in her crib for as long as I could. Like all well-trained fighting machines, she still managed to climb out and end up in my bed. The transition to the big girl bed was inevitable.

I thought pretty pink bed sheets and bright, colorful blankets would make the big girl bed more appealing. Luckily, after a few bedtime stories, prayers, and kisses, she manages to fall asleep in her room. Some time during the evening, when I'm fast asleep, she manages to sneak back into my bed and kick my butt yet again.!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cupcake Cake

Glancing at my social calendar, I noticed it no longer has key phrases like happy hour, drinks with the girls, dinner with ____, movie night, etc. More and more, my weekends are being filled with kids birthday parties. One of the best parts of a birthday party is the cake.

But wait, how about a Cupcake cake?!?!

An "entire" cake made of cupcakes!!!!

I've even ordered a few of these creations for my own kids events. I love this concept for a number of reasons.

The most obvious, "Who doesn't love a cupcake?!?!" They're so nostalgic. They scream childhood. They take you back to a time where you didn't have a worry in the world.

Another reason why I love this concept is because there are no knives or utensils involved. It's one less thing to worry about and contributes to the Green movement. You basically pull the cake apart, unwrap your little treasure and enjoy. They're individually pre-sliced! Individual serving sizes vary....I can probably scarf down 3+ of these morsels.

I was lucky enough to find Go Custom Cakes by B.
The lady behind the B is Bertha. A full-time wife, mother (ages 6 and 4) and baker. One of the first things that drew me to Bertha is that she was a self-taught baker and decorator. No fancy culinary school, just a lot of "trial and error."

She got her start by making her son's first birthday cake. According to Bertha, "I enjoyed it so much and found every excuse to make one which served as practice." An average cupcake cake can take about 2-3.5 hours depending on the design.

As far as offering any advice to those interested in baking and the art of the cupcake cake, "Practice, practice, practice and do no be afraid to try new techniques." I've posted some of her favorite cupcake cake pictures throughout this article.

To add to her culinary talent, she also makes some beautiful cakes. I'm bias to my ever favorite cupcake. Please check out her other designs at

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Summer is around the corner!

It's almost summer! Warm days, longer hours of sunlight, beautiful blue clouds, hanging outside with the kids, eating ice cream cones/fro yo.


That's the sound of me stepping on the imagination brakes as I realize it's also "swimsuit" season.

I ran across a letter that someone wrote to her formerly flat stomach. It's practically everything I would write. It made me smile and laugh. Please read and enjoy!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hello. Is this the police?

Is this the police?
Yes, I'd like to report an attempted murder.
The suspect was a female.
A little over 3 feet tall, approximately 3 years old, dark hair, brown eyes.
She was wearing a brown, long sleeve top with pink leggings.
Yes, I think it's the same person as last time.
This time she had an accomplice though.
He's a male.
It's hard to tell how tall he is. Maybe a little over 2 feet.
I think he was intoxicated. He was walking make that wobbling.
Drool everywhere.
Dark hair as well with brown eyes.
He had light pants on and a long sleeve top.
No, I don't recall the color of the top.
I just remember it was filthy and full of stains.
I think they are conspiring to kill me.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Copco Cups

Found them at my local Bed, Bath, & Beyond for $7.99. If you purchase the pink ones, part of the proceeds goes towards The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Both types of cups are BPA-free & dishwasher safe. The cup designed for hot beverages is microwaveable.

Friday, May 21, 2010


I don't know about anyone else, but caffeinated "add an extra shot" coffee, is a staple of my diet.

One of the luxury items I've turned down a notch on was my cup of Joe at the local coffee shop. I sat down one day and estimated I spent $80-$100 a month on my addiction. I refuse, or cannot, live without my coffee.

One day I learned to program the coffee maker and started brewing my own. Yeah, it's not as pretty as the cup of coffee the Barista would hand over to me (usually with a smile) in the white paper cup with the "don't burn yourself" brown cup sleeve.

I recently ran across these. They're made by Copco and they're BPA-free. I've decided my coffee would be kicked up a notch. Don't get me wrong, I haven't completely stopped visiting the local Barista. If I could do my little part to save some cash and save the planet, why not?

They even make one for my iced non-fat latte with an add shot. Which I must add has turned into home brew over ice. If I actually went grocery shopping, I may add some flavored creamer.

The insulated cups even come in different colors. How cute is the pink sleeve? Now I'm on a mission.

Emergency food

I'm glad it's Friday! After a 50+ hour work week, I'm afraid I have not gone grocery shopping. We are scraping to figure out what to eat. It's times like this I have my go-to items. One of them is Bertolli Frozen Meals. They even have some that cook in 10 mins. Accompany them with some Texas Toast (cooks in toaster oven) and maybe a salad (if we actually have vegetables) and you have yourself a meal.

I must warn you that I could probably eat an entire bag of these frozen meals myself. Depending how many mouths you have to feed and how large their appetites are, you may have to cook a few of these bags. When there's no food around and you have hungry mouths to feed, it's quick, easy and a no brainer. Plus, you can store a few bags in the freezer.

Another staple I have around for the kids are the Gerber Graduates for Toddlers: Pasta Pick-ups. These cook 25 seconds! My kids enjoy them.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Maintaining highlights

A few years ago, I stopped getting highlights for my hair. I opted for a plain, low-maintenance one color hair...aka dark, dark brown/black. After the birth of my second child, there was very little time and money to spend on my hair. A typical day at the hairstylist for highlights and cut can be 3+ hours and $200+.

After months of contemplating and saving, I decided to treat myself at the hair salon. I decided it still had to be low-maintenance, but I wanted something to liven up my hair color. The lovely gal at the salon opted to give me rich caramel highlights on top of my semi-vampire hair color. The result was lovely.

Almost 3 months later, I'm still happy with the color. Granted my roots have come in, but the highlight to root ratio is acceptable. The main problem I usually had with highlights was that they became brassy in color...orangey. I explained this problem to my hairstylist. She recommended that I go to a beauty shop and purchase a color pigmented shampoo or conditioner. I took into account her suggestion, since she wasn't shoving products down my throat.

I drove to my local beauty salon shop and purchased Color Glow IQ by Goldwell in Cool Brown. I was shocked at how much I paid for it, but I wasn't going to let $200 worth of hair color/styling go down the drain in a few weeks.

It's managed to keep my caramel highlights from becoming orange. The 200 mL bottle cost me $20. I use it sparingly...2-3x a week. I concentrate the color on my roots since this is where I tend to get orange. I'm not entirely impressed on the conditioning part of this conditioner, but I purchased it for color staying power. To help compensate for the lack of conditioning, I apply my regular conditioner to just the tips.

I'm hoping I can get away from visiting the hair salon for another month or two. Let's see.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

dinner...aka lunch for tomorrow

It's 9:00pm and we're still deciding what to eat for dinner. Husband was busy with the kids all day and was able to get them fed, bathed, and ready for bed. I just came home a hour ago after a busy day at work. We finally decided on spaghetti. This isn't going to be slow simmer, get the flavors marinating spaghetti. For me, this is going to be 5 mins to cook fresh pasta and a jar of sauce. Forget about dinner, this is lunch for tomorrow!

I still have a list of "things to do before you can sleep" check off.
1.) get blog started
2.) 1 of 2 kids are still up...get them to bed
3.) get kids daycare bags ready
4.) get my lunch packed for tomorrow
5.) bathe myself

With all of that said, it's time to start checking off items from this list.

Classico spaghetti sauce: caramelized onion & roasted garlic
Buitoni fresh pasta (takes 5 mins to cook). Started boiling the water when my husband went to the store to buy ingredients.
Add ins for husband (on the side) sausage
my husband eats meat and I don't