Friday, May 31, 2013

Worse for the Wear

Brought on by a conversation with some coworkers (read:friends), I have been thinking a lot about how extraordinary our children are. Weather they are our own, our nieces and nephews, our cousins or our best friends' babies, they are ours. I have always felt that it takes a village...

And, subsequently, I've been thinking about how scary it is that the world chips away at their innocence a little bit at a time, until...well...they end up like us.

Sure, it's not so bad to be like us. We're funny, right? We're well rounded. We're good, we're kind, we're honest. Well, we should be. We try to be.

But we're also jaded. And selfish. And unforgiving. We're harsh, untrusting and self indulgent.

But our kids! Our kids are innocent. They think of others. Their worlds are simple:
Be nice.
Say sorry.
Move on.

As adults, it somehow seems that whatever and whomever we try every day to become, is what our children already are. And the world slowly but surely riddles them down

And we watch it. We see them slowly start to be unkind. Or talk back. The eyes begin to roll. The requests get ignored. Feet are stomped and doors are slammed. We've all had that moment where we overhear our sweet, innocent baby say something that horrifies us.

And then they spend the rest of their lives, just as we are, trying to be the way they started out.

Sometimes, I wish I could freeze time; capture their simple innocence and bottle it so I could force feed it to them for the rest of their lives.

But then I realized, that within the rough edges and jaded years of adulthood, we also have a gift. We give up our innocent views, but we gain experience. We walk away from our days of childhood in order to be a part of the early years of our own babies.

And ironically, though we lose our starry eyed innocence, we gain perspective and experience.

And sometimes, I think that the goal is less to be perfect, and more to just avoid being worse for the wear.

Here's to that, everybody. Happy Friday!


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ellie's Playlist

Tonight was a rough night for the Hall babies; Adelle in particular. She has molars coming in and they're hurting her. She doesn't feel good at all. She points at her mouth and says, "Teeth. Owie." Well, all that and Ellie has attitude.

Needless to say, the "bedtime songs routine" lasted over an hour today. When Ellie heard her bedtime songs, she laid her little head on my shoulder and despite a sniffle here and there, she was quiet. But as soon as a song was over, she was sad again.

Thus, I was having to think quick on my feet (Literally...If I wasn't in the rocking chair, I was pacing the floor...) with song after song to sing and keep little Adelle from realizing that her mouth hurt so much. My little bug, from the time she was born, has been easily calmed by music. Maybe, even though she's more of a daddy's girl, she takes after her mamma just a bit.

Ellie-girl is now fast asleep. It was a sad night for my little bug, but one good thing has come from our rough night.

We have a new bedtime playlist, if you will.

And though it took about three or four rounds, the magical playlist works! We'll keep it. Let's just say, I definitely plan on making a CD (or six) to keep handy for the next time there are teething issues.

Sad Night Hall Baby Bedtime Playlist
1. At Last-Etta James
2. All The Way-Frank Sinatra
3. I Will Come To You-Hanson (The live version for this one! Definitely!)
4. Make You Feel My Love-Adele
5. Over the Rainbow-Eric Clapton
6. Love Me Tender-Elvis
7. Baby Mine-Alison Krauss
8. All My Loving-the Beatles
9. And So It Goes-Billy Joel
10. Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye-Ella Fitzgerald

Maybe ya'll can copy the playlist and either put yourself or your grouchy babies to sleep. It worked at my house tonight.

Sleep well, everyone!
I know Ellie will!


Wednesday, May 29, 2013


I've probably started, rolled my eyes at, and subsequently deleted about fourteen posts thus far.

I'm about this close to scrapping the idea of posting tonight, and resolving to sitting in bed with a cherry coke and watching make-up tutorials on YouTube.

Pathetic? Yes. Don't you dare judge me.

And that thought it what finally gave me the idea I needed for my post tonight.

We've all (alright, except for my dad) seen the Sex and the City episode where Carrie talks about how sometimes, she just wants to do her own thing, and have her own routines, without feeling judged or having someone think that she's weird or crazy. So she does them alone, and it's fine. She gets her stack of saltine crackers and eats them with jam, one by one while she stands at the counter.

We all have our quirky things that we do just because we do them, and we know that they're probably kind of weird and awkward. Thus, we're quiet about them.

Well, no more! At least not for this girl!

Here is a list of the few quirky things I do that you probably wouldn't know if you didn't live with me or know me really well.

1. As I already stated, I'm obsessed with YouTube makeup tutorials. Either I love yelling at the computer screen, admittedly sometimes with a mouth full of ice cream or cereal, telling the girl (or boy, if you're into that judgement) that she's doing it ALL WRONG, or I sit there memorized at the sheer genius of some random girl in her bedroom who got lucky with a good Mac 224 brush and some decent lighting. Does that make me a loser? A little bit. Am I owning it? You betcha. Ya'll know you do it, too.

2. I totally drink milk straight out of the carton. Almost.every.time. Judge away!!

3. I love reality TV. There is a special place in my heart for Celebrity Rehab and LA Ink.

4. I have a crush on Craig Ferguson, even though he's probably old enough to be my grandpa. Also, he's hysterical, and I watch him and laugh so hard that I literally have tears rolling down my face.

5.I eat all over the house. In bed, in the bathtub, on the couch, at the table, on the kitchen floor, in the hallway, on the living room floor dead center with the TV like a 5 year old, outside, in the car... You name it. But I always usually take my dishes to the sink.

There ya have it. We're all quirky and weird. Now, I'm off to watch music videos on YouTube. Yet another quirky obsession that I'll waste hours doing. Tonight will be filled with the Bush edition of Guitar Sessions.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

***CLOSED***Bedtime Songs and a Giveaway

This giveaway is closed and the winner is Lacy Elbaba!!! Yay! Contact me in the next 48 hours and I'll be sure to get your prize to you!

This post is sponsored by the Emilina Ballerina Etsy Shop

Bedtime is a special time around the Hall home.

Each of my kids and I have our own little routine.

Both involve brushing teeth, reading stories, saying prayers, hugs and kisses, and bedtime songs.

But bedtime songs are definitely the highlight.

I sing Etta James and Sinatra with Ellie-girl. She has great taste. We sit in the rocking chair across from her crib, and sing until she finally falls asleep "at last". (See what I did there?)

As for Landon, he's a bit more traditional and our routine is a bit closer to my heart. There were nights, back before my husband worked a normal 9-5, back before Ellie was a part of our family, where it was just me and Landon at home each night. It was just an empty house, a young, scared mommy, a sweet little boy, and that once special song. Thinking of those nights that seem like yesterday, yet a million years ago, is very bitter sweet for me.

For as long as Landon has been alive, I always sing him "the sunshine song" (You Are My Sunshine), each night before he goes to sleep.

And it's our little moment. And sometimes he sings along with me. And sometimes he just holds tight to my neck. And sometimes he asks me to sing it again. And I do.

But mostly, it's just the song.

Well, it's more than just a song.

Because one day, he won't ask me to sing him "the sunshine song" anymore. He'll be too cool for that.

Because one day, he will grow up.

And to him, the sunshine song will just be what we used to sing before bed.

But to me, it will be more.

It will be little hands, and teddy bears, and Batman pajamas, and Lightening McQueen pillow cases, and bright blue eyes, and silly grins, and "k's" that sound like "t's". The sunshine song means my boy is just that, a boy. And to think that he won't be a boy forever is a scary realization for a mommy.

For the last four-plus years, I've gone from pacing with him across the floor at midnight to holding him in my arms, to him sitting up on my lap, to him laying in his bed. But one thing that has remained the same is the sunshine song. That hasn't changed. Not yet.

For that reason, I adore this piece. Because when it's only just a song to him, I will have something reminding me how much more it really is.
Shirt: Cotton On, Jeans: Old Navy, Shoes: Target, Cardigan: TJ Maxx, Watch: Kohls, Earrings: Target, Necklace: Emilina Ballerina Etsy Shop 

It's handmade, and my favorite Etsy shop, Emilina Ballerina, not only made a piece to grace my neck, but a matching necklace for one of you to win!

This necklace is delicate and lovely, and the perfect length! And not only that, but you all know how I feel about presentation, and the box and wrapping is half the beauty.

All you have to do to enter the giveaway is:
1. Leave a comment stating you'd like to win
2. Like Emilina Ballerina's Facebook Page

An additional entry may be made by doing one or both of the following (just be sure to leave another comment telling me you've done so, so that I can count it for an extra entry):
1. Favor Emilina Ballerina's Etsy Shop
2. Share this post on your Facebook page

I'll announce the winner and close this giveaway on Friday, May 31st, 2013.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

10 Life Lessons that Country Music Taught Me

Alright, everyone knows I love music. I love all kinds of music, but I have a special place in my heart for country music. You love it or you hate it, but I love it.
I have realized over the years that country music has taught me a lot. And you can trust me on this one, boys and girls. I know about "country". I grew up in Spanish Fork! I've got it down. I dated boys who drove big trucks, though I always preferred my dad's. I can hold my own in a Ford vs. GMC debate any day. I participated in many-a bon fire in someone's back yard, and I've been to more than my share of demolition derby's, rodeos, and county fairs (yes, the kind with the animals, not the carnival rides). I know that not only is Reams a local grocery store, but also a local western outfitter. I know what it means to "show a pig". I've definitely been slowed down in traffic because of a tractor. I can spot a pair of knockoff cowboy (er, girl) boots from a mile away, and though I was never a part of FFA, and though I grew up in a subdivision, I know what a Greenhand Ceremony is, and I would have refused... I can't think of anything that would ruin a manicure faster...just puttin' that out there.

But not all things country can be learned by living in the sticks. Some of it, we have to get from the radio!

Here, for your viewing pleasure, are some life lessons I've learned straight from country music:

1. If you can chew gum through an entire set, and get watches as gifts from Kid Rock, you might be as cool as Aaron Lewis.

2. I can be considered a country singer and have only 1/4 of my album actually sound "country". Isn't a steel guitar kind of a pre-req? That's okay. We all still love her. And if we stop, she'll maybe write a song about us and make us pseudo-famous!! Gah. Couldn't resist but I do love her.
3. You can trash your nation, your president AND the very fans who make you famous, and STILL be famous! I'm team Toby Keith, but regardless...Who can forget Wide Open Spaces?? And I'm fine with a cowboy taking me away....
...speaking of which...

4. From the beginning of country music, the "bad boy cowboy" has always been cool. Country music and tattoos? They go together like Johnny and June.

5. Country music taught me that opposites attract.

6. Country music also taught me that you don't have to wear a Stetson to be a cowboy.

7. Apparently, equal rights for women in the workforce applies to country music, too. Something tells me they'll be just fine, thankyouverymuch.

8. Because of country music, I've learned that if I don't like what I'm doing, just try and do something else. Sometimes it'll work, most of the time it won't. (*cough, Jewel, cough* And let's just encourage J. Simpson to stick to designing amazing shoes, yes? Darius? Carry on my friend. You got this.)

9. I know now that a rose, by any other name, will smell just as sweet. But if you play it differently, it'll be called a fiddle.

...and last, but certainly not least...

10. Country music taught me that anything is possible. It is, in fact, possible to defy gravity. It's just probably a bad idea.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

Hey ya'll. So, it's occurred to me that I'm a bit hard headed.

I know, I know. It's really surprising to everyone because I come across as such a timid, "go with the flow" personality.

But, in reality, I'm actually quite "Type-A". Some may choose to go as far as to say, perhaps, stubborn. Others may or may not even choose to refer to me as "high maintenance" (yes, I'm making air quotes with each of these sets of quotation marks), however I would never be that dramatic or go that far. To each their own.

But regardless, this ailment of mine causes me to take a tougher road from time to time. I've been quoted to say that I like to learn my lessons the hard way.

Boys and girls, buckle up. I am going to share with you some of these very intimate, very personal lessons that I have learned the hard way.

1. Do not, under any circumstances, watch a documentary about Jack the Ripper in the middle of the night when you can't fall asleep.

2. All pancake mixes are not created equal. Krusteaz, no. Hungry Jack, yeah, I'll pass. Generic brand, you're joking. I am a Bisquick girl. I will stand by that.

3. Never, I repeat, NEVER attempt an at-home bikini wax. Some serious procedures require professionals. Respect the art.

4. If your 18 month old finds the play-doh bucket and is unsupervised for even a small amount of minutes, you will end up with much less play-doh than you began with, and an 18 month old with play-doh breath. Calm down, that crap is made for children. It's non-toxic. Unless you have a gluten-free child, in which case, you've got a problem. I learned, whilst scouring all information on play-doh, that it does in fact, contain wheat.

5. If you are obsessive compulsive like me, don't have a melt down when your husband opens a new bag of frozen tortellini before the previous bag has been consumed. This will result in a fight that will end with you looking like a maniac, and your husband laughing at your ridiculous outburst.

6. If you do, in fact, choose not to head my warning about the frozen tortellini and you have a massive blow up about it, I'd recommend not bringing up the frozen waffles, bedazzled tweezers, or half-eaten boxes of cereal.

7. Never assume that it's been long enough to admit to your parents about your poor life choices and think that they'll find it as amusing as you and your friends do.

8. Sometimes, we give our babies bottles of milk, or worse, formula. Sometimes, said bottles fall behind cribs, get stuck between car seats, or wind up shoved under a couch. Sometimes, we find them a number of days weeks later. Do not, under any circumstances, open up said bottles to try to wash them. Just throw them away, and consider it a loss. Trust me, it's not worth opening. Ever.

9. Always check your phone and make sure you aren't butt-dialing anyone before you start talkin' crap on people. Or, just maybe don't talk crap. Meh. Or just check your phone first.

and lastly

10. Always, always smell the lunch meat before you make a sandwich.

And as an honorable mention, I'd like to throw in that taking an Ambien is a BAD idea. You will humiliate yourself. Repeatedly. 


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday Secret Weapons: Skincare

This week, my secret weapons are a few skin care products that I really love, but don't hear too much about from other people. Maybe some of you will like them, too!

1. Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream:

This first product is awesome. First of all, I have REALLY sensitive skin. I'm all about products that are natural. I have a rule (that I only sometimes break--like for Cetaphil), that if I put it on my face, I have to be able to pronounce/recognize all the ingredients. The ingredients in this are as follows: Olive oil, beeswax, honey, bee pollen, royal jelly and propolis extract.

This stuff is great for my daughter, too. She has eczema, and this really helps her skin.

For this stuff, I only use it at night. It definitely makes my skin look greasy and SUPER shiny, so I wouldn't recommend using it in the day. If I didn't know every ingredient in it, it might worry me that it looks so shiny. But don't be scared by the oily nature of it. Olive oil is actually good for your skin in a pure form. I use this in place of a moisturizer at night. Also, I like to let it dry while I brush my teeth and get all ready for bed. Use about the size of your thumb nail, rub it together in your hands first, and then you can use it on your face (or anywhere!). It has helped keep my skin calm, heal blemishes, etc.

As far as price goes, it feels like a small fortune because I'm a cheapskate frugal shopper, but it's really not too bad, especially for how long it lasts you! It's about $30, and for the last 3 months, I have used it every day on my face, and all over my daughters whole body (granted, she's only like a foot tall), and the jar is still pretty much full.

2. Sugar:

No, really. Sugar.
So, I put like a tablespoon of sugar in the palm of my hand, mix it with my face wash at night, and it's like the BEST exfoliant in the world.

I'm not gonna go acting like I'm a chemist or even remotely good at science at all, whatsoever. I'm not. D's get degrees, boys and girls, and this girl barely passes her science classes. I don't want to be a scientist! I want to be a writer! Or get paid to talk about makeup and shoes all day long but that's not realistic, nor is it relative to the current subject of skincare and table sugar! BUT, I did pay attention enough to know that table sugar is a lil' but of glucose, and a lil' bit of fructose, and I couldn't tell you if that's good for your skin or not, but I do know that it passes the pronunciation of ingredients test, and it's all scrubby-like. So it's working for me. And my skin kind of hates me sometimes, so if it's working for me, it's prolly safe. Plus I looked it up and some random websites said it was a good, natural scrub. Which is weird since, isn't refined table sugar in fact, not natural??
Or not. I don't know! I'm not a chemist! It just works, okay?

3. Coconut Oil:

I'm loving this. I use it all the time. As a hair mask/deep conditioner (Split ends? What split ends?), as a scalp treatment (Itchy scalp? Nothankyouverymuch. Not this girl.), as a facial moisturizer (sometimes I mix it with sugar. And it smells like a sweet, creamy, coconutty treat, thankyouverymuch), as a shaving cream oil, as a treatment for my little girl's eczema, as a tanning oil (Okay, that's an untruth. I'm kind of banking on not going to hell, so I won't lie to you, I haven't done this, but I might. One day.), and whatever else I feel like dabbin' this miracle goodness on! Don't be scared to use it on your face--again, it's the good kind of oil. I actually use it more like a facewash (or scrub if used with sugar), and rinse it off afterward. It will still feel kind of greasy, but coconut oil, if it's organic and all that granola jazz, is anti-bacterial. It's good for the ol' pores. Ain't no thing. And it's pretty cheap. Like $10-$12 ish bucks for a little tub of it. I don't feel like giving all the instructions so just buy the bottle I buy and follow the directions on the back, yo.
I use Efa Gold Organic Coconut Oil and I would recommend just buying it at Walgreens. But you can order it on Amazon, too.


4. Some Mixin' and Matchin' and Whatnot:

So, one thing that I love is mixing the sugar and a little bit of coconut oil as a lip scrub. Just try it. The next day, that sometimes-makes-my-lips-look-flaky-but-it-was-freakin'-expensive-so-I'm-using-it-mac-lipstick will go on smooth like butta. As in, no gloss needed. But still, use the gloss. We're not neanderthals, ladies.

Another thing I love? Coconut oil makes your arm pits smell good. Don't judge me. You'd prolly have some extra on your hands when you were in the bathtub, and you'd prolly try it. I'm just the only one sayin' it!

If you're having a breakout, and you decide to pull out the heavy artillery (I'm talkin' that tube of 10% BP, boys and girls), use the Egyptian Magic Skin Cream around wherever you put the Benzoyl Peroxide (but not on top...let's not defeat the purpose, now), and you'll avoid that annoying "Yes, I dried out my zit but I also have Flakeville around the rest of my non-broken out face. Thanksforthat. I can't win." thing happenin'.

OR, if you have just that one little spot that is kind of dry and it is making your makeup look stupid (I'm telling you, you ought to be using a good primer!), then just use a tiny bit of the Egyptian Magic and then put your powder over it so that it won't be shiny. It's kind of the consistency of Vaseline, without being bad for your pores, and it won't let your skin get dry again throughout the day.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


We all have weaknesses. We do, like it or not. We are human. It's just a part of the package.

I have many weaknesses. Maybe more than my fair share.

I'm quick to anger.

I have way too many pairs of shoes.

I can eat an entire batch of those cinnamon rolls that pop out of the can.
I'm not sorry.

I never drink enough water.

And it's hard for us, especially women I think, to accept our weaknesses and imperfections. It's even harder for us to not only just accept them, but accept that it's okay to be imperfect.

We often spend so much time worrying about what we need to do better. We worry about what we're doing wrong, what we may be neglecting, how we look, how we think we ought to look better, skinnier, prettier, etc.

We talk down to ourselves. We think that if we aren't as pretty as someone in a magazine, then we just aren't pretty at all. We think that if we aren't as skinny as someone else, then we must be fat. We think that if we aren't as smart as someone we read about, then we are stupid. If we aren't as inventive as that other person, we're dull. If we can't paint or write or sing or dance like that other girl, we're worthless. If we aren't the best, then we are nothing.

All that negative self-talk or self-gossip gets me thinking. Why does someone else's accomplishments diminish our light? Why, if a friend of mine is a beautiful, smart, happy person, does that make me less pretty, more stupid or unhappy?

It doesn't. It shouldn't.

I've been thinking a lot lately about this problem. I see it so often. I feel it more than I ought to. I worry about it in terms of my children.

I guess what it boils down to for me is not being afraid. We shouldn't be afraid to celebrate others. Complimenting a friend's talent doesn't dim mine. Being proud of myself, or happy for an accomplishment doesn't put down those around me.

We're kind of all in this together, right? Life is hard enough, especially for girls, and we should have one another's backs just a little more often. Less back biting. Less gossip. Less jealousy. Less competition.

There is nothing that I can do to make myself perfect. I'll never look perfect. I'll never sound perfect. I'll never be a genius. I'll never be able to accomplish everything. But I am pretty, I am smart, I am accomplished. And thinking that of myself doesn't mean I think less of anyone else. Knowing those things doesn't make me arrogant.


All I can do is just be better tomorrow than I was today, and feel good about being a little bit better today than I was yesterday. That's kind of a motto that I've lived by for a long time now.

I find beauty in weakness, because weakness and imperfections are human. Humanity is something that I think is perfectly imperfect.

Maybe, just maybe, recognizing and accepting our imperfections, loving other people in spite of theirs, and not worrying that celebrating another's light will be the cause of dimming our own, can help turn our weaknesses into strengths.

Just maybe.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ipsy vs. Birchbox

Hey, everybody! Alright, so the moment of truth has arrived upon us. Now, this is serious business, here. All of this world peace business and national debt hootenanny can just calm down for a minute. We have real issues to discuss. Like which is better? Birchbox or Ipsy?

In all seriousness, there are a lot of sad, scary things that happen in our world. I get that, and I don't mean to make light of it. But how about we all just take a second and be girly for a minute? Because I have some awesome stuff to show you.

For those of you who don't know, Birchbox and Ipsy are both programs that are each $10/month. Though they're similar, they're totally separate companies. They are subscriptions that you can purchase for a year (at a discounted price) or pay month to month. They send you a package once a month full of high end beauty samples, and some of the products even come full size, which I love. You always get well more than $10 worth of product. For someone like me who is a self admitted cheapskate, it's a great way to test out the really expensive, but really nice, high end products without feeling like you are running a huge risk or that you have to go back to the department store to return expensive product. 

So, both my Birchbox and my Ipsy bag arrived on the same day. Here they are, in all of their pink, girly glory!

Both subscriptions are just $10/month

The first one I opened was my Birchbox. As you can see, lots of goodies came this month!

-Juice Beauty Green Apple Skin Peel for Sensitive Skin (Like mine. Holla!)
-Kerastase Shapmpoo
-Coola Cucumber Facial Sunscreen
-Cargo Water Resistant Blush in Los Cabos

First off, the Juicy Beauty skin peel. I have really sensitive skin, so I was nervous to use a skin care product on my face that I hadn't really heard much about. But I did a little research, and after some awesome reviews, I gave it a go. And It's certified organic, and makes my skin feel so soft! It's kind of pricey (about $40 for a full size jar), but I honestly think it's worth it. I'm planning to buy the full size, and I can tell just from my sample that a little goes a long way, and it'll last a while.

Next, the Hail Merry Macaroons. These tasted like butt. Don't eat them. I tried to make my sister eat one just because I wanted to see her face or watch her spit it out, but she didn't buy it. One bite of one cookie, and the rest hit the trash can. Also, they were more like the consistency of a brownie, not a macaroon.

The shampoo was fine. Nothing super special. I liked it and used it because it came with the package, but I don't know that I'd seek it out to buy more. I'll stick with my Biologe, thankyouverymuch.

This sunscreen smells so great. It's really fresh and feels really light on your skin. It's the perfect size to toss in your purse or keep in your car. I also love that it's formulated for your face. One thing I hate about sunscreen is the oily feeling it gives your skin and this is great. My makeup has sunscreen in it, but for the days I spend by the pool with my kids, I plan on going au natural. This will be awesome for that!

The Cargo blush is AWESOME. It's water resistant, which means it lasts all day and looks great. But it still comes off so easy when you wash your face. I adore Cargo, anyway, and this blush is a new favorite. The sample size is a fairly good size, and even if I used it every single day, I bet it would be a month or so before I even hit pan. It's a matte, coral-ish color, and I'm loving it for summer. It stays matte all day long. Another huge plus. I want more of this, in all three of the colors that Cargo makes it in.

Next is the Ipsy bag!

- Chevron Makeup Bag
- Zoya Nail Polish
- Pacifica Island Vanilla and Tahitian Gardenia Roll-on Perfume
- Pacifica Coconut Crushed Pearl Bronzing Body Lotion
- Yaby Concealer
- Mirabella Shimmerati Glimmer Gloss

The makeup bag that all my goodies came in is adorable, and fits in my purse perfectly. It's also awesome for travel. Seriously, you can't ever have too many of these gems.

The Zoya nail polish came in a REALLY cute mint color. I love this nail polish. It came full size, and that alone is an $8 value. I love this nail polish. It dried fairly quickly, but not so quickly that it was getting clumpy before I was finished like some quick-dry nail polishes do. It's also really durable, which is a MUST HAVE for me. Of course, I did two coats, but I did it three days ago, and it still looks perfect. Not a single chip. It's rivaling Essie and Revlon Colorstay for me, and those are my two favorite brands. I'm a big fan of this. I want it in more colors!

This roll-on perfume smells DIVINE. It's got the musky, deep smell of vanilla, but it's still flowery enough to wear every day. I also love roll-on perfumes because I can toss them in my purse and keep them there for whenever I need it. It's full size for a roll-on, and it's actually even bigger than my other roll-on perfumes that are already stashed away in my purse. I love this!

The coconut bronzing lotion is so pretty! I am excited to use this in the summer, when we are out in the sunshine. It smells really fresh, and it's bronzing without being streaky or looking AT ALL like sunless tanner. It's just pretty and smells really fresh.

This concealer is really creamy, and because of the quiz that Ipsy has you take when you sign up, it was my perfect shade. It's a small, sample size. But to give you a general size idea, if I used it every single day, it would probably last me 2-3 weeks. Then again, I don't tend to use a ton of concealer, so it just depends on how much you typically wear. It's definitely enough to know I'm a big fan, though!

This lip gloss is awesome, too. It isn't sticky, and it's a really pretty color. It's a bright, hot pink, but it's really shimmery and sheer, so it doesn't come across as too bright, and you can wear it every day and not look like a Lady of the Night, if you're catching my drift. (Kidding. I actually LOVE dark lipstick. Especially red!!) Plus, as you can see in the pic, the packaging is so cool. It's full size, and ya'll know I love that!

So, there are products from both subscriptions that I really love.

Birchbox: At first sight, the Cargo blush was my favorite, but after using the Juicy Beauty Skin Peel, I realized it's a draw between the two for the favorite spot. I also wish the sizes were just a little bit bigger.

Ipsy Bag: Although it's really hard to decide, I'd have to say my favorite in this bag is the nail polish. But the perfume comes in as a close second!

Both subscriptions were awesome this month, but I felt like Ipsy gave me more bang for my buck, and that's a big deal to me! I'd have to say Ipsy is the winner this month, but I can't wait to see what's in store for next month!! One thing about Birchbox that I love, that Ipsy doesn't offer, is that you can earn points with Birchbox for reviewing the products you receive in your subscription, as well as for purchasing your subscription every month. It makes it so if you do your reviews, about every third month is free. Ipsy does have a points system, but it's only for referring people, and they're harder and less realistic to accumulate.

Let me know what you guys liked, and if you're interested in a subscription to either, the links are below!

For info about an Ipsy subscription, click here: Ipsy
For info about a Birchbox subscription, click here: Birchbox

Also, I'd love to know if a Birchbox or Ipsy giveaway is something ya'll would be interested in, sometime in the future?

Thanks, all!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Musings and Cravings

Can we talk, for half a second, about the chaos that is summer semester?

Great, thanks.

Good chat.

Can we also talk about my huge pet peeve with turning on the bathtub and realizing, quite suddenly, that the tab was pulled for the shower? Oh, thanks for that nice little wake up call. The children awaking to four letter words wish to thank you, also.

My chaotic school schedule is the culprit for my lack of depth in some of my recent blog posts. But I hope you are all entering and enjoying the giveaways as there are several more in the pipe!! Also, I've got some great secret weapons coming your way and a review or two!

For now, can I just tell you I am sincerely craving a Five Guys double bacon cheeseburger and fries? With fry sauce. And a dr pepper with a straw. The real deal. Not diet. I'm goin' big in my fantasy feast and I'm not even sorry.

And I would polish off that sucker with a cupcake. Or two.

Ooooh! Or a margarita pizza! (Did I spell that right, Italian lovers?)

By the way, a NYX and ELF orders were TOTALLY made today. Expect a full report.

I'm gonna go do some damage to a box of cereal.


Monday, May 13, 2013

**CLOSED** Giveaway: The Wandering Wardrobe

***Our Winner is Lori Whicker! Get in touch with me within 48 hours with your shipping information! Thanks, everyone!***

A Random Number Generator was used to choose the winner.

I believe that there is beauty in description, and there are more words than we have time for to describe this delightful store and its equally delightful owner, Patty. That being said, the first word that came to mind for me when I walked in the doors of The Wandering Wardrobe, saw the beautiful staircase, an adorable sundress from the Loft, and old fashioned wardrobes filled with clothes, was quite simply, 'quaint'. 

After snooping around, looking upstairs, eyeballing a few pairs of Steve Madden pumps, and listening while Patty chit chatted effortlessly with her guests, I talked to Patty about this dream come true for her. She's been open for 13 years, and loves what she does. And quite frankly, I love what she does as well.
I walked out of The Wandering Wardrobe, which specializes in high-end consignment as well as new boutique style items, with a pair of new sunglasses, and a vintage necklace. And not only that, but I walked out with the same for one of you, too!
Jeans: Vigoss, Tshirt: Target, Jacket: Kohls, Bracelet: Walmart, Shoes: Steve Madden, Sunglasses: The Wandering Wardrobe, Necklace: The Wandering Wardrobe

If you want to win these beauties:

from The Wandering Wardrobe, then all you have to do is the following (make sure you complete each step):

-Leave me a comment telling me you want to win
-"Like" The Wandering Wardrobe Facebook page which you can find here.

If you'd like to add an additional entry, you can "share" this post on Facebook. Just be sure to add a comment here on my blog and let me know that you shared the post. That way, I can add a second entry for you.

The winner will be chosen by random selection on Friday, May 17th. I will announce the winner, and you will have 48 hours to get in touch with me.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wardrobe Wednesday: Spring Accessories

Happy Wednesday, everyone!
So, it's springtime (almost summer), and I'm loving springtime accessories. I wanted to talk about them a bit and also show you some of the lovelies I've seem sporting cute spring-ish accessories.

So, as you guys probably know, I am a HUGE fan of a basic t-shirt with a cardigan. I think adding cute accessories like (my fav) converse and a cute hat makes a really basic outfit look fun.
 And if you are looking to be a bit more girly for spring, adding a scarf is fun, and then you get to wear your winter scarves just a little bit longer before the stifling summer.
This beauty queen is rocking that hat, right? This is my girl, Kenzie. I've been so excited to show you all this outfit because I think she pulls it off so well. What a babe.
 Hat:, Shirt: Urban outfitters, Jeans: Rock and Republic, Shoes:, Wallet: Urban Outfitters, Earrings: Lucky Penny Earrings

And this is Niki, and she's rocking a spring scarf. I love how she's using colors in this picture, too!! I love her look here.
 And this cutie pie is Kristine. I think she looks so great in a spring scarf, too. I also love the colors that she's pulling together here. You can tell just by looking that this girl has great style.

I'm loving spring, and I think these gorgeous ladies are loving it, too!