Friday, June 28, 2013

A Letter From a Working Mom

This letter originated in the personal journals I keep for my kids. You can read more about that here. I decided to take it from the pen to the computer screen.

Dear Babies,

Sometimes, I have to leave you. More mornings than not, you are sad not to have morning snuggles and you are wanting for a slower routine.

I can't give that to you.

Sometimes, you cry when we go our separate ways each day, holding out your sweet arms for me and telling me you don't want me to leave.

I can't stay with you.

Sometimes, I look at the clock about mid day, and I realize you've had your lunch already, and you're probably going down for your nap. You're holding your sippy and you're snuggling your blanket.

I can't be there with you.

Sometimes, I wonder if you've fallen down today while riding a scooter or jumping from a swing. I wonder if you cried.

I can't kiss your "owies".

Sometimes, I text your babysitter just to tell her I miss you or ask her how you're doing. I love her, because she loves you. I love her, because she takes care of you when I can't. I love her because you love her. Each day, I give her the most important pieces of my life, and she loves you while I am away.

I can't thank her enough for that.

Sometimes, I feel bad for being away from you most days. I feel bad because I worry that you don't understand. That you don't know that if I could, I would be with you every minute. But our family doesn't work that way. Your daddy and I are away from you during the day because we love you so much, and we know that we need to take care of you.

I can't help that.

Babies, please know that when I'm away from you, you are always on my mind.

In the morning, when I stop for gas or a drink and I open up my wallet, I see you. I think of you, and I miss you.

When I sit down in my office at work, I see you. I smile, and I'm proud of you. I'm happy to show any and everyone who walks into my office that you are mine. You are perfect.

When I pull out my phone at lunchtime to talk to your dad for a minute, there you are. I see you.

Long after you go to sleep at night, when I sit down at the desk to do my homework, write, get caught up on emails, finish things up for work the next day, etc. I look over and I see you.

Babies, I'm sorry for all of the "can't". But though I miss you throughout the days that I can't be with you, know that I work hard because I love you. I realize that a lot of your friends have mommies or daddies that get to stay home with them all day long. Our family isn't that way, but we love you just as much as any mommy or daddy ever could.

Know that I want what's best for you. I might be sad to be away from you, sad when you reach for me and I have to leave, sad for the naps I don't get to put you down for or the lunches I don't get to feed you, but I'm at peace knowing that you're in good hands, and I am at peace because it is all because I love you.

I'm at peace, because this is the very best I can do.

I treasure the few days a week that I get to wake up and snuggle you, get to see your sweet faces marked with blanket and pillow lines after your nap, get to smile at the static in your crazy pig tails after you rolled around and played on the floor, and get to put Monsters Inc or Angry Bird bandaids on your owies.

Sometimes, I can't always be there. But I see you wherever I go, and I love you.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Five Irrational Fears

Inspired by a hilarious blogger (and my friend) that you can find here, and her most recent hilarious blog post, I decided it's high time for me to discuss some of my irrational fears.

Jena hit the nail on the head in her post when she asked if she was alone in her irrational fears. I submit, she is not! We all have "normal person" phobias. You know, like spiders or snakes or heights, etc. But what about the ridiculous ones? Nobody cares if you're scared of spiders, sister. Get in line. But here are some not quite so rational phobias I have:

1. Tupperware.

Yes, I'm petrified of opening Tupperware that housed leftovers for any amount of time. I don't care if the food hasn't gone bad, I don't care if the food is all gone and it just needs to be washed. I literally go weak at the knees at the thought of prying open the plastic lid and the inevitable wave of "food smell" that will find me.  I have been known to throw away many-a-Tupperware as an alternative to having to open it, scrape out whatever it was on the inside, and put it in the dishwasher.

2. Dumpsters

Any time I have to walk out to a dumpster (like the one outside of my apartment complex, the big one outside of my office building, etc.), walk past a dumpster, or be in it's vicinity whatsoever, I stop short of the enclosing fence and reach deep down to find courage. There are four things that haunt me in their very idea that I associate with dumpsters. Dead bodies, cats, mice, and dead mice. Obviously, the latter is the most terrifying.

3. Chalkboards

Sure, they're not that big of a deal in theory. But I literally cannot concentrate on anything going on when I'm in the vicinity of someone writing on a chalkboard. I'm petrified by the idea that the person writing is going to do that awful thing where the chalk skips and then their fingers hit the board. Ohmyword. I'm done talking about this. It's upsetting.

4. Wings

(I tried to insert a picture of a moth, and I literally could not. It upset me too much.)

Specifically: moths, birds, butterflies and dragonflies.
I will cry. I will sob. I will hyperventilate.
If there is a moth in my house at night, I do not sleep until it's found and destroyed. My philosophy? Kill that thing so that it can't have babies. And a note to my husband: You cannot just smash it against the wall and go about your nightly business. A moth carcass is the last thing I wish to find when I turn on the bathroom light in the morning. Happy wife, happy life. Kill the thing with wings, and hide the evidence.

5. The Taste of Medicine/Vitamins

I'm scared to death that when I take my vitamins or any kind of medicine, that I will taste the pill itself before I drink the water and swallow it. This is especially true for vitamins. They are vile. They are horrible. I'm not even being dramatic here, they're putrid. And in my anxiety and rush to hurry and shove the pill in my mouth, grab the water, and swallow before I taste the powdery outside horrible-ness, I often either spill water everywhere or miss completely and end up not only tasting gagging on the wretched taste of vitamins, but I end up having to start over entirely, and clean up a mess.

Tell me some of your irrational fears! Are Jena and I alone in our acceptance of unrealistic/unreasonable worries?


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

HauteLook Summer Beauty Bag

Because I love you, I will share this bit of loveliness.

Until Thursday, the Summer Beauty Bag is on HauteLook. It's $29. HIT IT UP. Worth WAY more than $29. The retail price is $100.  You want it. I promise. CC cream, Lipstick, primer, mascara, blowout spray, and a lot more!! It includes brands like Aveda, Estee Lauder, Laura Mercier, etc.

Find it here. You won't be disappointed.

You're very welcome. ;)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Not So Green, Green Smoothie

Here's a little well known fact about me. It's something that I'm really good at. It's something I do well; something I've always done well. I guess you could say it's a strength of mine.

I'm excellent at eating junk food.

Like, excellent.

And I can put it away.

I eat Oreo's by the sleeve. I love all members of the carb family, especially when they marry a nice Mozzarella or Asiago and have an adorable pizza or pasta baby. When we get a pizza, especially BBQ Chicken pizza, I out eat my husband. I've pretty much always got a soda in my hand, and there is a drawer filing cabinet in my office devoted to one thing: candy.

That being said, I know the importance of fruits and veggies, and we always have plenty around the house. Not a meal is had without both of them (once I ran out of fresh fruit so we just had our regular meal with sides and veggies and my four year old said, "Mommy, you forgot to give me my bowl of fruit."), but that doesn't mean I don't need to be better.

One way I'm trying to cram in what's good for me (and use it to replace, oh say, my second pizza of the day), is my morning smoothie. My goal is to have one every single morning (as my breakfast--okay, there may be granola bars involved as well from time to time) and on the mornings when I don't have one, I can tell the difference in not only my hunger level throughout the day, but my energy level. It is really sweet and you don't taste the greens at all. I love feeling like I just had a treat, but knowing that I got all of those veggies and greens in my system.  However, I don't do well with a green smoothie. Maybe it's psychological, maybe it's that they taste like crap...but they're just not my thing. So this is my take on the green smoothie, even though it's not quite so green.


Here's the recipe:
1.     8 oz. Apple Juice (Any juice is fine, or even water. Just make sure your juice is NOT juice cocktail. 100% juice, only. No added sugar, or else you might as well just drink fruit punch.)
2.     8 (ish) frozen strawberries
3.     1/2 frozen banana
4.     1/4 cup frozen blueberries
5.     1/4 cup frozen raspberries or peaches (optional)

Blend until liquid and moving easily through the blender. Then add about 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach (without stems) one at a time until they're completely blended, followed by about 1/2 cup of fresh kale (without stems). I use my Ninja blender, and it works great, although Vitamix is the

On my busy work mornings, I mix it up as soon as I get up, and keep it next to me all morning as I'm getting ready. If it's not all gone by the time I head out the door, I just take it with me! But on mornings like today (Saturday), magazines are definitely involved. And always a straw.

Share your smoothie recipes with me!!


Thursday, June 20, 2013

First and Last

Being a mamma means a lot of things.

Too many things to ever try to dictate in a blog post.

But among the many, being a mom means you witness a lot of "firsts", both for yourself and your babies.

There are first haircuts.
And first days of pre-school.
But there are lasts, too. I think that sometimes, we just don't recognize them as much. Slowly, but surely, they grow up. One day, there will be a last time that these crazy babies find a laundry hamper to sit in while they watch a movie...

One day, Ellie won't sit in a high chair anymore. She won't say "no" to everything, even if she means "yes". It will be done, it will be gone. One day, Landon won't say "K" sounds like a "T" ever again. And one day, he'll be able to pronounce "directions" instead of saying "delections."

I think they're worth every first and every last.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


I walked into my room today, and I saw the same thing I see every time I walk in there.

But it was kind of different today.

Everyone, meet Stella.

When I first asked for a guitar, I was about 15 years old. I think that my parents probably thought it was a phase or that I wouldn't stick with it, but they bought it for me anyway. She's no Gibson, but I love her, and I wouldn't trade my guitar for the world. She's pulled me through a lot over the years.

That being said, Stella and I have drifted apart a bit the last few months. I've looked up at the wall and seen my guitar, and I've thought about playing, but I've been in a funk, and it hasn't felt right. It hasn't felt the same.

But tonight, feeling inspired for the first time in a while, specifically by a particular song, I dusted her off (literally...she had a layer of dust...) and we hung out for a few hours. Like I said, she's been on the wall for a few months now, so the after a tuning session (or four) that one particular song turned into several.

So now, with fresh callouses and a clearer head, I can't help but think that I'm pretty grateful for that song, and the subsequent followers. I'm glad she's quick to forgive and pick back up where we left off. Maybe Stella and I sent a little light tonight.

1. Beam Me Up- Pink
2. Falls on Me- Fuel
3. Learning to Breathe- Switchfoot
4. From Where You Are- Lifehouse
5. Please Remember Me- Tim McGraw
6. In a Little While- U2
7. Words I Couldn't Say- Leighton Meester
8. World Spins Madly On- The Weepies


Monday, June 17, 2013

Ipsy vs. Birchbox: June 2013

I am so excited to review my Ipsy bag and Birchbox for the month of June. This month is full of fun surprises, and as usual, each subscription is just $10/month. This is so worth it, you guys!! Every time I open up either subscription, it's so obvious to me that the product value is above and beyond my $10!

If you're new to the blog and need an intro on this on going rivalry, or you want to learn about how you can earn free Birchboxes or fun surprises from Ipsy, check it out here.

I'll start with Ipsy this month:

Ipsy's theme for the month of June was "On the Wild Side". Fitting, enclosed treasures considered!
First of all, let's discuss how cute this bag is? Leopard print? Hi, have you MET me? It's as if I designed it myself, I swear. I can't think of anything I need to put in it right now. Maybe I'll just carry it around with me wherever I go and...cuddle it or something.

Next is the NYX cream blush in the color Rogue. This blush is beautiful, especially for summertime. It's very dewey and looks natural and pretty. The swatch on my hand is hard to see in the picture, but I really think that's a testament to the kind of blush it is; understated, pretty and soft.

This came in a full size. And I'm very happy about that.

Next is a lip liner by Starlooks in the shade Tipsy. This is a really gorgeous coral color. It's bright, but definitely not too bold. I wore it with a little gloss, and could even pull it off for church without it looking like "too much". I think it's beautiful, long lasting, very smooth and doesn't feather out or make your lips look dry like some lip liners do.

This is also a full size sample.

Next is a cream glitter palette by J. Cat.

This is horrid.

Like, horrid.

Like, there is body glitter horrid, and then there is this stuff.

It's gaudy, and not in a good way. It's glittery and not in a good way. It's not meant for your eyes, so.....where do I put it? They say it's a cream, but it's more of a gushy (yes, gushy) craft glitter nightmare.

Literally, I put this in.the.garbage.can.

Full size? Maybe. Don't care.

Next from Ipsy this month is a highlighter pencil by Chella in Ivory Lace. This product is so great! It can be used as a highlighter under the brow bone, for under eye circles, to cover blemishes, as an eye opener in the inner corners or outer corners...the possibilities are endless. It's so pretty, so creamy, easy to blend, but stays where you put it. (What a novel idea, right?)

I don't think this sample is full sized, but it's definitely not small by any means!

Lastly, Ipsy sent a gel eyeliner by Cailyn Cosmetics in the color Iron.
This is a great liner, with a really great built in brush. It's a grey slate color, and I think it's awesome. It does just what it says it will do. Plus, presentation is everything and how pretty is this jar/brush combo?

And now onto Birchbox!

First, Birchbox sent me a sample of an exfoliating foaming scrub cleanser (yeah, all those things in one!) from Suki. This smells really yummy, but honestly, I can live without it. It's kind of a cool concept (foaming scrub), but the full size is about $35 and I think I'd have to be pretty much in love to spend dollars like that on a cleanser. Regardless, if you have the dough and you like it, I'd definitely give it a shot!

Next is a really pretty nail polish from The Color Club (one of my favorite polish brands) in a really cute ivory color. This is from their new wanderlust collection, and I'm a fan! It goes on really smooth, dries quickly, but doesn't get sticky on the brush before you're finished.
I really love this next product. It's a really pretty lip color by Laqa and Co. I received it in the line's signature color, Lambchop, and I adore it. I'm sure I'll be purchasing this when I run out.
Lastly, these two hair products were included this month. One is a nautical themed hair tie by Birchbox and one is a dry shampoo by Klorane. I didn't think much of either of these, and wondered how much use I'd get from them. But then this weekend, I saw them sitting on my vanity and they became part of a haphazard but really fun asymmetrical french braid. And now, I'm sold. I love these hair ties. I.want.more. Plus, this dry shampoo couldn't be a more perfect size to toss into my purse or to travel with. I'm really happy with both of these.

This month was tough, as usual. My favorites from Ipsy was the NYX cream blush, and I could definitely live without that train wreck of a glitter palette. Birchbox won me over with the Laqa and Co. lip cream/pencil but I could have passed on the cleanser. All things considered, I think that Ipsy wins again, but I'm not willing to give up either subscription!!

Check out the websites and get yourself signed up!! Go see how you can earn points and end up with a free Birchbox every few months here.

And check out Ipsy and how you can get these adorable bags and maybe even a really cute surprise (like the white and gold bracelet I'm sporting in some of the above pics by BaubleBar) by going here

Let me know who you think should have won! I'd love to get lots of feedback and I'm going to do a giveaway for a subscription to the company that you guys like the most! 


Saturday, June 15, 2013

What We Wore: Family Pictures

Pictures c/o: Nicole Leigh Photography

Adelle: Shirt: Children's Place, Skirt: Wal Mart (Best $5 I've ever spent), Shoes: Children's Place, Bows: Children's Place

Landon: Shirt: Children's Place (I'm feeling an awkward theme, here), Jeans: Old Navy, Shoes: Old Navy, Hat: Hurley

Daniel: Shirt: Kohls, Jeans: Rock and Republic, Shoes: Lugs

Lyss: T-Shirt: Old Navy, Lace Cardigan: Bella Ella Boutique, Black Jeans: Kohls, Shoes:


Monday, June 10, 2013

Dead Ringers

I wasn't sponsored for any of these reviews or suggestions.

Hey, ya'll.
So, this post has been in the works for some time, now. To give you a little background, I'm maybe the cheapest person alive, but I'm also kind of a snob and I want the best of the best.

See my dilemma here?

It's a rough life.

Anyway, in my quest to find the best and avoid spending small fortunes, here are some cheaper (read: drugstore) dead ringers for some of my favorite products.

Let me know what you think, and share the love if you know of some awesome dupes that I didn't include!

1. The Pencil Eyeliner That Won't Rub Off or Transfer to the Top of Your Eyelid

High End: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Eye Pencil
$19 at Sephora
Okay, so I LOVE this eye pencil. But guess what? It's like $20 at Sephora for EYELINER. Are you kidding me? Where's my free sample, thankyouverymuch? This stuff goes NOWHERE until you wash it off, though. Which is so great.

Drugstore: Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner
$5 ish
I am in love. I bought these for my sister and some friends, because I loved mine so much. (Wait, did I give you any, sis?? Meh.) These are so great because they stay put, but you can also blend it out and make it smokey-ish if you hurry and do it before it dries. If you wait, it's stayin' though. (Until you wash it off. Duh.)
The white and nude colors are gorgeous in the inner corner, and they stay put in your waterline and don't bug your eyes.

2. Setting Powder That Actually (ahem) SETS

High End: Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder
$34 at Sephora

I've talked about this gem before. I love it. I use it right after my primer if I'm using foundation, and I use it after my BB cream dries if I don't want the hassle of primer/foundation. It's super fine, so it doesn't allow you to get cakey and fills in all the little lines.
But it costs a fortune.

Drugstore: elf High Definition Powder in Translucent

Just as good, people. It has silicone in it, which is the magic ingredient in our friend, Make Up For Ever. And I didn't break out when I used it. So there ya go.

Also, don't be dumb. It's a setting powder. If you use a ton, you'll look like Casper, savvy?

3. Lipstick That Doesn't Look Like Crap

High End: Mac. Duh.
$15 at Macy's

Everyone knows that the best high end lipstick ever is Mac. I'm in love with Bombshell and Raspberry Swirl, but Raspberry Swirl was unfortunately just a limited edition. (Why do they do that?!?)

Drugstore: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick
$4 ish

It's kind of hard to find exact dupes for colors, but I love this lipstick just as much as Mac and it's like 1/4 of the price! Plus, they have a lot of matte colors that I love. Right now, my favorite is Primrose (a cream lipstick) and Sky Pink (matte).

4. A Cream Eyeshadow that Doesn't Crease, YA DIG?!

High End: Mac Paint Pot
$18.50 at Macy's

These are great. They do just what they say they'll do. They don't crease. They're pretty alone, or under powder shadow (primer style).

Drugstore: Maybelline 24 Hour Tattoo
$5 ish

These are just as good, last just as long (in the jar AND on your face, yo!), have just as many of the colors that I like, and you can get four for the price of one paint pot. I need to talk about this anymore? Mmk.

5. Highlighter So That I Can Fake it That My Face Looks Dewey Like a Sun Goddess

High End: Benefit High Beam
$26 at Sephora

This is so pretty. But the weird brush thing kinda throws me off. I just like my little sample. Mostly b'cause it was free. Holla.

Drugstore: elf Shimmering Facial Whip
$1. Yes, I'll repeat that. $1.

I love this, and I love all the colors. It's pretty as a highlighter on your brow bone, too. Works great with a stipple brush, and I like blending it with liquid blush. And it's a dollar. Oh, and it's a dollar.
But the name weirds me out. Facial whip?? eew.

6. Things To Make My Hair Look Like....Really Great

High End: Things That Smell Great, Work Great and Cost My First Born
(Redken, Aveda, Matrix/Biologe, Bumble and Bumble, etc.)

Drugstore: Suave Professionals

And they're all like $3

7. Concealer For Ma' Mug

High End: Kat Von D Tattoo Concealer
$25 at Sephora

Drugstore: Hard Candy Glamoflauge Concealer
$5 ish
This one comes with a weird concealer pencil thing that didn't match so well...and I chucked it. Adios.

8. Brushes

High End: Sigma F35
$18 at

Drugstore: elf Tapered Brush
$3 at

These are both great, and the sigma is actually a little bit better. But not for double (plus) the price. Just not gonna happen.

So there ya have it! I know that there are so many more, so I'd love to hear what your favorite dupes are! Also, what do you think is WORTH the splurge??


P.S. Get excited boys and girls (mostly girls....), because I just got word that my Birchbox and Ipsy Bag have shipped. Get ready for a review, yo.