My Non-Beauty Favorites

Hear ye! Hear ye!

I see SO many “Amazon Favorites” lists flying around the internet I thought it was high time I make my own. But it should be noted that I do not buy everything on Amazon. I get things at other fine establishments like Target, Goodwill, TJ  Maxx, Ross and as much as it pains me to say…Walmart.

These are things that make my life better. That make my days run smoother and my nights more wine-filled.

Black & Decker Handheld Vacuum 

Because what mom doesn’t need a good old fashioned dust buster in her life? I use this baby about 723094 times a day. Giant hat tip to my sister Megan for recommending this baby. Here are my favorite applications:

  • Cleaning up the food remnants beneath Clara
  • Removing the copious amounts of hair from the bathroom floors, counters and inside drawers
  • Getting allll the pine needles off the ground in the entry way
  • Sucking up all the loose setting powder I spill on my vanity err day

Liberty Creek Pinot Gris

Can’t say I am super proud of this one guys. But I am nothing if I am not honest. And this white wine…is gooood. Is it great? Probably not. Would it satisfy an individual with a sophisticated palette? Nope. Am I going to buy it forever because it costs $7 for 1.5 liters? Yep. I have got my whole family drinking Lib Creek and WE AINT MAD AT IT.

Walmart Rain Jacket

Calling all the amazons! My sister Megan gave me this coat for Christmas and it has easily become my new favorite. It has the perfect amount of lining, is the perfect length, comes in like 5 cute colors and best of all – ACTUALLY FITS ME. Well, actually – It has those little sleeve extenders with the thumb  holes which makes the sleeves extra long. On a normal person, they would extend beyond the knuckles and allow the person to utilize the aforementioned thumb holes. On me, it reaches my wrists, which means I cannot utilize the thumb holes. But I don’t like thumb holes anyway so it’s a win win! I just ordered a second one in black :).

Warby Parker Glasses

Warby Parker Eugene Women’s Frames in Tea Rose Fade

Warby Parker Durand Women’s Frames in Rose Water

Totally not spons’d by Warby. I just love me a good purr of $95 glasses! My insurance covers the standard $150 frame allowance and if you have shopped at your local optometrist’s office you know – the frames start at like $300! The frames at Warby Parker are cute, the selection is great, and best of all – it is SO EASY. Portland has a Warby Parker location (lucky us!) and there are no appointments. Just walk in, try on frames to your heart’s delight and when you’re ready just let them know. Hand over your prescription, they take some quick measurements and you get the glasses like 7-10 days later in the mail. I LOVE THEM.

“Clara” Nameplate Necklace

It is no state secret that I am obsessed with my kid. I am one of THOSE people. And when I am not with her, I am a little sad. For my birthday, my husband had this necklace made for me from my FAVORITE local establishment, Roger and Ives (seriously if you’re in the Portland area you MUST check this place out).  I probably wear this necklace everyday. I love it so much. I love that David got it for me. It makes me feel like Clara is always with me. I am now tearing up.

Oster Cordless Electric Wine Opener

I hate to add yet another kitchen gadget to the ol’ counter top. And believe me, counter space at our house is highly coveted due to the lack of it. This little gent however, will always claim a spot. It is hands down, the wisest purchase I have ever made. It opens a bottle of wine in less than 10 seconds and takes ZERO effort. Both my sister and my mom now have one and it also comes with a very handy foil cutter. Do yourself a favor and spend the $17 on this.

Bath and Body Works Candles, Soaps and Wallflowers

My home may not be perfect. There are crumbs, floors that need sweeping and surfaces that need cleaning – but one thing I know for sure my home is NOT… smelly. I am big on smells. It is the first thing I notice when I walk into a space. And when I walk into mine, I want it to smell like there are cookies baking, or tulips blooming or tiny fairies that smell like Gain are prancing across the furniture. BBW is a pioneer in the home-fragrance department and if you don’t burn a Marshmallow Fireside candle during the holidays, is it even Christmas? FIGHT ME.

Some of my favorite scents from Bath and Body Works include OF COURSE Marshmallow Fireside, Tiki Beach, Summer Boardwalk, In the Stars and Pink Petal Teacake.

Those are the non-beauty favorites for now! It really was hard to think of items I love that are not somehow loosely beauty-related…because really, are those NOT the most life-changing?

 

Baby Faves – 1 Year Edition

The more you know, right?

Today I am here to report on our favorite things after one year in the books. But before I do that, please note that the first rule with babies is that there are no rules!  What works for some will not work for others. This includes but is not limited to sleeping, eating, drinking, nursing, not nursing, oksobasically – everything. Every human being has different needs and the human we are attempting to raise is no exception.

But here are the things that stick out in my mind that have made this journey, well, better.

  1. SwaddleDesigns Cozy zzZipMe Sack

These have (hands down) been our favorite sleep sacks. The Cozy zzZipMe Sack is perfect for winter, or if you like to crank the AC in the summer. SwaddleDesigns swaddles, sleep sacks and blankets come in ALL different kinds of fabrics from cotton to fleece. We have made these sleepsacks part of our “routine” for both naps and bedtime and I feel like when we slip her into it, she knows it’s time to go to sleep. I basically want one for myself.

2. Bek and Jet Vegan Leather Bib

These bibs are wipeable and waterproof, yet surprisingly soft for being made of pleather! I am no Vegan but I can appreciate that they are. I mean, does a baby need real leather? I think not. I love that this thing stays looks nice no matter how much we spill. I have brought it out to dinner a few times because it is our “classy” bib.

Clara gives it a thumb’s up too.

3. Skip Hop Playpen

We got this Skip Hop playpen second hand when we realized we needed a way to keep Clara away from the Christmas tree. Since then, it has stuck around and been an immense help with keeping her little paws away from stuff. As you can see below in the super high quality photo I took of Clara sitting in her toy box, it goes across the fireplace and bookshelf so she cant get up on the hearth. What I love about this baby gate in particular is that it is pretty transparent (you can see through it) and it isn’t completely unsightly. It actually goes fairly well with the colors in our living room! I also love that it can be a playpen or just a babygate, as the wall sections bend either way and can be removed so it can fit any space.

I should also shout out this PINK baby piano she got for her birthday (thanks Grandma and Grandpa!), She absolutely adores it.

The photo below is how we wrapped it around the Christmas tree. And also…

4. THIS TRIKE! (Little Tikes 4-in-1 Trike)

We won this at a silent auction and have taken her out for a spin a few times with GREAT success. The kid absolutely loves it. I cannot image the fun we are going to have when it isn’t drizzling 24-7. Here we are on a couple more adventures.

Hat tip to Auntie Megan for the matching hats.

5. MUSIC!

Trying to open the piano.

I realized early on, that this child LOVES and reacts very strongly to music. She loves something with a beat, but also sways her arms back and forth to slower stuff too. If you have been following this blog for the ALMOST DECADE that I have been writing (holy t*ts) you know that music is in my veins. I sincerely hope that love gets passed on to Clara. Here is a list of our favorite songs at the mome:

  • Mozart – Rondo alla Turca
  • Vivaldi – The Ring of Mystery (on Spotify)
  • Fitz and the Tantrums – Hand Clap
  • The Office Theme Song

And that’s the list!

I mean, we have a million other things that make life easier for us. But when I find myself getting caught up in making sure she has alllll the “right” things (age-appropriate mind-stimulating toys, cute all-natural cotton clothes, grass-fed antibiotic-free milk, etc. etc.) I try to take a sec to realize she already has everything she needs. Because she has US. *cue the violins*

Current Makeup Lineup

Howdy ho!

Today I am back with a makeup-related post. FINALLY right?! I know I have been harping on and on about babies and the glamorous life I do lead a little too much lately. But it is HARD to talk makeup when life is a total circus.

But makeup is what I love. It is what I am hear for. And maybe even you too. So here, my friends, is what I have been putting on my face as of late.

Foundation

When it comes to foundation, I have come to the conclusion that I am a very big fan of a slight dewy or luminous finish. Strong emphasis on the word slight. When a foundation is too dewy, or too sheer, I find that it almost makes my skin looks worse. And the same goes for a matte finish. It makes my skin look old, and overdone.

I have recently tried a few foundations that fit this bill, but none have even compared to my love for the Flower Beauty Light Illusion Foundation, in shade L2. This formula is SO GOOD. Click here to read a full review of this.

Concealer

The concealer I am using at the moment is the Too Faced Born this Way. The coverage is great and it does not settle into fine lines. I mostly wear this one under my eyes and I do not have issues with creasing or dryness.

Powder

I use the Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder to set my entire face and under my eyes. There are few powders that I like for BOTH the face and the under eye, and this is easily my fave.

Bronzer/Contour

My favorite bronzer at the moment has to be the Soleil Tan De Chanel. It is perfect. It always looks natural and beautiful and I always feel bougie putting it on.

BLUSH

I have been really into bright pink blushes lately. For years, I was stuck on the peachy warm colors but I find they just blend right into my bronzer. A nice pop of pink is so much more natural looking on me and adds a much-needed brightness to my face.

Another fave has been cream blushes! They work great with the Chanel bronzer and can look so much more natural than a powder blush. My favorites as of late have been:

Wet’n’Wild Color Icon Blush in Pearlescent Pink

Tarte Cheek Stain in Flush

 

Brows

I am still using (and loving) the gool ol’ Anastasia Brow Whiz pencils. I use taupe and soft brown to lightly fill in my brows and the colors work perfectly on me depending on how long it’s been since I’ve had my hair done.

Mascara

I am currently using the Grande Lash mascara. While it is not my absolute favorite, it is a really nice formula. I also like that it is actually good for my lashes. I recently got this set from my sister in law Shannon, which contains a Grande Lash serum and mascara.

Liner

You guys! I found the best drugstore eyeliner ever! And it is $3. Say hello to the Essence Extreme Lasting Eye Pencil Waterproof in Blacklove. It does not move and is SO black!

Highlight

I have so many highlights that I wear on a regular basis. The one I reach for most often is still my good ol’ Makeup Revolution Goddess of Faith. It works perfectly with my pale skin!

What have YOU been using lately?

Clara is ONE

WELL. It happened.

And I tried so hard you guys. I did everything in my power. And it still happened. I am not okay with this for the following reasons:

  1. The older she gets, the bigger she gets. And the bigger she gets, the less she will let me hold her. And ALL I want to do is be able to hold her forever. Luckily, I am a pretty big lady so fingers crossed she will let me.
  2. Also, the older she gets, the less it is acceptable for me to bite her thighs, kiss the bottoms of her feet and nuzzle my entire face into her neck to the point where she is upset at me.
  3. Basically there is nothing good about her getting older.

On the day of her actual birth, we had a low-key family day.

I started it off with a rather dramatic cry. It just came out of me. Probably didn’t help that I listened to “Goodnight my Angel” by Billy Joel while I gave her a bottle.

Then I took her 1-year pictures in the chair and she was being so cute and funny.

Then, we got ready for her birthday outing! An afternoon at the Wiggle Room (a softplay center for babies).

Thanks to Auntie Meg for the matching hats!

And the next day, we threw her a birthday party. We did a Nutcracker/Land of Sweets theme and boy did Nancy go to town on the decorations! Clara is pretty lucky to have a Nana like her.

So adorable, yes?

I made her smash cake, which never got smashed.

I even bought an organic cake mix and used this bougie canned frosting that was like $6.99.

I am such a good mom, I know.

Clara Jane was just the sweetest she could be.

It was the best time ever.

We love this human so much. She has completely changed our lives and spreads the love where ever she goes. Happy birthday to our CJ!

Family Photos

WARNING! These were taken approximately 390834 months ago (or in early June) and therefore warrant the following disclaimers.

Disclaimer 1: I did not get my hair done prior to these photos.  I did have a haircut, but the color is REAL ROUGH. I know it’s bad and I’m sorry.

Disclaimer 2: The state of my hair is due to childbirth. If you are unaware, having a baby can cause hair loss. If you would like to know more or see additional unsightly photos, read this post.

I realize the first two disclaimers are about my hair. Believe me, there’s a reason.

Disclaimer 3: I did not look at this dress in a full, body-length mirror before these photos were taken. If I had, I would NOT have opted to wear an ill-fitting, unflattering garment simply because it was a nice brand in a nice color from the Rack for $14. Also, you cannot tell in the photos but it was stained AF. I made a poor, poor choice.

Disclaimer 4: I did not come prepared for these pictures. I did not bring a blanket, or any props or really anything at all.

Disclaimer 5: C and E’s outfits are just mehhhh. I chalk this up to my rampant indecisiveness that is a horrid symptom of my PPA. It came down to the wire on what they would wear and I just could not make up my mind for the LIFE OF ME.

OK, now that those are outta the way…feast your eyes!

Also, major hat tip to Liz Wade our photographer who was amazing, SO easy to work with, patient and talented.

After having lived through this experience (it was touch and go), I can now feel justified in offering up the following advice:

  1. Bring a GD blanket. Esp if you are taking outdoor photos.
  2. Before the photos, take care ‘ya business. Hair most notably.
  3. Dress up. This ones a personal pref, but I think photos look 823873 times better in more dressy clothing.
  4. Floppy sun hats are a YES for the littles.
  5. If your baby is still too young to sit up on her own, you best bring something to prop her up with! Or get yerself a GREAT photog like we did that can Photoshop out your hand that was holding the baby up (see pic of Clara sitting up as evidence, baby girl was being held up by David’s hand in this pic!)

Ghouls, Girls Trips and Great Times

Oh yes I did!

How about that title eh? Prrretty good.

If I did not use this kind of  title, I would have been forced to go with the truth, which is…I Work Full Time and Have a Baby! Or, I’d Rather Lay in Bed and Watch YouTube Videos than Write a Blog Post!

To anyone out there who works, has a family AND manages to do even a sub-par job at a hobby – GOOD FOR YOU. This sh*t is hard. Now I know why people  who used to have blogs or YouTube channels, or hobbies no longer keep them up…they had a kid haha.

I refuse to let this happen to me because –

  1. It is really important to me. I love writing and this is my self-care time. My therapist along with many Pinterest boards tell me this is okay.
  2. My family and I can look back at this stuff years from now. And that will be cool.
  3. When people tell me they read my blog, it makes me feel good. HONESTY!

So let’s start with Halloweenis. I had real high hopes of being one of those people who has her act together and organizes a cute family costume. Noooope. Didn’t happen.  I did manage to nab Clara something for $3 at Goodwill (which is the amount everyone with a baby should have to spend on a Halloween costume they will wear for approx .342 seconds). And since E stans hard for the Descendants, she was Uma. I don’t really understand the Descendants thing. I am hoping she discovers the glory that is High School Musical.

David and I did manage to make it out of the house for this annual Halloween party we are lucky enough to attend at our friend’s house. It is literally the highlight of our YEAR, this party. In years past, we always dress up as something funny or weird and I never look cute.

EXHIBIT A

So this year, David had one request…”Can you NOT look ugly for Halloween?” HAAhaaaaa.

So we decided to go as Hef and a Playboy bunny due to a long-standing obsession I have with the show The Girls Next Door.

I have to admit that I really loved getting all gussied up in this costume. I had on fake lashes, fake tan and fake hair meaning I felt wonderful about myself. David got a genuwine Playboy robe from Hollywood Vintage and I LOVE IT.

In early November, David, Clara and I ventured north to Seattle for a much needed girls weekend with my BFFs. I did a terrible job of capturing the memz, but I did manage a few.

The whole month of November was just wonderful. The leaves turned colors and we did lots of fun things, such as:

A fancy dinner out at Higgins with our trusty sidekick.

Getting some winter boots.

Visits from Nana.

Trips to Red Robin.

Christmas shopping (in shorts).

And putting up our tree in our new sugarplum fairy jammies.

We also had a lovely weekend visit with Auntie Amy!! We went to the zoo and had theee best time ever despite the fact it was frigid.

We were both not feelin’ a selfie so I snapped this photo for proof of life and also a perfect shot of my snaggle.

Clara was feelin the elephant exhibit.

An amazing couple of months we had! Now it’s time to await the 15 things I bought on Cyber Monday that were in fact, not good deals.

My 2019 Christmas List

Happy hizzledays everyone!

And apparently I am stuck in 2007, but according to Urban Outfitters 1997 is back so I’m only like a decade off.

I get so frickin’ excited to start shopping for Christmas gifts around this time!  And this year,  I have a new human to buy for :). Hope she likes random sh*t I find on sale between now and Dec, 25 🙂 .

For myself though,  the theme is basic and black! I need a few real practical items like black sneakers and a new travel coffee cup…but also want to try my hand at gel nails! See below:

  1. MelodySusie LED Nail Dryer Nail Lamp

So I am like, really good at painting my own nails. Trouble is, regular nail polish is terrible. It chips within minutes and takes FOREVER to dry. I used to have time for this, but anymore, I do not. I have acquired what I have determined to be a mediocre level of knowledge on gel nails and from that, have decided I am ready for an LED lamp. Because a UV one just won’t do. I also need to purchase a set of polishes and some other doo-dads but…patience.

2. Gapfit Studio Side Stripe Joggers  (Small Tall)

Did I tell you guys that I recently discovered TALL SIZES on various online retailers? I feel like such an idiot, walking around all this time with my sleeves too short and highwater pants, when J CREW has had a “tall shop” probs for like, years. I recently bought a J Crew quilted army green jacket in a medium tall and my life is forever changed. Now I need ALL THE THINGS in tall sizes. But the first order of business is getting a GD pair of joggers or sweatpants that are f-ing long enough. These ones from the Gap look so cute!

3. Gap sweatshirt (Small Tall)

Same thing goes for sweatshirts!

4. Nike Cortez Sneakers (9.5)

R.I.P my fave black perforated vans. I’ve had them for 3 years but I can no longer wear these out of the house. Both my big toes have busted through the top and they are now unacceptable. The Nike Cortez black on black sneakers look like a fun change-up!

5. Yeti Travel Coffee Cup

This could be the most practical item I have ever actually wished for.

6. Bumble & Bumble Styling Set

You guys know the ongoing saga that is my hair. Currently we’re in the awkward grow-out phase of postpartum hair loss and LORD give me allll the volume. Without it I am afraid it’s 80’s rocker hair all up in here.

7. Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer Mini

I am fresh outta primer and have always wanted to try this bougie one from Tatcha. They just released it in a mini which is perfect. Everyone should come in mini if you ask me.

And that’s it! I mean, obviously I could tolerate the entire holiday collection at Lush, or of course anything from Sephora. Or Yankee Candle. Oh! I actually really need a new wallet…

ok.

Better stop.