TATE IS TWO

Alright my sweet angel baby.

Auntie’s already turned on the ol’ water works over your two years on this earth and she is barely holding it together. So let’s get to it!

Since you’ve turned ONE a whole year ago, you have been a busy little guy.

You really got into the spirit for your second Halloween! I believe Mommy also put you in a Hamburger outfit which I have made you wear multiple times since then against your will.

Your rocked your plaids and Patagonia and harvest festivals were MOST DEF your thang.

Ok but i really can’t stand how sweet your lil face is here.

Facetiming with you on Nana’s iPad and with Mommy really helped me to get through the months where we didn’t get to see each other.

But when I did come to see you, it was always pure bliss. You can bring a smile to my face like nobody else can.

Even though sometimes you resist my love…

And while you’ve NEVER been a good sleeper (sorry Meg), you have always rocked those jammies like a superstar.

Another thing you became ob-SEH-sed with is Mickey Mouse.

Nothing can put you in a trance like Mickey.

And Christmas was just theeee best last year!

Since the new year, you’ve been doing lots of fun things! Such as:

Getting hair cuts from Auntie Shannon!

Eating lots of food. Your favorites are pancakes but we all know how much you’re gonna love candy! Muahahahaaaa

Going on trips!

Here you are at our house!

At the park in Sellwood!

At the zoo!

And of course the Beach!

Seattle!

The weather warmed up at home and you were off to the races!

But of course, all that traveling meant lots of good sleep for Mama.

Recently, you’ve been quite the comedian and even learned the classic “CHEEEEEEEESE!” photo face:

You’ve also decided that in life, pants (and clothing) should be optional.

On our family trip, you got to spend lots of time with your favorite little girl E.

And I learned that taking pictures of you while you’re watching TV or while you’re in your car seat is the only way for you to stay still!

Sometimes, you act like the big two year old boy that you are – and prove that being two really is terrible!

But then you get over it.

You can so many words now! You say Mama, Dada, Papa, bowwwwwwl, oval (ohhh-vuhhl), baby (bee bee), bye bye, go!, yeah-yeah, noo and lots more. You know all your colors, body parts, and most importantly, the difference between a dump truck, tractor and pickup truck! You can shake your head yes and no, wave bye bye, make amazing animal sounds, wrestle, be sneaky and of course giggle for hours (my personal fave).

You can draw too!

There is no little boy on this planet that I love more than you my sweet . Keep being the precocious, sweet, expressive little human that you are.

With all my love,

Auntie Nataweee

 

 

 

 

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Natalina Ballerina

Chassé!

Jeté!

Plié!

You guys. I am officially a ballerina.

Well, technically I am not a proper ballerina, since that word is only reserved for professional, principal dancers at a ballet company.  But I am DARN CLOSE.

On a more serious note, YES. I did sign up for Adult Beginning Ballet at an academy in our neighborhood. 18+. no dance experience needed, one hour per week, ballet shoes required. It was a no-brainer.

on my way to class, bun and all

You see, I have been fascinated by ballet my entire life. It is without a doubt, one of the hardest things a person can do and I am just enamored by the pros who make it look easy. I love absolutely everything about ballet, the music, the grace, the costumes, THE BUNS, and just how incredibly beautiful it is.

Being an athlete my whole life, I always felt, basically trained my body to be the polar opposite of a ballet dancer. So I never even thought doing ballet as an adult was a thing.

WELL. Apparently it is!

I signed up with my pal Olga and we were among about 10 others in the class. Our teacher explained about alignment, strengthening our feet and how even at the age of 90, a person can become flexible again. She even mentioned that if we work hard enough, we could learn to go en pointe!

I peed a little.

During the class, we warmed up, did demi-pliés, tondus and elevés. We worked on first and fifth position and having our arms en bas and in the first position. We stretched at the end…which for me, was basically this:

But like, it’s okay because I got to:

  • Wear a bun
  • Put on little tiny dangly earrings
  • Wear ballet shoes and point my feet in them
  • Listen to classical music at the barre

Here’s Olga and I in all our glory at the end of class:

her hands are SO much better than mine

LIVE YOUR DREAMS guys.

live your dreams.

Here we are at the end of our first class.

Big News

Hello all my cinnamon Altoids.

Today I bring a bit of news that is worthy of sharing!

No, I didn’t get stiletto nails.

No, in fact I did not win the 6 foot tall Pusheen plushie from Fuego at the mall.

I did recently cut three inches from my hair (srsly best decision I’ve ever made) but that also isn’t the news.

We bought a house!

Yeah. So rent in Portland is basically like 2039409 dollars a month and while I love the fact that I don’t have to mow a lawn or fix things myself,  I hate the idea of throwing money away. Money that could be spent on more important things like:

The Elektra Cosmetics Bolt Balm in Opal Unicorn

NOT spons’d (i wish)

So, we ponied up and purchased a little place all our own. 1,500 square feet of blissful homeliness with which we can drill all the holes we want. I may even wallpaper you guys!

Anywee, here are the digs:

She’s cute, right? Gotta love a good Cape Cod. It should be noted that my black thumb will likely kill all the plant you see here. Thank God for bark. And river rock. Lots and lots of river rock.

So far, we’ve been buyin’ up a crap load of new crap for the joint. Hat tip to Ikea! We also got a new couch and chairs for the living room which I never want to NOT be sitting on. We’ve painted, hung sh*t up, haphazardly watered the lawn and tried to be organized but you know – it’s a work in progress.

Just got the keys in this blurry, tilted gem of a photo

 

The one and only presentable room, furniture tags still on!

yyyep

Paint swatch! Is it brown or grey? There was a major debate.

We have made more progress over Labor Day weekend as the Megs and Nan graced us with their HGTV-worthy presence. We decided on a paint color for the living room (which is called Krypton. WTF?), Meg chose a new color for the downstairs bath and we nabbed a Pottery Barn-esque mirror from ROSS for $24.99.

Oh, and baby Tate played in our brand new pool in the backyard!

The fact that it’s a wading pool is irrelevant.

I mean look’a that face!

Please comment below if you’d enjoy some “before/after” posts of my humble attempts at decorating this shanty. I’d be much obliged ;).

Drugstore Makeup Haul

G’day chiclets!

Who remembers chiclets? I was all about the white and pink flaves. SO good. But today I am not here to talk about gum. Or even candy.

Today, let’s talk about some random crap I have purchased at various locations!

Ecotools Skin Perfecting Brush

Ok, who else has tried Ecotools brushes because all of the ones I’ve purchased have been amazing. They are soft, hold up well after multiple washings and are pretty inexpensive. I found the above model at Big Lots for $3. I think I’m going back for more.

Miniature Covergirl Lash Blast Mascara

How adorable is this tiny mascara? You don’t really ever see travel sized drugstore mascaras so when I saw this (again at Big Lots) for $1.50 I snatched it up REAL FAST. And a sidenote: why don’t more drugstore brands make travel-sized mascaras? They would KILL. I hope this ones still in good condish seeing as it was purchased at Big Lots.

Covergirl Full Lash Bloom Mascara

David actually bought me this at the store! He just came home with it one day and was like “I bought you makeup!” all proud. When he whipped out a mascara I was thinking “oh dear god it’s gonna be like a brown waterproof formula”, but he ended up getting a good one in exactly the right color. GO DAVID!

Dollar Store Nail Gems

A bit tacky? Sure. But why not spice up the nail game very once and a while. E helped me pick out these two suckers for my party nail the other night.

Lash Paradise Mascara in Mystic Black

I know. It has taken me FAR too long to review this already adored mascara. I plan to do a full review as I have been using it now for awhile. I do like it, but I also have some things to say about it.

L’Oreal Blend Artist Foundation Blender

Per Youtuber Casey Holmes, I purchased this sponge. It took me FOREVER to finally find one but I really needed it, seeing as I lost my Beauty Blender a month or two ago. So far, I realllllly like this and to me, it is better than the Real Techniques one! I also want to try to Flower Beauty one from Wal-Mart but they are out of stock errrrywhere.

Wet’n’Wild Color Blast Mascara in Cobalt Blue

I’ve been really wanting to try blue mascara as of late, so I picked this up the other day at Rite Aid. It was in a Halloween-type display with lots of other colors. It is a rather bright blue, which is awesome. The formula however, is not the best.

Wet’n’Wild Eyeliner in Navy

I realized my favorite Jordana liner was about 237 years old so I decided to not risk a sty and toss it. I do want to invest in a nicer, high-end blue liner but for now this’ll do.

What have YOU purchased from the drugstore recently?

How I Deal with Keratosis Pilaris

Hellerrr.

Today, let us delve in to the oh-so-fun world of KP!

But first! A disclaimer.

I am not a dermatologist or scientist. I am simply a girl with KP. What works for me may or may not work for you and by no means am I an expert. Ok? PROCEED.

Keratosis Pilaris or chicken skin as I sometimes call it, is defined by Google as, “a condition that develops when the skin produces too much of a protein called keratin, which can block hair follicles and cause bumps to develop”.

Tons of people have KP and the severity ranges. The areas that typically get affected are the thighs, arms and cheeks. Unfortunately, it is hereditary and I have my Dad to thank for mine. THANKS GARE.

So, you get it.

I’ve tried LOTS of treatments for KP and I am here today to report my findings…what worked, what didn’t and all that I have learned.

HANDLING

Handle your KP as you would a newborn baby or quilted Chanel purse. Be super gentle. Contrary to what one might think, exfoliation and scrubbing only irritate the area and can make the bumps worse. Also – DO NOT use super-hot water on KP, exfoliating loofahs or body scrubs. Believe me, it only makes the bumps uglier! Even when I take a bath, I keep my lower thighs out of the water…also because I’m TEN FEET TALL.

 

TREATMENTS/CREAMS

Lots of common lotions contain ingredients like glycerin, mineral oil and alcohol and while these things are not bad for your skin, they certainly are not good for KP. Steer clear of using lotions with a scent, as hard as that is, and instead go for a more medicinal option. A dermatologist can look at your KP and based on the size and severity of the affected areas, recommend a lotion that is best for you.

What I like to do is use a menagerie of lotions when I get out of the shower. I’ll use a KP lotion on the affected areas and then use smelly or firming lotions other places.

The same rules apply to body wash, powders or just about anything else that touches those areas.

If you’re more of a visual learner, I’ve made this handy graphic for you!

Here are some of the treatments/creams I have used:

Prescription Urea Lotion

Urea is basically a tissue softener, which can help soften the build-up of keratin around the hair follicle. My issue with this cream was that it felt so chalky and gross. I couldn’t stand to have it on my body.

Derma Doctor KP Duty Lotion

4 ounces of this stuff is $38 which is the main draw-back. It has a glycolic acid base but contains a bunch of other good ingredients (like urea). I did notice a difference with this lotion but you have to make sure and use it every day or even twice a day. I would keep purchasing it to have on hand but it’s almost $40 and I need other things like 348975 liquid lipsticks.

Gold Bond Rough & Bumpy Skin Daily Therapy Cream

This formula does contain urea as well as salicylic  acid but the concentration must not be high enough because I didn’t really notice a difference with this.

CURRENT TREATMENT

I recently saw a new dermatologist for a skin cancer screening (which every one of you needs to go do!) and also asked about my KP. He took a look and based on the size and severity of the affected areas, he has recommended  salycilic acid and gave me this lotion to try out. Salycilic acid is a beta-hydroxy often used as an acne treatment. According to an article I read on Allure.com,  “Salicylic acid is considered a keratolytic medication, which means that it’s perfect for supreme exfoliation. ‘Keratolytic medications cause softening and sloughing of the top layer of skin cells,'”. TOTALLY PERFECT for KP too!

He also mentioned that I could use a body wash with salycilic acid, but that using the lotion on it’s own might make a big improvement.

I’ll keep y’all updated and let you know how my KP is doing because I know you’re all dying to know.

Do you have KP? What do you use (if anything!) on it?

Subscription Box Haul

How does everyone feel about the whole beauty subscription box game lately?

I remember when BirchBox first came out, it seemed too good to be true! A bunch of HIGH-END beauty stuff for a measly $10 per month?! But then the box came in the mail, month after month with unwearable colors, packets containing .0003 ounces of product or brands I’d never heard of.

I did Ipsy for a hot minute and while the surprise each month was fun – the products became increasingly disappointing. I have to admit that much of that had to do with the fact that I was buying more of what I really wanted and building up a really nice collection, so the random sample of sparkly purple nail polish just became blase.

I also recently dipped my toe into the FabFitFun pool and if you read this post, you know how well that turned out for me.

And while I think they are a great option for a beauty newbie or someone looking to expand their collection or try new things, they are just not for me. SO. I am a beauty subscription box skeptic and really not into spending my hard-earned dollars on chance products I may or may not love. So when my pal Holly offered to send me a box of things she personally did not want or need from her subscription boxes of  course I was totally delighted!

Sidenote: If my grandmother taught me one thing, it was a ride or die appreciation for grab bags. You know the ones. They used to sell them at the drugstore by her house and the thrill of not knowing what was inside was just titillating (that’s right).

So here are the contents of the grab bag from sweet Holly.

First of all, I was SO excited she included this lipstick set from Realher because she got the “natural pinks” where I was given the “deep reds”. These are really pretty colors and something I will definitely wear on the regular.

Contents include (from top to bottom) liquid lipstick, lip gloss and a lip pencil. Also sidenote: I am totally feelin’ the names on the packaging especially after binge-watching The Handmaid’s Tale.

I should also note that this liquid lipstick is like freaking PAINT. I swatched these early Sunday morning and after sweating, swimming and washing my hands 82743 times this was the swatch at the end of the day:

Other products she sent included:

This peppermint + chammomile massage oil from WILL  which I used on David’s calves after basketball one day and it was glorious.

A mineral peel face mask from O.R.G which I am excited to try out.

This Eau Thermale Avène Sunscreen for face in SPF 50. I absolutely love this brand (it’s french so DUH) and have tried a couple other skincare items from them. I am delighted to own this product to protect my face from developing more sunspots!

The Flawless Skin Fluid from Doctor D. Schwab.

This Skin Laundry Restoring Night Serum which I have heard great things about!

The Juice Beauty Smoothing Eye Concentrate. I LOVE Juice Beauty so I am very excited about this product.

These samples from Rodan + Fields which I already LOVE!

A Korean facial sponge.

Keratin gloves and socks from Bodipure which I will be definitely using in conjunction with a face mask!

These loose pigments from Your Minerals.

Here is the white shade (winter):

A Manna Kadar Lipstain in Lucky which is gorgeous.

Lipgloss in Flower Child from Passport to Beauty

A scarf from Michael Stars (LOVE THESE COLORS!)

Fingerless grey knitted gloves (not sure of the brand) which I also love.

And lastly, some perfume samples from Tocca which all smell amazing.

So obviously a GIANT thank you to Holly for sending me all of these goodies! I will putting them to the test and reporting back of course. Have any of you tried these products? What did you think?

P.S Holly’s daughter included this lovely piece of art for me as well…heart = melted.

Sweet Blogger Award!

G’day my lovely plushies!

It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these fun lil’ posts so I thought WHY THE HECK NOT!? I’d like to thank the lovely Kittyp0p for nominating me!

1. What’s your biggest dream? 

To sing in a big gospel choir. With the robes and everything.

2. Favorite guilty pleasure snack? 

I love mixing different cereals together and eating it dry, out of small bowls.

3. What’s the meal you’re best at making? 

David loves these little appetizers I make and calls them California rolls. They’re really called Southwestern Baked Egg Rolls and I based my recipe off the one here.

4. How many teeth have you had pulled? 

Two wisdom teeth on my left, upper and lower.

5. What color do you hope your child’s eyes will be? 

Well first of all, I hope I am capable of having a child! If I am, eye color is the last thing I’ll care about. But if I had to pick I’d say blue, like mine.

6. Favorite book series? 

I really like all the historical fiction from Philippa Gregory, like The Other Boleyn Girl. Really great books!

7. Who is the most inspirational person you know that’s younger than you? 

For whatever random reason, I am really inspired by a ballet dance by the name of Joy Womack. She is a Bolshoi-Ballet trained dancer (one of the only Americans to train there) and her work ethic and drive is truly admirable. She also has a YouTube channel where I live vicariously through her.

8. What time is it where you are? 

6:00 pm PST

9. Where would you go to escape the world? 

Where would I? Well if I could go anywhere to escape it would be Paris or Capri. Currently, when I need to escape it is in my bed with YouTube.

10. Do you prefer sweet or savory foods? 

SWEET ALL THE WAY!