28 September 2015

September Beauty Review

I hope you had a great weekend and an even better start your week! We have a good friend whom we haven't seen since college, visiting from Hawaii! Thanks to mama nature we have been spending a lot of time hanging around the house just catching up. Its been a seriously cold and rainy couple of days here in Anchorage. I would like the cloud cover to lift for a bit so he can at least catch a glimpse of the mountains before he leaves tomorrow... I mean come on!

Towards the end of August I shared my thoughts on some of the beauty products I had tried during the month (read that post here,) and I thought it was a lot of fun! It's not only helpful for me to kind of take stock in the things I've been using but it's so great to bounce product reviews around with you and grow my Ulta/Sephora/Nordstrom wish list. Seriously, I almost never purchase a new beauty product without first consulting a couple of blogs or YouTube videos to get the scoop. (Am I the only one???)

Since I'm all about putting good juju out into the world wide web, here are the products I tried this month and my thoughts on them.


(Oh! These are mostly skin care products because, well, moving meant makeup wasn't happening on the reg.)

born this way foundation review
one || two || three || four || five 

Up & Up Deep Pore Cleaning Strips || I know I've talked about these strips before, but they deserve to be mentioned again! Blackheads on my nose have always been on of my primary skincare concerns. (Gross, I know.) There really isn't much I can do to get rid of them it seems. No scrub, dissolving gel or treatment seem to get the job done as well as these strips do. Now, in this case I'm not simply purchasing the store brand to save money; these work better than the Biore strips in my opinion and the price tag is just an added perk. If you have to deal with blackheads like I do, I highly recommend giving these a shot!

StriVectin Advanced Retinol Pore Refiner || I'm not much of a primer gal, so when I got this in the mail, I was skeptical. It is intended to be used as the final step in your skincare routine both in the morning before you apply your makeup and night. Generally speaking, I think a simple moisturizer does the job just as well as most primers do. Buuuuut the whole "retinol pore refiner" bit really got me motivated to give it a fair shot. The box claims that over time you will notice fewer fine lines and wrinkles as well as less noticeable pores. A little anti-aging mixed with something that may mask the massive crater sized pores I've got happening around my nose? Yes please! I've literally used this every single day this month, whether I'm wearing makeup or not. It makes such a huge difference in the texture and appearance of my skin making me feel more confident on the days when I choose to forge foundation! I will 100% repurchase this, in spite of its steep price tag. Worth every penny!

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation || This is a medium/full coverage foundation that is infused with coconut water, alpine rose and hyaluronic acid. It's supposed to offer a natural looking finish while simultaneous taking care of your skin. Sounds pretty perfect, right? The reviews I've seen on this stuff have been pretty hit or miss. One of the biggest complaints I've seen is that people are unhappy with the "tone" of the shade range claiming the foundation is too yellow. I freaking LOVE this foundation! A pump and a half covers my entire face damn near flawlessly while feeling like I have nothing on. I set it with this stuff and I'm good to go. With most brands/foundations, I best match to the lightest shade in the line, but that wasn't the case with this. The lightest shade was in fact too yellow for my skin tone, but the next shade darker was a perfect match. So, maybe this isn't a foundation you order online, but I definitely recommend checking it out! (Sidetone: This foundation does not contain SPF so be sure you don't skip your sunscreen when wearing this stuff. I've been loving my R&F face sunscreen!)

Hyaluronic Eye Cream by Mario Badescu || Thanks to my dna (and maybe having two under two has something to do with it as well) the bags and dark circles under my eyes rival that of a 95 year old. Fo real! I'm constantly on the prowl for new, crazy eye creams to work their magic on my face, but every now and then I will reach for something a bit more simple. Enter this Mario Badescu hyaluronic eye cream. My thoughts on this are really just...well, ehhhh. Not bad, especially considering how affordable it is, but also nothing fantastic. There is no fragrance and it is fine to use under makeup/undereye concealer, but I didn't feel it did anything special in the way of hydration. 

Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum by Neutrogena || Honestly, I only purchased this because I'm out of the two serums that are included in my reverse regimen but still have decent amount of the exfoliator and toner left so I want to use that up before I reorder. Anyway, I've been really impressed! I use this morning and night and find that it soaks into my skin really quickly and cleanly. A couple of nights a week I use it with my derma roller and can definitely feel this serum doing its thing! Totally a good, drugstore anti-aging product!

And that's all she wrote! What products have you tried lately? If you have a beauty product related blog post, leave us the link!

26 September 2015

Michael Robert - 5 Months Old

Better late than never with this update, huh? The photos were taken in a timely manner; this post however, not so much...

Happy HAPPY five months of life Mikey!! Seriously, Mike has to be one of the happiest (and most ticklish) babies on the planet. His laugh is infectious and he has the most amazing sense of humor. We find he is only ever upset if he is tired, in his carseat or has just gotten body slammed by a toddler. Fair enough, right?

infant development

Numbers || Mike did not have a doctors appointment this month so I don't have the down and dirty stats this time. Given his clothing size and overall sturdiness (and leg rolls), I'm going to scientifically hypothesize that he is somewhere in the 18 pound neighborhood.

5 month baby development

Diet || Breastmilk. All day everyday. And I do mean allllllll day...

5 month baby boy development
aaaand his hands or whatever else he or his sister can manage to get in his mouth...

Loves || Being naked, being tickled, his paci, the swing, being worn in the Ergo, faces, his hands, his feet, putting everything in his mouth, Mallory, the dogs, talking, his play mat, smacking his tummy,

5 month baby boy development

Loathes || The carseat. It must run in the family... ;)

baby development

Clothes || Generally speaking Michael is wearing 9 month clothing. He seems to have shorter legs (sorry bout that son! My bad...) so he can still get away with wearing 6 month pants but can wear t-shirts as large as 12 months! Oh and still size 4 diapers!

infant development

Baby Gear || Not much has changed in this regard since last month. He did rediscover his obsession with his paci and play mat though. These pacis by MAM are his favorite (some glow in the dark which is HUGE for Mom & Dad in the middle of the night!!) and we still have and love this play mat by Skip Hop from when Mally was a baby.

baby development

Sleep || We can't complain about Mike's sleep "schedule." He still sleeps better than his sister, buuuuut that is an extremely low bar to surpass. ;) Mike starts his night around 8:30pm and starts his day around 8am. He wakes up 3-4 times during the night but goes back to sleep quickly. As far as napping goes he seems to like a 1-2 hour nap around 10am then another 1-2 hour nap around 4pm --but nothing concrete with of course a few little cat naps sprinkled in throughout the day.

5 month baby development

Social/Milestones || Discovering his feet was the most exciting milestone for Michael this month. He's allll about his feet! We are learning that Mike is definitely more social than Mallory was at this age. He is excited whenever someone talks to him, even strangers, whereas Mallory was always a bit more skeptical of new people. He loves to chat, coo and giggle--like I said, happiest guy EVER! His joy is completely contagious!

5 month baby boy development

5 month baby development

Health || While the rest of us have spent the better part of the past month with a lingering cold, Mike has been unscathed! That boob juice is some crazy stuff I tell ya! Although I'd be lying if I said I haven't wondered why he hanse even had as much as a sniffle yet. I mean, he is damn near 6 months old and nothin'!

5 month baby development

5 month baby development

Until next month's baby book entry update...

Which is now in like 2.5 weeks because this one is so late. #secondbornprobs

Check out Mallory's 5 month update here!

21 September 2015

The look that "cheap" built

I've been slowly (emphasis on sssslllloooowwwwly) working on a wardrobe makeover of sorts. Working to purchase more classic, investment type pieces instead of collecting a bunch of lower quality or "trendy" things. Quickly I've noticed that other than budgeting and planning, there is another caveat to this plan of mine--I'm kind of rough on clothes. (Sorry 'bout that Mom! I totally get what you were always getting after me about now. Always having to throw clothes of mine away... ERRRRR!) 

Shoes, no matter the type, cost or quality, I can't make them last longer than a year or two. I don't know if I walk funny or just do exceptionally random, shoe damaging activities but my shoes just can't hang. Boots especially aren't up to the task. Year after year I purchase spendy ridding boots for fall and winter then when I go to pull them out the following year they look horrendous! Certainly, I'm not going to purchase shoes that I don't want to get dirty because they are super expensive or shoes that I can't play with my kids in... Discounted/knock off shoes for me it is! You know, generally speaking of course. ;)

Basic tops. Girl, I sweat! Like hardcore. No matter what, I can count on my shirts needing to be tossed due to dingy looking armpit stains. (Sorry if that's a little TMI but it's the truth!) So, the tops that are directly touching my body will also be lower quality and/or cost. The investment "tops" for me will be second layer pieces like vests, blazers, jackets, etc. 

Pants. I will eventually get to a place where jeans become an investment worthy item, but right now, they aren't. Why not? I literally wear jeans daily! Because I'm still loosing weight from having babies and discovering what fit/cut/style of pants are most flattering on my new mom body. Until I reach a weight that I'm happy with and want to maintain I'll be shopping for bargain britches.

Handbags. Ha! GOTCHA. I'll totally drop some cash on a good handbag! ;)

Sometimes it can be a bit of a challenge to look stylish on a budget. (Where my "champagne taste on a beer budget" ladies at?!) I like to do the shopping leg work online. It is easy to browse and compare save vs. splurge items online than in store. This is especially true when we are talking about sifting through the racks at Forever21, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Burlington Coat Factory, etc. #insanity! 
Once I have a few items in my head, then I hit the stores to try things on a see how they look in person. Don't you think some less expensive pieces just look better than others? Like "oh that shirt is definitely from Wal-Mart" versus "you only paid how much for that top?! It looks like it's from Banana Republic!" You feel me?

Anyway, on to the look that cheap built...

boots || Burlington Coat Factory $19.99 (similar)
jeans || Target - not online (these also from Target are nearly identical) (Oh! Don't EVER pay full price at Target, especially for jeans. They legit go on sale ALL. THE. TIME.)
lipstick || Lime Crime in "red velvet" (but I don't purchase Lime Crime anymore due to their whole corporate corruption thing--get MAC's "ruby woo" instead)
sunglasses || Target

Are there any items that you just can't/don't spend a lot on?

14 September 2015

What's what

An entire week has come and gone since I last showed my face around these parts. I don’t think that’s happened in the history of this blog! I swear it was a conspiracy. First, the whole move thing was scheduled to happen. You know, pack then clean, relocate, clean again, then unpack. Well, in true Army fashion, Kyle randomly had to go out of town. That’s right, Kyle has missed every ounce of this moving party! How many people can say they’ve purchased AND sold a home without being present for any of it? Kyle can! (Don’t worry, revenge will be swift and it will be sweet. ;)) 

As though a solo move with two under two wasn’t enough to keep me away from my computer, the Wi-Fi card on my desktop decided this wasn’t the life it wanted and crapped out on me. Sooo here we are, after a week of silence with only a few Instagram snaps to show for it. Lets catch up shall we? 

Here’s what things are currently looking like on my end…

Eating :: Mal’s leftover spinach pasta because my life is super glamorous.

Reading :: Our housing agreement and the 70965 pages that came with it. Man, living on post is like rules, on rules on rules! What do you mean I can’t check the mail in the nude or allow my dogs and toddler to host a WWE smackdown in our living room after 10pm?

Cooking :: Cooking? Anything that goes “ time cook, 4, 5, start” or can be expressed from my breasts. 

Drinking :: Coffee all day everyday with a sip of Pelligrino thrown in on occasion for hydration purposes only.

Making :: Progress. Ordinarily, I’m the kind of person who can’t sleep until every box is unpacked and it’s contents appropriately put away, but this move has been a whole different animal! The kids are less interested in the house being in order and more interested in being outside. But finally, after being in the new house for three days I have all boxes unpacked! Woo hoo!! Now I just need to get things on the walls and we can really call this place home.

Needing :: A Xanax. Kidding! Kind of… Mallory has decided that she literally can’t speak unless it is done in the form of a whine. No. No no no NO! Mama can’t handle whining. Scream, yell, hit, interpretive dance—I don’t care, just for the love of all things holy DO NOT WHINE! Whining sucks.

Wondering :: When Kyle’s flight arrives so I can punch my time card somethin’ fierce! I mean… so I can spend time with my sweet husband.

Feeling :: Grateful. Even though things have been a little nuts around here, it’s a good kind of crazy. We have a damn good life and for that I’m so so grateful.

Enjoying :: All of the playgrounds we now have right around the corner! I can legit get the wifi from my house at two of the playgrounds in our new neighborhood! Now that’s living! ;)

Wearing :: Leggings, slippers and an oversized t-shirt. It’s full on fall up here now which means it’s down right chilly!

Wanting :: Everything at Nordstrom Rack. Seriously, ever since the Anchorage store opened, it’s the only shopping spot I can think about. (Ok, I can't resist -- this necklace (I've been really digging the whole layered look lately), this top (because there is no such things too much plaid), and this sweater (winter is upon us!)

Hearing :: That music setting from Mikey’s swing. There are worse sounds...like WHINING! 

What about you? What is your life lookin' like?

05 September 2015

Volunteer State of Mind

It's football time in Tennessee!! If college football can't get me in the fall spirit, I don't know what will... Although, it seems I struggled to let go of summer last year too! Kyle and I are really starting to get the itch to be back in Knoxville. It has been nearly three years since we left good ole Rock Top and suffice it to say we are ready to be back! Knoxville is on the short list of places we would consider purchasing our "forever home" when Kyle is no longer in the Army--that's how much we love it there! Until then, we will just have to try and sneak visits in any chance we get. We are so excited to show the kids around and take them to all of our favorite spots one day. Word on the street is that it has changed a lot and I don't know how we feel about that? Are they allowed to make improvements/begin construction projects without the consent of alumni? They are?!? Well, they shouldn't be!

neyland stadium

university of tennessee

neyland stadium

Today marks the start of college football season! During our purging efforts for the move we determined that our Vol gear is in a rough spot. Everything we have is dingy and dated. That's completely unacceptable! So in the name of opening weekend and my favorite online button to click -- "proceed to checkout!"

gameday fashion

one || two || three || four || five || six || seven || eight || nine || ten || eleven || twelve || thirteen

And a few things for the little ones...

kids tennessee clothing

one || two || three || four || five || six || seven || eight || nine || ten

Clearly Kyle is own his own with this whole "replenish you're Tennessee gear" movement. ;)

tennessee volunteers

Where are my fellow Vols?!

02 September 2015

Call of the Wild

Because I'm struggling to feel good about summer's departure (which is happening at lightening speed up here in Alaska) let's call on a little retail therapy to cure my seasonal woes. I know animal prints are supposed to be a neutral but something about them makes me think of cooler weather and more vampy looks. I think my Instagram sufficiently confirms that I have an affinity for shoes in leopard print.  But while I was shopping for a crib sheet for Mike's room I discovered this cow print (his room will have a rustic/animal theme) and thought to myself "hmmm this sort of works as a 'neutral' too!" I know I know, this isn't new information to the fashionistas but I'm usually a day late on things like this. This is exciting stuff for me! Not that cow print needs to be front and center in my wardrobe, perhaps it's time to incorporate a few more animal print pieces!

Check it out...

animal print fashion

one || two || three || four || five || six || seven || eight || nine 

All of those pieces are totally doable, right?! Ok, maybe the booties are a bit of a stretch for my current lifestyle, but a fun staple to have for the future. The animal print tops have to sufficiently camouflage spit up and those earrings--so fun and unexpected! We all know it never hurt me to buy another pair of sneakers and those really don't have the painful price point that typically comes with animal printed kicks. Either [or both;)] the clutch or coin purse would be a killer complement to my fancy schmancy new bag

Just a few more days until we have a stable address for my online shopping habit...

What say you? Animal prints as a neutral that leans a little fall or nah?

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