30 June 2016

Nailed it!



Lately it seems I'm gravitating towards anything with a nude hue. Nude shoes, nude lipsticks and nude nail polish! It can be tough for anyone to find truly flattering shades of nude, but I've noticed it is especially difficult for those of us who have fair skin. Is this color too brown? Does this shade make me look ill? Is this actually a nude or just straight up pink? 


By now, I'm sure you know my nail polish collection is just stupid. The number of exact duplicates should be reason enough for me to just say no to adding more polishes but... I just can't help myself! Somehow I manage to justify buying new shades because I don't get my nails done all that often but I ALWAYS have polish on my nails, so they actually get used. PLUS, in a salon I'd pay about $8 for just a polish change!! Why do that when I can DIY a full manicure at home and spend the $8 on a bottle of polish I can use again and again??

What was my point again? Oh! Nudes. Nude polishes. These are my faves...

Ballet Slippers || Cake Pop (I believe this was limited edition. Bubble Bath is a similar shade.) || Marshmallow || Latte Run (Sold out. Tickle My France-y is also good.) || Ivory White (Limited Edition. Alpine Snow is great!)

First, can I just tell you how shocked I was to discover that Latte Run actually works against my skin tone! In the bottle it looks like a tan nude which is normally a no-go, but it's advertised as being universally flattering and I'd have to agree!

One of my favorite tricks for applying more sheer, nude nail colors is to layer in a matte top coat. Applying the matte polish (I use this one) between your first and second coat makes the color soooo much more opaque!

I always finish things off with my favorite top coat by Seche Vite. Well, except in these photos HA! I only applied the actual color so you could get the truest sense of how it looks against fair skin. Aaaaaand so you could have random visions of the ice truck killer but with muted colors... ;)

What are your favorite "nude" nail polishes?

Shop the products mentioned in this post by using the widget below!



26 June 2016

Dream on girl...

I wish there were more people around to witness Kyle's category 8 freak out the other day. It went something like this...

Kyle || (from the other room) "AMANDA!"

Me || "What?"

Kyle || "YOUR BIRTHDAY IS SOON! IT'S JULY 2ND." (the second part of course being more of a question/confirmation)

Me || "Yeah. It's still on the 2nd. Why?"

Kyle || "Well, uhh, are you going to do your normal blog post so I know what to get you?"

The romance is alive and well in our house.

So this one's for you Kyle.

Note : There is not one single knife, gun, bow, or fishing pole on here, so buying anything of the like and trying to pass them off as a birthday gift for ME won't work this time. 

Just kidding. He's never actually done that, but I'd bet a kidney he's considered it. Just covering my bases. ;)


When I sat down to do this post the first thing that came to mind were family photos! The last time we had professional photos taken as a family were when Mike was just a few weeks old! I would LOVE to have some updated shots together in our new state!

There are a couple of things included in the image that I already have, but they are worth throwing into the mix because they are just that good! Those earrings for example were a Mother's Day gift from a dear friend of mine. They are so stunning and the setting is really unique giving a simple solitaire a little more interest. These are a bit spendy for a regular ol' gift but if you're looking for something extra special; these are great!


Oh! That sun safety kit is from Sephora and totally amazing! I've been singing the praises of this kit for a couple of weeks now. I think it is a great value for a great cause -- $20 of this $32 kit goes towards The Skin Cancer Foundation! The size and quality of the samples included are really impressive--none of mine will go to waste. I definitely encourage you to check out this kit! [HERE]

I may actually just go ahead and grab the stars & stripes tee for myself so it's here in time for the 4th... Sooo, scratch that one off Kyle. ;)

Hope you had a great weekend!

What's on your wish list?


Scroll through the widget below to find the items featured in this post. 
(I included similar items I love too!)

23 June 2016

2016 Summer Fashion Trends - Stay At Home Mom Style!


summer fashion trends for the non risk taker

Historically, I've been the type of person who takes a while to warm up to the latest fashion trends. By the time I get comfortable with the looks we saw on the runway and finally feel ready to try them out for myself, we have already moved on to the next season!

PS. When I say "looks we saw on the runway" I really mean themes from the looks we saw on the runway because DAMN--there isn't a money tree in my backyard and I don't have the fashion balls required for 99% of that stuff AND a supermodel I am not...

One of my own style goals of late has been to take more risks! Just because I'm not entirely comfortable with the latest fashion craze, doesn't mean I can't adapt bits and pieces of whats "in" to suit me and my lifestyle, right?

Let's take a look at three of this summer's fashion trends and come up with a few styling options -- styling options that those of us who are fashion wimps cautious can feel confident wearing!


lace up fashion

L to R || one, two 


When I first saw the whole lace up situation, I immediately had flash backs to early middle school when girls used to wear those jeans with the lace up crotch...Nope. Count me out!  No, sky high lace up heels aren't going to make their way into my shoe rotation. A plunging lace up neckline?  That wouldn't even make it into my fitting room!

But, it doesn't have to be all or nothing. These flats are the perfect middle of the road for me. They work for a quick grocery store run, pushing kids on the playground swings, even a dinner date--all while staying on trend!

I have yet to purchase a lace up top, but I'm thinking this tee would be great for summer!

how to style a bandana
L to R || one, two, three


Ahh, now bandanas are something I can really get behind! I mean, I already keep them in my closet! Naturally, I was excited to learn that bandanas are all the rage this season--but I have never worn them quite like the cool kids are wearing them. They've only ever been on my head a la Jessie James Decker (minus her level of hotness of course) and you know what, I'm calling that on trend! Granted, I use my bandanas to either actually hold my hair up or as a method of concealing a particularly bad hair day, but who cares, right?!

I may just be caught wearing said bandana a little more regularly this summer. On my head. Like I always have. Because function...  ;)

boho style
L to R || one, two, three, four


"Boho" is definitely outside of my style comfort zone. I just don't feel like the look as a whole really suits me. Not to mention when I see bell sleeves and I envision all of the food that I'm going cover those babies in at meal time. Huge flowy skirts? Not particularly flattering on my frame and not particularly practical for child wrangling. Crop top? Bahahahaha!

High wasted denim flares ... now that I can get behind. They make me look taller than I actually am plus the high waist kinda tucks everything in. Big fan of that! Not to mention the fact that they are freaking denim! Jeans will always prevail in my book!

Another option would be to simply throw on some everyday skinnies and pair them with an easy top like this one and some sandals. I think that outfit would definitely put off some boho vibes, don't you? Also, this boho fringe crossbody bag (for only $44!!) maaaayyyy just find it's way to my front door.

Oooo now my outfit juices are really flowin'!

What do you think? Tell me some of your ideas for easing into this summers' trends!

20 June 2016

My "Fake Awake" Makeup Routine

The dark circles under my eyes have been my chief beauty complaint for as long as I can remember. Constantly looking as though I just pulled back to back all nighters during finals is quite frustrating. Add the actual fatigue of having two toddlers to my genetics equation and well, you can just go ahead and cast me as the newest walker on The Walking Dead!

how to look less tired

I don't wear make daily, but I'm learning that it helps me feel less tired if a passing glimpse of my own reflection in the mirror isn't startling. Through extensive trial and error, I've landed on a quick and relatively simple under eye makeup routine to help me look more awake -- "fake awake" if you will.

how to look less tired


! BEWARE ! 

The following photos are the real freakin' kids crawling up my leg just out of the shot deal.

 Viewer discretion is advised.


no makeup look
Woof! You're welcome for that shot. White strips on my teeth and all...

In the name of sparing both time and your eyes from more photos like that, I went ahead and knocked out my morning skin care routine sans camera. 

You're welcome. ;)


bobbi brown color corrector

First up is Bobbi Brown's color corrector which is entirely too close to empty for comfort. Normally I just use my mostly clean ring finger and tap this into my under eye area, but a beauty blender is nice if you have yours within reach. (Note: Your beauty blender does not need to be damp for this.) I may even take it up onto the eyelids if my youngest has awarded me a particularly hellacious night's sleep.


This right here is the star of the show--IT Cosmetic's "Bye Bye Under Eye." It has hip checked my previous concealing front runners out of the game entirely! The tiniest of dots works it's magic on my face all. day. long. With this, I do the standard upside down V under my eyes and pull it up towards my temples then tap any excess on my lids for good measure. You could go in again with your beauty blender or just dive right into the next step if your entering toddler tantrum territory.


Foundation. Lets go the whole 9 today and throw on some double wear. Why the hell not? I really have been loving this brush to apply my heavier foundations.

how to use the secret brightening powder

I'd been using the elf under eye setting powder for quite a while until I finally bit the bullet and bought the cult favorite secret brightening powder. Is it better than elf's? Eh, maybe. Do I appreciate that it comes in a large enough container so I don't have to repurchase it every other week? Absolutely! Dusting it over the places I put the "bye bye under eye" using this brush by Real Techniques.

Brb. I'm going to go finish the rest of my face before the final step in this fake awake charade...


Ok. Last, but certainly not least is taking a white or light pink jumbo eye pencil to the inner corner of the eye--just scribble it in there then blend it out with my finger. My favorite is the Eye Bright Pencil by Benefit, but I ran out and I don't have an Ulta (or Sephora or anything other than the PX and Target to meet my beauty needs) in my town so the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in "milk" swooped in to save the day and my need for instant gratification.  

how to look more awake

And we're finished! Now, go slam back another coffee and fake it 'til you make it.

Happy Monday!

how to look more awake


Shop all the items from this post using the widget below!




13 June 2016

THE SKIN CARE PRODUCTS MY DERMATOLOGIST RECOMMENDS

When I last saw my dermatologist, it was to receive Botox injections for my hyperhidrosis. I figured, while I was in the office for something non life threatening, I figured why not pick her brain on all things skin care. I mean, who knows the next time I will be in the dermatologists office kid free, right?! So, we talked anti-aging skin care products/routines and I wanted to share her recommendations with you today! The best part is -- the products she suggests are each under $50 and can be purchased without a prescription!! Oh, and there are only FOUR of them!!

simple skin care
one || two || three || four

Cetaphil Cleanser || I'm fairly certain that every dermatologist I've ever seen has recommended Cetaphil products. Cetaphil is so highly regarded by dermatologists for their relatively short and simple ingredient list as well as how gentle yet effective they are on the skin. 

Elta MD tinted broad spectrum SPF 46 || This product is the newest addition to my arsenal and I'm pretty excited about it! As I've mentioned on this blog many times before, the best sunscreen is the kind you'll actually use, therefore most dermatologists are hesitant to name drop specific brands. This time however, I changed the wording of my question and asked which sunscreen she uses on her own face and why. Without hesitation she said the Elta MD tinted moisturizer for it's multi functional, high quality ingredients. It contains the amazing physical barrier SPF ingredient, zinc oxide as well as hyaluronic acid for hydration. The cool thing about this product is that even though it's a sunscreen, it has a sheer formulation so there isn't any white cast and it's tinted enough to serve as my foundation. Ok fine, plus some serious under eye concealer. ;) I'm a huge fan so far!

Paula's Choice Resist C15 Super Booster || Vitamin C serums have been incorporated into my skin care on and off for years, but my dermatologist convinced me to make it a permanent staple.Vitamin C has a laundry list of benefits to include defense against damaging free radicals and improving the skin's natural healing process resulting in diminished dark spots and increased collagen production thus more firm skin! Vitamin C can also give your sun screen a boost in effectiveness! I mean, where are the negatives here??

Cetaphil Lotion ||  Another Cetaphil product. My dermatologist said it is only necessary to use this lotion at night as your daytime SPF contains enough moisture to keep most skin types well hydrated.

The Routine


morning skin care

I start each morning by washing my face with my Cetaphil cleanser. After my skin has completely dried, I go in with a few drops of the vitamin C serum. I apply this by gently patting/pushing the product into my skin. Once my vitamin C serum has absorbed, (usually takes about 2 minutes so I brush my teeth while I wait) I finish my skincare off with some sunscreen and I'm ready to dive right into the rest of my makeup...or not. ;)

evening skin care


In the evenings, I start by removing my makeup, if I wore any. ;) (Normally I use these wipes then this eye makeup remover on a cotton pad.) After my make up is off I cleanse my skin using that same cleanser as before only this time I bust out the ol' Clarisonic. I'm always pretty diligent in rinsing my face --washing is pretty futile if I leave the dirty, soapy residue behind, right? Anyway, while my skin is still a little damp, I apply my moisturizer. Badda bing badda boom - night time skin care.

Something I add to both my morning and evening routines is toner. My dermatologist didn't even mention using a toner, but I personally find toners make a big difference in my skin. My face feels cleaner, more even in texture and I seem to experience fewer breakouts, so what the hell, right? In the morning I use my toner after I've cleansed but prior to applying my vitamin C serum and in the evening just prior to moisturizing. (I've included some of my favorites in the widget below if you're interested!)

Of course it's fun to add a mask or treatment to my skin care game every once in a while. Some of my favorites are this cucumber peel off mask from Sally's, the Sephora Collection under eye masks and this retexturing mask by Origins. I also love the Target brand pore strips!

And there you have it! My current, dermatologist recommended SIMPLE skin care routine.

What does your skin care regimen look like currently?

***It's worth mentioning that in addition to this uber simple routine, my dermatologist is a huge proponent of using Botox for wrinkles and prescription retin-A for anti-aging purposes and to combat breakouts.***

Shop my skin care favorites!



10 June 2016

Words on words

 Time for a little weekend word vomit!

An unrelated photo of a little cafe in Bisbee we visited a couple of weeks ago.


First and foremost--we had comfortable temps today!!! I'm talking low 80s and breezy AND there is even talk of rain!!! You may literally have to drag me inside today and tomorrow because I plan to soak up every minute of the non heat stroke inducing weather.





We are having some friends over for dinner. By "dinner" I mean, Kyle (who STILL hasn't gone back to work!!) is throwing some hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill. I mayyyyy open a bag of chips and pour some dip into a bowl, but--let's not get fancy. The plan is to eat, have a cold one and watch the kids play in our redneck oasis of a backyard - complete with plastic patio furniture, inflatable kiddie pool, water table and sprinkler. Martha freakin' Stewart right here...

via
Oh! And these are totally friends from Georgia aka pre-Alaska. Don't get all excited thinking I've already made new friends. HA! #introvert

Is it possible to be in a shit mood while listening to this song? Doubt it. I'm sure I'm way late to the game on this one, as the only thing bumpin' in my car is wheels on the bus--but still!

Can we talk about Mikey's first haircut!?!  Apparently you age 5 years once your ass hits the barber's chair...

Before


After 

baby's first hair cut

I pretty much live at Hobby Lobby and Marshall's now. NBD. Maybe if I hadn't just come off 3+ years of forced Hobby Lobby/Marshall's abstinence I'd be embarrassed to admit that but... here we are, screaming it from the roof tops! I mean, those stores are basically responsible for any/all home decor progress thus far...

gallery wall kids room
arrow || white frame (diy dots) || gold metal burst || heart balloon || clock || "never, never never give up" (not online - Hobby Lobby) || black frame (old, similar ||

minimalistic gallery wall
"welcome" (via Zulily) || "hey there"   || W || black frames || cube wall storage || ampersand (similar) || star (thrifted, similar)
tassel banner
Tassel Banner

Have you ever tried Burger King's mocha flavored iced coffee???! THE. BEST. We have a Burger King right around the corner from our house and either Kyle or I jet over there like first thing every morning. It's a problem. 


This weekend we are heading back to Bisbee to try a little breakfast spot that comes highly recommended--and that's about as exciting as life gets around here.

What do you have going on?



07 June 2016

What's On My iPhone 6s Plus?

About two years ago I shared the apps that I kept on my iPhone and well, a lot has changed since then.  ;) You know what hasn't changed? My nosiness! I'm obsessed with learning what apps other people use--constantly asking friends and family to dish on their latest and greatest app store discoveries. So, as much as this post is about me giving back for all of the times I've snooped around the web for good iPhone apps, I want you guys to take a look at what I've got and tell me what I need. K, thanks. ;)

 [You can find my previous "what's on my iPhone" post here.]  


must have apps for iphone 6s plus

Currently, I have a rose gold iPhone 6s plus with this case in white and no screen protector. #dumb (I've linked several other iPhone cases that I have my eye on below. I change my phone case entirely too often but I figure this replaces the thrill of getting a new phone on the reg. Right? Right.)

I used to keep all of my apps organized into 10398462 folders, but I've since dialed that back a bit. The first page is where I keep my heavy hitting, use all the time apps and those stand on their own while page two is still organized using folders. Old habits die hard...

I'm not going to go into detail about a lot of these apps, because they are either just extensions of social media accounts ORRRR they are those damn apps that Apple FORCES you to keep on your phone. HATE. THAT.

Anyway. Page 1...
 

must have apps for iphone 6s plus


Calendar || I do actually use this calendar, in conjunction with my Happy Planner, primarily for the alerts function but also because Kyle and I sync our calendar events so we can both see what's what. Read: so Kyle can forget to look at the calendar and have no grounds to claim I never told him. ;)

ColorStory || This is a relatively new photo editing app created by the ladies at A Beautiful Mess. All the photos I share on Instagram (and even some of my blog photos) are edited using this app! They have 100s of filters, dozens of effects and super sophisticated editing tools. But, my favorite feature of this app is that we have the ability to save steps and create our own custom filter. It makes editing multiple photos a dream!

Facetune || I use this app 99% of the time simply for the whitening tool--it's the best out there! Sometimes I will also use the details tool to make certain aspects of a photo really stand out. 

Cartwheel || I use the Cartwheel app like some people play games on their phone! No kidding evverrrything I pick up at Target gets scanned by my Cartwheel app before we hit the checkout line. My annual savings so far this year is $477.57 NBD

Google || I still have mixed feelings about the Google App. Really, the only reason I ever use a web browser on my phone is to Google something, so getting the app just made sense.

The Weather Channel || I've tried a few different weather apps now, and this one is still my favorite. I think it's the most user friendly and I love that the UV index is easy to find. 
 
Google Maps  || Ugh my sturggle to find a good GPS app! Google Maps is my latest and greatest thanks to the advice of an Uber driver. I was using and enjoying Waze, but it was draining my battery so it got the boot.
 
Gmail || I appreciate the fact that this app allows me to use my custom email signature, unlike the iphone's standard mail app. The gmail app is used for my blog email account exclusively and my personal email account is in the standard mail app.


must have apps for iphone 6s plus

Maps, Phone, Messages, Camera

Firefox || On my computers, Firefox is my browser of choice so I threw it on my phone too.


what's on your iphone


Compass, Tips, Voice Memos, Contacts, Find Friends, Find iPhone, Game Center, Watch, iTunes U, Numbers, Keynote, iMovie, GarageBand, Pages, Podcasts, Reminders, iBooks, Videos, iTunes Store

 GIF Keyboard || If I were a bettin' woman I would say that 90% of the conversations I have with my sisters are done using gifs from this keyboard. HYSTERICAL!

 Wallpapers || I've never really been the type to have an actual photo with actual people in it as the background for my phone. I don't know why really, just not my thang I guess... I usually peruse this app or Pinterest to find something that tickles my fancy.


must have apps for iphone 6s plus

 Health

Fitbit|| Speaking of Fitbit...where is that damn thing??! I haven't seen it since the move and all the boxes have long been emptied...



must have apps for iphone 6s plus

Clock, News, Weather, Settings, Calculator, Safari

myAT&T|| Because living in the land of tiered home data plans (Alaska) meant we were CONSTANTLY going over on data so I needed to keep a watchful eye on things using this app... 

Relax M. || Our go to sound machine when we are traveling or the kids steal ours. I've slept with white noise playing for years and now I have Kyle and the kids hooked too!

Remote || Thank God for this damn app! Apple, really with the tiny ass TV remote? Really?


travel apps for iphone


SPG || Our hotel rewards program of choice. 

Uber || Kyle and I finally got to use Uber when we went to a Diamondbacks game a few weeks ago! Uber isn't in Alaska yet so we felt oh so cool using it for the first time. 

AllTrails || Hands down the best trail maps right here! If you do any kind of hiking or frequent parks in your area, this app is for you.


food related iphone apps

Grubhub || Take out! I haven't used this much since we moved into our house, but it was key for hotel living. 

Starbucks|| I just got a Starbucks reward account a couple of months ago. Why it took me so long, I'll never know. Just being able to pay using my phone is reason enough to be a member!


the best photo editing apps for iphone

VSCO || I don't use this photo editing app much now that I have A Color Story (mentioned above)... 

Font Candy + || This app is great for adding text to photos.

Layout || Don't use this one all that often either, but it is nice to have in case I need throw a quick photo collage together?

Eyefi Mobi || Ah! I can't say enough good things about the convenience of Eyefi! Using my DSLR with the Eyefi memory card, I can snap a photo on my "big camera" and immediately upload it to my phone using this app! It cuts the cables, cords and laptops out of the equation which can definitely its advantages.

Later || This app allows you to schedule Instagram posts ahead of time as well as track and view your analytics. The only bummer is that it doesn't "post" to Instagram for you, it only alerts you of your scheduled post -- you still have to manually post to Instagram. (It's not like Hootsuite or Tailwind where you can schedule and forgetaboutit...Come on Instagram!! Get with the program!)


shopping apps for iphone



Suffice it to say, I do a significant portion of my online shopping on my phone. Middle of the night breastfeeding sessions are still a thing in our house sooo...I get regular surprises delivered to my doorstep. #sorryimnotsorry 

And that's it! 

What apps do you love? Spill!

Oh! Here are those iPhone cases I was talking about...





04 June 2016

Interview With Mallory || 2.5 Years Old

At two and a half years old, Mallory has us laughing constantly! I mean, the things that come out of her mouth --  bizarre. Most of the time we can't tell if she is actually trying to be funny, or if her brain just skipped a gear or something. Regardless, hysterical!

You know the kids' show Chuggington? They say "honk your horns" frequently and Mallory has always changed it to "honkey horns!" to be used as an expression. Well, the other day she saw something she thought was extra impressive and shouted "honkey SHIT!"

And so it begins...

What's your name?
Mallory Susan Woward

How old are you?
2 (holds up one finger)

Where do you live?
At home.
*my bad. stupid question...


Can you count to ten?
1, 2, 3 ,5, 6, 7, 8, 9


Can you sing your ABC's for me?
a, b, c, q, r, s, t, k, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, v, v, w, x, w, z 

*I think most letters are accounted for at least once somewhere in her list.

What is your favorite thing to eat?
Oil! (points to the olive oil dispenser on the counter)


What's your brother's name?
Mikey's one. Michael Robert Susan

*two answers for the price of one folks!

What is your favorite color?
Pink


What do you want to do today?
Go to a fun place.

*Now don't we all...

Click here to read more shit my toddler says!
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