Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Pumpkin Pie Potpourri

I don’t know about you but there is just something about the month of September that makes crave PUMPKIN! Pumpkin spice lattes (from Starbucks, that I never like, but insist upon trying each year), pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin candles, wall plug ins you name it! There’s just something homey and delicious about this smell that really gets you in the swing of autumn. Pumpkin pie wall plugs from Bath and Body Works are a staple in my home right and normally the candles would be to, but this year with a toddler roaming the halls I find myself leery of lighting candles. Especially since I’m never in one room for long. Now don’t get my wrong the wall plugs do a great job of filling the home, but for me personally I wanted a little bit of a stronger baked smell through out my home. The kind were you walk in and smell pumpkin pie being pulled out of the oven. This got me thinking what if I forgo the stress and expense of my beloved pumpkin candles, but instead make my own stove top potpourri! And after a few trial and errors I’m here to present to you my new favorite Pumpkin Pie Potpourri. 

All your going to need is: 
  • 1 sauce pan
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg 
  • 2 to 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla 

Bring the water to a boil before adding in all your ingredients and turn the temperature down to low. And let the sweet delicious smells waft through your home. Just be sure to check in on your pot from time to time to make sure the water hasn’t evaporated. You don’t want the smell of a burnt pot in your home! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

What's New At Sephora/Haul

Good morning Beauties, Happy Wednesday! How is your week going? For those of you who are having a wonderful week I hope your week continues in a positive direction. And for those of you who aren’t having the best week, don’t worry its never to late to turn things around! Today we are going to be talking about New Products at Sephora! Yayyy! Who doesn’t love new products at Sephora, I’m sort of a Sephora addict so at least once or twice a week I like to pop onto my Sephora app and check out the “What’s New” section and last week in a moment of weakness I broke down and placed a huge order. Lets take a look! 
  • Proraso ‘Shaving Cream’ Sensitive Skin Formula. I have sensitive skin on my legs and with all the shaving that comes during the summer months I keep ending up with these tiny little red bumps on my legs and under arms. Ugh! But when I found this shaving cream with oatmeal extract and green tea to calm the skin I knew right then and there I had to buy it! And the price isn’t bad at all $10 for 5.2 oz. Thats a pretty good deal to me. I can’t wait to try this shaving cream out tonight! 
  • Sunday Riley ‘U.F.O’ Ultra- Clarifying Face Oil. Like many of you I have been swept up in the Sunday Riley craze and let me saw this skincare line isn’t a fad. It really works! My skin has never looked better with Good Genes and Luna Sleeping oil, I’m hoping to have continued luck with the ultra-clarifying face oil. 
  • Boscia ‘Sake Bright White Mask’. A face mask that treats: dryness, uneven skintone, fine lines and wrinkles?! Sign me up! Peel of masks are my favorite type of masks. I find they do an even better job of removing impurities from the skin and leaving you with soft/supple skin. Let’s hope this peel off mask lives up to its claim! 
  • Dr. Brandt Skincare ‘Magnetight Age-Defier’. I tried this mask out the first night I had it in my home. What you do is apply a thin layer of product over the skin, wait five to ten minutes, wrap a tissue around the magnetic that comes with it and use the magnetic to remove the mask from your face. I know this might sounds crazy but my skin felt amazing after using this product. I’ve only used it once so I can’t say it whether or not it lives up to its claims to remove fine lines and wrinkles, improve firmness, elasticity, and texture. But I will certainly keep you posted! 
  • Bite Beauty ‘Multisticks in Gelato and Lotus’. Bite Beauty is my favorite lipstick line hands down and when I saw they had created a multistick for your eyes, lips, and cheeks. I knew I had to try them out! I picked up two shades. Lotus a lovely pink shade and Gelato a more purple toned color. I’m most excited to try Gelato! 
  • Elizabeth and James ‘Rollerballs in Rose and Bourbon. If you love the Elizabeth and James Nirvana White and Black, you will not be disappointed in the Rose and Bourbon perfumes. Sephora describes the Rose scent as rose, geranium, and vetiver. Confident. Refined and Seductive. And the Bourbon contains notes of Vanilla Bourbon, Oakwood, and Tuberose. Passionate. Unpredictable. Provocative. I personally lean towards the rose a little more but I have a feeling I will be ordering full size versions very soon. 

What new products have you purchased recently at Sephora? Any recommendations? 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sunday Riley U.F.O

Sunday Riley U.F.O

Hello Beauties, Happy Saturday! I hope all of you are having a relaxing weekend with your friends and family. Summer is drawing closer to an end and our oldest child is getting ready to go to school this year! Instead of writing an informative post for you today, I need your advice today! 

For the past week or two I have been hearing tons about the Sunday Riley Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil. And I do mean everyone is raving about this product, so naturally I ventured on over to to do some research. The website stated this product is designed to clear pores, treat and prevent acne, and smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Skin types: normal, oily, combination, dry, sensitive everyone! Fantastic since I have normal to dry skin. 

The next day I headed to Houston to pickup a bottle of this amazing skincare oil, at the store I purchased the last one and rushed home to try out. But when I got home and opened up the box, the bottle stated this product is for ‘oily/acne’ prone skin… I’m so confused! For all of my fellow Sunday Riley fans I’m asking you, whats the deal with this product? Is it for all skin types like said or is this product designed for oily/acne prone skin? Let me know your thoughts in the comments down below. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Product Empties

Hello Beauties, today I am going to be sharing some empties with you. I love reading and watching ‘empties’ videos and posts. Not only do you get a mini review of the product but you find out if the person is going to be repurchasing the product again or not. And that my friends is the true test of a product, deciding whether or not your going to repurchase! 

First up, lets talk about some dry shampoo. I don’t know why but lately it seems like I have been going through a ton of dry shampoo! Batiste Dry Shampoo for medium brunettes, Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo, and Elizabeth and James Nirvana in White. 

Batiste dry shampoo for medium brunettes is my favorite drugstore dry shampoo of all time. In fact its in my top three dry shampoos. I love the fact this product has a brown tint to it, I can’t tell you how many times in the past I have used a dry shampoo, thought I brushed it out well and found my scalp looking grey later that morning! Thankfully with the Batiste I don’t have to worry. This product is a definite repurchase! 

Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo was ok. I didn’t have any problems with it and the smell was ok, but to be honest I don’t think this is one product I will be repurchasing in the future. In fact this dry shampoo was part of a dry shampoo assorted collection box I purchase back at Christmas time. Needless to say it was time to use this lil mini up. But I don’t see myself repurchasing this product. 

Elizabeth and James Nirvana White is hands down one of my favorite dry shampoos of all time! The smell is divine and the product itself does a wonderful job absorbing the oil in your hair. I find myself still catching the smell of this dry shampoo throughout the day, heck strangers at the grocery have stopped me and asked me what perfume I’m wearing. lol. This is my second and third bottle of the mini and by now I’ve gone through two full size bottles. And I’ve already repurchased my next bottle. This is a must have item! 

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day  5 in 1 styling treatment. Looking for a product that provides volume, smoothness, conditioning, strengthening, and polish all in one step? Thats exactly what the Living Proof 5 in 1 styling treatment does. After getting out of the shower I like to take a quarter size dollop and work this product throughout wet to damp hair. From there you can choose to blow dry your hair or let your hair air dry, either way you are going to be pleased. Another must have item! 

Philosophy purity face soap. Best face soap every is how I would describe this product. You can use it on your Clarisonic, yours hands, a wash cloth, use it to remove your makeup, if you happen to get soap in your eyes this one doesn’t both your eyes. I absolutely love it, this is my fourth or fifth bottle of this stuff. Currently I’m using the Pericone MD face soap, but I can guarantee you when that bottle runs out I’m going to go back to my purity face soap! 

What products have you finished up lately? I know in my next empties post I will be sharing some makeup goodies! Have a wonderful week beauties! 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Pregnancy Weight Gain and Weight Loss

Its hard to believe that this time last year, my family was preparing for the arrival of our second child. This past year with both of my kids and husband have been amazing, with lots of happy tears, first times, and many sleepless nights. But isn’t that part of what goes into a mom? For each of us our journey to becoming a mom or a better mom each day is unique. I’m not a natural mom, but I love my kids. So every morning when I wake up I tell myself today I am going to be a better mom then yesterday and make it happen. I read the books, magazines, and websites. I talk to friends and family. My husband has been wonderful and supportive and my mother in law has truly been an inspiration. In my heart I believe that she is one of those people who was placed here on earth to be a mom. Even now with my husband in his early 30s you can see in her eyes that he is still her little boy. Now don’t get me wrong, she’s not telling him ( or us) how to live our lives, she’s not sending him socks and underwear in the mail. But she’s always there to listen, to be a sounding board and provide advice when needed. However today’s blog post isn’t on being a natural mother, but my pregnancy weight gain and the year I’ve spent loosing the weight. 

I want to be up front and say to you when I became pregnant with my son I was over weight for my height. Not terribly and I like to tell myself I wore the extra pounds well. Let’s just put the number out there, I was 182. I wasn’t pleased with my body and I had tried to loose some weight before getting pregnant, in fact we even struggled with becoming pregnant. My first pregnancy was in college, I weighed around 152 pounds when I became pregnant with my daughter and though out that entire pregnancy I put on about 11 pounds, not bad at all. In fact when I gave birth to my daughter who was 6lbs and 6oz and all of the after birth, mind you it was a c section so the doctors did all that work for me, I weighed less then when I had become pregnant with her. So with my son I was determined to keep my weight gain low, reason being I was already stressed about my weight. In the first and second trimester I ate very similar to how I normally would eat before pregnancy, indulging my body’s every craving and then the weight gain started to excellerate. I was miserable! I was to focus on how much weight I was gaining and how was I ever going to loose all of this once I had my child, that I didn’t really take to time to truly embrace the wonder of producing a little human being. 

My true change started at the beginning of my third trimester, I decided to start making small differences in my diet for not only myself, but for the baby as well. Now mind you I didn’t eat poorly before I just wanted to do better. The first item I wanted to eliminate from diet ( and when I say diet, I don’t mean to diet. Diet is just how I eat) was soda. I was drinking about two to three cans a day, sweet tea, and slushies. I knew this wasn’t helping my weight, my baby, or setting a good example for my daughter. So I gave all those up for sparkling water or diet waters. They still tasted sweet and the had a fizzle like soda. I used this as a stepping stone of sorts to wean myself from soda. From there I started introducing more water into my diet. For whatever reason I would only drink bottled water from one brand. Silly I know but it was making a difference for me, my baby, and daughter. 

I may be a stay at home mom but l was never much of cook till this past year in half. Before that we ate out a lot or our meals came out of boxes. I attribute this to weight gain I put on before getting pregnant my second time around. But I knew if I ever really wanted to be healthy and set a good example I needed to start cooking at home. So there I was well into my third trimester looking up recipes in cook books and online. Burning or over cooking the fast majority of them in the beginning. My daughter ate a lot of mac and cheese cups throughout that time and my husband ( a true champ ) suffered through many blacken meals, but he never criticized me in fact he encouraged me to keep trying and become a better cook. And he was right, the more I practiced and the more often I cooked my food started turning out better and better. Till even I was impressed with my own cooking. Now I love to cook! Its something that I do every day and I don’t get tired of. 

By the end of my pregnancy I had gained 17 pounds, putting my weight up to 199lbs at my sons birth. I know for many of 17 pounds seems like nothing to me at the time, someone with poor body imagine I felt like this way awful, and to be honest it was never really about the 17 pounds but the fact that I weighed 199lbs at my height and age. To be fair I knew I going to loose a good portion of the weight at the birth of my son, but the concerns were still there about what happens afterwards. In a second post here in the next couple of weeks I’m going to talk about how I lost 55 pounds after my son was born. This weight loss journey has been a wonderful experience that I hope will you inspire you in some way. But before I end this post there are a few brief points I want you to take away from todays post. 
  • DON’T FOCUS ON THE WEIGHT GAIN! No matter what you can loose the weight, instead think about the amazing human being you are producing. 
  • If your displeased with your diet or lifestyle, pregnancy is a good time to change it. For me it was soda and fast food, yes you can drink soda and eat fast food during pregnancy, but why? Its not good for you or the baby. And one of the thoughts that I had during pregnancy was how is this food benefiting me and the baby. Don’t deny yourself the temptations of the occasional cheese cake, gummy worms, or cheese burger, but don’t do make it an every day indulgence just because your pregnant. Use the pregnancy as a sort of guide to a better diet. 
  • I know was a little late to the game but in the third trimester I started doing pregnancy yoga and ladies let me tell you it was amazing. Not only was it  healthy for me and the baby but I feel like I was able to bounce back from the c -section faster.
What about all of you? Have any of you struggled with poor body imagine during pregnancy? How did you over come that struggle? 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

How to Bake Chicken Breasts

Cooking 101: How to Bake Chicken Breasts 

Hello Beauties, Happy Hump Day, today we are going to be talking about cooking. Specifically chicken and how to bake the perfect moist chicken breast. I’ve only been cooking for a little over a year now and I must say when I started I didn’t even have any idea how to preform some of the most basic tasks. Like cutting an onion, learning to season food properly, or how to even bake a simple chicken breast. 

Too cook the perfect chicken breast your going to need a few basic items:
  • Salt
  • Peper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Baking Sheet
  • Cooking Thermometer (not a must have)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, while the oven is heating rub a small amount of EVO onto your chicken breast, follow up by lightly applying salt and pepper to both sides of the chicken. Once your oven has reached 400 degrees, pop the chicken into the oven for 30 to 40 minutes. I like to start checking the temperature of my chicken around 30 minutes. Your looking for an internal temperature of 165 degrees. I generally pull my chicken out around 170 degrees just to make sure the chicken is cooked through. Once the chicken is cooked I like to let mine rest for 5 minutes before cutting it. And there you have it my friends perfectly baked chicken that your entire family is sure to enjoy. I know my husband and kids will be enjoying these tasty chicken breasts on a caesar salad tonight! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hello Beauties, Happy Hump day! Today we are going to be talking about gift guides specifically a gift guide for a one year old. As my youngest childs first birthday is rapidly approaching, I have found that many of our friends and family are uncertain what to buy him for a gift. Now don’t get me wrong he is going to be one if you handed him a box or a remote control he would think its the best gift ever, not to mention I don’t believe in buying a lot of toys for little ones. I find that they don’t play with them and they end up cluttering the living room. Thankfully we will be moving into the new house fairly soon, and I for one cannot wait for the toy room! Yayyy, toy room! Anyway today I have complied a list of toys and items that I believe would make the perfect gift for a child turning one (male or female). Everything on this list is items I have asked for from friends and family. Not to mention this is my second child so I think I have a better understanding this time around, or maybe not. lol .

First up we have books, both my husband and I are avid readers and its very important to us that we pass or try to pass this love of reading onto our kiddos. So any type of book, whether it be Rainbow Fish, Good Night Moon, or Dr. Seuss books are sure to make a wonderful present. We purchased a couple of the Wide Eyed Books, ‘One Thousand Things’ by Anna Kovecses, ‘Technicolor Treasure Hunt’ by Hvass and Hannibal, ‘Pattern-Tastic Treasure Hunt: Spot the Odd One Out with Nature’. I know my little man may not be old enough for all these books, but I think he will love the beautiful bright pictures in the books!

Next up we have the LeapFrog Sing and Play Farm, this small active farm house is sure to entertain your little ones on those long car rides. Teaching your child animals names and sounds, with farmyard songs, colors, and rhymes will make traveling a breeze with your child. We don’t travel anywhere without out our little farm, my little man especially loves all the buttons and switches on his! 

Cuddle and Kind Hand Knit Plushies. While scrolling through Instagram one evening I discovered the company, Cuddle and Kind. There goal is to provide children in need with meals, the purchase of one doll provides ten meals to a child. I don’t know about you but anytime I can buy a toy for my child that is not only adorable but helps others that is what I call a win win. We ordered the cat (Benjamin) for ours son birthday and the mermaid (Isla) for our daughter. But I have a sneaky suspicion that Santa will be delivering two more to our house come Christmas time. 

Melissa and Doug’s Pounding Bench. I don’t know what it is about wooden toys but I’m obsessed with them and this pounding bench is beyond adorable. I have a feeling my little man is going to be spending ours pounding away at this toy. Maybe I should go ahead and order my ear plugs from Amazong now. lol

Keeping with the wooden toy theme B. Zany Zoo Wooden Activity Cube, every time we go to our family doctors office, there is always a group of kids hanging around one of these gigantic wooden activity centers. And ever since then I have been on the hunt for a smaller affordable one for my own home. B.’s Zany Zoo Wooden Activity Cube was just the fit for our house. Its compact and affordable, and my little man spends hours walking around it playing with all the neat toys on it. His favorite is the wooden ducks, that my daughter helps him move! She is an amazing big sister! 

Little People Big Animal Zoo. You know how you tell yourself you’ve purchased all the toys your going to buy your child’s birthday and somehow you end up in the toy aisle in target looking at an amazing clearance deal, well that my friends is how I stumble upon the Big Animal Zoo at Target. This adorable zoo set with the elephant and monkey is definitely one of those toys my son can play wit now but years to come as well. 

Moving on from the toys, Nordstrom is currently having there anniversary sale where I picked up the cutest bath time set. The Honest Company ‘Dreamy Lavender Gift Set’. We regularly use pampers and the honest company diapers and wipes in our house, so when I saw this little set I knew I had to pick it up for both of my kiddos. The set comes with full size products and its a great deal! But if you don’t live near a Nordstrom or this product sells out, don’t worry instead create your own little bath time gift set for the birthday boy or girl. I’m sure mom and dad will love how practical and cute your gift is.

I know clothes can be a little cliche but I love receiving outfits for my little people, some of the cutest baby clothes I have received have come from Baby Gap and Target. As an early birthday gift my son received a little blue onsie that says’ Some roar, I just smile’. So cute and the matching little pants make the outfit! 

And lastly my favorite place in the world to buy baby shoes, Freshly Picked Moccasins. Their shoes come in both soft and hard soles and they fit a wide variety of ages from newborn to size 13 in kids. I know for some of you $60 can be somewhat expensive but trust me, your little walker is going to love them. My little man wears his for hours and never tries to take them off. 

Now that I have shared my perfect gifts for the one year olds in year life, tell me what items you generally gravity towards for those little ones in your life. I’m always looking for a good recommendation. Have a wonderful week Beauties!