Thursday, March 22, 2018

Easter Dresses for Mom and Toddler

This post does NOT contain affiliate links. I am not promoting any of these stores. These are simply my opinions!

It's that time of year again. The time of year to start shopping for the perfect Easter dresses for me and my girl. Today I sat down and poured through our favorite stores to look for the perfect coordinating dresses for me and Little Miss P. Here are my tips to coordinate without being too matchy.

1. Pick dresses that have the same color but are different styles

Gone are the days of wearing the exact same dress as your littles. It's just too much in my humble opinion, but I do love for my girl and I to be in the same color, but it different style dresses. The two above are definitely winners in my book. I love the dress for me for LOFT for me. It is so feminine and I love the detail. Little P's dress would have similar details with the lace and is the same color, but the style of the dresses are very different. This is just enough difference to keep it from being too matchy matchy. We would look so cute together in these dresses.

Gils Dress found here and Mom dress found here.

2. Pick dresses that have similar color palettes but are not the same color.

In the case of the two dresses I chose above--they are both in the blue family but one dress is a light solid blue and the other is a blue floral. Mixing the solids and patterns in the same color family still shows cohesiveness without being in your face with the matching outfits.

Kids dress found here and it's $12.50!. Mom dress found here.

3. Mix patterns in bold colors

I love the idea of mixing these two very different pattern types with the same bold color palette. The both stripes in Little Miss P's dress would coordinate well with the bold colored floral pattern in my dress above.

Kids dress found here and Mom dress found here.

No matter what you choose to wear I am sure that you and your little girls and guys will look fantastic! BUT the question is... Which pair of outfits do I pick for My gal and I? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Tips for Dealing with Picky Eaters

Growing up I was a self proclaimed picky eater. I didn't like very much, and didn't try new things often...if ever. Because of my pickiness I knew that I would have a picky child. I am big believer in the idea that you get back what you give your parents. daughter is SUPER picky.

Here's a quick list of what my daughter will eat:
loaf bread
peanut butter
french fries
apples and applesauce
water melon
cream cheese
plain bagels
spaghetti noodles with butter or plain marinara sauce
kraft style macaroni and cheese
popcorn shrimp
Chick-fil-a chicken nuggets (she doesn't like them very much. I have to force her to eat them!)
english peas

that is it. Really. I swear. It's not very much at all, and it can really get me worried on a daily basis. I mean, what child doesn't like Chick-fil-A? It's almost sacrilegious in my neck of the woods. The even sadder part is that it has really gotten a whole lot better since I have implemented a few new tools into our lives over the last 6 months. Want to hear what has helped my picky eater?

1. Stop avoiding the problem!
For the longest time--I just avoided the issue by making her food that I knew she would eat. This meant that I was cooking her a separate meal every meal from the rest of the family. This is just not practical. This also meant that I was packing her lunches and dinners when we ate out--that is even more impractical, not to mention embarrassing!

After consulting my daughter's doctor we decided that something had to change! We stopped the avoidance immediately and prepared for all out war--and it was NOT easy! She put up a good fight, but I had some other tricks up my sleeve. Ultimately, I realized that I was exhausting myself, and I was doing my child a major injustice at the same time.

2. Provide incentives
This is one of the best tools that I have found to work with my picky eater. I recommend that you use what your child does like and make it into a reward for eating the other items on the plate. This could be a dessert, piece of candy, jello, or fruit. Whatever your picky eater likes--use it as a reward for eating those things that they do not like. My daughter has a major sweet tooth, and she loves cookies. I will put Oreos on her plate, but she has to eat all the other items on her plate before she can eat the Oreos.

3. Choices
I have noticed that my daughter is more likely to eat something when she has chosen it. When I am picking out what to make for dinner I will let her make decisions. It's something as simple as green beans or carrots? She is less likely to throw down with me if she makes the choice. Obviously you want the choices to be equally healthy or disliked for this tip to be effective.

4. Get peer help
My daughter would never eat pizza until Halloween when we went over to her bestie's house, and that is what they provided for dinner. Since her friend was eating it--she was excited to do the same. Ever since she has done much better with Pizza!

5. The bite technique
One technique that is an oldie but a goodie is the bite trick. For the things that my daughter really dislikes I give her a small number of bites that she has to eat of that food before she can have her dessert or treat. Usually I try to go for her age. Since she is 4--she has to eat 4 bites of carrots or green beans or spinach before she can have her cookie. This is the same method my mom used to use with me. It works so well!

6. Sneak them in
When all else fails a good way to sneak in unwanted fruits or vegetables is to sneak them in to a "milkshake" or smoothie. My daughter loves her "milkshakes" You can totally throw some spinach in with a banana and strawberries to give them some extra veggies!

Another product that I swear by is Juice Plus. These are fruit and veggie juice gummies that are whole food nutrition. My daughter thinks they are candy and she loves them! They really make me feel better at the end of the day. If all else fails I know that she has gotten the bare minimum that she needs with these gummies. You can check them out here. They are so good that I take them too! They are sold my independent distributors, so if you are interested contact me and I can give you the hook up!

I hope these tips and tricks help another mother out there who struggles with a picky eater! In solidarity, sisters!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Beauty Favorites Series: Drugstore Foundations

Everyone knows I love a good full coverage foundation. If I am going to take the time to do my makeup--then I want my skin to look flawless. I am always looking for a good foundation. Most of the clients that sit in my makeup chair are looking for the same thing--but they don't get a professional discount. Because of this fact, they are looking for drugstore foundations that can get the job done. I thought that I would do a post on my favorite drugstore foundations for those of you who are looking for a foundation that gives you the best bang for your buck.

1. Revlon Colorstay 24 hour Foundation $12.99

this foundation is a good dupe for the Estee' Lauder Double Wear Foundation-- which has a huge cult following. It is extremely pigmented, and also very matte. I love this foundation and it is one of my go sot. The only issue that I ever have with it is that it can dry my skin out in some areas. Since I have pretty dry skin it can be a problem for me. If you are looking for a cheap full coverage foundation that will wear for a really long time--then this is great. It's especially good for oily skin. The shade range is pretty good for a drugstore foundation (22 shade options) and they do have different formulas from oily and dry skin types.

2. Milani Conceal + Perfect Foundation $9.99

This foundation is very similar to the Revlon Colorstay. It is pigmented, matte, and extremely long wearing. It also build-able coverage. If you have a blemish you can use a lighter color as a concealer. I have been reaching for this foundation a lot recently. However, it is still drying for me with my dry skin. It would work much better on oily skin types. Other negatives include that there is not as good of a shade range (only 9 shades on Ulta and most of them are for fairer skin tones), there is no different formula for different skin types, and that the brand can be hard to find in stores in certain areas of the country (like mine). BUT with the price, you cannot beat it.

3. Wet and Wild Photo Focus Foundation $5.99

This foundation has gotten rave reviews from beauty bloggers everywhere. I must admit that I love this foundation. I not feel that it is as long wearing as the Milani or the Revlon Colorstay, but it is a very good option that is cheaper than those other two foundations above. I don't feel like it dries my skin out as much either--which is a huge plus in it's column. There are 20 different shades, but the line is definitely lacking in the darker shade ranges. Never-the-less,this foundation gets an A in my book.

4. L'oreal Infallible Pro Glow Foundation $12.99

This is newest drugstore foundation that I have started using. Even though I have dry skin, I have always shied away from dewy finish foundations because they usually do not stay put as well on my skin. At the end of the day I usually see them break down on my nose and chin. However this foundation wears just like the other three above, but with the added bonus of not drying my skin out! Hallelujah! This foundation will likely stay in my makeup bag for a long time to come. Cons with this foundation is the shade range (only 12 shades). This foundation is also not quite as full coverage is the Revlon Colorstay or the Milani foundations, but it is a totally beautiful finish with a build-able coverage.

5. Maybelline Fit Me Dewey + Smooth Foundation $7.99

This is the lightest coverage of my recommended foundations, but I think that it definitely has some upsides especially if you are someone that doesn't really need a full coverage foundation. It will not dry your skin out, and it has a beautiful natural finish that just looks like skin. I love it! There are 16 different shades and I would recommend it for all you lighter coverage mamas out there!

I hope you enjoyed this round up of drugstore foundation favorites. Which type of makeup product should I do next. Let me know in the comments!

Monday, March 12, 2018

How to speed up your morning when you have kids

When I first started working 10 years ago--I was meticulous about being early for work each and every day so that I would have time to get get myself prepared. I am one of those people that just needs my time when I first get to work to read emails and prepare for the tasks at hand that day. THEN I had my daughter--and there was a definite learning curve.

Now that she is a big kid, there are days when her moods can really slow the process down in the morning. There are times when she just doesn't want to get out of bed, doesn't like what she is wearing, doesn't want to brush her hair etc. But I still have to get to work. What is a mom to do?

There are a few things that I have found that help keep us all on time in the morning.

1. Shower at night.

I know that a lot of people hate showering at night,but it is a great way to save time the morning. I like to shower at night and dry my hair a little bit before bed. Then when I wake up I can run the curling wand over my hair and it is good to go.

Obviously bathing my child at night is the only option I will even consider at this point. We would have to get up at 4:30 in the morning to fit in a bath for her.

2. Lay out everyone's outfits the night before.

This one step is an easy one to forget, but it really does save me a bunch of time and I am trying to become a lot more consistent with it. When I lay my clothes out the night before I am able to save myself so much time in the morning thinking about what I am going to wear. It also gives me the chance to iron anything that needs ironing.

For my daughter I usually lay out two options. Since she wears a uniform top--all I do is lay out to pants options. This helps to avoid fits over what she is going to wear. She feels like it is her choice, and we all win.

I would also suggest laying all parts of the outfit out including shoes and jewelry for a one stop shop.

3. Make lunches the night before and possibly even on the weekends.

This is usually something that my husband takes care of. He makes salads for every day of the week on Sunday night and I just pick them up in the morning to bring with me to work. My daughter's lunch is included at school (for now) so that is not a problem, but in 2 more years--We will probably make her lunch each night before bed as well.

4. Pack book bags/work bags the night before

Before going to bed I make sure that my laptop and other school items are already in my bag, and that my daughter's book-bag is prepped and ready for the next school day. This is imperative to make sure that things do not get forgotten--that can really put you behind.

5. Pick your battles

There are going to be those days when my daughter fights waking up or doesn't like either of the choices for outfits, and you just have to decided which battles to pick sometimes I just let her pick a pair of pants in those cases...even if they don't match. I mean, who really cares?

6. Divide and conquer.

My husband and I tag team the operations in the morning when we are both available. There are times when he is out of town and I have to do it myself, but it is rare. He get's P dressed most days while I finish up my makeup and hair. I then am responsible for her hair, brushing her teeth, and making sure she uses the bathroom before we leave. I think that it is key to be a team. When you specialize in just a few jobs everyone gets out earlier!

What you are noticing from this list is that it makes for a much later night for you, but I would rather go to bed a little later and sleep in awhile longer.

What are your hacks for morning time in your household?

Friday, March 9, 2018

Friday Favorites--My Favorite Post About Infant Sleep and Scheduling

When my little P was an infant--I became the master Babywise type mom. I totally believed wholeheartedly in scheduling you baby's day. I believe that P was a much happier baby because she was thoroughly rested. I also believe that she learned how to fall asleep. Even though, this may seem like an easy skill--it's not necessarily that way. I had the hardest time falling asleep well into adulthood. My child doesn't have any issues with sleep, and I believe it stems from the techniques I used in her first year of life.

One of my posts about scheduling is my most pinned post from Pinterest. That is why I have decided to write this post. I can totally understand why people are drawn to my post--all new moms are desperately searching for anything to help them sleep more!

Below I have linked my favorite posts on sleep training and sample schedules that I used for my daughter.

I would love to hear about your sweet babies and what you have found to work for them. My husband and I are currently considering and planning for Baby #2 and I need to re-learn all over again!

1. How To Get Your Newborn On A Schedule

This post is a general tips and tricks post on how to start out. It includes the basics of how to start as well as addresses some FAQs.

2. Why I Did Cry It Out

This post is on one of the most controversial parts of sleep training and scheduling--cry it out. I try to talk about it in a humorous way. I know that lots of parents have a hard time with this, but I swear that it works. I include some tips and tricks in this one as well.

3. Sample Schedule Posts

Below I have linked my daughter's sample schedules for her first two transitions. These should help you moms out there that like to be prepared for the future.

Weeks 7-10

Weeks 10-15

4. Introduction of Solid Foods With Scheduling

When I introduced solids her schedule seemed it change a bit. It definitely make life a little bit more difficult.

5. Schedule from 6-9 Months

After starting solids my daughter's schedule held steady for a long time. This was the longest stretch that she went without changing it up from time to time. She became pretty predictable and oh-so-happy!

I hope you enjoy these posts!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Skincare Routine for Lazy Moms On A Budget

I have a confession. It's a big, disgusting secret. One that I regret deep down into my core.

I used to go to bed at night without washing my face!

I know! It's awful. I'm into beauty and makeup and I am guilty of not taking care of my own skin.

I am getting much better about it now that I am in my 30s. I try to remember to wash my makeup off at night. I know that it is horrible for your skin to sleep in all of those makeup products. They are just not super healthy for your skin. AND I definitely am interested in preventing wrinkles. I know, I should have been more concerned in my 20s. BUT oh well, gotta do all I can now.

Now that I am about to turn 31 (on Friday), I am far more interested in preventing wrinkles and the overall texture of my skin. I really wish I had heeded the advice my mom gave me in my teens--but I didn't and there is no use dwelling on it now. I am taking a mental note to start washing P's face every night just to get her in the routine--like now!

Sometimes I just don't want to take the time at night. I'm tired. I just want to go to bed. The other thing is this-- why is good skincare so damn expensive? Like really, it's expensive! I'm not paying $200 for an eye cream that I will need more of in 4 months! That's extravagant. I can think of so many things that I would rather do with my money. So I have spent the last few years finding out what works for me and doesn't break the bank.

I have adult acne (I have PCOS and my hormones are jacked up), and fine lines on my forehead and under my eyes. I also have hereditary under eye dark circles. These are my main concerns with looking for skincare. I have dry skin and my belief is that it causes my acne somehow. So I am always looking to find cleaners, toners, and moisturizers that won't break me out, will address my fine lines, and won't dry me out either. AND I need as few steps as possible, and I need them on budget. Do you have all that? I know it is a lot! Here's my current routine. It will run you about $123 depending on where you get the items.

I know that seems like a lot, but considering many high end skin care items are more than that for one single product--I will take that for a whole regimen.

1. Cleanser

I have tried so many cleansers from Estee Lauder and other high end brands to Clean and Clear. All of them performed about the same. I couldn't tell a difference. With my dry skin I need a cleanser with microbeads that can gently slough off all of the dead skin at the end of the day. I use a very simple and very cheap cleanser--It's the Kroger store brand Daily Pore Purifying Cleanser. You can find it here. It retails for $3.59. At that price I can use it twice a day and not worry about using too much!

2. Toner

You really do not need to spend a ton of money on a toner. The best and most natural astringent out there is witch hazel. It is usually one of the main ingredients in a good toner anyway. It will help you get rid of those dead skin cells and leave your skin feeling refreshed and smooth. I get mine at Target for around $3. You can't beat it!

3. Serum

At night I think that it is imperative to use a good anti-wrinkle serum. Especially if you are in your mid to late 20s or beyond. I have tried cheap serums and I just do not get the results that I would hope for. This is the one item that I do feel it is very important to splurge on. My favorite serum is the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair. It is $68 and worth every penny. It doesn't make my face oily or greasy. It does seem to diminish my fine lines and wrinkles as well as my dark circles and puffiness. I love this stuff! You only need a tiny bit each night so it does last you a long time.

 4. Eye Cream

I have tried a few different eye creams, but none of them seemed to combat my under eye circles like the Derma E Evenly Radiant Dark Circle Eye Cream. It is rich and smells good. It reduced my discolorations and puffiness. AND it doesn't break the bank at $15.39.

5. Moisturizer

I have used a million moisturizers over the years. They are all a dime a dozen in my opinion. These days I am looking for something for night time that helps fight wrinkles but that won't cause a heart attack over price. I love the Olay Regenerist Deep Hydration Regenerating Cream, but even it is bit pricey at about $24 a pop. I think Wal-Mart's Equate version is about the same. I have tried them both and can't tell a different between the two--except for about $12.

Once a week I use a mask. My favorite mask is the Loreal Pure-Clay Expert Detox and Brighten Mask. It's around $10 and it does a great job brightening up the spots from my acne scarring. No need to buy a GlamGlow mask for $70. This one works just fine.

On an average day my nightly routine consists of these steps.

1. removing makeup with makeup remover wipes and eye makeup remover.
2. Cleanser
3. Toner
4. Serum
5. Eye Cream
6. Moisturizer

If I'm in a pinch I will skip the eye cream and go straight for that moisturizer.

For day time my routine looks like this:

1. Cleanser in the shower
2. toner
3. moisturizer (I use this one for day time)

Friday, March 2, 2018

My Friday Favorites--My Favorite Youtube Beauty Gurus

I'm not going to pretend that this is a new obsession. I have been watching beauty tutorials on YouTube for close to ten years. I am a self-taught makeup artist, and most of that teaching included watching YouTube tutotials. Today I use YouTube as a way to keep up on the new current trends in makeup, and honestly, as a way to unwind after a long day (or week).
Below are my Favorite YouTube Beauty Gurus and why I love them so much!

1. Tati at Glam Life Guru

OMG--I LOVE Tati! She posts videos everyday and it has become a ritual for me to watch her daily video when I am relaxing on the couch every day after work. Tati mostly focuses on reviewing products, but she does do some great tutorials as well. She is gorgeous and so relatable. I love that she's a dark haired girl like me--I like to watch tutorials of girls with similar coloring to myself. It just makes sense. I also love that she is more mature in age. She is around my same age and she focuses a lot on skincare--which us 30-somethings definitely need to worry about. She is my top all time favorite. You NEED to watch her channel!

2. Andreea Ali

I have recently discovered Andreea Ali and I find myself going to her channel several times a week. She does not have as many subscribers as a lot of the other "big" YouTubers, but her understated beauty tips create such a natural everyday beauty that I can totally enjoy--and actually wear out around my house or even to work. I love that she is French and has an accent. It is so smooth and I just love listening to her. Her tastes are definitely more on the expensive side, but I still like to indulge through her on a weekly basis. You should too!

3. Jaclyn Hill

Everybody knows the name Jaclyn Hill in the makeup and YouTube world. She is quite possibly the reason that I am a makeup artist today. I have been watching her channel since it began and I use her tips and suggestions in my everyday routine as well as on clients. She is beautiful, and I love her personality. She taught be how to contour and highlight, bake, and make a perfect wing. She is the real deal. If you are someone that needs tutorials--she has one for just about any look you can think of! Jaclyn is the OG of the YT!

4. Sylvia Gani

I have recently fallen in love with Sylvia Gani. She is a fair haired beauty, but  I need a little variety in my life. She definitely loves a more full glam face for everyday, but variety is the name of the game in my book. I too echo her sentiments and love for full coverage foundations, concealers, and baking. And I think her personality is just enough without being fake and over the top--you know how some YouTubers are...(Rolls eyes).

5. Safiya Nygaard

This is another new comer to my rotation, but that in no way diminishes her spot on the list. Safiya is a dark haired, dark sinned beauty like myself, but she branches out from just makeup to include fashion and other types of videos. She does use more budget friendly products--which I love because I am definitely on a budget myself. She typically likes a lighter coverage face which is different that my typical makeup, but I can appreciate her techniques. She does a great job of explaining things in a way that even a beginner could understand. If you are new to makeup--then she is the one to watch. The number 1 reason that I watch her is that she is HILARIOUS. Her personality is very similar to mine in that she has a dry sarcastic tone. I appreciate and love it! She keeps me cracking up each and every time I watch one of her videos. She is highly entertaining and that is why you should watch her!

I've linked my favorite videos from each girl above. I hope you have a blast watching them all. Maybe you will even learn something new.

Happy Friday y'all!