November 12, 2015

My Postpartum Hair Routine

Let's chat about what happens to your hair after you have a baby. It starts innocently enough with a few strands falling out here and there, then it escalates to grabbing damn near entire handfuls in the shower as they wash down the drain along with your tears and dignity.

Dramatic? Maybe. True? In my case this time around, yes. I barely lost any hair after I had my first son a few years ago, then I chopped it all off into a pixie cut when he was around 8 months old. Short hair is WAY less obvious when its shedding. This time around, I'm attempting to grow out my hair (bad timing on my part) and I have discovered a few things that have really been helping. Read on for the products I've been obsessed with lately and how I've been using them. Before I tell you about the fun stuff, I've been taking the generic Target (Up & Up brand) hair skin and nails supplement for a couple weeks and I am super impressed with it. My nails are rock hard and I swear I have been losing MUCH less hair. This could totally be that my hormones are starting to level out, but for under $15 a bottle, I'm going to keep taking them in case they're the reason. As always, if you start taking any supplement with a high level of biotin, make sure you are drinking a ton of water to flush your system so the biotin doesn't end up working its way out of your system in the form of cystic acne. I drink about a gallon of water a day (at least) so this has never been an issue for me. 

Firstly, I have two different shampoo/conditioner regimins that I am using. I don't shampoo my hair every day. But when I do shampoo, I alternate (every other shampoo) between a super duper extra moisturizing argan oil based shampoo and conditioner that smells like HEAVEN (kind of like orange creamsicle) and the volumizing, thickening set below that I'll also tell you about. The first mentioned duo is HASK which is free of sulfates, parabens, phthlates, gluten, drying alcohol and artificial colors. This stuff is so nourishing and doesn't weigh down my fine hair. You can find HASK at Ulta, Walgreens or online. Make sure you follow their Instagram, too. It's such a cute account with all sorts of girly eye candy! Fun fun.

The other shampoo and conditioner that I've been using (c/o iFabbo) is Keranique (pictured below). It is a scalp stimulating shampoo and a keratin smoothing conditioner. This stuff has been awesome for my scalp. I had some dry patches along my hairline and in my temple area and within two uses, it was totally gone. Both the shampoo and conditioner have kind of a tingly feeling that is really nice. I use this duo as my volumizing/clarifying/scalp energizing regimen. Keranique has a lift and repair treatment spray and a hair regrowth treatment (all products includes FDA approved regrowth treatment) in their line as well. I've been using this for almost 2 months and am getting near the end of my bottles and this is one of those products that I will most definitely be replenishing. I get a lot of products sent to me to use and review and honestly, most of them I use a few times and forget about. Keranique is most definitely not in that category. You can get 25% off any Keranique purchase when you shop online at Use promo code: THICKER25 at checkout. Offer expires 12/31/15.

The other little vials up there in that photo are HASK treatment oils which I have become OBSESSED with. I absolutely will not blow dry my hair without working one of these babies into my ends and midshaft first. If I have no where to go and know I'll just be bumming around the house with my babies (which let's be honest, is most of the time) then I shower, gently towel dry my hair, work one of these HASK oils through before I use my wide tooth comb to detangle, spritz in my favorite thickening tonic, then I toss it into a clip (less breakage than with an elastic) and I let it air dry. If I have to blow dry, I do the same steps, but after I work the oil through and detangle, I spray in my root lifter/volumizer and then blow dry in sections using a big round brush.

I don't use a ton of styling product in my hair, but one thing I use without fail when I want my hair to look fuller, thicker and more voluminous, is a hair powder. I fell in love with Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion years ago and it's still one of my absolute favorites. The other one I sometimes grab when I'm at beauty supply is Big Sexy Hair Powder Play which is really incredible. Hair powders (if you haven't worked with them) are sprinkled in at the root and then "tousled" with the fingers to get major volume and lift. I always work it through to my hair's midshaft as well to make it look like I have twice the amount of hair as I do. I do this step after I curl my hair (not before) as kind of a finishing step and a way to make my waves/curls look a little messier and "undone" which I prefer. 

My wand that I've been IN LOVE WITH is my 25mm NuMe Classic Wand (also pictured above). I have fine hair that holds a curl pretty well, but if you have stubborn hair that typically doesn't hold curl, you'll want to go with a Magic Wand which has a titanium barrel as opposed to a ceramic barrel. I have a ton of great coupon codes for you below so make sure you check them out. It literally takes me 5 minutes to curl my entire head, then I finger comb through all of my hair and then do my hair powder (read paragraph above this one) and I'm finished! If I want to save time in the morning, I make sure I shampoo and blow dry my hair before I go to bed, then in the morning I just spritz in a dry shampoo, and then continue on with my routine. 

NuMe deals for my readers!

Alrighty, ladies and gents! That should be enough hair info to hold you over into the new year! Hope you enjoy and are able to snatch up a new hot tool for yourself (you deserve it) or a friend or family member for holiday gifts!

November 9, 2015


I didn't make a baby registry for my second child. *Cue the sad violins* Don't worry, I've been saving for both boys' therapy funds that they will no doubt be dipping into having me as a mother. In my defense, I have an older son who is incredibly easy on his clothes, shoes and pretty much everything  and we already had, so we knew we'd be passing it right on down to baby numero dos.

There were, of course, items we knew we would be buying ourselves (obviously diapers, wipes, etc.) and more importantly, bath products! We are big fans of the Babyganics line which is what we still use on my toddler, so we loaded up with that stuff when the second (pictured) guy came along. He wanted me to tell you all that that is his real hair. No wigs were used in the drafting of this blog post.

Recently, I had the pleasure of trying out some new products from the Weleda line that I fell in love with, and when I told the sweet gal who sent them to me how much I loved them, she went and sent me just about the whole darn baby line! (EEEEEP!) I wanted to take a couple weeks to make sure I tried each and every product so that I could tell you guys which ones were the standouts.

Firstly, if you're not into natural scented products, this line probably isn't for you. I happen to come from an Aveda background, so I adore earthy, natural scents. This line smells so clean and healthy and free from all the synthetic garbage. I personally love the calendula (yellow packaging) scent, which is somewhat similar to a mild lavender and chamomile. We've been using the Calendula Shampoo and Body Wash for every bath and it is so creamy and gentle. It does lather up a bit, but it's more like an in-shower moisturizer. Fantastic for the colder, dryer months. The light purple and white packaging is the White Mallow line and it is SO DREAMY. It doesn't have a scent (fragrance free) so if you or your baby is sensitive skinned (most babies are) this would be a fantastic choice. I'll just tell you right now that I totally stole the White Mallow Face Cream for myself. I used it on my guy once and I loved it so much, I quickly put it in my bathroom along with all my other fancy skin care! In my defense, we received 2 other really lovely moisturizers that I could use on him....I GAVE HIM LIFE, HE CAN GIVE ME HIS WHITE MALLOW FACE CREAM!! He obviously kept the diaper rash cream all to himself which has been really nice for after baths.

When I opened the package, my (almost three year old) son zeroed in on the Calendula Toothpaste. It was like he had a laser focus and just nabbed it immediately. I went on to tell him he probably wouldn't like it as it wouldn't taste like his artificial strawberry kid's toothpaste, but he just haaaaad to see for himself. At first taste, he kind of looked at me like I told him Thomas the Train wasn't real, but then something shifted and he kept squeezing it out onto this toothbrush. Score! Hey, I'm all for kids brushing their teeth no matter what, but if he's using a better toothpaste without a bunch of extra chemicals, well then, count me way in! I don't think I have to tell you that I also had to try it out for myself, you know, for testing purposes (hehe) and it's so delicious! If you are a black licorice fan, this toothpaste will be your favorite thing ever. I happen to be a gigantic black licorice aficionado, so this was right up my alley. I was expecting it to taste like the other Calendula products smelled (does that make sense?) but luckily, it had kind of an anise and mint taste which was much more appropriate for a toothpaste than the lavender-esque fragrance from the other calendula products.

Lastly, I was really excited to see the two oils she sent me. There is one for baby and one for Mamacita. We've been using the Baby Tummy Oil after every bath and he absolutely loves it! There's the sweetest little insert in the box that tells you how to do baby massage which is SO great right before bed. He's gotten to the point where he sees the bottle and gets all wide-eyed and kicky footed and knows he's about to get a spa treatment! The larger bottle of oil is the Stretch Mark Massage Oil. Now, if I'm being 100% honest here, I have to tell you that I did not get stretch marks with either pregnancy. Please please, don't roll your eyes just yet, I'm as surprised as you are seeing as both of my boys weighed in at 9.8 pounds and 9.13 pounds (respectively) yes, the second baby was bigger....*sigh* BUT I am a huge advocate for skin elasticity and I really believe that part of the reason my stomach looked better than it did pre-pregnancy after my first son (other than a clean diet and lots of exercise) was that I used a belly oil and wore my Belly Bandit in the early months. So I'm using this oil in place of the Clarins that I used the first time around. I still love the Clarins and highly recommend it, but I will report back on whether or not this one had better, comparable or worse results. If you are pregnant or know a pregnant gal, get your hands on this oil. It smells so beautiful and it slips and slides around really nicely without any tugging of the skin.

What is your favorite baby care line? I'm always on the lookout for new ones to try! Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoyed the "baby in the bath" photo that my son will be mortified about when he's in his teens! Muahahahaha! 

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October 30, 2015

Perfect Clean Eating Pumpkin Muffins

My dear neighbor and good friend just gave me this beautiful jar of homemade apple purée. It's literally just Fuji apples, puréed into the smoothest, silkiest dream of a "sauce". Other than spooning it directly into my face, I decided I wanted to find a healthy (preferably clean) recipe for pumpkin muffins so that I would have another vessel to slather it on and inhale. I stumbled on this recipe from Lovely Little Kitchen which is adapted from a recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction. I made just a couple modifications to make the recipe 100% clean...and may I just say...the muffins are PERFECT. I'll never need to look for another pumpkin muffin recipe because I've found it!! No refined sugar, no refined flour, no dairy! It does call for eggs, so if you are egg free, you may want to look into making a "chia egg". Although I have not used a chia egg in this recipe so I cannot guarantee the results. I used Farmer's Market Foods organic canned pumpkin which my local grocery store carries, but you can use good old Libby's OR if you want to up the flavor quotient about a billion percent, use fresh pumpkin purée. It's super easy to roast whole sugar pumpkins if you have a little extra time. I, however, have a toddler and a 16 week old baby, so making these damn muffins from scratch is as "Martha-esque" as it's going to get for right now. 

Now, in the spirit of keeping things a bit on the light side, I didn't make any frosting for these. Remember I was slappin' on that Fuji applesauce?! But if you wanted to make these downright sinful, I suggest a yummy cream cheese frosting. There are all sorts of clean recipes if you hop onto Google, but his is the one I typically use if I have to have cream cheese frosting when I'm also trying to be mindful of my sugar and fat intake: 

Clean Eating Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz cream cheese, softened (I like the Trader Joe's Organic Light Whipped Cream Cheese)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup local fair trade honey

Clean Eating Pumpkin Muffins
  • 1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur brand)
  • 1 1/2 cup organic coconut palm sugar (I used Simply Balanced brand from Target)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 15 ounce can pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup organic virgin coconut oil (I use Nutiva and buy from Costco)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place 12 paper liners into each well of your standard size muffin baking pan.
  2. Measure out the flour, sugars, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin puree, coconut oil and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together. Do not over mix, just stir until everything is incorporated into the batter.
  5. It is helpful to use a large scoop (like an ice cream scoop) to evenly distribute the batter into each well. They will be nearly full. This will help give your muffins a nice puffy dome.
  6. Bake your muffins for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
October 11, 2015

New! Wet n Wild Fergie Velvet Matte Lip Pencils Review {Not Good}

Oy. Where do I start. I was SOOOO excited when I saw these at Walgreens the other night! I thought to myself....could these possibly be little cheapo dupes for my beloved NARS Velvet Mattes?! (For the record, my favorite NARS Velvet Matte shade is "Red Square".) Obviously they weren't going to be as amazing quality and pigment-wise, but I thought they might be an affordable alternative to the NARS version if anyone was curious about trying out the velvet matte lip trend. The crazy thing is, wet n wild has some of the most incredible matte lipsticks I have ever found at the drugstore. They're called MegaLast Lipsticks. Great pigment, long wearing, truly matte finish, not too drying (hey, it's cheap lipstick, what can we really expect here?!) They are so so so good and there are a TON of colors! My faves are Cherry Bomb, Spiked with Rum, Purty Persimmon, In the Flesh, and 24 Carrot Gold. For under $3 a pop, you can swoop up as many as your heart desires. Here's a shade chart for the wet n wild Mega Last Lip Colors in case you're interested.

Okay, I got a bit off topic since we're not talking about their fantastic matte lipsticks. We're talking about their new matte lip pencils. Here's where the daydream turns into a nightmare. THEY ARE NOT DUPES for NARS. These poor, sad little excuses for matte lip pencils are just disappointing. Not only is the pigment nonexistent, but they aren't even a true matte finish! They are more of a satin finish. I had to apply about 397 coats to get the color to appear, and then I had to blot with tissue to get them to appear matte...and then it took about 40% of the pigment with it. Ugh. If you're looking for a pretty good drugstore velvet matte lip pencil, go with the Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm sticks. So much better than these little pieces of shit. I'll show you swatches of the 4 I bought below. Hang onto your seats, ladies and germs. Things are about to get u-g-l-y.

Here are the 4 I purchased. These were the shades I thought I would wear the most out of the 9-shade options. A warm orange, a deep berry, a good neutral pink and a brick shade perfect for Fall. They look so promising, right??

Here are the shade names of the 4 I nabbed.

I what world do these qualify as matte?! Look at the sheen! And look at the swatches in comparison to the packaging colors! They couldn't be further from accurate! It's not that the shades are terrible, they're not. But they are not at all indicative of what's on the outside packaging. Not only that, but when I opened 2 of the 4, they were BROKEN! The colored pencil part came flying out at me when I removed the cap! And it's not even like I was pulling the cap off like a savage! If wet n wild did a better job at getting the outside packaging colors to reflect what is really inside, AND if they marketed these accurately as what they really are, which is a satin-finish, almost sheer lip crayon, then I might be writing a totally different review.

So, to sum things up: if you want an affordable matte lip pencil, go with the Revlon ones (make sure you're not grabbing the glossy ones, they have glossy finish and matte finish available). Unfortunately there aren't a ton of shades, but you should be able to find at least one in their range that fits the bill. Other wise, if you have the pennies to get the real deal, pick up the NARS version. They are worth the money in my very humble opinion. Sometimes you just have to 'treat yo self'!

October 9, 2015

Weleda Skin Care

I am in love with a lot of things, product-wise. But for every amazing product out there, there are 5 that I've tried and hated. Until recently, I was in the camp of "skincare not being effective unless it was loaded with chemicals". Chemicals = results was always my train of thought. more! Don't get me wrong, I am a BIG FAN of things like glycolic and alpha hydroxy acids, but I see those more as natural alternatives to lasers and botox when used before things start getting too cray. I am an advocate for taking care of your skin BEFORE the damage sets in. Yes, some things are inevitable...I'm looking at YOU, Father Time! But things like sun damage, not removing your makeup before bed (one of my top 3 pet peeves right up there with baby-talking and PDA), staying out too late and drinking your meals, smoking, and things of the like WILL take a toll on your skin. Maybe not right now, but trust me, you'll remember my words when you're staring back at a leather-like reflection in your bathroom mirror. It's a miracle I made it out of my early twenties with decent skin, because I'm not going to lie, I was an offender of multiple aforementioned skincare crimes. Remind me to write genetics a thank-you card later.

But I digress. Back to the products. Recently I started using a few notable products from the Weleda line. I remembered seeing this line when I was researching baby bath products for my first son (once the second kid came, we just started using whatever was closest #secondchildproblems). I really liked what this company is about. Sustainable products, Biodynamic farming methods, developing Fair Trade partnerships, creating meaningful products that are gentle yet effective. I think the older I get, the more attention I put into what's going on my skin. If I can get results without pumping myself full of chemicals, well then, sign me up.

Here's what I've been loving lately.

Weleda Almond Soothing Facial Oil. I've always known that almond oil is gentle and hypoallergenic, but I didn't know until recently that regular use of the oil can protect your skin from oxidative stress and UV radiation damage! I've been cleansing my skin as usual, then after I pat dry, I've been rubbing a few drops of this into my face and neck. It absorbs so quickly and doesn't leave that greasy feel we so often associate with oils. I'm convinced this Weleda almond oil is responsible for clearing up the 3 dry, red, rough patches that have been plaguing me lately that I haven't been able to get rid of. If you have hyper sensitive skin, try this either on its own or right before your moisturizer!

I'm allllllways game to try new night creams. This Iris Hydrating Night Cream is so lovely! The scent is very mild calendula, which is like a much less obnoxious lavender (even though I love lavender). This moisturizer calms minor inflammation and calms irritation. Perfect for my touchy skin. I kid you not, when I wake up after using this, my skin is almost glowing! 

Skin Food!!! OMG. This is going to be one of those products I start telling all my girlfriends and family members about. Apparently it has a cult following and I can see why. I've been using it as a hand, elbow, knee moisturizer and it has completely destroyed all my rough patches. I am constantly crawling around on my knees with my sons playing trucks, changing diapers, acting like zoo animals, etc. So my knees and knuckles have started developing these scaly, rough patches that will not leave!! Hashtag: boy mom life. Skin Food, after only 3 or four uses, has totally gotten rid of them. This stuff has a thick layer of oil over it when you take the cap off the first time (don't worry, it's only there for the initial use) and it has some "slip" to it, meaning it's not one of those moisturizers that sinks in right away, but I love that. I just wouldn't apply it then go race car driving....your hands are going to be slick for about 5 minutes. Everyone in my family is getting a tube of this in their Christmas gifts this year. Even the guys. Especially the guys. Giddy up!

Weleda can be found at Target and Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Whole Foods. 

There are a TON of products in this line. So as soon as I find any others that blow my skirt up, I'll let y'all know! 
October 5, 2015

{Product Review} Close Up Instant Wrinkle Reducer & Treatment

What better time than right off the bat to tell you that when I first received Christie Brinkley's Close Up Instant Wrinkle Reducer, I was using it wrong. Hehehe. I was like "huh...this stuff isn't bad....but it's not great either..."

And THEN I decided to play around with it a bit and it made alllllllll the difference. What I was doing before was using this as a wrinkle treatment, kind of like an eye treatment. I noticed immediately that it did tighten and smooth the area, but it didn't feel like it was treating my skin like a serum or moisturizer would. I also applied it to my forehead between my brows and slightly "patted in" above that area. 

Here's where I had my "aha!" moment: when I woke up the next morning after applying this to my clean face, my skin was taut but not tight (that's a good thing) and it was totally matte where it's usually super oily. I couldn't believe it! I though to myself, if this product can keep my skin matte and smooth overnight, when my skin is usually sloughing off old skin, getting greasy and generally just "doin' it's thang", then it would work beautifully as a makeup primer/mattifier! And guess what....I was right! This stuff totally rocks when applied as a primer before you apply your foundation! Whenever I have tried mattifying primers, they usually ball up on my skin (you know those tiny little "rolls" of product that appear when you're trying to smooth your foundation on) this did nothing of the sort. After cleansing my face and applying moisturizer as I normally do, I applied it on and around my nose, around my eye area, on my smile lines, and my inner cheek area where my pores are really enlarged. The really cool thing about this product is that it doesn't break down with moisturizer like a lot of wrinkle treatments do. You can apply it under or over your moisturizer. I then applied my foundation using a dampened Beauty Blender sponge. The results were so pretty! I like that I can't feel this on my skin like I can with a standard primer. It's incredibly lightweight. I think of it more as an instant fix to pores and wrinkles (which DUH is kind of in the description, I just had my own preconceived ideas of what this stuff does). Here's what I should have read before using it:

  • Immediate sensation of tighter and smoother-looking skin.
  • Potent formula maximizes anti-wrinkle effects.
  • Smooth under-eye bags and puffiness.
  • Tightens skin on contact and takes years off appearance.
  • Lasts for hours and can be reapplied throughout the day.
  • Will wash off easily with water and no make-up remover required.
  • Breakthrough discovery that tightens skin on contact to take years off appearance. 
Here's a nice before/after shot of my pasty, pale hand using natural sunlight. I used my hand for a couple reasons: 1) it's a larger surface area than my under eye area so you can see the detail better and 2) I don't have severe wrinkles under my eyes (yet) and my hands are dry, crackly, and full of divots and follicles in need of smoothing. This was literally 30 seconds after applying the Close Up Instant Wrinkle Reducer so you can see how quickly this smooths and perfects the skin. Pay close attention to that skin up by the knuckles and fingers!

Here's the downside: it's spendy. One small tube is $80. Yes, a little bit goes a long way. Truly. But I wouldn't use this every single day as my primer. I'll be saving it for special occasions when I know I'll be being photographed a lot or for my tutorials when I need my skin to look really flawless. This would be a great little luxury item to keep in your beauty arsenal when you want to look 100% FLAWLESS for a special event. I see myself using this on every single bride I do makeup for. It really is an instant perfector!
September 26, 2015

Splurge vs Steal: Fall Edition

Splurge vs Steal: Fall Edition

It's Fall, y'all! It's also been a hot minute and a half since I've done one of my "Splurge vs Steal" posts! I thought now would be a great time seeing as there are a ton of things I've been lusting after but can't justify spending the cashola on now that I have 2 kiddos #priorities. Soooooo I can take the savings and spend it on everyone's favorite purchase: DIAPERS! Make sure to scoot over to my friend Corianne's adorably authentic blog for a fun little "Weekly Roundup" post she put together on my all time favorite topic: FALL! There are some really great blogs featured for you to discover! Creep away! 

All of the "splurge" items you see above are things I legitimately want or have been wanting (aside from the curling wand...I already own the "steal" version and love it! And the Becca tint...I just bought it) It's way easier for me to explain makeup purchases to my husband as opposed to a pair of $230 booties when I already own 6 pairs "just like them" (his words not mine). But for all the other items I was determined to find suitable alternatives and thought I'd share them with you guys! I feel like I also need to tell you that the "steal" version of the rubber boots are buy 1, get a pair 1/2 off right now (limited sale) so grab a friend and go in on them together and get them for even less! 

Rainboots for puddle jumping! | Splurge // Steal
Clubmaster Sunnies for those crisp sunny days! | Splurge // Steal
Eyeshadow Palette with yummy plummy tones! | Splurge // Steal
Ankle Booties that go with evvvverygthing! | Splurge // Steal 
Lip & Cheek Tint in a deep berry shade! | Splurge // Steal
Buffalo Plaid Coat screams "lumberjack chic"! | Splurge // Steal
Liquid Lipstick the ULTIMATE beauty item for Fall! | Splurge // Steal
Curling Wand for those perfect tousled waves! (Sometimes Amazon pricing changes from day to day so the price on this may vary a bit. You can always Google "NuMe coupon codes" for killer deals on these wands for the NuMe website) | Splurge // Steal
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