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Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday Favorites - February 17th


If it's Friday, you know we're happy to be linking up with ErikaNarci, and Andrea!

Favorite #1


I don't think I have shared this one with you yet. I love this show! It's new this season, and I love the characters. They are quirky, but fun. If you need a good laugh and not easily offended, you should definitely check it out. I am a very sarcastic person, so I really enjoy this sense of humor.

Favorite #2

My sweet family

We had a very nice Valentine's Day! It has become a fun tradition (I forgot to get pictures!! Argh!!) to dine together in our actual dining room! We have an Italian dish of some sort, usually Chicken Parmesan, but this year I found heart shaped ravioli. We dine by candlelight with Frank Sinatra style background music. And then we have a actual dessert. We don't usually have a big dessert, but this year we had a heart shaped chocolate ganache cake.

Favorite #3







I stumbled on this workout challenge on Facebook last week and I signed up.  I debated about it. I really did. I HATE to workout. I then remembered that Spring Break is fast approaching. And I played pretty fast and loose with those Trader Joe's cookies over the last few months. And the workouts are only 15 minutes. When you think of it that way, it doesn't sound so bad. You could do just about anything for 15 minutes, right? I have done 3 days so far, and it is an intense 15 minutes. It's challenging and I am sore, but I think I like it. I doubt I will look like the instructor...ever...but toning up a bit before donning a bathing suit sure would be nice.

-Sara

I am furiously packing for our next dance competition in Pittsburgh, but I wanted to share a couple of my favorites from this week!

Favorite #1
We had a sleepover for my oldest daughter's birthday this weekend, and she wanted to make slime as one of the activities.  For some reason, making slime has been quite popular in my area lately.  In fact, many stores are SOLD OUT of white school glue because of its popularity!  She wanted to find a new recipe that we have not tried and I found this one for "fluffy slime": 
http://www.whatsupmoms.com/make/fluffy-slime-best-recipe/#.WKZaQ28rLIU

I was pretty happy with how it turned out.  The shaving cream really does make it "fluffy",  It almost has a marshmallow consistency.  More importantly, the girls loved it and it kept them occupied for quite a while!  I put some in a container for each of them so that they could play with it later as well. I would definitely try it again.




Favorite #2
My youngest daughter and I have become quite obsessed with brush lettering.  She is my artistic child, so she wants to try and learn how to do it.  Sara showed me an Instagram account of a woman that is amazing at brush lettering, @kellycreates.  She puts videos of herself doing brush lettering and I could honestly watch it for hours!  I did some research on her site and on Amazon to find good markers for my daughter to start with, and we decided to try Tombow Dual Brush Pen Art Markers. We have played around with them some and we realize that we need to use practice sheets for brush lettering.  I have found some for free online, so once we get back from Pittsburgh I plan to print them out so that my daughter can practice.



Sorry for the short post!  I have more packing and laundry to do before we leave in the morning.  I will post next week about our trip.  We won't have a lot of time to explore Pittsburgh, but I am hoping that we will be able to see a little of the area before we leave.

-Trina





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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Ladies Who Link : February - All Things Makeup!



Thanks for joining us on our monthly linkup up with A Gal Named Al!

I honestly do not wear a lot of makeup, but there are some products that I use daily and love!

Here are my makeup must haves:

1) It makeup brushes from Ulta-I only have the eye shadow and concealer brushes but they are honestly the softest makeup brushes that I have ever used.  They make application really easy.  


2) Benefit Fake-Up Undereye Hydrating Concealer-Under eye concealer is a MUST for busy moms!  I have tried many brands, but this one easy to apply, it is not "cacky", and I really can tell that it makes a difference with my dark circles.

3) Benefit Roller Lash Super Curling & Lifting Mascara- As I have said before, I do not wear a lot of makeup, but I usually do not leave my house without wearing mascara.  This mascara by Benefit is one of my favorites because it lasts FOREVER and you honestly do not have to use an eyelash curler when you use it.  It can take a couple of tries with eye makeup remover before you can completely get it off of your lashes.  But, for most days I leave my house at 6:30 am and don't return until the late afternoon, so a mascara that LASTS and LASTS is exactly what I need!

4) Bare Minerals Eyeshadow "Top Shelf"-Besides mascara, the other makeup item that I rarely leave the house without is eye shadow.  For the past couple of years, my favorite has been this color palate from Bare Minerals.  Since I have medium skin and dirty blonde hair, these 2 colors work well for me.  This eye shadow lasts all day as well.  After a long day I do have to do minor touch ups, but for the most part it stays put.


5) SOHO Eye Pop Beauty Case-As I have blogged about before, my oldest daughter is on a competition dance team.  As a result, we have to take a lot of makeup with us to competitions.  I did research online for a case to use to keep everything in place (brushes, foundation, powder, eye makeup, hair clips, etc.). and this is the case that I chose.  My daughter and I both love it.  The compartments fold out, so there is plenty of room for all of the essentials.  I also like it because it is not too bulky, so it is easy to take with us from place to place.  It also looks really sleek.  I wouldn't mind having one for myself!


I hope that I have shared at least one new product that you can try.  I can't wait to read about all of your ideas!

-Trina

Happy Thursday, Ladies!

Ok, so Trina is naturally beautiful, and my beauty routine is a little LOT more involved. See below!


Uhhh...I didn't exactly realize how much I required to look like an improved version of myself. As I carefully numbered each item, and it reached 19, I thought to myself...oh, my. No wonder my trips to Ulta are so pricey! Apparently, we have a lot to get to, so let's jump in! (By the way, these are not numbered in order of application or anything.)

1- bareMinerals Bare Pro foundation -I love this stuff! I use it everyday to even our my skin tone. I have always had problem skin, so this helps to cover up the unevenness. I love bareMinerals products because they have fewer chemicals than the average makeup. 

2- it Blush Brush-This whole line of brushes is amazing. As Trina said, they are soft and make applying makeup easy. I never knew using the brushes that come with the makeup were not the way to go. Also, I try to clean my brushes regularly. I have bought fancy cleaners in the past, but you can very easily use a mild shampoo and warm water. It is a little satisfying watching all the pigment go down the drain. Is that weird?

3- bareMinerals Blush in The Aphrosdisiac- You guys. I LOVE this color. I have been using it for 4 years now. I can't say enough about it.

4- bareMinerals (do you see a theme here?) Prime Time primer- I really like this primer. It is clear and goes on smooth. It really does help makeup stay put. I don't wear this everyday. Really only for special occasions or events when I need my makeup to last.

5- bareMinerals BareSkin Concealer - This is something I don't use everyday. But for those days when the dark circles under your eyes just won't go away, this does the trick. I like that you can sort of layer it to be sheer or give more coverage.

6- Benefit Roller Lash Mascara - I love this mascara. I especially love that it claims to curl your eyelashes for you. I am not 100% sure it does, but I like not having to use an eyelash curler because those things freak me out. I am always terrified I am going to poke my eye out or something. And it lasts a long time.

7- bareMinerals Warmth (bronzer) - I had gotten away from using this every day, but it just makes me feel polished. And less pale. I just like the way I look and feel when I wear it. A little goes A LONG way. I use #14 to apply it.

8- it All-Over Shadow/ Crease Brush - I think this one is pretty self explanatory. I use both ends. I actually use the crease side to blend my eye makeup together as a final step.

9- NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Cottage Cheese - I like to use this for special occasions when it might be a late night type of thing where I already look tired. Apply a little of this to the inside corners of your eyes and BOOM! You look awake! 





***Note: I added the same picture again, because I personally hate it when you are following one of these style posts and you have to scroll all the way back to the top to see what the heck they're talking about. I hope this helps!

10- Urban Decay Naked 2 Eyeshadow Palette - I really really really enjoy this palette of colors. They are all fairly neutral and not super crazy. I like a more natural look. I have a smaller version of this for travel. See, isn't it cute? The large size is a little too large to haul around. 



11- it Smudger/Liner Brush- Another self-explanatory brush. Except I actually use the smudger end to apply eye shadow to my crease. 

12- it Brush - Ok, this one isn't labeled, so I have no idea what it is called. I use it to apply the lightest color all over my eyelid all the way to the brow.

13- NYX Super Skinny Eye Marker in Carbon Black- I have been using a Benefit eyeliner, but I found it smudges, so about a week ago, I tried this one and I like it so far. I like that it is skinny, so it goes exactly where I put it on. It can be tricky to apply eyeliner, but I am enjoying this method so far. If someone out these has the magic secret that prevents eyeliner from smudging, please leave a comment below!!!!

14- it Velvet Luxe LBD Foundation Brush - I love this brush! The velvet line of brushes is a little bit higher end. I bought it because it was so darn soft. I feels very luxe. It is black and even has a little rhinestone at the end of the handle. I use this one to apply the bronzer.

15- Goat Milk Stuff Lip Balm in Vanilla - I freaking LOVE this stuff! I have a tube of their Lip Balm with me AT ALL TIMES. It is smooth and silky, made by a sweet family with natural ingredients. Win, Win and WIN!

16- Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation - I rarely wear this. It is another product that I save for a special occasion when I need to look more polished. It does a good job at creating an even skin tone! And bonus...it only takes two pumps to completely cover your face, so it will last forever.

17- Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion Anti-Aging - I feel like a broken record, but this stuff is amazing. It really does help keep your eye makeup in place. Just like the face primer above, this isn't something I wear everyday. I use it for those special/unusual times when I my makeup to last. Hanging at home all day with the kids, I don't need my makeup to last, you know what I'm saying.

18- Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien - Weird color name, but great color! I love how this is in pencil form, but it still is creamy and glides on with little effort.

19- BeautyBlender - This is a must to blend in your makeup. Nothing is worse than harsh lines on your face. I am a firm believer in only applying makeup to enhance your natural appearance rather than trying to look like a different person. Don't get me wrong, I am fascinated by those videos on the internet where people (even guys) apply makeup in such a way that they look like completely different people. But for everyday wear, I think makeup was created to make you feel like a more confident you.

I hope you learned about some new products! Is there anything better than finding new makeup? I look forward to reading about all of your makeup finds!

-Sara


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Monday, February 13, 2017

Our Trip to DisneyWorld! Day 1


This post is LONG overdue as we traveled to Florida way back in November. I have promised our dear friend, Allie, that I would post about it. So, Allie, this is for you!

We chose to go to Disney World in November because it is usually not super crowded. This week ended up being crazy crowded due to New Jersey's Teacher Week, we later discovered. All of the state of New Jersey's public schools were closed, and it seemed that just about everyone with school aged kids decided to come to DisneyWorld! In addition, we plan the trip so that we can also fit in Mickey's Very Merry Christmas. So much fun! I highly recommend it. AND Epcot has it's Food and Wine Festival too. AND it isn't too hot! 

So, let's get started! (And prepare yourself for picture overload!)

Here we are at the airport enjoying some snacks before our flight.


Being sassy on the plane.


Airplane Selfie!


Playing Pokemon Go at the airport in Orlando...





On our way to our hotel, the Grand Floridian aboard the Magical Express! Look at those smiles! Photo cred to my old friend, my selfie stick!



Family selfie at the hotel! Elliot and her finger pointing cracks me up!



After a light dinner, we made our way over to the Magic Kingdom to meet some princesses! Thanks, Fast Pass!

Waiting in line


Still waiting in line...despite the Fast Pass, we still had quite a wait. Our first inkling that this particular week was going to be crowded.


We met Rapunzel!!




And then we got to meet Tiana!



Look at Elliot's face!! She is in love with the princesses!


The whole family got in on the fun!


Family picture in front of Cinderella's Castle!!


On this night, they were filming the Christmas special, so they had filming equipment and special fireworks.



The Magic Kingdom is so pretty all decked out for Christmas! I highly recommend visiting DisneyWorld during this time of year!


And after a LOOOOOONG day, riding the monorail back to the hotel to crash!


Stay tuned for the rest of our trip!

-Sara
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Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday Favorites - February 10th

If it's Friday, you know we're linking up with ErikaNarci and Andrea!

Favorite #1




My family is planning on taking a trip for Spring Break in just a few short weeks. Elliot, who is 4, will need a booster seat for our transportation. I found this on Amazon (link above), and was so excited! I don't know about you, but this is a game changer for us! You always have to carry or check a bulky seat. I hope this works in practice as well as it seems it will in concept! Ours arrived yesterday! I will be sure to update you on whether or not we liked it!

Favorite #2

Puzzles

My family has gotten into doing puzzles lately. It brings back memories for me of doing them with my Dad as a kid. I remember one puzzle in particular we did. It was all chocolate candy bars! I wish I had pics for you. This has become quite a favorite at our house. And it's low tech! We all need to put the devices down more!

Favorite #3



Oh my gosh, you guys! I was so excited! This past weekend, we got a brick and mortar Athleta store! I am a huge fan of their sister brands (Old Navy, Gap and Banana Republic). Admittedly, I don't work out as much as I should. But I love a shiny new store, and it is nice to have that tactile experience! of course, I went to check it out! They had some really cute stuff. I also went in search of a new bathing suit. I hear their suits are really cute. Let me tell you...they didn't disappoint. I know...too soon to be talking swim suits. Our Spring Break falls ridiculously early. We will be off in just a few short weeks. Look what I found!




I had my son with me and the store was mondo crowded, but I thought this and the pattern and the colors were so cute, I went home and ordered it online. I can't wait to get them and try them on! Now...if only I was as fit as the airbrushed girl in the picture... One can dream, right?

-Sara





What a week!  We had a belated birthday party for my oldest daughter with family this past weekend, and we are preparing for a SLEEPOVER party Saturday night.  😰  
Here are some of my current favorites:

Favorite #1
Let me preface this favorite by saying that I only get my hair cut 2 or 3 times a year.  With curly, thick hair I have the luxury of going a long time between haircuts.  I went for a haircut today and she also straightened it for me since I do not usually have time to do it myself.  I love it!!  I almost never have straight hair anymore.  It is fun to see my girls' reactions to my "new" look...at least for 24 hours!

I realize in looking at this picture that I need to get my brows done!  I am going to have to plan a trip to the Benefit Brow Bar at Ulta soon!  (I have listed this as one of my favorites in a previous post.)

Favorite #2
One of the parents in my class gave me an RTIC 30 oz tumbler and it has quickly become my favorite cup!  It keeps my water cold and ICE IN THE CUP  for the whole school day.  I have found that I am doing a better job of drinking water throughout the day now.  I also love the cute monogrammed sticker that she added to it for me.  I am a sucker for anything monogrammed.  (Even though my initials spell "tar"!)

Favorite #3
My girls and I love to play board games together.  A new game that we have discovered is Ticket to Ride.  I saw all of the great reviews on Amazon, so I decided to give it to my oldest daughter for her birthday.  It is a lot of fun!  The object of the game is to build railways between cities.  It is a great strategy game that both my 8 and 10 year old enjoy.  This is definitely going to be a go-to game for future game nights.

Favorite #4
My father-in-law gave my oldest daughter an Amazon Echo Dot for her birthday.  We are all enjoying the benefits of having "Alexa" in our lives!  It has a lot of uses, but my family mostly uses it to play music and ask Alexa questions.  You add "skills" to it depending on what you want it to do.  My girls added a animal game skill where Alexa guesses any animal you can think of, a knock knock joke skill, and a random fact skill.  I plan to do more research about the skills that I can add for me as well. We are keeping it in the family room so that we can all use and enjoy it.  I know that we are not taking advantage of all of its capabilities yet, but we are having fun playing with it for now.




-Trina

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you have a great weekend! Don't forget to join us next week for our Ladies Who Link linkup!



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Friday, February 3, 2017

Friday Favorites - February 3rd

It's Friday! You know what that means! It's linkup time with ErikaNarci and Andrea!


Favorite #1

Super Bowl!

As you may already know, I am a Packers fan. So, this particular Super Bowl matchup is not so thrilling at my house. But what IS my favorite it our Super Bowl traditions!
Every year, we have some family friends that have a party at their house. It is more like a tailgating g party, because no one is welcome to stay and watch the game. The first year this occurred, we were all confused by the concept, because they call it a Super Bowl party. Now, 7 years in, it is one of my all-time favorite traditions and I look forward to it every year. I love it because we get to come home and watch the Super Bowl at our house, with whatever food and decorations we want, and the kids can still go to bed at a reasonable(ish) time. They invite all of our mutual friends and all the kids are all there. Everyone brings a dish, they pull out a deep fryer and fry all kinds of weird stuff. It's just a wholesome good time. With moderately consumed alcohol.

At about 5:30, we head home and furiously prepare for our own mini party. I buy party supplies and Super Bowl licensed paper goods every year. I also have balloons that represent both teams playing. I try to set all that up before we leave for the other party. We sit in our media room (yes, we have a media room) and eat one by one get our kids to bed. I love these family traditions we have!

Super Bowls from Years Past

My Sister, Heather visited back in 2006!

Packers Go To The Super Bowl, 2011


Homemade Football Cake Pops, 2012
  
Our  Party Setup, 2012 with my family, and my brother and niece and nephew


2013

2014

2015



Look at how little Elliot was in 2015!

And finally...last year! 2016 

Favorite #2

Hobo Wallet

I saw this on an a video and then this linked article on the blog, How Does She. She sold it well! I was convinced! The link above is to the Nordstrom website where you can get one. You can also purchase them at Amazon (my fave!) and I have heard TJ Max has them for great prices! I got mine at Nordstrom Rack for seriously HALF the price.  I have it in this graphite color in the pictures below and I love it! It can be a clutch for a night out. It is slim no matter how much you stuff in there, and ladies...it holds quite a bit. And it's convenient. I keep my most used stuff in the center. To quote Buddy the Elf, "I'm in love, I'm in love and I don't care who knows it!"






Favorite #3

Best Hand Lotion Ever!

I saw this fabulous stuff in this  linked article at One Good Things By Jillee

My hands are so dry. Especially during the winter time. I saw the article and I was convinced I had to try it! I am so glad I did. It has a nice thick texture. It almost has a barrier like feel. It has made such a difference in the last few weeks that I have had it. I have really appreciated it and I thought you might also like to know about it!

Favorite #4

All things British on tv. Victoria and The Crown


I am loving it all! I find myself jokingly talking in a British accent by accident. You know those occasions where you say things in a silly way to your children so that they may not immediately hate the words coming out of your mouth? Everything sounds better in a British accent, I think we can all agree. I have been spending so much time on both of these shows, it tends to come out of my mouth a bit easier.

Thanks to Trina, for her The Crown suggestion. I CANNOT stop. It is one of those shows where I watch an episode and think...what if I watched maybe 15 more minutes of the next one? 

AND I am getting a history lesson! I feel l have learned so much I did not know about the British Monarchy and the time period. So, dare I say it is educational??

And Victoria is the same! I find myself learning about her life and curious about the actual historical events that took place, just like with The Crown. And these two aren't bad to look at either.

Happy weekend, everyone! And Go (insert favorite team playing in the Super Bowl here)!!!

-Sara



This has been a crazy week!  Thanks to Sara for being our "voice" on the blog lately.  My oldest daughter is in the midst of dance competition season and it is awesome but very time consuming!  Here are some of the things that I am loving right now...

Favorite #1
Speaking of dance, I am loving how much my daughter is enjoying dance right now.  She is on the competition team for her dance studio for the first time and learning so much.  At the competition this weekend, she got to take classes from choreographers that we watch on So You Think You Can Dance. I admit that I was starstruck as well!  Her group also won high first, so that was a bonus! 


Robert Roldan from So You Think You Can Dance
JT Church-He was the So You Think You Can Dance The Next Generation 1st runner up!



Kathryn McCormick from So You Think You Can Dance

Favorite #2
As Sara mentioned, I am LOVING the new PBS show, Victoria!  I have been interested in the life of Queen Victoria since I saw the movie The Young Victoria with Emily Blunt years ago. (If you haven't seen it, you should definitely check it out!)  I love the costumes, the scenery, the story line,,,,honestly everything about it is great!  It comes on Sunday nights at 9:00.  I definitely think that you should give it a shot if you haven't already!



Favorite #3
I have had to increase my knowledge of makeup considerably since my daughter has to wear it for dance competitions.  I admit that I am still getting the hang of it, and I make mistakes OFTEN!  I have found Almay makeup eraser sticks and they have been a life saver!  Inevitably when I am applying eye makeup on my daughter I will get it somewhere that I shouldn't,  Before finding the makeup eraser sticks, I would take it off using a cotton ball and liquid eye makeup remover.  This was not the best solution because I would have to go back and reapply the foundation, powder, etc. that came off as well.  The makeup remover sticks allow me to remove just the unwanted makeup around her eye.  I love them!  You can find them in the makeup aisle at Target.


Favorite #4
It is norovirus (stomach bug) season everywhere...definitely NOT my favorite!  Being a kindergarten teacher and a mom, I am always looking for ways to keep my family healthy.  Washing your hands with soap and water is always the best method of defense against getting sick, but when that is not an option I use Clorox hand sanitizer.  Most hand sanitizers do not kill the norovirus, but this one does!  I have never seen it in the store, but I order on Amazon Prime.  It is definitely more expensive than other hand sanitizers, but to me it is worth it!  


-Trina





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