Monday, August 3, 2015

little sweet KINS etsy shop... now OPEN!!

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have heard that I was working on an etsy shop... well, today I officially opened little sweet KINS! If you have a baby or smaller kids, know someone with a baby or smaller kids, I hope you will check out little sweet KINS and spread the word!

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

summer beauty favorites - skin care

A couple of weeks ago I shared my "summer beauty favorites - makeup" , today I'm finally sharing my favorite skin care (for face). I didn't want to let this one slip away because I am REALLY loving these current products... and one of them is only $1! what!
when it comes to my face, day and night, the routine goes something like this:
wash // tone // eye cream //(wait about 5 minutes) // moisturize
twice a week I use a scrub, after washing (at night)
and every other night I use a mask, after washing (at night)

now let's move on to the products!

Key West Aloe Gentle Aloe Face Cleanser - I received a sample of this in my Birchbox a few months ago and completely fell in love with it. It really leaves my skin feeling fresh and smooth. I also find it a great alternative to the Clarisonic Refreshing Gel Cleanser, to use with my Clarisonic Mia.

Origins United State Balancing Toner - I LOVE the feel of Toner on my face, the freshness, the tightness, the tingles... is that weird?! This one is great because I get all of the above mentioned without it feeling sticky and stiff. Another great toner (for more sensitive skin, and a "not so" tight feeling) is Burts Bees Rosewater Toner. 

Origins GinZing refreshing eye cream - eye creams for me are tricky. I think "why the heck do I need an eye cream, i'm just going to use my face moisturizer", Eye Creams tend to OVER promise all these crazy things having to do with wrinkles, puffiness, dark circles... blah blah blah. And I'm no sucker... BUT as i'm getting older I have decided that I should really make an effort to use "something" on the most sensitive part of my face, even if it doesn't make miracles. It has taken me a while to find one I really like but recently I started using this little sample (which I got MONTHS ago when I purchased the Toner... which is now almost empty) that has quickly become my favorite. It's a pretty peachy beige color with a sort of "illuminating" effect to it. It blends nicely and overall just feels right. I don't think this eye cream promises much but I definitely see some improvements when I have it on.

Olay Total Effects - I have been using this moisturizer since I was in my early 20's. I have tried other's but ALWAYS go back to this one. I know one day I will have to switch it up, but why.... why ruin a good thing.

ready for the $1 product:
Nicel Night Repair - Like eye cream, I just don't see the point in a Night Cream. I mean, who likes putting lotion on their face before laying on a pillow! I haven't tried a night cream that I have even half liked and I don't know why on earth I decided to buy this one when I saw it at the .99 cent only store. But I did, and I am really surprised at how great of a product it is. Again, no major promises here, but it does "moisturize", which is all I care about.

Nuance Walnut Facial Scrub - I love products with Walnut and so I just HAD to try this scrub. It's a Gentle exfoliation that you use once or twice a week, it almost feels like a microdermabrasion at a decent price.

Lush The Sacred Truth - Packed full of essential ingredients for aging skin this fresh face mask is really nice to use as often as you want. It really makes the skin feel clean and SO soft. I actually just finished this one and already bought Brazened Honey.

Mask Tip:
Being that we are currently in a severe drought I find that the best way to take off a mask is to wet a washcloth and rub it off, rinsing the cloth when necessary and then giving your face a quick rinse afterwards. Otherwise you will be running water for a good 4 minutes trying to get the mask completely off (that's a LOT of water).

What are some of your favorite skin care products?
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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

life lately... amazing. Yes, I still feel stressed and overly tired about 110% of the time but there is so much good stuff that I try not to let that stress get to me. Work is crazy busy and home is a disastrous mess but there are so many little great things as well.

Some of my favorites...

Kins' 1st Birthday!!
Vegas trips
Morning Runs
Shock Top 
and amazing dinners that my husband cooks ;)

It's all the little things that surpass the big headaches.

Also, by the look on her face, I don't think Kins likes the concept of a selfie.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

summer beauty favorites - makeup

Every now and then we all come across a few products that we love so much, they become part of our everyday (or everyday that I decide to put makeup on) routine. I thought I'd share some of my favorites that I have been using the past few weeks and will continue using all through the summer. 

Wet n Wild eye shadow in Nutty - I love this brown/taupe color. It's the perfect shade to wear, literally everyday. It has a shimmer to it, but it's not an annoying glitter shimmer, it's a tolerable shimmer that makes the color really pop. I also love that a little goes a LONG way.

Wet n Wild eye liner in Graphite - It wasn't easy finding this color, they always seem to be out OR there is that one left over that someone opened. I love this color as an alternate to black, especially during hot summer days. 

And the best thing about these Wet n Wild products.... super cheap!

Benefit Majorette - A cream to powder blush that is a GORGEOUS subtle peach and even has a slight peach scent. I LOVE this blush. It's so soft and just so perfect. I'm pretty sure I will be using this for a VERY long time. 

Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain - I got this in my Birchbox in April, and at first swipe I really hated it. Then my SIL told me how pink hers was when she tried it so I decided to give it a second shot. And I'm glad I did because otherwise it would be sitting in my drawer unused. The color deepens the more you swipe it on your lips (btw, I have not tried it on my cheeks), and the color lasts through my whole work day, seriously, even through meals!

Butter London Disco Biscuit - technically I have only worn this color once this year, but it's such a pretty, fun, bright jelly polish that I look forward to wearing it again and again. 

Next week I'll be sharing some of my favorite current skin care products.

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Dear Kins

One year ago today you came into this world 2 weeks earlier than expected. Don’t get me wrong, I was so excited to get you out of my tummy! Your birth was an experience that daddy and I will never forget. I got to hold you in my arms within seconds and I have been so in love ever since.

You are seriously the sweetest little baby. I love your little shy smiles. I love how you love your brother SO much, and he loves you just the same. You get so excited when you see your pink penguin and it’s so cute how you mimic us after cutting your nails, brushing your hair, putting on your socks… all the stuff that you will one day do yourself and not need my help with.

And other times you are the most troublesome. You love to put EVERYTHING in your mouth! You love to scream and throw yourself backwards …. Or sometimes forward. Why on earth do you like to slap your face and laugh?! And I don’t know why you throw your bottle after every meal! 

Happy Birthday Kin Kin!! I love you so much!

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Dear Babe

Today was the last day of Kinder and in just 2 months you will begin your elementary journey as a big kid. It seems like just yesterday that daddy and I took you to Pre-K for the first time and we (you and me) both cried. For the first few days you didn't want to go, and now you love school and miss it, and your friends, when you are on break. When I asked you how your last day was you were excited to tell me you had a pizza party. You ate pizza, ice cream, a cookie and just HAD to try the lollipop that the teacher gave you as well. You said you had a tummy ache but it was SO good. We went out to Chipotle for dinner because you like the little bag of chips that come with the kids meal. 

I'm so proud of the things you have learned this past year. Math, writing sentences, and even reading! I almost cried yesterday when you were reading Curious George. We have some really fun stuff planned for the summer and I hope you enjoy every day of it. Kins is going to love having you around all day to play with. 

I love you so much Babe!

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

diy reusable cotton face pads

This past earth month I made a new discovery... reusable cotton face pads! I love the idea considering I use at least 2 a day for toner, and sometimes 3 a day if I use it for make-up remover. But at $22 for 8... um, sorry earth! So what's the next best thing... diy cotton face pads!

supplies needed:
super soft baby flannel
pinking shears 
pins (optional)
sewing machine (optional)

1. cut a piece of fabric that is at least 5" wide, and as long as you want (depending on how many you want, each pad will be approximately 2.5"x2")
2. fold the fabric, wrong sides together (so that the 5" becomes 2.5") 
3. using your pinking shears, begin making rectangles every 2"

At this point you could just have a 5"x2" strip of fabric that you fold in half when using with your toner or makeup remover, or you can continue with an extra step (or 2)

4. with my fabric still folded, I added a pin near each fold and then added a stitch back and forth with my sewing machine.

I have been using these everyday for almost 2 weeks and love that I am saving so much cotton from being thrown away. Now if only I could get on board with reusable cotton "pads"... anyone?!

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Thursday, May 14, 2015


week 19

It's been a little difficult to capture these kids EVERY week, especially by themselves. Babe insists on only taking pictures with his baby Kins and most of the time he just smothers her so much that she just starts to cry. 

Babe: obviously loves he little sister. He will be done with school in a few weeks and will get to spend so much quality time with her. We are currently trying to convince him that he doesn't need a huge train set taking up space in his room so that we can move Kins in with him, we'll see how that goes.

Kins: is growing so fast! She is almost 11 months. She wants to run but refuses to even stand on her own. We hold her in a standing position and her little feet move in a running motion and she shifts all her weight forward. My Husband is NOT looking forward to chasing her around all day. 

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

diy hat hanger

Since moving into our house over 3 years ago, my hats have claimed a spot in a small basket on the floor of my bedroom, piled into one another. I always thought I would clear the top shelf of my closet so that they would have a more permanent spot but never did. Then a few months ago I saw this little diy by a pair & a spare and knew I had to create my own.

supplies needed:
a strong branch
clip hooks

I laid out my hats in the order I wanted them to hang, in order to get the length of twine (times 2, plus extra for wrapping around the branch a few times and double knotting) Cut 2 pieces. Fold in half and tie one end of each piece of twine on each side of your branch. Make a few knots throughout the twine lengths, and slide the hooks into the knots.

To hang, cut a piece of twine the desired hanging length and extra for wrapping around the branch a few times. Hang hats on the clip hooks.

I'm super happy with the end result and now my hats have a much better home.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

travel pouches for a baby and preschooler

Last month we were lucky enough to take a nice family trip to Maui. As excited as I was about the trip, I was also a tiny buy worried about how my 9 month old and almost 6 year old would do on a plane. I searched a bit for things to keep kids busy while traveling but the big challenge for me was that as much as I wanted to put something together for each of them, I didn't want to go overboard. I didn't want to take little games that had a bunch of pieces or toys that made annoying noises or anything that would get my kids "too" excited. I wanted to keep it as simple as possible, yet give them something to look forward to. 

I found these adorable little pouches at Daiso for $1.50, they couldn't have been more perfect... with the words "Have Fun" printed on the front. And this is what I put in them:

For my 9 month old baby:
teething toys
wrist rattle
plastic bear that moves it's arms when you push the tummy (Daiso)
fake phone that makes very little noise (Dollar Tree)
and leg warmers (

For my 6 year old son:
Giant activity book (Dollar Tree)
Pedometer, for our Maui hikes (Daiso)
Book with Game (from a Happy Meal a few months ago that he never opened)
pencil, crayons and blank paper so he can practice writing

So did the kids love them you ask?! Well Our little princess is like any little baby who loves a new toy for about 5 whole minutes. The snacks were probably her most favorite thing and kept her quite the longest. And Babe was initially very excited about everything in his pouch but was much more interested in the plane blankets, free juice and watching movies. 

Which just goes to show you how different kids are and you might not need to worry about "things to keep your kids entertained while traveling", but I would take a backup... just in case.

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Monday, April 20, 2015

march book

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

I realize my March book is being shared WELL into April, but... it took a little longer to read than I had hoped. I know that I am not a "Young Adult" but WHY are the young adult books always so good. So good that you get teary eyed when you realize you are reading the last page, and not because it's a sad last page but just because it's the last page, period. 

From Huntley Fitzpatrick official site:

"One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time."

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them…until one summer evening Jase Garrett climbs her trellis and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love and stumble through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first romance, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own—even as she keeps him a secret from her disapproving mother and critical best friend. Then the unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha's world. She's suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?
One of my favorite things to do when reading a book is try to predict the ending. I got so caught up in the love story of Sam and Jase that I definitely wasn't expecting certain events to happen. I loved everything about this book... young love, keeping secrets from people you love, feeling like you don't know the person you have been best friends with your whole life and finding comfort in something so opposite from what you are accustomed to. I was imagining this as a movie in my head the entire time. Also, I love a book that HAS an ending! I hate "guessing" what happened, so kudos for giving me that satisfaction.

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Monday, March 9, 2015

feb. book

to all the boys I've loved before by Jenny Han 

Last month I decided to jump on the LC book club bandwagon and I have to say that I couldn't have picked a better month to start. I think you will enjoy this book if you love a good "first love" story. I'm a sucker for those kinds of stories and movies. I would personally describe it as a mix of hopeless romantic love like The Notebook ... and fun, quirky love like Garden State. 

From  LARA JEAN keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her, these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved.
When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only.
Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control. 

I was sad when the book ended (because like all good love stories, you don't ever want it to end) but so excited that a sequel is coming this May! Also, Jenny Han "liked" this pic of our little princess on Instagram! How sweet is that!

Not sure which book will be next in the LC Book Club but I already started reading "My Life Next Door" by Huntley Fitzpatrick.

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Friday, March 6, 2015

8 & 9/52

week 8

babe & kins: these kids love taking pics together and laughing at themselves as they look through all the funny out-takes 

week 9

babe: I had a parent teacher conference this week and heard nothing but good about my babe, the teacher said he is her "model student" but did admit that he can get a little crazy when NOT in the classroom. 

kins: she is REALLY wanting to crawl! she scoots a lot and I'm worried I'm going to miss her first crawl. Time for baby proofing.

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

thirty five

Turning 35 isn't as bad as I imagined it would be. When my younger brother called to wish me a happy birthday he asked if I felt old. Surprisingly, I said "No. I actually don't". With all the stress in my life and all the things I forget on a daily basis I probably should feel old. But as the years go by I realize it really isn't about "getting old", it's about enjoying everything and everyone around me... doing things that make me feel alive... watching my kids, loving them and cherishing every moment. I think 35 is going to be amazing.

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Thursday, February 5, 2015

4 & 5/52

week 4:

Babe: I love that he still loves his little blue bear and likes to have him at his side.
Kins: she will tolerate headbands and hats!

week 5:

Babe & Kins: can't get enough of each other #BigBrotherLittleSisterLove

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

reese's spread teddy smores

I can't tell you how excited I was to find out I would be receiving the new Reese's Spread from Influenster. I knew exactly what I was going to make... Smores!! But not just any old boring smores, a fun little bite size teddy smore.

You will need: Reese's Spread // Teddy Grahams // marshmallows // toothpicks

partner up your teddy grahams and spread half of them with Reese's Spread. Once that is done put a marshmallow on each end of a toothpick (one for every pair of teddy bears). Place them in the microwave for 4 seconds! (those suckers can melt super fast). Place a marshmallow on the reese's side of a teddy and squeeze it closed with it's partner. 
So adorable, delicious and fun to make with the kids!

needless to say, I love the Reese's Spread! It's the perfect spread to satisfy my sweet cravings because I don't need to go overboard with it, I just need a few dabs. 

I received this product (Reese's Spread) complimentary from Influenster. However, all opinions regarding the product are 100% my own.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015


week 3:

Babe: he spent the 3 day weekend in this hat and sweater. Good thing he wears a uniform to school, otherwise I believe we would have had a difficult time getting ready this morning.

Kins: found her baby twin! How could I NOT dress her in a similar outfit?!

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

curl keeper

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be one of 10 winners for Curl Keeper Original, and Gel through Birchbox. I was really surprised that I received a full size bottle of each! 

The biggest selling point I get from each bottle is that it is a "water based formula" which means you can use it everyday without product buildup and that it controls all frizz, especially in humidity. I'm not a huge fan of my curly hair and I have yet to find a product that makes my curls look nice... until now. 

Curl Keeper is definitely the first product I have come across that isn't sticky, makes my curls soft and doesn't give me a poof at the back of my head. The one negative is that the bottle states it "re-activates with water" (I think because of the water based formula) but I didn't find that to be true in my case. Maybe someone with different texture or different curls might have better luck with that. Overall, I'm so happy I was able to review these two products together and I will definitely be purchasing them again. 

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015


week 2:

Babe: he is not going to make this easy, he was refusing to let me take a picture of his face. 

Kins: she has been exploring her sippy cup, she likes the little flip cap part the most.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015


One thing I have been wanting to do is document a portrait of my kids once a week, every week. I saw this idea well over a year ago on Bleubird Blog and LOVED it. I thought I would start right away with Babe but never did. Good thing for me, it's a new year and I have a whole new little love in my life to document. And so for the next 52 weeks, I bring you these kids, trust me... they are adorable to look at.

week 1:

Babe: Loves his sister more than anyone and anything in the world. He loves to make her laugh, cries when she gets shots and smothers her like no other.

Kins: Is 6 months old. She loves the attention she gets from Babe, but we're pretty positive that daddy is her favorite. She sits up on her own and loves to shake her head "No", which just makes us all laugh.

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