the one about friday favorites 2.26.16

Happy Friday! It's our last Friday of February, which means the days are getting longer, the chances of snow are steadily decreasing, and Spring is on its way. I am so excited and ready for a new season.

Tonight, I am sharing with you my favorite children's "grooming" products. We have three girls, which means that we have products-a-plenty around our house. Our oldest daughter also has really sensitive skin, so we have to be choosy about what we use in her baths and as lotion. Our oldest daughter also has extremely curly hair. If we don't stay on top of it, it can turn into dreadlocks very quickly. Combing her hair is a chore that all of us dread, and I recently went on the hunt for a new product to help her unruly mane.

Thankfully, I found two new products that have worked wonderfully for us, and I am here to share them with anyone else out there who has a child with beautiful, tightly coiled curls.

I also am including a fun new toothbrush and a comb that gets the job done.

1. Firefly Light Up Timer Toothbrush at Target. While on one of my recent vacations trips to Target, I found these gems in the toothbrush aisle. We are trying to give our girls the responsibility of brushing their teeth each night, but we also have to make sure that they are doing a thorough job. Our middle daughter tends to just put the toothpaste on the brush and lick the toothpaste off, and this process typically lasts 32 seconds. These toothbrushes are not only extremely inexpensive (2.99 for two!), but they light up for 60 seconds, which helps the children know how long to brush their teeth. They also have suction cups on the bottom which helps them to stand upright on the counter, making for less chance of collecting yuck. 

2. Ouidad Curl Recovery Whipped Curls Daily Conditioner and Styling Primer at Ulta. I went on a mission to find a product that would not only help detangle Noelle's kinky curly hair, but would also make her hair shiny, manageable, defined, and soft. My journey led me to Ulta where I found this product. I love it because it feels like a thick whipped cream went you dispense it, but it truly coats the hair and makes combing through it much easier when wet. She went to bed with semi-wet hair, but when she woke up, she had defined ringlets and beautiful curls that also smelled wonderfully! The price is a little salty, but a little goes a long way. 

3. Ouidad Botanical Boost Curl Energizing and Refreshing Spray at Ulta. I also picked up this spray to help tame and revive Noelle's curls once they have been slept on and frizzed out a bit. The poor girl gets very wiry looking locks after a night of restless sleep, so rather than do the old "wet my hand then scrunch up her curls" trick, I purchased this spray which truly defines her curls and brings them back to life. 

4. The Wet Comb Detangling Comb. I know that this majority of this post is centered around taming unruly, curly hair, but this is a huge struggle in our house, and I feel like I have finally settled upon the winning combination. I bought this comb at my local salon several months ago, and it has been the only thing that consistently works on Noelle's hair without causing trauma. I will not lie and say that it is a completely tear-free experience, but this comb glides through Noelle's hair while wet better than any other brush or comb we have tried-- and believe me, we have tried a whole bunch. This comb has also done the trick for our extremely tender-headed Charlotte.

5. Perfectly Gentle Bubble Bath by Honest Company. I have been singing the Honest Company's praises for quite sometime. At first, I didn't want to believe the hype that a bubble bath that costs twice as much as the bargain brands could actually be better for my kids, but, as it turns out, I should have switched a long time ago. As new moms, we almost always use the sweet smelling baby bath that everyone gives us as baby shower gifts. There's nothing wrong with this stuff...unless you have a child with extremely sensitive skin...and then you realize you can't use the stuff in the big yellow bottle. Once we switched to Honest Company products, Noelle's skin calmed down, and her skin's dryness and redness was greatly reduced. I really love this bubble bath. It has plenty of lather, smells like an orange creamsicle, and it is extremely gentle on skin as well as eyes. Create a bundle online to save money!

What are some of your favorite children's "grooming" products? Any other tricks of the curly trade that I need to know about?

Have a fantastic weekend!

the one about friday favorites 2.19.16

It's been well over a month since I last posted anything. I wish so very much I could blame it on that month-long vacation I took to St. Thomas,

If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times. I get writer's block. I go through phases where I am coming up with all kinds of things to write about, and then there are times when my brain is basically white noise, and if I were to write a blog post about it, it would read something like this:


There are many days when I am convinced my brain has turned to mush, and then there are days when I can't shut it off and I feel like I'm on a really cheap and unsafe carnival ride.

So, I'm a mixed bag of tricks right now and you're going to have to accept that.

The hard truth is that I have many things I could write about, but most of those things are not what I should write least publicly. I am exercising restraint. Go me.

But, I need something to keep me writing. Something regular and fun and light and just a weekly brain dump. When I taught 4th grade, I would give my students a piece of blank paper sometimes and just have them write down whatever came to their minds...regardless of the quality or seriousness or relevance to anything. I called it "taking out the trash." After this exercise, most students were more engaged, had better clarity, and could focus on the "actual" writing topic. Other students used the "trash" exercise as a starting point for an essay about why cats don't wear underwear. So there's that.

It's Friday, so I thought it would be fun to try my hand (fingers? keyboard? IDK) at my first Friday Favorites. I like to read the blog, Momfessionals, as well as my friend Tara's blog, The Holcomb Home, and they do this cute thing with listing off their favorite things on Fridays.

I like Fridays. I like favorites. Why not?

I'm no Oprah, so I am not expecting you to run out and buy what I am favoriting, but it is always comforting to know how a real person feels about an item or product. And if you're looking for a real person, I'm your girl.

So, without further delay, here is my first Friday Favorites post!

There's no theme to this one. There might be themes in the future. Cupcakes could also be prescribed for weight loss, so anything is possible.

1. Moodstruck Precision Brow Gel & Pencil by Younique in Dark. I seriously resisted the Younique cosmetics movement for the longest time. All I ever knew about the brand was the fiber mascara that made your eyelashes super long. I had no idea that their true gems (in my opinion) were the rest of their products. I bought a set from my friend who was selling, honestly, to support her and just give it a whirl. I fully expected that I wouldn't care for it, or wouldn't reorder, and I would be back to my Target / Ulta finds in no time. I was so crazy wrong. The simple truth is that I am addicted to nearly all of their products, and this brow duo is one of my favorites. I have very weak and wimpy brows. Very. They are too light for my natural hair color. They are sparse, and they don't extend fully over my brow bone, so they have the appearance of "stopping short." Does this make sense? So I use these two heroes together to fill in the areas that are thin and sparse with the pencil, and then the best thing is the gel. It has little fibers in it that stick to your brow hairs, so your natural brows end up looking thicker and fuller but with a more natural appearance than a pencil alone. I seriously, seriously cannot leave my house without doing my brows now, even if I am wearing no other makeup. These sets come in light, medium, and dark. 

2. Lustro Face Oil 3 by Beauty Counter. Here's another brand I had no idea existed until I started seeing a few posts on Facebook. I have super problematic skin. It is sensitive, prone to breakouts, and I just have never seemed to find a product that would work to help it with all of its issues. I have gone through phases with skincare. Remember my coconut oil and apple cider vinegar phase? I actually think my skin looked the best it has ever looked in those couple months that I was doing that routine, but eventually I got tired of the mess in my bathroom, and I fell out of the habit. I have started taking more time to pay attention to the chemicals and ingredients in skincare because I know that your skin absorbs a lot of these toxins and that can lead to some serious health issues. So, when Beauty Counter started being advertised on social media as a clean and natural skincare product, I decided to try it. I already was not afraid to put oil on my skin because I learned with the coconut oil idea that restoring the oils in my skin would keep it from over-producing more oil that clogs my pores. There are 3 formulations, and this one (#3) is for irritated skin like mine. It has chamomile and ylang ylang to calm my skin, and it feels like a spa treatment when I use it. Also, I know the price is a little high, but I seriously use 2 drops each day, and that is plenty. I have no idea when I will run out of this stuff. 

3. BB Flawless Complexion Enhancer by Younique in Bisque. Here's another Younique product that I cannot, and will not, live without. This BB cream is something special. As I mentioned in #2, my skin is problematic and sensitive. And it goes without mentioning that I am lazy sometimes (all the time) and don't always remove my makeup before bed (GASP!). With other foundations and BB creams I have tried, if they sit on my skin overnight, I wake up to breakouts and irritation like crazy. However, what I have found since Younique also uses natural and quality ingredients, my skin is not harmed if I leave the makeup on while I sleep. In fact, the BB cream is so moisturizing that I think it helps my skin look better. I go back and forth on wearing foundation or BB cream, but I find that I gravitate more toward a lighter, more sheer coverage that I can build and add to with concealer in my trouble spots. I like to see my skin from underneath my makeup, and this BB cream works wonders for me. It is also extremely smooth to apply and has pretty amazing coverage for my temperamental skin. I can only imagine how much I will love this stuff in the summer. And also? It lasts forever. I have worn it every single day for probably 6 weeks, and I am not close to being out yet. I already have another one waiting in my drawer though...

4. Pogo 40 oz Water Bottle from Target. I know the picture says 32 ounces, but Target sells one of the best and only 40 ounce water bottles I have found. I suppose you could say I have been on a bit of a wellness mission since the start of the new year, and one of my goals is to drink what amounts to a shit ton of water each day. I hate refilling my water bottles multiple times, and I also do not like the idea of consuming water from "disposable" water bottles. From what I hear, recycling those things does actually very little to help our environment. So, I happened upon this amazing water bottle on one of my rare trips to Target (ha!). There are so many things I love. The price ($10). The fact that it is slender and can fit in my car cup holder. The mouth piece is narrow and not one of those where you have to unscrew the entire lid to take a drink. There is not a straw (straws seem to be more work to clean and can get gunky really easily). The lid has a rubber component that forms a complete seal around the mouth piece, and so it really is VERY leak proof. This water bottle gets turned upside down in my bag multiple times a day, and I don't have leaks if the lid is snapped on completely. It is durable and can withstand many drops and toddler Hulk Smashes. I also enjoy the finger loop for easy carrying. I can fill this baby up twice a day and consume 80 ounces of water in no time.

5. Go-Dry High Rise Compression Leggings from Old Navy. I know what you're thinking. High rise leggings? For the love of The Lord, what are you trying to sell me on here? Follow me for a moment. Have you ever been in the middle of a workout or simply bending down to get something you dropped and the waistband of your leggings collapses under the pressure of your muffin top? Well, if it hasn't happened to you, consider yourself lucky or just too skinny to be my friend. I, for one, love the high waist feature of these leggings. It holds everything in, I don't have to worry about anything flopping out or rolling over, and I feel more confident during my workouts. I wear these leggings to bed. I wear them for exercise. I wear them out in public with dressier shirts and boots. They are thick, versatile, flattering, and the bomb dot com.

Disclaimer: Yes, if you clicked the Younique links above, you will see that you are taken to my "presenter" site. I signed up so that I could get the discount on my own products. When it gets to the point when you are placing 3 orders a month and hiding boxes from your husband in your closet, you might as well cut yourself a little break. I do not share these products with you to force you into ordering anything. I simply am sharing them because they are my favorites.

Alright! How did I do? What are your Friday Favorites? I am dying to know.