Friday Favorites - September

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I’ve fallen off the blogging bandwagon in a big way (I “blame” Top Knot Squad), but I’m still here! I’m calling this a Friday Favorites post even though it’s Wednesday - kinda like Ben Folds 5 only having 3 people in it.

September came and went and we are now in my favorite month of the year! October brings my wedding anniversary (13 freaking years!), Halloween, and the tiniest bit of cooler weather to Austin. Okay fine, it’s still going to be 90 degrees today, but I think it’ll cool off at some point.

In September, I upgraded my leather legging situation (worth it!!), changed up my fall shoe game, added a cult favorite to my skincare routine, and decided that statement ear cuffs are going to be my new thing. As always, you can click on the image below to shop. Don’t forget to earn cash back on your online purchases using Ebates!

 

So Fancy - New Year's Eve

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Christmas is only 2 weeks away, which means New Years Eve is just under 3 weeks away. Most NYE have been spent at home watching the ball drop in Times Square while in pajamas or other comfy clothes. If you have plans, let me live vicariously through you! If your plans happen to include a nursing baby, here's some help with what to wear.

Five Minutes of Self Care

A year ago I was starting down the path of healing from postpartum depression and anxiety. I had started seeing an amazing therapist and with her encouragement, had begun to take little steps towards feeling like myself. She really recommended self care, but specified that it didn't have to be monumental, it could be incremental. The first and easiest step for me was taking care of my outside when I felt up to it. 

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What started a year ago is still very much alive and well most days of the week. It is 3 extra minutes after a shower while the baby is still asleep so I can put on a swipe of mascara and eyeliner. Some days I get lucky and have enough time to put thought into what I will wear that isn't a pair of yoga pants. It's spending a few extra minutes on myself before I spend the rest of the day caring for everyone else. 

It can seem like such a trivial thing and may make me seem superficial to those that don't know what I've been dealing with. This is why I wear makeup. This is why I purposefully pick out my clothes. Because if I am wearing bright pink lipstick, then I'll feel bright and happy. Because for a few minutes a day, I can feel like my normal self and not the angry shell of the person I used to be. This is not to make a statement, or make myself seem like some kind of mom who has it all (HA!). This is to simply feel like me. This is my instant pick-me-up. This is worth it. I am worth it.

My Fall Lust List

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It's September and it will officially be fall in just a few weeks. Here are a few items that are on my lust list. They may not be practical for my lifestyle, but I want them anyway. Chances are that I will only add one or two of these items to my closet.

There are definitely a couple of unexpected items on here, the most obvious being faux leather leggings. I know, what on earth is a 34 year old, size 16, mother of 2 doing wanting a pair of faux leather pants? While I immediately think of Ross on Friends when I think of leather pants, I realized that these aren't quite as out there as they appear. They're not too different from a pair of black coated skinny jeans. Besides, if I can't wear faux leather pants now, when can I wear them? Carpe diem, right?

Another surprising choice are the flared jeans. I love my skinnies, so I won't be burning them in favor of wider legged jeans. I own several pairs of bootcut jeans, but no flares. It'd be nice to have some fun with this 1970s inspired trend: a graphic t-shirt for a casual look or a chunky sweater for cooler days. I prefer dark washes to lighter ones. The cape in the top row is definitely out of my norm. I typically prefer structured pieces, but I couldn't stop oohing and ahhing over the moto style of this cape. It seems less whimsical and a little bit more bad ass.

You may notice that this list is strangely devoid of shoes other than the booties pictured. That's because I've already snagged a pair of leopard print booties, sparkly smoking slippers, and t-strap Valentino Rock Stud inspired flats. My fall shoe game is strong.

What's on your fall lust list?

My Fall Lust List 2015

 

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Mother's Day Guide: Pamper the Mama

Want to make the mom in your life feel really special? Looking for some suggestions to #treatyoself? Check out my picks below!

Spoil Your Mama


Tiffany Notes Alphabet pendant I received the letter E for my first Mother's Day and the letter R last year after Rohan's birth. Not only are they simple and classic, but they come in that beautiful blue box. 


Lush Secret Garden Bath Bomb A bath is a luxury for me these days. Why not enjoy an inexpensive way to make it feel more luxurious? Available in a variety of scents and under $10, so you can build a variety pack.


Godiva chocolates I don't think I need to provide reasons for this one.


Raspberry Maternity Nursing Chemise At the end of a long day of diapers, nursing, and food making, it's wonderful to slip into this chemise instead of pajama pants. I felt beautiful, feminine, and sexy. This chemise and all other lingerie is now 30% off until 5/4/15 - use code MOMLOVE at checkout.


"Tiny Humans" coffee mug A must have for every mama, because raising tiny humans IS exhausting. Substitute a nice cuppa if that's your hot beverage preference.


ipsy Monthly Subscription Service Each month, subscribers receive a Glam Bag filled with 5 products or tools. Many of the products are deluxe sized and there's at least one full sized product in each bag. I've found many new favorites using this $10 a month service [link is my referral].


"Caroline" Diaper Bag in Brandy If you're going to tote around diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, snacks, and toys, you might as well use a bag you're going to love. It can also be used as a tote after your diaper bag days are over. I may have found my perfect non diaper bag diaper bag, but this one will always be on my lust list.

My Mom Uniform: the Weekend Outfit

While I've been finding ways to put my existing clothes together in new ways, I've purchased a few great pieces over the last several months. The pieces work well with each other and my current wardrobe. This is a great outfit to wear on a busy Saturday morning of errands and then lunch out with the family. I think it's fun, functional, and on trend. Links to purchase are below.

On the Go Mama

J Crew sleeveless tank top

 - I liked this shirt so much I bought it in a solid gray with black ruffle, too. The shirt is a baggy cut. I decided to size down for a more fitted silhouette. The asymmetrical ruffle adds interest to a classic top. Plus it's breastfeeding friendly!

Old Navy black skinny jeans

 - My old pre-pregnancy jeans were getting saggy in the butt and too tight everywhere else. Since I got these on sale, a little DIY customizing will happen shortly - I plan to distress these myself!

Nursing Shirt

 - I don't leave home without this!

Peter Pilotto canvas shoes

 - I was unable to find the actual flats I picked up, but these are similar in pattern and price point.

Sole Society "Dacia" brown handbag

 - my non-diaper bag diaper bag. Stylish, large, and easy on the wallet [

sign up for your SoleSociety account using my referral link

]

Aveda nourish-mint™ smoothing lip color in Magenta Berry

 - this is a gorgeous shade for spring and summer!

Women's Cateye Sunglasses - Tortoise : Target

 - a nice change to the Wayfarers I'm usually wearing.

BaubleBar "Mariposa" Ear Jackets

 - I cashed in my points these earrings and I'm glad I did. They're a lot of fun and really dress up a simple outfit [sign up for your BaubleBar account using my referral link]

Things I Like - 2013 Edition

This is my third year doing this list (check out 2011's list or 2012's list) and it's really a few of my favorite purchases from this year. This year's list doesn't have any breastfeeding items on it, but next year's list will!


Things I Bought & Liked in 2013


    Things I Bought & Liked in 2013
  1. Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer My previous concealer was very drying and would feather by 10am. This concealer is exactly what I need for my heavy dark circles: it's full coverage and very moisturizing. A little dot goes a long way when used with a foundation brush. Cost of concealer: $24. The cost of looking awake every day when I am exhausted: priceless.
  2. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner My sister introduced me to this product when she accidentally left hers at my house after a visit. Her loss was definitely my gain. I am afraid of liquid eyeliner that involves a very thin brush and a pot of makeup, but this is practically idiot proof. This liquid eyeliner is in a very thin pen making it a lot more user friendly for those of us who aren't adept with thin brushes. It's available in a wide variety of colors. I picked up black for everyday wear and one in Cobalt (a bright electric blue) for when I wanted to change it up a little. NYX Cosmetics makes a similar product, but it is not water or sweat proof like Stila's product is.
  3. Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream I love it because it evens my skin tone and helps hide marks. It costs less than $10 and is available just about everywhere. I put it on as a base (no moisturizer) and then use concealer on top for my dark circles and/or dark spots. It lasts all day, but does rub off if I wipe my mouth or blow my nose.
  4. Rose Gold Name Plate Necklace I channeled my inner Carrie Bradshaw when I asked for and received a nameplate necklace for my birthday. I asked for it in a rose gold finish since I'm still obsessing about that finish. The website it was purchased from is ridiculously overpriced, but I found a group discount deal online that lowered the price significantly.



Those are my 5 favorite things I bought. What'd you buy this year that you absolutely love?

Is It Fall Yet?

It's officially September which means it's unofficially fall. Despite living in Texas, I am looking forward to the day I can pack away my shorts and tank tops and pull out my sweaters and boots. Even though I'm a big fan of all things fall (weather, colors, pumpkin!), there are still a few summer trends I plan to carry through to the crisper, shorter days ahead. Here are three summer trends I loved that I'm bringing into the fall and two I wasn't crazy about that are being left behind.
    3 Trends I'm bringing into Fall
  1. Red orange lipstick. I recently rediscovered my Revlon LipButter in Candy Apple Red. It would be a nice departure from the deep red and berry shades that are popular in the latter part of the year. It also reminds me of autumn leaves changing colors.
    Red Orange Lips


  2. Turquoise and mint. These colors were my summer staples - lots of tops in the beachy colors. To make them wearable for fall, I plan on toning them down by layering them with neutral cardigans or blazers. I can also pair my turquoise and mint jewelry with tops in neutral colors or patterns.
    Summery Hues


  3. Summer dresses. Adding a belted sweater to sleeveless maxi dresses is a very easy way to transition them to summer. I plan to do the same thing for sundresses and add tights to them as well.
    Summer dress




    2 Trends That are Staying with the Summer
  1. Bangs. After having very long bangs since Ethan was born, I decided to get some shorter side swept bangs a few months ago. Mistake. Instead of swooping beautifully, they stuck to my face. Not attractive. Since the hair around my face is much wavier than the hair on my head, I usually had to do something about them. I heat styled them for the first two weeks, then said screw it and pinned them back while enjoying a few extra minutes of sleep. Conclusion: I love bangs, but not on me.
  2. Eyelash extensions. I bought a Groupon for a local spa (after verifying they were legit) for eyelash extensions and really loved the way they looked. Most days I would go to work barefaced (except for under eye concealer) because that's how finished I looked. I got compliments left and right. Blinking would create a gentle breeze for those around me. E loved the butterfly kisses and would giggle while asking for more. I would religiously go back every 3 weeks for a fill. It was a wonderful relationship. Then my lash tech left and I couldn't get in with the tech that was available. So I left them fall off one by one. I looked pretty awful for a while, but now they're all gone and I'm wearing my favorite mascara again. It was fun while it lasted, but not easy on the wallet or my "spare" time.

    Exhibit A: pinned back bangs and eyelash extensions. Wearing MAC's RiRi Woo on my 32nd birthday.

What summer trends are you bringing into fall? Are there any you're leaving behind? Share in the comments!

My Summer Beauty Top 10

It's been a little while since I've done a post on beauty products I'm using and really like. To me, the start of summer means vibrant colors, using my heat styling tools less frequently, and a natural look for every day.

  1. Batiste powder shampoo: great dry shampoo, it's even available in tinted versions to match your hair color!
  2. RiRi Woo: this hot shade is from the RiRi Hearts MAC lipstick collection and was gifted to me by my sister. I've only worn it a few times, but received a TON of compliments on it.
  3. Josie Maran Argan Oil: I've been using this for some time now, but it works wonders for my hair, especially for my color damaged ends. I've tried lower priced argan oils, but they tend to have a strange smell to them that even my lavender essential oil can't mask.
  4. BaByliss PRO Nano Titanium flat iron: my Chi died earlier this year, leaving me with wavy hair for months. I broke down and bought this iron after my good friend and hairstylist used hers on me. My thick hair stays amazingly straight for days and when used in conjunction with #1, I can make my at-home blowouts last for 4 days even in the TX heat without even having to touch up my hair.
  5. Essie's Turqoise & Caicos: one of my favorite colors for summertime hands and feet. Looks amazing against bronzed skin and is a nice cool change from the corals and oranges I typically wear.
  6. Tarte Maracuja Creasless Concealer: this stuff changed my life. Not kidding. The high end concealer I was using before would leave my under eye area dry and cakey by 10am. This stuff is very rich and moisturizing (a little dab covers a lot!), and stays put all day and night.
  7. Sephora Collection Cream Rouge lipstick in Mr. Lover: a bright fuschia that is perfect for a day or night pop of color.
  8. Stila Stay All Day waterproof liquid eyeliner: it does everything its name says. While I used to use NYX's Skinny Eyeliner for a perfect cat eye, it wasn't waterproof and would start to drip down my face within a few hours. This stays put and is available in fun colors like mint, navy blue, and hunter green, in addition to black.
  9. Garnier Oil Free BB Cream: has a great matte finish and more coverage than the BB cream I was previously using. A little bit goes a long way for this big tube!
  10. Essie's Mint Candy Apple: this is an all-time favorite color. I wear it year-round and always get tons of compliments.
What are your summer beauty favorites?

Things I Like

I haven't done one of these in a while. I've been trying to curb my extra spending, so I haven't been trying many new things.
I'm always on the lookout for ways to cut down time spent getting dressed in the morning. I discovered BB cream last summer, but didn't really start using it until the winter. If you're not familiar: BB cream is short for beauty balm cream, an all-in-one serum, primer, and tinted moisturizer, and some formulas also have sunscreen. It can be worn alone (usually how I wear it) or layered with powder, concealer, or foundation, depending on your coverage preference.

I love it because it evens my skin tone and helps hide marks. My preferred choice is Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream in Medium, which costs less than $10 and is available just about everywhere. I put it on as a base (no moisturizer) and then use concealer on top for my dark circles and/or dark spots. It lasts all day, but does rub off if I wipe my mouth or blow my nose.


Last week I took E to lunch with several other moms and some had brought their kiddos. One toddler was sitting quietly playing a game on an iPad that involved letters. E is obsessed with letters, so I had to ask about the game. Turned out it's a free app called Endless Alphabet. It's a great little app involving dragging letters that make sounds to create words. There are little monsters that act out the words after the kiddo has spelled them out. I showed E how to play it on the iPad and he was hooked: he sat quietly for about 45 minutes playing. I'm really into this because it doesn't involve a meltdown or Dora the Explorer!

Spelling out exercise


I was fortunate enough to see Tegan & Sara in concert a few years ago. They recently released Heartthrob and I can't stop listening to it. Great, poppy album. Their lead single Closer is incredibly catchy!








Things I Like - 2012 Edition

This year I bought stuff, but nothing that was breastfeeding related (at least not that I can remember). Since E was pretty established, I already had what I needed. Some of it I posted about, some of it I didn't. Just like last year, no Louboutins were bought this year :(
    Things I Like (and Bought) in 2012
  • Revlon Lip Butter lipstick Holy pigment, Batman! For under $10 a pop, you can't beat these. Lots of color choices and they don't dry out your lips either. My favorites are Raspberry Pie (seen here) and Red Velvet.
  • Bauble Bar The whole website, not just one thing. I've gotten a lot of jewelry from there this year. It's trendy, great quality, and it won't break the bank. I've written about them here and I still stand by it. If you're interested in signing up, I'd appreciate it if you used my referral link.


    Mint Tab Strand from the Atlantic-Pacific collaboration

  • Marc by Marc Jacobs Classic Q Fran tote D gave me a major purse upgrade this year for my birthday. His reasoning: just buy one nice, classic handbag instead of several cheaper quality ones. I haven't bought a purse since.


    About to go to her forever home

  • Leopard print loafers I wrote about these loafers a few months ago. They're quite versatile - they look great as the center of attention with skinny jeans, peek out from under boot cut or flared styles, and add some fun to my work outfits.


    Mossimo® Vianca Tuxedo Flat in leopard
  • Black Lace Dress Every woman deserves a dress that she feels like a million bucks in. For me, it's this dress. I love it. It's incredibly sexy. I wore it on a date night earlier this year and I've worn it a few times since. It's a black lace dress. What's not to love?


    Asos Curve Slash Neck Lace Dress

Those are my 5 favorite things I bought. What'd you buy this year that you absolutely love?

So Long, Sweet Summer...

Fall is rapidly approaching. I'm originally from the north east US and it's my favorite season. Living in Texas, I miss the crisp mornings and the pretty leaves. While I still look forward to sweaters, riding boots, and jewel tones, I need to carry over some summer trends to accomodate for the warmer weather. Here are a few of my favorite things about this year's fall trends, with a hint of summer thrown in:
For summer: dramatic bright lips. Pantone orange was the hot color all spring and summer, along with hot pink. I saw hot pink and orange lips all over the place. I've been wearing my Raspberry Pie and Candy Apple Lip Butters for most of the summer. Since summer doesn't really end in Texas until nearly November, I'll probably still wear them every now and again.
For fall: dramatic red lips. The particular shade of red you want to wear is up to you; it seems like anything from a true red to a wine red is in style. If you are a classic red kinda girl, check out Revlon's Really Red matte lipstick. It's a highly pigmented true red. It also seems to flattering on many (if not all) skin tones. It isn't too cool for my tan complexion and warm undertones, yet it looks perfect on people with a fair complexion and cool undertones. The matte finish gives it a different look and it will instantly add an air of sophistication to any outfit. I find it easier to apply to when after I've lined my lips... basically coloring in between the lines.


Image from BeautySwatch.com

For a deeper red look, look at Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in Raisin. It's a great berry red shade that moisturizes. Reviews say that it looks better on cooler skin tones, but I think it looks awesome on me, too. It goes on sheer, but can be layered on for a darker look. It's also about $5 and available most everywhere.


Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in Raisin

For summer: The perfect hair for the dog days of summer and a cute change from a ponytail was the bun. They ranged from sophisticated ballerina buns (including the sock bun) to the artfully disheveled messy buns.
For fall: Same bun, but drop it down low. Since low buns can easily careen into bridal hair territory, soften the look by not loading on hairspray. The Beauty Department has a great tutorial on coiled bun. I love this tutorial from A Beautiful Mess.


Brigitte Bardot, queen of the messy bun

For summer: colored denim in sherbet shades. I bought 2 pairs of colored denim early in the season, one in mint green and the other in pale purple. I didn't wear them nearly as much as I should have, thanks to hundred degree days and a 9-5 in a conservative workplace.
For fall: colored denim in rich, deep colors like hunter green, dark red, and dark purple. Since color blocking is still popular, it would be easy to pair the jeans with a solid top. I'll probably end up pairing colored jeans with a neutral or even a chambray shirt

Left: Color blocking with colored denim, Right: Colored denim and chambray










What are you most looking forward to about fall style?