Category Archives: diaper bag

Friday Favorites – Post Partum Edition

I thought I’d ease back into blogging by writing about a few things that’ve been really enjoying since Rohan was born. I haven’t been able to do a whole lot since I spend the better part of my day breastfeeding a newborn, but here are a few things I am loving for Friday Favorites. These are vastly different than the Friday Favorites I’ve done in the past… here’s hoping I get to write about some of those things soon!

aden + anais for Target Swaddle Blankets. These were on our registry and we ended up getting two packs of them. My husband wasn’t sure what we would do with 8 swaddle blankets, but trust me, we’ve found uses for them now that baby’s here. Since E was born in December, the thick fleecy swaddle/receiving blankets would be way too hot in Texas in May. These linen blankets are just the right thickness to keep baby warm when the A/C is blasting. They’re super soft, but durable, and make a great surface to change a diaper or lay baby down. They’re great for swaddling, too!

Boba Wrap in Stardust. This has been a lifesaver during growth spurts, when Rohan wouldn’t sleep unless it was on me. Wearing him close to my chest in the wrap has been wonderful. I get to sniff and kiss his head, he gets to sleep and be close to me. Everyone wins. I had a different stretchy wrap when E was a baby, but I didn’t care for it. I never felt like I could get it tight enough. The Boba Wrap is very stretchy, which allows me to get it really tight. I’m not sure if it is actually longer than the other stretchy wrap, but I am able to wrap it around myself several times. I wasn’t able to do that with the last stretchy wrap I had. Plus the Stardust print is gorgeous!

In the midst of a growth spurt where someone is refusing to sleep.


Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter
 and Motherlove Nipple Cream. Unfortunately, I did not buy these before I had the baby and was stuck using lanolin in the hospital for a few days. I’m not a fan of lanolin because it doesn’t absorb well into my skin and it likely leaves a film in baby’s mouth. The baby has a pretty significant lip tie and a tongue tie as well. As you can imagine, my nipples were pretty torn up before we even left the hospital. I prefer these to lanolin because they absorb into my skin and don’t feel slimy like lanolin does. I typically alternate between the two of them, even though their ingredient list is similar. I keep one in my bathroom and the other in the pocket of my nursing pillow.

What were your can’t live without post partum items?

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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!

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!

Friday Favorites: Leopard Print and Sparkle


Mossimo Black® Vianca Tuxedo Flat in Leopard

I initially didn’t care for the loafer trend. Way too preppy for me. Plus, my dad wore loafers with tassels on them and I will forever equate them with a business shoe. THen I saw these. I had to have them. For $20, I will be thrilled if they last until springtime. I’ve worn them a few times already and my only complaint is that there’s virtually no sole. I feel like I’m walking on the ground. I need to pick up some insoles so I’m gellin’ like a felon or whatever it is.

In the picture on the right, I paired them with mint skinnies for a night out and with dark bootcut jeans for work. While it’s a fun change from the ballet flat, I will be staying away from the ones with tassels. Sorry Dad.

 


Pave Pyramid Bangles from BaubleBar

I’ve written about these before, but I really like them just that much. As you can see in the picture on the right, they’re perfect for stacking, but pretty enough to hold their own. I wear these almost every day, usually just like this. BaubleBar has some pretty great pieces of well made, reasonably priced jewelry that I’m tempted to shop very frequently. Should you feel the urge to get something from them, please use my referral link.

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?

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! Here are a few things I’ve been enjoying lately.

  • BaubleBar I am an accessories junkie. I especially love jewelry. The prettier, the better. For years, I’ve been buying junk cheap jewelry at stores like Forever 21. I’m lucky if it lasts for a season. This year, I’ve decided to upgrade a bit. My friend Hitha introduced me to BaubleBar.

    BaubleBar sells good quality, trendy jewelry. While the pieces cost more than F21, they are certainly better quality and look a lot more luxe as well. They also collaborate with designers for pop up shops.

    I’ve made a few purchases from there and have been really thrilled with their baubles. Included with each purchase is a hand-written thank you note. Who does that anymore? Their customer service is also very prompt and polite. Shipping is free.Interested in checking them out? Use my referral link.


    Pave Pyramid Bangles – $20 each


  • Rose gold Much to my mother’s dismay, I don’t wear yellow gold. Even though it looks great on South Asian skin, I don’t like the way it looks on me. I’ve been a silver/white gold/platinum/palladium person forever. When I saw rose gold, I was intrigued. It’s a departure from the cold look of silver. I think the blush tones are more flattering on my skin tone and make it more versatile. Below are a few of beautiful rose gold pieces that can be easily mixed with what’s already in your jewelry box. Because it’s so versatile, it’s mixes well with different metals and colors. Maybe it’s a gateway metal and I’ll be wearing yellow gold in the near future. I know it would make my mom happy!
    Make Me Blush

  • Mama Mia For the past several months, my skin has been going crazy. I get horrible hormonal breakouts each month: 4+ huge, deep, painful cystic acne-type pimples. It has been happening every month without fail. Since adult cystic acne runs in my family, I even went to a dermatologist to see if anything could be done. Since I’m still nursing, my options are limited and the doctor didn’t have any real suggestions.

    I ended up purchasing a Clarisonic Mia system, and have been using it nightly for a few months. Rather than using Clarisonic’s face wash, I use it with Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple. It’s helped my skin significantly. While I still get a monthly breakout, I’m seeing fewer pimples. The ones that appear are not as deep either.

    There was some debate about whether I should buy the Mia or her newer sister the Mia 2. The only differences: the Mia 2 has 2 speeds and a timer. Not worth the extra $30. I don’t care about the variable speed, and I can keep count to figure out when to change areas. Plus the Mia comes in a ton of colors (I got the turquoise), while the Mia 2 comes in only pink and white.

    If the $119 price is a little steep, wait a bit. Many big cosmetics retailers have 20% off throughout the year. In fact, your best bet may be online. I got mine from drugstore.com for just under $100 with free shipping and no tax.

What are you digging lately?