Category Archives: things I like

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?


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?

Style Rules to Break

The holiday season is here! I know our calendar is filling up with lots of social events, which means I get to have a little more fun with what I wear. Here are my three favorite style rules to break in winter:

“Don’t mix metals!”

With the new layering and stacking trends for necklaces and bracelets, it’s more interesting when things aren’t the same type of metal. The necklaces and bracelets should have a unifying characteristic and be of varying lengths. The Glitter Guide has a great how-to piece and here’s a pin with a necklace fit guide.

“No sequins during the day!”

If there was ever a time to wear sequins during the day, it is now! Winter holiday collections seem to include lots of sparkly dresses. To make this trend daytime friendly, stick to one sequined piece of clothing, a sparkly accessory, or something that has sequin accents.

Sequins for Day

Sequins for Day by lactivistinloubs
click image for sources

“Save the pastels for the spring!”

I beg to differ. Not only are pastels a nice change from the rich jewel tones, but mint works very well with a deep eggplant or plum. It’s a gorgeous contrast. With the amount of mint I’m seeing everywhere, I don’t think this will be a “rule” for much longer! Still a little hesitant to take the pastel plunge? Start small with a mint accessory or even a mani or pedi. My favorite mint polish is essie’s Mint Candy Apple.

Minty Fresh

Minty Fresh by lactivistinloubs
click image for sources