Stacy B here! I wish I had a cute lead in story to this post that linked my fabulous life with a great product all with clever anecdotes and witty comments that will keep you coming back for more.
I don't. It's been a fairly boring week.
Everyone is finally healthy (mostly) so you'd think we'd be getting good sleep, feeling better and living life to the fullest. Nope. Enter night terrors. My poor kid. And poor us. No one sleeps when your baby is screaming at the top of his lungs, thrashing around like someone is killing him and there's NOTHING you can do. Nothing. You aren't even supposed to pick them up, wake them up or anything. You just have to let it happen. Last night was 30 minutes between 12:15 am and 12:45 am. The night before was midnight to 12:25 am and I'm praying tonight doesn't happen. It's been 3 of the last 5 nights. Poor kid.
My only relief is that our doctor says that even though there's nothing we can do, we should be comforted by the fact that he doesn't remember anything when he wakes up. I know this is true because once he finally stopped screaming last night, he quietly sighed, opened his eyes, blew a giant raspberry at me, giggled, and rolled over to sleep the rest of the night peacefully. Thanks kid.
Ugh, I just want us all to sleep!
My creative juices are just not flowing this week so I'm going to jump right in. Buy a makeup brush from EcoTools. No, it will not cure night terrors, croup, sinus infections or world hunger but it's an awesome tool to get some makeup on those tired eyes and get you through the day looking good and feeling good about an environmentally friendly tool.
I used the Bamboo Eye Shading Brush this week and loved it. It was so soft, smooth and easy to use. I told a coworker about it and she said she bought these expensive brushes from Sephora and they were terrible. Stiff, didn't pick up the shadow and were too prickly to spread what little shadow was on the bristles evenly. She was so mad she wasted money on them. I just gushed about this brush, and I think I may have convinced her to buy one! And why not? It's only $4!
The whole line in cruelty free and made with resuable materials. The bamboo handle is light and easy to grip. I really like bamboo, I've been using it in my kitchen mostly, for cutting boards, cheese servers, etc. It's a great looking, good for you, easy to take care of wood. I was pretty excited to use it in my bathroom, too!
Meg here! 13 days and smoke free!! Woohoo! It's definitely getting easier everyday and I'm getting more and more compliments on how great my skin has been looking.
Stopping smoling has made my face look clearer and brighter within just a couple weeks but there is one thing it hasn't stopped...My hormones. With PMS kicked into high gear and both my mood and my skin out of balance, my monthly pimple emerged.
I could feel my frightful visitor about to arrive at my doorstep (If the doorstep was on my forehead, right between my eyes.) Luckily, it was the same day as Relogy arrived at my door!
Relogy was touting itself as a "Natural Acne Treatment." I quickly opened up the box, broken down into an easy 3 step process labeled Step 1 and Step 2 and then topped off with an easy spot targeted pen-I couldn't wait to get started and nip this third eye in the bud.
That night, I hopped in the shower and started my Relogy journey. Step 1 is a face wash. With a few pumps from the dispenser, a foamy mousse was dispensed. It spread light and evenly across my face and washed off clean. No tight or sticky feeling, no residue left. What exactly is in this? Step 1: Relogy's Rinse-Free Foampenetrates deep into the skin's surface to start clearing acne immediately, while soothing naturals promote a healing, redness reducing, anti-inflammatory effects. Tough on acne bacteria, this product is still gentle, smells great, and feels silky on your skin. And, it's 100% benzoyl-peroxide free!"
OK, that was easy enough, now how about Step 2? The bottle says to use a pea size amount and that it's "Natural Skin Balancing Lotion is the ultimate side-effect preventer, keeping your skin soft, with just the right level of hydration for smooth, healthy, glowing skin." I used a pea sized amount but I did add another pea to the soup. This lotion went on very light and spreadable. It wasn't a heavy moisturizer but felt more like a serum on application. I really liked it.
The third step? The stainless steel roller ball spot control is for specific care targeting (that third eye I speak about.) I have been using this routine for the past 6 days and I am happy to report that there was nothing to have to conceal or (Yes, I admit it. Squeeze and pop.) Period due tomorrow and I have no zingers!
I love that Relogy is animal cruelty free and vegan (you know how I'm a stickler on animal friendly products.) Its gentle formula is safe for skin that usually is prone to irritation or redness since so many acne fighting products use such harsh chemicals.
So now, with my Relogy Acne Fighting Routine, my nightly Apple Cider Vinegar shots and my kicking cigarettes, I'm going to be like Benjamin Buttons. Everyday I may not be getting younger but I am definitely looking better and healthier.
I'm really loving how easy it is to have such great skin. I have this amazing app on my Iphone. It's called "Period Tracker" and it tracks when your ovulating, when you're the most fertile and WHEN YOUR PERIOD IS ON IT'S WAY! It gives you the exact date. This makes my planning business trips a God send! Nothing worse than flying on Day 1 of dear friend Flo. Now, one week before I am due (and my most oily) I will be breaking out my Relogy, by doing this, I'm guaranteeing these will be the only "break outs" that I see!
Stacy B here! "This year's flu season could be the worst in decades" uh, what? You're kidding me, right? I have two kids who attract germs like a Kardashian attracts papparazzi and now I have to worry about the flu!? They just got over coughs last week!
Break out the kiddie pool, I'm using it indoors and filling in with sanitizer. We will NOT get the flu. We WILL NOT. OK, maybe I can get it, I hear it helps drop the holiday weight. Kidding!!
I'm not sure what else I can do within the realm of normal parenting behavior. Everyone washes their hands when they get home, sheets are washed weekly in hot water, scarves, hats and mittens are thrown in there occassionally, both boys (and adults) are eating lots of healthy veggies and vitamin-c packed fruits, adults take multivitamins, we all drink lots of water and exercise regularly. We can't live in a bubble.
In case the bug gets us, we do our best to make the duration of the cold or flu as short and pleasant as possible. Steamy showers, hot tea, lots of rest, chicken soups, doctor's visits, if necessary, and for the adults, cold medicine (which you know never works). I definitely feel bad for my youngest who, at 8 months, can't take any medicine or drink tea and soup. My 4-year-old has a few more options but still. I try to find non-drug ways of making them feel better.
I found some body wash from Kiss My Face called Cold and Flu Shower and Bath Gel. Sounds way too good to be true. And it kind of was. I didn't love this. I liked it. Just liked it. Which was tough because I loved the company, the message behind the products, their environmental responsibility, the innovative products, even the price.
It started out really promising. The bottle is huge, and only about $11 retail price. I was intrigued by the eucalypus and menthol blend and the advertising on the back. It says "While it doesn't provide a cure, it sure does provide a dose of soothing comfort."
What? A company being totally honest with you and not trying to trick you into believing they can cure the world? Set my expectation right away: this wouldn't work miracles, but would offer a break from the annoying cold and flu symptoms we all hate. Perfect. We all know there's no cure for the common cold, or flu, so a break is about all we can ask for as we let these things run their course.
Meg here! Sometimes I can call 'em! I think it was back in 2006 when I proclaimed Liptini my most favortie lip stains ever! Back then they were a little boutique company right here in LA. The last time I was in NYC I was walking down the street and saw, much to my delight a big display of Liptini right in the drugstores window! It was a big drugstore too, like a Duane Reade or a Walgreens. It's a nice feeling when I am validated that "yes! that was a pulse my finger was feeling!"
I know I'm not alone in my obsession with these gorgeous colors, amazing staying power and conveniently packaged tubes of greatness. Over the years, I told all of my friends to go pick them up if they wanted a great item whose color you can layer for an even bolder effect. I know I know my stuff but it is great when I "google" the Liptini and see thousands of A+ reviews with lots of women agreeing with me! So you go Liptini! This Momma is so proud!
I recently tried Liptini's shade "Pink Squirell." It looks a lot redder in the tube but once it goes on, it's really a perfectly innocent, youthful and realistic pink. The type of pink lips you'd get if you were 5 years old and playing in the snow. It's that healthy natural pink that no one seems to ever have naturally. I know. Go figure. I like to layer so I apply it, let it dry and repeat 3x. Sometimes, I'll add a clear gloss or a complimentary shade in a pink.
Stacy B here! Happy New Year everyone! Fresh start, new year, better tomorrows. Hopefully.
The last two years have been a bit trying for my husband and I, for many reasons, including a rough pregnancy, the increased cost of two kids in daycare, a job change for my husband that turned out to be a terrible move thanks to some corporate decisions made just after he was hired that essentially changed not only his job, but his salary. Not good, and questionable business ethics if you ask me.
That's as much detail as I'll bore you with, but we are confident this new year will bring us much more happiness and good luck. We have healthy boys and a nice place to live so I shouldn't take that for granted, but a happy work environment for the hubby and a boost in our economic situation would be icing on the cake.
We're not big on resolutions at our house, I feel like they set you up to fail. They are always too big and a year is just too long to hold yourself to something that could be a major life change. I'm sticking with what I know and just vowing to stay on my healthy eating and gym workouts plan.
I was at the gym last night and saw a bunch of New Year's Resolutioners huffing and puffing on the treadmills in their new gym clothes looking like they were about to throw up. I admire them for taking that first step, but if you don't start out slow, you'll never made it past January. It took me 6 months to work up to 45 minutes of cardio and 25 mintues of weight training 4 nights a week and while it was frustratingly slow, in 6 months I lost 23 lbs and every ounce of baby weight I put on. I'm pretty proud of that and I know it was because I took it slow, didn't expect miracles and pushed myself just enough to see results without hurting myself or getting discouraged.
One thing that helped was taking walks during lunch at work. I have a gym right down the street and I can get there, walk on an incline for 30 minutes and get back to work in an hour. I don't over-exert, there's just no time for showering so I do just enough to get off my butt, burn some calories and boost my energy without sweating like a pig. Thank God for dry shampoo and makeup wipes! My favorite wipes are Neutrogena's Pink Grapefruit Oil Free Cleansing Wipes.
I have these in my gym bag and I love them. They smell so fresh and citrus-y. I use them when I'm changing to do a quick wipe down of my skin, especially around my hairline which does get a little sweaty, even though my workout is very low impact. They are also perfect for around the bands and straps of my sports bra that can also get a little sticky. Just a quick swipe and my skin is clean, sweet smelling and fresh.
I know these are primarily for your face, but they work everywhere else, too. They are not sticky at all, they wipe away clean, although it does take a minute or two for them to totally dry. I don't have time for a full moisturizing ritual after my workout but these are not drying at all. That's one of the reasons I like them so much, I can use them without feeling my skin tighten up and get cracked or itchy. And since it's 8 degrees today as I write this, the air is dry enough, I don't need a wipe sapping any more moisture from my skin.
Meg hair! You want to know what stinks? When you're five years old in a sandbox and everyone else in the group picture has cute ponytails and you have tufts on your head and your grandfather refers to you as "his little Ed Asner."
Being bald due to cancer must be terrible. I mean, you have cancer, so there are bigger issues. I never had cancer. I was just bald because God has a very good sense of humor and that's life.
Now, I have long, luscious hair. Amazing. It only took 10 orphans in a poor Indian village to get it. So, win? Win?
I can lie and tell you if you use this product your hair will grow. It doesn't. I spend the GDP of a poor nation on my tresses. Because I am on TV and I HAVE TO. Those long full locks with a slight curl on the end? Yes, they're as natural as my full C+ boobies and plump upper lip.
Jessica comes to my house after I've spent $300 on new, auburn Indian hair. She has to remove all of the old stuff. It gets ratty. I've got my extensions out and now she is coloring the remaining pieces I have in. She has to, we have to make the new hair perfectly match. It's step one in a process that will take hours and almost $1,000 a month. I think I'm JLo.
Full hair is sexy, full hair equates youth and health and vitality. Full hair has always eluded me, until I took the hit to my wallet and decided "full hair" was worth it.
Stacy B here! Merry Christmas! I hope you all had a great day celebrating with friends and family and way too many sweets. Don't worry, the collective diet starts Tuesday.
I was really lucky this year that my office closed on Christmas Eve so I had 3 days before Christmas Day to get fully prepared. We hosted about 15 people at our house for dinner so I had a lot to do! Luckily my mom and aunt have been doing Christmas dinner for years so they basically brought everything and just took over my oven. I made potatoes, corn and about 4 different types of cookies. With help from my son, of course. He's getting really good, especially at cracking eggs, which is his favorite thing to do. If there are no eggs in the recipe, I pretty much can count on him bailing on me. Luckily, every cookie and treat I made had eggs. Healthy stuff....really.
During a rare moment of down time Sunday afternoon I had time to do my nails. No fancy manicure, just a quick two coats while my youngest napped and my husband and older son ran some errands (last minute shopping, of course).
I went with a perfect Christmas shade from OPI called Speak For Your-Elf. How appropriate, and cute! It was a true red glitter polish but the glitter was red, too, and very fine so it wasn't chunky or flashy. Just a nice shimmery sparkle in the right light.
Just as the second coat was drying, my son woke up demanding lunch and mommy attention so I didn't get to do a top coat. I figured I'd get to it later....take a guess if that happened or not...
My only trick for time is to swipe a bit of polish across the tip of your nail. Hold the brush vertically and lightly swipe it across the edge of your nail, bonus points if you get a little on the under side of the nail. If you can't get in a top coat, this helps protect from chips.
I hardly expected this to last and anticipated some touch ups before the big day, or even a full replacement. But, OPI really came through. After two full days of craziness, I just had a little wear on a few tips, but no major chips. This polish made it though two baths for each kid, all the present wrapping, 4 different batches of cookies, assembly of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Farm set, two stockings stuffed, one Christmas Eve party, one champagne bottle popped, a full house clean, my own showers, one round of coloring Rudolph pictures and a sprinkling of reindeer food on the front lawn. With a very difficult top to open! Plus, opening all my own presents, and all presents for my 8 month old. He only wanted to chew on the paper.
Stacy B here! This is a pretty hard post for me to write, half of me still can't wrap my head around what happened in Newtown, CT and the other half of me is so excited for Christmas with a 4 year old that truly gets it this year and a 7 month old who is thrilled if you give him some wrapping paper to crinkle up. I'm torn right down the middle this week.
And where does make-up fit in to all of this?
Can I really write a light-hearted post about the bronzer I've been using lately when there are mothers out there that will never hug their babies again? But, can I allow something that didn't happen directly to me ruin the Christmas season for my kids who have no idea what happened? It's really difficult around here lately. Wanting to be happy and excited for Christmas with my family is totally normal. But so is being heart broken about these latest events. My son is in school this year, my Mom is a teacher. Any of those kids or teachers could have been them. And a friend from high school is the Sandy Hook Elementary gym teacher. She saved 37 kids. 37 KIDS. She ushered them into a storage closet and kept them safe, quiet, and alive. Too many things are too close to home on this one.
I just have to hug my kids and my mom, keep those babies and teachers in my thoughts and keep going. That's all we can do, just live our lives as best we can and look forward to the good things without forgetting the bad. Needless to say, I've had some sleepless nights lately. A teething 7 month old who MUST have a hollow leg is also keeping me up at night, so that's not helping. The kid eats more than I do and he's 20 lbs!
Waking up with a pale face is par for the course in the winter, but throw in some stress, some excitement, some rough nights and I look like a ghost. When your own mother tells you 'you look exhausted', and forces you to go take a nap while she watches the kids, you know it's bad.
My wallet's not all that fat lately either, so I needed something quick, easy and cheap. Thank you Wet n Wild for your Ultimate Minerals Bronzer. This stuff does the job. It brightened up my face with some color and a VERY light shimmer. Don't worry, there are no large glitter particles to cling to your face, it's just a very nice, light-catching shimmer that goes on evenly and stays smooth all day.
Stacy B here! It's getting Christmas-y around here. We are decorated and shopped and lit up and filled with sweet treats that my son loves to help me make. It's amazing I'm not gaining tons of weight right now with all the holiday food that's starting to make it's way around the home and office. Ask me if my clothes fit in 2 weeks, you might get a different answer!
This year, I'm going to have to ask Santa for some diet aids, or Spanx or miracle skin firming lotion or something! I've been in pre-baby pants for a few months now and I'm not going back!
I think the holidays mask us from what's really going on. The air is getting drier...hello static...the wind is getting colder....hello wind burned skin...the moisture is being sucked right out of us like a sponge...hello chapped lips.... It's not fun. I think Christmas, Thanksgiving, Hannukah, New Year's and anything else you celebrate is just a diversion from what's really happening. Maybe if you get enough presents you won't realize your face is cracking? Or, if you eat enough pie you won't realize your lips are about to bleed?
Well, it's not fooling me. I'm on serious beauty watch. My husband travels for work and occassionally goes out with friends so in the last 2 weeks, I've had a few nights to myself as soon as I get the kids to bed. My empty house turns into beauty central. The face masks come out, the nail polish goes on, the foot cream is opened, the chick flicks start rolling. This is really important this time of year. A mental break in all this holiday mayhem is much needed and a pampering session for your skin and hair is well deserved, too.
Along with some great skin care masks I've been using, I switched to a more natural face lotion from Nature's Gate. I had some success with their tanning lotion (yes, I've been more careful and my palms are now back to their original color) so I thought I'd try their Lemon Verbena Moisturizer.
This smelled really great, and was for normal to oily skin. My skin is not all that oily, but can get a bit slick in the winter when it works overtime to keep from cracking and falling off. Here's the best part...ready for some of the ingredients? White Tea, Olive, Aloe, Argan, Flaxseed, Vitamins C & E, essential fatty acids and antioxidants. All readable, all natural, and I actually have heard of every single thing.There are some other ones in there that are a bit more complicated, but there are no parabens, no animal based products, no nothing. Great, right?
Like the Glow Lotion, this did not moisturize as well as I hoped, but it wasn't bad. I felt great going to bed after using it, but woke up a little tight this morning. It is very thin, so it feels like a cross between a lotion and a serum and did take a few seconds to really soak in and dry enough so I could put my face on my pillow. The good part about that is you can use just a little bit, so this bottle will go a long way. My skin does feel soft and smooth today though. The scent is light and airy and doesn't linger too long. It almost felt...spring-y. A few days before the first day of winter, too! Maybe it was the light lemon scent. Citrus always makes me think of spring and summer.