In Home, Organization On
June 24, 2017

Closet Cleaning Organization

Ah, springtime/summer. The time where we are completely flooded and overwhelmed with videos everyone showing us their perfect closet and pinterest hacks for creating that picture perfect closet. So I thought I’d share how I got my closet to it’s happy state.

First, and probably my biggest tip, is to not just purge, but live in the space for awhile. I see so many people clear out and then put things back and then we’re back to a few months later re-organizing our spaces. One trick I learned for organizing in general is to actually live in the space for a few weeks or even months before going in and reorganizing. Take a look at what is piling up and make note. What’s hard to get too? What would you use if you needed access to it? Anything I can stuff in a corner until it’s actually needed? I actually did a big clean out months ago, then when I was ready to re-organize, I took out a few more items and made note of what needed to change.

Write a list of the things that are working for you and aren’t working for you. For me, I wanted extra sheets in my closet, extra towels and a place for toiletries. Something that wasn’t working was my leggings organization as well as my pajama drawer. Something that was working was my bag organization and the general placement of clothes. When I went to organize, I kept in mind all these things and re-arranged and put away things in a way that is actually working for me now.

Keep your organizing simple. After Pinterest hack and video after video, I realized I didn’t need anything fancy. I transferred over my closet dividers from Nora’s closet, used $1 bins I already had and just labeled things. It was pretty simple and easy. I folded my clothes in a way where everything was easy to see and grab and nothing fancy beyond that. It’s functional, looks nice and it is super easy to keep organized.

Think about making sure you utilize everything in your closet. I put Colin’s dress shoes in a dust bag, labeled it, put them in a corner. Out of the way, but easy to get to when (rarely needed). I already had huggable hangers (but I’d recommend getting them in similar colors) and I used bins I already had to organize small accessories like wallets and belts.

I did move my makeup back into the vanity. I had moved a lot out, but decided it wasn’t working and this is much better. I know this is nothing groundbreaking or fancy, but I felt like I was overwhelmed with this or that crazy hack and really it wasn’t hard. Breathe, keep it simple and keep in mine most importantly is to make sure it’s functional. Not all closets need to be in a magazine to work for you!

In Beauty On
June 17, 2017

New @ Erin’s Faces

Erin’s Faces had babies! So exciting! Erin released some cool new things in the spring and now these minis for the summer. I thought I’d do a roundup if you were interested in any items. Also, I did not include the candles. They have sold out for the season, but I would recommend getting on her mailing list for the next round release. They are by far some of the best soy candles I’ve tried, and I’m not alone in that thinking!

Lip Balm & Sunstick
Erin has some amazing lip balms (I love her peppermint) and recently came out with Lemonade. This is great if you don’t like a strong scent. It’s great prior to lipstick/lip balm. I sometimes blot, sometimes don’t. I don’t tend to leave it on at night, but you probably could because it leaves a decent barrier. No nasty chemicals so I’m totally cool with it. Plus it’s freaking $4. I have about 30 lip balms because, yes, you can buy them in packs of 3 for $10. I give them as gifts as well.

The Sunstick had me jumping for joy. It goes on pretty clear, but does have a touch white cast. I love it for my bag and for my baby. It works really well for Nora. I can swipe and blend super easily. Colin actually hated it at first because it went on so clear he didn’t think it was working. I, however, love a non-gooey greasy mess. I love how portable it is. I bought 2, need more to stash in every location. It’s not my favorite for body (which it’s intended for face), but in a pinch will do. Kind of brilliant.

Tulip Blush
So beautiful. I’m kind of addicted. I love red blush. Like, serious heart eyed emojis. At least 3 in a row type of love. I think it works well on practically anyone and gives such a youthful glow. There’s not much to say except buy it. It’s smooth, pigmented, works well with any look… just go buy it. Swatch is blended out because I wanted to show you how non-freaky it really is. Quite gorgeous. Tulip is on the right. Impatiens is on the left (also a great, soft light pink I often wear under Tulip).

Now on to the newest release! Erin had babies! How exciting! Perfect in time for summer, Erin released 2oz sizes of 6 different products: Monoi Tiare Lotion & Body Wash, Lavender Body Wash, Aloe, Milk & Clarifying cleanser. Her full sized products are 8oz and the minis are TSA approved 2oz. Prices range from $7.50-$10 on the minis. They are so cute and perfect for travel, your bag, etc. I’m excited to be able to take the lotion with me to work!

Monoi Tiare Body Lotion
This is one of my favorite new launches from Erin (except the Sunstick and Tulip…). It smells so lovely, it’s lightweight but still effective… oh how I love you Monoi Tiare Lotion! My husband said it’s “the best lotion you’ve ever bought”. He loved that it wasn’t greasy and it was very smooth. At the gym, some lady said “you smell amazing!”. This was the only thing I was wearing with a scent that day. Super nice, simple and pretty amazing. I love that I have a travel size for my work bag! The scent is soft enough to not distract, but if you are in close enough proximity, you can smell it. It’s pretty hydrating and I’ve really been tempted to buy a second.

Monoi Tiare Body Wash
I pretty much only use this in the shower as a body wash. I think I tried in my bath as a bubble bath and I don’t remember being overwhelmed… I think it was just ok. But this is a really rich body wash so it’s great at moisturizing skin. I put on last and it really helps after shaving and on my arms keeping them soft. I love the light floral scent. So good.

Lavender Body Wash
This can be used for babies/kids or adults. I know lots of adults that love this, but I do use this primarily for Nora. I love the smell before bedtime and this really makes her skin feel smooth and soft. It washes clean and is not too powerful. I like that it’s gentle and doesn’t smell like fake lavender. This is vegan, contains vitamin B and E and contains no sulfates. I believe this is ranked a 2 on Think Dirty, so not the cleanest formulation (for you purists out there), but for sure good enough for me!

Soothing Aloe Cleanser
This product is one I’ve been using in the full size for awhile. It’s got aloe (obs) and oat protein so it’s super soothing and non-drying. It doesn’t seem to strip my skin. If you like that squeaky clean feel, this is probably not for you. I like my skin to feel clean and refreshed, which this does. I love this as a morning cleanser (when I use one), after a mask, before a mask, after a scrub…I just like it. It’s a simple cleanser that I think both boys and girls alike will enjoy.

Gentle Milk Cleanser
This milk cleanser also has aloe, but contains milk and other soothing ingredients like chamomile. This doesn’t really wash away makeup, but is a great second cleanser to leave dry skin feeling smooth and refreshed. I’ve been using my mini’s pretty regularly now and I will say with regular use, this is a tad too heavy for my skin (especially break-out prone areas like my chin). I have pretty normal, balanced skin so I don’t need anything over-hydrating. Use a couple of times a week didn’t hurt, but I noticed after a few days of regular use it seemed to clog up my chin a tiny bit. These are great examples of reasons to be glad to have the smaller size as it would take me forever/waste product to buy a full size. I do like using this as a mask before wiping it off (dual use).

Clarifying Charcoal Cleanser
I think this product is going to make me want to get a full size. I’ve just started ramping up my use of it and it seems to be working well. If you have congested/oily skin or normal skin with occasional breakouts, this will be good to add to your routine. I like it most as a second cleanse at night, but if you have truly oily skin, you could probably use this more or regularly in the am. This has charcoal, but also some really great ingredients like cranberry, orange & maple sugar. This doesn’t leave my skin stripped, but similarly to the milk cleanser, it isn’t balancing so I find that I probably won’t use this every day. It would eventually strip my skin I’m sure, but for use on occasion, it’s completely perfection. My skin is slightly congested right now so I might keep track of how much I use it now that it’s hot and my skin is not only sweating more, but also I am wearing an additional layer of sunscreen. This helps make sure it’s all out so it will be interesting how I incorporate this into my routine.

Shop Erin’s Faces! All-in-all, great new products. Excited to travel with them and be able to give some of them a second look beyond a sample. I hope you find something amazing!

In Baby, Home On
June 10, 2017

A Day in the Life…

… of my toddler! I thought it would be fun to see how we spend a summer day with our almost two year old. We spend a lot of time outside. It’s kind of crazy. We had a pretty packed day (which I do try to have at least 1 fun day a weekend; especially in the summer) and so I thought it would be a fun one to share.

The day started at the Indy Zoo. We are members so it’s pretty easy to go for a few hours than leave. We actually had a packed morning. We got there just before it opened (which is totally the way to go) and started in the back. We caught the dolphin show and came back to feed the birds. We also caught a dog show (who knew that was a thing at the zoo?). We had our afternoon meltdown about noon or so, which is pretty normal. Nothing a few bananas and blueberries couldn’t fix (yes, it’s all over her face). We came back home for a nap (teething has been terrible at the moment – thank god it comes with long naps).

After nap, kid was still cranky so I hurried to make some sort of lunch. I got this idea from Pick Up Limes. It’s wheat bread, peanut butter, banana and blueberries. Pretty simple. She actually liked it, so mom win for the day. If anyone has good, easy, healthy toddler meals, I’m totally game for ideas.

It was freaking hot outside so the splash pad seemed like a natural thing. She’s getting more and more used to the splash pad. She’s gotten more brave, but still is not a fan of the buckets that spill water. Oh well, I guess if she wants to just play with the baby fountain….whatever. It’s free and easy so whatevs. I will say having a bucket really helped. I found a bin in my car I was storing snacks and it worked out ok. I went to dollar tree after and picked up a bucket for the splash pad. So much more entertaining apparently!

I also wanted to mention play clay. It’s like play doh but way better. It smells great, super soft & completely non-toxic. It originated in my hometown of Lamar, Colorado which is pretty cool. I remember playing with it when I was young. I’ve had alternatives, but this is the best stuff. It can be revived with a little water which is awesome and is not crumbly like other non-toxic play clay/doh. I would highly recommend to those in the market. We are getting some of the smaller sizes for party favors at her birthday this year.

Next was bath time because girl stinks in the summer. In Nora’s words “stinky pooey”. Amen. Amen. We have some bath toys in a dollar tree bin and some fun gears, but keep it pretty simple.

After a fun-filled day, it was time for bed. We usually unwind with some TV (Mickey Mouse, Peppa, etc). Books honestly get her more hyped so we like to keep it low-key at night. She gets in the Peppa zone in the evening for sure!

Side note: we are really trying to limit her time with that pacifier (that stuffed animal you see). Anyone have tips or tricks to help her not ask for it a million times during the day?

In Beauty On
June 4, 2017

Summer Beauty Routine

Ah, summer. Ah, work. I still like to incorporate simple summer makeup (that’s quick and easy), even for work. This look is simple and fresh-faced. There’s nothing shocking or revolutionary here but I love the dewy skin plus rosy cheeks.

Skin: To keep skin looking fabulous, I use the freelovebeauty moonchild for an extra boost. Sometimes this is only on the weekend, but these oils are quite gorgeous. W3ll People stick foundation is simple, quick and easy. Erin’s Faces concealer is a great fuller coverage concealer. Any bronzer you like will do; I used Bobbi Brown #2 just because it was closest to me, but Erin’s Faces and Stuido 78 Paris is also amazing for non-toxic options.

Cheeks: I started doubling up on blush and I love the effect. Fitglow Beauty Quartz is surprisingly glow-tastic and works well with bronzed skin. On top, I pop a little Erin’s Faces Tulip – bright but gorgeous when blended.

Eyes: I kept it ridiculously simple with Erin’s Faces Eclipse and brown gel liner. I follow with a coat of mascara – Ere Perez waterproof at the moment. Keeps lashes black & no running.

Glossier boy brow on my brows. I am the only person in America that is only meh on this product. Don’t get me wrong, it’s probably one of the best brow gels I’ve used, but a pencil is more precise and adds more definition. I think it boils down to personal preference more than anything.

Brushes: My current rotation of brushes is the Gressa foundation brush, Jenny Patinkin Powder (sheds, but I still love) and Jenny Patinkin Liner brush. Keeping it simple is easy with these 3 brushes.

In Beauty, Home On
June 4, 2017

Morning Routine

From pumping, I’ve learned to become a tad more of a morning person.  It makes life easier to get things done without a toddler as well as I feel like I can give Nora full attention when she does wake up. I started waking up 30 minutes earlier for work to get basic things done around the house.  It changes from day to day, but the concept is still there.  I realize it’s hard, but a few less snoozes has really helped me make sure I come up to a semi-clean house (my parents watch her a few days a week at our house).

A few tips:
– Start slow.  I literally started by just putting dishes away in the morning and built up additional chores.
– Change it up.  Changing my routine every month or so (even if I think it doesn’t need it) makes it feel less routine and can help me make sure I’m keeping up with changes (kids grow fast) and keeping my routine as fast as possible.
-Do dishes at work. I rinse or wash out my lunch box items at work.  I take a travel washing supplies and quickly rinse either after lunch or before I leave.  It helps to prevent rotten lunches with a dry-spell of no containers.

Basic routine:
For the most part, washing my face, makeup and getting dressed are steady items I do every day (even weekends). I have been washing my face in the morning by putting a little Lumion on a cotton round and it’s quick, easy and effective.  In the morning, I generally follow with a spritz of something and then basically a bunch of Erin’s Faces apparently.  Rose Quench Serum (sometimes I start with Clarifying Serum if skin is acting up), Peptide Eye Cream, Silk Cream & then I add Peptide Sunscreen if I won’t have sunscreen in my foundation.  I also do her lash enhancing serum with a lip balm – usually Violets are Blue. My makeup routine is going to be added shortly.

So once the non-negotiable items are out of the way, I generally fold laundry (I do delay washes at night so it’s drying while I get ready) & put away dishes.  Sometimes I pack a lunch in the morning, but I try to get most of the prep at least done at night.  I also try to mop floors in the morning if the floors seem…sticky. Oh, kids.  I have also tried to eat breakfast in the mornings before work.  It makes it so much easier once I get there.

I hope you enjoy – share your tips below!

Watch the video!