Friday Favorites

August 28, 2015

This week marked the start of a new adventure for us--my big girl started the first grade, and I realized that over the next twelve years she will spend a huge chunk of her waking hours away from me. I knew I would be emotional about this milestone, and I expected that my daughter would have some reservations about a new teacher and classroom, but I didn't fully grasp just how affected my two-year old would be without having her sissy around. She's been clinging to me, and her tearful pleas for me to hold her have rendered me incapable of getting anything else done. It hit me that we all have to learn how to navigate this uncharted chapter of our lives. And while I'm excited for my little first grader to spread her wings and embrace her independence, and the opportunity for the baby and me to share some valuable time together, I am, naturally, saddened that time is passing so quickly. I feel more grateful than ever for the weekend because, honestly, I miss my girl so much when she's not with mama. I'm sure she'll tire of me kissing her all weekend. Enjoy yours, and God bless!

My sweet girl's personalized chalkboard, which we'll use every year.

An elevated version of a classic lemon loaf cake.

DIY watermelon piñatas that would be perfect for a Labor Day celebration.

Cute storage ideas for all the craft supplies that I've got floating around.

Pura Vida bracelets that remind me of our vacation in Costa Rica.

How to Refresh Your Makeup Look for Fall

August 26, 2015

I don't know a single woman who hasn't held on to an eyeshadow palette past its 2-year expiration, and despite warnings that mascara should be replaced every 3 to 6 months, most of us aren't religious about replacing our favorite tube when it's time. After taking inventory of the contents of my own makeup bag recently, I realized I'm in need of a major overhaul, and since the season is about to change, I figured there's no better time to refresh my beauty look for fall. Here's the game plan:  

1. Replace what you wear on a daily or regular basis first.
After you've thrown out all the expired, yucky stuff of course. Since products like foundation or primer or a favorite lipstick shade get used more often than others, they'll need to be replaced right away. 

2. Have your makeup done at a beauty counter.
A great way to discover new products, learn cool application tricks, or try colors you might otherwise pass up is to have your makeup done by someone who's in the business of beauty. This will give you an opportunity to experiment with some of fall's bolder makeup trends and see if they're a fit for you.

3. Slowly start adding new products to your inventory.
There's no need to go out and buy every last color from Essie's Fall 2015 line, or try all the reds from a new favorite lipstick label. Pick two or three new items to add, then build from there when you start to discover what works for you.

4. Stock up on samples.
The best way to try new beauty products and save money is with samples. After you've had your makeup done at a counter, ask for samples of the products the technician used. Go to Sephora and Ulta and ask for samples of everything you like. Stock up on your favorites and you may not have to spend a dime this season!

5. Get inspiration straight from the runways and social media.
Head to websites like to see beauty trends from the Fall 2015 runways shows, then check out Pinterest and Instagram to see what other real women are doing. 

image via

Friday Favorites

August 21, 2015

I won't bore you with the details of what has been a truly less than stellar week, but I will say this--thank God it's Friday! I am absolutely beside myself with joy that this week is finally over and I can have a couple of days to recharge before school starts next week. And speaking of going back to school, I promised my big girl that we would do something extra special this weekend as it's the last one of summer vacation; I'm hoping she wants to do something involving ice cream (to make up for my hellish week). Have a wonderful and safe weekend, and God bless!

Chocolate marshmallow Rice Krispie treat ice cream.

The prettiest powder room

This DIY unicorn piñata that I just know my girls would love.

The sweetest idea for washi tape.

Crazy eye shadow

How I Made My Bath Product Bottles Prettier

August 20, 2015

I'm a big fan of packaging and am easily drawn to items--books, cosmetics, cereal boxes, you name it--that are on the pretty, girly side. Admittedly, those more aesthetically pleasing packages sometimes come at a cost, and I have willingly paid more money for a favorite body butter or candle because the jar was so beautiful. And it's not that I don't love less expensive body butters or candles, because I do, I just find the packaging to be a little uninspired. Since many of my daily bath products are the less expensive drugstore varieties I thought it would be cute to try giving them a little makeover. Using a stencil I got for about a buck at Hobby Lobby and some acrylic paint I already had on hand, I made this Dove shower gel bottle look a lot sweeter. I just removed the label, taped the stencil to the bottle, and painted. It was simple and quick (the hardest part was keeping the stencil from buckling around the bottle's curves), and far less expensive than the alternative. 

Game Day Snacks

August 19, 2015

Football season is upon us, and for a certain member of our household, it may as well be Christmas. Since part of the fun of Sunday and Monday night football is the snacks, I'm down to watch a game or two myself. Here are several perfect game-watching bites I've made over the years, along with a few new recipes I'd love to try this football season. 

Click on the pictures to get the recipes.

image via

Inspiring Ideas to Transform Your Thrift Store Finds

August 17, 2015

Thrift store shopping can be a little intimidating, especially if you don't consider yourself creative or crafty, but it certainly doesn't have to be. Instead of looking at what's front of you, the key is to try to imagine what it could become with a can of spray paint or a needle and tread (or even just a belt for that matter). This might take some practice, but in due time you'll be able to see those old, not so attractive thrift store finds for what they really are--the fabulous, one-of-a-kind pieces that belong in your house. Here is a helpful list of tips to make the most of your thriving experience, and in honor of National Thrift Shop Day today, a few brilliant DIYs to transform your secondhand wares. 

Add tulle to a thrifted skirt and suddenly it's on of the most coveted styles of the season. 

Paint the inside of simple nesting bowls to add a pop of color to your coffee or side table.

Give old, baggy clothes a few nips and tucks to create a one-of-a-kind piece in a modern silhouette.

Reupholster an old chair and breathe new life into your room.

Transform a boring old desk into a chic vanity with silver leaf, plexiglass, and stylish new knobs.

Turn a thrifted tee shirt into an infinity scarf (or head wrap).

Create sweet little jewelry trays out of old school wooden serving pieces.

Makeover a cabinet with good bones and add a dose of glamour to your space. 


August 17, 2015

image via Instagram

Friday Favorites

August 14, 2015

It's been far too hot to venture outdoors these past few days, so to avoid a heat-induced public meltdown from either of my girls, we've been hanging out at home, watching movies and having dance parties. I love these moments with my babies, and I hope these are the times they'll remember with their momma when they get older. Because these are the times I'll never forget. Have a safe and fun weekend. God bless!

Oatmeal cookies pancakes. Oatmeal. Cookie. Pancakes. I mean...

This dresser that makes me want to spray paint everything hot pink.

Regular women, instead of celebrities or models, on the cover of Redbook's September issue (the biggest issue of the year).

Hair goals. Those highlights!

Where I would love to be right now. Just looking at it is cooling me off.

Brilliant Ideas for a Fun End-of-Summer Party

August 12, 2015

As I, quite reluctantly, prepare for the changing of seasons, I find myself thinking about fun ways to say goodbye to summer. Naturally, an epic end-of-summer party comes to mind; one that's infused with lots of bright colors and festive details. Here are several ideas I'd incorporate into a colorful Farewell to Summer bash.

Pineapples, a must for any summer celebration, get a festive upgrade with colorful paint. 

A snow cone station for the kids (and kids at heart).

An epic build-your-own-burger bar with tons of sauces and toppings, plus French fries and grilled corn. 

And s'mores, of course. 

A vibrant beverage station with something for every taste. 

Frozen water balloons as a cool (no pun intended) and color-filled way to keep drinks, food, or ice cream cold.

Confetti on the tables, in balloons, and anywhere else I can think to put it. Because it's not a party without confetti!

Giant Jenga.

5 Ways to Get the Kids Ready for Back to School

August 11, 2015

My daughter and her kindergarten class leaving for their first field trip last year. Not surprisingly, I balled.

The summer is rapidly coming to a close, and while there are still plenty of weeks of sunshine left to enjoy (at least here in SoCal), the reality is it's back-to-school time. As a kid, the thought of heading into a new grade would fill me with a mixed emotion of excitement and wonder, but as a parent, I'm feeling anxious about shipping my baby off to first grade. In an effort to ease my nerves (because I don't want my girl feeding off of my stress), I've started to prep us both for the big day. Here is my plan of action to get us ready for back to school.

1. Bedtime stories about the first day of school.
Last year I started reading The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing at least three months in advance, so I thought it would be a good idea to pick up Wing's The Night Before First Grade, along with First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg, which is perfect for any grade. Both books are adorable, and First Day Jitters has a surprising ending that little ones will find hilarious.  

2. Ditch the summer schedule. 
Even though my daughter doesn't start school until the end of the month, I've already started to ease into our school routine by getting back on our week night schedule. For us that means dinner is on the table by 6:30 and the girls are getting their baths by 7:00 so we can be in bed and ready for a story by 7:30. 

3. Gear up.
Shopping for new school clothes, and picking out a cool backpack and filling it with pristine new folders, notebooks, and pencils was always the best part of the back-to-school experience. To make it even more fun, I had my daughter put on a fashion show with a few of her new pieces, and pick out her first day of school outfit. We also got her a Disney's Inside Out backpack, which has her really eager to head back to class.

4. Commemorate the day with a special tradition. 
Starting a special back-to-school tradition gives kids something to look forward to as summer draws to an end. I have friends who serve their three little girls cake for breakfast on the first day of school. Last year, I took my daughter straight to her favorite yogurt shop after her first day of kindergarten, a tradition I think I'll incorporate every year to celebrate a successful first day back at school. 

5. Pray 
A couple of weeks into kindergarten, a letter was sent home with my daughter stating that the school had received a report of a man in the area acting strangely, so as a precaution, they'd locked down the school that day. Everything turned out to be fine, but it was a chilling reality that I will not always be right by my baby's side to protect her. I recently found this prayer on Facebook, and reading it helps me to feel comforted that my sweet girl will be safe at school.  

Friday Favorites

August 7, 2015

My husband, a dean, went back to work this week, as did a few teachers I know, and I'm kind of in a panic about it; I'm just not ready for summer to end! I need a little more time in the pool, a few more barbecues, maybe a quick road trip somewhere. There are still a couple of weeks before I have to send my daughter off to first grade (*holds back tears*) so I'm trying to squeeze in as much fun as possible. This weekend we'll be having a fabulous tea party with a real ceramic tea set that she painted herself. She's so excited about it, we may just have to have two tea parties. I hope you have a great weekend. Enjoy your loved ones, and God bless!

Wire dancers.

Frosty coconut mojitos.

This living room makeover.

Tie dye s'mores that are just way too cool to eat. 

This whimsical shot that I would love to blow up and have framed.

image via Pinterest

DIY Eye Cream

August 6, 2015

I'm not one to obsess about aging, or rather reversing the signs of aging, but I do enjoy eye creams and have tried quite a few different brands and formulas over the past several years. Since I'm constantly looking for ways to make my own all-natural beauty products, I decided to try mixing a few ingredients that I know to be good for the delicate skin around the eyes to create a simple eye cream at home. I used vitamin E, which helps to banish puffy eyes, and grapeseed oil because it helps alleviate dark under eye circles. I also added lavender oil, a known wrinkle fighter with calming, stress-relieving properties. My homemade eye cream was far less expensive than any eye cream I've ever purchased, and was a total cinch to make. 

DIY Eye Cream
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
1 vitamin E capsule
lavender essential oil, optional
small container

Melt coconut oil, either on the stove or in the microwave.

Add the grapeseed oil, and break open the vitamin E capsule and squeeze the contents into the melted coconut oil. Stir to combine.

Add a few drops of lavender oil, if you want a scented cream, and stir.

Pour into a small container (I used an old GLAMGLOW Supermud container) and refrigerate to return the coconut oil to solid form.

Use a toothpick or skewer to stir and make it fluffy once it's solid, and use whenever you're ready. I like to keep mine stored in the refrigerator for a refreshing, cooling finale to my nighttime beauty routine.
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