When In Doubt Go Back….

….with that you know.

Over the past few months I have been trying out new moisturizers. I had an abundance of samples from my birchboxes and Sephora Sun Safety Kit. I unfortunately did not find one that I loved. For whatever reason when the seasons change my skin, especially on my face goes through a rough couple weeks. I noticed this year that is was happening sooner than later. My skin was just really dry ( I know some of it was due to my lack of hydration….trying to be better about that), but I knew some of it had to be from trying 3 different moisturizers over the summer.  So I decided to go back with what my skin knows and likes……..

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I had used Hope in a Jar off and on since 2004. I always loved it. It always made my skin look great, but I felt that I wanted to see what else was out there especially when in the summer I switch to a moisturizer that has spf (in winter my primer has spf). I have noticed though that the spf moisturizers leave my skin a little thirsty and I believe that is what happened this summer. I have been using Hope in Jar (for dry skin) for about 2 weeks now and my skin is back to it’s old self!

It is good to try new things, but it is always good to go back to the things that you know work for you!

A “Killer”s Concert and a Fab Surprise

I want to apologize for taking some time off from the blog. We got back from vacation and a week later the boys were back in school. I have also taken a position on our school’s PTA board. It has been very rewarding and a lot of fun. Needless to say my time has been focused in other places these past few weeks.

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On August 10th,  my hubby and I along with close friends were lucky to see The Killers in Columbia, MD. I have been wanting to see Brandon and the gang for a very long time and I am glad it finally worked out. They did not disappoint, and I would say the concert is in my top 5 list of concerts I have attended.  They have this great energy, and if I may hazard, Brandon Flowers (the lead singer) has a showmanship that evokes comparisons like an “American Freddie Mercury” (voice of an angel). Click here to check out the set list. For once a band played all the songs I wanted to here. They DID NOT disappoint, if you are a fan and they come to your town run, run, run to go see them!
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My BFF Vanessa said she would send me a copy of the set list she made. So late last week I got the CD in mail along with this all these fun things from Target. I love getting surprises in the mail, especially when the contents are super fun!

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I hade seen this eyeshadow “quad” in a magazine and I was going to get them on my next Target trip. It was really cool she was one step ahead of me. I love, LOVE this eyeshadow! It goes on smoothly and you can just put on one shade and it makes a statement, because of the glitter.

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I am always on the hunt for a good makeup remover towelettes. My ultimate favorite are the Korres ones, but they are a bit on the pricey side. These towlettes are great, not only to they do the job they are supposed to, but they moisturize and smell delicious!

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This is really a wonderbalm. I put it on my lips and it instantly makes them smooth and soft. You can use them for anywhere you have dry skin. It goes on very smoothly and smells good as well. If you have dry skin give this a try. I think you will be surprised.

Thank you Vanessa for the very sweet package! I wish you all a wonderful first week of September!!

My Fav Things July 8-14

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I received a sample of Miss Jessie’s Jelly Soft Curls gel in my Birchbox last month. Over the past few years I have grown to embrace my curls, letting them loose more often (especially during the summer). Everyone’s curls are different and I normally don’t go the gel route; my curls are light and gel usually made them heavy and crunchy. Miss Jessie has changed that for me. This gel will leave your curls so light and shapely. I love it! To learn more about this product click here.

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The other day my husband brought these home from the grocery. I was at first skeptical. I love their other products (hot dogs and cold cuts), but every time I have bought a healthier version of chicken nuggets they don’t taste good, prompting a regrettable return  to the Yummy brand dino-shaped nuggets. I thought the Yummy brand was a healthier choice over Tysons and Perdue, but after reading this report, I am so glad I found the Applegate nuggets. The kids loved them! They are very tasty and have a lot of chicken meat. They really taste homemade. I have made homemade nuggets, but those have always been met with negative review from my boys.  During the summer, I feel like I am always in the kitchen making food. Weekday lunches have to be fast and easy, but somewhat nutritional. I urge you to change your home nuggets if you are buying the other crap (lets face it, its crap). If you aren’t making your own nuggets, give these a try. They are fantastic!

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Thank you to Vanessa for suggesting this show to us. During the summer, my hubby and I like to watch shows we didn’t discover in the regular season. I heard through the grape-vine that this show was great, so I am glad we have finally started to watch it. House of Cards is a political drama based off a BBC miniseries of the same name. Both are based off a novel by Michael Dobbs. House of Cards is set in modern-day Washington D.C. and follows the revenge path of scorned Congressman Frank Underwood, sublimely played by Kevin Spacey.  Along the way we meet his wife, Claire, played by Robin Penn Wright  who runs a non-profit; a young ambitious journalist Zoe, played by Kate Mara; and a down-on- his-luck Congressman Peter Russo, played by Corey Stoll. The acting is phenomenal. I encourage all of you who like political dramas to give this one a shot. You will not be surprised if you over stay your welcome in the House of Cards; you will leave wanting more! It is a Netflix original series, but I believe now you can get it on DVD. If you have Netflix streaming, you can access it with ease.

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I just love when you step out of your car when getting to the beach and getting that first whiff of sea salt air. I wish I could bottle that scent. This past Sunday my family spent a glorious day at Kure Beach in North Carolina. I would like to thank my friends (well, really they are like family) Vanessa and Matt and their families for opening up their beach house to us. There is nothing better than spending a day on the beach with loved ones, good food, drinks, and laughs.

This past week was a little hectic, so I am sorry I wasn’t able to post it on Friday. I hope you all have a great week! What some of your favorite things you have discovered recently?

My Favorite Things This Week 7/1-7/5

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I bought this sun cream in the fabulous Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2013 ( I am sorry, but I believe it has sold out; it quickly cleared the shelf.) I was wondering how I was going to get through all the enclosed products. I am trying one product at a time. I have been using this before I go outside for a prolong sun activity, such as the pool (I do wear a hat there), park, outdoor gatherings. I love love love it. Did I say that I love it! It is very creamy and light. I have found that a lot of facial sunscreen have a chalky texture to them sometimes and instead of moisturizing it immediately dries out my skin.  It is immediately absorbed by the skin. I love the light fragrance as well. It is a little reminder that you have it on. I have a few more facial sunscreens to try from the kit, but they really have big shoes to fill. Also, a lot goes a long way this might last through July. To learn more about this product click here.

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This summer I decided I was going to take a little break from cooking and doing some easier things for lunches and for dinners.  Welcome the art of making sub sandwiches at home! This is great, especially for spending the afternoon at pool. I take out all the fixin’s, and chop up the veggies on my big cutting board. Then everyone lines up and creates their own sandwich art. My favorite creation so far has been a garlic bologna, salami sandwich on a sesame seed Chicago roll with light Munster cheese, light mayo, spicy mustard, pickles, onions, lettuce, hot banana peppers, Aruba peppers, oregano, salt pepper and a dash of light Italian dressing. Not the healthiest choice, but damn it was soooo good.

monsters_university_2013-wideWe went and saw this last weekend with the boys and my bff Vanessa (Thank you to Matt and Vanessa for coming to visit last weekend!). The boys really enjoyed it.  I enjoyed it as well. If you were in a sorority or fraternity in college you will have extra chuckles as you can relate to a lot of the activity in the film.  The Scare Games reminded me of Greek Week or Derby Days.  This is a kid film that adults will throughly enjoy.

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Now that it is summer vacation, I decided to change my workout schedule around. The kids really don’t like going to the child care in the gym and with my oldest camp schedule getting to the gym in the morning would require rushing around. So I decided that at least for the first part of summer vacation I was going to take a break from my normal morning gym routine. So I have been running outside, doing Insanity and going to the gym on the weekends.  I ran a few times last week and an old injury started to flare up again. This week I decided to go to evening hot yoga classes. It has been so wonderful! It is a great way to end your day and you sleep like a baby. I am thankful my hubby has been supportive of this. I went three nights in a row and it was magical. The big plus is that my injury is healing and I can resume running soon.

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Finally, Happy Birthday USA! We might complain and belly ache all the time, but where else in the world can we have the freedoms we all enjoy? I hope you all had a happy 4th filled with love, laughter, fun and new memories!

My Favorite Things This Week 6/24-6/28

Summer is really in full swing in our household. We are going to the pool, kids are enjoying camps, bedtime is later and no alarm clocks.  A few things that I love about the summer is that I can wear less makeup, read more books and the new  summer TV shows.

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Thanks to being outside more often my skin gets a great summery glow. I do always wear SPF on my face. In my birch box this month I got a mineral powder. I have never used one. I normally just dabbed some press powder on my oily spots. Well, one swipe of this magical powder by Youngblood helps control the oiliness on your skin throughout the day. It seriously makes my fresh look so fresh. For everyday I just swipe some of this on, a little mascara and lip gloss and I’m good (Thanks mom for great skin genes!). You can also apply more on your face throughout the day to freshen your look. I have also used it when I am going out and have more make up on and it looks great I love it! To find out more about this great product click here.

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I am only on page 50 of this book and I am recommending it to the world. This is a must read for all teachers and parents. Especially for parents who have a special needs child. Kristine Barnett candidly and thoughtfully shares how her family has dealt with what God has put in their path. She is a pillar of strength and I cannot wait to read the rest! Click here to read more about this book.

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Under The Dome is a new 13 episode series produced by Steven Spielberg and Stephen King. It is based under Stephen King’s book of the same name. I have always enjoyed made for tv shows of his books. Who can ever forget It, (click here if you want to refresh your memory). I first like that it’s 13 episodes. Ever since Lost I have been weary of these types of shows, because I don’t want to invest that amount of time again in that kind of “high maintenance” (you miss an episode you missed so much or you watch an episode and you are more confused than before) type of show. The basic premise is that a small New England town all of a sudden gets shut out from the outside world in a dome force field. This invisible force field showed up out of nowhere, hurting those in its path and encasing those inside it’s parameters. The first episode was really good. It introduced the characters which are now going to have to decide how they are going to survive this situation. There was one subplot I could do without, but other than that this show holds promise for me. The daily beast has a good review. Click here to read, but beware it has spoilers. Click here to view the trailer.

I am going to try to make this a weekly post. Mention a new things that grab my fancy during the week. Hope you all have a great weekend!

One Happy Mailbox

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One of the many great gifts I got for my birthday this year was a 4 month subscription to Birchbox (thank you Kris!). I have always been curious to check it out, but I never got around to it. If you are not aware of what Birchbox is, it is a box of happiness that shows up in your mailbox once of month. It is full of 5 sample sized higher end beauty products. Once you join you go to the Birchbox website and set up a profile. That way they will send you products that match your skin type, hair, interests, etc.  The samples are a generous size. I have gotten a liquid eyeliner pencil, that will last me a while. A shampoo that has lasted me 4 hair washes so far and hair serum that will last at least a month. In each box you get a card that says what products are in your box, a brief description of each and the price of the full size. What is also great, is that if you don’t want to use them right away you can save them for when you travel. That way you don’t have to deprive yourself of decent products when you are away from home.

The Birch Box web site is fabulous. Not only can you buy all the full size products on their site, but there is also how to tutorial videos and a monthly magazine with articles about fashion and beauty. Click here to check it out.

Stay tuned for my reviews in my beauty section of products I decide to add to my daily beauty routine.