August Favorites

one | Benefit 'Hello Flawless!' Oxygen Wow Liquid Foundation in Petal | $36
I am a firm believer that every girl should have a liquid and a powder foundation that they are in love with. I have already talked about my powder, and Benefit's 'Hello Flawless' is my liquid. Up until now, I had only had samples from the beloved Sephora, but this month, I had some extra points and decided to grab a bottle from Birchbox.

I love the medium to full coverage that it gives me, and the fact that I rarely have to use a primer with it. It's allows my skin to breathe, making it light enough to use for running errands, and heavy enough to wear for a date night or to work. (When I refer to heavy, I am meaning a face full of makeup)

two | Yes to Coconut Naturally Smooth Lip Balm | $2.99
Mmmm.... coconuts. 

three | Fekkai Blowout Hair Refresher Dry Shampoo | $10-20
Hands down, the best dry shampoo I have ever tried. It doesn't choke me out, DOES NOT leave a white residue in my light colored hair, voluminizes the heck out of my third-day-oily-and-matted-down-hair (yeah, I'm kinda embarrassed to admit that), and makes my hair smell flippin' amazing. If you want to see a full review, go here

four | OPI Dutch Ya Just Love OPI | $7-8
Oh man, this is such a pretty purple. 

 five | Biore Deep Charcoal Cleanser | $6.49
I have been on the look out for an inexpensive charcoal cleanser ever since I had tried the Shamanuti Activated Charcoal Cleanser from my Birchbox limited edition 'free for all' box, and I'm super happy that I finally found it. I love the way charcoal is a natural purifier and exfoliator, especially on my sensitive skin. Biore's charcoal cleanser gives me a tingle, which feels simply amazing, and it is definitely cheap. 

Have you tried any of my August Favorites?
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no idea what to title this

I've been going round and round, debating with myself on if I actually wanted to post an weekly recap or not. You see, I really hate to be a Debbie Downer, because it seems like every Friday post it's the same thing, just a different Friday; I always tell you that I have some sort of personal shit going on and then follow it up with five 'happy' things that happened, and wind up contradicting myself. This is such an issue, because I want this piece of blogland to be my happy place. And my outlet. But I guess the two can't go hand and hand.

I want to be real. Basically what you see is what you get. And I usually am on here. I am generally a happy person, but I have issues. I have personal issues, and I am dealing with enough shit to award me a one-way ticket to crazy town, but I still try to keep an optimistic perspective on everything. Maybe that's why my Friday posts are always the same? Because I try to look at the bright side? I don't know. 

But here's another same thing, just a different Friday post on a Saturday

So this week, I am going to start with my favorite posts from fellow bloggers:

one || What do you do when your blog traffic takes a dip by The daily Tay. I love Taylor and think she's hilarious. 

two || The one where we saved 15 baby turtles by Ribbons and Rotor Blades. Four words: Pictures of baby turtles.

three || Currently (or at least it was when I was writing it!).... by Love the Here and Now. Anne is an amazing blogger, and I love how she is so relateable.

four || What if you fly? by I Wore Yoga Pants to Work. Whitney is another relateable blogger, and I love her new tattoo. 

five || Twitter 101 for Bloggers by Becoming Addorable. Becca shares some great tips about using Twitter, and introduced me to Twitter Lists- Thank you!

Next up is my week....

one || Lil Man's fourth birthday is in exactly one month and I am not emotionally (nor physically) ready for it. He is growing up so fast; he is now sleeping in his own bed, going pee in the potty, dressing himself, brushing his own teeth, and so much more. Oh, and I am so not ready for his party- I'm not even done with the guest list. 

two || Lil Man has been doing awesome on potty training lately. On Friday of last week, he kinda just picked it up, and I couldn't be more proud of him. Yes, he still has accidents, and that's why he's in pull-ups instead of just regular underwear, but he is only having like three accidents a day. And I haven't had to change a poopy diaper in a week. He is one amazing little boy. 

three || I finally got my hands on the highly coveted Garth Brooks tickets that I have been talking about (I mentioned this on Monday), but I was recently told that I won't have a sitter. The concert is rather late at night, and Lil Man would have to stay overnight with whoever watches him. Unfortunately, I won' be able to go with the hubby (the concert is on our anniversary), but I may be able to go with a friend. I am a little bummed, and who could really blame me. 

four || The hubby had an appointment with the new back surgeon on Tuesday... basically the doctor found something that the other two missed and he wants to do surgery, after eight weeks of physical therapy. Wish us luck, because surgery will be in November or December. 

five || I decided to splurge and grab up the two CEW special edition boxes that Birchbox is offering, and they arrived this week. Oh man, I am so happy that I grabbed them. I love everything in the boxes, and will be doing a review soon. 

So that was my week, basically. I hope to come back on Monday with a more positive outlook, but right now, I just can't. 

How was your week?
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*linking up with: Lauren Elizabeth | September Farm & The Farmer's Wife The Diary of a Real Housewife | All the Joys 

August birchbox review

August marks my sixth month as a Birchbox subscriber... and I love it. Granted I have gotten some boxes that I just didn't like, but hey, that happens. 

The past two months, Birchbox has given subscribers the power to choose one of their samples. Subscribers are notified via email and asked to "order" their samples. Yes, you can still be completely surprised, but sometimes it's just nice to know. This month, I was able to choose between a lip tube, eye shadow, lip liner, and a bronzer; and of course, I chose the eye shadow. 

In truth, the only things that I was happy about getting was the eyeshadow (which I chose), the Key West lotion, and the product card (because, well, I love my flipflops). 

I am familiar with Laura Geller eyeshadows, and love them. They give a nice, but buildable color, and act as a lid primer.

The best thing I liked about the Key West lotion, was the moisturizing effect. I have rather dry hands, and don't like alot of perfume in my hand lotion (the Mango smell is really subtle). Key West met my expectations, and the bottle is now a permanent fixture in my purse. 

The product card is self explanatory.

So, I didn't like the Neil George Shampoo and Conditioner because of the smell (manly) and the way it made my hair feel (stripped of all oils). I am also familiar with nugg's face mask, and honestly, I had just used the same one the day before I received my Birch. Yes, I know that Birchbox had no way of knowing that, but if you want to send me a face mask, then send me a face mask. Not something I can pick up at Target for $2.99. 

Like I said, I still love getting my Birchbox- it's like having a birthday every month! Granted I pay for it, but I LOVE IT! If you want to check out my other Birchboxes, you can do that here. Or if you want to sign up for your own monthly birthday gift, you can do that here. 

*Linking up with The Grits Blog & Treasure Tromp.

Do you get a Birchbox every month? Are you satisfied with it? 
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pretty little beauty swap reveal & wednesday wishes

Happy humpday friends! Where has this week gone? Today I have something extra special for you! I am going to give you an update on my Wednesday Wishes from last week, AND show you my beauty swap haul. 

First up is my beauty swap haul!

I participated in the pretty little beauty swap with Chelsee from  Southern Beauty Guide and Justine from Sleepy Single Girl, because, well I love doing swap boxes and making new friends. 

For this swap box, I was paired with Christine from Life with a side of coffee, and absolutly fell inlove with the girl. First, she only lives like an hour away from me (possible blate?); Second, I love her blog; and third, her beauty preferences are almost the same as mine. I mean I liked her so much, I decided to sponsor her for a month! 

Anyways, the goodies:

Christine sent me a cute little card, and inside, she described each product.

The package contained: a beautiful makeup bag, three Sinful Colors nail polish colors, Baby lips crystal lip balm, EOS lip balm in strawberry, an elf eye shadow pallet, a Maybelline smokey eye pallet, baby skin primer, clean & clear night cleansing wipes, and NYC bronzer.  

I really couldn't believe my eyes when I opened the package! I have been wanting a non-expensive, but amazing bronzer, and didn't know which one to get. Well, Christine made up my mind! And the baby lips is a pretty sheer pink with a shimmer, and looks so pretty on.

Thank you so much Christine!!!! xoxo


Second at bat is my Wednesday Wishes update:
You can see my original post here.

Wish #1- get Lil Man on a schedule.
I can't say that this actually happened, but we are working on it. We are getting up at the same time each morning, and doing away with naps. It seems as if Lil Man is able to sleep better when he doesn't get a nap during the day, and goes to bed earlier. So we will be working on getting on an actual schedule this coming week. 

Wish #2- schedule all of my blog posts this week. 
I have scheduled 80% of my blog post for the past week. Sure, I need to get better with scheduling my social media posts, but this wish was met.

Wish #3- start potty training Lil Man, and follow through with it. 
I am proud to say that Lil Man has been going in the potty. He is wearing pull ups during the day, and diapers at night, but is only having a maximum of three accidents a day, since Saturday. I didn't push this, because I know how he is, so I am one proud mama that he decided to just start going in the potty. 

Wish #4- put in at least THREE applications this week. 
Plain and simple, I only put one in.

Wish #5- change my nail polish color on my toes. 
Yep, did it! I am currently wearing OPI's Dutch ya just love opi

Wish #6- comment on at least FIVE blogs, and make sure that they are genuine and heartfelt. 
I truly think I did this one, and it was more than five. I have also been sharing posts on Twitter and Facebook. Yep, I am sharing the love!

Wish #7- Finish my blog design. 
I guess because I've been so busy completing the rest of my wishes, I didn't have time to complete this one. Figures! My goal is to get it done by September 1, because I have a fun lil giveaway I want to do!

So four out of seven isn't bad, I guess. I do however, want to complete the previous weeks wishes this week, and continue with them. I mean potty training, scheduling blog posts & commenting are things that need to be done on a consistent basis.

What are your wishes this week? Link up with Anne from Love the Here and Now, and tell us about them!

*also linking up with Liz for the blog hop and Kathy for confessions

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summer bucket list revisited

Well, I guess the jig is up... summer is actually almost over. Boo! Considering that I really don't consider the end of summer to be until Labor Day, I decided to revisit my summer bucket list, and see which ones I still have left to complete.

1 | go to the beach- granted I don't like actually swimming in the water, but I do love collecting rocks, and walking along the water's edge. This was fun, but we only went once :(

2 | go to the county fair, and ride at least one ride. Well, I actually rode two rides!

3 | get some color- red does not count! I guess I burnt so much, that my burn turned to tan, and I have kept it for the majority of the summer. No looking forward to ghost white during the winter.

4 | go swimming at least once a week. When the weather was non-fall-like, we were in the pool at least once a week, but once the weather turned, there was no point, and the pool closed. 

5 | wear shorts out in public  I actually have done this a total of three times. I am EXTREMELY self-conscious, so this was a big deal. 

6 | get a pedicure- Yes, this has already been completed, but I surely do need another one :)

7 | sit around the fire and roast marshmallows for s'mores.  Mmmmm.... was completed twice!

8 | speaking of s'mores, go to Dairy Queen and enjoy a s'more blizzard. Oh man, this was amazing!

9 | grill out as much as possible- there is just something about burgers and hot dogs made on the grill that make them taste so good, and honestly, they don't taste like summer in the middle of a snow storm.

10 | read a book- I read alot of blogs, but I have a Chelsea Handler book that has been calling my name for the past two months. I am currently working on this! 

11 | go to the zoo.

12 | enjoy some outside music.

13 | take a ride on a boat- this could include fishing, or it could include going to Chicago and taking a river boat tour through the city. 

So, if I'm counting right, I have completed 7 out of 13... which is really not a bad number, considering I have another week left of summer. 

Have you completed your summer bucket list?

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Champagne glasses and country music dreams

Well, it's been awhile since I've done a weekend recap, but I figured, what the hey? After the weekend I had, it sometimes better to look on the bright side!

one || If you follow me on Facebook or Insta, you would have seen the wedding glasses that I have been working on for the past three weeks. Usually it doesn't take me that long to complete an order, but she actually went from just the bride and groom glasses to adding the wedding party and parent glasses. Well, she really didn't request them, I asked, and then took on the responsibility. Well, my friend's bridal shower was on Saturday, and she LOVED the glasses. She hadn't seen the final product until she opened the box, and I was so happy that she did. 

two || My friend seriously had the cutest cake stand at her wedding, and I just had to share with you guys!

three || Since I have a bit of experience with wedding glasses, I will be offering custom wedding champagne glasses in the Etsy shop (well once I list them). 

four || I decided to change the bedding in my Russian Tortoise's cage, which was long overdue, so Lil Man and I spent some quality time with Yager. Yes, the Tortoise is a girl, and her name is Yager. There is a video on Insta if you want to check it out :)

five || After talking it over with the hubby, guess what we are doing for our anniversary... WE ARE GOING TO SEE GARTH BROOKS!!! Yep, the tickets that I have been pinning over for the past three weeks are finally mine!!! Now I just have to find a sitter :) 

six || I think Lil Man is starting to get this potty training thing. All day Sunday he went #2 in the potty, and I am SO PROUD OF HIM!!!

So those six things were the "bright side" of my weekend. AND for that I am grateful! They definitely took my mind off the other random personal shit going on.

How was your weekend?

*Linking up with Ember Grey.

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high five for friday?

Saying that I am beyond excited that it's Friday is a huge overstatement. I am a full-time stay at home mom, who happens to have a part-time job on the weekends, so in reality, I don't get a day, or even a weekend, off. Every day it's the mess of cleaning a dirty house, dealing with poopy diapers, doing dishes, making sure every one is fed, laundry, and so much more. Granted my life isn't really that glamorous, and I say that I really need a full-time job (student loan sharks are swarming like there is blood in the water), but I actually love what I do. And if I had that full-time job, which I know I will eventually get, I know I would miss Lil Man; and wish I was in the shoes I currently am in. I swear, sometimes this being a parent thing is confusing, and sooo black and white.

Anyways, I guess I have bored you to wanting to press that red X button, so I should tell you about what you came here to read, right? 

What was that again? 

Oh, yeah, my week!

one || I finally went day drinking! A friend and Co-worker is moving to Chicago on Saturday, and we decided to do frozen margaritas and Mexican food as a lunch date. Man that shit was good!

two || If you haven't noticed, I decided to revamp my blog buttons, and do some finishing of my blog design. I do however, still have some things to implement, but I am proud to say that I am about 90% finished. And this is why I could never be a blog designer- a blog design takes me 2 months. Ha! 

three || I finally sat down and made a blog advertising budget. It's almost the end of August, and hopefully that summer blogging slump will soon disappear. So to be prepared for the "influx" of traffic (one can only hope), I decided to browse Passionfruit, and pick out some favorite AND Chicago blogs that I wanted to support. In other words, you will see my beautiful face on Fizz and Frosting, Six One Six, Behind Blue Eyes, The Rachael Way, and about three others that need to be approved :) 

four || I finally heard Taylor's new song. First, I actually kinda happy to hear that she's back int he spotlight- I mean people were thinking that maybe she went into hiding a la Adele. Second, I love where Taylor is taking her music; her next album titled "1989" is supposed to be strictly pop. Third, despite what people are saying, I mean haters gonna hate, I love Shake if Off. It's catchy, young, and the vibe is fresh. Brava Taylor. 

This picture's kinda hilarious...

five || For number five, I could talk about how excited I am to get my next IWYP shirt, the fact that I cleaned the hell out of the garage, sorted all of Lil Man's too-small clothes, and listed them for sale on Facebook, or the fact that I am 98% done with the wine glasses for my friend's wedding, but I think I will just leave you with this AMAZING SELFIE of me and Lil Man. 

Enjoy your weekend friends!

Today I'm linking up with:
Lauren Elizabeth | September Farm & The Farmer's Wife The Diary of a Real Housewife 

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beauty review | Fekkai blowout hair refresher dry shampoo

Fekkai dry shampoo

If there is one thing that you should know about me, it's the fact that I may be addicted to dry shampoo. Yes, I still physically wash my hair with shampoo and conditioner, but I am a mom, and sometimes a shower is not possible; so for the two to three days in between washings, I use a dry shampoo. 

The reason I say that I am addicted, is because I currently own not one, but FIVE different kinds of dry shampoos. This is due in part to the fact that I just don't like to return stuff, and because I like to try the different kinds. Each one of the five has their own special uniqueness that I like, including smell, amount of residue left, and "cleaning power". Unfortunately the reason that I may have five on hand, is because I haven't found the ONE. The one dry shampoo that doesn't choke me out (if you have ever used dry shampoo, you know what I am talking about- this also happens with some hairsprays), doesn't leave residue, volumizes my thin hair, smells good, and absorbs oil. Basically I was searching for the "full package dry shampoo". 

And I finally found it in a small blue bottle...

I was at Target one day, and noticed a travel size bottle of Fekkai Blowout Hair Refresher Dry Shampoo on clearance. I was intrigued because I already use the Fekkai PrX Reparatives Shampoo and Conditioner, but I was also skeptical. You see, I used to be a HUGE Redken shampoo and conditioner user, and then I tried their styling products and was super disappointed. But all skepticism aside, I decided to purchase the clearanced bottle of dry shampoo, because, well like I said, I'm addicted. 

*I apologize in advance for the cell phone pictures, but my actual camera is on the fritz and I hope to be getting a dslr soon.

Once I tried the contents on my little blue clearance bottle, my skepticism flew out the window and I literately fell in love. I fell in love with the fact that it didn't choke me out, DID NOT leave a white residue in my light colored hair, voluminized the heck out of my third-day-oily-and-matted-down-hair (yeah, I'm kinda embarrassed to admit that), and made my hair smell flippin' amazing. Like I am talking ah-maz-ing. 

Can you tell which one is before and which one is after?

I stand behind this product so much, that I had to give you another selfie.
I just love how it made my hair look.

If the other Fekkai styling products are anything like this one, I am super excited to try the rest of the Blowout line

If you are interested in buying the Fekkai Blowout Hair Refresher Dry Shampoo, you can grab it from the Fekkai website (btw if you sign up for the mailing list you can get a code for 15% off) or from Target

Have you ever tried Fekkai products? What about their dry shampoo?

*linking up with The Grits Blog and Treasure Tromp 

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wednesday wishes

Growing up, I always made lists of goals that I wanted to accomplish. I thought writing them down would make me more accountable for their completion, but most of the time, my laziness procrastination just got in the way. And since I never could complete my goals, I stopped making them, and learned to despise the word "goals". Petty, I know. 

So this week, I have decided to make some goals, but I am going to call them wishes. My life has been so jumbled lately, and basically I need to re-organize and figure out where to re-direct my efforts, so the most important things aren't failing.

Wish #1- get Lil Man on a schedule.
I have been mentioning to my hubby that Lil Man needs a schedule, but apparently I have never gotten him on one. Now, I am not talking about schdduleing out the whole day or anything, I am just talking about getting up at the same time each morning, taking a nap at the same time, and then going to bed at the same time. Sure, I know life will get in the way, but I would just like to have a "guideline" time. This is by far, the most important thing this week.

Wish #2- schedule all of my blog posts this week. 
I have talked about it before, but it seems as if blogging either takes a backseat to my family (which it should) or my family takes a back seat to it- there is no middle of the road. So once I get Lil Man on the schedule mentioned in Wish #1, I am going to sit down and blog, after my most important things are done.

Wish #3- start potty training Lil Man, and follow through with it. 
Now, I am not saying there won't be accidents, but I would like him to get out of diapers, and start at least wearing pull ups full time. But we will see- Lil Man is a bit stubborn, like his mama.

Wish #4- put in at least THREE applications this week. 
I need to go to work full-time, or pick up another part-time job, and I need to actually put my apps in. Three is an acceptable number.

Wish #5- change my nail polish color on my toes. 
Easy right?

Wish #6- comment on at least FIVE blogs, and make sure that they are genuine and heartfelt. 
There is no "Great post!" here. In all honesty, I suck at this, and a big part of blogging is interaction.

Wish #7- Finish my blog design. 
I have a "test blog" where I have been making changes to my design, because apparently I can't really make my mind up, but I am almost finished. I want to change fonts of post titles, move the pages to the sidebar, redo my about me page, add a graphic to the top and bottom of the blog, and add a "pin it" button to my pictures. Doesn't sound too hard, right?

What are your wishes this week? Link up with Anne from Love the Here and Now, and tell us about them!

*also linking up with Liz for the blog hop and Kathy for confessions

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my guilty pleasures

Guilty pleasures: we all have them, and no, you shouldn't google the word. Trust me on both. Today, I am linking up with Sarah and Helene to tell you about the things that I love and enjoy, despite feeling guilty for liking them.

Venus Trapped in Mars

one || 90s music
Ok, so maybe this one isn't something that I feel guilty for liking, because everyone gets down to Nsync or Backstreet Boys or heck, even Spice Girls, every now and then, but I am a child of the nineties and I will forever get down to "Here comes the hotstepper" and "No Scrubs".

two || Ben and Jerry's
Oh lord, the calories. I don't have to be sad to enjoy me some Ben and Jerry's, but I do feel a bit of guilt once I finish the whole pint.

three || The Step Up movies
What can I say, I'm a sucker for some dancing. Sure the dancing maybe crappy, along with the story line, but I love them.

four ||Crime Shows
Law and Order: SVU, Rookie Blue, Taxi Brooklyn... you name it, I either have watched it or probably watch it on a weekly basis. There is just something so addicting, and maybe my Criminal Justice background has an impact.

five || Tattoos
To look at me, you wouldn't know that I have five tattoos on my flesh. I haven't gotten one in the past six years, but I would say that they definitely are a guilty pleasure. Especially since if I wear jeans and a t-shirt, no one can tell that I have them.

six || Having a moose obsession.
I have addressed this obsession before, and like I said then, I have no idea where it came from. AND truthfully, I don't want it to go away.

seven || selfies and taking pictures of my kid
It happens.

eight || Instagram stalking
This usually pertains to other bloggers and celebrities, and maybe to see what everyone else got in their Birchbox, but I just simply love looking at other people's pictures. Judge me, but you probably do it too.

nine || Barbie's
I know y'all are going to judge here... I work at a place that does supervised visitation, and we of course, have toys. In one of the rooms is a very large Barbie house, and I love dressing the dolls, and staging them. It's an amazing feeling to see a little girl's face light up, when she sees what I did.

ten || Plausible deniability
To clarify, I love the term, not the act of it. Sure, the term was first coined by the CIA during the Kennedy administration to describe the withholding of information to protect them from repercussions in the event that illegal or unpopular activities by the CIA became public knowledge, but I love saying that I don't want to know, because then I have plausible deniability. This also pertains to my husband and the finances.

What are your guilty pleasures?
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five things noone tells you about becoming a parent

Parenting is hard. It's a hard job. And sometimes it really sucks. I am not the type to sugar coat, and just to let you know, there are temper tantrums in the middle of Target, 3am wake up calls, a constant smell of puke radiating from you until your baby stops formula feeding... and so many more sucky things. 

But I am grateful for all of that. I am grateful that I was "blessed" with a child and that he is the center of my whole being. I am grateful that when I am having a bad day, all I need to do is ask for a hug, and he gives it to me. I am grateful for cuddles. I am grateful for smiles. I am grateful for the beautiful innocence of a child. I am grateful for love. And since I am so grateful, I am going to link up with Ember Grey for Grateful Heart Monday, but I am also going to tell you some things that I wish someone would have told me during my pregnancy. 

It's possible to love someone more than than the air you breathe. Maybe this one is a given, but from the time that child is growing in your belly, you promise yourself that you would give your last dying breath to save or care for them. Once they come out, you would do the same. It is definitely possible to care about someone more than yourself. 

Privacy is a luxury. Once that child comes into your life, your life is no longer your own, and that includes having a thing as simple as privacy. You are no longer allowed to go to the bathroom by yourself, try on clothes at the store, or even brush your teeth by yourself. 

Being on the verge of insanity is totally normal. Do you know that quote from Albert Einstein "Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"? Yeah, that's pretty much how it is... parenthood is this blissfully beautiful and insane thing. But it's so worth it.

And so is smelling another human's bottom end. Enough said. 

Caring in a non-caring situation is mandatory. When your child brings you a leaf, and tells you to be interested, you need to be. Sure, you may have seen hundreds of leaves, but the one that your child is showing you, may have been the coolest one that they found; and they wanted to share it with you. When your child gives you a rock or flower, you take it and thank them, because at that time, that may have been the only thing they had to give. 

What is something that no one told you about becoming a parent?

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Easy like Sunday morning

Do you know what I love about Sundays? I love the laziness... the sleeping in... the family time... the easiness... the joy... the morning coffee... the Sunday paper full of coupons... Oh man, I love Sundays. And for today, I am going to do something easy... a "currently" update and Sunday social. Basically, it like a "get to know me Sunday" :)


Reading... Mindy Kaling's "Is everyone hanging out without me". I have made it through the first chapter and I really like it.

Writing... blog posts for the week. I discovered that if I write, and schedule, my post's during the weekend, then it gives me more quality time to spend with my family, and most of all, Lil Man. I really don't want blogging to become a job, so I am trying to prioritize my life.

Listening... to Katy Perry "This is how we do", Red Hot Chili Peppers "Soul to squeeze", and STYX "Renegade". Yes, I just pulled them off my Shazam, and they were the last three songs that I heard, liked, and wanted to remember.

Thinking... about my life as a whole. 

Wishing... for a day off to spend with my family. My hubby works four days a week, and I usually work two to three of the days that he is off. Sure, we need the money, but I would love to spend a day, doing family things at least once a week.

Hoping... for good news. My grandma (my step-dad's mom) had a stroke a few days ago, and even though physically she is fine, mentally she seems to be slipping. I haven't been the most supportive person to my parents lately, due to stress and anxiety, but I am definitely hoping for some type of good news concerning her.

Smelling... my favorite perfume... Lancome La Vie est Bella.

Wearing... my favorite maxi... the weather is getting cooler, and I want to wear it as much as I can, before I can't anymore.

Loving... the fact that I may be getting more hours at work this week. The office manager resigned, and one of the staff members were promoted, leaving some hours open. As long as the open hours fit within my schedule, they are mine.

Wanting... ice cream. Most likely Ben and Jerry's, but even an ice cream bar would do at this point.

Needing... a cuddle from my Lil Man. For like the past four days, he has been wanting to sleep in his own bed instead of with Mommy (the hubby works midnights), which is nice, because it's a sign that he is growing up; but I really love cuddling.

Feeling... sad. I was looking at pictures of Lil Man last night, and realized that he is growing up. He isn't my little chubby faced baby anymore, and it's rather sad. He is going to be four at the end of September, and I really don't know where the time went.

Missing... my bed. I am kinda tired- I think it's from all of the stress- and I just want to take a bath, relax, and sleep for twelve hours.

In case you missed it...

Sunday Social
1. What is one item you wish you could splurge on right now?
Garth Brooks tickets. He is coming to Chicago in September, and I desperately want to go.

2. If you had an entire weekend of no plans what would you do?
You mean I wouldn't have to work all weekend? Wow! Um... I would take Lil Man to the park, maybe plan a picnic, definitely take some pictures, and enjoy spending time with him.

3. What is the next place you are visiting outside of your current city?
Probably Chicago, IL. I would like to take Lil Man to the Children's Museum at Navy Pier before it gets too cold.

4. Are you a neat freak or a clutterbug?
It really depends on what it is... I used to be a full-on clutterbug, but I am starting to lean towards neat freak lately, and have been getting rid of a whole-lotta things.

5. What is your favorite summer purchase?
I haven't made a big purchase yet this summer, but I have made some small purchases. I grabbed some clothes from the Maurices clearance event, a new Coach hippie from a lady on Facebook, makeup (I love the Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation), almond body oil, and an amazing kabuki brush. I do, however, plan on purchasing a Canon Rebel T3i in late August/early September.

Linking up with Ashley, Neeley, & Lauren

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In case you're wondering... | Friday Edition

I really think the intro to a post is the one thing that I hate writing. I mean, it's supposed to entice your readers to "want" to read your post, and truthfully, I think I suck at it. I could sit here and give you a run down of what the post is about, aka summarize, or I can tell you that it's going to be amazing and you should read it, but in the end, whatever I write is going to suck, and you are either going to chose to read it or not. 

Anyways, like every week, this week has been full of ups and downs. Instead of giving you my top five moments, or lessons I've learned, I'm going to shake it up, and give you five random things from the week.

In case you're wondering... the single most disgusting thing I saw all week was a cow birth.
On Sunday, we attended my Step-Dad's family reunion, and on the way home, we stopped by Fair Oaks Farms. Fair Oaks is a working dairy farm in Northwest Indiana that is open for people to tour. For a fee, you can play with different farm items, tour the actual dairy farm (which is one of eleven, and about a mile down the road), and even see a cow birth. They also have a small restaurant and a pig farm. Lil Man loved the tour and the cow birth was most likely the single most disgusting thing I had seen all week.

In case you're wondering... the death of Robin Williams, earlier this week, has possibly affected me more than the average fan.
You all know that I have addressed my depression before, and this time is no different. The past coupe of weeks, I have been feeling stressed, down, and anxiety ridden, and I know exactly why. You see, sure depression can be controlled by medication or lifestyle (most of the time not) changes, but it is always there. Lurking and waiting to rear it's ugly head. As you all know, I am somewhat controlling my depression. Yes, I have my good and bad days, but I haven't come anywhere close to making the decision that Robin did, in quite sometime. 

Robin Williams' death has thrust the topic of mental illness into the limelight, and since Monday, there has been an out pour of blog posts and articles, each with their own opinions and basically saying that they either feel sorry for Robin or that he was wrong. What some people don't understand, suicide is a hard choice, and it is an end choice. Most people show some sign that they are slipping, and cry out for help in their own way, but in the end, the mental illness proves to have too strong of a hold. It's a sad situation, and I truly think that before someone has an opinion on the topic of mental illness, they may want to educate themselves.

RIP Genie... be free.

In case you're wondering... even though I have been absent from my favorite link ups this week, I have still been reading blogs.
My favorite posts this week are:
one | Arkansassy "Robin Williams, The Act of Suicide, and The Vilification of Mental Illness". Ty really hits the nail on the head with this one. It's a must read.

two | Mrs. Mama "That's Right, I'm Suppose to be a Blogger". I'm a sucker for those currently/update posts and I know how it is when life gets in the way.

four | Venus Trapped in Mars "10+ GAME SHOWS I WOULD GO HAM ON (AND ONE THAT I WOULD NOT) + AUGUST TOTAL SOCIAL". Sarah definitely brought back so many memories, and I would so love to be on Legends of the Hidden Temple too!

five | But first, coffee "Do This, Not This: 10 Common Everyday Makeup Mistakes". Apparently I am guilty of so many mistakes, and have to give a very big shout out to Kallie for opening my eyes. 

In case you're wondering... I just recently started Mindy Kaling's Is everyone hanging out without me" and I am loving it. This definitely could be a reason that I have been slacking with blogging this week.

In case you're wondering... I have been loving the following song...

In case you're wondering... I'm linking up with: 

How was your week?

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ps... have you entered the $80 Paypal cash giveaway yet? no? you can do that here!

Beauty review | Ahava relaxing almond body & bath oil

The other day I picked up an amazing product at Target, and I just had to share it with you guys. And since I am evolving the blog and changing the way I do things, I figured I would start doing my beauty reviews on Thursdays. So, today, I am going to share the first of many beauty reviews to come. 

Dead Sea Essentials® by AHAVA Relaxing Almond Body & Bath Oil

What is it
A paraben and phthalate free moisturizing body oil that is fast absorbing and leaves skin feeling like silk.

Key ingredients
Almond oil, dead sea minerals, vitamin e

How it feels/smells/looks
The oil is light yellow in color, and seems heavy, but it absorbs fast to leave an almond smelling sheen.

Why I like it
The oil takes a minute to fully sink in, but once it did, my skin felt smoother, and the almond smell was amazing. Over time, I can see that it could be use for tone improvement. As an added bonus, the oil can be added to your bath water for added moisturization.

Can be found at Target or for $12.99

Have you ever tired any Ahava products? 

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The road to branding

Do you have any idea how hard it is to "brand yourself?" Seriously, this shiznit is hard. 

Everyone knows that when you first start a blog, you need to brand yourself. Basically this refers to making sure that your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc correspondence with each other. Easy peasy lemon squeezy, right? Sure?

But, it's the nitty gritty of branding that gets me.

See, blog branding is one of the easiest things out there. Ok, it's really not that easy; it can take a bit of work, but once you get your domain, all of your social media sites, and change up your blog's design so much that you finally decide to hire a blog designer, it's all good from there. And basically all you have to do is create good content that keeps all your readers coming back, or just bribe them with monthly giveaways (whatever works right).

The fact that I have an Etsy Shop and the fact that I've had to brand myself in a totally different way, is almost one of the hardest things I've had to do in my life, no joke. The nice thing is that I already have the blog platform and the following to easily keep the brand going. but the hard thing is the design aspect. I'm designing a business, not a blog. This means that I had to come up with a name... a catch phrase maybe...  a design... maybe some business cards... some cute packaging that goes with the brand...

For some people that sorta would be easy, but not really super easy, because that would just be absurd. But anyways... I guess I may be just being way too hard on myself, because I don't want myself to fail.

I mean, it's still rather important to me that my Etsy Shop succeeds. I have invested a lot into it- money and time.

Don't get me wrong, I like being a stay-at-home mom, and working on the weekends. But unfortunately, once I graduated, my "friendly" student loan sharks came knockin' and wanting their money. I really don't want to have to work full-time and put Lil Man in daycare, so basically painting wine glasses and making jewelry to sell would be a public service really, right?

But then again, I think I am just rambling at this point anyways.

How have you branded yourself?

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Sunday Currently

Reading... through car reviews. The hubby and I are on the market for a mid-size suv and I literally have no idea what I want.

Writing... applications and redoing resumes- I am in serious need of a full-time job, and would love to work for a non-profit!

Listening... to some show on Nick Jr. Lil Man had been loving Mike the Knight, Paw Patrol, and Peppa Pig.

Thinking... about adding sponsorship options to the blog... I keep going back and forth on this, and can never make up my mind... OR maybe starting a link up, called "Images of happiness".

Wishing... my father-in-law a very Happy Birthday.

Hoping... the very loved individual I talked about on Wednesday, gets better really soon.

Wearing... one of my new Maurices necklaces :)

Loving... the new painted stem wine glasses that I just made up for my Etsy shop! Follow me on IG or like the shop's FB page to be the first to know about deals, new designs, and giveaways!

Wanting... the new IWYP by: Whitney Ellen shirt in both the dolman and racerback styles and to enter the giveaway below!

Needing... some caffeine and maybe a shot of vodka.

Feeling... overwhelming anxiety.

Missing... my bestie.

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Some things just make sense

You know, some things tend to make sense sometimes. For instance, some things that protect us, like speed limits, tail lights, air bags, laws in general (though sometimes they can be stupid); some things that protect our loved ones, like cribs, car seats, laws about not smoking in the car with a child, mutual trust and respect; some things that are yummy, like pb&j, cheese & fries, bread & butter; and some things, like cut offs and tanks, maxis and flip flops, bare feet and bluejeans, me and Maurices... it all just makes sense. 

And sometimes you feel like you just get it right... I mean when I first grabbed up this outfit from Maurices ah-mazing clearance sale, I didn't try it on. In fact, the tank and under tank sat in my closet for almost two weeks, before I decided to try it on. Which I'm glad I did!

tank | Maurices
under tank | Maurices
jeans | Maurices
flip flops | Target
necklace | Maurices (only in stores)

Do you know what else makes sense? Target... and the fact that I joined a few friends to give you guys a chance to win a seventy-five dollar gift card there. Can you imagine how much you could buy with that? Clothes, shoes, accessories, food, school supplies, more clothes, hair products, makeup (oh man, I love Target's makeup clearance)... this list could go on for a LONG time. Anyways, get your booty over HERE and enter to win. There is only one day left! 

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*I know my watermarks all look different- I'm in the process of designing one that will be uniform and make all my pictures pretty :) Don't judge- I'm giving you a chance to win money. 
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