Friday, March 30, 2012

Fashion Friday !!!

Long Sleeve Tee ... Nordstrom B.P.
Ruffle Cardigan ... Express
Layering Tank ... Target
Skirt ... H & M
Leggings ... Old Navy
Uggs ... Nordstrom, Kids Shoes Department
Necklace ... Forever 21
Earrings ... Target
Hair ... Triple Barrel Iron
Happy Friday!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Damage Control

I knew when I decided to go ombre with my hair, that I was going to be damaging my locks. To achieve an ombre with my black hair, we had to completely strip the years of black dye from my strands. To do this, we had to process my hair with bleach; which ultimately fried my hair. I had a lot of breakage, and my hair was so brittle.
My hair stylist prepped me for this and recommended a recovery routine ... lots of moisturization, color-safe shampoo and conditioner, and a full blow-out treatment after every wash. I left the salon with a $24, 4-oz bottle of It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In plus Keratin. Of course, Pureology was her shampoo and conditioner line of choice, but I went to Rite-Aid from the salon and picked up a trusty bottle of L'Oreal's EverStrong Shampoo and Organix TeaTree Mint Conditioner.
The shampoo and conditioner smell amazing!! I love that minty smell and shower steam combination! The shampoo is so thick and creamy, and it lathers really well. The conditioner is super silky ... I apply mostly to the bottom half of my hair where the most damage is, and I leave it in for several minutes.
After rinsing and towel-drying, I spray the leave-in treatment throughout all my hair and massage it in. At this point, my nappy ends are a tangled mess. I use a really wide-toothed comb to work out the tangles, then I blow dry until my hair is completely dry.
I then use my Hana Pro Flat Iron I got from Misikko, and iron out section-by-section until all my strands are nice and smooth. This routine usually takes about 20-30 minutes from the time I step out of the shower to finish. I wash my hair every 2-3 days, and this process lasts me through between washings.Was going ombre worth all the time and damage? Absolutely! I am loving my new look, and my hair feels normal when it is all blown out. I am not sure if the situation is the same for someone going darker in hair color, but if you do decide to go with this style, be prepared for the aftermath and upkeep. Shiny ... smooth ... silky soft ... the Keratin leave-in treatment is definitely worth the $24! I have 1/4 of my bottle left and have used it every 2-3 days since bleaching my hair (on February 2nd). The bottle promises to replace lost protein, protect and maintain natural keratin in hair, protect against heat, restore hydration balance, strengthen hair structure, add shine, and seal hair cuticles. I don't think my hair would be this manageable or any healthier without using this product. I definitely recommend for all hair types - dyed or natural!
And as the haircut countdown ticks down (my birthday, 4/25), I am still unsettled about chopping my locks. Hubby is against it, so that doesn't help either. We will see if I can hold to it, or chicken out for the 5th year in a row. Ha!
What hair products do you recommend and use every day?

Monday, March 26, 2012

I tried it ... and will never be without it again!!

Dry skin, wrinkles, under-eye puffiness and dark circles ... I thought being in my 30's was supposed to be fun? Recently, I have been experiencing these issues with my eyes. Fancy eye treatments are simply not in my budget, so I did a little online research to see what the hottest and affordable eye care products were out on the market.
Clinique's All About Eyes constantly popped up on top pick lists, claiming to show dramatic results in minimizing these common problems. There are 2 formulas in the All About Eyes series, one being Rich. That's the one I decided to try, afterall, the more hydration the better, right?
Here is Clinique's overview of All About Eyes Rich, found on Sephora's website:

All About Eyes™ Rich
What it is: A moisturizing eye treatment that helps minimize the look of dark circles, shadows, and puffiness.
What it is formulated to do: This brightening eye cream works instantly and over time to diminish the look of undereye circles, shadows, and fine lines. Its botanical ingredients de-puff and calm the eye area. It also boosts natural collagen production while strengthening skin's moisture barrier against common irritants.
What else you need to know: This hydrating product sends puffy eyes packing with a formulation that is ophthalmologist tested and ideal for all skin types.

I popped into Sephora with a $25 gift card I had burning a hole in my pocket. A sales rep tried to convince me that Philosophy had the most amazing eye serum known to man, however it's $49 price tag was just too steep for me. I debated on the 2 formulas of All About Eyes, and decided the extra hydration and creamier product of the Rich version will better suit my needs. The price tag ... $29 for the .5 oz size.
I rushed it home and immediately dabbed it under my eyes ... already soothed the dry feeling! I now use it twice a day, once before my makeup goes on in the morning, and right before bedtime after washing my face. I am LOVING the hydration that my skin is soaking up!! I will even dab it between my eyes on my nose, and between my eyebrows where fine lines are becoming not-so-fine.
Now, is this product performing miracles on the puffs and dark circles? Eh. Not quite sure yet. I am only about a week and a half into using this, but we will see. I tend to sleep pretty hard and puffiness and dark circles are pretty genetic in my family. I have even passed them on to my oldest son (sorry, Bubba). What about the fine lines? I am not convinced just yet that this cream is going to build up enough collagen to make these lines disappear. I have a hard time believing that ANY topical product can conquer such tasks, but again, we will see. Pretty sure Botox is in my future.
Bottom line, I am really happy with this product. You don't need very much of it, and I think this jar will last me months! Definitely worth $29!!
Is there an eye product that you are head-over-heels for? Please share!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Guest Post ...

I am more than happy to share today. Such a great reminder that cancer, as nasty as this disease is, doesn't always have to be ugly.


My name is Jackie and I do outreach for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, a leading web resource for mesothelioma cancer. I was interested in seeing if you allow guest posts on your site?

I have always had a passion for fashion-from shoes to makeup, nail polish to handbags, and everything in between! Coupled with that is belief that all women need to feel beautiful, no matter what circumstances they may be facing. Women are powerful beings and WE need to realize it! Sadly, many women are hearing those devastating words 'you have cancer.' Despite a cancer diagnosis, women can still feel beautiful in their own skin. Fashion is a wonderful way to feel strong and confident. I would like to share with your audience the reality of cancer and how women can say 'YES I have cancer', but I am no less beautiful than I was before my diagnosis.

Hope you find this topic as compelling as I do. Please let me know if this opportunity interests you and I would be happy to share with you and your audience a powerful article on women and beauty.



Feeling Beautiful After a Cancer Diagnosis
By: Jackie Clark

Being diagnosed with cancer often destroys a woman’s self-esteem. However, it is important for women who have been recently diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other type of cancer to know that they are still beautiful regardless of the diagnosis. There are many different ways for women to still feel beautiful in their own skin, even while fighting cancer. In fact, fighting cancer makes a woman even more beautiful because it shows that she is a strong individual who can overcome just about anything.
Fashion and makeup play an important role in helping women, especially those with cancer, to feel good about themselves even while undergoing different types of treatment to get rid of the
cancerous cells. Mineral makeup is, by far, a popular choice amongst all women, not just those with cancer, because there are so many benefits that come along with this natural type of makeup. Mineral makeup is composed with all-natural minerals and is free of chemicals. The makeup will not irritate the skin or cause any problems, which are definitely important because women suffering from cancer do not want to have to deal with irritated skin as well.
When applied to the skin, mineral makeup brings out natural beauty. All women are beautiful in their own way and the mineral makeup only exemplifies that beauty. The mineral makeup
covers flaws and goes onto the skin very lightly while providing a natural look so that it does not even appear that the woman may be wearing makeup at all. It has been used by women to cover wrinkles, age spots, acne and acne marks, and to simply enhance beauty.
Fashion is also a way for women with cancer to continue feeling confident. Just because a woman has been diagnosed with cancer does not mean that she has to give up on dressing nicely
and caring about her appearance. Instead, women with cancer can feel good while wearing some of their most favorite and fashionable pieces. And, when a woman feels good about how she looks and has a greater sense of confidence because she feels beautiful, she will be able to get through the battle of fighting off cancer much easier than someone who is depressed and not confident at all.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring Swap on !!

Happy Monday, Dolls!!
It is time to sign up for the Spring Swap here on!
The theme is going to be Spring Essentials. Anything you find to be a must-have for this beautiful new season ... accessories, flip flops, polishes, cosmetics, home decor, recipe goodies, etc.
The rules are simple ...
$20 is the amount to spend on pampering your swap buddy. This does not include the shipping or packaging.
Packages are to be shipped no later than Monday, April 9th.
The Spring Swap is for US residents only ... sorry, but this will help save on shipping costs.
And most important ... PLEASE do not sign up if you do not plan on participating!! There is nothing more frustrating or more tacky than when someone receives their goodies, but does not follow through in giving back!!
Sign-up is easy ... leave a comment here with your name and email address. Entries will be taken until this Friday, March 16th. Partners will be announced here on on Monday, March 19th!
Have a wonderful week!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Spring Swap on

It's SPRING!! Nothing lifts my spirits better than warm sunshine, blooming flowers, and receiving goodies in the mail!! Let's celebrate the gorgeous weather and swap our favorite Spring essentials! Ideas are welcome for a theme, just leave them here in the comments. I was thinking a $20 budget ... too high/low?? Sign-ups will start on Monday and go for a week or so, then I will partner everyone up. Be sure to spread the word so all your favorite girls can participate!
Happy Thursday!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Recipe of the Week ... No Carb Pizza

Did anyone try last week's recipe? What did you think?
This week's recipe claims to be carbohydrate free, however, when I made it this week, mine was about 5 grams of carbs for the ENTIRE pizza!!
And guess what?!?
It was delicious!!
If you are counting your carb intake like I am lately, then give this recipe a try. Your family will love it, too. Mine did!
The only downside is not having that hunk of pizza crust to enjoy at the end (personally, my favorite part), but bread and my stomach are not getting along right now, so they are on a break.
The pic below is of the pizza I made ... black olives, turkey sausage and turkey pepperoni - YUM! Click on the pic and you will be directed to the recipe. Enjoy!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Call Me Maybe

A couple of weekends ago, I saw the Justin Bieber movie, Never Say Never. And I watched it twice! Not back-to-back, of course, but TWICE in the same weekend (with several family members I should add).
I have always been a fan of this kid - little cutie with swagger and such talent! I was happy to see him and Selena fall in love. I heart seeing their random pics that pop up here and there, and seem to get sad when I hear of break-up rumors.
Nah. Just impressed with seeing this guy doing things right. So rare these days.
So I was visiting Christina's {Pop} Life one day and she had this video of Justin, Selena, Ashley Tisdale and more of their crew dancing around to Carly Rae Jepsen's song, Call Me Maybe. First off, I had never heard this song before, and now I listen to it everyday ... my 5-year-old son sings along to it, too. It's pretty catchy. But I adore this video rendition, because I love seeing Justin and Selena kick back and let loose, in their own world without the cameras, being all made up and in character.

A Fond Farewell ...

Wow! Is December already upon us? Good golly this year has flown right by! I have been a busy girl lately, hence the blog break. Unfortu...