Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Holy grail products I can't live without!

I rarely talk about beauty or hair products on my blog. I saw a "best of 2009" product list on an awesome beauty blog I discovered recently, Veronika's Blushing, and thought I'd give this a go too!
I have never really paid too much attention to make-up and hair product until recently, but after giving birth last year I have
really noticed a dramatic change in my skin and hair (remember when I pretty much went bald?- glad that's over!). I started to pay attention to new products that would really work with the change in my skin and hair's texture. You'll notice I'm not true to one brand or another, but without further adieu, here's the products that made my holy grail list for 2009!

Best Liquid Foundation:

Mary Kay medium coverage foundation. I've actually used this for several years and am still really pleased with it. I've heard so many great things about the Revlon Colorstay line of foundations, so I think I might give it a try once my MK foundation runs out.

Best Bronzer:

Mary Kay signature Bronze highlighting powder. Since my skin is brown already, I use bronzing powder year round, and treat it like a blush. This one has a slight shimmer- but not noticeably glittery.

Best Blush:
Clinique's Soft pressed powder in Mocha pink.
I got this as a freebie in Clinque's gift with purchase goodie bag. It's subtle, and for me, it gives a 'barely there' blush look on my cheeks.

Overall Favorite Eye Shadow Brand:
A few of my favorites have come from gift with purchase freebies- I love Clinique's line, and I also love Lancome and Stila's line's as well.

Best Eye product:
I cannot say enough good things about Urban Decay's Primer potion. My eyeshadow always creased within a few hours before discovering this base product. It also makes shadow pigment brighter and last longer.

Best Eyeliner:
Lancome Le Stylo Waterproof in Noir.
Smudges nicely for a soft look, and stays put all day long.

Best Mascara:
I'm constantly switching mascaras. I heard great things about Covergirl's Lash Blast, but I hated the lash wand, and that was a deal breaker for me. Right now, I'm using the tail end of a freebie from Clinique- High Impact Mascara, and I really like it. I might have to go buy the full size product!

Best Lip Gloss
I love C.O Bigelow's Mentha Lip Shine. I will end up losing (read: Cameron will hide) this product before it ever runs out. It's minty- so it freshens your breath and makes your lips SO soft.

Best Lipstick:
I don't ever wear lipstick, but when I need a little color, I like Chanel's glossimer in Giggle.

Outstanding Brush:
Sephora's Professional Brush line is AMAZING. The right brush makes all the difference in make-up application!

Best Shampoo/Conditioner Product:
I've been searching for better hair products this year, but haven't quite made the jump to salon grade products yet (I'm nervous about spending my hard earned dollar on something I might not love). I recently discovered L'oreal's EverPure line; it's botanically based and sulfate free (no harsh cleansers!) and the volumizing blend is perfect for my fine, delicate hair. It's also wallet friendly at about 7 bucks a pop. I should also mention that I can go 3 days between washings- which is almost unheard of when you have such fine hair!

Best Hair product:
BioSilk Silk Therapy.
I use this as an iron guard when straightening my hair. It also can be used on skin too- and gives an the appearance of glowing, hydrated skin- awesome if you have an outfit that reveals winter-dry skin! I recall using this on around my neck and bustline on my wedding day for that extra glow.

MVP (Most Valuable Product):

Without a doubt, Smashbox photo finish primer is my favorite product. It goes on underneath foundation for a flawless complexion, and make up stays put all day (and night!). I love how silky it feels, and it makes applying foundation so much smoother. A definite must have for drab, post-partum skin!!!!! (yes, I just used 5 exclamation points. It's that good.)

Runner Up:
Mary Kay's Micro dermabrasion kit. For me, a smooth skin palatte makes application look go on a lot easier, and look so much smoother. I use it about twice a week for fresh looking skin!

Okay, your turn!! What is your absolute favorite product? Or better yet, make a product list of your own and tell me about it!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Snippets

Time for an update, wouldn't you say? A few snippets:

We had a jam-packed, beautiful white Christmas. We spent time with both sides of our families and had so much fun. Cameron gave us the best gift: sleeping in on Christmas morn until 9:00 am (he's usually our alarm clock!).

The G household is a giant sensory overload of toys right now. When we were child free, we liked to spoil our nieces and nephews with the loudest toys we could find. Now that we're parents, I can say with confidence that payback has begun.

The holiday season isn't slowing down just yet; my birthday is the 30th, we're hosting a small get-together on NYE, more family in town on New Years Day, and I'm hosting a bridal shower here on January 2. Whew!

One of the gifts I gave Jon resulted in one of my favorite Christmas memories this year: tight thermal pants + modeling tight thermal pants around the house= hilarity. I laughed, Cameron raised an eyebrow. Note to self- get Jon new thermal pants every year.

Sometimes I like to eat my own words. I mentioned awhile back that I'd never go shopping among the crazies in search of the best holiday sales (um, black friday). Well this morning I woke up, threw on some clothes and headed out in search of 50% holiday decor. I scored big at Pier 1 imports, and got tons of wrapping paper for next year. I'm thinking I might even go out again after Cameron goes to bed tonight!

I hope you all had a wonderful and merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A shower invite

My friend Carly is getting married in a few months, and I'm hosting the shower at my house just after the holidays! I've been working on this little invite to send out to the guests and I think it turned out pretty well. Her wedding color is bright yellow, so I tried to incorporate that into the invite. I also added pearls onto them as a final touch (lets just pray they stay on in the mailing process!).

I also designed the wedding invitations and I hope to share them very soon!

Monday, December 14, 2009


My newest nephew, Christian!
He was born this afternoon and he is so precious. He was born at the same hospital as Cameron- I even recognized a few of the same nurses! He weighed just over 7 lbs and was 19 inches long. I can't wait till he gets a little bigger; I'm sure him and Cameron will be good friends growing up.

Christian brings my niece/nephew count to 19 (but who's counting?). I also have 2 more nephews on the way- one due in a few weeks, and another due in February!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The curio cabinet & other Christmas decor.

I finished the curio cabinet and brought it in the house this weekend. I was a little concerned that once I got it back inside the house and under natural lighting that I would really see some flaws in my work. I had been working on it in the garage, and most times under poor florescent lighting. I'm going to toot my own horn here for a sec- the cabinet looks awesome. Even the husband was impressed (I think he was a wee bit scared I might ruin it).

I should also mention that in a previous post, I referred to this cabinet as "giant". My husband was reading that post and started laughing outloud. I asked him what was so funny.

"Um, giant? That's the smallest curio cabinet I've ever seen!"

"Well, It's bigger than me," I replied.
"yeah, that's cause you're a tiny little pip squeak!"

So I suppose it's not that big. Anywho, I love how it turned out, and I think the stain is beautiful! I waited until Cameron's birthday came and went to put up the Christmas tree. So far, he hasn't been too interested in it, but he has a lot of new toys to distract him.

This is how we prevent a 7 1/2 foot Christmas tree from toppling onto our toddler. =)

We don't have a mantle, so I used some pretty ribbon to tie our stockings to the banister. We're totally ready for Christmas now!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cameron- One Year!

Tomorrow is Cameron's birthday- and to be honest, it feels a little like Christmas Eve around here with all the preparation and excitement! It's hard to believe that it was a year ago that I posted about our precious new gift. (Check out pictures of vintage Cameron here and here!) It would be an understatement to say that we have been truly blessed by our Creator.

We took these pictures about a week before Thanksgiving- and I'm so glad I didn't wait until December. It has been absolutely FRIGID around here, and we find ourselves staying in and warm as much as possible! (plus, Cameron doesn't have a winter coat yet- but he's getting one for his birthday! Shhh!! =) Here are a few of my favorites.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A little project sneak preview

I wanted to pop in and show you guys what's been consuming every second of my free time lately. I finished my Ikea mirrors, and moved on to re-staining the giant curio cabinet in our living room. It's definitely been a labor of love, but I am so pleased with how it's turning out, and I'm really glad I decided to keep this piece.

This is what it looked like in good lighting-

And now- waiting for the stain to dry!

I spent close to 6 hours sanding, and about 2-3 hours staining. I think I'm pretty happy with the color, so all it needs is a clear coat of poly, and it's done!

And in other news- I've got Cameron's one year pictures that I can't wait to share- they just need a little editing (he was drooling during the entire shoot!) and then I'll post 'em here. Take care!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Project snippets.

It's a short work week this week, and I've got a few projects brewing!
I picked up 4 of these raw wood mirrors from Ikea (from our Seattle trip a few months ago) and I haven't done anything with them yet. They're getting stained this week and I think I have the perfect place for them!

And a little bigger of a project- this curio cabinet that I've debated about selling on Craigslist. It's in fantastic shape, but one of Jon's customers didn't want it so he brought it home with him. We've had it a few years now, and I absolutely hate that its that orange-y oak color that was popular in the early 90's (even though it doesn't really show in the picture). Jon took all the glass out, so I'm ready to sand it and give it a darker stain color which will make it look more polished and updated!

Stay tuned! =)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Let's talk Black Friday.

This time of year it's hard to watch T.V. without seeing a department store's commercial advertising their doorbuster deals and steals. It seems as if the top stories on the news are constantly about "who's Black Friday ads have leaked" or the hottest toys that are flying off of the shelves, right?
I used to work retail. 7 years to be exact. And for that reason, I can't seem to get into the whole 'shopping before the sun comes up' thing. I can't justify dragging myself out of my cozy, warm bed to go stand in line with a bunch of crazies fighting over 3 dollar DVD's at Best Buy. I just can't.
A department store at the mall I used to work at didn't typically open early on Black Friday (the horror!) . And because of that, we had a lot of customers who were rude or upset because they had to wait until 9am to shop with us, when they've already been shopping for 6 hours. I'll admit- the only perk showing up to work to surviving Black Friday was that hefty commission check that I would be getting.
Maybe some year I'll venture out at 3 am- but this year I'll be hibernating in my king size bed (with flannel sheets, and warm down comforter) on Black Friday. Will you be shopping on Black Friday? What deals are you standing in line for?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The party is on!

Cameron's first birthday party, that is! I haven't decided on a theme, but I am thinking maybe Mickey Mouse- he really enjoys watching bits of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the mornings I'm off. I designed a simple, quick little invite (literally took me 10 minutes, ha!) for the party, and now we just wait!

And bear with me- I've been a total blog slacker lately. I promise I'll start posting more regularly soon!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cameron, my little hoarder.

I have been missing my car keys for quite some time now- since Labor Day, actually. I remember we were headed out to the lake for summer's farewell and I couldn't find my keys anywhere. I give them to Cameron sometimes to play with while I need a few minutes to do something without him holding onto my legs and dragging behind me, so I figured they were around somewhere. I looked, and looked. EVERYWHERE. I turned up the couch cushions, looked under the bed, in my car, and other places I thought they could turn up. Nothing. I gave up hope sometime around mid- September.
Fast-forward to today- my husband loses the last set of his keys to one of his trucks. He is tearing the house apart too, and stumbles upon MY keys, MIA for over 2 months! And where did he find them? In a little trench in the couch (not sure how I missed it!) with a few of Cameron's socks, and a squirty bath toy. Hmmm. I find his little socks in the most random places, so I'm pointing fingers at the cutest little boy I know. =) I didn't care so much about the keys on it (I have multiple spares) but I had a Jayhawk keychain on it that I've had since I was in 6th or 7th grade-long before I could even drive! So glad I found them!

Friday, November 6, 2009

11 months, one day.

At this time last year, the husband and I were trying to enjoy 3 more weekends as a twosome. Turned out we actually had 5 more- little did we know that this little... er, big guy was going to be so late.
Now, we can't even imagine our lives any different!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Call me crazy. I reeeealy want to put up my Christmas tree today. I'm going to wait, but I still want to. I'm so excited about Christmas this year, mostly because Cameron is getting some cool stuff and I want to play with it already!

I don't really get into Halloween much and I wasn't going to spend money on a costume for Cameron, but our neighbors had a little Tigger costume that their son wore when he was Cam's age, and they let us borrow it. We dressed him up and went trick or treating with a few kiddos in our 'hood and Cameron LOVED it. He just sat in his stroller the entire time, kicking his little feet and chewing on candy wrappers!

I am itching to re-do Cameron's nursery. I want to repaint, and make it into a big boy room! I don't want to make it overly "themey"- as I'm sure I'll have to endure years of trucks/Transformers/whatever movie Disney puts out theme in the very near future. Maybe just some new DIY wall hangings, new sheets, and some cool blue paint. Surely I could do this for under $100! Maybe after the new year when things quiet down.

My mom has been in Africa for a few weeks and gets back on Friday. She was born there and lived a lot of her childhood there (my grandparents were missionary doctors). When she gets back I'll definitely share a few pictures here!

Time changes certainly aren't what they used to be. Back in college it meant a real, whole extra hour of sleep and an extra hour at the bar. Now it means Cameron's sleep schedule is completely out of wack and he's ready to play at 5:30am. ARG! I hope this doesn't last long.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Family pictures.

Last week I went out and took pictures of my sister and her family, and today, she took pictures of us! She recently got a DSLR camera, so now we can just take pictures of each others family instead of going to a portrait studio. I really think she did a great job. Cameron was quite the wiggle worm, so it was a little tough to get a good shot where he wasn't trying to escape. I also wanted a good picture of just Jon and I, since the last time we had our pictures together was from our wedding (and truth be told, there aren't many I liked of us from that day!). Here are just a few of my faves-what do you think?

Now... Which ones to print and frame?
PS- mpix.com is running a special- 15% off prints through Friday at midnight. Enter 15prints at the checkout!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Snippets: on my plate.

My head is somewhat spinning these days, but in a good way. It seems as the holidays approach, time slips away and before we know it, we're in a brand new year, and things start to turn green again. When I stop and think about what's on my plate for the rest of the year, I feel as if I need to jump into a a machine that will replicate me into 2 or 3 people. One would just be a mom. The type who eats bon-bons and has dinner prepared and on the table by 6 o'clock. The other clone would work, design, run errands and and party plan. Here's what's on my busy plate for the rest of the year and early 2010.
  • Finishing invitation design for BFF's wedding, and starting invites for the bridal shower and a Christmas cocktail party my dad is in charge of.
  • Thanksgiving. I want to have ALL my Christmas shopping done beforehand.
  • Cameron's 1st birthday. I have a few things left to get for his birthday and still have to design a quick little invite to send out.
  • Christmas. When I think about the fact that I have 18 nieces and nephews (+ 3 more being born between Christmas and Valentines), and 13 brother and sister-in-law's, it makes me want to escape to an undisclosed (tropical) location for the month of December. I'd send out Christmas cards that said "Wish you we're here!!!!!!" with a picture of me surfing in a swimsuit and a Santa hat.
  • My 26th Birthday. Which I just might "forget" this year.
  • New Years.
  • Bridal Shower for my BFF the day after New Years. I'm hosting!!
  • Bachelorette party. Must build up tolerance.
  • BFF's wedding in April!
I think that's all that I can think of! Anyone else feel like this year FLEW by?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Weekend Baby Shower!

This weekend was the baby shower I hosted for my sister-in-law. Everything went really well! Baby Christian (making his arrival around Christmas) will certainly be well dressed for the first 6 months of his little life!

I was really honored to host the shower for my sister-in-law. I've known her for 10 years and she was the one who introduced me to my wonderful husband 6 years ago. I am blessed to know her!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Baby shower prep!

This weekend is my sister-in-law's baby shower- and I'm hosting! And since I'm the only host, I've decided to keep things simple, doing most of the prep in advance so that on Saturday, everything is smooth sailing.
I noticed while shopping for baby shower decor, that most of it is either tacky, overpriced, or both! So I settled on some "It's a boy!" confetti, some tea light candles, and a little banner I made for just 2 dollars. I'll probably set the food table with some fresh flowers too. I wanted to share the banner I made, because it was easy (I got it done during Cameron's nap!), and I only spent 2 dollars on the paper and ribbon.
I started by drawing letters on this awesome glitter paper I spotted at Hobby Lobby.

Cut them out!

I used cups around the house to cut out the circles for the back of the letters.

Hobby Lobby was out of white card stock- so I used the back of leftover wedding invitations I've had sitting around for over 2 years. I couldn't bear to throw them away- I knew I could find another purpose for them!

I stapled the blue circles to the ribbon.

And then glued the letters to the white circles, and then the white circles to the blue ones.

Done- and so easy!
I'll definitely be back to show pictures of the banner hung, and of the shower!


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