BEST OF BEAUTY | 2017

Hello!!! It’s almost the end of the year- which means it’s time for my favorite post of the year! These are the best of the best beauty products that I’ve used nonstop in 2017.

Since my year long no-buy, I have kept the same foundation/blush/bronzer/highlight favorites of last year, and I didn’t want to mention all of those again. Check out last years post for those.

These are things that hopefully I haven’t mentioned a ton this year. ENJOY!

Let’s start with the makeup. I know it’s what you came for.

These two palettes have been my GO TO. First off is the Too Faced Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette. I didn’t use this a ton when I first got it, but I have rediscovered it and have been using it frequently. The colors are a bit warm toned, and they are so pretty. I especially love Rum Raisin (taupe shimmer) and Bon Bon, which is a shimmery champagne. I have a full review on this palette here.

Next is the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette. Usually I do not like all in one palettes like this, but I use EVERYTHING in this one. It’s got three eye colors (two matte, one shimmer), a matte bronzer that isn’t orange (!), two blush colors, and a beautiful highlighter. This palette is perfect for travel and just amazing. Review here.

For lips, I’ve been kinda over the whole “matte liquid lipstick” thing, and have been using regular ol lipstick and gloss. I love this Tarte Lipstick in Salt Lyfe (a mauve gray nude) and my favorite NARS Angelika (bubblegum pink w shimmer). I don’t necessarily wear these together, but I’ve been loving them both.

Tarte Shape Tape is life changing for my under eye area. As someone with dark circles, this is my savior. It covers so well, and lasts all day without creasing. It’s very thick, so you hardly need any. Just a tiny dab will do ya. Thank me later.

You knew I was gonna mention this one – L’Oréal Lash Paradise mascara. I discovered this product this year and it’s my new favorite mascara of life. It’s drugstore, it keeps the curl, and adds a ton of volume. Rave review here.

Now, a product I am so sad to see go. What went wrong with Estee Edit? I was so disappointed to see this brand go, as they made the best eyeliner I’ve ever tried. The double ended eyeliner is all I used this year (I had 3 or 4!) It was so creamy and lasted so well. It had a gunmetal shimmery side and a matte BLACK side. It was so black and just perfect. What am I supposed to use now???

Lastly, two nail colors from Essie. First, the most perfect nude pink called Ballet Slippers, which I wore a TON. It’s one of their best selling polishes, and it’s sheer color, but a really good sheer. The next one is from their Summer 2017 collection, a metallic foiled pinky silver called Sil Vous Play. This color is so pretty, and i just can’t stop looking at it when it’s on my nails. More pics here.

On to HAIRCARE AND SKINCARE!

This Kenra Platinum BlowDry Spray has been a long time fave. The smell is sooo good (coconut), and it really does lower my hair drying time. It protects from heat too.

Now, for skincare, I love this Dr Jart Every Sun Day Sunscreen SPF 30. It’s not greasy, doesn’t have a strong smell, and usually works for me instead of moisturizer. Ive been trying to get in the habit of wearing sunscreen every day, and this makes it easy.

I’ve talked before about my love of the Caudalie Beauty Elixir, and I really wish I didn’t love it so much. It’s expensive, but such a treat. It tones, and feels like you’re in a spa when you use it. Makes my skin feel amazing. The smell, oh the smell. It’s so luxurious.

I’ve struggled with some dark spots on my skin around my eyes (freckleface) but this Paula’s Choice Dark Spot Eraser has been helping me out. It has really faded the dark spots, and doesn’t break me out or cause my skin to peel or anything.

Lastly, a mask from Origins. This is the Retexturizing Mask With Rose Clay. I like to use this a few times a week just to deep clean my skin. It dries super fast and makes my skin feel so smooth.

That’s it for the faves! Here’s to a great 2018! Stay tuned for my end of the year Empties and NO BUY update!

Thanks for reading xx

How To Get Your Child Ready For Preschool

Hello! Today I have a post about preschool for ya…If you aren’t a mom, maybe you can share this with a friend or family member who is; or if you are, I hope I can give you some ideas!

I am a stay at home mom to two girls, Allie is six and is in first grade, and Ashley is three and stays with me every day. Next year, in the fall, Ashley will be attending preschool twice a week at the same school Allie went to. I chose not to enroll my kids in a preschool that is every day, because I don’t think that they need it.

Attending preschool when she was 4 helped Allie socially, but most of what she learned in preschool she already knew. I wanted her to know what it was like to be in a classroom environment before she went off to kindergarten. I chose a preschool that really had a school look to it, and not like a daycare.

1. Introduce Preschool / Routine

My kids are ALWAYS with me, and the first time I ever left Allie anywhere other than with family was at this preschool. So, it’s to be expected that your kids will be nervous, especially if you are with them every day. The first thing that I would recommend is to just start telling your child that they will be attending preschool when they’re four. I first started talking to my kids about it when they were three, and they were nervous at first, but then after awhile they start looking forward to it. This way, they think it’s what all four year olds do, and they know that preschool isn’t optional.

I would also recommend some type of routine in your daily life with your kids. Get dressed at a certain time, breakfast, etc. Here is an example of what our routine looks like on most days.

SCHEDULE

  • 7:15 – Drop off Allie at school
  • 7:30 – 8:30 – playtime/read time
  • 8:30 – Breakfast/ get dressed/ morning chores
  • 9:30 -12:00 – Errands/ go somewhere fun (museum, library, park, etc.)
  • 12:00 – Lunch
  • 12:30 – 2:00 – playtime/read time
  • 2:00 – snacktime
  • 2:30- 3:30 – learning time
  • 3:30 – get Allie from the school bus
  • 3:45- 4:30 – Allie homework / playtime
  • 5:00 – dinner

When they are in preschool, they will be on a routine, so it’s important to have some structure to your day now.

2. Read To Them

On the daily schedule, you’ll notice I have “read time” and “learning time”. Reading to my kids is very important, so I make sure to read to them everyday. We have a library card, so we usually go there once a week. They have story time on Wednesdays for an hour. They read books, sing songs, and do a craft. This not only gets you out of the house, but it gives you something free to do, AND it helps them be around other kids their age. After we go to story time, we will check out books and play in the toy room that they have. Sometimes we will even pack a lunch and eat on the patio there. We usually leave the library with 10-12 books, and we always pick some out for Allie too. This way they always have new books to read. They love to bring me a stack of books to read. The library is just such an awesome resource.

3. Learning Tools

We try to do “learning time” every day, for about an hour. I have a bunch of tools that I use, and it’s really fun for Ashley. She feels like a big girl and that we are pretending to play school.

We have posters that we practice. Letters, numbers, and shapes.

And flash cards.

Also. WORKBOOKS. The School Zone brand is my favorite, and FUN for the kids.

These workbooks teach colors, shapes, letters, math, writing, and also critical thinking and skills.

We also practice writing letters and words on handwriting tablets. I will write a word in marker and she will trace over it, or I will have her write the letters.

I let Ashley pick out a pencil case, pencils, and crayons as her school supplies, and we keep everything in her school bin.

We always do learning time at her table in the playroom.

So, those are pretty much my tips to get them ready for preschool! Allie did so well in preschool, and I know Ashley will too.

Let me know if you like these types of posts!

xx amy

Unicorn NAILS?!

Hello!  It seems that unicorn/rainbow/holographic things are so popular right now, and I for one am loving this LISA FRANK type trend!  I love to try out new nail colors, and so when I saw this duo from Nails Inc., I just had to make it mine.


This is the Sparkle Like a Unicorn Nail Duo from Nails Inc.  This is limited edition and $15 at Sephora.  These are two FULL SIZE bottles; so it’s a pretty sweet deal.  One full size bottle usually goes for $11-15.

AND LOOK AT THE COLORS.


The first one is called Rainbow Wishes, and it an icy blue/purple duo chrome.  It’s beautiful.


The color is a bit sheer, so I applied three coats and a clear topcoat to finish it off.  It lasted about 5 days before it started to wear on the tips and chip.
The next color is called Dream Dust, and is a foiled rose gold glitter with a slight pinky purple shift to it.  Really cool and unique.

I applied two coats of the polish and finished it off with my clear topcoat. This is a glitter, but an opaque glitter that is chock full of shimmer. I think this polish would be so pretty for a holiday party.

I love both of these colors, and am very pleased with this set. If you’re looking for some different nail colors, try these out!

Thanks for reading 🙂

EAT | Strawberry Pie

Hello!  One of my favorite things to make is pie.  Pies are such a special dessert to bring to a party or get together, and it is so easy to make yourself!  Today I am making a strawberry pie that is sweet and delicious.

What you’ll need:

CRUST

  • 2 cups flour
  • 10 1/2 tbsp cold butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5-7 tbsp cold water

PIE FILLING

  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 c flour
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 4 cups (2 cartons) strawberries

The first thing to do is to cut off the stems and wash up all of our strawberries.


To make the sauce for the filling, combine the sugar, flour, and cornstarch together.


Mix this together with the strawberries.


The sugar will start to break down the strawberries, so what I like to do is to put them into a strainer over a large bowl to get rid of any extra juices.  We don’t want our pie to be watery.


I’m going to let these drain while we make our pie crust.  Combine flour, salt, and extra cold cubed butter (you can use a sub if you’re vegan) into a food processor.


You are going to want to pulse this until it forms dough.  Add your 5-7 tablespoons of water while pulsing.  When the dough forms, it will start to pull away from the side of the bowl.


Take out your dough and divide it into two balls.


Refrigerate one of them while we work on our bottom crust.

For the bottom crust, roll it out until you get it large enough to fit over your pie dish.  It’s really hard to get a perfect circle, so just do your best.  Make it about a 1/4 inch thick.


Place into your pie dish, and I like to make a little design around the sides with my fingers.


By now, our filling is ready, so go ahead and add that to the crust.


We are ready to make the top, and you can just roll out the other crust and place it over the pie, (don’t forget to cut vents) or you can do a lattice.  I love to do lattice.  Roll out your crust, and cut 1/2 inch strips.

Place strips over your pie until you get a basket weave pattern.  It doesn’t have to be perfect; it’s homemade!


I like to brush with a little bit of egg wash and top with sugar.  This is optional, but it gives a nice brown crust.


Move your oven rack towards the bottom of the oven.  I put mine on the second to last rack, and then I place a cookie sheet on the bottom rack to catch the juices that may drip from the pie.  Don’t forget to do this or you’ll have a mess in your oven!


Cover your pie loosely with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, uncover, and bake for 40 minutes.


Remove from oven and allow pie to completely cool.  If you cut into a warm pie, it will be a mess.  The filling needs time to thicken.  I like to let my pies cool for 4-6 hours before serving.


Enjoy!  The crust is flaky and buttery, and the filling is sweet and delicious.

Click here for my APPLE PIE recipe!

Thanks for reading 🙂