September 26, 2012

working the system {Flowerbomb at Sephora}

Sephora is a makeup/frangrance/skin care/hair care lovers paradise. We don’t have one where I live so this summer I took advantage of being close to a couple of Calgary’s locations. My favorite thing about Sephora is their willingness to let you sample anything before you buy it. As someone who purchases something, goes home and agonizes whether I bought the right color, the right style, the right size, if I could have bought it somewhere for a better price – you name it, I really appreciate a store that offers this service. I can do all my humming and hawing there and go home feeling confident that I did in fact try on all 9 shades, smelled all 12 varieties and compared every size/price ratio and that I am getting what I really want. Whew, I bet I’m such a pleasure to help. (I’m not that bad… kinda.) The sales assistants that work there are always super helpful and super willing to hand out sample after sample to take home. And take home I did!

I have loved Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf for about a year now after seeing Vivianna talk about it on her blog. I am not usually drawn to floral fragrances but this has just enough warmth to make it feel sexy, not grandma-y. This is probably the nicest fragrance I have come across yet, I love it. It’s what angels wear, I know it.

This isn’t all of them either... whoops

I have absolutely every intention of purchasing this fragrance in full size but until I’m feeling rich enough to shell out the cash for the bottle I’m totally satisfied with taking home the little samples that Sephora offers. It’s not my fault that every time a sales associate sees me standing by the fragrances with my eyes closed and a bottle of Flowerbomb half way huffed that they offer to make me up a sample, right? What am I going to do, say no? I am a makeup purchaser often enough that I don’t feel like a total freeloader and as I said, some day I’ll purchase my very own bottle. But I’ll definitely still accept the samples, I’m no dummy.

Have you ever experienced Flowerbomb?

September 24, 2012

An AMAZING discount

I have come across an insane, let me say it again - INSANE deal and you know me, I had to share!

Two of my favorite beauty gods are Michelle Money of Bachelor fame and her trusty sidekick Laura (I’m sure Laura also has a last name, I just don’t know it). They have a YouTube channel called the MMandL Show and not only are these ladies hilarious and hot, they totally know their stuff. They recently posted a tutorial of how Laura does her hair and since I love their unkempt curls I was thrilled to see how they achieved the look. In the tutorial Laura raves about the tool she uses – a reverse tapered curling wand by NuMe. Never being a hard one to sell I was convinced I must have one. Here is the video tutorial where Laura shows you how to get the look.

I really am going to get to the discount part, hold on. Now enter another favorite YouTuber, Carlibel55, who coincidently also recently posted a hair tutorial using a NuMe wand (here comes the exciting part....) and included a coupon code for 60% off anything on the NuMe site. SIXTY PERCENT friends. That’s some frick frackin' discount! Bald people should be buying things. In this tutorial Carli uses a different NuMe curling wand and you can watch that tutorial here. Details of the discount code are in the information box under the video (on the YouTube page.)

NuMe has many different styling tools as well as products and from everything I have watched and read they are great quality. I am most interested in the reverse tapered curling wand because as Michelle says, "it just makes sense" and obviously, obviously I want the exact one that Laura has. The wand was originally $225 already marked down to $145 (why? I dunno), add a 60% discount to that (THANK YOU CARLI!) and BAM you are getting a $225 curling wand for $58! I don’t  believe my eyes, folks. Want some more good news? NuMe ships to Canada. Thank your international shipping stars.

Tell me, have you ever used a curling wand? Have you ever used the reverse wand? Are you going to take advantage of this crazy deal?! Do you have hair? Then do it!

September 18, 2012

pressing shattered powders {don’t throw your makeup away}

I don’t think there is a lady out there that hasn’t had a powder cosmetic break or shatter on her. We’ve all had them slip out of our hands and crash to the floor as we gasp and yell, nooooooooooooo! It’s possible to continue to use them in their broken state but it makes application a trick and leaves a powdery mess in our makeup cases. I honestly don’t remember where I first came upon this fix but I knew it was inevitable that one day I’d be needing to try it.

I have been storing this shattered MAC Mineralized Skin Finish (in Petticoat) in a ziploc bag a long while and finally got it out the other day to see if this method really worked. All you need is some rubbing alcohol and a few little tools.


In this case only half of the blush was shattered so even though it seems a sin to do so, I took a little fork (a toothpick or any small tool will do) and broke up the rest of the product. You want to make sure the powder is fine with no chunks or pieces.


When all the blush was broken up I spread the powder around to fill the entire compact. You want to press it down to make it set. You could use a little dropper but since I didn’t have one I just poured some rubbing alcohol onto a teaspoon and carefully dripped it onto the broken powder until the entire compact was moist. I then took the back of the spoon to press the mixture and smooth out any bumps.


*Tip* If you are re-pressing a potted eyeshadow you can use a quarter to press the powder down and get a very smooth, flat finish to the top of the product. I did not have anything the size of this compact so I did the best I could with the spoon. Not very smooth, ah well.


Once I had all the dry powder moistened and pressed into the compact I put it aside and let it dry overnight. When I came  back to it the rubbing alcohol had evaporated and dried leaving a (almost) good as new compact of pressed powder. I cleaned up the edges, top and bottom and snapped the lid closed. It’s not the prettiest thing but it’s a lot better than having a messy shattered, rarely-used compact lying in my makeup case.


It works! I hope that I don’t have to use this method again soon but I’m glad to know that in the event of another crash I do have an easy fix.

September 17, 2012

the moment you’ve all been waiting for {whether you know it or not}

Funny how I just wrote a post about loving ourselves no matter what we look like and now I’m about to share this. Thankfully I am confident enough to laugh at this and post it on the world wide web for others to see. What am I thinking? It’s really just too good not to share and if you can laugh as hard as I have over this photo then I’m happy to have it out there.

Neil and I were snuggling one morning in bed and I thought 'aw, we’re so cute, let’s take a picture!' So we did. And it came out like this:
Ok, maybe not quite, but it should have cause that’s exactly what I see when I look at it.

This is how it came out. 
(I have built this up so big I hope nobody is disappointed, although I don’t know how you could be.)

photo (100)

WHAT is happening to my face?! Where are my TEETH? What is going on with my nose?
Look it over, take it all in. 

I cherish this picture as much as I would had it come out looking perfectly. More actually. Nothing has made me laugh so hard in a really long time. And it just goes to show that my husband has real, true, deep and unconditional love for me because if I’m capable of making a face like that, he must.

And one more for the road:

Now please, don’t laugh at me, laugh with me. Let me in on the jokes. Comment and let's have a chuckle.

September 14, 2012

two faced - a pep talk

Am I the only one that thinks this in depth to things? I’ve mentioned it before but I have one side of my face that I like more than the other. I mean, I’m glad I have them both but really, one is not pulling it’s weight. The right side is the ugly step sister of my Cinderella – my cheekbone isn’t as prominent, my jawbone is smaller and my eye not as wide. I haven’t even mentioned the smaller nostril and scars yet. Really, the right side is holding things together for me here. Apparently truly beautiful folks are those that have faces of pure symmetry. I’m not making this stuff up – wikipedia agrees “Studies, in which people's faces were rated for their level of attractiveness and health, found that the highest ratings were given to individuals with symmetrical faces.” That’s not you my girl!


Am I really writing a post to tear apart the features of my face? Of course not, I think I’m a cute enough gal and I am happy with asymmetry, it’s what makes me me.  I just find it interesting that everyone can find something about themselves that they don’t like, or like less. I think what is really most important is to then say, ‘but it’s ok!’ There’s nothing wrong with wanting to change something about yourself but then love yourself despite those things. Saying, hey-I-don’t-really-love-my-totally-ski-jump-toenails-that-wear-holes-through-my-socks-and-shoes-and-I-have-to-trim-them-almost-daily-so-they-don’t-take-over-the-place (too much information? it’s all true friends) but I’m still a good person anyway! Don’t let the things you like less about yourself define yourself.

I think a lot of this comes from comparing ourselves to others, and I’m guilty. She has prettier hair than me. She has straighter (and whiter) teeth than I do. She’s got a better body, and bigger boobs than I’ll ever have. We all do it. I recently read an amazing post written by one of my favorite beauty bloggers Cara, at maskCara. In this post she talks about how instead of comparing ourselves to others and hating them for their ‘flawlessness’ (which we all know isn’t true anyway) we should stop being jealous and start making friends. She gives an awesome example which I’ll let you go read, but as she was telling her story I could think of people in my own life that I think totally have it going on and sometimes feel jealous of. Instead of seeing their pictures on instagram and rolling my eyes at how perfect they are I started commenting on them saying, ‘hey that looks amazing!’ Just because someone is great at something or looks gorgeous doesn’t mean I’m terrible at that thing or look hideous. Does that make sense? Don’t let your self worth have any bearing on what others are doing and don’t sit back and be jealous of them, tell them you think it’s great! (Secret is, they are more than likely thinking the same thing about you in some aspect!)

This is kind of an all-over-the-place post and I'm not really sure where it came from but I hope you’ve followed my thoughts. I think as I get older I just realize that we are all more similar than we think we are. We all have those same insecurities we think we are alone in. Whether it’s the right side of my face that’s kinda bumming me out, or the fact that I will never decorate as cute as that gal on instagram – it doesn’t change who I am and that I’m also awesome, in different ways.


Take the things you don’t love about yourself and say, whatever, it’s part of who I am and if I have one nostril that’s smaller than the other, so be it. We are all different colors, we are all different shapes, we all have different talents, strengths and things we are good at and we need to love ourselves for being unique. There’s not another you out there and YOU matter.

September 13, 2012

unattended children {a parenting choice}

I am not usually one to pass judgement on parents out in public. Most often my duo and I are a gosh darn spectacle ourselves so I know what it's like. Having said that, I saw something this summer from a set of parents that I did judge. I was appalled and had I not been stunned in shock I would have done something about it.

My boys and I were at the mall and we stopped so they could play in the mall centre play place. We walked up to the centre to see a few kids playing and a couple of parents standing around. Of course I didn't know what children belonged to what parents so I didn't think much of it. There was a young boy (probably 10) sitting with his back to the group, playing at a station and another little girl (maybe 5) playing by herself. I was there for just a few minutes when the little girl who had a sticker with her name printed on it stuck to her shirt came over to talk to me. She said she liked my shoes and she asked if I was babysitting. I talked with her for a few minutes and then saw a couple walk down the hall of the mall towards the play centre and stop to talk to the boy who was playing at the station. They asked him if everything was ok (how would he know, he had his nose stuck into his game) and then reminded him that he was in charge of his sister, who I had since deduced was the little girl I was talking to, and then turned to walk away. I assumed they would pop into a store close by and then come back to watch their children, like the rest of us were doing. That unfortunately wasn't the case. I watched them walk the length of the long hallway, just waiting for them to duck into a store that left the play centre visible but they kept walking, eventually turned the corner and were gone. I was there for another good 15 minutes and they didn't return in that time. The little girl, with her name still visible, just played while her brother-in-charge sat playing his game, never turning to look at her.

While I was driving home and the seriousness of what I had just witnessed sunk in I regretted that I had not gone to security and reported that young children had been left at the play place. I mean, I really should have, no? I don't know, to me leaving your 2 young kids at the mall play place (one with their NAME on their shirt) is just completely negligent. When I think of how freely that little girl conversed with me it would not have taken much for someone to walk up to her, call her by name and tell her to come with them. Maybe I have an overly paranoid mind to think things like this but it happens and why make it easier for it to happen! Here's my kids - take them! I regretted not notifying someone that the children were left alone and heaven forbid I ever see something like that again, I definitely will.

Tell me, what would you have done? Notified security? Left it alone? Am I just an overly concerned and protective parent who is making a bigger deal of this than is necessary? At 10 years old is a child responsible enough to watch over himself and a younger sibling in a public place? I just can't see myself leaving my kids, even the oldest at 10, in a mall somewhere while I walk out of sight. What do you think about it all?

September 12, 2012

bathtub cleaner extraordinaire

I am sure many of you have seen this concoction on pinterest and had I even signed in to pinterest in the last 6 months (there's a twisted story of love and hate for ya) I'm sure I would have too. My sister in law Mandy used this little recipe to clean her bathtub and said that it was magical.  I logged it away as something I would like to try as I've never found a bathtub cleaner I have been happy with. Never. Never ever. Nope.
When I got home my bathtub was in need of a deep clean and I remembered this little recipe. After trying three different stores to find BLUE Dawn (should it be that hard?) I finally came home and whipped up my own little potion of this cleaning wonder. All you need is 1 part vinegar and 1 part blue Dawn. Heat the vinegar in the microwave and pour it into a spray bottle. Add the Dawn and give it a shakey shake to mix it up. That’s it. Easy sleazy. And guess what?

It IS magical.
Here is a before and after photo and as you can see the after is significantly more spic and span than the before. I would like to do it one more time using a scrub brush as the first time I only used a cloth and I think I could get it even cleaner with a little more elbow grease. I want to eat off this tub when I’m done. Ok, I actually don’t, but I want the option. You never know.


I am so completely impressed with this concoction and feel I have definitely finally found a bathroom cleaner I am satisfied with. Hoo-freakin-ray!

Have any of y'alls tried this yet?

September 11, 2012

Finally feeling 'home'

Even when somebody takes good care of your house in your absence it does take a few days to make it feel yours again. We got home and unpacked enough to be able to pack back up and head out for a week of camping. So when we returned home with more to unpack and put away I really had my work cut out for me. This evening is the first time I can look around and feel comfortable again. Things are unpacked, washed and put away and the house is cleaned, organized and smells just how I like it. We had an amazing family vacation and the boys loved time with dad. Dad loved time with them too, especially when he had company in the bathroom, walking something over to the garbage, putting something back in the tent trailer and you get the picture - shadows. It was adorable.

I am happy to be home and have a laundry list of things to talk about. Hope you're ready.