April 18, 2014

Must try: bareSkin foundation

I have about 1.25 minutes to slap on some makeup in the mornings before I dash out the door, most always running late.  So, I'm always up to try a new product that solves multiple issues.  Meet bareSkin pure brightening serum foundation broad spectrum SPF 20. Yes, that's a mouthful, for it has everything you need in one product to cut down on many other steps. But what I might love even more is what it doesn't have... no oil, no silicone, no parabens, not watered down, no fragrance - just the bare minimum to leave your skin looking flawless.  

I typically hate foundation and use tinted lotion or CC cream instead, then spend too much time applying concealer to all those spots, dark circles and imperfections that cover my face. To me, foundation is a pain to put on, taking too much time to get it right as to not leave a ring around your face.  I just never mastered this.  Well, this new foundation has been in the works for 20 years, from the company, bareMinerals, that said they'd never do foundation because of all the chemicals you have to put into it.  This breakthrough tone-correcting mineral foundation is unlike anything out there!  It really is a liquid foundation we can all feel good about.

I was thrilled to partner with bareSkin today to tell you what I think from reviewing it the last couples of days.  Plus, you can see how easy it is to apply from the photos below! 

{Does anyone else unintentionally make funny faces while applying their makeup?  I think it helps me get in all those little crevasses. :) I don't even realize I'm doing it!}

{All it takes is 2-6 drops of the foundation (depending on how much coverage you want), and best used with the Perfecting Face Brush (show above!)}

The bareSkin foundation launches May 1st and will be available at ULTA, QVC, Sephora, Macy's, Dillards, bareMineral boutiques and bareminerals.com.  I can't wait for YOU to try it! 

And when you do, please let me know what you think!

Big thank you to bareSkin for sponsoring this post and more importantly, putting such care into their creations.  I'm happy to have this new product as part of my morning routine.

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April 17, 2014

Favorite Wears: Mint Maxi

Spring transitional outfit

Perfect spring outfit includes a maxi and light-weight tops for unpredictable weather.  This outfit is complete with bright pops to really make this get-up separate from winter. My favorite time to style clothing is fall and spring because you can still get away with light layers and more fabrics without burying the cuteness under pounds of outerwear.

I'm also pretty jazzed to be outside more during this time.  Currently, our backyard is fenced (which is great for our dog and kids), but lacking any sort of patio, just all grass.  Well, finallllllly we are getting a patio poured next week! I'm so excited to then also get a real grill (we use a small tailgating one now), patio furniture, outdoor-toy storage and a lounge chair! Just in time for all the great cookouts that summer-time brings, especially when you have kiddos and it becomes pretty much impossible to go out to dinner.  I can't wait for all the family dinners we'll get to have out side, where Liam seems to be the happiest!

Now off to scour the internet for patio furniture... any suggestions?

{Outfit Details: Sweater (on sale!); Skirt - old Target (similar here, here, here and dress version here); Flats; Sunnies; Lips; Jacket - Gap (solid color version)}

 {Can you just please pause and look at Liam's little mischievous face?  I could just eat it up.}

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April 16, 2014

Greek Yogurt Hack: Most filling breakfast (or dessert) ever!

So, you may have caught wind by now that I'm pretty obsessed with Greek Yogurt these days... A couple of reasons why: it really fills me up (and that's hard to accomplish!) and there is so much you can do with it.  It not only fills me up, but it really satisfies many of my cravings for less nutritional foods.

So today, I'm bringing you my new go-to breakfast (and sometimes I switch up one small thing and have it for dessert).  I'm often hungry soon after breakfast, even after a bowl of oatmeal!  So, while I am not lowering my calorie intake at the first meal of the day, I'm instead eating, what I'm nicknaming, a power bowl to keep me full longer (thus taking in less calories overall)!  

This is what you need to get filled up:

1. Greek Yogurt - I use plain (and usually the individual containers since I grab and go to work, but if you are taking from a larger container, like I did for this post, you actually only need 1/2-3/4 cup vs. the 1 cup serving size and what I accidentally used for this bowl - it was too much). Make sure you use the low fat/fat free to keep calories down! For plain fat free, Fage is my favorite.

2. Peanut Butter - duh!  Makes this mixture way more decadent.  I use Jif Whip because it's less calories and mixes really well!  You could also use some peanut butter and some PB2 (the powder) for even less cals.

3. Granola - I've experimented with different kinds to balance taste and lower calorie options.  I like KIND Healthy Grains Oats & Honey Clusters.  You just need about 1/4 cup for crunch (and so filling).

4. Banana - I use a half, sliced up

Now, to turn this protein, filling power bowl into a dessert that totally satisfies my ice cream craving (yet has some nutritional value and won't have my munching a mere 45 minutes later), simply add in about a tablespoon of mini chocolate chips and ditch the banana (optional)!

Zing! Peanut butter and chocolate encased in creamy goodness and a slight crunch from the granola.  What could be better? Between this version or my Rocky Road Greek Yogurt hack - I feel comply satisfied when that ice cream craving hits.  Seriously - I don't ever buy ice cream.

Check out more Greek Yogurt Hack ideas here!

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April 14, 2014

Ultimate beauty & hair playhouse + $100 Giveaway!

Last month, a new ULTA Beauty store opened up in Overland Park, Kansas (Aspen Square shopping center off 135th and Lamar) and Erin, Sandy and I were among some bloggers that were invited to a party to celebrate!  We had a blast shopping and trying out the salon, even getting our hair braided and learning a few tricks.  

I specifically was bound and determined to learn how to tease my hair.  Seriously... I do the backcombing thing and it just never seems to stay.  I have this weird flat section and a mean cowlick on the back of my head that I need to get a good tease to get my hair to lay right and fill it out back there.  So, the lovely ULTA hair stylist showed me a few brushes that assist in a successful tease, as well as went over the proper technique, so I thought I'd share! 

1. The comb I was using just wasn't up to pare at all.  You need a brush or teasing comb with soft bristles.  I ended up purchasing a paddle brush with a mix of soft and hard bristles so I can use for far more than just teasing (but you can get this simple tease comb, too).

2.  Work with smaller sections of 1 to 2 inches of hair for stronger hold.

3. Hold the section of hair you want to tease with one hand straight up above your head and angle the edge of the brush or comb downwards, holding in the other hand. Start a few inches above the roots and brush down (backcombing).  But here's the important part (that I was doing allll wrong), pull the brush/comb straight out (not at all back up).  Basically, don't brush back up the hair you just scrunched down.  Do this a few times on each section of hair. 

4. Arrange the hair where you want it and then ever so lightly smooth over the outer layer to get the end result!  

Still confused?  Don't worry, you can catch a few visuals within the video below!  We had such a fun time playing throughout ULTA during their launch party, we just had to share:

So, as you can tell from the video, ULTA Beauty is way more than just an awesome salon.  If you aren't familiar, it's the largest beauty retailer in the United States and is a totally great one-stop shop for cosmetics, fragrance, haircare, skincare, bath and body products and salon styling tools, as well as salon haircare products.  If you are like me, you love a good bargain beauty item, but have a few expensive staples in the mix, too.  That's why I love that their offering ranges from affordable brands that you can find in drugstores to prestigious ones that are typically seen in higher-end beauty retailers. 

In addition to selling great products, they also offer a full-service salon in all of their stores.  The menu expands past hair and consists of anything from hair cut, color and style to Dermalogica skin treatments to eyelash extensions.  All of their Salon Pros go through extensive training, so you know you are in good hands.

For those that frequent ULTA, or are about too... you should check out the ULTAmate Rewards card.  For every dollar spent, you will earn 1 point.  These points can be redeemed online or in stores to receive dollars off future merchandise purchases.  And if you spend $400 or more a year at Ulta Beauty you’ll reach Platinum status and be able to earn points even faster (which can be easy to do if you think about how much you spend overall on beauty and hair products/treatments in total!).

We're sure you'll love ULTA as much as we do, and since there are so many stores PLUS online shopping available, we partnered with ULTA to bring you an awesome giveaway.  We have a $100 gift card to one lucky reader from Chasing Davies, Pretty, Polished, Perfect and/or Sandy a la Mode.  Just enter through the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
If you live in the Kansas City area, make sure to check out Ulta's newest store in Overland Park at Aspen Square or find your nearest store here!
This post is sponsored by ULTA, because we already love their brand and offerings, we were so excited to work with them!  Of course, all opinions in this post, as always, are my own.

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