Current Faves: Little Luxuries (for chilly days)


In my experience as a mom, I have gained much wisdom and learned many life lessons that have shaped me into the amazing creature you see sitting before you. (….or…whatever.) Life lessons such as…

When one forgets to close the bathroom door, a wandering toddler may very well throw one’s lipstick in the toilet. 

…such as, Keep your children close, keep your candy stash closer.

…such as, No seriously kid, get your own candy.

The chilly, rainy weather has finally hit California and with it, I’ve found myself inside with the kids more. While Maddie is at school from 8:00-3:30, that leaves quite a stretch of time indoors with Jack and Ruthie. Keeping them fed and learning and having fun is my job, but I’ve been learning  really how important it is to make an effort in taking care of myself as well. As the one running things around here during the day, I am the one who sets the tone of the home. I’ve been seeing this more and more — when I am in peace, feeling human, having a few minutes set aside to be pampered a bit, it makes these long winter days indoors a lot less daunting and in turn, the atmosphere of our home is much lighter.

And that brings me to my current favorites, a few little luxuries that have been keeping me feeling like me, especially during those long days indoors.

Finding my happy coffee place

merman pop

My morning routine isn’t exactly strict and can change at the drop of a hat, but I do like to have a clean sink and a cup of coffee by 10:00. Don’t ask me why, I just feel better when I have a clean kitchen behind me. Since my ideal setting of a quaint coffee shop with a good book isn’t exactly in the cards, I try to make it a treat I look forward to anyway. An experience, if you will.

Something that makes it a little more special is having a cute mug. It’s just not as fun to drink out of a plain old mug! Also, I take a few seconds to froth the milk. I know, I’m a wild woman with my frothy latte in a cute mug. But it works for me. One more thing: I will sit and enjoy the heck out of that thing from start to finish, butt firmly planted on the couch with a cozy blanket. Yes, if the kids need me I’ll get up; I am not a monster. But I have let one too many cups of coffee chill to arctic temperatures on the counter while I do “just one more thing real quick” (hence, the clean sink method mentioned above). If I’m going to limit myself to one caffeinated beverage a day, you better believe I’m going to enjoy it.

Candles, candles, everywhere…

Target Candles

Candles make a house a home. Someone said that somewhere. There’s just something about the gentle flicker of warm light and the scent of baked goods filling the air that is soothing to the soul. Hey, at the very least, they mask the smell of the morning’s dirty diapers piling up in double-knotted grocery bags by the front door. But man, I do love me some candles. I have them in every room and except for when I’m cooking, there’s usually one lit in the kitchen.

Nailed it.

cuticle butter

THIS. STUFF. IS. LEGIT. Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream. I was having tea with my friends Sarah and Jimaie last year and Jimaie whipped this stuff out of her purse and started rubbing it on her nails, telling us how every new mother should be given this as a gift when she has her baby. I watched in awestruck wonder. The little tin in all it’s adorableness drew me in immediately… and then there’s the scent. It is lemony heavenly goodness. I picked this up at Target for a few dollars and now it goes where I go, it stays where I stay.

I ran out of catchy titles. This one is about soap.

african black soap

Okay, so this African Black Soap intrigued me as soon as I saw it at the store. It took me a while to gain the courage to buy it and see what it’s all about. For “acne prone and troubled skin”, which I do sometimes have, but let’s be real here, I bought it because it’s black soap! Keep the “soapist” remarks to yourself… I enjoy all colors of soap and do not discriminate. It just looks so exotic. It smells good too!  It’s a behemoth of a bar too and it’s lasting forever. Every product I’ve tried from the Shea Moisture line has been great so far. I also really love this Olive and Green Tea Bubble Bath & Body Wash.

olive green tea shea

You might be thinking, “meh, soap”, but girl, try this body wash. My skin is so soft after I use this stuff, like buttah.

These simple things may seem very “duh”, but it’s taken me a few good years to get my groove here. I’m sure some ladies would be surprised how many days they go without taking any time for themselves to just chill and be still. So yes, these things sure go a long way in keeping me feeling like me. What are your little luxuries?

Weird beauty habits that actually work well (for me, at least)

By now, you are all aware that I love makeup and beauty and all that junk. I’ve been meaning to write a post to share some of my weirdest beauty tips and tricks that I’ve used over the years, but completely spaced on that, obviously. (Be better, Morgan. Be better!) Some of these things are pretty basic, but I always like to hear about other people’s beauty routines so I figured you might too. :)

Peach Fuzz Removal

A few years ago, I wrote about my girlstache and my method of getting rid of that mess. While I still use Sally Hansen’s Hair Remover Creme for that, I’ve also been using facial razors for unibrow and sideburn upkeep for years. Don’t go making that judgy face, guuuurl. We all suffer from The Sasquatchies in some form. There are tons of facial razors out there (Sephora has one for around $15 and it’s awesome, and stores like Walgreens usually have them as well), but my favorite has been this:

I don’t think we really need to comment on the name, do we? Yeah. Anyway, I found this pack of 3 at the dollar store and they’ve lasted me for months. Every week, I’ll ‘shave’ the peach fuzzy side burn things and down along my neck/chin area, and it leaves your face smooth and exfoliated. I’m being real here: I had NO idea I needed this before I tried it. I was amazed and completely grossed out the first time I used one. SO MUCH FUZZ.

I’m sure there are people who have issues with using a razor… “Eww, but those are for MEN!” Stoppit. I did the same thing when I first saw them, but I got over it when I realized how easy they are to use and how great the results are. Trust me! Watch this video by the MMandLShow on YouTube for a good tutorial. Your life will be changed.

Pimple Coverage

I’ve had my fair share of breakouts, people. There have been some baaaad times, let me tell you. When I was 14, I was so embarrassed about my blemishes that I kind of just made up a routine that ended up working for me and I still use it to this day (almost 13 years later).

  • Apply your foundation and concealer as usual
  • Set it with loose powder
  • THEN! Find a shade of eye shadow that is as close as you can get to the tone of your skin (WITH makeup on). I’m very fair so my shadow is almost always a very light tan shade. Get a little brush and dab some of the eye shadow onto your trouble spots and blend outward slightly.
  • Top with another light dusting of powder and you’re good to go!

That little bit of extra coverage makes a HUGE difference for those times where your spots are really red and still show through your foundation/concealer.

Moisturizing Dry Hands/Elbows/Feet

This is another one I blogged about a few years ago. After I stopped nursing Maddie and Jack, I had a large supply of leftover nipple ointment for you know, that chapped thing that occurs when your baby is yanking and pulling on your boobs 12 times a day. This stuff right here works WONDERS on dry skin all over your body, especially that cracked, chapped winter dryness of the hands:

It’s like a giant tube of Chapstick that twists up. I’ve used other brands of my leftover nipple ointment and they all work pretty well, but this is my favorite. If you have any leftover from your nursing days, give it a shot.

Layering Mascara

I know this sounds a little ridiculous and unnecessary and I’m sure this isn’t for everyone, but I am super picky about how my eyelashes look. Mascara is always the thing I have the most trouble with because it’s hard to find one single tube that will help me achieve everything I want. Length, volume, no clumps, quick application, good wand. See? A liiiiittle high maintenance.

(I can totally see clumps right now and it’s giving me hives as I speak, but that fresh face of makeup has since melted off in the midst of my toddler-chasing fury, so this photo will have to do. But ahhhh)

What I’ve found that works best is to not use just one, but two different mascaras, each with it’s own unique strength. My two go-to’s at the moment are L’Oreal Voluminous (a favorite for years) and Maybelline Volum’ Express Mega Plush. They’re completely different, but work together perfectly.

Coconut Oil for… everything

Everyone has been informed of the wonders of coconut oil recently, thanks to Pinterest. It’s great for the skin, hair and even your brain. People use it all over their bodies because of it’s natural, safe moisturizing properties. A funny thing about it is that it’s solid at cool temperatures, so when I scoop it out of the jar, there’s always a little bit left on the spoon. I, not wanting to waste any of the magic, will either lick it right off the spoon or rub it on my face. Yep. Right there in the kitchen. A few nights ago I was cooking with it and Justin walked in at the exact moment I was rubbing the back of the spoon on my cheek. The face he made was the most disgusted, confused expression I’ve ever seen.

(I enjoyed every minute of it.)

Do you guys have any strange or helpful beauty tricks that work well for you? I’d love to add more things to my ever-expanding pile of weirdness.

Drugstore Beauty Love: Summer Picks

Well, would you look at that? Summer is here. Yayyyyy. I am so excited I could do a dance. A dance that involves my middle fingers waving at the sun. I am sweaty. I am grubby. I am hot.

As much as summer makes me hulk rage, I still need to pull my melting self together and at least try to look good. Maybe then I’ll know what it feels like to smile.

Note: I really shouldn’t write posts while PMS’ing. Two days in a row? I’m sorry, guys. It’s been a rough one! 

Here are some of my current beauty favorites that are helping me through this California summer.

1. Wet n Wild MegaGlo Illuminating Powder in Catwalk Pink – I just recommended this powder to a friend who was looking to brighten and freshen up the look of her skin. You get so much product for your money (mine doesn’t even have a dent and I’ve used it every day for nearly 2 months!) and it is perfect for that summery ‘dewy’ look without being overly sparkly. They have a few other shades available if you need a good bronzer.

2. Jordana INCOLOR Fabuliner (liquid eyeliner)  – ZEE BEST. For someone who does a cat eye on the reg., I appreciate the fine tip and staying power of this stuff. It’s incredibly easy to apply, it stays ALL day and it’s $2.99! I bought mine online, but I’ve seen this brand of cosmetics for sale at the grocery store. Take a peek next time you’re shopping. SO worth it.

3. Braun Silk-épil 5 – Okay, I wasn’t sure about using an epilator for hair removal, but HELLO, CONVERT HERE! Yes, it stings a bit at first, but you toughen up quickly. I’ve been using it every 3 weeks on my arms (which I never realized were hairy until recently, ew) and my legs every 2 weeks. No need to do it any more than that! This little contraption is SO flipping amazing and I am in love.

Attention! Attention! Giveaway for this awesome epilator is coming soon!

4. L’Oreal Colour Riche nail polish in Butterfly Kisses – A soft purple/pink shade with a little shimmer… LOVE.

5. Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment – Picked this little baby up at Sally’s a few months ago on a whim and now I use it in my hair all the time. I’ve started using it more frequently since I’m in the pool so much and it’s been doing a fab job keeping my hair soft and the ends moisturized. The best part? It smells freaking delicious. I also put it on my food. Just kidding, that’s sick.

6. NYX Round Lipstick in Summer Love – Another online purchase, but they sell tons of shades at Ulta. These lipsticks are very inexpensive and many of them are dupes for MAC. This particular color is an awesome nude. It glides on so smoothly and stays put. I may or may not have purchased like 10 of these at once because there are just too many gorgeous colors to choose just one.

You know what’s next… chime in with your favorites in the comments! I would love to hear your current recommendations. I can’t promise I won’t start crying for no reason at all while reading them though.

Cheese incoming…

Why, yes. I did actually pose ridiculously in my parents front yard in a new dress just to show you my new hair. ‘Tis how I roll.

Thank you all for your wonderful suggestions! I ended up going for the Bilson color and I’m growing out my layers and bangs to make it all one length. I’m so glad it’s dark again. It feels more like me.

Getting hurr did tomorrow. HALP


As usual, when I’m about to get my hair done, I seek the opinions of my internet girls who don’t actually ever get to see my hair in person. Makes perfect sense to me! I don’t see the problem.

I do value all your stylish little thoughts and would love to hear what you think would look best on me. Except don’t say bald. I will ignore and then kill you.

The current scraggly state of my grown-out ombré craziness:

YEESH. It’s basically been forever since I’ve had my hair cut or colored, hence the ragged state. (Also, hi. I rode a see-saw with my entire family on Mother’s Day.)

Here are my requirements for the next ‘do:

1) I keep it somewhat long because it’s taken FOREVER to grow and I’m finally happy with the length.

2) I stay in the brown family, but as far as high/low lights go, I’m down for anything.

3) To bang or not to bang? That is the question.

Here are a few ideas I’ve been throwing around:

Give me all her makeup too, kthx.

Probably not getting bangs that short though.

So to be clear, we’re choosing between a bunch of long brown hairstyles that all look the same. Unless you can blow my mind with something entirely different. As long as it wouldn’t make me look like Bon Qui Qui, I’ll probably be up for it since I take advice from the internet on everything in life.

Let’s do this!