Glamping

Morning, loves. Today we’re talking about makeup, which isn’t that surprising. I’m pretty much always talking about makeup. Or therapy. Or both. But this is kind of different. We spent last weekend in the Great Expensive North with Buzz’s parents, camping.

I know. Camping. What. Not my jam. I do not like to camp.

It’s okay. They don’t really either.

They have a gorgeous RV hooked up to water and electricity and a fridge stocked with cheese and better wine than I can afford on my own. They set the coffee to brew in the morning, and my husband turns into a guy from a nature food commercial and insists on cooking all of our food over the campfire while I sit inside drinking coffee or wine. (Probably wine. I’m on vacation. It’s always wine time.)

Now, granted, it’s not as perfect as it was in 2011. Buzz and I weren’t married yet, and so when we joined his parents for a weekend at the camper we obviously slept separately. I had the whole master suite to myself- huge bed, overhead light, a door that closed.

Oh man. Married life is lovely. But virginity had way more room.

By the next year I was married and almost pregnant and no one cared about my virtue anymore and I was on a pullout couch. *sigh*

I mean, I love being a wife and mother! Yeah!

No for reals, one of my favorite parts of the camper (or any traveling really) is that I get to sleep next to my husband with our babies right next to us in the next bed. Our kids sleep in in their own rooms, and really always have. I’m not complaining about that. At all. But it’s so cozy to sleep with them right there, so that’s super fun.

Anyway, I certainly wasn’t going to go without makeup for the weekend. I mean, we had big things like…sit on the beach planned. But I legitimately don’t do makeup for anyone else, I just love to play with it.

So here is my Super Awesome Not Patented Way to Get Pretty in the Woods. (As long as you have a shower, a sink, and some patience.)

First of all, tools. You do not have to lug your entire vanity to the northwoods. I mean, you can. And God knows I have done that on vacation. Ask my dad sometime about the bag of shoes I dragged all over the East Coast in 2010. He loves that story.

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I can fit all my stuff in a makeup case. The handled ones are nice if you’re “camping” because you can just carry it to the bathroom and not worry about bags and other random crap that you have to keep track of.

The kids have enough of that.

I keep brushes in the pencil-like case. A few eye brushes, a blending brush, and a blush brush, and you’re good to go. The separate case keeps them from getting lost or bent or anything.

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Liquids go in a bag in the same container. I bring one cleanser (Philosophy’s Purity) when I’m traveling. It cuts through EVERYTHING, and can be decanted into tiny containers. I usually do the same thing with moisturizers, but I had a few from Birchbox that were pretty good, so I just brought one of those along.


For the actual makeup, primers, setting sprays are key to making it last. I use Smashbox for primers (face and eyelid) and they are really the best. I’ve spent so much money trying to find a better cheaper one, but I just can’t. Better to suck it up and pay the $21. You will not regret it. This weekend I brought NYX Matte Finishing Spray. It’s not my favorite- that’s Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray. But it’s super expensive and a big bottle and I didn’t want to take a chance losing it in a campground bathroom. NYX works almost as well honestly, and it was like $6.

For actual makeup, I stuck with palettes and powder formulas mostly. It made packing a lot easier and I had the freedom to do basically any look I wanted.

I didn’t, because I’m a mom who was camping. BUT IT’S NICE TO KNOW THAT I COULD!

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I’m in love with Ulta’s Sculpting Palette. Got it for free during their 21 Days of Beauty Event (I’ll have a post on that next week- so many good deals!) in a Buy 2, Get 2 promotion. It has a passable contour/bronzer shade, a really nice highlighter, and a blush. I legitimately love the highlighter. I use it most days actually.

The blush is a really pretty pink with a light shimmer, and great for a neutral look.

The contour isn’t amazing by any means- we’re not talking Anastasia here. But it definitely does the job and some days I even prefer it because it blends so well in my pale skin. And really, you’re not going for a full contour on a camping trip anyway, right? I just wanted it to look like I had cheekbones at one point in my life.

I used Laura Gellar’s Balance and Brighten foundation, and Tarte’s Shape Tape concealer. I used my fingers and a brush to blend them, and oh man I DESPERATELY MISSED MY BEAUTY BLENDER YOU GUYS.

Alas, there was no place to dry my Beauty Blender, and so it had to stay home.

That little bit of roughing it aside, I think I did pretty well.

I brought along the Tartelette palette and a black eyeliner, and did a fair job on making a halfway decent eye the first day. Sunday I neglected to realize how difficult it was to get mascara perfect when you’re rushing to get to Mass and then when it ends up on your eyelids it’s really hard to blend out without…well, anything to blend it out with.

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Oops.

Some setting powder (I used valuable real estate and brought my full size Laura Mercier setting powder, because you really cannot do better than that) and a few spritzes with the NYX spray, and I was good to go all day. At like 5 pm Buzz looked at me and said, “Wow. Your makeup still looks really good! We must buy good stuff!”

Which is the first and last time he has been thankful for the amount of money I spend on makeup.

Here I am at the end of the day-

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Still pretty good. And obviously outlasted my straightener. Geez. My baby hair is so curly. Jesus Himself could straighten it and it would only last an hour.

Oh, and the most important thing- SUNSCREEN. Any kind. All kinds. ALL THE TIME.

Ain’t no primer that covers up the horrific sunburns I get from, like, standing outside for a minute.

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Literal white girl problems, yo.

 

Week One and Two: We Still All Like Each Other.

Kind of. I mean, the principal and I fight sometimes. Mostly because he doesn’t pick up his underwear from the floor. But then we also make out sometimes. Because we’re married.

Ha! Sorry. That will never be not funny to me, you guys.

Anyway, the first two weeks of school are finished and overall? Pretty good, y’all.

We’ve been super busy, which has made actually hitting our stride with scheduling. Squeaks struggles with transitions, so I’ve been trying to keep us working for a chunk of time in the morning and get everything done. But now she’s trying to get everything finished super fast and doesn’t want to stop to fix anything like, oh, her nines facing backwards.

So tomorrow I’m going to try to switch it up and schedule playtime in the middle of the morning. Hopefully it would be enough to give her a break but having it actually scheduled will be official enough for her little executive function-challenged head.

One can only hope.

My favorite part of this year is that both my mom and my bonus mother are so involved. both of them homeschooled their kids* and help me out when they’re able to. This morning I had my prayer group and so I laid out all the subjects I wanted Squeaks to finish and my bonus mom took care of everything! I even came home to cute pictures of her doing her work.

*I know. My husband. He loves him some homeschooled girls apparently.

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My mom helps out almost every day. We’re learning Latin together this year (or relearning as it’s been awhile since high school for me) and it’s so much fun to have my mom and my little girl bonding over a language. She’s also doing a ton with Buddy while I work with Squeaks. And now Buddy can count to fourteen now, so that’s super fun.

I know he’s three. We’re still happy about it. Shoot low. That basically my parenting motto.

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One of the best things I’m doing differently this year is actually for me. After having a slight (major) breakdown last year, I realized that unless I’m a happy person I am not going to be a happy mother. Or a very effective teacher.

So I’ve started getting up with Buzz in the mornings, which gives me about an hour to myself before the kids get up. I get my housework done, and have enough time to do my own reading.

This year I’m following The Coming Home Network’s plan for reading the Bible and the Catechism in a year. (I’m only doing it on school days, so it’s going to take me a little bit longer than a year.) It’s available for free as a download or a $1 booklet at chnetwork.org. It only takes about 10 minutes (I read fast) and it really makes me feel centered to do some spiritual reading every day.

I also have a pile of parenting books that I’m working through. I read a lot, but I tend to get caught up in mostly novels. Which is fine, but then I ignore the ones that I should be reading to help me along my journey. So I devote ten minutes to that as well.

Finally, I make sure to say a rosary in the morning. I love doing a daily rosary, and doing it in the morning honestly makes my day so much easier. I know part of it is just the meditative/repetitive prayer aspect, but I love starting my day by petitioning the Blessed Mother.

So overall, we’re still doing okay. And I get to make out with the principal.

 

 

 

Birchbox Trial. And Error.

Mostly Error.

Okay, so I wrote a few weeks ago about my ipsy bag that I’m trying out for the foreseeable future (or as long as I can forseeably afford to add it to my budget.) It’s $10 a month and includes 5 beauty samples each month, mostly full sized or deluxe samples. I was so in love with the idea of getting fun stuff in the mail that I researched some other beauty subscription boxes and came up with Birchbox as the best option for me.

My criteria was simple. It had to be a.) not more than $10 a month, and b.) primarily makeup samples. So that left Birchbox.

EXCEPT.

I got two months of boxes from them and want to know how many items of makeup I recieved? Two.

Wanna know how many ridiculous pieces of hair care products I received? ALL THE REST OF THEM.

So, here’s the first unboxing, complete with selfies at my desk because I’m a mother and that’s literally the only place I get to sit by myself because it tricks everyone else into thinking I might be doing something for them. Like planning the food they’ll reject or the lessons they’ll whine about.

(Motherhood. It’s all about mystery.)

I was super excited to get the first box. I was actually really impressed that I received it at all- it was a bonus for subscribing after they had started sending them out. I was very pleased with that part of their customer service- I paid for one month and received two boxes.

The actual samples though…meh. Now, this was a box curated for hair care products. I get that, but it still wasn’t what I was looking for.

First of all, the R+Co Oblivion Clarifying Shampoo and Conditioner

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Okay. I have my hair care routine all worked out. Like, for serious. I am always in the market for fun oils or styling aids, but I really feel like those of us who are buying beauty subscription boxes all probably have a hair washing routine that we’re in love with and won’t touch.

Mine is Wen. I freaking love Wen and I refused to believe that it makes people’s hair fall out and if it does sorry, but mine looks FANTASTIC YOU GUYS.

I didn’t even try this, I just gave it to a friend. I’ve got no time to fool around with your stupid blisterpack samples.

That was the first thing I noticed. The actual foil sample was a bonus, okay. But the shampoo was a legitimate sample from the box. And it was TINY. Like hotel sized tiny. The ipsy bag had much bigger samples, which I was impressed with.

1/5

Next up, the Profile Pro Ultra Nourishing Oil.

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Okay, this I loved. Like, pretty sure I’m going to purchase in the full size.

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LOOK AT THAT SHINE YO. And this was after just kind of haphazardly applying it while sitting at my desk and taking selfies.

It was light and my hair still was bouncy, but it absolutely increased the shine and decreased frizz. Also only $22.95 for the bottle, which is like ten dollars less than I’m paying for my current Aveda oil at the store.

5/5 YES PLEASE.

Representing skin care this month was the Key West Aloe Cucumber Eye Gel.

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I’m so underwhelmed I can’t even take an in-focus picture. First of all, look how tiny. Secondly, I’ve used it for like a week and other than like a pleasant cooling sensation when I put it on there is no noticeable benefit.

Meh. 2/5

The TokyoMilk Dark perfume sample was similarly disheartening. I actually really loved it. I did. But it was soooo  tiny, not even a vaporizer. Meh.

3/5.

The lone makeup sample was the Manna Kadar Cosmetics Day Dream Palette, which in theory has six eye shadows, three highlighers and a blush.

I don’t know what it actually has because the teensy tiny little sample pack (like seriously probably one inch diameter?) came shattered and spread all over the rest of the box. Completely unusable.

I contacted the company and they could not replace it since they were out of stock, but offered me a $5 credit.

So 0/5 for the palette, 3/5 for the customer service.

Overall, August’s Birchbox got a 2/5.

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But I was not to be discouraged! (Mostly because I didn’t even pay for that one really.) September was coming and surely it would redeem Birchbox in my mind!

Meh. Not really.

The September box was really pretty, which quickly seemed to be the most redeeming feature of them, but I was once again underwhelmed by the offerings.

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Once again, there was one makeup sample. At least this one was usable, but still. I want primarily makeup samples guys. That’s why I buy a beauty subscription box.

The makeup sample was the Milk Highlighter.

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I actually really loved this. It was a relatively decent sample size for cosmetics, and I love me some highlighters. For serious, yo. It smelled nice and had a decent consistency and wasn’t too strobe-y which was nice.

5/5 COMING BACK BIRCHBOX.

Air Repair Complexion Rescuing Moisturizer was our second sample and again, meh.

I mean, I’ve got some pretty epic forehead wrinkles for 29 (gulp) so I do love trying moisturizers. But this was so tiny. I used it once and it was pleasant, but I’m saving it for this weekend when I’m traveling because again, so tiny.

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3/5- Pending. WE SHALL SEE AIR REPAIR. WE SHALL SEE.

There was one hair care product, the Beautiful Nutrition Lemon Rinse. Like last month, I was pretty not psyched about a hair care product, because I’ve got my routine, y’all. But this one can be added at the end, so OKAY. You’ve got me there Birchbox.

I used it yesterday (no pics as I did not put on real clothes at all yesterday) and I guess my hair is softer? I don’t know, my styling routine is to use a flatiron now so that pretty much makes my hair soft anyway. But maybe this does work.

My main problem with it is that you use so much so quickly. It was a decent sized sample bottle, but I used half of it for one wash. They suggest using one once a time, which means you’d get through the full sized bottle in like two weeks. Um. Nope.

3/5- Nice, but not sustainable.

Then there was this random Klorane Waterproof Eye Makeup remover.

Um. Guys. I’m BUYING A BEAUTY SUBSCRIPTION BOX. Chances are I already have an eyemakeup remover.

I used it to take all this gunk off the night after I took these pictures-

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…and yeah, it worked I guess. It was super oily though (I guess to be expected as it was not oilfree) and it actually didn’t do a great job of removing my lash glue. I still had little specks left and I had to go back with my el cheapo L’Oreal or whatever remover I got at Walgreens. And, again, I used half the bottle in one sitting.

2/5- Nope.

Okay, so we’re about halfway impressed here Birchbox. Let’s see what you have for the final sample!

Oh. Oh no. Really, Birchbox?

Your final sample of the month is an…aerosol can of water? Just…water?

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Oh, sorry. French water. It’s the Eau Thermale Avene Spring Water Hydrating spray.

Well. It’s hydrating. Because it’s water.

Things it is NOT (despite being touted as such on the packaging): a toner, a skin calmer, or a MAKEUP SETTER.

Guys. IT’S WATER. It’s the actual opposite of a makeup setting spray.

Look! I sprayed it on my face and my eyemakeup ended up on my cheeks because IT’S WATER.

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I do have something of a dewy glow, though. BECAUSE IT’S WATER.

And should I decide I like this experience so much, I can buy the full sized can of…water for only $14. It’s practically a steal!

Oh man. 0/5. What the actual hell, Birchbox.

So, after a two month trial- nope. Sorry. There were a paltry number of cosmetic samples, a full 50% of which were destroyed. The skin care was fun but not what I’m paying for. I don’t want hair care products except as the occasional filler, and GUYS. SERIOUSLY. A SPRAY CAN OF WATER.

Maybe when I become independently wealthy I’ll go back to Birchbox, but right now? My ten dollars a month has a home at Ulta where it used to reside.

Oh! I almost forgot! My favorite part of the service was the actual box itself. I saved them because they’re adorable and I love all manner of organizing things. They are the perfect size to my daily hair styling options and my ClearBlue Monitor! So yay for that!

5/5 for bathroom storage, Birchbox!

Recipe Weekend: Easy Chicken Encilada Skillet

That makes me feel like I’m typing random words. But like I once said to Buzz when I ordered a Bacon Avocado Ranch Burger- I like all those words!

See, sometimes I make dinner for my family.

This is from Marlene Koch’s Eat What You Love which is one of only two cookbooks I actually own because I’m a millennial and if it’s not on Pinterest does it really even exist? Probably not. But this book I adore. I have her second book too and it is super awesome as well. I like that all the recipes contain vegetables and are relatively healthy for my family. Because I like doing that, I just, you know, don’t want to work too hard at it. Because I’ve got a lot of eyeliner to play with.

Priorities. I has them.

Anyway, this is a super easy meal and really tasty. Like, you’ll want to eat the whole pan. If we’re having a cheap week, I’ll use more noodles and tomato sauce oto stretch it. If I’m feeling generous and like I want my kids to have protein I’ll make some extra chicken and make it bigger that way.

(Guess which one happens more often.)

(Eyeliner isn’t cheap.)

Chicken Enchilada Pasta Skillet

1 ½ cups uncooked penne pasta

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 ½ tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon sugar

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

⅛ teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast

½ cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons cilantro, minced for garnish

While preparing sauce, cook pasta according to directions. Drain pasta and set aside.

Spray a large, nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly softened. Push the vegetables to one side of the skillet and reduce heat to medium. On the empty side of the skillet, add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, sugar, oregano and salt, and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.


Pour tomato sauce and 1 cup water over spice mixture, stir well and simmer 2 minutes to blend spices into sauce. Stir to mix onions and pepper with sauce, cover and simmer about 5 minutes.


Add chicken to sauce and stir to coat. Add pasta and toss to combine. Reduce heat to low, sprinkle on the cheese and cover for 1 minute. Remove from heat.


Save some plain noodles for your ridiculously picky son.


Serve with more cheese and sour cream if desired.

I always make my chicken in the crock pot. Put it in with a little bit of chicken broth, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook on high for an afternoon or low all day. It will fall apart for you when you go to shred it in the evening. And if you use a slow cooker liner, you don’t even have to wash the pot. I KNOW. SO MUCH MORE EYELINER TIME.

For the Love of Overpriced Makeup.

Yes, we’re still homeschooling. Yes I have all sorts of stories about that and tips and tricks and blah blah blah. But it’s only two days in and I haven’t hit my stride yet so I’m going to save that for a post next week. I know. You’re super sad.

(And it’s not that I haven’t hit my stride, really. I’m kicking ass at this year. Lunches made, bag packed and ready the night before, all our subjects completed on time even with appointments both of the last two days. I’ve even done a lot of contemplative reading and said a rosary. I AM MOTHER HEAR ME ROAR. However, inevitably, I will crash and burn over the next few days and then even out to my usual lackluster self where no, technically the children aren’t starving and yeah they’re being educated as much or more as public school but I’m always like juuuust a little bit behind on…life.

That’s where I’m comfortable.)

So! Makeup! You guys know I’m all about the makeup, and it has recently replaced Gwynnie Bee as the largest expenditure/thing to bicker about in our marriage. I know, progress right???? Since I first tried my first lipstick when I was 14 (thanks, MC!) I have been in love with all things cosmetic. It was huge part of my teen years and really, I only stopped caring about it when I met Buzz and had kids and stopped caring about all sorts of things like showering regularly and whether or not I had worn pants with a zipperi n the last month.

But slowly I started reclaiming that part of me. I feel like I’m getting most of my interests back now that my kids don’t need me every single second, and I’m not concerned with a new marriage or relationship or moving or whatever. I’m just me. And that’s awesome.

Also I started getting wrinkles and as soon as someone looked at me in shock and said “You’re 26???” I was like um yeah hang on lemme get to the eye cream.

(Also, eye cream guys. Any suggestions? I haven’t found one I’m in love with.)

So! I  recently purchased this awesome Laura Geller set from QVC because it was ridiculously cheap (Really. Ridiculous.) And guys. I am so in love.

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It’s the For the Love of Chocolate collection, and while it’s not available at the crazy price I was able to procure, it’s still not horrible for what it includes.

I have never tried Laura Geller before, and, like I said GUYS I AM IN LOVE. I love Laura Geller. I want to be her bff and maybe lover. If she’ll give me free baked blush. Because that shiz is expensive when it’s not in the set and mama wants ALL THE COLORS.

First of all the packaging on this set is amazing. It’s like a literal box of chocolates and it made me hungry as soon as it came in the mail. All of the names of the things are chocolate-related too, which might be why I’m craving chocolate cake for breakfast after getting ready with this.

(Hahahaha. No. I just always want chocolate cake for breakfast.)

(Doesn’t everyone?)

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It includes a full sized Balance-and-Brighten foundation, a full size baked blush in Cherry Truffle, an eyeshadow palette with six shades in Mocha (now I want one of those too), lipstick in Chocolate Raspberry, lipgloss in Cafe au Lait, and TWO BRUSHES. WHUT. YES. BRUSHES. One of them is retractable and that would be super cool if I could ever remember to put it in my purse. Or if I ever went anywhere.

All of these shades are delightful. I was worried they would be too dark, because I am suuuper fair. (My husband jokes that my foundation shade is Corpse. Or 20# white. He’s hilarious.) But they’re not- they’re perfect for fall.

I’ve used this set pretty much exclusively for a week or so now and yeah, there are like a thousand different ways. The eyeshadow palette is super versatile.

I’ve done a bunch of different looks with it, usually some combination of the two middle shades in my crease, a liner shade either on the outer corner or v, and highlights in inner corner or entire lid. My eyes are super hooded so those all looks good and the matte shades look amazing. I’m pretty sure I did a smokey eye once too with this but I didn’t photograph it.

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Like most high end makeup, it holds up really well. I use an eyeshadow primer, but it’s still on at the end of the day. There’s fallout, like you can see in the picture, but they apply really nicely to the eyelid and I didn’t notice any on my face.

The balance-and-brighten is technically a foundation, and I think if you’re looking for super sheer coverage or not used to wearing makeup at all, then that would be fine. I like a more full coverage foundation, so I put it over whatever liquid I’m wearing that day. I haven’t noticed a problem with it being overly powdery, but I tend to use the MAC Fix+ spray most days anyway, and that kind of melts everything together nicely. So use a finishing spray if your skin is super dry or you’re worried about cakey makeup.

The blush is also amazing. I was really worried about the blush- that it would be too dark for me. But it’s perfect for fall. It’s dark enough that sometimes I wear it lower and use it kind of like a contour, but if I use a really light touch, I can use it on the apples of my cheeks.

This is one of my favorite looks I did with the whole collection.

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(Car selfie!)

(Only time I’m in natural light without chasing a kid!)

(I promise I wasn’t driving at the time.)

I used the balanced- and-brighten over my Smashbox foundation and concealer here. I just used it like a setting powder or all-over-face color. I really like the way it’s kind of glowy, but not like all-over highlighter. I was going to a meeting, so I used the blush a little bit lower as a contour, and I’m not sure what I did with the eyes but I know it was using this palette and I’m in love with it. Finally I used the lipstick and IT IS PERFECT FOR FALL.

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SERIOUSLY. This color is dark enough that I feel like it’s a funky autumn color but not so dark on my pasty skin that people are like, “Whoa. Did Kathleen get back into Evansecence?”

I also used a liquid highlighter applied with a beauty blender but I really hate that part of the look and have to realize that liquid highlighters (even nice ones- I think this one is Becca in Pearl) make me look sweaty.

I’ve also done a more casual look- this was just for daytime, but I used the balanced and brighten over a BB cream- again, love me some coverage- with a more neutral eye, the blush on my cheeks with a suuuper light hand (I used the Bare Minerals all over face glow brush but like teensy amount of product on it), and the lipgloss. This lipgloss is amazing too. It’s more pink than the tube suggests, and it’s also really pretty layer over the lipstick but I didn’t take any selfies of that. I know. I’m sorry.

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ANGRY SELFIE.

I’m also having super fun mixing it with other palettes/brands in my collection. Here I used the foundation and blush with a contour because I was going out and honestly I just look really pretty in this picture so I’m gonna leave it right here.

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(That eye look I’m totally in love with too but that’s not this palette- it’s the Tartlette palette which is also my new child.)

So anyway, this entire collection is easily the best $24.99 I’ve spent in a long time. (I KNOW!)

However. I may have to factor in the expenditures of BUYING ALL THE OTHER LAURA GELLER THINGS. Because seriously? If you’d like to get into my heart now? BUY ME SOMETHING BAKED AND LET ME PUT IT ON MY SKIN.

First Grade

Dear Squeaks,

Today is your first day of first grade. I remember being in first grade, and this is completely mind bending to me that I now have a DAUGHTER that will probably REMEMBER THIS TIME IN HER LIFE and maybe I should screw up a little bit less. Maybe.

But nope, it’s true. You are starting elementary school. You’re old enough that we have to register as a school with the state because you’re old enough that you’re required to be in school. That is also a little mind-bending, and the libertarian part of me is like okay guys, time to live off the grid. Shutter the windows and cancel your credit cards. We don’t need no government.

(Then I remember how much I love getting makeup in the mail and I’m like will ipsy still be able to find me on the compound? Probably not. Better stay in civilization.)

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You are bright and funny and even on the days when your little personality and my personality end up not gelling too much with each other, I can honestly say that you are my favorite kid in the world and I am so glad I get to be your mother.

You can read and add and think you can swim. You can really do anything you set your mind to. You don’t like joining teams or taking lessons because people want to tell you what to do and you really don’t like that. Which I get. Mommy was never much of a joiner either. That’s okay. You’ll be fine and someday you’ll meet a nice widower and your mother will be like, “I don’t know what happened, she never liked spending time with people before!”

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I am so honored and excited to be your teacher, sweetie. I can’t wait to see what you learn- what we learn together- this year.

I love you more,

Mommy

First Day of First Grade Questions:

I write my name like:

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I am 47 inches tall and 51 lbs.

My best friend is: Joey. (Oh!)

My favorite thing to play is: I don’t know. Wait. Tag.

My favorite color is: PURPLE!

My favorite book is: my Frozen book series.

My favorite TV show is: DEFINITELY My Little Pony

My favorite food is: oriental chicken (just like they recorded on the adoption record lol)

When I grow up , I want to be: a mommy.

Something I love: my little brother

Something I don’t like: broccoli.

Something I like about myself: That I have the longest hair in the family.

Something I want to do this year: have a pool party before the first day of fall.

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Recipe Weekends: Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Oh man, guys. I totally planned on making dinner and other random crap this week and taking pictures and doing like a real recipe or whatever and then I didn’t really do that because it was hot and then it was cold and so I didn’t feel like doing anything and then I felt like doing all the things except cooking and…anyway.

So here’s something I was planning on posting later, but already had pictures of on my phone.

Last Friday I was heading to a picnic and turned to my go-to dessert that looks super impressive and isn’t. (That’s my main criteria for all the things- I want to look impressive. But I also really like sleeping when the baby sleeps.

(The baby? Is three.)

(Still counts.)

Now, full disclosure. This particular time did not exactly turn out the way they have every single time I’ve made them. They were still good but not the finger food, picnic accessible way they usually are. I know what happened, so I’ll make sure it make note of it in the recipe.

Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Crust:

3/4 cup cold butter, cut into chunks.

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

Lemon Filling:

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 T flour

1 T lemon zest

1/2 cup lemon juice

Cheesecake Filling:

16 oz cream cheese

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

Sour Cream Layer:

16 oz sour cream

1 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you’re planning on serving them as bars, line the pan with parchment paper. If you want to serve it in the pan, just spray with cooking spray.

In a bowl, mix together dry crust ingredients, and cut in cold butter. When it’s the consistancy of crumbs, press into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until light brown.

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This is where I screwed up. I was rushing to leave the house and took it out too soon. I figured it would be okay since you bake the rest of it. Well, turns out if you rush that part, then the lemon filling soaks into the crust and you get a mess. A tasty mess, but a mess.

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See that? That should be darker.

Mix together all of the lemon filling ingredients. Pour into the pan on top of the baked crust, and skim off any bubbles.

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Finally, mix together cream cheese and sugar for the cheesecake. When it’s creamy, add in the eggs and beat until smooth.

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Smooth over the lemon filling. This is such a weird chemistry thing, but it does separate perfectly during baking.

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Bake for 45-60 minutes, until filling is set and beginning to crack.

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Mix together sour cream topping and spread over the top. Return to oven and bake for 10-15 more minutes until the topping is set.

Let cool completely before cutting and serving.

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