September’s Birchbox


  • RUFFIAN Nail Lacquer – The NYC-based fashion label RUFFIAN to launch their first nail lacquer collection and they hit it out of the park. I received “Fox Hunt”- a gorgeous metallic orange – that looks like it would be fabulous for fall. I can see it really popping against navy, brown, and gray in your wardrobe. I’ll be bringing it in for my next mani/pedi.
  • Davines This Is a Sea Salt Spray – The sea salt formula adds texture and body to locks while leaving a matte finish. It smells divine – exactly like a day at the beach- in addition to keeping hair healthy and hydrated throughout the day.  I really like that this spray is paraben-free and has no added colorings.
  • Airelle™ BERRIMATRIX™Intense Repair Complex with Copper & Vitamin E – This serum’s formula is packed with naturally derived antioxidants and botanicals that restore dry, rough skin and keep it protected from environmental aggressors.
  • Racinne Ultimate Youth Power Eye Serum – This serum contains a powerful cocktail of ingredients to help rouse tired skin, minimize the appearance of dark circles and fine lines, and firm contours.
  • BCBGMAXAZRIA Bon Genre – This floral scent is much better than the last ones I received. Feminine and floral, but not girly or hyper sweet. With opening notes of lychee and red berries, this scent is feminine also has middle notes of tiger lily and jasmine noir and ends with a swirl of Australian sandalwood and golden amber, giving it a sexy, smokey finish.

Anyone interested in getting their own box of fun make-up samples each month? If you’d like to sign up for a Birchbox please click here so I get credit for the referral. Thanks a bunch!

August’s BirchBox


  • Whish Coconut Milk Correcting Gel – This anti-aging gel targets wrinkles, uneveness, dryness, and sun damage. It has a light coconut scent going on and feels vaguely sticky at first, but absorbs into your skin quickly, with no scent or residue.
  • ModelCo Party Proof Lipstick – I really liked this lipstick! Its hydrating but not goopy and the semi-matte color goes on smoothly and stays. I received “Kitty” a perfect pinky nude that is similar to my natural lip color. I would use this during the day to give myself a bit more polish, but I could also layer it to give more color for a more finished look.
  • Whish Hair Inhibiting Deodorant Swipes – These small wipes are soaked with all natural ingredients to help you banish B.O. and slow down hair growth. I only received one wipe, so I can’t really say how the hair thing does, but as a deodorant, it did well for a day of chasing a toddler and running errands. I think that it would be a great product to bring to gym or keep in your purse or desk for an emergency refresher.
  • Violet Oasis 100% Organic Argan Oil – 100% pure, organic, and cold-pressed argan oil is supposed to be the latest wonder product: soothing dry skin, softening fine lines, and adding shine to your lovely locks. I used my sample as a body moisturizer and it definitely left my skin silky soft for the entire day.
  • Miss Jessie’s Original Super Sweetback Treatment – Okay, I couldn’t even get past tearing open the packet to try this stuff, the smell was AWFUL. And by awful, I mean overwhelming like syrupy, making your eye teeth quiver, sweet. There is no way I could possibly handle putting this stuff on my head and letting it sit for 30 minutes! Miss Jessie, please fire your scentologist.
  • Miss Jessie’s Original Rapid Recovery Treatment – good lord, I really don’t like this brand. See above.

Anyone interested in getting their own box of fun make-up samples each month? If you’d like to sign up for a Birchbox please click here so I get credit for the referral. Thanks a bunch!

Something to call my own (pt. 2)

Okay, so what is up with this Stella & Dot thing and exactly what did I decide to do?
Well, first, here’s a little back story:

Stella and Dot, an Inc. 500 Fastest-Growing Company, is a San Francisco based social selling company that creates flexible entrepreneurial opportunities for women. Our boutique-style jewelry and accessories line is available exclusively through in-home Trunk Shows by Independent Stylists and online. Our one of a kind collections are designed by celebrated New York designers and featured in Gossip Girl, In Style and Lucky Magazine as well as on the wrists and necklines of today’s hottest celebrities. The Today Show, Wall Street Journal and The New York Times have praised Stella & Dot for our innovative social shopping concept which brings together the best of ecommerce, social media, personal service and passionate earning to create the ultimate home based business for today’s modern woman.

I’ve decided to join the ranks and become and independent stylist for Stella & Dot. This means that I will be selling their gorgeous jewelry and accessories lines via personal trunk shows and my own online boutique. I am going to spare you the sales pitch here, but I will say that I wouldn’t even consider this if I didn’t LOVE the product and think that it is amazing. Anyone that wants to hear more or is interested in hosting a trunk show (-FREE JEWELRY, PEOPLE! -) let me know and I’ll be happy to give you all the details! (Check out my my e-boutique here.)

I decided to do this because I feel it is something that has the flexibility I need to still be at home with Joseph and care for my family, while allowing me to have that something to challenge and motivate me, have fun and meet people, and have something to be passionate about. Not to mention to once again contribute financially to our family.

I am really scared and nervous about starting this journey and I am hoping and praying that I don’t fall on my face. But no matter what, I am going to be proud of myself that I am taking a chance and seeing what I am capable of.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Something to call my own (pt. 1)

I’ve been really yearning for a change for a while now. At first, I really didn’t know what type of change I wanted. I just felt like I needed “something” in my life. Hard to explain. I slowly came to realize that what I was missing was something to call my own. My own in a way that was separate from Joseph and Shawn and being a stay at home mom and caring for our home and family. Something challenging and exciting and all for me. I had this before when I was running my Etsy shop, selling my hand-knitted items. I ended up shutting it down shortly after Joseph was born because I just couldn’t keep up with production, taking photos, shipping orders, etc. while caring for a newborn. Something I would love to get back to someday. . . maybe when he goes off to college. Ha!

Anyways, I thought long and hard about it and decided that I wanted to look into getting some sort of job. But, then I decided not to get one. Why? Because I LOVE staying home with Joseph and I wanted to continue that. Not to mention it wouldn’t be worth it financially to have him go to a sitter or in daycare. I also didn’t want to have to compromise time I spent with my family, meaning giving up evenings and weekends so I could work when Shawn was home. Plus, I’m spoiled. I don’t want to have to work around someone else’s schedule and give up our ability to go on vacations and visit friends and family because I have to work. So I gave up and decided to look for other ways to have something for just me.

I tried diving into my studio. Sewing, knitting, painting, and other crafts. All of them were, and are, important to me and give me the ability to express myself and find joy in creating, but it wasn’t quite what I needed. This is a solitary pursuit. I found myself craving more interaction and getting OUT OF THE HOUSE. For those of you who aren’t stay at home moms, I’m not sure I can fully explain this to you. I craved adult interaction. Someone to talk to that can speak complete sentences and doesn’t rely on you for their every basic need. I found myself making unneeded trips to Target just so I could walk around and see other adults. I’d strike up conversation with complete strangers, just to hear someone’s voice other than my own. All the cashiers know Joe by name!

So I thought some more about finding something of my own. Something that would get me out of the house. Something that would challenge me and would be fun and would motivate me.

Then along came my amazing friend Dawn. Dawn is a dynamo. She is a stay at home mom with two wonderful kids that she takes everywhere, does everything for and makes me exhausted just thinking about what she does in a day. She has been my friend since our early days at Ohio State and have been through more together than I care to relate. I love her like a sister. She attempted to force me suggested that I join her in becoming a Stylist forStella & Dot. (I’ll explain more about this and the company shortly.) I had a jewelry party with her back in May and absolutely fell in love with the product, but I was rather skeptical. However, I kept coming back to the idea whenever I talked to her and thoughts like “well, maybe I could do that” or “that might be fun” or “could this be the something I’m looking for?” kept popping into my head.

I thought about it more. Being me, I made lists, I researched, I reached out to people like Shawn’s former boss who is also a Stylist to get there opinion. I talked with Shawn about it. I talked to myself about it. I basically obsessed over the decision. Can I do this? What am I thinking? I’m scared, nervous, afraid, excited, motivated. . . .

I’ve decided to go for it.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Outfitted: Hot Summer Nights

Hot Summer Nights
Now that we’re into the heat of summer, I’m dreaming of loose, floaty dresses and minimal jewelry that won’t weight me down. I think that all this outfit would be perfect for a hot summer night of dinner and cocktails al fresco. Don’t forget to tuck your shades into your clutch once the sun has gone down.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

July’s Birchbox


  • Benefit Girl Meets Pearl – Benefit knows how to do liquid highlighters well and this one is no exception. This goes on very sheer and gives your skin a soft, subtle glow. I think it would be great to use for evenings out or even during the day when you want to look “presentable” without wanting to bother with a ton of make-up.
  • BENTA BERRY G-1 Moisturizing Face Cream – This French import is labeled as a unisex moisturizer, meaning that it goes on matte (most guys don’t want any shiny faces -but most gals don’t either) and has a fairly gender neutral scent. The creamy formula goes on smoothly and it feels very light and non-greasy. I do wish that it had some SPF in it as well, maybe the French don’t care about UV rays and sun damage?
  • Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect – I rarely use anything more that a comb to style my hair in the summer, but come fall I’m sure to haul out the hairdryer and straightener again. Give me a few weeks at it and my hair will be calling for some of this leave-in conditioner. The spray is supposed to protect from heat damage as well as providing a UV shield and color protection. I think I’ll stick this in the drawer to pull out when my hair needs some TLC.
  • 100% Pure Nourishing Body Cream – This all natural body lotion is packed full of nourishing cocoa and avocado butters as well as softening fruit oils, making it super hydrating but without that greasy, oily feel you get from some moisturizers. I really liked how this went on and lasted all day. My only complaint was that the coconut scent I received smelled more like coconut macaroons – a little too sweet for me- and it was REALLY strong smelling -lasting all day. It actually made me hungry! Something I don’t really look for in a body lotion.
  • Bonus Freebie: Birchbox Bobby Pins – I really like how these are made out of snag-free enamel and a have a slight upward bend at the tip -instead of the bumpiness of regular pins – it really helps them slide easily over strands and stay put. The cute geometric print makes the a bit of a fashion statement on top of a soldier in my war against unruly hair.

Anyone interested in getting their own box of fun make-up samples each month? If you’d like to sign up for a Birchbox please click here so I get credit for the referral. Thanks a bunch!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

June’s Birchbox


  • Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser – This all natural cleanser exfoliates using nonabrasive sugar and the lemony scent is divine. Definitely not something to use everyday, but it was really refreshing after a long, hot day at the pool. It helped get all the sunscreen and gunk off and left me feeling squeaky clean.
  • Color Club® Wanderlust Collection – I’ve received several different colors of this nail polish in past boxes, but this bright, fiery coral  named “Reign in Spain” might be my favorite. Perfect for summer.
  • DevaCurl 3-Step System – This set included a creamy ;anther-free cleanser, a hydrating conditioner, and a lightweight curl defining gel. It left me with some nice curl that lasted all evening and didn’t frizz up at all. Not a daily thing for me, but would use it again for a night out.
  • Eyeko Skinny Liquid EyelinerThis sample was missing from my box! I emailed Birchbox’s customer service and they were very apologetic and quick to send out the missing sample to me. I am awaiting its arrival and will report back once I get to test it out. UPDATE: I received the sample shortly after posting and I must say that it was worth the wait! The brush was easy to use, the color was saturated, and it lasted all evening!
  • Bonus Freebie:  Tweezerman Filemate – This bonus sample came packaged as a little matchbox filled with teensy travel-sized file emery board. So cute! They worked great and were thick enough so they didn’t bend or crumple when in use, like many travel ones do.

Anyone interested in signing up for a Birchbox? Please click here so I get points for the referral. Thanks a bunch!

Outfitted: Family Beach Vacation

Family Beach Vacation

Packing up the family and heading to our beloved Hilton Head, SC. I wish that we could just throw all this into a tote and go, but it’s more like packing up a small army. Maybe we should call it a family beach invasion instead.

May’s Birchbox


  • Cargo Water Resistant Blush – I’ve used Cargo products in the past and I think they’re fantastic. The blush colors are flattering and go on effortlessly, so when I received this sample of their new water resistant blush, I was excited to see how it held up. This long-lasting formula is sweat-, heat-, and tear-proof. Plus, it’s packed with subtle light-diffusing minerals that give skin an effortless glow. I think that it will be a great addition to my summer make up routine.
  • COOLA Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face – I like that the eco-friendly formula is made with 70 percent certified organic ingredients and it protects from both UVA and UVB rays. It has a refreshing cucumber scent  instead of your normal “sunblock” smell and it’s ultra lightweight formula isn’t greasy or filmy. Sold!
  • Marvis Toothpaste –  Only the Italians can make brushing your teeth stylish. I received the invigorating peppermint flavor -there are many to choose from – and it leaves your mouth clean and refreshed without feeling like your teeth were sandblasted.
  • Miss Jessie’s Original Jelly Soft Curls – I received a similar product in a previous box. Still smells like fabric softener. The smell is so strong and off putting that I tossed the sample. Too bad, because I’ve heard it works great.
  • Bonus Freebie: Pilot Corporation of America Acroball PureWhite – My love for writing utensils knows no bounds, so when I saw this adorable pink and white gel pen, I probably got a bit more excited than a normal person should. It has bright neon pink ink!!  It writes like a dream, too. It will totally make my obsessive to-do list writing even more fun!


Anyone interested in signing up for a Birchbox? Please click here so I get points for the referral. Thanks a bunch!

Outfitted: Gym Bags

Gym Bags

Since I’ve re kindled my relationship with the gym, I’ve found that I’m in desperate need of a decent gym bag. I’ve been making do with my NorthFace backpack from college. Jamming my clothes, shoes, toiletries, and Josephs’s diaper stuff in there has it bursting at its zippers and me looking like I’m either ready to hike the Appalachian Trail or studying for finals.

I’ve been looking around for a new bag and here are my requirements: plenty of room for my stuff, some organizational pockets so my keys and earbuds don’t get lost, easy to carry while having my arms full of toddler, bottom mention being stylish enough that I don’t look like a bag lady. Maybe one of the above will fit the bill.