Archive for September, 2015

Friday Fun – product review

I’ve never done a product review on the blog, but today called for having a little fun, so this is my idea of nap-time fun.

I got an email this morning from Sephora that I had some free samples (with purchase) waiting for me. It was a no brainer to go find a little something to purchase so that I could get half a dozen make-up/skin care samples.

I am not much for make-up, I wear it maybe once a week, so when I have the opportunity to try things for free…it’s exciting! I don’t mind splurging on a product that will last for a long time and make-up is certainly something I can stretch the use out of since I wear it so infrequently.

What I’m looking for in make-up might be different than what you’re looking for, so take that into consideration, but here were my key things I wanted to assess: true-to-color (where applicable), feel (light/heavy, noticeable/barely there, etc), look (natural or do I look like a clown?), versatility (is it worth while for me to invest or would I only wear this if I’m super glammed up?). I’ll just list them as they make sense with the product.

Not everything I’m reviewing came in my sample bag, I used some samples I already had or previous purchases I’ve already made:

1. Karuna Anti-Oxidant+ Face Mask

I started out with a face mask, of which I think the last time I tried a face mask was probably middle school at a “spa party”, lol.

Feel: what is this heaven on my face? Ok, so it’s a serum covered cloth that stays on your face for 10-20 minutes and then you massage in the remaining residue (if any hasn’t been absorbed).

It felt light weight and smelled amazing. I was nervous I couldn’t tolerate 10-20 minutes of something like a serum on my face but it didn’t offer any overwhelming sensation so it was easy to relax and just wait the time out.

Look: I wish I would have taken a before picture, my “pre-make-up face” is post-face mask, so you can be the judge of whether I’m glowing. 🙂 But my pre-face mask face was more red and tired looking, so this product was a win for me.

The cost in full if I were to purchase: $8.00 (for one mask), I would see this being a every couple months product, it would be great to use after a beach trip or ski trip, when your face is outside a lot more and may feel like it needs a refresher.

Purchase here: http://www.sephora.com/anti-oxidant-face-mask-P386017?skuId=1609841&icid2=karuna_collection_carousel_brand:karuna_p386017_image

2. Smashbox Iconic Photo Finish Primer

Feel: When I first squeezed some of this out I thought I was going to hate it, in my hands it felt oily but then after I applied it to my face it absorbed well and my skin didn’t feel any different to the touch, maybe a bit drier than normal.

Look: It’s supposed to reduce fine lines, pores, and even out your skin tone. I immediately could see a brightness to my skin and less visible lines, so I think it delivered on what it was supposed to. The result of wearing the product only enhance when you add foundation, blush, etc on top. I could tell a significant difference in the way my make-up looked with the primer than my typical without primer face.

Versatility: It’s a pre-make-up product, so on days where I’m going bare faced, which is most days, I wouldn’t use it. Even though that is the case for me, I could see how this is a must have product for anyone who wears make-up on a regular basis.

Purchase here: http://www.sephora.com/photo-finish-foundation-primer-P9889

3. Kat Von D Lock-it Tattoo Foundation (my color was Light 49)

True-to-color: Yes. I’ve never splurged on foundation, and so what I’m used to is about $6.00 from Target, I think I will never go back. The color match was exactly what I was looking for, and went evenly all over my face.

Feel: It is lightweight, which is what I prefer. I like natural and not noticeable.

Look: I always feel a tiny bit weird with foundation on, but you can see in the before and after photos below that I still maintain my true-to-self look, I don’t feel as if I look like a clown. It has my approval.

Versatility: It’s heavily pigmented so a little goes a long way, I could get good use out of this product. I’m pretty sure I’m gonna go buy it as soon as I publish this post.

Purchase here: http://www.sephora.com/lock-it-tattoo-foundation-P311138

4. Sephora MicroSmooth Baked Sculpting Contour Trio (my color: sublime)

True-to-color: Yes

Feel: Well, there had to be one product I wasn’t crazy about. This trio I loved the colors – especially the highlighting color – but it was very flaky, falling apart. I decided to slightly wet my application brush to keep the product going on my face instead of falling over my clothes/floor. Pretty disappointing.

Look: Loved the way it looked once I was able to get it to stay on my face. The right amount of color without looking like an Oompa Loompa. 😉 I stay the same complexion most of the year, I add freckles and minor color in the summer, so it’s nice that the bronzing part of this trio isn’t too dark.

Versatility: If it was a more pressed consistency and less loose then I’d purchase, because it can be lightly or heavily applied depending on your needs. It layers on, which is appreciated for everyday wear or glamming it up for a special occasion.

Purchase here: http://www.sephora.com/microsmooth-baked-sculpting-contour-trio-P378685

5.  Urban Decay Eye Shadow – Naked Pallette

*I feel like you just need to take my word and not even read the review and know that this is the only eye shadow you could ever need*

True-to-color: As long as you’re familiar with pigmented eye shadows, yes. You might be dissatisfied if you think you would need as much as drug store eyeshadow.

Feel: For some reason I notice wearing a more shimmery tone than a more neutral tone, but that might just be me. It doesn’t bother me though. I own this palette already so I’m familiar with the way it wears.

Look: I used a combo of Naked, Buick, and Sidecar to achieve a natrual look with just a touch of highlight shimmer. My favorite for going all out is Dark Horse or Gun Metal. They are pretty pigmented so a little goes a long way. Know this or you will look like Heath Ledger as the Joker.

Versatility: There is a range of neutral, shimmer, glitter, warm and cool tones so you could wear combos of these for a day at a soccer game or a night on the town.

Purchase here (do it!!): http://www.sephora.com/naked-palette-P267200?skuId=1324532

6. NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil (my color- Bahama)

True-to-color: Yes, you can build on the boldness, the color amplifies the more you apply.

Feel: I love that this lip pencil doesn’t leave your lips feeling cakey, they still feel smooth and not like you have an overwhelming amount of product on.

Look: It’s a pinkish brown, enough to look colored but not so much that you couldn’t wear it to a simple grocery store trip and get weird looks.

Versatility: I like this color, but I also have Dragon Girl – which is like… spice up your life color. If you have a holiday party to go to or night time wedding, get you some Dragon Girl and Taylor Swift yourself up.

Purchase here: http://www.sephora.com/velvet-matte-lip-pencil-P78834?skuId=792531

7. Make Up Forever HD Microfinish Powder

Feel: Up until this point I didn’t feel like I had make-up on with everything that I had on already, this gave it that slight “oh, you’re wearing make-up” feel, but it wasn’t enough to make me turned off from the product.

Look: I could tell a difference in photos once I put this “setting” powder on, it took a little bit of the color off my face but even as I’m writing this hours later (nap time was a long time ago!) my make-up still looks the exact same, so it’s purpose is proven true, it has staying power to keep your look set.

Versatility: I would only use it if I was wearing extended make-up, maybe to a weddding or day out where I’d be gone all day.

Purchase here: http://www.sephora.com/hd-microfinish-powder-P210400?skuId=1510247

Now for the before and after…

Photo 1 is my clean, no product face (well, it’s post face mask)

Photo 2 is my made-up face.

Photo 3 is what I’d actually look like heading out of the house, I think hair and amplified lip color add to understanding the full scope of the look.

Photo 4 is an outside look at what the make-up looks like in daylight, because the bathroom was pretty dark.

All photos taken with flash and not enhanced so as to show what it photographs like with a basic iPhone.

This was fun for me, hope you enjoyed! What are your favorite face products? I’d love to know!


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Thoughts on being vulnerable

I had a friend write me a letter for my birthday. Letters are one of my favorite things, so that was a treat to read. Her notes are always from the heart and make you feel valued, I sent her a selfie of my cry-face after I read it. (p.s. If you can’t send your friend’s pics like that then reevaluate your friendships. #sorrynotsorry)

I’ve read it a few times though, not really just because she said some nice things but because a particular line stays with me each time after I put the piece of paper down.

One specific thing she said was that she appreciated my willingness to be vulnerable, because whether (I) know it or not it frees up other people to be vulnerable as well.

I’ve really never considered that and so it’s left me thinking about vulnerability.

I don’t, myself, really consider it something I’m ‘willing’ to do, but instead something I can’t avoid doing.

Maybe it is the introvert in me.

People often think of introverts as shy, and that is sort of true, but it’s not so much we aren’t willing to talk, it’s just we can’t really do surface conversation. This is probably why when you people talk to me in person you’re like “dang she has so much more depth online, why is she barely making eye contact” and then I get a “hey I hope you’re okay, you seem quiet” message, well it’s because I can’t really talk about shopping or tv shows or general small talk. I mean I try, but it generally makes me exhausted to carry on small talk, so I’d rather be silent or talk about the deep heart matters of life. There isn’t much inbetween. So, that translates pretty often into me being vulnerable about things other people find uncomfortable to talk about. And it’s not really that I’m more comfortable talking about ‘the unsaid things’ either, but the way I function doesn’t give me much of a choice.

That’s sort of where this blog was birthed, the “take it er (because ‘or’ was taken at the time) leave it”, I feel so compelled to word spill out of my heart sometimes, so I just put things out there and you can take them or leave them, they’ll be there either way. And the more I’ve done that over the years through writing, the less I’ve cared about what someone may think about what I think or say because I’ve come to terms with my own thoughts and convictions. I don’t write for anyone to tell me they enjoyed it or whatever, I write because I feel compelled to, as if I really can’t help it sometimes, it’s a conviction of sorts almost – these words feel like they need to be said so I’m going to say them, no matter the response or lack of response.

I think that’s an important key to vulnerability, not a fake vulnerability in offering up something that you think will make someone else feel better, but offering up something because you would feel dishonest to yourself if you didn’t get the words out.

Like telling someone you love them when they might not say it back, or calling a friend who has lost a loved one when you know you can’t do anything about it, or asking for help or accountability in an area you struggle…these are all places we can find ourselves vulnerable which could open us up to leaving the conversation feeling shameful if the love isn’t returned, the condolences are awkward, or the admission to a problem is embarrassing.

There’s a risk in that I know, one that I’ve been hurt by and one that I’ve grown by and one that I’ve felt sustained by. All of that though comes back to this unavoidable vulnerability. I’m not really sure I can fairly assess my own vulnerability because I already know my quirks and truths so I can’t rightly understand the impact those things may have on someone else because I’m too familiar with my baggage, but I want to unpack general vulnerability from others a bit because I think my friend is on to something.

One of my favorite quotes that I’ve shared a few times is from C.S. Lewis from the book The Four Loves:

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

Every time I read it I get fixated on a few areas, but the last sentence resonates the most with me I think.

To love is to be vulnerable.

We often times think of love as something that’s reciprocated, but the purest form of love is loving even if love isn’t returned.

Because we’re so prone to needing reciprocating feelings from others, and acceptance, I think we’re in the habit of faking vulnerability.

We share things that appear vulnerable, but it’s really just a smoke screen, we “open ourselves up” about things that aren’t hard for us to talk about, but say them with sincerity and think that’s truly being vulnerable.

The thing about genuine vulnerability though is that it’s uncomfortable. It leaves you open to be hurt or left or feeling dumb.

Being vulnerable exposes heartache and feeling alone and insecurities, and it’s uncomfortable to admit those things sometimes because we all want to have our lives tied together with a bow, but without those admissions we wouldn’t find the benefit of being vulnerable which is that it breathes life into finding joy in the middle of sorrow and being understood by someone else who feels just as misunderstood and rising above those insecurities.

We are a people who want to be known but you can’t be known, if you don’t let yourself be seen and heard. You can sure put forth an image of who you want to be known as, but you’ll still come up short at the end of the day if you’re only presenting a fake version of yourself. To be truly known is to reveal yourself without the protection of pretense.

The foundation for cultivating a relationship is vulnerability. It is what everything else builds on. It’s why so many counselors and therapists will say that communication in a relationship is key, and what is communication at its core other than being vocally vulnerable about who you are and how things affect you and what makes you tick and why you feel a certain way about things.

But it’s difficult to do that in relationships because we want the guarantee of someone understanding us and loving us back if we love them, or accepting us if we accept them. But there aren’t guarantees on Earth. The only earthly person we have any control over embracing who we are is our own selves. So how do we find the confidence to find value in ourselves so that we may be valuable to others?

Psalm 139 speaks about a creator who knows us, not just the version we present of ourselves, but knows us so fully that He discerns our thoughts, and is acquainted with our ways, and has never had our frame hidden from Him. That speaks to each part of us: the thoughts of our minds, the actions of our ways, and the physicality of our bodies – God knows all of these things, and loves us still. And by accepting and loving ourselves because of the value God places on us, there’s a motivation to see relationships less about how someone can invest in our earthly desire to be loved and accepted and instead we see opportunities to invest in loving and accepting someone else. That is the essence of loving as Christ loved us, to love without anything needing to be returned. I think if we can give ourselves over to being vulnerable then we free ourselves up to be selfless in loving others, because we’ve come to terms with giving what we have to offer, knowing we might not get it back in return from any earthly being, but that we have love from Love himself – what is more moving than that?

Still more to think on this but that’s where I’m at right now.

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1st to 3rd, what changed?

Being pregnant with your 3rd is a smidge different than your 1st (for me, at least). I just wanted to catalog some thoughts I’ve had in these different pregnancies for my own amusement and memory. Enjoy (or secretly make fun)!



1st pregnancy – woah, this is so weird, you have a human in you. you should probably be so stressed every time you breathe near caffeine or possibly have a warmer than normal shower or maybe you should freak out if you go over a speed bump too fast.

3rd pregnancy – *while chugging a coke* man so glad God is in control and all I can do is basically my best and maybe i’ll let myself indulge here and there and maybe even eat goat cheese even though it’s a soft cheese and that’s the worst thing you could ever give your body because you may in some minuscule percentage get sick but hey remember how anything could technically make you sick so who cares go ahead and eat that goat cheese

Morning Sickness:

1st pregnancy – try all the rememdies! google endlessly for help.

3rd pregnancy – guess i’ll be better after i deliver the baby, if i’m still puking then though then maybe i’ve just had the flu for 9 months while also being pregs. oh well.


Due Date:

1st pregnancy – woah this date is probably SO exact, like, better not plan anything for JUNE 15 because I am TOTALLY having a baby that day

3rd pregnancy – wait, when am I due? November 8?? Ok add 2 weeks to that, should have a baby by at least then.

Dr Visit’s:

1st pregnancy – where did i put my notepad of questions?! why does it take 30 min to get called back to be seen?!?

3rd pregnancy – sweet maybe they will take a little bit of time since the kids are home with my mom, let me find a magazine. *doctor enters*

dr: any questions?

me: nah maybe we can just Skype next time?????


1st pregnancy: totally need this entire travel system (actually you do, i stand by this), seventeen different kinds of bottles and paci’s, i better not forget to register for a wipe warmer

3rd pregnancy: diapers. wipes. ps no wipe warmer, don’t let your baby get used to warm wipes because then at target in the bathroom when you have to change them on the changing table they will hate you because you have regular temperature wipes. probably good to have some baby clothes, too.

Maternity clothes:

1st pregnancy: hope i can find some super cute maternity clothes!!

3rd pregnancy: yoga pants. bye.


1st pregnancy: should totally blog this whole experience.

3rd pregnancy: no one cares, lol just journal it or something….


1st pregnancy: woah we are 10 weeks away from baby, must. have. everything. ready. soooo glad this crib is put together! love this paint color! glad i got my matching window valence for your bedding!!

3rd pregnancy: lol sorry your room is purple and you’re a boy, you have an older sister who slept in here first. also jk you’re prob sleeping in my room for the next 3 months so don’t even mind the clothes on your “room” floor, they’ll find a drawer sometime. i have a clean crib sheet for you though.


1st pregnancy: i should probably ask for the epidural like as soon as i find out i’m pregnant. lol that will be so embarrassing how up in my business all the dr.’s and nurses are. i should totally google all worse case scenarios so i am prepared.

3rd pregnancy: lol good luck. just make sure you know who is gonna bring you take out after you deliver a human, next to baby bonding… you’re really just gonna wanna eat.


1st pregnancy: what this is terrifying why am i being entrusted to care for a HUMAN, idk what i’m doing??????!

3rd pregnancy: man so glad you’re a newborn because you can’t bulldoze things like your big brother and you might cry but you can’t talk so i don’t have to formulate 357 answers to random questions like i do for your big sis. stages are good, let’s savor this one before you get all big and adult and talking and bulldozing on me.


1st pregnancy: prob will be have this baby sleeping through the night at like 6-8 weeks because that’s normal.

3rd pregnancy: one day you’ll be in college and i’m sure you’ll sleep then? anyways, netflix binge time if you’re gonna be a night owl!! guess i’ll plan to re-watch the entire series of Parenthood!!



Each pregnancy is special in its own way, and maybe a lot of first time moms weren’t as crazy as me and maybe a lot of 3rd time moms aren’t as care free as me. To each their own, but I love looking back and seeing how I’ve changed as a result of these little humans in my life. Love them, so! Looking forward to this next little one who will be here oh so soon [ give or take 😉 ]!

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