Confession: I’m not a beauty blogger and I’m not an expert in makeup. But you probably already knew that. What I am, though, is a soon-to-be 33 year old gal whose makeup routine seems to include more and more steps with each passing year. Yet, I feel like I have less time to spare with each passing year, too. Funny how that works. Gone are the days of slapping on some powder, blush, and lip gloss and walking out the door; this mama needs a little more work than that lately. Despite it all, I sometimes receive very sweet compliments on my skin, brows, makeup, etc. I consider myself a pretty low-maintenance girl so I thought I would share which cosmetics I use as part of my everyday 10 minute (or less) makeup routine; I’m no pro but it works for me. Side Note: I usually add steps/products for special events and photo shoots. Some of my picks may be considered a little pricey for some whereas some products are super cheap. So, it all balances out. Without further ado, here’s what’s in my makeup bag. 

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A few weeks shy of one year ago, I made the announcement that I would be leaving the full-time workforce to spend more time at home. A year ago I was terrified and excited all at the same time. My life as a full-time working mom was hectic, mostly due to my 3 hour (round trip) commute that was often coupled with 10-11 hour workdays; I didn’t see my family enough and we were all suffering. We made the decision that although being a SAHM was never my “calling” in life, it was best for me to be home for awhile – not to be a full-time blogger, but just to be there. My last day in the office was 3/30/17. It’s been 8 months and I can honestly say that there are things I like about being at home and things I don’t, just like there are things I like about being at work and things I don’t.

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It’s after midnight. I should really go to bed but I just spent the past hour reading the blog of a mama who lost her 7 month old baby to SIDS earlier this year. As I read her words – words far more eloquent than anything I could have ever written – I felt her grief. I cried with her. I wished I could undo her tragic loss. Her story moved me. Broke me. Rattled me to the core. She is living my literal worst nightmare; no mom should ever have to experience such great loss. As I read, I considered sneaking into my youngest’s room to hold her while she slept. While I hope to never experience anything remotely close to what this sweet mom is walking through, I related to a few things she said as I reflected on my Sweet E’s experience.

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Ever since my now-five-year-old daughter was born, I always dreamed of celebrating her 5th birthday at Walt Disney World. I dreamed we would surprised her with the trip like you see on all those viral YouTube videos online, we would dine with the princesses, and she’d get pampered at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Well, I am so thrilled to say that my dream came true. This year, my oldest turned five. We had a small family birthday party at home like we’ve done in previous years and after my girls finished opening all their gifts (side note: my daughters are ages 5 and 3 and their birthdays are 2 days apart so we celebrate them together), we gave them the ultimate “We’re Going to Disney World” surprise gifts to open. After party clean-up that night, we donned our pajamas, jumped in the car, and headed to Florida! Today I’m finally sharing what was in their gifts and how we made the surprise memorable.

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So the other day while Todd and I were sitting in our living room, he asked what I wanted for Christmas and I was all, “I have no idea” which is so rare for me! I mean, there’s always, something we girls want, isn’t there? Well after lots of thought and web/social media surfing, I’ve compiled this list so that my loved ones can refer to it for ideas. I also hope to maybe inspire others’ Christmas lists and gift ideas as well! I’m actually surprised with myself in that aside from four items, everything on my “for me” list is beauty-related (hair and makeup). Can I just say, though, that the irony in making holiday wish lists (at least for me) is being excited about the gifts you receive but also being simultaneously low-key bummed about not getting everything on it (hint hint, Husband)?! I mean, I’ve been a good girl this year!

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Experience gifts have become all the rage lately and will be very popular this holiday season. My husband, for instance, is the perfect candidate for an experience gift. He doesn’t want or need any specific thing; he much prefers to go out and do something instead of have something. I know he’s not alone in that so today I’m sharing seven experience gift ideas that the adventurous guy or gal in your life might love!

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I’ve wanted to write this post for months but was inspired to do so today after sorting through my girls’ toys to make room for this year’s Christmas gifts. I clean out toys about twice a year but there are 10 that I can never seem to get rid of and today I want to share them with you. Everything on this list has lived in my home for at least one year and still remains a favorite. My girls play with them daily and never seem to get bored! As the holiday season approaches, I highly recommend these toys for the toddlers and/or preschoolers on your list!

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Last year, I published a post sharing the gifts I was getting my daughters for Christmas and it was a big hit, so this year I decided to do the same. My girls are 5 and 3 years old and are into all things girly; playing dress up is their jam. Like most kids their age, My Little Pony and PJ Masks are high on their current list of loves as are Moana and Toy Story. They also love blocks and other STEM toys. So with all of that in mind, here are the 18 gifts my preschool girls will find under our tree on Christmas morning (listed in no particular order)! Yes, I know this is a lot of stuff; I’ll split the gifts up among my two girls evenly but they were mostly purchased with both of them in mind. I am confident they’re going to l-o-v-e all of them and know the preschool girl in your life will, too! The preschool boy in your life might love some of these, too!

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