My Life Lately: Spring 2014

This year so far has been a total whirlwind – selling houses, building a house (more on that to come), getting ready to move, and really just perfecting a rhythm to our daily lives so there’s both happiness and efficiency.  While we’re thriving as a foursome, I’m falling down on everything else it seems. Emails unanswered, blog posts desperately late, a site re-design that has dragged on for months because I’m too tired at the end of a long day to jump on my computer and give the project real thought. The list goes on as you can imagine. While I’m trying to sneak a little more balance into my days, the one thing I’m getting better at is filling time with my family. Everly is old enough to take everywhere we go (7 months) without worry, and Harper who just turned 2 (more on that later too!) is happiest when she’s outside looking for birds and bunnies, she’s such an outdoors girl (she must get that from Mike.)  Anyway, I wanted to share a few of our adventures we’ve had here in beautiful Colorado. Happy spring!

20140601-163201-59521798.jpg
Mike roped me into a run by presenting it as just a hike. We did a loop in this beautiful park
which was short of 3 miles I believe. It’s all he wanted for his birthday, he even surprised me with new shoes the day before to make sure I was prepared.

20140601-163204-59524024.jpg
I didn’t get a lot of pics because my phone died and I didn’t have my real camera, but my girlfriend Chris and I went to the seriously amazing Cher & Cyndi Lauper D2K concert. It was literally one of the best concerts/shows/entertainment acts I’ve ever seen. We stayed to the bitter end and wondered how much our families would miss us if we just took off and followed her around the country. (The photo was posted to Instagram- follow me if you’re not a weirdo- I’m HookedOnBeauty of course.)

20140601-163203-59523273.jpg
We took the girls to the Butterfly Pavilion which was perfect for Harper. They call it a ‘little zoo’ with most of the insects and fish in small cages or tanks. At the end though, you walk through this big greenhouse type thing with a pond, trees, flowers, and even turtles and of course butterflies everywhere. She had a blast.

20140601-163204-59524783.jpg
We finally gave in and bought a BOB double stroller. We love our City Select and I’m so glad we bought a stroller that converts into a double right from the start, but the BOB is so light it basically pushes itself. Mike jogs with the girls and I can easily take them to the park and push them around our neighborhood. Little Everly is happy to sit up and see out like a big girl. We take family walks several times a day so we feel like we’re really getting some use out of it.

20140601-163202-59522531.jpg
I surprised Mike on his birthday weekend with a dinner with friends and an overnight stay in Denver. Not too far away, but our first as parents leaving the girls. My parents were thrilled, I was nervous and guilty, Mike was drunk.

20140601-163207-59527367.jpg
We checked out the new Butterflies at Chatfield thinking it would be as impressive as the Butterfly Pavilion, but it wasn’t. It’s a greenhouse with literally 10 butterflies in it roughly the size of my living room. Not a total bust though, the grounds are huge with goats, ponies, chickens, ducks, and a really cool treehouse. We were there for quite a while chasing Harper and looking around. A total must see especially for little ones who want to see some animals but without the time commitment and cost of the zoo (just $5 a car.)

20140601-163206-59526625.jpg
More of the grounds at Chatfield and a look at the treehouse.

20140601-163205-59525721.jpg
Then last weekend something amazing happened. We had a date night (technically ‘date day’ since the sun was up the whole time and we sat down to eat at 5, but whatever!) For I think the 4th time in 2 years we left the girls with my parents and met friends for some wine, fun, and (mostly) adult conversation save for a few impromptu Frozen sing-alongs which is an oddly quotable movie.

I see a little light at the end of the tunnel as the girls get bigger and I learn that not everything I have to do can fit into a single day. It might take me a little longer than before, but I’ll get there. Eventually.

How to Wear a Pink Primer

Koh Gen Do is a pro line beloved by Makeup Artists that has crept its way into the mainstream because of its everyday wearability. Their foundation is still a go-to in my kit, but now their primers are slowly replacing the silicone ones that were once the only pre-foundation option. Theirs come in 4 shades depending on what your skin’s needs are, I use this Lavender Pink one a ton to perk up otherwise dull skin. You can wear it under foundation of course but I like to use it on top of it, right under the eyes to add brightness and light.

Below you’ll see a before and after along with how much I use. There isn’t a pinky appearance at all, just a brighter look. It’s especially helpful for tired eyes to look more awake without piling on dark makeup. It’s a trick I’ve been using a lot lately on myself given how tired I’ve been and it really makes me look less haggard and a little more put together.

20140528-103618-38178610.jpg
Before, how much primer I used under my eyes, then after.

20140528-103900-38340268.jpg

What to Use For Crow’s Feet and Dry Eyes; Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment

Maybe it’s all the smiling I do, or maybe it’s all the tanning I used to do.. either way my crow’s feet are horrible. I used to Botox the hell outta that whole area, but then I look dull when I smile and then I can’t squint so when I went outside I’d be all dramatic like a vampire in the sunshine covering my eyes while they’d water in reaction to the brightness. Terrible right? So now I just up my hydration around my eyes which helps a ton with the wrinkles. Think about it- when your hands are dry they literally crack and look all old lady-ish. Same goes for the skin around your eyes. Getting a good dose of moisture not only lessens the look of lines, but it gives a vibrancy and glow – it erases that dullness that dehydration causes. This is why for years I’ve paid way too much for eye creams. Some $60 some $100, the thicker the better but I’m so beyond thrilled with the new Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado Kiehl’s sent me recently so now my eye cream will set me back less than $30.

Forget the complicated buzz-words surrounding products that claim to turn back time using unpronounceable ingredients, anti-aging is all about protection (SPF & antioxidants), and hydration. Period. Even if you have oily skin, you should be slathering on a thick eye cream to keep that delicate area as moist as possible. Creamy Eye Treatment has a very unique texture, the thickest I’ve used. It’s strange at first because I’m used to formulas that are less weighty and rub right in. This formula needs to be patted on and given a few seconds to absorb but once it does, there isn’t a greasy after-feel and makeup will smooth right over. I love it so much that I’ll put a few thick layers on at night because my skin just drinks it up. It’s not fussy, or heavily scented, or in some fancy gold jar- but it works and I will certainly buy it when I’m out. And then more when I’m out of that one too.

20140527-165126-60686365.jpg

20140527-165127-60687076.jpg

How to Get Rid of Those Bumps on the Backs of Your Arms

I’ve found the perfect combo for beating those weird dry bumps on the backs of arms that are especially annoying this time of year when all you want to do in this heat is go sleeveless. It’s all about dry brushing and Fat Girl Slim Arm Candy from bliss.

First things first; you need a dry brush. This is the one I bought on amazon.com which I’ve had for a few years and it’s still in perfect condition. While you start the water to the shower, use this brush to really buff away dry skin on the backs of your arms (I use it all over.) And not just one quick swipe, I’m talking about applying some pressure and going back and forth on your skin until it’s literally red. It is scratchy and a little uncomfortable at first- I won’t lie, but that’s how it has to work to stimulate your lymphatic system and encourage toxins to drain. It increases circulation and helps with things like cellulite, acne, and exfoliation. After the first time doing it, you’ll see that your skin glows and feels softer than it ever has. It’s one of those things that when you get in the habit of doing it, you’ll do it forever. Look into it, it’s a simple way to get your skin looking better.

body brush

After your shower don’t apply anything except for arm candy to the backs of your arms. It’s a super light lotion rich with lactic acid to soften and exfoliate rough skin, and caffeine to reduce redness and even your skintone. It’s not so much of a moisturizer as it is a treatment though, which is good because you don’t want anything super heavy and greasy anyway. The dry brushing removes dead, rough skin so this will penetrate easier and work quickly. You’ll notice a difference in days. It really is the best I’ve tried for this and something I’ll always have on hand.

bliss fat girl slim arm candy

It’s so easy! Give it a try and break out the tank tops, it’s time to show some skin.

Andalou Naturals Chia + Omega Radiant Skin Polish

There was a time BC (before children) when I’d on occasion wander around the skincare aisles of Whole Foods or Vitamin Cottage while I was grocery shopping. I’d look, smell, test, and spray every bottle that caught my eye. It’s these natural, organic, off the beaten path lines that I’ll first browse when it comes to my own skincare whenever I’m out of something. I’ve seen this Andalou line a million times but never bought anything until I saw this Skin Polish which is usually a term for a finer grain scrub versus a traditional exfoliant with larger beads or bits of grit.

Here’s what I love- the finely ground chia seeds are in a rich cleansing aloe base so it feels like a microdermabrasion and it quickly buffs away dry skin and dullness which leaves my skin noticably softer and brighter. I love the natural ingredients like jojoba, flax, vitamins, and walnut powder and the exclusion of GMO’s, Petrochemicals, Phthalates, Sulfates, Synthetic Colors, Dyes, Fragrances, Triclosan, PEG, MEA, TEA, DEA, or Paraben Preservatives which goes for every product they offer.

Online it sells for $15, but I got it for $10. Based on this scrub alone I’m excited to try more- like their BB Cream from their 1000 Roses line, and this Beta Hydroxy cream for pigmentation and skin healing.

20140508-190629.jpg

My Self Tanning Nightmare Using Neutrogena Build A Tan

After running low on my Supergoop self tanner, I grabbed a bottle of Neutrogena Build A Tan at Target last week to keep my fake tan flowing. I’ve read good things about it and it’s a gradual formula- what could go wrong?

Neutrogena

Well, this.

Here’s a pic of my leg showing what it did after just one use. I applied it exactly the same way I do with every self tanner I’ve ever used and even though I’ll get some minor streaking from time to time (as we all do..) this is a first. I was wishing I had one of those Bronze Buffers to erase the streaking because there was no way I could wear anything showing my legs until it was gone. Luckily the formula washed right off (another not so great thing) so there wasn’t a hint of color left behind.

neutrogena

So while I was at Vitamin Cottage today I remembered how much I loved this Nature’s Gate Glow Lotion when the company sent me some to review years ago. I slapped some on after my shower and I’m already golden bronzed. I bought the one for medium skin tones to get a deeper color versus the one for light skin. No streaks, no scent, and it’s a natural formula.

Natures Gate

All self tanners are not created equal. Do some digging before you waste money on one that streaks, stinks, or just doesn’t work.