Friday, June 20, 2014

Chloe + Isabel Jewelry and Fragrances - Discount Code!

Jewelry lovers!

If you've been following the blog recently you know that Liz is now a merchandiser for Chloe + Isabel, a jewelry and fragrance company that offers both trendy and classic pieces for good prices. In this post Liz will share some information about her experiences with Chloe + Isabel and will give readers a discount code for $25 off a $125 order.


From Liz:

I have spent the past month and a half working with Chloe + Isabel, wearing the jewelry, and chatting with lots of fantastic people about their jewelry preferences. I've found some pieces I love, and have realized that jewelry can help to make my day brighter, no matter what I have on the schedule. I've also realized that C+I jewelry is a fantastic fit for women like me - it's professional but can still be "fun," and for me, that's important.

Liz in Tangier Convertible Post Earrings and Tangier Collar Necklace

C+I offers a lot of "convertible" pieces. What that means is that these are pieces that can be worn in multiple ways. We have earrings that can both dangle and be studs, we have necklaces that come in sets of three that can be worn alone, and we even have sets that can be combined to make one long necklace or can be used as a bracelet, one shorter necklace, and one longer necklace. In this video I've reviewed some of the options - be sure to comment as to which is your favorite convertible piece!

Now for the fun:

Chloe + Isabel is offering a Summer Solstice Sale - customers who spend over $125 can use code SUMMER25 to receive $25 off their order. This code is good from June 20 to June 27, so get to shopping! Also, orders over $100 qualify for free shipping. So now the question becomes, what's in your Chloe + Isabel cart? Shop here at my boutique!

Summer Solstice Sale!

Do you need ideas to help you reach the $125? Check out these lower priced items that you can find in my boutique that could bring you up over $125.

Under $25 items

Need help picking items you'd love? Email me and I can help you find just the right thing.


What's your favorite piece from C+I? Comment below and share it with us so we can all ooh and ah!


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Book Spine Poetry

Today Mama Lisa has a fun activity to share with you - book spine poetry!

I have a fun little habit of reading the spines of books and creating fun poems out of them. I'm not sure how my little hobby started, but I remember teaching all if my students how to do it. I confess it was part of my plan to take over the world. Regardless of my ulterior motives, it's a fun quirk that is fun to indulge.

Every summer, our local library system has a summer reading club for children and adults. I always register the spawn and we always have a fun time doing it. This year we went to register early and I struck up a conversation with the librarian about book spine poetry. She confessed that she never felt good enough to take pictures of her poetry but pulled up a site where someone had taken care in choosing and posting pictures of book spine poetry for a National Poetry Month. I think I may have squealed in delight at all the fun poems that were born out of chance(books that were casually thrown on a table in random order), the 2-3 spine poem, and the more involved book spine work.

It was an amazing find that I immediately shared with the spawn! So, in addition to our summer homeschool, our summer library reading program, and general summer fun, we are going to create some book spine poetry and document it. I have a feeling some laughs and lots of fun will be had!

If you've never done it, it is super easy. Grab a couple books from your bookshelf, read their titles and arrange them to say "something", place them in order, check it, take a picture and have fun with it! Mix genres of books to get some off the wall poems, it plan your poem for an involved piece. Roll with it!

For more inspiration, here are some neat examples shared with me by the awesome librarian at our local library:
http://100scopenotes.com/2014/04/01/2014-book-spine-poem-gallery/

Have fun, READ, and share your poems with the MATHs! We'd love to see them!!
Sunday, June 8, 2014

What We Learned (June 8 Edition)

We took last week off because things were hectic - but when aren't they? This week the Mamas had a lot going on and had some fun. Every Sunday (well almost every Sunday) we let you know what we learned this week and what we enjoyed. In the comments let us know what your favorite part of your week was!

Lisa:

1. The school year is winding down and I cannot wait. Things are falling off the To Do List like apples off a tree! You never realize just how much you do during the year until it slows down. I think with all the rushing around, we are soooo ready to be bums!

2. It was recital time! Both girls did amazingly well. This was Pixy's 4th recital but Banshee's 1st. She did so well, that the Sailor and I were reduced to tears by the end of the night. Sometimes, the biggest hurdles are quietly (or musically) overcome.

Beautiful!


Gorgeous!
3. It's Pixy's bday weekend and we took some time to celebrate. She chose to attend a local carnival and we had a picnic. There were food trucks, face painting, a moonbounce, and live music. We had a great time! What a way to turn 6!!

Great party!


Liz:
1. I have spent the last three weeks teaching a Maymester class, a class that meets every week day for 3 hours straight for 14 days. It was insane. But also insanely rewarding. I met students who blew me away and made me happy to be a professor. It was a great experience. Will I do it again next summer? I don't know, it's really taxing and stressful on my brain and my body. But I am glad I did it. Up next? Two online classes that start Monday. Whew.

2. My parents arrived Saturday for their first visit in almost 2 years. Silas (now 4) and Sage (2 on the 16th) are both super excited to have them here. And my parents are loving it already.

3. Selling jewelry for Chloe + Isabel has become my new love. The ladies I work with are amazing. We had a meet up last Thursday and we had a blast. It's great to work with women who are happy to be working with other women, if that makes sense. We're all merchandisers in San Antonio, but nobody is competitive. We support each other. They're an amazing group and I'm so glad to be part of it. So if anyone needs any gift suggestions for jewelry lovers, let me know! Check out my boutique here. We recently ran a giveaway - were you the winner? Check your email!

Robyn:
Don't hate, Robyn's taking a break! She'll be back with us next week telling us all about her family's crazy fun :)

Now you - tell us what was great about your week in the Comments!
Monday, May 26, 2014

One Year Supply of YumEarth Candy #Giveaway Ends June 9

Sponsored by: YumEarth

Hosted by: NYSavingSpecials

Co-hosted by:

Ronda Writes - Total Randomness!, Barbara's Beat, Brooke Blogs,

Mamal Diane Keeping Life Simple,

My Devotional Thoughts, Simply Sherryl and Dividing by Zero,

Come and join us in this great giveaway
You can be the lucky winner

One Year Supply of YumEarth Candy

(Worth over $100)


Looking for healthy candies, with less sugar and less calories?
YumEarth Organics offer gummies, sour products, Fruit snacks, drops, gift items and many more. One of my kids favorites is the lollipops because each lollipop is only 22 calories, they are 100%vegan, peanut free, fat free, artificial dyes and 100% Daily Vitamin C.
You can purchase YumEarth Organics at your local stores like Target. Also save on YumEarth at Amazon.com iherb.com luckyvitamin.com drugstore.com shop locally and also online on their website. To read my full review please go here.

Liz's kids enjoy the lollipops as well - they taste great and parents feel good about allowing kids to have them! 

May 26 12:01am EST. To June 9 11:59pm EST.
Valid only in the Continental United States.
Void where prohibited
18 years or older to enter/only 1 entrant per household
Winner is chosen through random.org
All entries are optional.
All winning entries will be verified.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Mamas Around the House is not responsible for the awarding of the prize. If you have any questions about this giveaway, please email the host at nysavingspecials@gmail.com. This blog, Facebook, Twitter or any other social media network is not associated with this giveaway.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

What We Learned (May 25 Edition)

We're late the party today but that's OK. It's Sunday, so that means that we bring you a re-cap of the Mamas' weeks (and of course ask you to tell us what rocked about your week).

Robyn:
1. Having artificial nails totally saves a finger when grading cheese with a stand up grater. Sorry for the French manicure in the shredded cheese, family!

2. There's a lot of stuff in our garage that I never know we have. Tools, mainly. It's the man cave of our house. This week, not only did I learn that we have a car buffer, but more importantly that my hubby knows how to use it! I've never seen him wax a car until now. So, now that I know it can be done, I'll expect it once a week.

3. Giving up bread isn't all that hard. I've started eliminating it from all of our dinners. One: it's made us healthier. Two: we fill up on veggies. Three: the kids go to bed easier because they aren't filled with carbs and energy before bedtime. WIN WIN WIN!!!


Lisa:
1. It is a quiet weekend here! We are thankful for all vets: the ones who have passed on and  the ones still here....we are especially thankful for the Sailor and for MATH Robyn. We appreciate you.

2. I love to bird watch and today, I got my first Indigo Bunting!!!! That splotch of blue by my feeder:

Indigo Bunting!

 3. Cubby is growing fast! Kai, the wolfman, and Cubby have a serious bromance. Here is Kai babysitting:

Cubby and Kai

 4. My best lesson perhaps, has been watching the wonder of birth and nature through the eyes of Banshee. She loves looking at the new baby girl that her horse, Beauty, just had.


Belle?
Baby is unnamed still but Banshee calls her Belle. Appropriate, no?


 Liz:
1. Teaching Maymester (a 3-week, 3 hour per day course) is rewarding but tiring. We've only been together for  week but my students have created this group and the group is awesome. They challenge me mentally and I enjoy our talks. I will miss them when our class is over on June 5. But I will feel more relaxed and less tired I'm sure!

2. Mike and I drove to Austin, TX today to go to an awards dinner - I received a National Institute of Student and Organizational Development Excellence in Teaching award. It's nice to be recognized for the work I do, for sure. But it was an odd awards ceremony. There was a musical performance and she sang Katie Perry's Roar and asked us, a room full of awards recipients, to sing backup. Uh huh.

3. Two weeks ago Mike brought home a kitten. He's all black and we finally named him DC (not Marvel). He's a sweet boy. Our sons LOVE HIM. I was anti-cat until I saw just how much they wanted this thing to love them back. I'm fine with him until he wakes up at 5 a.m. meowing and wanting to play - dude literally comes running out of his room and starts batting at me and chewing my fingers playfully. IT'S 5 A.M.

What about you? Tell us about your week in the comments. We love to hear from our readers and see what they're up to.
Thursday, May 22, 2014

Chloe + Isabel Jewelry Review and #Giveaway


Our author Liz is a merchandiser for Chloe + Isabel, a company that creates beautiful jewelry and fragrances for women of all personalities and jewelry loves. “Chloe” jewelry is fashion forward and trendy. “Isabel” pieces are timeless and understated. Are you a Chloe, an Isabel, or a Chloe-bel (a combination of the two)?
From Liz: The company focuses on a girlfriend philosophy – the merchandisers are here to help you choose pieces that fit your style just as a great girl friend would. We want you to be excited about your purchases and feel the C+I love, just as we do. In order to introduce you to my passion for C+I, I want to show you some of the pieces I have so you can see just how beautiful they are and how versatile they can be. After I show you some of the fantastic options Chloe + Isabel offers, I’m going to post a give away, so get ready to be excited!
Jewels come in all price ranges, starting at $18 and going all the way up to $188 (for these gorgeous torsade necklaces that are major statement pieces that bring out all the compliments when you wear them). Most recently the Moroccan Summer collection of jewelry was released and it is pretty hot. Lots of turquoise, lots of color, but also some amazing statement pieces from the Isabel side that you’ll love just as much as I do.
So what do you have coming up? A dinner party you want to flash your jewels at? A graduation? A date night out with your love? I can help you find something that fits for any occasion – just ask! Husbands and boyfriends – I can help you find a fantastic little something for your love that can make her smile as well. Email me or contact me on Facebook and we can chat.
So let’s see some flash, some color, and some beautiful pieces…






Everyday pieces on Liz
Just going to the grocery store is all...
Like what you see? View my online boutique and let me know what jumps out at you. There’s so much to look at. My personal wish list is pages long. And I’ve found that wearing my C+I jewels makes me more excited about getting ready for work or that trip to the store because I get to match my jewelry to my clothes (and my makeup to complement the look). These pieces can pair with jeans and a t-shirt just as well as they can pair with a work shirt, dress, or party ensemble.

Now for the giveaway! One lucky winner will receive a free pair of earrings of their choice (up to a $30 value). So scope through the online catalog and decide which you would choose if you were to win. Once the giveaway is over, I will email you for your shipping info and send you your lovelies! Keep in mind that something may sell out between then and now, so you might want to come up with two favorites just in case. The giveaway runs from Thursday, May 22 at 12:01 a.m. Central to Thursday, June 5 at 11:59 p.m. Be sure to enter and share!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Maggie Bag Campus Tote Giveaway Ends June 2


Sponsored by:

Hosted by:


Co-hosted by:


One lucky winner will win:

Maggie Bag Campus Tote

Value $85





Date: May 19   12:01am - June 2 11:59pm

Valid only in the Continental United States
Void where prohibited
18 years or older to enter/only 1 entrant per household
 Winner is chosen through random.org
All entries are optional.
All winning entries will be verified.

Have you seen these fantastic bags? Maggie Bags are purses made from repurposed seat belts and they have amazing and beautiful designs. Enter to win one for yourself or for a gift! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Disclaimer: Mamas Around the House is not responsible for the awarding of the prize.  If you have any questions about this giveaway, please email the host at nysavingspecials@gmail.com.  This blog, Facebook, Twitter or any other social media network is not associated with this giveaway.

EZLeaps Shoe Tying Tool Review

Today our own Mama Lisa reviews a product that she received for free to review to help her girls learn to tie their shoes. The views and experiences here are her own.



Pixy has been after me to teach her to tie her shoes. Honestly, I hated when I had to learn because it was tough! I attended private Catholic school and they needed those laces done a certain way. Le sigh!! Enter EZLeaps Shoe Tying Tool!!!

EZ Leaps Shoe Tying Tool

Aren't they cute?! I loved the colorful prints, which will make it easy to identify for a child. The prints do come in sports themes, horses, animals...in short, every theme that children like. The tools have a spot on the back for your child's name and date, so you can remember when they first tied their shoes. They also come equipped with a hole on the upper left corner to stick a carabiner clip in, so they can take it to school with them! Recipe for success, huh? Now, at first glance they look delicate but they are made for hearty use and can bend with the movements of the laces, in order to make a perfect tying job each time. In addition, EZ Leaps has a video tutorial that you can watch with your child in order to get the steps right! Easy peasy.

Seems we have success on sunny days here when trying new things so, here is what we did:


Pixy is using my kicks because she needs to strengthen up her hands (we play copious amounts of Operation to get those fine motor skills going). The grin is indicative of how proud this tool is making her feel. It really does drive home the fact that they are doing it by themselves!


What a grin!


Pixy got the bunny ears going on her own. She needed a reminder to keep them pinched tight for her next step. No frustration noted in her, she really was trying hard to concentrate and do it.

Bunny ears

This was probably the hardest part! Pixy has been practicing and has been getting better and better, but making the knot was a little difficult. No frustration noted though. She started squealing that she got it!


The knot

Here's the final step! Pull up the tool and the laces with a perfect tie go right through. She did it!! Pixy did twenty some laps around the backyard squealing because she did it with minimal help. She was so proud she could bust!

Finished!

Tah-dah!!!

 As a mama, I have been having fun with these lessons. Not frustrating, a couple minutes practice each time. What's not to love? I also think that this tool will be helpful for Banshee when she requests to tie her own shoes. We're all for that!  Pretty soon, Pixy won't ask me for help with tying her shoes and will feel independent. We love strong independent chicks here...although, we're a little sad that growing up is happening faster and faster every day. Notice her tooth gap there? Sigh!


Good luck and if you visit the EZ Leaps website for more shoe-tying goodness (they make a  'stop thumb sucking' tool too called Thumbkin), tell them the MATHs sent you!!

Do you have questions about how it works? Learn more about the product and how it was developed here from founder Eileen Sloan and on their blog.

Happy shoe tying everyone!
Sunday, May 18, 2014

What We Learned (May 18, 2014 edition)

How can we already be into May? Time flies by so fast. What did you learn or experience this week that stood out? Every Sunday the Mamas share their experiences with you - be sure to share with us in the Comments.


Robyn:
1. I have learned what outstanding BBQ is like! Being from Texas, I know my beef and sausage. I've had some good ones before, but nothing beats 'Hard Eight' in Stephenville, Texas. Their brisket fell apart when I tried to pick it up with my fork. An hour later, the food coma was totally worth it!

2. Some people cannot be reasoned with. "Lime of my light with pops and orchids to the angry peddler"
WHAT?!
Exactly, I don't get them either.

3. I've learned that it is now the time to search for a bigger vehicle, considering only one of our cars fits all 6 of us! Nothing new, no payments, and it has to have a third row. Not too much to ask, right?! Thankfully, the hubs is super patient and a good deal finder. Now if only he can please the queen bee. Hmmm. Only time will tell.

Lisa:
1. Unexpected surprise at Hippotherapy!! Turns out Banshee's horse was pregnant! Here is Beauty with her unnamed baby girl:

Beauty and her baby girl

2. This awesomeness happened!! Banshee is carrying her baby brother and using him as a compression vest. It was a really cute sight to see. She was very proud of herself and he was super comfy.
Banshee carrying Cubby

3. We had an interesting but busy week here! We decided to make plans for summer and think about things we want to do. The girls want to plant more flowers in the yard. Cubby just wants food. Sailor wants the moss in the yard to go away. I want to just read without stopping. The wolves want to eat the groundhogs that visit our yard and I've saved a zillion times. It's so hard to stop nature from doing her thing but I NEED to intervene. Sometimes being cruel is a sport, Mother Nature. Take some Midol and relax! ;)

Liz:
1. Classes are over for the semester which is nice for both the students and for the faculty. This year I signed up to teach Maymester, which starts Monday (the Monday after finals end for the regular spring semester). I'm not sure what I was thinking. Actually, I am sure - my parents are coming to visit in June and I didn't want to be teaching face-to-face classes while they were here, so I got it done during Maymester (which ends the day before they get here). This is the first year I've actually realized I need a break from teaching though. I am officially tired. Not like "need a new job" tired, but just..."need a vacation" tired.

2. I was awarded tenure this week which is a great accomplishment. There's a rigorous process we go through at our school where we're reviewed by other faculty and administrators for the 5 years prior to tenure and then the November before tenure all our "stuff" (tests, syllabi, student evaluations, participation on campus/volunteer work, etc.) is evaluated. I'm glad the process is over. And it doesn't mean I can sit back and do nothing, which is what some people think "tenure" means. It simply means I'm "vested" with my company, so to speak.

3. I am loving working as a merchandiser for Chloe + Isabel - their products are great and people seem to really enjoy them when they buy and receive them. I have to keep myself from buying too much product myself though! But can you ever have too much nice jewelry? Really?

Now you - comment below in the Comments area and let us know one thing that you learned or that was exciting or different this week.
Thursday, May 15, 2014

Why do I do this to myself?

Sunday: I ate way too much this weekend and drank too much beer. Come tomorrow, I'm going soda, gluten, and sugar free. No wait, Robyn, be real. Forever leave the threat of chocolate alone!

Thats it! I've had it. This week, starting Monday I'm starting a different eating lifestyle. There will be protein shakes when I get hungry and it's not a mealtime, and chugging glasses of water in between meals to stay full. 

...Monday ends...I feel great! Not ingesting GMO food into my body makes me feel like a working machine. I've successfully been supermom. Grocery shopping is done, dishes are clean, the kids are in bed, the husband and I got some alone time, and it seems I've satisfied everyone today. 

...Tuesday begins...waking up even 15 minutes later than usual adds a little stress, and who wants a stressful morning? Green tea + extra sugar, check! By lunch, I'm dragging ass and find myself in the McDonald's. 
"Can I have a large coke please?"
"Yes, would you also like 2 chocolate chip cookies for a dollar?"
(Fuck) "Yes please, and that's all"
After picking kids up, running to the grocery store for stuff I forgot yesterday,  taking kids to practice, and normal dinner/clean up, I find a beer in my hand. 
"How did that Shiner get there? Does it really matter? oh well, I've already broken the gluten rule with cookies today. Screw it." Gulp gulp! 

You get the trend, right? It's more of a 'holding myself to something strict that I know I'm not really going to follow' thing. So, why? Why do I do that? 

Here's why:

I try to be supermom. ALL THE TIME. (It never pans out the way I have visions in my head.) I have expectations that are rarely met. I expect my kids to sit down in chairs in the doctors office without being reminded. I expect that no matter what, I will have the willpower to say no to sugar, chocolate and alcohol all at once. I expect myself to be a machine, just taking care of business, and not react emotionally during the day. When all of those things don't happen, that lone piece of sugar will always be there.

 I call it a 'Mommy moment of future regret' and it's those moments (no matter what form) that make me normal and happy. That moment, where a break takes a couple of minutes, so that I can recharge my batteries and regroup my thoughts. 

Never feel guilty for taking time for yourself. You are the foundation for your family. If you crack, the whole structure will break, and what's left will never be aligned correctly ('Mommy is going to run away to Barbados and just leave all of you!) It doesn't mean that the foundation can't be chipped away by wear and tear over the years (I hate you, Mom -adolscent kid) But, it's important to make necessary repairs (Botox my friends!) fix what is broken (chop those split ends off) and maintain the base (having dinner with friends on a monthly basis to remember who you are) of what holds the family together. 
Tuesday, May 13, 2014

BareMinerals Review - Concealer Options

Concealer in small amounts is my friend. I use it on my chin, two dark areas to the sides of my chin, above my eyebrows, on my dark eye circles, and sometimes around my nose depending on how red it looks. Being allergy-licious, I,be found that two products work well and don't cause an allergic reaction.



I've tried two options for concealer from BareMinerals - the powder/mineral Multi-Tasking Concealer (in Bisque) and the cream/solid Correcting Concealer (in Medium 2). Both can be applied with a small concealer brush. I found the cream to work better for me - the powder didn't seem to provide good coverage.

Mineral Powder and Cream Cancellers from BareMinerals

I think for someone with less redness the powder may work well though. You really have to play around and see what works well for you.

Less is best. BareMinerals is all about the make under as opposed to the make over. The goal is to enhance what you've already got, not transform you into a starlet (although it is possible with BareMinerals). With powder, dip your brush in the minerals and tap it out until you only see powder, no mineral chunks on your brush. Using a circular motion rub the powder over problem spots. With the solid/creme again less is best and be sure to blend. Don't forget dark eye circles and the inside of the eye/bridge of the nose! We always forget to conceal there but it is part of the "dark circle area."

Don't forget concealer in this spot here

What is your experience with BareMinerals concealers? What tips do you have for using concealer in your makeup routine? Comment below and let us know! 


The views expressed in this post are my own and are based upon experiences with products that I have purchased, not products that were given to me for review. I am in no way associated with Bare Minerals - I simply review products that I find useful.
Sunday, May 11, 2014

What We Learned (May 11, 2014 Edition)

Happy Mother's Day! Today we cebrate all our Mamas and Mamas to Be. Let's see what our three Mamas did this week.

Liz:
1. It's been a busy week here. I took Sage to urgent care last weekend because he had been kind of low-grade crying all day every day for a bit and he was diagnosed with a sinus infection and an ear infection. Then Silas got sick this week and had an upper respiratory infection. Then Daddy got sick and stayed in bed all day Saturday. I'm read for sickness to leave this house!

2. Next week is finals week at the college. My students are worried and excited. I'm glad that we're almost done (even though summer semester starts the Monday after finals end). Is it time for vacation YET?

3. I've been selling jewelry with Chloe + Isabel for a little over a week now and I love it. The new Moroccan collection came out this past week and it is gorgeous. I received a few pieces that I ordered Saturday and I'm in love. Have you checked them out yet? If not, take a gander at my boutique.

Lisa:
1. I was able to read two books in between naps and whilst doing chores this week. My brain is all excited from the workout and I was able to enjoy our bookclub chat immensely. (I usually do but this book made me go and research the subject matter. Ah-mazing!)

2. We got a lovely surprise in the mail for Cubby! A friend of ours sent us a lovely diaper cover in a rare print for us to use for a little while. The gesture, more than the diaper cover, means a lot. Plus, who doesn't like getting love mail?!

3. Mother's Day here is about making memories and in keeping up with that, I asked if this year I could have a garden planted in a certain spot in the backyard. I wanted a gift that we could all enjoy and that would help nature: we chose plants that would help honeybees feel welcome and be happy. The fun part was that we all stayed outside to work while it was raining!! We were all a huge mess but you could feel the love in our work. The plants look happy in their new homes and plans have been made to add more lovely plants and a gargoyle to guard them all. Let's face it, St. Francis needs a little help with the animals from an obliging gargoyle.


Robyn:


Now you! What did you learn or experience this week?
Thursday, May 8, 2014

Reality Female

Today our lovely Mama Lisa writes about reality TV and how it depicts women. What are your thoughts? Sound off in the comments!
Lately, I've been on an reality TV kick. I always watch Deadliest Catch and Wicked Tuna because they're cool, but I'm not taking about those. I'm talking about the shows where women act like maniacs. We all have that kind of crazier-than-spit days but we don't go so crazy that we start to beat each other with our fabulous Jimmy Choos. 



Enter Married to Medicine on Bravo. Holy hell! These 'ladies' dress up to the nines, flawless makeup ready, but put on furs only to pull their hair out and try to drown each other in a pool at a dinner party. Perhaps this isn't the most shocking part. The most shocking part is that this kind of behavior is now socially acceptable. Yes, it's totally cool to beat the snot out of each other because "she didn't invite me to her dinner party." Really?! Is that what the medicinal community in Atlanta is really like? Huh. I guess I'm out of the loop.

Then, there's Real Housewives of Atlanta. Siiiiigh! Don't get me wrong, I actually like the ladies. They are all interesting but when they go lunatic,
they make my brain hurt. Is this what ladies nowadays do? They call each other names, knock each other down, fight loudly, and belittle their significant other? Is there a new definition of 'lady' I don't know about? 

Here's what bothers me.  I don't like that this is accepted by the world at large as good behavior. I don't like that these women are representing women of color everywhere. I don't like that some small-minded idiot somewhere will turn on their TV and make all kinds of generalizations based on the behavior they witness by a select few on TV. Is this what we have come to? To let some producer or ratings decide how we will behave that day? Do we all change that much when in front of a camera? Wow.

I've often said that all women should seek to raise the rest up, to be a shoulder to lean on, to lend an ear, and be a model for the rest to follow and learn from. This is difficult when we are bombarded with images that say it is ok to be the opposite. Gone are the days of women banding together to achieve a common goal and be sisterly. Now it is perfectly ok to bitchslap someone just because they look at you funny. My question is: Why? Frustrating. 

Truth is, I'm watching a train wreck and I can't peel my eyes from it. I'm watching someone create a social experiment and infecting a select group(women) with new norms of behavior. The behavior is bad but you are still a lady. Doesn't matter that your husband just had to pry you off another female. Society says it's ok to do this. There are no consequences. Have at it.


Don't get me wrong, we are allowed as women to get mad at the world and rage. I just don't think that perpetuating bad behavior does us any favors as a group and as individuals. How can you be taken seriously otherwise?

Watching these shows kill me. They really do. I'm better off reading a book. Fifty shades, anyone? ;) 

Have you watched a reality TV show that made you upset? Do you think women are portrayed fairly? Sound off!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Bare Minerals Review - Moisturizer and Prime Time BB Primer Cream

Today I'm going to share a little bit of my skin care routine.


Every day after washing my face I dry it and apply Bare Minerals Purely Nourishing Moisturizer. I use the combination skin formula because I have oil in the "t-zone" but dry patches elsewhere.

Bare Minerals Purely Nourishing Moisturizer

I have tried a lot of moisturizers but most had synthetic scents that caused my allergies to act up. This has a scent to it, and I can't quite place it, but it doesn't cause an allergic reaction. And my dry parts (cheeks especially) seem to enjoy it - no more rough or dry patches. And my oily areas aren't any more oily from using it.
Post moisturizer

The next thing I do is apply Bare Minerals Prime Time BB Primer (in medium). If you're trying to decide between Medium and Light, I would say look at the most colored or darkest areas of your face - if they're light, go with Light. I chose Medium because I've found most Light products to be too light for me and I look pale with them.
Prime Time BB Primer Cream




Take one pump of the Primer and rub it between your hands for a bit - warm it up and allow for easier application (a trick I learned from Bare Minerals YouTube videos). Apply all over the face. You don't need a lot - less is better so it doesn't look "cakey."

After Primer

Now if you're going for a stay and home look, nothing fancy, you can simply finish there. Your skin looks even toned and you don't need other products. In another post I'll write about full makeup application, but for me, for a Saturday around the house, I'd add mascara (Bare Minerals Lash Domination) and some Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lip Gloss. In the photo below I'm wearing Future Star for the lip. And I'm done!
With Mascara and Marvelous Moxie Lip Gloss


What do you think? Have you tried Bare Minerals moisturizer or BB Primer? Share your experiences below.

All of these reviews are my own personal experiences with products I purchased and used myself. I was not compensated for these reviews, did not receive products to review, and am not associated with Bare Minerals.
Sunday, May 4, 2014

What We Learned (May 4, 2014 Edition)

How can it already be May?! We're heading into the summer - how exciting. Every Sunday the Mamas write about what they learned or experienced this week. At the end of the post let us know what you learned or experienced! We love to hear from our readers.

Lisa:

1. We've lost a tooth! Growing up just can't be avoided! Things like this just make you appreciate the little things, even though the tooth was swallowed. There's no way I'm going diving for the lost tooth. Sigh!

First lost tooth!

2. I have decided to take a page from MATH Liz and start slapping on some makeup on my ugly mug in an effort to look less like a bum, even if it IS just to pick up the spawn from school. This would also justify my MAC addiction. I'm not ashamed of it. ;)

3. Finally, I need to take a moment to recognize online friendships. I was having a tough time two days ago. I got to thinking about Banshee and how far our journey has taken us--how far we've left to go.  It drove me to cry over my kitchen sink. I'm an open book, so I posted this to my personal Facebook page and a colleague of Sailor and family friend, who is an awesome human being, gave me a pep talk. Let me tell ya, I needed the positivity and the strength. It really helped me to dust myself off and get back to living. We haven't seen each other in a minute but, man...what a friend. Thank you Sailor R for being there!


Liz:
1. I had an interesting week. I became a Merchandiser for Chloe + Isabel, an amazing jewelry (and fragrance) company. This week was a whirlwind of training and setting up my online boutique and making my first sale! Sweet!

2. Every semester at the college seems to go so slowly at the beginning but you look back at the end and think it flew by. This semester is the same. Finals start May 12. Whoa.

3. Silas' birthday rocked. We went to a show at a local Air National Guard base and saw helicopters and got to tour two. Silas thought he was in heaven...until he became hungry and over tired and I literally had to bring him kicking and screaming from the parade grounds. Good time.

Mama Robyn is taking a break this week - she'll be back with us for WWL Sunday next week!


Now you - what did you learn or find awesome this week? Post it in the comments.
Thursday, May 1, 2014

Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

Looking for a super easy dinner idea? Look no further - this is Liz's own super easy, super lazy 3 ingredient dinner. No joke. That's counting the rice to serve with it!
What you need:
Crock pot
Chicken (approximately 2 lbs depending on who you're feeding) - frozen or fresh
2 cans of chicken and dumplings soup (I like Campbell's Home Style Creamy Chicken and Herb Dumplings)
Rice for serving over
Directions:
Spray bottom of crock pot with cooking spray so it doesn't stick. Place chicken breasts (or thighs!) on the bottom of the crock pot. Cover with two cans of soup. Set crock pot to 8 hours (or 10, mine does either) on slow. Stir as you are able to throughout the day. Make rice as directed. Shred chicken in crock pot and serve over rice.
Filling? Yes. Tasty? OMG. It's my favorite dinner. I'm not going to talk about its calories or anything like that because I fear I'd never eat it again. Enjoy!
Did you try this recipe? What did you think? How could you add or adjust it to make it more awesome?
Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Bare Minerals Review - Lash Domination Mascara

I've recently started changing over my overflowing makeup drawer to all Bare Minerals products. I recently reviewed their powder eye shadow here and now I'm moving on to my second necessary beauty item: mascara.
 

 
For a quick recap, I'm an allergy monster. Flowers, pet dander, mold, dust, pollen of all sorts...they are my foes. I recently realized that synthetic scents in makeup messed with me as well, so I tried Bare Minerals products to see if I could keep up my love for makeup without the allergic reaction.
 
 
While I have "good" lashes, they're not very dark so I've always been one for good mascara. I ordered Bare Minerals Lash Domination which is one of the many mascaras they offer. Being me, I immediately put it on straight out of the package and did my typical "Wait for it..." for the allergic reaction.
 
 
And...nothing. I had beautiful, well-defined lashes with none of the typical allergy behaviors (runny nose, watery eyes, etc.). I'm sold. After two weeks of use, I'm still in love.
 
 
Look at those lashes!

If you typically have allergic reactions to eye makeup, I highly suggest you try Bare Minerals. They offer starter sets on their website for lower prices than the full sized product, so you can try it out without much investment.




Do you curl? If you do, start at the base of the lashes and curl, then move outwards and curl again, doing this multiple times. Don't simply curl once. When applying mascara, start with the bottom lashes first - otherwise if you start with the top lashes, when you go to apply the bottom lashes you'll get "those dots" on your upper lid as you raise your eyebrows (and make the "O" face) to apply to the bottoms. Start on your lashes closes to your nose and move outwards. Move away from the eye (so downwards for the bottom lashes, upwards for the tops) and away from the eye to avoid clumps and lashes sticking together. Applying two or more coats of mascara can open up the eye and decrease the look of tired eyes so feel free to apply and apply!


Have you tried Bare Minerals mascara? Which formulation is your favorite? What mascara tips do you have for us?


These views are my own after my experience with this product. I was not paid for this review nor was I provided with free products. I purchased all products mentioned in this review myself.
Sunday, April 27, 2014

What We Learned (Sunday, April 27th Edition)

You may have noticed that the Mamas took a week or so off from writing. We were burned out - work, home, kids, LAUNDRY... it caught up to all of us all at once. So we took a blogacation. Don't hate us. We're back and ready to play... Every Sunday we summarize our weeks and talk about what we learned/experienced. Get ready to tell us what you learned in the comments!


Lisa:
1. Our Easter was a regular one: Sailor played at a few churches, we went to our church, and we gave the kids baskets. The girls think there's a hidden message here:

Easter fun!

Bwahahahaha!! Wererabbits are awesome!!


2. It was time for our recital pictures! They were extra special because the girls did it together. We never thought Banshee would ever make it to a dance class. It's the little things!:

Gorgeous!




3. We're headed into Amish country!! We cannot wait to visit Dutch Wonderland and have lots of fun! I can't wait to eat shoofly pie and Sailor just wants to eat pretzels. It's gonna be a good day!!

Oh! And just because:


The Cubbster!


Robyn:
1. I've learned that we were overdue for a car accident. Thanks to a texting and driving teen, she helped us get up close and personal with our car insurance company! Yes, our trucks got hooked together in case you were wondering!

Oh no!

2. Thursday, a violent threat had been made to an 'unspecified elementary school' in San Antonio. The attendance rate for the district was 43%, compared to the normal 96%. Therefore, our district lost 1.3 million in state funding to pay teachers, provide gas for buses, and other stuff. Now I'm wondering what we will see as the repercussions from this hoax! 

 3. "The blow dryer sucked my pants off" what Kasen meant was, (as he was blowing the leaves out front), was that his basketball shorts were being caught up in the leaf blower. You're welcome!


Liz:
1. The past few weeks have flown by because they've been so crazy at work and at home. Mike's been working 50+ hours per week and is tired when he comes home. I keep telling him I would prefer him at home to the money, but he feels guilty because his work needs him. We're currently on the prowl for a new job for him. Let me know if you know of anything for someone with an AA in Fine Arts and a landscape background!

2. Silas' 4th birthday is Saturday, April 26. I'm writing this Friday night, so I'm excited to celebrate with him over the next two days. It's amazing how quickly they grow up. This is Si newborn, almost 4 years ago...

Newborn Silas and momma

3. Bare Minerals 12 hour sales are the devil. Even my mama agrees (because I had to share the love and send her the link so she could shop too). They had amazing deals...like can't ignore stuff. I should start deleting any sale emails from them...


Now you! Comment below and let us know what made your week interesting or fun.