Friday, July 19, 2013

The Hunt for the Perfect Mascara - Round 3 and FINAL

Way back when I was posting regularly, I told you that I was on the hunt for the perfect mascara. Well, I found it.  I've become obsessed with Cover Girl's LashBlast Clump Crusher Mascara.  It is by far my favorite mascara found either at a drugstore or Sephora.  Other than loving the price (around $6) and I always have a coupon for it, this mascara doesn't matter how many coats I put on my lashes.  The brush is stiff with small bristles that can shimmy themselves through each lash.  Every lash gets attention leaving them flawless.  I can't believe I found a mascara that does everything I want - lengthen, seperate and gives me a little volume.  I definitely recommend you try it out!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Yummy Sweet Green!

I'm so excited that sweetgreen has opened up a location right across the street from my office.  For those of you not familiar with this amazing place it is the place for a fresh salad or refreshing frozen yogurt.  According to their website, it is a "destination for delicious food that’s both healthy for you and aligned with your values."  They source local and organic ingredients from farmers they know and partners we trust, supporting communities those around them.  They started in the DC area and are growing.  Right now they have locations in DC, Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and New York.  If there is a location near you, download the app here and receive a credit towards your purchase.  The app features their rewards program and works very similar to Starbucks' app.  Check it out. 

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

It's been a long, long time...

I ended up taking a much longer hiatus than I thought.  Work was crazy and I need to spend my limited free time with my family.  Things have slowed down in the last month or so and I've debated whether or not to come back to the blogger world or just give it up.  I ultimately decided that I love this blog too much and I've worked too hard to quit now.  I might not be posting as often as I used too but I can promise you that there will be at least a post or two a week from me.

A lot has happened to me and my family since I last posted in February.  My baby girl turned one!  It's hard to believe it's been a year already.  Time flies!

In addition to turning one, she started walking and I was able to catch this special moment between her and Hubby.

We are building a house!  It's crazy and all happened so fast.  They've broken ground and already poured the foundation.  Here are some pictures.  Be on the look out for lots of posts featuring our selections as we go through the design process, paint colors, decor inspiration, etc.  Lots of fun but very overwhelming.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Hunt for the Perfect Mascara - Round 2 Drugstore Edition

Last month I shared with you my quest for the perfect mascara.  In that post I reviewed several mascaras that can be found at places like Sephora.  This time I wanted to review some "drugstore" mascaras.  First up is Maybelline's Mega Plush Volum' Express
I really loved this one at first.  It lengthened, gave me the volume I wanted, didn't clump and really did wonders for my lashes.  And of course I love the price (under $10 and I always have a coupon).  However after a couple of weeks of use, the brush started to flake off on under my eyes when I applied the mascara.  It definitely worked really well at first but then after a few weeks, I wasn't happy with the results.  Definitely not my favorite Maybelline mascara.  

I'm a big fan of this mascara.  It did everything I wanted and was a fantastic price (and I always have a coupon).  It lengthened without clumping, gave me natural looking volume, lasted all day and never flaked off under my eyes.  I've been using it for almost a month now and have no complaints.  So far this is definitely my favorite mascara...I'm still going to hunt for others but this is going to be a tough one to beat.   

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Ella is EIGHT Months!!!

Eight months old.  Time is FLYING by!  Ella is so much fun.  She's super smiley, moving and grooving and all around a very happy baby.

We've put a lot of Ella's baby gear away and are moving into the next step of stuff.  She's not quite stable enough to be in the big tub without any support so we blew up the Munchkin duck tub.  It's the perfect amount of space for her.  She can move and splash around but we don't get to worried about her falling over.  Now that she's reaching and grabbing more, we put a cover on the spout.  I like the Skip Hop whale.  It was easy to put on and it doesn't interfere if you need to lift the one thing to shower.  Ella absolutely LOVES this Munchkin ball during bathtime.  It's the most simple thing.  There's a "rattle" in it to make noise and if you fill it up with water and lift it up it "rains" down.  

We've transitioned her out of the newborn car seat (Chico KeyFit 30 - highly recommend) and into the convertible car seat (Britax Marathon).  There's more space so its easier for me to get her in and out and she seems to be more comfortable.  With the new car seat meant no more Snap and Go so we use two strollers now - First Years Ignite umbrella stroller (for the day-to-day daycare drop off/pick up) and BOB running stroller (walks outside and eventually runs once it warms up).

On the toy front you are probably wondering why I put a walking toy on here.  What I love about this V-Tech Sit to Stand is the gadgets and gizmos on the front come off and Ella can play with it n the floor.  She loves it.  I think I know all the songs and phrases by heart she plays with it so much.  Two little toys she loves were Christmas gifts - a small wooden, circular rattle thing (fits in her hands easily and she loves to chew on it) and sensory balls (again fit in her hand and she can make sounds).  With all these toys and it being prime germ season, I wipe everything down regularly/daily with Dapple wipes.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Pinterest Wednesday: Getting Fit

I'm very proud to say that I've been keeping up with my New Years resolution of getting fit.  I haven't been at the gym as much as I would like because of many illness plaguing the house.  I can say that I've gone at least twice a week since the beginning of the year.  One new workout that I've been loving came from Lauren Conrad via Pinterest. 

This calorie blast workout is great for a quick 30 minute session and can be done pretty much anywhere.  I did this after a mile on the treadmill and followed with an ab workout (remember I'm trying to get rid of the baby belly).  She has another 20x3 workout that I'm going to try next week.  What are some of your favorite workouts?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Favorite Thing #232 - Hunter Wellies

I'm such a big fan of a good pair of wellies so I had to make Favorite Thing #232 my Hunter Wellies.  I get a ton of use of them in the winter time because I use the sock insert.  Hunter is by far my favorite brand.  Before I got these, I owned a pair from J.Crew and Lands End and neither fit well or were comfortable.  I should have just bit the bullet and spent the money on the Hunters originally.  They are definitely worth the price.  I wear them for work (on casual day) or play.  Here are few outfits. 
Sweater: H and M (similar here)
Pants: J.Crew Pixie

Sweater: Coldwater Creek (similar here)
Tunic: GAP

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Valentine Gift Ideas from Stella and Dot

I'm a BIG fan of Stella and Dot jewelry and they have an amazing spring line right now perfect for Valentine's Day gifts.  So if you are trying to give your special someone some hints or looking to buy something for your daughter, mother, sister or you simply want to treat yourself than definitely take a look at the Stella and Dot spring line.  They have small treats or big splurges that are perfect for any outfit.  My friend Kim, a senior Stella and Dot stylist, is hosting a special Valentine's Day special.   Anyone who makes a purchases (via this link) will be entered to win ALL the hostess style rewards generated from this special event.  That's currently $70 in FREE jewelry credits!!!!  Want to send a some special "hints" to your special someone, she will be Cupid's little helper so feel free to contact her if you want your wishlist sent to someone special.  All orders ship directly to you in 3-4 days.  They come in adorable gift boxes but be sure to order by 2/6 at noon EST if you want to guarantee it gets here by Valentine's Day.  Here are some of my favorite pieces from the spring line - 
The bangles are just to die for and a great price.  The small Julep bangles are only $19/each.  Perfect to wear on their own or mixed and matched.  
Emerald is this season's color and the Jolie necklace is perfect way to sport it.  I can't wait to get my hands on this one.  
I love that they have expanded the soiree studs into colors.  Now available in turquoise and coral.  And again a great price at $24.
LOVE this bracelet.  Classic, will go with anything and I love that you could wear it on its own or stack with a bunch of other bracelets.  I also love that the name is the Christina Link Bracelet.  :)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Taking My Life Fully Electronic...

Our house is full of electronics - iPods, iPhones and iPads - and we use them but I don't think I fully take advantage of the wonderful technology.  Recently I was given an iPad mini and I've debated on what to do with it.  I keep thinking that I need to take my life fully will help manage our schedules, my to do list, emails, the blog, etc.  I've debated returning the iPad mini for an iPad mini 3G and really take the full digital plunge.  I'm sure a lot of people say...why wouldn't you...what's holding you back?  Well, I'm obsessed with paper...writing things down, jotting down every thought and activity.  I know I could probably simplify my life with a few apps so I need your help.  Please share your helpful tips on how to do it.  Whether it's apps, short cuts or ways to condense, I'm all ears!!!  Here's a list of the things I'd like to be able to do if I go fully digital.

1.  Manage my personal calendar, work calendar, husband's calendar and daughters calendar ALL IN ONE
2.  Keep my to do list and have it easily accessible
3.  Have a blogging "file" where I can start blog posts, write down ideas, etc.
4.  It has to be simple.  It's so easy for me to pull out my notebook and write something down.
5.  A place to jot random things down...make packing lists, gift buying lists, thank you lists, etc.

Right now to keep my life organized, I carry around my Erin Condren planner (which I love), an Erin Condren notebook for lists, my iPhone and my work blackberry.  If I could narrow it down to an iPad mini, iPhone and work phone I'd be ecstatic.

So me go from this...

to this!!!


Thursday, January 31, 2013

In Need of a New Blow Dryer

My apologies for the unexpected week departure of posts.  Our house was struck with the stomach bug.  It was nasty but thankfully everyone is healthy and the house has been disinfected once again.  I've been noticing that my blow dryer is starting to die out on me.  It's not as powerful and definitely doesn't get as hot as it once did.  I'm debating on whether or not to stick with the one I've loved or try a new one.  I love this blow dryer because it was affordable, did a great job, was lightweight and I could get it on Amazon Prime (fast).  This guy has lasted me almost two years.  I use it almost every day so at around $30 it's the perfect one for me.  I'm definitely willing to try something new but I don't want to spend a fortune.  So tell me...what's your favorite blow dryer?  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thrifty Thursday: Why I Love

Since I've had Ella I've done several posts on so I thought I would do a compilation post sharing with you all the reasons I love  And as a special gift to all of you, is giving my readers 20% your first purchase at and all their other sister sites (,, etc.)  Simply use the promo code CHRI968014.  Happy Shopping! 

1.  Convenience - As a working mom I'm all about convenience.  I love that I can place an order and it can be sitting at my door almost overnight.  Yes you have to spend $49 or more but I normally do - whether it's baby food pouches, diapers, wipes or formula.  I'm always in need of something.  And since I can use manufacturer coupons, Ebates and Pampers Gifts to Grow points, I'm saving money too.  More on the saving below.   

2.  Ebates - They participate in Ebates which is a huge win for me. You can get up to 5% cash back on your purchases.  For those of you new to the blog or don't know about Ebates - it's by far the easiest way to earn FREE money by shopping online.  All you have to do is go to, sign up/log in, search for the store you plan on shopping at, click the link and voila you are taken there and all you have to do is shop.  Each store has corresponding percentage of cash back.  Just watch the money add up (especially around the holidays).  Every quarter Ebates will send you a check and all you have to to is cash it.  I definitely recommend signing get $5 for just signing up.  Click here to get started.

3.  Pampers Gifts to Grow - If you are using Pampers products then you must enroll in their Gifts to Grow program!  It's a free program that allows Pampers users to collect points that can be redeem for various products and coupon codes.  The one that I've been using is $5 off at  Here's how the program works.  Simply sign up here and collect the codes from all your Pampers points.  Enter the codes either via the website of iPhone app.  Then you can redeem the points for items in the rewards catalog.  Having trouble finding a here for help.  

4.  Coupons - You know that there are certain things I will NEVER buy without a coupon.  Many of those things are baby necessities like diapers, wipes, diaper cream, formula, etc.  One of the great things about is that they take manufacturer coupons.  It takes some work because you have to mail them in but it's totally worth it.  Here's a link to a post I did on how to mail in your coupons.  

5. 5% Back Program - Great program to reward you on products you buy the most -
diapers, laundry supplies, paper products and pet food.  Earn 5% Back on products from these categories - every brand, every time you shop - and once you've earned the 5% Back, will automatically apply those earnings to your next order on any of their sites.  The best part of this program is that it's totally automatic. No sign-up. No codes to remember. No complicated redemptions. Every purchase of eligible products will earn you 5% Back.  The 5% Back rewards will be deposited in your customer account within 48 hours after the order has shipped. The discount will automatically apply on your next order.  Here's a list of product categories that qualify -  

  • all diapers (including cloth) 
  • all laundry and paper products (e.g. laundry detergent, fabric softener, paper towels, bathroom and facial tissue, napkins) 
  • all pet food 
  • all green diapers, pet food, laundry and paper products

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Some recent OOTD

Here's a recap of some of my outfits last week.  It's was a crazy week and I went a bit casual.  Check out the surprise appearance with the last outfit.  :)

Sweater: Ann Taylor LOFT (similar here)
Shirt: GAP Pure Long Line Tunic (LOVE!)
Leggings: Banana Republic (similar here)
Scarf: J.Crew (similar here)

Blazer: J.Crew Factory (similar here)
Shirt: Banana Republic (similar here)
Jeans: Citizen's of Humanity (similar here)
Boots: J.Crew booties (similar here)

**a sweet guest appearance by Miss Ella sporting a Carters fleece outfit (on sale right now)
 Sweater: GAP (on sale now)
Shirt: Old Navy Chambray shirt (on sale now)
Pants: Banana Republic (similar here)
Boots: Cole Haan Air Talia booties (on sale now)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Somewhat back on track...Ella is SEVEN months old!

I know I say this every month but I can't believe my baby girl is SEVEN months old.  She's growing up so fast.  She's got two teeth, eats three "meals" a day and is now holding her bottle on her own.  It's all going too fast.  Here are some of the products that haven't gotten us through month seven. 

Last month was all about the feeding and this month is all about the toys.  Ella is really into toys now.  She's crawling up a storm so we lay a bunch of fun things on the new floor (middle, top row) in her play room.  Let's start at the top row - she LOVES Sophie like most babies.  I really didn't think she was going to be into as much as she is...she loves her so much I got a second one (cheaper on Amazon) so we have a back up.  Since she's on the move we decided to create a playroom (pictures to come).  It's hard wood in that room so we need durable, cushioned flooring for it.  I picked up two packages of foam letters that we put together and it looks great (similar here).  As I mentioned, Ella has gotten two teeth.  She's been gnawing on everything and anything she can get her hands on.  Per a friend's recommendation, I picked up these great teething rings.  They are easy for her to hold and have different types of ridges so she can pick which feels best on her gums.   

Second row is one of Ella's new best friends, Fisher Price's Laugh and Learn Puppy.  It was a gift from her Godfather and aunt.  She loves "playing with it" meaning she wrestles it and chews on the different limbs.  Eventually she'll start understanding the different features.  Another favorite toy is a classic from when I was growing up, the Rock a Stack.  She can't put the rings back together but she loves taking them off and surprise, surprise putting them back in her mouth.  A product we used with her when she was little has returned, the piano playmat now has been brought back into rotation but this time as an actual piano.  She sits at it and pounds away on the keys.  It keeps her attention for a good amount of time.     

Finally, the last mom bought this toy for Ella a while ago.  It's a sensory toy from Sassy that has become a big favorite.  This was actually the toy that Ella went to the first time she crawled.  It's nice and small, doesn't make a lot of noise so it's one of my favorites to pack when we are out and about.  We started pulling out some basic bath toys (last items) and we need something to store them in so we've been using this suction cup storage net.  So far so good. 

Here are some older posts of my favorite baby products from Ella's first six months and a look back at how she's grown.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Hunt for the Perfect Mascara

I'm on the hunt for the perfect mascara.  For the longest time I've used Favorite Thing #173 but lately its been flaking off and leaving black specs under my eyes at the end of the day.  Instead of running out and buying a bunch of mascara, I thought I would start with the samples I have been collecting.  So far nothing has completely won me over.  Here's my reviews of the first three I've tried.

First up is Clinique's High Impact Mascara. I liked this mascara a lot because it gave a very natural look.  It definies lashes really well (no spidery look) and it gave me just enough length (I'm lucky because my Italian/Portuguese heritage has given me long lashes).  What I didn't like is it didn't give me the volume I'm want.  I don't want anything too dramatic but still want a little boost.  If you don't care about volume and are looking for a natural look then I definitely recommend this mascara.  And the price point isn't too terrible at $16/tube.
Next is Bobbi Brown's Extreme Party mascara. The nice thing about this mascara is it's "buildable" meaning you can do a layer for a day look and then a couple of layers for a more dramatic evening look.  In my opinion its an ok mascara.  It did its job but didn't wow me or give me an extra volume that I was looking for.  And I'm definitely not a fan of the $25 price tag. 

So far I'm 0 for 2 but it's just the beginning of my mascara journey.  What are some of your favorites? 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

And the winners are...

My apologies for the delay in getting this email out.  The winners of the Stella and Dot promo code giveaway are -


Congratulations.  Please send me an email ( and I can put you in touch with Kim to get all the details.  Since I got this post up so late and you are a winner, please feel free to reach out to Kim directly.  Remember you have until tomorrow to use the code.

Kim Huntington
Email -
Website -
Phone - (301) 518-6531

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Stella and Dot Giveaway!

I've become obsessed with Stella and Dot jewelry thanks to my friend and Stella and Dot stylist, Kim.  I did some major shopping over the holidays because they were running a promotion to earn Stella and Dot dollars.  I can't use them all so I wanted to do a giveaway and award four lucky readers a $25 off a $50 purchase promo code.  The giveaway will close tonight at midnight and you must use the code by this Thursday, January 10.  I will do the drawing and post the winners info first thing tomorrow morning.  There will be FOUR winners!

Rules of the giveaway -

1. Must be a follower
2. Must follow my blog on Facebook

Just leave a comment letting me know what is your favorite Stella and Dot piece. 
Here's a sneak peek at the new spring collection.  If you are interested in hosting an in-person or virtual party, please contact my friend Kim.  Below are all the ways to get in touch with her. 

Kim Huntington
Email -
Website -
Phone - (301) 518-6531

Monday, January 7, 2013

New Purchases via OOTD

I love sharing my new purchases with you but its so hard to do a recap of a shopping trip.  I've found its easier to just share them with you as I wear them so here's a look at some recent purchases and gifts.  As I mentioned in earlier posts I have some new rules when I'm shopping - one in, one out (stay tuned for a big ebay sale) and must be able to be worn a couple different ways (ideally in different seasons) with items already existing in my closet.  So far so good.

Shirt: Banana Republic Gingham (on sale right now!)
Sweater: Banana Republic Grosgrain Cardigan (on sale right now!)
Jeans: Joe's Jeans (similar here)
Jewelry: Michael Kors watch, Stella and Dot bracelet, Stella and Dot necklace

Shirt: H&M Sheer Black Tunic (similar here)
Tank: J.Crew Tank
Boots: Audrey Brooke via DSW
Jewelry: Michael Kors watch, Stella and Dot necklace, Stella and Dot bracelet

Cardigan: J.Crew Merino Cardigan
Boots: Audrey Brooke via DSW
Jewelry: Michael Kors watch, Stella and Dot necklace, Stella and Dot bracelet


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