Thursday, June 27, 2013

Soooo a couple months ago, I found this store called Ulta and I came across this blog. I love the blog-it has really awesome hair tutorials and the very sweet lady behind it who is a stylist reviews make-up and puts together some pretty cute outfits. Normal things for some people who know how to do that stuff and for others like me who can't blow dry their own hair right, a saving grace.  Then there's Ulta, the best of beauty supply stores (kicks Sephora's butt), it carries everything from Revlon to expensive brands.  I got a facial in there for $20!  They are all so nice, will recommend products, put them on you...I have to go with a sponsor!!!  So, I've become a quite the product trying queen.  Don't mistake, I am a pretty low maintainence girl.  I just got my hair cut yesterday after 7 months.  But as I get older (I just turned 37 gulp!) I am appreciating good makeup, skincare and haircare products.  So I thought I would share my favorite items, it always helps hearing what other people use and what they think of it.

1. BirchBox: this is a subscription that you pay $10 a month for.  Every month I get a super cute box full of sample sized beauty products.  I really hate buying a big bottle or full size of something and then not liking and being stuck with it and out the $$$.  So they send makeup, skincare, & fragrance samples that are pretty good sized that I can try before buying.  Genius!  It's like getting a gift every month and I love all the packaging and pink lined box.

June's box contained dry shampoo, lipstick, free cute postcards, orange nail polish, hair tie and perfume sample.
2. The BEST foundation: my skintone has always been uneven (pink cheeks, pale skin and dark circles) and combined with new sun spots (yuck) I decided to venture out of the Bare Minerals and try something with a little more coverage.  Urban Decay, Naked Skin was pricey, $32, but I only use a little bit, it covers amazing, but it feels like I have nothing on.  Lasts all day.  I've tried many brands and this one is the BEST!  I also broke down and bought a really nice foundation brush.  I had never heard of the thing but again, LOVE it.  It is much better than using your fingers and apply it evenly.
This foundation will transform the way you think about foundation...or you will just like it a lot.

3.  Dry Shampoo-I've always heard it's not good to wash your hair every day, but my hair gets a little oily at the scalp and temples and combine that with no volume and I don't like it. After trying 2 different brands, my hair stylist recommended Loreal Professional Hair Texture.  It's a powder you apply to your scalp and blend in-amazing! It absorbs all the oil and adds texture and volume at the roots.  This would be great to use when traveling, camping or just when you don't want to wash your hair for a day. $16.50

4. Primer with Sunblock-Tarte's products I'm realizing are all pretty good.  Since my foundation didn't have sunblock in it (bad!) and I have really fair skin, I need protection.  Enter Tarte's 12 hour primer. This stuff is so soft, only takes a small amount and helps the foundation stay.  If I want a minimal look, I can just put this on instead of foundation.  I love how it feels and it's got SPF 30.  $29 (I think)

5. Mascara-I'll never use another brand.  I was running out of mascara and went into Ulta and asked the sweet girl there which mascara she would recommend.  She said Benefit's They're Real! was not only her favorite but the WORLD'S best selling mascara.  Well ring me up!!  I got the small tube that was $10, a little pricey but my eyelashes are worth it.  The brush has a million bristles and this stuff thickens, lengthens-you name it!  It's the all in one of mascaras.  LOVE IT!

6.  Perfume Let me first say I. don't. wear. perfume.  Until now, that is.  I have a super strong sniffer and most perfume's leave me with a big fat headache. So normally I am a user of Bath and Body Works scented lotions and sprays or the ones by Victoria's Secret.  However, my last trip in Ulta (I told you I go there a little too much) had me in the Philosophy section trying their perfumes.  Amazing Grace was awesome but their Love Sweet Love was really light, sweet, a little floral, feminie and very underwhelming.  My nose approved and I've been wearing it everyday for a week headache free.  It was my birthday present and with it came a free sample set of their face cleanser and shower gel.  The face cleaner, Purity, is fabulous.  It can clean off the eye make-up as well.  I might be switching from Clinique.  I'm probably slow on the Philosophy thing but I believe I'll like the product line.  $44

7.  Eyebrow wax from Benefit (Available at Ulta) I knew my eyebrows were really out of control, it had been about 2 years since they were last shaped.  Wow, the Benefit lady, Ciara, was AMAZING.  She spent like 30 minutes on my eyebrows.  She drew lines, and more lines, conditioned, waxed, clipped & primed. I never knew you could do so much with eyebrow hair, but my brows got a much needed makeover. Sorry I won't share pictures of my before and after-I was a little too Groucho Marks. $20

So there you go, if you have any questions, PLEASE comment, just remember I am NOT an expert.  I'm still amazed I know what dry shampoo is and foundation primer!!

Monday, June 10, 2013

About three months ago, I started pondering when the last time Mike and I had gone off for a weekend or a trip by ourselves.  I couldn't come up with the answer so I decided that needed to change!  I scored a great deal at a hotel in a town near Sun Valley, and kept it a secret from Mike.  I just had him take a Friday off. The kids got to stay with Mom and Mike and I enjoyed a weekend to ourselves. It was wonderful!

Mike has had a really big project at work that he is the lead on and we haven't seen much of him for a month.  Some nights after a 12 hour day at work, he comes home and does homework.  So I thought he really needed some down time.

We drove 2.5 hours to the town of Hailey.  Perfect timing, there weren't many other tourists and we had the hotel pool to ourselves, restaurants weren't packed and we even walked around Sun Valley Resort and it was pretty empty.  Our hotel had free bikes, so we went on a ride, did some shopping in Ketchum and went on a fabulous hike.  We had no agenda, no schedule and did what we wanted. It's such a beautiful area there with wildflowers and mountains and the sky was so blue.   I've decided that we deserve a weekend like this at least 1-2 times a year.  Doesn't have to be fancy, just an opportunity to relax, laugh and enjoy.

We Face-Timed with the kids every night though :-)

We are having fun!!

Sawtooth Botanical Garden

Tranquility garden with Buddhist prayer wheel from when the Dalai Lama visited in 2005.

Those are some big boots!

Delicious drinks at Sun Valley Resort Lodge

Look at that sky.  The view was beautiful from our hike, the air smelled so good!

We hiked right up that hill!

Sculpture made from sticks and branches-very cool!

 The kids got free passes to the little aquarium in Boise.  We all enjoyed it, they had quite a few fish and assorted sea life.  We got to feed the little sharks and pet the sea rays.  There was a huge iguana that Hannah tried to feed.  We had a good time.

Karsten had a sleepover with us all by himself (his brothers were out of town at camp and his Mama had pink eye!).  He and Hannah are so cute together.  She plays "teacher" with him and thinks up of fun games and activities and he sweetly listens and loves going along with whatever she says.  She even bathed him and read him stories!  She's going to be an excellent baby sitter in a few years.

I am so behind!  I wrote this post after Memorial Day Weekend.  Better late than never, it took forever to get the pics with it!

A three day weekend couldn't have come at a better time!  So much work lately, especially for Mr. Case that we don't see him much.  So we had three nice long days stretched out in front of us.  Instead of relax too much, we got busy.  We organized and cleaned the garage.  I feel much better when things are clean and in their correct places.  Had to get rid of the rocking chair (that's been in garage for 6 months) I had since before Hannah was born, but the good news is it went to my sweet neighbor who is expecting a new baby.  Feels much better than donating it.

Mike built me a garden box so Hannah and I can be vegetable growers.  So after spending too much money at home depot on building supplies, and mulch for the flower beds, and flowers for the flower pots and LOTS of top soil, compost and garden soil, we began.  I really love doing projects with the family but for some reason after all that shopping, we were all ready to pull our hair out.  So I took everyone out to lunch and then made them get to work!  I got to hang my bird feeder I got for Mother's Day and I made the hummingbird nectar and got that up too.

Hannah cut grass and leaves and Harley was like a horse eating it.  Weird dog.

So proud of their work!

The girl and Meggie

Hannah did a great job at the end of year music program.

Tree climbing!

I definintely don't have the green thumb/gardening bug my Grandma, Mom and sister have, or maybe mine is just smaller.  Either way, it was enough gardening for me.  Hannah and I look forward to seeing if we can grow anything.

We grilled a bit, got some movies in and it was a nice break.  Now for summer to begin!
Hannah and I made a list of some summer options :-)
Hannah and her 4th grade teacher.
Hannah with a few of her class friends.
The kids finished up school.  I love having them here but I have so much work this summer.  I always have a bit of guilt when I'm working away in my office and they are left to themselves.  We negotiated on the amount of "screen time" (TV, computer, iPods) they will get on summer days...currently they have 45 minutes.  They tried to bargain for three hours a day but they only got 2. I think that is realistic-I know some parents don't let their kids have any, and some let them have it all day, so I think that is a good compromise.  So I made a summer lunch menu, screen time log-in sheets and some "guidelines" for summer-helps me feel more prepared.  We finally booked our camping spot and who knows what else we will do.