Sunday, February 2, 2014

Olivia Anne

On January 23, 2014 my sweet little niece Olivia was born sleeping.

Your earthly life was like a shooting star on a cloudy night.  Your extraordinary light and beauty may not have been seen by the world, but your life was not any less magical and amazing.  Just as we were expecting your arrival and marveling in the beauty of your Mother's growing belly; you were gone. Gone before we were able to experience your bright eyes, sweet newborn cries, and warm snuggles. I know Heavenly Father has a bigger plan for you.  I think of how choice of a spirit you are that our Father in Heaven needed you back home so quickly.  But still, the pain of losing you hurts.  The questions of why will forever plague our minds.  Even in your stillness as I held you and smelled your sweet baby smell, and caressed your soft baby skin reveling in how perfect you were, I knew your life had purpose.  The impression you left on the hearts of the ones who love you will never be forgotten.  Before we buried you, my children and the rest of  your cousins picked out something special for you to place in your casket and all of your family wrote you letters to be sent up to heaven to you by balloons.  Your big brother was so excited for you to get the balloon he sent to soar up into the clouds.  The toy we picked out for you was a butterfly rattle because Kalista said all babies love toys that make noise and you were like a butterfly because you had wings now, but instead you are an angel.  She is right, you will always be our Angel Olivia, and our olive branch to the heavens. Until we meet again sweet niece...

An angel in the book of life
 Wrote down this baby's birth
And whispered as she closed the book...
Too beautiful for earth

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Elf On a Shelf, Don't You Understand I'm Busy Enough?!

After I put the three little ones to bed, I was beginning to unwind by scrolling mindlessly through facebook, when I noticed Kalista standing behind me.  I turned to see her sweet face, and I noticed her little chin was trembling.  She quickly blurted out, "Can we get an elf?"  A little confused I asked her what she meant by that.  She took a deep breath as to hold back her tears and said, "you can buy a little elf at the store, and he is real, and will move around and do fun things at night while you are sleeping."  Aaaaaahhhh one of those I thought.  My impressionable little girl has somehow come to know the ever popular and somewhat annoying fad of Elf On a Shelf.

Then all at once she gazed up at the ceiling as tears started rolling down her cheeks.  I pulled my girl in to my arms and asked her to tell me what was the matter and what this little elf had to do with it.  Apparently, her group of friends at school assemble every morning and trade stories about what their little elf did through the night.  It usually involves finding them on toilets, or baking cookies, or making messes, and many other elaborate mischievous elf scenarios.  What broke her almost eight year old heart was that, in her words, she had nothing to add.  No fun stories.  No elves visiting our house.  Nothing.  The feeling of being left out of fun conversations and forgotten by a little elf was too much pain for her tender heart to handle. I held her as her tears flowed while I contemplated what I could say that would ease her sadness.

{Kalista at 3 years old}

I thought I might get away from having to give in to this demanding production of thinking of new activities for a little doll to get into trouble every night.  Didn't I have enough to worry about already?  I mean, Christmas is only a few weeks away and between getting all their gifts bought and wrapped, Christmas parties, putting a tree up, decorating inside and outside, going to see the lights, holiday baking, and many of the other wonderful yet time consuming things that go along with this time of year, I'm not sure how much more I can take.  Now, little elf, you are telling me now I have to add coming up with unique activities for you to do nightly on my never ending list of things that need to get done?!  Don't you understand that I have a hard enough time just keeping up with my laundry and reminding my kids to brush their teeth?  Let alone the already long to-do list that goes with this wonderful time of the year.

I'm really not a Grinch or a Scrooge either; I actually love Christmas.  I love to make special memories with my family, and to see my kids' imaginations broaden with all the wonderment of a magical Santa.  But I didn't want to expand the Christmas season to include this little bothersome elf.

So in-between sobs, she asked if we could please get an elf.  The thing with Kalista you have to know, is that she doesn't want or ask for much.  Her Christmas list this year consists of 7 things total.  They were all very reasonable things too!  Like, skinny jeans, a math book, duct tape, and a Monster High Doll.  She has saved her birthday money for the last 3 years.  She also rarely asks for things in the store.  So the desperation of wanting the joy and fun that comes with this mischievous little elf was genuine for her, and not just for theatrics.  So after a short pause, and annoyed as I am with this little elf, I responded with, "I'll see what I can do."  That seemed to do the trick.  Her waterworks ceased, she wrapped her arms around my neck, looked up at me with her tear filled eyes and exclaimed, "thank you Mom!"  Then she crawled out of my lap and wandered back to bed.

Uh oh, what did I get myself in to?? And how much do those stupid elves cost again?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Few of My Faves

So I know I haven't posted much beauty related here on the blog, but I thought it might be fun to let everyone know a few of my current favorite beauty items.  I have been interested in makeup for as early as I can remember.  I have been doing friends and family's makeup for special events like dances, pictures, and even weddings for years.  I even thought I wanted to go to Cosmetology school for a while.  But where my real passion is makeup, I didn't care to mess with hair cuts, colors, perms, and nails.  If I could ever afford it to stock up on a decent makeup kit, I would do freelance makeup artistry.  But for now, I just do it for fun.

The first couple of my faves, is from Tarte Cosmetics-

Amazonian clay full coverage
airbrush foundation

Amazonian clay full coverage airbrush foundation -

I'm seriously in love with this stuff.  It goes on so smooth, and does really well with my sensitive skin.  Since it is a full coverage foundation, it covers my blemishes really well without being too cakey.  It is also very fine that it almost feels creamy going on.  The price tag is a bit steep considering I'm used to buying drug store makeup, but the quality is so much better than the L'Oreal mineral foundation I have been using for years. I also think it will last much longer because I don't have to use as much. My only wish is that the airbuki bamboo powder foundation makeup brush that is supposed to go with it wouldn't be so expensive.  After spending almost $40 on foundation, spending another $26 on the brush is way too steep for me.

Next is the-

Amazonian clay finishing powder

smooth operator™ micronized clay finishing powder with PM20™

I got a sample of this when I purchased the Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation.  I wasn't too excited about it, and waited a few weeks of having it before I even tried it.  I'm only glad I waited that long because it means it will last me that much longer before I have to buy more!  This stuff is am-a-zing.  It goes over your makeup and holds it in place so that your foundation lasts all day.  My favorite part about it is putting it over your under eye concealer instead of a regular pressed powder.  It doesn't crease, and all fine lines are blurred, and concealer stays in place all day.  I also got a BB Tinted Treatment 12-Hour Primer as a sample and am really loving that as well to put under the Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation.  This is my first experience with Tarte Cosmetics, and I'm really impressed with their products.  I just wish my budget would allow to try some more.

The next couple of my favorites are much more wallet friendly.  First there is the e.l.f. Essentials Eyelid Primer-

This was SUPER reasonable at only $1.25 at my local grocery store.  But don't let the price tag fool you.  This product does everything you would expect an eye shadow primer to do.  After using this, and wearing it all day, my eye shadow stays in place and doesn't crease at all.  I would highly recommend this product especially to people with combination to oily skin.

I also am loving the e.l.f. Essential Waterproof Eyeliner pen right now. 
 eyeliner, eye liner, eye makeup, makeup pen, eye pen, eyeliner pen
It was the same price as eyelid primer, and it is a great pigmented eyeliner.  I really like the way it feels like a fine-tip marker which makes application much easier for those who have a hard time with liquid eyeliner. The only issue is that it is not what I would consider waterproof.  Maybe only smudge proof.

My last two favorites are products from Sally's Beauty Supply. The first is Miracle 7 Leave-in Mist-

A product thumbnail of Miracle 7 Leave-in Mist 5 oz.

I have really long hair that I rarely trim which makes it easy to get split ends.  But the last 5 months I have been using this product every time after I wash my hair and I have seen a good difference in the amount of breakage I experience.  For anyone that is trying to grow their hair out and wants to avoid damaged ends, this is a great product.  Plus, it smells so yummy and costs under $14!

Last but not least is the Sally's Brand Meta Grip Premium Bobby Pins-

A product thumbnail of Premium Bob Pins
The price tag on these are $8 for 300.  They are seriously the best bobby pins ever.  You will never going back to using any other brand after trying these.  They never slip out, rust, get stretched apart, and they don't have the rubber ends that can be pulled off.  Everything that you don't like about bobby pins is solved with these.  I have had the same ones for over 2 years now, and they are exactly the same as when I bought them.

Well, there is a round-up of some of my favorite beauty products!  I would love to hear of any products you guys would recommend.  Let me know in the comments!