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Week 11 Meal Plan

Asian Ground Turkey via Short List Meals Baked Tacos via Yummy Healthy Easy & Beans (<< fave beans) Cashew Chicken via Chef Savvy Stuffed Lasagna Peppers via Buzz Feed Tasty Baked Chicken & Veggies via Short List Meals Asian Noodle Bowls via Iowa Girl Eats Week 6 Grocery List (viewable in iBooks) 1/2 lb frozen […]

MOM TIME DELIVERED

You may have noticed that on the first Friday of each month, we are featuring a mom who inspires us….encourages us and makes the world a better place! I obviously didn’t get around to publishing this on Friday but the purpose of these features is […]

Week 10 Meal Plan

Weekly Meal Plan 10

  1. Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken via Carlsbad Cravings
  2. TACO TUESDAY!! (Ideas here & here)
  3. Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets via Skinnytaste + Baked Sweet Potato
  4. Asian Lettuce Wrap Chopped Salad via Skinnytaste (I use ground turkey instead of ground chicken and that is reflected in the grocery list)
  5. Mushroom Asiago Chicken served over linguini via The Midnight Baker
  6. Thai Chicken Quinoa Bowl via How Sweet Eats

(more…)

Lets be Includers

We’ve all heard it: “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” Well….William Congreve likely didn’t have kids when he wrote that because a woman has got nothing on a Mother. You want to talk about fury….I double dog dare your kid to push my kid at […]

Week 9 Meal Plan

Asian Ground Turkey via Short List Meals Baked Tacos via Yummy Healthy Easy & Beans (<< fave beans) Cashew Chicken via Chef Savvy Stuffed Lasagna Peppers via Buzz Feed Tasty Baked Chicken & Veggies via Short List Meals Asian Noodle Bowls via Iowa Girl Eats Week 6 Grocery List (viewable in iBooks) 1/2 lb frozen […]

HIGH Performance, LOW Toxin: Makeup

HIGH Performance, LOW Toxin: Makeup

 

Makeup Header 1I’m an undercover tomboy. My best friend would actually beg to differ on the “undercover” part. Or she’d take credit where credit is due and realize she caused the conversion back in our 20s. So, now that you have the background, hopefully it is less annoying to read these words: I love doing my makeup. (said no tomboy EVER, and yet here I am!)

Here’s why: my face feels so good with my makeup on. It is also sun-protected and reaping benefits of products made with essential oils and other goodies like jojoba oil and vitamin E. Trust me, this was not always the case. Doing my makeup felt like a chore and I could feel it on my skin…all day long. Sorry Bare Minerals, you were a major culprit in my weighted-face feeling and breakouts. Inspired by my aesthetician, who has a super high bar for all things natural & high performing, I decided to revamp my makeup drawer one product at a time (it is expensive to shift makeup!!). After much investigation and trial (and error) the winners are…

Julie Hewett and BeautyCounter! Here is what these brands have in common: they are high performing products that are made mindfully and without toxins. Let’s face it, I love to wander aimlessly through Whole Foods, but there’s nothing sexy about getting your makeup from the natural grocery store. I would be all about it if I’d had luck with the products! But I find them to be low toxin products that are also low- to moderate-performers. Meh. No thanks. Julie Hewett is a makeup artist first known for her work on the movie Pearl Harbor (she has the classic Hollywood lip on lock!). Obviously her makeup has to perform, but mineral makeup that you can actually smell (a hint) of the cedarwood essential oil and every lipstick formulated with organic camellia oil gives this brand a ‘beyond expectation’ mark. BeautyCounter makes it so easy to know exactly what you are getting in every product with their ingredient list highlighted right below the instructions on their website. Not a chemist in your other life? Their line is frequently listed as “Top Scoring Products” on EWG’s Skin Deep database. (I’ll hit you with more info on this amazing tool in the skin care edition post!)

So here is my honest opinion: you can’t really go wrong between these two brands. I have my favorite products between the two, which I’ll share here.

FACE

I live in California so I’ll sneak in a tip from my upcoming skincare post: after cleansing & toning I start my makeup party with a face sunblock (ain’t nobody trying to look older faster!). Then comes my absolute favorite products from each line:

FacemakeupCollageTint Skin Hydrating Foundation from BeautyCounter (I use Sand). I put it on like a face lotion. Next comes Julie Hewett’s Ora Mineral Foundation (my color is 1.5). Here are my favorite brushes to use: one for all over & one to use the powder as a concealer. Julie Hewett’s foundation has high grade zinc oxide that doubles up my SPF layer…all while keeping things very light-feeling on my face. What I love about both of these products is that they are light-weight secret weapons that pack a major punch.

BlushBronzermakeup CollageOk, here is where you can’t go wrong: bronzers & blushes. I happen to use Julie Hewett for both but have gotten my paws on the BeautyCounter counterparts and they are fantastic: Julie Hewett Ora Aphrodite Bronzer and Bud of Rose blush and BeautyCounter Color Contour Matte Bronzer & Color Sweep Blush Duo.

We never get paid for our opinions at M+M but we love to pass on a good deal: use promo code BOGO50 for 50% off Bud of Rose blush when you buy an Ora Aphrodite bronzer! Also get signed up with Julie Hewett announcements to find out when they bring back their Breathless palette (one of my best purchases of all): 4 blushes & 16 eyeshadows! BeautyCounter also has seasonal palettes, just not as many shadows & blushes in theirs. So that takes us to…

Eyesmakeup CollageEYES
Julie Hewett’s shadows really don’t “move” on your face. We all know that icky eyelid crease that forms with many shadows…not hers. I haven’t

100percent Blackberry
100% Pure Blackberry Mascara

worn BeautyCounter’s enough to testify, but I love that they come as Color Shade Eye Duo (two for one, eh!). I have an eyeliner of each: Color Outline Eye Pencil in Violet (subtle but fun!) and Julie’s Smudge Brown Eye Pencil. Both great, both do what you want: line without running. But here is what neither have to offer: mascara (technically BeautyCounter does but I am NOT a fan at all). The best performer (and I’ve tried a number of colors): 100% Pure Natural Mascara. I love their fruit pigmented lengthening formulation in Blackberry (again subtle but fun with green eyes).

LIPS

Oh ladies, here is where we have fun! Both brands are very different but both have great options for the all natural look or high drama mama. I have so many favorites (and I used to NEVER wear anything on my lips!). For BeautyCounter, it’s all about their Lip Sheers for me. Twig is an Allure award winner & is pretty much the perfect summertime sheen. I use Petal as my daily lip during fall-winter-spring, and those of you who can rock a good red will love Scarlet.

Lip Sheers

JH LipsJulie Hewett is really known for her lips. And, woman to woman I have to tell you, you just need to have a tube of JH lipstick. I can’t do red (she has the most amazing array of reds!) but my wow-factor favorite is her Scarlett, a bold fuschia. I’m also the owner of Jacqueline, both Camellia balm sticks (Ruby and nude), and Posie Cheekie (for lips & cheeks). I happen to know two other M+M contributors who owe it to all of us to find their favorite Julie Hewett red (Jenelle, Emily…make it happen).

It turns out it’s pretty fun to be a girl and a tomboy – and there is a place for both! There is also a place for both mom & woman…and if you are wondering what to ask for this Mother’s Day – maybe ask your loves to treat you to something new! And then tell me all about it!

Smooch,

Amy

AM

I am an addict ….or something like that.

It’s true….I am an addict. I am addicted to….all the things. In all seriousness…I am a product of addicts. I come from a long line of alcoholics, drug addicts, etc. My Grandparents on both sides, Uncles, Aunts, parents & siblings. It would have been difficult […]

Week 8 Meal Plan

Asian Ground Turkey via Short List Meals Baked Tacos via Yummy Healthy Easy & Beans (<< fave beans) Cashew Chicken via Chef Savvy Stuffed Lasagna Peppers via Buzz Feed Tasty Baked Chicken & Veggies via Short List Meals Asian Noodle Bowls via Iowa Girl Eats Week 6 Grocery List (viewable in iBooks) 1/2 lb frozen […]

Self Love V2

Self Love

**NOTE: Originally, I had planned on this being about motherhood but it took an unexpected turn and ended up being about being a wife. This surprised me and made me feel super vulnerable but I’m just going to go with it. So here goes nothing.**

I want to start this off by saying that I really don’t know where I am going with it. I keep asking myself over and over WHY I feel the urge to express myself via a blog and so far, I have been unable to answer that question. I don’t have an answer. I guess I was looking for an outlet of some sort and if you know me at all….you know I almost always have something to say and its usually something sarcastic or awkward…or inappropriate. While I can’t put my finger on why I decided to start blogging….I like it. So, when Amy….someone I look up to in every way….as a wife…a mother…a friend….an entrepreneur…..ALL THE THINGS….posted about #selflove…..it got me thinking.

I’ve been staying home full-time now for almost a year and I love it. I do. Sometimes I feel guilty admitting that but I love being a stay at home mom. It is more than I could have ever hoped it would be. I knew I was missing out but I had no idea what I was missing. I have said it before and I will say it again. I do not think children are better off when they are at home with their mom and/or dad and I do not think mom and/or dad are better off if they are at home with their children. In fact, some days I think the exact opposite. When I was working full-time, I was more attentive at home. I was more focused, organized and patient. Surprisingly (or maybe not to you wiser parents), being at home, I have to actually work harder at being present. I believe this to be because I have come to take it for granted and that makes me feel like a real jerk.

I pride myself on being a peaceful parent. This is important to me because I lived many years of my life in complete and total chaos. So, peaceful parenting is my jam. In our home, we don’t yell. We don’t hit. We don’t berate. We communicate. We talk and hug it out. We love in all we do. But if I am being totally honest with you…which is what I am trying to do….being a peaceful parent is EXHAUSTING. I am constantly having to re-center myself….take a deep breath….and pray. SO. MUCH. PRAYER. Lately though, I have been feeling more anxious and impatient….with everyone. My kids. My friends. Even my husband. And I LOVE my husband. Like that annoying, gross love that makes people uncomfortable. There are days I want to shave off his eyebrows but I desperately love that man. He is the best human being I have ever known. Literally, ask anyone who knows him, there is no one better than him.

When we started the “staying home” conversation….it took us almost a year to make the decision. We made lists. We weighed our options. We discussed the pros and the cons. Andrew was always supportive….encouraging…uplifting….and one of the pros/reasons for me was that I wanted to “be a better wife”. I wanted to be more present in my marriage. More affectionate. More attentive to my husband and I thought I would be able to do this better/more if I were at home. However, after a year….I believe I am/was wrong.

I give all of me every second of every day to my children. I am a good mom. If we’re talking about #selflove….I can honestly say that I am a good mom. I mean….don’t get me wrong….I make mistakes and have hard days (give me ALL THE WINE) but I’d probably give myself a B+….maybe even an A- in Momming. I promise I am not saying this to brag or make myself feel better because it is not something that just comes naturally to me. I work very hard at it. You know those memes about whispering “what the f*{$” to yourself all day….that’s me….seriously….all day….

Scary Mommy WTF

Being a good mom is not easy. You guys….I DON’T EVEN LIKE BABIES! I am not one of those moms who dreamt about motherhood their whole life or believed their sole purpose in life was to be a mother. I was totally fine without having children. In fact….I didn’t really want to be a mom….until I met Andrew. I have made a lot of mistakes in my lifetime….I have done things I am not proud of….I pushed boundaries as far as I could and there were times in my life when I wondered if I was legitimately crazy…..I was lost for many years…crucial years of my life. After self induced heart break….a couple psychotic breakdowns and a near death experience….I moved on a whim (via a Greyhound bus) to a different city in a different state with no money, no car and no job….to “find myself”. At the time, I didn’t know what that even meant. I got a job and made some friends and honestly….I was having the time of my life. I finally felt normal and you know what….I liked myself…which was new for me. Then I met Andrew….at a club….at 2am. It makes me laugh every time…can you imagine Andrew at a club at 2am? Well, it’s true. He was there….dancing up a storm slinging gin & tonics to all the pretty girls. Like any good love story….I had no intentions of falling in love. I can’t really explain it but Andrew is just good. Andrew helped me to see the good in…well…in almost everything. Andrew made me believe in good again. Andrew made me believe in me again. I won’t say Andrew saved me because I saved myself….but Andrew made me believe that I was worthy of even more. For some reason….with Andrew’s amazingness comes my own self doubt. I still sometimes think to myself that I am not good enough for him. He is what movies are made of.

As you have probably gathered….I could not love my husband any more than I do and yet, at the end of the day, after the kids are in bed, the dishes are done and everything is put away….I don’t want to “chat”. I wince even typing that because I know it’s so mean…I know. I don’t want to play a game (we love cribbage), or work on one of the 40,000 house projects we want to do this year….or anything….I don’t want to do anything. I want to be silent. I want to sit in silence…I want to drink wine and stare at Pinterest or watch awful television that I am too ashamed to even list on here. I want NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYONE. You want to know why I don’t text you back??? I DON’T WANT TO TALK TO YOU. There. I said it. However, I do want Andrew to be alone with me. Just having him THERE is enough for me. I want to sit on the couch….next to him….in silence….while staring at our phones.

lay in bed meme

I know that marriage is more than this. This will probably come as a surprise to you (especially after reading about my gross obsession with my husband) but I am not a sappy love story kind of gal. If you have ever received my love….you know it is something fierce but I believe that marriage takes a whole lot more than just love. It takes hard work. You’ve got to put in the work. My parents were divorced TWICE and remarried TO EACH OTHER three times. Let that one sink in for a minute. I have nightmares about failing at marriage. At least once a week, I wake up in the middle of the night and pull Andrew’s arm around me and/or forcefully wake him up to tell him I had a nightmare. That nightmare is our marriage failing. What gives!?

You know….I thought cooking dinner every night and having it ready when he got home was one of the ways I could be a “good wife” or preparing his lunch for him to take to work.  I thought having a clean house, happy & well behaved children and clean laundry was another way for me to be a “good wife” but what I’ve realized is while we like all of these things and he appreciates all of those things….to him….none of those are the reasons he loves me or are reasons HE thinks I am a good wife. He thinks I am the best wife because I make him laugh. I encourage him and push him. I support and respect his goals. I love our children. I listen to what is challenging him and laugh at his jokes….even the bad ones. I love him something fierce….in sickness & in health….in good times & in bad. I love him. Unconditionally. Every. Single Day….and you know what….he literally thinks I am the best….even on my worst days.

4319_523447355416_7268554_n

So, in honor of Milk & Mascara’s #selflove campaign, I’m looking to you to help me show some love to not only myself but to my marriage. For myself….I think I want to work out so I am going to head over to the local Athletic Club tomorrow to tour their childcare options and see if maybe that is a way I can show myself a little love (even though I feel so guilty spending money on something that will take me away from my kids when my husband has made so many sacrifices to make it possible for me to be at home). I’ve got to make “me time” a priority so that I can keep on being the glittery ball of sunshine my kids and my sweet sweet husband have come to know and love. How do you show yourself the love and how do you prioritize your marriage? I am looking to you to help me find some balance….what are your secrets? Tips?

>>> sending you LOTS of love >>>

Emily

Lucy Logue by Annie Helen-4352

Week 7 Meal Plan

Asian Ground Turkey via Short List Meals Baked Tacos via Yummy Healthy Easy & Beans (<< fave beans) Cashew Chicken via Chef Savvy Stuffed Lasagna Peppers via Buzz Feed Tasty Baked Chicken & Veggies via Short List Meals Asian Noodle Bowls via Iowa Girl Eats Week 6 Grocery List (viewable in iBooks) 1/2 lb frozen […]