Posted in Book Reviews

Stretched Too Thin: Goals

Another big part of Stretched Too Thin is setting goals as a way to help working Moms focus our time and energy. I love the focus on setting SMART goals (Specific, Meaningful, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound) because my goals are often too nebulous (get back in shape) to really focus my time and energy. The author recommends setting bite-sized short term goals instead of broad sweeping goals that actually encompass many, many smaller goals. The exercise at the end of Chapter 2 was all about setting your own goals. Three seems like a nice round number, so let’s talk SMART goals. These are my goals for my personal life. I have a set of professional goals that I need to reframe, but I spend enough time thinking about work. Right now, I want to think about goals that make me better/happier when it comes to my home & family.

  1. Exercise 3x per week

P52_Week2_Goals1The hubby & I have been focused on getting healthy again for the last 2 months. Right now that comes in the form of a better diet. I’ve lost about 10lbs since we started, but I know that I need to work-out to really feel healthy. I have more energy & am happier when I’m fit, so this needs to be a priority. I like to work-out; I was in the Army & fitness was just a part of life. I got out of that habit, and have to make the effort to get back into it. I also value being able to play & run with my kids. Hopefully seeing the hubby & I as fit adults will instill a life-long love of fitness/physical activity for them.

2. Pick-up My Camera Again Do the Last 12 weeks of the P52 Challenge on the Clickin’ Moms Forum

One of my macro photos from a few years ago

See, I realized the first thing I typed was too broad & not at all measurable. I love photography & am actually thinking about changing the design of this blog to better accommodate photographs in order to encourage me in this goal.  I am a research analyst for work, & photography has always helped fill the creative void left by researching & writing reports 40 hours a week. I used to photograph our life; I was that mom who always had a camera. My kids love to look through old photos, but I put down my camera & haven’t been doing any photography lately. I feel like I’ve been neglecting capturing our life. I look at the last photos I took of my kids & they’ve grown SO MUCH… I will never get that time back in photographs.

3.  Finish My Son’s Room by the New Year

I need this goal. I’ve been chipping away at working on the house, but it always gets pushed to the back burner. Now that Ben is home & can handle some of my day-to-day tasks on the weekends, I want to do this. My daughter’s room turned-out beautifully & the sooner I finish the boy’s room, the sooner I can move on to the master bedroom. These particular projects have been unfinished for a very long time. For my sanity, I need to finish them. This means that I need to sit down with the calendar & pencil-in specific tasks for specific weekends or the timeline will just continue to get pushed. THIS WEEKEND: Empty everything except his bed out of the room. I have off Monday, so this should be very doable.

What kind of goals do you have? What do you need to do to get there?

Posted in Beauty, Uncategorized

October Releases!

It is a new month & that means new goodies from Younique! We’ve got a new Customer Kudos, new products, additions to some old favorites, AND hostess rewards!

Let’s start with the Customer Kudos for October. This Kudos is 3 of my favorite products Oct_Kudoswith a cute little bag at a 30% discount! First is the BB Flawless Complexion Enhancer. This lightweight foundation is my every day wear. It moisturizes & leaves my skin looking fresh & dewy. It really evens my skin tone without looking overly “made up”. The second item is Splash Liquid Lipstick. This liquid lipstick is velvety, blendable, and bold coverage that’s lightweight, but intense. It has great staying power & comes in your choice of 20 colors. The final item is the Dip & Draw liquid eyeliner. This eyeliner (in your choice of colors) is absolutely amazing. It glides on & stays all day. And seriously, this bag!? Super cute.

New_SplashNext is 5 new colors of the Splash Liquid Lipstick that are just perfect for fall! This is amazing because you can chose any of the new colors with the October Kudos. The colors are: Showy (plum purple), Sympathetic (medium nude), Screeching (darkest purple), Sparkling (peach nude), & Sunny (baby pink). I ordered Sunny today, so I will make sure to show it to you all when I get it! Touch Liquid

We are also adding 6 new light to light/medium colors to our selection of the Touch Liquid Foundation. This ultra-thin liquid is a full-coverage foundation that goes on liquid and dries to a soft, powdery finish. It now comes in 19 shades so that you can find your perfect match. Younique just keeps adding shades to round-out our selection. If you’re not sure about your perfect shade, send me a message or leave a comment & I will gladly help you select the best color for your skin tone. That is my favorite part of being a Younique presenter…helping other women find things that make them feel more beautiful.

We are also making our brush cleaner a permanent addition to the collection. Trust me, you’re not cleaning your make-up brushes frequently enough. This brush cleaner makes it super easy & conditions your brushes while cleaning them. I love this stuff. We are also making the Spoolie brow brush a permanent addition. This handy little brush works wonders with the brow palette to perfect your brows.

Oh! And I almost forgot! This month there is also a hostess reward if you host an on-line party. In addition to the Y-Cash, you will also get 2 free full size items if you host a qualifying party in October. You will receive a free Epic waterproof mascara & a free Royalty cleansing stick. So, contact your friendly Younique Presenter if your wish list is bigger than your budget & you’d like to earn some free product this month.

Posted in Book Reviews

Stretched Too Thin: The Mental Load

I know I was missing last week. I had training for my job & that meant a long commute and no access to my phone or email during the day. It made for very long days with a lot of catching up to do every night, so my writing was a bit neglected.

Anyway, I’m listening to Stretched Too Thin stretched-too-thin-bookby Jessica Tuner on audio book. I really like listening to non-fiction on audio book; it’s like getting a TED talk or sitting-in on a college seminar while I drive or clean or cook dinner. I really want to talk about some of the concepts the author addresses in this book. Where are all the other Mom’s out there?

First, let’s admit the guilt is there. Mommy Guilt is real, and it can be pretty consuming. I’ve worked full-time since my oldest was 8 weeks old, and there have been many times where I’ve actually sat down & cried over the stress/guilt of trying to do it all, but not doing any of it as well as I want. I’ve had to say no to chaperoning field trips because I had a major presentation at work that day or because I just couldn’t take leave. On the flip side, I’ve had to call-out of work at inconvenient times because I had to stay home with a sick kid. I’ve fed my kids a pre-dinner in the car on the way to rugby practice because DC traffic meant I got home too late to eat at the table like civilized people. My kids go to a series of summer camps because I work during the summer. It all makes me feel like I’m just surviving their childhood & not really enjoying it.

The biggest thing the first chapter talks about is the “mental load” that working Mom’s carry. This is the little stuff that you handle that no one (maybe even you) realizes how much time & energy it takes. These are things like arranging child care, signing kids up for activities, meal planning, scheduling/keeping track of doctor & dentist appointments, practice schedules, game schedules, school events, field trip permission slips… the list goes on and on.  It doesn’t seem like a lot until you list it out & then you realize it is no wonder you can’t focus on specific tasks long enough to complete something to your satisfaction. And this is just at home.

Last school year was the absolute worst. This was mainly because my husband was at a year-long school in Kansas for his work. He left in June of 2017, one week after I started my brand-new job, and returned home the end of May 2018. It was not awesome. In addition to being a one-woman show when it came to the kids, it also meant I was a one-woman show when it came to the fixer-upper we call home. I installed moulding, painted, fixed the washing machine, dealt with a flooded basement all while working full-time and taking care of two kids. Last year is a blur of stress, balls I dropped, and constant motion. There was just not enough me to go around; I constantly walked a fine line between order & chaos. I was on my own during the hubby’s last deployment as a Marine & I was a single Mom before I met him. But for some reason this time was different. Maybe it was the house or maybe it was because the kids are older & have a full complement of activities. Either way, it was a long, stressful year.

Spread_ThinFor me, the burden is that I am still carrying the entire mental load for our family. I haven’t handed over any of it since my husband came home. I am still the keeper of the family schedule & everything that entails. I still keep the grocery list & meal prep plans & kid chore chart. We are still at a point where I have to ask my husband to do things & that feels like I’m “in charge” of the task. One, I don’t want to be the family nag & two, I don’t want to be “in charge” of all the tasks. That means assigning out these tasks is just one more thing I have to do. I need to find a way to fix this with both the hubby & my children. They’re old enough to do more around the house & my husband isn’t a mind reader. I’ll be honest though, I’m not even remotely sure how to transition at least some of the mental load without things being missed/dropped/neglected? Chore charts? Family meeting?  What works for you all?



Posted in Beauty, Tuesday Tips

Tuesday Tips

I really only started wearing make-up a few months ago, so some of these tips have really helped me improve my skills & speed. I don’t have time to spend an hour doing my make-up in the morning… 10-15 minutes is much more reasonable.

  1. Let’s start with mascara. Warm-up the 3-D Fiber Lashes before applying. It makes the gel go on smoother & seems to help with the fibers as well. I generally put both tubes in a mug of warm tap water while I’m washing my face, applying moisturizer, & primer.
  2. To get an even coat of mascara on the wand, twist it inside the tube. Don’t pump the wand in & out… that introduces air and bacteria to your mascara & shortens its usability.
  3. Primer is everything! Let your eye primer dry for at least 5 mins before applying eye make-up. Eye Primer is essential under your shadow. It helps the shadow go on smoothly, makes blending effortless, and keeps it in place a lot longer. If you wear eye shadow… you should invest in some primer.
  4. Speaking of blending. The other secret to blending eye shadow is the brush you’re using. You want a soft, fluffy blending brush. Stiff dense bristles create lines… not what you want. I do use the Younique blending brush, but I’ve also had pretty good luck with brushes from Make Up For Ever & Sephora in general. They are both more expensive though & I honestly prefer my Younique blending brush.
  5. Metallic eye shadows. Who doesn’t love them? They are beautiful… until they end-up as sparkles on your cheeks. Try making your application brush damp before applying. I always use either Younique Rosewater or Setting Spray. They work the best (the setting spray is outstanding), but plain water will do in a pinch. You don’t want it wet, just damp.
  6. Primer is everything, Part II! Let your face primer dry for at least 5 minutes before applying your concealer and/or foundation. Face primer helps fill in your pores & fine lines, creating a smoother canvas for your concealer & foundation.
  7. You can also use either the face or eye primer on your lips to help keep your lippy in place. This works particularly well for lip stain.
  8. Under-eye concealer should be a triangle. You’re blending the lighter shade down onto your cheeks instead of just keeping it directly under your eyes. This helps brighten your whole under eye area & helps it blend into your foundation without a tell-tale line.
  9. Use white eyeliner on your lower water line to brighten your eyes & make them look bigger (or less tired). I use this tip pretty much daily. Mom of 2 + full-time job + constant remodeling = not nearly enough sleep. Even if I’m only wearing lip balm, the white eye liner in the water line is a must.
  10. To get your lipstick smooth & even brush your lips gently with a soft toothbrush first. Exfoliated lips make for a smooth coat!

What are your favorite make-up tips? I’d love to hear them in the comments.


Posted in Beauty

Steals & Deals!

This is a new section on the Younique homepage & it is definitely one to keep an eye on. Products will be rotating through here at 30+ percent discounts. It is products/colors we’re retiring or things we have excess stock, so it’s a great place to pick-up products at discount prices… Especially if you want to try something new!

Splurge_GraphicMy favorite thing on this list right now is 14 of the Splurge Cream Shadows! These little gems are 50% off. The 14 colors are retiring, so they will be 50% off until they are sold out. (Psst… this means new colors are coming at some point). The Splurge Shadows are super pigmented, glide on like cream & dry powder. They blend well with our pressed shadows & have amazing staying power. They were also featured in Family Circle’s Busy Mom’s Beauty Guide for Daytime Eye Makeup. I am considering snagging DEFIANT and MYSTERIOUS. Which colors are your pick?

Another new addition is the Beachfront line for 30% off including the liquid shadow, highlighter, shimmering body oil, and lip oil. BTW, the lip oil isn’t showing on the Steals & Deals page for some reason… but they are still on sale. This was a fabulous summer line, but as PSL comes in… Beachfront is on it’s way out.

The last new addition is Touch Mineral Cream Foundation for 30% off. All 13 shades are on sale right now. They come in a handy little compact & are great for make-up on the go or touch-ups during the day.Lip_Stain

There are some other great products on there that just aren’t necessarily my favorites. First, Liquid Eyeliner is 50% off. It’s a great deal; I’m just not a liquid eyeliner kind of girl. I am not skilled in the ways of wings. I fail every.single.time. There are 3 colors of Lip Stain at a 50% discount. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Younique lip stain; these colors just aren’t my jam. There’s a bright coral & 2 purples. Also, 4 shades of the Splash Liquid Lipstick. This is another case where I love the product, but these aren’t my favorite shades. I am super boring when it comes to lip color. Nude? Yes!! Shimmery baby pink? Woo hoo!! Light berry? Maybe. Red? NO! I look like one of Dracula’s brides in a bad vampire flick. Anyway, that’s my bias. I prefer a pretty neutral lip.Prestige_Bundle

Last, but totally not least, the first Prestige Loyalty Bundle is being released on September 20th! This is only available for 5 days & only to customers who are either members of the Loyalty Program (have spent $100 with Younique) or are part of the Epic Prestige Subscription program. We presenters can’t order these! (Which is a shame because I really like the adorable bag that comes with it). Anyway, this specially curated bundle includes a Crush Lip Powder of your choice, 2 pressed shadows of your choice & the brand spanking new cleaning stick. The cleaning stick is great for lip stain & the new waterproof mascara. All in a super-cute little make-up bag. And the best part… it’s 25% off the retail prices.


Posted in Beauty

Let’s Talk Lashes

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the two Younique mascaras (Epic & 3D Fiber Lashes), so here goes. No mocking the selfies. I’m terrible at them, but the lashes are gorgeous even in my less than epic photos (see what I did there? HA).

Starting with Epic mascara. This is my go to for everyday wear. It is 1-step application, just like any other mascara you’ve ever used. It makes my lashes look great without feeling all crispy, which I love. It is not waterproof, but it is water resistant. I wouldn’t wear it somewhere you expect lots of tears or splashing, but I’ve never had any issues with it running day to day. We also just released Epic in 2 new formulas! First, there is now a WATERPROOF version of our original Epic. We also added Epic in BROWN; I get this request a lot from my blond or redhead customers who are not looking for something as dramatic as the original black. I’m a very dark brunette, so I really love the original black. The top picture is just original EpMascarasic.

Next is the 3-D Fiber Lashes; this the very first product that Younique released & the foundation for the company. This is definitely the one for upping the glam factor. This is a 3-step application mascara & creates amazing results. For me, this is not my daily wear-to-work mascara, but I definitely wear it for date night, girls night, or special events. I know some ladies love the WOW of these lashes everyday, but I like to spring it on the hubby when he’s not expecting it. Anyway, you start with the transplanting gel, then the 3D Fibers, then a second coat of gel… repeat until you get the desired results. Here’s what I’ve found, do gel & then fibers on the first eye. Then gel & fibers on the second before I return to the first for the top-coat of gel. Repeat for additional coats. The center pic is 2 coats on the top lashes & Epic on the bottom.

Also, you can definitely mix these two formulas. I’ve seen Epic used as both a top coat and a base coat for the 3-D Fiber Lashes & the results are pretty amazing!  The bottom pic is an Epic base coat for the 3-D Fiber Lashes.


Posted in Beauty

September Releases!

Just WOW. September is a huge month for Younique new releases.  I’ve already told you guys about the 6 new eyeshadow colors… which are amazing for fall BTW.

Then we had several new things released on 1 September! And this is not it, more coming this month!

Collection6 New BE YOUNIQUE Collections: These are curated product bundles at a discount & it comes with a cute bag! These are a great deal if you’re in need of a whole new set of items… or if you have a half off from hosting a virtual party.

Brightening Mask: This is the newest addition to our already strong mask line. I’m a big fan of the exfoliating & detox masks. I don’t use the oil control mask because I have super-dry skin, so I can’t give you a personal review of that one. I do have a few samples of the Oil Control Mask, so send me a message if you’d like to try one.

Our newest release, the brightening mask, is formulated to improve and even the appearance of skin tone, minimize the appearance of pores and improve skin’s elasticity so your skin feels softer and looks more radiant. You cleanse your face as usual (I primarily use the Royalty Moisture Boosting Gentle Cleanser because of my dry skin), then apply the mask, let it sit for 15 mins & then peel it off, finally tone & moisturize as usual.

A few tips with this one. It is thinner than our our BrighteningMaskother masks, so this is the first one I’ve had a little trouble applying with my fingers. Make sure you apply it over the sink just in case it drips. I am actually considering the mask applicator for this one. Second, apply it a little thicker so that it peels more easily. Honestly, if you’re having trouble peeling it, just wash it off with warm water & it comes right off. Finally, this mask tingles! It was a bit of a surprise at first, but it didn’t hurt & shouldn’t be painful. The mask contains niacinamide. This ingredient may give a tingling sensation to the skin. Niacinamide is beneficial in improving the appearance of skin clarity and tone. If you know you have sensitive skin, I recommend testing this product on a small patch of skin first. Take advantage of Younique’s Love It Guarantee & return it for your money back (or an equivalent Y-Cash credit) if it bothers your skin.

MOODSTRUCK CRUSH lip powder in 9 colors:  These brand new lippies feature encapsulated water technology that transforms from powder to a velvety cream. Seriously, it is a powder until you apply it to your lips & then it’s smooth & creamy. The colors are really vibrant & offer full coverage. They are not smooch proof, but have pretty good saying power for the coverage & texture. Contrite is my go-to in this one.

Casual—Matte pinkCrush

Captivating—Matte berry

Curvaceous—Matte red

Contrite—Rose pink shimmer

Complicated—Chocolate brown shimmer

Capricious—Coral shimmer

Coy—Matte peach

Crisp—Matte hot pink

Compatible—Matte light brown

Me wearing Sappy lip stain!

3 New Colors of STIFF UPPER LIP Lip Stain: Lip Stains are probably my favorite lippy product. You put them on & go. You don’t worry about it kissing off on your significant other or kids or coffee mug. Sure, you can reapply after lunch for a touch-up, but I promise, it’s still there. I wear SAPPY or SHY almost every day, but am considering stepping out of my comfort zone & trying STARSTRUCK. Normally, I’m afraid of red, but this just seems like a fall color I might need. What do you guys think? Should I go for it?

The new colors are:

SIMPLE: Chocolate Brown

SOCIAL: Lavender Grey


Younique Prestige Loyalty Program: This is pretty cool. If you have EVER spent $100 with Younique, you should have $10 in Y-Cash sitting in your account right now. Then moving forward, for every $100 you spend, you get $10 in Y-Cash. You will also receive a reduced free-shipping minimum ($75 instead of $100), and you will have access to an exclusive bundle quarterly. The curated bundle will be a selection of products at a great price that only those in the loyalty program will be able to purchase.

I know $10 in Y-Cash doesn’t seem like a lot, but if you stack it with the hostess rewards from a virtual party in September, you can definitely earn enough Y-Cash to get some free product.

As always, tell me what you think in the comments!

Posted in Beauty

Flawless Four for Eyes

We all love eyeshadows, right? They’re amazing & fun. There are endless options for

The Kudos Bundle

looks. However, we can’t forget the basics of what makes our eyes POP & that’s what the September Customer Kudos is all about. Your brows & lashes anchor your eye look… don’t forget about them. With this month’s Kudos you get the MOODSTRUCK Brow Obsession Palette in your choice of 3 shades (blonde, brunette, dark brunette/black); an Epic mascara of your choice (original black, brown, or waterproof); a MOODSTRUCK Precision Pencil Eyeliner in your choice of 11 colors. And finally, you get a FREE brow brush. You get to choose from Younique’s Brow Artist Brush or the brand new Spoolie Brow Artist Brush. The Spoolie brush is only available right now in the Kudos!

Before & After

Let’s talk about the brow palette. It has everything you need to get perfect brows in 1 handy little case. It comes with light & dark brow powders for filling & outlining your brows. It has setting wax to keep every hair in place & it also includes both a matte & a shimmer highlight to finish of the look. In a hurry to get out the door? You can get a quick, polished look with just this little gem, some eyeliner, and Epic mascara. Throw on some lip gloss & you are street ready in 5 mins.

Le Tote

le toteHave you guys tried Le Tote?  What do you think? I do not enjoy shopping & love the fact that my wardrobe just shows up on my doorstep. I’m not stuck with something if it doesn’t fit right or it doesn’t quite look like it did in the picture online. It’s a monthly service & you can get as many boxes per month as you like.  Anyone have any other wardrobe services they prefer?

Posted in Beauty

Phlur Fragrances

So, this is something I tried on a whim from a Facebook add (there might have been wine

Three little samples sitting in a row!

involved). Yeah, I know, usually a disaster waiting to happen. Not this time! Phlur is an environmentally conscious on-line fragrance company. Their thing is that you can order 3 samples of your choice for $18 with free shipping ($9 if you use the link in this post), then they apply what you paid for the samples to the cost of a full size bottle. Just be aware, these scents are billed as gender neutral, so none of them are sweet or overly floral. If you like very floral or sweet fragrances, this is not for you.

Here are the 5 samples I’ve tried & what I thought:

Hanami: This is probably the lightest scent, subtle & warm. The notes are fig, white florals, hazelnut and sandalwood. I like this one very much; it feels like a summer scent to me… light and effortless. But that won’t stop me from wearing year round. 🙂

Olmstead & Vaux: I’d describe this one as bright & clean. The notes are shiso leaf, white ginger, orange flower and maté. It is a little citrusy, but not overwhelmingly so. This is my go-to everyday scent.

Moab: This one is probably the most unique & distinctive; it is dry and even a little spicy. The notes are long pepper, clove, vanilla, jasmine and tonka bean. I love, love, love this one. It screams fall to me, the dry spiciness just makes me think of warm sweaters & snuggles. PS: My hubby says its sexy *giggle*

Siano: This is definitely a heavier scent that the others. Its notes are green pepper, ylang ylang, osmanthus, mimosa, and cognac. It lasts really well & has a dark floral/exotic scent that has a great energy. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I liked this one at first, but after I wore it all day… definitely like it. It will be a “mood scent” for me, not an every day wear.

Sandara: This one is supposed to evoke the great outdoors & the peacefulness of a nature walk. The notes are forest air, violet leaves, timur pepper, sandalwood and oak moss. To be honest, I’m not a big fan of this one. It’s way too piney for me; I should’ve known that from the description, but I decided to give it a try anyway. I will try it again, just to be sure, but…eh…my first impression was “not so much”.

I haven’t tried Greylocke or Hepcat because the descriptions didn’t really appeal to me. Have any of you guys tried them? Thoughts?