Sunday, October 29, 2017

My newest obsession

We are leaving for our big trip this Thursday! All of the shopping is done and we have things somewhat organized and ready to be packed, but there's still so much to do! Like getting our house ready to have actual housesitters in it! Since I won't be posting on the blog while we're gone, make sure you're following along on Instagram to see where we are and what we're seeing! 

Even though we're about to leave, I wanted to share something new that I've started doing...

I've become a distributor for Monat!

Juliette, what the heck is Monat?

OMG I'm so glad you asked. Monat is a collection of different hair products that are naturally-based, pure, safe, and sustainable. The ingredients in Monat mimic the body's own natural oils to reduce hair thinning, prevent oxidative stress, and add volume and shine. There are shampoos, conditioners, oils, hair spray, dry shampoo, men's products, shave cream, eyelash/eyebrow serum... the list goes on and on! One the (many many) great things about Monat is that there are different systems, so depending on what your hair needs, there's a system for you. There's one to add volume, one that repairs hair (which I definitely needed after too many years of coloring and giving myself at home trims... there's a picture later in this post), a regrowth system.... I mean you guys, it's amazing.

After 5 weeks of using Monat
There's a lot of scientific backing for why Monat works, and if you're scientifically minded (I am not... I would definitely be Penny on Big Bang Theory except with MUCH less muscle tone), you'll love reading about it. If you want more information on this, let me know and I'll get at you with some links!

So, let me show you some of my results. This is my hair before I got a trim or did anything.

Ignore the sign. Remember, we're still working on un-bachelorpadding our home. My hair was TERRIBLE. But then, I got a trim and some more color put in, and this was my hair the night before I first washed with Monat.

Better! But not great! Then, 5 weeks later...

Now, obviously my hair was curled in the most recent picture and the lighting was better, but you can still tell what a difference there is! It's fuller and shinier and it feels SO GOOD. The most noticeable part, however, has been my hairline. I've always said I suffer from female-pattern-baldness, which you can see on the left. Then, after 6 weeks, that's my hair from the same angle!  
 If you have been struggling with your hair or just want to add some extra volume or shine, let me know. I love this product and I really believe in it. There are so many things I want to tell you about (like how you have to use the shampoo twice a wash but the second time a magical thing happens), how LONG the product lasts because of how concentrated it is, what an amazing VIP program we have... the list really does go on and on.

I promise I won't be that annoying person who is constantly in your face trying to get you to buy my product... that's not my jam. What IS my jam is amazing hair. So if you are interested, let me know!

Monday, October 23, 2017

These products were duds

For a long time (I'm talking years), I've had certain makeup products I've sworn by. You can check out some of my favorites here. Over the past year or so I've deviated from my usual products because of sales and general curiosity. While I've found some new favorites, I've also found some products that were really not worth the money I feel like I wasted. To save your wallets and your time, I've listed some of the recent duds I've found.

Super Curler 24 hour volume and curl mascara.
I bought this out of desperation when my standard favorite Colossal Lash was out of stock. I was disappointed in this mascara because the formula felt watery (more watery than a normal brand new mascara) and the brush was large and made up of flimsy bristles and it didn't coat my lashes well at all. 

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser
I'm so disappointed in this product! I saw bloggers boast about this for yeeeeears but I never bit the bullet because the $12 product seemed too steep for something I didn't know would work or not. Well, a couple of weeks ago I decided to give it a shot, and it was a bust. Maybe the circles under my eyes were too dark, but I didn't feel like it offered very good coverage unless I used multiple layers, and when I did that my face felt cakey. I definitely won't be purchasing this product again!

Cover Girl Easy Breezy Brow
This was another desperation buy when I was out of eyebrow powder and felt like a change. It turns out that using a brush to apply your eyebrows isn't a very good idea. This would probably work for somebody like Brooke Shields or Cara Delevingne who just want to swipe a bit more color into their already full brows, but for somebody like me who wants to add precise strokes, this product was a waste. 

Maybelline Master Prime
I think this is supposed to be a dupe of the Smashbox primer, but it just left my face feeling greasy!

Almay Brow Pencil
This pencil is SO thick it was almost as pointless as trying to use the brush I listed above. On the upside it was pretty pigmented so the color really shows up, but on the downside if you mess up, you have color where you really don't want it.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick (color: Perla)
This was a sample in one of my Birchbox boxes. I felt like I had jumped straight out of the 90s with this color! I also didn't like how, upon application, the product felt super watery, but after a few minutes it dried into a chalky mess. No thanks!

Up & Up Daily Moisturizing Lotion (dupe for Aveeno)
I will definitely be spending the extra $3 to purchase actual Aveeno products after trying this dupe. Like so many other products this one felt watery, and my skin didn't feel moisturized at all. It just felt slimy. Normally the Target Up & Up products nail it, but not this one!

Don't worry though, I'm not a total pessimist, and there are some products that I've really been loving lately, so stay tuned for that!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Our two tiny visitors

My two little nieces came and stayed at our house over the weekend. Just the girls - no parents! I've been begging my sister to give me her kids for a weekend but I didn't really think she actually would. I could not have been more excited for the weekend! I bought toys, snacks, more toys, more snacks, and told everyone I encountered that my nieces were coming to visit and LOOK at them... aren't they cute?? Then I showed everyone (like the cashier at World Market) this picture:

We picked the girls up at Nordstrom Rack (#heaven) and, after some shoe shopping which resulted in these cute red shoes for Kynlee, we began the drive back to our house!

We had babyproofed our house as much as we could, and it worked out well. The only hard thing was that we have SO MANY stairs and Kynlee (19 months) isn't SUPER great with stairs, so I was kind of concerned about that the whole weekend. But you guys, check out her perfect blogger foot stance!

I had gone a little overboard buying toys, but it turns out the only toy I really needed to buy was a Sofia the First doll with magnetized outfits. I got it at Kohl's for like $8 and Katelynne was OBSESSED with Sofia aaaaallllll weekend. She even put Sofia and all her accessories in a plastic bag and carried her with us everywhere!

We took lots of selfies...

...and had lots of bubble baths!! Kynlee does this thing where if you say, "Kyn, show me The Look!" she looks at you like this: kills me every time. She found my shower cap and really enjoyed that.

Bedtime was a little hard... I put them down a little before 10 and there were loooooots of tears. Once Katelynne fell asleep she was out for the night, but Kynlee was another story! She usually nurses during the night so she was very upset that I wasn't able to satisfy her need... it resulted in a LOT of screaming. And I mean SCREAMING, not just crying. I had to get up with her a couple of times and it took 20-30 minutes of just holding her while she screamed until she tired herself out before she fell asleep for a couple of hours... needless to say, we were both exhausted in the morning. Katelynne woke up at 6:30 on Saturday morning and I was able to let her watch Secret Life of Pets before Kyn woke up around 7:15 and we had to actually get out of bed... nobody was super happy.

Keith was able to hang out with us for a little bit (he wasn't too thrilled with the nighttime screaming) before he left for the USC vs Utah football game. The girls and I went to a pinecone festival with my mother-in-law later that morning! Kynlee got a little happier as the day went on...

Katelynne got to sit in a fire truck! Pink bag story: Katelynne found this pink diaper bag that my sister had bought and claimed it as her own, calling it her "purse packback." She carries it EVERYWHERE. And really didn't ever want to put it down! It's gigantic!

I was able to get a pretty good picture of me and Kynlee.

Katelynne insisted on picking out her own outfit. I tried to get her to wear something different but she was set on wearing her pony dress and wouldn't be bribed out of it! She wore this outfit for like, 3 days straight.

She got to decorate her own pinecone at the festival! My sweet mother-in-law helped her.

I tried to get a picture of all three of us but this was the best I got.

We got back around 1pm and I was desperate for a nap, but my sister had said that if they didn't nap any more during the day (they had both slept in the car) they would sleep better that night. So, I tried to keep us busy allllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll afternoon! 

We played with playdough, played with Sofia, played with the animals, jumped on the bed, ran around, ate snacks, and then fiiiiinally it was time to eat dinner and take a bath! Both girls were exhausted by bath time (at 6pm).

I put Kate's hair up in a towel and she decided she looked like "an ice cream cone." She wasn't wrong!

Kyn fell asleep by 6:50. And oh my goodness... she is too cute! I just can't.

That night was MUCH better. Some screaming, but not nearly as much as the first night! Hallelujah! The next morning we went to Lake Arrowhead and I took the girls to ride some of the fun rides. They (mostly Kate) LOVED it!

There was a carousel...

...and a train. Katelynne held up 4 fingers (she just turned 4 AND got to ride 4 rides) and looked very somber as she rode around the track.

When we got home, I had to hurry to pack all their things so I could take them back to their parents. I only got ONE picture of all 4 of us together, and Kynlee was not cooperating! But, I guess that's how it is with kids?

Having the girls over was SO much fun and I already miss them. I mean, I REALLY miss them! They're so much fun and so excited over little things and they just made me laugh all weekend. I am so lucky to have such wonderful little nieces! Come back soon, kids! I'll have more blue Jell-O for you!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

We have news...

Well, we have news. We've been planning this for quite some time and it's getting harder and harder to keep it a secret...

We're taking a huge trip in November!
 After a lot of planning and figuring out dates and what countries/continents we'd most like to see, we finally narrowed it down and have a list of two continents and 5 countries... maybe a 6th if things get too wild.

Commonly asked questions:
Where are you going? Well, we're not telling you that yet. I've dropped hints on Instagram and Twitter, but we're not sharing our whole itinerary until we're actually on the trip. This means you get get to follow along and be surprised! I will tell you that two countries will probably be very wet and rainy, so I need good shoes. Please tell me what shoes to buy. I'm a sheep. I'll buy whatever you sell me.

How long will you be gone? Three and a half weeks. We'll be gone over Thanksgiving which means that immediately after we return I'll be able to decorate for Christmas!

What suitcases are you taking? We are each taking a carry-on bag and a personal bag. The carry-on can't weigh over 22 lbs, and that includes the suitcase. SO I'm mildly freaking out about that, bu. t I think I have a plan which includes me entering LAX looking like I weigh 500 lbs more than I actually do, if you know what I mean.

Are you nervous to travel when so many terrifying things are happening all around? I'm scared, yes. But you know what? I'm nervous going to the grocery store. Or down the hill to go to Target. I don't feel safe anywhere right now, and that is what Terrorists want. We are going to travel and have a wonderful time with wonderful memories, just like we did on our dangerous honeymoon two years ago.

What about your animals? Keith's parents will watch the dogs, and my friend Kristin will catsit Satan, I mean Patton. She's a gem.

But really I have questions:

Can you take aerosol on an airplane?
What are the best walking shoes that are also water resistant? I'm thinking white Adidas but having then be white just makes me nervous.

What packing cubes are actually the best?

If it's cold and rainy and in the 30s, should I have gloves?

Will people automatically know we're from America and hate us? Is there a way to avoid that?


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Pack Your Fridge With Protein

This post is sponsored by Dannon  but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
I get to work by 7:40am. This doesn't leave me a lot of time to make sure I have a balanced and convenient breakfast. It's also a challenge to find a breakfast that's affordable! Enter: Dannon Oikos Nonfat Yogurt Drinks! These drinks are a portable source of protein, 0% fat, and great taste and it's all so very convenient! With the 4 pack available at Wal Mart stores, I have the perfect amount for a work week's worth of portable breakfast. All I have to do when I'm rushing out the door for work is open up my fridge, reach in, and grab a Dannon Oikos Nonfat Yogurt Drink and I'm set with my delicious protein for the morning!
I know what you're thinking: How could this get better? Well, my friends, IT CAN. The app iBotta is offering my readers $1.00 off this product! You'll be able to stock up on nutritionally packed drinks for breakfast, after school snacks, dessert... the options are basically endless, and delicious.

So the next time you need a healthy and portable snack, look to Dannon and their yogurt smoothies!

Monday, September 4, 2017

We won't be going back to the Hollywood Bowl

Last year Keith and I went to see John Williams conduct the LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. It was one of the worst experiences ever, and we were really excited to go again this year actually be able to hear some of the music. We both vowed to really enjoy the show and to try to ignore anything that could possibly be annoying. We weren't going to let anything ruin our evening! We were going to have fun no matter what!

We won't be going back.

On Saturday evening we packed up our car and began the hour and a half drive down to one of the coolest outdoor concern locations ever - The Hollywood Bowl. It was hot. It was over 100 and there was lots of humidity and I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I tend to sweat really really easily. I used to buy this antiperspirant stuff that you rolled on in the evening and then it dried and clogged your pores and you didn't sweat the next day. It didn't work and I haven't seen it in any stores in a few years so I'm assuming it got recalled because it doesn't sound that safe. Anyway, so we got there and walked to our seats and it was super hot and sticky but it was so pretty! And we had a lot of food! And my hair stayed curled!

Last year I dropped my bottle of wine before I even had a chance to drink it, so this year I brought stacked wine. It was genius! I also packed a cheese ball, some Brie, Gouda, colby jack, triscuits, pita chips, hummus, other crackers, grapes, strawberries, chocolate covered carmel corn, beer, two kinds of salami, and chicken salad. For two people. We hardly made a dent in any of it! But that just means we have snacks for the whole week so I'm counting it as a win.
The weather wouldn't have been so bad if there had been any kind of wind. But the air was just still and sticky. There was a family two rows in front of us who had brought hand held fans (lots of people did that and if you ever go, you should take one) and the two older women in front of us actually asked them to borrow it! Even more surprising - they said yes! So this older lady in front of me was fanning herself and her friend and I was able to position myself so I could feel some of it. That was fun.

Just after the lights dimmed and the first conductor (David Newman) was walking onto the stage to begin the show, the women in front of us asked us to take their picture. Because you know, the past hour when it had been light outside and nothing had been happening wasn't a good time. It was a better plan to wait until the show was starting. After Keith took the picture (with the flash) she proceeded to sit there and look at the picture - as the show was starting. I just don't understand that?

David Newman led songs from A Star is Born, 1969, and some other movies that I didn't recognize. It was all so beautiful! I love symphonies so much.

Then, what we'd all been waiting for - John Williams!

This guy is crazy. He came out onto the stage wearing a long sleeved black sweater. IN 100 DEGREE HEAT. Hehehe, that John Williams is a genius and a total psycho.

After playing a few songs from Sabrina and Star Wars, Mr. Williams began talking about how a few years ago he met Kobe Bryant and then Kobe wrote a poem and then he wrote music to go along with it. Then he brought out Kobe Bryant and had him read his poem while there was some animation on the screen and music playing in the background. I don't care about Kobe, the Lakers, or basketball in general but this made me tear up. Just thinking about a 6 year old boy having a dream and then achieving that dream despite all the odds and hold on, let me get a tissue.

My favorite part of the show is when the Star Wars songs are playing and you can see all the light sabers waving in the air. As long as the light sabers don't have any sound effects, they're amazing! It gives me the chills to watch this video.

We took another sweaty selfie.

There were two encores. After the regular show ended, John Williams walked off stage and stayed in the wings for about 10 seconds and then walked back out, but when he left the second time I don't even think he stopped in the wings at all before walking right back out!

We waited about 20 minutes to head to the car to see if the crowd would dissipate and we could get out of the stacked parking sooner, but that didn't work. We still had to wait in the car for about 40 minutes before we could even move! But we were in air conditioning and had snacks, so we weren't complaining.

The reason we won't be going back to this venue has nothing to do with the actual venue or with John Williams or with the LA Phil. It's the people. It's a pretty casual venue so I think most people have no problem whispering to each other and having whole conversations during the music. The ladies in front of us even got up and left during one of the songs! We decided that if we're going to spend a significant amount of money to watch something that is really important to us, we need to do it in a setting that doesn't really allow for talking and eating. While to us it doesn't seem like it's asking too much for people to basically sit down and be quiet, this probably just isn't the venue to expect that.

So, we won't be going back. At least not for a symphony. This year was worlds better than last year, though! And we really did enjoy our time and are so thankful we got to go! We will treasure this memory forever. And if you hear of any John Williams shows in the greater LA or Inland Empire area that are indoors, holla atcha girl.