Thursday, February 27, 2014

Blogger's Bliss... The First and Soon to be Second

Having the convenience of a phone camera and my Ipad camera has taken me away from using my fancy one as much as I use to.  I feel like now a days I only use it on special occasions and realize that I miss taking pictures of the regular mundane events of everyday life.  What a better way to share some of these images than with a new Link Up?  My blogging friend Meg from My Borrowed Heaven has started a once a month, share your bliss on the last Wednesday of the month.  I know Wednesday was yesterday but oh well let's just pretend today is Wednesday. 


This month was full of joy.  A special birthday... Valentine's day.... but what has really been on my mind is the joy of soon having a second one.  A new baby to snuggle with, a special bond I will get to witness between my little love bug and her little brother.  When I walk into the closet to grab her clothes for school I can't help but get excited that soon I'll also be dressing a little man.  Not to mention newborn clothes are just so stinkin cute!

And of course the little shoes... oh little baby feet.  My heart just melts.

As excited as I am for the new baby I am also very much aware that these are my last few months with little princess, just the two of us.  We've tried hard to make these last few months of her being an only child special.  It's bliss to spend time with this little munchkin.  We craft, color, play and of course getting dressed up to have tea parties.   She loves having "real" tea parties because she gets to play with her special porcelain set from the closet.

I just giggle when she picks out and puts together these crazy little outfits.  

She gets to pour us the "tea" which is really just milk... and add the "sugar" that magically turns the milk into chocolate milk.

She just loves chocolate milk and cookies.

My first and soon to be second kiddo... they are my blogger's bliss for this month.  

What has brought your bliss this month?  If you blog, be sure to join in on the fun and link up with Meg from My Borrowed Heaven.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hello Beautiful! - Skin Care (bonus Eczema Skin Care)


Today I wanted to share a little about my skin care. As some of you already know I do have eczema, so as requested I will be posting my eczema skin care routine as well. 

For starters, when my eczema is under control (which has been for the past year) here are my following skin care routines... 

I use Mary Kay's TimeWise skin care line. Quick side story: I was anti Mary Kay (for over 10 years - only because I have eczema and knew that it wouldn't work for me). Well I went to a Mary Kay party with a friend, I tried the skin care line and to my surprise my skin didn't break out in rashes. So I was interested in it but didn't want to spend the money on it so I hosted a party to earn my products for free. So here we are a year later and my skin actually loves it! I tried other products like Nerium but unfortunately it didn't work on my skin (not to say that it won't work on yours - my mom likes it)

Normal Skin Care Routine
1. Take off eye make up with Mary Kay Eye Make Up Remover
2. Rinse face with warm water
3. Apply a pea size amount of Mary Kay Time Wise 3 in 1 cleanser
4. Wet Mary Kay cleansing brush and turn on brush and scrub away
5. Gently pat face dry
6. Apple a pea size amount of Mary Kay Time Wise Moisturizer
7. Then I apply Mary Kay Time Wise Day or Night solution (not pictured)

For when my Eczema is out of whack here are my products of choice...


Eczema Skin Care Routine for Face & Body
(if my eczema flares up I would naturally NOT wear any make up)
1. Rinse face/body with warm water
2. Clean face/body with Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser or the Cleansing Bar 
(not pictured - is my favorite)
3. Gently pat face/body dry
4. Massaging the Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream to face
5. Apply Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion to body

Sometimes when my face doesn't need to be so moisturized I apply the Lotion to my face instead of the Cream. Also in addition to Cetaphil products I use my prescribed creams or ointments. Usually (depending on severity of eczema) they only prescribe steroid creams to only your body. There were times when they prescribed me steroid creams to use on my face TEMPORARILY. See I emphasize that because there are ramifications for using steroid creams to your face, I know from first hand experience. It is tempting to use it on your face because they work faster however it thins out your skin. I used to have it really bad around my ears, lips, and neck. I used steroid creams around those areas and now I have these lines around my lips (often seen on more mature skin). Also if you look closely around my ears and neck you may notice that my skin does look thinner.

Some may ask why I use Cetaphil instead of Aveeno... See the key to Eczema is to know what you are allergic to. In case you didn't know Eczema, Asthma, and Allergies are all correlated. So for me when I have an outbreak of Eczema it is because it is a response to something I am allergic to. Aveeno has oats and I am topically allergic to oats. Also a few other helpful hints for those who suffer from Eczema is drink tons of water (be sure to drink a whole glass before going to bed), moisturize before going to bed, and consider sleeping with a humidifier.

If you have any questions regarding my routines or eczema please comment below! Stay tuned for next week's post... Hello Beautiful Vlog Roll!


















Monday, February 24, 2014

Learn to Budget, Be Debt Free

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kmart Share the Word for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

You have all heard me rant every so often about finances and how important I think it is to be debt free.   Statistically, money is the number one thing most couples fight about so why not take control of your finances!  The road to being in good financial standing was not an easy one for us thanks to my mountains of student loans.  It took years to get to the point we are at now, but reaching our financial goals has been worth it and has made us a stronger couple.  We are working together to build a future for our growing family.  Its nice to not have to worry about those unexpected life costs and emergencies.  I'm at peace at knowing the kiddos will get to go to college without having to take out mountains of loans and when we get old we wont have to rely on the government to support us.  

I am a true believer that you can live life without any debt; credit card, student loans, and yes even car payments.  Paying with cash and owning what you are buying is always more satisfying than those pesky monthly payments even with those zero interest rate deals.  

With that said, in celebration of Black History Month, Kmart has teamed up with Glinda Bridgforth, author of Girl, Get Your Money Straight, to create a free downloadable family finance e-guide.  They want to Share the Word about getting your finances in order.  The guide gives you useful templates, savings advice, and helpful money saving tips.  Glinda's guide has it all so be sure to check it out.  She shares ways to make your money go further with Kmart programs like Layaway and Shop Your Way to Rewards.
Kmart Share the Word photo STWStacked-01_zpsb50e2957.jpg

So start this year off right and take advantage of these financial tools.  Take control of your finances now!   Head over to Kmart Smart and download the guide.  Learn the tips to saving and feel free to share with us how you help your family save. 
Visit Sponsor's Site

A Very Princess Birthday

You all know I love parties.  I come from a big family who loves to get together, eat good food, and have a good time.  Planning for parties and crafting runs in my blood [seriously].  My hubby on the other hand comes from the complete opposite kind of family.  They didn't get a lot of big birthday bashes like love bug did when she turned one and two.  Kid's parties just aren't his thing.  

So this year I compromised and skipped the big party and you know what, it was a special and intimate birthday... it was perfect.  The celebrating began at Disney World.  That was our big birthday present to her.  And even though we weren't having a party I still sent out birthday announcements.  Printed through Mpix of course.  I chose a square DIY invite since I did this design myself and printed on the pearl paper.  I wanted to try something new and was pleasantly pleased. It has a sparkly shimmer to it that added to the very pink princess invites.

The timing was perfect because on her actual birthday our church was hosting a princess breakfast.  They did such a good job decorating the children's area with pink and purple poms, setting up pretty table settings, and serving up some yummy pancakes with sprinkles and whip cream.  I was giddy with how adorable it was. 

The rest of the morning was filled with all things girly.  We painted our nails, they had face painting, and we did lots of crafts.  We made these really cute washer necklaces that I failed to get a picture of the finished product.  Her favorite was decorating plastic sunglasses with gems.  The girls also made t-shirt headbands.  Just some fun ideas in case you want to have a princess party. 

After the morning our princess had to nap and it let me set up.  My husband is so wonderful for letting me go overboard and get a little crafty even though it was only going to be us.  I did just a little decorating with some streamers.

Her reaction to the little dessert set up on the table made it all worth it.  I'll never forget it. 

I got the cake from Safeway for $10 bucks!  Such a steal and we let her try to eat it all by herself.  I made the mini cupcakes.  If you want to make a cake like this yourself I have a mini tutorial HERE

I kept everything simple and made mostly everything days before.  Star wand rice crispies, covered the juice boxes and we called it birthday juice, pink popcorn for our movie and fruit to balance all the sweets.

We let her make up the rules for the day.  She got to open presents first and then the singing.  She got to eat her cake just as it was without me cutting it.  She loved it.  We all grabbed some popcorn and watch a movie I put together of videos of her from birth to now.  It was a tear jerker and really special for all three of us.  I can't believe how fast time flies with these little munchkins.  

And this year, even though there wasn't a big fancy party with lots of people it was just us and just perfect.  

Happy Monday everyone!



Friday, February 21, 2014

The Dirtier the Clothes, The Bigger the Memory

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of White Cloud for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
We all know that White Cloud makes super soft bath tissue, face tissue, and durable paper towels.  Did you know that they have expanded their family of products and are now in the laundry aisle too!? White Cloud now has a new line of laundry products available in three scents, Blooming Lavender, Summer Breeze, and Tropical Fiesta in both liquid and powder form.
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The three in one micro clean technology contains a pre-greater, stain remover, and color booster.  Why buy three different products when you can get it all in one?  It seems that the dirtier the clothes the bigger the memory!  This big cakey mess was one to remember.  Sure could have used White Cloud then!  Definitely will be using white cloud with little mans big messy memories.


I love that they sell White Cloud at Walmart at an affordable price making it very convenient for me.  If you don't have a Walmart or don't shop there you can also find a local store near you that sells White Cloud using the Store Locator.
Like White Cloud on Facebookand share white Clouds newest laundry care products to get a $2 off coupon. Get a $1 off if you simply want to print the coupon.  One coupon per customer is available.

Limit one coupon per purchase on product specified. No cash back if coupon value is higher than purchase price. Void if reproduced, transferred, used to purchase products for resale or where prohibited/regulated by law. Not valid on trial sizes. Consumer pays sales tax. Redeemable at participating retail stores. Valid only in the U.S.

With spring right around the corner clothes are bound to get soiled!  Be sure to try out the New White Cloud Laundry Care Products to help you save money and keep those clothes looking new!  Be sure to also Follow White Cloud on Twitter and Follow White Cloud on Pinterest
Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hello Beautiful!

Hi friends! For about a year now I have been obsessed with YouTube beauty videos. I have always been interested in make-up, nails, and hair. Since I was in high school I used to do hair and make up for dances (homecoming, prom, etc.), debuts (Filipino right of passage for when girls turn 18), quinceneras, and weddings. Believe it or not I actually did my own updo for my own wedding (with the help of one of my girlfriends Faye)! Aside from hair I love nail polish and am really into make up. Now that my eczema has been under control I can really enjoy applying make up again!

some pictures of my wedding hair - this was done without a trial run... eek!
here is a closer look of the back

With all that said I want introduce a new series called Hello Beautiful!
 

Hello Beautiful will be a series where I will be sharing my favorite products relating to beauty. The first few posts will be my existing favorites and then from time to time I will be doing product reviews (non sponsored reviews unless companies want to sponsor me later on - that would be awesome!). Then maybe even some tutorials, we'll see! Hope you enjoy this series and please share some of your favorites! Feel free to share them on instagram with the hashtag #micHelloBeautiful.

Stay tuned friends for the next Hello Beautiful post, I will be sharing my favorite skin care products!

Please don't forget to share your favorites on instagram, can't wait to see them!






Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Recipe: Burrito Bowl

Just dropping in to share one of the hubby's favorite dinners.  It's the knock off of Chipotle's burrito bowl and I love all of the fresh ingredients.  We always end up with leftovers and all these ingredients make for the perfect chimichangas on another night.  It's easy to customize with what you like... and still so yummy even without the chicken.  Looks yummy right?!

The first thing you will want to do is marinate the chicken with McCormick Grill Mates.  I usually use the Baja seasoning.  

The bigger the chicken pieces the longer you will need to season it, like overnight.  If you are cutting the chicken into smaller pieces and marinading then you can do it about 30 minutes to an hour before cooking.  I prefer to grill the chicken but considering our below zero temperatures I have resorted to my George Foreman or even on a pan stove top works.  

I like to keep it simple... packet of rice, can of beans, can of corn, and some shredded cheese.  

For the fresh ingredients we have onions both red and white, lime, avocado, tomatoes, cilantro, lettuce, salsa, sour cream.

Once the chicken is cooked, the beans and corn are warmed, and everything is cut it's time to layer everything together.  Rice first then beans, corn, I put the cheese next so the heat of the corn and chicken will melt it.  Then the rest of the fresh ingredients and you have one yummy burrito bowl!  Guaranteed to please the tummy. 

Hope you all are having a wonderful Tuesday!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Hearts Day

Just dropping in to say hope your Valentine's Day has been as sweet as ours!  Seriously though I think I gained ten pounds in one day....

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Toddler Valentine Crafts and Butterfly Lollipop Cards

It's a miracle that I am actually getting to post about our holidays crafts before the holiday has passed.  Ha!  Valentines Day is one of my favorites growing up and when I was in the classroom.  So much pink and sweets... love in the air.  I love it.  Here are some of the crafts we did in honor of the month of love.  Wish we could fit more in with our busy schedules, but you can't have it all.

Just a note if you are doing crafts with toddlers, be sure to have all the pieces cut and ready to go before you let them dig in.  Like with this craft, I knew she wouldn't be able to last if we had to wrap all the juice boxes and if she had to sit and wait for me to cut all the butterflies and pieces so I had those ready to go.  She just had to use glue dots to apply the eyes and glue to put the butterfly pieces on.  

For her Valentine party at school I signed up to bring the juice boxes and found this idea on pinterest and you all voted for it on my Facebook page.  I found the straws at the dollar store and used Juicy Juice because the juice boxes are taller.

 I think juice boxes are so much more adorable when they are covered like this.  Her inability to put the eyes on straight really worked well in her favor. She kept calling them monsters.  They are just so fun!

Since there are only seven kids in her class I thought it would be fun to make homemade Valentines.  I would definitely not attempt this if your kiddo has more than 10.  Little lollipop butterflies!  

She was so into this.  I love that she even signed her name on the back.  It's so funny that she can do the CIN but then needs a little help with the rest.  

And today at her party she was so proud to show her friends the little Valentines she made.  I am so glad I got to be there to see her passing out cards and getting them.  She enjoyed it so much.  I'm such a sap and I can blame the preggo hormones, but it was her first Valentines Day at school and a special one. 

If you are looking for a last minute craft to do with the kiddos these were fun.

We made a card for daddy.  Cut pieces for inside the heart and of course added some glitter.  She loves glitter.

A paper plate heart fish.

And a heart tree.  For the heart leaves I cut thin strips, then she folded them in half and glued the two open ends to form a heart.  

Gotta run for now I still have some more preparations for tomorrow!  Happy almost Valentines Day!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Our Disney World Adventure

Last month right after our trip to Cali we went on a mini family vacation to Disney World.  I love it when the hubby has business trips we can all enjoy.  We escaped the freezing snow in Colorado and headed straight for sunny Florida and it was one of the best weeks ever, especially for the little lady.  

I first have to say I can't believe how gigantic that place is!  Four different parks to go to it's like Disney  has it's own city in Florida.  I'm just going to share some of my favorite highlights of the trip or you may be sitting there forever reading about all our little adventures.

 Magic Kingdom was pretty much the twin of our Disneyland in California except they don't have a Toon Town [twas a bummer].  They do however have an awesome Fantasy Land and a much better Cinderella castle.  We loved the new little Mermaid ride and seeing the shows I've never seen.  She especially loved the light parade at night.  My favorite part is seeing her meet all of the characters.  Her excitement and expressions....how magical it is to be a kid.  

Hollywood Park was just like California Adventure except they had an awesome Toy Story section.  We pretty much watched all the shows they had to offer and I have to tell you Disney never ceases to impress me.  I think we watched like five here and they were all indescribably awesome! I think the movie Nemo is so boring but their show was just spectacular!  The Little Mermaid show probably was one of my favorites along with the Beauty and the Beast.  I have to say the Indiana Jones stunt show and the American Idol one surprised me.  They were both worth seeing.  I think her favorite part of this park was the ice cream.
Epcot was my second favorite of the four parks.  It was so cute.  The entire park is a mini replica of the different countries in the world.  They had a little China [which had an awesome acrobat show], a little England, we reminisced about Germany in little Deutschland and had a bratwurst there, a little Mexico, Japan, you get the idea.  Each country has it's own little show and authentic food.  They give the kids these little paper travel bears and they can get a stamp in each country they visit.  It's so cute.  

My favorite part about Epcot was the princess breakfast in Norway.  We took her there as our birthday gift to her.  They have a princess breakfast in Magic Kingdom as well but I heard this one was better.  It was worth every penny.  I let her pick a princess dress to wear, she got dolled up and met with all the princesses [which saved us so much time because the wait to see and take a picture with just one princess is about 30 minutes].  The breakfast was dddeelliicious!  Huge plate of bacon, eggs, the best potatoes ever and a buffet of fruits, muffins, scones, cold cuts, salmon.  After we ate each princess came one by one to talk to her and all the girls had a little parade with them.  It was adorable and so special!  Definitely a must if you have a little princess.

My favorite park of all however was Animal Kingdom.  I have never been to a park like that it was so different and I loved it!  It's like going to the zoo but so much better because Disney sprinkled their magic everywhere.  The entire park was like being in a jungle and with all those animals everywhere I am pretty sure it was one of her favorites too.  We LOVED the safari ride and I really felt like I was on an African Safari.  We didn't see any shows here so maybe next time.

Disney World, it's a magical place and going through all our pictures just makes me want to go back.  I can't wait to take another trip there when little man is born and old enough to enjoy it with big sissy.  Your family planning any vacations this year?  

Hope you all are having a wonderful Tuesday!