It is crazy to think that we are less than two weeks away from Christmas! My kids are so excited that their little emotions are running high and we are having some serious mood swings around here. Good times. We are all keeping our eyes on the goal, holiday BREAK.
Because let’s be 100% real. The parents need this break as much as the kids do. There is nothing better than a holiday stay-cation in my opinion. Jammies until noon and no rushing and schlepping for two whole weeks? It sounds like a fairy-unicorn dream come true.
Despite my beaten down and beleaguered working mom status, I do have some pretty sweet faves this week. Whomever first coined the phrase, “it’s the little things in life,” must have been an over-scheduled mom. Word, momma.
First: this blush!
The name drew me in. As you can see, it tends to grab one’s eye.
So I was ordering some new foundation and searching for one without the chemical I don’t like (oxybenzone) and I have been using Nars, but just trying to get the color right. (My first attempt was off, but thankfully you can return anything at Nordstrom.) This popped up as a suggestion and I have to admit I was totally skeptical.
I have been using the same pink Bobbi Brown blush for more than a decade. I really like it and I love the flushed pink color it gives me. I love it so much that all these years I have never even thought about another blush. But then this name pops up and I just cannot help it. The reviews were all gushing about how it looks great on everyone so I jumped right in.
And - I am jumping right on the bandwagon with all the other reviewers. It’s pretty nice. There is a hint of shimmer but not stripper-level shimmer. You could put it on lightly or go heavily for more color. Just read the reviews. This stuff is good. You can find it at Nordstrom here.
I also love these Kate Spade earrings for a pop of color. I always find that teal can be the best accent color. They’re from a few seasons ago but they are always selling them in new and fun colors. The Kate Spade line actually has tons of adorable earrings. They are such fun accents!
Second: this crazy face and body lotion
So I have oily, break out prone skin. It is a pain. I am getting wrinkles and still dealing with hormonal adult acne. Not exactly what a woman lawyer, running her own business in an area of practice that serves the 65+ crowd needs: one more thing to make her look like a pimple-y teenager. Ugh.
I have been in and out of the dermatologist since I was in my mid-twenties. They usually call it “hormonal acne” and prescribe a few things and tell me to get on birth control. That was all well and good until I started having kids. During my first pregnancy with Cameron, I must have just suffered through it. I hardly remember but it must not have been that bad because I don’t really have any specific “bad” memories.
My pregnancy with Madeline was not so nice. I was breaking out like crazy all over. The kick in the pants about pregnancy is that all of the good drugs are off limits. I had a total pizza face and the dermatologist basically shrugged his shoulders.
One desperate night I got on Amazon and somehow stumbled on this face lotion. I started using it and after a few weeks my face cleared up. In fact, I continued to use it for the next four-ish years and things were good. My skin was mostly clear with the exception of one or two nasty big ones once in a blue moon.
This year my hormones got all wacky again when I started trying to move away from hormonal contraceptives, then I had surgery and for some reason that threw things out of whack. No bueno. Back to the dermatologist I went. He told me to try his stuff and get off all of the other stuff. So I did. I am a rule follower (most of the time) and I listened and faithfully executed his instructions.
But I continued to get small under the skin pimples. UGH.
So finally, a few weeks ago, I pulled out my trusted friend. This old Alpha Hydrox lotion that I have had sitting around. I have been using it again and don’t you know that my face has pretty much cleared up, save a few old clogs that are finally coming up and clearing.
This is not for everyone. It has Glycolic AHA in it - which I guess is supposed to be really good for wrinkles. It probably irritates some people like for that reason. It is sold more of as a wrinkle-preventing face lotion - this is a side benefit in my opinion. Whatever that AHA stuff is, it gets rid of the dead skin cells that seem to be the root of my problem. This makes sense because it tingles and takes a couple of weeks to get used to. My skin is oily so take this into account.
Anyhow, it works for me and if it helps one person I’m happy to pass it along. It not only cleared up the break outs but it is fading the little spots they left behind. Win-win. The body lotion is also great because it keeps the dry skin from building up, becoming itchy, and clogging pores. It also works wonders on ingrown hairs - wherever you happen to get those. (I won’t ask!)
PS - compared to department store prices it is a steal. Under $20.
Third: stainless steel cups
Anyone else driven to near insanity by plastic sippy cups? INSANITY. After almost eight years of mom-ing I freaking hate plastic sippies.
1) They get MOLDY so easily. Ugh. Ever go to pour a drink and see a furry black spot? GROSS! 2) They have 49 parts each. That must be removed and cleaned separately. 3) They take up the entire top rack (can’t put them on the bottom - they’ll melt); and 4) then they never dry - hence the MOLD. They are also probably bad for the environment and I guess heating things up in plastic might cause cancer. Pick your reason but there are enough for me to quit them.
One day I could not take it any more and I threw out most of ours. I kept a few for visiting littles, but I quit them like a bad habit cold turkey.
I ordered these stainless steel cups online and I have not looked back. The lids are silicone and they stack up really neatly in my cupboard (in stark contrast to those plastic lids which were a holy mess.) After reading the reviews I also ordered a couple packs of steel straws as well.
They are obviously for older kids that understand straws. I have had them tip over on carpeting and only a drop or two spilled out. At this rate, my kids are not supposed to be ditching their cups on the ground while they play but they are still kids and still not trustworthy with cups with open lids in rooms other than the kitchen.
They went so well that I ordered some for them for hot drinks with lids too. My kids like hot cocoa this time of year and I don’t trust them with ceramic mugs near the sofas - which is where they want to be having cocoa and watching Home Alone.
You obviously cannot microwave these. I just heat up some chocolate milk in a regular mug and pour it in. No big deal.
And look how efficiently they sit in the cupboard compared to those old plastic guys! You can find them online here. They come with a sleeve that fits around them, but I find it to be unnecessary and they are living in a drawer at my house.
Four: prepping ahead
I am always slammed before Christmas break at work. Trying to get every last thing done before I spend some time at home with my kids is more stressful than I care to admit. So around the holidays I try to only use meals for company that I can make ahead of time.
For example, I always make a vegetarian lasagna for my immediate family for Christmas dinner. I know I will be too stressed to prepare it the day I am hosting them (because it is literally the day before I host a 25-30 person holiday party for my extended family - yikes.) In fact, I have to prep a brisket that day and run like 4328234 errands. So I made a giant pot of tomato sauce and two lasagna’s last Sunday. One for dinner (yeah, I still have to feed four people each night) and one to freeze for my family.
One less thing to worry about.
Finally: Dressing for the season!
I just love it. Check out some of my festive outfits.
I love the holidays!
And finally, remember how we got a dog like 6 months ago? I can officially say that we are THOSE dog people now. Ozzy has his own little doggie stocking.
Happy Friday and Happy Holiday season-ing to all of you!