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6.24.2017

Little Babes | Our Favorite Books for All Ages!

Reading is one of our favorite things to do here and is a huge part of our wind down time before going to bed. I'm so thankful that both of my boys are really into being read to as I'm a huge bookworm myself. There's nothing better than getting lost in a world of make believe, one page at a time.


While we have hundreds of books, we seem to always go back to our few favorites with the worn out (and chewed on) pages. Today, with the help of my oldest son, Hunter, I've compiled a few of our favorite books that never seem to get old!


Hunter's favorite books (2.5 years old):
  • Good Night Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann - Good Night Gorilla is about a silly gorilla that lets out all his animal friends from the zoo after the zookeeper locks them up for the night. They all end up in the zookeepers bed!
  • Good Night Train by June Sobel - We just recently bought this book but it became one of our absolute favorites since Hunter has become OBSESSED with trains and now we read it every night. It's about a train that helps its passengers fall asleep!
  • Tons of Trucks by Sue Fliess - A super cute lift-the-flap all about different trucks and what they do. 
  • My Awesome Alphabet Book by Dawn Machell - Hunter knows his ABC's (kind of, sort of) so this book is great for showing him what objects start with what letter.
  • I Spy by Jean Marzollo - Um, classic! I would be lying if I said I didn't get this for myself more than for the kids at first. Hunter LOVES trying to find all the different objects. So, so much fun!
Brody's favorite books (9 months old):

  • Vroom, Vroom, Trucks by Karen Katz - So, Brody is just getting into books right now. We can now make it through an entire short story without him trying to throw it out of my hands or suck on it. Vroom, Vroom, Trucks is bright and colorful and make pretty sturdy so when Brody lifts a flap, he can't rip it off, for the most part. PS. We're obsessed with all of Karen Katz's books! Other faves are: Where Are Baby's Easter Eggs?, Where is Baby's Pumpkin? and Where Is Baby's Christmas Present?
  • Toes, Ears & Nose by Marion Dane Bauer - Another gorgeous book illustrated by Karen Katz. This book teaches children where their hands, feet, etc. are, behind a lift-a-flap. Brody loves this one!
  • On The Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman - The hospital gave us this book through their book program when Hunter was born and I still can't get through this book without tearing up.

Shop our favorite books!





6.22.2017

Lifestyle | Top 5 Things To Do At Lake Compounce

* Tickets sent to me for a great day at Lake Compounce!

Summer has officially arrived and I don't know about you guys, but one of my favorite pastimes to enjoy the warm weather is to head to an amusement park! For me, it's Lake Compounce, located in Bristol, Connecticut. 


From eighth grade outings to getting the friends together for some thrill-seeking, Lake Compounce has been the place to have some fun in the sun since I've been little! Celebrating it's 171st season this year, Lake Compounce is the oldest continuously operating amusement park in North America and is also known as the home to Boulder Dash, a top-rated wooden rollercoaster. Last month, I was so kindly sent a few tickets to enjoy a day at Lake Compounce with some friends!

Amusement parks, in general, can get crazy and with big crowds and long lines, you can easily spend most of your day just waiting for a ride that might not give you the thrills you were looking for. I've compiled a top five list of my absolute favorite things to do and rides to go on while spending the day there. Let me know what your favorites are!



Coordinate your day with a festival. We ended up picking the day that happened to be their first annual Craft Beer and Food Truck Festival but Lake Compounce always has events going on where you can more bang for your buck when buying a ticket (usually when you buy a ticket to the park, the event is free). The Craft Beer and Food Truck Festival featured a bunch of food trucks and breweries like Two Roads, Thomas Hooker, Stoney Creek, Lenny and Joe's Fish Tale and more - all local to Connecticut! While I'm not huge into beer, the guys that I was with had fun trying different IPAs.


Get your game on. Lake Compounce has plenty of smaller games like a basketball toss, squirt gun race, etc. but one of my absolute favorite games at Lake Compounce is the Haunted House - where it mixes a game with a fun ride all in one. The name of the game is to shoot as many ghosts as you can find with a laser gun as you sit and ride through the dark, spooky haunted house. There's a bullseye over moving targets and whoever has the most points at the end of the ride wins! I lose every time but I always make it a point to ride it at least once while I'm here. So fun!


Feel the thrill. I know rollercoasters aren't everyone's cup of tea but Lake Compounce has plenty of thrilling options that don't have you seeing upside down. Down Time is INSANE (and one of my faves!) that holds you up in the air and unexpectedly drops you from 185 feet above. Twister, Wipeout and Rev-O-Lution are great choices if you love getting dizzy. If you are a rollercoaster enthusiast, you can't leave without trying the Zoomerang (a rollercoaster that twists and turns forwards and backwards!) as well as Boulder Dash (the world's #1 wooden rollercoaster) and Lake Compounce's new Phobia Phear which speeds up to 65 mph and has an insane cobra roll at 150 feet in the air!


Grab a bite to eat. Lake Compounce has nine dining areas as well as snack shacks throughout the park. My absolute favorite place to eat is La Fiesta (I love their Taco-in-a-bag!) but if you're a hot dog and hamburger type of person, Pink's comes in at a close second and The Potato Patch in third! If you're craving sweets, the park offers Dippin' Dots (YUM!) as well as a bunch of other ice cream options, fried dough, The Bavarian Nut cart as well as the Sweet Shoppe (I remember when I was little I would stock up there before leaving!). The Watering Hole showcases breweries such as Firefly Hollow Brewing, Thomas Hooker, Back East Two Roads and more. It also offers quick snacks like pretzels and popcorn. PS. There's a special spot in the park where you can get free Pepsi products all day. You'll know it when you see it!

Cool off by the water. Am I the only one who saves the water park for last? I think I like to wind down in the water and usually towards the end of the day, there's way less people their. Lake Compounce's Crocodile Cove boasts eight main water rides including the Croc-O-Nile (a lazy river), Bayou Bay, Clipper Cove (a pirate ship loaded with water cannons, slides and big bucket of water!), Lights Out (a crazy water slide in the dark - I love this one!), Mammoth Falls (a water raft ride - so much fun to do with friends!), Riptide Racer (a slide you can race with up to four friends), Tunnel Twisters and Anchor Bay (a wave pool). Unfortunately, this was closed when we went but is open now!
Buy Tickets: Purchase
(By using the link above, you save $5 off your ticket! Not an affiliate code, just a sweet discount for my readers!)

* Tickets sent to me for a great day at Lake Compounce!
6.19.2017

Beauty | Crowd Colour Liquid Matte Lip Colours in Izzy, Jessie + Codi - Swatches + Review

Hey everyone! Today, I'll be sharing swatches and reviews of the Crowd Colour Liquid Matte Lip Colours. If you're unfamiliar with Crowd Colour, they are made up of a group of beauty enthusiasts, event organizers and web developers with over 15 years experience in the beauty game. They're mission is to bring beauty products to all communities that are cruelty-free at a great price point. What's really awesome is every time you shop their site, they give 5-10% of each product sale back to your chosen school!


The Crowd Colour Liquid Matte Lip Colours are a collection of six different shades ranging from greige to red and a good mix of colors in between with a "seductive, matte finish". They go for $7.63 (in US dollars if my conversion is correct) for 5 ML of product.

The biggest difference, right off the bat, between this and most other liquid lipsticks is the applicator. My brain kind of went, "What the heck is this?" when I first opened it and then realized it's just a doe foot applicator - but longer. It was still easy to use and I had no issues with application.

  • Codi - a tomato red matte. I absolutely love this shade of red but the formula? Not so much. Codi was kind of tricky because the consistency was the same as the others (slightly mousse-y) yet when applied, it seemed sheer in some places. As you can see from the top picture, the top lip shows one coat which was really thin and patchy. The bottom lip shows two coats. I'm not sure why this one was so thin compared to the other two but this does have about a twenty second dry time so you have more than enough time to go back in for another coat to make it more opaque. There was virtually no difference in the feel of it (drying out your lips, cracking, etc.) with two coats versus wearing one opaque coat from Jessie or Izzy so that's a win in my book.  I also want to note that these do have a pleasant scent to them but I can't put my finger on what exactly it is - but I like it! 
  • Jessie - a light greige matte with pink undertones. This was initially the first lip colour I tried from the bunch and I was/am still so impressed! The consistency is light and mousse-y but the coverage is very opaque and even. Dry time was about twenty seconds and left my lips feeling smooth and comfortable. Throughout the day, it only slightly felt drying with no cracking or feathering.
  • Izzy - a neutral pink matte. Izzy is slightly brighter in person than the picture shows but nevertheless absolutely gorgeous. Like Jessie, it's super smooth and velvety to apply and work with with one swipe giving you full, even opacity. Again, about six hours out, it felt slightly drying but absolutely nothing compared to other liquid lipsticks I've tried. Dry time was about fifteen seconds.

From top to bottom: Codi, Izzy and Jessie

Overall: Codi aside, I'm pretty blown away with this formula! I have to admit that this is the first liquid matte lipstick I've tried in a while (maybe ever?) that hasn't gone Sahara-dry on me as the day went on. All three were very velvety smooth to apply and both Izzy and Jessie were super opaque with one swipe. Codi was opaque with two swipes; the extra coat did not seem to influence any extra drying or cracking as time went on. There is a scent but it's non-existent once applied. I can't put my finger on what the scent is but it's pleasant and not perfume-y at all. I would highly recommend these!

Shop | Buy

* Products sent for consideration.
6.16.2017

DIY | Father's Day Tool Box Gift Idea w/ Harry's

Father's Day is two days away (June 18th; this Sunday!) and if you're like me, you're scrambling right now. My fiance is, by far, the toughest person to shop for because if he likes something, he gets it. If he doesn't, he doesn't. He has a huge range of hobbies but always seems to have what he needs for them already. In short: SO FRUSTRATING!



That's why this year, I'm putting together a really cute, great last-minute gift toolbox that is so easy to recreate and contains a few things that any dad would love!

You Will Need:


  • Tool Box - This one is from Marshalls but you can find great, cheap alternatives at Home Depot, Walmart or Harbor Freight. A great alternative to a tool box could be tackle box if your guy is into fishing!
  • Card - As much as I love my fiance, he not really a card person but loves anything our kids make him so we go the home-made card route and it's a win/win.
  • Snacks - Honestly, what guy (or person in general) doesn't like snacks? Twizzlers, chips, beef jerky - all great things to stuff in there!
  • Books, knick knacks, etc. - If you don't follow me on SnapChat, we recently got chickens to help with our ridiculous tick problem (and also, fresh eggs, yes please!) so this book totally works for him. But if your guy isn't into books, some other great options are: video games, cologne, grilling tools, scratch offs, etc.
  • Harry's Winston Set ($25) - If you're still stumped for the main gift in the toolbox gift set, look no further! Harry's Winston Set is absolutely gorgeous and comes complete with everything a guy with hair (ie: all of them) could ever need: one Winston razor handle, three German engineered blade cartridges, one travel blade cover and your choice of shaving cream or foaming shave gel. Plus, orders over $10 ship free!


Place everything in the toolbox (or tacklebox!) and you're good to go!

How are you celebrating Father's Day?

Buy | The Winston Set (also available at Target!)

* Harry's Winston Set sent for review.
6.09.2017

Beauty | A Little Mustard On The Side

I am literally the worst when it comes to beauty post titles! Other options were "Call Me Mellow Yellow" (super original, Noelle) and "Urine Trouble" (totally kidding about this one). This is just one of a million different looks that have been playing around in my head lately. The color combo of mustard and dark teal is so fun and unexpected but kind of complimentary, don't you think?


The Breakdown:

Face: 
  • SUZANNE Organics Cosmetics Bioactive Moisturizer for some much needed hydration on the face. 
  • tarte Cosmetics Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation in Light Sand applied with the PUR Cosmetics Contour Blending Sponge (literally my fave blending sponge!). 
  • Urban Decay Beached Bronzer alllllll over the face to give me some color.
  • ittse x Love For Lacquer: The Glambition Collection Hustle & Glow highlighter
  • ittse x Love For Lacquer: The Glambition Collection #GIRLBOSS blush
Eyes:
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer in Medium Brown (Guys, I'm down to the smallest nub ever on this thing!)
  • MAC Paint Pot in Painterly as a base.
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Golden Ochre in the crease, Kat Von D Fran all over the lid, ittse x Love For Lacquer Hustle & Glow in the inner corner.
  • PUR Cosmetics Fully Charged Mascara
Lips:
  • ColourPop Crystal Ball Lipgloss

6.07.2017

Beauty | Natural, Everyday Makeup Tutorial w/ SUZANNE Somers Organics Cosmetics

*This post has been sponsored by the PRIMP Network but all opinions are my own.

Hey guys! Show of hands, how many of you look at what kind of ingredients and what not are in your beauty products and skincare? I'm not sure if it's because I'm a mom now or if it's because I'm getting older but I find myself becoming more ingredient-conscious now than ever before.


I find myself gravitating more and more to beauty and skincare products that are paraben-free, cruelty-free, organic, etc. which is why I am so excited to partner up with Suzanne Somers Cosmetics today to bring you this fun, simple, natural everyday makeup tutorial! 

After years of wearing makeup every single day as an entertainer filled with parabens, lead and more, Suzanne wanted to create a makeup line that was paraben-free, with no artificial dyes, no lead, no chemical binders, no animal testing, no synthetic fragrances and that was made in the USA. 

She created Suzanne Organics Cosmetics that uses all-natural and organic ingredients such as shea butter, grape seed oil and Vitamin E in her products to insure your skin is nurtured!

Let's get to the tutorial!

  • Moisturizing is first - and believe me, my skin needed this! I dotted my face with the SUZANNE Organics Cosmetics Bioactive Moisturizer ($34.99) and gentle massaged it in. For a moisturizer with a thicker consistency, I was surprised with how lightweight this felt and how easily it absorbed into the skin. It's chock full of Argan Oil, Sea Buckthorn Berry, CoQ10 and Beech Tree Bud Extract to moisturize the skin, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and protect the skin from elements.

  • Next, I went in with the Sheer Flawless Foundation ($39.99) in Porcelain Light and applied it with a damp sponge. I was looking for an alternative to my tinted moisturizer that I just ran out of and I'm happy to say that I think this is replacing it! It's SO light and gives a really nice glow to the skin. Obviously, it's extremely light coverage so I did go in with a concealer to conceal my spots and under the eyes.

  • Next up is contour and highlight! I was pretty impressed with Organics Contour Kit ($49.99) that I used to HAC with! It has three shades: a pale banana for highlighting, a warm bronze shade for bronzing and a grey-toned brown for contouring. First off, all the praise hands for a grey-toned brown! I've always had a hard time finding the perfect contour shade and this is it, ladies and gents! I like to contour my cheekbones and forehead. For highlight, I applied it under the eyes to set the concealer and under my cheekbones. I will note, though, that these were slightly dry and powdery but very pigmented and workable. 

  • And rounding out the face with some bronzing! This is the perfect bronze shade for my pale friends as it creates a nice, sunkissed warm glow without getting orange on you. I place this on my forehead into my cheeks in nice, circle movements.
  • Totally cheeseballin' it to get the perfect rosey glow! It looks funny but it's the best way to find the apples of your cheeks and blush them up! I used the Natural Blushing Powder ($29.99) in Honey Glow and oh my gosh, guys - this is my fave blush right now! It's the prettiest pale pink with it's coloring from organic raspberries and cranberries. Yum!
  • We're almost done, guys! I always curl my lashes before applying mascara as mine are super straight. I used the Lengthening Mascara ($19.99) and was pretty happy with the lengthening I achieved with it. The formula is slightly more wet than I normally use but I didn't have any issues with clumpy or "spider legs". 

  • And lastly, the lipstick! It's the icing on the cake, no? I used the Sheer Satin Lipstick in Coral Crush ($24.99). It is slightly more pink than coral but totally works for me. It's was moisturizing and pigmented and smelled ah-mazing!
What do you think? Would you give SUZANNE Organics Cosmetics a try? 

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If you do, click the link above and use the code: PRIMP20 for 20% off your order!

*This post has been sponsored by the PRIMP Network but all opinions are my own.
6.03.2017

Beauty | Lovely in Lilac

And the award for lamest blog post title goes to....ME! Sorry y'all. It's Saturday but my brain is super duper fried out from the craziest past few weeks with a certain nine month old and four am wake up calls. Knock on wood, I think we might be over it but fingers crossed.

Onto this look...I've had this lilac inner corner look stuck in my head all week. I love that it's super simple but the pop of color in the inner corner just gives it a little something special!

The Breakdown:

  • Primer/Moisturizer: Josie Maran Light Argan Oil, always. My face feels like heaven when I remove my makeup at the end of the day with this underneath.
  • Foundation: Urban Decay Naked One & Done Skin Perfector in Light. This goes down as my holy grail tinted moisturizer and I'm so bummed that I'm almost out. It's just super lightweight and feels like nothing on the skin.
  • Bronzer/Blush/Highlighter: NARS Laguna bronzer, Benefit Coralista blush and Urban Decay Afterglow Highlighter in Sin.
  • Eyes: MAC Paint Pot in Painterly as a base. Makeup Geek Vanilla Bean allllll over the lid to set the base. Makeup Geek Bedrock in the crease. Makeup Geek Concrete Jungle in the outer v to deepen it. Makeup Geek Phantom mixed with Skulls from the Kat Von D Mi Vida Loca Remix Palette for an iridescence to the lilac. PUR Fully Charged Mascara (one of my faves!)
  • Lips: ColourPop Lippie Stix in Tootsi

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