Thursday, May 26, 2016

Update Your Spring Style With Unilever

this post is sponsored by Lunchbox however all thoughts and opinions are my own. #TakeANewLook

spring has sprung and what better time of the year than now to refresh your hair care regimen? with a long list of amazing hair products from brands like TRESemmé, Dove and Suave your hair will have what it needs to fit in with or stand out from the trends of the season. 

we are regular users of the TRESemmé products. the Moisture Rich shampoo is one we all use regularly and i buy the larger size so that it will last through all five family members! i have hair that is not only chemically treated but tends to be on the dry side and this Moisture Rich shampoo by TRESemmé is great for those needs. my girls love the way it smells and are regularly requesting these products.

this spring i have invested in a new 1" wand to update my hairstyle. check out the tutorial below to see how i get my updated curls for spring:

Step 1: wash and condition hair using TRESemmé Moisture Rich Shampoo

Step 2: spritz hair all over using the TRESemmé Hairspray

Step 3: using a 1" wand curl hair starting at the base of the hair shaft with wand pointing down. this ensures even heat distribution throughout hair.

Step 4: enjoy your lovely locks!

 interested in giving the products a try? take the Hair Goals quiz to get a $2 off coupon good for any two participating Unilever products. click HERE for the test.

i picked up my Unilever products from Safeway. they were easy to find in the personal care aisle. all products were lined up vertically so your shampoo, conditioner and hairspray were all easily within arms reach.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Feeling Your Best During Pregnancy With Affinitas

this post is sponsored by Affinitas however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

i am so thrilled to be a member of the Affinitas blogging group that gets to share the message of empowerment and self appreciation for women. Affinitas recognizes that women have powerful voices and can make powerful choices ultimately becoming #morepowHERful.

during pregnancy it can be hard to watch yourself gain weight, even when you know there's a exceptional miracle happening inside of your womb. this can be a challenge trying to embrace your body's new shape and to think of every pound you put on as a sign of good health for you and your baby rather than increased anxiety over that growing number on the scale. during pregnancy i do my best to eat right by minimizing junk food and maximizing nutrient dense foods. i allow myself a daily splurge (candy, cookie, treat, whatever is striking my craving chords) and try to make sure i am also giving my body its necessary needs of daily vegetable, fruit, protein and vitamin intakes. i'll quickly throw together a green smoothie in the morning to 'cram' lots of veggie and fruit into my daily calorie count and make sure to include leafy greens and veggies into my lunch and dinner. by doing these things along with regular exercise i can feel confident that the numbers on the scale are reflecting the needs of the baby.

every woman is different and we all gain and lost at our own pace. even my sisters and i all have different metabolisms that process faster and slower than others. while we are still from the same family our body needs are different - the same goes for pregnancy. allow yourself to show some love for your changing shape and for yourself by purchasing a garment or accessory that makes you feel beautiful at your new size. underwear that is comfortable and fits correctly is a must for your changing body shape and Affinitas has just the right products to fit the bill. the Allison collection is a line of nude underwear that fits comfortable and works well under clothing. 

i am a sucker for a good handbag or accessory and pictured below are some of my personal favorites that help me look and feel my best. i put on this very body conscious dress and proudly displayed my bump and changing body. it was fun to show off my new little belly and i love how empowering it felt not to be embarrassed by it but rather embrace it.

be sure to check out the end of the post where you can have a chance to win the Allison Collection by Affinitas.


winning comment will be selected next Wednesday and winner will receive the Allison Collection by Affinitas.


Affinitas and Parfait recognizes issues that women still face today such as derogatory name calling, sexual violence, and lack of freedom of lifestyle. We believe women deserve much better. We will show women that they have a powerful voice, can make powerful choices, and are ultimately #morepowHERful.

First, we will show women that they have a voice.
Next, they will make their own choices.
Then, women will truly be powHERful

Voice. Choice.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Pregnancy Update Week 15

it has been a couple of weeks since i posted a pregnancy update and i wanted to share the latest on where this journey has taken me. first, let me just shout a whoop!whoop! for making it to second trimester. first trimester is always such a long couple of months with morning sickness (ironic name considering sickness seems to last the entire 24 hours of the day, not just morning), extra exhaustion, hormones that seem to be riding a roller coaster and all of the other joys of pregnancy (gas, bloating, heartburn, frequent urination, etc.).

second trimester is like the honeymoon of pregnancy. it is the fun period where you are no longer feeling sick all of the time, all of the pregnancy side effects subside a bit and your energy actually seems to increase. your body is growing in size but it is that fun phase where people can tell there is actually a baby brewing in there and not just a big meal and yet you are not so large that you are uncomfortable or physically unable to do things due to your size. seriously, i look forward to second trimester with every pregnancy as a mini vacation from the difficulties that were there to start and will be back with a vengeance in third trimester.

i had my 15 week doctor appointment last week and i was able to hear the baby's heartbeat with the doppler for the first time. what a treat to heart that heart beating strong at 150 bpm. it was such a relief after falling sick with the stomach flu earlier that week and losing a lot of weight and water very rapidly. there is something really reassuring about hearing that heart beating and knowing your baby is working hard to develop their body even if your body might be struggling a little.

while at my doctor appointment i was able to take some time to chat with my OBGYN who is amazingly great at making you feel heard, not rushed and completely at ease. he answered all of my questions (will we induce at 39 weeks? yes) and we talked about some of the social issues i have experienced with this pregnancy. i have never experienced such a negative response to pregnancy such as when i tell people i am technically 'high risk' the most common response is to minimize that idea, a lot of head shaking, objecting, etc. while i am very low risk on the 'high risk' spectrum it is just a way for medicine to categorize care. there is a line drawn somewhere and i happen to fall on the other side of that line. because of that my OB will order extra blood tests, glucose tests and perhaps extra monitoring. i am okay with my OB being cautious and i would prefer that to a cavalier attitude however the response from friends and family and even readers of this blog have been surprising. i talk about it to discuss what i am going through and experiencing, not to garner sympathy. maybe there are things to this you can relate to and maybe there aren't but i am journaling this as a way to share, release and to later remember what i went through. this is my first time being put in that category and while i know i am not in huge danger it certainly makes pregnancy feel a little different. getting a chance to discuss all of these things with my OBGYN helped to put my mind at ease.

this week has been really fun because i have had all sorts of packages arrive from different maternity brands. i can't wait to style these cute new clothes and dress this sweet bump that grows bigger by the day. i enjoy the challenge of dressing a pregnant body because i still feel beautiful, strong, attractive no matter my size and i don't want to hide these changes but rather display them at their best. some of my favorite women to look to for maternity style inspiration are Chrissy Teigen, Jillian Harris and Blake Lively. they embrace the bump and make maternity style so beautiful.

i think dresses and skirts will be one of my best friends during pregnancy. both dresses above are Piper Street Shop dresses and i think wrap dresses and body conscious dresses are fun styles to wear with a baby bump.

please let me know what some of your favorite maternity brand/styles are. i would love the suggestions.


Friday, May 20, 2016

My Favorite MAC Lipsticks

L-R: Politely Pink, Snob, Creme Cup, Innocence, Beware!
when it comes to lip color i am super picky. pink, nude and blue undertones are all musts for my lipstick essentials. lip colors have a tendency to look orange on me and the blue undertone helps keep it cool. pinks are my most flattering shade and work best with my fair skin tone. sheer colors are best for easy, casual wear and matte lip colors give a stronger impact. these are just my own personal issues with color but let's be honest, we all have them. finding the perfect shade(s) can be tricky.

MAC Cosmetic lip colors are my go-to when it comes to lip color. they apply smooth, last long and the color selection is on point. my favorite thing about MAC Cosmetic lip colors is that with the MAC recycling program, you can turn in any 6 empty product containers and get a lip color for free. this has certainly helped build my collection over the years.

while the colors above may look eerily similar, they apply much differently than you would think. here are the details on the best (for me!) MAC lipsticks:

the first, Politely Pink is a great pink color and applies sheer with a bit of lustre. it almost has a sheen similar to lip gloss except it isn't tacky and your hair doesn't stick to it when it is windy. great for everyday wear and applies easily on the go since the color payoff is subtle.

the second MAC lipstick, Snob, is my favorite MAC lip color of all time. i wear it most frequently and looks great with my clothing color palette - mainly greys. it looks pink but applies with a very subtle lavender undertone which makes it the perfect 'Barbie' pink for me.

the third,  Créme Cup, is my second favorite MAC lipstick. a little more subtle than Snob, this perfectly toned nude pairs well with a smoky eye or a casual look. it is a cremesheen color which makes it apply smooth like butter with the slightest hint of shine. 

the last shade, Innocence, Beware!, is a great nude with less pink undertones than Créme Cup. it is a warmer nude which makes it a great option for those of you with warmer skin undertones. i use it when i am wearing warm color tones and it looks great with gold accessories.

all that thought put into four shades that are extremely close in color? yes, it is worth it. these are just my four favorite MAC lip colors. tomorrow i will be sharing my spring lipstick update.


*a big thank you to my daughter and her friends for being my gorgeous 'lip models'. they are the cutest.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

IT Cosmetics Top Five Products

as a long time fan of the IT Cosmetics products i was so pumped to find this package on my doorstep a few weeks ago. included in the package were the five top selling IT Cosmetics products. after using them for a few weeks they have quickly become personal favorites.

top of the list is the Brow Power pencil. this pencil is all kinds of AMAZING. it is the best color for pretty much all blonde/brown brows. it makes coloring in your brows so easy and the end has a spool on it for blending. i can pencil my brows in two seconds and they looks natural and gorgeous. i love how easy it is.

the Super Hero mascara is great for giving you that lash length you really want. i am a mascara junkie and this volumizing mascara 'stretches' your lashes to make them look longer and fuller. a definite must for your makeup arsenal.

i love the IT Cosmetics CC cream particularly for summer when i am looking for that extra sunscreen coverage without compromising my skin. i like to wear this CC cream on its own for that bare skin look or i will layer it under my regular foundation for fuller coverage with sunscreen protection. plus the CC cream has so many added benefits for your skin you can't go wrong using it.

the Bye-Bye Under Eye Concealer is a great product for covering up those dark circles from pregnancy insomnia. it doesn't crack or crease and it lasts so long that you don't have to worry about it wearing off throughout the day. makes perfect sense why it is an award winning product.

last but not least is the Bye Bye Pores invisible loose powder. a loose powder is a MUST for any makeup kit. it is always layered over my cream products whether it is foundation or concealer. it helps give you that smooth photo finish you want with your makeup and the Bye Bye Pores is no exception. it works wonders in giving you such a smooth finish.

you can shop all the products using the widget below. let me know what your favorite IT Cosmetics product is.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Perfect Light-Weight Summer Jacket

my intentions for posting in the last week have been foiled by a nasty stomach bug that has hit our household. between myself and sick kiddos we have had our hands full. during that time i have been living in sweats and dreaming of the day where i had enough rest, time and motivation to get myself dressed. if i could possibly get dressed into this cute ensemble i think i would feel even better!

jackets are a girl's best friend and this jacket is no exception. it is a score i found at and it is a steal for under $50. it is great quality, lightweight and perfect for summertime. i love the combination of blue and white and its trapeze fit helps hide my awkward pregnant stage where people look at you and wonder if you are pregnant or fat. thankfully friends and family know the truth however strangers can be fooled with this flowy fit.

i have posted this on Instagram but my Like To Know It links have been a little on the fritz with their new update last week. because of that i am dedicating an entire post to this beloved jacket and at the bottom of the post are links to each of the items i am wearing if you are interested in checking them out.


Monday, May 9, 2016

Pregnancy Update Week 13

A photo posted by B L U S H I N G B A S I C S (@blushingbasics) on

i am officially thirteen weeks and this last one has been a doozy. as a woman of 'advanced maternal age' (at least that's what the doctor's office keeps calling it) i have to do a few additional tests to make sure my body is handling the pregnancy without complications. one of those additional tests is that i have to have two glucose screenings, one in the first trimester and one in the third. i have failed ALL of my one hour glucose tests in the past and have always had to do the three hour screening with each child. the three hour test usually ends up with me in a puddle of tears curled up in the fetal position in the doctors office. this time my doctor decided to forgo the one hour test and skip to the longer test to avoid the hassle of having to redo the glucose test. hopefully i won't be seeing that test again until the third trimester.

another test i decided to do was Informed Pregnancy Screen. this is a non-invasive test to determine the genetic formation of child's chromosomes. this includes Trisomies, Microdeletions and Sex Chromosomes. the most well known Trisomy is Down's Syndrome. women at the age of 25 have a 1 in 1,200 risk for having a child with a Trisomy and women at the age of 35 have a 1 in 350 chance. this test will screen for these chromosome abnormalities and doesn't have the risk and invasiveness of a amniocentesis. my doctor recommended it from his experience as a physician. he felt most parents appreciated knowing these risks prior to the babies arrival. this will in no way change the way we feel about having a baby, but i appreciate my doctor's advice on being emotionally and mentally prepared. the good news is that the testing will allow us to know the baby's sex earlier than the ultrasound screening at 20 weeks.

being in and out of the lab for blood draws last week was a little bit overwhelming but it is done and i look forward to smooth sailing for the next few weeks. in the meantime, i am trying to find that delicate balance of how to stay active during pregnancy without over-doing it. there is such a fine line between being active and overactive and i am still determining where that is. i walk a few miles one day and feel great. i do it a few days later and can hardly move by evening. i am going to keep experimenting to see what works best for me.

on a more positive note there is something about being pregnant and knowing this is your last pregnancy. i am trying to enjoy every moment. i am trying to appreciate the beauty and the miracle of my growing body and the delicate, precious body growing inside of my womb. with Mother's Day being celebrated on Sunday i really counted my blessings. i have been given the greatest gift of three healthy children and one on the way. being a mother to them is truly the sweetest the thing. i watched them sing a Mother's Day song to me from the pulpit at church and i couldn't help be filled with gratitude.

with my bump growing by the day i am excited to face the challenge of dressing a pregnant body. to highlight its beauty and enjoy these few months i have ahead. i have partnered with a few maternity brands to bring you some posts featuring maternity items and i can't wait to get started.