Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Redbook Red Box Beauty

This post is sponsored by Redbook however all thoughts and opinions are my own. #redbookredbeautybox

Hello, my name is Kristie and I am a beauty product junkie. The first step is admitting it, right? I love to test out new products or try the latest goods that have hit the market so when presented with the opportunity to test out Redbook's Red Beauty Box naturally I felt impelled to say 'Yes, please'. Included in the Red Beauty Box are the full size samples of the hottest beauty brands: Sexy Hair, Mary Kay, Curél, Finishing Touch, and MegRhythm.

I am a long time fan of Curél products and the Curél Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer is no exception. It is a lotion that is meant to be applied immediately after showering before you even towel dry. The idea is that after showering, your pores are open which provides an easy pathway for moisture to get absorbed into your just-showered skin. The Curél Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer is formulated with an Advanced Ceramide Complex which penetrates deeply into the skin and brings moisture to the source of dryness. Ceramides are something that are naturally found in the skin and are missing when skin is dry and damaged. This Curél Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer helps replenish your skin's ceramics levels leaving it soft and hydrated.

When you are finished moisturizing apply some of this Mary Kay Clear Proof Deep-Cleansing Charcoal Mask. This triple-action mask deeply cleanses skin and immediately reduces shine. The mask is made with activated charcoal which is an ingredient with the power to bind up to double its weight in pore-clogging impurities. This makes it the perfect 'magnet' to unclog pores. Enjoy the cooling sensation as you smooth the formula across your skin and leave it on while you get dressed or style your hair. Remove the Mary Kay Clear Proof Deep-Cleansing mask and your face is ready for the day, with or without makeup.

Next is the Big Sexy Hair Powder Play Lite Soft Volumizing and Texturizing Powder. I can't put into words just how much I love this product. No, seriously, I am obsessed! The Big Sexy Hair Powder Play Lite Soft Volumizing and Texturizing Powder is a dispensing system that mists powder in a cloud like spray. The powder is a talc free formula that instantly creates volume and texture. You know those braids you see all over Pinterest? They are using this product. Love that new mohawk braid style? Use this product. Do the men in your life want the thick coif of hair? Use this product. Do your kids have fine hair that can be difficult to style? Use this product. Seriously this product is so multi-use my ENTIRE family uses it. So just trust me already and buy it, ok?

Now, if you are anything like me and by 9pm flop onto the couch in sheer exhaustion this might just be the product for you. By the end of the day I am exhausted. Every ounce of energy has been drained from a day of exercise, mothering, working, cooking, playing chauffeur and overall problem solver. Pop one of these MegRythm Gentle Steam Eye Masks on and find instant relief. This eye mask has a self-heating technology that heightens relaxation and relieves tired eyes with the warm and soothing sensation of steam heat. The steam heat helps to moisten and relax tired eyes while also hydrating the surrounding skin. I am bringing one on our road trip today so that I can get a little R&R while my husband drives.

Last is the Finishing Touch Flawless. What is the Finishing Touch Flawless? You may have already seen it on television. The Finishing Touch Flawless is the new gold standard in facial hair removal for women. The hypoallergenic 18 karat gold-plated head removes hair instantly and painlessly with no irritation. It is compact enough you can keep it in your purse for on-the-go touch-ups. I am one of those women who keeps it in my car's console so that when I am sitting and waiting for my kids in the school carpool lane I'll whip this out and do a quick touch up in the car. Easy peasy.

All of these great products can be found in one spot - here on the blog! I have included links to each product, be sure to check them out and trust me when I say there are definitely some MUST BUYS! At least this beauty junkie thinks so ;)


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Fall Style With Banana Republic

This post is sponsored by Banana Republic however all thoughts and opinions are my own. #itsbanana #bananarepublic #sponsored

It is the most wonderful time of the year. No seriously, I mean it. Fall fashion gives me all the heart eyes. I love being able to layer without overheating or seriously freezing. I love the option of wearing boots or open toe. I love the colors of fall. I know love is a strong word for how I feel but in all honesty, I am a legitimately twitterpated with fall fashion. Today I have partnered with one of the best destinations for fall fashion - Banana Republic - to bring you some fall style inspiration.

One of the most common things I hear when it comes to fashion, particularly fall fashion, is 'That's cute but I can't wear that.' Ladies, I don't know about you but I have never seen a book titled 'You Can't Wear That'. Fall styles are for everybody and every body. Over the knee boots look amazing on ALL body shapes, it is just a matter of finding the right style. Ponchos are the perfect layering piece for fall, providing you with warmth that can be loosely or tightly worn or even doubles as a blanket. Blazers are a MUST for fall style, allowing you to add color, layers and texture to your outfit. 

The first outfit I styled with Banana Republic is this adorable poncho. This reversible poncho can be layered on top of t-shirts, long sleeves and it also looks great over a blazer. I like the neutral Ivory/Camel color combo that allows it to be worn with multiple outfits. One of my go-to color combinations for fall is black, white and brown and this layering poncho is the perfect accessory.

My next Banana Republic fall style outfit is this purple tweed blazer. The purple is the perfect punch of color for fall, not too strong and blends well with fall colors. The tweed brings great texture to your outfit. With blazers I like to mix it up by wearing a collared chambray or plaid underneath paired with a statement necklace. Keep it casual by wearing your blazer with a dark denim. This Banana Republic extra dark skinny jean is a MUST for all wardrobes. You will never find a more flattering pant than an extra dark skinny jean. Trust. 

Shop my favorite fall items using the widget below or head to Banana Republic where you can pick up these items and more.



Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sam's Club Hair Collection Game Changer

This post is sponsored by Mirum however all thoughts and opinions are my own. #SamsClubHairCollection

Let's be real - four kids and the beginning of the school year has me spinning. I remember a friend once describing that having three kids is like drowning, and then someone adds you another kid. I remember laughing at the sentiment and now I totally get it. Our days are consumed with activities and errands from morning until night. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade it for anything. There is absolutely nothing I love more than being able to take care of my family. However, I am constantly on the hunt for how to make my life easier and simpler for myself and my family. One of the ways I do that is buy shopping in bulk at stores like Sam's Club. I like that you can get everything you need, all in one place. Additionally, they offer premium Unilever hair care club-sized packs that will keep us looking our best without spending a fortune. And have you heard about the new Scan and Go App and Club Pickup? Total game changers. Seriously.

I cannot stress to you how much I LOVE the convenience that Sam's Club is offering to shoppers. Simply download the app and no more waiting in line! Wait, what?! No more lines? That is like saying French Fries don't have calories. It is just too good to be true. Let me assure you, this Scan and Go App seriously offers LINE FREE shopping! Once you download the app you scan the barcodes as you shop. Once you are done shopping you checkout online quickly and easily with your card (that you can keep on file) and you show your screen as the receipt once you exit. Easy, right?

I told you. Game Changer.

Now that there are no more lines, let's talk about hair care for a family of six. That sounds crazy because I never thought I would be the person talking about hair care for a family of six and yet here I am. The older my kids get the more they want to use the 'good' products - meaning anything that mom and dad use. They somehow instinctually know that whatever we choose for ourselves is the better item (but let's be honest, it usually is!). That's why Nexxus at Sam's Club is a life saver. I absolutely adore the way my hair feels thanks to the Nexxus products. Being able to buy them in bulk saves me the worry of the kids using too much. We can all affordably use the Nexxus products thanks to the premium club-sized packs that Sam's offers. You can also never worry about running out of hair care products again thanks to the Sam's Club subscription program. you can get Unilever haircare products on a regular basis delivered to your door. Head to Sam's Club.com and pick out the items you want to schedule for delivery. Select your frequency of product delivery and sit back and relax. Items will be shipped to you directly. No more running out of product, which as a family of six we have been known to do a time or two.

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

Nexxus hair products feel so good for your hair. The Nexxus Therappe Shampoo replenishes hair fiber for Ultimate Moisture. The salon crafted caviar and protein complex helps hair retain that moisture for up to 24 hours. The silicone free formula helps restore hair flexibility and retain natural movement. The Nexxus Humectress Conditioner is seriously the bomb. I love using it in my daughters' hair when it is tangled and unruly. This deeply moisturizing conditioner adds moisture and smooths hair. This salon quality condition helps restore hair's lost nutrients.

So good.

Easy shopping, good hair - what more could you ask for?


Summertime Style With Ben Bridge Jewelry

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Ben Bridge Jeweler for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
Toscano Openwork Bead & Tassel Necklace

There's just something about an accessory, am I right?! It can complete an outfit, it can tie an outfit together, it can glam something up or dress something down. A piece of jewelry has the power to create an impact and define a style. As a mother our time is limited and often that means we leave the least amount of time for ourselves. I am a firm believer in the idea of taking just a moment before leaving the house and selecting a necklace, earrings or maybe just some bracelets to help me not only complete my outfit but also to make me feel my best. 

Let's be real, when you look good, you feel good. That has always been true for me. Of course there are days where I don't have the energy to get 'dressed' and I end up spending the day in my scrubbies, but when I take the time to pick out an outfit and accessorize I feel great. Something as simple as a tassel necklace (one of my go-to favorites) and a subtle pair of earrings, or skip the subtle and go for statement. Whichever I choose I feel confident when I take those few minutes to take care of myself.

I put together this post in partnership with Ben Bridge jewelry. Ben Bridge curates collections of quality jewelry made to withstand the trials of everyday life. By purchasing only exceptional metals and gemstones, Ben Bridge ethically sources these items from their countries of origin. They work with accomplished artisans to create their exclusive collections and they only carry pieces from select brands who have been similarly recognized for their level of craftsmanship.

I love that the jewelry featured in this photos are great for any life moment. Whether I am playing outside with my kiddos or dressing up for a date with my husband, these gorgeous pieces of jewelry can amp up an outfit but have the quality to withstand life with kids. When it comes to shopping for jewelry I want to know that I can wear it without stressing that it may get damaged by my little sweethearts. I may be projecting a bit of blame on them when in reality I can be a bit harsh on jewelry myself. I have a tendency to tackle projects and realize a little too late that it may have been wiser to remove my jewelry first. I rest easy with this Ben Bridge jewelry knowing it can withstand 'life'. 

In addition to the durability of the jewelry let's take a moment to recognize just how gorgeous it is. With a wide variety of styles available there is something to suit everyone regardless of your personal taste. Ben Bridge creates beautiful, quality jewelry worthy of your everyday life.

Diamond Circle Pendant

Diamond Bolo Bracelet Diamond Bangle

For more details or information on how to purchase, be sure to visit Ben Bridge Jeweler.


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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Afternoon Snack With Wholey Cheese!

This post is sponsored by Wholey Cheese! through its partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated to write a post about Wholey Cheese!, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

It is mid afternoon and I needed a snack for that moment when hunger hits but it is between lunch and dinner so I don’t want to overdo it before mealtime. I love these Wholey Cheese Smoked Gouda crackers because they pack in flavor and crunch to help curb my emotional eating today. Why am I emotionally eating? Because I just sent my kids off to school this morning and it about gutted me. My oldest is starting Middle School and I wanted to hold his hand and walk him to class and give him a big kiss on the cheek. Instead he turned to me and waved as he jumped out of the car. I then returned home to get my two daughters off to Elementary School and as I was brushing their hair I couldn’t help but smile at the conversation together about how they were so excited for the first day of school and how they couldn’t wait to see old friends and teachers. As I brushed their hair I thought about how mature they seemed as they chatted about classmates and I was a little sad to think how numbered these days really are, where they sit and allow me to brush their hair and listen in on their conversations. 

Being a mom is such an incredible joy, one of the most difficult jobs and certainly the most rewarding thing in my life. I read a quote on Instagram from a friend recently that said:

‘Mothers decide to stay home not just because they are tired of juggling family and career; not just because they want to be there for the first word or the first step; not just because they have found that a rich home life requires persistent personal investment. 

They want to be home because in some quiet moment caring for their children, they have suddenly experienced the vastness, the intricacies, the delicate nature of this work. While performing some entirely routine act of nurturing they have unexpectedly stumbled on a moment of insight SO LUMINOUS as to reveal with imposing clarity that the greatest opportunity for success they might ever have is nestled right there in their arms.

And in the midst of a thousand precious assumptions about life and love, in an instant that no one else can measure or see, they decided that this uncertain business of trying to guide childish innocence into adult wisdom is an art worthy of extraordinary exertion of time.’ –L. Beck

Which leaves me sitting here, in my kitchen, catching up on overdue work and enjoying a quiet moment with my Wholey Cheese Smoked Gouda snack (that is crispy and light, puffy and airy and completely delicious). I’m planning out my fall editorial calendar and listening to my little one babble beside me and while this moment is enjoyable because it is quiet and I can work effectively, I am completely looking forward to the chaos that arrives when my children walk through the door this afternoon.

Until then I am going to enjoy the sophisticated flavor of these Wholey Cheese Smoked Gouda snacks. I’ll enjoy this gluten free, cracker that is baked with no preservatives and feel like I am doing something better for me. 



Saturday, September 9, 2017

How to Make High Heels Comfortable

I received compensation from Dr. Scholl’s® to write this post. All opinions are my own.

If you meet me IRL (In Real Life), you would see that I am constantly in heels. With a height that I will gently call 'Vertically Challenged', I like the added height of a heel all day every day. Because I wear heels so often, I am constantly on the hunt for solutions to make those heels comfortable. Not all heels are created equal and some are definitely more comfortable than others. I can't tell you how pumped I was to see the new Dr. Scholl's Stylish Step™ High Heel Relief Insoles - finally an insole that is designed for the narrow foot of a high heel shoe. Sure, we have all tried the heel pads or the ball of foot pad but you will be completely converted once you try Dr. Scholl's Stylish Step™ High Heel Relief Insoles. It is virtually a game changer!

Along with the Stylish Step™ High Heel Relief insoles you can also find gel pads for specific problem areas like the Stylish Step™ Ball of Foot gel cushions or the Stylish Step™ Gel Heel Liner. Finding them is easier than ever - just pick them up on your weekly trip to Target. Right now Target is offering a Cartwheel promotion for Stylish Step™ insole products, find out more here. You can find them in the foot care aisle near the pharmacy. A few dollars later and you will feel like you are walking on air.

I decided to really put these insoles to the test on my recent trip to Kauai for my baby sister's wedding. Not only were we running around doing wedding prep but we also had the ceremony, appetizer hour, dinner, and then dancing all night. I was running around in four inch wedge platform sandals from 2pm until 11pm and I danced the night away without foot pain. That is what I would call a major win.

The last five years I have attended New York Fashion Week in September and every time I attend my feet are killing me by the end of the trip. Each time I have to put on a new set of high heel shoes I cringe because I know I am in for some serious foot pain by the end of the day. I can't wait to put these Dr. Scholl's Stylish Step™ High Heel Relief insoles to the test on my next trip. They will certainly ease a large portion of the foot pain that is associated with wearing high heels all day long.
Plus, I like that this allows me to not compromise style for comfort. In the image below you can see how the Dr. Scholl's Stylish Step™ insoles fits perfectly inside the sole of my high heel wedge and doesn't peek out at the edges once my foot is in the shoe.

Between the insoles and my lotion trick, my high heel game is on fleek. What is the lotion trick you ask? Rub a small amount of lotion on your foot before you put on your high heels. This will reduce friction on blister prone areas of your feet as well as allows you to easily slip your foot into the narrow foot bed of a high heel shoe. Trust me, this little tip combined with the insoles is pure comfort in high heels.
I would love to hear any tips you have for making high heels comfortable. I would hate to go another thirty years without realizing a simple solution was so easily available!


Friday, August 25, 2017

Shortlist Skincare Summertime Wrap-Up

I’m sharing #Shortlist in my life as part of a Shortlist sponsored series for Socialstars™

I can hardly believe it. Summer is nearly over and it seems as though it has flown by. Just last night I attended an open house for my son's Middle School Orientation. Middle School! I suppose it is not just summer that seems to be flying by. The end of summer also brings me to the end of my three month experience with Shortlist skincare products. You may have read my previous posts touting the benefits of using a simplified skin care system and how less is more, especially in the case of Shortlist. I am a busy mom on-the-go all the time and I need something that will really streamline my getting ready process so that I can make the most of the little 'me' time that I have.

As I was sitting in my son's sixth grade classroom last night I stopped for a moment and looked around the room. I remember my sixth grade year and feeling like I was on top of the world. I had a great group of friends and the age 36 seemed a lifetime away. Now that I am 36 and looking at these sixth graders I can't help but feel a little nostalgic for those days. It seems as though you can never quite appreciate what you have until it is gone. For instance, perfectly smooth skin. In sixth grade I was completely unaware of what a blessing that was. Now that I am 36 I feel like I am constantly on the hunt for that fountain of youth to help me turn back the years. I'm sure in another 30 years I'll be wishing I could get back that skin I had in my thirties ;)

Because I haven't been the most diligent in really caring for my skin this summer (as in, extreme exposure to heat, sun, water, wind and because I live the dustiest place in Washington, DIRT!) I have needed something that will help battle my skincare problems without actually being a problem itself. The Shortlist Serum and Cream work together to repair damaged skin and help prevent aging. Using these products has helped me recognize my skin feeling more moisturized which in turn helps your skin look more youthful. The Pro-retinol cream has been great for fighting fine lines and wrinkles without being over harsh on my skin. While my skin doesn't seem to be turning back to my sixth grade glow, it does seem to be healthy and glowing with an appearance of youthful rejuvenation. I could greet my old friends from high school (who also now have Middle School aged children!) and feel confident that my age wasn't showing through my skin.

Shortlist skincare has been so easy to use. I can use the Serum and Cream alone or I can add it into my other skincare programs on those evenings or days that I have an extra few minutes to get ready. The Shortlist philosophy is that less is more and this high performing duo is unstoppable. Kind of like me and my sixth grader.