Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Being a mom…

Hey guys! I have really been struggling lately with getting this stay at home mom routine down.  Let me preface this (as I usually do when I talk about it) with the fact that I LOVE being home with sweet Ellie, I feel so lucky and wouldn’t change it for the world. I also realize other moms wish they could do the same, but either can’t financially do it or have something else that just doesn’t let it work out for them…I understand my venting or babbling on about it might sound like I am ungrateful…not the case at all. I also understand staying home is not for all moms, and that is totally ok with me!!! If I can’t be truthful and spill my guts about what I am thinking and feeling then my writing would be complete crap!

Long preface…sorry!

Back to what has been on my mind…I feel this intense responsibility and weight on my shoulders to raise this precious little girl the best way possible.  I realize what is best for us may not be what is best for everyone else…either way, it is stressful sometimes to have that pressure on you. I am sure this is not a unique feeling…no matter if you stay home, are a working mom, a dad…it probably doesn’t matter because the second you have a baby that feeling starts kicking in.

“crap, I am responsible for this little life…sometimes I can barely take care of myself, how in the hell am I going to be able to provide everything she/he deserves?!?!”

Not only is there this giant urge to do and to make everything the best it can be for her…it all goes so fast! We went and visited friends recently who just had a baby…he was soooo tiny. I couldn’t believe how hard it was to try and remember Ellie being that tiny, she was actually an entire pound smaller!!! Time goes so fast. I know everyone says this, “enjoy every minute because they grow up so fast” but until you live it you don’t really get it.  She will be 9 months in a few weeks…nine months I was pregnant and it seems like it took forever, but 9 months of this little joy growing up has flown by!!!!

I read a blog post the other day on Ruthie’s blog (you can find it HERE) and she was talking about the misconceptions of a stay at home mom.  She said one thing in particular that seriously stuck with me and I can’t stop thinking about. She said “the days are long, so long sometimes…but the years are short” meaning each day I spend at home with Ellie can be so long and she can be crabby or tired and I feel like the day will never end, but when I look back and see how big she is so fast time has flown by!!! It makes me so sad and happy. I can’t wait for her to start walking and making cookies with me and talking, but I also want her to stay little and chubby and army crawling everywhere forever! 

Being a mom is the hardest but most fulfilling job I have ever had. I am so excited for what the years will bring, but for now I am just trying to grasp a hold of the days and make them count as much as possible!!!

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Dawes Arboretum…weekend fun!

We have really been trying to take advantage of this beautiful weather while it lasts.  Ellie loves being outside and taking in all of the new things…trees, bugs, birds, flowers, ducks, watching Reggie…she loves it all.

Recently we made a trip to Dawes Arboretum in Newark, OH.  It is so pretty and peaceful there.  We walked around, looked at the colorful flowers…

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I took a million pictures which annoyed Joe, so when I gave him the camera and asked him to take a picture of Ellie and I he went cray-cray taking WAAAAAY too many pictures, and found it entertaining he could see himself in my sunglasses taking pictures…dork!

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Thanks for the mini photo-sesh…

Overall it is a nice place to visit…so pretty, and would have been a great spot for a picnic. You can take your dog, which we did, as long as they are on a leash.  They offer tons of education and have events there, so check out their website if you are interested.  I thought it was just nice to go somewhere a little different and enjoy the weather, so if that is what you are looking for try it out!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Beauty Wednesday

Most days if I don’t have time to do both my hair and makeup I usually spend my time perfecting at least ONE of them…I figure if my makeup looks amazing people won’t notice my hot mess hair, or if my hair is looking outstanding then hopefully they won’t notice my makeup-less full bag-under-my-eyes face!  Probably not the case, but I tell myself this…so let’s go with it!

So for today I thought I would share a few of my favorite hair products.  To give you a frame of reference: my hair is curly but I am able to straighten it pretty easy…I have a TON of fine hair, if that makes sense.

1//  Kenra Platinum Blow-Dry Spray:  I have used this product for a long time and know a lot of friends that also love it.  It costs around $22-$33 depending on the size you buy, which is pricey but it lasts awhile.  The idea is that you spray it on your hair while it’s wet and it helps protect your hair and it seriously makes it faster to blow dry.  My hair takes FOR-EV-ER to blow dry, so anything that cuts down on that time I am all for. It also smells really good, which is never a bad thing.  Try it out!

2// Tresemme Dry Shampoo:  I have also used this product for a very long time. I have tried other dry shampoos but just keep coming back to this. It is only $5.99 which is great and it works! I don’t wash my hair every single day so I use this to freshen it up if need be…I also use this to give my hair texture. Like I said my hair is fine (but I have a ton of it) so I am constantly trying to give it more body and texture so spraying this on the roots helps to hold a tease if I am doing that, or it helps if I want to braid or pin back sections.  You can also spray it all over your hair if you want a messy undone look. Great inexpensive stuff!

3// Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque.  I LOVE this deep conditioning treatment soooooo much!!!!  For a smaller tube it costs $16 and for the bigger tub shown below it is $36…but you can also buy the little pouches (also shown below) for around $4.99 so you can try it before you spend a ton.  I can’t believe I love this stuff so much but have actually never bought the bigger containers…I always end up just buying a pouch here and there and I can usually get two uses out of it.  Since you don’t really need to use this stuff every shower or every day it lasts forever.  I will probably be buying a bigger one soon because it seems silly to keep buying the trial size.  Anyways, this stuff makes my hair so incredibly soft and healthy…I LOVE LOVE LOVE the smell.  It works, what more can I really say?!?!

 

Happy hump day everyone…I hope you found these hair products helpful or exciting. I have a ton more hair products I love but I need to keep some for other beauty Wednesdays!!! Have a great rest of your week.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Adventures in colds & crafting…

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  We had a very low key one…remember when I mentioned Ellie had a cold a couple of months ago and I thought it was pretty bad, yeah I was wrong…the cold she has right now is PRETTY BAD!

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Poor baby!!

I hate having her feel like crap… she doesn’t understand why it is nearly impossible to drink her bottle or suck on her pacifier. It breaks our hearts!!! So this weekend was spent taking her to the doctor and entertaining her in the little room while waiting for the doctor (they added us in so we waited a long time).  This is what that looked like:

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At least she had fun…mommy, on the other hand, was not having fun trying to figure out how to keep her from screaming or eating everything in site (gross, germs) At any rate…she just has a cold so that is the good news (sort of). Why do pediatrician offices have that loud, super-fun-for-babies paper anyway?!?!

And other then taking care of sweet little sick gal…I decided it was time to:

START AN ETSY BUSINESS!!!!

No big deal.

If you follow me on Instagram (which you should and can find me @abby22doodle) you may have seen some pictures of headbands I have been making. I decided that I love making them so much I should sell them.  And so I would like to introduce you to:

Ellie Lou Boutique

   Please go and check out the etsy shop and buy yourself, your kiddos, your niece, your friend, your grandma (heck, age is just a number) one of my cute headbands.  I hand sew the flowers and bows so they will last…and I LOVE custom orders, so if don’t see something you like or the colors aren’t right for you just let me know and I can make you something that works!!!

Guys, I am so excited about this so hopefully you love them!!

To get you excited too,  let me give you a little peak at some of the cutie patootie headbands I have right now:

Ohio State headband $10…I can make this in other team colors as well!

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Halloween headband $10!!!

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I even have bows that can be made into bow ties (pin back) for the little gentlemen in your life, or a non slip hair clip for the gals

$3.  I can make these in many colors as well!

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So go check out my little store and let me know if you have any questions or suggestion of new products!

You can find it here:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/EllieLouBoutique

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thankful…

Last night after the fourth time getting up with little miss teething mess, I started getting really introspective. ( I think that’s a word?!?)

I can remember not too long ago when I was a single gal online dating and getting frustrated and feeling hopeless that I would never find the right guy.  I can remember getting into bed alone and just wishing I had someone to snuggle up to and feel safe with.

Last night as I was about to loose my sh*t from having to get up so many times I got back in to bed, snuggled up to my amazing husband (who normally helps at night, but worked over night and was exhausted) and I realized I was so happy.  I felt so thankful to have that man in bed with me…I felt so thankful that our beautiful daughter was the reason I was getting out of bed, the daughter we weren’t even sure we would be able to have.  Somehow in that moment my thoughts changed and rather then being mad I was just…

thankful.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Beauty Wednesday-Nail Polish Edition

Today I thought I would entice you with nail polish…my other love besides lip gloss, family and wine!

Little fun fact: After college I went to school to get my esthetician and nail tech license.  I don’t actually work using those right now, but I did finish and loved every minute of it…so I have loved all things beauty forever, enough to go to school to learn more about it!!!

Nail polish. 

I collect it…I love it…I have a ton of it…

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Yeah…it’s a problem!

So I thought I would tell you how I do my nails every single time and then give you some of my favorite polishes.

I usually end up doing my nails once or twice a week, depending on if I have time.  I don’t do the gel or UV polish because I change my mind too much. 

The first true step is the huge life altering decision of what color polish to use!!! Such anxiety…I usually grab a few and ask my poor husband to pick which one I should use. He has finally given in and just chooses rather then saying he doesn’t care…love him!

one// Trim Nails:  I personally hate when my nails are long so the first thing I do (after removing old polish) is to trim those daggers with cheap finger nail clippers. 

two// File Nails: I then file them using a glass file.  I have found that glass files last a heck of a lot longer then regular ones, and they are gentle on your nails. Once I tried glass I have never gone back! My favorite shape for my nails is the “squoval”…square and oval combined.

three// Prep Nails: I apply a product called Bond aid by OPI…it helps to remove all oils on my nails so that the polish sticks. You could probably get away with just using nail polish remover again for this step if you don’t feel like buying an extra product.  This was just a little secret we learned in school and I have done ever since.  (product on the far left below)

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four// Base Coat:  Next I apply my base coat. I have come to love a ridge filling base coat.  My nails don’t really have many ridges, but I like this because it comes out on your nail a little milky which I feel helps make the color look more even when you apply on top.  The added benefit is that if you do have any uneven areas on your nails this helps to smooth everything out.  My favorite is the Seche Base seen above in the middle. 

five//Apply Polish: I ALWAYS apply two coats of color, but sometimes I also apply three depending on the brand (Essie) and the color. My favorite brands of polish are OPI and Essie. I find Essie to have trendier color  options but the actual product is more shear so three coats is usually a must.  OPI tends to have more every day colors and usually two coats is all it takes.

six//Top Coat: My absolute favorite and go to top coat is Seche Vete. I used this in school and have used ever since…I have gotten tons of my friends to try and fall in love with it too.  It is fast drying and thicker so it really smoothes out any problem areas you might have in the polish. It leaves your nails super shiny and helps the polish last longer.

I let me nails dry for a bit…honestly I usually paint my nails in bed on a book and then turn my light off and lay there with my hands at my side super still until I fall asleep.  It’s the only time I don’t need my hands with Ellie around! Also, this is the exact steps I use when doing my toe nails as well.

Favorite color time!! I just recently went and got this little sample pack of the new OPI fall/winter colors (well, four of them…not ALL of them)

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Twice a year OPI comes out with a new collection and I am always like a kid at Christmas waiting to see what they will come out with. Most times I love some of the colors and others are just ok. This year I really love most of the Nordic collection.  I ended up using the purpleish one second from the left and was a little nervous at first because after the first coat is screamed “17 year old girl purple” but after three coats I am in love! It is the perfect blend of trendy and subtle. The color is called “Do you have this color in Stock-holm?” (gotta love nail polish names…dream job: nail polish namer?!?!)

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How tiny is that bottle?!?!  So this is a new favorite of mine…kind of wish I got a bigger bottle.

My other go to favorites currently, and for awhile now are pictured below.

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Favorite nude: Essie Mademoiselle, perfect combo of pink and beige. Def need three coats!

Favorite Red: OPI Big Apple Red, LOVE this. It is the perfect red, not too bright but just bright enough. I ALWAYS get compliments when I wear this.

Newer Favorite: Essie Recessionista. I think this came out last year, but I have really loved the brighter berry color…perfect for fall!

Old Faithful: OPI My Private Jet. I have loved this color for awhile now. It is the perfect darker color with sparkle…but not the annoying sparkles that take a year to get off your nails.  It is sooooo pretty and trendy and professional. I LOVE IT!!!

So those are my nail polish tips and favorites. Hope this helps or inspires you to try a new color!

Happy Hump Day!!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Weekend, Wine and Class Reunions

Could I put more topics in the heading of this post?!?!

This weekend we did a TON of things…like it felt like I was never home, but it was all fun so I was ok with it.  Joe and I have both hit the age when it is time for our 15 year class reunion!!! I know to some that is nothing, but to us…right now…it feels crazy to think that high school was 15 years ago!  In so many ways it does seem like 15 years, so much has happened, we have lived soooo much…but in so many other ways I don’t feel 15 years removed from that time in my life.  There is something so fun about seeing people at your reunion you haven’t seen in awhile and reminiscing about old random things you used to do. 

I loved high school, I had and still have so many great friends from that time in my life.  Joe is the same way…he still has so many of the same friends he had in high school.  So, for us, reunions are fun.  I guess I should put in here that I can understand for some people how class reunions may not be the best thing…if you hated high school and remembering that time is the last thing you want to do… I can understand that.  For us, though, it is a happy time that we love remembering!

My class reunion was back in July before I jumped back on the blog train…so I won’t relive it now, but it was tons of fun.  Joe’s was this past weekend and it was also fun.  My favorite thing was that they had the 90’s Pandora station playing the entire time…so you continued to hear old school music that triggered even more memories then just old faces did.  So clever!

Unfortunately I took exactly two pictures…mostly because it wasn’t my reunion and I didn’t want to look like the crazy, creepy wife walking around with a giant camera taking pictures of people I had never met. So, instead I took a shameless selfie at dinner before…

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and a picture of the cute and delicious cookies they had. I acted like I was getting one just to take a picture but I ate it on the way home…in almost one bite…so tasty!

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The other super fun thing I did this weekend was attending my first ever paint and wine party.  I had seen these all over face book and really wanted to try it…I mean, I love painting and I REALLY love wine so duh!

When I got the invite to this I was super super excited and shelled out the $40 immediately…maybe a little too eager for a new group of girlfriends…but they should just know off the bat how much I love wine.  The $40 included all of our supplies (canvas, paint, brushes, smock) and one glass of wine. 

The company was called Wine & Canvas and they did a really great job.  They have everything set up for you when you get there and then they take you step by step(I heart NKOTB…anyone?)  thru the painting, making it simple to get the same end result as the original painting.  The instructor was really knowledgeable and came around asking if we needed help…which I did several times!  We all brought an appetizer and obviously sipped wine making the event so much fun.  The event was held at the cutest little winery called Sand Hallow.  The wine was delicious and since they don’t serve food you can bring in your own.  It was really pretty there,with a pond, great deck area…it would make a really cute date spot…if your husband likes wine, which mine does not,ugg!

 

 

 

**Thanks to Wine & Canvas for the pictures…I didn’t take a single one , except my finished product when I got home :(

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At any rate…check out this company if you want to try one of these parties…so much fun!!

And because I can’t have a post without a picture of my adorable daughter I will leave you with this…have a great week!

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(she just woke up…that mark is from her mattress, not a bump!)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

And the good new is…

Hey guys, I know I don’t normally post on Saturdays but since I skipped Thursday I figured I would fill you in on why.  As some of you may know from previous posts or just because you know me I was born with a heart condition called cardiomyopathy.  We later found out it was genetic and was passed down from my grandmother, to my dad, to me…and my sister has it as well as cousins, aunts, uncles.  My dad is one of 13 so there was a ton of chances for this gene to pass on.  For lack of boring you all to death I will try and make the science of it all short and sweet.  Basically, Harvard did a study on my family and were able to pinpoint the exact gene that caused this disease which is amazing because then they can tell future family members if they have it or not. 

When I got pregnant I knew there was always a 50% chance that little girl could have the gene.  We always knew that when she was born we would have her blood drawn to find out.  You see, even if she had the gene it doesn’t mean she will ever even get the disease it just means she could and she would also have the chance of passing it on to her children.  Without finding out, we would always wonder if she was getting sick or if other simple symptoms could mean her heart was failing….

So we had her tested at around 2 months old and despite our worries she did amazing at the blood draw…like didn’t even cry!!!

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And the good news is…

we found out several months ago that she does NOT have the gene!!!! We are obviously thrilled.  We prepared ourselves for if she would have it, knowing that we could handle that and would just live our lives normally and get check ups for her and not let that change anything…but she does not have the gene and we are so thankful!!!!!

Now on to Thursday…again, as you know my heart has been a source of concern from the start of pregnancy.  As the months went on my heart function continued to decrease and never went back up after giving birth.  My doctors were very concerned and started me back on a medicine I could not take while pregnant or breastfeeding (cutting short breastfeeding, but we got a good month in at least!) At first my heart function still did not go back up to where they wanted it…and I was pretty tired and worried (and my stupid thyroid was all kinds of off, another story for another day). Pretty scary stuff! Thursday we went to see my doctor and I had an MRI of my heart to see if anything had gotten better. 

And the good news is…

my heart function has finally increased to almost were it was before I got pregnant!  We are again so thankful and happy at this news.  It still does not mean we are going to pursue more children…the risk is still just too high for my health, but we are both so happy I am back to being healthy again!!!

So that is our good news from the last several months. We hope you have a great weekend, and that good news finds you as well!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Oh Hey Friday…my baby wish list

Again, my Friday link up with the ladies from September Farm and The Farmer’s Wife Blogs. (click the picture above to check them out)

Last week I made my list of the 5 favorite baby items we have loved so far for Ellie and in doing so it got me thinking about the other wonderful things I WISH we had too…or the things that are on my “must purchase eventually” list.  I thought I would share those with you today.

1// Boon Flair Highchair  We currently have a seat for Ellie that straps onto one of our dining room chairs, which is fine except I feel like she would love to be up higher and be able to sit in something in the kitchen while I (let’s be honest…daddy) cooks and she can watch us.  So I am in love with this!

This highchair is super cute and easy to clean. I have read a ton of reviews on it and everyone seems to love it.  It is a little pricey at around $229.00 at Buy Buy Baby. (but with the 20% off coupon everyone can get their hands on, it isn’t too bad  They have several different color combos, (you purchase the one below and then purchase separate colors to replace the orange)

Flair Pedestal Highchair with Pneumatic Lift

 

The one I am loving is the white chair with the pink replacement back and tray.  I first saw this on my favorite blog Little Baby Garvin (and that is were I got this picture of her super cute kiddos and the highchair…check her blog out for great mommy advice) How pretty and cute is that pink and white highchair!?!?!  In love!

2// Boon Petal Pouch Storage  I pretty much love everything Boon has to offer, they are all such fun and colorful…and FUNCTIONAL products!  This little genius idea is so cute.  It looks like this before:

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And then you fill it up with all of your favorite food pouches and it looks like this:

Petal Pouch Storage

Love it, because I find these pouches super hard to organize and they are always falling all over the place in my cabinet.  It is also pretty affordable at around $15.99.

3// B . Zany Zoo Wooden Activity Cube This toy looks so fun and educational and it stands pretty tall so as Ellie starts to pull herself up she can hold on to this and play for hours (hopefully) I have also read tons of reviews and it seems like moms love this! It runs around $60.00 so maybe it would be a great Christmas gift.

B. Zany Zoo Wooden Activity Cube

4// B. Parum Pum Pum Drum-Lime  As Ellie has gotten older she is now starting to love to grab things that make sound and shake and play with it.  I saw this on Amazon and thought it was so cute and would be perfect for little gal to shake and pound with!  How cute are the little bug heads!?!?! It runs around $26.00 so not too bad!

5// V Tech Sit-To-Stand Learning Walker   One of our friends had this for her daughter and swore it was one of the things that got her up and walking.  I suppose the name of it explains that too, ha! I think this looks fun for Ellie and as she gets bigger and starts walking she can still use this for support.  It runs around $29.00.  So fun!

So those are my Friday wish list items for little miss Ellie.  I hope everyone has a great weekend, ours is going to be busy with class reunions and wine and canvas parties, YAY!

**I have gotten a few questions on if my posts are sponsored, or if I get paid to talk about products.  The answer is no…I don’t have enough readers to have any company want to bother with little old me yet!  If I ever do magically get a company send me their products for a review I will ALWAYS tell you in advance, but my opinions will always stay true to what I think no matter what!.  The only thing I do sometimes is use Amazon Affiliate program…which means that if you click on a link and purchase something you might like thru my blog website I would get a super small percentage of the sale for referring you, but that has not happened yet :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Beauty Wednesday

Who else is ready for fall weather?!?!?! Fall is my favorite season (when Ohio actually gives us a fall) I love football, the leaves changing, my birthday, all things apple and pumpkin, sweatpants, hoodies…

awww I could go on forever about how much I love fall!

With fall comes a change in your makeup and beauty routine, at least I always have fun doing this.  Gone are the pinks and lighter airy colors of spring and summer, hello to the darker, deeper beautiful colors for fall.

With fall on my mind my first favorite for this week is a beautiful lip gloss from Milani Cosmetics. The shade I am loving right now is called Mauve Fetish and it is perfect for fall! I have a slight obsession with lip glosses…it’s like the perfect thing to lighten my mood when I am down, lip-gloss always fits when other things don’t, and a bright lip-gloss can just brighten up your face so easily.  

My name is Abby and I am addicted to LIP GLOSS!!!!

At any rate, go get your hands on this…and the best part, it is only $4.99..what?!?!?  I got mine at K-Mart, but you can get it at Wal-Mart, CVS and many other places too.

My next favorite product for fall (and really any other season for that matter) is the It Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Eye Palette. I know I have talked about this company before, but just know I will probably continue to include their products in my posts because I love SO MUCH from them and this product is no exception!!  You can buy it for $42 which may seem pricey, but you are getting so much and the quality of these shadows is A-MAZE-ING!!!! They are all matte shadows so they are good for people of all ages, the colors are beautiful and perfect for fall…even though they are a pressed powder shadow they are sooooo creamy and blend like a dream together.

If I could marry this palette I would, that is how much I love this thing!!!! (well, and still stay married to my husband…hmmm polygamy, maybe not)

Oh and as if I haven’t talked enough about this…there is one shadow down on the bottom right hand side that is shimmery, so you can blend it over any of the colors and get a pearl effect…or just use it as a highlighter.  I LOVE THIS!!!!!

Go buy it right now, I promise you won’t regret it. 

And, just in case you need further evidence of how amazing this is, go check out my favorite beauty vlogger Tiffany and her review of this. (she is doing a spring tutorial, but the colors are perfect for fall too)

My other go to for fall is bronzer and self tanners. As summer tans start to fade I know I crave that bronzed look. I just feel better with a healthy tan!  As we all know tanning beds are like the kiss of death, literally…so bronzers and self tanners it is!

My favorites are:

St. Tropez Mousse. You can get this at Ulta, Sephora and on the St. Tropez website for between $18-$42 depending on the size you buy.  I believe it comes with a little mitt glove thing to apply it which is nice cause no one wants orange tan palms.  My sister introduced me to this product a couple of years ago and it is really nice.  I usually use this when I want a really pretty, dark tan because this stuff gives the darkest most natural looking self tan I have found. It does require a little bit of effort and time to get it right which, as a new mama, I don’t always have but when I do…this is amazing.  Try it!

My favorite face self tanner is Fake Bakes Face.  It is also a little pricey at $30 but soooo worth it! It doesn’t break me out or turn me orange which is always a nice feature :) It also lasts a while so you don’t have to spend that very often.

My last favorite self tanner for an everyday type of look that is super easy to apply and you don’t have to worry about streaking too much is Body Drench Quick Tan Gradual self tanner tanning lotion in Medium. It runs around $10 which is totally affordable and you can purchase it thru amazon or at Sally Beauty Supply…and probably other places too but I am not sure. Like I said this is a gradual lotion, so you can apply it daily until you reach the color you want. It is perfect for new moms or people with little time on their hands because you just throw it on after the shower and go. I love this stuff!

Ok, wow, this post has gotten long…I love makeup and beauty products so what can I say!!!  I know I mentioned bronzers but I have not really found one I am in love with. I am currently using up stuff I have that is ok, but I will post when I do actually find one that I believe is a must have.   If you have any suggestions please let me know!!!

Happy Wednesday!