Ipsy Reveal : October 2017

Thanks for coming back to see what we got in our bags this month.  We described Ipsy to you last month:

What is ipsy? It is a monthly subscription service. You pay ten dollars a month and get a cute bag and five makeup/beauty related products. They are usually deluxe sample sized – sometimes you get a full sized product. When you sign up you do a little ‘get to know you’ type of survey that the ipsy peeps use to determine what types of products to send you. Also, as you receive the products each month you get to review each one individually. If ipsy sends you something you absolutely hate…all you have to do is let them know in the review and they won’t send it again. For instance, say you get some nail polish in your first bag, and you don’t really care for nail polish. Let them know in the review that you’d like to not receive it again. And voila! They won’t send it in your bag anymore!

We both look forward, with great anticipation, each month to receiving our ipsy bags. Ipsy is a great way to try out all kinds of different beauty brands and products without investing in the full size version – not knowing if you will like it or not. You don’t get to hand pick what comes in your bag, but we are pretty sure that there won’t be many times that you regret trying what they send you. 😉

Ipsy rewards you points for referrals, purchasing through their website, and reviewing.  The points can be redeemed in the rewards shop toward products.

You can sign up to receive Ipsy by clicking here (we may receive credit if you sign up). Ok ! On to this month’s goodies:

Ashley –

Let me first say that I’m really pleased with my bag this time around. I’ve literally been using the items I received every single day since I opened the package. For about a week straight now. For me, that’s worth my ten dollars – more than worth ten dollars actually. 🙂

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion : This eyeliner is great. The pigmentation is on point, and I am pleased with the staying power. The liner lasts about four solid hours on my water line which is better than most eyeliners I’ve tried. It glides on easily and stands out with just one swipe. It is also really easy to blend out for a more smokey eye look. I’m fairly confident that I’ll be picking this one up in brown soon.

Tarte deluxe lights, camera, lashes™ 4-in-1 mascara :  This is a great everyday mascara. I like it. I’m not IN LOVE with it but I was not disappointed in the coverage and lasting wear – I just usually like a mascara that offers a move voluminous look.

Hanalei Papaya Enzyme Powder Cleanser : This cleanser claims to be an ultra gentle exfoliator and I 100% agree with that claim. You just pour a dime sized amount of powder into your palm, mix with a few drops of water, and then massage it all over your face. The powder particles exfoliate your skin, but they eventually all dissolve away which is a major plus for me. I hate cleansers with exfoliating beads that are hard to remove completely from your face during rinsing.

Dirty Little Secret Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Bronzed : To be honest, I was not excited about receiving this shadow. I didn’t need another bronze eye shadow shade – I have a billion. BUT when I swatched and wore this shadow it read more army green. I don’t know if that’s because of my skin tone or if it was actually mislabeled? Either way – I adore it. I’ve worn it several times and can’t get enough. It blends like a dream and is uber pigmented.

Firma Beauty 201 Tall Blender Brush : What can I say? Another brush from Ipsy = another love story. This brush is soft and the bristles are just the right length. I like that the bristles are a little bit of an oval shape rather than a circle, because it allows for more control when doing precise deep crease blending.

Rhonda –

I love love love the design of this bag!  It has a subtle lace brocade and a pretty little bat zipper pull.  It really had good contents, but I won’t be actually trying all of them.  I have decided that November will be my last ipsy bag.  It’s not because I don’t love ipsy, because I totally DO.  However, I work for a skincare and cosmetics brand and am in the process of switching to all their products.  Instead, I’ll take the $10 I spend on the subscription to buy a new brush every month, since that’s my favorite thing anyway!

tarte deluxe lights, camera, lashes™ 4-in-1 mascara – I have previously tried this mascara and as much as I am a fan of all things tarte, this one really misses the mark for me.  I didn’t feel like it did much of anything for my lashes.

Dirty Little Secret Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Bronzed – I didn’t open this because I want to be able to sell it since I won’t be using it.  I was tempted though because I love this deep bronze hue!  However, Ashley gave more info on this product in her reveal.

JM Solution Water Luminous Jelly Cleanser – I’m already on a skincare regimen and not introducing new products, but the description of it makes it sound lovely and refreshing.  I love products with hyaluronic acid!

MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation – I would have flipped out over receiving this foundation, because I’ve heard such good things.  However, I once again am just needing to transition to all one brand.  I did swatch it though because I am going to keep it and try it until I order foundation from my company.  When I swatched, I was impressed with the coverage for what is supposed to be a more sheer and natural look.  It doesn’t feel gross and heavy either.

Firma Beauty 201 Tall Blender Brush – Another month, another brush.  And I am not complaining!  I can’t get enough brushes in my life.  The bristles on this one are so soft and have a perfect shape for really defining the crease.

 

Have you enjoyed your October ipsy?  Have you tried any of the products we received?

The Often Untold Story about Preschool Drop-off

I’ve been writing this post in my head ever since we started having issues with transitioning Cooper to Preschool. I wrote a premature post at the beginning of the school year, when I thought we had things figured out. I’ve spoken about the things we’ve been dealing with on multiple occasions – to close friends and family – on various social media outlets – but, I wanted to compile everything. I wanted to tell our story, because I feel like it’s not one that is told often.

It has been my experience, as a parent, that how you think parenthood is going to look – is not really how it ends up looking. I really thrive when I know exactly what to expect out of a situation or person. I’m not some uber planner, I just have a greater peace of mind and am able to perform better when things are not unexpected. And I know. I know. You may read that and think that’s totally normal. We all feel that way Ashley. Ok, I hear you. I believe you think you’re just like me. However, I don’t think you understand the level of fear that rises within my being when dealing with the unexpected. I don’t think you understand how abruptly I can be moved to debilitating physical and mental inaction when things don’t go the way I expected or was told they would. I know that you don’t know how it devastatingly affects my ability to interact with other human beings if they all of a sudden start to do or say things that are contradictory to how they previously presented themselves. The unknown. The uncontrollable change in plan. Those things force me into crisis mode. An immense panic rises from the depths of my mind, and I am overcome with self doubt, mistrust for those around me, and I question EVERYTHING. I cannot ask for help. I only know to throw overboard all non essential tasks and focus on the monster at hand. In that moment I can only trust myself. I only know myself. No matter what you say or do – I cannot calm down until I have talked myself down.

So, I’ve totally had to adjust my expectation level when it comes to expectations in general with raising children. I can’t just break down…or shut down in the face of change. Being a parent has made me a stronger person – because I have to be strong for them. And, I’m telling you all of that about myself because I feel like Cooper is the same exact way. He’s four. He can’t articulate his feelings and thoughts as well as I can..he doesn’t completely comprehend or care about social expectations of behavior so he literally and quite loudly freaks the fuck out. He may not even fully understand all of that about himself until he’s much older – but I see that part of me in him. I understand that part of him. I get it deeply. I feel it profoundly. And I turn into a raging Mama Bear when others aren’t sympathetic to that.

I know that we’ve all seen the ‘first days of school fairy tale’ that is repeatedly told by parents and caregivers at the end of summer. That happy little picture of a child holding a sign proclaiming what school grade they are about to embark upon. You hear the parents exclaim about how HAPPY their child was to go to school. The parent says that the child was so ready to go that he or she didn’t even offer a kiss/hug goodbye! And oh. They had a FANTASTIC first day. I mean. The whole experience is just usually presented as one exploding with rainbows and sunshine. Little babes marching off to school, one by one – calmly and without any major push back. 

That’s really just all great. Honestly. But – – what happens when your child suffers from such a vast and stormy expanse of separation anxiety  that he just can’t do what he’s ‘supposed’ to do? What happens when the school you sent him to just doesn’t want to deal with his atypical behavior? What happens when the staff at that school does absolutely nothing to help ease your child’s fears? What happens when they become so annoyed by your child that he senses it and screams – and cries – and kicks – and begs you not to leave him there? What happens when you don’t realize the gravity of the situation, because you thought he’d eventually adjust, you know – as all kids do – and you tried to stick it out for two months? What happens when the school gives up on him?

What happens?

You feel like you’ve let your baby down.
You feel like you could have done things differently.
You weep over his hurt.
You fear that you’ve scarred him.
You feel hopeless.

And then, you take a moment to regroup. You let him breathe. You bring him back to a place he knows. You let those he trusts take care of him. You start researching options. You become more diligent in your inquiries. You question your expectations. You adjust your expectations. You do whatever you have to do so that your child will feel safe and be successful. You will make whatever sacrifice you need to. You will take care of your child – and you will forgive yourself for being so careless before.

All of that led us to private school. A school we have quickly come to love and hold dear. A school that Cooper looks forward to going to each day.  I cry whenever I think about how fortunate we are to have this happy ending. We were welcomed with open arms. We were never looked down upon.

Those first three weeks – Cooper’s  Dad exclusively took him to school. It was his turn to help lighten my load, and I really felt like Coop would respond better to his Dad’s ability to not wear his emotions on his sleeve like I do (aka – his Dad wasn’t going to also break down crying at drop off…like I had been known to do). And even though I wasn’t physically dropping Coop off, I was not immune to how difficult those days were. He cried. He had to be carried to the classroom. He ran out of the school doors one morning. He screamed. His Dad would call me every.single.day. to say that he couldn’t do it anymore. BUT – every afternoon Coop said he’d had a good day. Every afternoon he had something that was happening the next day that he was looking forward to. The staff was incredibly supportive. The swept in to help. They established plans and routines that we didn’t even realize were happening. Plans and routines that made Cooper feel wanted, safe, excited, challenged, and happy. I just kept saying that if none of us gave up. If we continued to persist. If we believed in Cooper – that we’d make it through.

And, I know that life can change in an instant. I know that a child’s behavior is insanely unpredictable – but I really feel like we’ve overcome. It’s still scary to Coop when he has to walk through his classroom door. We just had a Fall Break and coming back after those five days off was rocky again – but no where near the chaos that was the beginning of his journey.

So, he still whimpers a little when he has to let go of your hand and sometimes he even cries – but he isn’t scared of where he’s going. He isn’t worried about who’s going to take care of him. He doesn’t mistrust his teachers and the other school staff. He’s just fearful of that jump. He’s just unsure of that first step away. And I tell him everyday – how that’s OK. It’s OK to be fearful. It’s OK to get scared. Big boys do cry and that doesn’t make them not a big boy. He knows that he is going to be cared for, and I see that in all the other tiny and big reactions he has to school. I’m not going to let those two minutes in the morning at his classroom door define his entire experience and neither do his teachers. 

I’m writing this so that other people will understand that children don’t and shouldn’t be expected to all fit into some predetermined mold of behavior. I’m writing this for those educators who go the extra mile, so that you know how much you are appreciated and desperately needed.

However, I’m really writing this for any parent who has or is going through what we did. I want you to know that you are not alone. This whole situation may seem so small in comparison to the seemingly insurmountable crosses that other parents have to bear – but I want you to know that I don’t think it’s insignificant. My child’s obstacles are not insignificant. Your child’s obstacles are not insignificant.  

And, whatever you’re going through – whatever your child is going through, if I had any one piece of advice… I’d say listen to your child. Really listen. Really pay attention to their behavior and reactions. And never ever distrust your Mama or Papa bear gut instincts. Don’t let other people or society tell you what your child should or shouldn’t do. I believe in routine. I believe in traditional education. However, I believe it is so much more important that my child be in an environment where he can thrive and grow and learn so that he will be able to function in this world that we live in. Sometimes, the environment that your child needs to do those things is not the one you originally planned for. If you find that to be the case, I say to you, listen to your child. He or she will help you see what’s right for them. Be willing to adjust your expectations from the Fairy Tale.

What We Wore Wednesday

Hey hey! Here are again to show you what we’ve been putting on our bodies for the last week. 🙂 🙂 Thanks for coming by! And also, don’t forget it’s Wine Wednesday Live on our Facebook page..tonight at 9pm. Be there or be square! Alright to the outfits….

Rhonda –

Dress: Target. Chambray top: old JCPenney. Shoes: Target.

Tee: Old Navy men’s, cut up by me. Jacket: Target. Leggings: Lularoe. Shoes: Target. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Tank: Old Navy. Shorts: Target. Shoes: Target. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Top: Marshall’s, Sienna Sky brand. Jeans: Target. Shoes: Jessica Simpson. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Tank: FanPrint, no longer available. Jeans: Old Navy. Shoes: Target. Cardigan: Walmart. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Tunic: Amazon. Leggings: Lularoe. Shoes: Target. Jacket: Target. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Ashley –

This is just literally me in a bunch of black and gray…per the usual. lol

Shirt: Amazon Pants: Target Shoes: Target Earrings: N&S Gypsy Teal [not available]

Jacket: Green Bomber from Target Jeans: Target Shirt: Target  Earrings: N&S Blank Canvas
I should have just said Outfit: Target 

Shirt: Cheap Walmart one that I cut up myself Brallette: Target Tank: OLD Forever21 Leggings: Danskin

Shirt: KMart Pants: Walmart Earrings: N&S Signature Gold 

 

There’s not a man on the planet that doesn’t like a fucking dildo!

Cary fills Mark in on LeeAnne’s rumors about him being gay and of course he is just so beyond over it.  I don’t know how any of the husbands and significant others in the Real Housewives franchise put up with the nonsense that goes on.

A lot of small things go on, such as D’Andra’s ongoing power struggle with her mother over the family business; Kameron always trying to make fucking pink dog food, LeeAnne getting fucking flesh eating bacteria around her surgery wounds.

And by the fucking way, let’s be honest – she felt like shit in Mexico, got off the plane and called over a hangover specialist to give her IV treatments so she could attend Brandi’s annual holiday party. Why? Because how the fuck else would she stir up shit?

At Brandi’s party, she and Stephanie are discussing how LeeAnne and Cary are both being a little two-faced.  But really?  Show me a gal who won’t call out the flaws and shortcomings of her friends, sometimes even in a bitchy and catty way.  Brandi is upset that Cary called her a liar.  The ladies all go to a more private space to discuss all the issues at hand.  Brandi ends up saying that Cary was the nanny when Mark was married to someone else, trying to prove a point that if Cary wants to assassinate her character, she can do the same back to Cary.  But then, Cary freely admits that is true.  Brandi is really not being herself, which even Stephanie can see.  The discussion of the dildo once again comes up, related to who is classy and who is trashy and blah blah.  The light of my life was LeeAnne saying, “There’s not a man on the planet that doesn’t like a fucking dildo!”  Oh.  Okay.

LeeAnne ends up in Cary’s face and Cary said her breath stinks.  LeeAnne smashes a glass and tells Cary to be REAL CAREFUL.  Fuck.  She no joke scares the shit out of me.  Serious anger issues with that one.

Shit show, I tell ya.  I’m here for it, y’all.

 

Week In Review: Rhonda

Well another week has gone by and my kid-free time is OVER.  The kids are back and they came in like a wrecking ball.  Sheesh.

During this week, I started decorating our house for Halloween, meet my mom group for drinks at one of their houses, and shipped out a shitload of orders.

Friday was a freaking exciting day.  My company was holding its Leaders Conference and I eagerly watched groups to see what was announced.  Two new limited edition colors came out, along with reformulated concealers and a new blush.  Pretty much the entire company collectively freaked the fuck out.  All this was happening while I wandered around the Halloween store, staring at my phone watching updates.  That was also the day that I received my first three-figure commission check, so it was a good one.

Saturday, Stuart and I had brunch at home then ran a few errands while we waited on his friend Ben to arrive from Germany.  Then I ran out to do some quick shopping while they caught up.  When I got back, we grilled some steaks and had a lovely dinner together before going out.  We went to the Stockyards to see Justin Moore and Dylan Scott.  What a freaking AMAZING show they both put on.  Justin is especially a super talented entertainer.

Sunday we made brunch for Ben and sat outside in the lovely weather for awhile with him. Then went and got the darling children before coming home to grill.

I think the best part of my week was Saturday night. What was yours?

Week In Review: Ashley

Hey there party people! Welcome back to another Monday of recapping what fabulous things we’ve been up to. 😉 What are those things you ask? Let’s see, shall we?

I was off Monday, instead of my usual Wednesday, since it was Columbus Day and my office was closed.  That was nice because I got a three day weekend and an extra day to recover from the routine interrupter that was Hurricane Nate. The kids stayed with my parents Sunday night – so after I picked them up, we just spent the day doing a little grocery shopping, cleaning, and preparing for the upcoming week.

I also felt like it was the longest short week ever…seems like short weeks tend to turn out that way sometimes. Cooper had his very first field trip on Tuesday. He got to go to a pumpkin patch, but the thing he was most excited about was getting to ride a school bus! Simple pleasures really are the best. 😉  Speaking of Coop and school, he is still doing really really well. He started speech class the first week in October – so I got to have a meeting with his teachers which was even more encouraging. It just really makes a world of difference when your child’s educators actually care about the success of their student(s). Everyday I hurt for Coop and the experience he had to go through, but I am grateful for the path we took because it led us to his current school. I’m not a big believer in coincidence and ‘meant to bes’ – I think we forge our own paths from the circumstances and situations we put ourselves in…but I can’t help but say that this is the school he was meant for. These are the teachers and staff that he needed in order to be successful. He is so incredibly happy there…and we are so incredibly overjoyed that he’s happy there. 🙂 🙂  IF you have no idea what I’m talking about…check out most of my other WIR posts for the scoop on our rocky road to PreK. 😉

Wednesday was Wine Wednesday Live on our Facebook Page! We had a blast!! If you guys aren’t joining us…you totally should. 🙂 🙂 I got some new Lipsense in the mail this week which is always always a highlight!

It dawned on me Thursday morning, that Sophie’s long awaited 2 year birthday party was happening on Sunday, and I need to get my shiz together to start planning for it. That actually just meant that I started making more concrete plans in my head and didn’t actually buy or execute anything until Saturday – like a true procrastinator. 😉 So yeah. I spent a lot of Saturday running around – gathering things for the party. I had a minor hiccup when searching for croissants at my nearest WalMart. They had none. I mean. Are you surprised? Cause I was. I don’t normally buy croissants, BUT I know I always seem them there…except you know, when I needed them most. Why did I need croissants so badly? A Pinterest endeavor…duh. Whatevs..Winn Dixie came through for me on Sunday morning – so it all worked out.

Sunday was party day! We just had a low key, immediate family gathering at my sister’s house. Sophie really enjoyed herself which was all that mattered. It was also super fun for Coop – he loves when we all get together.

Anddd there you have it…my week in a nutshell. What were you guys up to? Any fun fall activities??

3 Handmade Hidden Gems

 

We have a great appreciation for handmade small businesses.  Knowing that someone carefully crafted something and our purchases help their family is amazing.

Today we bring you three shops you probably don’t know about, but definitely should.  Please support them by clicking over and seeing what they have to offer.

 

Created by Rhonda’s friend Bennett, Baths and Bliss expertly handcrafts bath bombs and wooden wick soy candles right in the kitchen in Gulfport, Mississippi.  The products are high quality, amazingly fragrant, and fairly priced.

Shipping is available all over the United States.  Head over to the Facebook page to see current offerings and pricing.

A business run by Ashley’s friend Heather, Mississippi Mayhem offers “Eclectic art for your life” and it definitely eclectic.  With a wide range of There is something for everyone with a sense of humor or a taste for geekery.

Embroidery, cross stitch, keychains, bracelets, and more!  Check out the Etsy shop and start adding to your cart.

Rhonda ran across the shop Hazel & Faith while looking to order custom RATMM wine glasses.  The price was so unbelievable, that she jumped on messaging shop owner Andrea about doing a custom design.  It came out perfectly and more orders are in the works.

The customer service as H&F goes above and beyond, with Andrea sending Rhonda new letters after a dishwasher incident.  Shop Hazel & Faith on Etsy now!  So many fun designs waiting for you.

What are your favorite shops that are currently flying under the radar?  Holiday shopping season is basically here!  We’ll be purchasing from all of these three!

2017 Fall & Winter Bucket Lists

Hey hey you guys! Thanks so much for stopping back by…today I wanted to share with y’all what is on our bucket list for the Fall and Winter Holiday Season that is fast approaching! It sure doesn’t feel like Fall here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, but I decided I didn’t want to let that stop us from really revealing in and celebrating this magical time of year. I thought it would be fun to put together a couple of bucket lists so that we can actually plan some things and have a little bit of accountability – you know, so we don’t end up doing the same ole same old thing… 🙂 Anyhow – here’s what I came up with:

 

What do you guys think? Any of these things on your bucket lists?? I tried to keep ours fairly simple and realistic. I’ve got two littles – so venturing out on a grand adventure every weekend is not really in the cards for us. 😉 I think all of these things are definitely obtainable and will spice up our regular routine!

 

What We Wore Wednesday

*This post may contain affiliate links.*

Welcome back to another week of amazing designer outfits.  Just kidding – welcome back to another commercial for budget fashion.

Rhonda –

Top: Old Navy, no longer available. Jeans: Old Navy, no longer available. Shoes: Target. Earrings: BaubleBar.

Top: Marshall’s or Ross, I can’t recall now. Leggings: Lularoe. Shoes: Steve Madden. Jacket: Target. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Dress: Amazon. Shoes: Jessica Simpson.

Tee: Target, no longer available. Skirt: Amazon. Shoes: Jessica Simpson.

Dress: Target, no longer available. Kimono: Ross [similar]. Shoes: Target. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Ashley –

Cardigan: Forever21 (no longer available) Tank: Target Bralette: Target Earrings: N&S Silver Leggings: Walmart Shoes: Target [similar]

Shirt: Target Earrings: N&S Gold – horrible lighting I know…but…it was so foggy that morning…

Shirt: I honestly can’t even remember now where it came from….. probably Target LOL Shoes: Target [similar] Earrings: N&S Leopard (not available)

We are going to save his ass before he’s up hers

We start off this episode picking up at the end of the fight from last week ….supposedly Cary had said Brandi’s doctor killed people on the operating table.  Brandi swears Cary said that and Cary swears it’s made up.

Stephanie gets asked about her new house and Cary mentions she thinks it’s the same distance to the schools as the current house and Stephanie said it is closer to Cruz’s.  Then she gets emotional about his Dyslexia and now i’m emotional, not just because I relate to her struggle but because it is lovely to see the other moms supporting and comforting her.  No matter what differences people have, motherhood tends to bring women together.

A plan has been concocted by Brandi and Stephanie to try and get a room key to LeeAnne and D’Andra’s room to look for Sexual Chocolate, the dildo from last week that embarrassed Kameron.  Brandi says in the confessional that “We are going to save his ass before he’s up hers.”  Dying.  The plan, consisting of pretending to be LeeAnne and D’Andra, works and they find it under LeeAnne’s pillow, of all places.  I have to say though, my favorite part of this whole plan is how Stephanie keeps eating off their uneaten room service plates.

 

The ladies go out for an afternoon of boating with an open bar.  It’s super windy with rough waters.   There is plenty of drama and all the same old shit from the ENTIRE SEASON keeps being rehashed.  It comes out that LeeAnne said Mark gets his dick sucked at The Round Up and obviously Cary is livid.

Brandi whips out the dildo again.  Kameron literally leaves the boat out of embarrassment.  She says Brandi is trashy and that she doesn’t respect Stephanie either.

But y’all – the sneak peek for next week’s episode was amazing.  I can’t wait to come back and see what drama I can be annoyed about.