PDA is annoying, but...

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I'm not a fan of PDA. But displays of affection are allowed on anniversaries and on this day of love we Westerners fondly (or not so much) refer to as VALENTINES DAY.

Valentine, I think this is our 11th or 12th Valentines day together. Isn't it ridiculous that I've lost count. We getting OLD. Over the years we've learned how to drive each other absolutely insane with annoying quirks and poorly honed habits - yours being that you prefer to carry on a conversation with me whilst brushing your teeth. Mine being, well, nothing, because we both know I'm perfect and can do no wrong. ;)

Valentine, when we're ancient and gray I'm still going to want to hold your hand and occasionally make out with you. And I'm still going to opt for staying in to watch Pride and Prejudice (Keira Knightly version, duh) in our jammies instead of going out on the town in uncomfortable (though albeit, showstopper) high heels. And yes, I'm still going to want that Thai takeout because, no dishes.

Valentine, even though we are tired all the freaking time these days, I still want to spend all my free time with you. Sometimes I wish we could take off with just our backpacks and the voracious appetite to explore the world like we did back in the day before we had little people relying on us for, you know, food and shelter and undivided attention.

But when I look at you, Valentine, I see the guy who led me all around Europe on trains, planes, automobiles and Spanish-speaking sexiness.

I see the friend who drove with me across the entire United States in my old Honda while we chugged bottled Starbucks frappaccinos from the gas station and dreamed of our future together. We thought we were going to be musicians, remember that?? We wrote a lot of music back then, music that no one ever heard.

When I look at you, I see the man I followed to Boston to pursue his unlikely dream. That same man who, in turn, took me to New York to pursue my even more unlikely dream.

I see the partner who dove headfirst into parenthood with me, the one who moved once again with me back to where it all began in our shared hometown. Because when I became a mom I really needed my mom, and you got that.

You are the love I bought a house with, planted a garden with, killed a garden with, and built a life with. There is no one better in my life, than you.

Thank you for being my Valentine for the 11th or 12th year in a row.


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My Date Night (GREEN) Makeup Routine.

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Valentines week is upon us! I'm by NO MEANS any kind of makeup expert, but since I've been experimenting with so many new natural beauty products, I thought I would share my little date night makeup routine! As you know, I've been on a mission to swap all my conventional makeup with cleaner, greener products. I have loved discovering so many GOOD for you brands of makeup - especially since I don't feel like I'm sacrificing performance for better ingredients.

Okay, let's get into this date night makeup deal.

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I start with a clean face. I've been toying around with different moisturizers and face oils, but mostly, I just make sure my skin is hydrated and not too flaky/dry before applying foundation.

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First up, I apply Beautycounter Tint Skin in "Sand". This is a good option for those of you who like to use BB or CC creams in lieu of thicker foundation. I love using this every day, but on date night, I put on 2 layers for a bit more coverage. I love that this formula is buildable - WIN.

Then I apply W3LL People Bio-Correct Multi-Action Concealer in "Light" under my eyes, around my nose, on my dark spots and on my eye lids. It helps conceal and brighten my skin. And believe me, these eyes could use some brightening magic.

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Next up, I focus on my eyes. First I fill in my brows with Plume Brow Pomade in "Chesnut Decadence". I LOVE this pomade because it fills in my sparse brow spots, helps define and also stimulates growth in the areas that I apply it - such a multi-tasking product!

I don't usually wear eye shadow, but on date night I usually get really wild and throw some color on my lids. SO CRAZY. My sister got me this beautiful Lily Lolo Laid Bare eye palette and the shade I'm wearing in these photos is "Shy Away" - also, I just put it on my lids and blend it a little bit into the crease of my eye. But not too much. Because too much shadow makes me look like I have the plague.

Then I line my eyes with W3LL People Hypnotist liner in "Black" - thicker along the top lash line and smudged underneath my lashes. With the tiniest hint of a wing. P.S. - I'm really pretty terrible at liquid liner and it's one of the things I want to attempt to get good at in 2018. Recommendations are welcome!!

The latest mascara I've been testing is Hynt Beauty Nocturne Mascara in "Black", which is what I applied here. (More of my mascara reviews here).

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Cheek color is very important for yellow skinned humans like myself. I have found so much love in the ILIA multisticks, and I'm wearing the shade "A Fine Romance" here. I apply it just under my cheekbones, where you would normally contour. Hahahah I thought I could get away with saying "where you normally contour" as if that's a normal thing. I NEVER CONTOUR. But I aspire to. But I aspire to sleep in later more than I aspire to learn how to contour. So yeah.

Then I dust on just a tiny bit of The Honest Company Luminizing Powder in the shade "Dusk Reflection" around the edges of my face - in a sweeping motion from my forehead down to my chin. Suddenly it looks like the sun came out in my bathroom ;)

Then I like to add a bit of RMS Beauty Living Luminizer highlighter, because it makes me feel like some kind of moonlit mermaid. I put it ever so slightly on the tops of my cheekbones, on the ridge of my nose and on the cupid's bow of my upper lip. It just adds a hint of magical-ness.

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Lastly, I apply the ILIA multistick in "A Fine Romance" again, this time to my lips! This is such a rosy delicious color and I love the pop of watermelon-y pink, especially in the winter when I feel kind of drab. This color makes me feel confident!

Then I finish by dusting my face with the W3LL People Realist Invisible Setting Powder to set everything and keep my makeup from sliding around.

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There you have it! This is my date night go-to look and the products that I've been playing around with lately.

Why Date Nights MATTER.
One of our New Years resolutions for the year is to be really consistent with weekly date nights. That doesn't always look like getting dressed up and going out - often times it just means setting aside our to-do lists and settling in for an evening of spending time together. We forgo checking our phones and getting on our laptops and instead spend time eating dinner, watching a movie and TALKING.

Truthfully, lately we have been in a really busy stage of life - he's traveling and commuting with his job and I have taken on this new venture with DoTERRA along with my freelance writing and this blog! (!), so doing anything outside of raising our kids takes some serious intention. Planning. And commitment. Taking time to date is SO special and necessary to remaining connected, and I'm grateful that Stevie is as committed to our date nights as I am. Just tonight he came to me about our upcoming Valentines date (which I planned this year!), to confirm our plans. It means so much that he cares to make us a priority, even after 10 years of marriage and two kids! Whew. Our life is busy but I seriously wouldn't trade this life of mine for anything or anyone else's life.

I hope this little makeup chat is helpful to you as you investigate natural beauty options and plan ahead for a romantic date night! I hope everyone has the happiest Valentines Day, whether you're spending it with your significant other or your girls or your mom!! P.S. - My mom and I have some wicked good V-Day plans. Just sayin. xx

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DIY Trio of Essential Oil Bath Salts.

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Since discovering a passion for my DoTERRA essential oils, I've been reawakened in my love for DIY as well. Now don't get me wrong - I've been talking about recovering the chairs in my dining room for 3+ years now. But mixing up some essential oils in test tubes with some rock salt? That is not only something that is relatively easy (okay really really easy), but it also can be enjoyed right away!

My sister Rachel originally helped me make a batch of these EO bath salts as party favors for my 30th birthday back in the fall. And friends! When I say these are easy to make, I'm not teasing you here. They are EASY, and they make awesome Galentines gifts, along with batchelorette, Valentine and birthday presents! Who doesn't love being pampered with beautiful, nourishing and pure products? I like to give these in sets of 3, so that the giftee can experience all the different blends!

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- Set of test tubes with cork toppers
- Organic Epsom Salt
- Essential Oils (I love and use DoTERRA oils - get yours here!)
- Funnel
- Labels (you can make your own or buy some!) or washi tape
- 3 gallon-size zip-top bags

1.) Pour 3/4 oz. of Epsom salt into a gallon-size zip-top bag.
2.) Drop in essential oils (see blend recommendations below) and zip up the bag.
3.) Shake the bag until the oils are well mixed.
4.) Using the funnel, carefully pour the salt into a test tube. Seal the containers.
5.) Attach label or washi tape so you can tell the difference between the batches.

Clear Your Mind Blend
- 8 drops Lemon essential oil
- 8 drops Rosemary essential oil

Calm Your Heart Blend
- 8 drops Lavender essential oil
- 6 drops Frankincense essential oil
- 2 drops Ylang Ylang essential oil

Respiratory Boost Blend
- 12 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
- 4 drops Peppermint essential oil

Each of these blends makes 1 test tube, but feel free to triple or quadruple the batch to fill all the containers.

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Soaking in an Epsom salt bath is an excellent way to detox the body from toxins and chemicals, as well as supplement the necessary magnesium that most of us are deficient in. The essential oils provide a boost of energy, immune defense and calming properties to help target those specific needs.

A tub soak of this nature is best paired with a mud mask (I just got this one and I'm excited to try it!) along with the Magnolia magazine and a glass of wine. But then again, maybe that's just me.

I hope you have fun giving these bath salts a try! Let me know in the comments section how it goes for you!

Green Beauty Trials: Shampoo + Conditioner.


The Green Beauty Trials are living on into 2018! I've been slowly but surely transitioning my makeup, skin care and hair care products to greener, more natural and organic products and even though its a long process of trial and error, I'm loving it! I think it helps that I have a forum here to share my discoveries - it helps me feel like there's a greater purpose in all of it! I used to bum hard about trying green beauty products because they just didn't seem to perform nearly as well as conventional products - but that's no longer the case! I am loving this treasure hunt of finding new, safer and cleaner products that work amazingly well! Today I want to share with you about the hair care products I've recently tried (and the ones I love!)

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Josh Rosebrook
I tried the Josh Rosebrook Nourish Shampoo and Balance Conditioner because I read amazing reviews about it. I really liked it, but I can't say that I loved it. The thing that I absolutely love about this brand is the real-deal commitment to quality - these products are all crafted in small batches in order to ensure the highest quality product. They are formulated with almost entirely organic ingredients, all of which are nature-based (think lots of herbs and essential oils and, well, oils!) However, all those oils seemed to leave their mark and I felt like there was a bit of oil residue left over after each time that I washed my hair. So that wasn't my favorite. The Nourish Shampoo has an interesting scent  - not bad, but not my favorite. I preferred the scent of the Balance Conditioner, so I felt like I was at least finishing my hair off with something that smelled the way I liked.

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It's a bit more expensive, but next I decided to go for the big Kahuna - the Innersense line of shampoo and conditioner that I had heard nothing but rave reviews about. I opted for the Color Awakening Hairbath and Color Awakening Daily Conditioner because of my colored hair. I love this combo you guys. It feels really luxurious and yet really simple. The shampoo doesn't really lather because it doesn't contain sulfates (praise hands for all the missing GARBAGE ingredients), but I like to put a dollop of shampoo in my hands, take a deep whiff, then proceed to scrub it into my scalp reeeeeeal good. It smells good. It cleans. It seems to be protecting my color pretty wonderfully. And the ingredient list pleases me so. It's my Green Beauty Shampoo + Conditioner recommendation so far!

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One Love.
I would be remiss if I didn't talk about this killer One Love Easy Does It Foaming Cleanser. This is a multi-purpose cleanser that can be used for anything - body, face and hair! I really love products that can be used for multiple uses (like this and this! My faves!), and this one is being added to the list of "I can't believe I didn't start using this sooner" products in my world. I keep this cleanser out on my bathroom counter and use it to wash my face before I go to bed at night AND to wash my bangs with every day. I don't wash my hair every day, but my bangs look really greasy if I don't freshen them up daily. So I wet my bangs, put one pea-sized drop of this cleanser in my fingers and lather it into my hair line. Then I rinse and dry my bangs. Within about 3 minutes my hair goes from looking kind of homely to pretty darn fresh, and I owe it all to this wondrous product.

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There you have it, friends! I hope these Green Beauty Trials are helpful to you as you navigate the journey of transitioning your products! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions! xx

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Curious about finding more natural products to swap into your line up? You can check out more of my Green Beauty Trials here.