Five On Friday

It's time for another edition of Five on Friday and I do hope you'll join along!

Remember, all you have to do is post about five things on your mind, add our logo (found at the bottom of this post), and join the party using the linky tools below. Easy, and a great way to find new blogs and be found. :)

First things first, pausing to remember the REAL reason that we all are "#blessed" with this beautiful long weekend before us. Memorial Day is a day to remember the fallen, those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Think about it for a second ... isn't it the saddest thing if we just focus on SALES SALES SALES without taking a moment to remember those killed in action fighting for our freedom? What a disservice to those who lost loved ones. So I'm choosing to still enjoy this long weekend, dress my girls in red white and blue, maybe even make a little patriotic dessert with strawberries and blueberries and whipped cream -- but I will definitely choose to remember the reason that we are able to do so!

Memorial Day:

Starting Sunday night, Charlotte has been sleeping in her crib! I was a little nervous about that transition since she spent her first five weeks sleeping in a rock and play, but she has done beautifully! We're typically up around 3am and 6am so she can eat, but she's sleeping great on her back in the flat crib and that makes me SO happy.

Today is my sister's due date! Little Thompson has yet to make his debut, but I just can't wait to get that call! Hurry up, Tompie! You have an aunt that is ready to meet you!

Aloha Sprinklerinos, Merry Monday to you. A new week, a new month, a new year- a triple whammy...:

Any hot roller users out there? I have a VERY old set that I used the other day. It probably needs replacing though. I've looked at a few options on Amazon and am thinking about this one that has pretty good reviews! Does anyone use this one or a different one that you'd recommend?

Tomorrow is our five year wedding anniversary! We are going out to dinner to celebrate at the same restaurant where we had our first date. I can't wait for some great husband and wife time.

TGIF y'all, and hope you will join in on Five on Friday this week! Cheers to the weekend!


Fun With Kids In Boone, NC: The Children's Playhouse

Last weekend we were planning to be in Boone, but the weather wasn't looking awesome. Rain was in the forecast off and on all weekend (wouldn't you know that it ended up being pretty sunny almost the entire time!). 

So, what to do with a 2 year old who doesn't love to sit still?! I was so excited when someone in a mom's group I'm in mentioned The Children's Playhouse. I had NO idea this place existed, and I got so excited when I read more about them on their Facebook page.

We had such an awesome time during our visit there, and I snapped a few photos so that I could pass this idea along to anyone else looking for something awesome to do in Boone. We paid $5/person for entry (Charlotte was free since she's so eensy) and for $15, this was the best money we spent by far this weekend. 

Upon entering the Playhouse, you'll see that there are lots of different stations available to the kids. A sign on the wall encourages parents to help their child clean up each station before moving on to the next. We started with the station below, using markers and paints to make a coffee filter sun catcher. There's a sink nearby with washcloths for drying hands (very eco-friendly) and the paints are all washable and non-toxic. There is a drying rack near this station so that masterpieces can dry before coming home. 

I was so impressed by all of the art supplies they had available for the children. All colors of construction paper and huge rolls of black and white butcher's paper. Scissors, glue, felt, markers, colored pencils, magazine scraps for collages, yarn ... I mean, you name it and it was there. Two entire bookshelves full!

In this same area, there is an area for blocks, a play-doh table, a sand table, and an entrance to an outdoors play area. They even have sunblock and bug spray right at the door for anyone going outside to play!

If you go down a few stairs, you'll find a music area, a train table, a food market, lots of books ... the list goes on and on. There are also shelves up high with books for parents about all sorts of parenting topics. They even have coffee and tea available for the adults so you can relax while watching your child play!

There are more steps that lead to the lower level -- complete with an adult-height handrail on the right and a little child-sized handrail on the left -- and this is the physical activity area. A rock climbing wall, a ball pit, lots of great options down here. 

Right around this time, Ian and I were chatting with a mother there and we were saying that we would probably have to drag Camille kicking and screaming out of the playhouse ... but it was nearing lunchtime! She gave us a great insider tip -- they have handstamps at the front desk for kiddos to get before leaving. Done. It's amazing how well this works ... "It's time to go Camille, but we can get a handstamp before we leave!"

The Children's Playhouse is near downtown Boone, so it was easy to pop over there after leaving so we could stroll around, get a piece of candy from Mast General Store, and pick up some lunch to take home. 

We are going to look into getting a membership here for future trips up to the mountains. If I'm remembering correctly, a year membership is around $100 -- and a large portion of that is tax-deductible. It was such a wonderful way for us to spend the greater part of the morning, and I just love this playhouse concept!

400 Tracy Circle 
Boone, NC 
(828) 263-0011


Wednesday This And That

Today we have a nice little day planned including a library storytime date with some friends. This afternoon we are going to a little church playground we like as well, assuming we can get our act together after naptime. :)

Oh, how the days have changed from when I was hopping from meeting to conference call to meeting. I saw a photo around 5am this morning during a nursing/blog reading session of a pretty mom picking up her daughter from preschool wearing some killer high heels. Shiny nude patent heels. She looked amazing! It took me back to getting dressed up for work and feeling like a million bucks.

So ... extra motivation to lose this last bit of baby weight so I can escape the yoga pants. Even though my "new job" as a stay at home mom does not require stilettos, I can seriously stand to up my wardrobe game. Even if I'm just wearing patterned shorts and a blouse, I can ditch the Rainbows and put on some gold sandals and hoop earrings. Easy, polished, and better than my current wardrobe situation.

Okay - next!

Here is a great deal on Amazon today for Prime members that my friend Sarah alerted me to.

Women's Makeup & Hair Care Beauty Sample Box ($9.99 credit with purchase)
(description from Amazon)
For a limited time, buy this sample box for $9.99 and receive an account credit of $9.99. Credit is redeemable on select beauty products from the brands featured in the box (shipped and sold from See Terms and Conditions below for details.

  • A week after your product ships, you will receive an email with instructions about how to use your credit. 
  • Limit one box per customer. 
  • Sample box is available for Prime members only. Items in the box include L'Oreal Paris Mascara, Carbon Black (0.26 ounce); L'Oreal Paris Brow Stylist Sculptor, 360 Brunette (0.05 ounce); Mineral Fusion Mascara, Graphite (0.06 ounce); L'Oreal Paris Cushion Foundation, Nude Beige (0.06 ounce); Fekkai Shampoo & Conditioner (0.6 ounce); Garnier Shampoo & Conditioner (3.4 ounce); Black 15in1 Hair Treatment (1 oz).

So, a fantastic way to get a fun little beauty box in the mail and essentially for free if you want to purchase one of the items. The L'Oreal mascara is likely what I'll end up buying from the box. It's not my standard mascara, but I do know it has a cult following, so I want to give it a shot.

Lastly, a great reminder for this Wednesday. Make it a fabulous one!



Makeup Tips From A Charlotte Makeup Artist

Last week I joined a few girlfriends for a really fun night of Lime-A-Ritas, cupcakes, and makeup tips from a Charlotte makeup artist.

I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW ... the perfect night. 

I wish I could take credit for setting up this fun night, but I can't. But you can set up one of your own with your girlfriends, AND take all of the credit -- go for it, girl! All you have to do is find a local makeup artist whose style you like and ask her for her rate to come out and spend an hour or two teaching her best tricks. It's a great way for makeup artists to get their name out to potential clients, and it's such a fun way for some girlfriends to spend an evening together!

So, let's get to the good stuff. Our makeup artist Nikki taught us a lot, but here are four of my favorite tips from her:

/// Use a Beautyblender (she recommends going with the original one) to smooth in your foundation and concealer.

So, I have the cheapie version from TJ Maxx, and she confirmed my suspicions: all beauty blenders are NOT created equal. I could feel a major difference when she used the original Beautyblender on my face; way more soft and spongey-feeling, whereas my imposter version is more firm and less absorbent. She also mentioned that these need to be dampened to work best, so run it under the faucet and then give it a good squeeze. And don't forget to clean them regularly! These super soft sponges really do a wonderful job at blending your makeup in to your skin to achieve a flawless, airbrushed finish.

/// Use a light, shimmery color in the inside corners of your eyes to appear fresh and wide-eyed in photos.
YAY - I've been doing this! A+ for me. And I agree, it definitely helps to brighten your entire face. A blogger girlfriend turned me on to this Anastasia dual pencil and I love using the shimmery side for this very reason. I swear you can really tell a big difference in photos!

/// To reduce the crinkly-eyed look (when your makeup settles into crows' feet), apply powder immediately after you apply your concealer.
Nikki taught us this trick ... we were all ears. She applied concealer all around our eyes (including the eyelids -- another great trick) from the set I've included in the last tip below, and then immediately applied powder. Like, don't delay. She said that this helps reduce the amount that settles in to your smile lines. I've mentioned it before, but here it is again ... I love love love this $6 heavy duty concealer from Walmart!

Hard Candy Glam Concealer Light 312

/// You don't have to spend a fortune on a great concealer/foundation/contouring set.
Y'all. I can't get over this amazing last tip. This kit that she recommends is $13.95. And the makeup artist used it on me so I can vouch for the quality, and she swears by it. Jump on this deal. I sure did!

It has all different colors, even a pale green shade for reducing dark undereye circles, and darker shades that will either work for darker skin tones or to use for contouring. For tips on contouring, she recommended finding some videos on YouTube that look like the type of look you'd like to achieve (for example, I love Jaclyn Hill). It's amazing what a difference contouring makes in your overall appearance!

SHANY Masterpiece 15 Color Foundation, Concealer, Camouflage Palette/Refill - "TONED"

So there are four of the tips she equipped us with that evening. Nikki was a wealth of information! And I mean, have you even ordered that $13 kit above yet?! Get on it!


Friday, Saturday and Sunday Highlights

Oooh, this was a good, good weekend. We filled it to the brim with lots of adventures for the kids (well, just really for Camille I guess ... bless Charlotte's heart, she's sort of still just our little "down for whatever" companion). 

Camille spent Thursday night down at my mom and dad's house. We called it Bunny Camp since Bunny is Mom's grandmother name. So Friday morning started with me meeting Mom halfway at a gas station to pick Camille up and take her directly to Bojangles Coliseum for Sesame Street Live!

My girl looked SO cute in her Elmo get-up. And she loved every minute! Dancing, singing, and just watching in amazement.

After the show ended, we headed straight to the mountains, stopping once for a little high-quality sustenance at Jack In The Box (guilty ... but not sorry). We met Ian up at the mountainhouse since he arrived a little before us. That evening we went out to an early dinner as a family at The Pedalin' Pig and had some delicious barbecue and country sides. Cornbread, collards, slaw, green beans with bacon ... it was all delicous!

Saturday highlights included a breakfast at our favorite little gas station in Foscoe...

... and an amazing trip to the Childrens' Playhouse in Boone which was SPECTACULAR and deserves a post of its own. 

Afterwards we walked around downtown Boone and picked up sandwiches -- reubens and a grilled cheese for Camille -- from Wolfie's downtown. 

We kept things easy that evening as well, dinner out at our favorite Mexican joint (after all of those meals out, our wallets AND our waistbands are ready for lots of healthier meals at home this week) and then Ian and I watched Airplane that evening. Of course I fell asleep towards the end of the movie ... standard!

Sunday we had a relaxing morning and then we had a picnic lunch as a family at our favorite little playground in Valle Crucis. Ian got us sandwiches from The Ham Shoppe which were amazing (I just packed a simple PB&J for Camille). Charlotte had ... milk. ;)

We considered staying Sunday evening as well but decided to come home Sunday afternoon so Ian could get a jumpstart on his workweek. It was just an awesome family weekend and we're already scouting out another weekend to return to the mountains, where time slows down a little bit and great family times are in abundance!


Five On Friday

It's time for another edition of Five on Friday and I do hope you'll join along!

Remember, all you have to do is post about five things on your mind, add our logo (found at the bottom of this post), and join the party using the linky tools below. Easy, and a great way to find new blogs and be found. :)

You may have seen on Snapchat that this past Monday night I attended a girls' night at a friend's house to learn some fun new makeup tips and tricks. It was led by a makeup artist here in Charlotte. Next week I will share some of the tips I learned along with an awesome makeup find that is only $13. Do I have your attention yet?!

You know that feeling when you set your biggest makeup brush down and spray your setting spray and you have that fresh dewy flawless look? Yeah... Let your day be like that sht.  Take the FREE 3-day #BossBabe starter course by clicking the link in our profile!!:

I was looking at Old Navy online again for more mama/mini matching outfits (like the one I showed HERE that we are in love with) and I saw this awesome tank. I am a huge Frida Kahlo fan, so of course I am ordering it for Camille in a 2T!

If you live in or around Charlotte, one of the best sales of the year is happening right now. Bella Tunno, one of my VERY favorite childrens' brands, is having their huge warehouse sale at the old Shower Me With Love location in Morrison Shopping Center from 10a-5p. I picked up some wonderful items -- girl, boy, and unisex -- at the last sale for a fraction of the original cost. This is definitely a sale to stop by, especially for grabbing baby gifts for upcoming showers!

This face.

Today is so exciting because I am taking the girls to see Sesame Street Live! Camille goes CRAZY over Elmo and she is going to be so excited to see him. I have a special outfit planned for her and will try to put a video or two on Snapchat if you'd like to check out her reaction! File this under things I never thought I'd be excited about... but I totally am.

TGIF y'all, and hope you will join in on Five on Friday this week! Cheers to the weekend!


Camille's 2nd Birthday Party: SWEETS!

Camille's second birthday was this past weekend, and it was a sugary-sweet affair!

The theme we went with was all things SWEET. Camille loves "fweets" these days (even if I convince her that a fruit cup is the "fweet" she's earned for eating all of her supper).

I found the BEST seller on Etsy for the printables, Littlebeane Boutique. This is a non-sponsored endorsement, by the way -- I just love passing on GREAT Etsy sellers because Etsy is so huge and can be difficult to navigate sometimes. Communication with this shop was easy, shipping was fast, and -- most importantly -- the product was such high quality for a very fair price. It was important for me with a newborn to find someone who would print the invitations rather than providing me with a digital file that I would need to have printed somewhere. I was prepared to pay more for the convenience, but ironically enough, this invitation ended up looking much better than the last digital file project I did and was cheaper! Plus, no trips needed to a print shop to pick it up. 

I had stickers made for the big carnival lollipops (seen above) and I ordered invitations that also came with colored envelopes and return address labels. 

Candy Invitations, Sweet Shop Birthday party invitations, Candy Circus, Sweet Shoppe,  BIrthday, Children, Girls

Our splurge of the day was the bounce house rental, but come ON. This thing was so worth it. The Sugar Shack was definitely the highlight of the party! We had 18 kids present for the party, and it was definitely enjoyed.

I decided to make funfetti cupcakes for Camille and all of the kids. I almost had cupcakes or a cookie cake made professionally, but then I just got excited about the idea of making them myself. Old school style, right? And I got 22 cupcakes made for about $6 total. Not too shabby. 

The decorative picks for the cupcakes came from Michaels and I picked up 24 of them for $2 total in the dollar bins at the front of the store.

The lavender forks came from Hobby Lobby. I used colorful paper plates I already had on hand.

We also had little snack cups of gummi bears and acrylic containers of popcorn. Beer was outside along with sangria in the kitchen!

For about $25, I ordered 20 helium balloons in all different colors from our grocery store. The glittery gold Happy Birthday banner below is from Hobby Lobby and you can snag it for $4.99! We pull it out for all birthdays. Best deal ever. 

Camille loved having people sing Happy Birthday to her, and the kiddos loved the cupcakes!

We also picked up a pinata from Hobby Lobby for $12.99 (I did use my 40% off coupon on the HL app on this one) and filled it with candy.

It was an awesome (and tiring!) day and I am especially thankful for all of my family members -- parents, mother-in-law, and sister/BIL (who are expecting a baby any day now!) who traveled in to celebrate this special little lady!

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