Ghetto Fab, Mostly Fab

Any time “blog” comes up, people ask if mine is about beauty.

Umm, like the beautifully random innerworkings of a cluttered mind all spewed in one place? Yes.

But BEAUTY? I like beauty. I really like beauty.

I can talk beauty.

I can share with you my favorite lipsticks (I have an impressive collection, I won’t lie), favorite hair products (girrrrl, that I KNOW from years in salons), fashion, websites, self tanners, etc etc etc…but no.

Oh, no.

Today, let me give you the real juice. You know, the tricks that all girls share amongst their best friends. Ghetto-ish yet very useful beauty tricks, tried and true by moi. (“Moi” to reinstate your faith in my classiness.)

Here are my favorite beauty secrets, even when I’m lazy, that hardly cost anything. I will ALWAYS love:

Press on nails. Yeah, like elementary school, except new and improved. They’re at Target, and come in fun, current shapes you may never take a chance on in the nail salon, great colors (matte!), and are perfect for just a few days. Any type of nails don’t last long with my job, so I love these for a fun change and then pop them off.

Or pop them off to show all your friends at your next girls night.

Tinkle my face. Yes, Tinkle. Not sure who was in charge of branding over at Tinkle and named it that, but it’s an awesome product and bathroom STAPLE that my friend Holly turned me on to and I’ve never gone back. Essentially, it’s dermablading your face…or shaving, if you don’t know what that means. If you think you don’t have a hairy face, YOU ARE WRONG. YOU HAVE A PELT. You can buy that new Dior bronzer, but I can see your it floating on your cheek hairs. No, you won’t cut your face unless you’re sawing it. No, your hair doesn’t grow back thicker or darker. Your skin will be exfoliated, hair free, feel smoother than every, and your makeup will look flawless.

Michelle Money has a YouTube tutorial on it riiiight here, in case you trust Michelle Money more than me and Holly.

(I dropped these off at a few friends’ houses recently, and I’d drop one off at yours, too, if I could.)

Blot your face with toilet seat covers. I can see you making a face at this through the screen, but listen: when your face eats makeup like mine does, you’ll try whatev. My friend Sable just shared this with me, and it’s kind of amazing. It’s a great sub in for blotting papers. While the covers aren’t quite the same, it does the job de-shining your face after a quick trip to the powder room.

Wash your face with honey. Not the kind from the bear. I’m talking real, REAL honey. Liiiiike, from a farmer’s market. You know, the sort of gritty kind? After removing makeup, massage it on clean, damp skin like a mask, leave it on just a minute (it will melt and get drippy if you leave it on too long), and wash it off. If my eczema, weird dermatitis-issues-prone skin loves this, yours definitely will. Your face will never feel softer (especially in conjunction with Tinkling). My all time favorite exfoliating face wash is Simple Sugars, a brand from Shark Tank, and I definitely treat myself to it! Honey is my second best (but free!) option.

Use this eyelash serum for the best eyelashes in the world. I’ve used a million…trust me. Grande Lash is amazing. Every single person I’ve recommended this to is obsessed. (I even double checked with my optometrist.) Super affordable. Put it on once in the morning, once in the evening, and in three weeks, you will text me all sort of sparkle heart emojis to thank me. I promise people will ask if your lashes are extensions after a couple months. I haven’t used it since April, and I’m still pretty good.

Go read other blogs to find sales (I’m pretty sure there’s one at Gap today!) (you’ll only think that’s funny if you’ve signed up for Gap emails), but if you want some ghetto fab beauty tricks that work, I’m your girl.

I said these were my secrets, and now I’m feeling so exposed. Please…share yours with me! I know you have some.

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Nothing Gold Can Stay

I can feel change approaching. Preschool is starting…and it’s just preschool. I know. Still, with my boys being back to back in school, I know this year kicks off a new life of schedules and time apart. (Time apart means less control of my kids’ environments, exposing my babies to outside influences, and…missing them!)

Cue flipping through baby pictures at night.

That’s where I’ve been this week. The impending threat of real-life scheduling has sent me into a panicked fun overdrive. I’ve completely worn us all out with daily excursions to multiple pools (slides! fountains! beach entries! hotels!), parks, Chuck E Cheese, trampoline parks, indoor play areas, and car washes.

(Car wash + Pop cookies/popcorn is how we do.)

This is all because my knee jerk emotion to change is sadness, but when I think about it…I don’t know if I should be completely sad about the “babies at home” chapter closing. In fact, when I really think back to the past few years, I think of the most tender, precious, quiet moments of my life mixed with some growing pains. They were a couple years of loneliness (happy loneliness, but loneliness nonetheless) as life at home with young, not-yet-talking children feels a little secluded. There were long nights, and anxiety as I learned how to care for sick babies, squinting at infant Tylenol directions at 3 AM. There were long days that were a mixture of laughter, love, walks, play dates with friends, and total bliss watching “firsts”, but also failed naps and multiple baths, just to fill the time.

Not joking on the baths. There were a LOT of baths in the winter. What else were we going to do?

It’s been a beautiful time of life. One of my favorite Robert Frost lines pops into my head often, “Nothing gold can stay.” Even though I’m concerned about a setting sun and a new chapter of motherhood, I am certain I’m just now approaching the gold.

And though I know nothing gold can stay, I will hold on to and admire that gold for every second it lasts.

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Wedding Flashback

Today, Brian and I are celebrating (well, acknowledging) our eighth wedding anniversary. Eight! How was this favorite day of mine eight years ago?

I’ll spare you the cheese, but I married up. I am so proud to be Brian’s wife. He is just GOOD, you know? He is the most patient, kind, selfless person I know, and makes anything and everything fun. It’s impossible not to like him.

(I mean, it took ME a couple years, but when Morgan helped me figure it out, I sealed the deal real quick. That’s a different story.)

The more time that passes, the more I enjoy scrolling through wedding photos and reminiscing. “Remember that watch?” “I forgot about her short hair!” “We look SO young!”

We’re hoping to REALLY celebrate our anniversary later this week, but since it’s Sunday evening, these photos are where the party is at. I’ll always love our friend Denise for beautifully capturing such a fun day! (PS Denise, I am wearing your old shorts right now…)

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Current Real Life

Oh, hey. Let me sit down here and tell you real stuff.

Every time I’ve started writing lately, I get distracted by thoughts of, “Is this okay to write? Will this offend someone? Is this supposed to look more professional? Will a bigger platform pick this up? Do people need to know what I bought from the Nordstrom sale? Is my curling iron on from this morning? Do I need to write about blah blah blah on my blog? #ontheblog? Holy crap, am I thinking in hashtags?” I get a little stage fright and scrap it all.

Orrrr, I just get distracted, period.

Past about 9:00, it’s over. That’s when I stand in the shower, which is like some kind of time warping black hole, and I always seem to get out about…an embarrassing amount of time later.

(I am not saving water, but I don’t wash my hair that often, so, I’ll call it a draw.)

After my shower, I take out my contacts and inevitably pick my face for twenty minutes.

That’s my night.

Tonight, though, I want to write about my day. It was uninteresting to most, but with a crazy next couple of weeks, I was SO thrilled to have an entire, open scheduled day with my little best buddies. We went to Sonic, dumped Ocean Water drinks all over the car (and ceiling..?) before we even arrived to our destination, and wandered Home Goods.

My POI (point of interest) of the day was me crying in Home Goods. Actual tears. That’s because a.) Home Goods is sacred, and b.) Gus and Roscoe in awe of all the toys made me tear up. Sometimes I forget how little they are! Their teeny hands holding potentially new coloring books, bending down to examine them in the little squat only the youngest kids can do. They both looked like babies next to the towering shelves of toy cars. Are they not babies, though? They’re just teeny little guys, yet Gus is starting school next month! How did this happen?!

I turned my head from the Home Goods toy shelves and there were BACKPACKS! They’re ruining summer! They were lined up in all their glory behind the infant section. How fitting. Just so poignantly appropriate. So symbolic! Let it stand as painful foreshadowing to all the new moms shopping for newborn footie pajamas–emoji backpacks are looming closely behind! It was tender and heartbreaking and I just love my boys so much, and that’s when I started crying.

Of course, I bought my boys the B-listed, running-out-of-battery toys they wanted, and told myself that guy Bryan from The Bachelorette’s crazy mom is just so relatable. So misunderstood.

(I also bought newborn blankets because I have a lot of feelings (and a dozen friends having babies), as well as a sparkly lunchbox for myself to take to work. I’ll match all the Lisa Frank-deprived seven year olds of 2017.)

I’m borderline flipping out about school starting this year. This is the beginning. It’s starting. The schedules! The homework! Outside influences! Missing my kids at school! My friends tell me I won’t miss them…but what if I do? I will! Should I sort out my expired teaching license to stalk my kids forever?

I’m getting all weepy that our almost four year long, never ending summer is coming to an end. I never want my “supers” to grow up. (And I never want to really care if all my #ontheblog photos are professional.)

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Things Parents Fib About: Enjoying the Tantrum Thrower

My parents lied to me.

My siblings and I would often lure my parents with, “Who is your favorite child?” They’d both respond, “We don’t have a favorite! We like you all the same!”

Really?

(Maybe that was code for, “Not you.”)

I loooove my kids both equally, and it’s a smothering, obsessive, endless, completely unconditional love; however, as a mother of a two and three year old, my level of fondness per child correlates with the level/volume of whining per child.

Of course, I’m not TELLING them that, but I hope they can read between the lines. Like, I’ll ALWAYS be obsessed with you, kids, but he who whines the least will get away with the most, you get me? I’m tired. I’ll pick my battles. I’ll overlook you sneaking a few bites of ice cream before 9am.

Shoot, I’ll even just Instagram story my child that drew on the bathtub with my only Chanel lipstick if he’s been nice.

The other one, though? The one who has been kicking on the floor all morning? The one who unloaded his dresser during the one minute he was sent to his room?

You’re going to make me break my Botox, sweetheart.

This whole concept was reiterated this morning. I was lying in bed with a headache, and Roscoe woke up earlier than normal. He plowed through the morning in full I AM TWO fashion: he yelled at me for juice, yelled at me for cereal, and then he yelled at me because I poured the wrong cereal. I also turned on the wrong episode of his favorite cartoon…I faced the music for that. His shrill whining continued when I tried to sneak back in bed instead of watch Blaze with him (which I’ve made very clear is NOT my favorite show of his), and when I left anyway, he spent the next hour (literally, bad headache) sitting on my head, manually opening my eyes, crying, and occasionally throwing himself down on Brian’s pillow in an unrelenting rage only a two year old can muster.

So this is it, huh? Second child, but first stamp on my Terrible Twos passport.

My other little guy, Gus, slept in until 8:30, was happy to eat the stale Costco muffin left on the counter from the night before, and played with his cars. He came in to say good morning, grabbed my phone to pull up his playlist, and spent the rest of the morning dancing his little heart out in another room, pretending to surf to Beach Boys.

At that moment, I was guilty of having a favorite. It was the child not poking my pupils.

In that moment, I also realized that my mom probably didn’t like me from 2001-20…now?

Suddenly, mercifully, Roscoe flipped his two-year-old switch from sour to sweet. We snuggled at nap time. He fell asleep in my arms for the first time in over a year, and all his offenses of the morning faded away. I fell in love with that perfect little face and fluttery eyelashes all over again, and held my baby boy for much longer than necessary.

I can’t help but wonder if my children gravitate toward a parent they’re most partial to in the same, unsaid-but-can’t-blame-them way. Brian is way more fun than I am, so after his sports knowledge is factored in…ugh. I better work on my patience, or apply for a Target Redcard to buy their love with 5% off.

Rough day with this two-year-old little dude. I’m always grateful for the tomorrows of life.

(And just for the record, it was decided amongst my siblings years ago that my parents’ favorite child is Colby. We aren’t mad.)

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I’ll Take ANY Beach, BUT…

Disneyland had just opened when my grandparents got married, and that’s where they honeymooned. Now, they absolutely love Disneyland and sharing all things Disney with their family. I believe it could be because it’s still just the way it was when they visited in the 50s. Every time they go back, regardless of their age, it’s still romantic, magic, and youthful.

I feel that same way about a few beaches.

Beaches are all relaxing and revitalizing, right?

There are a couple of beaches that are more than that to me. They still have a little sizzle. Each time I visit these particular beaches, I’m suddenly about seventeen. Even hauling toys and kids, something about that ocean air and familiar landscape makes me feel…what is it? Carefree? Fun? No, it’s more alive than that. There is something that’s still smoldering…just barely, but it’s there. I can’t quite put my finger on it. It’s all the positive feelings of seventeen: carefree, unaware of major responsibility, living life on a whim, fun, easy. It’s that little buzz of excitement, like seeing a text from a cute new acquaintance.

Maybe it’s just de ja vu, or maybe that energy really does still linger at these beaches, fossilized in every tide pool I’d explored at seventeen.

Either way, these beaches make me FEEL. They breathe life into a tired mom.

My sister and I can’t avoid wading into the high tide, even if it just a “walk on the beach at sunset like mature people” outing. She is in high school now, so maybe these will become her beaches, too.

I think everyone has a special place like this.

I hope everyone has a special place like this.

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It’s Possible We Were Overzealous in Planning Family Vacations

Because I am LDS, everyone thinks I am:

a. From Utah.
b. Traveling to Utah.

I get it, but just wondering…does everyone do that to their Latin friend when HE goes on vacation? “Oh, Juarez again?”
Weekends with friends? “I bet the weather is great in Tijuana.”
Visits family? “Have fun in Guadalajara!”

No, because that’s racist, and he’s a third generation Peruvian from Milwaukee.

I’m the cookie cutter blonde hair, blue eyed Mormon chick, but I’m not from Utah, nor do I often visit it…although I LOVE Utah, and I would totally move there.

Totes.

Alas, this time, it’s true. I WENT TO UTAH. Back to the motherland!

For the first time EVER, my little family made the drive north together and enjoyed time with both sides of our family. Brian’s sister Courtney was an awesome host for the Fourth of July, and then we ventured out to my grandparents’ house to celebrate my grandma’s big 8-0.

I did not even completely unpack before repacking. This summer has been the epitome of “work hard, play hard,” working 12-14 hour days in between leaving town. I think I prefer a “work normally, just go to bed at 9” lifestyle.

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Are You Killing Your Hair This Summer? Stylist Tips To Save Your Hair

They say holding a seashell to your ear will give you the sound of ocean waves. Sometimes, though, if you get a few hair strands caught between, you will hear your hair screaming.

Or playing Lauren Hill’s “Killing me Softly.”

Because you’re killing your hair all summer.

Hair murders are convicted summer after summer. I’ve been a hair murderer, as have half of my clients. Often, stylists can tell the difference between broken hair caused by chemical damage, and broken hair caused by…TBD. Sometimes, it is self-inflicted. While many of my clients worry their dryness is caused by going lighter from the spring, a peek at their hair leads me to believe otherwise.

Most hair needs a trim by the end of the season, but let me share with you easy ways to keep your hair as intact as possible.

Ponytails can cause breakage. I know. How can you not have a ponytail in the pool? If you’re a consistent ponytail kind of girl, try mixing up the location on your head so the stress points on your hair varies. If you wear your wet hair up, it’s extra prone to breakage. Think about all that extra tension the weight of wet hair causes. Makes sense, right? Using metal-free ponytail holders can help, and consider a braid every once and a while. (Or, consider forgoing hair ties altogether and just flip your hair around like Ariel. She always had her hair down and flowing in all those oceanic currents, and she was fine, so IDK, maybe we’re all just high maintenance.)

Hats. They cover your hair. Need I say more?

Use leave in ANYTHING. THIS. IS. IMPORTANT. What would your skin be like if you used NOTHING to protect or hydrate it all summer? Chapped, in pain, maybe bleeding? Dry at best? Your hair is no exception! Protect it from the elements using even just ONE professional product. It can be a leave in conditioner, a serum, an aerosol shine spray, whatever! Having ANY barrier from heat/salt water/chlorine is better than none at all. Even if you don’t use a professional shampoo and conditioner, you absolutely need a leave-in product of choice…or don’t complain about your hair snapping off.

‘Cause it will.

Use a serum/leave in before brushing. Pool and beach hair can leave your hair more tangled than usual. Take your tiiiiiime to brush though your hair softly. Do you ever just rip through it really quickly? Stop doing that. Use a serum or leave in conditioner to add a little slip and make combing wet hair easier. Consider keeping a little travel size serum in your beach bag with a wide tooth comb.

Air dry your hair dry. Wait, should I have made this post a poem? I guess it’s too late for a hair haiku. Anyway, increased pool/beach activities and sweating generally leads to more frequent hair washing. Prevent further damage from styling by letting your hair air dry if possible. Or, just use a dry shampoo and don’t let your significant other tell you NOTHIN about personal hygiene.

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Family Vacation: The Ultimate Involuntary Workout

The ultimate summer workout doesn’t involve much gym time, but I can promise this: you will be sore, and you will be tired.

It is called “family vacation.”

Total body workout includes:

1. CARDIO. Your cardio routine will begin as soon as your car is put in reverse backing out of the driveway. Run back into the house at least five times for forgotten items. Did you adjust the thermostat? Did you remember the iPad charger? Are you sure you locked the front door? Really sure? Way to go the extra mile and hurdle over the garage door sensor on your way back out the third time. I am convinced that traveling with a large family is how Bruce Jenner stayed in decathlon shape, back when his family was young, and back when he was a he.

2. UPPER BODY. When you’ve got ninos in the backseat, upper body is what your car’s co-pilot seat is all about. You’ll have the opportunity to stretch unused muscles and contort yourself while fishing for dropped items. It would be unfathomable to wait another 20 minutes until you stop at Jack in the Box to rescue that Paw Patrol figurine wedged in the seat crack between Graham crackers. It’s just like having Jillian Michaels yelling at you…for free!

You may have a seat belt rash on your neck from being nearly decapitated, but did I not promise you soreness?

3. LOWER BODY. Unloading the car will provide you with ample squatting/ bending/lifting opportunities. If you’ve got a great workout support team like I do, they’ll hide necessities all over the car and keep you running back to get them, individually. Oh, wait. The wipes. Oh, and where’s his other shoe? Oh…the stinky diaper. Did we leave that in the trunk? Good looking out, team. At least when you arrive up the elevator for the third time, your family will switch up the USA chant for, “M-O-M! D-A-D!”

Just kidding, they won’t care, but they will point out that you dropped the iPhone charger in the parking lot, and they’re wondering when it’s time to eat.

4. Upper body, again. If there is a pool, and you have little kids, it will be assumed that you are a shot-put Olympian. You will launch all of your posterity, one at a time, “one mo’ time,” over and over. And one more time for a picture. It was blurry, though, so one more. Your arms may be on fire, but when it comes down to it, you’ll toss your kids a million times over for those laughs.

5. CARB LOAD. I don’t know, but it’s vacation, so it just seems right.

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A Complete Idiot’s Guide to Trophy Wife-ing

My trophy wife data comes from observing a good handful of Las Vegas women who have forgotten they’re not Kardashians…

A COMPLETE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO BECOMING A TROPHY WIFE

Regardless of your social media platform of choice, avoid taking selfies without Snapchat filters. Use only the dog or flower crown filter lest you should reveal your age (and pores).

If your Starbucks order is not to your liking, or if the drive-thru employee put the order label over the cup’s logo AGAIN, thus ruining above mentioned selfie with your drink, address the issue. Let your complaints fly off of your lips with the same sharpness as the needle that has just injected them. If that sounds harsh, you’re better suited to hang out with the soccer moms, not the trophy wives.

Make an effort not to furrow your brows in your Starbucks scolding. Never show signs of emotion, specifically on your face. Trophy wives everywhere look to Victoria Beckham for inspiration. Not only will this impassiveness keep you mysterious, it will also prevent you from draining your Tom Ford fund on Botox. A few more laugh lines and you’ll be shopping at The Rack.

Although some may interpret this unexpressive attitude as heartlessness, it’s better than being considered sweet. Trophy wives should never like anything sweet, unless it’s the agave-based dressing on sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, organic kale. Anything made without this sugar substitute will later be carved off by a surgeon.

In the rare and unfortunate event that this should happen, clothe yourself in as much Lululemon as possible to distract eyes from any healing scars. Better yet, accessorize your Lululemon with jewelry, preferably something with a giant designer logo. Sparkly Chanel logos are best. This is a typical trophy wife defensive maneuver used to blind those that seek proof of plasticity.

Plus, nothing says, “I work out hard,” like Lululemon and Bvlgari jewels.

Below, trophy wife fail. Fail fail fail.

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