Category Archives: show me your

I’ll Show You My… Back to School

Can you believe it’s been a month already? Can you believe it’s fall?! 🍂 Where did the Summer go?

For our little brood school started almost a month ago. Our kids don’t need a lot of back to school supplies fortunately. The schools are pretty good about not requiring a bag of supplies brought in the first day. So most of our back to school is a new backpack and some clothes.

Let’s be real here, my kids aren’t the most gentle on their possessions. So most of the shopping we do is clearance and sometimes from second hand shops. There are great deals to be found. So we don’t spend a lot of money on back to school shopping.

I don’t think it really registered with my kids they were going back to school. Dawn didn’t even let me do the obligatory first day of school photo! Luckily Little Red let me snap a few of her before we headed off to the bus stop.

Little Red and Little Man first day of school
Little Red’s first day of 2nd grade

 

First day of 2nd grade is a success!

How was the first day of school at your house? Link up below.

 

Join us next month for fall fun activities.

I’ll Show You My… Hometown

“Home is where your heart is.” If this is true my home is all over the country! When we first decided to write about our hometown this month I knew what I’d be writing about, the place I grew up and spent most of my childhood and teenage years, even part of my young adult life. Then I thought on this quote and all the other places I’ve lived, including where I currently live. How am I to write about my “hometown” when I have more than one? I thought maybe a quick internet search would help me decide. NOPE! Even Google says a hometown is “the town where one was born or grew up, or the town of one’s present fixed residence.”  Not helpful Google!

I narrowed it down to two (ok three) places I’d call my hometown. Let’s start at the beginning… where I began. Mission Viejo, California. I was born and raised in Southern California. Beaches, palm trees, delicious food, 6 lanes of freeway traffic, less than an hour from Disneyland. Yep this is my hometown and where some of my family still live. I love and miss them dearly. Let me show you…

Backyard in Mission Viejo
Nothing beats a gorgeous sunset over the ocean.
Going shooting with my Papa
Angels baseball games!
Watching my baby grow up here
Many hours spent at Disneyland
One of many delicious meal options.
Did I mention the beach?

Summer days and nights spent at the beach, I graduated high school and college living here. Would I ever move back? Probably not, the cost of living is ridiculously high now, ok it always has been. But part of me will always be a SoCal girl. Occasionally we visit and I am able to step foot on the glorious sandy beaches of the Pacific Ocean and grab a double-double.

Part of my youth was also spent living in Utah. The place has grown and changed much since I’ve lived there. As I’ve said before, home is where the heart is and I have much family in Utah still. While I lived in American Fork, UT, most of the Utah Valley and parts of Salt Lake Valley are my “home”.

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My Utah family

 

So many siblings, in laws, nieces and nephews living in Utah. Going back to visit is easy, leaving is harder every time.My current hometown is Milford, PA. I went from city life to rural life. I’ve never seen so many trees before living here. Just like each of my previous hometowns, there is beauty and excitement to be found here as well. We’ve lived in our home for 5 years now and I’m still finding the places for my heart.

PA roads and skies
Family friendly hiking trails along rivers and waterfalls
Sharing outdoor living space with deer
Milford, my hometown
Colorful sunsets over the lake
White winter views
Kids enjoying the outdoors

All in all I consider myself lucky to be able to have more than one hometown. Milford is my home and I’m learning more each day about myself, my family and this area. I look forward to finding where my next hometown will be, many years from now. Where is your hometown?

Share your hometown and link up with us here.

 

I’ll Show You… What Makes Me Happy

Hey guys! Wow can you believe it’s the middle of April already? Last month we were talking about spring cleaning while there was still some frost on the ground. Before you know it summer will be upon us! Our topic for this month is what makes ME happy. I’ll admit I wasn’t too keen on this topic. I had no clue what I’d write about that I haven’t already in our November posts. The truth of the matter for me is I suffer from depression. Not the having a bad day I need a good cry depression. The debilitating, psychiatrist prescribes meds kind of severe depression. It isn’t something I talk about, I simply cope and try to manage myself. Finding and talking about what makes me happy did not sound like a good idea, I must have been having a downward day.

As I write this post  I am reveling in all of the warm weather we have been having.  I hope you’ve been enjoying your spring thus far. The sunshine and warm weather always seem to perk me up. I find myself with more energy and enjoying life a bit more during spring time than the other seasons.

The warm weather and sunshine seem to shine a light on life a bit better. I find myself smiling more and in a better mood, for the most part.  So what makes ME happy? Not my kids, not my blessings, but what do I enjoy for myself?.


I absolutely miss my sunny SoCal beaches but the forest where I live is filled with wonder. There are trails, rivers, mountains (ok hills for the Rocky Mountain natives), forests and majestic waterfalls all around. Hiking to a spot like this, while sweaty and sometimes exhausting, fills my happy cup every time.  I look forward to more spring hikes before the tourists show up and crowd our lovely nature.

It took spending half the morning alone, outside of our house to realize I really am happy with him. It isn’t because he’s my husband and I am suppose to love him and always be happy (we are SO not always happy together). We were simply running some errands and spending time together, enjoying the beautiful weather and little town we live in.  Being silly with AJ totally falls on my personal happy list.

I found this image here and how appropriate and true it is! In my car, at home, in my head… I LOVE music. Dancing, singing (not always the written lyrics), and creating music make me happy. I have always been involved in music since I was about 10 years old. I can play a handful of instruments and have been in a few choirs. I am by no means a professional but I don’t have to be in order for music to be on my happy list!

This right here says it all! It must tie into my love of music because Zumba is a blast! I’m sure part of it is also the amazing support of my gym Tribe but man it’s great! I may walk out sore and sweaty but I will have a smile on my face (or Jen might give us extra burpees next class).

I know this isn’t about my family, but part of my happiness is my family. When I am down and feel alone, forgotten and wonder what is the point. I try to remember what I have learned and become as a daughter of God. Our family has been sealed together for time and all eternity. The peace I find inside this knowledge and inside the temple helps lift my mood every time.

These are a few of my happy moments and places. For mental health it is vital to not only be grateful but to mark those things which make us happy. Find time to do something you enjoy, something which makes YOU happy.  What are some things you do for yourself to find happiness in your day?

~Christina

 

Next month we are doing a blogger interview. Would you like to be interviewed and featured in my blog? Would you like to interview a fellow blogger (doesn’t have to be me) and join us? I have questions all ready for you too! Let me know!

I’ll Show You My… Resolutions!

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, we are doing a New Year Resolutions post! Follow along in our series as we show you bits and pieces of our lives and who we are in our Mommy & Lifestyle Blog Collab. This month Katie, Tracy and I are joined by Dara and Jamie.

Each New Year seems to bring with it hope of revitalization and renewal of ourselves whether it be mentally, spiritually, physically or all of these aspects. Some of the more common “goals” seem to be to lose weight, quit smoking, eat healthier, quit sugar, read more, spend more time with the family, etc. Usually by the end of January most people have quit their New Year’s resolutions.

I am no exception! For the last few years we have sat down as a family to write out our personal and family resolutions. Each year a few of our goals are met but for the most part we have forgotten or lacked in one way or another. This year I have chosen a different approach. First AJ and I sat down and discussed things we want to improve upon as a couple and as parents.

  • planning out Family Home Evening (FHE) for each quarter
  • consistently saying prayers and reading scriptures as a family each night
  • say yes more often
  • slower to anger
  • focus more on the whos than the whats

Some of my personal resolutions are linked to my 40 by 40 goals.

  • continue working out to get into better shape and a healthier weight (my ultimate goal is currently 175 lbs but I will see how my body shapes out as I get closer)
  • participate in and finish my first Spartan race
  • read scriptures daily in my personal study
  • find and make more “me” time
  • make memories instead of stressing about cleaning
  • including more whole foods with meals (yep means more meal planning)
  • get pregnant – yes I said it, now hopefully it will manifest!
  • read more! in addition to spiritual enlightenment I want to read one self-improvement and one novel per month… realistically it’ll probably be once a quarter…
  • be able to interpret for ASL

I really am looking forward to finishing a Spartan race this year. Most of the time I am elated and can hardly wait… other times the thought terrifies me. I look back over the last year and realize I have become stronger and may be able to handle it. This incoming year shows much promise and room for growth. Whatever 2017 might hold I am waiting with open arms to embrace my future!

Tell me some of your resolutions or goals for 2017. What are you focusing on this year? Do you make New Year’s goals?

 

I’ll Show You My Blessings.

This month in honor of Thanksgiving we are taking our blog collab and making it grateful. This month I’ll Show You My… Blessings, 30 things I am thankful for. Normally the month of November social media is plastered with daily posts of gratitude. We decided to post in our blogs for you to read in one place. Katie, Tracy, and I are joined this month by Dara and new blogger Danielle.wp-1469151611004.png

1. Freedoms.
Recently the kids and I took a day trip to D.C.  Dawn studied early American history last year and is taking American government this year. Of course a visit to the National Archives was s must. The decades and centuries of fighting, debating, and molding our country are awe inspiring. I am beyond grateful for the men and women who sacrificed, fought and worked so dilligently for the many freedoms we are able to enjoy. Some, possibly most, I take for granted on a daily basis. God bless America! 

2. Extended family
HUGE blessing! From cousins to aunts and uncles to grandparents and in-laws, our lives are full of love and blessings from our extended family. We don’t live close to any of them but if we needed them they’d be here.

3. Stay at home mom
Growing up I knew I always wanted to to be a stay-at-home mom, eventually. I had a lot of wild ideas. Never did I imagine I would actually be able to be a stay at home mom. Some days I love my children more than I could imagine and other days I lose my sanity. All in all I get to be home with my kids as they grow.

4. AJ’s job
This is a double blessing for me. I have the ability to be a stay at home mom because AJ has a job. He works so hard to make sure our family has everything we need and sometimes things we want. We have been thru tight times financially but we’ve never been on hard times so much we couldn’t see a way out. His always having a job has been a huge blessing for our family.

5. Baking skills
Some people can cook a mean steak or prime rib or a great chicken pot pie. I am not one of them, I feed my family and they definitely don’t starve but my skills are in the baking. It may have some connection to my love of sugar and desserts. Fall is the big kick off of my baking season and I’m super excited!

6. Friends
After living out here for 7 years, being an adult for over 15 years I can say I have this “friend” thing down. What I mean is, I have friends, great friends, even some amazing friends; but I have learned I do not need a TON of friends. I have no desire to be the cool kid sitting at the popular table. I am who I am and so are my friends. I know when the crap hits the fan they will be there for me.

7. Religion
We posted on our religion last month so you can read more here. Having religion in my life has been a blessing in my hard and good times. No matter where I live the gospel and Church have always been there providing me a stable foundation.

8. Adoption
Adoption processes have been a part of my life, woven in and out like a tapestry. I have friends who were adopted, and other friends who have adopted. I can’t imagine my life without any of these people and I know I wouldn’t have them if it weren’t for the ideas, processes, and ability of adoption.

9. My health
In all I do to my body and in my life I have been blessed with a healthy body. My blood pressure, despite my self induced stress, has been in normal limits. I have been working on getting my resting heart rate down with working out. I haven’t had any medical problems or difficulties so despite my own self-induced physical body abuse I have quite the healthy body. I have been blessed with great genetics.

10. Healthy kids
My kids have never had major illnesses, (knock on wood for eternity) and other than one broken leg over the last 16 years no broken bones or visits to the ER. No stitches either! We have truly been blessed in this department.

11. Beautiful seasons
Other than a few years in Utah, my seasonal changes have been nil. 90 degrees year round with a slight chance of rain were my seasons. Now I can sit in any room of my house and watch buds sprouting on trees, blossom into full green leaves, blow in the summer breeze, change colors and fall to the ground, then the tree gets covered in a beautiful white blanket. Such a beautiful blessing of colors and changes to watch each year.
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*I found this image here

12. Owning my home
Ok technically, it is AJ’s house, but it is our home. We spent over a year looking for a house in NJ but could not find an affordable house with affordable taxes. After what seemed a small eternity, we finally landed in PA and have a lovely home. So many people are unable to find a place to call home and we have been blessed.

13. Being able to breastfeed
With the first two kids I was able to breastfeed short term. Afterwards they were on formula and on to organic whole milk. We have been so blessed to not have the added expenses of formula or special milk for baby boy K. He is still nursing, bonus! No formula this time around. Added blessing: special bonding moments with baby K.

14. Running water
Have you been anywhere without running water? I have… well water requires electricity and when we lose power we have no running water. One of the many modern day conveniences in America is running water… nope I don’t think I’d survive the zombie apocalypse.

15.Walks in nature
Living in north eastern PA has become a blessing in disguise for rediscovering nature. There are many walking and hiking trails in the local forest. Some trails lead to beautiful waterfalls, others to panoramic scenic views of the local area. Each one

16. Comfort food
My tastes have grown from instant pudding and mac’n cheese as a kid to dark chocolate and shrimp alfredo. ahh the good things in life.

17. My grandparents
These two amazing people have always been there for me. I can not imagine life without them. I really don’t want to. They will live forever right? Lie to me!

18. My husband
This man of mine… such a blessing. He is an answer to so many prayers, even the unasked prayers. Great to the kids, helps out around the house, and… he even loves me in all of my crazy quirkiness.
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19. My mom
Cheesy? maybe… but my mom has shown me I can overcome any challenge, to never accept failure as the end and to keep searching for my happiness. She is one of my best friends and I am so blessed to have an amazing relationship with her.

20. Relationship with siblings
Four girls and one boy… this is my core sibling list. My sisters and brother. Of course they’ve added on with spouses but my core siblings, the inner-inner circle if I may, are a crazy bunch, yes, and my crazy bunch. They call and text, check in, and fight as siblings do. They are MINE!

21. My Tribe
My tribe! Oh man I’ve been on a physical journey this last…. mmm not quite a year yet. They have been there to laugh, cry, fall, and push me when I need (and sometimes don’t want) it. I have held memberships to gyms before but have never felt like I was a part of a gym. I belong here. Best workout sessions ever! I mean have you ever laughed while doing an ab workout? I do!

22. Military Moments
This sounds a bit vague but it’s a broad topic covering many facets of the military life. Recently I attended a dedication ceremony on a gazebo for families of local fallen military. It was touching to see families and soldiers being honered and remembered years after their passing. The military community is another piece of the puzzle making me. I have been blessed to meet and volunteer with incredible men and women in the military community.
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*photo courtesy of Linda Kerr/Tobyhanna ACS

23. Technology
How did we survive without cell phones, instant internet access and google? Seriously? Does anyone remember. I do, but it’s all a blur like a different lifetime ago. No technology is definitely a 1st world problem. I take it for granted but know what a blessing it is being able to utilize technology every day to reach family and friends across the globe.

24. My education
Walkingor driving to school was no big deal. High school was… well I’m not telling how long ago. After high school I went to community college for the majority of my general education classes then continued onto a university for my undergraduate degree in business management, yep I have a BS in BM haha. Not everyone has these opportunities and I recognize the blessing school has been for me.

25. Music
In high school I actually wanted a doctorate in music and my big plan was to teach… ya I know big dreams. Music has always been a part of me and my life. I sing, dance, play instruments, everthing. When I’m home alone during the day music is playing. I’m not a technical music gal but I dabble a bit. Music brings joy in ways I can not describe. Aside from signing and dancing, music is a talent of mine. I have played an instrument since I was in 4th grade. I picked up a flute and haven’t quit since.

26. Talents
I believe recognizing and knowing our talents is important so we can expand on them. I’ve talked about music and baking. I am a Jane of all trades, master of none, as the saying goes. I dabble in much. Sewing, writing, sketching to name a few. The blessing of talents is the ability and opportunity to bless other lives with those talents.

27. Two car family
This may seem silly but if we only had one car (which many people don’t even have one car) I would never leave the house during the week. No tribe, no errands, no shopping. What would I do?! We do not have public transportation here. Life. Would. Be. Terrible.

28. My exes
Yes, my exes are blessings. The broken hearts, bad boys, terrible mistakes, ones that didn’t last… all of them helped mold and shape me into the woman I am today. They also helped prepare me and my life for the wonderful man I have today.

29. Creature comforts
This includes more of those little blessings I take for granted most days. Heat, a warm bed, comfy blankets, a fireplace, fans during the hot months, thick wool socks. The little things in life really make it great don’t they?

30. All of you
I am blessed to have followers and readers such as you.  Each of you brings new light and perspective to my blog and online life.

What are some things you find yourself thankful for this month? Posting your blessings and gratitude on your blog this month? Post your link in the comments.

I’ll Show You My…

Has it been a month already? It has!! Time for September’s edition of mommy and lifestyle blog collab I’ll Show You My… with Katie. This month we are talking back to school haul!

Our kids are back in public school this year. We made sure to have enough of everything and then some for the entire school year, not only the start of the year, but all year long. With one child in 1st grade and another in 11th so they have different needs.  Not knowing exactly what the girls would need this year in school we stocked up on about everything they could need.

Fortunately, we receive back-to-school supplies thru Operation Homefront. They run a school supply donation drive each year and several military units are able to receive these donations. We are able to get a lot of supplies as AJ’s unit is small and there are enough for everyone. Half of these supplies are actually left over from the small supplies we received last year!

When school started we received notice from #2’s teacher she did not need any school supplies as she provides everything so it can all be the same. We will send in other supplies she needs such as disinfectant wipes and tissue. High school is a bit different and they are expected to be more responsible for themselves. #1 has supplies as she has seen fit to use, mostly composition notebooks, pens and pencils. Luckily we have enough of those and she seems to be doing well with them.

Did you get enough of your own school supplies? What does your stash look like? Post yours and link it back here!

I’m including a giveaway this month! I want to pass our blessings on to one of you! One person will win a flat rate box filled with school supplies! To enter simply make sure you are following my blog as well as Katie’s blog, then comment below! Entry deadline is Friday 16 September at 11:59pm ET. 

I’ll Show You My

That time of the month is here again! I love participating in the I’ll Show You My collab I joined with my friend and fellow Momma bloggers Katie and Tracy. On the third Wednesday of every month we show you something we’ve randomly selected, and we hope that you’ll show us yours too! Just link your posts back to us and comment below with your link! 

This month is a bit different for me. The topic is tattoos. I’ve had two versions of this post on constant edit in my mind. Since I couldn’t device between the two I am choosing to combine them and show you both sides of my tattoos.


I’ll Show You My…

That time of the month is here again! I love participating in the I’ll Show You My collab I joined with my favorite Momma bloggers Katie and Tracy. On the third Wednesday of every month we show you something we’ve randomly selected, and we hope that you’ll show us yours too! Just link your posts back to us and comment below with your link!

This month we are showing you our empties! I don’t mean the empty ketchup or the empty toilet paper roll. I am showing you my empty products I love, like, hate, will never buy again and can’t wait to buy again! These products range from local shop purchases, to direct sales purchases, to online mass retailers.  So without further ado here are my empties:

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Not shown: Divine moisturizer and cat litter.

Cat litter: I haven’t found a particular brand we love over the others but with three cats we go thru our fair share of cat litter. I absolutely will not buy the non-clumping litter tho. I’ve never tried it and I do not have any intentions on starting. Just ew!

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Shine eye makeup remover wipes. These are from Younique and are a miracle product! The wipe is not only great for eye makeup but for the entire face. I LOVE using these, especially at night when I don’t have the energy to scrub all the makeup off. The entire wipe is great for a full face makeup removal. On the nights or days I only wear a light amount of makeup, half a wipe is plenty and works splendidly! What’s more, these wipes are refreshing in smell. Have you ever used a makeup wipe only to have your hands or face smell like chemicals? Gross! These wipes leave your fingers and face smelling fresh and feeling refreshed!
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Divine moisturizer. I didn’t get a photo of this product before I threw it away, but it is in the photo above with the Shine wipes, oops! Another Younique product. I have used various facial moisturizers from high end down to drug store brands. I have used products where I have needed to reapply and others where I felt the moisturizer made my skin feel greaser. Divine is absolutely that, divine! I get enough moisturizer for my dry skin but not too much that my skin feels greasy. My facial skin tends to be dry and flaky at times and the moisturizer is delicious to my skin. After this bottle ran out I thought I could manage and use some other moisturizer I had still sitting around the house. That has not been the case! My skin is screaming for Divine and can’t wait for it to come in the mail this week!

Ghiggeri’s Oils & Balsamics. We found this quaint little shop in town one weekend. The owners are nice and welcoming, as are the employees. The shop has a wide variety of oils and balsamics, all available for testing at your leisure. There are also honeys, bread mixes and other nice items to go along with any oil or balsamic you may choose. My favorite is the California Garlic infused olive oil. I am a bit impartial to garlic anything tho. If you live in the area, give them a try. If you don’t, come over for a visit and I’ll take you there!

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Calgon. Having cloth diapers for K, a front loader and hard well water makes laundry rough, especially on the cloth diapers sometimes. I bought Calgon to use specifically for our cloth diaper loads. I did not realize or know about the proper way to use the product originally so do not feel I have had the best experience with the product. Now that I need a new one I am looking forward to a good and proper use in the wash for the cloth diapers especially. Good bye water stains and rough clothes!

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Purex. Again with the washer! Now that I know how to get Calgon properly in the wash I may not need as much soap and the soap can do its proper job fighting dirt on clothes instead of dirt in the water. I always try to use HE detergents and a detergent with stain removal. My family is tough on their clothes.

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R.W. Knudsen Organic Apple Juice. Baby K is still a big fan of nursing but every now and again he’ll drink from a cup. He has yet to drink cow milk but he loves apple juice. I try not to buy too much fruit juice and soda around here due to the amount of sugar and processing but this apple juice at about the purest I’ve seen it. Organic isn’t quite as important but I’m so tired of juices from concentrate. It even settles and separates. So I’ll give him a 1:4 ratio of juice:water when he does want something other than mama milk. Bonus: I found a coupon and scored two new bottles at the commissary for less than a dollar each!

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Eucerin lotion. This container no longer has its label but I LOVE this lotion for my body. It is a thick cream and works splendidly for my dry flaky knees, elbows and feet. I have tried many lotions over the years for my dry skin and this is the only lotion to ease my dry skin. Here is a stock photo for you to see what it looks like with the label still on 🙂

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Lastly is my candle from Jenn’s Two Scents. Remember my giveaway/review post? I really love her products. (Her candle is on the right) Which reminds me, I think it is time to place another order! If you haven’t yet, check out her Etsy shop. If you don’t see a scent you like, message her she’ll work with you!

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I’ll Show You My… Makeup!

I am so excited to announce I am teaming up with my friend and fellow blogging mama Katie , for a monthly blog series, “I’ll Show You My…”!

Each month we will all be posting about a chosen topic. We want you to know more about us and hope you enjoy our series. If you wish to join us, contact any of us, we’d love to have you join our blogging collaboration!

This is my first post in the series and how appropriate the topic is makeup! Let’s jump right into it! I’ll show you my makeup!

I have tried various types of makeup over the years; Mary Kay, Avon, drug store, Benefit and now Younique. I have had my makeup in a little trunk, a plastic container, 31 bag and a Younique bag as well. My mostly used products are in my Younique bag. So here it all is… don’t judge too much! For a quick peek you can also check out this video of what’s inside my makeup bag.

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My Younique bag for my most frequently used makeup
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Open it up, take a peek inside and find all my goodies!
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My eye liners… pretty normal colors here
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Lip liner in pompous, also use as a lip color sometimes.
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My brushes. Time to clean them up a bit.
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Always need a good foundation, moisturizer, primer, and concealer! 😉
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My rouge… albeit a little older than it should be
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Brow liner and gel in two shade… some days I choose the “not as light”side haha
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I adore lip options. lip gloss, lip stain and fabulous lip stick.
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Paint for the eyes… it’s like a palette, well there is one of those but just look at all the colors!
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Have you seen or tried this mascara? 3D+ fibers are the bomb! I’ve been asked if I wear falsies. SCORE!
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Look at my stuff.. isn’t it neat? Wouldn’t you think my collection’s complete!

If you have any questions about anything I use, feel free to ask. If I had to choose one item to wear everyday, it would probably be lipstick. Although my eyes are quite naked without the 3D+ mascara so it’s a close call. This concludes our tour of my makeup bag. I hope you have enjoyed this little peek into my world.
If you want to join us, comment below or let one of us know.