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Friday Favorites - Every Day Products

 I am the first to admit that I am NOT a lifestyle blogger. That being said, I try a lot of products until I find what I like, and these are a few of my all time favorite products that I use on a daily basis. 

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with any of these companies or products. I just know what I like and if you are looking to try something new, maybe one or more of these will be right up your alley too! 

#1 Tula Skincare - This is a relatively new addition to my daily routine, but I honestly don't know how my skin lived without it. Their products are all formulated with probiotic extracts and superfoods that help to refresh and brighten my skin. I started out with their discovery kit trial size version (value kit) and got hooked. My skin instantly looked better and felt so much more hydrated. It is a little pricey, but you can buy it online through the Tula website, or at Ulta online and in store. I love when great products are easy to find.  

#2 Tarte Mascara - It has taken my 25 years to find a mascara that I love that won't flake off in the afternoon. I have very light eyebrows and eyelashes, so wearing mascara daily is a MUST. My current go-to mascara to get the job done is by Tarte. They have lots of different styles to meet your needs, but my current tube is the Big Ego. It is a vegan formula that conditions your lashes as well as makes them look beautiful. Even when I don't put on much else, I always have my mascara on! 

#3 Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Rose Lavender Body Lotion - It's a mouthful to say, but this stuff is magical. Bath and Body Works became HUGE when I was in high school and everyone was misting themselves with body sprays and putting on their lotion in the locker room. I never really got into it until adulthood. Over the holidays last year I placed a few orders online for lotions for gifts for friends and teachers. Well, I earned enough points to get one for me for FREE. This is the scent I chose and I LOVE it! In fact, I need to get another one because I've used almost all of it in the last few months. I put it on right before I go to bed and it has such a calming and soothing scent that really helps me to decompress from the busy day. It isn't a strong scent... just strong enough. 

#4 & #5 Shine Cosmetics Lip Gloss - Who doesn't love a good lip gloss. This brand it absolutely top notch in my book. I also love their eyeliner and lipliners, but my favorite product that they carry is their lip gloss. It stays on for hours and looks great! Their formula is really moisturizing too, which is great because my kips tend to get dry easily -- I'm a gloss and chapstick-aholic. They have lots of colors to choose from for every skin type, but my favorites are Goals and Unicorn. Lately I mix them together and it is the perfect bit of sheen and color for my skin type --- Shine... can you please create a color that combines the two!? Thanks. Their products are hypoallergenic, paraben and gluten free and are animal cruelty-free. The gloss is not tacky at all. I love the encouraging names for their products too! 

If you are looking to try something new, consider giving these a try. Leave me a comment with your favorite every day products! 

5 Tips to Complete Your Unfinished Projects

 When my now 8 year old was born, my husband took two weeks off of work to help out with our older two children and to give me some much needed time to rest and look after our new bundle of joy. On his last day home from work, he decided to tackle a small bathroom renovation that I'd been begging for (and had actually started on my own a few weeks prior to baby's arrival -- thanks to some nesting urges). 

The project? Adding some bead board paneling to the bottom half of the walls in our tiny bathroom. Could it have been completed on the 3-day weekend? Of course it could... it's a tiny bathroom. Did it get done? Nope. That bathroom project drug out for the next 5 years! All the paneling was up, but the nails hadn't been hammered in completely and the patching, caulking, and painting needed to be finished. I had finally had enough and one day just worked on all those little things and got it done. 

Why is it so hard to finish projects that we start? Maybe it's that we lose interest in the project. Maybe it gets to a point where we can no longer tackle it alone. Maybe it's because something more pressing comes up and the last project is put on the back burner. Today's blog post is all about how to finish those kinds of projects. 

Honey Almond Granola Recipe

 Breakfast is hard in our home. Due to my sons dairy, egg, and peanut allergies a lot of the yummy breakfast foods that the rest of the world consumes are just not possible for us. I have been able to adapt some of my favorite breakfast foods like waffles, pancakes, and even French toast. Since I have to make them from scratch it takes a lot of time to make enough of them for our family of 6. So, most mornings we opt for cereal, sunflower seed buttered toast, or sausage. 

I have been working on a recipe for granola though, and have finally figured out the perfect combination to get those larger granola clusters and taste delicious! 

Elastic Pencil Pouch Tutorial and Pattern

I am so tired of having to hunt down a pen or pencil when I need one. Anyone else? With my kids home way more than usual right now due to the pandemic ... somehow my writing utensils seem to be wondering off on their own (since no one will own up to actually taking/using them)

Well, this creative mama decided to take things into her own hands and design a way to keep all my necessary writing instruments close at hand. The bonus is that I can use it for post its, notecards, and anything else I might need to use along with my pens and pencils. 

Dairy-Free Toffee Recipe

Holidays are always a hard one at our home. With severe food allergies, times of year where delivering baked goods, and having treats left on your door step can be anxiety inducing... for real! If you are lucky enough not to have to deal with life threatening food allergies, think about this: what would it be like to find that someone had left you a delicious plate of chocolate chip cookies on your doorstep. You pour a glass of nice cold milk, sit down to enjoy your cookies and milk only to find out an hour later that you are on the verge of death because they were laced with arsenic. Instead of enjoying those cookies, you are clinging to life hoping that someone, somewhere is able to help you. 

That may seem a bit extreme, and not really something that we will ever be faced with, BUT when it comes to food allergies the concept is the same. You teeter on whether that plate of goodies that your friend says are safe, are actually safe for you... or if it will send you into an anaphylaxis reaction that will follow with a few hours in the ER. 

That being said, this time of year when everyone is enjoying all their baked goods, we are just doing the same thing we've been doing all year, cooking from scratch. Over the years I have taken some of my favorite holiday recipes and adapted them so that my entire family can enjoy them. 

Cooking, baking, and eating dairy free has its challenges, and if you enjoy dairy, just know that any recipe adapted to be dairy free isn't going to taste the same... but it can get pretty close.