Another year, another kid, another long blog-less stretch

Another promise to myself to blog regularly sort of fizzled, and for the second time I blame it on pregnancy and having a baby (#2).  At the beginning of the year I was really motivated to keep this up, and then came horrible morning sickness that made it all but impossible to keep up with anything else except working and taking care of A.  I was hoping my body, having gone through pregnancy already once before, would adapt to the second one without much drama, but alas, that wasn’t the case – the symptoms were much worse, especially the first trimester.  In addition to expecting, we also bought and sold a house, plus hubby started a new (and stressful) job.  Blogging went further and further down on the priority list until now.

Now that A2 (baby) is 2 months old and starting to adapt to a schedule of sorts, I have no excuse to miss posts.  I regret not documenting all the little milestones and exciting moments in life, especially with A1, so with A2 most likely being our last child, I want to remember as much as possible of her infancy.  So here goes (again!)

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Apartment Therapy post – harnessing toy clutter

Loving this idea from Apartment Therapy on creative ways to organize toys.  I’m not the handiest person, but this seems like a project that even someone like me can figure out.

Hanging planters on a wall – how ingenious is this???  And the sock monkey chillin in the rocking chair is a super cute touch.  I’m SO gonna try this.

Chocolate chips. Peanut butter. Together in a scrumptious cookie. Someone make me some!

Sweet Pea's Kitchen

Get ready to take peanut butter cookies to a whole new level by adding milk chocolate and peanut butter chips. Peanut butter and chocolate has always been my favorite of all flavor combinations, so I knew these cookies wouldn’t disappoint. These babies are crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside, just the way a perfect cookie should be. Lately I have been craving peanut butter like nobody’s business and instead of spooning right out of the jar I figured I would make some cookies that I have had my eye on for a while. I am really kicking myself for not making these earlier, they are “hide them from the family” good! I used smooth peanut butter for these cookies, but crunchy peanut butter will work just as well. Do yourself a favor and whip up a batch of these, I promise they won’t last long!

One Year Ago:Pecan and Almond Chocolate Toffee

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Jessica Alba’s Honest Company

Zulily recently ran a deal for 1/2 off a one-month subscription to The Honest Company, which is an eco-friendly company that delivers diapers, wipes, skin products, and/or household cleaning items to your door on a monthly basis.  The company is co-founded by Jessica Alba and is committed to creating quality, environmentally-friendly, and nicely designed products that average folks can actually afford.

I was curious to learn more about the concept, so checked out their website where I found you can sign up for a free trial.  You fill out a simple questionnaire and at the end select which bundle you want to try:

I chose the Diapers Bundle since I go through diapers/wipes way more frequently than I do skincare/household cleaning products.  The designs look pretty cute on their website, although I was never interested in swaddling my kid’s butt in the most fashionable prints.  Quite frankly, I’m a big fan of Jessica Alba so that’s the main reason I’m giving this product a try 🙂  Seriously, the power of a celebrity endorsement is nothing to laugh at…

Has anyone tried Honest products?  Are there other similar products out there that are just as good, or better?

Ruche – a cheaper alternative to Anthropologie

This is an example of the power of Facebook campaigns.  I’ve never heard of this company until I clicked on their ad on my profile sidebar.  They bill their site as “Vintage-Inspired Indie Dresses,” which is right up my alley, so I was definitely intrigued.

The site has a mix of Anthropologie’s whimsy with Modcloth’s affordable prices.  I haven’t had a chance to compare items from all three sites but there’s definitely a sense of deja-vu upon visiting Ruche (I did just see some BB Dakota items which Modcloth definitely sells too).

Some cute items include:

Clermont Polka Dot Dress ($46.99)

Vincenza Polka Dot Blouse ($32.99)

Windrose Rufflehem Coat ($98.99)

All Dressed Up T-Strap Heels ($94.99)

Pemberton Cropped Sweater

I wanted to browse some more but the site is extremely, painfully  slow!  However, I plan to stop by again in the future to do a little more window shopping, and perhaps purchase some items to check out the quality of their products and user-friendliness of their site.  More to come soon!

Modcloth sale!

Modcloth is in the midst of a huge sale right now.  Tons of cute clothing, accessories, and home stuff at great prices.  I’ve heard mixed reviews about the quality of their clothes, but decided to give them a try starting with the sale items (I’ve persued their site a lot but never purchased anything until yesterday).  I was in a very indecisive state of mind, so justified buying 4 dresses by saying it is in the name of research so I can share my findings with other potential customers!  lol!

I will follow up with a review of my purchases, but check out their merchandise (sale and regular price) before hot items sell out!

Does anyone have any thoughts or feedback on Modcloth merchandise that you’d like to share?  Please let me know – I’d really appreciate your comments!

Product review: Umi Shoes

I bought a pair of Umi shoes as a Christmas gift for A. this year.  It’s a company I never took very seriously because they’re quite expensive, but I was fortunate to stumble on their site during a 50% off sale they were having for the holidays.  I was really surprised at the quality and care they put into their craftsmanship and understood a little more why they charge a premium for their products.  They also have a social mission, dedicated to being an environmentally friendly company using sustainable products and packaging.  My son loves his Umis and always runs to me with these in hand when it’s time to go outside.

Style-wise, these shoes are super cute with a variety of colors and styles trending on the conservative side (no bling or big logos anywhere) but definitely versatile enough to dress up or down.

I can’t justify paying full-price for a pair just yet since toddler feet grow so quickly, but next time there’s a sale, you’ll totally find me there.  Speaking of sales, you can get 10% off any new styles with code NEWSPRINGSALE12 at checkout.  There’s also a nice selection of clearance items, including the cute Tendems I mentioned above.

Happy shopping!

Makeup routine for a working mom – help.

I’m secretly envious of moms I see in the workplace who look so fabulously put together.  What’s their secret?  Sleeping in full makeup and rolling out of bed?  Some sort of ultra exclusive permanent  makeup tattoos?  Or maybe they’re just naturally blessed with perfect complexion, rosy lips, and a miraculous ability to look refreshed with only 3 hours of sleep (curse you!)  If my occupation didn’t involve interacting with actual people on a constant basis, I probably wouldn’t care so much, but for the sake of being a presentable representative of my organization, I must take the time to look halfway decent.

My makeup routine is quick and simple because, in between getting A. dressed and ready for daycare, I only have about 10 minutes to make myself go from “eeeeeeek!!” to “good enough” for work. I usually shower in the night before, which saves a huge amount of time in the morning (usually to hit the snooze button 3-4 times, haha).  Then the magic happens with the following products:

Chanel Double Perfection Powder Foundation in Tender Bisque

This powder-foundation provides great coverage without being too heavy, and the color matches my yellow-based skin tone quite nicely.   It’s a little pricey but after trying many different products in all price ranges, I found that the Chanel one is the best fit for my complexion.

2.  Anastasia Highlighting Brow Kit


I purchased this on sale at sephora.com during their additional 20% off sale and love it.  You can mix shades to find the perfect match for your eyebrows, and it lasts all day (no spotty eyebrows by 3pm!).  I don’t use the highlighting colors as much but they’re versatile enough to wear on your eyes as well as cheeks and nose.

3. Urban Decay Naked Palette

This palette is perfect to achieve an office-ready daytime look but is versatile enough to also do a ton of evening and girls-night-out looks as well.  With the exception of the black/grey tones, I typically use almost every single color regularly, generally 2-3 at a time. The colors complement every skin tone.  Trust me, buy this and it will be your go-to palette for day (and night!)

4.  Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eyeliner

I have typical Asian monolid eyes.  Combined with an oily complexion, a liquid eyeliner is my only choice to avoid the heavy metal/raccoon effect.  However, all liquid liners don’t have the same stay-put power – I’ve tried a ton of brands, and nothing comes close to Revlon’s Colorstay line.  They last and last but come off easily with makeup remover (or a good facial cleanser).  I’ve cheated on it several times with other, more expensive brands that promised so much, but inevitably Revlon was the one sure thing I always came back to.

5.  Tie between Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm and Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treament SPF 15



This was a toughie.  I have perpetually dry lips and I use both of these products constantly, alternating between the two at any given time.  Despite being allured by countless other lipglosses, tints, etc., most of them end up collecting dust in my purse or makeup bin.  Burt’s Bees is great in keeping lips hydrated without a fuss – inexpensive, no color, pleasant minty flavor.  Sugar Rose is great when you want a hint of color without a heavy, pasty film on your mouth that lipsticks/glosses can leave.  I can’t live without either one of these.  In fact, I have stashes of both in all my purses, car, and various rooms around the house.

So that’s pretty much my daily routine, and even the relatively short amount of time I spend on makeup sometimes seems like a lot of work.  If anyone would be kind enough to share products or tips that facilitate a busy mom’s morning routine, please let me know!