Beauty Spotlight :: Spring Eye and Brow

I am always so excited about a new season for many reasons, but with the new season always comes new looks. There are new clothing styles, new hair colors and styles, old styles may even come back, but we all know that the right make-up can really complete the look.

This is what I have done to complete my new summer look:

Keep your skin protected
Apply that sunscreen! I want to stick with all-natural products, and if you do, as well, you may want to consider coconut oil. Coconut oil allows the beneficial rays to get through, while protecting your skin from harmless UV rays. Carrot Seed oil is another great option, with an SPF of over 30. Combine the two for optimal results!

Less is more
I am a huge fan of minimal makeup. Apply a light foundation, BB, or CC cream, some lipgloss and a light coat of some great mascara. Use Infallible Smokissime Eyeliner and Loreal’s Paris Voluminous Miss Manga Rock Mascara to create a smokey look for a night out.

smokey eyes

Go nude
I use Nudes Eye Shadow Pallette (just $6.76 at Walmart) is a great option for keeping the natural look.

Tame those brows
Use a good brow pencil to fill in and shape your brows. Doing this creates a polished look, regardless of how much makeup you plan to wear.

Summer Beauty Look

How do you plan to update your summer look?

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Control Your Frizz With Schwarzkopf {Review}

My hair is a big frizz-ball of a mess most days. I find myself pulling it all back, either in a messy bun or a ponytail, quite often. I had been using coconut oil to help tame my tresses, after washing and drying, but I have been on the lookout for a good shampoo and conditioner that will lock in the moisture and provide some control. I think I may have found what my dry, brittle hair needs!

As part of the Walmart Moms program I was given the chance to try the Henkel Beauty Care line of hair products. Among the first I tried is the Schwarzkopf essence ULTIME Satin Frizz Control & Protect Shampoo and Conditioner.

essence ULTIME

In the beginning, I used quite a bit of both products, as I am used to a big lather and silky (almost slimy) wet hair. I discovered after several washes, however, that the shampoo provides such a gentle cleanse and doesn’t lather as much. And the conditioner provides just as much benefit when I use less than half of my normal amount. All this meaning I won’t go through these products as quickly, saving me money. Not that it’s all that expensive in the first place, compared to high-end hair care products, coming in at less than $7 per bottle.

I am pleasantly surprised by the results of using essence ULTIME for just a little over a week now. My hair is silky, soft, and more manageable than ever before. I also found that straightening and curling my hair was easier and quicker, locking in moisture and preventing frizz.

Silky Smooth Locks

An added bonus to using this new to me line, is that frizzy flyaways are almost nonexistent. However when they do occur – I wasn’t expecting this line to be magic, after all – a small dab of the conditioner will make them completely disappear.

Tame That Frizz

I do feel like the ULTIME Satin Frizz Control & Protect shampoo and conditioner will cause a heavy build up on my hair over time, but I’m willing to plan a deep cleanse every month or so for frizz-free locks!

About Schwarzkopf

Schwarzkopf has stood as the expert in hair globally since 1898. Schwarzkopf is one of the world’s most innovative hair companies with its retail brands such as got2b, ULTIME and Keratin Color. The Schwarzkopf brand portfolio also includes professional salon products. Schwarzkopf is dedicated to the development of innovative product technologies.Henkel Beauty Care stands for brand-name products in the fields of hair colorants, hair styling, hair care, body care, skin care, and oral care. Schwarzkopf Professional is among the world’s three leading suppliers of hair salon products.

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Update Your Wardrobe for Summer

Here in Texas, summer seems to come pretty early. I’ve been wearing my beloved tanks for a while now, but just headed to Walmart to find some summer attire that included some shorts, since the temperatures promised to be in the upper 80s and low 90s this weekend.

I was not disappointed… I found a couple of great pairs of shorts, both in denim and a cool cotton fabric. Of course, I added a couple of tank tops to my ever growing collection, but I also found a sheer flowery top to wear over a cami, that came with a belt. A perfect way to complete a summer outfit that is not too casual, but can be dressed up to be worn throughout the summer for just about any occasion.

The demin shorts I added to my wardrobe for summer are mid-thigh. I did choose the distressed look, just because I am still young at heart and feel like I can pull off the look. I paired these with the flowery top  (link to similar style online) I found and a pair of brown flats.

denim mid-thigh shorts
Summer fashion - dress up those shorts

The second pair of shorts I picked up are No Boundaries Soft Challis (in mutli Aztec stripes). These are super comfy and I will most likely wear them with a tank top, but can dress them up with a black belt if the occasion so calls for a more chic look.

Summer Style

All in all, I found just what I was looking for at Walmart, but will say that there were many summery dresses that I will most likely add to my wardrobe in the coming weeks.

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Building a Marriage that Lasts a Lifetime (from a not-so-perfect wife)

I remember my Grandmother telling me before my wedding, and just after she and my Grandfather celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, that I did not yet know true love. She explained that making it through hard times together would intensify my love for Ray, but ultimately loving him would be a daily choice. I couldn’t imagine then that I would ever not have loving feelings towards Ray, or even that I could love him any more than I already did, but I can say with all certainty that my Grandma was right.

Our journey, mine and Ray’s, has not always been easy. There have been many bumps in the road, huge potholes, and quite a few hills. We certainly didn’t expect marriage to be easy, and we knew it would take work to maintain a healthy relationship, but we didn’t quite expect to be traveling down the road we have traveled thus far.

Thankfully we have had many great people, like my Grandmother, share priceless nuggets of wisdom over the years. These gems are what got us through the the last 15 years. While I know we have much to learn, I would like to share what we have learned thus far, mostly due to trial and error.

Building a Marriage that Lasts a Lifetime

Make your spouse a priority

With seven kids, and our own businesses, it can be easy to forget about making each other a priority. As soon as we start to feel disconnected, Ray and I make an extra effort to re-establish our bond. At times this means simply a quick lunch date, and at other times we feel the need to go away alone for an entire weekend. For us, praying and being in God’s Word does wonders for our connection. With Christ as our center, we have more of a desire to put each other first.

Talk it out

Don’t let issues fester and build up until you explode, as I am so often tempted to do. It’s important to talk about what you are feeling, when you have these feelings. Regular and consistent communication helps prevent misconceptions and insures you are both on the same page.

Cultivate trust

You simply can not have a healthy marriage without trust. The trust Ray and I have for each other has not always been strong. There have been times when I didn’t think I could trust him, and times that he broke the trust I did place in him. Ultimately, Ray is my best friend and I am there for him through thick and thin, as I know he is for me. I’ve failed him many times, but the assurance that he has the same trust in me is very important to me.

Forgive

You will mess up. You will hurt and disappoint each other. Admitting when you are wrong and choosing forgiveness will strengthen the bond you have as a married couple and increase your trust in one another.

Always sleep together

I have heard many people claim they never go to bed angry with their spouse, but  in our 15 years of marriage I can honestly say that it hasn’t always been possible. And, for us, that’s been okay. There have been issues that we’ve had to deal with and heal from that require more time than what would have been allowed in one day. That said, I only remember one occasion in which we did not sleep in the same bed (sans when one of us was traveling). There have certainly been plenty of nights when there was no touching, or even talking, and we slept the entire night with our backs to each other (or didn’t even sleep at all). No matter how I felt about the situation with which we were dealing, however, I knew my husband was there with me and wasn’t going anywhere. That was a great comfort, even in the midst of trial.

Do your own thing

I enjoy my husband’s company and often choose to spend time with him in a way I may not find to be the most enjoyable – like watching a soccer game on tv…ahem. While it’s key to cultivate similar interests and hobbies in a marriage, I believe it’s equally important to remember that it’s more than okay to have your own interests. Ray is great about encouraging me to pursue what I enjoy even if it doesn’t include him, and I am so grateful for that!

Don’t air your dirty laundry

In the age of social media and over sharing, this one is tough. Many Facebook updates and blog posts have been typed out in frustration, only to be deleted after realizing that airing my dirty laundry would cause more damage than good. Instead of going public with our problems, we have been pretty good about keeping them between us. If we need counsel or prayer, we will talk to a trusted friend instead of turning to our social channels.

Choose to love

To make a marriage last a lifetime, remember that feelings ebb and flow. When those warm and fuzzy feelings of lust and desire fade, you must choose to love. Just as my Grandmother advised me, I choose every day to love Ray, even when I don’t really like him.

I could go on and on, but I’d love to hear from you… What words of wisdom do YOU have to add?

Cheese and Olive Stuffed Chicken {Recipe}

As you may know, Ray loves to cook. He finds being in the kitchen very therapeutic and makes quite the production out of making us all a meal, be it breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. I, on the other hand, am always looking for ways to cut my time in the kitchen short… unless I am baking.

When I was introduced to Pearl Olives to Go!, I instantly began thinking of ways I could use these cups of yummy goodness to make time in the kitchen a bit easier. They come in a variety of flavors, including Kalamata (my fave for snacking) and even sliced black. All are gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, cholesterol-free, trans-fat-free, GMO-free, vegan and Kosher –  what healthier way to snack on the go? Of course, these individual cups are perfect to throw in the kids lunch, or even my purse, for a quick snack, but they do make using them in salads, main dishes, and more, that much easier.

Find Pearl Olives to Go! at Walmart – in stores only.

 photo Cheese and Olive Stuffed ChickenWe recently made a delicious chicken breast stuffed with provolone cheese and black olives. Oh, my! SO GOOD!! Here’s what we did.

Cheese and Olive Stuffed Chicken - step by step photo Cheese and Olive Stuffed Chicken - step by stepGather your ingredients:
1 cup shredded provolone cheese
2 Pearls Olives to Go single serve cups, chopped black (Or you could use the sliced black olives, to make it easy!)
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 large egg white
1 cup seasoned dry breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Prepare Cheese Mixture:
Combine shredded provolone, chopped black olives, and pepper. Set aside.

Prepare Chicken Breasts:
Slice each breast horizontally, nearly through.
Add cheese mixture to each sliced chicken breast.
Beat egg white, dip closed chicken breast, and dredge in breadcrumbs.
Heat oil over in a large nonstick skillet medium-high heat.
Add chicken and cook until browned on one side, about 2 minutes.

Bake:
Transfer chicken to the prepared baking sheet, browned-side up, and bake until it is no longer pink in the center – about 25 minutes.

Enjoy!
All of my kiddos loved the cheese and olive stuffed chicken. In fact, we didn’t make enough and ran out! I’d like to make a yummy sauce to top the chicken, or perhaps just add more cheese next time. But, we all agreed – This was a pretty tasty meal!

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.