Target Beauty Box Review

I’ve tried to get my hands on a Target Beauty Box for months now. Every time I see that it is released, it’s already sold out by the time I get online. Well this was my lucky month! I scored a box.

Target Beauty Box August 2015

If you haven’t heard of the Target Beauty Box, it’s really the best beauty deal out there! For $7 (including shipping) you receive a box of full and trial sized beauty items. 

This month’s box included:

  • Cover Girl Super Sizer Mascara by Lashblast (Full Size)
  • Hair Food Moisturizing Mask (Full Size)
  • Fekkai Pré-Soleil Hair Mist
  • Olay Active Botanicals Moisturizing Toner
  • Olay Active Botanicals Day Lotion
  • Crest 3D Whitestrips 1hr Express

Also included was a Target coupon good for $3 off a beauty department purchase of $15 or more.

I’ve had a chance to try all of the products and am excited to share my thoughts on them.

Cover Girl Super Sizer Mascara by Lashblast This mascara was a nice surprise. The brush was a little different than I expected. It has small bristles which make it very easy to get close to the base of the lashes and create a nice long lash. This is definitely a mascara I will be reaching for quite often.

Hair Food Moisturizing Mask – I really wanted to love this product, unfortunately this one fell short. It seemed like a nice conditioner, but I’m not sure it did more than that for me. It did leave my hair soft, so I will continue to use it, but I’m not sure that I will purchase it.

Fekkai Pré-Soleil Hair Mist – This has become my new favorite summer hair product. I applied to to my wet hair before I blew it dry. My frizz and fly-aways were gone and I was amazed. The bottle says that it is a, “pre-sun spray that helps protect your hair from sun damage”, but for me it is a awesome moisturizing spray that tamed my hair. It also left my hair silky and shiny. Bonus points for the smell (however I didn’t notice it really left any scent in my hair).

Olay Active Botanicals Moisturizing Toner – I don’t use a toner in my every day routine so I was excited to try this. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the way it made my skin feel. Instead of being drying, it left it  soft, smooth and feeling moisturizing.

Olay Active Botanicals Day Lotion – As the self appointed queen of moisturizers, I did an eye roll when I took this one out of the box. It is a nice lotion; super lightweight which is great for hot, humid summer days. Overall, I do really like this lotion, but I have so many, I don’t see myself purchasing it anytime soon.

Crest 3D Whitestrips 1hr Express – This was my first experience in using teeth whitening strips. Honestly, I don’t feel like it made any difference in the color of my teeth. (But maybe one application isn’t enough???) They didn’t have any taste and were not uncomfortable to wear. If they were effective, I wouldn’t mind continue using them.

As you can see, the Target Beauty Box was worth the $7 investment and I will continue to (attempt) to order them in the months to come.

What’s Up Wednesday

Today I’m linking up with Shay,  Mel and Sheaffer for What’s Up Wednesday!

 

What's Up Wednesday

 

What we’re eating this week…

It’s been so hot and humid we are eating a lot of grilled chicken and turkey sandwiches. I’ve been browsing Pinterest looking some new, easy ideas for dinner. I think I’m going to make these for dinner tonight –

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers

What I’m reminiscing about…

Last year at this time I had a 4 month old. He was so little and I miss my tiny, little baby. Don’t get me wrong, I love my little toddler who walks and talks and love to play, but I’m so sad that he’s growing up so fast.

What I’m loving…

This commercial. I swear it gets me choked up every time I see it.

What we’ve been up to…

A whole lot of this..

.Z at the Beach

What I’m dreading…

We are headed to California in a few weeks and although we bought our tickets weeks in advance, we could not get seats together. And we are traveling with a toddler. On our laps. And the only seats available were middle seats. So all I can hope is that someone will give up their aisle or window seat for a middle seat so that we can all sit together.

What I’m working on…

I’ve managed to get WAY behind on my magazines. It’s not even that I subscribe to that many, but my mother-in-law gives me hers to read as well.  Anyway I’ve amassed two giant stacks and I just can’t bear to git rid of them without at least thumbing through them. Little by little I’ve been attacking the pile. My goal is to have to gone by Halloween. Yes, it’s that big.

What I’m excited about…

On the flip side of that dreaded flight next month is a few days of R&R and and a bridal shower for a dear, dear friend. I haven’t seen her in almost a year and I’m so excited to see all of the wedding ideas coming to life in person.

What I’m watching/reading…

Did you watch Wayward Pines? OMG! My husband got me sucked into this 10 episode series and I just couldn’t look away. It’s just that good. I have not yet watched the last episode, but need to catch it ASAP. The Executive Producer is M. Night Shyamalan, so that should tell you just how well written this show is. If you haven’t seen it, you need to.

Wayward Pines

What I’m listening to…

Here’s another commercial I’m loving. This song reminds me of high school and now this song is on major repeat around here.

What I’m wearing…

Sundresses. Sundresses. Sundresses. I just picked this beauty up from Express. And of course I’m wearing it with my new Tieks.

Fuchsia Tieks

What I’m doing this weekend…

We are headed down to Shipshewana, Indiana for a little antiquing. Shipshewana is a cute little Amish and Mennonite town just over the Michigan boarder. It’s a nice little getaway with good food and great shopping. I can’t wait!

What I’m looking forward to next month…

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?!?!?! Okay so it’s only pre-season, but everyone in our house is pretty excited. We’ve been teaching Z how to say ‘touchdown’ while he puts his hands up. It’s so cute! We even tried on Archie and Z’s jerseys on the other night to make sure they fit. Don’t worry, they do!

What else is new…

I had kind of forgotten about our Zoku Quick Pop Maker.

Zoku Pop Maker

We received it as a wedding gift and used it a ton the first Summer we were married, but then it got put in the cupboard. I just pulled it out and cannot wait to start using it again!

What will you miss most about summer?

This seems silly, but quite simply…Flip Flops. I love how free my feet feel and really miss that in the Fall and Winter when I wear boots every day.

 

And that’s it for What’s Up Wednesday. Hope to see you on the last Wednesday of August for the next link up.

XOXO,

Cheri Elisabeth

Summer Beauty

Now that Summer is in full swing, I feel as if I’ve finally settled in my Summer beauty routine. Gone is the heavy foundation and what feels like 10 pounds of makeup on face (that feels so light in the Fall and Winter!?!?!) Instead it is replaced with a bit of powder and bronzer and blush. I also can’t complain about how much faster it is to get ready!

Marie Claire rcently posted an article – 20 Lazy Girl Summer Beauty Tips. While I don’t agree with all of them, there are some standouts –

#1 is Wear a Hat. I love wearing hats all year long, but especially in the Summer. Not only does it cover my face from the sun, but I can also cheat on doing anything to my hair.

#2 Shower Before Swimming. I had not thought of it, but they suggest rinsing your hair with fresh water before jumping in the pool. The reasoning being that your hair will soap up the “fresh water before being touched by chemical-filled, chlorinated liquid”. Something I will definitely have to try!

And a few standouts for a different reason –

#9 Cut your own Bangs. Never a good idea. Ever.

#10 Try a Topnot. Really? I don’t know one girl who has hair longer than shoulder length that doesn’t do this.

#15 Multi-Task Mania. Use products that do double-duty – use them lips, cheeks, and eyes. Lips and cheeks, yes! However I’m not sure of a product that I would use on lips, cheeks AND eyes?!?!

I’ve created my own list of Summer must haves.

Summer Beauty

#1 Wear sunscreen. This seems like a given, but is so commonly forgotten. You should always, always use sunscreen but especially in the Summer. Tarteguard 30 Sunscreen Lotion has become the basis of my beauty routine. It does double duty of lotion and sunscreen!

#2 Skip the liquid foundation. For your everyday face, most people can get away without it. You can always dab a little conceler on an imperfections. I’ve used MAC’s Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation (in NC35) for years now. It provides medium coverage and feel like my skin is able to breathe.

#3 Don’t be afraid of bronzer. I was once afraid of bronzer and don’t seem to be the only one. I can’t tell you how many people I talk to don’t use it because they are scared. The problem seems to the broad range of color available and finding one that suits you. My best advice to find one that works for you, is to go into Ulta or Sephora and ask. They will be able to show you different brands and try out different colors. Most importantly they will demonstrate how to apply it. My favorite bronzer right now is It Cosmetics CC + Radiance Ombre Bronzer. It allows you select matte and/or shimmery bronzer all-in-one. This a great bronzer for anyone but especially if you are a beginner.

#4 Go easy on the eye shadow (and maybe even skip the liner.) On most Summer days, I wear very little eye shadow. I prefer light, shimmery neutrals – Urban Decay’s Naked 3 is my favorite. Instead of liner, I use  Blackheart (a smokey black matte w/rosy red micro-sparkle) applied with It Cosmetics’ Bent Liner Brush.

#5 Use a finishing spray. I swear by Urban Decay’s All Nighter It keeps everything in place. Even when it is 90 degrees and humid outside, this stuff keeps everything in place.

Summer will be over before we know it. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy every minute of it!

XOXO,

Cheri Elisabeth

 

Friday Favorites

Here are my favorites this week…

One

Zshadow

This has been the best week of summer so far. Z is getting bigger (he’s 16 months old today) and just so much fun! I miss him being a baby with the sweet baby snuggles, but I love seeing his personality blossom. He is the sweetest little boy and just hilarious. I call him the welcoming committee because wherever we go he greets everyone we see. We’ve spent time in the pool and at the park, just trying to enjoy each day.

He loves to play, but he still loves to cuddle. Yesterday I was sitting on the floor next to him watching him play. When he realized I was just watching him, he brought his toy with him and sat in my lap to play. It’s moments like that, I don’t ever want to forget.

Two

Fuchsia TieksMy husband surprised me with these adorable Fuchsia Tieks this week and I absolutely love them! They are actually my second pair, my first pair are Camel.

These are the most comfortable shoes you will EVER buy. I’ve had a ton of flats in my life and all of them require some serious breaking it. You know what I’m talking about – blisters all around your heel breaking in. Not the case with Tieks. You put them on and that’s it, you can walk for miles. While they are pricey, they are worth every penny.

 

Three

SecretSummerSwap

I recently participated in a #secretsummerswap on Instagram. Basically the hostess (@_whiteafterlaborday) matches you with someone to send a box of goodies to, while at the same time, someone else is sending you a box of goodies. I received an amazing assortment of items and love all of them, but there is one stand out. As in how have I not had this in my life? Justin’s Almond Butter. I mean really. I’ve had almond butter before, honestly I could take it or leave it. I’m pretty sure I’ve even had Justin’s Almond Butter, but I swear it didn’t taste like this. Even little Z was begging for more. It’s really that good.

Four

The past week or so I’ve been addicted to Instagram. Yes, I’ve always checked it a few times a day, but I’ve had a little extra time this past week and find myself checking it multiple times a day. Probably not the best use of my time, but the Instagram community is truly inspiring! I love looking at pics of beautiful landscapes, cute clothes and darling little babies. It seems like a much more supportive community than other social media platforms. I love following new people and truly love getting to know new friends on there. I invite you to follow me (if you don’t already) and stop by and say hi!

Five

I’ve fallen in love with my FitBit again this week! A friend invited me to participate in a Workweek Hustle Challenge and it’s really motivated me to move a little more this week. I’m nowhere near close to winning though – these girls get 15,000+++ steps per day. This article – The 11 Stages of Owning A FitBit – really nailed it on the head for me. I was at #11, and then this competition started.

I hope you had a fabulous week!

Linking up with AprilAmanda,  Farmer BellAndreaNarci and Erika to share my favorites this Friday.

XOXO,

Cheri Elisabeth

 

This post may contains affiliate links. All opinions are 100% my own and I was not compensated in any way for this post.

Our Cloth Diapering Story

From almost as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I knew that I wanted to cloth diaper our little one. The thought of a few years in disposable diapers was daunting to me. It wasn’t only changing thousands of diapers, it was those thousands of diapers in a landfill. I’ve seen landfills full of garbage – a lot of which disintegrates over time, but other items do not.

The images of the piles and piles of diapers was etched in my memory. As the Indian proverb says, “We did not inherit this earth from our fathers, we are simply borrowing it from our children.” But it wasn’t just the landfills. As I did more research, I learned that most disposable diaper are full of chemicals. Did I want those chemicals touching my baby?

I started talking to friends about cloth diapering and most of them thought I was crazy. It was either gross or too much work. One of my mommy friends had tried a cloth diapering trial through an online store called Jillian’s Drawers. They have a “Changing Diapers, Changing Minds” program recommended by Parenting Magazine. For $91.34 they will send you a variety of diapers from different brands and in different sizes. You use them for 21 days  and then send them back (even if they are stained). Jillian’s Drawers will then give you a store credit for $81.34 to use to purchase your favorite diapers.

This seemed like the perfect opportunity for us to give it a try, with little investment. When Z was two months old, we decided to start the trial. We received seven diapers:

The first few days felt overwhelming. I quickly realized that it was simply because I didn’t have enough diapers. It was easy to go through seven diapers in just a few hours. Instead of trying to see what cloth diapering routine would feel like for us on a daily basis, I shifted to trying to decide which diapers would work best for us. Washing diapers every day was a lot to handle. I thought to myself, “what am I doing?!?!” Ever. Single. Day.

At the end of our 21 days, it was easy to see which diapers were our favorites, but I struggled with the idea of all of the washing. Was this something I could really do? The more I thought about it, I kept coming back  to the reason why I wanted to try cloth diapering in the first place. It wasn’t just the environment, it was the thought of all of those chemicals on my sweet baby’s little butt.

In talking with friends who cloth diaper I realized that a diaper that works well for one child, may not work as well for another. So a trial program is really ideal to see what fits your little one best. We kept five of the diapers – all of the bumGenius and Thirsties, and sent the Best Bottom and Rumparooz back. All of the diaper we kept were one size diapers. These diapers are designed to fit baby from birth to potty training. The snap closure allows you to adjust the size as they grow.

bumGenius One Size
from cottonbabies.com

The bumGenius 4.0 is a pocket diaper and had the best absorbency.  A pocket diaper has a pocket opening between the outer waterproof shell and the inner layer that touches baby’s skin. Inside the pocket you place a microfiber insert (or inserts if you need extra absorbency). Pocket diapers are popular because it is most like a disposable.

bumGenius 4.0
from cottonbabies.com

The bumGenius Freetime have a waterproof shell and microfiber inserts sewn into the diaper. The inserts can be arranged where baby is wettest, so they are great for overnights.

bumGenius Freetime
from cottonbabies.com

The bumGenius Elemental have a nice trim fit. They have six layers of super absorbent, certified organic cotton. They also leave you the option to tuck any insert inside diaper for custom absorbency.

bumGenius Elemental
from cottonbabies.com

The Thirsties had a much better fit, but were not as good of quality. The Thirsties One-Size Pocket Diaper is a typical pocket diaper.

 

thirsties pocket
from thirstiesbaby.com

The Thirsties Snap One-Size All-in-One Diaper has four layers of absorbent microfiber terry, a microfleece liner and a waterproof shell all-in-one.

thirsties all in one
from thirstiesbaby.com

I wound up ordering fifteen bumGenius 4.0’s, fifteen bumGenius Elemental’s and one bumGenius Freetime. At $20-$25 per diaper, it was an investment, but nothing when compared to years of disposable diapers

We had to make some adjustments and add special overnight diapers as Z sleeps twelve to fourteen hours straight through. There are three different overnight diapers we use:

They are all equally great and I don’t have a preference for one over the other.

Now that’s we’ve been clothing diapering for over a year, it’s no big deal at all. It took me a few weeks to get my washing routine down. There are tons of articles online of which detergent to use, water temperature, what to do if you have hard or soft water. I’m no expert, so I’m not going to get into all of that here. What I will tell you is everyone’s wash routine is different. What works for one, won’t work for someone else.

We wash every other day with Allen’s Naturally Ultra Laundry Detergent. Before Z started solids and because he was breastfed, diapers could go straight from him to the pail. I empty the pail liner into the washer and pull the inserts out of the pocket diapers. Our first cycle is cold rinse with a 1/2 scoop of detergent. Our second cycle is warm wash with a 1/2 scoop of detergent. Our third cycle is a cold rinse. The diapers come out smelling clean and stain free. Then I throw everything into the dryer on medium with a clean towel to help things dry.ubbi diaper pail

Clearly we don’t use the ever popular Diaper Genie. I found (and LOVE) the Ubbi diaper pail. It keeps smells in and you can use regular trash bags for disposables or washable liners for cloth. We have two washable liners – the Ubbi cloth diaper pail liner and the Planet Wise Reusable diaper pail liner. Both of which I wash with the diapers.

Now that Z is older and eating solids, you do need to spray the poopy diapers down. It’s not nearly as gross as I thought it would be and the bumGenius Diaper Sprayer makes it easy, with no mess.

bumGenius Diaper Sprayer

We do use disposable when we are away from home for a long period of time – like a day at the zoo or more importanly on vacation. Carrying a bunch of clean and dirty cloth diapers takes its own bag. We use Honest Company Diapers – now sold at Target. They are hypallergenic, fragrance free, free of chlorine processing, latex, lotions, fragrances, common allergens, phthalates, optical brighteners, PVC, heavy metals, organotins (MBT, DBT, TBT), and most common allergens. The best part is that they come in a variety of super cute prints!

Honest Company diapers

I’m not going to lie, it is quite an investment to get started with cloth, but in the end it is worth it. Z has never had diaper rash, it’s better for the environment and probably cheaper than disposable’s in the long run. I would absolutely cloth diaper again and encourage anyone who is even thinking about it, to try it.

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are 100% my own and I was not compensated in any way for this post.

Our Favorite Books (12-18 months)

One of the best things we did at our baby shower was to ask each guest to bring a book instead of a card. We were able to start a little library for Z. I just love opening them over and over again and reading the messages from our sweet, sweet friends and family.

Of course we’ve added considerably to the library over the past year or so. I’m always on the lookout for new book to add to the collection. I love hearing from other moms on what books their kids love, so today I wanted to share with you our current favorites.

Red Truck by Kersten Hamilton

This book is adorable and Z’s absolute favorite book. I think that it may have started his obsession with trucks! It’s a quick read with great illustration. The story involves the Red Truck – a tow truck – saving a school bus load of kids from being stuck in a puddle. The best part are all of the “ZOOOOM!” and “VROOOOOM!” throughout the book. Z’s favorite part is counting the children (all 8 of them) as they wait for Red Truck to rescue them. I can’t tell you how many millions of times we’ve counted them!

I Love You Through And Through by Bernadette Rossetti Shustak

We read this book at least once every night. It is a rhyming story of all of the reasons why you love someone. “I love your hair and eyes, Your giggles and cries…” We love this book because it’s fun but also gives us a teaching moment to point to eyes, nose, toes, etc.

Baby Beluga by Raffi

Baby Beluga is an oldie but goodie and seems to be forgotten by most these days. It’s a song by Raffi about a small, white whale and his adventures with his mother, “in the deep blue sea.” I believe this book is a must have in every toddler library.

Sophie la girafe: Playtime with Sophie by Deliso S.A.S.

Sophie is a very popular girl in our house! She has been Z’s favorite teether for months. Of course we had to get the books as well and this one quickly became one of our favorites. Sophie joins her friends Gabin, Josephine, Lazare, Margot, and Kiwi for all kinds of fun. Each page has a cutout with a different texture to touch. It’s fun to have Z point out of special parts; the bubbles are his favorite because when you push down on them, they POP!

You Are My Cupcake by Joyce Wan

This may be more my favorite book than his, but it’s making the list. It’s a simple book with great illustrations (featuring candy!) The best part is that I get to call Z all of my favorite nicknames for him cutie pie, sweet pea, peanut, and pumpkin!

Hopefully this list helped you find a book or two to add to your collection!

XOXO,

Cheri

 

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are 100% my own and I was not compensated in any way for this post.

Friday Favorites

I can’t believe how fast this week has flown by! How is it already Friday again?!?!? I hate that Summer flies by, while it feels like Winter hangs on FOREVER!!!

This weeks’ favorites are all makeup and beauty related. Enjoy…

I’ve been eyeing this Four Piece Cosmetic Bag by Henri Bendel for months now.

Brown & White Four Piece Cosmetic Bag by Henri Bendel

Not only is this cute, but it is truly four cosmetic cases in one. They had me at the zipper pulls!
Brown & White Four Piece Cosmetic Bag by Henri Bendel
 And today it’s on sale of $44.10, so I can totally justify buying it.

 

Okay, so I  may or may not own four of these  Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blushes. (Unleashed, Fearless, Savored and Pampered). In a word they are amazing! They have great pigmentation and truly are long wearing. Some of my favorite colors (Savored and Pampered) really surprise me because they wouldn’t be colors I would normally pick, but look really good on. They are especially great for Summer when on these hot, humid days, so many blushes melt right off.

tarte amazonian clay 12-hour blush

 

So far this Summer I’ve been all about essie’s Mojito Madness. It’s not new (from the Summer 2012 collection), but it just seems so perfect to go with all of the hot pink I’ve been wearing this season.

essie Mojito Madness

If you follow me on Instagram you already know what my last two favorites are…

Summer Secret Gift Exchange

Everyone has been talking about this TARTEGUARD 30 Sunscreen Lotion and I finally jumped on the bandwagon. Now I understand why all the fuss. This stuff is great! It is described as a “non-chemical sunscreen that helps to protect, moisturize, brighten, and re-invigorate skin for a youthful-looking appearance.  The lightweight, non-sticky liquid lotion contains all-mineral, non-chemical and broad spectrum SPF 30 ingredients that help protect against the sun’s damaging UVA/UVB rays that can cause dryness, redness, dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles.” (It is also free of Parabens).

I’m not sure that it brightens and re-invigorates skin, but I do know that it’s fragrance free and isn’t sticky so it doesn’t feel like you are wearing sunscreen. It is nice to have lotion and sunscreen in one because it makes my skin feel less heavy. Yes, I know I can achieve the same thing with a BB or CC cream, but this Summer my color has been all over the place. Just when I feel like I have the perfect color, my tan fades. Whomp, whomp!

My other favorites are these EOS Lip Balm Sphere’s. My mom Santa, bought me five of them for Christmas. The one I reach for most often is the Soft Coconut Milk, mostly because it just smells like Summer! The packaging is darling and because of the shape it is easy to find in your purse or makeup bag. I also love that Petroleum and Paraben free.

eos Visibly Soft Lip Balm Sphere Coconut Milk

 

Happy Friday!

XOXO,

Cheri

 

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are 100% my own and I was not compensated in any way for this post.

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!!! I love that the 4th of July falls on a Saturday this year. A lot of people are off today (my husband included) so it makes for a nice 3 day weekend! That leads me to my first favorite….

The 4th of July!

Yes, this holiday is one of my favorites. I think that it comes down to the fact that I can get behind any holiday that people all out decorate for. If. You follow me on Instagram you probably saw this pic

4th of July Pic

Of course I also love that the holiday also revolves around the beach, food and spending time with friends and family! Most importantly I love that the 4th of July is all about this great country of ours!

 

PB Crave Cookie Nookie Peanut Butter

This stuff is pretty much like crack. We love Cookie Butter from Trader Joe’s, but because we don’t have a Trader Joe’s near us, we don’t get to indulge all that often. This stuff is somewhat similar in the idea, but tastes entirely different. While Cookie Butter has a gingerbread taste, Cookie Nookie has a peanut butter taste with hints of honey and cookie dough. Bonus points for being able to buy it at the grocery store!

 

This palm print trapeze dress!

Palm print trapeze dress - hula floral print

 

I picked this super cute dress up last night at the Gap. Everything int he store is 40% off! (AGAIN!) It’s nice and thin for summer and perfect for those hot humid days. I can’t wait to wear it!

Big Brother 

big-brother

Are you as obsessed with this show as I am? My mom is even more into than me, but I even went so far as to purchase the live feeds (yes!). I realize the once you watch the live feeds, the actual show is boring and old news. The plus side is that there is always something to watch! I can’t wait to see how this Summer unfolds.

I hope all of you have a happy 4th of July!

XOXO,

Cheri

 

An Update

You may notice that my blog looks different and all of my posts are gone. Well, I had some technical difficulties and learned a valuable lesson in backing up – which I did not do often enough! Long story short, I’m starting over. I have archived blog post prior to December, but nothing I have written this year.

I was devastated, but after I realized that there was nothing I could do, I’ve decided to take this as an opportunity to rebrand the blog. Look for new layout and all new posts.

Thanks for reading!

XOXO,

Cheri