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2016 BLUSH HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

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IT’S HERE!!!

Today we cover some AMAZING gift ideas at unbeatable prices. I would consider this a gift that I have, finding these deals and steals. Originally I had planned not to include anything outside of makeup but then I realized that as a mother/daughter/sister/friend, we ALL need ideas for gift giving!

I shall step up to the plate and offer my sacrifice…

Here we go!

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1.) Brushed Metal Cake Stand, H&M $17.99

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A few ideas with this one: it makes a great hostess gift (especially if you add yummy treats on top), it can hold a small vase of flowers along with making a great table setting, it’s great to keep next your sink to hold your soap bottles…

I also love the idea of this as a gift for a mom (from siblings) with a few new perfume bottles on top & and don’t forget a pretty bow!

2.) Clarisonic (Mia 1) $109 with Coupon Code

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I cannot say enough great things about my Clarisonic face brush. Hands down nothing compares to how well it cleans your face and how soft it makes your skin feel. I was able to find an amazing discount code from Clarisonic’s website. Just enter the code “SHOPANDSAVE” at your checkout and receive $20 off! That beats any other online deal!

3.) Sonia Kashuk Lipliners $7.99 at Target

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I’ve blogged about these liners before and also here, and the fact that they are only $8 each (and carry an amazing color selection) means that you should have at least 2 or 3 on hand. Also great for stocking stuffers and girlfriends! The SK liners are also a great option for your wedding day!

4.) Honest Beauty Creme Blush $22

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Between this and the Tarte BB Tinted Primer I recently blogged about, I would say these are the top 2 best makeup products I’ve EVER used. The finish that this creme blush gives is second to none. It’s the best way to keep your skin looking hydrated in the winter months and it gives a beatuiful glow in the summer months as well. I love this color shown above “Truly Thrilling” for this winter season as well as the “Truly Exciting” shade.

5.) “All Nighter” ColourPop Eyeshadow Foursome $18

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Can we just take a moment for the simple fact that a regular-sized Urban Decay single eyeshadow retails for $18 at Sephora? And this ENTIRE SET is $18!! Ahh!! These colors are gorge-us and they have pigment like nobody’s business. My favorite way to wear these are wet and while doing so they take on a 2D effect. These shadows look best on the lid with a matte shade in the crease and they also work great as a bottom eyeliner. Best part? They’re all neutral and you can combine them with any other shades you already have at home!

6.) “The Good Times” Ultra Matte Lip Kit by ColourPop $18

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Quite honestly I don’t get it. I don’t understand how ColourPop puts out amazing products at such low prices. FIVE lipsticks for $18? Is it because they know we’ll be buyers for life and never buy another brand again?

I picked this set because you get a good variety of everything, a merlot, a poppy red, a dusty rose, a cool toned pink and a flattering nude. And I think any of these shades would pair perfectly with the eyeshadows and blush above!

I also love how CP always includes 3 different shaded skin tone swatches next to their products. This helps show how the color will “fall” on our own skin tones…

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7.) Penn Light 1 Globe Mini Pendant $79.20

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Obsessed doesn’t even begin to cover it with lights like these. I could probably put one of these guys in every single room in my house and it would just “work.”

I love it for a little boy or girl’s room and I also love it for kitchen lighting. It would look adorable with 2 or 3 in a row above an island or above your kitchen sink! See also: bathrooms.

8.) Viv + Rae Lily Cloudy Rug, $85 and up

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Ok so I just love this rug for a playroom. To me it embodies the magic of kids and it helps entice daydreaming. And you’ll be happy to hear it also comes in pink for us girlie girls!

9.) Star-Patterened Throw $24.99, H&M

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A few ideas for this blankie: it makes a great newborn gift (who says you can’t pre-buy?), it would look adorable hanging over a bench in the mudroom or, you can include it in the Christmas Eve pajama present for your kids along with a good book or movie to use it with.

10.) Pottery Barn Silver German Glitter Letter Ornaments, $2

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Man-oh-man are these a great gift idea! PERFECT for teachers or that someone who is hard to buy for. They look great on the tree and they also look magical hanging over your mantle. You can also use them to spell out a special word if you wish. Here is another initial ornament that’s similar as well…

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11.) “Bambi” Choker $33.50 @ Nordstrom

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If we’re going 90’s style it better be in solid gold. Case in point, this metallic choker. It’s neutral, it goes with everything and it’s a more stylish version of the ones you’ve already seen.

12.) H&M V-Neck Camisole Top, $12.99

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I think I need about 12 of these, for $13 bucks are you kidding me?? I love it for work (you better believe I’ll be sporting this in the facial room) and I love it for play of course. It’s great for date night and the shine makes it holiday appropriate…which brings me to gift #13.

13.) Leith Floppy Felt Hat, $12.98 (50% off) @ Nordstrom’s

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I got this hat for my birthday and have no fear, it’s as fabulous as it looks. At first I didn’t realize how stylish I would feel until I actually put it on and realized that I needed a better coat to accentuate it. Don’t you worry, I pulled through and found the CUTEST coats for it…

14.) Free People Midnight Bomber Jacket, $54.60

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At first I thought, “that gray hat has to be worn with a trenchcoat.” And then I nixed that idea because it was too predictable, I needed something a little more modern than that. I was lucky enough to stumble upon this bomber jacket and the fact that it comes in 3 colors!

I love all the colors but I think the red paired with the gray hat is very “Christmasy” but in a good way. Red is so festive and the gray hat keeps it toned down.

15.) H&M Mauve Faux Fur Jacket, $49.90

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I have to admit, I also love the idea of wearing that gray hat with this adorable dusted rose faux fur jacket. This would look so, SO cute with the previous metallic v-neck cami and gold choker! I’m daydreaming about it now…#addtocart.

16.) ASOS Chiffon Satin Pajama Set, $28

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Last but not least…

Listen, when I turned 30 (yesterday, literally) one of the first thoughts that honestly came to mind was how I needed a few pairs of nice satin pajamas and let me tell you why:

Nice pajamas make you feel extravagant, they are cozy, they help create a beautiful 24/7 wardrobe, they look beautiful no matter where they reside – in a closet or on a hanger, they hold value in that you strive for quality in all areas of your life.

How many of you watch a good movie with someone beautiful like Michelle Pfeiffer in it, and do you notice what she wears to bed? Sorry but it’s not your 2007 Turkey Trot 5K t-shirt. It’s often something in silk or chiffon and it assists in creating a relaxed and serene atmosphere before you fall asleep. These soft colors and silky fabrics help relax your mind and promote your way to more rejuvenating rest…and what’s better than rejuvenating rest?

All these gifts.

Just kidding.

Happy Shopping…


I hope you enjoyed this 2016 gift guide and comment below on what you plan to purchase for yourself or loved ones!

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Once Upon A Lip Balm…

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Every girl dreams of finding her one true love…

You all know what I’m talking about…

Not Prince Charming…

Lip Balm.

Today I want to share an amazing balm for keeping your lips soft but also recommending a DIY lip exfoliator because you can’t have one without the, oooother.  (Please tell me you get that reference.)

First, you have to exfoliate.  Everyone has their own routine but I would suggest exfoliating 2-3 times a week.  Keep it in your shower or next to your toothbrush.  It is important to remove the dry flakiness as much as possible for your lip balm to penetrate.  No need to get fancy with it, you can just use a homemade mixture of brown sugar, honey and olive oil.  Use a very minimal amount of the liquid to keep the paste more granular.  Buffing this on and around your mouth will do more for your lips than you realize.  Originally I wanted to include a link to an “all-natural” lip scrub but I couldn’t find one that was completely chemical free.  Let me be honest, you don’t want your lip scrubs to have chemicals such as glycol, alcohols, or polymers.  My eyes got as big as Lawanda’s from Problem Child 2 when I realized that polymers are a derivative of PLASTIC.  This will do nothing to help your lips, it will in fact dry them out even more.

Next comes Prince Charming…the love of my life and what keeps my lips protected from dry cold wind.  I’ve been applying it every day as much as possible (1-3x a day and at night) and noticing a real difference.  The balm is called Dr. Dan’s CortiBalm and it actually contains 1% Hydrocortisone. This is the magical ingredient that keeps your lips protected and creates a barrier between wind and extreme cold/hot air while helping heal inflammation.  Their website even contains a comparative chart against leading other brands and reveals their minimal ingredient list, a must for people who are conscious of what they put into their body!

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The lip balm was originally designed for patients suffering from extremely dry lips due to chemical peels, acne treatments like Accutane and other medications.  The hydrocortisone also helps reduce inflammation caused from cold sores – something I have yet to find for cold sore sufferers.  Prescription strength? Yes please!

Comment below and tell us your current favorite lip balm!

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October Special :: The Pumpkin Facial

Happy Monday Y’all!

The PF is back and better than ever!  Be sure to book your appointment this month and receive $5 off ANY SERVICE when you bring in 2 items for Tonganoxie School District’s “BACKPACK BUDDIES” program.

BACKPACK BUDDIES is a wonderful program that helps replenish needed items for students including food and toiletries.  Read the list below to see what you can donate and bring it in the day of your appointment to receive your discount!

Let’s keep these kid’s hearts and bellies full this Fall!  Can you help us achieve that?

Needed items: 

Full-size toothpaste, toothbrushes, bath soap, toilet tissue and other necessary household items (maybe dish soap, laundry detergent, deodorant).  Fruit cups, snacks like Cheese-Its, pretzels, trail mix, individually wrapped granola and snack bars, and juice boxes.

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Makeup Minimalist

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“The best way to enjoy your favorite things every day is to only own your favorite things.”

When I became a mom, my normal everyday routine got flipped upside down in those first few months of newborn life.  Suddenly, everyday beauty rituals became obsolete and I distinctly remember asking my husband (while halfway crying) how moms ever have time to curl their hair in the morning.  Why did I ask my husband that?  As if he could ever answer the question! Sneaky, sneaky you are post-partum hormones…

Since then I have streamlined my hair and makeup routine and I have gotten rid of anything I don’t use on a daily basis.  Friends, this is huge coming from a MAKEUP ARTIST.  I have so many beauty products it’s ridiculous.  But I slowly learned that if I only had what I truly needed and loved that getting ready in the morning could be enjoyable if not, delightful.

Today I want to reveal how I was able to minimize my routine but also keep what I had around me beautiful and purposeful…

DECLUTTER

There is no magical formula for streamlining your beauty items because everyone is different in how they do their makeup but I do have a few suggestions.  Adopt a one item in, one item out mindset.  Stick to the basics and keep one of each: face primer, foundation, foundation powder/setting powder, blush, bronzer, eyeshadow primer, one eyeshadow palette, one brown eyeliner, lash curler and mascara. You should also have a lip color that you love and goes with anything.

Click here to read a post on my favorite everyday lip glosses, this will give you a good idea of what colors to look for.

CLEAN

Next, clean out your makeup bag or the area where you apply your makeup.  Alcohol your eyeliners and lip liners and sharpen them before putting them back into their homes.  Clean the edges, lids and mirrors of compacts and palettes with a baby wipe.  Items should be easy to spot and not look cluttered as a whole.  I adore these darling glass + gold trays from Target. They allow your makeup items to lay flat while making them easy to spot. Bonus points: these trays are on sale and would makeup a fabulous Christmas gift for someone!

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REFRESH

Next, clean and organize the top of your makeup vanity.  I prefer to have close to nothing on top of the table I do my makeup on.  It’s so incredibly refreshing to wake up and start your day with a blank slate.  While searching for makeup vanity inspiration I found an underlying component in all of the pictures that I loved, fresh flowers.  

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Fresh flowers make any bathroom look expensive, no matter how small or big your room is.  It’s one of the cheapest things you can do to make your space look elegant but also clean and inviting.

SANITIZE

I’ve recently been using the Honest Company Lavender Hand Sanitizing Spray and I plan to purchase a second one for my makeup bag.  I think it’s a genius idea considering that cold and flu season is upon us.  How perfect would this be to use right before you begin makeup in the morning to prevent germs from spreading?  Also, can you tell that I’m married to a nurse? 😉

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REBUILD

Last but not least, decide on a brush set that you love.  Stick to coordinating colors and create a beautiful template with it.  I adore the Bold Metals Collection from Real Techniques because I am a huge neutral lover in general.  These brushes are so beautiful and would look stunning next to your newly cleaned makeup items.

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And for the record, how adorable is their new Miracle Diamond Sponge applicator?  This is art in itself!

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If money is tight but you feel the urge to live a fabulous life, buy 1-2 brushes at a time.  Another great option is Sephora because their brushes are always in stock and you can pick between all black or all silver.  OCD freaks UNITE!  And don’t forget to add brush cleaner too.  If you keep it near your brushes in an easy-to-see spot, you’ll clean your brushes MUCH more often.  I like Sonia Kashuk’s brush cleaner because it’s gentle and smells like lavender.

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What’s weird is when I started this journey of becoming a minimalist (don’t worry, it’s transferred into every area of my life), is that it happened unintentionally.  I was an overstressed mom who felt like she hardly had time for anything.  Flash forward a year later and I truly appreciate the things that I have, each and every single item.  Getting ready is a joy and I’ve found staple products that work well and look good on me.  You’ll be surprised at how different you feel once you clean out the unwanted and welcome the new.

And for the record, it’s much easier to straighten your hair as a new mom than it is to curl it. 😉

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I’m Sorry and You’re Welcome

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Ok friends, I owe you an apology….

We are halfway through summer and I’ve neglected to tell you about THE BEST haircare product you need in your beauty cabinet right now!

The It’s a 10 leave-in conditioner is the absolute best detangling product I’ve ever used.

It’s perfect for:

  • Blondes
  • Long hair
  • Thick hair
  • Coarse hair
  • Moms who have a hard time brushing out their daughter’s hair
  • After a long pool day when your hair is dry and impossible to brush out

It’s a 10 makes brushing out your hair so much easier and it avoids the ever dreaded snapping you risk when your hair isn’t well conditioned. It’s a 10 also makes a leave-in conditioner for blondes if your hair likes to turn brassy, a gift from Heaven I do believe.

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Another great recommendation I have: The Wet Brush 

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Pair this brush with your It’s a 10 detangler and life is 10x better with these two. The Wet Brush is only supposed to be used on wet hair but I also use it on my dry hair as well because it’s so soft! They make a few different sizes and colors with this brush and if you have kids, I would recommend buying one for each of their bathrooms.

You can purchase It’s a 10 at your local salon or online at Ulta.  Click here to shop!


Again, I’m sorry I didn’t think of this post sooner but you’re welcome for introducing it to you. It will change yo’ life!

 

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Every Home Needs This…

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Let’s cut to the chase – SPF is important, UBER important.  This post neglects to include the scary facts about skin cancer and damage because you should already know how dangerous it can be.  I am thrilled to share this product with you because it’s one of the best beauty products I’ve ever purchased.  Even though this spf is a spray, you still want to massage and warm it into the skin very well to make sure it applies evenly.  I wear this product every single day, whether I put makeup on or not.  I also apply it to my neck and chest because it absorbs so well and I want to keep those areas protected.

Here’s a quick breakdown of why I LOVE the Babyganics SPF 50 Spray:

  • Mineral-Based i.e.- extremely thin formula, doesn’t create white cast on skin
  • Specifically made for babies but it works well for any and everyone in the family
  • Thinnest forumula I’ve ever used – great for quick + easy application as well as hard to reach areas
  • Perfect for athletes – dissolves so easily into the skin during application, also easy to re-apply during the day due to it’s watery-thin texture
  • Perfect for working in the yard
  • Needs only 15 minutes to activate
  • No heavy spf smell
  • Can be applied over any skincare products included in your morning routine, just be sure to apply this last
  • Great price
  • No parabens or fragrance

Disclaimer – this post was in no way sponsored or endorsed.  I am extremely pleased with how well this products works for me and I am happy to share that information with my readers.

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Q&A Video Session Part 2

I’m back to answer more beauty + skincare questions!

In this video I cover my favorite brands for concealer, tinted moisturizer and sunscreen!

 

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Question and Answer Video Session

Let’s talk shop, shall we?

I am answering your beauty & skincare questions today & I broke it down to 3 videos because I LOVE talking about skincare and makeup!

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Coveting :: Why It Steals More Joy Than You Think

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These feet.  These tiny, perfect, happy little feet.  These feet belong to a boy who has my heart. I could not love this boy and his feet more if I tried.  The skin over his big right toe grows in just a little to the left.  He loves to eat his feet (especially during diaper changes) and he always loves to tap his heel onto my legs when I’m giving him a bottle, much like an old man would do in a rocking chair drinking sweet tea on his porch…

Why do I know every single detail of this boy’s life?  Because I’m his Mommy and because he was handpicked for me.  Because God always knows exactly what we need and who we need. This first year as a parent has taught me more in 8 months than what I’ve learned my entire life before I had him.  It’s astonishing to think that nothing will truly bring me more joy than being this boy’s Mama.  It’s astonishing to think that I will never be happier than I am right now.  Life is so perfect right now, not good, perfect.

So I was surprised this morning…surprised when I left Starbucks and I was in the middle of reading a pregnancy announcement on Instagram from a famous Mommy blogger when I began to feel a little jealous.  I don’t even know this person which makes this blogpost seem even more ridiculous. The post was from a Mom and she was announcing her 2nd pregnancy. And for half a second, I became envious.  I wanted that to be me.  A small wind of disappointment came over me because at that moment I wanted to be pregnant.  I know this sounds crazy.  How many moms of 8 month-old babies want a newborn?? But make no mistake, I LOVE babies and if I could have 10 right now I would.

So I ask myself that horrible, unwanted word…why?

Why would I ever want more than what I have right now?  Why would I want to change anything in my life when it’s perfect the way it is right now?

Because desire is a learned habit.  Because in our society, more is more.  Because if we have everything we need…what else is left?

I stop myself. I am angry at myself for wishing for anything other than what my son has already given me.  I make it a point in that present moment to be thankful for what I have.  My family and friends are all that I’ll ever need below God and I sure as heck don’t ever want my son to hear me say “I want more.” Because what does that say to him as a child?

 A.) I must not be good enough for Mommy and/or   B.) If she’s never happy, I’ll probably never be happy.

I vow to myself and my family that today, those words will never come out of my mouth.   

I saw a quote online this week and it said “If it doesn’t open it’s not your door.”  Wow.  Powerful stuff.  I so remember the days after my miscarriage when I cried and cried because I grieved the loss of that baby.   And one dear, sweet mother told me “I just think, if I wouldn’t have had that miscarriage then, I wouldn’t have the children that I do now.”  And that needs no explanation for parents of children.  After hearing that, I especially will tell you that I would go through a million miscarriages to get to the son that I have today.  And I wouldn’t question it for a second.

Sometimes road bumps lead us to bigger bridges.  Road construction means there’s something better up ahead, right?

The only thing we truly need in this life are friends and family.  They are the ones we laugh and cry and share our moments with.  They are the ones we create our irreplaceable, priceless memories with.   I challenge you today, to be content with what you have.  To do what you need to do to be happy.  To grab your life by the wheel and say, THIS IS ENOUGH.” Because you know what else is a learned habit?  Contentment.  And once we keep reminding ourselves that what we have is enough, eventually, it will be.

Possessions do not produce contentment, people do.

And tiny little happy feet. 🙂


To read about my miscarriage story, click here.

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Non-Toxic Nursery

NTNToday I am thrilled to share with you a sneak peek into my son’s nursery and show you the products that I feel safe using on him.  The snapshot from above was taken of Mr. Baby’s changing pad dresser and it’s where I keep my most-used products at.  It’s perfect for when I need to quickly grab them during a diaper change.  Here’s a breakdown of my must-haves!

1.) Babyganics Eczema Care Skin Protectant Cream $10.49 

Goodness gracious y’all, I LOVE this cream.  I use it every time I give my son a bath and use it to lock in moisture after the heat from the bathwater has stripped his skin.  Baby skin is sensitive and you have to be quick with replacing moisture loss.  I love this cream because it’s more hydrating than a lotion and the colloidal oatmeal relives any type of rash your baby has.  Let’s do our happy dance together because it’s also free of cortisones, steroids, parabens, fragrance, sulfates and pthalates!

2.) The Honest Company Soothing Bottom Wash $9.95 

I use this product for the obvious, when my son has a #2 diaper and needs a little extra “cleanup.”  I’m a bit of a germ/clean/neat freak and it puts me at ease knowing that this gives my baby a little extra cleanse and spares me the time of having to do a bath after a bad diaper. I also love to use it when he leaks outside of his diaper to clean areas like his stomach and legs (I’m sure I’ll be less OCD when my 2nd kid comes along.)  And of course, you can use it for when lunch and dinnertime get a little too messy.  This one is a lifesaver and it’s also available at Target if you don’t want to order from the Honest company website.

3.) The Honest Company Face and Body Lotion $9.95 

The only lotion I will use, other than the babyganics brand.  It’s a very thin texture and doesn’t contain harsh chemicals or artificial fragrance.  Great tip for sneaky moms – I also give this to my husband to use and I use it myself as well!  You don’t need to spend extra $ on expensive lotions marketed towards “adults,” it’s all the same and Honest is works just as great as any other brands.  I’m also a huge fan of their bodywash for bathtime!

4.) Purell Natural Hand Sanitizer $3.99

While I do love the Honest hand sanitizer, it can get a little pricey.  I love this as an alternative and use it after every diaper change.  It’s scented with essential oils and free of triclosan, parabens, and preservatives.

5.) Boudreaux’s Butt Paste $4.39 

Let’s be honest, this is the only diaper cream that works.  And it contains only FIVE ingredients which is nearly unheard of in the skincare world! No further explanation needed.


 

And can we sign off with these adorable diapers? I mean really, it doesn’t get any cuter than this! IMG_0712