Steph's Pick - Two Beauty Secrets

Jul 30, 2010

I feel like with that sort of title you're probably expecting me to come out and start selling you Mary Kay (I'm not being a hater of Mary Kay - I actually like it a lot - and LOVE a lot of people that sell or have sold Mary Kay - so don't hate - really). {big hoping I didn't make you mad smile}

In all seriousness, I've stumbled across two beauty secrets this past month and I've honestly wondered where these products have been my whole life. So it's now my mission to tell ya'll about them. So here goes nothing...

Yes - you read that right. And don't you dare start thinking you're better than this little gadget. I know every single woman out there reading has some unwanted facial hair that you just don't know what to do about. I know I did...

Until my dear friend Laura told me about her find at her local Walgreens for $10. I literally went out at bought it the next morning. It has changed my life. Take a lesson from me though: Don't get too carried away. This hair trimmer should go no where near your eye brows! 'nough said....


I'll be honest. I remember 10+ years ago trying liquid eyeliner at my grandmother's and had such a bad experience that I had no interest in trying it again. Until this past week... Boy have I been missing out!

I was encouraged to switch from pencil to liquid b/c of Nealy's post last month. I couldn't imagine it could be that much better. I mean, it's eyeliner, right?!!! WRONG! What's amazing about this eyeliner is that it doesn't smudge. Really! I've always been frustrated come the end of the day and my eye makeup had smudged all over my eyelids. Gone are those days!

I actually stumbled across an awesome $20 Stila MakeUp pack at Costco (love me some Costco) last week. Come to find out the items individually at Sephora would have cost me nearly $80!!! Now that's a good deal....


Happy {Hair & smudge-free} Trails to You!


Mommy SOS UPDATE: Switching to Milk

Jul 26, 2010

Thanks to everyone who gave their suggestions on my previous Mommy SOS post on how to switch Nora from formula/bottle to milk/sippy cup. Your insight was really helpful. It's so nice to be able to glean wisdom from other moms who have "been there."

So....because I know I'll totally forget how we did this I thought I'd document it so you all (and by "you all" I secretly include myself in that group of people) can come back to this post for my experience in written form. I've been amazed just how much I can forget. For example - my cousin who just had the most precious little baby boy was asking me what nursing pads I used and honestly I could not remember for the life of me. What I do
remember is asking a TON of people which one's they preferred at the time and really laboring over finding the "right" nursing pad :) raising a child changes your ability to remember anything.

I digress....

Switching to milk....

Once given the "green light" from our pediatrician to start Nora on whole milk I decided I'd substitute one bottle every other day for a sippy cup of warm (yes - Nora likes her milk warm
too Kristina!). She was taking 4 bottles/day at the time. It looked like this....

Day One and Two -
1st Feeding - Formula
2nd Feeding - Milk in Sippy
3rd Feeding - Formula
4th Feeding - Formula

Day Three and Four -
1st Feeding - Formula
2nd Feeding - Milk in Sippy
3rd Feeding - Milk in Sippy
4th Feeding - Formula

Day Five and Six -
1st Feeding - Milk in Sippy
2nd Feeding - Milk in Sippy
3rd Feeding - Milk in Sippy
4th Feeding - Formula

Day Seven -
1st Feeding - Milk in Sippy
2nd Feeding - Milk in Sippy
3rd Feeding - Milk in Sippy
4th Feeding - Milk in Sippy

After a transition week we're totally done with bottles and formula - yipee!!!! Oh - and BTW
- we're using Horizon Organic Whole Milk (for anyone who might be interested)

And a post just wouldn't be the same without a picture of this little one...


Steph's Pick - 1st Birthday Links

Jul 23, 2010

I know, I know...this week has been A LOT (maybe too much) about Nora's First Birthday Party. I fully realize that. If you haven't checked out the Overview, Invites or my downloads posts be sure to do so.

I've had some of you contact me for more info and so to please those of you who might ever be thinking about doing this theme for a party in the future I thought I'd highlight specifically where I found all of the things I used for the party. Sound good?

But first, here's a pic of the set-up.

Before I get started you must know that the key to an inexpensive party is to BORROW things from friends! So not all of these items were purchased (honestly - most of them weren't).

Alrighty - let's get started....

Turquoise Cake Stands - Costco

Turquoise Platters - Target $1 Section

Dark Pink Chargers - Crate and Barrel

Sign Stands - The Menu Shoppe

Trifle Bowls - Walmart

Beverage Containers - Costco (a MUST buy for anyone who loves parties - only $20!)

Syrup Containers - Walmart

Sundae Bowls - The Dollar Tree

White Platters - The Dollar Tree & Walmart (hint: it's always good to have white platters on hand - they've come in handy for EVERY party that I've planned in the past)

Paper Products - Party City


Paper Globes - DIY Tutorial on HELLOmynameisHeather

Only one more post about the party and I promise I'm done.... Up next: DIY Strawberry Ice Cream Topping Favors!!!


DIY Ice-Cream Parlour Downloads

Jul 21, 2010

As promised - here are the files for our DIY Ice-Cream Parlour Birthday party theme. Thanks again to Eat, Drink, Chic for the original files. After downloading hers I changed the colors up to match my color palette and either printed the files at home or sent them to Costco to be printed (those that were printed at Costco are noted below for all of you detail people)

So this was our Main Sign that I sent to Costco to print as a 20x30. I cut it out and taped it to the cupboards as seen in some of the pictures in the posts below.


the invites

Jul 20, 2010

Every good party starts with a fun invite (well - at least in my mind anyway). Here is the invite we sent out for Nora's Bday bash...designed by yours truly. (See my invitation design site - iDesign)

More party details to come.... I promise...


the First Birthday Party - A DIY Ice-Cream Parlour Theme

Jul 19, 2010

I'm sure this will come as no surprise but I spent nearly 4 months thinking through what Nora's First Birthday Party should look like. I scoured websites and blogs looking for the perfect theme.

You might think I went a little overboard in my planning but that's just how I am. If there was a party I could plan every month I'd totally do it! I just love it.

So when I stumbled upon this blog post by Eat Drink Chic I knew I'd found the perfect theme!! After determining a theme I just added my own little personal touch and poof - we had a pretty cute (and fairly inexpensive) birthday party!

Below you'll find a number of pictures from the party (not the best pics - sorry - I was a little distracted hosting). Throughout the week I'll be posting some of the down loadable files I created just in case you too want to put this theme to good use. (and if you do - let me know - I'd love to see pics!)

Here are our hosts for the party - Phil and Laura. We're so thankful they were willing to open up their home to 25 of our family and friends for Nora's party.

And here's our little family at the party... for those who are more interested in pictures of people than all of the party details :)

Be sure to check back later this week for more planning downloads...


Steph's Pick - Tommee Tippee

Jul 16, 2010

Ok - I'll be honest - I'm one of those US Moms who is a bit enamored by European baby products. So you can imagine my delight when I found out that Tommee Tippee, Britain's #1 brand of baby dinnerware, had finally arrived in the US! And they hadn't just come to designer boutiques on the east coast - they came to Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us!!! Yipee!!!

I was so excited to have another choice of BPA-free bottles and feeding products! I couldn't wait to get my hands on some of these products and try them out for myself.

Although I have yet to try all of the products - I (as in Nora) have tried the baby bowls, sippy cups and the Easi-Mat all of which are nicely designed (extra points!!), affordable (see sale info below) and practical! *** That's 3 stars all you mamas. I love this brand!

Find Tommee Tippee bottles, nipples, sippy cups and other feeding products at Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us. Plus - now through July 23rd you can buy any Explora item (cups and toddler feeding) and get the second 50% off at BRU!

Mamas and Mamas-to-be - get those credit cards out - Tommee Tippee items are a must buy!


Disclosure: As a reviewer for the Mom Bloggers Club I received free products from Tommee Tippee to review. I was not otherwise compensated for this review, and the opinions included are my own.


{a special birthday}

Jul 13, 2010

I Love You Through and Through
by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak

I love you through and through
I love your top side.
I love your bottom side.
I love your inside
and outside.
I love your happy side,
your sad side,
your silly side,
your mad side,
I love your fingers,
and toes,
your ears,
and nose.
I love your hair and eyes,
your giggles
and cries.
I love you running
and walking,
and talking.
I love you through and through...
yesterday, today, and tomorrow, too!

more to come from Nora's birthday bash (don't you worry!) -
but for now I'm off to bed (yawn)


Steph's Pick - Chic-fil-A

Jul 9, 2010

That's right - my pick of the week is Chic-fil-A - a fast food chain. I know that seems a little strange but let me explain...

First, they literally have the YUMMIEST chicken and lemonade! Really - go try it for yourself!

Second, they're closed on Sundays! What other fast food restaurant is closed on Sundays???!!! I love this about Chic-fil-A and their owners. Everyone needs rest, right?

And last (but certainly not least) who doesn't love their annual Cow Appreciation Day. Yes - that's right. Cow Appreciation Day. Essentially the gist of it is if you go to your local Chic-fil-a dressed like a cow you get a free meal. No questions asked. And if you're nervous you'll be the only one dressed like a cow - believe me - you won't be! :) It's becoming quite the popular activity.

We participated in our very first Cow Appreciation Day today and loved everything about it. Of course we dressed Nora in her cow costume (thanks Gma and Gpa T for the clearance Halloween costume - we knew it would come in handy!). We figure there are only so many years we can get away with this so why not start now ;)

To close this post out here's a little video we shot after returning home from Chic-fil-A...


Nora's One Year Photoshoot

Jul 7, 2010

As ya'll know - I'm a big fan of the Phoenix area photographer, Kimberly Bee (hey KB!). Remember this post? Or how about this post?

Well, Kimberly Bee has joined forces with another incredible local photographer, Kimberly Jarman. So - when it came time to get some new photos of Nora taken there was no doubt in my mind who I was going to contact...

Here's a little sneak peek into our session.. enjoy :)


Dancin' Nora

Jul 6, 2010

So I've been wanting to catch Nora "dancing" for quite some time but whenever I turn on the camera she's more interested in the camera itself than dancing. Grrr....

Well - I recently caught her in the act. I shot this little bit at Dunkin' Donuts this weekend. The video was taken on my phone (hence the poor quality) and I took it upside down (oops). For some reason when I used software to turn it around it seems to have sped up the speed. (haha)

So...without further ado... Dancin' Nora (High Speed)...


USA: Not so bad after all

Jul 4, 2010

I just came across a note on facebook that I thought I'd share. Thanks Bobby for reminding me of all of the incredible things the US has done for the world. And why it's great to celebrate that.

It seems it's become fashionable to trash talk the USA (even within Christian circles). No nation is not without its problems or exempt from embarrassing moments in history (none); yet, after objectively looking into it there are a few things that maybe you should know.

Since 1901, the USA provided three fourths of the known evangelical missionaries. In some ways this is remarkable for a country that only has 5% of the planet's population.

88% of the worlds Bibles are produced by American publishers, this includes the Bible in other languages.

Since 1945 about 65% of the capital that goes towards non-Christian charities and non-profits has been Founded and Funded by Americans.

Whenever there's a global tragedy, no matter where it is, Americans are often the first to respond with capital, resources, and volunteers. In fact about 1 out of 7 Americans who travel internationally, are traveling to participate in some form of missions or humanitarian aid.

Though often cited as a failed attempt, nevertheless, it was the USA that provided Billions of dollars in aid to fight drug trafficking in South America.

George Washington said, “no people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States”

God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever" - Thomas Jefferson

On September 4, 1864 Abraham Lincoln responded to Elizah P. Guerney, another Quaker, thanking her for her prayers and kind letter:

"The purposes of the Almighty are perfect, and must prevail, though we erring mortals may fail to accurately perceive them in advance. We hoped for a happy termination of this terrible war long before this; but God knows best, and has ruled otherwise. We shall yet acknowledge His wisdom, and our own error therein. Meanwhile we must work earnestly in the best lights He gives us, trusting that so working still conduces to the great ends He ordains. Surely He intends some great good to follow this mighty convulsion, which no mortal could make, and no mortal could stay."

Woodrow Wilson "the Bible is the supreme source of Revelation".

You'll probably never hear any of the above in the news but ... the USA has actually been a blessing in some very unknown/unpublished ways.


Steph's Pick -

Jul 2, 2010

As some of you know, I travel somewhat often. So trust me when I say that choosing a seat on a flight can make or break your travel experience with an airline. Legroom , seat width, overhead space or even seat recline is a real issue - well, at least for those who travel a lot!

SO, I present to you This website contains all the information needed to make the right seat selection. It has all the airlines, aircraft, and seat distribution combinations you can imagine.

Before booking a flight (assuming you're not flying Southwest) I always jump over to and consult their Seat Map Key - just to make sure I'm selecting the best possible seat.

Be sure to check this site out for your next trip!

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