February 2017 archive

Product Review // Erno Laszlo Sensitive Skin Cleansing Set

Screenshot 2017-02-23 10.30.45Prior to having Harper, I had oily skin. Aside from hormonal PMS breakouts, I didn’t have a major problem with acne and I definitely didn’t think I had super sensitive skin. Everything changed after giving birth. Nursing dried my skin out like crazy and all of those crazy baby hormones had me breaking out like a teenager again. This was all exacerbated by the fact that I was too tired and busy to take care of my skin the way I did before. In the last few months, however, I decided to change that. I now make sure to carve out time to take care of my skin (and hair) so I can feel better about my appearance. And that 15 minutes of alone time in my bathroom is essential to my sanity. I know that sounds weird, but I’m sure some of my fellow mamas can understand.

I said all of that to say that I’ve been testing a few new products to get my skin back on track and I’m excited to share my thoughts about them on the blog. The secret to being a product junkie without going completely broke is to buy gift sizes or travel sets of beauty products instead of splurging on the full sizes. Any time I want to try out a new product, especially a high end beauty product, I look for a small set. That way, I’m not spending a ton of money on a product that may or may not work and, if I end up loving the product, I can keep the small set to use for travel. That’s what I did with my newest cleanser: Erno Laszlo’s Sensitive Skin Cleansing Set.

I’ve heard fantastic things about Erno Laszlo’s Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar, but I wanted to start out with something a bit more simple. Nordstrom had four sets to choose from: detoxifying, sensitive, hydra-therapy, white marble and firmarine.  I chose the sensitive set because it claims to soothe and calm sensitive, tight or irritated skin and I am so happy with the results. After about a week of using it, my skin was completely clear. One morning, I used a different cleanser (by a brand that I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to now) and I noticed a breakout along the sides of my face that night. I went back to the sensitive skin cleansing set and it cleared up again within a day or two. Typically, as soon as I cleanse my face, my skin feels tight and dry until I put my moisturizer on. I don’t get that feeling at all with this product. I was worried that the cleansing bar would dry my skin out, but somehow my skin feels amazingly moisturized after using it.

Erno Laszlo recommends a double cleansing system. You start by massaging the oil onto a dry face. Then, you dampen the cleansing bar with water and use it to massage your face. Then rinse it all off with warm water. If I have a full face of makeup on, I’ll typically remove most of the makeup with a micellar water before cleansing. The Erno Laszlo products will get all of the makeup off without this step, but I just do it so that my bare skin can soak up more of the benefits of the cleanser. I follow the double cleansing method at night, but I use the cleansing oil by itself in the mornings to save time as I typically have a little person literally hanging from my legs in the mornings. Watch the video below for a quick demonstration.

Needless to say, I’m now a believer in Erno Laszlo products. I plan to purchase the full sizes of both of these products, as well as test out a few of the other small sets. At $28 each, I feel like they’re a steal for what you get. I also love the packaging. I don’t have to worry about getting soap residue or oil all over my sink or travel bag. Have you tried any of these products? Let me know your thoughts!


Celebrating Dr. Seuss at Target

Screenshot 2017-02-15 14.05.56We love Dr. Seuss in the Everett household! We’ve been reading the books to Harper ever since she came home from the hospital and I’ve even let her watch a couple of the movies. So I was super excited to see that Target is celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday this month. Right now, most of the Dr. Seuss books are on sale and they’re also having a buy 2, get 1 free sale on all children’s books. They’ve also partnered with OshKosh on a Dr. Seuss apparel line that is beyond adorable! Sam got Harper this bomber jacket for Valentine’s Day and then my mom got her the matching dress and now I want one of everything! I’ve rounded up my favorite items from the collection to share with you. Let me know what you think!


Luxe Beauty Products That Are Worth The Money

I’m a beauty product junkie. I spend far too much time (and money) reading beauty product reviews and trying new products. I’ve never been someone who wears makeup everyday, but I love to experiment with makeup. And I’m obsessed with skincare. I’ve tried a range of products from drugstore brands to high end and I have to be honest and say that I lean towards the high end range. I just find that, especially when it comes to skincare, you really do get what you pay for. And if you have temperamental or sensitive skin, it’s definitely worth spending a little more money to keep your skin in its best condition. Having said that, I don’t think every single item in your skincare or makeup routine has to be expensive. For example, I’m currently using Cetaphil  as a face moisturizer because it works for my skin no matter what phase it’s in. There are certain expensive items that I’ve purchased many times over because they’re just that good and I wanted to share them with you today. It’s Valentine’s Day so today is the perfect day to splurge on yourself a little bit!

La Mer Lip Balm // This lip balm is ridiculously expensive so I only buy it for myself once or twice a year, usually when I have a Nordstrom Note or some other gift card. Thankfully, it’s a big pot so it lasts for months. It is worth every penny in my opinion though. I’ve battled dry lips ever since I was a kid and this lip balm relieves dryness instantly. It is the most hydrating balm I’ve ever tried and I’ve tried hundreds.

Davines Love Shampoo and Conditioner // This shampoo and conditioner isn’t actually that expensive, but I consider it a luxe beauty product because you can’t buy it at a drugstore or Target. I love the entire Davines range, but I’ve been using this specific set for the last year because it’s formulated for coarse or frizzy hair. I also have a keratin treatment and this shampoo and conditioner is safe to use because it’s sulfate free.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair // If you only splurge on one item in your skincare routine, I think it should be a serum. A good serum can do wonders for your skin. This one has been out since the 80s and it’s still one of the best. This serum does a little bit of everything and, with regular use, will have your skin looking the best it has ever looked. Yes, it’s very expensive, but you literally only need a few drops to cover your entire face so it will last forever. Also, don’t let the name confuse you; you can use this serum day and night.

Chanel Le Volume De Chanel Mascara // I think Chanel does the best mascaras of any major luxury beauty brand. I have extremely sensitives eyes. I actually spent the week of my honeymoon with a swollen eyelid thanks to the lash glue I wore on my wedding day – such a sexy way to start off our marriage! I have never once gotten itchy or watery eyes from any Chanel mascara or eyeliner. I can’t say the same for YSL or Lancome unfortunately. This specific mascara is my favorite because it really does volumize your lashes. I can wear this without anything else and still feel confident that my eyes look pretty.

Slip Embroidered Silk Pillowcase // Ok, this one is a cheat because I haven’t actually purchased this product yet, but this is going to be my next treat to myself. I really wish I had this when Harper was a newborn and I smashed my head into my pillow every night without doing anything to my face or hair. This pillow, according to the company, is “specifically designed to reduce friction while you sleep – keeping your skin and hair protected and hydrated.” I know you can get a satin pillowcase from Sally’s Beauty Supply, but I’m super intrigued by this one so I’ll try it and report back!

What are your favorite luxe beauty products? 


#MomLife // 5 Tips For NICU Moms

Everett & Elizabeth // Tips for NICU MomsLast week, I shared my general tips for new moms. Today, I wanted to share some special tips for my fellow NICU moms. As many of you know, Harper was born six weeks premature and spent a week in the NICU before finally coming home with us. I know that we are extremely blessed that her stay was relatively short, but it was still the hardest week of my life. I had no idea that she would come early. I had no pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes or preeclampsia. My water just randomly broke the night after Christmas. Because of this, I wasn’t prepared at all and I had no idea what to expect after she was born. I hope first and foremost that none of you will ever have to experience preterm labor, but if you do, I hope that sharing the things that helped me the most during that time will help you to get through it if that day ever comes.

1. Take breaks. // You are going to want to spend every single minute in the NICU with your baby. But try to remember that you just gave birth. You need time to rest and recover. Spending every minute in the NICU might also be too much for your postpartum emotions. In the first few days after Harper was born, while I was still in the hospital, Sam spent more time in the NICU with Harper than I did. In fact, he changed her diaper and bottle fed her before I did. I spent the majority of my time in the hospital resting and pumping. When I was discharged, I would come to the hospital for her feedings. I would feed her, hold her and then head back home to get everything ready for when she was discharged. It was just too much for my emotions to stay there all day and I felt much better when I focused on her coming home.

2. Ask the nurses to teach you everything and then do as much as you can yourself. // I was very familiar with babies before Harper was born, but I had never seen or held one as small as she was. The first time I changed her diaper, I got so nervous and flustered (she was crying and my milk came in and I just panicked), that I had to ask the nurse to finish for me. I got help with feeding (both nursing and bottle feeding), burping, bathing, everything! But after I watched them do it once or twice, I did it myself the rest of the time. After a few days, I would come in, close the curtain around us, and pretend that it was just our little family in there. Nurses are so amazing, but you can’t take them home with you. You want to feel as confident as possible when you walk out of those hospital doors and the best way to do that is to get your practice in while you still have professionals around to help you and answer any questions you may have. (more…)


Highlights // 2.10.17

Everett and Elizabeth // Highlights 2.10.17It’s Friday and Harper’s face sums up how I feel about this weekend! Tonight, my parents are speaking at a marriage ministry event at our church. If you know my parents, you know it will be hilarious, but also extremely helpful. If you’re local (our church is in Chantilly, VA), join us! Then on Sunday, one of our dearest family friends is getting married. I love weddings in general, but they are extra special when the bride and/or groom is someone you adore. Bonus: Sam and I get two “date nights” in one weekend. That never happens anymore!

If you’re having a chill weekend and have time to browse the internet, here are some of my favorite links from the week: (more…)


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