Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Allergies...awful allergies

When the flowers start to bloom & people start cutting their grass, we all start getting goopey eyes, itchy noses, sneezing & congestion. We don't have MEGA allergies that knock us out but we do have enough that we need something to make it a bit more manageable.
 Josephine though has bad seasonal allergies. The purple under her eyes from severe congestion, sneezing, a dry cough.

We were excited & skeptical when we started trying the Allergy Trio combo. Lemon, Lavender, & Peppermint.
For us, we started using it in the capsule & took it with our morning vitamins.

We use size 00 capsules & 3 drops of each oil in the capsule.
Lavender is a natural anti-histamine & anti-inflammatory so helps with allergy symptoms & swelling from congestion.
Lemon personally helps us with the itchy sore throat that sinus drainage can cause.
Peppermint is analgesic (pain relief) & anti-inflammatory & relieves nasal congestion.
I also have made this trio mixed with grapeseed oil & have it in a roller bottle so that the kids can find some relief. I put it in the sinus area on the bottom of the feet. It is located under the toes across the foot.
It has REALLY helped Josephine & her congestion & the purple allergy shiners.

We also use these oils individually for allergy relief or cold relief.
Lavender down the bridge of your nose to relieve congestion & open up the nasal passages.
Lemon rubbed on the outside of your throat & down your lymph nodes to ease a sore scratchy throat or put in hot tea.
Peppermint on the temples & across the forehead to relieve headache pressure from congestion.

The next oil that has been just wonderful for Josephine's dry allergy cough is R.C.

When we first got our oils back in November, we ordered this bad boy b/c Josephine's allergy cough was getting out of control. It was so bad at night when she would lay down & the drainage would collect & she would just keep hacking her head off & puking b/c of it. We started with R.C. right away on her feet & in her sinus area really diluted. As the week went on, she was cough less & less during the day & then it started to get better at night. And after a week or so, it was gone. And it only comes back ever so slightly when we are around long haired dogs or cats. It blew our minds. We keep it on hand & in a roll on for her to take with her if she goes & stays with her aunts & uncles in case her allergies or cough flares up.

These 4 oils have been game changers for our family. Allergy relief & cough suppressing for the WIN!!

Shoot me an email if you have any questions about these oils or Essentials Oils in general!!!

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Becca Cosmetics- Brand Focused Review

It's no secret that when I find an product I love, I tend to drown myself in that brand.

This is one of those posts. My local JC Penny carries the Becca Cosmetics line. Lucky lady am I!
I'm gonna start off with complexion products, then move onto color & highlighters.
I first was introduced to their line with the Ever-Matte Primer.
When my skin was SUPER oily last summer, I was in LOVE with this stuff!
You have to shake it up before you depense a pea size amount on your finger tips. Then you rub it together to warm it up & then pat it into your areas of oiliness. Super amazing for absorbing oil & lasts really well throughout the day!

Their foundations are definitely some of my favorite high end foundations. 

 My first intro their foundations was the Matte Skin Shine Proof Foundations. This is the shade Buff. I am between Buff & Nude in the summer so I have to both so I can adjust it based on how much sun I get.

 As you can see, it's a thicker formula but not like a mousse. Just a nice thick cream. It does take some blending but I love using either my beauty blender or the Sigma F80 flat top kabuki to buff it out. It is a medium coverage natural matte finish. It really does control oil nicely & I never look greasy. Just a touch more dewy as the day goes on & I actually like that sometimes! I do blot a few times a day, but I always do! Especially in the Nashville heat & humidity. I really LOVE the finish of this!

Next is the Radiant Skin Foundation. I got this in the winter b/c my skin was wicked dehydrated & bc of that, it was acting oily but I couldn't use a mattifying foundation b/c it clug to my dry patches. This is the shade Shell, which is a great match for me in the Fall-Winter-First part of Spring.

 This has a demi-matte finish on my skin but gets more "radiant" as the day goes on b/c it doesn't control my oil. I will just set it with a matte powder & bring one along with me if I want a more glowy look from my foundation. Medium coverage. This one isn't as thick as the Matte Skin & has more slip. Love this one as well!!!

Finally, this foundation...ahhhh...The Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme. I am usually NOT a fan of the words FULL COVERAGE b/c my skin is clearing up nicely & I have very minimal redness & acne anymore with my diet & skin care changes, but who doesn't LOVE to look flawless on occasion but still have your skin look like YOUR SKIN?!

This formula is the thickest formula they have. The greatest thing about it is how LITTLE you need to use to cover your face. This is a full pump right here, but I use maybe 1/4-1/2 of that for my whole face for full coverage! This foundation is not like anything I've ever tried in terms of coverage. Here is the deal...this formula contains a balance of 21 percent pure pigment and 22 percent water, which work in synergy to completely conceal imperfections, redness, hyperpigmentation, and uneven texture in a weightless cream.
That is why you need the tiniest bit & get amazing coverage & finish from it!
It's a skin-like finish but has excellent oil control. I set it with powder as I do with all my foundations & it lasts ALL DAY. Seriously long wear!!! And it comes off so easily at night with my cleanser. No breakouts from clogged pores from a long wear foundation! When a foundation finish can look like REAL skin & not like a full coverage foundation, it's pretty amazing in my book! I love this foundation! It's easily making its way into my HG category! This is the shade Buff.

Next are their powders that I love!
Perfect Skin Mineral Powder is really lovely!! It can be applied with a dense brush, like the Sigma F80 for a powder foundation with great coverage & amazing skin like look or just to set your foundation without a matte finish. I love it! I have the shade sand & it's great for me for summer.

 Blot Powder is something I always keep in my purse. It's a translucent powder & it really takes away the shine & makes my makeup look fresh again. I can't use it in the winter b/c I tend to be drier in the winter but for Spring-Fall, it's my go-to!

Oh man... now onto their highlighters. I love their pressed shimmering skin perfectors!!! I own Opal & have just gotten Moonstone the other day. Here is opal.

It is the pretties shimmer beige-gold color!!! I love it so much! It's great for all seasons even for fair skin. It's just a bit darker than moonstone, which is a very light. Here is a swatch of them next to eachother on Karen's Blog. Her skin is darker than mine but Opal is on the left & Moonstone is on the right.

Now onto some color!
I love Becca blushes! I only own one right now, Damselfly. Wild Honey is next on my list!

 It's a gorgeous peach shimmery color that is just amazing! It's super pigmented but looks so soft & natural on the cheeks! It's a great pop of color for the fall/winter & a really beautiful glowy color for the spring & summer!

I love their Beach Tints too! I have grapefruit & dragon fruit.

Dragon Fruit (on the left) is a really beautiful poppy pink color that gives the cheeks & lips a flushed bitten look & it's stunning! Grapefruit is a softer color...so much like the inside of a grapefruit. They apply beautifully & I love dusting them with a bit of the shimmering skin perfector powder to finish them. These can also be used on the lips as well!

Becca Colour Gloss is my HG lip gloss...the colors are just lovely.
left to right: palm breeze, pink lotus, hummingbird, fallen angel

I think the hummingbird & pink lotus have been my staple every day lip colors this summer. But depending on my outfit, I'll go for Palm Breeze or Fallen Angel. I will also put these over a lip stick or lip crayon to some more color & gloss. Love them SO much!!

So that is my over view of all my Becca Cosmetics products!! I absolutely ADORE this company!! Their branding is so sleek & classy & the color are fresh & natural & the quality is amazing. Not one of their products has caused my super sensitive skin to breakout. Their foundation shades are by far the best I've ever experience. 
You can find all the products below!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

This is BIG. Real BIG. An UPDATE!

If you haven't read our journey into Young Living Essential Oils, now would be a good time to do so because this post is an update to that.
Long story story short, Josephine is going on her longest streak ever with no sickness. No cold. It's been since December & my post about killing our cold with Thieves since she's been sick.

5 months.
5 months.
Holy cow.
Last year, she was at the doctor I swear every 2 months with a cold that lasted for about 10 days. Amoxicillian was always prescribed & taken & then 2 months later, she was sick again. Sound familiar to any of you?
Sniffles & coughs that turned into high fevers & crying.
Sleepless nights with coughing.
All that.
Enter our Young Living Essential Oils into her almost daily routine.
We have incorporated Thieves into her daily routine. Especially if she is leaving the house. We have made a roll on with our grapeseed oil (carrier oil) & some Thieves drops that goes with us when we go out & she can also apply it herself with the roll on, which she really likes. It's easy to keep in my purse or the diaper bag. I swear this single oil has kept her from catching so many colds & viruses that have floating around.
And it smells like cinnamon, clove, & lemons. BONUS.

We put Purification in her diffuser at night a couple times a week to also clean the air that she is breathing in. I just had a couple drops in with her sleep oil at night. It also really helps with her congestion from her allergies.
If we ever go out & there seems to be some sickness present in the room or environment we are in, we definitely bust out our Thieves roll on & apply it to everyone's feet & run the diffuser with Thieves & Purification when we get home.

This is the longest amount of time ANYONE in our family has been NOT sick & especially Josephine. I mean... this is HUGE for her.
Along with the reflexology appointments she goes to monthly & the supplements she is on, these oils have been our health saver!
In fact, a few weeks ago, Josephine was having a slumber party with her Aunt Rachel. Rachel asked if Josephine could go to church with her Sunday. We have kept Josephine out of church since late last Summer b/c every time we would go, she would be sick a few days later. Well, we told Rachel to apply Thieves before & after they went & guess what....Josephine NEVER CAUGHT A COLD! First time in a LONG time that she went to church & DIDN'T come home with a cold!

If you have any questions about these oils, feel free to shoot me an email! We've had quite the success experience with them! You can find some info on how to get started with them here on my Premium Kit Intro post. These oils have become so much apart of our daily lives & the results have been astounding, especially with the health results we have seen in our daughter. It feels amazing to NOT be giving her antibiotics any more, no tylenol or ibuprofen, so cough medicine. No trips to the doctor.
We are excited about the freedom we have in our health now & that our daughter is BETTER...much BETTER!!

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Pureology Hair Care Review

If you get your hair colored professionally, you know that the products you use on your hair really make a difference in the appearance of your color & your hair's texture. When my hair wizard, Ray, & I decided we were gonna take me RED, he knew that I needed serious color care after getting all that black out of my hair & to keep up my copper red hair. He absolutely RAVED about Pureology. When he washed my hair after we added my fresh red color & he began to blow dry it, I could tell that the difference was gonna be amazing. Once I started feeling my hair after he was done, the smoothness & softness of my strands were nothing like I ever experience before. No lie. My hair is very coarse. Frizzy. Straw like. This was nuts. And the smell...oh my gah....the smell. Like so good. Like, between my hair & my essential oils I wear, there is NO reason to every use perfume again.
Here is some info on the brand.

Created especially for professional colourists and their clients, Pureology is a salon
haircare brand unlike any other. Our highly concentrated ZeroSulfate® shampoos and
the exclusive AntiFadeComplex® help colour-treated hair retain its fresh-from-the-salon
vibrancy with every use, while our 100% Vegan, Dual Benefit Formulas provide custom
care for every hair type.

So I took my Pureology collection home & started using it every time I washed my hair, which is like 2-3 times a week. 
I go in about every 4 weeks for my root touch up b/c my roots grow in gray. Like since I was 16. The biggest thing I noticed was my RED was still RED...it hadn't faded to brown. Sure, it was a bit lighter red...but still RED. Gorgeous color!!! And the health of my hair... I'm so in love with the smoothness & softness!
So the shampoo & conditioner...perfect!!!
Now, I knew I loved this as I started using it regularly. In fact, Im now on my second bottles but have tried the Smoothing Formula. Anyway, I knew I loved it so I thought I would try it on Josephine's hair. 
She has the most beautiful naturally loose curly hair. That is amazing but super hard to brush out after a bath b/c it tangles really easily even with a detangler spray. With the kids shampoo I was using on her, I used to have to chase her around the house & bribe her with TV time or candy to let me brush out her hair after a bath. And even then, she would whimper through it even with our Wet Brush. 
The first time I washed her hair with it, I could tell immediately as I was rinsing that this was going to be a game changer for our hair brushing war. I applied the conditioner to her hair & twisted it up in a clip & left it for a few mins while she played some more then rinsed. Holy smoothness. I was floored. She could actually tell when the hair was being rinsed & laid on her back that it felt different. And she LOVED the smell. She said, "Mommy, I smell just like YOU!"
Here was the real test. To brush out her hair. I kid you not, I took our Wet Brush to the ends, as usual, to start to detangle there & move up. I brushed 2 times through the section I was working with then was able to take the brush from the root to the end with no resistance!! I freaked out. Like...totally freaked out. I went around her head root to tip in 5 mins or less. And she didn't even say a word! The end results was just a good! Since she inherited my curls, she got a wee bit of my frizz too but with just this shampoo & conditioner, the frizz is almost completely non-existent!!! 
We have NO more brush wars!!! It's amazing!  

Now b/c I only wash my hair 2-3 times a week, I love me some dry shampoo. 

 I have dark hair so dry shampoo is usually not my friend b/c of the white residue it can leave when it sprays. This stuff is gold to me... NO WHITE RESIDUE!!!! And it smells just as good as the shampoo & conditioner. It's a super light weight dry shampoo so it doesn't feel heavy. It freshens the root & the smell freshens your hair as well. I love it!!

Hairspray...ya....it's amazing too! Nice hold. Lovely scent.
My favorite part about this brand is that I know it's NOT gonna mess with my color...it's actually gonna CARE for it while I use it.

Like I mentioned earlier, I'm using the Super Smooth line now since Ray got that in & b/c Spring/Summer bring out my frizz & so far, love it just as much!!
If you want to get your hand on some Pureology & try them, shoot Ray an email!!!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Our Oil Essentials

Been a bit MIA. Sorry about this. Life is busy...sigh... I wanted to share with you guys our "oil essentials" we've gathered up since beginning our Young Living Essential Oil Journey back in November.
There are 3 guides that have been the biggest help in guiding us through this oil world. There is SO much info out there on google, pinterest, websites...but you can't trust everything out there. These are 3 resources we trust with our family.

1. The Lemondropper Handbook - An amazing walk through the Young Living Premium Kit oils & a great NEW LEMONDROPPER reference around those kit oils!

2. Essential Oils Pocket Reference- I LOVE this thing! You can look up all the Young Living oils. It lists their origin, history, medical uses, application methods...And then you can cross reference ailments! Everything from major health issues like cancer to addictions to skin conditions, to emotional health...it's been awesome! It will give you oil suggestions on the ailments & a regimen & how to use them.
3. Gentle Babies- This has been great to reference for Josephine & Reuben & my sweet nephew. You basically look up ailments & it says what oils to use for mom, babies, & young children for the issue.

Also, being a LEMONDROPPER, we have an amazing facebook group that is chalk full of references & testimonials from other lemondroppers!
Here are some of our oil accessories.

This is how we store our carrier oil, grapeseed oil.
1. 2oz glass dropper bottle.
It makes it super easy for measuring our the carrier to make sure to dilute enough when we apply to the kids.

2. Roller Bottles
We have made some of our own mixes that are pre-diluted for the kids for quicker application & so that we can keep them with us when we are on the go. It's also a great way to get kids involved in the application process. Reuben & Josephine apply their favorite oils themselves when I give them a roller bottle. They love being involved. Some of our favorites are:
-Peace & Calming for when the kids are freaking out in the grocery store or at the grandparents house.
-Allergy Trio for when Josephine is playing outside a lot & gets super congested.
-Cedarwood for Josephine's focus & concentration
-RC for any allergy cough Josephine gets or when either of the kids have a cold
*I'm going to be making a headache one for us to keep on us when we are shooting weddings. We also LOVE our Deep Relief Roll On & our Valor Roll On that we ordered. We use Deep Relief for stiff necks & headaches as well so those will definitely be in our camera bags on weddings days.

3. Sample/Travel Bottles- 5/8 drams
I have a small key chain case that holds 8 of these that I keep in my purse that has peppermint, lavender & a few other oils that we always want with us when we are on the go. These are also what I share my oils in with friends who want to try some before the purchase the kit or individual oils.

4. Empty Capsules
Pardon the janky display, but this is just an empty allergy pill bottle of ours that we turned into our capsule bottle. Our kids take probiotics but we have to bust the powder out of the capsule & put it in jelly/applesauce for them to take it so we just keep the left over capsules & use those for our oils when we take them internally. You can order your own 00 size capsules here but this was the most efficient way for us right now since we have empty capsules at our disposal.
I have linked out to the sites that I have personally ordered these items from. I know you can probably get some of the bottles at local healthfood stores now too.
So these are our Oil Essentials!
Do you use anything else that you don't see here? Leave it in the comments if you do! I'd love to know what else is out there!