Valentine’s Day in the Snow

cute bernese mountain dog dancing about the snow

I’ll probably remember this Valentine’s Day more than any (except our first) in the past 7, because the snow reminded me of two things:

1. Our First Valentine’s Day together. Snowfalls like the following are rare in Pennsylvania (too bad for us).  This Valentine’s Day and our first are the only ones I can remember having a beautiful snowfall like this. Who needs money? We took the day off and relaxed.

2. Wisconsin. Where I spent many happy childhood years.

I felt like I had come home.

(Come to think about it, last year was pretty incredible, too. But for different reasons. And Nate worked all day that day. But when you’re married to a guy like Nate, every Valentine’s Day is pretty romantic. Take a look at last year’s Valentine’s Day.)

Nate built two snow forts.

valentine's day in the snow

He thought a snow angel in 2 feet of dense snow was a good idea.

valentine's day snow angels DSC_0152 (1024x683) DSC_0158 (1024x683) DSC_0159 (1024x683) DSC_0160 (1024x683)

Snow spaceman.

DSC_0161 (1024x683)

Nate wasn’t the only one happy about the snow.

jumping for joy

What kind of animal is that?

rabid bernese mountain dog

Is it an angry Bernese Mountain Dog?

rabid i mean happy bernese mountain dog

No, she’s just very happy. She likes to do the jitterbug. Or some kind of dance.

cute bernese mountain dog dancing about the snow

cute bernese mountain dog happy about the snow

Me and my Valentine:

valentine's day in the snow

That is some determined running.

bernese mountain dog enjoying the snow

We drove around Harrisburg, where Nate snapped these pictures of the bridge and capitol.

DSC_0222 (1024x683) DSC_0198 (1024x683) harrisburg pennsylvania bridge harrisburg pennsylvania bridge

We went out for dinner.

valentines day couple

This is the drive on the way back.

Harrisburg Pennsylvania at night

This was my Valentine’s Day Breakfast Makeup and Hair, which could work for any other occasion as well. Loving the L’Oreal Collagen Volume x12 and the Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation (that stuff is awesome).

valentine's day makeup and hair

I got my eyebrows done just in time for Valentine’s Day, and does it ever make a difference. (Thanks Jessamy of Polished Salon and Day Spa, for understanding my arch!)

Happy Valentine’s Day! What did you do for Valentine’s Day? I’d LOVE to hear about it! 🙂

The Mascara Files: NYC BIG AND BOLD

I like the fun packaging.


Here’s a closeup before and after.

nyc big and bold mascara before and after

Overall picture. Ignore my crazy hair – I have no idea what I’m doing with it. It’s at a very awkward stage.

No mascara.

with no mascara

NYC Big and Bold:

with nyc big and bold

This massive brush and thick formula can have a tendency to get clumpy if you second-coat, which I did. I’ll know better next time. The first coat was prettier and if I manage to snap another picture, I’ll put it in here.

Does it volumize: Yes.

Does it curl? I would say yes.

Does it smudge and bleed? No in my experience. Here’s a picture of me with tears brimming out of my eyes and no smearing (just that one tiny little black flake). I didn’t ask someone to make me cry for the picture below. But the timing was good. So I asked Nate to snap a quick picture for the blog. He’s used to my weirdness.

mascara with that doesn't bleed when you cry


Monday Morning Makeup Inspiration – Any Occasion Confidence

monday-morning-makeup-inspiration-pop-portfolio-resist-ultralight-serum-paulas-choice-barely-there-sheer-tint-sonia-kashuk-glisten-bronzer-blush-duo and real techniques brushes

Everybody needs a quick go-to makeup look that you throw on during hurried mornings, to get ready for meetings and lunch appointments, job interviews, weekend outings, whatever. I tend to always try to do something new which ends in more stress and time crunches, so this time I relied on color combinations I had used before and that I would know worked. The only new thing I tried was black eyeliner rather than brown, and it was a good trade. I liked the look so decided to share it with you.

Products Used, and these are some of my favorites:
pop portfolio palette from pop beauty ($26), NYX retractable pencil ($4.15), sonia kashuk magical mulberry ultra luxe lip gloss ($8.99), sonia kashuk blush bronzer duo glisten ($10.99?), wet ‘n wild mega length mascara ($3), paula’s choice ultra light antioxidant serum ($22.91 today on sale), paula’s choice barely there sheer tint moisturizer ($12 got it on sale), paula’s choice healthy finish pressed powder ($14.95), rimmel match perfection 2-in-1 concealer ($4.50).

Not bad, huh?

Last but not least, Jon Renau Julia. So that’s not really a product (well it is – but it’s kind of a daily thing), but I’m really excited I’m learning to style this thing and just in time for an important coffee meeting! It’s not perfect, but I’m so much closer to how it originally looked. I can always send it to Patti for a restyle, which I intend to do sometimes but definitely want to be able to style it myself, too. Compliments It’s the Small Things Blog for helping me figure out I only needed to curl the ends! This made a huge difference.

Brushes used:
Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, Real Techniques Powder Brush, Real Techniques Blusher Brush, Real Techniques Kabuki, Real Techniques Shading Brush (eyes), Real Techniques base shadow brush (eyes), Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush (for concealing), Real Techniques Pixel Point Brush.

Products used for look:

monday-morning-makeup-inspiration-pop-portfolio-resist-ultralight-serum-paulas-choice-barely-there-sheer-tint-sonia-kashuk-glisten-bronzer-blush-duo and real techniques brushes

Forgot the concealer in this picture – this is a must have for only $4.50!



1. After washing my face with Paula’s Choice Balancing Cleanser, I put Ultra Light Antioxidant Serum all over my skin including under my eyes. It’s a fantastic eye serum.

2. Then I applied Paula’s Choice Barely There Sheer Tint with the Expert Face Brush, not avoiding under my eye area. This means I don’t have to use under eye concealer, a life saver for me since my under eye skin is very thin.

3. Rimmel Match Perfection is a miracle worker of a concealer (see it in action here), and I applied it over all the spots on my forehead, around my nose, and just in the inner corners of my eyes using the Real Techniques Deluxe Crease brush. Pixiwoo taught me the trick of using the deluxe crease brush as a concealer.

4. Then I used the base shadow brush to apply a pale champagne shadow (one of my two favorite colors from Pop Portfolio by Pop) over my lids, only to the crease.

5. Then I used one of my two favorite crease brushes, the shading brush, to fill in just the outer corner with a pretty dark taupish brown color from the same shadow palette.

6. NYX retractable in Black went on the outer 3/4 of my top lid near the lash line, and on the outer 1/3 of my lower lash line.

7. Sonia Kashuk’s Glisten Duo works for any occasion and almost any other colors, and I dusted the blush side across my cheeks with the Real Techniques blusher brush. The Real Techniques Kabuki (open) provides a good shape for applying bronzer on the temples and contour of cheek.

8. Wet N Wild Mega Length Mascara is a fun budget lengthening mascara that doesn’t make up tear up!!

9. Aquaphor lip Repair went on my lips before Sonia Kashuk Ultra Luxe lip gloss coated them with Magical Mulberry.

10. And that’s the finished look inspired by my lunch meeting Wednesday!

Check out 2 minutes video to see makeup 7 hours later!

Things You Would Never Know by Reading Ingredients, aka Why I Love Paula Begoun

aveda mosscara


“Aveda Mascara:
Average Mosscara ($18) claims its conditioning formula is helped by the inclusion of Iceland moss, yet there is not enough moss in it to cover a twig, let alone condition lashes. This is an ordinary mascara formula that produces average length and minimal thickness, but it’s hardly exciting or worth considering over the best Maybelline or L’Oreal mascara.”

taken from Don’t Go To the Cosmetics Counter Without Me, by Paul Begoun

I’m an ingredient label reader, but there’s no way you could tell how much moss this Mosscara contains just by reading the ingredients, except in relation to other ingredients.

I bet Paula has saved a lot of women a lot of money over the years.

Moss on twig:

moss twig w

Twig on Moss:


Mosscara on model.


Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara

What a day brightener! I got the mail at lunch time and my Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara was all wrapped up in a bubble wrapper with MANY layers of bubble wrap. I’m sure it did not need quite so many.

You can see how amazing this mascara is – and though it retails for $19 I got it on ebay for $12.50 including shipping! 🙂 I love when that happens.

It’s long, it’s dramatic, it’s thickening, it’s really conditioning. You can see how dramatic and full and thick my lashes are. Rice bran wax, the second ingredient, is a really nourishing wax and nothing like the paraffin most drug store brands use (I try to avoid paraffin in any products – it’s suffocating). This is my favorite mascara to date and I will not be wasting money on anything else.

Then of course the fourth ingredient is olive oil – how much better can you get? Essential fatty acids, omega-3’s, what a treat for eyelashes! The EFA’s and Omega-3’s in olive oil have been recommended for hair loss, so it is going to be really good for your eyelashes!

Again the “good for you ingredients” are really high on the list! Other good things are panthenol, a B-vitamin, and vitamin C.

As always, Tarte products are formulated without parabens, mineral oil, phthalathes, SLS, and synthetic fragrances.

And what a lovable container! Pretty and organic-looking, like Tarte’s brand.

Please please please have a Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale, Tarte! 🙂

Aqua, cyclopentasiloxane, oryza sativa (rice) bran wax, hydrogenated olive oil stearyl esters, stearic acid, cera carnauba/copernicia cerifera (carnauba) wax/cire de carnauba, alcohol, propylene glycol, triethanolamine, candelilla cera/euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax/cire de candelilla, acacia senegal gum, VP/VA copolymer, phenoxyethanol, polyvinyl alcohol, panthenol, aminomethyl propanediol, ascorbyl palmitate, ethylhexylglycerin, kaolin, iron oxides (CI 77499). Made in Italy.

Buy at Ulta,,,