Tuesday, February 17, 2015

She's Two

She's Two

Helen turned two on Friday! 



Here are a few facts about Helen at two years of age:

Favorite Foods: Bacon (additive free), blueberries and cream, olives, most fruits, peas, cod liver oil (yes, she actually likes it!), yogurt, butter, just about any meat, dried figs...and more! She loves food.
Favorite Books: The Knight and the Dragon, her Brambley Hedge books, I Am A Bunny, and anything to do with animals.
Favorite Television Shows: Peppa Pig and Winnie the Pooh are her all-time favorites. She also likes any YouTube videos about babies or monkeys, or (better yet) baby monkeys. Or babies swimming.
Favorite Toys: She LOVES teddy bears. If she finds one in someone else's house, she wants it. I bought a little plastic tea set for her recently, and she has gotten a lot of use out of it. She also likes her wooden blocks (for building towers to knock over) and her duplos. We bought her a baby doll with a little stroller for her birthday and she adores it.
Chores: She's pretty good about picking up her toys when I ask her. She likes to unload the plastic dishes from the dishwasher. I also have her help me put the clean clothes in the dryer and push the button (her favorite part).
Learning: She can sing most of her ABCs and counts to 11. She's pretty good at picking up the words to songs. She's starting to try to sing on tune. For some reason, she can't get her colors. I guess I just need to work with her more. She has started to get into imaginary play, which is really fun.
Social: If Helen is eating and another kid is around, she wants them to share her food. But when it comes to toys, it's a different story. She is very territorial. We need to work on that. If another little kid is (in her estimation) getting too much attention, she'll make random loud noised to divert the attention to herself. She also does this if Reuben and I hug too long.
Potty Training: I'm pretty sure Helen is capable of being potty trained, it's just a matter of buckling down and doing it. We tried it for half a day and she did very well.
Sleep: Helen still takes one nap in the middle of the day. I have her take a nap 4 hours after she wakes in the morning, and she goes to bed 5 hours after her nap. Her nap is usually 1.5 - 2 hours long, and she usually sleeps about 12 hours at night.
Nursing: Helen is all done nursing now! It was a very gradual process without drama. I might have to do a separate post about it.


She's Two
[Dress and Cardigan: Carter's]

Funny/Cute Moments:

  • My pet name for Helen is Helen-Bear. When I ask her what her name is she says, "Helen-Bear Adelaide."
  • One morning I had my hair in a very ugly ponytail that I had slept on. Helen ran her fingers through the ends of it and said, "Pretty hair, Mommy!" Melted my heart.
  • After I finished frosting Helen's birthday cake she said, "Where'd the cake go?!"
  • When I asked her what her (homemade) birthday ice cream tasted like she replied, "Birthday Party."
  • The other day she was talking about Reuben's beard. Then she said, "Mommy's beard!" Reuben asked, "Does Mommy have a beard?" Helen replied, "Mommy has chin!"


It's been grand watching this little stinker growing up. I can't wait to see what new thing she learns and what funny thing she says next.


NOTE: Some links are affiliate. All words and opinions are my own.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

My Tarte Makeup Collection/Mini Reviews and Swatches

My Tarte Makeup Collection

First off, my apologies for being gone for over a month. I have been trying to grow my cooking blog, and I also posted my first ever sponsored post over there! I also managed to hurt my wrist AGAIN. So what with cooking, visiting the chiropractor, planning Helen's birthday party, taking photos for relatives, visiting with relatives, getting sick, getting the winter blues...I haven't had the energy to post here. But I hope to do better in the coming months!

On a related note, I've been considering what direction I want to take Simple Days. My interests have expanded in the fashion/beauty world, and I'd really like to share about it more regularly. It would be in the realm of outfits of the day, makeup tutorials/reviews, and hair tutorials. I would, of course, still include posts about our everyday life. Thoughts? Sound off in the comments about what posts you most like to see here.


BUT ABOUT MY TARTE COLLECTION:

Over the past 2-3 years, I have collected various Tarte makeup products. Nearly all of the items were either on sale or gifts. You see, Tarte is a high-end natural makeup company. Their products are wonderful, but on the pricey side. 

I'll talk you through how I came by each item and give a little review:


My Tarte Makeup Collection
My Tarte Makeup Collection

BRUSHES:

A few years ago I purchased a couple of Tarte kits from HauteLook for Christmas presents for my and Reuben's sisters. I didn't think they would be interested in these brushes, so I kept them (Muahaha). They are double ended. 

I LOVE the angled/spoolie brush (similar HERE). It's perfect for doing my eyebrows. At first I thought the bristles were too hard on the angled end, but it's just right for applying the brow mousse (see next photo).

The smudge/liner brush is fine, but it isn't stellar. I wouldn't pay big bucks for it.

My Tarte Makeup Collection

CREAM PRODUCTS

The plum eyeliner and brow mousse came in the same sets from Haute Look. I purchased the pink cream eyeshadow from the Tarte website when they were having a huge sale + free shipping. 

The gel eyeliner (shade "Blackened Plum") is a lovely color and it doesn't smudge easily. I don't get a large amount of use out of it simply because I prefer a brown liner on a day-to-day basis.

The pink cream eyshadow is one of my favorite makeup products of all time. It's a lovely, flattering, rosy, shimmery shade. It's not too pink so as to make your eyes look tired and red. I'm so bummed that the color is no longer available. I'll probably cry when I run out.

The brow mousse is da' bomb! I have it in the shade medium brown. It's not too red/orange. It looks very natural and matches my brows quite well. And I think it even helps to keep my hairs in place!


My Tarte Makeup Collection

Here are the swatches of the cream products: [left to right] brow mousse, eyeliner, and eyeshadow.


My Tarte Makeup Collection
My Tarte Makeup Collection

PALETTES

I own two Tarte palettes. The larger face and eye palette (the Rainforest After Dark Palette) was a Christmas gift from my sister this year. The smaller eyeshadow palette was purchased at the same time I got the kits from HauteLook - I don't think it's available anymore.


My Tarte Makeup Collection

I love both of these palettes. The Rainforest After Dark Palette has everything I need for eyeshadow, blush, bronzer and highlighter. It's an awesome travel palette. The bronzer isn't too orange and it blends nicely. The blush is a lovely, natural rosy color. The highlighter gives you a nice glow without being glittery. All of the eyeshadows are soft and blend nicely. I am so pleased with the entire palette.


My Tarte Makeup Collection

This is a nice little palette as well. You could really get by with just these three shades for everyday eye looks. I use the light peach shade to set my undereye concealer as well. I actually hit pan a few days after I took this photo. I think it's the first makeup product I've ever hit pan on.


My Tarte Makeup Collection
My Tarte Makeup Collection

POWDERS

For individual powders, I have the travel size of the Amazonian Clay Blush in Dollface and a sample size of the pressed mineral powder (exact product no longer available). 

The blush I bought on ebay for $10. It has lasted quite a while. I like the shade, but it tends to accentuate the redness on my cheeks. It's really pigmented, so I have to use a light hand when applying. 

The setting powder is nice, nothing stellar. I prefer the eyeshadow shown above for setting my undereye area.


My Tarte Makeup Collection


MASCARA

I have the full-size Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara and a travel size of the Gifted mascara. The LCL mascara was a Christmas gift, and the Gifted mascara was a free sample with purchase.


I really like how the LCL mascara makes my lashes look - bold without looking fake. It does flake a bit on me. And this tube is expired, so I'll have to let it go. *sniff sniff*

The Gifted mascara is very nice. It's quite natural and separates my lashes. I does tend to smudge a bit, but nothing major.

I want to get my hands on Tarte's waterproof mascara next...


My Tarte Makeup Collection

FACE AND LIP PRODUCTS

When Tarte was having a sale on HauteLook, I snagged the Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer (in shade fair, now called ivory). I was a bit iffy about this product when I first tried it. It didn't seem to give me any coverage at all and didn't sit well on my skin. After trying different methods of applying it, I now really enjoy it. I find it works best to use my fingers or a sponge. It is perhaps a bit warm and dark for my winter skin, but only slightly.

The Maracuja Creaseless Concealer (shade fair, a Christmas gift) is simply amazing. I love it for under my eyes or on blemishes. This one took a while for me to fall in love with as well. I find that patting it onto my dark circles with my finger works best. And I like to set it. Let's face it - if you have creasey eyes, concealer is just going to crease. 

The Maracuja Bronzing Serum (travel size) was a Christmas gift as well. I have yet to try this out since I want to be tanning the rest of my body while I use it.

Last (and certainly not least) I have the Tarte Butter Lipstick in Angelic Nude. It is such a lovely, light color (see swatch below). This will be wonderful for spring and summer. It's also handy to lighten up a lipstick that's a bit too dark. It has a nice minty smell. And the packaging is just adorable. 



Amazonian Butter Lipstick in Angelic Nude

Anyhow, now you know how obsessed interested I am in makeup.

What are your favorite (can't-live-without) makeup/beauty products?

NOTE: Some links are affiliate. All words and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Best Face Photo of 2014

Fall Photos

It's always difficult, when I'm browsing through my photos from the past year, to settle on one as my favorite. There are so many moments that I love. 

But little Sue's face just melts my heart in this photo.

Make sure you stop by I Heart Faces to see more of the entries for Best Face Photo of 2014.


Friday, January 2, 2015

Helen's New Hat

Helen's New Hat
Helen's New Hat
Helen's New Hat
Helen's New Hat
Helen's New Hat
Helen's New Hat

A few weeks ago Reuben's sister asked if there was any yarn that I wanted to buy from KnitPicks since they were making an order. Since she twisted my arm, I guess I had to. ;)

I bought a lovely skein of alpaca-wool yarn (I haven't decided what I'll make with it yet), two balls of light brown wool for a teddy bear for Helen, and a ball of pink worsted weight wool for a hat for Helen.

It was a very quick and easy knit. I opted to make it a bit slouchier, and I think it looks very charming on her. I like the section of garter stitch - it gives the hat a bit of added interest.



Project Details:

Pattern: Barley by Tin Can Knits
Yarn: Wool of the Andes in Blossom Heather
Needles: US 7 and 8, 16-inch circular and US 8 double pointed needles
My Ravelry Project Page: HERE



What have you been crafting lately?



Thursday, December 18, 2014

DIY Chalkboard and Origami Wrapping Paper

DIY Chalkboard Wrapping Paper
Hello all. I know it's been a while (over a month - *gulp*) since I last wrote a blog post. I have been busy buying up the whole world (AKA shopping for Christmas).

Ever since I saw chalkboard wrapping paper on Pinterest I knew I needed some for myself. So when Terrain had an awesome Black Friday sale, or course I had to buy some of their black kraft wrapping paper. I believe they're sold out now, but you can still find it on Etsy HERE.

I used a white charcoal pencil to draw my designs. Here are a few of my favorites. Please don't make fun of my (horrid) wrapping skills.


DIY Chalkboard Wrapping Paper
I think I'm the most proud of this one. I used this chalkboard sign from Etsy as inspiration.


DIY Chalkboard Wrapping Paper
A tiny bow for out little niece Susan. Inspiration from this post by Going Home to Roost.


DIY Chalkboard Wrapping Paper
I made an origami box (more on that below) and used this free wreath printable as inspiration.


DIY Chalkboard Wrapping Paper
This is another one that I'm quite happy with. I used this photo from Pinterest as inspiration.


DIY Origami Gift Box
DIY Origami Gift Box
I couldn't find a box the proper size for a gift for my older sister, so I made an origami one. HERE is the tutorial I used. I used some wrapping paper that I had leftover from last year as the lid, and chalkboard paper as the bottom. It's a tiny bit lopsided, but I'm happy with the end result.


To sum up:

Buy the wrapping paper HERE.
Find the origami box tutorial HERE.
Use a charcoal pencil for drawing.
Search on Pinterest for design inspiration.


What are YOU doing for gift wrap this year?


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Little Frog in the Snow

Little Frog in the Snow
Little Frog in the Snow
Little Frog in the Snow
Little Frog in the Snow

Helen's Coat: Gymboree via thredUP | Same on ebay HERE, HERE, HERE
Helen's Boots: Janie and Jack via thredUP | Similar
Helen's Cowl: Made by me | Free Pattern

A couple weeks ago we had a lovely snowfall. I bundled Helen up and sent her outside to experience it.

It was funny how perplexed she seemed. She held out her little hand to feel the flakes.

That first batch of snow melted, but we had another this week. When Helen saw it out the window, she said, "Fall." I think she knows that snow falls from the sky because of a little bunny book that we've been reading since her first birthday.


Snowy Sunrise

And now I wonder if the snow is here to stay. The forecast shows no sign of temperatures above freezing any time soon. I'm happy that we have the snow - better that it's cold and pretty than cold and ugly brown. But the extra wetness makes it harder to keep our floor clean. I think I need a bigger rug.


Note: some links are affiliate. All opinions are my own.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Kids' Fall Photos

Fall Photos
Fall Photos
Fall Photos
Fall Photos
Fall Photos
Fall Photos
Fall Photos
Fall Photos

I tell ya', my sister makes the cutest kids. No bias or anything.

Back in September I decided it was necessary to document all this adorableness. I used school photos as an excuse.

Besides Judah insisting on making weird faces (why do little boys think this is the most hilarious thing ever?), it was super easy to get some good shots of these photogenic kids. Now, group shots are a different story...


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