It’s a Boots Botanics Ionic Clay Mask #PowerofPlants kind of Friday night

So, things have changed. Friday night excitement now revolves around relaxing and putting the week behind me. Tonight I turned to the new Boots Botanics Ionic Clay Mask I recently received from Influenster to try out. Showered and then applied the dark green mask to my clean face. The best part was that the bathroom was still a bit steam room-like (I know, I know, I shouldn’t take such hot showers…) so my pores were super open when I put on the mask. I highly recommend trying that approach, or just using a warm washcloth on your face before applying the mask!

Anyway, after it dried (about 15 minutes) and I could feel my face tightening, I rinsed it off with warm water and then smoothed on my revitalizing face cream. My skin is baby soft and I feel renewed and refreshed. Might have to do this on Sunday night too, just to ensure I tackle the week with my best face forward!

J’adore my delightful Valentine’s Day Treat Box

It’s a couple weeks post-Valentine’s Day, but I was lucky enough to receive a delightful and complimentary “sweet” treat from Influenster to try out. (Want to be an “Influenster,” too? Let me know, I still have some invitations I can share!) It included so many great products, and I’ve been busily testing/trying them recently. Where do I start? I adore chocolate, so I’ll be honest, the first thing I opened was the HERSHEY’s kisses. Love the Valentine’s Day colors of pink, red and silver. They’re currently sitting in a cute bowl on my counter and look very “spring-ish!” And, I actually made cookies with them – perfect accessory to a cookie.J'adore Vox Box Looking for recipe inspiration? The HERSHEY’s website has some great ones!

I’ve unluckily been hit with a nasty cold over the last week, and warm drinks have never sounded so good. Thankfully, I’ve been able to try my simply indulgent Creme Caramel Red Rose tea. And once I finished those tea bags, I went out and bought more. I mean, Creme Caramel? It’s like dessert in a mug. Yum. Bonus: my cold seems to be retreating. Coincidence?

My Kiss Looks So Natural “faux lashes” were great fun to try. True story: I hadn’t used lashes before as I have pretty long natural ones. But, it was fun to try these and they really were a great addition. They just made my existing lashes seem that much fuller and were totally natural looking. Not fake at all. I highly recommend these lashes if you’re in the market!

While I worked to beautify myself, I excitedly used the Boots Botanics Ionic Clay Mask one evening. I surprised my hubby when I came downstairs with the dark green mask on my face, but after 15 minutes, I washed it off and then truly had some of the softest skin I’d ever felt! Best part is that I’ve used it several times over the last 2 weeks and can definitely tell my face is healthier, softer and more kissable. And since I have wavy hair, I’ve been thrilled to use the Frizz Ease 3 Day Straight spray. I spray it on while my hair is still wet and then dry it as I usually do. It seems to stay more straight and a bit more shiny than usual. Can’t beat it!

And, as a little bit of a surprise for the hubby, Influenster included Vaseline’s Men Spray Lotion. For some reason, he seems to be really into this. I think it’s likely because it doesn’t have a strong scent, he can easily just spray it on, versus having to rub on lotion, and it’s keeping his skin soft. But, whatever the reason, clearly he enjoys it – I catch him spraying it all over every time he gets out of the shower. I might have to steal some myself, just to try it out for myself. Shhh, don’t tell!

Suffice it to say, I truly did “adore” the J’adore Vox Box from Influenster this month – and I’m already hooked on so many new products!

Tea’ing it up

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I drink 2-4 cups of tea a day. I’m always cold (veins not pumping blood as well?), so a warm mug of something is my constant companion. So, I was super excited to pick up a pack of Celestial Seasonings Green Tea this morning, and try this variety for the first time. Since I woke up with a sore throat, I figured it’d be a win-win.Celestial Seasonings Green Tea

And, I was right. It’s not overpowering (as some green teas can be), is very smooth (I guess the white tea component gets the credit for that), and I’m ready for another mug. Talk about a way to easily get my 8 glasses of water every day!

On top of everything, the art on the box is wonderful. I know it doesn’t really change the taste of the product when the packaging looks better, but the artistry here is really something else. Props to Celestial Seasonings and thanks to Influenster for the initial complimentary tea bags that have me officially hooked!

Happy New Year! May it bring you many shining moments!

It’s New Year’s Eve and I am officially done with work for 2013! It feels good to now begin to look forward to 2014 and all it will bring. Here’s to a prosperous and fabulous new year for you and yours!

Since we were all sick all of last week, we cancelled our plans for dinner at one of my favorite spots in Portland, Ox, in lieu of relaxing at home. Disappointed, but looking forward to a low-key evening with my family. Featuring Trader Joe’s tamales and my husband’s delicious Spanish rice tonight. The kids will be in bed by 7pm and then we’ll sit in front of the fire and reminisce and look forward. photoCan’t wait.

Excited to start the new year with my new Sally Hansen #TripleShine manicure, thanks to the complimentary gift from Influenster. Love this shade and I feel like the bright optimism is going to be a great way to kick the year off. My shining moment with this manicure will be our casual celebration this evening, surrounded by the people I love most! Until 2014, be well! xox

Favorite New Travel Accessory

ImageJust have to give a big shout-out to Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak refreshing dry shampoo as my new favorite travel accessory. This dry shampoo is so light and compact and easy to tuck into any bag and totally comes in handy when traveling. When we travel, we want to be taking advantage of the locale we’re in, and not staying at the hotel primping. So instead of washing and blow-drying and re-doing my hair every time, I just spritz a little Not Your Mother’s dry shampoo and I’m good to go to get out there and explore wherever I am! Highly recommend to my fellow travelers or anyone looking to cut down on the morning beauty routine and give your hair a much-needed break from washing and drying!

Holiday Stress, Beware!

ImageLucky enough to try my Montagne Jeunesse Clay Spas mask tonight, courtesy of Influenster, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Holiday stress has officially melted away! The cool, moistness of the mask as you put it on your face starts relaxing you immediately. Then, the refreshing scent keeps you in a happy place, all while the mask works its magic! And, it’s not messy at all since the mask is “clay infused fabric!” When I removed it, my skin felt uber clean, fresh, soft and about 5 years younger. No joke! I know what I’m getting folks for stocking stuffers this year! :)

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New middle-of-the-night thermometer is great!

With two kiddos under 5, the new Braun Forehead Thermometer is fantastic. It’s my third thermometer for my boys and my search is over. I received this complimentary from InfluensterBraun Forehead Thermometer to test it and so glad I was lucky enough to. Basically, it’s an accurate reading, simply and quickly. What else can a mom ask for? The biggest thing for me is that it has a “night light” mode and is so easy and quick that you can use it on your child’s head while they sleep. Remembering the old days when I’d fret by their bed and then wake them up when I tried sticking a thermometer under their arm… so glad those days are over. My search is definitely over. This accurate battery-operated unit is great!