Thursday, March 1, 2018

From Sweats to Fashion Blogger

I have sat here staring at a blank blog post page for about 30 minutes trying to think about what it is exactly that I want to say and how I want to say it when it comes to my journey with fashion and beauty.  Believe it or not I wasn't at all very fashionable growing up and I didn't really have a clue about makeup until after college.  Luckily for me I didn't feel I had many issues fitting in throughout high school and it was socially acceptable to wear sweatpants most days with your hair in a messy bun, at least it was with me and my friends.  That carried through to college too.  I don't think I ever  dressed up for classes and I only ever wore make up for cheerleading events or parties.  

  I didn't have a mom who bought designer things, much less knew anything about them.  We didn't live in a big fancy house and I certainly don't come from money so most of what I have learned about style and beauty came from my peers and co-workers as I entered into adulthood.  I remember the first time I went to a MAC store with a fellow waitress friend.  She was raving about how great their eyeshadows were so I went and spent lots of money that day.  The brushes were amazing, my eyeshadow wasn't caking and creasing and it actually stayed on all night long.  I could not believe I had spent 22 years of my life living without MAC eyeshadow!  

Somewhere along the way I began to get hooked on a lot of prestige brand make ups and designer clothing and accessories.  Now that I am older and wiser I am much smarter about where to spend vs save with luxury brands.  I firmly believe you can look amazing in anything no matter the cost!  

With age also comes confidence.  During this week as I listened to the 3 other women tell their stories we all shared one common characteristic trait: confidence.  I can certainly say I lacked a whole lot of self confidence for the greater part of my life. I spent so many years on yo-yo diets and crazy work out plans.  The irony for me is when I stopped counting calories and getting on the scale everyday the better I started to feel on the inside and the outside.  

With that new found confidence I started to have fun with my wardrobe, especially my work attire.  Let's face it, office work wear can be so boring but I found ways to mix it up.  I slowly started being the go to for my friends on how to style an outfit and where to shop the best deals.  It felt really great and still feels really great to be able to help other women find clothing that makes them feel like a million bucks.  When you feel good on the outside you can't help but feel better on the inside.  I also firmly believe when you dress for your day you are far more productive.  

My real thought on beauty now a days is the fact that I hate the stigma that putting in effort on your exterior makes you vain.  Who are we to judge what makes someone else feel good about themselves?  They are the ones who have to get up each day and look at themselves in the mirror and love what they see (and I am not just talk what they see externally).  I'll be the first to tell you that if you aren't happy no amount of makeup, botox or pretty handbags will be able to fix that.  You do need to have self care built into your daily life.  You have to find the things that bring you joy and approach each day with a positive mindset.  These are all life lessons that have taken me 30+ years to learn myself so don't worry we are all still works in progress.  

And to all of you mamas out there, don't forget being a mom does not have to change the clothes you love to wear.  I am struggling with this on daily myself but I hope that by putting this out into the universe it will help me get over my thinking that being a mom means I can't still feel a little sexy from time to time.   I don't need to cover up just because I brought a human into this world.  I have to stop worrying about all the mom-shamming that is happening and just rock the clothes I love to wear no matter the length of my shorts :)  At the end of the day we all just need to be our own authentic selves so we can truly love the skin were in.    

Friday, February 2, 2018

Friday 5: Current Favorite Beauty Products

Happy Friday Friends!  I am launching a new series called Friday 5.  Each week will feature five of my must haves or things that I am currently into that I feel are worthy of sharing.  Then I will take to Facebook and do a live session to elaborate that weeks post.

This week I am kicking it off with five of my current favorite beauty products.  I did a full round up and tutorial over a year ago and need to get around to doing an up to date version. To view last years post click here.  But until that happens, enjoy a quick peak into some of the products I am loving!

I got this as a gift over Christmas time and I love them!  First of all, how cute are they?  I pop the top off of the container and just leave them standing on my sink exposed.  It's an instant decor piece!  Aside from the cute factor this is a great brush set.  I use the two larger brushes daily (to set powder and to apply blush) and when I actually apply eyeshadow I use a few of those brushes as well.  It makes for a perfect gift at $44 for the beauty lover in your life or a great set to add to your own collection.  There are 12 brushes in total making this a huge bang for your buck product.

This has been all the rage lately so I decided to give it a try.  It lives up the hype, 100%!  Its an in between blend, not too thin or too thick.  I actually take my ring finger to the tip now and apply most of it that way then take my sponge to help even and blend it out.  It lasts all day long and while no concealer will ever not show some lines, this one doesn't get too built up or cakey which is a huge plus for me!  I posted about this one my instagram stories around Christmas time and I have had several followers message me about how much they love it.  Did you know they just released a Shape Tape Foundation?  Everyone has been freaking out over it so if you have tried it let me know your thoughts!

I must first state that on most days you will see me wearing my IT Cosmetics CC Cream.  It's still a favorite for day to day.  When I am shooting photos, going out on date night or have a special occasion I want a foundation that lasts a bit longer with more coverage then my CC cream.  I have recently wanted to try something new so I tested out a few medium coverage foundations and this one takes the cake for me.  It's buildable (I tend to apply two coats) but breathable, I don't look like I am wearing a ton of make up yet I have a full coverage look that I love.  My skin looks fantastic all day long with this foundation.  It's a total win, a must have and I can't sing its praises enough.

Most of you know I don't wear eyeshadow from day to day.  I spend 10 minutes on my make up and focus more on what my skin looks like then my eyes but I must say, I love this little palette.  I use 4 of the 6 colors when I do decide to throw on some shadow and I think it's a perfect look for day to night.  These warm tones are really in right now too so it makes me feel like I am up to date on the latest trends.  I am doing a Facebook live today on how I apply these colors and products so be sure to tune in around 9am (or 11:30am depending on my baby!)  If you missed it then go to my Facebook page to check it out!  If you can't make the Live time, no worries!  You can always view the video on your own time and feel free to ask me questions or give suggestions in the comments section :)

There literally are not enough words in the english dictionary to describe my love for this highlight palette.  I am totally straight forward that it isn't cheap at $62 but this is my second one (meaning I scrapped the bottom of my first one for weeks until I caved and bought a second one) and if I only had one highlight product to keep, this is it for me.  I use the darker color to blend my bronzer and blush with a big fluffy brush and I use the middle color on my cheekbones, nose and upper lip.  I will also use the third color on my eyebrow arch.  I don't waste any of the colors and I love them all for their own specific purposes.  I can't say it enough, just buy the palette if you love a good highlight!

  I am excited about this new weekly series.  It's going to be even more fun to start doing Facebook Live sessions each week to showcase the products I highlight.  I might even be giving away something (hint, hint) so you will have to follow Sandy Toes and Stilettos on Facebook too!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Super Bowl weekend.  Don't be afraid to have a few drinks and eat lots of wings and dip.  I know I sure will be!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Max's 6 Month Baby Schedule

Max's Onsie: Old Navy  /  Max's Jeans: Old Navy  /  Max's Cap: Amazon  /  Max's Shoes: Converse

How?  How in the world has it been 6 months since our baby boy entered this world.  For some reason I still can't seem to wrap my head around it all.  It is true what they say that the days are long but the months are short.  As hard and as challenging as these past 6 months have been it goes without saying that they have been the very best months of our lives.  I have worked hard the past few weeks to get Max on an actual baby schedule so I figured I would share what we are doing and along with some of our current favorite things.

As a reference here is Max's Nursery details as well as my favorite Newborn Baby Must Haves in case you have any questions on newborn items or things you see from his nursery in the above pictures.

**A few mentionables:  This is 100% what works for us.  There is not one baby that is like another so what works for us might not work for you.  I am currently home with Max all day so my schedule might not be realistic for moms who work outside of the home.  Again, this is all okay!   I am simply hoping to share some insight into our day in the hopes that this might help some of you out there.   I rely heavily on Moms on Call so feel free to download their books via Amazon.

Our 6 Month Baby Schedule

7:00am  Max wakes for the day
  •  If he wakes and is a little fussy I try to hold him off to as close to 7am as I can and I wake him at 7am even if he is still sleeping 

7:05am  Feeding
  • Feedings would be either breastmilk or formula, whichever you are currently doing

7:15am  Play time
  • We still love our skip hop play mat
  • We hang more things from it like the O Ball
  • Any book that is crinkly he loves to put in his mouth
  • Scout via Leapfrog is his current favorite 

8:00am  Feeding- Solid Foods  2-3oz
  • I have been making a majority of our food in bulk via the baby brezza
  • Then I freeze everything in these OXO food trays
  • I also use these bibs because no one warned me just how messy it will get and how you really can't get those stains out of their clothes.  I ruined so many sleepers and onsies from food
  • we currently use this Chicco 360 Hook Chair instead of a traditional high chair.  I do love the ease of the swivel chair but I do have my eye on this high chair
  • Here are the spoons we got and I still have yet to purchase any baby bowls or plates
  • We are starting to sippy cup train after eating solids (i just hand him the sappy cup and he puts it to his mouth, eventually I will put milk in it) 

8:15am Play Time

9:00am  Nap
  • Generally he sleeps about 1.5 hours in his crib.  I don't let him sleep more than 2 hours
  • We use the Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit during his daytime naps
  • We use white noise, a humidifier and I do make it as dark as I can for him.  He used to hate napping in his crib during the day but the sleep suit helped us!

11:00am  Feeding 
  • I try to hold him off as best as I can so he feeds at this time, regardless of when he wakes from his nap

11:15am Playtime
  • This Zany Cube came highly recommended from other moms so we ordered it.  It arrives today!
  • We are also getting ready to order this Vtech Sit to Stand Walker.  Another highly recommended item
  • He is starting to really love his jumper
  • His grandparents spoiled him over Christmas with his very own BWM that I push him around on

12:00pm Short/Light Feeding 

12:05pm Back to Play Time

1:00pm Afternoon Nap
  • I tend to use this time to run errands if I need to.  He doesn't always get a deep sleep if we are out and about and tends to dose in and out 
  • This nap is No longer than 2 hours. If we are home this nap is in his crib and sleep suit 
  • If he sleeps long in the morning this nap tends to be only an hour
  • If I am home I will play with and distract him until his next feeding

3:00 pm  Feeding

3:15pm Playtime
  • I try to get 30 minutes each play session of one on one time interacting with him 
  • Then I give him his space and independent time (aka I try to also get stuff done!)

4:30pm  Feeding- Solids 2-3 oz

4:45pm-6:45pm Varies
  • Drew is typically home so during these hours we will walk the dogs while Max is in the stroller.  
  • sometimes Max will fall asleep during the walk, if not then he typically falls asleep around 6:00pm.  These naps are never more than 30 minutes

6:45pm Story Time
  • He starts to get really fussy around this time because he is getting hungry and tired.  We try to read to him and distract him as much as possible

7:00pm  Bathtime

7:20pm Final Feeding 

7:45pm  He is typically asleep by this time
  • I burp him and no longer let him fall asleep while feeding.  I want him good and full!
  • I put him in his dock a tot, in the crib while he is awake.  He used to fuss but doesn't anymore
  • The white noise is on, humidifier is on, thermostat set to 71 degrees (don't forget we live in FL so only the A/C runs) 
  • He sleeps in cotton sleepers and a Halo Sleepsack
  • He officially sleeps through the night and wakes again between 6:00-7:00am

Obviously no day is the exact same and somedays are harder then others.  For example I wrote this post and the next morning Max woke at 5am crying off and on until 6:30am unit I finally caved and got him up for the day.  Sometimes I have more things to do and we are out and about but the above schedule is what I would call a typical day.  

My main focus was to get Max sleeping through the night when he was first born so most of my energy went towards that.  I felt by the time he hit 5 months we were both ready to get our days in order.  Up until that point our days were a free for all.  (which is 100% okay!)  I actually start back to work part time from home today for an advertising company in addition to wanting to revamp and form my own brand.  This was the driving factor in me wanting to a set baby schedule during the day.  I now feel it is easier for me to plan and get most of the things done in a day that I need to get done.  

I hope this helps some of you new moms out there.  Don't forget it's all trial and error and no one knows what is best for your baby but you!  

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Why A Wooden Watch Makes the Perfect Valentine's Day Gift

If you are like me then you struggle every birthday, Christmas, and Valentine's Day trying to come up with the perfect gift for that special man in your life. Drew has just about everything and tends to buy whatever he wants, when he wants, making it hard to shop for him.  When I found out about Jord wood watches I was intrigued.  Never had I seen or heard of wood watches, so naturally I was curious and jumped at the opportunity to try one out for Drew. 

When his watch arrived in the mail I was so excited and upon opening it, it did not disappoint! The outer packaging and watch box itself shows extensive attention to detail and is certainly reflects the quality and elegance of these watches.  When I picked up the watch, I couldn't believe it was actually made of wood.  If you saw it in person, you would never know unless it was pointed out to you. Drew had previously expressed interest in an automatic watch, but had never settled on one that suited him.  Out of the many options to choose from, we chose the Dover collection in ebony and copper. There are many different styles and accents that can fit every taste, and you can view the entire Men's collection here.  Drew now wants to try a more natural tone wood watch next because it's safe to say he's hooked. 

We went to the zoo this past weekend as a family and it was the first time he wore the watch.  Naturally I jumped at the opportunity to snap some photos and I must say, it was fun seeing Drew on the other side of the camera.   I asked him to  tell me what he liked most about the watch and here is what he had to say...

 It's Unique
Not everyone is going to have this type of watch making it feel one of a kind. 

  It's Lightweight
Let's be honest, Men's watches can be bulky.  This one has the look of a typical metal watch but is a fraction of the weight making it comfortable to wear all day long.

It's Automatic
The best watches are automatic and Drew was pleasantly surprised to find out that Jord wood watches don't run off of batteries.

So if you are in the market for the perfect gift for that special someone in your life, I can officially say I am a Jord wood watch fan.  They also have a beautiful collection of women's wood watches and I want this one for me!  Jord offers engraving on all of their watches for $35, engraving on the wood box for $45 and they will size the watch for only $10.  Let's not forget that they ship for FREE worldwide. 

OH AND ONE LAST THING, Jord is giving away $100 to use towards your own wood watch.  If you don't happen to be the lucky winner they will also send you a code for 10% off of your purchase. The contest ends February 4th and the $100 and coupon code will expire on February 18th.

To enter the Jord giveaway click HERE.

Let me know what your Valentine's Day plans are this year.  We will be spending it all together at home with Max and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Thank you Jord for sponsoring this post.  All opinions are 100% my own

Luxury Wooden Watch