lisa's loves, Reviews

Lisa’s Loves – what I heart in June

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Another month bites the dust! I can’t believe we’re almost halfway thru 2017. This year sure has been a whirlwind! I feel like every month has had some huge highlights, and June didn’t fail to deliver. I started working hard on both my businesses and am pleasantly surprised at the success so far. I had a month full of playdates, joined a new morning mom & toddler bible study and made a few new friends along the way.

At the beginning of the month I had the opportunity to be a part of an amazing, inspiring retreat for the volunteers with Created Woman. I assist with the ministry’s social media, but many women that are a part of the CW Family are stylists and makeup artists. So, to fit the crowd perfectly, on the first day of the retreat we spent a few hours shopping at The Domain. Then, for the first time, I stepped into a NYX Cosmetics store.

I love everything I bought! I am honestly shocked at how professional the items are, and delighted that I bought a ton of items for what I would have gotten on 1-2 at Sephora. Don’t get me wrong-I still love Sephora-but this was awesome!! You should also know that a friend pro makeup artist helped me pick out some items, and she is not biased towards any particular brand.

Here are my top 3 items I am still in love with a month later:

NYX Wonder Stick: I purchased this in medium and it has been the perfect color. This makes it super easy for a newbie like me to contour without errors! Here’s a little tip: many reviewers say the contour is too light. I found that by using a blending brush (stay tuned below) instead of my beauty blender it made it considerably darker. And it layers well. I still love my L’Oreal beauty blender for the highlight part.

20170610_113102-01.jpegNYX High Definition Blush: I’ve been using NARS Orgasm for years. I mean, like, 15 years…and it was my first and only real blush. My friend mentioned that I may want to try a non-glittery kind because my face has a lot of texture…and voila! This blush is amazing – it has high pigment, blends great and I found my perfect shade. Bye, bye NARS…Hello $6.50 blush!

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream: The color is high intensity without being overly bright and and it lasts for hours. It isn’t drying like many lip colors, and it glides on so well. I was so impressed I’ve already gotten 3 more colors. You should know the color of the tube and the color that goes on DOES NOT MATCH…at least for my skin color! Luckily I’ve loved every color so far.

20170625_123130-01.jpegOUGES Maxi Dress: A girlfriend posted this dress on Facebook, and lucky for me she shared the link! I have minimal experience buying clothes on Amazon, even though I love online shopping. This dress is absolutely perfect! I mean, you get what you pay for, but the material is lightweight, the pattern is exactly as advertised and the fit is perfect. I love that is grazes the floor so I can wear small wedges…a great option for short gals! (I’m 5’3)

I received an unexpected gem in my June Sephora Play box, Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in K-Dub. First, I never would have even tried this color but I was dying to try KVD lipstick after seeing all the hype. Verdict is I LOVE IT! This blows any other product out of the water – it is moisturizing, doesn’t dry, comes in some great shades and has awesome staying power. I can’t wait to go pick up a few more shades. I love pairing K-Dub with plain white or black outfits.

Real Techniques Sculpting Brush: After asking a few makeup artist friends about their favorite drugstore brushes, I was reintroduced to Real Techniques. I’ve seen these around but never would have guessed they work well. I love learning from others! So I snagged the Sculpting Brush and it has totally changed the way I sculpt. It made my NYX Wonder Stick 100% better.

Anyone else digging NYX? I’d love to hear about your favorite products!

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#MusicMonday, Lifestyle

#MusicMonday: When you’re in a jam, here I am

After an interesting and busy week, Mi Amor and I were chatting about how full our lives are from our friendships. We are currently working on BabyCoolJ’s guestlist for his birthday party and it became very apparent that we have some valuable people we want to celebrate with!

It wasn’t but 2 years ago that we were utterly lonely from not having friends. Sure, we knew a lot of people, but genuine friends are hard to come by. I watch kids and it is always so amazing to see how they can make friends so easily. What a blessing that is! As adults it is so much more challenging. But, when you snag a good one, it is worth cherishing.

I say it often but I can’t say it enough – since staying home with BabyCoolJ, I have been immensely blessed by new friendships. And not those catty, judgy kind everyone jokes about in mom groups. Nope, this is my mom tribe. Well, I have several! You see, I’ve always had different groups of friends-it’s probably the only child in me. I need enough activity to entertain my busy lifestyle and friends play a vital role in that. When I worked, my work friends were enough, especially after the birth of my child. Life just gets too busy, too messy and too hard to nurture friendships, especially new ones. But now that I am home, my life has made some amazing transitions.

I really fell in love with the song “Friendship” by Ray Charles – the lyrics are so funny, but I appreciate his way of sharing what a true friendship looks like. And it’s who I want to be: if you are in a jam, here I am. No matter what.

#MusicMonday, Faith

#MusicMonday: I’m not the kind of girl that gives up

Last week a girl from my church’s Bible study organized a care calendar for a family in need. Their sweet 5-year-old daughter was in and out of the hospital, and we rallied together to support the family. So, I signed up to leave dinner on Friday.

What you don’t know about me is I don’t cook. In fact, when I first met my husband I told him, “Just so you know, I went to college so I never have to cook.” Little did I know that I would eventually be home with our kiddo, slaving over a stove 3 times a day! Seriously though, it brings me joy to prepare meals for BabyCoolJ…key word: prepare. As in, toss together and heat up. I am still no cook.

My heart broke for this family, especially the mom – I can’t imagine what she’s going through or how difficult life must be. She should not have to spend any time worrying about food. So, even though I knew it would be tough, I signed up for the meal proudly. Then, Friday came.

Whoa, what had I gotten myself into! It’s funny because, while I never felt disappointed for signing up, I sure did feel anxious about getting it right. I made two batches of Million Dollar Spaghetti – easy enough, right? Well – I ran 45 minutes behind, layered the stuff incorrectly, and at one point when I was boiling, stirring and pouring 3 different items simultaneously, my toddler decided to sneeze on me…with a mouth full of crackers. That’s right – my legs and dress were full of snot and snack, while my hands were full of sauce and spaghetti. (And yes, I was in a dress because I went to a scam interview and still hadn’t changed – remember I was behind!!)

 

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I didn’t get to capture my mess, so you get this cute kitchen shot instead!

 

But I didn’t give up. I wiped my legs, washed up and kept going. I made it the family’s house an hour after I said I would, but I am so glad I didn’t give up. The look on their faces…the appreciation…and their daughter’s excitement! What a blessing. They don’t even know that THEY blessed ME in this whole scenario!

And, because we all know Satan loves to attack when we’re working for Christ, I had a rough drive back, including a big truck cutting me off and making me swerve and slam on my breaks. In that moment, I prayed. I prayed instead of cursing, I thanked God that I was driving home to a happy and healthy toddler instead of hating on the truck driver. And that, my friends, is why we should never give up. Not just on a project or recipe, but on our faith.

lisa's loves, Reviews

Lisa’s Loves: what I heart in May

20170522_150505-01.jpegY’all, what a great month! Amazing things happened in my faith, I’ve enjoyed every moment with BabyCoolJ, and we celebrated Mi Amor’s 40th birthday with a mini-getaway to San Antonio! Whew, who knew I’d be enjoying life so much just a few months ago!

I wanted to share my favorite things I tried or picked up in May. I’ve been dabbling with new makeup (moving from Sephora-only to exploring Target and ULTA options, too!). I picked up a few outfits that made my heart go pitter-patter, and I scored an awesome pair of shoes.

So, let’s get to it! Nothing below is sponsored, however, my last item is a bonus from my new business line.

Here’s what topped my list of loves this month:

20170426_172857-01L’Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream: This is one of my favorite purchases in 2017! And it has converted me back into drugstore makeup. I picked this up not really knowing anything about it but because I like L’Oreal in general, I thought I’d give it a shot. I can’t believe how great this actually works, I’ve already gotten so many people into it including my mom! It makes my skin look flawless while still looking very natural. Being a stay-at-home mom now, I don’t want to wear a full-face most days. This does the trick to make sure that my skin looks even, while still looking very natural. I don’t want my face to look too made up when I’m in yoga pants! It lasts all day, and I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a natural look that can hide redness, uneven skin and blemishes.

Forever21+ Romper: Forever21 totally redeemed themselves in the junior plus department after I visited their store at the North Star Mall in San Antonio. The plus section is really large, which isn’t usually the case at most locations. And I picked up my very first romper (post elementary years) and it fit so well! Even though I just bought it last weekend, they don’t have them on their site so I included a link to all rompers. If you’re a plus size gal, don’t discount them just yet!

Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash and Coconut Water Micellar Cleansing Tonic: These are amazing, especially together! I’ve been using Murad for years (and DoTerra Verage for a year) but wanted to try something a little more in my budget. While I still have a heart for Murad, these products are amazing. And, the SMELL! I’m transported back to Tulum, Mexico every morning and evening. I’ve been using since early May and have noticed my skin is softer and less oily. I don’t have the best routine, but I wash my face in the evening and use the tonic in the morning. Love, love, love!

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Luv Betsey by Betsey Johnson Crossbody Bag: I found this gem on a quick run to Ross, and it was exactly what I was looking for! I had seen a Kate Spade bag I was swooning over that could fit my phone and functions as a wallet, but with a nearly $200 price tag I quickly closed my browser window, deleted my history and pretended I never laid eyes on it. Then that same evening I found this! This is a great bag for my mommy-busy-life, and I can quickly stick it in BabyCoolJ’s backpack or keep it as a wallet in one of my nice (forgotten) handbags. This will definitely be used all summer, and maybe beyond!

Soda Haway shoes at Charlotte Russe: I don’t see these on their site, but I am totally in love. I scored these for $25 last week and they are my new summer go-to’s! As are most Soda shoes, they aren’t high quality or super comfortable, but for the price and how trendy they are these shoes were definitely a great score.

Also, we stopped at H&M on our way back from San Antonio, and I’ve gotta tell you I totally dig their toddler clothes! BabyCoolJ always scores when we shop.

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Last but SO not least is the Ruby Ribbon Lace Full Support Cami. I’ve been using Ruby Ribbon since April 2016, but just discovered this gem in May! My mom gifted it to me in hopes that I’d host a trunk show, and it ended up being such a great event! For full disclosure, you should know I have signed on to be a stylist. But this recommendation is sincere – out of all the camis I have tried, this is by far my favorite. And I can’t help but also promote something I’ll be selling! (Check out my Facebook Group to join the fun!) I love this particular cami because it hugs a little tighter, keeps my back a little straighter and helps keep my breasts perky all day long (no bra!)!

So, there you have it! While I tried multiple products, bought a few items and really liked a lot of them, these are by far my favs!

#MusicMonday

#MusicMonday: B-b-beating hard times

This is my theme of the year! Little did I know that 2017 was going to be a year full of HUGE surprises. I’ve always been so focused on my career, even if it meant 60-70 hour weeks with a baby (and even working till 12am when I was in labor!). So when I found myself out of work I quickly had my horse blinders on trying to find another job in my field.

But, I wasn’t thinking outside of the box! I didn’t contemplate every option until God opened my eyes through an awesome little testimony you can read up on here. What is so great about this is God did bless us (just 2 days after we tithed, actually!) – and I am able to stay home with BabyCoolJ through at least the rest of 2017. Never knew I’d want to be a SAHM, but I am feeling very fortunate to do so – my toddler is so fun right now!

With my personality though, and career focused attitude, I can’t sit still long. Having a full calendar of playdates, mommy & me classes and Bible studies isn’t quite enough – so now that I have room to breath I am able to think outside of the box! And you bet I’m gonna b-b-beat these hard times!

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Excuse the wrinkles – this was after lunch on a HOT day at the Alamo!

This weekend I hosted by first Ruby Ribbon trunk show. I’ve never been one to like this sorta thing, I always avoided parties and the such, and I remember being really jaded after going to a Mary Kay party in high school someone dragged me to. But I had an epiphany recently after chatting with a lot of network marketing friends – these products are better than what you find on the shelf. So while it may seem shady to some, you can’t deny how awesome something may be, especially after you try it for yourself.

My best-kept fashion (and confidence) secret has been Ruby Ribbon for more than a year. My mom introduced me to it, and while she never pushed me to get involved, I saw the potential and decided to join this weekend after hosting my first trunk show! I am actually really pumped about my new adventure and hoping to make it lucrative enough to stay home with BabyCoolJ into 2018 and beyond. (Join my private #DitchYourBra Facebook group here!)

Frolic Creative

And, because this girl is all about the (work) hustle, I also launched my own PR, marketing and social media consulting gig: Frolic Creative. I just can’t sit back and not to what I do best! I’ve added a few clients already and am having a blast donating my social media skills to Created Woman.

So, here’s to 2017 and to Run DMC…”Like the cream of the crop, like the crop of the cream B-b-beating hard times, that is my theme.”

 

Lifestyle

40 gifts for his 40th!

40 gifts for his 40th birthday

 

I discovered a few years ago what I always pretty much knew – gifts are my love language. The good thing is it is not just receiving (although I love that too!). I love to give – I find true joy in finding a thoughtful, perfect gift for those I love. So it was a super easy decision to give Mi Amor 40 gifts for his big milestone of turning 40!

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While gifts are not really important to Mi Amor, I think he truly appreciated the fun of opening all the gifts, plus many were practical or things he loves. There was no way I could do 40 expensive gifts, so it was a big mix! I gave him the choice of when to open the gifts, and h20170523_094249-01e settled on 10 every day we were on our getaway in San Antonio (we were there 4 days!).

To help inspire anyone else who may want to do a lot of gifts, I thought I would share what I gave him. There was no order behind my strategy, but I tried to include a lot of random stuff he loves. Also, none of these are sponsored, but I did link anything I could to help others out. Here goes!…

 

  1. 12-pack of Dos Equis with Michelada mix
  2. Billboard Top Hits: 1977
  3. Keurig reusable coffee filter
  4. Sprezzabox
  5. Cassette tape sticky notes
  6. COZILIFE silicon popcorn maker
  7. Harry’s men’s shave gel
  8. A box with 40 dark chocolate Hershey’s kisses
  9. Merona anchor crew socks
  10. Mead canvas planner
  11. Leaf liner socks
  12. Party in a box (birthday boy badge, birthday plates, cups, party hats, blowers)
  13. Smurf Pez dispenser
  14. Puma boxer briefs
  15. Swago on-the-go cologne wipes
  16. Beef jerkey
  17. Artwork with Jeremiah 29:11
  18. 40 memories written on 40 heart-shaped cards and envelopes
  19. Trail Mix
  20. Grillin’ & Chillin’ outdoor sign
  21. KONOV men’s faith bracelet
  22. Shutterfly photo cube
  23. Organic basic tee
  24. Star Wars pen
  25. Mini bottle of champagne
  26. DIY painting by our toddler
  27. Starbucks GC
  28. Cuisinart BBQ thermometers set
  29. Old Navy Oxford shirt
  30. Cap
  31. Birthday card with lotto tickets and a hand written letter
  32. Pack of gum
  33. Whataburger gift card
  34. Then, 7 individually wrapped items from the Amazon Men’s grooming sample box (which made 40 gifts!)

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Needless to say, it sure made for a fun surprise! The rest of our trip was amazing – totally relaxing! We didn’t make any official plans, other than eating some good food, so we were able to spend a lot of time in our room just laying in bed (as you can see from the messy photos!). It’s a luxury we remember all too well pre-baby!

I’ll also add that our stay was incredible, and I recommend the Drury Plaza to anyone staying in San Antonio. We were able to walk everywhere, it was clean and the amenities were fantastic. In addition to free breakfast (which we only made once) they host a “kick-back” where every guest is given up to 3 free alcoholic drinks, unlimited snacks, soda and coffee. It was our best hour spent daily!

The hotel also had an indoor pool with a nearby balcony facing the San Fernando Cathedral, as well as an outdoor pool and jacuzzis on the 23rd floor. That was the best way to soak after a long day, and we took full advantage on day 1!

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Have you ever done any creative gift giving? Let me know in the comments!

Lifestyle

Vacation mode starts now!

Blog (6)When I lost my job in March we quickly canceled our annual vacation, adjusted our spending and started living in survival mode. It was such a scary time until just this week.

I’ve taken on some consulting work, we’ve moved around a few things and we were blessed with some surprise funds. Now I finally feel like I can breathe again! And I am so excited about growing my business and spending at least the remainder of the year staying home with BabyCoolJ. Not to mention I can search for my dream job in the process! God is so good.

7290078While we would be packing right now for Mexico (oh, I’ll miss the white sand beach, unlimited drinks and food…not to mention hammocks!) we have found ourselves overly grateful for the gift of TIME. There is no measuring time with my 20-month-old!

But, now we get to plan for something else! Mi Amor’s birthday is the 25th, and while we won’t spend it with drinks at the beach, we may be enjoying drinks by the pool! We are taking a mini-getaway just down the road San Antonio so we can sleep in, relax and eat unapologetically. It will be an awesome few days!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI also planned something special for Mi Amor. Seeing that it’s his 40th, and my love language gifts, I made/bought/threw together 40 gifts! It was super challenging seeing that I had no money to spend, but with our blessing this week I’ve been able to pull a few last minute items together. I’ll share those 40 items in a blog post next week to help inspire others!

Have a beautiful weekend, everyone! I know I will – I’m kicking it off tonight with a girl’s night!