Friday, April 29, 2016

Gelish MINI Street Beat summer 2016 collection {review + swatches + giveaway}

Spring has barely sprung, yet here I am, dreaming of summer. Today I'm sharing the latest from Gelish MINI- their summer 2016 collection called Street Beat. This gorgeous collection features 6 bright, bold, eye-catching colors and are inspired by street art and hip hop. These are some vivid hues, and every shade is trendy from the runway to the streets. 

In true Gelish form, these luscious gel polishes apply like a dream and I had no streaking. However, I did find them to all be a bit translucent, so all colors needed an extra 1-2 coats (and even then, I had some visible nail lines showing after curing- especially the yellow and green). Let's take a closer look at them! 

Con-tour The Streets is a light, pinky-lilac creme with no shimmer. I wish it had more purple in it. It's more of a pale bubblegum pink to me. 

Give Me A Break-Dance is a pearlescent teal with a silvery finish. It's really pretty...I only wish it had better coverage. The picture below was with 4 coats of color. 

B-Girl Style is one of my favorites (you know I'm a sucker for a good pink!) It's a neon pink pearl with just the teeniest bit of shimmer. I love it! It's going to be a good one for summer toes, for sure!

Hip Hot Coral is a hot coral pearl with a warm, shimmery finish. This one reminds me of a tangerine, as it's a more orangey-coral. 

Street Cred-ible is a orange/yellow creme with no shimmer. This color didn't have great coverage and required 5 coats of color to get decent coverage. 

Tag, You're It is another one of my favorites from this collection. It's a fuchsia pink pearl with a frosty finish. So gorgeous! 

The Gelish MINI Street Beat collection will be available at Sally Beauty Supply for a limited time starting in May. You can also find the full-sized bottles on Amazon, which I've linked to individually above. 

One lucky Lulu & Sweet Pea reader is going to win 3 bottles of polish from this collection!

Please refer to the terms and conditions.
Open to US residents only.
Must be 18 to enter.
No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.
Only the first entry is mandatory.
Never tried gel nails? I've got a ton of tutorials for you! My DIY Gel Nails post is a great place to start. I walk you through the entire process, step by step, and I include a lot of pictures and I'm a stickler for detail. It's a long one...but I promise: read the tutorial from start to finish and you'll end up with an amazing gel manicure. Once you've got that down you can move on to some of my other tutorials and you'll soon be a pro.

This post contains affiliate links. I was given these products free of charge from Gelish MINI for reviewing purposes. All opinions are, as always, my own.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Celebrate Mother's Day

Motherhood is hard, I think we can all agree. It's certainly the toughest job I've ever had. Moms need some help along the way while they navigate through their parenting journey. I have been blessed to know some great women who I look to for advice and to lend and ear to when I'm ready to throw in the towel after a hard day. Every mom needs supportive women in her life! You can't do it alone, and whether it's a friend of the family, aunt, cousin, grandmother, co-worker, neighbor, or friendly face at church, we all have an "other mother" who has impacted our lives in a positive way and has helped us through the highs and lows of motherhood. With Mother's Day just around the corner, I've teamed up with LovePop cards to help honor the other mother in your life. 

For me, my other mother is an obvious choice. My mother-in-law, Donna, has been not only a fabulous grandmother to my children, but she's also someone I'd consider a friend. I've known her for about 13 years now and she's always been there for me and my family. She's the first person to offer to help with the kids- whether I need to go out of town, or I'm sick, or there's some type of emergency, her first response is always "What do you need me to do?" I can call her when I'm at my wit's end and need another mom's advice, and she'll laugh with me and have a funny story about a similar experience she's had and tell me how to deal with it. When I had Harper, she dropped everything to come stay with us for a week while things were super hectic. She cleaned my house, took care of the big kids, did all of my laundry, grocery shopping, dishes, and even cooked dinner every night without even being asked. She raised two kids as a single mom, so she can definitely do it all. She's funny, sarcastic, incredibly generous, and she's definitely a blessing in my life. I can say anything to her- sometimes all it takes is a look and we both know what the other person is trying to say. I genuinely love spending time with this woman, and my kids adore her. 

This picture is from one of my favorite memories with Donna. It was from the summer of 2012, and the kids and I spent a weekend with her and my sister-in-law at this gorgeous house on the river in Idaho. My husband had to stay home and work for most of our Idaho trip, but he surprised us by joining us for 2 glorious summer days together with the whole family. It was so much fun. I was lounging on the dock reading a book while the kids explored, and I caught this sweet moment where my husband and his mom were deep in conversation, watching the kids play. I remember thinking it was the perfect day! 

Honor the #OtherMother in your life

Nominate the special woman you consider your other mother here and she'll get a FREE Mother's Day card from LovePop! LovePop cards are intricate 3D paper sculptures that are made with cutting-edge software designed by naval engineers. These aren't just any old card- each card is hand-assembled in the Asian art from of sliceform kirigami. If you want something truly special, send her a LovePop card!

Not only will every #OtherMother submission receive a FREE LovePop card for Mother's Day, but LovePop will select three winners to receive a LovePop gift basket as well!

I love the cards I selected from LovePop. The Floral Bouquet ones are gorgeous and the cuts are so intricate- look at the flowers and the teeny, tiny hummingbirds! I thought it was so pretty that I got it in both colors.

I also chose this Cat Mom card. I love how the mama kitty is smiling while carrying her naughty kitten! I know a few moms who would love this card for Mother's Day. 

LovePop cards make the perfect gift for Mother's Day, so make sure to grab a couple for the special moms in your life. Nominate your #OtherMother and she'll receive a FREE card from LovePop! This is an awesome deal, so take advantage of it! 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Gender reveal + 20 week update + bump style

Woo hoo! I just hit the halfway mark of my pregnancy with baby number four. I figured it was time for a little pregnancy update! If you follow me on Facebook and Instagram, you've probably seen me gripe about being plagued with morning sickness still in my second trimester. It's been rough, to say the least, especially with a busy toddler and 2 big kids who need my attention. The house has been a mess, which is so not like me, but I haven't even had the energy to care. I started feeling a little better the last few weeks, and then BAM! It hit me again. I've been getting horribly painful headaches every single day and I can't seem to figure out how to get them to subside. And now the morning sickness is back to about half the days out of the week, which is leaving me feeling miserable yet again. Fingers crossed I'm not one of those poor women who are sick for the full nine months- I can't imagine this going on for another 20 weeks!

I do, however, have some exciting news- we just found out the gender and did a fun (hilarious) gender reveal for the kids. (If you follow me on social media you've probably already heard the news, but here are the full details). You might recall our last gender reveal we did when I was pregnant with Harper. Ayden and Lily were so excited to find out if they were getting a brother or sister, and I decided to record their reactions when I handed them a pink sucker, letting them know it was a girl. Long story short, Lily was ecstatic and Ayden was devastated, and it made for a very entertaining gender reveal video. Watch it here! 

Anyway, we found out on Monday that we are having a BOY! Seriously, I was shocked. I mean, deep down I knew, I just knew it was a boy this time. This pregnancy has been so different from the last one- I just knew it wasn't going to be a girl. But I wanted another girl pretty badly. I just thought it would be so cute to have another one close in age to Harper. I kept all of her baby clothes and they could grow up being the best of friends- adorable, right? Well, it's definitely not a girl, as you can see on the ultrasound picture. That was the first thing I spotted when the ultrasound tech placed the little wand thingy on my stomach. I actually shouted "Oh my God! It's a boy! That's a wee wee!" I mean, there was just no denying it!

I had to think of a fun way to tell the kids, but I'm really not all that creative with stuff like that, and I wanted something that took minimal effort (I'm lazy). I had told the kids that I was probably just going to give them a pink or blue sucker again and they both agreed that would be fun. They both wanted it to be a blue sucker this time, but where would the fun be in me just giving them what they wanted? I had to crush them a little before making them super happy, right? (joking). I decided to do the sucker thing, but to do a little fake-out first. I bought a bag of suckers, found 2 blue ones and traded the wrappers for pink ones, making it look like I'd be telling them it was a girl. I figured they'd be disappointed and then reveal the blue sucker when they opened it and freak out with excitement. It would be perfect! What ended up happening though was not quite what I expected...

Poor Ayden did not take too kindly to another pink sucker!

Let me follow this up by saying that in both videos he recovered really quickly. Seriously, within about 60 seconds of me stopping the video, he was already over it and excited about the news. He laughed at himself when we watched the video together, and it was his idea to post them online, before I even asked him if it was OK (because if he would have been embarrassed or upset I wouldn't have shared them). He was like "Mom- you have to put that on YouTube!"

One of my best friends, Jodi, was pregnant with me last time, and we ended up having our babies one day apart. She has two little boys, ages 4 and almost 2, and as soon as I texted her that it was a boy she was calling me and telling me to come over and take all of her boy stuff. Harper and I came over the next day for a little play date and I was shocked at what she gave me for the new baby- a gorgeous bassinet (one of the few things on my list of baby needs) and five huge totes filled to the brim with baby clothes. Nice, clean, stain-free baby clothes in awesome condition! I seriously do not need to buy anything for this little guy to wear for the first two years at least. She gave me tons of onesies, pajamas, pants, shirts, hoodies, sweaters, jeans, hats, bibs, and shoes ranging in sizes from newborn to 2T. I went through and sorted everything by size and type just to make a little inventory, and there's so much of everything. Looking at all of these adorable outfits got me so excited to have another boy! I mean, look at his shoe collection already! Soooooo cute. What an amazing friend, huh? Yeah, I love her.

I have to admit, knowing the gender of the baby has really made a difference for me. You might recall this post I wrote a while back about feeling just overall "blah" about everything and feeling more stressed than excited about being pregnant again. Well, it's gotten better. I can picture it now- our family, with our new baby boy. I couldn't before. It scared me and stressed me out...I was having a really hard time with it and feeling really guilty about having those kinds of feelings. These last few days though, with the sonogram picture to look at, putting together the bassinet, and going through all of the baby changed something. Something clicked. Something is different. I feel more relaxed and excited! I'm going to have two girls and two boys- it's perfect. Our family will be complete. I'm so blessed, and I've got nothing to stress or complain about. 

Maxi skirts and dresses have been my jam for this pregnancy and my last one. It's been getting warm here in Washington and pants are just out of the question. Skirts and dresses are so much more comfortable at this point and they keep me feeling cooler and less restricted with my growing bump. I love pairing them with a denim vest or jacket too! I got the jacket and yellow dress from Old Navy and the vest was on clearance at Target last fall (Score- $10!) 

Don't forget to enter this giveaway I have running right now.


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