My thoughts on baby number four

Sunday, June 21, 2015

I participated in a Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for First Response. I received product samples as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

As a woman who's taken her fair share of pregnancy tests I can tell you that it's one of the most nerve racking moments a woman can ever experience. The peeing, the waiting...everything about it just screams "OMG!" It can seem like some of the longest moments of your life! I remember the last time I took a test and the double lines showed up. Clearly, the test was inaccurate. I couldn't actually be pregnant. I decided to take another, and then just one more to be sure. Finally, it hit me. I was pregnant. Kind of crazy how much life can change in one little trip to the bathroom.

I've been getting a lot of questions lately at the prospect of baby number four. I don't know if it's because of Harper's upcoming first birthday or if people just assume I'm a baby machine now (what's one more, really?) but it's been a very popular question. I think the immediate response people expect from me is "Oh, no! We're done!" But when I pause and reply with "I don't know, we'll see." it really throws people for a loop.

The truth is, I'm not sure if we're done. For the longest time, I was set on two children. But then we decided to see if three was "our number," and along came Harper (read that pregnancy announcement here). We have a 10 year age gap between our oldest and youngest child, and you know what? We love it. It's been an absolutely amazing experience for my older kids to have their baby sister around, and I know Harper feels smothered in love by her older siblings each and every day. Maybe we need one more baby in the house. It looks like there may be more pregnancy tests in my near future!

The next time around, at least I know who to trust when I need to spend a few life-changing moments in the bathroom peeing on a stick: First Response. Pregnancy tests have seriously changed a lot since I first started taking them. First Response features their Comfort Sure Design Features with a cutting-edge curved shape to perfectly fit a woman's hand, which is perfect because it sure is an awkward angle when you're trying to hit that little target. Speaking of which, they also now have a 50% wider tip with a longer handle, so you can avoid that dreadful "splash" factor. 

For the impatient ones (like me) fear not: First Response detects all relevant forms of hCG hormones and can detect pregnancy 6 days before your missed period with 99% accuracy from the day of the expected period. That means I could have saved myself the hassle (and money!) and quit after just 1 positive test. First Response gives results in less than 3 minutes and results are easy to read: two pink lines means you're pregnant. You can also take the test at any time- no more waiting for your morning pee. Just head to any major drugstore or grocery store, day or night, and find the pink First Response packaging. They retail for $8.99-$15.99.

So here's to the idea of baby number four! Who knows what the future holds, right? Maybe some day soon I'll be sharing more pictures of positive pee sticks. Do you have any funny or memorable stories involving pregnancy tests? 

Embracing life's #UnscriptedBeauty with AVEENO {contest + giveaway}

Friday, June 19, 2015

I participated in a Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for AVEENO. I received product samples as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

I think we can all agree that life isn't always perfect, and that things don't always go according to the plan. As a mom, I've learned to embrace this and just go with it. When you walk into my house you aren't going to see Pinterest-worthy decor or perfectly dressed children, and you know what? That's real life, and I'm OK with it. Life isn't always picturesque perfection.

An AVEENO survey found most parents say that “unscripted” moments are more beautiful than those that are perfectly planned, and I couldn't agree more. Sure, I have tons of pictures of my children posing for the camera with their cheesy grins. In fact, when I flip through my phone's photo album I noticed that it's full of those types of pictures. They do make for some cute shots, because let's face it, I have great looking kids. But those candid shots- the ones they weren't prepared for, or didn't see me take, where they aren't posing are the ones that melt my heart and are truly the most beautiful. The real, raw moments are the ones that build a lifetime of memories.

This #UnscriptedBeauty moment happened a few weeks ago. It had been a crazy, long, hectic day (aren't they all?) and I was struggling to make dinner and entertain my 10 month old daughter, Harper. I was trying to make dinner and Harper was screaming at me from the living room, when she suddenly quieted down. Uh oh. For a mom, that spells trouble, and usually means she's doing something she shouldn't be doing. Preparing for the worst, I popped into the living room to see what was going on. What I found absolutely melted my heart: my 7 year old daughter, Lily, was crouched on the ground next to Harper and was talking softly to her. Harper's tears quickly turned to laughter as her big sister played with her and showed her "open" and "closed" with a little hippo toy. It was so sweet to stand there (hiding, of course, lest they see me and spoil the moment) and watch them play, sing, and clap together. I snapped a picture and quickly went back to finish dinner while the two girls happily played together for another 10 minutes. So beautiful, and totally unscripted. I didn't ask Lily to entertain Harper- she heard her baby sister crying and knew just the thing to cheer her up. Be still, my heart!

AVEENO is flipping-the-script by creating an #UnscriptedBeauty Movement. You can even join in with a contest they are hosting to encourage parents to embrace the natural beauty of life. AVEENO wants you to share some of your favorite unscripted and beautiful parenting moments! One winner will receive a photo shoot with acclaimed photographer, Danielle Guenther, as well as AVEENO products.

How to enter the #UnscriptedBeauty contest:
  • Capture photos of the authentic unscripted beauty in your life throughout June.
  • Post your photos on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook using #AVEENO, #UnscriptedBeauty, and #Contest.
  • For Facebook posts, tag @Aveeno.
  • Keep celebrating life’s Unscripted Beauty!

On top of that awesome contest, one lucky Lulu & Sweet Pea reader will be randomly selected win a Daily Care Gift Set from AVEENO!

I've been checking out all of the lovely #UnscriptedBeauty posts on Instagram and Twitter, and I'd love to check out yours! I hope you'll join me by posting your own. Which unscripted moment is your favorite?

15 minute cleaning tips

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RealLifeClean #CollectiveBias

Life gets messy sometimes, am I right? Especially if you have kids and/or pets. I used to be crazy about keeping my house clean, tidy, and spotless at all times...until I had more than 2 kids. Now, the majority of my cleaning is done in the 15 minutes right before guests arrive at my house. It's like a mad-dash to clean up everything and pretend like we actually live that way! Cleaning up doesn't have to take all day, so today I'm sharing a few of my favorite quick and easy cleaning tips to fool your guests too.

My little mess makers.

Clean up the clutter. First off, if you have children, use them! Give them a laundry basket and have them gather up all of their stuff that doesn't belong in the main living area: toys, shoes, jackets, dishes, backpacks, papers, books, etc. While they do that, I declutter the kitchen counters and dining room table to hide stuff I don't want my guests to see, like bills, phone chargers/cords, laptops, electronics, etc. To save time, I shove everything in my bedroom and then put it away after guests leave. Don't forget to close the bedroom doors.

Vacuum and sweep the floors. Once everything is picked up, do a quick vacuum/sweep. I usually make my oldest vacuum the living room and hallway while I sweep the dining room and kitchen. Don't forget the area rugs!

Quick kitchen clean up. I like to have my sink completely empty and my counters wiped down before guests arrive, because no one wants to see your dirty dishes and sticky counter tops. I use Clorox Pump 'N Clean Kitchen & Dish Cleaner on a sponge to quickly wash up any stray dishes that may have just been dumped in the sink (after we decluttered the living room). This stuff is perfect for dishes, utensils, cutting boards, stove tops and counter tops. The one-handed dispenser is convenient and it's perfect for cleaning up all kinds of messes on all kinds of surfaces. It's also food safe! After washing the dishes, grab a paper towel and Clorox Pump 'N Clean Kitchen & Dish Cleaner to wipe down the counter, sink, faucet, stove, and microwave. I also wipe down the dining room table with it. 

Dust the living room area. After the clutter has been picked up and the floor has been vacuumed, the living room is probably in pretty decent shape. Now it's time to dust. Grab a Clorox Triple Action Dust Wipe and wipe down the TV, entertainment center, coffee table, end tables, fireplace mantle, baseboards, picture frames, and bookshelves. These dust wipes are big enough to do an entire room with just one wipe! They feature an interlocking weave that traps and locks dust, allergens, pet dander, and hair without being abrasive, and are perfect for electronics too. I use these all the time for quick dusting jobs. Just one quick swipe is all it takes.

Quick bathroom clean up. First, pour some toilet cleaner or bleach in the toilet and let it sit while you clean the rest of the bathroom. Next, clear off and remove all products from the counter top and clean the mirror. Then use Clorox ScrubSingles Bathroom Pads to give the counter, sink, and faucet a good wipe down. These are preloaded with Clorox cleaner and feature a scrubbing surface designed to power through soap scum, dirt, and grime. Just wet, scrub, and toss! Make sure to clean up all of that splattered toothpaste from the kids. Finally, give the outside of the toilet a good wipe down too, and use the toilet brush to scrub the toilet bowl. 

Air it out. Open up your windows and let your house air out. Sometimes people don't notice when their own house starts to smell a little funky, but guests definitely notice (even if they're too polite to say anything). I'm always paranoid that my house stinks, so open up some windows and allow the fresh air to circulate (you can close them right before guests arrive). Also, empty your garbage can and put in a fresh liner. 

Set the mood. Light some candles or plug in your favorite air freshener. Then adjust your lighting- if you're entertaining during the day I prefer to open up the curtains and let in some sunshine so the room feels bright and cheery. If it's in the evening, skip the overhead lights (which can be unflattering), and opt for lamps instead. They give the room a softer, warm glow.

I found all of these great Clorox products at my local Target to help me get my house clean and tidy just in time for my guests to arrive. A quick, 15 minute clean up is all it takes! Make sure to check out the Target Cartwheel App to save 10% on these products now through July 4th!

What are some of your favorite cleaning tips? 
Will you be using these new Clorox products to do your quick cleaning jobs?

Repost: DIY toner for acne-prone skin {my favorite skincare item!}

Monday, June 15, 2015

Hello lovelies!

Today's post is extra special, because it's one of my favorite DIY skincare secrets. Well, maybe it's not such a secret anymore. It's actually an old post I first published waaaay back in 2012, but I just updated the information and added some new pictures to it. This is one of my most popular blog posts to date, and I still use it in my skincare routine now. My skin has never looked better! So today is basically a re-post of the original, but with all of the new updates. I hope you love it as much as I do!!!

This post contains affiliate links.

Updated on June 15, 2015: This blog post was originally published in June, 2012. It's been 3 years and I figured it was time to update and edit some of the information, since it's been so long and this post has made it's way around the internet! 

I am so excited right now. 
I can't even contain myself.
I have finally found the solution to a problem I had with my skin since the age of 13. 

Yep, zits. Acne. Breakouts. Whatever you want to call them.
It's never been absolutely horrible, thankfully.
It was just annoying. And at the age of 28, embarrassing

I know I should be very thankful that I never had it that bad.

I pretty much always had 1 or 2 though, and of course it got worse when I'm PMSing or had a random breakout. I had blackheads on my nose and chin & I had tried everything to get rid of them, but they always came back. I've tried it all. Proactiv, Murad, Neutrogena, Clearasil, Clean & Clear, Oxy, Clinique, Olay, Cetaphil, Nature's Cure...I even tried going to the dermatologist and tried some prescriptions for acne. Nothing worked. If anything, my face got worse because it was so irritated and angry at me for putting it through so much.

So. Are you ready to hear my amazing new beauty secret?!

The amazing skincare item is
Apple Cider Vinegar!

7 days later, I have zero pimples, far less blackheads, smaller looking pores, and no more oily skin.

It's a miracle, I'm convinced!!!

So just how does it work? Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is an amazing little product, actually. It has antibacterial and antiseptic properties, and it also helps to balance the pH of your skin. Used daily as a toner or astringent it will balance the pH, which will help your skin to function properly...warding off bacteria and shedding dead skin cells at the proper rate so that pores don't become blocked (blackheads!) and the skin remains healthy. Sounds like the perfect solution for a person prone to breakouts, clogged pores, and oily skin, right?

Here's what you do:
  • Get a plastic container to store your magical potion in. It can be any clean, empty plastic bottle with a lid. I found this cute little travel sized spray bottle that works perfectly!
  • Fill the bottle 3/4 of the way full with water. I used tap water, but I'm sure if you want to be all fancy like you could used filtered or bottled water.
  • Fill the bottle the rest of the way (1/4) with ACV. (note: I started off just using regular ACV from the grocery store. Nothing fancy, and it worked like a charm! However, I recently started using organic, raw, unfiltered ACV {affiliate link} and it works great too. I'll leave the choice up to you on whether you go organic or not. Just know, both work!)
  • Close the bottle and give it a little shake & swirl. Then pop the lid open, pour (or spray) a little out onto a cotton pad or cotton ball.
  • After cleansing your face like your normally would, swipe the ACV soaked cotton pad over your entire face, avoiding the eye area and lips. A little burning or tingling may occur, but it's nothing compared to some of the alcohol based astringent or toners I've used. (Another tip: don't use this right after exfoliating!)
  • Let your face dry completely. Then apply your serums, creams, lotions, gels, etc as you normally would.

Every week or two you can bump up the amount of ACV that you're mixing by about 1/4, but make sure to do it gradually. After a few weeks I was just using undiluted ACV, but depending on your skin type and how sensitive you are you may want to stick with a diluted mixture.

How bad is the smell?

The number 1 question people usually have regarding the ACV toner is the smell. How bad is the smell? Do you have to walk around stinking like vinegar all day? Or a salad? Or an Easter egg? The answer is no. While the smell is less than appetizing while you're applying it, it dissipates in time. By the time I've slathered on all of my serums and creams and whatnot, the smell is gone.

I started seeing results from using ACV after about a week. I had less breakouts, my skin felt smoother, and I was less oily throughout the day. After about a month my skin was completely cleared up. Now it's 3 years later and I'm still using ACV, but I don't have to use it every single day. Now I can use it just about every other day, or as needed (like when I'm PMSing and I know I'm going to get a break out). My skin has never looked better and I almost never have a pimple on my face now- something I would have never been able to say before! (I posted a 2 week update on my skin here, though it's now 3 years old. Feel free to check it out though!)

I know this isn't going to work for everyone out there, but it truly has worked for my horrible skin. I am so much more confident now and I hardly have to wear foundation at all. When I do, I can opt for a lighter version like a BB cream or tinted moisturizer. It's been so freeing having clear skin! And such a confidence booster. Plus, it's so inexpensive compared to other acne treatments! One bottle of apple cider vinegar can last me months. 

Do you have acne-prone skin? Have you ever considered using ACV to treat it? If you have, please let me know in the comments below! I'd love to hear your story.

#Save4Summer with Walmart Family Mobile

Thursday, June 11, 2015

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Walmart Family Mobile. All opinions are mine alone. #Save4Summer #CollectiveBias

It's official: summer is upon us (well, most of us). With it comes added expenses, am I right? Vacations, missed work, trips to the water park & swimming pool, gas, food for kids home from school, extra recreational expenses, you name it! Summer can get pretty expensive if you're doing more than just sitting around, couch surfing. I, for one, plan on having a lot of fun, and I'm offsetting the high price of summer with the lowest priced unlimited cell phone plan from Walmart Family Mobile.

I've been a WFM customer for a couple of months now and it's been saving me so much money! Now my family is saving even more by canceling my husband's phone service and adding him to my Walmart Family Mobile plan. Adding him was easy- I just headed down to my local Walmart, picked out a phone and starter kit, and came home and activated it online with my WFM account. I pay $29.88/month for my line, which includes unlimited talk, text, and data, with 1g of 4G LTE data. Now he gets the same plan that I have, but for only $24.88/month (WFM gives you $5 off each additional line). That means together we now only pay around $55 for both phones with unlimited everything, and with great coverage. There are no overages, no hidden fees, and no contract. That's a fraction of what we used to pay for both of our lines and with less hassle.

The phone I chose for my husband is the ZTE ZMAX for only $179, and it's proven to be a pretty awesome smart phone. It's got a huge 5.7 inch HD touchscreen and features an 8 MP camera- one of the best cameras I've ever seen on a phone. This is a huge deal because my husband is a professional tattooer, and getting good pictures of his work is crucial and often difficult. He's been blown away by the pictures he's been taking with the ZTE ZMAX! It also has a great battery life, which is perfect for those who often forget to charge their phones (like my husband).
Disclaimer: All prices for phones and plans included in this post are accurate as of the date of posting; however, these prices are subject to change. Please refer to or your local Walmart for current pricing.

We've got our family vacation coming up in less than two weeks, and I'm eager to get out of town and have some fun! I'm not looking forward to the huge dent it's going to put in my checking account, but thankfully WFM has been saving me so much money lately. Some serious cash, let me tell you! It's been great, like when I went to book the airport shuttle and it was twice as much as I expected- no worries, thanks to my slashed cell phone bill I have some extra money set aside. Or what about parking the car at the airport for a week? No big deal now. Missing a week of work? Yikes. At least my cell phone bill is tiny, and I don't have to worry about any overages or extra hidden fees on my bill. Thanks Walmart Family Mobile!

Having the 4G LTE service right at our fingertips is going to be great for traveling this summer. Now it doesn't cost us an arm and a leg to use the GPS navigation on our phones, which is going to be a huge life-saver when we are in an unfamiliar area. It's also great for keeping the kids busy in the car. With all of our data we now have and the huge screen on the ZTE ZMAX, the kids can stream movies and play games in the back seat and keep mom and dad sane during our travels! I can also keep up with my blog work and check my emails, social media accounts, pay bills, and stay organized with our Walmart Family Mobile plan and phones.

My family cut our cell phone bill big time to help us #Save4Summer with Walmart Family Mobile. What are your big summer plans? How are you planning on saving money this summer? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Recent beauty favorites

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Hello lovelies! Today's blog post is all about some of my recent beauty favorites. These are new (to me) products I've purchased in the last month or two and have tried and want to share with you all. You know I'm always on the hunt for the latest and greatest makeup, skincare, and hair products, so here's my thoughts on these.

e.l.f. Studio Ultimate Blending Brush | $6
For only 6 bucks I'm pretty blown away by the quality of this foundation brush. It's dome-shaped and has bristles that are densely packed to help pick up the perfect amount of product. It's super soft yet firm, which makes applying my foundation a breeze. Just a few swipes of this brush all over my face in little circular motions and my foundation is perfectly blended. This is brush I've been searching for! Side note: I ordered this brush on the e.l.f. website because I was unable to find it in any stores that carry e.l.f.

Another great e.l.f. buy for only 6 bucks! On a normal day, I'm usually fine with less coverage (think BB or CC creams). But for those times that I do need more coverage it's my new go-to. This liquid foundation gives medium coverage without being too thick and leaves me with a matte finish (and goes on so smoothly with the brush I just mentioned, and then finished with the HD Powder). It's got SPF 15 in it, which is a huge plus. The only drawback is that this foundation is only available in 6 shades, which means it may be difficult for some people to find the perfect match. I'm pretty fair skinned, but I knew porcelain would be too light for me. I went with the 2nd lightest option, Sand, and it was pretty much a perfect match.

The Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion | $22 {$15 on}
This is my favorite exfoliator to use in the shower. I use it on my face, neck, chest, back, and shoulders to keep my skin smooth and soft. It contains micro-sized particles that are great for sloughing off rough, dull, dry skin without being too harsh or "scratchy." I love the smell of this stuff and the fact that it has shea butter in it, which never leaves my skin feeling too dry or tight afterwards. I'll definitely buy this one again!

CoverGirl Full Lash Bloom mascara | $7.99 {$4.81 on}
Let me start by first saying that I am not usually a CoverGirl fan, especially of their mascara. I really dislike most of their Lash Blast line and just never loved the feel of brush that comes in it. This one, however, is a winner for me. It gives great separation and really grabs every little lash at the corners. I love that it doesn't get stiff or crumbly like a lot of mascaras. Lash Bloom keeps my lashes looking and feeling soft, even with two coats.

Theorie Argan Oil Ultimate Reform Hair Serum | $42
I received this little bottle of argan oil in my April Ipsy glam bag and fell in love with how soft and shiny it left my hair feeling. My hair has been through some serious trauma lately, what with all of the bleaching and what have you, but this argan oil makes it feel so much healthier. I put it in my clean, towel-dried hair before I blow dry and flat iron and it really helps protect it from heat damage. Even my damaged, blonde ends look shiny and healthy. I know it's a bit of a splurge for most people at $42, but I still have some of mine left from my Ipsy bag, which means the full sized bottle will probably last a very long time. I'm sure it's worth the price. It's also free from sodium lauryl sulfate, laureth sulfate, mineral oil, paraffin oil, petroleum and propylene glycol products.

e.l.f. HD Blush | $3 {also $3 on}
This is one of e.l.f.'s bestsellers that I had yet to try until just a few weeks ago, and I'm now a cream blush convert! Wow. I didn't really think I would like a cream blush like this at all, but I actually like it a lot. It's incredibly pigmented and I had heard that you really only need to use the tiniest amount of product, otherwise you end up looking like a clown. This advice was spot on because the first time I tried it I definitely had some insanely rosey-looking cheeks! When I say use a very small amount I don't mean a pea-sized amount, or even a dot. You want, like, a speck of a dot. Seriously. That's all it takes to make those cheekbones pop and leaves you with a lovely glow. Definitely a new favorite that I need to get in pretty much every single color. And only $3!

There you have it- some of my new favorite additions to my beauty stash. Have you tried any of these? What "new" favorite product do you think I should try next?

*This post contains affiliate links

Gelliebeans gel polish review {Promo code + giveaway!}

Friday, June 5, 2015

Today I'm excited to share a review and giveaway for newer brand of gel nail polish called Gelliebeans. I was contacted by the company and was immediately intrigued by their miniature sized bottles that promised "the sweetest at-home gel manicure." I had to give them a try- you know I'm all about the DIY gel mani.

Gelliebeans sent me a complete at-home gel nail polish set up, including their starter kit, portable LED lamp, and 6 of their mini bottles of gel polish. The starter kit includes: primer, Rock Bottom Base (base coat), Hard Candy Shell (top coat), No Sticky Finish (cleanser), Best Remover, cuticle pusher/remover, orange stick, nail wipes (20pk), foils (100pk), and directions.

The smaller bottles are great for using at home because you don't have the waste factor like with larger bottles of gel polish. Most people aren't going to use up all of the polish before it expires and has to be tossed, so minis are a smart way to go for the average at-home gel polish addict fan. Each bottle should give you around 20 manicures!
Gelliebeans gel polish is a 4-free formula, meaning it's free from toluene, phthalates, camphor, and formaldehyde. It's also enhanced with a vitamin-enriched formula to keep your nails looking natural and beautiful. They bring the salon to you with their vitamin-enriched polishes, high-tech LED lamps and nail care tools that promise salon quality results without the high salon prices.

Here are the six colors I chose to try:

Strawberry Froyo-  a playful, shimmering fuchsia. This one is eye-catching, but not too bright.

Mint Without the Chips- the perfect mint color I've been looking for! This is a gorgeous, bright turquoise blue.

Chasharella- a lovely blue-green cream. I described this to a friend as "peacock" blue.

Dark Gray Plastic- a warm, brownish-gray cream.

Purple Passion- a dark plum cream. I love this one because it's finally a deep purple without being too black!

Best Friend's Wedding Cake- a soft white creme with no shimmer. I probably wouldn't wear this one alone like this, but rather as a french tip or underneath a color to make it pop!

Each color is shown with 3 coats of color for full coverage. 

The application of Gelliebeans gel nail polish was easy and much like every other gel polish I've tried. The steps are almost identical to the steps I outline in my DIY Gel Nail tutorial, with one exception: Gelliebeans instructions say to buff the natural nail with a 100 grit file as step 1 (to prep the nail). A 100 grit file is way too coarse, and you should actually use a 220 buffing block to gently remove the shine from the natural nail. 

It took a little getting used to the brush with the small bottle, but the consistency of the product was great. It went on smoothly and self-leveled very well. I had a few colors that looked streaky at first, but after and 2nd and 3rd coat they were perfect. I also didn't experience any shrinkage at the tips after curing, which is a huge plus! There's nothing more annoying than when the gel won't stay on the tips of the nail.

I am in love with this awesome little portable LED lamp! It's so cute and compact- about the size of an iPhone. It has 3 watts of power and comes with a USB cord, a rechargeable battery, and a built in 30, 60, and 90 second timer. It's so convenient and I love that it's battery powered- perfect for taking with me on vacation in a few weeks. I was worried about getting a major chip or breaking a nail while I'm away, and now I can take a few of the mini bottles of polish with me and this adorable little travel lamp and I'll be set!

Here is my first Gelliebeans manicure! I opted for some fun nail art to go with the colors Mint Without the Chips and Best Friend's Wedding Cake.

I wore this mani for about 8 days before I fudged it up and got a chip. It was completely my fault though, and it was a painful chip. I was rushing around getting housework done and reached way too far into the washer, jamming my finger in the bottom. Ouch! I still wore my Gelliebeans mani for a few more days after the chip, simply because it was too pretty to soak off and the rest of the mani was still perfectly intact. I'm happy to report that Gelliebeans held up quite nicely! Besides my own goof, there wasn't any lifting, peeling, or chipping, and they stayed shiny. The soak off time for Gelliebeans was a bit longer than the average gel, taking about 20-25 minutes, rather than the usual 10-15. Not a huge deal, but I will definitely keep that in mind if I'm ever in a hurry to do a soak off. 

Overall I was pretty impressed with Gelliebeans gel polish and their system, and I think they would be great for someone just getting into doing their own gel nails at home. If you're interested in trying it now is a great time! I have a promo code for Lulu & Sweet Pea readers that will give you 30% off all Gelliebeans products. Just use the code QB30 to get 30% off anything on the QBG Brands website

Guess what? One lucky reader is going to win some Gelliebeans products from me! The prize is 1 bottle of Rock Bottom Base (base coat), 2 colors of gel polish (randomly chosen), 1 bottle of Hard Candy Shell (top coat), and the portable LED lamp! 

Entering is easy- just use the Rafflecopter widget below. Don't see the widget? Try refreshing the page. Only the first entry is mandatory, and more bonus entries will open up after the first one is done.

This giveaway is open to US & Canadian residents only.
Winners will be selected randomly via Rafflecopter.
Giveaway is open until June 19, 2015.
Please refer to the terms and conditions.
Void where prohibited.
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.

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