Fun Friday- win a Lorac Mega Pro 2 makeup palette!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Hello lovelies!

I've got an awesome makeup giveaway to share just for fun. Fellow beauty junkies- this one is for you! I've teamed up with a couple of other bloggers to giveaway a Lorac Mega Pro 2 palette (valued at $59), along with a NYX Liquid Suede lipstick in Sandstorm. These eyeshadow palette colors are stunning and would make a perfect addition to any makeup hoarder collector's stash.

Enter on the Rafflecopter widget below!
Please refer to the terms and conditions.
Void where prohibited. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I wish I could win this one! ;)

#RemixYourCoffee with Folgers Flavors {plus a giveaway}

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Folgers. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

I'm not gonna lie...waking up in the mornings is the worst. I know, I know, some people think that having 3 kids and being a stay at home mom means that eventually you just get used to the late night feedings and early risers, but the truth is you don't. Ever. Even after 11 years of doing this mom thing, I still hate mornings, and my only shining beacon of hope in the morning is my coffee. It's the one thing I look forward to (usually before my head even hits the pillow at night). I wake up, immediately start my coffee, get the kiddos up and ready for school, and try to take a peek at my emails and whatnot before my little 15 month old wakes up, ready and raring to go. I wish I could wake up as happy and chipper as she does!

I'm pretty particular about my coffee. I get the same blend of coffee for my Keurig, and I buy the same flavor/brand of coffee creamer each week when I'm at the grocery store. I know- so boring! Why not mix it up? Well, Folgers sent me a lovely care package of their new Folgers Flavors to customize my coffee at home, or even on the go. Folgers Flavors are concentrated flavor enhancers that come in these handy little squeeze bottles and are great in both iced and hot coffee. They come in four yummy flavors too- caramel, mocha, vanilla, and hazelnut, though I think caramel is definitely my favorite so far. I just use one little squeeze in my morning cup of coffee- the perfect way to wake up! 

The best part about Folgers Flavors? They require no refrigeration and are portable, so I can just throw a bottle in the diaper bag and take it along with me wherever I go. Whether I'm home, visiting relatives, at a friends' house, or at church (no more plain half & half and sugar during coffee hour for me), I can enjoy my coffee just the way I like it. 

One fun little bit (if you like parodies, silly songs, and/or viral videos): watch this hilariously unique spin on the iconic Folgers jingle created by YouTube sensation Mike Tompkins. I love a good a capella! Head over to Mike's YouTube page to see more of his videos.

Now on to the best part- a giveaway from Folgers! I wish everyone could try out these Folgers Flavors, and now one lucky Lulu and Sweet Pea reader is going to get a chance. Enter to win 2 bottles of Folgers Flavors. For more info on Folgers Flavors go to

Enter on the Rafflecopter widget below.
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.
Contest entrants are only eligible to win once per sweepstake, per household as part of a campaign sponsored by Influence Central.

How do you take YOUR coffee?

This post contains affiliate links.

Introducing new tastes and textures with Gerber 3rd Food Lil' Bits {+ $100 Gerber giveaway!}

Monday, October 26, 2015

I know I've said this before, and I'll say it again- where does the time go? Seriously, it needs to stop moving so quickly. I feel like I blinked and baby number 3 went from being a tiny, nursing newborn, to a mobile little mover with an insatiable appetite. Making the jump from strictly breastfeeding or formula to real food can sound overwhelming for a parent, but with a little help from Gerber, you can make a smooth transition for you and baby!

By the time Harper was around 6 months old, I knew she was ready for some people food. She's always been a very curious baby, and whenever she would see us eating she wanted whatever we had. She'd lean over, wiggle her arms and legs, and start smacking her lips, as if to say "Hey, give me a bite of that!" So I decided it was time to try some baby food puree. Of course, me being the over-achiever that I am, I first attempted to make my own baby food, which Harper wasn't crazy about. I couldn't get the consistency or texture right, so after about a week or two of failed attempts at pureed sweet potatoes, I caved and headed to the baby aisle to stock up on all kinds of fruits and veggie purees.

Now, here's the thing: all babies are different, so they are all going to like different things. Harper only dug the pureed baby food for about a month or two before I realized that she might be ready for some different textures. She wasn't quite ready for full on chunks of cut up food, but the puree was getting a tad boring, and she quickly realized it was more fun to just spit it out and let the liquefied food spill down her chin.  She was starting to get the mashing/chewing motion going on with her jaw, which was a huge cue for me that she was ready for the next step. 

That chewing and mashing motion is crucial to your growing baby's development- children who have not been exposed to “lumpy food” before 10 months of age have experienced difficulties transitioning to more advanced foods later on. Gerber's newest line of 3rd Foods Lil' Bits are made with perfectly sized soft pieces of fruit or veggies and are perfect for teaching baby how to mash and chew real food. Gerber 3rd Foods Lil' Bits offer gradual texture progression to teach your baby the skills they need to transition to table foods. Plus, this is when your not-so-little baby is going to develop his or her preferred tastes and textures when it comes to food, so now is the time to introduce them to new foods and help develop their pallet. You want your baby to eventually grow to love real fruits and vegetables, right? Gerber 3rd Foods Lil' Bits helps make that transition easier, too.

Gerber's 3rd Foods Lil' Bits come in 10 new, fun and interesting flavors:

  • Apple Blueberry
  • Orchard Fruit Medley
  • Apple Banana
  • Banana Apple Strawberry
  • Pear Apple Berry
  • Island Fruit Blend
  • Banana Apple Mango
  • Mixed Carrots
  • Corn & Butternut Squash
  • Butternut Squash & Potato
  • Sweet Potato Apple Carrots & Cinnamon. 
Harper's personal favorites are Apple Blueberry and Sweet Potato Apple Carrots & Cinnamon, and she loves those little, soft chunks! She makes the cutest faces as she pushes the food around in her mouth and finds the Lil' Bits to mash up and chew with her big ol' teeth.

I love how convenient and portable the little containers are. If you have any food leftover, just pop the lid on the top and throw it in the fridge for next time- no waste!

On top of the delicious tastes and textures of Gerber 3rd Foods Lil' Bits, the people at Gerber have put in some extensive time and research to their product. 80 experts spent over 120,000 hours on product development for Lil’ Bits recipes, and over 80 taste tests were held with 700+ samples to ensure that Lil’ Bits recipes had a baby-approved taste. Gerber baby food must live up to over 100 quality checks because Gerber has always believes that little ones deserve high standards. I so agree!

Want to learn more about Gerber 3rd Foods Lil' Bits? Head over to their website and take a look!
What tips do you have for parents transitioning their babies to solid foods?

Gerber 3rd Foods Lil Bits Recipes help babies learn to chew and ease the transition to table food.

Comment below to enter for a chance to win a $100 gift card or potentially a $1,000 grand prize!

Official Rules
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Gerber. The opinions and text are all mine.

Madam Glam gel polish (swatches + LED lamp giveaway!}

Friday, October 23, 2015

Hello, lovelies! I've got some new Madam Glam gel polish swatches I want to share with you, along with a giveaway for an LED nail lamp! I've talked about Madam Glam gel polish here on the blog a few times, and even showed you how to do a rockin' gel French mani too. Since then I've had the opportunity to try out more colors and share my thoughts with this vegan and cruelty free collection of gel polish- it's one of my favorite gel nail polish brands!

Madam Glam gel polishes are not only vegan, but they are also cruelty free, meaning they never test on animals. While I'm not vegan, the cruelty free part is big, because I don't feel that beauty products need to be tested on animals in order to be deemed safe for human use. Also, Madam Glam gel polishes are five-free, meaning there's no formaldehyde, toluene, diButyl phthalate (DBP), formaldehyde resin or camphor in them. 

The consistency and application of Madam Glam gel polish is very much like most other gels I've used. The base coat and top coat are just a teeny bit thinner, but provide great coverage and spread across the nail like a dream. Each color shown is with two coats of gel color and that provided the perfect amount of coverage without leaving a visible nail line. I also love the shape of the bottle handles and the brush- it makes applying the gel super easy and it goes on without streaking. You can cure the gel polish with an LED or UV lamp.

Chic Madame is a creamy, mauve-y, taupe-ish color. It's hard to pinpoint this shade but it's a more muted pink with grey undertones, which is perfect for fall.

Like a Princess is a gorgeous, iridescent pink with lots of sparkle and shimmer. The name certainly matches this shade, because it's a very "princess-y" pink. 

Dark & Sexy was a hard one to photograph, but it's a very deep purple with lots of iridescent shimmer. 

Under the Stars is a fun and playfully bright, super-sparkly royal blue. 

Trendy Me is a creamy rose red with pink undertones. 

Madam Glam gels give you a salon quality gel polish manicure at home and wears for around 2-3 weeks, though I almost always opt to change mine after about 10 days or so because I'm too excited to try the next new color. Mine stayed beautifully shiny and chip-free the entire time, and I was quite impressed with how well they held up since I'm pretty hard on my hands and nails. Soaking them off was easy too, and you can read more about my preferred removal process here.

Madam Glam's gel polish retails for $19.95 each, which is on the more expensive end of the gel polish spectrum, but keep in mind that these are full sized (.5oz) bottles of polish, NOT minis. Also, if you're the type of gal that likes beauty subscriptions, this new offer might just be for you! Madam Glam has a brand new monthly subscription where you can get 3 bottles of their full sized gel polish sent right to your door for $29 each month- that's half off! What's even better is that you can choose the colors you want every month, or you can let Madam Glam surprise you. So fun, and what great savings! 

Now to the fun part: the giveaway- I'm giving away one LED lamp to one lucky Lulu & Sweet Pea reader. This 6 watt mini LED lamp is so cute and works for all of my favorite gel nail polish brands. It takes just 45 seconds to cure! Enter by using the Rafflecopter widget below. Please note, only the first entry is mandatory (so I can contact you!) and the rest are bonus entries. 

Please refer to the terms and conditions.
Must be 18+ to enter.
Void where prohibited by law.
Open to US & Canadian residents only.
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.

These products were sent to me, free of charge, by Madam Glam, for reviewing purposes. This is not a paid or sponsored advertisement. All opinions are, as always, my own :)

Best exfoliators {for all skin types & budgets!}

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Can you feel that? The season is changing and the weather is getting colder, which means it's a good time to start thinking about switching up your beauty routine. I know fall has only just begun, but here in the Pacific Northwest it means winter is just around the corner- fall doesn't usually stick around for too long. For me, the winter months usually bring with it dull, dry, flaky skin, which doesn't look so cute when you're trying to apply makeup over it. 

This year I'm determined to stay on top of my winter skincare problems, so that means I'm slowly transitioning out from my normal face wash and moisturizers to some more heavy duty scrubs and creams to keep the flakes at bay. I put together a list of some of my favorite tried & true exfoliators for all skin types and that fit every budget, so whether you want to spend a lot or a little, I've got you covered. I'll follow up later with some of my favorite moisturizers to pair with these too.

The Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion | $22 {$15 on}

This yummy smelling microdermabrasion contains micro-sized garnet exfoliating particles that stimulate cell renewal, and are great for sloughing off rough, dull, dry skin without being too harsh or "scratchy." I love the smell and the fact that it has uses Community Fair Trade shea butter in it, which never leaves my skin feeling too dry or tight afterwards. The vitamin C in it helps to brighten the skin and can be used once or twice a week. Plus, it's vegan and paraben-free, 

This one is NOT intended for daily use. It's an intense microdermabrasion that should be used on a bi-weekly, or even tri-weekly basis for some people, and a little bit goes a very long way. At $41 this one is a bit spendy, but one tube will last you a long time. I use maybe a dime-sized amount and apply it in the shower, using circular motions and use very, very little pressure with my fingertips. 60 seconds of exfoliating with this stuff is all that's needed every other week on my face, neck, and chest. My skin feels so soft and smooth afterwards! Over time, skin will start to appear smoother and clearer, with fine lines reduced and pore size diminished. 

Yes to Grapefruit Daily Facial Scrub | $9.99 {$6.32 on Amazon}

Another yummy smelling one! This one uses grapefruit, which is high in vitamin C and is used to brighten and even out the skin tone, This scrub is gentle enough to use every day to slough away dead skin cells. It also contains lemon balm, which helps calm and repair damaged skin. Acne sufferers- this one is great for acne scars, as well as sun damage and age spots. It's also 99% natural, petroleum free, paraben free, and cruelty free, making it a good choice for the eco-friendly beauties on a budget.

This 30 second "mini peel" is a great exfoliator that is gentle enough to use every day, and is great for dry skin. It has a unique, sulfate-free formula, and is rich in antioxidants, which helps condition the skin and helps it retains its moisture level while gently exfoliating away the dead skin cells. This one is really rich feeling and never makes my skin feel tight afterwards. Plus, Philosophy is a brand I always trust.

This gentle, daily scrub is great for all skin types, even if you have acne (it won't clog your pores!) It doesn't have a lot of smell to it, which is great if fragrances bother you. I also love that it's from the Neutrogena Naturals line, which is much more eco-friendly. It's 94% naturally derived, doesn't test on animals, uses recycled plastic (for packaging), recycled paper, supports clean water, and uses renewable energy. Plus, it's one of the cheapest ones on my list!

Anything that says "microbeads" on the packaging. These are tiny, man-made plastic beads that are put into the product to exfoliate the skin. I've heard horror stories of these tiny beads being embedded in people's skin and pores (yuck...and ouch). Plus, they are polluting the water, environment. and are killing off wildlife in a huge way. Just say no to microbeads, and go for something that uses a natural exfoliants, like ground nut shells, salt crystals, and sugar. FYI- microbeads can also be found in some toothpastes- I had to throw out the last tube I bought after I discovered little plastic bits (used for an extra "whitening boost") stuck in my gums. 

Abrasive exfoliators. There's one particular apricot scrub that comes to mind (and I'm sure you've all heard of it, and may or may not love it). Don't feel bad- I've used it in the past too, but these types of scrubs can wreak havoc on your skin because they are just too abrasive and sharp. Stick to products with super-fine, natural particles, or a peel (that's a whole 'nother blog post!) Over-exfoliating your skin can lead damage, sensitivity, and redness, and make enlarged pores appear even bigger. Stick to a gentle exfoliator and skip the harsh, abrasive ones.

Whether you've got normal, dry, oily, or combination skin, these exfoliators should have your skin feeling silky smooth, looking bright and glowy, and flake-free during the winter months or year-round. 

What's your best tip for battling dull, dry skin?
Next up, moisturizers! Stay tuned :)

*This post contains affiliate links.

#SinusStruggle- solved! {giveaway}

Saturday, October 17, 2015

I wrote this post as part of my participation in a blog tour on behalf of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division, the makers of SUDAFED®. I received compensation to thank me for taking the time to participate. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

I know everyone in the blogging and social media world is screaming "It's fall, ya'll!" at the top of their lungs right now, but I can't even hear it with all of this sinus congestion I've been dealing with lately. It's that time of year all right- the leaves are turning, the air is crisp, and my kids are bringing home every lovely germ and illness that the public school system has to offer. Perfect! This is probably my least favorite time of year, simply due to the fact that from here until spring break we're battling one sickness after the other.

I can deal with a little case of the sniffles, a cough, heck, even a little fever and some body aches. But my least favorite thing? Sinus pain, pressure, and congestion. It knocks my flat on my butt every single time. I hate it! That horrible stuffed up feeling is the worst, especially when you feel like your head is underwater or like your ears are plugged. For me, the throbbing headache I get on top of it makes me feel like my head is being squeezed in a vice, or like maybe I'm being crushed by a car. Add three kids into the mix and it's usually enough to turn me into a weepy, crying, snotty mess.

Moms don't get sick days.

Unfortunately, I turned into that weepy, crying, snotty mess just last week, when my sweet children brought home yet another round of germs for the family to enjoy. It was probably the worst head congestion I've had in a long time. Thankfully, my husband ran out and got me some SUDAFED® as soon as the symptoms started creeping in. Seriously, it's the only thing that ever works for me. Within an hour of taking SUDAFED®, my head started to feel like it was clearing up, the pounding headache subsided, and I felt some relief from the sinus pain I was feeling in head. My kids could actually talk and ask me questions without me wincing in pain! I was back to being supermom in no time (or at least I could get up off the couch- same thing, right?) SUDAFED® to the rescue! Just in time too, because by the time I got over that horrible head cold, it was my husband's turn. Good thing we were stocked up though.

Guess what? One lucky Lulu & Sweet Pea reader has a chance to win a $25 gift card from the lovely people at SUDAFED®! Entering is easy- simply use the Rafflecopter widget below. Please refer to the terms and conditions for complete giveaway rules.

What's your best trick for dealing with #SinusStruggles?

Amazing waves and curls with IrresistibleMe {review + video demo + promo code!}

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Have you ever discovered something new and thought "how did I ever live without this?" Yeah, that's how I've been feeling ever since I found my new favorite styling wand from IrresistibleMe. Two words: life changing!

See, this is no ordinary curling iron- it's the 8-in-1 Sapphire Curler, and it's actually 8 different interchangeable styling wands in one amazing tool. I was absolutely floored when this baby arrived at my door (thanks IrresistibleMe!) and I couldn't wait to try out these different sized barrels on my hair. If you follow me on Instagram you've probably seen some of my new wavy looks I've been sharing, and you know I've been loving my 8-in-1 tool! It's seriously like having 8 different wands all rolled up into one fancy-shmancy little tool.

This top of the line curler uses tourmaline technology for quick a quick heat up with each of the 8 barrels, which means it uses negative ions and leaves your smooth and shiny- never frizzy. Plus, tourmaline is more resistant than ceramic, so this styling wand will have a long life span (and comes with a 1 year warranty). I love how quickly it heats up, and the controls are all digital, so you can set the exact temperature you want for your hair each time on it's LED screen. Also, unlike other styling wands I've used, the IrresistibleMe 8-in-1 features a rubber tip on each of the wands, which means less chance of burning your neck or ears, and it makes it a lot easier to use the tool while looking in the mirror (it also comes with a heatproof glove to protect your little fingers) Plus, check out the cute little roll up pouch it comes in- perfect for keeping all of your barrel attachments together so you'll never lose a thing, especially when you're traveling. 

So, want to see some different looks I came up with using different barrels?

You can see the different size and shape of the waves and curls I got using different barrels. The 32mm one gave me loose waves, while the 25mm gave me a bit tighter ones. The pearl attachment looks a little crazy at first, but it gave me mega volume and tighter curls. The tapered 13/25mm barrel gave me more volume and tighter curls at the crown, with looser, cascading waves at the ends. These are my top 4 favorite barrels for my medium length hair, with the 25mm attachment being the one I probably use the most. It's such a versatile tool though, and it works on all different lengths of hair. 

Curious to see the IrresistibleMe Sapphire 8-in-1 in action? I thought so. I put together a little video demo so you could see just how quick and easy it is to get amazing waves with this tool. Check it out! It only took me 3 takes to finally get it right ;) 

So have I convinced you that you need this tool? Seriously, it's my new favorite toy, and I've been getting compliments on my hair everywhere I go. The wavy look with the 25mm wand is pretty much my favorite new look for fall and winter, and I have a feeling I'll be rocking it for far longer than that!

Ladies, you definitely want to put this on your Christmas list! 
If Santa needs a promo code, I've got you covered.

Need a little hair inspiration? Follow IrresistibleMe on Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter. They also have some amazing hair extensions and other styling tools that you'll definitely want to check out!

Which attachment looks like the most fun?!

I was given this product free of charge by IrresistibleMe for reviewing purposes. All opinions are, as always, my own :)

On not sweating the small stuff

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Motherhood is hard guys.

We all have good and bad days, but when you're a mom, the bad days can seem like enormous failures. I didn't realize until recently that I put some pretty ridiculous expectations on myself and often set myself up for failure, and then I take it really hard when I don't have a "supermom" day. Being a stay at home mom is a rough job most of the time, and I'm constantly plagued by the whole not-doing-enough/doing-too-much internal war with myself. I often find myself stressed out, making insanely long to-do lists, and running around like a crazy person with all of these "things" I just have to finish before the end of the day.

Once I get an idea in my head though, I can't not follow through with it. If I made my list in the morning and decided that I was going to clean the kitchen spotless before the kids get home, by-golly, that kitchen had better be sparkling before my kiddos stroll in through the door. If it's not? Well, I tend to morph into Hulk-Smash mode and beat myself up over it- which makes my entire day shot. My mood goes to crap and I turn into a mean mom and wife who takes out her frustration on everyone else. No matter how much I accomplished earlier in the day- 3 loads of laundry, yard mowed, garden weeded, living room cleaned up, beds made, and both bathrooms scrubbed clean...if I don't get that last little task done on my list before the deadline I set for myself, the whole day was a waste. It's like everything else I did doesn't matter. I failed. I didn't do what I said I was going to do. I didn't finish my list.

The truth is, I don't have to do much of anything, if I don't want to. Sure, there are menial tasks that should be done on a regular basis around here- dishes, laundry, dusting (yeah right), vacuuming, etc. But is the world going to end if I don't get the dishwasher emptied by a certain time? Nope.

I've realized that I put too much pressure on myself as a stay at home mom, and I know a lot of my other mom friends do as well. We don't give ourselves enough credit, and we definitely don't celebrate those small accomplishments enough. Instead of being pissed off and disappointed at myself for not getting the dishwasher unloaded, I should be celebrating in the fact that I spent an hour on the floor with my sweet 14 month old girl, rolling around, playing blocks, laughing and singing along to Sesame Street or Daniel Tiger, helping her discover her stinky little toes, squishing her pudgy little rolls, and smothering her with kisses. Then I fed her lunch and every bite actually made it into her mouth- she didn't throw it on the ground (a really fun game we've been playing lately). After that, she went down for a nap with no argument and slept for 3 glorious hours while I sweat my butt off, hustling as fast as I could to clean up a mess of a house that was created by 5 humans.

That's right- 5 people live in this house, and I need to remember that. You can probably guess how many of them do the household chores (that would be me) all things considered, I really should give myself more credit! Throw blogging and everything that comes along with it, kids, a husband, homework, chores, errands, church, cooking, social lives, etc., and I realize that maybe I should cut myself some slack. Seriously, I should not be sweating the whole dishwasher/Hulk Smash fiasco. The dishes can wait! This little cutie can't. I should spend less time freaking out over my crazy lady lists and try to enjoy my time at home a little bit more.

Powered by Blogger.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan

Your copyright

Melissa Swenson and Lulu & Sweet Pea