Ever see those articles of all the 'best' beauty products people can't live without, then click to buy a few and quickly realize you're spending more on face creams than you do groceries, shoes and jeans...combinded? Yeah, me too. It's left me feeling a bit sorry for myself and my mostly drugstore routine, but I have to keep reminding myself that my goal isn't to have the BEST beauty routine, but to have my house paid off. So like most things, I work to keep it lean and mean. It's what I like to call loving discipline on myself, meaning I'm willing to sacrifice some short-term things for bigger and better long-term things. Let's be honest, does anyone have time for hydrating facial masks anyway?
So here's what's actually in my morning routine, day in and day out.
Cetaphil. Would you believe me if I told you this is all that I wash my face with? No creams, no oils, no hydrating masks. Just a simple wash every night and that's it.
Foundation. Okay, so this isn't drug store, but I'm willing to pay a bit more for foundation and think you should too.
Primer. I'm on a roll, also not drugstore, but I've really loved this product, it gives you that dewy look. It lasts FOREVER because you don't use very much.
Eyeshadow. Again, not drugstore and you're probably thinking I'm a liar by this point, but it is affordable. I've had mine over a year and it comes with brushes. Stays on, doesn't smudge and is a good simple palette that you can apply minimally or intensely for different looks.
Lips. I'm addicted to these. They are a matte finish, don't smudge and the best part, when you do go to wipe it off, it still leaves your lips a bit tinted, which I'll soften up with my favorite chapstick. I've bought several colors, linked up my favorite, but I haven't been disappointed yet.
Mascara. I've tried a handful of the drugstore variety and I can't quite this one. It stays on and gives a full lash.
Leave-In Conditioner. I love this, especially in the summer months, when we're in and out of the pool so much and my hair is so dry. It works wonders.
Dry Shampoo. Works good, smells better.
Texture Spray. Better than hairspray, helps to give that Day 1 hair the feel of Day 2 hair.
Tanning Lotion. I've used this for over 10 years and still love it. It works, is easy to apply and never leaves me orange. I've also used this spray when I need more coverage than just my arms and legs for those Spring Break trips.
Tinkle Razors. Honestly, I've used these for over 5 years too and I love them to get all the fuzz off my face. Your make-up goes on sooo buttery smooth after a quick swipe of the Tinkle...not too quick though, remember they're razors.
Hair Ties. A friend introduced me to these at a Favorite Things party and they have not disappointed.
Hope you find some new simple favorites to keep you looking your best.
I cajoled Zack into scouring the internet for all of his favorite things. It's easy to write-off this age of boys as hard to gift, but once we got going on year's past and this year's 'mom-I-gotta-have-it!' we couldn't hardly stop. Best news, it doesn't involve one single video game.
Zack loved hislong board and all my kids use it a ton. I liked it so much, Scot got memy own one year. They are super easy to ride, even if you're not a 'skater.' If you're debating between a few, I like the ones with the black grip tape better than the clear. The clear tends to get brittle a crack easier.
Regular skateboards are also a staple around here. Depending on how familiar they and you are with skateboards, I'd recommend buying a complete set to start with. Then you can change out the trucks as you get more advanced. If you're local, we love the guys at Freedom Boardshop, otherwise find a local skate shop and ask them all your questions. I usually ask them what the best deck is that they've assembled recently...they'll tell you all about it & you'll get some good ideas. Then they'll hook you up with stickers on your way out. Tuck those into your kids' stockings for their water bottles and helmets.
If you give a skateboard, you'll want to pick up a helmet, ramp and rail too. My boys and their friends have spent countless hours perfecting their tricks on their boards.
I use stockings to stock them up on their favorite socks and underwear. This underwear is so good, Zack does his own laundry when he runs out.
I'm always encouraging my boys to find an adventure, so I also outfit them with the tools to really have a good time. Pocket knife, air-soft guns, paint-ball guns, mini nerf guns and sling shots with foam balls. Yes, they're all weapons. Yes, we have rules about them. Yes, they love the ever-living heck out of them. If you're wondering how to have weapons without injury, two things: first, you'll probably have a minor injury, just accept it. They'll peg each other, get hurt and probably won't do it again. Second, create games and storylines that don't involve them shooting each other. We've set up hunting obstacle courses with empty soda cans and timed who can get through it the fastest with the most amount of hits. Seriously, it's fun.
Sports. Basketball shoes, soccer goals, basketballs, sweats, tees, water bottles and a bag to carry it all.
Outdoor games. Our winter weather is why we live here, so we stock up on all sorts of outdoor games and toys. Spike ball is always a favorite, along with Ripstix, rollerblades & these scooters that are always fought over. And yes, I'm serious about the rollerblades. Make sure you have a friend on a bike and some rope hanging around when they open them & watch them behave like 12-year-olds.
If it's too cold where you live, bring the game inside with this amped up mini hoop.
We love playing this game and this game.
Zack loved reading this series and this series.
As for tech for my boys, I've steered away from nearly everything, including the Amazon Dots, Google home and all those type items. Instead, I've done the iPod Shuffle (which they don't even make anymore, but you can still find some here) and someheadphones. The last thing I need is them asking Alexa how to do their homework or what _______ means. PS -- the shuffles won't work with blue tooth, so make sure you're got them wired in!
One thing ALL my kids have loved are these blankets from KB Cute. I got them all a different pattern and they all sleep with them every single night. Bonus, they fold up compact & travel well!
And then the clothes! Oh the clothes. I try hold back on giving them anything they need so that I can wrap them all up, but I'm also notorious for seeing Zack come down the stairs ready to go somewhere and in horror, go retrieve a much needed new shirt for him. ha! My mom always used to do the same thing and I love it. These are some of Zack's current favorites -- look for the arrow on the right to scroll.
Weekends are for walking houses! If you're headed out, be sure to come say hi to me at an Open House I'm holding this Saturday! For all the details, headhere. It's one of the best values in Mesa right now...reminds me of the Farmhouse in the Groves I sold this summer...great bones & room at the current price point for a buyer to come in & make it just what they want.
Otherwise, here's a list of all the others in Mesa, Gilbert, Scottsdale & Chandler.
And since it's the weekend & November, you might be tinkering with your Holiday shopping ideas, or is that just me? Here's a few favorite finds from the Nordstrom Sale this weekend that I'm loving. Still haven't found the perfect dress for family pics, but hopefully soon. Regardless, I wouldn't be mad if any of these ended up under the tree.
Next week, I'll have a myriad of gift guides for you -- let me know who you're shopping for & I'll include some ideas.
Top pins for the week this week did not disappoint! This bathroom though...I can't get enough. See all the bathroom pins here. As always, click on the photo to be taken to the source.
I've been mapping out a large gallery wall for our newly renovated entry way, so naturally I had to pull some inspiration from Pinterest. You can see all the gallery walls I was loving here.
We've moved every single person's bedroom around with this renovation as well -- I'm pretty sure this is why they say renos aren't for the faint of heart. One space includes a shared room -- which I love. Currently my two sharing have bunk beds, which we needed in our old house because the shared bedroom was lacking in size. In this new space though, the bunks aren't needed & while my top-bunk sleeper will be sad, soon I'm hoping to have side-by-side twin beds, kind of like these. You can see all my inspo ideas for shared spaces here.
Weekend Open Houses
And for those of you that love walking houses as much as I do, here are the lists of weekend open houses going on across the Valley. If you haven't used these links before, I break each list into different cities, then they are sorted by price, so you can find what you're looking for fairly quickly. Once you find a property you want to walk, click on the 'open house' tab at the top right to see the date & time of the open house...and be sure to let me know if you find a gem!
Chandler || Gilbert || Mesa || Phoenix || Scottsdale
Weekend Sale Picks
Annnnd since it's the weekend...a few weekend sales picks! Literally every Kate Spade bag is on sale currently at Nordstrom...so of course I had to pick a couple faves.
Yesterday I walked some amazing new model homes in Phoenix and not only fell in love with the homes, but these floor length mirrors. You guys loved them too, so naturally, I had to search them out! In these models, the mirrors mirrored the style of doors that were used throughout the home. You can see the black window-paned door behind me in the photo looks similar to the mirror, which really allows the mirror to work more like a door. Reflecting all the natural light.
As you well know, I'm a lover of light & have plans for a few of these mirrors in strategics spots in my own house.
These two were my favorite of the options I had. I never thought these words would leave my mouth, but I'm actually loving the draw towards more warm colors in interiors. As such, I think I'd go with a dark pane as opposed to a gold, silver or metallic finish, but a few of these might make me reconsider...
Hi, I'm Amy. When I'm not scouring the valley for the perfect new house, you can usually find me in the kitchen with a gaggle of kids. Chips, salsa and a Diet Coke are usually in hand.