Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Current Favorites

I always like it when people post these kinds of posts because frankly I'm kind of nosey, and I like to see into the everyday life that we don't get to share all that often. Hope you enjoy this one, too.

I took the Julep Creme-to-Powder Eyeshadow Stick with me to France in August, and I used it every single day. Since we've returned from our trip, I just keep using it. It's that good. Great neutral color, smooth, stays put, and no glitter like so many creme sticks. I haven't noticed any creasing at all while wearing it, and it's just the simplest thing to swipe over my lids and go.

I think I was driving the family crazy waiting for the opportunity to start putting the Halloween decorations out this year. I have noticed that hardly anyone in our neighborhood has put outside decorations up, but I did put a few things outside of our courtyard gate. I'm planning to put up a post on The Bespoke Lifestyle blog sometime this week showing everything. 

Starbucks vente breve no-foam latte - my go-to drink when I'm living lo-carb. With the back and forth that has been our lives over the last few weeks with play rehearsals and performances at the school, this has been my lifeline. And another Halloween decoration peeping in the background.

Before last weekend, I had never been inside of a Sprouts before. Now I want to only shop there because look at these roses! And they have lasted longer than any flowers I've bought or been given any time in recent memory. Why spend big bucks when these are amazing. They put to shame the last batch of sunflowers I bought at Trader Joe's.

This girl is always on my favorites list. She has just blossomed even more since we moved. She has made a ton of friends, she joined the school play, made honor roll, sang the National Anthem at the Homecoming game, and went to the Homecoming dance in this Dress. If you aren't a parent, or probably more so if you are, you can be pretty shocked by the dresses that teenage girls wear to "formal" dances. I'm always so proud of the choices she makes for these things.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Going Casual

Blouse: Old from H&M
Jeans: Ann Taylor
Tennies: Target
Bag: Whipping Post Tote

Update on my goals: Today's workout: Arms
                                  Water intake: 7 :(
                                  Current weight: Still 169.8 (-2.6 - I've been bouncing around all over the place)
                                  Leisure: Read Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch (A great fantasy/mystery)

Three years ago when I was working from home, I had very structured habits for getting up, pulling together an outfit, putting on makeup and doing my hair. This was probably due in large part to having to do the school drop off every morning and also because I often had client meetings on Skype or outside of the house. Now that the husband is doing the school run everyday, I find myself always reaching for very casual separates. Most of the summer that consisted of jeans and light blouses.

Now that it is cooling down here, I'm looking forward to layering and playing with casual outfits I never really had the time or the need to put together before. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Check Mark

Sometimes the hardest part of gaining weight is remembering that you've gained weight: that you have a new normal. I often hear people say something similar about aging: I don't feel 50; I keep forgetting I'm not in my 20s anymore, etc.

At times, I'm reminded of it: when I can feel my thighs rubbing together as I walk or that there's a little more there when I rest my arms at my side, but at other times, I'm wonderfully obtuse about my weight.

Then I try to wear something or I do indeed wear something that I really shouldn't. It's not that it's too tight, or too short, or even age inappropriate; it's just not flattering. Sometimes it's the outfits I choose that I think will mask things that are the ones that go the most horribly wrong.

Baggy sheath dresses and tops that used to be a wardrobe staple of mine now create more bulk. As hard as it can be sometimes, tailored is better even if it's just wearing a dress with buttons and cuffs. But I keep telling myself that I had a lifetime before this to learn what looked good on me. Just take a little time and you'll figure this out, too, I say. Don't be so hard on yourself. Everyone has days where it just doesn't come together.

Pumps: Just Fab
Necklace: Old but similar here

And every time something works, I store it away to remember it for next time. It's all just a work in progress.

Update on my goals:

Today's workout: Yoga
Water intake: 9 glasses
Current weight: 169.8 (-2.6)
Leisure: Marathoning the last season of Downton Abbey

Monday, September 19, 2016

Maybelline Baby Balm Ball Review

Maybelline Balm Ball

Back in July I had to travel for business. Around the same time, A was on a mad hunt for Milani liquid lipstick, but we couldn't find it at any of our local Walgreens. I took the trip as an opportunity to find some for her. I was able to find a few for her, not the ones she really wanted, but that's another story, and on my way down the makeup aisle, I spotted a few Maybelline Balm Balls. At first I thought they were the the Baby Skin Cheek Flush, but they were indeed the Balm Balls. I grabbed one because I was under the impression these were limited editions that I thought I had completely missed out on.

Now I love Baby Lips Crystal. But really, that's the only Baby Lips I really like. I don't know if it's the scent or the formula, and I'm not even sure if the Crystal has anything different other than the color from other Baby Lips, but I like that one over the others.

This product has a nice consistency. I compared it to EOS lip balm, which is probably what Maybelline was going for with this large ball of balm that you rub across your lips, but this has a much better slick and moisturizing feel than EOS. However, this has color, obviously, and when you are rubbing a large ball of balm across your lips, it's really hard to not end up looking like a little kid playing with mom's makeup. As you might be able to see in my picture, I definitely felt like I had a layer of slick well outside of my lip line, making me feel like I just looked like I had eaten something greasy. 

If this product wasn't limited edition, I would have wondered what Maybelline was doing using the same packaging as for the Cheek Flush. A even tried warning me once that I was using blush on my lips. We looked at the label, and no, this clearly states it's a Balm Ball. I've heard other reviews that hint that what has actually happened is that this product was turned into the Cheek Flush. I'm going to buy one to compare the product and see if I think it's the same formulation. I wouldn't recommend the Balm Ball if it reappeared though unless you are going to apply it with a lip brush, which to me, defeats the purpose. I think I'll just stick to the Crystal.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Turning the Page

Dress: DKNY (old but similar here)
Blouse: via Stitchfix (old but love this Gucci blouse)

The last time I updated the blog was in March, and we were right on the cusp of making some huge life-changing decisions. Since some of the details were still being worked out, I couldn't share our news, but now that we've made it through the other side, let me fill you in.

In February while looking at investment property in Las Vegas, we decided that we wanted to move there ourselves. There are a lot of reasons why this was a very good move for us, but it is a decision that we came to pretty quickly. In a true show of trusting and having faith and believing that if it was meant to be, the details would work themselves out, that's exactly what happened for us. 

We quickly found our dream house at a price lower than our budget, and the seller quickly accepted our offer. I told my firm I was moving, and they arranged my transfer to our Las Vegas office. My client didn't want to lose me on the engagement I've been on since March of 2014 so offered me a telecommuting arrangement that has me working out of the house 95% of the time. My daughter made the deadline for applying to the school she chose and was accepted. At that point, we truly felt blessed.

Before it sounds too perfect, let's be real: there are some things I would have done differently in hindsight. Although our escrow closed in April, we chose to stay in California until the end of the school year. That was the absolute right choice, but it meant that we decided to move in several small trips over April, May and June. That was very stressful and a huge effort, and by June I felt like I didn't live in either place but was visiting both. We should have bit the bullet and done it all at once. It also made me delay packing, so the last June move was way too stressful, rushed and disorganized. 

We had preplanned a three week vacation in France for the end of July and first half of August. When we left for vacation, we were still surrounded by boxes and because we had planned before we decided to move, it conflicted with the start of the school year. A missed the first 10 days of school at a new school in all honors and AP classes. The next three weeks were horrible for her trying to get caught up enough to understand her current assignments and make up all her work. She's done an amazing job though. 

We are still getting settle into our new routine. The gnarly old guy is now the primary caregiver of A and me, a stay-at-home dad and house husband while working on our small businesses to get them up and running. He has quite a full plate. 

I'm happy to say that even with the extended holiday and lots of moving meals (Freddy's burgers are my absolute favorite and don't get me started on a concrete!), I've only gained 4 pounds. I'm back into the grind of working out and cutting carbs.

I'm loving that not only did I get rid of my 3 hour a day commute, I have no commute except walking up the stairs and that's letting me get back into working on the blogs and our businesses with D. I hope that you'll be seeing more content here as well as on The Bespoke Stylist and The Bespoke Lifestyle. We are very excited to be launching our online store very soon, so please stay tuned.

This flat lay was one of the final outfits I wore to the office before we moved. I love layering blouses under shift dresses, and this DKNY purchase has become a central piece of my work wardrobe. 

Update on my goals:

Today's workout: Walking
Water intake: 8 glasses!!!!
Current weight: 172.4 (+3.6)
Leisure: Lots of crafting