INFLUENSTER: CoverGirl Exhibitionist 2.0 Voxbox

*DISCLOSURE: I RECEIVED THESE PRODUCTS COMPLIMENTARY FOR REVIEW PURPOSES. ALL THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS ARE MY OWN.

 

CoverGirl Easy Breezy Brow Draw & Fill

I love the slant tip of this brow pencil and the cushion tip on the other end, it made the process of filling up my brows so easy because it filled up a lot of area in one go compared to the pointed tip brow pencil. The shade went will with the actual color of my brows and it lasted the entire day. I’d definitely purchase this again!

 

CoverGirl Exhibitionist EyeLiner

This pencil was “easy-glide” in every aspect, you have to be careful when putting it on. Upon application I exerted the same effort I usually do with my old pencil and it came out too dark (almost like a “goth look”) so I would stay light on those fingers, you don’t need a lot to line your eye. In my experience, it took more than half of the day before it showed any signs of smearing. I personally like this eyeliner, it just needs a little getting used to.

CoverGirl Exhibitionist Lipgloss

I honestly have not used lipgloss in a while because I have not found that wasn’t too sticky for me. Surprisingly, this one was light on the lips and easy to apply, it wasn’t sticky at all and it didn’t have a weird scent  (or taste, haha). I also loved how it lasted me for the most part of the day and rarely needed to reapply. Can I also just say that I enjoyed the shade of red that they sent, I’m usually picky with my reds but this one worked for me.

 

CoverGirl Exhibitionist Uncensored Mascara

As I’ve mentioned in some of my past blog entries, I have short lashes so it takes a lot of good mascara for my lashes to even “show”. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out how to apply mascara but for some reason I couldn’t understand the brush or the applicator of this one. I didn’t see much of a difference when I applied the mascara, only that it looked darker by a bit. It’s lightweight though, I’d give it that and it also didn’t smear a lot for me so that’s one thing that worked great for me.

 

All of these came in handy for my everyday mom-look, not all the time I want to look like a mombie so thanks Influenster for sending these my way.

~Rhea

Cassie Turns Four: Enchanted FOUR-est Party

This was another last minute party but surprisingly it didn’t stress me out as much as I thought it would. The reason why it became “last-minute” was because Cassie wanted to take part in the party planning this year, she’s FOUR now and of course she wants to have a say in EVERYTHING. So originally she wanted a Unicorn Party and then considered an LOL Party and then a Frozen Party and then we went to the Minnetrista Fairies, Sprites and Light event and that did it for her, we were doing a Fairy Party. Oh and I decided to put my foot down that’s how we finally agreed with the theme, but she was a bit concerned that some of her boy guests wouldn’t come because it was “too girly” so we called it an Enchanted FOUR-est party instead of a fairy party which gave us more wiggle room to include some woodland creatures.

Fairy Invite Template from Zazzle

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The outside set up for the kids

The Set Up

I moved Cassie’s teepee outside and layered some cheap rugs from Five Below to cushion the area. I also draped a floral leaf garland that I found on clearance at Joann Fabrics to match the floral centerpieces on the table which by the way we found at our local Goodwill for $2.99 per arrangement. How lucky were we when we found 4 pieces of those a day or two before her party.

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Those tables were stacked up wooden pallets that I found on FB marketplace and we got it for $3/ piece, there were 8 pieces in this set up. We were so lucky too coz he was the only one selling a ton of similar sized wooden pallets within our area.

I totally forgot about covering the pallets until I finished arranging them (didn’t want the kids to accidentally get splinters), then I realized I didn’t have any table cloth or just any cloth long enough to cover the whole thing. So I rummaged through ,my linen closet and found some quilts we weren’t using at that time, its crazy how you find the most random things at home just when you need them. The pillows were obviously from the living room and I just threw them in there to complete the look,  I would’ve added more if I had more lying around, haha.

The fairy wings from the Dollar Tree made the perfect backdrop and it was so accessible for the kids to grab whichever color they liked (also to take home)

The pop up white canopy tent we purchased from Amazon. Click here for the link.

Made some floral head dresses for the girls and found some Animal Headbands from Dollar Tree for the boys. It’s been ages since I’ve made headdresses so I tweaked them a bit and used floral wire which wasn’t the best move since it made them flimsy but at the same time I didn’t want them to be too stiff and too hard around the girls’ head so I went with it. Here’s my original DIY tutorial from 6 years ago.

Imagine this set up without the greenery, that was what it looked like 30 minutes before the party. I totally forgot about the backdrop and thought it would look fine with just the balloon but it looked so bare. I went to the backyard and started scouring the area for overgrown plants that would go well with the theme, I literally cut the overgrown branches and just taped them on the wall and voila! I couldn’t believe the final touch to Cassie’s dessert table was just sitting in our backyard, and it was FREE too.

The real live flowers on the cake complemented the greenery backdrop I made

Marco loves the red velvet cupcakes the best, I think next time we should try ordering a red velvet cake.

This has got to be one of our favorites from Chef Maggie of Simply Patisserie. A lot of people loved the cake, some loved the cupcakes best and of course the kids thought the cookies were the best. They all agreed though that these goodies were pinterest worthy, the best part is the taste lives up to its looks.

DIY Loot Bags:

Brown Paper Sandwich bags, scissors, artificial flowers, woodland creatures printable, Roll of Jute twine, hole puncher, paper doilies and Thank You tag printable

Best part is you can find all of these at your local dollar store unless of course they’re out of stock (except for the printable)


I had two sets of loot bags ready for the guests, I had some floral ones (in the back) and some woodland creatures up in the front to distinguish which ones were for the girls and which ones were for the boys.

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The ‘Thank You’ cards I found  online from Blooming Homestead and printed last minute, of course it took time to cut them, punch holes and tie them onto the loot bags but I finished just around the same time the first guest walked in, talk about a buzzer beater.

I set up an arts and crafts section on the side where they could paint their own fairy houses or design their own fairy wands

We were so worried about the weather but God kept his promise and made it a perfect day—not too hot, not too windy, not too sunny, not too cloudy…just right!

I wish I took more pictures of the kids in the bouncy house because the kids literally had so much fun with it. A special shout out to Boogie Bounce, LLC , for coming all the way from Indy if I’m not mistaken and for giving us a very reasonable rate, their service was 100% excellent. I was honestly surprised they didn’t charge me all those crazy add ons the bouncy house companies here in Muncie were charging me— like delivery fee (what for? we’re in the same city?), set-up fee ( I guess they expected us to blow that dang thing) and after office hours fee ( yeah, someone was charging us more if rental  went beyond 4 pm on a weekend). They (and I mean a dad and his daughter) came in early to set up the bouncy house, gave us the rules (pretty basic like no sharp objects in there, no wearing of shoes while bouncing inside), as soon as everything was up they left and they were nice enough to leave the bouncy house until morning the next day without additional charge.

Time to blow her candle!

She was sooo happy her classmates and her playdate buddies could come.

My last minute DIY fairy house piñata made out of recycled boxes, left over crepe paper roll, left over ribbons, left over artificial flowers and a whole lot of glue.

Our little guests sporting my hand made headdress.

Never complete without our silly faces family photo.

…And the Birthday Girl is out.

Little brother followed suit

Thanks to everyone who made Cassie’s special day extra special, thank you for coming to the party, for spending time with her and for celebrating out little girl. I also want to give thanks to our family and friends who couldn’t make it, thank you for your birthday greetings and your prayers, you made one little fairy girl extremely happy.

Happy Birthday Cass! Daddy, Mommy and Xavi love you so much, hope you had a blast!


Thanks for reading up guys!

~Rhea

Personalized Hair Care with FORMULATE

*Disclosure: I received these products complimentary for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

For the most part of my life, I’ve enjoyed my hair in its natural state. Sometimes I’ll curl it, other days I’ll straighten it but I never got into coloring my hair except that one time in college where it completely dried it out. So yeah, my hair is the typical wash and wear type which made it perfect when I transitioned to motherhood. I didn’t really have to make any grave adjustments with my hair care although my hair issues did change so the shampoo and conditioner that worked for me before had to be replaced.

“All I use is shampoo and conditioner”, I loosely say but when you come to think of it theres a lot of factors that contribute to your hair issues. How many times do we shampoo/condition our hair? Do we live somewhere cold, hot, humid? What is the length of your hair—long or short? Is it straight, wavy or curly? So many things we need to take into account so how is it it so easy for us to just go to the grocery or a Beauty store and select a set off the rack, based on what the labels say? based on the scent? based on packaging? How many times have you wasted time and products looking for the perfect set? I know there have been times when I have to just rough it out until I finished the bottles just because I didn’t want to waste it.

Now, what if I say that there’s someone willing to take all of these details into account and create a shampoo and conditioner set that will (try to) aim to cater to all of your hair needs. Impossible?

NOT REALLY. Not with FORMULATE.

Why try FORMULATE?

√Good for US

– it saves us time, money and bottles of wasted shampoo and conditioner that don’t work for us

√Good for our Hair

– it aims to address ALL our hair issues with a personalized kind of care and NOT generic

√ Good for the Planet

-Preservative free. Sulfate free. Paraben free.Cruelty free. Need I say more? On a side note, ‘Hi, VEGAN friends!’

If you’re not satisfied with the current formula then let them know and their chemists will work on a new formula and send you a second set completely FREE of charge. If you’re still not happy with the second set, let them know and they will give you a full refund.

How it Works

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Sam, my personal contact from Formulate sent me an invite code and it directed me to their website ( FORMULATE ), if you don’t have an invite code it’s okay, you can still go their website and they will ask for your name, an email address to reach you and then direct you to the Hair Wizard who will ask you a bunch of questions regarding you hair. These questions will include what type of hair you have, hair color, hair tools you use, hair products you use, hair care routine, hair problems you want to address, preferred scent and also where you live because they try to factor in the climate and weather conditions of your location. Talk about PERSONALIZED.

Give them a few days (mine, literally came in less than a week) for your personalized set  to come in the mail. With it is a guide that contains an overview on the type of hair you have, a summary of the top 5 hair issues that you want to address and a set of instructions on how to use it (don’t worry its just telling us how many pumps of the shampoo and conditioner you’ll need, not rocket science ), the scent you selected and the ingredient list with a short description on what every single ingredient is for and what it does. So they do want you to be in the know and they want you to be aware of what you’re putting in your hair.

My FORMULATE Journey

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So for my hair, I wanted to focus on Hydration, Replenishing it, Strengthening it, Anti- Frizz and Improving Scalp Health. I gave it a week and a half to see some changes with my hair and noticed that it looked less dry and it felt healthier, more moisturized rather than damp and I also experienced less hair breakage. I wasn’t sure if my formula was supposed to address hair loss but I noticed less hair fall since I started using my set. I normally don’t have dandruff but on occasion I experience some flakes especially when my scalp is dry so with this set I’ve noticed very few flakes close to none.

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Sam closely monitored my journey and explained to me why my hair felt a little bit greasy during the first few days of my transition and he made sure that everything was still working fine that was why it was easy for me to tell him that I noticed my hair feeling a little bit heavy after we experienced a cold front. I’m not sure if I should blame it on the change of temperature but my hair was fine when let down but as soon as I’d tie it up it would frizz on me and appear stiff, not to mention hard to comb. Upon hearing this he quickly took note of my issues and sent it to their lab so they could tweak my formula based on my hair observations and Formulate sent me a completely new set free of charge.

I am now on my second week of using my second set from Formulate and so far they’ve addressed the issues I was facing with the first set; no more frizzing and my hair is so easy to comb even after getting out of the shower (when my hair is all tangled). Most importantly I’d say we’ve achieved 90% of my hair goals : Hydration, Anti-Frizz, Replenish Hair, Improve Scalp Health and Strengthen. I am at ease knowing that there are people out there willing to help me out and willing to take part in my hair journey.

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And since it’s the holidays, I’ve partnered with FORMULATE to give one lucky person a chance to win his/her very own PERSONALIZED hair care set. To join the giveaway, just click on the link below:

FORMULATE GIVEAWAY

This giveaway will run from December 11- December 31, 2018 and if you can’t wait that long to find out if you’ve won, all entries will automatically give you a $5 discount off your purchase and free shipping as well.

Enjoy the Holidays with personal hair care guys, its close-to life changing, if you know what I mean and if you have any questions feel free to send me an email. Good luck!

~Rhea

Cassie Turns Three: Mini Minnie Party

I had different plans for Cassie’s 3rd birthday but this little lady is starting to have a mind of her own. She was obsessed with Minnie Mouse for a while but I thought she got over that, boy was I wrong. Her obsession came back with a vengeance only to be validated by a trip to Disneyland. September was a busy month for us not only because it was Marco’s and my birth month but because I did a lot of out of state traveling with the kids. So Marco and I decided that throwing Cassie a party was out of the question since I already took her to Disneyland plus we got her a lot of presents from Ollie’s and also Toys R’ Us when it closed down. But Cassie had different expectations, she really wanted a Pink Minnie Mouse Party with her ‘Friends’ (the kids who go to the play place at Chick-Fil-A), emphasis on the PINK. I explained to her the situation and she agreed to just visit the Indianapolis Children’s Museum on her birthday and have a small party with just me, Marco and Xavi.

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“Mommy, my wish came true”- Cassie

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There were days after that conversation when she’d ask if we were having cake, or if her friends were coming or if I was going to decorate so I figured she must really want this party so why not throw her an actual party with her Minnie Mouse friends and our family of course. So I ordered a small cake, cupcakes and sugar cookies in theme from our local go-to chef, Chef Maggie of Simply Patisserie, I wrapped all of her gifts in Minnie Mouse wrapping paper, I ordered a Minnie Mouse Balloon bouquet, I manually blew up 30 pink and white balloons that we bought from the dollar store and with the help of a pink table cover and a bunch of lace paper doilies (also from the dollar store), I turned her play area into a small Pink Minnie Mouse Party.

On the day of her birthday, we surprised her with a Peppa Pig bike (yeahhh, that was before she wanted a Minnie Mouse Party) and you could see her face light up when she saw the mini set-up we prepared for her. Daddy had to go to work after that but she asked to go to Chick-fil-A for lunch and after I dressed her up in her pink Minnie Mouse costume that is exactly where I took her so she could play with her ‘friends’. Fortunately, Marco was able to get out of work early so we took her to Chuck E. Cheese’s, ordered some pizza and she went crazy with her game card, with Daddy’s help of course. She was so exhausted, she took an untimely nap after leaving that place and when she woke up from her nap, we sang her birthday song and opened the rest of her presents.

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We bought the Peppa Pig bike before she decided on the Pink Minnie Mouse Party (in case you were wondering)

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While ‘Ate’ was busy with her bike, this one went crazy with the balloons

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The next day we had another birthday party to attend to and the day after that we made a trip to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum as promised. In celebration of the month of Halloween, they had a Grim-nasium set up over there where kids could also trick or treat and of course she was dressed up as Minnie Mouse again (red version this time) and was happy that we dressed up her little brother, Xavi as Mickey Mouse. I guess you could say she was in Minnie Mouse Cloud 9 the whole weekend. Happy Birthday our little Threenager. We love you so much, Cas! You’re growing up too fast.

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INFLUENSTER: Ole Henriksen Glow Cycle Power Serum

*DISCLOSURE: I RECEIVED THESE PRODUCTS COMPLIMENTARY FOR REVIEW PURPOSES. ALL THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS ARE MY OWN.

I’ve never been big on anti-aging products until I finally accepted the reality that I am aging, my skin is aging. I could feel it and I could see it with the appearance of some fine lines in the side creases of my eyes or my mouth when I smile or my forehead when I get mad. Of course the first thing that came up when I started to look at anti-aging products were those with retinol, a lot of them have it so naturally these were the first few products that I tried and anything with retinol was a bit harsh on my skin. My skin would tingle a few minutes after application and I could feel my face burn after being under the sun for even a short while. I knew I had to eventually look for something else because I enjoy being out in the sun too much, I couldn’t just give that up.

Thanks to Influenster for sending me this natural retinol alternative to try out. So, Ole Henriksen has found a product that addresses anti-aging without the ‘harsh’ part, they came up with a natural alternative that contains Bakuchiol to work wonders on the skin. Of course I needed to look up what Bakuchiol was and found out that this ingredient is plant based and is the reason why upon application you feel an instant smoothness to your skin. Another thing I noticed while using this serum was the instant brightness of my skin to the point that it looked like it was “glowing”, I am not exaggerating over here.

(See photos below for reference)

Before ApplicationApplication

Heads up, the serum is purple in color and not as sticky as I expected it would be. It also smells pretty good.

After Application

I am liking the fact that my skin does not sting upon application or after long exposures to the sun. It is sun-friendly in my experience and have read that this safe for pregnant women to use unlike retinol. I’ve also noticed the lightening of some dark spots on my face but have yet to see drastic results in the decrease of those “fine lines” I mentioned earlier. For now, the Ole Henriksen Glow Cycle™ Retin-ALT Power Serum gets a two thumbs up from me.

~Rhea