Beauty Box 5 Special Box Delivery

I recently received a free box from Beauty Box 5 and was pleasantly surprised. I decided to buy a three month subscription to try them out a bit. I guess when I ordered, I ordered in time to receive another July box (my mom got most of the contents, except the lip balm. I love that shiznit) and an offer for a  a special mystery box with “high-end” cosmetics. I know high-end cosmetics, I mean, c’mon. I was excited to see what Beauty Box 5 meant by high-end. At $39.00 USD, I didn’t know what to expect.

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When I got the box, there was no postcard with product listings, so I decided to do a little research…

CATTIVA Retractable Waterproof Eye Liner in Black ($20 USD)

From the website: Intense eyes have never been so defined. Creamy and easy to apply, this very black, paraben-free, waterproof formula is the secret to a perfectly lined eye. Fortified with hyaluronic acid and vitamins to fight the effects of aging and last all day. Retractable dispenser.

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Here’s the thing: I rarely wear black eye liner. It really looks too harsh on me. I may try this one out because the website intrigues me.

OFRA Lip gloss Plumper in Sultry ($12.95 USD)

From the website: A unique color lip gloss formulated by OFRA Cosmetic Laboratories with a touch of lip plumper for a beautiful fuller lips.

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I am pretty sure I received an OFRA gloss in an ipsy bag. I don’t remember trying it. The color is pretty enough, kind of plummy, so I will give it a whirl.

GlamNatural Mascara in Black ($28 USD)

From the website:  Our eco-mascara in classic black- Mascara is the key to every woman’s makeup regimen. This ever-important tool meets the strict BodySafe standard. It is vegan, paraben free, and will give you gorgeous wide-eyed look you crave.

Don’t get excited. I received a mini tube of this $28 mascara. I know that an eco-mascara is good for me but I also would probably never spend $28 for mascara. (Not to say that I never did- that Armani Eyes to Kill was NOT good and I learned my lesson.)

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For info about the polish, keep reading.

Bellapierre Shimmer Powder in Celebration ($14.99 USD)

There is no description on the website, except that this is mineral make-up. In fact, the package doesn’t even tell me that this is shimmer powder or that this product can be used on the eyes. Granted it is pretty, but I am not big on loose pigments. I’m so over them. Someone will end up with this pretty gold eye shadow. It won’t be me.

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Nicka K Nail Polish  ($4.99 USD): I’ll spare you website details. I recently saw a pack of these on Groupon for like $10.Nicka K is a discount brand and they also make ABSOLUTE cosmetics, which GlossyBox loved putting in their subscriptions (hence, I stopped subscribing to GlossyBox.) I am not saying this product is bad- I have yet to try it- but this is not high-end. Oh- and I also got this in the regular subscription box. My mom got the double.

This box was not a terrible deal but I also needed to double check the value of the box. Though I was happy with the regular subscription, I will not order one of the special boxes again.  Granted the products surpassed the $39 price tag, some of the items are obscure to me. I do hope I find something that I love.

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

 

 

Beauty Blogger of the Month Award (and Some Nominees)

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Melissa of Pink Lady Beauty nominated me for a Beauty Blogger of the Month Award. Cecilia of Cecilia’s Corner created this award and it’s great that she wants to spread some love among the blogging community. Being that I am trying to get back in the Beauty Blogging Saddle, this is a fun way to reconnect. All entries have a chance to win a prize- very kind of Cecilia! She even has a prize for anyone that comments on her original post.

A blogger can win Benefit’s They’re Real Push-Up Liner.

 

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Readers that comment can win a Love Alpha Mascara set.

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I also get to answer some fun beauty related questions. Beauty related questions are my favorite.

1. Where does your makeup inspiration come from?

. I think I just like the way I can use my face as an art project- a little paint here, some glitter and glue there. I’ve always been fascinated by beauty items in stores. I love color but I also like the feel of certain products. I love looking at packaging and testing out products. I think I approach make-up the way I approach my life- trying and learning about new things.

2. What are 3 of your makeup Holy Grail products you cannot live without?

Oh. You’re making me choose! One for sure is Sephora’s 12 Hour Contour Eye Pencil. For about $12 USD, you can buy two just for about the same price as an Urban Decay eye pencil. I swear the Sephora pencil stays on better, too. The second would be NYX HD Eye Primer. I’ve converted a number of folks that were buying expensive primers but the white in this primer makes for vibrant and long lasting eye shadow. The third would have to be a tinted lip balm. I personally love lip products- they are my favorite in the cosmetics department but I keep tinted lip balm in my bag for a quick and easy shot of color.

3. What is your makeup signature look which you have on most of the time?

My “signature” look recently changed. Usually, I would use some tinted moisturizer to even out my skin and then line my eyes with a colorful pencil. I curl and mascara my lashes and add a little lip. Now, I still use tinted moisturizer but I’ll just play with some neutral eye shadow and put on a bit of a bolder lip. Really depends on the day and the time!

4. Let us know your favorite makeup brands?

I love Urban Decay eye shadow. For lipstick, I enjoy BITE or NYC lip products from the drugstore. Too Faced is fun and Smashbox is a guilty pleasure.

5. Your ultimate makeup pet peeve?

Ugh. Chipped nails, dark liner and light lipstick, and harsh eye liner make me shudder.

6. You’ve heard about all the hype on this makeup item, bought it, tried it and don’t understand what all the fuss is about…Name that product!

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder- I don’t get it. Even the smallest amount makes me look like a light bulb. I also do not like the texture.

7. Concealer OR foundation ONLY for the rest of your life. Choose one and tell us the reason! Concealer all the way- I can dab it where I need it. I don’t like the feel of foundation.

Now for the seven nominees!

 Sarah-Jane Vella

Love Anela

Fashion, Food and Flirts

The Luxe List

Fashion for Lunch

Simply.My. Thing

Blushing Beauty

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Getting #RadiantWithAVEENO

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Does anyone out there own a magnifying light up mirror? I do. It is probably one of my favorites in my beauty arsenal. It can be dangerous- no stray hair or blackhead should show their face, as the mirror will locate, target, and I will remove with whatever force necessary. If you are having a bad day, the mirror is hard to deal with. There are times I love it and times I want to break it because it forces you to take a good hard look at your skin.

Do you see me?

My mirror- best friend or sworn enemy?

At 34, I’ve been pretty lucky. I don’t really have wrinkles and my skin is pretty clear. I do have ginormous caverns aka pores on my face but with glycolic peels or a purifying mask and some pore strips, they clean up nicely. When I was offered the chance to try Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Targeted Tone Corrector, I figured what the heck? Influenster sent me my tube and I looked at my face. Closely. I was not as happy as I thought I would be.

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Under my eyes and at the top of my cheeks were little spots. Some I figure are freckles but others aren’t as cute. I see splotches. And more spots. And I don’t like it one bit.

WTH is THAT?!

WTH is THAT?!

That little tube could not have come soon enough.

 

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Aveeno Positively Radiant Targeted Tone Corrector should help fade the look of dark spots and uneven tone. It promises to be non-irritating and to reveal softer, smoother, and more radiant skin. It is oil free and won’t clog pores. The consistency is thinner than a lotion and the scent is strong. If you are sensitive to fragrance, try to sniff this first. Scented products don’t normally bother me and this came off a bit strong and floral. I squirt about a dime size for each side of my face and target my cheek area. I started using the Targeted Tone Corrector maybe 10 days ago. What did I find?

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I see a little improvement but it is really hard to tell. Why? It’s the summer. Even with SPF (that I wear everyday), I still freckle a little. I can tell that a few spots faded slightly but I think this maybe a product to try in cooler months when the beach and pool aren’t so tempting. In fact, I really feel I can’t judge the product as honestly as I would like.

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I do trust the Aveeno brand.  Aveeno Positively Radiant Targeted Tone Corrector is about $14 USD. A lot of tone correcting treatments can run $30+  and don’t work, so it is safe to say this is more of a “bargain,” especially if you would like to try a tone corrector.

Until then…

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Aveeno on Facebook

#RadiantWithAveeno

 

*Product complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.

Beauty Box 5 Believer

A few weeks ago, Doreen of Love Anela, blogged about receiving a complimentary beauty box from Beauty Box 5. I have written about my disappointment with beauty boxes in the past, and though I recently tried GlossyBox again, we soon parted ways. (I still subscribe to ipsy and FabFitFun.) I understand that I won’t like everything that comes in a beauty box delivery BUT I also  hope that if I fill out a profile, someone would  care to refer to it.  I received my first Beauty Box 5 on Monday. After the day my husband and I had, it was a sweet surprise. I was even happier when I opened it.

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The box was a nice bright sea-foam green. The items were tucked safely right in the box with shredded paper. Nothing came messy or broken. There were a few inserts included. The July box is themed “Defining Moments,” encouraging subscribers to “treasure accomplishments.” In all honesty, I’m not big on themes but I think it is nice that the company wants you to carry out a purpose.

Let’s get to the good stuff!

Revlon Bold Lacquer Mascara ($7.99 USD): This mascara is a newbie on the market. It should add volume and definition, with lift- no eyelash curler?  I can almost feel a panic attack. I have a bunch of mascaras to try but since Revlon wants us to #flashyourlash this will be the next on my list.

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HASK Argan Oil Intense Deep Conditioning Hair Treatment ($2.49 USD): I can find HASK products in the local beauty supply. I even have used their hair placenta spray (sounds gross and works wonders). This packet has a generous amount of product. It is a nourishing cream that should make my hair soft and shiny for up to two weeks. BB5 also mentions that the packet has two uses. I love argan oil and have high hopes for this one!

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Body Drench Candy Licious Lips ($3.99 USD): Skinny little tube promises to pack a candy flavored punch. They aren’t lying. I got Red Licorice and I swear I’m wearing a Twizzler. It also helps that the beeswax, coconut oil, and vitamin make for a smooth and soothing application.

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Anna Naturals Glowing Mama Walnut Face & Body Scrub ($10.99 USD 4 fl oz): A vegan scrub that is not formulated with parabens, chemicals, or harsh fragrances will be welcome in my cleansing routine. This sample should be good for about three uses.  We do end up putting about 500 chemicals on our bodies daily, something to lower that number is a help.

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Starlooks Lip Liner in Tickle Me Pink ($12.00 USD): Starlooks is another brand that offers a beauty box but seem to also be making their way into other beauty subscriptions. I have a few items from them and do enjoy using their products. Tickle Me Pink is a nice neutral pink that seems versatile.

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My first Beauty Box 5 was a success and gave me a chance to try their subscription without costing me a dime. At $12 USD a month, I think I may have to try them out for a bit!

Is that a Twizzler on your lips, or are you just happy to see me?

Is that a Twizzler on your lips, or are you just happy to see me?

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Getting LA Hair with Kim Kimble Beauty

Kim Kimble, celebrity hair guru, has developed a line of hair care products to help keep hair looking fabulous. I decided to try  her Brazilian Nut & Acai Berry Conditioning Masque. My hair has been super parched lately, so this seemed to be an excellent choice. A very durable shower cap was included with the conditioning masque.

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The Brazilian Nut & Acai Berry Conditioning Masque comes in an eight ounce squeeze tube. I think it can be used as a daily conditioner but I chose to try it out as a full on conditioning treatment.  The Kisses Shower Cap is very generous in size. It can even be used over rollers. The material is very thick and no water will get in, as the band keeps the cap snug without being tight.

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The product is easy to use. Get in the shower and wash your hair as usual. Squeeze a bit onto your palms and work from the ends of the hair to the scalp. The product instructions say to massage from the bottom of the hair up to the scalp- the treatment is supposed to help with scalp health.

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I found the product to have a slightly thicker consistency than the regular conditioner  I use for my color treated hair. The product’s fragrance is sweet but not overwhelming. I would say the scent is fruity with a dash of bubble gum.I started with a small amount- maybe about the size of a quarter, rubbed the masque between my palms  and worked it from the ends up. I then tucked the hair into the shower cap. You can use a clip to gather your hair before putting on the cap. Since the tube suggests to apply heat and I don’t own a hair dryer, I figured the steam from the shower would help the conditioner work its magic.  After about 10 minutes, I removed the shower cap and rinsed. I noticed my hair did not feel heavy or greasy. Sometimes when using a treatment, I feel like rinsing forever but not with this masque. It left my hair soft without making it weigh a ton.

Love the cap!

Love the cap!

I styled as usual (the true test). What did I find? My hair is way better today since my last color treatment (I dyed it myself using a semi-permanent drugstore brand. Never again.) My hair feels soft to the touch and the curls are back to their original form.

Interested in trying Kim Kimble products? Click here for a link to her products. Use code hair10 for 10% off your purchase. I do not yet see the conditioner available on the website provided by BrandBacker but you can search for the product online.

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Sponsored by BrandBacker. Product provided free for review. All opinions are my own.

Onward and Upward

Hello, hello!

It has been over two months since my last post.

2014 has been riddled with challenges. Not long after the May 1st post, my husband and I learned he would need a second surgery on his eye. Needless to say, we prepared ourselves for another procedure and 10 days of recovery. The surgery went well and recovery was unpleasant but we hoped this would be the last of surgeries for a retinal detachment. Fast forward to July 10th…

The doctor could not get a clear view of my husband’s retina, as common complications like cataracts and an opaque capsule, blocked the view. After an eye ultrasound (yes, they do those), we learned that the retina had started to detach again. We were all devastated by this news. Though we try to to really keep what is good in our lives in perspective, the idea of surgery is still scary and frustrating.

We see my husband’s new doctor on Monday. I do have some blogging obligations that I have to fill within the next week but my posts will still be sporadic.

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Keepin’ It Curly

I didn’t always have curly hair. As a kid, it was very straight and thick. When I was in 8th grade, I got a perm. As my hair grew out, it never lost the curl. I guess it liked being curly.

Via Indulgy.com

Via Indulgy.com

I fought the curl in my 20s. There was something about straight hair. It looked so neat and smooth but was a pain to maintain. I went to Ouidad and got a curly haircut. My life was forever changed. My holy grail gel is Ouidad’s Climate Control. Though I have long abandoned the “rake and shake” styling method, I have not abandoned the gel and my frizz free curls. Until recently.

My friend, E., started posting about her love of DevaCurl products. I was never curious about DevaCurl- the no poo shampoo gives me the creeps- but E.’s curls look amazing and I just happened to have a sample pack of DevaCurl products lying around. The pack contained three very generous samples of the No-Poo Cleanse,  One Condition, and Light Defining Gel. (And when I say generous samples, I have already gotten two uses out of the packets and think may have 2-3 more uses.)

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I wash my hair pretty much every other day but sometimes up to two days. I actually hadn’t washed in three days and decided to give the No-Poo a whirl. By the way, the products smell delightful, like jasmine tea. I squeezed some of the No-Poo into my hands and rubbed together. I really went at my scalp and worked some through the ends. I was a little afraid my head wouldn’t feel fresh but there must be some kind of tingly ingredient in that stuff because my head and scalp felt totally clean. I then worked some conditioner through the mid- section to the ends of my hair. I left it for a few minutes, combed through, and rinsed.

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I have admitted my devotion to Ouidad’s Climate Control Gel but I confess I use some kind of oil in my hair for my routine curly hair ritual. I put that in while it is soaking wet. Then I put my gel and some Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls and scrunch. It isn’t time consuming and my curls stay frizz-free and are well defined. I decided to forgo the oil when trying the Deva Curl, as well as the curl cream. I followed the directions, tilted my wet head forward, and worked the gel through my hair, scrunching along the way. Then I waited for it to dry because as much as I love products, I do not love hair dryers.

What I noticed: my curls were definitely more spirally than normal. My husband did notice my hair did look different- he said it seemed curlier. I found some of my tighter curls were really tight. The next day, I still needed some product to smooth out some of the frizz. I found that it didn’t keep my frizz at bay as much as the thicker Ouidad gel.

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What will I do? The jury is still out on that one. I have a TON of Ouidad gel to use up and I know it works for me. On the other hand, I will use up my samples and see what happens. Consistency is key with products. I’m curious to see if with time DevaCurl will hydrate my hair and it will naturally become less frizzy. I also put some of my oil in today to see if there is any difference.

Quick Update: Washed my hair Tuesday night with DevaCurl, put some oil in, and this is my hair today after some time in a ponytail.

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Are you  happy with your hair?

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

 

Cleansing with Konjac- not Kojak

(Via Google Images)

(Via Google Images)

Yes, that is Telly Savalas, and no, I am not really going to write about Kojak, a show that ended before my time. I am going to give you some info on the Boscia Konjac Cleansing Sponge ($18 USD). Konjac? Kojak? Same difference. Well… not really…

 

(Via Google Images)

(Via Google Images)

Konjac sponges are gaining popularity in the US market. We usually are more into high tech rip your face off cleansing tools so the konjac sponge is a nice change. I don’t really consider myself to have sensitive skin but found my Clarisonic to be a bit harsh during cooler months and though I love my my Foreo Luna Mini, I  sometimes feel it doesn’t get really into my pores enough. Le sigh.

A konjac sponge is a little different. First off, it is a cheaper method. It is also disposable and won’t cost you an arm and a leg for a replacement head. It is also super gentle at exfoliating and just so fricken cool. Yes- fricken cool.

Konjac is native to Asia.- it is actually a type of potato It grows at high altitudes. Konjac is naturally 97% water, loaded in minerals, but not in calories. It is also pH neutral. And that is reason #139 that I love konjac potatoes- that, and their ability to exfoliate skin without stripping.

I ordered the Bosica Konjac Cleansing Sponge because I got an email about it from Sephora. I’m always looking for some kind of item in hopes that it will obliterate blackheads. I thought $18 USD was a little pricey but what was stopping me really? The sponge is half a sphere. It feels like a ball (or half a ball) of styrofoam. You immerse the sponge in warm water and it softens. Before my first use, I really let it soak up water. It softens up really well but still feels sturdy in the hands. Put cleanser directly onto the sponge and massage the skin in a circular motion. Rinse your face. Rinse the sponge out well and hang it to dry. It’s that easy.

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I’ve been using the sponge for maybe three days now and it has become the favorite part of my cleansing routine. It just is so soft and feels so refreshing yet soothing. My skin also looks more vibrant.

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The Boscia Konjac Sponge should be disposed after 2-3 months. Oh! If you don’t want to spend 18 bucks, there are a few other great options which I will most definitely be trying. Check them out:

EcoTools Pure Complexion Sponge ($5.99 US- Seriously?)

Dr. Sponge via Anthropologie ($8.50 US)

Amazon also has a few options.

Go get fresh faced!

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Studio Gear Gets an A+ for Their CC Cream

Hello, hello!

I hope all is well today. I have had many trials and tribulations with face products for quite a bit. I have a decent complexion and rarely have any real issues with my face. When I was given the opportunity to try Studio Gear’s Hydrating CC Color Correcting Cream, I figured what the heck?!

Studio Gear Hydrating CC Cream

Studio Gear Hydrating CC Cream

 

I have always had trouble with BB creams. I found them to be either too heavy or way too watery. My face would become an oil field and I would have to blot like crazy. I resorted to using only a face primer and that seemed to do the trick. I was intrigued by the Studio Gear Hydrating CC Cream because it offers SPF 20, is oil free, lightweight, and hydrating.

This is my before. Note to self: drink coffee before phoographs.

This is my before. Note to self: drink coffee before photographs.

From Brandbacker website:

Hydrating CC Cream transforms and enhances your complexion in an incredibly light, smooth formula. This foundation simultaneously fights aging, retains moisture, and covers and treats blemishes with a non-oily, perfectly radiant finish.

Key Benefits:

Prevents fine lines and wrinkles with collagen-building ingredients
Restores skin elasticity by promoting moisture retention
Brightens and illuminates skin with a non-oily, complete coverage application

When looking the product, it almost looks like a face scrub. There are microencapsulated pigments in the CC cream that allow for hydration of up to 72 hours.

Do you see the little capsules?

Do you see the little capsules? This amount covered more than half my face.

I applied it over the very light moisturizer I use. It goes on very smoothly and I found that I do not need a lot of product to cover my face.

Napkin swatch! See how the color develops has it is smoothed over.

Napkin swatch! See how the color develops as it is smoothed over.

 

The product does not make the skin look matte. I wouldn’t say it makes it look dewy either. This CC cream gives you a slightly luminous finish.  I actually would say this made my skin look “better than” its natural state.

After application. Way too close today.

After application. Way too close today.

As for the grease factor- the Studio Gear Hydrating CC Cream did not make me super oily. In fact, I felt that it actually helped keep some of the oil at bay. With that said, lasting power was pretty good but I did need to touch up with my powder here and there.

I put on some more color.

I put on some more color.

The price of Studio Gear Hydrating CC Cream is $34 USD. It is available in three shades, linen, natural, and wheat,  which is a pretty limited selection. I am wearing the cream in Natural, so any skin tones lighter or darker may have some difficulty when selecting a shade.

If you are interested in trying Studio Gear’s Hydrating CC Cream or any of their other products, just click here. You will receive a 10% discount on your order when using the code bloggercc.

Let me know if you try any other Studio Gear products. I’d love to hear about it!

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

This post is powered by BrandBacker. Product was sent to me complimentary. All opinions are my own.

I’m Baaack! (I Hope!)

Good Morning!

After a few months of trials and tribulations, I am hoping to be back and posting more frequently. I’ll give you a rundown of the past six months:

-November, 2013- My husband and I moved out of the apartment we lived in for over four years. We really liked the apartment but agreed it was time to move to a bigger place.

-December, 2013- We soon learned that the landlord was not attentive and that our downstairs neighbor was not the type of person you’d want to share a building with. (Yes- it was that bad.)

January, 2014- We decided we needed to get the heck out of the new place so we packed up and moved into my mother-in-law’s house.

February-March, 2014: These moved along pretty quietly. We took a brief vacation, celebrated my birthday, and just settled in. The weather kind of stunk- snow and more snow but we were chugging along nicely.

April, 2014: Just as we thought things were getting back to normal, my husband learned that he had a detached retina. He had to have surgery. It was not pleasant. In the meantime, I had hit a very stressful time at work. When it rains is pours. I also was planning on going to Iceland with my mom for her birthday- a treat from the hubs and I. After waiting a few days, he sent us on our merry way. We got back this past Friday night.

And that, my friends, has  been my life the past six months. I think my husband and I learned quite a bit. It is wonderful when you have a full on support system and a family that will help you. You also can’t let this kind of junk crush you.

I hope you all are doing well. I plan on posting on a weekly basis, if I can wrap my head around it!

Until then…

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXOXO