Bags, babies, beauty, and whatever else crosses my mind...

Friday, April 29, 2011

Mommy's New Bag(s)!

So I did a little collection "re-organizing" while I was on blog hiatus, and a few new bags arrived at my house! If you're here for a Louis Vuitton reveal - sorry to disappoint, but they are actually both Balenciaga bags! If you know me or knew me about some 3 or 4 years ago... I was a 100% Balenciaga girl. It was the only brand I carried. After I had Cupcake, I felt like they were maybe too delicate to carry all of the time, and that Louis Vuitton would be a more durable and long-lasting choice.

Well, I haven't given up on Louis Vuitton (I'm still considering it my "main" brand), but I did feel like I was missing having just a FEW Balenciaga bags in my collection, since I sold off a vast majority of them. So I had some Vuitton accessories just hanging around that weren't being used like they should be, so I decided to turn those into a Balenciaga bag! (Or two!)

The first bag I hunted down was a 2007 Anthracite Work. I used to have this color in a First (the smallest size Balenciaga well-known bag currently in production), but the size was just too small for me, so I let it go some time ago. I always missed the color and leather, so when this bag became available and I had an opportunity to re-home some LV accessories that weren't being used - I jumped on it!

2007 Anthracite Work

The leather is scrumptious, 2007 was the last year for Balenciaga to use their signature chevre leather, and 2007 bags hold a special place in my heart. (2007 also happens to be the year I found a love for Balenciaga.) Anthracite is a beautiful color that can look gray, blue or a dark teal depending on the lighting. It is, in my humble opinion, the best Anthracite that Balenciaga has ever released.

My second surprise purchase happened while innocently searching bags one day, I found a bag in a color that hadn't really caught my attention before that, but I couldn't get it off of my mind. I ended up having a bit of an overage leftover from the sale of my LV accessories, so I decided to go ahead and make it a two-for! 

 Even though it's agneau (the material used post-chevre starting in 2008, and on a few 2007 bags, like Violet, came in both materials) - I don't mind it. I do actually like the leather on this particular bag, and the color is another great chameleon color, that changes depending on the lighting and what colors are around it. It's a deep red burgundy, with purple and brown undertones that - even for a non-red wearing girl like myself- is surprisingly wearable. 2008 Black Cherry is truly a magnificent color.

2008 Black Cherry Work - Most representative of the true color

So those are my new bags for now, don't worry - I haven't given up on Louis Vuitton! Just trying to add a little of variety back into the collection! ;)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Fun! And what we've been up to!

Well, I've been remiss in blogging, but it's been a busy past week or so, with family in town visiting and trying to keep the house going. Hopefully I'll be back to my regular routine in the next few days! Some fun exciting things have been going on though, all of which will be the topics of future blog posts... Cupcake starts her first Mommy & Me swimming class today (so excited!), lots of pictures to follow of that... I actually DID get a new bag finally, which I will be excited to share with you in a future blog post, and the Great Cupcake Remodel is going well! I actually found the PERFECT bedding set to go with the theme I had in my head for the Cupcake Tea Party theme, and it is on its way to me! Lots of pictures of that to follow as well!

For today though, I just wanted to share a little Easter fun we had over the weekend... It will be one of Cupcake's "last first" holidays, since she'll be turning 1 year old soon! Then she will have "been there, done that" for all of them!

She opened her Easter basket first thing...

And also had a few packages from grandparents waiting for her as well...

Later in the day, we decided to play a little dress-up - and make sure one of the outfits I've had for a while in mind for her 1st birthday pictures still fits. (It does, hooray!)
Not actual shirt I'm planning on using... but we just had it on so she wasn't in the buff!

Her first pair of "designer" shoes... :)

Then we took some time to swing outside and play with her new bubble gun...

All in all, it was a great day! Hope that you & yours had an awesome Easter as well!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Zoya Earth Day Nail Polish Exchange Promotion!

Zoya is doing another great nail polish - this time in honor of Earth Day! This one has been the long-awaited promotion, for those that took part in it last year!

Here are the details from:


Out with the old - in with the new! In honor of Earth Day from April 20, 2011 - April 27, 2011(11:59PM EST) Zoya Nail Polish will exchange* your old, out-of-style, unwanted nail color and replenish your nail polish supply with fresh Zoya fashion colors. All you pay is $4.00 per bottle for shipping and processing. Choose from over 300 formaldehyde, toluene, camphor and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) free, long-lasting, award winning, healthy colors to replace your old color! Zoya will properly dispose of your old polish.

Here's all you need to do!

  1. Go to and pick out the polishes you would like and add them to your cart. You must select at least 6 bottles  and no more than 24 bottles of polish (Salons accounts minimum 12 maximum 48 bottles.)
  2. Apply the code:  EARTHZOYA
  3. Your order value will be adjusted to reflect the promotion
  4. SUBMIT your order!
As the information from their website states, you simply have to place your order, put in the code, and then wait to receive your nail polish! Once you receive your nail polish, you're on the honor code to send in (approximately - according to their Facebook page) the same amount of nail polishes of a DIFFERENT brand back in to them!

I've already placed my order and I will share the colors I ordered with you when they arrived! I'm very excited to be updated a portion of my nail polish collection with Zoya polishes!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Britax B-Ready Double Stroller Review

The first item we purchased with "two kids" in mind has been the Britax B-Ready Stroller, which can be used as a single or double stroller and has multiple configurations that it works in. Cupcake's convertible car seat happens to be a Britax, and it was our first product that we had tried from the brand. Once we purchased her Britax Marathon 70 and LOVED it (for the safety, as well as aesthetic reasons), we knew that all new car seats that we purchased from here on out would be the Britax car seats.

With that in mind, once we found out we were expecting again - we realized not only were we going to have to find a double stroller to accomodate an infant and a toddler - but we were going to have to find a stroller that accommodated a Britax infant car seat, if we didn't end up using the Graco infant car seat that we already owned.

So we did actually look into a number of brands, and did comparisons - and also considered that we might not be able to use a Britax infant car seat when we first started out. After looking at them all throughly online and a few in-store... the Chicco Together Tandem stroller (I have the Chicco Cortina and LOVE it, btw), Baby Jogger City Select, even the Sit 'n' Stand strollers and some Graco double stroller models that Babies'R'Us had on the floor... I knew it was going to be the Britax B-Ready. I was pleasantly surprised when my husband also agreed!

He suggested we go over to Buy Buy Baby to see one in person, and go ahead and pick it up while the "get a free item" sale was going on, if we liked it. Once we got to the store and tried it out, it was a YES. The demo model at the store had the second toddler seat attachment, and Cupcake sat in it no problem. She was happy to peak at the world from the sides of the seat - and was particularly entertained by the zipper on the back of the top toddler seat.

Since Britax was doing a giveaway of an infant carseat, second toddler seat, or bassinet attachments with the purchase of the B-Ready - we had to decide what our free item was going to be. We had a Graco carseat that we used with Cupcake and could have used it again... but we decided to go ahead and get the infant car seat as our free item, and we will purchase the second toddler seat (to fit on the lower level) at a later time.

So this is what it looks like!

We got it in red, because it was one of the few stock colors that Buy Buy Baby had in stock. One of the things that we really loved, was that you have the option of putting the infant seat on the lower level or upper level. We purchased the infant lower level car seat adapter so that the infant seat could be used with the regular toddler seat in the upper level position.

Regular toddler B-Ready seat attached, with infant car seat adapter on lower level. Infant rear facing.

Regular toddler B-Ready seat attached, with infant car seat adapter on lower level. Infant forward facing.
Every time you click one of the pieces into the configuration you want the stroller in, it makes a "click" noise to let you know it's locked and is easy enough that I would be comfortable changing the configurations myself - if I was on the go out on my own during the day.

Here is a list of some of the configurations you can use on Britax's website:

I've been using the B-Ready as a single stroller for the past week since we made our purchase, and I can honestly say that I love it! It's easy to maneuver, and easy to get in and out of the back of my car. (One of the biggest considerations for a double stroller for us, was making sure it would fit in the back of a Honda CR-V!) It's footprint isn't much larger than a regular single stroller (even when being used as a double stroller), and I really like that. In fact it became one of the biggest selling points about the B-Ready as to why I liked it so much.

We don't have second toddler seat yet, since it will be awhile before we need it... but I will be sure to update once we purchase the second toddler seat on how I like using the different configurations and what it seems like our most used ones are.

All in all, I think is was a solid purchase and definitely the best stroller purchase for us! We needed a double stroller that didn't have a huge footprint, wasn't so heavy that a pregnant lady (or otherwise wimpy when lifting lady) couldn't get it out of the car, and was easily maneuverable in a variety of locations (i.e. the grocery store, mall, Target, theme parks, etc.)... and we found that in the B-Ready. I can't wait to try it out with two little munchkins!

(This review was done independently and the reviewer did not receive any compensation from companies mentioned to do the review.)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sephora Mini Haul!

I was so excited about the Sephora 15% coupon that I had to stop in to see what fun things I could find to use it for, and also check a few things off of my makeup wishlist!

The three things I picked up were the Make Up For Ever HD Foundation in 110, NARS lipstick in Dolce Vita, and Sephora Collection gloss in Forever Pink.

With Flash
I finally got the Make Up For Ever HD Foundation to try - and I have to say... I'm loving it! It's exactly what I was looking for in a liquid foundation. (I'm used to using Bare Escentuals, so I knew I couldn't use anything TOO heavy, or TOO perfume-y.) It is really light, feels nice on your face all day long, and doesn't get cake-y or dry. It also doesn't have any type of perfume odor to it, which I appreciate - because my sensitive skin goes crazy when manufacturers put unnecessary scents into face products.

NARS Dolve Vita lipstick is a nice, neutral pink color that looks extremely dark in the tube in real life, but goes on a nice neutral pink color once you put it on your lips. More like what the color shows up as in the picture above with flash. It's a great Spring lipstick!

And I also picked up the Sephora collection lip gloss in Forever pink on a whim, because I tried it in the store and loved it! It's a glossy pink that gives just a hint of shimmer and pinkness once it's on, perfect for going over a lipstick (I've already tried it over Dolce Vita and give it a thumbs up) or on it's own.

Without flash

The Sephora 15% off coupon can be used multiple times until the expiration date, so I may have to make one more trip to the store just for good measure!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sephora 15% off for Beauty Insiders & VIBs starts today!

Sephora is running a promotion of 15% for Beauty Insiders & VIBs starting today (April 14, 2011) and ending April 24, 2011. As you probably have figured out by now, Sephora is one of my absolute favorite stores...

I was particularly excited to receive my VIB invitation in the mail for this event, because it was totally off my radar! I always look forward to the 20% off or so that happens around October or November, but I had either forgotten about an April/Spring promotion or this is something new for this year. (With mommy brain, I had probably just forgotten about it!)

I'm looking forward to being able to pick up a few things off my wishlist at a slight discount, and possibly pick a few extra things I wouldn't have gotten otherwise with the 15% off. I'm thinking right now of getting the Makeup Forever HD Foundation, a Lancome Juicy Tube, maybe a NARS or Sephora lipstick, and... hmmm, perhaps something from Too Faced just for good measure! I'll be sure to report back with my Sephora mini haul once I've had a chance to go shopping!

In a future post I'll give more detail about the Beauty Insider program and becoming a VIB, I was a member of the pilot program of the Beauty Insiders when it was first launched, and it's been one of my favorite store loyalty programs ever since. If you shop at Sephora, even occasionally, it's definitely worth it to sign up for this free loyalty program that earns you points with each purchase. At 100 points, you earn a free deluxe sample and at 500 points you can earn some pretty nice makeup or gift sets. The best part is, you can save your points until you see something you like, so you don't have to get a deluxe sample or gift set if they don't have anything your interested in and you can hold out for something better.

The 15% off coupon is also available online, make sure your a Beauty Insider (free rewards program) or VIB (invite only program) associated with your online account, and use the following codes to get the discount!
Beauty Insider Code - BICHIC

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Nameity Name Names...

Hmmm... how to approach this subject.

Names are kind of a touchy subject in our family. They didn't used to be, but Cupcake's current "legal name" is not actually the name she started out with. We changed it two weeks after she was born. (And no, we didn't actually name her Cupcake, ha ha!) I never thought when I was pregnant the first time around that something like that would ever happen, but it did and it's just become one of those odd facts about us.

I read a few things on the Internet here and there while I was pregnant, about people changing their child's name a few weeks, a month, a few months after their child was born... but I didn't think that would ever happen to US? I mean surely you would just look at this little being and instantly know what they were supposed to be called, right?? Wrong. Most definitely wrong.

With Cupcake, even though we had names we had tossed around the entire time - I decided that we would just "wait until we saw her" to name her, which I now think was probably the absolute wrong thing to do. We should have just announced a name while I was pregnant, stuck with the name, and if we would have decided to change the name once we saw her, so be it. Then we would have been "those quirky people that called their baby sometime different the entire time she was in the womb"... not "those awkward people that had to order a second set of birth announcements and occasionally still have to correct people on what their daughter's name is almost one year later".

Hmmm... potatoe, pa-tat-toe. I suppose. The unfortunate part is that I really don't think we ever captured the spark that is my daughter with EITHER of the names that we chose for her - but I've decided to let sleeping fishes lie... or whatever that phrase is.

So this time around, we have a plan. Well, I have a plan. We have names leftover from the last pregnancy, and that is that. These are what this new baby will be called, end of story. No more deliberation needed. (Unless of course we change our minds after we see him or her, LOL...)

Little Bean baby #2  will be either a Natalie Elizabeth or Nathaniel Richard (Nate), and hopefully this time around we can avoid a lot of extra, unnecessary paper work and not second guess ourselves. We shall see... and regardless, a rose by any other name is supposed to smell just as sweet, right?

Monday, April 11, 2011

New little bean on the way!

Well, contrary to the title of my blog - I will NOT be getting any new bags anytime soon... as hubby and I just found out we have a new little bean on the way! Cupcake's going to be a big sister!

No exciting pictures to share, other than one ultrasound that just looks like, well... a peanut. My due date is November 16, 2011 and we already have some people hoping for the day 11/11/11 - which I have to admit, WOULD be a cool birthday. So I guess we'll see...

Other side effects of newly finding out I'm pregnant again, include me not wanting to peel myself from a horizontal position long enough to sit in front of a computer to blog - but I have a feeling once the shopping for new baby kicks in (more than likely after we find out whether it's a boy or a girl), new blog posts will be aplenty!

Believe it or not, we've already made our first "two babies" related purchase - and went out and got the Britax B-Ready stroller for use as a single or double stroller. I love it and will be sure to review it in a future blog post.

That's what's going on around my house right now... Happy Monday!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Our Deal of the Week: New Entertainment Stand!

The deal of the week around my house this week was a new entertainment stand! The one we had prior had an open front where all of the electronics sat, so Cupcake quickly realized once she was mobile (and especially since she's been able to stand up) that pushing buttons on the electronic things and making them do stuff was fun! (Not so fun for Mommy & Daddy who have to figure out what's she's done to the TIVO or figure out if she's accidentally reset the PS3!!)

So we went on the hunt for a new entertainment stand. We looked at a number of places at the ones in-store... which resulted in a lot of "meh"s - especially after seeing some of the prices!

I turned my search online and kept finding ones that were "just okay" and ridiculously over-priced. (Not really a fan of paying over $400 for "just okay".) Then, a light bulb... Amazon! We've been getting tons of baby stuff from Amazon lately, but for some reason I forget about them for "other" household stuff. A quick search on there revealed that sure enough there was cheaper options AND that these cheaper options were better than "just okay". I actually liked a few of them!

I finally settled on a entertainment stand by Techcraft and we paid a little more for it be shipped to us directly from Amazon, so that we didn't have to worry about some third party seller that realized "oops they didn't have it in stock"... and we end up having to wait for months. (Because this is really a RIGHT NOW type of issue that needed to get solved with Cupcake.) I ordered it over the weekend and it arrived yesterday!

It was well packed and once the hubby got it set up, I was super pleased with the quality! Definitely better than some of the things we'd looked at in the big box electronic stores (i.e. Best Buy) and a better price as well. There were two sizes available in the particular style we settled on of the Techcraft Veneto, the 48 and the 60:

                     Techcraft Veneto Series SWP48 TV Stand                               Techcraft Veneto Series SWP60 TV Stand
Essentially the same, however the 48 inch size has two doors and two compartments, and the 60 inch size has three compartments - but the center door has a mesh covering that we eventually decided could be a negative if Cupcake found it great fun to try to push the mesh in and broke it. So the 48 inch one it was!

It came boxed really well and looks great (in my humble opinion of course) with the rest of the furniture in our family room, so I'm happy that we found a suitable entertainment stand that didn't cost an arm and a leg to solve our problem.

Links with more information on the Techcraft TV entertainment stands:
Techcraft Veneto Series SWP48 TV Stand
Techcraft Veneto Series SWP60 TV Stand

In a future blog post I'll show updated pictures of our family room with the new entertainment cabinet, I just haven't gotten around to taking my camera down there yet!
(This is an independent review, reviewer was not compensated in any way to purchase this product or review it.)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Reader Request: Accessorizing a Maxi Dress

Thanks to reader Brea Amour for another great blog request!

She recently purchased a maxi dress for summer and was wondering what kind of accessories to put with it! Maxi dresses are great, because they are light and airy, and can be appropriate for a variety of situations. They can be dressed up or down... and are comfortable as well!

The maxi dress she purchased was by 'Stem' from Nordstrom's:
Picture courtesy of reader Brea Amour
She also purchased a white pullover shirt to put over the dress for more casual occasions, which will also be great to keep the sun off!
Picture courtesy of reader Brea Amour
I love the idea of dressing up a maxi dress with adorable wedges and a cute clutch - or wearing it casually with a jeweled sandal and large sun hat. A statement piece of jewelry can also really work with a maxi dress, but I prefer one really great piece of jewelry with it versus alot of small pieces of jewelry. A long necklace or chunky, adorned bracelet can add interest.

Some of my favorite wedges to go with darker colored maxi dresses this season are bronze metallic:, KORS 'Wilshire' Sandal, $195
This wedge by Seychelles is also a great neutral color (Vachetta) that could work with a number of outfits:, Seychelles 'Purr' Wedge, $94.95
These flat sandals make a maxi dress more casual and I love the details on these:, Bernardo Mardi, $139
And what would a cute summer dress be, without a cute clutch to carry your personal items around in?, Tory Burch Rattan Flap Clutch, $275
And these statement pieces of jewelry could finish off the look:, Nordstrom Big & Bold Channel Cuff, $58
And this cuff is a bit more serious..., Argento Vivo 'Moonstruck' Cuff, $298
And just for good measure... a gorgeous pair of sunglasses to complete your outfit., Louis Vuitton Soupcon Oversize, $570

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Guest Blogger on 'The Type A Housewife' today!

Check out my guest blog on 'The Type A Housewife' about my favorite natural beauty products, set to post this evening! This is my first experience guest blogging and I've had a blast being able to contribute to 'The Type A Housewife' while Kiersten is away looking at houses!

You can also visit 'The Type A Housewife' on Facebook: HERE

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bow making & Cupcake's Bow Collection

Cupcake is a bow girl.... she's been a bow girl since she was little, she was so good at leaving them in her hair - it would astound people when we would be out & about that she wouldn't take them out of her hair, and I would constantly get questions on how I got her to leave them alone! She only recently has decided to take them off from time to time. People have gotten so accustomed to seeing pictures of her with bows in, if I do take a picture where she's not wearing a bow, I get comments like, "Where's her bow??"! So it's become part of our daily routine that we just pick out a bow to go with her outfit when we're getting clothes for the day...

So in light of our fondness for bows, bow holders are a "must" in our household to keep them all organized... I came across the personalized room decor store Cute Kid Creations towards the end of my pregnancy, and knew that we were going to be needing a bow holder for her room! She does absolutely fantastic work, and like I mentioned in a past blog post about the Cupcake remodel, there is a significant wait time for your items to be done (up to four months or longer in busy times of year) - but it is so totally worth it!

This was the first bow holder I received from Cute Kid Creations, I purchased this ready made holder to get me through until our personalized one was done:

Now I use this holder to keep our flowers and holiday bows that don't get daily use.

Once her personalized bow holder arrived, it matched her room perfectly! I moved all of her daily use bows onto it and it became our "go to" bow holder. (And it also has hooks for headbands, which we don't use as often since she has so much hair.)

Alot of her bows I've ordered from the Internet or have even gotten her basic "everyday" ones at Target and Babies'R'Us... Since she started wearing them so much, I got a wild idea one day when she was about 4 months old to try to make my own bows for her to match specific outfits, and it's become a fun hobby! My favorite kind to make are the korker bows and I like the look of a korker bow overlaid on a regular bow.

Made by Mommy - Hot pink bow with korker overlay

I've been able to add to Cupcake's collection without having to spend upwards of $12+ on a bow by making them on my own, and it's a fun thing for me too. Here are some other bows from her collection that I made:
Made by Mommy - Hello Kitty bow with korker overlay

Made by Mommy - Zebra print triple loop bow

Made by Mommy - Holiday bows & 1 clip

Other Made by Mommy bows!
And this is a new type of bow I'm just starting to experiment around with making... the fan loop bow:

All in all, it's been a fun project that I could do for Cupcake and it's something that she can actually get some use out of as well. In a future blog post, I'll do a post about quick and easy ways to make cute bows - because it really is a lot of fun!

Shamefully, I have another bow holder on order at Cute Kid Creations that I will share with you when it arrives... it's to match the cupcake theme though! So it should look totally different from the ones we already own! 

So there you have it, Cupcake's current bow collection - we love our bows!