My Bag – Cosmetics

My-bag-Cosmetics-Headercosmetic-bag

 

1. My Bag – Sonia Kashuk Train Case, about $15, available at Target

2. Under-eye prep: Benefit Cosmetics Ooh La Lift 0.25 oz, around $14, available at Sephora and Ulta

3. Under-eye concealer: Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer, about $7, available at Target and drug stores

4. Foundation: Bare Escentuals Original Foundation, around $17 *Lasts forever and will not make you feel like you have a mask on

5. Foundation brush: Bare Escentuals Flawless Application Face Brush, around $18, available at Amazon

6. Bronzer: bareMinerals Warmth, around $17, available at Sephora and Ulta

7. Bronzer brush: Bare Escentuals Flawless Application Face Brush, around $5, available at Amazon

8. Eye Shadow: Wet ‘n Wild in Petal Pusher, around $4, available at drugstores

9. Shadow brushes: Sonia Kashuk Eye Kit with Case, about $20, available at Amazon and Target

10. Mascara: CoverGirl LashBlast Mascara, about $5, available at Target and drug stores

11. Lash curler: Revlon Eyelash Curler, about $6, available at Target and drug stores

12. Eyeliner: Physicians Formula Eye Definer Felt Tip Eye Marker, Warm Black, about $10, available at Target and Ulta

This is my ultimate Caribbean Cosmetic Bag. Everything is lightweight and won’t make me sweat (anymore than I already do…) plus, it all stays fresh/  doesn’t go rancid / doesn’t rust, even in the ultimate humidity that is Roatan. Enjoy!

What are your favorite cosmetics for summer or a tropical vacation?

xoxo-April

P.S. For all those who are wondering, yes, these are absolutely the real products I have in my makeup bag. The only difference - my bag is all black. They don’t show that one online anymore, so I subbed in this gorgeous teal one. And I have two extra neutral-colored shadows and an extra brush.

See for yourself:

the-real-makeup-bag

 

 

My phone this month – May 2012

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If you were to look at my iPhone you would get a pretty good idea of what my month looked like:

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packing-up-for-my-trip-to-the-states

bridesmaids

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besties

1.Giant Terra Cotta Chickens. I was ridiculously excited to find an entire display of Honduran Art. Creepy, creepy, Honduran Art. 2. Packing for the US  3. Bridesmaids. Congrats Baldi!   4. I love Hand Turkeys.   5. The BBF and I. At Ikea :)

I heart Instagram.

What are you fav photos from your month of May?

xoxo-April

Cookie Bag Clothespin Cuteness

Everyday-Cuteness

The other day my daughter wanted to bake cookies for her friends. No joke, my almost 3 year old said “Mommy, we need to make cookies for Bastian and Gabby.” She has such a sweet heart. So of course we had a beautiful afternoon making cookies. When it came time to give the cookies I did not want to throw them in plastic bags because then they looked like little snacks, I wanted these to be special… but since we were trying to get out the door to church I had to make it quick… enter the plastic wrap and these few supplies:

tag-making-supplies

I originally made the little tag shown above. With the ribbon punch I made it so that I could tie ribbon around the top of my plastic-wrapped cookies and then slip the tag onto the ribbon. But, I could not find my ribbon. (FIY: after we came home form church I looked again, and it was right in front of my face. of course.) So I grabbed the next thing I saw, some clothes pins I had RIT-dyed (yes, you can RIT dye clothes pins! Follow instructions like you would for fabric and then dry the pins on paper towels. Super Easy. That was a free pictureless tutorial. You’re welcome.):

rit-dyed-clothes-pins

I just clipped the pin over the tag and the top of the plastic wrap:

cookie-bag

I think this is way cuter than ziplocks. What do you think?

Whats your go to trick for cute-ing up everyday gifts?

xoxo-April

Dear Soldier, You are not forgotten.

 

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Dear US Soldier,

Thank you for your service to the people of the United States. My grandfather, uncle, cousins, brother, and friends are among some of America’s finest who have served bravely and sacrificially. Some of them are still serving.

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Because of you, the men and women who have worn and who wear the uniform, I am able to serve too. I am able to be in the most dangerous country in the western hemisphere and feel secure in the knowledge that if anything happens, United States soldiers will come and protect and extract me and my family because we are US citizens. Though we have been called to serve abroad, we are still a fellow-countrymen and still enjoy the same rights and protections of citizens living State-side. Thank you to our soldiers, from one family that enjoys the security of the knowledge of your protection and appreciates your service and sacrifice, and that of your family too. Thank you for keeping America and her people safe, at home and around the globe. You are not forgotten. You matter. You are valuable and you are valued. God bless you.

america-america-print

via

Featured Artist – Lori and Mi Esperanza

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A few weeks ago, before I went on my wonderful State-side trip (you remember, a wedding, crafting with the bestie… you don’t remember? Click here or here or here to see some of the things I was up to.) But before that I got a chance to go over to the mainland to the capitol city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Another missionary friend and I flew over from Roatan to attend the Women Of Purpose Conference. Let me sum up by saying: amazing. I adored the conference and the women there. If you are a female missionary in Honduras, drop me a line and we will meet up at the next conference in November – FYI it’s totally free: food, lodging, everything. Seriously amazing. But, one of the biggest blessings of that weekend? Hands down. Lori. You may not know who Lori is, so lemme introduce you… Lori is one of those instant BFF women. One of those women you meet and say to yourself “Oh yeah, we will definitely get along well.” Someone could literally drop you in the murder capitol of the world and I would feel 100% safe with her leading you. Wait, that’s exactly what  happened… We landed in Tegucigalpa, the murder capital of the world (heres the BBC article,) and met Lori’s husband, Mark. Yes, we got in the car with a stranger… sorry mom! Mark drove us to their home and we had coffee and chatted and we met Lori. Then we got into her blue 1970s vintage Land Cruiser with no seat belts and felt totally safe. We laughed and joked as we sped around little back streets as we headed to the conference.  I just realized, this section of my post should totally have a different title block:

 

why-i-love-lori-title-block

That’s Lori. Her smile is so inviting. I know you want to be BFFs with her now too. Which I am sure she would totally be down with. That’s how wonderful she is. So the above picture is of Lori in front of the door leading into the Mi Esperanza shop. It has a sign on it that says “electroterapia.” That translates to: Electrotherapy. What?! Yes, Mi Esperanza is located in what used to be a hospital/rehab center. When I say used to, I mean that I am pretty sure the beds and medical equipment are still there, but the patients are not. Things work differently in Honduras. I seriously expected Lori to open that door and to see this:

electrotherapy-vintage-photo

But thankfully, Lori and Mark and some friends renovated that room and turned it into this: A boutique for all the creations of Mi Esperanza.

Mi-Esperanza-shop-wall

Mi Esperanza is Spanish for “My Hope” and began in 2002 with a vision to provide assistance for women in the villages surrounding Tegucigalpa, Honduras. They now providing micro-business loans and skills training to women living in extreme poverty. Many of the women are single mothers who are supporting their families without any type of assistance or opportunity to change their life circumstances.  Their lives are about survival and trying to meet the most basic of needs of life; food, clean water, education, healthcare and shelter. Women living in extreme poverty simply do not have opportunity for education, in turn they do not have the knowledge they need to succeed in business or help to get their families out of poverty.  Mi Esperanza provides free training in three separate areas: computer, salon, and sewing.  Offering women the opportunity to obtain a skill offers them the tools to open doors to a self-sustaining life.  Research and experience shows us that women in poor countries are more likely to spend their income on food, education, and healthcare for their children (which is really not so different than the priorities that most mothers have worldwide.) Education is a long-term investment that lifts entire families and communities out of poverty. When the family income is in the hands of the mother a child’s chances of surviving increases by 20%.  (according to the United Nations 2011 report) This is why economic opportunity for women is so important to ending the extreme poverty that cripples communities in the developing world.

Enter Lori and Mi Esperanza. Training is provided in the respective field: computers, salon, or sewing… along with basic business skills, and the women begin to see that they can make a difference in the lives of their family members.

Maria-sewing-class

 

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Above is the sewing teacher, Maria. She is a legit tailor/seamstress. She teaches the women all the skills they will need to one day succeed in the sewing business, from simple fabric cutting and machine work to pattern making and finishing techniques. When the women graduate form Mi Esperanza many will go into their respective communities and become the seamstress or tailor for that area, with great success. A few who live near the training center are invited to join the Mi Esperanza team as seamstresses, who create bags, purses, and clothing for the shop. The women set their own prices for each item (to ensure they are being paid a fair wage.) All proceeds from the sale of items in the shop go back into the Mi Esperanza training centers. It is a beautiful thing: these women who were blessed with free classes, now have jobs to provide for their families, plus their work is going to fund the education of other women and will help lift other families out of desperate situations. It’s the circle of love. Love gives and gives and gives. It reproduces it self over and over from one person’s life to the next.

vintage-machine

Check out some of Mi Esperanza’s beautiful creations:

bags

Here’s the amazing clutch I got for myself:

 my-clutch

It is extremely well made, durable, and so so cute!

All of Mi Esperanzas amazing products are available on their website: http://thewomenofmyhope.org

Go check them out, and remember that every purchases go to help fighting poverty in this generation and the next.

xoxo, April

Why I love: The Good Nite Lite

 why-i-love-the-good-nite-lite

First off let me say this: 3 days. That’s how long I have owned this product, and I love it. Seriously, it is a new “mom-of-a-toddler-must-have” for me… and I do not put much into that category other than: a carseat, sippy cups, and a crib. I am kind of a minimalist now that I live in a place where I cannot get anything (that’s right no mail of anykind.)

But let’s get back on track: The Good Nite Lite. Here’s my story:

My beautiful daughter. From just a few months old she slept through the night (7pm-7am) like a champ. I was a very very blessed first time mom. Now fast forward to 2.5 years old: She was sleeping from 7pm-5am. Sometimes we would be blessed with a 5:15am wake up, sometimes cursed with a 5:15am wake-up… but we had also lost naps most days. She was becoming a major grump due to lack of sleep… so were her loving (but now, not so patient) parents. In desperation I googled something like this: “how to get your toddler to stay in bed.” I do not know where, but on some child-raising forum a parent mentioned this amazing tool.

So, of course, I checked it out on amazon. Here’s what sold me – people saying that their kids stayed in bed in the morning.  For $35 bucks, it was totally worth trying. So we did. (Since we do not get mail, I sent it to my in-laws house and picked it up when I visited the States two weeks ago, read more about my adventures here and here and here)

Here’s the concept – a happy sun/moon character, no numbers… all the other sleep-trainers I looked at were clocks, my kid is smart, but not that smart.

So the face looks like this:

good-nite-lite

via amazon.com

So, you program the clock on the back with your local time,and then you set your child’s bed time and the time they are to wake up (in our case, when she is allowed to get out of bed)

nite-lite-clock-on-back

When it is the set bedtime (6:45pm) the moon and “z”s all glow blue, which is pretty bright, so we ditched her regular night light for this one,and when it is okay for her to get up (6:15am) the sun turns yellow.

nite-lite-mr-sun

 (obviously this is an actual picture from my rental house, as you can tell by the hideous wall color)

The first night we got all excited with the special gift we had for her and how it was for big girls. We told her that she had to stay in bed until she saw the sun turn yellow. Lo and behold, what did we hear at exactly 6:15am the next morning? “Mommy, Daddy, it’s yellow! It’s yellow!” We were so excited. Did this really work the first time?! Uh, yes! I worked the second day and the third. Ok, full disclosure, on the third day she woke up and got out of bed at 5:15am, but we were able to put her back and remind her to “Wait for the sun to turn yellow.” Miracle of miracles, she stayed in her bed for another hour. We are setting her “get up time” 5 minutes later each day until we reach 7am. I know, smart right?

I do not know what genius figured this out, but they deserve an award! Actually, they have already got one:  the Parent Tested Parent Approved Seal by PTPA Media. This means that a bunch of real parents tested it and fell in love.

The Good Nite Lite is available on Amazon.com

I love the good nite lite because my kid stays in bed in the morning!

(All opinions expressed in this review are my own and I have not been compensated in anyway for writing this review of The Good Nite Lite.)

Here comes the Sun painting

I grew up in a very thrifty household. My parents supported a family of 5 on a single income. I look back and have such fond memories of treasure hunting at the thrift store. In elementary school in desperately wanted a porcelain tea set but we could never afford a new one, so my mother and I looked at every thrift sotre and found this amazing cream-colored set with gold accents from the 1950′s. I adored it. I am pretty sure it still resides in my family’s attic. Maybe someday I can pass it on to my now 2.5 year old. I remember in Jr High I wanted a “more grown up” room. So My dad and I thrifted some dressers, painted them in the same color, and changed the hardware to match. (I was a DIYer at a young age.) My bedroom was especially awesome because I grew up in a crunchy granola town in Southern California where green was a thing way before it was a thing. Needless to say, I love thrifting.

That is one thing I miss so much now that I live in Roatan. But, sometimes I get to go back to the US and partake in my fav past time. This is exactly what I got to do last week. I went to visit the BFF (as you know from this post on the vanity chair we redid for her) and we got our craft on. She had sent me an email detailing exactly the projects she wanted to do while I was there. We only had 2 days together so we had to make every second count. She had seen a pin on one of my boards for this amazing “Hello Sunshine” pallet art that Holly at Life as a Thrifter had created. Acacia desperately wanted one for her front porch. So we got our craft on.

We found our wood for .51¢ at Lowe’s in the cut wood bin. (Read all about that here) Then we got to crafting!

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Step 1: Lightly Sand

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Step 2: Stain & let dry

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Step 3: Free hand design and get your paint on!

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Step 4: Let paint dry and choose your font

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Step 5: Print text and apply to board (I used the pressure technique – great tutorial by Jaime over at That’s my Letter)

Step-8-transfer-lettering

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Step 6: Paint lettering & let dry

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Step 7: Glory in the goodness (with a little Instagram lovin’)

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xoxo

April