Curly Crafty Mom: January 2014

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Glam Series Link Up: FACE. 6 Products I've Used for Like Forever!

Today I am linking up with Love Always, Nancy J for her Glam Series Link Up! I have been wanting to write about my favorite products for awhile now and this has given me a good excuse! Today's Glam Series is talking about all things related to your FACE. Since, I believe makeup is another whole post (and a long one for that matter), I am going to cover my daily care routine for my face.

I have a lot of favorite products, but I want to share with you my long time favorite products. These are products I have used for over 5 years, because they are awesome. Some of these products are dirt cheap and others are well... a tad pricey. But, the pricey ones are well worth it and last a long time (I promise). I've tried to keep the list down to just six face care products, which you will see below:


1 2 3 4 5 6 

Clinique's Facial Soap - $13.50
Clinique has a 3-Step Skin Care System and I used to use the soap, clarifying lotion (toner) and lotion, BUT... I normally just use the facial soap. In the morning I use this soap to wash my face during my shower. You would think bar soap would dry out your skin, but not this bar soap! My face always feels clean and refreshed and never taut or dry.

The reason I don't use the clarifying lotion (toner) is because I haven't noticed a huge difference when I do use it. I really like their lotion (Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion) that goes with their 3-Step Skin Care System, especially in the summer when my skin isn't dry. But, since I am 36, I prefer to use a lotion/cream for anti-aging. I know, YAY for getting old!

Clinique carries this soap in 3 different formulas, I use the mild formula which is for Dry Combination skin. I cut the bar in half so that it lasts longer in the shower. It comes with its own little container to store it in.

Now, in the evening... I have a completely different skin care routine. That is a blog post for another day.

Estee Launder's Perfectionist [CP+R] Wrinkle Lifting/Firming Serum - $95.00

Wow. This post is making me feel... ha! Ok, so lets talk about fine WRINKLES and lines. I am pretty lucky, I don't really have a lot of these, but I can tell my skin is not what it was in my twenties. I apply this serum after I am out of the shower on the 'high traffic' area of my face. For now I squirt just a little of the serum out and I apply it on my frown line area, right below my eyebrow bone and on a little crease on my forehead. I haven't really put it on the sides of my eyes or below them yet, but I guess I could start to prevent or slow down any future wrinkles. Like I said, this is only for the high traffic areas, not your entire face. And, I don't need to use a lot of it thankfully!

This item is the MOST expensive product on this list, but it really works! I love this stuff... and one 1.7 oz bottle lasts me over 6 months (with daily use!). And, I believe that anti-aging stuff is expensive, PERIOD. Have you checked out Oil of Olay lately? Yeah, the stuff is not cheap.

I feel in the winter my skin dries out more and that is when my fine lines are the most noticeable. This serum helps to reduce their appearance by doubling the skin's natural collagen building power and the lines/wrinkles are plumped and smooth. I started using this stuff in my late twenties and I really believe to this day this is why I hardly have any wrinkles! I truly believe you need to keep ahead of the game. :)

Estee Lauder's DayWear SPF 25 - $48.00
I received a trial jar of this stuff from Estee Lauder and tried it on vacation and fell in love! It has an SPF of 25 (skin protection=less aging to the skin!!) and it is oil-free. When you open the jar it has a wonderful light fragrance and it glides on your skin seamlessly. This is a great creme to prevent the first signs of aging.

Rimmel's Fix & Perfect Pro Primer - $7.75
Usually after I get out of the shower I put the serum and creme on my face first, then I let it sit for a few minutes before I put on a primer. I used to never use a primer until I read about Rimmel's Fix & Perfect Pro Primer and I decided to give it a try. If I am not wearing makeup, I don't apply this primer to my face. It basically resurfaces, brightens and protects your face prior to foundation application. It also helps to minimize pores and helps to eliminate shine.

MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer - $18.00
I then wait a few minutes while the primer sets before I apply a concealer. I bought a little compact of MAC's Studio Finish concealer EONS ago and I still haven't used it all up. I usually apply the concealer under my eyes, on each side of my upper nose, on my eye lids and on any little blemishes on my face. This stuff is great for hiding a sleepless night and I love that it has a SPF and it is water resistant. It can also be used to hide tattoos (not that I have any), birthmarks, etc... it is pretty hard core on what it will conceal! You can buy an applicator brush for it, but I just use my finger tip.

MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation - $27.00
I have been using the MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation since my college days! I love it! It saves me a step, I don't need to put foundation on, yet it feels like I am just applying powder on my face! It covers wonderfully and provides a smooth, flawless, all-matte, full-coverage finish. I really haven't found anything better out there... I have tried other products, thinking it is silly I've stuck to this one product for so long... but, nothing else works for me as good as Studio Fix!!

Well, that is all I have for now on my FACE!! I am hoping to link up to some more to The Glam Series in the future. I do love to talk up some products!!! Feel free to let me know if you have any questions on any of these products.

The Glam Series

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Oh, just a little announcement that I am so, so excited to share!

Day 24. Your Space. My space always includes Brian. Some changes at work happened and Brian and I decided that I will become a stay at home mom to Nathan and Autumn in four weeks at the end of my current job that I have been at for almost ELEVEN years. I
In a little under 4 weeks, I will become a stay at home Mom to Nathan and Autumn! I already announced it on Facebook (don't follow me on FB? Click HERE to start!) and Instagram (don't follow me on IG? Click HERE to start!), but I know some of you only come to the old blog... so, it is about time I mention it!

Brian and I have been planning this for several months, but when they decided to outsource my job to India THIS month... well, it made the decision easier. I have worked in Marketing at my job for almost 11 years, yet I always wanted to stay at home with my kids. I couldn't when they were little, but now the opportunity presents itself and I am beyond thrilled I will finally get to be at home with them. I am still sad I missed out on staying home with them when they were babies, but I need to focus on getting to stay home with them now.

I made up a lot of excuses for why I should keep working: that I earned a bachelor degree and I need to use this degree I spent so much time and money on, that I have almost 15 years of work experience in my field, that my salary is above what those normally receive in my field, that both kids will be in full day school next year, that we can save a heck of A LOT with me still working, we could take expensive trips, etc.

I even told myself that Brian wouldn't want me to stay at home, that he would prefer I work. But, he reminds me that this was his idea and that I should take his advice. ha! I always feel I should do the 'practical' thing... and for some reason, being a SAHM didn't seem practical, isn't that sort of sad I thought that way?!

Spirit Week Day 2: Pajama Day and Stuffed Animal Day. Of course, the kids are bringing their dinos that they made at TRex while we were staying at Great Wolf Lodge. Nathan has pinewood derby tonight. So unfortunately he won't get to stay in his pj's all d
But... I still felt like my place was to be at home with the kids... taking them to school and picking them up, spending time with Autumn after she finishes up her half day, in school activities, snow days, holidays and summer vacations. etc. When I do the Math, it is A LOT of extra time with them!

I don't want to look back on my life when I am 80 and have regrets. And, I know I would. It would be different if our family wasn't in a position for me to stay at home, but we are... Our debt is paid off, well except for the mortgage. Sure, we will have to give up some luxuries... such as our maid that comes every other week. (I know, I was spoiled!) But, I will gladly clean the house if it gives me the opportunity to be at home with the kids.

100 Day of School project done... Just used stuff from around the house. I am so ready for Spring I got last years seed packets out!! Not the neatest, but he isn't graded on this one so we just had fun with it... Which was nice! #100daysofschool #thisfrid
Being at home will also give me more time to focus on being a better Mom. I am going to start meal planning, which means I will be cooking dinner a lot more! I can also do girl scouts with Autumn next year after school (it starts at 3:15pm!), get Nathan started on homework RIGHT after school. It is going to be awesome to get a little schedule down that will work much, much better for our family! I really feel our lives were so much more simple when the kids were babies, now it is so much busier! It will be nice to have a few extra hours at the end of the school day with them. We need these hours, dearly. Our evenings are a hot mess right now.


Day 26. Fun Stuff! The kids had choir last
 night, so we went to church as a family last night. Today they still 
had Sunday school, so we dropped them off and... Thank goodness there is
 a QuikTrip close to school, because this hour break to do a little 
There are also a couple of things I hope to do while I stay at home that I normally wouldn't have time for... such as the Etsy shop I've always wanted to start, which has been on my bucket list forever! I also plan to try out a pure barre class, which will be something other than running (which is all I do these days for exercise!). I will also be working on this blog. I'd also love to volunteer at the kids school more.

I wasn't sure how people would feel when I told them I was planning to stay at home, but everyone has been so supportive and excited for me and the kids. 

Brian and I would also LOVE to have a child together and we are hoping, praying, etc. that this will happen for us. I would love to be a Mom of three!

I plan to blog about my journey from Corporate working mom (ha!) to SAHM. Should be a great adventure!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Liebster Award

A couple of weeks ago, Jessi from Jessi's Design nominated me for a Liebster Award... AND, around Christmas time Erin from Excuse Our Mess ALSO nominated me for a Liebster Award. Gosh o golly I am feeling the love. :) I got nominated for a THIRD Liebster Award last night from Katie at Lipgloss and Rubber Duckies! Since I've already answered questions from Jessi and Erin's posts, I am skipping Katie's! I am all questioned out! :) And, I finally have time for this special post.

SO, I had never heard of the Liebster award before. I am guessing you haven't either? Well, I looked into it and here is the scoop on it. If you are nominated, you answer a set of questions and then nominate a new set of bloggers to answer some questions you come up with. It is a great way to learn more about other bloggers out there and hopefully some new friendships will be made.

I will start with Jessi's questions (oh, wow!! 11 questions!):
1. Biggest real life inspiration. I would say when I was little I always looked up to and was inspired by my older brother. Now it is my husband. Guess that is why I married him. :)
2. Biggest celebrity style icon. I'm not sure if I just have one, I do love to browse style magazines.
3. Where do you see yourself in 3+ years!? UGH, I hate these questions. I would love to be a Mother of... three! Spending more quality time with those that count in my life.
4. Cat or dog people? I am a cat person. I would love a dog, but my son is allerigc.
5. Favorite book (I'm looking to add some new ones to my list!) The Bible, of course. I think one of my favorite books I read last year was Heaven Is Here: An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph, and Everyday Joy. I am currently reading 11/22/63 by Stephen King, I have only made a dent in it... his books are always SO long, but SO good!
6. What word best describes you? I'd say Present or even Blessed
7. Favorite escape? Great Wolf Lodge with my kids and Brian was fun! The winery with my hubby!!! Or, a shopping visit to Forever 21! Or, a run outside. Wow, I have a lot of escapes!
8. If you could time travel- what time period would you visit? I would love to go back to my childhood... see my grandparents again... relive a day from my childhood. I guess that'd be the 80's!
9. What accomplishment are you most proud of? I faced some of my fears in 2011 and as a result I own my life and happiness again.
10. Favorite movie? Reality Bites (have entire movie memorized), The English Patient, American Beauty, Sliver, Logan's Run, The Sound of Music, Empire of the Sun, oh gosh I have way too many for just one. What a weird list, too!
11. Top reason for blogging? It started as a way to share photos of Nat and Aut to my family, but now I am getting more into sharing my crafts and my love for fashion (even though I am an everyday girl).

And, now I'll answer Erin's questions:
1. What do you love to write about the most? Include a link to the post you enjoyed writing the most. I really love a recent Valentine's craft I did, a Gold Dipped Burlap Wreath!
2. If you could go on an all-expense-paid trip, where would you choose and why? Italy with Brian.
3. Who is your all-time favorite teacher and why? All of my teachers I had at Salem and Lutheran South.
4. If you could have one talent or ability that you don’t currently possess, what would it be? I would love to have ONE thing that I am really, really good at...
5. If your blog could be noticed or published by someone of your choosing, who would it be and why? Too many to list, I have a LONG list of favorite bloggers
6. Is there any day in your life that you would like to relive, good or bad, and why? I would love to relive my first date with Brian (my husband) on the day after my 13th birthday!
7. What is your favorite family tradition. It can be either one that you grew up with or one that you have begun with your own family. I love baking and decorating cookies and the Christmas Eve service
8. What do you like best about your life now? My new job as a SAHM in 4 weeks!
9. Do you have any goals for your blog in the next year or two? Tell us one of them! I would love to grow my Bloglovin' readers to 200 in 2014 and to 300 the following year, I also have some other plans that I can't reveal just yet.
10. What makes you stand in awe? I wrote a post on this. Basically, what inspires you and makes you feel overwhelmingly blessed? God! He has blessed me amazingly!

Here are my nominees:
1. Kate at Raising the Rogers
2. Kate at Like American Honey
3. Kimberly at Olive the Things
4. Allison at It's My Life
5. Michelle at Jarrah Jungle

AND. My questions. I'll keep it short and sweet.
1. What is the last thing you decorated in your house?
2. What is your favorite drink?
3. Where was your most favorite vacation at?
4. How many other blogs do you read?
5. What do you want for Valentine's day?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Great Wolf Lodge - Day 2. Also, Legoland and Fritz's Railroad Restaurant

On our second day at The Great Wolf Lodge, I wanted to escape for a bit to take the kids to Legoland Discovery Center in Kansas City. I have been wanting to take them there for a really long time and this was our chance! We woke up and had a delicious breakfast at the hotel and then headed down to the Crown Plaza to arrive at Legoland at 10:00 a.m. (opening time!). This photo was actually taken inside the Crown Plaza mall, across from Legoland. 

Legoland is ALL indoors and they even have another area called Sea Life that costs an additional fee to go in to see. If when we come back to Great Wolf Lodge, we'll probably tour the Sea Life section, since it costs just as much as the Legoland area. Since both areas take several hours to explore, I was glad we didn't buy tickets for both Legoland and Sea Life. Legoland included TWO rides, which was terrific since it was all inside! The first ride was on a 'lego' chariot and we were given guns to shot lasers at the 'bad guys'.

This would be the coolest job ever, Master Lego Builder. You can't see his name tag, but his name was Jeremiah Boehr and he even has a Facebook page HERE. Now, don't ask me WHY I am so interested in looking up this info... but, a Master Lego Builder starts out with a salary of $37,500 per year and if you are wondering how to become a Master Lego Builder, click HERE for details. Can you imagine having that job experience on your resume?

Next we visited Miniland, which was my favorite experience at Legoland. I would love to see the Miniland in California, but the one in Kansas City will do for now. Here is a photo of me and the kids before we stepped inside Miniland. While in miniland, the lights would go from 'sunny' to 'dark'. I loved how they incorporated night life with lights on the buildings, etc. and cars! So imaginative!

Here is a mini replica of the Legoland and Sea Life building.

A night view of Kansas

Arrowhead Stadium, where the Chiefs play. I love how each of the little lego people in the stands is doing something or looks different. SO creative, a mighty lot of time was spent on creating this!

I loved the hot air balloons

AND, they had a whole area devoted to The Wizard of Oz! Because... "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore." It was SO cool! Below you will see a collage of photos I took, I took WAY too many.

Which, I might add. My kids have NEVER seen The Wizard of Oz. I need to hang my head in shame... SO, this weekend we are going to have a movie night and watch it. I am sure some parts will scare Autumn, but I know Nathan will LOVE it!

After Miniland we split up... Autumn and I checked out the girly legos.

Autumn also spent an hour (or more!) playing with these soft jumbo sized legos. She built a massive house! She was SO proud of it. I was about to take a photo of it when she was done, but a little boy accidentally bumped into it and knocked it down! aww!

While Autumn and I played, Nathan and Brian were making race cars and racing them! They have something similar to this at the Magic House in St. Louis, but not nearly as massive or cool. If Nathan's one eye looks a little red, it is because he got something in it and got a little scratch. We took him to the eye doctor and they suggested regular eye drops, but I am sure the chlorine did not help it. Thankfully it is all better!

Of course, no lego trip is complete without a trip to the store! Nathan and Autumn both made packages of 3 characters. They got to select the face, body and legs... oh, and hair!

If you would like your kids to enjoy more of these legos visit this post by My Kid Needs That.

After Legoland, we were starving so we walked over to a restaurant called Fritz's that one of my coworkers had told me about. This restaurant has several trains that run on tracks above the tables and they deliver your food on a lever that drops down. 

Here is a train dropping off someones order. Nathan was THRILLED! The boy does love his trains... and, the food was really good! I got a hamburger with hashbrowns on top! It was weird, but delicious!

You even got to place your order by phone! That Flat Stanley Nathan next to the phone is a book that Nathan read in school and we need to take photos of his Flat Self wherever we go.

Then, when our train arrived... we were all excited! I had the camera ready, so I took some quick photos as it dropped our food onto the little lever.

Nathan pulling the food off the lever. 

Autumn was excited to see a pink train!

Ready for the pool again!! I think I am still a raisin from being in it earlier!!! #greatwolflodge #meandaut
After eating at Fritz's, we headed back to the Great Wolf Lodge and relaxed for quite some time. Then, we headed back down to swim for several hours! Sorry I don't have any pictures of us swimming, but... it really took both of us to watch the kids in the water and I knew if I brought my camera down there it'd get wet! BUT, here is a photo of me and Autumn before heading to the water park. It was so nice, because our room was on the same floor as the entrance to the water park!!

After swimming... we took ANOTHER break in the room. Which was nice. Especially since we had two TV's in our room and they had all of the kids channels like Nickelodeon and Disney. Channels we don't have at home, because Momma is cheap. :) After resting, we decided to check out Magiquest. Which... we probably should have checked out the first night. Basically it is a scavenger hunt with 9 levels and you purchase a magic wand (and a magic wand topper, like Nathan did) and you get a booklet that tells you which items you need to find for each level. It was really addicting and they had several hallways in the hotel set up for it. Here is Brian, Nathan and Autumn with their wands. I didn't buy one, I sort of regretted that decision, too!

The wands have motion detectors in them, so you can flick them at certain items and they light up and talk to you, etc. Autumn had a pink wand. :)

Here is Nathan after completing the first level, there is a Gargoyle on the screen. We completed 3 levels out of the 9 in Magiquest before we left. Some kids took the game VERY seriously, we saw a couple of kids get upset, etc. when they couldn't complete this or that. It looks like it gets a little more challenging near the end and you get to battle dragons, etc. Eek.

At the end of the last night, we went downstairs for the clock tour story time. The kids were told to wear their PJ's. They watched the animated animals around the clock tower (think Chuckie Cheese).

It was quite a large gathering! Almost all of the kids had a 'new' Great Wolf Lodge or T-Rex stuffed animal with them. Total money pit. :)

They had a few of the characters out and read a story about how the Great Wolf Lodge came into being. Then, they had the kids line up for a photo with the characters, but we skipped this... it was getting really late and we had ordered a pizza, soda and a bottle of wine up to our room! ha! :) The kids said it was the BEST pizza EVER! They ate SO much! I think the swimming made them really hungry... and, we had ice cream before the story time (there is a HUGE coffee/ice cream/sweets shop at the lodge).

Breakfast at Great Wolf before we head over to Lego Discovery World. Going to be such a fun day!!
On our last day we enjoyed a breakfast at the lodge, it was a buffet with an omelet station. It was SO good... best eggs and bacon I've had in a long time!

Someone is smilie this morning... And she just wanted watermelon for breakfast.
Autumn enjoyed a breakfast of watermelon! Silly girl!

It was such an enjoyable trip! I think little get aways with the family is so important. It was nice to focus just on each other all weekend without any other distractions. And, it was nice to get in the pool... it has been such a snowy/cold and dreary winter! If you are planning on going to The Great Wolf Lodge anytime or if you have any questions, shoot away!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Great Wolf Lodge - Day 1

SO. I took a mini bloggy break, because we decided to go on a little adventure in January during the polar vortex. Ok, well... it didn't snow until we got back THANK GOODNESS. But, I wasn't happy about the hour and a half commute to work on Tuesday after having such a blast on our trip. The kids did benefit from a snow day after our trip, which... lucky them. Anyhow, we went on a little trip to The Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City, to celebrate something... something that... I can't really talk about yet. Ugh. So, anyhow. It was A.W.E.S.O.M.E. and we are definitely going to make this a yearly tradition! This photo was taken at Quik Trip (QT) before we left from St. Louis to Kansas City and can you tell we are all just SO EXCITED?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Brian had to tap off the gas tank and I needed a French Vanilla cappuccino, my favorite drink of choice from QT. It also contains about 260 calories, so it is a drink I only treat myself to on VERY special occasions, such as THIS! And, I know. I really need to switch Nathan into a booster seat, I will soon... I am one of those over protective Moms, but I think it is time to finally make the switch.

Great Wolf Lodge has 12 locations and we visited the Kansas City location, because it is the closest to St. Louis. It was a four hour drive, which wasn't too bad since we stayed two nights.

The lobby is very warm and inviting when you walk in... I think a lobby says a lot about the hotel overall and so if the lobby isn't nice, I know I will be disappointed. There was a lovely fire place, a clock tower to where they do a story time in the evening for the kids, open glass elevators, a view of the water park, etc., etc.

The only part of the lobby that was a BIT creepy was... the stuffed wolves. Eek.


We did a lot of photos by the clock tower. The kids were SO excited... I was too!

Brian with the kids by the clock tower. We really should have had someone take a family photo of us!

Nathan wanted his photo taken with this wooden bear.

The kids told us this was the best vacation ever!! Then hesitated and sId, oh... After Disney! Ha!!
After we checked in, we had a few hours before our room would be ready. They let you enjoy the pool starting at 1 p.m. on check in day, but your room is typically not ready until 4 p.m. So, no problem! We enjoyed the pool and used their locker rooms. Here is a photo of the indoor pool and this is the ONLY photo I have of it... just because I didn't want to get my camera wet! It is pretty amazing!


We decided to go a step up from the standard room and got the Kids Camp room, which included a tent for the kids with a bunk bed and their own personal tv! It was SO worth the extra cost, which really was pretty minimal. The rest of the room was a nice size too and I always love it when the bathroom sink and mirror is OUTSIDE the bathroom... The only flaw to the room was that we all agreed the beds weren't very comfortable. It seemed they really went with a 'lodge/camp' feel as the bunk bed didn't even have 'fitted' sheets... it was just a sheet on top of a sort of weird mattress under it... I'm just not even sure how to explain it. BUT, I didn't wake up with a stiff nick or backache, so they weren't THAT bad. I'm just being super nick picky.


After we swam and checked into our rooms, it was close to dinner time so we headed across the street and ate at T-Rex. TRex only has two locations and the other one is at Downtown Disney. The kids and I have eaten here before, but they were too little to remember it. It is a really neat restaurant, we sat in the ice age section and this is a view of the restaurant from below.

Cotton candy martini at T-Rex Restaurant, L.O.V.E. this!!!! #likemagic 
When I was looking at the menu, I noticed they had cotton candy martiins on the menu! I was so excited when they brought it out and the waitress let me take a photo of how she turned a cup full of cotton candy into a martini! Has anyone had one of these? Delish! She also let me keep the shaker and the shaker had enough for 3 martinis in it! Woah! I shared this photo along with several other photos of our trip on Instagram. If you aren't already following me on Instragram, click HERE to start!

What is nice about T-Rex is that they have several activities for your kids to do while you wait for a table. The place is always crowded and we had a 45 minute wait, so we let the kids Build a Dino. They really enjoyed it!

Nathan selected a Pterodactyl, which was my favorite one! 

Autumn selected a triceratops and had to make sure it was extra clean in its bath.

Stay tuned for Day 2 of our trip!
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