beauty, Life, makeup

Palette Swatches and Review: Maybelline Lemonade Craze

Now that the temperature is finally warming up and we are having a lot more sunny days, I thought it would be perfect to showcase this affordable little palette! I purchased mine from Amazon for less than $10 but you can also find it at Target, Walmart, and Ulta. It has a citrusy scent,  I wouldn’t necessarily describe it as “lemonade” smelling, but it is a sweet citrus scent that is nice and not overpowering, and a fun addition to an eyeshadow palette!

 

With Flash

Natural Light

I like how this palette offers basic neutrals for an easy eye look, but also fun pops of color that are still easy to work with!

Do you have this palette? What are your thoughts on it?

 

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family, Life, Mom Life, recipes

Easy Instant Pot Recipe: Pot Roast

I love pot roast, especially when I can make it fast and easy in my instant pot! I adapted this recipe slightly from one I found on Youtube.

I used a pork half butt roast because it is substantially cheaper than beef, but this will work with either. This recipe will last us a couple days for leftovers at dinner and lunch so it’s very cost effective!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup beef broth

1/2 cup pepperoncini juice

Pepperoncinis- as many or as little as you prefer 

1 packet brown gravy (my husband has a gluten allergy so I used this  GF version but you can use the regular if gluten isn’t a problem!)

1 packet dry ranch dressing mix

Pot Roast

1/2 stick butter

Any veggies you would like

First I added the beef broth to the pot, then I added my roast. Next, add the pepperoncini juice and sprinkle the brown gravy mix and ranch dressing mix right on top of the roast. Then I added 6 pepperoncinis and lastly the butter.


I used the manual function for 60 minutes, let it depressurize naturally for 15 minutes, then I added some baby carrots to the pot. After I added the carrots I once again did the manual function for 20 minutes, then let it depressurize for 5 minutes. I removed the meat and carrots and added a little bit of corn starch to the remaining liquid in the pot on the saute function to make gravy. I served it with a side of mashed potatoes and green beans. This was a delicious and filling meal that is easy and inexpensive!

Life, Mom Life, parenting

2018-A Reflection of the Year

2018 was a busy, stressful, fun year. My first child turned one, I found out I was expecting our second, we moved into a beautiful new home, my husband started a new job, and today, we are celebrating 7 years of marriage!

Next year will also be fun, busy, and stressful! I will be turning 30, I’ll be having my second baby, and who knows what else is to come!

I don’t make resolutions but some goals I have for the next year are:

spend less time on my phone/computer

get outside more

read more

try new recipes

worry less

organize my attic

Now, with a newborn coming halfway through the year and having a very adventurous toddler, I am not sure how many new recipes or books I’ll be able to read! But that’s why they are just goals I simply desire to achieve and I won’t beat myself up over missing the mark!

Do you have any goals or resolutions for 2019? Share them with me in the comments!

author interview, Book Review, Life

Author Interview & Giveaway! Featuring Aven Ellis

Hey yall! I’m so excited for today’s post! I thought it would be fitting to share one of my favorite authors with you today for my first ever author interview here on the blog!

If you have followed my blog for some time you know I am a huge fan of Aven Ellis. I won a giveaway in 2014 (!!!!) for her book Waiting for Prince Harry from her Dallas Demons hockey series and have been a loyal fan ever since.

She is my go-to author when I am in a reading rut. I love her stories, and I love her as a person. She is a genuine friend who is fun, witty, sweet, and quirky, and that all comes through in her characters making them super relatable. She writes romantic comedies, some about sports such as hockey and baseball, as well as a royals series! Some things you can be sure of with Aven’s books-she will make you laugh and swoon, sometimes cry, but she will ALWAYS give you a happy ending! Her characters and stories just have a way of lifting you up and giving you an escape from the real world for awhile.

So without further adieu, let’s get on to the interview!

 

Favorite book you’ve written? Oooh Tough! But since I’ve written 18, three-way-tie: The Aubrey Rules, A Royal Shade of Blue, and Squeeze Play. 

How did you get in to writing? I wrote my first short story when I was eleven. I have been writing stories ever since! 

Fave Starbucks drink? They rarely offer it, but the chocolate cherry mocha latte. 

Pick one: Aldi or Trader Joes? ALDI! I love a bargain! 

What comes first- title, or story? 
Depends. I’ve done it both ways. 

What about character name or character description?
I see the person before the name. In Connectivity, Mary-Kate was Sydney but it kept bothering me, like that wasn’t right. Then I was flipping channels one night and stumbled on the credits for  Full House and saw Mary-Kate and I knew that was my name for her. 

What is your can’t live without lipstick shade?
Right now I’m digging a pink metallic called Love me Later by Cover Girl. 

What is your writing process? Do you have a set routine every time?
Yes. I always write a two sentence summary for the book first. Then I write a blurb. Then I sketch the characters and lay out the internal conflicts. This part is very research intensive, and I dig into things like Psychology Today and other emotional conflict reading to get to the heart of the character. I also know their fashion style, their hobbies, all the little quirks that make them real. 

If you could only watch one TV show for the rest of your life, what would it be?
GAH I love TV so this is hard! I would say Victoria on PBS. OBSESSED I AM!!! 

What can readers expect next? 
Swing and a Miss, the second Soaring Eagles series book, is coming out Saturday, November 10th! The Princess Pose, Modern Royals #2, will be my first book in 2019. 

 

Thank you so much Aven for allowing me the pleasure of interviewing you on my blog! If you would like to win an ebook copy of any of Aven’s novels, leave me a comment telling me YOUR go-to author! Make sure you’re following my blog also! I have reviews for all of her novels here on the blog so browse around and give some of her stories a shot-I know you’ll love them!

*Winner will be picked randomly. The giveaway will end Wednesday, November 14th.*

 

Pre-Order Aven’s upcoming new release, Swing and a Miss on Amazon

Blurb:

Law School? Starting in the fall.
Romance? Who has time for that, see law school.
Fainting in the arms of your secret celebrity crush? Mortifying.
When your celebrity crush asks you out? HA HA HA yeah right that’s so not happening.
Until it does …

For Katie McKenna, passing out and landing in the arms of Washington DC Soaring Eagles baseball player AJ Williamson is one of those moments she’d rather forget. Embarrassed beyond belief, she tries to pretend the incident never happened. She puts the escapade behind her, choosing to spend the summer preparing for law school–and admiring AJ safely from afar.

AJ, however, can’t forget the brunette with the green eyes who he caught that night on the concourse. She was funny. Quick. Not afraid to be herself. Intrigued, AJ wants to know more–and makes his move.

When Katie and AJ meet a second time, she finds herself no longer seeing him as AJ, the baseball player, but as Andrew Joseph, the man she is falling for. As her feelings grow, so do her doubts. AJ is known for his wanderlust, and his contract is up this year–will he even be in DC next season?

Katie has her own worries. Law school is going to consume her and is notoriously hard on relationships. The last thing she wants is for AJ to be a casualty of that. With the start of school looming closer, and her heart falling faster, Katie worries if she will be able to give AJ everything he deserves.

Can these two people find a way to realize they are worth the risk for the other to take? Or will their chance at love result in a swing and a miss?

 

Other Places to Find Aven:

Blog

Instagram

Facebook

Goodreads

Amazon Author Page

beauty, Life, makeup

Makeup Look and Palette Review-Pur Cosmetics Midnight Masquerade

Today I’m sharing one of my favorite fall themed makeup looks I’ve done so far this season using the Pur Cosmetics Midnight Masquerade Palette I received in my October Boxycharm Box!

 

Here are the swatches. You get six eyeshadows and four face products that can also double as eyeshadows! All in a small, travel friendly palette with a little mirror. Every shade is smooth and pigmented except for the matte brown eyeshadow; you can see in the swatch I had to work with it a little.

Pur Cosmetics is cruelty free and free of gross things like petroleum and parabens!

Now for the look!

Makeup details:

On the eyes:

Sneak Peek (matte brown) in the crease, Showtime (shimmery dark blue) on the outer portion of the lid, Mask Off (shimmery golden green) on the inner portion of the lid, Exposed (silver) on the inner corner and on the brow bone to highlight.

On the cheeks:

I mixed the two blush shades Hidden Secret and Reveal for my blush and used Twilight to highlight!

On the lips:

Becca Cosmetics and Chrissy Teigen Glow Lip Gloss in Malibu Soleil.

 

If you’re interested in trying Boxycharm, it’s $21 a month, and if you sign up before the end of October using my link and code- Whitn-QPNTHJXU  we’ll both get a Dr. Brandt microdermabrasion exfoliator!

Every month you receive 5-6 full sized products and it’s always an amazing value packed with awesome makeup and skin care products!

This palette is also for sale on the Pur Cosmetics website for $38.

 

Life, Mom Life, parenting

Just Another Manic…Tuesday? A Day in the Life

Today was ROUGH.

My 14 month old was pretty cranky and fussy pretty much the entire day. He didn’t nap until 3:30 in the afternoon, and even then, it was only for about an hour!  He’s busy and active, and in to everything, so it’s hard to get chores done around the house while he’s awake because he wants to “help” i.e pull things out of the laundry basket after I’ve already folded them, close the door to the dishwasher while I’m still loading it, dump the dog’s food and water bowls over, you get the picture.

But, as I sit here writing this, I’m watching him on the baby monitor and thinking back on our day. He’s been in bed for almost 3 hours. *PRAISE HANDS*  I’m grateful he wants to help mommy in his own little way. Was he really fussy all day? No, not literally, it just seemed that way. When he was happy, and we were playing in his playroom, I was teaching him shapes. He can say “circle” now! That causes me to reflect back on all he’s learned. He is so smart, and he learns so much every day. He never ceases to amaze me. He knows some sign language-he’s able to tell me when he wants more, and when he’s all done. He knows what sound a cat, dog, truck, and rooster make. He knows what “ball” and “car” are, can say the words, and can bring me those toys when I ask. He’s getting more teeth, and his current favorite past time is climbing on things he shouldn’t and standing on them. So, what does all of this mean? Well, while he is smart, and toddler-like, he’s still very much a baby. He can’t tell me why he’s fussy and upset, but he is LEARNING new words, new skills, constantly, and I’m sure that is stressing his little body and brain out. I say all that to say this-I need to give myself and him a break for acting the way we did today. And, if you’re in the same boat, keep these thoughts in mind and remember tomorrow is a fresh start!