Sunday, August 30, 2015

Lipstick Manicure

Do you get gel manicures?   Any manicure? It seems that tips, wraps, and lcn nails are out of date, but I still love my acrylic nails!  Without them, my polish would chip within the hour!  I normally get them square, and never had the desire to try the stiletto nail, which is the Lady Gaga inspired pointy-tipped dagger dragon claw nail shape that the younger generation and beauty gurus gravitate toward.

(photo found on pinterest, originally found on

I heard about a fresh tube of lipstick inspired nail trend and wanted to jump on board immediately! My favorite nail stylist Aya was 100% willing to try my request!   "Something different to keep me young," I told her! Now the style still uses nail polish and not lipstick, but the filed shape results in the angular shape of a freshly unwrapped lipstick!

 What do you think?

(photo belongs to 2StrongGirlsCM)

(photo belongs to 2StrongGirlsCM)

I can type, apply makeup, and do everything as normal, except pick up change or credit cards from a flat surface, which I couldn't do with my squared off acrylics either!  I think I'll be sticking with this look for some time to come!


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Recent Ulta Haul

I know I have talked about Ulta before but I can't get enough of that store!  It's one of my favorites and I am always finding new, awesome products or getting great deals there.  I went a couple of weeks ago to purchase my favorite foundation by CK One that I was nearly out of.  Like many women, during the summer my skin tans despite using a high SPF sunscreen.  I didn't want to purchase a bottle of my usual foundation in a darker color because I didn't think I would use it all before my tan faded for the winter.  While browsing and debating my purchase, I started chatting with the Ulta employee.  I mentioned my situation and she recommended the Ulta brand BB Cream for the few short few weeks that I would need a darker color.  Honestly, I wasn't convinced.  I had tried a BB Cream before and was totally unimpressed.  I decided to try it and then she mentioned that they were having a great special if you purchased $19.50 in Ulta brand products then you got a free gift.  Normally I could care less about the free gifts given at makeup counters.  I have a million makeup bags thanks to ipsy and don't really need samples.  Then she showed me the free gift and I audibly gasped in awe.  The gift was amazing!  It's a 15 piece gift set valued at $88.  It comes with a decent sized make up bag, a large sample sized matte lipstick, a blush duo, a mascara, two eye shadows, three makeup brushes, a $5 coupon off a future purchase and a couple samples.  How could I say no?  I decided to stock up on my favorite mascara, which you can also read about here, and to try the BB Cream she recommended.  I was also able to use a $3.50 coupon which brought my total down to $19.50 before taxes.  Therefore, I paid less than $20 for approximately $100 in makeup.  Score!

Here is what I paid for:

As you can tell, I have been using the BB Cream.  I am liking it!  I'll probably only use it for summer because it gives a very sheer coverage and usually I like a medium coverage.  It is perfect for summer though.  It glides on easily with my fingers and is very easy to blend.  I use a finishing powder and it lasts several hours.

Here is a picture of everything included with the free gift.  Amazing, right?!

Lastly, here is a photo of everything that I got!  

I am so excited about this purchase.  My makeup bag is definitely stocked and ready for fall and I can actually see myself using all these products.  If you haven't been to Ulta lately then I definitely recommend checking this deal out before it's gone!


Follow us on Twitter @2StrongGirlsCM
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Blog Lovin

*This is a non sponsored review.  Photos courtesy of the blogger

Monday, August 24, 2015

Snail Mail

I have always loved receiving mail.  I mentioned it in my post about White Lace Dresses, and I don't know why it's so exciting to me.  I see it like life seen through the eyes of a dog.  Dogs never know what is on the other side of the front door or car ride, but they are excited no matter what! They see everything as an exciting possibility for fun!  There might be a treat or tennis ball, or there might not be a treat or tennis ball, but what if there is?!  They exude big jumps and wags in case there is!

I have memories growing up where after school I was in charge of walking our dog, Ruff, and bringing in the mail.  In the summer, I walked to the mailbox every day after lunch because in late summer, the mail would bring the news we awaited all summer, the letter telling us our new teacher for the whole next school year!  This led to a phone chain around town to friends to figure out who was in your class!  In middle school, the late summer letter was even more serious because we were put on two different teams, Blue Team and Gold team, and each team had their own sets of teachers, and homerooms!  I don't know why who was sitting in the room with me during attendance while we all listened to school announcements over the intercom for 15 minutes was so important, but it was the most highly anticipated news each summer.

Christmas and birthday months would bring cards, and I just liked hearing from people who took the time to write.  It is even more personal now that social media has diminished human interaction, and sentimental things are ceasing to exist in general with upcoming generations.  Everything is looked at as replaceable nowadays, whether it be phones, vacuums, or spouses.  Pre-technological advancements, the olden days, had some advantages.

Ironically, I came across some relatives on social media and took a shot at reaching out.  Come to find out, one of my cousins from across the globe enjoys writing as much as I do, and we have since become pen pals, in the modern day sense via the internet of course, but more enjoyably also through hand written letters. Plus, am I really too old to attach stickers to fun colored envelopes?  Nah, I think not.

'Snail mail' has become a term associated with the lack of speed it takes to relay information to someone, so with quicker means ie. online bill pay and text messaging, some may think writing is on its way out, like newspapers and paper books.  There is a nostalgia that would be lost if that comes to fruition though.  The thought behind the message would almost disappear if all of our interactions were done out of speed and convenience.

In college, I received a postcard from anywhere my mom traveled to for work or fun, and going to my dorm mailbox would bring a smile to my face.  Maybe my mom was an old soul like I am.

I still enjoy sending postcard when I travel.  Sometimes to just family, and other times to different friends, or just one friend.  It's funny how when away from home, or during Christmas, it seems more reasonable to contact people versus any other time of the year.

Here are a few articles of 'snail mail' I received over the last few months.

I find that many people seem to enjoy receiving something hand written, because your personal touch was aimed distinctively at that person.  You took the time for that person.  There will still be the people who send you a card during Christmas and just sign From, whoever, with absolutely no note and no ounce of personality to it, but so be it.  Make someone feel special today.  I encourage you to write out at least one hand written card or note a week, or even a month.  I'm sure a parent, sibling who lives away from home, or old friend or even a new one would smile fondly if they opened a card from you that said,
"Hey You, Thinking of you lately!  See ya soon!  Love, Me"

Give it a try, and let me know how many letters you chose to send out!


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Unplug and Observe

Today I am blogging a bit differently.  Normally I grab my laptop after my kids are in bed and type with approximately sixty seven Facebook and Pinterest breaks.  Today, however, I am going Old School.

"So, why?" You are probably asking yourself.  Or instead, maybe you are wondering what the point is since this will need to be typed anyway.  My answer is because sometime we all need to unplug.  I needed to take a breather from technology and to stop and admire the world and people in it.  Rather than checking Pinterest and Instagram for what people are wearing, I am sitting at a busy Starbucks watching people go by me and seeing what they are wearing in person.  Photos are amazing but sometimes you need real connections and I have been missing those lately.

It's nice.  Sitting at Starbucks and enjoying the sights, smells, and sounds of people going about their work and days around me is refreshing.  Letting my mind wander to where it naturally goes rather than where social media directs it is something that I should let happen more frequently.  Where did my creativity go?  Now I am wondering if anyone else has the same issue.  Anyone?

Sitting at Starbucks to blog was refreshing and empowering.  I had a moment coming to terms with how "plugged in" and distracted I am and now I know that I need to fix that.  My kids need to see the creative side of their Mom.  I need to really see the world...not just pass through it.  I need to experience things and absorb more rather than just going through the motions.  I invite you to take some time this week and do the same thing.  Take a half hour and let your mind wander.  Don't check your phone, tablet, computer or gaming system for anything.  Let yourself be and consider the world around you.  Comment and let me know how you feel once you've done it.  I hope you feel as renewed as I did.


Follow us on Twitter @2StrongGirlsCM
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Blog Lovin

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Falling for Suede

Just as I mentioned in my platform sandal post here, my style from back in the 90's has reappeared all around me!  I wore a pair of black suede flare leggings every time they were clean from the laundry.  What’s funny is I wore them with black combat type boots and a white crop sweater, both of which have appeared in recent trends.  My So Called Life revisted.  I even have a similar haircut now.  Maybe history does repeat itself.   
Here's me in my suede leggings, before leggings were even a thing.  
I may or may not have been wearing stark white foundation and brown eyeshadow, or maybe it was the high quality disposable camera.  Notice I only wore 1 backpack strap because unlike today, 2 were dorky back in the late 90's.  Have you ever seen the movie 21 Jump street with Channing Tatum?  The backpack part cracks me up.

approx. 1996 age 15

Last year in Kohls, I saw a pair of black suede pants and bought them because I loved my 10th grade pair so much.  This pair was skinny style and I actually have a midi skirt from post college dating back over ten years that is tan suede.  I had a leather fix 2 yrs ago and then a suede fix, although those leggings and a tan crop from Forever 21 I got last year were the only suede garments I could even find last season.  Just like what happened after I exhausted my leather dress search and gave up, I was too early.  As Fall 2015 approaches I see a lot of suede and I love it!  I wonder how much longer I will have to wait before I finally find olive suede?  Right now it's all tan and tan washes out my pale complexion and hair.  I could lay in the Sahara and become a chameleon, especially if dressed in tans.  Side note, there's a reason I over do my accessories and eye makeup or dare to wear bright lipstick since me in neutrals is just as exciting as the boring backdrop of a DMV.
This skirt has been calling to me for weeks, and even though I love the laser cut detailing it's another midi which I have already plus I waited too long and unfortunately missed the boat in my size.
                                                         Forever 21 Lase Cut Faux Suede Midi

I also picked up this suede skater skirt here!

Do you like suede or does it give you the heeby-geebies like corduroy or velvet when running your hand over it?  I love the look on a crisp fall day!

I know I will be wearing my tan suede over the knee boots this season, as well as my suede leggings, whether the trend forges ahead or is a flop!  


*All suede mentioned is faux, and opinions are of the blogger.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Cropped Pants for Fall

I can't believe it's time to be talking about fall fashion already.  I am still shamelessly soaking up the sun, enjoying the fresh berries that summer offers, and searching for the perfect summer beach hat.  Fashion, however, waits for no one and everyone is already talking about next season.

It looks like cropped pants are in for fall.  I am not necessarily a fan of cropped pants but I am excited to see some cropped flares AKA "jazz pants" for fall.  Jazz pants are more flattering to my body than cigarette style or cropped wide leg pants are.  They balance out hips and draw attention to slimmer ankles.  I think they are cute with booties or oxfords.

H&M has a pair that I have my eye on.  They are basic black, with just enough flare to be wearable without being over dramatic.  The $24.99 price tag and elastic waist definitely caught my eye too.  Come fall, I will be trying to get back to my pre pregnancy body and elastic waists, black fabric, and stretch will all be staples in my wardrobe for awhile.
Nordstrom also has a pair that looks chic and comfortable.  It doesn't boast the elastic waist, but they look roomy enough to be comfortable without making my already short legs look shorter.  Cropped pants can sometimes make short legs look stumpy but I think this pair will be ok.  
These are Plenty by Tracy Reese and $178.00 on the Nordsrtom website.  I love how they paired with the platform sandal in the picture.

These are the only style cropped pants I will be wearing this fall...aside from yoga capris of course!  


Follow us on Twitter @2StrongGirlsCM
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Blog Lovin

*This was an independent review.  Photos courtesy of H&M and Nordstrom.