theBalm (turns me into a) Hot Mama.

theBalm Hot Mama Blush ShadowFor my birthday, my sister gave me a six month subscription to Birch Box, a monthly delivery of high-end beauty and lifestyle samples from top brands. I got tons of fun samples- curly hair products, nail polishes, lipsticks. But by far the BEST product I received was a sample of theBalm’s Hot Mama blush/shadow, i.e. the only blush I ever want to own.

This mama doesn’t have a ton of time to put on a “face” every morning, and Hot Mama makes it so I don’t have to! The rosy blush gives my cheeks that just-pinched look, and the subtle golden shimmer leaves my always sun-screened (read: pale) face looking perfectly sun-kissed. Some Hot Mama plus a dash of under-eye concealer and I feel fresh-faced enough to face the day and encounter other humans!

The non-traditional, but quite sturdy, compact has a retro pin-up girl on the cover, a magnetic closure and a fabulous little mirror inside. It’s perfect for throwing into your purse if you need to freshen up before running into Target (because we all know that’s the only place stay at home moms frequent on the weekdays). My only complaint is that I wish the full-sized compact was bigger. But at $11.50 a pop, I think I can deal with replacing it more frequently. Confession: I had my previous blush for at LEAST two years before I replaced it with Hot Mama. I’m a terrible excuse for a lady.

I can’t live without my Hot Mama (hehe)!

On Wednesdays, I share the things we can’t live without. Make sure to come back and check them out!

one of my best kept secrets…revealed!

Mean Mugging in the Uglywhere Chair
It’s one of my best kept secrets. You’d never think it wasn’t the real thing, because it is the real thing. But would you believe I didn’t pay even close to full price for it?

I spent weeks coveting the Pottery Barn Kids My First Anywhere Chair for Madeline. The chair is adorable- the perfect size seat for her to read her books in, drink her milk in, take a time out in. Not so adorable and perfect? The $109 price tag for a chair made out of foam inserts. Womp womp…

I scoured in the internet looking for a deal, a coupon code…something! Retail Me Not let me down. eBay and Craigslist let me down. It seemed there was no deal to be found. If I wanted this specific chair for Maddie, it appeared I would have to bite the bullet.

But then I stumbled upon Ugly Sofa. Ugly Sofa started out by offering slipcovers from Brand X (aka Pottery Barn) at deep discounts. They have since expanded their offering to include a large, albeit random, assortment of items from Brand X- kids chairs, lunch boxes, backpacks, Christmas stockings, curtains and more- all at huge price-cuts.

At first I was skeptical. Would it really be a PBK product, with their undeniable quality? Then I saw the price tag. The Mini Uglywhere Chair (aka My First Anywhere Chair) was $35 plus shipping. A $75 savings! WHAT!?! It was a risk I was willing to take. Even if it wasn’t PBK, I had a feeling it would be at least on par with, if not nicer than, the Target version of these chairs.

The chair arrived quickly, and the slipcover- obviously Pottery Barn (complete with PBK tag)- and foam inserts were flawless. Ugly Sofa is the real deal and my best kept secret for discounts on the internet. Tell only your closest friends!

The easily washable, extra cozy Uglywhere Chair (seen here in Ivory Sherpa) has been Maddie’s go-to thinking spot from the moment it came out of the box.
Thinking in the Uglywhere Chair

We can’t live without our Uglywhere Chair!

On Wednesdays, I share the things we can’t live without. Make sure to come back and check them out!

these stuffed animals will help your baby fall asleep and stay asleep.

Before she was even born, Madeline was flooded with generous gifts from our family and friends. One of the sweetest she received was from Andrew’s parents- the (currently unavailable) Bashful Labrador Jellycat, which looked a lot like baby Lily Pad. I knew from the moment I saw him that I wanted him to be her “guy.”

From very early on, we pushed Puppy. Crying? Here’s Puppy! Wriggling during a diaper change? Look at Puppy! Getting restless in the car? Hug your puppy! Time to go night night? Paci and Puppy. Whatever the question, the answer was Puppy.
Jellycat Bashful Labrador

As you probably know, I am of the school that you can’t have too much of a good thing. So for her first Easter, Jellycast’s Bashful Bunny arrived in Maddie’s Easter basket.
Jellycat Bashful Grey Bunny

Together, Bunny and Puppy were the dynamic duo, a tag team. With both guys under her arms, Maddie was invincible. We were delighted, because it seemed we had successfully chosen the most adorable comfort items for our baby (and we had)!
Jellycat Bashful Bunny and Labrador

When Bashful Lamby arrived in the mail, a gift from one of my nearest and dearest, the duo became a trio and the set was complete. BPL- Bunny, Puppy, Lamby. The three amigos.Jellycat Bashful Lamb

The Jellycats have all been through the wash more times than I can count and have come out none the worse for wear. The more hugged they are, the more loved and real they look. They are impossibly adorable, seriously soft and perfect for snuggling. BPL (all size medium) fit just so in Maddie’s little arms. I believe her Jellycats have been a key component to Madeline’s sleep success. Each night we lay her down with all the guys, and each night she puts herself to sleep by petting their arms/ears/tails, not waking until morning. Almost every day, I can get an extra 15-20 minutes of rest, while Maddie plays with BPL and then chucks them out of her crib one by one.
Jellycat Bashful Labrador, Bunny, Lamb

Besides much of the bashful collection, Maddie has acquired the (currently unavailable) Noodle Fox (with a really wacky noodle tail)- Foxy (obviously), and the Cordy Roy Elephant– Elly (duh!). Soon we’ll have a whole zoo of Jellycats, and I won’t mind it one bit!

We can’t live without our Jellycats!