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Style & Beauty – Frugal Novice
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Style & Beauty

Style & Substance: Kelly Moore Bags

Note: I received a bag to facilitate this post. I was not compensated monetarily; affiliate links are included in this post. All opinions are honest and are my own. 

I am a purse loyalist. I’m not one to switch bags to coordinate with various outfits; I find one I like, and I stick with it for a long time.

I’m also pretty picky about what purse I carry. It needs to:

  • look good – this is something I’ll have with me day in and day out, so I want it to be something I’m pretty thrilled with.
  • have plenty of space… but not be a big cave that everything will get lost in. I love organization (in a way that clearly reaches nerdy levels!) and a cluttered bag would drive me nuts.
  • be durable – as I mentioned above, I’ll have it with me pretty much all the time, which means it’ll go to baseball practices, dance rehearsals… and it’ll be subjected to my three children at any given time. So yeah, durability is key.

In my search for an ideal bag, Kelly Moore has been a brand on my radar for a while now. Many of my friends have talked about their love of the brand, and if you haven’t seen them before, Kelly Moore bags are pretty stinkin’ gorgeous.

We all know the old adage, though – form follows function. Do Kelly Moore bags hold up? I selected the Monroe, and put it to the test(s):


It’s definitely a great looking bag – I love the rich, saturated color and the high-quality finish – and there are many ways to wear it. Above, you can see I’ve got shorter straps on my shoulder, but it also comes with an adjustable shoulder strap.

That’s not all, though – the front pouch on the bag is actually removable, so you can have a small cross-body purse AND the larger bag to carry separately. This is my favorite setup:

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Burt’s Bees New Lipsticks Give You 100% Natural Beauty

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Burt’s Bees for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’ve loved Burt’s Bees lip balm for years; it’s a staple in my purse. My husband uses it, and my kids do too. In fact, Burt’s Bees has been a brand we love for a long time. I feel good about the natural ingredients used in its products, and that’s hard to find nowadays. They stay true to a simple – and great – idea: what you put on your body should be made from ingredients you can spell and pronounce.

They have more than 150 products for almost every part of your lips, hair and skin, with a mission is to make people lives better everyday, naturally. We’ve used their baby products on all three of our kids, all because they’re a brand we truly trust. I love knowing that Burt’s Bees is natural at its core, and that gives me confidence in using their products for myself and for my whole family.

And now there’s another product from Burt’s Bees I can love: new Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Lipsticks deliver luscious, bold color you’ll love, along with naturally moisturizing ingredients that love your lips in return.

The lipsticks have a smooth, satin finish and 14 versatile shades. They soften and condition lips all day long, thanks to a natural formula featuring Beeswax, Moringa Oil and Raspberry Seed Oil. They provide a creamy and lightweight coverage that doesn’t feel heavy like many other lipsticks. And they’re 100% natural, which makes me feel good about wearing it all day.

Burt’s Bees lipsticks are available at Target, and I went to ours to pick up a few shades for myself. I decided to get two very different colors and see what I thought of each. I purchased this darker red shade, called Scarlet Soaked:

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Younique 3D Mascara Review

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I received the 3D mascara to facilitate my review. I was not compensated monetarily, and all opinions are honest and my own.

I’ve got short, pale eyelashes, and if I’m not wearing mascara, it almost looks from afar like I just don’t have eyelashes at all. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes, but of course until I tried it myself I was a little skeptical. I’ve tried a lot of mascaras over the years, and I wondered if this one was really any different.

The mascara comes in a case and has two tubes – one is a transplanting gel, and one is the actual fibers.

Younique_Opened

Younique-Mascara

Younique-Fibers

I was nervous that application might be tricky, but it’s really a breeze. I did a thin layer of the transplanting gel, and then right afterward used the fibers; then followed up with another layer of transplanting gel to seal the fibers in. So easy! Then I decided to make the lashes just on the outer edges of my eyes a little longer, so I did a second round of gel, fibers, and gel. Watch this pic and you can see my eyes before, after one round, and after two rounds. I love the effect of the 3D Fiber Lashes!

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Skin Protection & Style for the Whole Family from Coolibar

We received a dress and swimsuit to facilitate this review. All opinions are honest and our own. We weren’t compensated monetarily for this post.

Brian and I are taking the kids to Schlitterbahn water park in a couple of weeks, and I’m already in planning mode. The kids are all set for swim attire and clothes, but Brian really needed a new swimsuit. The one he had was over 10 years old, so it was about time for it to be replaced.

Thankfully we learned about Coolibar – their mission is to develop superior sun protective products that allow people to enjoy life in the sun. They design, manufacture and market a range of quality sun protection products including sun protective clothes, SPF clothing, sun hats, sun protection swimwear, sunglasses, umbrellas, sunscreens and sunscreen.

Brian and I both experienced awful sunburns last summer. Like, miserable for a week sunburns. We had been careful about protecting the kids’ skin but hadn’t thought about ourselves! We knew we’d never make that mistake again, and getting Coolibar gear is one great step in guarding our skin against harmful UVA & UVB rays.

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Spruce up for Spring with Carter’s!

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Carter’s. I received a complimentary gift card to facilitate my review and thank me for my participation.”

Spring has sprung, and boy am I glad. Cold weather and I just aren’t the best of friends, and when spring temperatures arrive I’m a happy girl. It means bike rides with the kids, walks around the neighborhood, baseball practice and plenty of time in the back yard.

Spring also heralds the arrival of bright colors in clothes, and there’s just something cheery about shopping for spring wardrobes. This is especially the case for me in shopping for the kids, and Carter’s is always one of my very favorite places to find their new clothes.

Of course, Easter is right around the corner, and finding shirts for the boys (aged 5 & 7) was on my to-do list. Carter’s has a great Easter selection, and I had a hard time picking between solids and prints, polos and button-ups. So many cute options! I ended up getting a bright plaid for J and a chambray for C. I like that they’re not matchy-matchy, but they’ll coordinate really well.

J_Carters_Shirt

 

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Tieks Review

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Tieks_Box

Like any other girl, I love a good pair of shoes. More specifically, though, I love a great pair of flats that will not kill my feet as I go to work, as I grocery shop, as I go out on a date with my husband, or as I chase after my three kids.

Tieks first drew my interest last year after I saw ads on Facebook (they clearly targeted their ads to the correct demographic, because I think I clicked over to their site after seeing the very first ad). I loved the signature blue accents – the soles of the shoes, and a stripe down the back of each one – and was really curious about how a shoe with a split sole would work for me.

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 2.02.24 PM

When I went to shop at their store, which they cleverly named “The Boutiek,” I spent a good bit of time just scrolling through all the options – there are a ton. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to do something really bold, like a red, or if I wanted to get something more neutral that I could wear with a wider variety of outfits.

In the end, practicality won out and I went with chestnut – but I still get to have some fun with the pops of blue.

As you can see above, the box that holds the shoes is pretty small. Like, so small you might think there’s no way shoes could be inside. But they’re there, folded up and waiting neatly for you.

Tieks_Folded_Box

Part of the appeal of Tieks is that they’re compact; they come with a bag to house them in, so you could easily carry these along with you in your purse and put them on if you need to switch to more comfortable shoes, for instance (they also come with a larger bag for you to put your other pair of shoes into once you switch to your Tieks).

Tieks_Folded

Once you unfold the shoe there’s a bit of a bend to it, but these are pliable and fit right to my foot once I put them on. And, sigh… I really do love that blue stripe on the back. So cute.

Shoe_Back_Tieks

 

Tieks_Bottom

Tieks_Wearing

So, you’ve seen how they look, but style is only half of the equation. How did they feel, you ask?

In a word, comfy.

I have had many shoes that leave blisters on my feet the first time or two I wear them, but my Tieks were comfortable from the very start. You can slightly see the impression of my big toes, but the shoes didn’t feel tight at all and I know that over time the leather will stretch out a bit.

Tieks_Toe

I was really impressed with the quality of these shoes. Tieks aren’t cheap – for my budget, they’re somewhat of an investment shoe. I read some other reviews talking about how well these hold up, though, and I feel like these are flats I’ll wear again and again for years to come. The Italian leather is supple and soft, the color is really rich, and they’re comfortable to walk around in all day long.

I had wondered how the split sole would fare comfort-wise, and I really didn’t notice it at all. I also wondered if the blue soles would get dirty quickly, but here’s what they looked like after two days of wear:

Tieks_Bottom_AfterWear

I really love my Tieks, and I’m glad I added these to my collection. Part of what I’m learning as I get older is that purchasing fewer high-quality pieces is a wiser choice than purchasing a bunch of cheap things that don’t last long at all. Quality over quantity, friends!