Wednesday, August 13, 2014

BEAUTY OBSESSIONS

I wanted to share my favorite (MUST HAVE) beauty products right now! My budget is limited.... I don't wear makeup everyday, so I find it hard to splurge on a ton of beauty products just to try! I am the girl that will return the $8 mascara to Target if I didn't like it. To be honest, I scour beauty aisles whenever I am out shopping, and there are just too many new and fun products to try and not return the things that don't work for you. 

My actual claim to fame just normal, average, everyday life is that I am a licensed esthetician. I love talking about skincare and I would never tell anyone to try something that I personally didn't try or like for myself. So, with that being said, here are my top beauty obsessions now. ALL of these products make me feel beautiful and feminine. They feel luxurious, but don't have a hefty price tag. I can certainly get with that!


gel nail kit - Leah and I have both tried this, and we love it. I hate the price of a gel mani and the use of the harmful rays used to dry your nails. This kit totally gives you a gorgeous shine and makes your nail bed look thicker and healthier. It lasts an easy 5-7 days (depending on how much time you spend doing dishes) :)

simple wipes - I have really fallen in love with the Simple line. I also use the face wash for quick makeup removal. It is all so gentle on my skin, and its a plus that there are less harsh chemicals than in other products. I prefer these wipes over their exfoliating wipes! I use them every night before bed.

 fructis oil - I LOVE the smell of this stuff......oh so much! I apply is before drying my hair, and I get a sleeker softer look.
loreal blush - so pretty, so soft, reminiscent of a facial primer.

eyelid primer - I will try anything for a buck! e.l.f. actually will surprise you! I grabbed this primer in a pinch, and haven't felt the need to spend the money to replenish my Urban Decay primer that I usually use.

toothpaste - I have actually noticed a solid difference in the whiteness of my teeth. I have only been using this for about two weeks, and it has not bothered my sensitive teeth one bit. Loving it!You can actually go to their site HERE and get a coupon for your purchase!

 lip balm - Ok, this is the ONLY item not found at a drugstore. oops! I purchased mine at Anthropolgie. Who doesn't want to pull this beautiful container out of their handbag? So smooth and gives my lips a perfect summer dewy look.

suave hair care - Just try it! Love love love it! If you are a salon shampoo buyer, I challenge you to try this. Also, it smells amaaaaazing!

I would LOVE to know what some of your favorites are right now!! Got any you would like to share? pretty please?

-J

Friday, August 8, 2014

GUIDE TO ROAD TRIPPING WITH LITTLES

Every summer, our family vacations at our lake house in Northern Michigan. It's our little slice of heaven. The problem? It's sort of hard to get to. Flights are expensive, and we somehow miss our connection all. the. time. So this year, we drove! My husband was at Lollapalooza, so I was in the car by myself one day, then my parents drove my oldest the second day. It went really smoothly, so I wanted to share... any mamas out there getting ready to hit the road with littles? 

1. ORGANIZE. Organize the crap out of your car.
Back seat: 
*Structured tote bags (so they don't flip flop all over the place) of toys for each kiddo in reach of their car seats- more on this later...
*Blankets for nap time
*Hats and sunglasses (and lather your kids with sunscreen before you start- learn from my mistakes)
*These window shades- they just adhere to the window! No sticky residue, no suction cups. Love. 
*Cooler and snack bag

Front seat: 
*Large box of baby wipes
*Diapers and changing pad
*used plastic bags to be used as trash bags or wet/dirty clothes
*Phone charger
*CD's (Harry Potter audio books obvs)
*Secret grownup snacks

Trunk:
If you're spending the night half way like we did, pack the stuff you'll need at the hotel last for easy access. I packed each of our jammies, toiletries, and clothes for the next day all in one bag, so I wouldn't have to search through each suitcase in the hotel. 


2. KEEP 'EM BUSY
First thing to note... I don't have a DVD player in my car. Soooooo if you do, you're probably all set. But if you don't, read on. In each kid's tote bags, I brought age appropriate toys for each. Max is 9 months, so he gets bored easily with toys. I just packed a ton of little things I could hand him as he tossed them out of his seat when he was done. Ha! Ari is 3 1/2 and is able to really concentrate for a while. I had him go through all of his activities before playing with the iPad.

We also played a lot of games like I spy, car bingo, cloud shape-spotting, etc. 

Here are Ari's picks for iPad apps. I'd love to know yours! 
Comment below if I'm missing some of your favs. 


3. SNACKS. So many snacks.
I'd love to say I packed little ziplocks of fresh fruit and veggies for my kids... but at least I thought about it! Since Max is still too little for most snacks, I love to give him Mum-Mums- I can just hand him one from the front seat, and he can eat it all by himself. Ari is a snack monster and very food motivated, so I have healthy snacks but also "special treats" for milestones in the trip. In the front seat were secret grownup snacks as MY special treats. Anything crunchy and constant is a good way to keep busy (and stay awake). Oh and caffeine. Duh.


4. SCHEDULE + PIT STOPS
If you're able to, schedule your drive around your kids' nap times. Start an hour or two before nap time so the nap essentially breaks up the trip. I love to drive in the evening, so we can get some driving done when the kids are sleeping. 

Think about when your kids eat meals. Eating in the car takes up a good chunk of time for activities on the drive. Stopping to grab food for the car is a great time for potty breaks! Ugh. My first road trip with a non-diapered kid! We practiced a couple weeks before "holding it in" and it went pretty smoothly. I planned on stopping every few hours to pee, stretch, etc. 

On that note... when you stop, make sure to get your kids' wiggles out! I make up a game with Ari which essentially has him running sprints and doing jumping jacks! I'm that mom in the back of Burger King. You gotta do what you gotta do. 

Since we were driving in Northern Michigan, we were lucky enough to stop in some cute little towns on the bay. The perfect time to Yelp some restuarants. Found this little gem in South Haven. You know I loooove donuts! Excellent coffee at Julia's too. 

Worth it!

I hope your trip goes smoothly- as smoothly as it can be of course. 
And the most important things to take away from this are: 
1. wear stretchy pants
2. cut yourself and your kids some slack
3. try to make it fun! 

What are your tricks of the trade for travel? 

-L


Monday, August 4, 2014

FEATURED PARTY: NOAH'S ARK 2 X 2 BIRTHDAY PARTY

We're so excited to feature the cutest birthday party for twinsies you ever did see! Noah's Ark Two-By-Two, a perfect birthday theme for twins, right?! Laura is super crafty and lucky for us, a Love & Lion reader. She used ideas from Ari's animal themed party and took it to the next level! We love all the little details Laura put into her girls' party to make it extra special. What a good mommy she is! We can't imagine having twins... this lady makes every day special for her girls, and documents it on her instagram and blog here. Audrey and Evangeline are two lucky (and gorgeous) ladies!
 Laura painted an inexpensive tray with chalkboard paint and added these fun gold animal magnets. "Judgement Day Mimosas" are obviously our fav detail! Ha!
Audrey and Evangeline eating their rainbow cake like little ladies! For the hats, spray paint plastic animals gold, cut in half, and glue. More animal hats and other party decor here
Sipping "flood water" aka blue juice, through animal straws. Laura spray painted plastic animals then drilled a hole for the straw topper.
So simple. So cute. Why didn't we think of this? 
The party invitations were on the back of the animal masks, and Laura asked guests to wear it to the party. She had 2 of each mask... two-by-two. Genius. Laura simply drew a rainbow in chalk for the photo booth backdrop.
Outdoor activities included crayon-covered tables, baby pools, balloons, bubble machines, play dough with animal cutters, chalk, and lots of cookie eating!
Menu:
ham sliders, rainbow fruit kabobs, rainbow cake, rainbow cookies, animal crackers, animal gummy kabobs, rainbow goldfish, orange/grapefruit "judgement day" mimosas, coffee, "flood water" blue juice

Sources: 
Dollar Store: napkins, animal plates, crazy straws, trays, kraft paper for coloring tables, pink sparkle candles, plastic animals, noah book party favors, bubbles, chalk
Target: mask invitations, hats, labels, cups
Michaels: plastic animals, spray paint

For more pictures, details, and a fabulous blog about being a mommy of twins, visit Laura's blog,
  The Anderson Family Storybook. Thanks Laura!! You're the best!

Friday, August 1, 2014

CAKE DECORATING PARTY



Today, we are "flashing back" to an absolutely perfect cake decorating party! My dear friend, Sally, threw her daughter, Kate, a sweet (pun very much intended) soiree for her birthday. Sally is so creative, thoughtful and just plain fun! She thought of all of the little details without over doing it, which we can TOTALLY appreciate. As a matter of fact, Leah and I were just talking about how inspirational a photo of a simple banner, cute cake topper, and a beautifully wrapped gift are to us. We definitely love a big party with details that most people may not even notice, but it really is about the few simple touches that can really make a party. That is how we feel about this party...... simplicity makes it stunning.

Sally's garage is party play area.... part garage. She decided to decorate a small space in there to accommodate a few party guests. Icing + Kids can equal a bit of a mess, so it made sense. We just adore Sally's love of color and pattern.

 Something about this tray of icing tubes makes us smile!

Sally embroidered the name of each guest onto their own personal apron.

Don't you want to just lick eat every. single. cupcake?

Milk glasses with colorful striped straws never get old.




Thanks for sharing this with us Sally!! I know you had just as much fun as those kids. 
Happy Friday everyone.... we sure are ready for the weekend!

Monday, July 28, 2014

PAPER FOX L.A. PAPER FLORAL CROWNS


Is there anything more summery than a beautifully made paper flower crown? If your answer is "no", then there is no doubt in our minds that we could be besties. Lauren and Jess, the lovely (and super talented) ladies of Paper Fox L.A. generously made these incredible pieces for us, and we have been DYING to show them off! Leah and I certainly share their love for a good party with unique decor. That is the root inspiration behind our blog venture afterall. These crowns are the perfect accessory for weddings, parties, photo shoots, birthday parties...... so basically everything! Have you also seen their banners? Everything they create is just so stunning..... the end.

Our kiddos are generally running around somewhere outside of most of the shots that get posted on Love & Lion. We had to grab them for a quick photo op!

If you are in need of beautiful paper products for the celebrations in your life, PLEASE visit Paper Fox L.A. It makes throwing a party that much more fun. 
Thanks again Lauren & Jess! You ladies are amazing!!!
XO!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

BACK-TO-SCHOOL BACKPACK ROUNDUP AND TATS

Call me Felicity, but I am in loooove with backpacks. It's back-to-school time, and all I want to do is pick out a new one for myself and ravage the school supplies aisle at Target! Organizing notebooks and a planner and pencil case... I could go on and on and on. Anyway...

We have new back-to-school temporary tattoos in our Etsy shop for your kiddos! Customize with school colors and your child's name or their school letters.

We've also rounded up some of our fav backpacks for your littles... unless your child insists on a 
Wild Kratts backpack like mine did! Ugh.

Click numbers for links:
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

We've also got some cute tats for the teeny ones...tattoos to share with the whole class!

-L
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