Pardon My French

Apr 28, 2015

twofer tuesday: the denim jacket

Today, I am teaming up with my friend Britt from The Fisk Files to bring you our takes on the all time spring favorite....the denim jacket! Since we both have four kids (she just announced yesterday they are expecting number five!!!! ahhh so excited!!) we thought we would show how to style a jacket from our day time toddler craziness to a rare...rare...rare night out. 
denim jacket: zara (love this one) // tee: american apparel // jeans: target 
shoes: converse // sunglasses: ray-ban 

I think most people shy away from doing a denim jacket, with an actual pair of denim. I however love the look of mixing different denim washes in one outfit. It really gives it such a causal, relaxed vibe. Perfect for rock collecting with my buddy! Any kind of day time look for me has to be simple and movement friendly. Running up the steps at the playground, or rescuing someone from the depths of the big slide are grounds for wearing workout clothes, but in the event of wanting to look "put together" an outfit like this is a go-to!
leather pants: forever 21 // heels: zara (similar here and here) // clutch: kate spade // lipstick: dior 575

From day to night! Let's just a dream world....Chris and I snuck out for a date night, this is totally a look I would throw on and race out of the house in before the death grip of my children could get to me. So simple to transition from earlier in the day, throw on some leather pants that just scream take me downtown baby! A killer heel, and a bright lipstick is all you need. It still keeps everything casual, but adds just enough glam to feel, dare I say pre-children? It's true. 

So, what is your take on the denim classic? 

Also be sure to head over to Britt's neck of the woods to see how she styled hers!

Apr 27, 2015

venturing out

Last week I went grocery shopping. That statement alone is shocking. I don't normally do the grocery shopping in this house, it is one form of shopping that I absolutely hate! Chris has told me on many occasions that I'm not very good at it either. How can one be good at grocery shopping? Well, for me I don't look at prices, no per serving, per ounce, whatever business. I just try and go as fast as humanly possible to get the things I know off hand, no list. See....poor shopping etiquette. Although I will go to Costco any day of the week because that is kind of like a grown up playground. 

So getting back on topic here, I went to the store....with all four kids! This is the first time it has happened since having Odette. Also to be noted this was Odette's first time out in a public place, other than hiking and car rides to and from preschool. Yep, I'm that crazy lady that hoards her baby's inside for as long as possible. I didn't take Ace out until he was three months old!! First kid....we've all seen the commercials. But, Chris was in the field for a couple days last week and we were running low on bananas and granola bars (two things that will start riots if not found in the kitchen). I decided to put on my big girl pants and just do this. I mean I have taken three kids just about everywhere with me, I managed to take them places all nine months of being pregnant, surely I was just being a wuss. It wasn't a matter of if I could to it, but how? Logistically speaking. Ace walk, Pierce walk, Avalon  usually in the cart, and uhhh...the baby? 
So, I thought we will go early in the morning, like early, to where the store will be empty. I can get in and get out without having to stop Pierce from being the stores welcoming committee. Also less people means I can keep track of my gang on foot. See...planning goes into these things now. We loaded up at 8 am, Odette screamed the whole way and then fell asleep. My idea of putting her in the carrier was a bust, no way was I going to wake her up from her slumber. So car seat it was. Avalon didn't want to walk, so I had to carry her in one arm and the car seat on the other. I then told the boys in a very no joke way, "hold hands, do not let go of each other and stay right by me or you will get squished like a bug by a car" death threat parenting is the only way to cross the street. We make it in the store, Avalon goes in the front of the cart, Odette in the bigger part, Ace is right next to me, and Pierce....where is Pierce? Oh yes, he is helping himself to the apples. Guess we will just buy those too. The store was in fact very empty. We were movin...speed walking at its finest. Grabbed the bananas (Pierce's apples), oh but they wanted strawberries, and someone said "mom don't you need avocados?", walking walking walking. Pierce is doing this run ten steps, then walk backwards thing, Ace keeps telling him how annoying he is, Pierce screams at Ace, Avalon tells them to shhhh, baby starts making noises, I start sweating. Can we please just make it to the other side of the store because I think we might need eggs too? Ace asks if we can grab some apple juice, sure why not? Pierce turns the aisle into his personal pool and starts diving on the floor. I bribe him with some chocolate if he will just ride on the side of the cart....he took the bait for all of 3 minutes. We grab eggs, and some mini bagels because Ace thought those were just "cute". A nice lady in the aisle says "wow quite the handful you have", wow never heard that one before. To the check out or bust we go people. 
One checkout lane open and the lady says "so which one of you is Pierce?" I looked confused, Pierce said "I am", she replied "well I heard your mom say your name quite a few times". Oh great! I am unloading things, didn't we only come for bananas? Oh shit the granola bars!! Surely we can make it without them right? The nice man bagging our groceries says, "are they all yours?" yes sir, yes they are. He said "you don't even look like you could be out of high school" why thank you....I think? 

Last challenge, get everyone back into the car. We take a couple steps out of those automatic doors and Pierce darts into the street, I yell, Ace yells "you're gunna die!!!" Pierce laughs. A nice passerby er says "boys will be boys". Here we are at the car, but where are my keys? Downside to having a duffel bag size purse is the mysterious depths that your keys can fall to. Odette is now screaming, I am kneeling down taking everything but the seams apart from my bag, Pierce is collecting rocks into his pockets, and Ace is showing his new found five year old attitude saying "you lost them? how can you lose them? This is taking forever. Can I have a granola bar?" WE DON'T HAVE GRANOLA BARS! Oh wait my keys are in my pocket. Load kids, race home, unload groceries. While unloading I notice we bought fruit loops, pop tarts, and a lunchable. Who the hell bought this stuff? Me. I did. Neither one of the boys is admitting to putting it in the cart, but they were excited to eat it. 

I gave them some advice, next time you want to get a lunchable....please grab three. The fighting that happened over just one was enough to make me not go to the store ever again. 

I am just sticking with Target!

Apr 22, 2015

A Quick Contour and Highlight

I am sure like many people, I have seen a makeup look or technique and how in the hell did they do that? Highlight and contouring used to be that enigma for me. We have all seen the pinterest pins, or the YouTube videos about this trick. I am pretty sure the Kardashians put this hidden makeup secret on the map. But I wasn't looking to completely alter my face when wearing makeup. I simply wanted to look awake, refreshed, basically lie to people with my makeup. I am non of those things. I am tired, borderline rundown on most days, but if you ask my makeup it says "well hello Susie Sunshine!!" 

One thing I am always short on is time, so I had to figure out a way to quickly HAC (highlight and contour). Now clearly I don't do this everyday. When I want to do a full face of makeup, and I have about 7-10 minutes to spare, I will do this. The easiest and fastest way I have found is to use cream contour sticks. These NYX ones are totally affordable and are great for beginners who want to test the waters. Shall we dive in to what Chris refers to as my "war paint"?
Highlighting and contouring is basically creating shadows on your face in order to manipulate certain areas. A few things I wanted to achieve were, to streamline my nose, contour my cheeks, and highlight under my eyes. 

Step 1: Moisturize! You really want to prep your skin with a good moisturizer, followed by a primer. That way the foundation sticks do not settle into your skin, giving your makeup a chance to last a little longer throughout the day. 

Step 2: Now go ahead and apply your regular foundation. I like to use a light weight coverage when I am contouring, since ultimately I am layering the contour sticks on top. For this I used Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer. Then I went in with my contour sticks. I chose the darkest and lightest colors in the NYX foundation sticks, fair and caramel. Here is a great guide to figuring out how to contour for your face shape. 
I start with the dark caramel color for the contour. Making a line right under my cheek bones, across my forehead, down the sides of my nose and coming to a point at the tip, and drawing out a small line from the corners of my eyes. 

Next grab the highlighting stick to bring light to the areas around the contour. Heavy under my eyes...that middle of the night nursing is getting to me. Highlight down the center of my nose, in between the contour lines. This will help to create the appearance of a straight line when blended. Highlight above the cheekbones, forehead, chin, and upper lip. 

Then you want to grab your beauty blender, or makeup sponge, and blend blend blend. I blend the contour first with one end of the beauty blender, then flip it around and blend my highlighter with the other end. You don't want to mix it all together or you defeat the purpose of all this war paint. Just blend the colors up and into your skin. 

Step 3: Once you have it all blended out, finish off your makeup. I finished up with a nice swipe of blush (mac warm soul), mascara (benefit roller lash), darkening my eyebrows (anastasia brow wiz), and a soft pink lip (mac lipstick in snob, and nars lip gloss in turkish delight). 


It seems like a lot...but I promise you it goes so quick once you get used to it. I had to experiment more than a few times before I was actually happy with a result. I just bought this contouring pallet, and plan on seeing just how adventurous I can be when adding brushes into the mix. Obviously this is not a necessary makeup ritual. I just happen to love experimenting with makeup, and finding ways to incorporate it into my uber chic stay at home mom to four life. 

Here are all the products I used:

Apr 20, 2015

Post Baby Pampering

A couple weeks ago while my mom was still here visiting I took advantage of her semi-professional child watching skills, and my newborns display of nocturnal sleep habits, and ran off to indulge in some much needed self-pampering. Anchorage, or even Alaska as a whole is known for many things, indulgent personal services isn't one of them, or so I thought. Then I was introduced to ACENT. By the looks of it Alaska Center for Ear Nose and Throat couldn't possibly help me out in a much needed day of relaxation, but that is where one would be mistaken. If you take a further look you find that they also offer med spa services! Winner!! They happen to be the first and longest standing med spa in Alaska, so you know I had to check them out! I set up an appointment for the signature facial, because after nine months of pregnancy insomnia this mama falls just shy of needing reconstructive surgery to lift the bags under my eyes. 
So I filled Odette to the brim, left my mom an emergency bottle in case she needed it, kissed the other kids goodbye to which Pierce said "have fun getting a new face mom" and I hopped in my sports car minivan and sped to their offices. To my surprise when you pull up to the building they offer valet parking, for a second I thought I was in Vegas! I informed the valet guy that he could help himself to the handfuls of goldfish on the floor if he got hungry. Clearly I wasn't prepared for this level of convenience.
 Once at ACENT I was quickly whisked away by a lovely blonde named Audra, but from here on out we can just refer to her as the skin magician. We proceeded to talk about my skin and what I felt like I needed out of a facial, and skin care. This was nice because I think we all have one idea of how to really care for our skin, but these things should truly be left to the professionals. After our nice little chat we went to another room where all my deep dark skin skeletons would be brought to light with the Visia Machine. What is such a machine you ask? Well it takes pictures of the under layers of your skin to see what damage, if any, is lurking there. Lets just say I did myself no favors growing up in the triple digit summers of Las Vegas with very minimal sunscreen. Can you say brown spots? After the machine prints out its percentages of problem areas, it is easier for the facial to be tailored to exactly what your skin needs. Audra was very thorough in letting me know what these numbers meant, and what I should be looking out for in the future. Not to mention the types of products I should be using on my skin, as opposed to my need to try every beauty product ever made. 
On to the grand finale, the facial. Facials happen to be my very favorite spa treatment. I mean is there anything more relaxing than a dark room, steam on your face, oils and creams that smell good enough to transport you somewhere with sand and a small umbrella in your drink. That is what I am talking about. I mean if I am going to be anxious about leaving my newborn it very well should be while laying in a quiet dark room! Did I say quiet? Because it was silent, I didn't even know rooms existed like that anymore. 

After it was all said and done, I couldn't help but think about how I could persuade her into starting over. But alas all good things must come to an end. And it was amazing! More than amazing. From start to finish I was beyond impressed with every aspect of the med spa. Not to mention they also offer complimentary makeup application after your spa or laser treatments. They use, and also sell Jane Iredale products which also happen to be a favorite of mine, so you know I loved that! 

Normally it takes moms, myself included a while to be able to feel like themselves again. To feel relaxed and possibly a little less guilty for taking time to themselves. But I say rip the band-aid off. Getting a treatment like this and a couple hours to myself was such a gift. For all my fellow Alaska dwelling ladies, I highly recommend looking into a treatment or two at ACENT. It is such a family friendly environment, with people who are willing to work around your schedule in order to provide you with the best service possible. The team of doctors and nurses really do put the needs and wants of the patient first, not to mention just walking into the office feels so comforting and inviting. Do yourselves a favor and check out the array of services they provide, surely you will be able to find something to indulge in. Not to mention this would be the perfect hint to your husbands for Mother's Day! They also offer gift cards!! (Chris if you're reading this, I wouldn't mind getting a little microdermabration. Just saying, no pressure...okay a little bit of pressure).

A huge thank you to everyone over at ACENT for inviting me to a little post baby pampering at its finest. I could not be happier with the entire experience! 

photos by ash adams