Full Face using only Bare Minerals!

I’m a Bare Minerals girl. I’ve always been into makeup, but Bare Minerals is probably the first high end brand I got into and IT CHANGED ME. My mom gave me a little sampler kit for Christmas seven years ago and TAKE MY OFFSPRING I AM YOURS NOW BARE MINERALS!

I even wrote about it here. And guys. I had no idea what 2011 would have in store. 

I used their stuff exclusively for a bunch of years (including for my wedding) and while I have branched out, I still can’t pass up their products. I use a lot of the bareskin stuff now, but for this look I went old school.

Today I did a neutral light face and a gray smokey eye with my bare Minerals products.

First, moisturizer and prime. I use the BB skin primer and it’s amazing. Basically light coverage and a primer together. 

I use the correcting concealer in the little pot, so I like to pat it on before applying powder foundation. I use it under my eyes, andon any blemishes I can find. (Like that volcano on my chin.) 

Then I build coverage using a densely packed brush and the Orginal mineral foundation (I use the color light. Shocker.) 

Instead of using a setting powder, I go over the whole face with the Perfecting Veil. I don’t have a great contour product from them, so I stuck to blush (tropical  sunset) and highlighter (Ready Luminizer in That Magic Moment. 

Lips are a combo of Moxie lipstick in Be Brilliant and Be a Star 

My eyes are a fairly traditional look using the Nudes palette from a few years ago. I used Tranquil as the base, highlight; sonnet as the crease color; and priceless to deepen the outer v. 

Finally finished with my lashes- Flawless Definition mascara and my brows, which is cheating a little bit. For awhile they discontinued the powder brow product and so I found a perfect dupe on Amazon. It’s a super unknown brand and probably all chemicals that will kill me but it worked really well for me.


Six years ago today my husband lost his wife. My daughter lost her mother, whom she’d never really remember. A hole was ripped in people I would come to love very soon afterwards that nothing can ever fill, no matter how happy and fulfilling our lives are now.

There’s nothing I can do about that. And it sucks.

I can do some stuff though. I can be here for my husband. I can tell my daughter stories I’ve learned from other people so it feels like they’re her memories, like her mama is still here with us not only in spirit. I try to do those things every day, and more so on days like today. 

The biggest thing I can do, though, is so simple. I can be thankful. 

I am thankful for my husband. We don’t agree about everything. We are very stubborn. We have our share of disagreements and yeah, sometimes I look back at skinny, free 2010 me and wonder what happened and WHY. But I am always, always thankful for him. I am constantly reminded that I could be without him. In the blink of an eye, my life and marriage could be over and I can never forget that. I am so so thankful to have had four and a half years of marriage with him already. 

I am thankful for my children. I get to stress about birthday parties. I get to potty train. I get to lie awake at night and worry about how she’s feeling and whether I’m doing the right thing or whatever. I am so unbelievably privileged that I get to do that every day. 

I am thankful that I get to live in my dream home, happily and healthily. 

I am thankful that I get to be 29, even though I’m mad about turning 30. I am thankful to have this time with my mom, with my sister, with HER mom. I am thankful to be friends with her brother’s new wife and watch them start their family. I am thankful to be here to see my niece and when my brother falls in love and gets married.

I am thankful for budgeting and sick kids that climb in bed with me and then need help with their own blankets at 3:30am and gross colds and grocery shopping and taking out the trash and those few quiet minutes at the end of the day when my husband and I are finished with everything we need to do and can just be together. 

I am so lucky, and I am so thankful. 

I always thought real highly of her.

On Saturday, it was 18 years since my Grandma died.

To be honest, I can’t believe that. Because I was 11 when she died. I remember that. I remember everything about that morning. I remember my dad waking us up, and standing at the back door while my mom cried. I remember coming here- to her house, to my house, and my wonderful father who knew nothing about how to handle children and death put us in the the family room and turned on Cartoon Network. Pink Panther was on. I remember sitting in the kitchen with our priest while horrible things happened in the living room. I remember looking at my mom and Grandpa and wondering what they were going to do now, what the hell any of us were going to do  now that she, the biggest personality and responsibility in our lives, was gone.

I don’t like those memories, of course. I’d much rather have happy memories of trips taken together and things she taught me and the sound of her laughter, like the memories I have of my Grandpa. (Even though I bitched and whined through all the trips. Because I was an entitled little brat.)

I don’t have those. Alzheimer’s robbed me of them. I have more, probably, than my brother and sister. I remember what it felt like to cuddle with her, vaguely. I remember how she said my name. I remember how she cried for me when I went to visit her in the hospital once when I was seven or so and I got really upset and then my mom got upset and she loved us so much and was such a good mother that she cried with us while my mom rocked me in the hospital chair. That’s pretty much it for “good” memories.

But what I do have is, I think, far more important. I have an understanding of her, and I have an understanding of the duty of sacrificial love.

First, I know so much about her and her family that I feel like I have all those memories. She was such a wonderful person and raised such wonderful people that I feel like by knowing my mom, by being best friends with my mom, I know her. I know stories about her parents and her brother and her marriage and her kids and her quirks and just everything about her. I know that she was the best mother in the world. I know that she rivaled me for love of buying thing, just ANYTHING. I know that she was so fiercely protective of her family’s name that she was known to do things like fudge the odd birth date because surely something had gone wrong and that really was a 13-lb preemie. (It didn’t happen often. But when it did, Mary Betty was there with her white out. Just get yourself to to confession too. Because the only thing more important than our family name was the Church.)

I know that she would take my mom out of school and go out to lunch with her. I know she loved and ENJOYED my mom and my aunt with a ferocity and depth that frankly I’ve only seen replicated in my mom and sister. (I love my children more than life itself, but when it’s naptime I’m not polishing any mary janes. I’m taking a nap as well.)

I know that she and my Grandpa had an amazing marriage. A true Christian sacramental union that she honored above all else.

Second, I know all this not only because of the stories and the strength of her personality (my sister wrote on Saturday that it was a true testament to her character that not a day goes by that we don’t think or talk about her, even though the last meaningful interaction we had with her was when we were toddlers) but because of how everyone loved and took care of her in the end.

Alzheimer’s is not a pretty disease. It robs you of the person you love and usually turns them into someone who is afraid of and mad at you all the time. In my worst nightmares, I can’t imagine that being the case with my mom or Matt. But it was what my mom and Grandpa had to deal with every single day, for close to a decade. She actually died of Alzheimer’s. Not anything else. They took such good care of her that she died, at home, comfy and warm and as happy as she could be in the circumstances because her brain literally stopped telling her heart to beat. That is virtually unheard of with this disease, and an unbelievable testament to my grandfather’s love.

My sister said something to him years later about how much that meant to us, that he did that for her (and for us) and he just shrugged and said, “Well, I always thought real highly of her.”

He thought so highly of her and their marriage that he gave up everything in his life and watched the woman he loved suffer for ten years because that was his duty as her husband. Both of them gave us an unbelievable gift- watching the sacrifice of the Cross play out in every day life. When I got married thirteen years after she died, I did so knowing that I was making a covenant with this person for life. It was not sunshine and roses but real, gritty, sacrificing love. That has changed the way I look at everything. My parents, my children, my husband, my marriage, the entire world.

And that gift is far more significant than any happy memory I could have had.

Good Reading

Being fairly boring, I’m used to coming late to everything from episodes of Sherlock and Game of Thrones (still haven’t seen the Red Wedding and yeah I know it was like ten years ago already) to acronyms (“Guys I’m tired AF today. Guys? Where are you going? Come be my friends!”) So it makes sense that this year, 2017, I’ve just discovered how awesome Goodreads is.

I love to read. When I was little I would read while I walked and then I’d walk into things, because I’m not that coordinated. (I walk into stuff normally, even without the book.) I gave up Nancy Drew books for Lent the year that I was 8. I got up at 2am on Sundays to read as much as possible before going back to the Lenten fast. Literally my favorite thing about my iPhone is the kindle app that lets me read a book while it looks like I’m checking the weather or something. People get so touchy when you whip out a book in front of them. Sheesh. It’s not my fault you’re boring and I’d rather be reading by myself.

I have always dreamed of a way of recording everything I read. For a while I even had like a tumblr thing but I had to set it up and I’m just not that technological. Also it was like 2004 so really, nobody wanted to read that shit. Goodreads is amazing for that. I get to record every book I finish and write a review if I like, which I do like because I HAVE SO MANY OPINIONS AND ONLY SO MANY FRIENDS GUYS WHERE ARE YOU GOING????

I read like I watch TV. I don’t always remember all the crappy, quick, but pleasant books I read. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. I don’t remember all the crappy Bravo shows I’ve ever watched either. But it’s nice to see them all in one place, because otherwise you’re standing at the library going “Have I read this Elin Hilderbrand?”

(Because the synopsis doesn’t help at all. Somebody runs away to Nantucket and falls in love with the most inappropriate person ever and has 18 bottles of Sancerre over about 400 pages. Lovely. Cute. Done in an afternoon.)

I love that I can keep track of the books that I’m reading for different things, too. I like to only read one book at a time, and I do. Mostly. But lately, I’ve had one “real” book going, a kindle book for when I’m stuck with boring people or in lines, book club book, and my prayer group book. Oh and the “good for me” book that I read every morning. So that’s five that I have going at one time, and it’s nice to track my progress and not feel overwhelmed.

Anybody else get overwhelmed by their books? No? Just me? Okay.

I haven’t done too much shelving and stuff yet, because I own a crap ton of books (the true measurement) and I don’t have time and I don’t want to to do it halfway because that will bug me. So maybe someday. For now, I’m loving tracking what I’m reading.

I also am doing the reading challenge this year- I originally did 60 books, figuring a little more than one a week was okay for the way my life is right now. (Those small people ALWAYS NEED SOMETHING.) But after a week and hitting ten percent, I realized that when I’m focused on reading, and counting all the religion/prayer group/book club books I read a ton more than I thought. So I bumped it up to 100.

If you read at all, love keeping track of things (I LOVE KEEPING TRACK OF ALL THE THINGS!!!!) or want fun recommendations from your friends, seriously, download this app or visit the website.




(Kidding. I totally knew before then, because I’m in the inner circle.)

(The groom just didn’t.)

(This relationship is on a need to know basis.)


This wedding guys. It was amazing and beautiful. I’m Catholic, and I love our marriage ritual and the place it has within the liturgy. But sometimes you cant tell that the bride and groom just don’t care. This wedding was not Catholic, but it was one of the most heartening Christian weddings I have ever been to. God was at the center of everything, and I am sure He will bless their marriage because they take solace in Him.

It began, as per usual with this wedding, with a cluster…ahem. Buzz and I split up. He took the kids to his grandparents, I had to head to the bachelorette party. My car is bigger, and we had a metric crapload of stuff, so I packed it all in my car. The mother of the groom arrived to drive down with me. We bundled up, queued up some Christmas music, and turned the key in the ignition.

And nothing happened.

Of course.

I called AAA, we waited for them to come, and they told me it was something that coudln’t be fixed that day.

Of course.

So I rented a car super fast, cringing only a little when I heard the number of digits in the price, and moved ALL THE STUFF from my dead car to the new rental car.

And we finally hit the road! Just in time to hit rush hour in Chicago.

Of course.

Made it to the hotel, had a comedy of errors that I’m saving for another post, and finally got to the bachelorette party. Where I learned all sorts of things about my friends’ husbands. Wow.

Anyway, the next day we set up for the wedding and had the rehearsal. img_6934

I would like to believe that my children stole the show, but honestly, the bride and groom were so adorable I think they might have beaten us.

The next morning Squeaks got her hair done at a salon and it was easily the most impressive thing she’s ever been through.

There was glitter hairspray you guys. And the bride looked beautiful as well.


I figured I’ve spend enough money on makeup so I sat on the floor and did my own.


Getting ready was so much fun. I’ve only been in my sister’s wedding and I was too busy trying not to puke everywhere (Thanks, Fetus Buddy) that I don’t remember much of the part before. This was super fun.




The bouquets were made from the Anne of Green Gables book where she gets married. HOW ADORABLE IS THAT. I have it in a vase in my dining room right now.

(That’s a lie. It’s in a wine bottle.)


I didn’t take any pictures during the ceremony because it turns out Protestants stand during their whole wedding ceremony. Huh. Who knew. I certainly did not, which was why I bought the stripper shoes. Oh well.


I can’t tell you how much this wedding meant to us. Michael, is, without a doubt, one of the most special people in the world to me. When I met Buzz, I was very, very nervous about how his late wife’s family would accept me. I didn’t need to worry. These people have acted as Christ to me for almost six years and made my life easy in a way that I never knew I would need. I love her mother as my mother, truly. People mistook her father for my father this weekend (of course.)


And Michael? Since the day I met him, seeing a movie in May of 2011, Michael has been the nicest, sweetest, most supportive person in the world to me and Matt. He was the first to congratulate me on my engagement (because his mother can’t keep a secret.) He loved us enough that he stood up next to us at our wedding, which must have been an agonizing day for him, no matter how much he loved us. I got pregnant so fast that I was worried there would be an (understandable) difference between his blood niece Squeaks, and Buddy. There isn’t. From the moment they found out he was on his way, the entire family has loved him as their own. I honestly can’t imagine my life without them. I am so proud to call him a brother.


And when he found his wife- oh man. She is amazing. She’s GORGEOUS. Which I always said I didn’t want in a sister in law. Turns out I don’t care when she’s also the NICEST person in the world. And she loves to read. And she loves Doctor Who. And the Gilmore Girls. And LITERALLY ALL THE THINGS I LOVE. She’s me. Except she’s the me that wants to have sex with Michael. (That’s a level of weird our family doesn’t need.) SHE’S PERFECT.


I am so so blessed to have been able to get to know her these last few months. I am honored to get to be her sister now as she starts her life as a married woman with one of the best guys in the world.