August 2014 | Dearest Lou

T-Shirt Maxi Dress and The Mint Julep Boutique Giveaway

T-shirt Maxi Dress c/o The Mint Julep Boutique
Forever 21 Floral Baseball Hat (similar)
Hoy Salt Water Sandals
Flourish Leather Braided Leather Wrap Bracelet
Urban Expressions Purse c/o Lulu*s (loving this cross body purse & this Volcolm purse)

This dress from The Mint Julep Boutique is my new favorite casual dress. I love that it isn't form fitting and super comfortable for any occasion. I styled it dressed down with a floral baseball cap, leather bracelet, and salt water sandals. This was the perfect shopping outfit since I was able to change in and out of clothes quickly at the mall, which is essential when shopping with a toddler. I can easily see myself wearing this in the fall belted with a long cardigan, statement necklace, and boots.

The Mint Julep Boutique is generously giving away a $25 gift card to one lucky Dearest Lou reader. Simply enter by filling out the rafflecopter widget below. For an extra entry, visit The Mint Julep Boutique and comment below letting me know what you would use your $25 credit towards.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest is open to US readers thru September 5th at 11:59PM EST. Thanks friends and good luck!

Papa Murphy's Pizza

I had the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes- look at our local Papa Murphy’s and make my own pizza to take home afterwards. I thought this would be a fun activity to take Daryl and Z to so we headed to the Springville, Utah location.

Upon arrival, we realized we came in during a small dinner rush but were greeted immediately. Once the lobby had cleared out we met with Lisa, the manager. She was so friendly and told me to head on over to the back room to get ready to make some pizzas. While walking around the back room I just noticed everything was so clean and organized. I have worked in the food industry prior to this experience and was just amazed with how tidy Lisa keeps the place. I put on an apron, tried fitting my top knot into a hat, washed my hands, put gloves on, and was anxious to start making my own pizza.

After watching Lisa and the other employees make a few pizzas, I thought it looked very simple and I had a pretty good idea of what I needed to do. However, spreading sauce is a lot harder than it looks… at least for me it was. I had the cheese down pretty good and toppings were a breeze. But man, I suck at cutting saran wrap and I’m sure if I would have made a few more pizzas I would have got it down!

Shortly afterwards, I started making our deLITE Chicken BaconArtichoke pizza. Zaden loved seeing me make the pizza and waving at me from the other side of the counter.  He even had an opportunity to join me on the other side of the counter. Although, Zaden didn’t personally help  me put any toppings on the pizza he did manage to flirt with all the female employees, haha.

Right before leaving, Lisa showed us these adorable MiniMurph personal size pizzas. You can buy one of these personal size pizza’s for $4 (each additional Mini Murph $3). I think that this would be a great toddler activity to let your little one get hands on in the kitchen and make n’ bake their own pizza. I’m thinking of buying a few of these for Zaden’s 2nd Birthday Party since it would be a fun activity for all the toddlers to do together and a cheap way to feed them. What kid doesn't love pizza?

Something that I love about Papa Murphy’s is that they cater to you. If you are a busy mom on the go and don’t feel like cooking a home cooked meal Papa Murphy’s is a great option for dinner. If you are short on time, you can order online and have your pizza ready to pick up right when you get to the store.

Papa Murphy’s always has coupons. You can find them online, in your local newspaper, and you get bounce back coupons with every pizza you purchase. If you complete an online or phone survey within 3 days of your purchase you can get a free tub of their cookie dough and have a free dessert to go with your next meal.

August 25-August 29 is Customer Appreciation week at Papa Murphy’s. In honor of customer appreciation week the promotion is for every family size pizza you buy, you get a free Faves pizza. There is no limit on this offer and tomorrow (8/29/14) is the last chance you can take advantage of this promo. I seriously wish we were having all of our friends over Saturday night instead of Sunday night so we could jump on this offer. However, we are still planning on heading over to Papa Murphy’s Saturday night and buying a couple of pizzas and sides for our get together.

Once we got home Zaden couldn't wait to put the pizza in the oven. He helped me push the buttons on the oven as we pre-heated it. Once the oven beeped, Zaden ran over to get me in the other room and insisted on putting the pizza in the oven himself.  While in Daryl’s arms I opened the oven and put the pizza half way on the rack while Daryl pushed it the rest of the way in while Z anxiously watched.

Every 5 minutes or so Zaden would grab my hand and have me turn on the oven light so we could check on the pizza. Once our pizza was done Daryl put some oven mittens on Zaden so he could help us take it out. Daryl took out the pizza while holding Z back with the other hand until the oven door was shut and then told Z to help him move it over to the table.

Zaden hurried over to his high chair and all I kept hearing him say was “MMMMMM!!” while we were strapping him in. As we brought the pizza close up to his face you could see all the excitement in his eyes as he had been anticipating this bite ever since we walked out of the store with our pizza.

We highly recommend the deLITE Chicken Bacon Artichoke pizza. It was a hit and didn't make me feel overstuffed since it comes on a thinner crispier crust.

Remember to take advantage of Papa Murphy’s customer appreciation promo: Buy any Family Size pizza get one Faves pizza FREE! Valid now through tomorrow night.

Zaden at 21 months

Although Z is three months shy of his 2nd birthday, he still fits into 6-12 month shorts and 12-18 month tops. In time he will finally grow into size 2T but I don't mind him staying small just a while longer. He is totally rocking the big t-shirt look (; 

Gap Skinny Jeans (similar skinny jeans)
Nike Hi-Tops (loving these Nikes)

At 21 months Zaden.. extremely active and would roughhouse 24/7 if I was up for it. very demanding and knows what he wants and when he wants it. getting closer and closer to really talking. Daryl and I think it could be any day now that he just starts putting the words he knows into sentences.
..loves the Buddies and Despicable Me Minions and will choose a Buddies movie or one of the Despicable Me movies over anything.

His favorite toys are..

..Legos. He builds the most amazing little buildings and cars out of his Legos. Most of the time Z is always on the go but he can sit and play with Legos for a very long time before getting bored.
..Playmobil figures. His absolute favorites are the vintage horses his Grandma Yita got him. He excalims, "Neeeeigh" as these horses go on many tretourous journeys around our small apartment. Jumping from the highest cliffs to taking an occasional dip in the tub, you name it these horses go just about everywhere. 
..trains. I love watching him line up his train and exclaim, “CHOO-CHOO!” as his trains fall off the TV stand. He also builds the coolest train track courses I've ever seen.
..balls. What little kid doesn't love balls? We play numerous different games from catch to me pretending I'm getting knocked out by the ball as he throws it at me over and over again. This cheap toy is easily one of his favorites.  

My favorite thing about Z at this age.. that he is a mama’s boy and will smother me with kisses and cuddles from the time he wakes up until he falls asleep. 

Candy Striped Dress

Dress: eShakti
Shoes: Nordstrom
Necklace: Loving this style

While eShakti was having their buy 2 get 1 free sale, I bought myself three custom made a-line dresses. I absolutely love this candy striped dress and have worn it a few times to church since receiving it. Right now eShakti is having a buy 1 get 1 free sale! I'm definitely going to buy myself a couple of dresses or skirts while this sale is going on (;

This is my current wish list:

Which two items do you think I should buy before the sale ends?

!Mo Camera Strap Review & Giveaway

I had been looking at different options for upgrading my standard camera strap for something new and fun and was more than delighted when !Mo Camera Strap contacted me to review one of their camera straps. !Mo Camera Strap is based out of Hong Kong, China and only uses the finest materials to make their products. For my review I chose the Indian Blanket Camera Strap.

One particular reason I didn't purchase a new camera strap sooner was because I was afraid of trusting my camera with a camera strap other than the one it came with. When receiving my camera strap I was amazed by the quality. !Mo Camera straps have been tested to hold 90 lbs so I felt assured that it would be able to hold my camera with any lens I placed on it.

This particular camera strap is lined with a neoprene backing which makes it insanely comfortable. It feels like I have a pillow cushion on my shoulders while shooting which makes wearing my camera much more comfortable. You can view all of !Mo's neoprene backed straps HERE.

Overall, I'm beyond pleased with my new camera strap and highly recommend !Mo Camera Strap to anyone who is looking to upgrade their standard camera strap. 

Now for the giveaway..

!Mo Camera Strap is generously offering one lucky Dearest Lou reader a camera strap of their choice ($32.80 value). Simply enter by using the rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Contest is open worldwide thru September 1st at 11:59PM EST. Thanks friends and good luck!  

UPDATE 9/9/2014

!Mo Camera Strap is offering all Dearest Lou readers 30% off your entire purchase with discount code DLou valid now through September 30, 2014.

Gold Foil Heart Shirt & Cropped Cardigan

Shirt: c/o Style Lately
Cardigan: Loopsway
Bottoms: Leggings
Shoes: Loving these boots

This simple and adorable  heart gold foil top  from Style Lately is perfect for any occasion. Since receiving my top I've worn it dressed up to church and dressed down and casual like in the look above. We were having some nice cool rainy weather before leaving Utah on our vacation and this outfit was perfect for a cooler evening. Leggings and boots are my go to staple During the cooler months and this light weight cropped cardigan from Loopsway is a perfect summer to fall transitioning piece. Currently the cardigan isn't listed on their site but will be listed on Jane for a killer deal next Thursday (;

Our Love Story

Our engagement photos are some of my all time favorite pictures. I seriously spend a couple minutes every month or so going through our CD of photos or pulling out our book from our reception. Our reception book was filled with our favorite photos from our photo shoot and it's so fun to see how much we have grown as a couple.

I've shared bits and pieces of mine and Daryl's love story on the blog before but have never really gone into very much detail. Our story is a silly one and it wasn't necessarily love at first site. Women on Their Way asked me to send over a list of important events in our relationship along with some pictures. I didn't share everything since a lot of our relationship took place in the Orem/Provo area but shared a few highlights over HERE. I will share a more detailed story if anyone is interested in reading (;

Women on Their Way is a travel resource dedicated entirely to women. Their goal is to help business and leisure travelers to find everything they need to plan and book their next trip. Women on Their Way provides expert advice on destinations, hotels and timeshare resorts, plus special deals and packages.

This year, to coincide with the release of our Top 10 Honeymoon destinations, Women of Their Way has asked myself and a few other bloggers to share our love stories. They have created a map illustrating our love stories over time and distance, how cute is that? 

I would be ever so grateful if you could just hop on over to Women on Their Way and read our love story and vote for it if you would like to help me win some Wyndham points. I'm currently in 3rd place.

Thanks so much friends.

Previse Skin Care: 3-Step Regime Giveaway

Do you guys remember the awesome 3-Step Regime set I reviewed a couple months back (read review here). This weeks giveaway is brought to you by Previse Skin Care. I'm beyond pleased with my 3-Step Regime set and am excited for one of you lucky readers to win a set custom to your skin type. 

Previse is also offering an exclusive discount code to Dearest Lou readers. 
Use discount code: DearestLou15 for 15% off a 3-Step Regime set.

To enter the giveaway, simply use the rafflecopter widget below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Contest is open to US readers thru August 19th at 11:59PM EST. Thanks friends and good luck!  

UPDATE 8/25/14

Previse SkinCare is generously offering $20 off any purchase on Previse SkinCare now through August 31, 2014.

Use code: Lou20

This includes single products, a full regimen, specials and more. In fact they just finished their climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro as part of the team raising awareness for #skincancertakeahike. The initiative raised precious money for the American Academy of Dermatology's SPOT Skin Cancer Campaign. Previse SkinCare  is donating $18.00 of every sunscreen purchase to the AAD. All of this is shared on their website.

Nutrient-Dense Berry Smoothie

This week I made a delicious nutrient-packed Sweet’N Low berry smoothie as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #SweetNLowStars.

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to making smoothies I try to make them as easy, filling, and nutritious as possible.  One of the best nutrient dense foods to start your morning with is berries. 

Now berries seem to be ridiculously expensive (with the exception of this time of year) and I personally love to buy mine frozen and in bulk from Costco. Not only do they last much longer but I get more berries for my buck. The berries alone make this drink a real treat, but I love adding a bit of Sweet’N Low 0 calorie sweetener whenever I can get away with it (;

This drink recipe will surely fill you up and be a great addition to a well balanced diet.

5 Ingredient Berry Smoothie
(4 eight ounce servings)

Nutrition Facts per Serving:
100 calories  15.2g carbs 2.8g fat 5.5g protein 4.5g fiber

2 cups of Kirkland Signature Nature’s Three Berries (or berries of your choice)
2 Tbsp of Chia Seeds
1 Container (150 g) of Blueberry Dannon Light & Fit Greek Nonfat Yogurt
2 cups of Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Milk
6 packets (1/3 cup) of Sweet’N Low Sweetener

Combine all ingredients in a blender, blend, and enjoy!

Make sure and visit Sweet'N Low's website for more drink recipe ideas!
Also, don't forget to "like" Sweet'N Low on Facebook for coupons and much more.

Neutrogena at Target All Day Makeup Look

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #AllDayLook #CollectiveBias

When it comes to makeup I love going on the more subtle side with a bold lip rather than completely altering my natural look. To be perfectly honest, I love my natural look and choose to go without makeup on purpose just depending on the day and how I feel. Makeup for me is fun and more like an accessory rather than me feeling the need to "make up" my face. I'm really excited to share this simple all day look with you readers today.

I drew my inspiration for this makeup look from Hayden Panettiere’s Day Off Look:

I have never played around with foundation or shine control powder before and thought this would be a fun opportunity to try something new. I absolutely love how natural and simple her look is in the Day Off video and that she expresses the importance of keeping skin hydrated. 

However, I decided to add a little bit of eye makeup and of course a fun lip color. Whenever I choose to wear makeup, I love wearing eye liner and mascara to bring out the shape of my eyes and lip color to bring out the shape of my lips.

I headed over to my local Target to pick out the Neutrogena products I wanted to use for my all day makeup look. I really wanted to try Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin Blends (blush) however, my Target was completely out of stock on that particular product. I decided to purchase the Shine Control Powder instead since my skin tends to get really oily in the summer in my t-zone area.

At the register, I pulled out my phone and opened up the cartwheel app just to see if there were any coupon deals for Neutrogena products. I was in luck and saved 10% off my purchase (cartwheel coupon valid thru 8/16/14). I highly recommend checking cartwheel and downloading the free app if you are a fellow Target addict like me (;

Now onto the tutorial...

Here is my face sans-makeup in good ol’ natural light. 
Prior to taking this photo I recently washed and hydrated my skin.

Step 1: Neutrogena Nourishing Long-wear Makeup
This stuff is no joke guys. It seriously stayed on my face all day, even in the hot 90+ degree weather. I can count the number of times I have worn foundation or cover-up on one hand (I personally don’t like covering my freckles and natural blemishes). To my surprise, this foundation didn't completely cover up my freckles and blemishes. It looked very natural and I didn't feel like “a china porcelain doll” like I have when I’ve tried wearing foundation in the past. I also loved how this foundation contains SPF and will help protect my skin from the harsh summer sun.

Step 2: Neutrogena Shine Control Powder.

Like I mentioned earlier in this post, I didn't originally plan on buying this stuff since I’m more of a blush kind of girl. This product works wonders, usually my nose sweats like crazy for no particular reason. The minute I get embarrassed I can literally feel sweat begin to trickle down my nose. However, this powder kept me from getting super oily in my t-zone.

Step 3: Neutrogena Eye Liner.     
I love adding a little bit of eyeliner to enhance the shape of my eyes. 

Step 4: Neutrogena Healthy Volume Mascara.

I absolutely love this mascara, it instantly thickened and darkened my eyelashes to really make my eyes pop. The wand was surprisingly good quality and I didn't even need to curl my eyelashes.

Step 5: Neutrogena Color Smooth Stick in Plum Perfect.

This was by far my favorite product from my purchase. Not only is the color so rich and perfect for this upcoming fall season but it smells so dang good! The color lasts for hours and the quality is above and beyond what I expected. I’m definitely going to buy more! Also if you couldn't tell, I added a few fun accessories to complete my all day look!

And there you have it, my Neutrogena and Target All Day Look!

PS) Target and Neutrogena have teamed up to bring a Target Beauty Concierge event at select Target stores around the country this month! Event begins August 24th, Limited quantities available. Check with your local Target store for Beauty Concierge day and times.