September 2014 | Dearest Lou

ABC Selfie & A Day Without Social Media

This post was sponsored by ABC through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about ABC Selfie, all opinions are my own.

This post is a little bit different from what you usually see here on Dearest Lou but I’m super excited to tell you guys about Selfie, a new comedy premiering on ABC this Tuesday night 8pm/7pm central. Selfie stars Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan) a social media-obsessed girl who gives up likes to be liked and has thousands of followers who follow her every post. After an embarrassing work incident goes viral, she realizes that these followers aren’t real friends and that no one reaches out to comfort her when she’s feeling down. She then reaches out to Henry (John Cho) to rebrand herself and learn how to connect with people in the real world.

I watched the pilot episode and thought it was both hilarious and had so many truths to it. I think inside each of us there is a little bit of Eliza. I know I love social media because I personally seek friendships with others that I wouldn’t be able to meet around the globe. I’ve met so many amazing people and would love to follow up with some of my virtual friends I have yet to meet at some point in my life.

 If you can’t wait for the premiere feel free to follow this link to the pilot episode.

After watching the pilot episode, I took a Selfie personality quiz to see which “Selfie” profile I related to the most.  After taking the quiz I came out to be a lurker. I was then challenged to go 24 hours off of lurking social media on Tuesday September 16. In order to be less tempted to see what my friends were up to, I logged off of all my social accounts the night before.

It was honestly refreshing to go 24 hours without checking anything and I found that I had a lot more free time to do other things I enjoy during the day. Some of the events of my day that really stood out to me were:

·         I finally had time to organize my clothes
·         I went to the park with Zaden distraction-free
·         Reading a book after the boys went to sleep for the night

Those are things I normally do on a daily basis but it was a completely different experience without checking my phone.  I honestly felt like I was disconnected to the outside world and at times really wanted to see what my friends were up to. However, on the positive side I felt so close to my family and in the moment.

While cleaning I listened to music and danced with Zaden. I didn’t check my phone once to see what others were up to which really helped me treasure that silly moment with my son. At the park I was able to spend every minute enjoying the last of the summer rays and seeing my little boy play with new friends. Heck, even reading at night was much more enjoyable without my phone as a distraction. I honestly try not to spend very much time on my phone or laptop while my guys are awake but some days aren’t as great as others.

Going a full 24 hours without social media was awesome. I want to try and live in the moment with those around me, rather than seeing what others are up to. Although connecting with others is great at times, some moments should be treasured solely with those around you.  I highly encourage each of you to do a social media cleanse of your own, whether it be not checking what your friends are up to, go 24 hours without posting what you are up to on social media, or whatever you would like to challenge yourself to go without. Enjoy living in the moment for one full day. I promise you won’t regret it.

Triangle Initial Necklace Giveaway & Cozy Long Sleeve T-Shirt

Initial Triangle Necklace c/o Jane Basch
Loopsway Long Sleeve T-Shirt (will be available on Jane 10/9/14)
Forever 21 Statement Necklace (very similar)
Chelsea Crew Booties

It’s been a little slow here the last couple of days since Daryl and Zaden have come down with a nasty cold. I have been spending most of my free time either sleeping or taking care of them. I’m hoping that they will be better by this weekend so that we can all enjoy it.

Today’s outfit is very casual and great for transitioning weather. I’m absolutely loving this long sleeve t-shirt from Loopsway. It is fitted in the arms yet has a little bit of room in the bodice and extra length which is ideal in a t-shirt in my opinion. This t-shirt should be available on on 10/9/14 in 6 different colors.

How adorable is this initital triangle necklace from JaneBasch? When it comes to jewelry my favorite pieces are always the more simplistic ones. I’ve been searching for the perfect Z initial necklace for months now and this one is everything I have been looking for. I’ve worn it every day since receiving it, LOVE IT.

Today Jane Basch is offering one lucky Dearest Lou reader an Engraved Initital Triangle necklace of your choice in either sterling silver or 22K gold over sterling, a $125 value! 

To enter, simply visit JaneBasch and fill out the rafflecopter widget below. Giveaway is open worldwide thru October 1 at 11:59PM EST. If worldwide reader is randomly selected, they will need to pay for shipping to their country. Winner will be announced & contacted via email on October 2. Thanks friends and good luck.

UPDATE 10/6/14 1:38 PM MST
Congratulations Arena T. I just emailed you on how to claim your prize. Please respond to me within 48 hours or another winner will be selected at random and notified on October 8, 2014 at 2PM MST.

UPDATE 10/6/14 5:40 PM MST
P R I Z E C L A I M E D!
Thanks again so much to all those who entered, stay tuned for more exciting giveaways.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

More international giveaways at:

Earn Rewards with Walgreens #BalanceRewards for healthy choices

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

If you have been reading my blog you know that I have spent the last 11 months working on personal health goals. After having Zaden I was not very active and had poor eating habits. I gained quite a bit of weight during the first 10 months of his life.  Living a healthy lifestyle can be challenging at times but in the long run being unhealthy is a lot harder. I feel better about myself when I choose to exercise and eat healthy. Keeping a food journal and tracking my daily activities along the way has been a great help.

I was recently introduced to the Balance Reward program at Walgreens. In a gist, you can save coupons on the app, sign up and refill your medicine prescriptions, create shopping lists, and so much more. You can also earn Balance Reward points by making select purchases at Walgreens and redeeming your points for store credit. The points add up rather quickly, I just recently signed up for Balance Rewards and am half way to my first $5 reward.

Walgreens has introduced a new feature within their app, Balance Rewards for healthy choices, to reward you for setting and working on health related goals. The program starts by rewarding you points for doing activities you likely already do. For example, Walgreens will reward you for purchasing healthy foods or for exercising. I want to show everyone how this program works and how you can save by making healthy choices.
Step 1: Register for Walgreens Balance Rewards either online or in store.
Step 2: Download and install the app.
Step 3: Locate the BR for healthy choices section in the bottom left corner.
Step 4: Set some realistic goals.
Step 5: Record your progress.

Through completing those simple steps you have already started earning points and saving money on future purchases at Walgreens.

I want to share with everyone some personal tips that help me to stay healthy and keep me motivated so I can make good progress on my health goals.
1. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water.

This one is super simple especially if you strive to drink 16 ounces of water with each meal a day. My daily goal is 72 ounces of water and I usually surpass my goal and drink 96 ounces plus on a good day. Sometimes it’s really hard to drink plain water, especially when those around you are drinking soda or juice. When I’m going through a slump something that helps me is adding a few drops of Crystal Light liquid or adding half a lemon to my 24 ounce water bottle.
2. Take a multivitamin.

I try and get in all of my nutrients with the food I eat but some days are harder than others. A multivitamin will help you get in those nutrients your daily diet might be lacking. I also notice a difference in my energy levels and mood when I forget to take my daily vitamins.
3. Always have gum on hand.

Being a stay-at-home mom can be tough sometimes especially with a little toddler who snacks all day long. It’s hard for me not to snack with him but if I’m chewing a piece of gum while he snacks it really helps to stop my cravings.
4. Have healthy snacks around the house and available on-the-go.

When I do get hungry in between meals I always have a few different healthy snack options on hand. Dried fruit is great to keep in your purse or eat after a meal if you are craving something sweet. Also almonds are my all-time favorite snack if I notice I’m low on calories for the day. Both of these snacks are great options to keep in your purse if you are out shopping and have an urge to grab an unhealthy snack.

I know most of my friends and readers are interested in being healthy. Set some goals and make plans to achieve them. Download the Walgreens app, sign up for the Balance Rewards program, and start using the healthy choices feature to record your progress. Earn points for being healthy and save on purchases at Walgreens. 

What are you waiting for? Get started now and start saving.

Mythical Moments Skater Dress & 4 Years

Mythical Moments Skater Dress: c/o Joe Browns
Kingdom & State Black Demi
Franco Sarto Flats (similar)
Target Rhinestone Statement Necklace (similar)

Even though the last two pictures of Zaden and I aren't in focus I couldn't help but share them. He is such a little cutie and wanted to be in the pictures with me (;

I wore this lovely dress from Joe Browns Sovereignty Collection to a fancy dinner at Tamarack in Provo. The dinner was so dang good and we all decided to dress up since going out to a restaurant for a family date doesn't happen too often.

I knew as soon as I saw the mythical moments skater dress that it would be the perfect dress to add to my fall/winter wardrobe. The weather hasn't cooled down enough for the cooler months ahead so I styled it super simple this time around. I wore comfortable flats, a flashy statement necklace, and a top knot since I can't stand eating with my hair down. I can't wait to style this little number again in the next couple of weeks with booties, tights, and a belted cardigan.

Make sure and visit Joe Browns they just got some amazing items in their Shangri La Collection (loving these booties and this bag) & Sovereignty Collection (loving this coat & these leggings).

PS: On a cheesy note..

three years ago today on our one year dating anniversary we got engaged.
Can't believe we have been together for 4 years and almost married for 3!
I love you Daryl <3

Red Cardigan and High Rise Denim

Red Cardigan c/o Laila Jayde
Halley High Rise Denim c/o Articles of Society
Macy's Striped Shirt
Urban Outfitters Red Flats (similar)
Style Lately Bullhead Necklace

I'm really excited about fall fashion. During the summer months I feel very uninspired and feel as though I don't have very many options when it comes to getting dressed on a daily basis. The weather in Utah is so dang hot & wearing minimal clothing is preferable. Now that the weather is finally cooling down I get to pull out all of my cardigans, sweaters, scarves, boots, and all things fall.

Although the weather hasn't gotten down in the 50-60 range (which is my FAVORITE outdoor weather), I'll take the 80 degrees and cool evenings over 90+ degrees any day!  This cardigan from Laila Jayde is perfect for the transitioning weather. It isn't too bulky and offers just the right amount of coverage for the cool autumn breeze. I'm also really loving this high rise denim from Articles of Society. These jeans are super comfortable and have became my new favorite pair of jeans. I need to buy them in black sometime soon!

Black and White

Maxi Skirt c/o Laila Jayde
Old Navy Floral Shirt (on sale for $2.99!)
Forever 21 Wide Brim Hat (old) similar hat
Black Wedges (old) loving these ankle cuff wedges
Forever 21 Bib Necklace (old) similar necklace
Flourish Leather Gold Wrap Bracelet

I've never owned a form fitting maxi skirt before and this form fitting maxi from Laila Jayde is perfect. Black goes with everything and this skirt is super soft and stretchy. For this comfy laid back look I paired the skirt with my favorite black and white t shirt from Old Navy and some comfortable wedges to elongate my legs. Also threw in some fun gold accessories and a wide brim hat since I didn't feel like doing my hair this particular day (;

How To Clean And Deodorize Your Mattress

One household task that I rarely get around to is deep cleaning our mattress. I always do a quick swipe when I change the bed sheets but have never thought of really getting down in there and giving it a real good clean. I feel for the most part we are very tidy and rarely eat in bed other than the occasional snacks during a family movie.

Today I have Jennifer Cartwright, a caring housewife who loves her two playful and bright children dearly. She has always been fascinated with technology and how it has made things a lot easier for housewives like her. She also writes informative as well as though-provoking articles about her life being a mom.

Photo by: Thomas Quine

A good quality bed is a useful furniture piece for any home and these come in a variety of sizes. A single mattress is essential if you want to achieve a sound and comfortable sleep and these are a good choice for lone adults, teenagers, and younger kids. It is important to keep it clean and the following are a few tips that will help in doing this.
General Cleaning
First strip a bed of covers and use a standard vacuum cleaner to go over the surface. This should pick up any loose material such as dust, food crumbs, dust mites, skin flakes, and other debris. These can start to build up over time, so cleaning is vital to remove them. Use an upholstery attachment for the best results and clean both sides of the mattress as well as the base it sits on.
Spot Cleaning
Sweat, other bodily fluids, and food spills can all seep through bedcovers to stain the surface and it is best to deal with any obvious problems straight away. Remove the covers and blot the area of the stain with a damp cloth to try and remove it. Keeping a bottle of stain remover handy can also help as using these can more effectively get rid of unsightly marks.
While it is possible to remove dirt and other debris by vacuuming and spot cleaning, this might not effectively deal with any odors. However, there is a simple way to do this. Baking soda is easily available to buy and this is a useful natural deodorizing agent. Simply sprinkle over the surface and let it sit for at least an hour before vacuuming away. It can also be useful to air a mattress and taking it outside into the sunshine can also help to rid it of smells.
A soft and luxurious single mattress should ensure a good night’s rest and can be an excellent choice for many people. Cleaning it regularly is the key to keeping it in good condition and hygienic for use. The tips above are some to consider for this household task and will ensure that going to bed each evening is something you can look forward to.

Guilt-Free Pumpkin Shake

This week I made a delicious guilt-free Sweet’N Low pumpkin shake as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #SweetNLowStars.

Now that summer is gone, the cool crisp autumn air is slowly creeping in and pumpkin flavored everything is popping up all over the place. I absolutely love pumpkin and choose pumpkin pie as my birthday cake almost every year. I wanted to come up with a guilt-free pumpkin shake recipe for my fellow pumpkin flavor lovers out there. This recipe is diabetic friendly and is sweetened with Sweet'N Low my favorite 0 calorie sweetener.

Sweet'n Low Pumpkin Shake
(2 sixteen ounce servings)

1 cup Unsweetened Almond Breeze Almond Milk or Fat-Free Milk
1 cup Dreyers Slow Churned No Sugar Added Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
3 packets of Sweet'n Low (1/6 cup)
½ cup Pumpkin Puree
Pinch Pumpkin Spice
1 cup Ice
Fat-free Whipped cream (optional for garnishing)

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.

Enhanced Natural Look with City Cosmetics

Most mornings are spent roughhousing or making snacks for Zaden rather than spending time on my beauty routine. I like to keep things simple on a daily basis and usually don’t spend more than 10-15 minutes getting ready. Today I have some amazing products from City Cosmetics that I have been rotating into my makeup routine. I use these products regardless of whether I decide to wear makeup or not.

The makeup look I've put together for you guys today is a simple look that shouldn't take more than 5 minutes. I’m all about enhancing my natural beauty rather than covering up. I will start by reviewing the 4 products City Cosmetics has sent my way and then finish off the look with grooming my eye brows and adding some blush to my cheekbones. 

City CosmeticsComplexion Perfecting Cream $72 ($43.20 with discount code dearestlou)

I have been using this cream twice a day for the last couple of weeks and love how my skin feels! I wake up with a more even complexion and my skin feels firm and healthy. I normally have more distinct dark circles under my eyes, especially when I don’t get enough sleep. Since returning from vacation I have made more of a habit of getting adequate amount of rest and using this complexion cream daily and have notice that my skin looks more bright and even.  Also, since I have a bit of keratosis pilaris around my jaw line my skin tone is naturally more of a red tone in that area. This cream really helps even out my skin complexion without feeling the need to cover up.

City Cosmetics Pore Minimizing Primer $45 ($27 with discount code dearestlou)

I’m hooked on this primer, it’s the best! City Cosmetics Pore Minimizing Primer helps my makeup go on so evenly smooth and makes my blush last much longer than usual. Using natural ingredients this primer shrinks the appearance of large pores and fine lines, creating smoother skin. Immediately after applying this primer I can feel a difference in my skin and after using it for the last couple of weeks I've noticed that my pores on my nose have shrunk. On days that I choose to wear face makeup and or blush this primer is a must.

City Cosmetics CityLash $80 ($48 with discount code dearestlou)

I have been using the City Lash morning and night since we got back from our vacation at the end of last month and can already tell that it has strengthened my eye lashes. I want to wait at least 6 weeks before giving a full review on this product so I can show you guys my  before and after lashes. I’m on week 2 right now and can tell my lashes are significantly stronger and slightly longer than before.

Right before my wedding I used Latisse on my lashes before getting fake lashes applied and I know for a fact that it really helped my false lashes stay up and last longer. I know this because when I got fake lashes applied right before having Zaden my lashes didn’t stay up and didn’t look as nice as when I had them done on my wedding. $48 for an eyelash enhancing serum is such a steal and I can’t wait to see my before/after results!

I love City Lips. It naturally enhances my lips and diminished fine lines. It also brings out the natural pigment in my lips. In the picture above I didn't add a lipstick or lip liner, just a little bit of City Lips and 5 minutes later my lips looked more full and vibrant. The plumping effect lasts about 2-3 hours and I love that it doesn't feel gritty like other lip glosses I’ve tried in the past. For fuller lips I apply City Lips prior to putting on lipstick so it glides on smoothly and my lips appear bigger and fuller.

I finished off my naturally enhance look with grooming my eye brows and applying a little bit of blush. I love this brow groomer because it helps keep my eye brows in place and works kind of as eye brow gel. After applying the gel I filled in my eye brows. I then added blush to my cheek bones just to give my face some definition and color.

Before and After

Remember to use discount code dearestlou for 40% off your entire order at City Cosmetics.
Follow this link for the BOGO offer on City Lips in Clear.
Both of these coupon codes are combine-able so you don't have to pick one or the other (: