Archive for January, 2015

When I first became a mom, I spent a lot of time creating two distinct wardrobes.  There was the “mom friendly” items and then the “no kids are around” items.  In other words, they were the “casual” and the “fancy”.  My casual items focused on jeans, tees, and sneakers.  The fancy items were dresses, silk and heels.  It sounded like a great idea at the time.  I mean, it makes perfect sense that you would wear the less concerning items so they don’t get ruined and keep the nice items for when you are going out with the hubby or have a special event, right?  Wrong.

What really ended up happening is that I was wearing the casual clothes entirely too much, creating the same exact look every single day (BORING) and would rarely wear my nicer items, making them really not worth the money I was spending on them.

Over time, just like with figuring out parenting, I began to figure out my clothes.  I began purchasing items that could merge with my more casual items, transitioning them from the playground to drinks with girls without having to do a completely wardrobe change.  I also began purchasing items that could be dressed up for our fancier occasions but could easily be dressed down with sneakers or sandals for days spent with the kids.  By meeting in the middle, I have gotten a lot more wear out of everything I own.  The two wardrobes are gone and I have the freedom to wear everything I own, all the time.

This look is typical Sarah.  There is no reason that your day time distressed denim and white v-neck cannot be transitioned into the perfect look for a night out.  Adding a fur coat, heels and red lips completely transforms the look without having to own two entire different looks.  Plus, I didn’t have to change.

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< Bookfur coat / crossbody / ring / heels / jeans / tee / lipstick / earrings >

I have been on a shoe-buying kick lately and Anthropologie is delivering one of the best selections right now.  Never following tradition, Anthropologie often carries shoes that you would not find anywhere else.  From heels to sneakers and booties to flats, their  current selection is unique and perfect for Spring, regardless of your taste.

Screen shot 2015-01-27 at 1.03.56 PM   < clockwise from top left: Aerin heels / Yosi Samra booties / Aerin flats / Jeffrey Campbell heels / Mara Hoffman flats / Pinto DeBlu Booties / Farylrobin Heels / New Balance Sneakers >

White “the color of snow and milk, the color produced by the combination of all the colors of the visible spectrum.  It is the color most associated with innocence, perfection, the good, purity, honesty, cleanliness, the beginning, and the new.”

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< Sunglasses ($435) / Faux Fur Cardigan ($70) / Booties ($100) / Jeans ($115) / Hat ($18) / Faux Leather Duffle Bag ($30) / Heels ($1045) / Nail Polish ($20) / Vans ($45) >

This weekend Madewell is not only offering an additional 30% off their sale items (with code UPANDUP) but also free shipping on all orders.  This is the perfect time to pick up casual basics that can easily transition from Winter to Spring at amazing prices.  Here are a few of my faves but you can shop the entire Madewell Sale by clicking here.


I asked for three different moisturizers for Christmas. I like giving my husband choices. If I’m going to tell him exactly what I want, I feel like the least I can do is give him some choice in the matter. This moisturizing obsession started long ago. When I moved in with Juggling in Heels blogger Sarah, I was obsessed with Kiehls. And I was also obsessed with everything in my new bathroom matching. So I walked down to the cosmetics department and dropped half a commission check on product before move in day. And as I lined the counter with my matching Kiehls containers I felt really, ridiculously happy.

So needless to say I was super pleased Christmas morning when I opened Fresh lotion and shower gel in lemon sugar. Matching. Heaven. And I didn’t even mention wanting the shower gel. Nice work Aaron. But then ten minutes later I opened moisturizer number two. And then another five minutes later, number three. At which point I seriously started laughing. To which he replied, “Let’s be honest Anne, you wanted all of them.” And really, I did. So I graciously accepted and promptly lined my bathroom counters.

Fast forward through one month of use and two of those gifts have become bottles I will never let go empty. Add to those two new finds: a stem cell hand cream and a toner that acts like a soothing lotion and there you have it. My favorite moisturizers, of all time.

Bioderma Atoderm Crème

Do you read articles about French women and feel more than a bit envious? How do they look so good when every article says they never wash their hair, don’t wear much makeup and drink a ton of wine? I don’t get it. So I did some research on popular skincare products in France and this moisturizer came up again and again. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a bottle. And It’s absolutely amazing.

It is incredibly rich so let me be honest, this is not a “rub into my legs then put on a pair of jeans” lotion. It needs time to settle in. I use this when I shower and can hang out in my robe for a bit. Overnight is even better. Your skin will be the softest it ever has been. Another tip: use this as your night cream. I repeat, use it. On your face. As a night cream. It is so rich, you will not breakout and even retinoid dry skin will be supple. Trust me. Especially under your eyes. There is literally no irritation at all and your fine lines will diminish with all of the moisture.

Origins Ginger Souffle Whipped Body Cream

The smell. Oh the smell. I love this body cream. It makes my whole bathroom smell like a spa when I get out of the shower. This product will immediately sink into skin. Meaning yes, you can put it on and then pull on your skinny jeans. No problem. It makes my skin instantly soft and feels so luxurious. If you can, try to pick this up in a set and get the Incredible Spreadable scrub. Same scent in an awesome exfoliator for the whole body.


Okay, so I’m dipping my toes in the stem cell waters. I’ve read enough to know that this is where skincare is headed. And the reason this research is making it’s way into our moisturizers is because of what stem cells can do for our internal organs. Because if it works that well on the inside well, why not use it on our largest organ, the skin.

Enter Stemology. They are the first company to launch products with both human and stem cell technologies. And do so ethically. Which in this category is really, really important. Just trust me. I’m testing a face serum and a hand cream to share with you JIH readers. (PS – giveaway in your future!) I will tell you about the serum next month but I can’t wait another minute to tell you about this hand cream.

It is so light but also incredibly hydrating. Which seems like an impossibility. I have typically left hand cream application for bedtime because I literally cannot shake hands with someone or open the car door for like an hour afterwards. So when I applied my makeup five minutes after putting this hand cream on I was thrilled that the mascara didn’t go flying at the mirror. And then my hands stayed soft for hours. Done. In love.

Then add that it minimizes brown spots and helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles and I’m now a lifer. I apply it daily on my hands and forearms and love that the natural antioxidants are keeping me from aging any quicker than I need to.

Paula’s Choice Resist Advanced Replenishing Toner

I started using a retinoid cream about three months ago. I knew my English/Irish skin was not going to love it. But I also knew it would do amazing things that only retinol can. So I put together a skincare routine to ensure I minimized irritation. And I’m not kidding when I say, I think this toner was the game changer of the whole operation. I can honestly say that my skin never reacted poorly to the retinol. No redness, no itchiness no flakiness. And I started at 1%, which is a pretty gutsy move for someone who has never used it before. I cannot tell you how happy I am that I unearthed this amazing product. If you are at all sensitive or need extra hydration you have to try this toner. You will absolutely love.
Okay, all done. Go take a bath and put some fancy lotion on.

Until next time.


PS – Want more beauty inspiration and photos of my rowdy toddler boys? Follow me on instagram by clicking here.


Soup 1

Tuesday morning I woke up to a thick layer of fog that seemed to overtake the entire area.  It had no plans on leaving and left the entire day to feel cool, dark and like an actual Winter.  I sort of loved it.  It is days that these that I turn towards blanket sweaters, jeans, tea and soups.  Anything that is going to feel warm and comfortable.

I need to plan a menu for a small group of women I am hosting today and while going through recipes yesterday to figure out what I was going to make, I couldn’t help but be directed to soup after soup after soup.  The weather was calling me to embrace a little comfort food.  I have heard from a number of people that this recipe for Roasted Tomato Basil Soup was beyond so I decided to give it a try.  It took some time but the end result was worth it.  I made it Tuesday afternoon and of course taste tested with a number of pieces of bread (who wants to serve anything that is not perfect right???).  Perfect.  It was easy to then place in the refrigerator and all I will need to do is simply warm and serve today.  With an evening of homework and practices, along with a busy morning, it is dishes like this that make entertaining entirely too easy.

Soup 2

I absolutely love when Monday’s are holidays.  The market is closed so the hubby is home, the kids don’t have school and the extended weekend just feels good.  Plus, the week seem so short once it starts and suddenly you are at Friday again.  It is the best.

This Orange County winter has been pretty amazing lately and it doesn’t seem quite fair to everyone else that we have been able to pull out shorts, dresses and sandals while much of the country is bundled up.  It is the beauty of Southern California.  Sure we need a bit of layers still at times but glimpses of Spring are shining through and I am beginning to shop as if the season has already started changing.

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Cardigan / Sunglasses / Hat / Dress / Tote / Denim Shorts / Sandals / Booties / Bracelets / Lipstick / Heart Tee >

I take my eyes seriously.  With three kids and a busy, busy life, I tend to look more tired than I would prefer at times and dark circles rear their ugly head when I am a little too worn out.  Since exhaustion is not going to pass any time soon, I have tried out numerous products to help hide dark circles and help fight against fine lines (oh yes, those are starting to pop up now too!) and make me look more awake without caking on products and makeup. I have settled in on these six items and I absolutely love them.  Yes, they are more expensive.  I truly believe in investing in good skin care products and I cannot say enough about each of these.  In fact, I have been loyal to most of them for years and do not plan on making any changes.

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Shiseido Future Solution LX Eye and Lip Contour Regenerating Cream ($130) – I cannot say enough about this eye cream.  I feel that I have used every single eye cream out there and none of them really gave me the results I was looking for.  Some worked for a bit but over time, they seemed to stop.  This eye cream is amazing.  It is expensive but it lasts forever.  I put just a little bit around my eyes and lips every morning and evening and have definitely seen a change.  Everyone needs a good eye cream and I highly suggest giving this one a try.

Eve Lom Morning Time Cleanser ($60) and Eve Lom Cleanser ($80) – I have used Eve Lom cleaners since 2011 and will use it forever.  I have tried others but nothing has made my skin feel as good as Eve Lom.  I use the Morning Cleanser each morning in the shower (the steam of the shower helps trigger the cleanser) and I use the cleanser at night with my Clarisonic.  If you have never used these products, I would suggest beginning with the classic cleanser.  It provides moisture to your skin while wiping it clean of all face and eye makeup and daily build up.  Your skin feels incredibly clean and smooth after every wash.  Both cleansers are extremely gently on your eyes and allow you to remove all your unwanted makeup without having to scrub your eye skin off.

Cle du Peau Concealer ($70) – Okay, so this one was a tough one for me to try at first.  I just could not wrap my head around spending $70 on a concealer.  After a friend (who knows everything about everything when it comes to beauty products) told me that it really was THE BEST concealer, I finally gave in.  My dark circles were getting the best of me.  This product is amazing and worth every penny.  It is the first concealer that I have ever used that not only erases dark circles and makes my eyes look bright and alive but is also lasts all day.  I have never used a concealer like it.  It was my favorite new product of 2014 and I now understand why it has won so many beauty awards.

DIOR DiorShow Mascara ($25) – I do not know what I need to say about this.  It seems everyone loves it and uses it.  Even the makeup people fall back to Diorshow when asking for a classic mascara that is going to open up your eyes.  I have really long lashes and it doesn’t leave any marks on the top of my lids, helps brighten my eyes and never looks clumpy.  It has been a staple for years.

Chanel Waterproof Long Lasting Eyeliner ($32) – I do not tend to wear a lot of eye makeup during the week but there are two products I wear every day; the above mascara and this eyeliner.  I absolutely hate when eyeliner runs, wears off or just makes you look silly by the end of the day.  This eyeliner stays fresh and in place all day long, no matter how much I am running around.  It is also extremely easy to apply..always a plus.  I spend about 2 minutes doing my eye makeup in the morning and that is how fast I can get this on, the mascara in place and run off to get things done.

Now you know my secret to looking away even when I am completely sleep deprived.  And on those terrible days when even these products cannot help me, my other quick-fix solution is oversized sunglasses and red lipstick.  I promise, those will make you look pulled together and chic even if you are sleep walking.

I have a thing for distressed denim.  I think that most people do.  That is why I am sharing this little sale over at AE.  I normally do not shop over at AE but there current denim sale caught my eye and I can’t get enough of what I picked up.  Right now, they are offering 25% off all their denim.  Add this to the fact that their denim is only $49.95, and this means that these jeans are only $37.46.  Yes, that is right.  Denim under $40.  Crazy town.  It is only made better by the fact that they carry a long length for crazy tall people like me.  I ordered this pair of  mid-rise ankle jeggings and am now obsessed.

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I am telling you.  For this price, they are worth checking out.  I also ordered this pair of skinny jeans that are even less at $29.99.

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Another amazing find.  Both pairs total at $67.45 AND offer free shipping.  You can’t beat it.  They are both extremely comfortable, the perfect length (well, the long was perfect for me…) and make buying completely destroyed jeans seem so much more worth it.   You can preview all AE jeans by clicking here.  This sale is only good through the end of today (January 14th) so make sure you don’t wait!

If there is one accessory that I cannot live without, it would be sunglasses.  I am still convinced that they were invented not only to protect your eyes from the sun but to also help women look chic when in reality they are hiding their exhaustion.  It is the one accessory I do not leave the home without.  It is also the one accessory I tend to lose the most.  I believe they are attracted to getting lost.

Being my most important accessory, I do love having a number of options and every Spring I love picking up a new pair to add to the collection.  I know that we are not really at Spring yet but it never hurt anyone to plan ahead did it?  These are some of my favorites I have seen thus far and love that most of the prices are pretty reasonable.  When you have a 50/50 chance of losing them, price definitely matters.

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Clockwise from top right: Wonderland X Stone Cold Fox /  Sunday Somewhere / Wildfox / Asos / Ray-Ban / Ray-Ban / Karen Walker / Wildfox