The Best Beauty Video Tutorials


I looooooove me some beauty and hair tutorials, peeps.

Here’s the deal. Let me help you. Don’t waste your time weeding through thousands of videos because I’ve done all the (hours upon hours of YouTube viewing) work for you. Eyeliner woes? Check. Chic, everyday makeup? Check. Braided updos and sock buns? Trimming your own bangs? Cat eyes? Smoky eyes? Essential makeup brushes? Fuller lips? Check, check, check, check, check, CHECK.

My top 20 beauty video tutorials of all time are over at Beauty and the Beat!


Easter Weekend at Mammoth


The lovely folks at provided us with two nights lodging during our trip to Mammoth Lakes, California. has a fantastic loyalty program called Welcome Rewards which rewards you with free hotel nights for your accumulated purchases. For every 10 nights, get 1 free. Just think of it as one of those buy 10 car washes, get one free cards, BUT SO MUCH BETTER.

Last month, D and I were lamenting that we had become rather lax in regards to traveling as a family. On one hand, we have my son, who racked up over fifty flights before the age of two, and then my daughter, who will be turning two in two months and has been on about, um, five. You all know how it goes, though…more kids, more financial commitments, a lot of reasons why we have been relative homebodies over the past year or two.

(I also think it’s fair to point out that Wita is a horrible flier. Squirms, screams, whines the entire flight…not so enjoyable. Wito has always been a complete delight on planes – maybe because we started him much earlier? Who knows…)

(I ALSO would like to point out that the minute I spoke aloud about our lack of travel, three (THREE) traveling commitments came about in the course of a week. So, I’m basically living out of a suitcase for the first three weeks of May. Thanks, universe! Way to go overboard.)

When March rolled around, we started throwing around the idea of an extended weekend road trip over spring break. I mean, we could spend years traveling the state of California alone! Plus, if Wita wanted to scream the entire trip, only our ears would have to take the punishment, not some poor business traveler that made the mistake of sitting in the row ahead of us. Win, win. Right about that time, contacted me about helping us to take a little excursion, and it all fell into place.

Next up, where to go? Unlike the majority of the country who dreams of sandy, warm beaches over spring break, that’s kind of our daily grind around here. I wanted to see some snow! Wita is almost two and has NEVER seen a snowflake, and that needed to change. We decided on Mammoth, hopped on the website, and chose the Westin Monache Resort as our home away from home. (SO glad we did. The hotel was absolutely lovely, the one-bedroom suite was perfect for our family of four, and our suite had a full kitchen – dishes, pots, pans, stove top, dishwasher, the works. Perfect. Also, the hotel sits right across the street from the main village and gondola, so we never needed our car.)

We had such a great time. There was still lots of snow on the mountain, but the temperatures were in the 50s. Perfect weather. We built snowman, went sledding, hung out in a local igloo, rode the gondola 135 times, danced to a live band in the village square, and ate so much food. (For those of you who are interested Schat’s Bakery, Roberto’s Mexican, and Burgers were our favorites from the trip.)

All in all, it was the best. Leaving the laptops at home and fully focusing on our family for four days was exactly what we needed. Thanks so much to for the opportunity to get away!


Odds and Ends


1. We had such a fun weekend in Mammoth – plenty of snow, temps in the 50s…we couldn’t have asked for more. (We even got a family self portrait on the gondola. Miraculous, I say!) I’m sorting through the photos this weekend, and hope to have a post up Monday.

2. This week’s Beauty and the Beat column is taking a step back from cosmetics and focusing on the true ways to get glowing skin. (Which involves a photo of me at 5:50 a.m., 39 seconds after I woke up. Hot.)

3. This is EXACTLY why I am in the process of bikini laser hair removal right now – no more awkward (and painful) Brazilian waxes. Allison’s hilarious recount reminds me that I made the right decision.

4. I’m on my fourth year of using the Relish meal planning service, but sometimes I want even more simplification for weeknight dinners. Asha’s weekly plan hits the nail on the head. (Three words for you – ROTISSERIE CHICKEN CLUB. Awwww yeahhhhh.)

5. I’m clearly hormonal because these photos of little birds almost had me in tears. What? National Geographic sent me this book about a year ago, and I think it’s finally time to bust it out with the kiddos. Do you bird watch? Can you envision ME bird-watching?

6. Speaking of birds, one of my very favorite bloggers in the world, Miss James of Bleubird, has a series called Bird Food, in which she photographs her little one’s meals. If you find yourself needing a little toddler food inspiration, you must check out her posts. (Plus, little Birdie is about the most adorable toddler ever. I think she and Whoorlita would be fast friends.)

7. Did you see Shutterbean’s new web design? I don’t know how it’s even possible to love Tracy and her website more, but I do.

Happy weekend, everyone!


Eli’s Lids (+ Giveaway!)


Over the next few weeks, I am going to be featuring some of my favorite local (Southern California) companies. I hope you enjoy!

Eli’s Lids is a local small business run by one of my friends, Kara-Noel. Kara-Noel and I attend a lot of the same Orange County blogging events, and I’m always happy to see her smiling face. First off, this woman is a ray of sunshine – truly one of the kindest people I’ve met. (Remember the post about friends lifting you higher? Kara-Noel is that type of person – supportive, generous, kind, and really, really funny.) She’s also the mother of four little ones (5, 4, 1, baby…WHOAH) in addition to running Eli’s Lids.

Eli’s Lids just introduced a new line of hats for kids called Fedorables, and Kara-Noel asked my kiddos to be a part of her latest photo shoot. However, although I planned on both kids attending, little Wita ended up sitting this one out due to a few pesky incisors and a REALLY bad attitude. (As the three of us were walking out the door to the shoot, she grabbed a bowl of yogurt off the table and dumped it on her head while crying hysterically. I looked at D and said, “she’s all yours, honey.”)

The shoot was so fun, and the kids looked adorable in their fedoras. Fedorable, if I may…

Here are some great ones of Wito that I’ll love forever and ever amen.

In addition to the fedoras, the snowboarder lids are very popular around these parts. (My kids wore them all weekend in Mammoth – a post on our trip coming soon!) Also, Kara-Noel is donating part of the Fedorable proceeds to help bring little Henry home from China. You can read about Henry here.

So, two things going on today. First off, Kara-Noel is offering 30% off anything on the Eli’s Lids site from now until June 30, 2012 with the code WHOORL. How cool is that? In addition, we are giving away one Fedorable hat (in your choice of black or tan) as well as one Interchangeable. Just leave a comment on this post before Saturday, April 14th at 6pm PST and you’ll be entered to win. Good luck!