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Pack it up Tight! Conference Edition

January 29, 2014
I'll be doing some travelling in the next few months, so I figured I'd start a little series on packing.  I'm by no means an expert packer....I'm horribly inefficient and I pack WAY too many outfits, but I've been trying to get better.

This coming weekend I'm going to a sorority conference and it allows me to get really girly....that being said I don't want to be the person with 3 bags for a 3 day conference.  So this packing session is about versatile clothing options.

Day 1 is travel and evening meetings/dinner.  Normally I would travel in comfy clothes, but since we are going straight into events where we need to be in 'pin attire' (business casual in non-sorority terms) I figure it will be more efficient to just travel in those clothes.  I have a great maternity business dress that I have been just putting a non-maternity cardigan over since it's so cold.  Pair that with some tights and flats and I think it's still a pretty comfy travel outfit.



Day 2 is a full day of sessions, plus there is a awards dinner at night that requests cocktail attire.  My key here is to wear a dress that can go from business casual to dressy with just the change of some accessories.  And I happen to pick up the perfect number from Pink Blush Maternity (except mine is blue not aqua) over the holiday.  This blue dress paired with a cardigan, flats and pearls during the day can instantly go cocktail with the removal of some layers and addition of some heels.




Day 3 is tricky because we will have some time to shop after the conference is over.  Morning needs to be business casual again, so I'm thinking a nice pair of slacks/top/blazer combo.  Then when we are released and we want to hit the Mile for some retail therapy I can just change into a pair of jeans and I'm more comfortable....something like this....



Where I really get bad at packing is beauty products and accessories.  Since it's only a 3 day conference and my new shorter hair allows for less upkeep I think I can make a fresh wash on Friday last all weekend, eliminating any need for styling products.  I'll need a flat iron and dry shampoo to freshen the look day to day, but that's not bad.  Makeup I'm going to stick with my 'everyday face' look.

Packing commencing!

Outfit selection process, I like to put out everything I'll need for an outfit (including jewelry) if I can.  My furry children were no help in making any kind of decision......

I love this Mary Kay jewelry travel pouch I got while I was a consultant.  It keeps everything organized and rolls up nice a flat (as long as you don't stuff it ;)  )

BARE MINIMUM toiletry essentials.....again, hair washing on Friday in hopes to keep my style until Sunday.

Pretty much what I use every morning to get ready, including brushes....

Which packs up pretty nicely into this pouch!

I put everything into my smaller rolling duffel I got at Ulta during a sale.  If anything this blog post has helped me understand what is truly essential when space is a concern.  Some vacations that's not an issue (Mexico coming up!) and that's a whole other ballgame.

So I might put up some photos from the convention this weekend, otherwise I'll see you next week....back here in my closet!

Save Me from the Cosmetics Aisle!!

January 23, 2014
So not only do I have a problem with shopping for clothes, I also have a problem with cosmetics.  I blame YouTube.....I just get sucked into a haul or review and there's always something that I wind up wanting to try.  I guess that's their purpose, to get you to buy something.....I'm so weak.

My vanity is literally an old desk....full of makeup....it's ridiculous.



But with being pregnant, my skin has been on point lately.  This surprises me because I always had 'problem skin' in high school and college, but I found I was exfoliating too often and irritating my skin.....I WAS THE PROBLEM!!  So I've since changed my routine to a daily wash at night with a micro-dermabrasion weekly.

Here are a few beauty products (skincare and makeup) that I've been loving recently:


I've spent lots of money on high-end cleansers, but not seen the results worth the money.  Both of these Neutrogena cleansers work wonderfully on my skin...love the Naturals one since it is also a makeup remover and gets eye makeup off completely!  I normally apply this with just my fingers in the shower, but on occasion will use my Clairsonic if I'm feeling frisky.


These are two items I use weekly or bi-weekly.  This mask is amazing and soooooo cheap!  It pulls the oil from your nose and makes you feel refreshed!  This Boots exfoliator is a cheaper version of the Mary Kay I previously used.  It does it's job, but you'll want to make sure you moisturize or use a serum after to replenish your skin in this cold weather!!  Which brings me to a new product I just bought yesterday......

I read in my newest Redbook that you should be hydrating your skin halfway through the day since your moisturizer stops working.....seems legit since it's -4 degrees outside.  They tried to get me to buy a $26 bottle of Benefit Skincare hydrator, but I wasn't havin' it.  So I found the $7 alternative above.  And so far I'm loving it (use = twice so far).  It's got rosewater so your face smells a little rosey right after application, but it hydrates your face throughout the day without moving your makeup.

Speaking of makeup.....I go through a lot of phases with what colors I like or when I don't like to wear a lot.  Right now I'm sticking with a pretty basic combo of neutral eye with a slight wing and a pink or possibly bold red lip.  Here are a few staple makeup items.



My skintone is very pink so I NEED foundation.  Props to those of you who don't.  I got a color match at Sephora with their new iQ tool thingy and picked out the Sephora brand 10-hour wear foundation.  It's working so far, I love the pump and that's what truely drives my search for a foundation.  Other key items are a great blank liquid eyeliner.  I switch between this L'Oreal and the Revlon Colorstay liquid.  Also a great palette so you don't have to mess with individual shades.  I keep reaching for the original Naked palette since I tend to look better in smokey brown/copper/gold shades than black/grey (Naked 2).  I haven't found a blush/contouring combo that I love and that's really my hardest area.  I don't know how to contour my round face well to make it a bit more elongated.  More YouTube videos I guess.

But enough rambling for today....stay warm and I'll see you back in my closet (or makeup bag!).....:)

How do you dress when it's -14 degrees outside?

January 15, 2014
WARM! That's how....last week we got the #polarvortex here in Peoria and the temp was that low, not even adding the windchill in!  I actually worked from home because I wasn't about to venture outside with a growing baby when it feels like -42.

But getting back into the work flow after 2 full weeks off has been fine.  I've been in major nesting mode, mainly with my own closet and clothing and other (non nursery) areas of the house...should see a post about that soon.  I'm still waiting for the magic 'mother-fairy' to purchase baby J's furniture so I can get a better feel for how much extra room I have to work with.

Here's what I've been putting together for work!












Hopefully I'll actually start posting more regularly!

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