Topic: Sponsored Post

My Mom, My Angel: Finding the Perfect Mother’s Day Card #sponsored

Published in: Just For Fun, Sponsored Post

I get it from my momma!

I get it from my momma!

As a participant in the Hallmark at Walgreens Signature Mother’s Day campaign, I received compensation in exchange for writing this review. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own. @walgreens #HallmarkAtWalgreens #CareWithACard #sponsored

If you happened to be cruising the Walgreens on Third Street in San Rafael, California a few days ago (among all the places in the world!) and saw a teary lady standing by the Hallmark Mother’s Day cards…yes, that was me, in all my sniffly glory, LOL!

Oh, didn’t you know? I cry in all public places now, and I’m especially susceptible to it when a holiday like Mother’s Day is involved, because I get all the feels, man!

I was there picking out a Mother’s Day Hallmark card for my mom, and as I stood there looking through the cards and reading them, I started thinking about my baby girl standing there in an aisle someday looking at Mother’s Day cards for me… Next thing you know, the tears are pooling up, and I’m on the next nonstop train to Emo Station.

That’s one thing having a baby has done (other than make me cry at the drop of a hat in public spaces). I have a whole new appreciation for my mom and how strong she’s always been.

She was born in a village in the Philippines and moved to the U.S. with my dad in the ’70s. She was in her mid-20s at the time, and I can’t imagine how hard it must’ve been to move halfway around the world to a place where she didn’t have any family or friends, and where the customs and culture were so different from where she came from.

My mom and Dad in the '70s

My mom and dad in the ’70s

This was when keeping in touch with people was much harder than it is now. You couldn’t just jump online to find the answer to any question, or Skype your family when you felt homesick, or wanted advice on babies, or job searching, or fitting in.

When I think about how it must’ve been to live and work here and raise two kids without help from any family, while also holding down a full-time job, it hits me — really hits me — how hard it must’ve been, and just how strong she is.

But yet, whenever my mom came home from work, even when she was tired after a long day, she was usually in a good mood and happy to see me and my brother, which brings me to another thing that I think of when I picture my mom — kindness.

She’s always there when I need a caring word, or a little bit of sympathy, or some encouragement. She has a sweet and tender nature about her, and she’s always there with a hug if you need it.

Me and mom on my wedding day

Me and mom on my wedding day

And even though I joke with her sometimes about how she loves to pinch pennies (she’s a retired accountant, after all!), I have to give my mom mega props for being so darned practical when it comes to finance-related things, especially when it comes to planning for the future. It’s one of her many superhero talents!

Just one example: my mom wanted me to go to college, and she didn’t want me to worry about having to take out loans or be in debt after I finished, so she planned and saved enough money while I was growing up to put me through school. My education is a gift from her that I don’t ever take for granted.

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If You’re Over 30, It Might Be Time to Get to Know Living Proof Timeless [SPONSORED]

Published in: Hair, Living Proof, Sponsored Post, Ulta

living proof timeless

In partnering with Ulta Beauty, I’ve received product samples and/or compensation for my time and effort in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. #sponsored @ultabeauty

My thirtieth birthday heralded some pretty big life changes. Like, I met my kitty soulmate (hey, that’s a huge deal, OK?), took the plunge to pursue my lifelong dream of freelance writing (this was shortly before I started the blog), and I finally got hitched to El Hub (we’d been dating a while).

Big things also started happening in my beauty-related life. For instance, my skin underwent some crazy-@ss changes. After years of oily skin, my epidermis turned combination oily-dry, and then there was that awful period of hormonal acne along my jawline and chin.

Oh, and my hair didn’t make it through unscathed. Two words: the grays.

They’d been around since I was a teenager — a few occasional gray hairs tucked away, usually on the back of my head (everyone in my family goes gray early) — but around the time I turned 30, all hell broke loose. I started seeing gray hairs where I’d never seen them before, like around my bangs and on the top of my head. Suddenly, going to the salon for a touch of color stopped being something I did just for fun when I got restless or felt like a change. It became part of regular maintenance, like going to the dentist.

And that’s not all. I also started noticing changes in the texture of my hair. “What are these random wiry Chinese noodle-like strands coming out of my head?”

Oh, that’s my hurr!

Turns out I wasn’t alone in this. Many women (and dudes) experience changes in their hair around the age of 30. It’s something that the products in Living Proof’s new Timeless collection are designed to address. They’re made to help hair cope with the age-related changes that often happen to your hair in your 30s and up, protecting it from breakage, while keeping hair looking voluminous, shiny, smooth and rich in color.

The new four-piece Living Proof Timeless line is available now exclusively at Ulta Beauty and includes the Timeless Pre-Shampoo Treatment ($26), Timeless Shampoo ($28), Timeless Conditioner ($28) and Timeless Plumping Mousse ($28).

All of them are sulfate-free, silicone-free and color safe, and they also contain UV protectors to extend the life of your hair color and protect your hair against damage from heat styling and the sun.

They’re all designed to work together as part of the system…but, of course, you can cherry pick and just use your faves. I’ve been using the whole kit and caboodle for maximum effect, and it’s been about about two weeks. So far, my long, color-treated hair is feelin’ it.

My favorite member of the Timeless fam has to be the Pre-Shampoo Treatment. I was a little wary of it at first because I’d never used a pre-shampoo treatment before and didn’t know what to expect. Mostly, I thought it would be an unnecessary step, but yeah, now that I’ve used this one, I see the point.

living proof pre shampoo

Living Proof Pre-Shampoo

Have you ever used a pre-shampoo before? Basically, they’re moisturizing treatments, like hair masks, oils and butters, that you apply to your hair while it’s wet or dry before you hop into the bath or shower to shampoo and/or condition. The extra step adds shine, and it’s also supposed to make the Timeless shampoo and conditioner work better.
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A Conversation About Brows (Plus at-Home Brow Maintenance Tips) #Beauty360atCVS [SPONSORED]

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Makeup Tips/How To, Sponsored Post

lets talk about brows

Let’s talk about brows…

In partnering with Beauty 360 and the CVS Beauty Club, I’ve received product samples and/or compensation for my time and effort in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. #sponsored #Beauty360atCVS

Girl, I don’t have much to say about green lip gloss (other than this: if you can pull it off, WERK IT), but I can talk forever and a day about brows.

Because there’s just so much to say about brows! — and not just about brows, but don’t you think that brows also say a lot about us?

They’re very expressive and revealing, like, you can tell when someone is mad, glad, surprised or sad by the angle of their brows.

Aaand they can also tell you if someone follows Instagram.

You know what I’m talking about. 🙂 The famous “Instagram Brow”? Sculpted arches with a razor sharp tail and a subtle ombre effect that transitions from lighter on the side closer to the nose to darker as it goes out?

I see so many gals who can rock that look, but man, oh, man! — I’m not one of ’em. On me, they’re a no-go. I tried them once, and I looked like an evil villain plotting to blackmail someone for a billion dollars…

It’s just not the look for me, but that’s perfectly OK because brows are so individual. They’re like fingerprints.

And just like there are dozens of different brow shapes and styles, there are also many ways to maintain them. You can get them waxed or threaded or shaped by a brow specialist. Or, you can do what I’ve always done, and take care of them at home.

Must-have brow tools from Beauty 360

My main must-have brow tools

Yup, I pluck (and I’ve always plucked) my own brows.

I’m kind of a weirdo control freak, and the thought of putting my brows in someone else’s hands kinda terrifies me. Plus, I saw a woman walk up to a makeup counter looking for help in tears once because she said that she went to a brow specialist, and they removed half of her brows!

The incident traumatized us both.

beauty 360 brow tools

At-home brow maintenance with Beauty 360! From the left, that’s the Brow & Lash Perfector ($4.99), the Ultimate Brow Definer ($4.99), the Dual-Ended Precision Tweezers ($6.99) and the Precision Razors ($4.99)

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Treat Yourself and Your Skin to Much-Needed Meow Time With CVS/pharmacy Beauty 360 Facial Masks #Beauty360atCVS [SPONSORED]

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Skin Care, Sponsored Post


In partnering with Beauty 360 and the CVS Beauty Club, I’ve received product samples and/or compensation for my time and effort in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. #sponsored #Beauty360atCVS

You should really ask me about my facial mask addiction. 🙂 Or maybe you shouldn’t. Because when I tell you that I stockpile masks like cat ladies stockpile all cute-kitty-cleaningteh cute kittehscute-little-kitty, you might think I’m a little crazy.

I just love masks! I think they’re great. Among my favorite skincare products, they’re probably second only to moisturizers, because of the skin benefits, but also because they’re a fun way to take a break from life.

Ya just put on your mask and chill for 15 minutes, and while I’m sitting there “in mask,” I totally forget about my chores and responsibilities. I don’t think about the dishes in the sink or vacuuming the stairs or doing the laundry. I’m totally preoccupied by the fact that I’m wearing a mask.

They’re a good way to tune out and focus on me. Plus, they’re an easy way to treat my skin.

beauty 360 masks all

I have masks from here to eternity, but I’m always looking for more (MOAR MASKS!). Up until recently, I had no idea there were so many different masks in the Beauty 360 line at CVS/pharmacy, and most of them are less than $8 (on sale the sheet masks are usually less than $4).

beauty 360 anti wrinkle anti aging eye mask

They’ve got sheet masks (sometimes called tissue masks), sleep masks, masks in tubes, masks in jars, soothing masks, smoothing masks, deep moisture masks, detoxifying masks, brightening masks, anti-wrinkle firming masks and masks just for your eyes, and they’re loaded with interesting ingredients like coffee and tomato extract, charcoal and green caviar.

beauty 360 detoxifying perfecting face mask
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Purple Smoky Holiday Makeup Tutorial With Boots No7 [SPONSORED] #MyBestSkin

Published in: Boots, Makeup Tips/How To, Sponsored Post, Video

There should be a video in this post, but if you can’t see it, you can click here to watch it on YouTube.


We’re basically on the cusp of December, so from here on out it’s all holidays, all the time, and that definitely means more holiday makeup.

This purple smoky eye might look more complicated than it really is, but you can totally handle it. If you can blend even just a wee bit, you can follow along with this tutorial, which shows how to do the eyes, complexion makeup and cheeks. And there are also four different ideas for lip combos.

purple smoky holiday makeup tutorial

purple smoky holiday makeup tutorial
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