Monday, September 1, 2014

Catching Up With Organized Chaos (Giveaway)

Happy Labor Day everyone! I hope you're enjoying an extra day off. I sure am. I've been cooking up a storm this weekend and there are tons of leftovers to prove it. I've also been binge-watching Chicago P.D. With fall premieres right around the corner, I'm catching up on all the shows I slacked on. Anyway, today I have a little interview with one of my sponsors. Her name is Shana and she blogs over at Organized Chaos. 

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog. 
I'm Shana. I started Organized Chaos as a way to connect with other moms and other expat/immigrants. Now the blog has developed into a place to just record our lives. I share day to day craziness that happens when mixing cultures as well as the ups and downs of parenting. I also like to talk about our faith in Christ and who can resist a good recipe or two!?

2. You recently moved to South Africa. That's so crazy! What's it like and why did you decide to make that change?
I laugh because everyone seems to think it is crazy but for me it finally felt normal! It's a long story actually which you can read about on my The Boys page. But truthfully, it was just where God was sending me. For a while I didn't know why but once I met Hubby and got here, I knew I was home. If I really think about it, there are differences but most days I forget I'm not in America. I won't lie though, it's awesome being here! I'm always encouraging people to take a vacation here. It's so much cheaper for Americans than they actually realize (compared to the general cost of over seas holidays) and it is a country like non other. It is really nothing like what is portrayed on TV!

3. Isn't South Africa on opposite seasons from the US? That would make it winter by you. Is it weird having winter in August? What's that like?
Yes, it is winter here now. The winter being in the summer isn't so hard to accept. South Africa doesn't celebrate most of the American holidays so winter is the easy one. It's been harder to accept it being hot for Christmas! I can't get used to having a braai (a cook-out) and swimming on Christmas. I love the season and it still just doesn't feel like Christmas here. I can't wait to take my family to see a "white Christmas" one year!

4. What are are some of your favorite parts of motherhood?
That's a hard question. There is so much I love. Honestly, I feel very blessed as a mom. I have a lot of support here from my Hubby and family which has made things easier and overall, I have very easy children! I would say my favorite part is the unconditional love. It doesn't matter how bad our morning was, when I walk through that door in the evening they're excited to see me. I love the completeness I feel around them.

5. You claim to be organized obsessed. What are some organization tips you can offer? I'm sure lots of us could use them.
I absolutely love organization and although my house is lacking it a little right now (I'm struggling to get settled from our move) I am constantly striving for it. My biggest tip is to get yourself a planner you can work with. Whether you like computer generated ones or a physical one where you can write in like me, find one that works for you. I've finally got mine created to where it encompasses work, home and blog. For me, I can't survive without it!

As well, there aren't really rules to organization. Find the system in your house that compliments your family. If your sense of organization in your kitchen means things are in labeled containers on your counter, then go for it! Be creative. Don't thing organizing means things in boxes. It is actually just finding the path that keeps you and your family together with the most simplicity and peace!

6. Tell us 3 fun facts about you.
Three facts...hmm...okay
1) I was an only child until I was 18!
2) I'm really impulsive. Now with children I have to keep this in check, but I'm truly a person that would come home from work one day and say to my Hubby lets move back to the sea! I love spur of the moment things.
3) I'm not a big drinker but I love whiskey! It seems crazy (and don't think I dis my wine!) but a little crown royal is the way to go!

Make sure you follow Shana on FacebookTwitterBloglovinInstagramGoogle+ and Pinterest! She's also giving away some great ad space so make sure to enter below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 29, 2014

August Group Giveaway

Happy Friday!! It's time for the August Giveaway. This month we have ad space and Starbucks up for grabs. Make sure to say hit to my lovely sponsors who all contributed to make this giveaway happen because they're awesome!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Taking Your Outfit From Day To Night At The Cosmopolitan #MyCosmoStyle

When I picture Vegas in my head, I imagine a real good time. When I picture staying at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, I see sophistication. Mix the two together and you have one incredible experience. The Cosmopolitan provides a glamorous experience for its guests. From signature restaurants like Scarpetta to more casual hangouts such as Wicked Spoon, there is an option for every get together and meeting arrangement. I've put together two outfits to take from day to night at the Cosmopolitan while enjoying your stay. Vegas is one of the places on my list to visit very soon so I might as well start planning now. Check out #MyCosmoStyle and let me know what you think.

#MyCosmoStyle Daytime
Spend a day shopping at the variety of stores The Cosmopolitan houses including AllSaints in a chic yet casual ensemble like this one. The tank gives this a casual feel and the blazer provides a great cut to compliment any figure. The white skinnies top this look off for daytime cutting the dark colors with a sharp contrast. Pair the outfit with comfortable flats for a day of walking around like these ballerinas from ASOS. Add a little extra color with a matching handbag and finish your look with a light smokey eye. It's perfect for the sophistication of Vegas yet casual enough for brunching at Wicked Spoon.

#MyCosmoStyle Daytime

#MyCosmoStyle Night on the Town
Night is my favorite time of day. I feel like everyone gets more a little more daring as soon as the sun starts to set. This is my favorite ensemble out of the two. Keep the tank from daytime and just spice it up a bit. Lose the blazer and trade the white skinnies for a pair of leather leggings for a bit of edge. Finish it with a pair of strappy heels and a shiny cuff or bangles like this David Yurman option. Paint your nails a vampy shade of purple and pack on the mascara. I love a dark and sultry look for night and where better to show off your sexy makeup skills than Vegas. This Swarovski bag adds the final touch and is the perfect size to hold all of your essentials for a night out at Marquee.

#MyCosmoStyle Night

So what do you think? What would be your one item that you take from day to night at The Cosmopolitan in Vegas? Book a room today and show off your style.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Pretty Little Beauty Swap Reveal

One of my favorite bloggers who happens to be a good friend of mine hosts a beauty swap every few months. It's called the Pretty Little Beauty Swap hosted by Southern Beauty Guide and it's so fun to get to know other beauty loving bloggers before swapping packages. This time around, I was paired with Tabitha from A Hundred Tiny Wishes. Tabitha and I discovered we live about an hour away with each other which is crazy. I predict a blate sometime in the future. I also learned that we have pretty similar taste in makeup which made it pretty easy to shop for her. Check out what she included in my box!

imPRESS Press-On Manicure: I love the color of these. I can't wait to try them one day. I'm terrible at keeping my nails up and these seem like an easy solution.

Pond's Luminous Finish BB Cream: I told Tabitha I can't live without BB Cream. It's my easy summer fix for foundation. I haven't tried this brand before so I'm exited to give it a shot.

Toni & Guy Casual Sea Salt Texturizing Spray: My hair is never more cooperative than when I'm by an ocean. I really believe sea salt does wonders for hair, especially curly and frizzy hair like mine. I'm excited to try this one day and see what the results are.

Clinique Take the Day Off Makeup Remover: I actually featured this in my post on Monday. I love this stuff and I never even told her about it. It does wonders for easily removing makeup. It even takes care of heavy eye makeup which is a standard for me at nighttime.

Burt's Bees 100% Natural Lip Shine in Wink: I love this color. It's something I would wear during the day and at nighttime. I'm also a huge fan of Burt's Bees. I just love the brand and their products. I really trust them.

Almay Intense I-Color Bold Nudes: I can tell you already that this is going to be my new go-to palette in the mornings. It's perfect for a natural, easy look which is what I typically go for on weekdays. I'm already obsessed.

ChapStick Moisturizer: This chapstick has two flavors! There's Green Apple and Caramel which you can apply together for a fun flavor. I'm always carrying chapstick around because I bite my lips like crazy. It's a terrible nervous habit. 

Nugg Face Mask Hydrating and Exfoliating: She sent me two Nugg Face Mask samples. One for hydrating and one for exfoliating. I've recently started getting into face masks. I typically notice a difference in my skin after I apply them which keeps me going back for more. I can't wait to try these!

Last but very not least, Tabitha designed a coffee mug for me! Tabitha wine glasses and jewelry which you can find in her Etsy shop. Since I'm such a huge coffee lover, she surprised me with my very own personalized coffee mug! I absolutely love it. I've already used it a few times and I have a feeling it will be my new go-to mug. 

 Thanks for everything Tabitha! Make sure you stop by her blog and say hi. Stop on over at Southern Beauty Guide while you're at it!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Let's Be Friends Blog Hop

Welcome to the Let's Be Friends Blog Hop!

A blog hop is a set time frame for current or aspiring bloggers to find new blogs and quality content. It is a great way to make new friends and find inspiration! It is also a fabulous way to promote your own blog and posts.

Dear Friends,

What a day to celebrate! This is the 80th week of the Let's Be Friends blog hop! Thanks for joining us on this special day. Chelsee and Tiffany are extremely delighted to see the way this hop has grown and love to see your faces each week! 

Join us every Tuesday at 7am (MST). This blog hop focuses on content. LINK UP YOUR FAVORITE POST from last week in this fun content-sharing blog hop! I love the idea of blog hopping, but I love the idea of reading posts and quality content on new blogs I've never been to even more. Instead of simply linking up your blog button, you are now able to link up your favorite post you recently wrote. Have a delicious recipe to share, DIY tutorial, or heartfelt post? Share it with us! All hosts and co-hosts put up some unique and fun content from the past week. Make sure to check them out. P.S.- you may still link up your blog button and blog name, but it is encouraged to link up your favorite post instead. You will get more page views and interest if you do so! Some of the most successful blog hops I have participate in focus on content rather than just exchanging follows. You never know who will become a loyal follower or pin that delicious new recipe you posted!

The BEST part of this blog hop? Each week there will be a WINNER! That's right, each week we will choose one lucky blog to feature from the previous week's hop. This hop receives thousands of page views every week, so your blog will have the chance to be center stage for free. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win. Only those who link up a specific post are eligible to be featured! *You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.

The last exciting change is that the co-host spots will now be available to all sponsors of  The Dwelling Tree or Southern Beauty Guide. If you are interested in co-hosting the blog hop, email Tiffany or Chelsee about sponsorship opportunities and how to co-host the weekly hop!

There are a couple of great giveaways going on right now at Southern Beauty Guide and The Dwelling Tree. Go check them out! :)

Let's Be Friend's Blog Hop Guidelines
1. Link up your favorite post from your week.
2. Follow your hosts and co-hosts.
3. Grab the button and post it on your blog so we can share the love.
4. Visit 3 other blogs and follow them along!
5. Tweet about this blog hop, using #letsbefriends
6. Pin the button on pinterest so we can spread the news! 

***Once a week, one blog will be chosen to be the featured blogger from the previous blog hop. 

Meet your hosts: 

The Dwelling Tree: Blog, Bloglovin'

Southern Beauty Guide: Blog, Bloglovin'

& Co-Hosts

***This weeks featured post from last week's hop:

Hi everyone! This is Tiffany today. Thank you all once again for continually linking up at our blog hop. It is such a fun time and I am so impressed each week with all the amazing posts. Please continue to link up an actual post instead of your blog. We want to keep reading your content and it makes it more fun to pick a winner! 

... onto the winner! 

This week I just had to choose He Calls Me Grace for her incredible post: The Ultimate Blog Resource Library. She put together a comprehensive blog library for anyone needing direct links to topics such as: advertising and sponsoring, affiliate programs, giveaways, link-ups, sponsorships, google analytics, blog design, and much, much more! Blogging does take a lot of work and there is often so much information about how to start a blog and keep it going, but finding trustworthy sites from real bloggers is invaluable. I have spent many nights clicking on websites I wasn't fully sure were legit and probably almost compromised my computer a few times.   

Anyways, if you are a blogger needing tips from time to time on a variety of blogging topics, check out her resource library. Fantastic idea Katie, and thank you so much for taking the time to compile this awesome resource for us! 

He Calls Me Grace  is a beautiful blog, and Katie is an amazing blogger. Go check her out and follow her! 

Keep posting awesome content! You make it so fun for us to read all your posts! If you can, please link up a specific post. It makes it easier for us to come and visit! 

*Remember YOU can be next weeks winner! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 25, 2014

5 Non-Makeup Beauty Essentials and Great Deals at Sephora

Thank you to Groupon for sponsoring today's post, all opinions remain my own.

I can talk about makeup until I'm blue in the face. I can give you my favorites, my most wanted, my every day, my daring looks, all of it. One thing I don't talk about too often is what goes on behind closed doors. Makeup is great but you need to be able to keep your skin healthy to look your best. With the help of Sephora, today I'm going to give you my top five beauty essentials that are not makeup. Beauty starts with a healthy base and here's how I keep mine well. I've used all of these products before and they are by far my favorites.
1. Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliate - this really helps keep my oily skin smooth and buffed
2. Benefit It's Potent! Eye Cream - this helps with under eye circles making you look more awake and also helps with aging effects over time
3. Clinique Take the Day Off Makeup Remover - your makeup will be off in one swipe
4. Kate Somerville Nourish Daily Moisturizer - this keeps skin hydrated without a heavy formula
5. Kate Somerville Detox Daily Cleanser - use this every morning to keep your pores clean and fights acne without drying your skin out

You can find all of these products at Sephora. Before you shop though, head over to Groupon for some great deals and coupon codes. If you've never thought to use Groupon for shopping, you should start with these Sephora coupons.

Check out just a few of the deals below:
Get free deluxe samples from Laura Mercier, Clinique, tarte and more when you spend $25+
Free 10-day sample of Clinique Repair Serum when you spend $35+ on Clinque products
Free bareminerals sample trio with $25+ Sephora purchase
...and so many more!

Take advantage of these Sephora coupon codes on Groupon and pocket your savings for a rainy day!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Meet Shana from Organized Chaos

Happy Sunday! Today is just for relaxing and being lazy. I'm laying in bed, watching TV and catching up on some blogging before this crazy week starts. I'm so excited next weekend is a holiday. I could seriously use an extra day off. Anyway, today I want you guys to meet one of my lovely sponsors. Her name is Shana and she blogs over at Organized Chaos. She recently moved to South Africa which I think is awesome so make sure you stop by her blog and check out some of her stories. Say hi while you're there!
Make sure you follow Shana on Facebook, Twitter, Bloglovin, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest

Here are some of her favorite posts for you to check out:
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