Answering some Questions: my robe, childcare, religion, and more!


I receive a lot of the same question from readers and I’m always looking for ways to quickly and easily provide answers. I thought I’d round up a bunch of the most asked and answer them in this post!

What do you use for cold sores? I have a prescription for valacyclovir that I got from my doctor. I take it as soon as I start to feel the tingle/itch. It usually keeps it away or makes the actual cold sore very, very small. I got them genetically from my mother and so far none of my kids have had one. They can also be contagious and Justin has never gotten one either! Other than that, I put Abreva on it right away too.

Where is your striped robe from? Lake Pajamas. I have a medium.

What is your childcare situation? Right now Justin and I are tag-teaming the kids which is really great. His job is flexible and gets busier in the warmer months so we’ll just adapt to what we need at any given moment. In the fall David will be in Kindergarten, Luke will be in a 5 day a week preschool, so we’ll just navigate what kind of childcare we need for Emily!

Are you mormon? No, I’m a Christian. Sometimes you’ll hear that phrase used for Mormons as well but we believe different things.

Are you going to write part 4 of your love story? Yes! Working on it! Read part 1, 2, and 3 by clicking the numbers.

What did you do before blogging? I did hair! And loved it! I worked in a private studio which was amazing and I loved running my own business. I stopped doing hair right before I had David (who is now 5) and dove head first into continuing my blog.

What is your enneagram type? I can’t remember! I get this question a lot! I think I took the test back in the day when it became popular but I forgot and probably won’t take it again. I have friends who are super into knowing more about themselves via the enneagram but I’m not terribly interested at this time! **update: since I typed this I took the test and I’m a 2 wing 3!

What can I do about my dry scalp? Try this new product by Living Proof. I’ve been using it and really love it! I will also use Head & Shoulders from time to time when my scalp gets REALLY dry.

What do you think about the Neutrogena Hyaluronic Acid products? I used them for about a week and ended up having a bit of a break out. It didn’t sink in as deeply as the PTR products, it seemed, and they were generally thicker with a stronger fragrance than the PTR Water Drench line. I went back to the Water Drench!

How do you clean your makeup brushes? All about cleaning makeup brushes and hair tools is shared on this post! 

As always, I hope I have provided an answer for you! You can always use the search box right on the side of my blog to look for anything else!

Gel Versus Dip Nails



I got my first “dip” manicure a few weeks ago and there are some things I really love about it and some things I wish I would have known before I took the plunge.

Or the dip, if you will.

When you receive a dip/powder manicure, the technician preps your nails, applies a liquid to your nail bed, then literally dips your nail into a small container of powder, shakes off the excess, and repeats this process on all the nails. During my service the technician dipped my nails 3 times each, so there were 3 rounds of liquid then powder applied to my nails.

After the nails have set, the technician may take an electric tool to buff the nail surface to smooth it out. The service is finished with what looked to me like regular top coat and that needed to dry for 5 minutes before I headed out the door.

I tried this because I was continually disappointed with gel manicures at salons in my area. I used to do my gel nails at home, which I still can do, but I wanted to find someone that did a good job to do that for me to save a bit of time. I got it down to a pretty quick science when I was doing it myself, but going to a nail salon is something I like to do during my “free” time so I was looking for a good, clean salon.

Many recommended dip powder manicures and while I had looked into them a little bit I was skeptical about how smooth the finish would be. A bumpy finish would have driven me crazy so I avoided it for a long time.

When I finally tried it, I found the process to be very fast and simple, and roughly the same length of time for a gel manicure. I like that you don’t need to cure this process under a light! The finish is a lot like acrylic and is very thick on the nails. It had a smooth finish which I was very happy to see!

At about a week in to the manicure I was happy to see my nails still looked pretty good! My cuticles were starting to look a little rough, but the color on my nails still looked flawless. I got used to the thickness of the nails in about a day, but I do wish I would have known it was going to be so thick! I type a lot and kind of dislike the feeling and sound of acrylic nails hitting the keys.

The removal process was very simple, and I took them off on day 15. You can have them removed at the salon or let acetone saturated cotton balls sit on top of the nails to loosen, then scrape them off. My natural nails were in pretty bad shape but I expected that. I doused them in Solar Oil for a few days, then applied Essie’s TLC nail polish.

Would I do it again? At this point yes I would, but only for times that I really wanted my nails to look perfect for a long time. So if I was traveling, or had a long week of shooting, I’d do it. I can’t see making it a regular thing because the thickness was a bit bothersome.

I’ve gotten acrylics before so I imagine it will be very similar. I’m already planning on doing a few weeks of Essie’s TLC polish to help restore my nails after the dip/powder!

Have you gotten a dip manicure before? What did you think?

How To Clean Your Beauty Tools (makeup brushes to flat irons)


Don’t be like me.

Don’t let it get this bad guys. The thing is, leaving hair in your brush isn’t the worst beauty offense in the world but it certainly doesn’t add anything to your haircare routine. Leftover hair in a brush can snag healthy hair, and inadvertantly apply leftover product onto clean hair as well. Just rake it out, okay?

I’m talking about the steps to clean makeup brushes and hair tools on today’s post. There are a lot of really easy ways to clean makeup brushes (whether you use a spray or a deep shampooing cleaner) but there really is only one way to clean your hair tools. You may be thinking to yourself, “I’ve never considered cleaning my flat iron or curling iron. . .is that weird?” No, it isn’t. And the goal is that this isn’t a task that needs to be repeated often.

Let’s start with cleaning a flat iron and we’ll finish with cleaning makeup brushes.

Gunk getting stuck on a flat iron or any other hot tool is typically the result of burnt product, burnt hair, or both. If you have an ongoing issue of buildup occurring on the plates or barrel of your hot tool, you may need to reassess what products you are using or if your tool is just too hot.

First, make sure your tools are unplugged. Examine your tools and locate any areas where buildup may be sitting on the side of the tool. You can see on the top and bottom plates there is quite a bit of residue from years of use in the salon. It’s that coppery colored stuff.

Using a wet washcloth with shampoo (made to breakdown product!) , rest your tool on the wet washcloth with shampoo for enough time to soften the residue. Then, put some elbow grease into it and rub that residue off. Do your very best to keep the plates or barrel dry, focusing only on cleaning specific areas of the tools. Do not submerge in water, ever.

If that doesn’t do the trick for you, you may need to use acohol on a cotton swab to clean off any sticky residue. You may also need to use a coin or credit card to scrape off stuck on junk as well.

The benefit of cleaning your tools is that the hair won’t get stuck in the residue or be snagged against it when you pull the tool through the hair.

You can see below that I was able to get off a lot of the coppery colored residue and now those sections won’t snag against my hair!

When cleaning your makeup brushes, I always try to keep it quick and simple. Ideally your makeup brushes should be cleaned after every use, but we all know that may be a touch unrealistic for busy daily lives. I shoot for once a week cleaning, and would encourage you to start there if you aren’t in a good routine yet. Your makeup brushes carry so much bacteria and leftover product that you really are doing yourself a disservice by not keeping them clean. It can be a 10 minute task that you perform once a week, for example, that will go a long way in caring for your skin and how your makeup looks!

I love the Sonia Kashuk brush cleaner because it comes with a silicone pad used to scrub the brushes really clean. Other options would be to use a simple solution of shampoo and warm water in a bowl! This brush cleaner comes HIGHLY reviewed!

Start by wetting the brushes, swirl around in cleaning solution, rinse out, and set to dry on the side of the sink after you’ve reshaped the brush head.

Cleaning hair tools should be an “every once in awhile” task, but cleaning your makeup brushes or tools should be repeated much more regularly. Neither task is difficult (unless you find yourself scraping tons of junk off the side of your iron like me!!) and it can be made much more enjoyable by having the right products to make the process most effective!

I’ve found that my brushes usually need a full 24 hours to dry so I like to wash them during the daytime so they are ready to do for the next day when I need them!

p.s. You can find a post where I break down lots of different brushes and their uses here.

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