Sunday, November 9, 2014

7 Minutes to a Fresh Face!

We are all busy! Unfortunately, between getting hubby and kids out the door, we ladies often neglect ourselves. No more! Getting a simple, but fresh, clean make-up is super easy. It doesn't require a lot of time, either! It can be as simple or as fancy as you want! I have literally nailed my make-up routine down to 7 minutes (or less!). Want to know how?! You're in luck!

1. Foundation: I have 3 "favorites" that I rotate between. I have a slight system that determines which foundation I use. If I'm just throwing on make-up for work, I use E.L.F. High Definition Powder. I really like it because it keeps me from getting shiny during the day while running around the hospital or the office (and it provides a simple base for my make-up that doesn't make me look pale or too yellow!). If I'm going for a more finished look (like for date night or drinks with friends), I'll use MAC Studio Fix Pressed Powder Foundation. It makes my skin look amazing and it provides a flawless finish! If I'm going to a super fancy event where lots of pictures are going to be taken (i.e. a wedding), I use my Younique BB Cream. It really evens out skin tones so that you don't look splotchy with all the bright flashes from the camera!

2. Blush: I used to be a Clinique girl, but then I discovered Revlon Matte Powder blush at Target. Way cheaper, and it works just as well as Clinique blush. When I first started learning how to apply make-up, a consultant for Mark Kay told me that the best tool a girl can have in her make-up bag is her make-up brushes! I love the brushes by E.L.F.. They are fairly inexpensive, but work really well. I use the E.L.F Blush Brush to apply my blush.

3. Mascara: I also have 3 options depending on the look I am going for. Generally, I wear my Younique 3D Fiber Lash mascara. It makes my lashes look ridiculously long and full! It's almost as if I am wearing fake lashes, but they are mine! If I'm going to a pool party, I'm all about the waterproof mascara (just incase I get in the pool!). I love Rimmel London ScandalEyes (Waterproof version!). Sometimes, if I want a little extra thickness to my lashes as the base for my Younique Mascara, I apply some Urban Decay Perversion Mascara. Just a head's up - it's not waterproof!

4. Eyeshadow: I don't usually wear eyeshadow, but when I do, I wear Maybelline. I love these little sets. If you flip the case over, there's a diagram for how they recommend you apply the make-up to achieve a smokey eye. Sometimes I follow their diagram; sometimes I make up my own way of applying the eyeshadow. I use my E.L.F. angled brush to apply the darker colors as liner. Sometimes, I just apply the darkest color as liner and leave it at that!

5. Lips: I'm a chapstick girl. Even for fancy events, I'm applying EOS chapstick on my way in the door.  The only time I haven't worn chapstick is for my wedding! I love e.l.f. lipsticks, particularly the Studio Moisturizing Lipstick in Wink Pink!

As we have established in previous posts, I love things that give you options! This make-up routine is quick, easy, and allows for you to customize the routine to your liking! I generally apply foundation first, then blush, and save my eyes for last. Here's my finished look: 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Cleaning Your Home On a Busy Schedule

I hate clutter. Let's establish that first. I like a fairly clean home, but I rarely have a whole lot of time to put into cleaning. My big cleaning days are Sundays, but what about the rest of the week? I have little more than 15-30 minutes to spare each day. I tried the FlyLady system - it's great. BUT my home isn't big enough to spend 15 minutes in the same room each day for 1 week. I would run out of things to do or clean up! So I've formed my own system (and my own "cleaning commandments"), which I have outlined below to share with you! I used the FlyLady model as inspiration for my BusyWife schedule/commandments. Follow with me OR make your own!

BusyWife Commandments:
1. Always wash/rinse your dishes (and/or place all dishes from the meal in the dishwasher) after every meal. And wipe down the counters after dinner every night. And wipe off the kitchen table after dinner every night (It will literally take you no longer than 5 minutes).

2. Sort mail immediately: trash what's junk, read and trash "quick reads" (ex: church fliers, coupons, invitations - make sure to RSVP!), save and file important mail (i.e., bills, bank statements, etc.)

3. Put your shoes up immediately after taking them off. Yes, seriously. I don't care if you plan on wearing them again in 15 minutes. Chances are you won't, and if you truly do, then you know exactly where they are!

4. File important papers immediately. None of this "Oh I'll get to it in a minute." Do it. Now.

5. Plan 1 day per week to perform deep cleaning activities (i.e., dust, mop, clorox, etc.).

6. Purge at least twice per year. Clothes, toys, pantry items, kitchen supplies. We all have those clothes we never wear, toys the kids haven't looked at in months, spices that are expired, hot cocoa that's been sitting in the pantry for 3 years (untouched), coffee mugs we never use any more, lunch boxes that were bought with good intentions. You get it - be brutally honest with yourself and purge it!

7. Always make your bed every morning. Always - it will instantly make the room seem cleaner and more organized! Plus, things don't get lost in the sheets when you climb into bed.

8. Put away your clean laundry as soon as it is folded/dried/ready. No one (including you) wants to look at it on the couch or in the laundry basket for a week.

Inspired by FlyLady, I have divided my home into zones. Each zone gets my attention for 15-20 minutes one day per week. Sundays are my "Deep Clean Day," so I have 6 zones. To me, the lower floor is more important because that's what guests see. That's why those areas are towards the top of my list. That way, these zones/areas are cleaned earlier in the week, and I don't have to stress if I have dinner guests Friday night! Below is my list of zones and the simple tasks I perform in each zone for 15-20 minutes.

Zone 1 - Front Entrance/Living Room: Clean off coffee table and end table. Sweep floor. Purge magazines (anything older than 6 months is recycled - hubby knows this and clips any articles/recipes he wants to keep). Put any shoes away (hubby loves to leave his shoes laying around). Fluff sofa cushions, fold throw blankets, straighten throw pillows, roll up computer/extension cords so that no one trips.
Zone 2 - Kitchen/Dining Room/Half Bathroom: Sweep floor, wipe down counters, clean stove top, wipe kitchen table down (use a little elbow grease!), clean mirror in bathroom, wipe down sink(s), purge fridge.
Zone 3 - Stairs/Upstairs Hallway: Hang up any coats laying on the stairs. Take stack on stairs to appropriate rooms (we have a knack for placing items that need to go upstairs on the stairs and just walking around said items for 1 week), vacuum hallway, straighten pictures in stairwell, clean up toys/miscellaneous items in the upstairs hallway.
Zone 4 - Upstairs Bathroom: Wipe down counter, dust off shelves, clorox spray in toilet, sweep floor, clean up hair off shower wall/floor, unclog drain (if needed), clorox soak for shower curtain (if needed), wipe down mirror, put random toiletry items/medication bottles into designated areas.
Zone 5 - Little T's Room: Put away toys, change sheets, put up books, throw away Happy Meal toys, vacuum floor.
Zone 6 - Master Bedroom: put away clothes on the floor, clean off/organize bedside tables, clean off dresser, put jewelry away, change sheets, vacuum floor.

Sunday: Deep Cleaning Day
Downstairs: Dust & wipe down all tables/shelves off. Mop floor. Clean windows, sliding glass doors. Dust picture frames on wall and tables. Sort through miscellaneous items that have collected on various pieces of furniture and keep what's important. Toss what's junk.
Upstairs: Mop bathroom floor, wipe down windows in all rooms, dust bedroom furniture, dust blinds in all rooms, clean shower/bathtub and toilet.

Making Any System Work For You: 
Ultimately, it boils down to what works best for you, your family, and your schedule. Get your kids involved, too (particularly if they are younger - they want to be a "big help."). If they understand from the beginning that this is something they need to contribute to, then they will be less disgruntled later when you ask for help! Rules apply to everyone (making beds, putting up shoes), and there will be less griping 3 hours later when you ask kids (or hubby) to pick up their shoes. 

Let things go. There are some things you aren't going to be able to change in your family. My dad is constantly leaving his tie on my mom's desk in the kitchen. She's truly given up (after 30+ years of marriage, I would, too!) on this issue and happily carries his tie up to the closet every night. Some things are negotiable, so be a little more flexible on those issues!