Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Life Lately: September

I can't believe September is already gone! It was (as always) a busy month. We have lots of fun things planned for October already and I am looking forward to squeezing in as much fall fun as we can before our little one arrives in November! 

Books I've Read

I haven't finished any books this month because we have been so busy getting back in the swing of things with work, but I am in the middle of Ha'Penny Place, the third in the Ivy Rose series. I don't like it as much as the first one. I think the author tends to be a little overdramatic and unrealistic as the series progresses, but I will probably end up finishing the 4 book series. 

Recipes I've Tried 

  • Ham and Swiss Slider
    • I actually made mine with turkey and cheddar. I first had these at my mother-in-law's and loved them! I made them when we visited my grandparents a couple weeks ago and they were just as tasty. I could definitely cut down on the amount of poppy seeds in the future though. It calls for a tablespoon and I think a teaspoon would be more than enough. 
  • Apricot Butter
    • We have an apricot tree in our yard and it actually had a lot of fruit this year. I didn't know that apricot trees would bear fruit as far north as we are! I ended up making batches and batches of apricot butter with this recipe. It was easy and it can be used with chicken in the crockpot, on toast or scones, and baked in bread. 
  • Pumpkin Butter Bread
    • I modified this recipe to be used with the apricot butter I made and my husband is obsessed. It's delicious! I will definitely be making more with the many quarts of apricot butter we currently have frozen. 
I just received these spice packets from RawSpiceBar. We haven't had the chance to use them yet, but my husband is planning on smoking some pork in his smoker this weekend with the Smoky Memphis Rub and I can't wait! I'll let you know my thoughts in another post. 

Skincare & Beauty Products I've Tried

I recently received the Luxe Voxbox courtesy of Influenster. It was chalk-full of fun things that I've been trying! 
  • Dr. Brandt No More Baggage Depuffing Eye Gel
    • This eye gel is supposed to instantly reduce dark circles and under-eye bags and preserve a youthful appearance with continued use. I noticed a slight difference with my first use. I like the immediate tightening feeling of it. I am looking forward to using it more!
  • amika Un.Done Texture Spray
    • I don't typically use a texture spray because my hair has enough texture. It has a nice scent though and did add some texture to my hair and it stayed all day!
  • amika Nourishing Mask
    • I've tried this before and absolutely love it! The results are comparable to my favorite deep conditioner, Aussie 3 Minute Miracle and the size is perfect for popping in my travel bag! 
  • GrandeLIPS Hydrating Lip Plumper
    • This is an instant lip plumping treatment infused with Volulip and hyaluronic acid that increases lip hydration, volume, softness, and firmness. I noticed a difference with this and so did my husband. I received the clear formula, but it also comes in colors. 
  • AQUIS Hair
    • This is a hair towel made from an exclusive, ultra light maternity that helps your hair dry faster and is supposed to help cut hair drying and blow drying time by 50%. I have really thick hair and I noticed a difference! I used this on my hair and it definitely cut down on my drying time. I don't know if it was by a full 50% though, maybe 30%?

I also received the Erno Laszlo VoxBox from Influenster to try out. It had a set of new Erno Laszlo Hydra-Therapy Skin Vitality Treatment. It is a two step powder masks to help deliver moisture to your skin. Basically you mix together the provided powder and liquid in a bowl and then apply it to your face. After applying you leave it on for about 20 minutes then peel it off. It has a pretty thick, goopy texture and then dries to a soft, spongy texture. I had to let it dry a little longer than the recommended 20 minutes because it wasn't peeling off in one piece like they showed. It took me closer to 30 minutes. It was very hydrating and I liked trying it out. My skin felt softer afterwards and looked more moisturized. The two step process almost made it feel more luxurious than a typical sheet mask. 

I also received Neostrata's Intensive Eye Therapy from Brandbacker to try out. I like most of my skincare products, but have not found an eye cream or serum I like that gives results and have tried quite a few so I was excited to try this! NeoStrata has a passion for developing the very best in anti-aging skincare. Its founders have discovered novel ingredients that have advanced the science of dermatology for more than 40 years. Each NeoStrata product is backed by the highest standards of quality and effectiveness to deliver products and results. Their Intensive Eye Therapy has a unique SynerG Formula that employs a multi-mechanistic approach to help build and plump the layers of the skin for exceptional results. Apple Stem Cell Extract protects the essential longevity of skin's cells, peptides target collagen and help reinforce collagen. The eye area is supposed to appear more lifted, and crow's feet are smoothed from the inside out. Patented NeoGlucosamine® in the formula also inhibits a key enzyme in melanin formation, reducing the appearance of uneven pigmentation. Caffeine helps deflate puffiness under the eye, while hyaluronic acid acts as a natural moisture magnet. Vitamin E provides antioxidant benefits. All these ingredients work to result in a younger looking eye area. I've been using this for about a week now and I have noticed a small difference in my eye area. I use it twice a day each morning and night with my typical skincare routine. I like the pump dispenser as it keeps it all hygienic and dispenses just the right amount needed for both eyes. It is not greasy at all and absorbs quickly. I look forward to seeing more results as I use it longer! 

What We've Been Up To

We went to China Lights with my parents in late September. It's an incredible light display they had set up in the botanical gardens just outside of Milwaukee. It is a traveling display and it is the second year in our area. We went last year and there were a lot of new lights this year. It was a great night! 

What I'm Wishing For


  1. I can't believe you're due next month! So exciting. :-D - I love the Aquis turban, I use that bad boy every day (except when it needs to be washed, haha)!

    pumps and push-ups

  2. My daughter is a November baby :) It is so magical having a newborn for the holidays! Enjoy! Apricot Butter sounds so good right now, I've never had it! I love Dr. Brandt, so I bet I'd love the eye depuffer! My husband has been out of town 3 times since the kids have been back in school and I def. don't get as much sleep when he's away!


  3. Can't believe that the baby will be here soon! So happy for you!

  4. I'll bet your month was busy! I have never tried Dr. Brandt products but I hear so many people rave about them - I need to try something from the brand, maybe the eye product. I 'm always skeptical when products claim to get rid of dark circles!
    I'm excited for you and your family - there's nothing like a sweet newborn!

  5. Sounds like you had a fun, busy month! Your wishlist items are SO cute!! I love that moto jacket!
    Gina || On the Daily Express

  6. Thank you for including us in your blog post. So happy we cut down on your drying time : ) Enjoy! -the AQUIS Team