Saturday, December 12, 2015

IVF Consult with Chicago IVF-Our Journey to Baby Miano

Day 1 of our IVF journey came on Wednesday.  I had been so so anxious all day, wanting it to be here and to be over at the same time.  I wanted our choice of IVF to be a unanimous decision with the center.

First of all the staff was incredible.  From the front desk, to the nurse, to the nurse practitioner.  They all knew this was a woman's last step after TTC for so long and took a lot of love, hope and courage to come in.

The consult was 2 hours.  It could have been longer if it were up to me.  I have a huge fear of needles and of course this process should help me overcome that quickly.  Lots of talk about the procedure itself and what we would have to do was done.  Once my period started, I would start birth control so we can completely control my cycle and ovulation.  But blood tests to see where all my levels currently are was the first step.  Roughly 15 vials of blood were drawn.....just the beginning!! There will come a time where I will go daily for levels to be checked.

We went over all the tests that will come up before my new insurance kicks in on January 1st, as that is when the treatment portion will be allowable under my new Illinois plan after the deductible of $3500 is met.  We may meet that alone with the medication.

So my period came Thursday, of course the next day, and when I called to let them know, we scheduled my sonogram for Tuesday and the consult with the head doc on Friday to go over those results.  The sonogram will be an ultrasound where they fill me with water and we will look at the exact spots fertilized embryos will be planted to make sure there are no issues.  If there are, we will deal with them when we speak with the doctor.  So they told me the results of all of my blood work were great but my prolactin levels were high.  Normal range for a woman not pregnant or lactating should be 1 to 23 and I was 34.  So I went back yesterday after fasting for a redraw.  My level came back 11.  So we are good.  Food or drink could have affected the first draw.

They also gave me prenatal samples to try so I have been taking those since Thursday and this morning I am about to start birth control.  Still humorous to me that that is the first step to getting pregnant.

I still have a lot of reading to do and Nick and I will need to go to a "teach" were we will learn how to administer the daily injections of hormones.  But we have a plan now and a plan is HOPE!!!  Giving us more hope than we have had in a long time.  If the insurance cooperates, as there will be a pre auth required for my class 5 fertility drugs and if my body does too, medications will start at the end of next month.  My grandmothers birthday is February 3rd so shooting for that day so she is with me. After the meds are completed, which will essentially turn me into an egg making factory, there will be a retrieval surgery and then we will choose the best embryos, fertilize them and another surgery to implant, letting us know if we are pregnant before the end of February.  THAT IS SURREAL TO ME!!!

I want to start looking for cute egg socks to be my lucky socks for these visits and I really want to start buying baby stuff but I know I have to be patient.....I think that's normal, right?? I already have a pinterest board for Baby Miano :)

Nick and I are trying to remain as hopeful and positive as we can and already are so thankful for all the support and prayers and love we have been receiving.  Thank you to those that are sharing your stories with me and helping ease my fears.  The plan has started and although the hard part that my body will physically go through has not begun, we have answers and goals so far.

Thank you for following us on our journey to Baby Miano.

Have a great day!! xo

Monday, December 7, 2015

Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24 HR Foundation Review

I thought Estee Lauder Double Wear could never be topped.  That it was my "ride or die" foundation.


I recently won an incredible giveaway on Instagram (all details to follow on a separate posting) and purchased the Lancome Teint Idole Foundation.  I had been wanting to try it for ages.  All of the reviews I have read were positive.  At a hefty price point of $46.50 I was really hoping this stuff would be flawless.

And it is!!!

I picked my shade on the web, and went with 210 Buff N-for light skin with neutral undertones.  This comes in a variety of shades to choose from....neutral, cool and warm.  So if you know if you are pink or yellow or a mix, you should be able to accurately "guess" when picking online.  Otherwise, I would suggest going to a Lancome counter and getting color matched and getting a sample.

Moving it comes in a glass bottle with a pump.  That was my number one peeve about Double Wear, NO PUMP! So I am spilling it all over with my eyes half open getting ready in the morning.  Lancome allows for a lot less wasted product with the pump.

I tried it with a beauty blender the first day I wore it.  It went on seamlessly.  It did not oxidize or move on me all day.  It did not rub on my clothes.  It did not FEEL like I was wearing foundation (as Double Wear can sometimes feel like that).  The finish is matte, but a light, it is your skin but better.  My skin is oily in the summer and combo (oily and dry) in the winter.  This leaves my skin looking great.  I do think the next time I pass a Lancome counter I will stop and see if I chose the color they think I should be, just to check :)

My mother has always loved Lancome products and I can still smell her wearing Tresor as I was growing up.  She told me today this was my grandmothers favorite too.  Makes me smile from ear to ear.  Lancome has won over another generation!!

Today when I wore it, I applied it with the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush.  It also went on just as smooth as the beauty blender application did.  I was able to work so quickly (running late as usual) but it still melted right into my skin.  So if I missed any spots, I surely couldn't tell!  Tomorrow I am going to try the Lancome concealer and we will see if I am converting over for good!

Update-I did try the concealer in light buff and I like it/ It goes on light and another great color match,but I don't think it is as long lasting as Estee Lauders double wear concealer.

Have you tried this foundation?  What are your thoughts??  Let us know in the comments below!!

Have a great day!! xo

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Our Journey for Baby Miano

I just wanted to write a quick blog post and let you all know that although I do a lot of beauty reviews (most requested by readers), my vision for my blog has always been to talk about whatever is going on in my life and what I love and share it with the world.  And the most important thing in my life, and my husband's, has been trying to get pregnant.  So going forward, I do plan on journaling our journey to making that dream come true.  I hope I do not lose any followers by doing so and in fact hope I gain some.  1 in every 10 couples have problems conceiving and I wish more people talked about it.  It took me a while to confide in people about the issues I was having and once I did it helped so much.  But support groups an forums can only do so much.  And while I know I have people in my circle, being able to write my feelings and my pain as raw as it can be sometimes helps, it has always helped.

The reason this is starting now is because my employer provided insurance plan (BCBS of Florida) never covered fertility treatment, only diagnostic.  And last year my gyne said that we would be a great candidate for IVF (In Vitro Fertilization).  We just found a plan through BCBS of Illinois that will cover fertility treatment (after meeting our large deductible) and will be starting the process in January.   Thank god for state mandated coverage.

Let me back up,  I was diagnosed with endometriosis before I was 20.  I was not worried about ever having children until I was married, so just went through the motions.  To date, I have had 5 surgeries for cysts, etc.....which has left me with a lot of scar tissue and I still have those cysts in my uterus. Those things have been making conception quite difficult.  I have been with my husband for about 9 years and we have been TTC for over 3.  Trying to conceive for over a year with no luck, gives you the medical diagnosis of infertility.  We go for our consult with Chicago IVF on December 9th and I am so anxious to get this started.  Although we have had all necessary testing done with my gyne, we will do them all over again so they are all up to date.  Then when all the results come back, we will meet with the doctor for a treatment plan.

On average, one round of IVF can cost $12,000 before medication and that can cost up to $5,000. Why don't we adopt??  Adoption can cost $10,000 to $25,000.  Without insurance, we never would have been able to even try.  And this plan will only cover 4 rounds annually. This is a huge investment, both financially and emotionally but it may be our only shot at ever having a child.  The good news is that at age 35, there is a 50% chance of pregnancy.

I am more nervous then I have ever been in my life.  I am scared of more failure and I am scared of success.  I am afraid of getting my hopes up and being excited and I am afraid of being too pessimistic.  I am a whirlwind of emotions and have been for the past 3 years.  It is an all consuming desire to become a mother and give my husband a child and my mother a grandchild.  It is always on my mind from the minute I wake up until I go to bed.  I yearn for what I was created to do and it is utterly taking every ounce of strength that I have to fight so hard for it.  But I will do whatever it takes, we will do whatever it takes.  And I hope that you follow us on this journey, get some information, provide insight and suggestions when you can and enjoy my ramblings.

Thank you and have a great day!! xo

Becca AfterGlow & Carli Bybel Palette Reviews

Here is the look I created using both the Carli Bybel eyeshadow palette and the Becca AfterGlow palette.  I wanted to glow while I was putting up the holiday decor!!

I wanted to get all the photos up first since the beauty of them each speak for themselves.  I can pretty much leave :)  The Becca afterglow palette comes with three highlighters and two mineral blushes.

From left to right, Moonstone, Rose Gold, Topaz, Wild Honey and Flowerchild.  I mean even those names are gorgeous!!  They are long lasting and of great quality, smooth as butter and the brush picks up so much so a little goes a long way.  My only complaint is I wish the pans of product were bigger. But for the price of $39.50, you get to try a bunch of best sellers.

The Carli Bybel palette is an amazing value at ONLY $12.50.  $12.50!!  Now I have only used a few BH Cosmetics brushes but have been pleased.  The eye shadow palettes also get rave reviews.  So this collaboration is a great match.  I love the matte shadows for the crease and outer v and the shimmer shades for my lid and inner tear duct.

Don't mind my hair, it's the weekend!! :) 

Both of these are great value for your money and would make great gifts for the holidays!!

Do you already have these or are they on your wishlist??  Let us know in the comments below!!

Have a great day!! xo

Saturday, November 28, 2015

November 2015 Favorites

This is a long overdue post, about favorites that is.....But I haven't really fallen head over heels in a while.  Until this past month!  I have fallen in love with entirely too many things! Shhh, don't tell my husband (muah!).

First up is this NARS Steven Klein One Shocking Moment Cheek Palette.  This palette comes with 4 blushes, a highlight/contour duo and a bronzer.  Gorgeous packaging, long lasting color and beautiful shades anyone can wear.  Perfect staple for everyday use!!

Paloma contour duo, Laguna bronzer top row, Robotic, Blasphemy, Luster and Dolce Vita blushes bottom row

Courtesy of

Laguna bronzer and Blasphemy blush

Next up is Chanel Perfection Lumiere foundation.

My favorite blogger, Stephanie Lange, raves about Chanel foundation so I had to try it myself.  I love it.  It has beige undertones and since I am more neutral, those shades work more with my skin tone. This goes on very light and I find is best applied with a beauty blender to achieve light coverage and a second coat for medium to full coverage.  It does have a very perfumey smell but it did not irritate my skin or make me break out.  It has a hefty price tag but a little goes a long way!!

My next favorite this month is Estee Lauder Double Wear concealer.  To be honest, I can't believe it took me this long to try it.  I fell in love with Double Wear foundation last year and since I am always on the hunt for a heavy duty concealer for my dark under eye circles, this should have been a natural selection for me.  It goes on light but dries to full coverage.  It is offered in a range of shades and I chose light.  It does not crease on me and stays on all day until my makeup remover takes it off!

Next, I tried Benefit Gimme Brow in a Sephora sample pack.  Since my brows are so thin to begin with, I was always nervous to try this product.  Since I have gotten bangs this winter, I have been letting my brows grow (thank god for bangs!!) and this is literally the perfect product to brush my brows in to place and add some color and volume.  It is described as a brow volumizing fiber gel and it does just that and looks so natural!!

Another sample I got from Sephora is the Tarte Lights Camera Lashes mascara.  My short stubby lashes always need a lift (hee hee) and this does the trick!!  It adds nice length and blackens them perfectly with 2 coats.

And my last favorite from this month are my ear jackets from Asos  These are another rec from Stephanie Lange.  They are gorgeous.  I have gotten so many compliments on them and even bought my mother a pair!  Sadly, they are currently sold out since I started this post but hopefully they will stock again soon!

And there ya have it!  My November 2015 favorites.  There have been so many holiday releases as of late and I just recently won an amazing giveaway on Instagram so I will be doing a haul post along with some more reviews soon!  Hopefully I can provide some great gift ideas for you!

And it is also that time of year when the DIY crafts and gifts start so let me know if you have any special requests!!

If you have any favorites from this month or love any of my favorites, let us know in the comments below!!

Have a great day!! xo

Monday, November 9, 2015

DIY Fall Candle Holders using fake (or real) leaves

Hey guys!!  I haven't done a DIY in awhile and I was in a crafting mood this weekend.  Plus I got these supplies last year but with the move, they got lost in all my craft supplies.  So needless to say, with the holiday season soon approaching, more and more DIY's will be coming!

This will be one of the easiest and prettiest crafts you will ever do!!

Get together the following:

  • Type of glass (vase, jar, bowl)
  • Mod Podge (I used matte finish but you can use shiny too)
  • Leaves (fake will be the quickest as real you will need to dry out prior to using)
  • Sponge
  • Optional: Burlap, Twine, Ribbon

Take your sponge applicator and apply mod podge liberally to the glass.  Wait a few seconds until it gets tacky and then put your leaves on, one by one, and coat liberally with mod podge until the edges stick to the glass.  Keep turning your piece around and around, adding as many or as few leaves as you like.

Let dry at least an hour.

I popped a candle in right away to see how pretty it looked!!

I then added some twine and ribbon for the finishing touches!!

And there ya go! I placed them right on my dining room table as my centerpiece!  You can see the mod podge gives kind of a stained glass effect.  If you don't care for that, then be strategic with your placement of the mod podge so it only covers the leaves.

Easy Peasy!!

Have you done any modpodge crafts lately?  What are your favorite fall DIY's?  Let us know in the comments below!!

Have a great day!! xo

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Urban Decay Smoky Palette Review & Eye Look

Let me preface this by saying I apologize for the long delay in posting!  This review should have gone up weeks ago as you can see I didn't even have my bangs cut in the pictures below.  But I wanted to let ya'll know my thoughts about the Urban Decay Smoky Palette.

When I first heard about the smoky palette coming out, I was skeptical.  I thought it would be dark colors that would only be wearable for a smoky eye or night on the town look, so not something that I could wear day to day at work.

I was pleasantly surprised.  The colors were much lighter with a single swipe on the lid than they led me to believe.

Courtesy of

Some shades perform better than others, I loved Smolder but couldn't always get High to perform as well.

Here is a look that I wore to work and out several times.

Yep, my shirt says Genius!!

In this look, I used Whiskey and Combust as my blending shades above my lid, Smolder on my outer V and DirtySweet on my mobile lid.  This is a lighter version of the look, but adding more color and blending more quickly darkens the look!

Overall, this is a great palette for fall.  Colors are on trend and will go into the winter months well.  If you are a fan of the other Naked palettes then you will love this one.  There were some negative reviews that I came across but as long as you are using a good primer then the staying power of these shadows should be fine.  Also, if you start out with small amounts of color then they should not be muddy when applied.

Great purchase and no regrets here!!

Did you run out and get this?  What are your thoughts?

Stay tuned for my thoughts on the Chanel Perfection Lumiere foundation!

Let us know in the comments below!

Have a great day!! xo

Friday, September 18, 2015

Too Faced's Born This Way Foundation Review

As ya'll know my holy grail foundation is Estee Lauder Double Wear.  But since I stopped using silicone primers and use my Clarisonic dupe every day, my skin doesn't always require a full coverage heavy duty foundation.

Welcome, Born This Way Foundation by Too Faced.

This foundation has been described as, "your skin but better foundation" and it's largely because of the ingredients!

I have also been trying new ways of application to withstand my oily tzone throughout the day. Surprisingly enough, using those cheapo triangle makeup sponges in a dabbing motion on my face each day has been working out really well!!  I think the change in the weather here in Chicago is helping too, but it has withstood the hot, humid days as well.  Am I the only one who is trying this method?

Overall I find this foundation to be light to medium, buildable, but not cakey, coverage.  It lasts all day long and brightens my face.  It does not oxidize and it also only takes a little bit to get the job done.

I am using nude which is actually light with pink undertones.  Warm nude pulled too yellow on me, so with my neutral undertones, this is actually the perfect shade!

Here I am in natural lighting, with no filter! Pretty spot on coloring if I do say so myself!

Have you used this foundation yet? What are your thoughts?  Was color selection hard for you?

Let us know in the comments below!

Have a great day!! xo

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Sephora Epic Rewards Choice-Smashbox Makeup!!

A few weeks ago, Sephora once again had their epic rewards choices.  Epic meaning 1,000 points and up reward choices.  Some were valued at 10,000 reward points.  I know my chances were slim but I tried nonetheless to get in on the action.

And I was able to choose one!!  I  ended up going with the Smashbox reward.  It was 1,000 points and I knew I would use all of the items, as opposed to some of the other choices, where I already had or wouldn't use some items.

All of the above items came in my reward:
  • Smashbox Primer Water
  • Smashbox Mascara
  • Smashbox Infrared Matte Red Lipstick
  • Smashbox Crimson Red Lip Liner
  • Smashbox Shape Matters Palette
The approximate value of all items combined is $157.   Not bad!

Now on to the star of my reward choice, the Shape Matters palette.

Look at how gorgeous it is.  I have had my eyes on this palette since I got a sneak peek of it.  

The left side is for brows, the middle is for face and the right is for eyes.  I mean, it really covers everything.  If I could change one thing, it would be to have added a blush in the mix.  They just released a palette full of shadows and blush and I think that one looks beautiful too!

You may remember in my January Favorites blog post, click HERE to reread, I reviewed the Smashbox contour palette and have loved it ever since.  This palette is sturdy and perfect to take on a trip.  The sizes of each pan seem like they will last forever, too.  They are all very pigmented and smooth and the brush that comes in the palette is great quality!

Do you have this palette?  What do you think about it?

Let me know in the comments below!

Have a great night xo

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye Shadow Palette Review

It was with much hesitation that I purchased this palette.  Due to the fact my experience with the contour palette was not the best. Read that review HERE. But I watched a video that Stephanie Lange (vlogger) did and from that moment I knew I had to have it.

I don't even want to say the H word.......hooded eyelids.......I have them and one day, I will overcome them.  But until them I shall work with shade and light to fight the good fight on not accentuating that dreaded hood.

So I broke down and bought the palette......because matte shades are what you should wear with hooded lids.

And so far, I am very pleased with it.  I recreated the Stephanie Lange look, of course, and have worn it every day since I got it!!

The nice thing about this palette is that it is aimed at all skin tones.  Kat Von D wanted everyone to be able to enjoy it.  I say that like I know her......"You know, when Kat and I were hanging out the other day discussing her plans for her new palette"........

The left side is the neutral side, the middle is cool and the right is the warm side.  Though I lean towards warmer tones, the look I am in love with comes from the cool portion of the palette,

You can see how I extend and round off the corners to define the shape of my eye and pull the focus outward rather than upward (towards the hood).

I blew up these pictures so you all could see the placement.  I always put my crease above the hood so that when you are looking at me straight on, the shadow is visible.

Courtesy of

The palette comes with look cards which will be very  helpful if you are trying out new ways to enhance or play with your eyes.

Courtesy of

For my look I started out with Lazarus directly above my hood, creating my own crease.  That is also my transition shade.  Then I placed Saleos there as well and blended them both out and extended. Liberatus was used next on my mobile lid and inner corner only.  Then I took Solas (from the warm side) and placed at the outer corner of my eye and rounded it up into the other shadows.  Blend, Blend, Blend.

Overall, I am very pleased so far.  There are absolutely so many looks that can be created with this palette,  The price is steep, but not when you think about how much product you get.  The packaging is kind of bulky but all of her palettes are great for travel, I have found, because of that.  And the shadows are great quality.  They blend smoothly and stay on all day.

Click HERE to read the exact color descriptions from Temptalia!

Do you have this palette??  What do you think so far??

Let us know in the comments below!!

Have a great day!! xo

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hourglass Hyaluronic Skin Tint Review

Lately I have been on the search for the perfect BB cream or foundation for summer. I am so pale in the fall and winter months, so when I get tan, I need another product.  One that doesn't cover my tan, but any redness or imperfections I may have.

Introducing Hourglass Hyaluronic Skin Tint!!

This comes in 12 shades for varying skin tones.  I chose Golden Tan.  And the color is exactly that.  It gives me golden tan, which accentuates the tan I already have.

It also minimizes pores and gives me a flawless finish.  The only criticism I have is that I have oily skin, more so in the summer months, so I do use a setting spray or powder to set it, depending on where I am going.  It gives you a natural, fresh faced finish and sinks into the skin so it doesn't look like foundation.  It is named "tint" but I think it provides plenty of coverage.

For application, it suggests using your fingers or the Hourglass Foundation Brush No.2, but since that is $58, I said nope.....I use my stippling brush and it applies seamlessly.

I have yet to be disappointed with the Hourglass brand in general.   It is a little pricey but remember, cheap makeup is not good and good makeup is not cheap!!

I have a few other ones I am reviewing so will keep you posted!

Have you used this before?  What are your thoughts?  What is your go to summer bb cream or foundation?

Let us know in the comments below!!

Have a great day!! xo

Thursday, June 25, 2015

TomBox (NKA SwaagBox) Subscription

Lately I have really been struggling with my monthly beauty subs......they just haven't been meeting the standards lately.....have I become a beauty snob??

I don't think so because I am about to tell you about an INCREDIBLE monthly sub box. Swaagbox, formerly known as Tombox, is a Time Of The Month box.  For only $10 a month you get a box with not only tampons or pads but also makeup, jewelry, skin care, hair care, etc.......

They sent me this box for review and it really made me happy.

Who doesn't want to feel pretty when they feel like crap and are the the size of a whale with bloat?? I know I do!!  Love the lipstick and eyeshadow, the ankle bracelet, the hair serum, I mean the value of this box definitely exceeded $10 and they are all name brand products.

You fill out a profile with your choices for skincare, jewelry, makeup, etc....they got me very well for telling them I would choose trendy (I had not signed up and filled out the profile).

I am very impressed with the things that they sent me and am looking forward to the months to come!!

Want to sign up?? Click HERE to join me in feeling beautiful when we feel anything but :)

Have you tried TomBoxes before?  What are your thoughts?

Let us know in the comments below!!

Have a great day!! XO

Friday, June 5, 2015

Upcoming 2015 Beauty Releases

Happy Friday Ya'll!!  Today I really just want to do show and tell.  I've come across some amazing products that some of will be releasing as soon as the end of this month!!  And believe me when I say I want all of them!!

First up is Benefit's They're Real Push Up Liner!!  As soon as this product came out I prayed that they would be releasing more colors than black.  And they heard my cries at night because not only is the liner coming out in 4 new shades but so is the mascara.

Another one of my favorite brands, Kat Von D.  These colors are gorgeous and if you have used them then you know how they don't budge from your lips.

Urban Decay is coming out with a 4th Naked palette, a Naked Smokey Palette.  

Lorac!!  Two new eye shadow palettes!!  One is all MATTE!!  Beautiful!!  And their own contour palette.

Mac's matte lipstick line.  This one is currently available on their site.

Glam Glow has done it again........Flash Mud......this is a brightening treatment mask.

Givenchy eye shadow palette....look at this packaging.  Who cares what is in it? :)

So now you can see why I am over here drooling away and maybe some things that will be on my birthday wish list (yes my birthday is in October and so what lol).

Which product are you most excited about??  Let us know in the comments below!!  And thank you to +TrendMood for always keeping us current xoxo

Have a great day!! xoxo
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