Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Show & Tell Tuesday: My Beauty Routine

I'm linking up with Andrea today and showing you my beauty routine :).

Um...I love this stuff and cannot wait to look through everyone else's posts!  I'm a beauty product junkie.  I could walk around Ulta or Sephora for hours just looking at the products, so this post is totally up my alley.

I did a post a few months ago on my favorite beauty products.  If you saw that post, this is going to be a repeat for you.  I love many beauty products but these are my favorite here...  

1. Dry Bar's Triple Sec: So, last fall, I read in a magazine that Dry Bar made this incredible dry shampoo that doubles as a texturizer.  When it was time for me to buy another bottle of dry shampoo, I stopped by my local Dry Bar and picked up a bottle (also available online at Sephora) and it is my favorite!  Not only does it smell insanely good, but it doesn't leave that nasty residue in my hair.  I love, love, love this stuff!

2. OPI Polish: I am very partial to OPI and Essie polishes (I went on a Butter London kick for a while but I'm off them now...too pricey for too little results).  My fingers and toes are always polished...my fingers are always something different but my toes are always, always, always OPI's Mod About You.  It's the perfect pale pink that pops on your toes while looking clean and simple at the same time.

3. Rose Salve: I read about Rose Salve in a magazine (I learn such valuable things, right?!) years ago.  I use this on my lips (many times throughout the day and especially before going to bed at night), I use this on my cuticles before painting my nails (and anytime they feel dry), I use it on my nose if it's raw from blowing (thank you allergies)...I use it all the time.  Love it :).  You can find it anywhere (drug stores, Bath and Body Works, etc) but I typically throw one in my "cart" when I'm running low and need to order something else from Nordstrom.

4. Clarisonic: The Clarisonic will change your skin.  Period.  End of story.  I love it.  Everyone I know who has one loves it.  It's just perfection.  I use mine every night before bed.  I use the Clarisonic Mia.

5. Moroccanoil: Speaking of things that I love...Moroccanoil.  I should be a spokesperson for this brand.  I should be the face of this product  My picture should be on the bottle...I love it that much.  I have been using Moroccanoil for years (shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, curling mousse and oil) and it never lets me down.  My hair is thick, very wavy and can be dry if I'm not taking care of it...and this stuff tames it.  I add the oil to my hair every morning, after the gym and/or when I need to freshen it a bit.  In this pic, I'm using the "light" bottle because they were sold out of the original when I went to buy some more and it works equally as well.  I buy mine at a local salon but Amazon sells it too.

6. The Wet Brush: Next time you're at Target, grab a Wet Brush.  I have a regular sized one but the girls have a mini (pictured).  This brush easily goes through wet and tangly hair without much effort.  Kensington couldn't live without it :).

7. Dr. Dennis Gross Glow Pads: If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know I love these Glow Pads for my face.  I swipe one on about once a week for a nice little glowy tan.  Since I try and avoid sun exposure (especially to my face!), these are a must for me.  Seriously...you will swoon.  Once box has 20 pads in it.  I love these pads!

8. OPI Wipe-Out: I found these on Amazon. I was looking for a fingernail polish remover pad to take on trips because polish remover is the worst thing to pack (I feel like it always leaks!).  One of these little pads can remove the polish from all 10 fingers (that includes my base and top coats). Easy peazy!

9. Crest White Strips: I have a love/hate relationship with White Strips. For a while, I switched to a gel that didn't make my teeth quite as sensitive but the results just weren't as good as White Strips.  I've learned that if I use them every 3 days instead of every day, they make my teeth less sensitive.  I drink too much coffee and tea not to use them...sigh.  They work.

Right after my beauty product post, I did a post on 
my favorite makeup products...
You can read my full post with my reviews (and which exact colors I wear) here.

And to round out today's beauty show & tell, here are 

5. Living Proof Night Cap (put on after you get out of the shower)
You can read my full post with my reviews on all of these products here.

So, those are my favorite products from skin to makeup to hair.  I cannot wait to look through the link ups and see which products are your favorite.  If you have a great one, please comment and share!  I'm always, always, always on the lookout for something new!

Next time on Show & Tell Tuesdays, we're showing you our homes!  It's house tour time :).
  And to see posts from the past...

(I was in China for the first two, so I wasn't able to participate.)

Have a great Tuesday!  

For dinner tonight...

...my Portobello Pasta.  I mean...you should really make this.  You can even omit the sausage and keep the recipe vegetarian too :).  So yummy!


And don't forget, if you're praying with me this month, the prayer request post can be found here.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Post Adoption: Month 6

On Saturday, July 4, we celebrated having our Ashby six whole months!

Half a year down...and a lifetime to go.

I mean...I loved her so much when we first brought her home.  I loved her and knew she was mine.  But now...I love her even more because I know her.  I really know who this little girl is...she has opened up to us and fully expressed her personality...so now, I love her really and truly for her...she is extremely lovable.  

Ashby London is amazing.  Six months in to this and my heart is just so full.  I really don't think I'll ever stop being in awe of this situation.  God took a child found in a box and moved the pieces to unite her with a family way over in McKinney, TX (who at the time of her birth, didn't even really think they would ever adopt).  Adoption is hard, it's complicated, it can be expensive, it's born out of loss and devastation...but it's awesome too. Adoption is awesome.  

So...six months home.  What's gong on with Miss Ashby?  Well, here are a few little tidbits...

1. Like many institutionalized children, Ashby came to us sucking her thumb constantly.  This is very common with children who have been raised in orphanages (it's a self-soothing technique).  Six months home though and I really can't tell you the last time I saw her do it.  Around month five, this really began to stop.

2. Ashby loves to pray.  Before every meal, Ashby says "Ashby pray, Ashby pray" before the other kids even have a chance.  And then at bed before naps and at night, she loves to pray too.  She always prays for her family and Bowen (her BFF) but she also throws in other people too. The other day, after we had been at the pool all morning, she prayed before her nap.  She prayed for "Mommy, Daddy, Erika, Narci, Bo and Sheaffer". I about cried.  First of all, she knows all of their names and can recall them later in the day (which is a lot to remember when you're 3 and were born learning Mandarin!) and second of all, she's praying for people she loves...and six months ago, how many people did she really love? Now, there are just so many.

3. Ashby discovered puzzles and Play-Doh this month...hours of fun right there :).

4. Ashby loves getting herself dressed and brushing her own teeth (don't worry, I brush them first and then let her "brush" them).  She wants me to put her clothes and shoes out and she likes to wiggle her way into everything.  Miss Independent :).

5. We have a few big doctor appointments this month along with another MRI and an ultrasound.  She now sees a radiologist and a hematologist primarily instead of her hand doctor...because even though it looks like she has a hand problem, she doesn't.  She has a vascular problem.  We know God has big plans for this girl!  We're just taking things one day at a time.  The compression garment that we thought would help ended up making things worse and the doctors had us remove it.  Her malformation is just so large that the blood was pooling even more in the hand with the garments on.  We're hopeful for a new and an effective plan after this next round of tests.

6. This one kind of sucks...but it's real life.  Ashby's hand and arm fluctuate with a variety of factors (it's always malformed but sometimes, it looks better than other times).  Two things that make it really swollen and painful looking are when she's hot and/or when she's active...so needless to say, when we're at the pool, that's when it looks the worst.  (It doesn't seem to bother her...she is that kid who screams and cries when we tell her she has to get out and dry off...)  Well, last week, she took a popsicle break at the pool and was standing there in her puddle jumper eating her popsicle when four kids came up and were commenting about her arm.  They weren't being mean...but they were concerned/intrigued/fascinated/perplexed by her...and sweet little three year old Ashby was completely oblivious.  That being said...one day very soon, she won't be three...and I know it's going to be a lifetime of this and that makes me sad for her.  Andrew and I pray every day that we're raising her up to be confident, secure, and full of joy...but at the same time, I know that the world is often cruel and I just always want my daughter to be happy.

Side note...Ashby will end up going to school one day with these three boys...

...and I'm pretty sure they'll all be ready and waiting if anyone messes with their girl ;).  

7. As for Ashby's language...she's doing great!  She's asking a lot of questions, making statements, talking about people, places and things...she's really quite the little communicator. She lets us know what she wants/needs/likes/dislikes :).  I feel like her language advanced more over these last 30 days than the first 5 months combined.  She says things now like "Move Smith, it's my turn to get out." when she's climbing out of the car...you know, little complex sentences like that.  She also told me the other day she was hungry and wanted dinner (which is pretty specific considering it was late afternoon...she knew dinner was up next).  Every day she surprises me more and more with her vocabulary.

8. A few weeks ago, Kensington told me that another girl told her Ashby couldn't be her sister because she didn't look like Kensington.  Well...if you know Kensington, you know that those are fighting words.  Kensington was like "mama, I told that girl that families don't have to look the same and that they're made up of different people and that even though Ashby's Chinese, she is my sister.".  I totally understand why the girl was confused...most young kids don't understand this...but I'm proud that Kensington feels strongly enough to not just blow off statements like that but to explain that yes, families can look different and you most certainly can have a sibling of another race.

And a few other little facts...

1. She loves Peppa Pig and Veggie Tales.
2. She would eat hot dogs for every meal if I let her.
3. She still doesn't love breakfast.  She prefers eating brunch instead.
4. Now that it's summer, she's always the last one to wake up each morning.  She's a great sleeper!
5. She loves going to the grocery store.
6. She love, love, loves playing outside and especially swimming!
7. She's very ticklish.
8. Her favorite color is red.
9. Her favorite food group is Tex-Mex.  Give this girl salsa and she is a very happy camper.
10. She refuses to eat a blueberry.
11. She loves talking on the phone.
12. She loves games on the iPad with letters and animals.

I mean...six months in and our hearts are just so full.

I was hopeful and prayerful that adoption would be a good experience for our family...but I certainly was not prepared for what it really was.  It was the best thing we've ever done.

This girl here might have been born in Xi'an, China...but she is a Shull.

She is the light of our lives.  She is funny.  She makes the best facial expressions.  She has the sweetest laugh.  Her voice is kind of husky (similar to Smith's) and she's chatty.  She is fun to be with, fun to take places, fun to parent and so easy to love.

I'm in awe of God.

This kind of love is supernatural.

And...because it's Monday...

...click here to see my Meal Planning Monday.

Have a wonderful day friends!

And don't forget, if you're praying with me this month, the prayer request post can be found here.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Friday Favorites

Happy July 3rd!

I'm so excited for Independence Day weekend!  I don't know about you...but the Shull five have big plans! Three day weekend kind of plans...family, friends, food, fireworks...all of that great "f" stuff :).

I hope you have a wonderful weekend too!  God bless this great nation!

As always, I'm linking up with Andrea, Narci and Erika and sharing my favorite things from the week.  Here they are...

If you've been following Andrea's blog, then you know about sweet Ashleigh who is literally fighting for her life right now.  You need to read her amazing story (start here with Andrea's post) and then if you feel led, buy one of these super cute t-shirts to support her.  I bought a pink one this week and can't wait to wear it with pride!  Praying for you Ashleigh.  Praying for you, your husband and your sweet kids.

These shirts come in four different colors in both adult and kid sizes.  Click here to see.

You ladies know how much I love a good book...and my June Book Review was one of my favorite posts this week (you can see it here)...well, here is another kind of book I love...

...I love any type of Country French book.  Sigh.  Love.  My two favorite Country French designers are Charles Faudree and Betty Lou Phillips (they both have several books!).  Well, Mr. Faudree passed away and recently, they put out a legacy book of his work.  Be still my heart.  It arrived this week and I savored every page.  If you're a Country French junkie like me...you need to check out both his books and Phillips' books.  Love.


My friends Natalie and Mandy sent me this mug and it sums up my life quite perfectly.  You can find it here on their online boutique.  Isn't that cute?!

And several of you asked on Instagram where my shorts are from and they're these right here.  They're really comfy and because they're rolled, you can adjust the length to suit you.  

And just in case you need a quick bite for this weekend...

 You can click here for my complete July 4th Menu...

...and here for some sweet treats to compliment any red, white and blue get together!

And if you still need one more thing to throw on your grill this weekend...

Happy July 4th weekend!

And don't forget, if you're praying with me this month, the prayer request post can be found here.
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