Special Event Makeup, #MomStyle!

Thanks to Walgreens for underwriting this post. I was paid as a member of the Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all mine. Visit http://www.discoverbeautywithin.com/.

Back in the day – before kids – I had the luxury of spending hours getting ready for special events with my friends. We’d all gather at someone’s house or a hotel room, and do our hair and makeup together, consult on attire and jewelry, drink Champagne… basically starting the party mid-day!

Now that I’m a working mom, I don’t often have that much time before a big night out. I’m either getting ready before the babysitter comes (aka, with kids hanging off me), or rushing home to get ready after dropping the kids off with my folks. Or like this past weekend, I had exactly 45 minutes between getting home from work and when the school auction started.

Here’s how I get fabulous special event makeup when I don’t have much time:

1. Start the day with a fairly neutral base. This makes it easier to add on some drama right before the event. I’m not one to go the whole day without makeup {shudder}, so keeping it neutral gives me some polish during the day, but I’m not competing with the “base” when getting ready for going out.

Emerald green on the lids and crease, with a more olivey-green added in the crease for depth. Oh, and wrinkles.

2. Play with color! I love all the advertisements for bright, colorful smokey eyes, but since I’m old not in my early 20s, I’ve never felt like that was an appropriate look for me in everyday life. But an evening out is a perfect time to play with color, and it’s high-impact! Especially with only about 5 minutes to take my look from daytime to evening, a couple swipes of bright color go a long way!

3. Stock up in advance on some fun, inexpensive eyeshadows in fun colors. I buy the crazy colors at the drug store because they are so well-priced! I can be more adventurous in choosing colors when I’m not spending an arm and a leg for each one.

Smokin' eyes! I pulled the eyeliner and shadow pretty far out beyond my actual eye to make it more dramatic for evening and pictures. A couple extra swipes of mascara finished off the look.

4. Go darker than you think you should. Most of us aren’t photographed often in our everyday lives, but at special events, everyone has their cameras out. I make everything just a little bit darker than I think I should, and it pays off in the photos. I pay particular attention to my eyes, as I think they are my best feature.

Me at the auction with my beautiful friend (and one of my running buddies!) Annie.

5. At the end of the night, absolutely positively remove all your makeup. I know people who never remove their makeup before going to bed. Do you WANT to lose your eyelashes? It’s more important than ever to remove it all when you have dark colors on unless you want to wake up looking like a raccoon with ruined pillowcases! I use Neutrogena oil-free eye makeup remover, which works really quickly and efficiently.

Here are a few silly pics of us (my running buddies and good friends, Annie & Mary)  in the photo booth…


Filed under Beauty

That’s the wrong protein powder! {#Mamavation Monday}

Mamavation Anyone who knows me knows that I’m running a LOT these days. I’m determined not to get injured again – last year, I had some crazy sh*t going down with my piriformis, which caused my whole pelvis to get out of alignment. It was so bad, I was pronating on one foot, and supinating on the other!

I’ve been feeling some serious tightness around my hip again, so I’m stretching like crazy – pigeon pose, anyone? – and eating an anti-inflammation diet. Mostly.

The basics of the anti-inflammation diet are this:

Eat mostly foods that fight inflammation in your body (dark leafy greens, strawberries, blueberries, fish)

Eat only limited amounts of neutral foods (rice)

Avoid foods that cause inflammation (meat, dairy, corn, wheat, potatoes, alcohol, caffeine)

Not so hard, right? It really isn’t, actually. I have to be honest that I haven’t even attempted to give up alcohol and caffeine. But I’ve made some simple tweaks to rest of my usual diet, and lost 2 pounds in one week! Here’s a typical day:

Breakfast: scrambled eggs, black beans and guacamole {super filling and tasty!}

Snack: Instead of Laughing Cow Light on a rice cake, I use almond butter. The almond butter is ground fresh at Winco – the kind that comes in a jar usually has extra ingredients, like palm oil and sugar. Not necessary! But check this out! The Laughing Cow container is perfect for carting around a rice cake without it crumbling into pieces!

I feel so smart for my clever transport!

Lunch: same as usual: salad & veggies, and since I’ve been eating more fish at dinner, I put some on my salad.

Snack: veggies with guacamole or hummus.

Dinner: fish, rice, salad and/or veggies.

BUT! I had a horrible realization. I’m avoiding dairy (except a little bit of cream in my morning coffee!), yet my protein powder is whey. It’s important to me to have a little protein shake before my 5:30 am runs. When I don’t get that burst of fuel before a run, I really slog through it. I don’t know why I didn’t realize that whey is dairy, but DUH.

I’ll keep eating the anti-inflammation foods the rest of the day, but as soon as I use up all that whey protein powder, I’m looking for an alternative that isn’t on my “avoid” list.  Someone suggested hemp protein, but all the reviews on Amazon say it tastes like dirt.

Does anyone have a favorite non-dairy protein powder I should try?


Filed under Family, Fitness, Food

The One Where I Embarrassed Myself On “Casual Friday”

This series is brought to you by Levi’s® Curve ID. Find your custom fit at Levi’s® stores or Levi.com

It was 1995, and I was working at a PR firm. Our new client, Starbucks, had flown me and my colleague up to Seattle to participate in an extensive brainstorming workshop and “coffee school.” I was so excited, and thrilled to be included. Starbucks had regional PR firms all over the country, and about 12 of us reps were at this workshop. What an honor, right? Day three was a Friday, and our “handler” had assured us that “Casual Friday” would be in effect.

Let me remind you about fashion for a 26 year old in 1995. Friends had been on the air for a good year, and had practically become a way of life.

So yeah. I wore overalls to casual Friday at my big client. With the hotshot PR folks from New York, Chicago and Atlanta. Granted, I had a cute neck scarf – no plain t-shirt for me. But oh, the horror. Everyone was – of course! – in khakis and capris. One gal actually said to me, “Wow! You really took ‘casual’ Friday seriously!” My only consolation – which I tried to OWN, DAMNIT – was that I was the youngest person there by a few years and should be granted some fashion leeway. But my goodness, I didn’t wear denim again for years. I’m still mortified when I think about it.

I swore to err on the side of overdressed rather than underdressed from then on. And I don’t think I ever wore those overalls again! Today, even Levi’s is marketing a cute new set of overalls, but I can’t bring my self to go there. Maybe I’m just too old or too scarred to participate in that trend again.

I’m comfortable wearing denim now, but I tend style my jeans on the dressier side, even when running errands with the kids on the weekends.

My ideal jeans weekend style, whether I’m going to a movie with the kids, grocery shopping, or hosting a playdate: Dark-wash jeans, highish heels, anything other than a t-shirt, and a cashmere sweater wrap. My favorite jeans are mid-rise, straight leg with a dark wash. They are very flattering, I can wear them with anything, and I keep the hem long so I can wear them with heels. Yes, heels on the weekend. That’s what keeps my jeans from being too casual! I always aim for a pop of color, too. I’m loving tangerine lately, although I tend to choose green a LOT. Here’s my typical weekend uniform:

Style my jeans: weekends

Do you ever worry about jeans being too casual? Am I the only weirdo who is afraid of being underdressed again? I want to see how you style your jeans, and/or your best mortifying story of being inappropriately dressed!!


I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.


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Filed under Fashion

Style my jeans: weekends

Style my jeans: weekends

CALYPSO ST BARTH cashmere wrap cardigan
$159 – calypsostbarth.com

Ambrym Island Curvy Plus Top
$27 – shopruche.com

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I don’t want to be mean and strict. I really don’t.

Is it too much to ask that when I come home from work, my kids come running to the door with hugs and kisses, saying, “Mama! We’re so glad you’re home, we missed you so much! Thank you for going to work to support us! Did you have a good day?”

Yeah. Too much.

But it seems they could at least say, “Hi Mama!”

Know what I got today? Seriously, the first words out of Anna’s mouth:

“Can I watch a show on TV?”

“Not right now, let’s have dinner, then you can watch a show after dinner.”

They do not get to watch TV every day. It’s either a reward, or it’s because I need the 30 minutes to do whatever. To be honest, I was looking forward to them watching a few shows after dinner because I had a lot on my proverbial plate and I just wanted to sit and chat with Brian for a while.

But within seconds, Anna had turned on the TV.

“Anna! I just told you not until after dinner. If you disobey me again, you won’t get to watch ANY shows today at all. Do you understand?”


I turned my back and what does she do? Turns on the TV again. I turned it off and stared at her, astonished.

“But I just…”

“I don’t care what you thought you were doing. I told you no, and you disobeyed me. You knew the consequences!”

Oh, the crying. The wailing, the excuses.

Damnit! I really wanted that time to myself later! Such a selfish mommy I am. And I really wanted a peaceful evening with my family. But truly, it never occurred to me that – faced with losing TV for the whole night – she would disobey me like that. She has shown a remarkable ability to delay immediate gratification as a trade for something bigger and better later. So what gives? I might not have made that particular threat if I thought she would force my hand.

It totally sucked to have to be all hard-core about this. Just like it totally sucks to have to say “Take your plate into the kitchen if you’re done eating!” EVERY. SINGLE. MEAL.


I know I’m doing the right thing by being strict and following through on my threats. If I don’t, they won’t respect me. If they don’t respect me, they won’t respect their teachers. And their bosses. Or any authority. I get it. It’s important work. But sometimes a mama just needs an hour to herself while the kids are entertained by Phineas and Ferb. Is that too much to ask?



Filed under Family

Raising Caring Citizens

Thank you to Members Unite for sponsoring this post and sparking a creative discussion with children about the importance of giving. Visit MembersUnite.com for a simple, interactive, fun way to fund amazing projects every single month! 100% of your monthly contribution goes to the winning projects. I was selected for this opportunity by Clever Girls Collective.

I’m so lazy! I was talking with a friend about the Roots and Shoots group that she runs – all these kids and families are learning about important issues, and raising money to do some good in the world. And planting trees. And doing beach clean-ups. And collecting food and clothes for the needy. And I realized that – sheesh, I’m such a slacker! Seriously – I want to raise good citizens who care about the world, who feel a sense of responsibility to volunteer in their community. But if it impedes on my weekend? Fagettaboutit.

I have REALLY good intentions. But I work full time, and I come home and I just want to be with my family. And do laundry. Not really, but it needs to be done. Is that so wrong?

So I was so happy to find Members Unite. It’s a really easy way to make a significant impact on the world, and the kids and I can choose projects together… on the couch, while I drink a glass of wine.


For $5 a month, the kids and I can rate projects based on what we would like to support. We just signed up, sat on the couch and looked through the nine proposed projects for this projects. We gave high ranking to helping premature babies (because who can resist a picture of a baby?) but gave the highest ranking (5 stars!) to help The Nature Conservancy plant 5,000 trees in Brazil! Each week, the projects with the most votes will advance, and the winning project each month gets $5,000. Five grand can go a long way – a lot farther than my $5 on it’s own.

Here’s why you should want to support The Nature Conservancy through Members Unite:

Today only 7 percent of the Atlantic forest in Brazil remains, much of which is in isolated fragments.

Animal and plant life of every imaginable kind live under the lush, green canopy of Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. High in the treetops, golden lion tamarins forage for food while woolly spider monkeys gather fruit and nuts. Blue-winged macaws, red-tailed parrots and countless other birds call out while elusive jaguars prowl the forest floor.

This Brazilian rainforest is home to 23 species of primates and 1,180 species of mammals, amphibians, reptiles and fish. Harboring 1,000 species of birds, almost 200 of which are not found anywhere else on Earth, it is considered the most important place for bird conservation in the Western Hemisphere by the American Bird Conservancy. For millions of local people, the rainforest is critical for their livelihoods and provides clean water and hydro energy. For the rest of us, the Atlantic Forest helps regulate the atmosphere and stabilize global climate.

So why don’t you join us? There is a $25 annual membership to cover administrative costs, then you can decide how much you want to give each month, starting at just $5 a month. For a limited time, Members Unite is offering my community a 50% discount off the annual membership fee! Use code “WELOVEMOMS” when you sign up. If you join, please let me know in the comments and share which project(s) you voted for!

We’re starting here. The kids are excited about tracking the projects to see which ones make it to next week. And maybe, one of these days, I’ll actually get us out to plant some trees for real!


3/15 update: Inspired by Members Unite, I’ve applied for a scholarship to organize a community Earth Day project!

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I can handle this!

I was heading over to Voodoo Donuts for a “Midnight Surprise” for a friends birthday. Brian warned me that I needed to put gas in the car, but I was late, and I thought I could fuel up afterwards. About a quarter mile past the gas station, the car died! A prostitute started walking up to the car.


I don’t know why I was so surprised by that, there is a “Gentleman’s Club” right there, I suppose it makes sense. But still. Brian has since pointed out that I have made some assumptions about the people hanging out down there, and that the prostitutes probably would have been helpful if I had asked. But I was a little freaked out at the time, wishing I had kept my AAA membership up to date, and not feeling very open-minded.

Fortunately, I had brought Jack with me in the car. I brought him on a whim, really. I just thought he’d like a car ride.

So here I am in heels, a dress and a wrap sweater, no coat, traipsing down Sandy Boulevard past the hoes at midnight on Saturday night. I consider calling a cab, but I know Jack and I can handle this. Thank God for Jack.

We walk the quarter mile to the gas station and I explain my predicament and ask the guys there for help. They are usually really nice, I get gas there a lot. I guess I’m not usually dealing with the midnight crew, though.

“Nope, we don’t got no gas cans. We loan ’em out and then they never come back. You gotta find your own gas can.” He was nice enough about it, but are you kidding me with this? A gas station without a can?

So Jack and I continue on the 3/4 of a mile to our house. Brian and the kids are sleeping, of course. I change into my running gear, put my debit card, driver’s license, a poop bag for Jack, and the car keys in my pockets. I find a gas can on the side of the house, and miracle! It is already half full, which means there is about a gallon in there. So I think.

Jack and I run the whole way back to the car, me carrying the heavy plastic gas can. I make the mistake of not stopping back at the gas station, because I figure a gallon should be plenty to get the car there. Mile 2 down.

I start to put Jack in the back of the car, but this weird guy starts walking toward us. He probably wasn’t weird, I’m probably being uncharitable. But Jack didn’t like him, so neither did I.

I pour the gas in the tank, worry a bit that the can still feels heavy even when empty.

I start the car, but as soon as I put it into drive, it dies. Again. Start, shift, die. Start, shift, die. I don’t want to wear down the battery, so I admit defeat and head back to the gas station. Sigh.

I call Brian just to commiserate. I don’t really expect him to pack up the kids and come get me. Especially since I have the car seats.  But he’s asleep, no answer.

Jack and I run back up to the Chevron station, “Hi, it’s me again! I found a gas can! Can you fill it up, please?” They greeted me warmly – I think they felt bad that they couldn’t help me before. I reach my hand in my pocket, and there’s only one card in there!

“Oh no, oh no, oh no!”

I show the guy that all I have is my driver’s license. “I’ve lost my debit card somewhere along the way!”

“Wow, you’re really not having a good night, are you?”

Not helpful, sir. 

“All I have is my driver’s license.”

“Ya can’t buy gas with a driver’s license.”

No shit.

“I know, but will you please give me some gas, hold my license as collateral, and I’ll come back and pay for it? Please?”

“Nope, sorry. I can’t give you any gas if you can’t pay for it now.”

I sigh deeply, and start walking back to the car. Mile 2.5. After the 7 miles I ran in the morning, all this back and forth is starting to get really old.

When we’re crossing over the freeway, I yell at the top of my lungs,


No answer of course, just a quizzical look from Jack.

I’m watching the sidewalk and streets for my debit card. No sign of it. I scour the car, hoping it fell off in the seat. No luck. I retrace my steps all the way home. Mile 3.5. No card. I verify that I hadn’t left it at home to begin with. Nothing.

I wake up Brian, asking him for his debit or credit card. Anything. He groggily wakes up and is a tad grumpy with me until I explain everything. He tells me to go to bed, we can get the car in the morning. But it’s illegally parked in front of a driveway. I can’t leave it there. “Well go to bed, then, and I’ll go get it.”

No. I’m doing this. 

“Seriously Krista, go to bed!”

NO! I start sobbing, barely getting out the words. I’ve been back and forth and back again. I’ve been scared. I’ve been denied service. I’ve scoured the streets for my card. I’m not giving up now! I am capable, and I can handle this!

I collapse in his arms, and cry my eyes out.

“You are capable,” he tells me, “and you can handle it. But you don’t have to. Get in bed, I’ll take care of it.”

God I love that man. 

Brian tells me later, when I described yelling, “WHAT???” to the universe, that maybe the lesson I’m supposed to learn how to ask for help. Maybe so. 


Filed under Travel