this suit / a review


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fun fact:  i haven’t purchased a new bathing suit since april of 2011.  i know, right?

i used to be that girl who bought at least 2 new suits every summer.  admittedly, since i birthed my second child, i haven’t necessarily been chomping at the bit to get in a suit and flaunt my bod.  and while i take a pilates or barre class up to 3 times a week or run 2 to 3 miles when i can, i’m just not bikini ready.  ever.  like, for the last few summers.  therefore, bathing suit shopping hasn’t been at the top of my list.

… until i decided that we’d have zoey’s bday party at the beach.  and then i set my sights on the beautiful one-piece you see above.  i wanted it so bad, but it was about 50 bucks and i just didn’t have the extra funds at the time.  booooo.  i kid you not, a few days later i got an email from zaful, asking me if i wanted to review an item of clothing from their site.  AND WOULDN’T YOU KNOW IT THIS BATHING SUIT WAS ON THE SITE AND THEY WANTED TO GIVE IT TO ME FOR FREE.  seriously, i’m starting to think that putting positive shit out into the universe is legit.  maybe i should stop being so cranky.  anyway, that’s a topic for another blog post.  today we’re talking about THIS SUIT.

so i get it in the mail and immediately run upstairs to try it on… aaaaaaaand… you can literally see through the suit and straight to my lady bits.  like, wow.  talk about leaving nothing to the imagination.  hey everyone – say hello to my vagina!  definitely not appropriate for a kid’s bday party.  i was sad!  because the rest of the suit is so dope and it fits me so well.  i ended up wearing it to the party, but i wore loungy pants to cover my bits.  it wasn’t until i got home and had to take photos for this post, that a light bulb went off and i shoved a thin bra pad (i know that sounds weird, but it worked like a charm) into the crotch of the suit.  BOOM.  there ya go.  problem solved.

i adore this suit.  it’s flattering and modern and holds everything in where it should.  i may not think that i’m bikini ready, but wearing this little number makes me feel sexy.  so that’s something!  also, i had a great experience with zaful – thank you! – and now i don’t have to buy a new suit until 2020.

i do want to say this… while the folks over at zaful were wonderful – my item arrived in great condition and exactly as pictured – i’ve read some not so great reviews.  zaful has a lot of trendy items at incredible prices, but know who you’re buying from and what their return policies entail.

disclaimer:  while this suit was courtesy of zaful, all opinions are my own.

26. August 2015 by paige
Categories: Reviews, Style | Tags: , | Leave a comment

happy 4th to my little baby wren

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so, this chick is four today.  FOUR!

her favorite things include – the beach, doing the opposite of what I suggest, drawing, gluing random objects to paper (me: no i will NOT cut the buttons off my shirt so that you can make a collage for daddy!  although, that may be a win-win for daddy), marshmallows, her brother, cheeseburgers from mcdonalds, her pillow pet “monkey” which is actually a hippo but we never had the heart to correct her, and wearing red lipstick.  (we’re still working on getting it on her actual lips.)

she doesn’t take shit from anyone, but she’s really very sweet and nurturing underneath that sass.  I hope I grow up to be just like her.

this last Saturday, we invited our closest buddies to the beach.  the kids splashed in the water and played in the sun for hours!  for lunch, we ate subway sandwiches and chips.  kids love chips.  next year, I’m just having a chip party.  my gf megan made the most adorable vanilla cupcakes topped with blue frosting and sour octopuses and gummy sharks.  favors included buckets with a shovel, a mini water launcher, bubbles and mini bags of goldfish crackers.  mostly everything was purchased from the dollar store.  i maybe spent $30 on favors for 11 kiddos.  #winning

tonight we will eat subway sandwiches (she loves subway, but i suspect she really just loves getting a bag of Cheetos.  see!  chips, man!) and cake.  but it’s her day, so what do i care?

happy birthday, wren.  we love you.

25. August 2015 by paige
Categories: Family | Leave a comment

minted. a review of sorts.

sometimes the stars align and good things happen.  things that seem insignificant in the grand scheme of it all, but nevertheless, they take a weight off your shoulders and put a smile on your face.  with zoey’s bday coming up and funds on the nonexistent low side, I knew I’d have to get creative and plan a party that was easy on the bank account – free location (beach), little to no decorations (balloons) and thrifty food/drink options (lemonade + cupcakes.)  I had the party favors figured out (hello, dollar store!), but the invitations were still on my list.  do I make my own?  send out an evite?  a mass text?  and then that aligning business happened and I’m not even kidding, a day or two later I was contacted by minted with an offer to write a review in exchange for a generous credit to their site.  to be honest, I’d never heard of minted, but after perusing the site, I got excited!  not only are the products unique and beautiful, but this is a company that has built a marketplace/community for independent artists.  it’s a place where creatives can gain exposure and build their businesses… and I’m all about supporting that.  plus, this answered the invitation situation!  minted invitations FTW!  I’ve narrowed it down to sweet shop and fancy flamingo, but I think the flamingo is winning. what do you think?

(check out more customizable birthday invitations here!)

in addition to a vast array of invitations, minted offers home décor items, fabrics, photo & art gifts and even business cards!  they also sell limited edition art prints.  I’ve shared a few of my favorites below.
minted faves 2
mom’s rule no 4 (customizable!) / rainforest / super imagination girl (customizable!) / California map (foil stamped)

how cute is the super imagination girl print?  it reminds me so much of zoey.  I can even have it customized with red hair!  I die.

anyway, I hope you’ll consider minted the next time you’re planning a party or looking for a unique gift idea… I have a feeling you won’t be disappointed.

ps.  they even have a blog for all things crafty and diy!  enjoy!

and happy Friday!

17. July 2015 by paige
Categories: Promotional/Sponsored | Tags: , | Leave a comment

technical difficulties

hi friends! we’re in the process of getting the site back to normal after someone (me) didn’t pay the renewal fee on time.  i’ve lost a few posts (dramatic cry face) and my photos aren’t loading.  hopefully this will be fixed soon and i can go back to posting random shit once or twice a week or month for your viewing/reading pleasure.

thanks for your patience!


08. July 2015 by paige
Categories: Misc | Leave a comment

beauty / cleansing balms

cleansing balms.  let’s chat, shall we?

just three short months ago my face cleansing routine consisted of using aveeno positively radiant skin brightening daily scrub (as a cleanser), followed by witch hazel (as a toner/attempt to remove leftover traces of makeup.)  I had been using the aveeno cleanser for years and loved it, but the witch hazel was a newer addition to my routine.  it was all good for a while, but after several weeks, my skin started misbehavin’ – more frequent breakouts, it was dry, dull – no bueno.  i thought maybe it was the witch hazel, so i cut it out.  weeks later, after only using the scrub, i was still disappointed.  that’s when i took to pinterest and started reading up on using coconut oil as a cleanser.  so many rave reviews – it would make my skin glow!  it would remove makeup like magic!  i could use it to condition my hair!  life changing, apparently.  so i dusted off a tub of coconut oil that i found in the back of our pantry, checked the expiration date, shrugged my shoulders and gave it a go.  i tried it for a couple of weeks… the first week or so – my skin was glowing and felt so soft.  i was convinced that I’d found the holy grail of skin care.  but then – meh.  i still wasn’t getting the results i wanted.  my skin became dry and uneven.  long story short, turns out i was using a refined version of coconut oil.  in fact, i came across an article that actually listed the oil i was using as a no-no for skin care.  LOL.  of course.

in the meantime, i had found glossier (read my reviews here – love!) and their blog – into the gloss.  it was via ITG that i became increasingly interested in Korean skin care.  i read article after article about their strict regimen – the methods, the whys, the how-tos – and decided that i wanted to give it a try.  i was particularly curious about the double cleansing method:  step 1 – use an oil-based cleanser to breakdown makeup and remove impurities, followed by step 2 – wash with a foam cleanser to further cleanse the skin and remove all traces of makeup.  i have to say, I’ve been using this method for about three months (in conjunction with other products) and my skin has never looked better.

(i’ll share my entire skin care routine + products one of these days, but today – it’s all about dat balm.)

why you should use it…

-cleansing balms are oil-based.  and contrary to what you may believe – this is so good for removing dirt and makeup and other nasty things that cling to your skin.  not to get all chemistry 101 on you, but “like dissolves like.”  i have oily/acne prone skin, so i was hesitant and terrified to put oil on my face.  but ladies – it works.  in fact, you want to keep your face well hydrated with oil.  if your face gets too dry, the sebum of your skin will go into survival mode, producing MORE oil and most likely turning your face into a hotbed for bacteria and acne.  (I’ve always wanted to use hotbed in a sentence.)

-cleansing balms do a fantastic job of dissolving make up and sunscreen.  in fact, if you’re using a non oil-based (or water-activated) cleanser, it’ll have to work double time to remove impurities, often stripping your skin of – OIL – leaving your skin feeling tight and dry.

-cleansing balms remove even the thickest of make up – from concealers to foundation and layered mascara… it’ll remove it faster (and more efficiently) than I’d remove my clothes for Jamie Dornan.

-cleansing balms are often made with natural/organic ingredients.

-cleansing balms are nourishing, calming and leave your skin feeling super soft.

how you should use it…

-massage cleanser into your dry skin.  you’ll start to see the makeup dissolving within seconds.

-rinse off with warm water or a washcloth for a gentle exfoliating effect.

things worth mentioning…

-water-activated cleansers are okay, but use them as your second cleansing step.

-just because i didn’t continue with using coconut oil – doesn’t mean i don’t believe in it.  it’s basically the same as using the types of cleansers you see above, except it’s pure oil.

-i don’t think there’s anything wrong with the aveeno product i mentioned above.  it might actually be a great second cleanser!   i just haven’t tried it yet.

-i believe my previous skin care routine failed because i wasn’t cleaning and moisturizing properly.  i was using products that contained alcohol (a major no-no) and other chemical detergents that are not good for the skin.  the more oil i have introduced into my routine, the healthier my skin has become.

-for those of you who are questioning if double cleansing is too much cleansing – you’re wrong.  as  long as you’re using an oil-based cleanser to start, you’re on the right track.


on to the products!

first of all, i haven’t used all of the balms shown above, but I’m a beauty product review junkie, so I’m going to help you out a bit.  hopefully, you’ll find one that works for your budget and skin care needs.

1.  banila co clean it zero purity – i use this and i loooooove it!  this version is for sensitive skin.  i chose it because i wasn’t sure how my skin would react.  it’s free from artificial coloring, synthetic fragrance, parabens, alcohol and mineral oil.  best eye makeup remover I’ve ever used.  $25

2.  su:m37 miracle rose cleansing stick – this thing is “on-trend” and getting great reviews.  people are loving it for its gentle cleansing and convenience.  plus is smells like roses!  apparently a little goes a long way.  $34

3.  ren rosa centifolia no. 1 purity cleansing balm – a rose infused balm that’s free from parabens and all that jazz.  people with acne prone skin have mentioned that it has cleared up their acne over time, leaving their skin soft and with an even skin tone.  might i add – rose oils are so unbelievably good for your skin.  $48

4.  eve lom – apparently this cleanser does a myriad of things – improves circulation, opens pores, exfoliates, tones…  it’s pricey, but i included a pricier option for you fancy bitches.  (and i say fancy in the nicest way.)  it gets great reviews for being refreshing, hydrating and exfoliating.  the bad reviews suggest that it made their skin dry and flakey.  remember – with these products, a little goes a long way.  $50-$190

5.  brooklyn herbarium infused organic coconut oil – 100% organic, infused with calendula (heals wounds and skin irritations) and red clover (soothes skin inflammations.)  coconut oil is meant to reduce inflammation, support tissue healing, act as an antioxidant, softens skin and relieves dryness and flaking.  this product talks a lot about holistic baby (think diaper rash and cradle cap) and adult skin care, but coconut oil is coconut oil.  as long as it’s unrefined, like this one is.  there are no reviews available, so if you use it – let me know!  $23

6.  clinique take the day off cleansing balm – this appears to be a favorite among basic bitches everywhere.  LOL – just kidding!  but seriously, i did add it because women love clinique and they trust the brand, i guess.  of all the balms, this is the last one i would try.  I’ve never had good experiences with clinique products.  women seem to rate it high, though.  mostly for its ability to remove make up so well and not cause breakouts.  $28.50

as i mentioned, i love the banila co cleanser; however, i also believe in having options and switching up my products.  I’d love to try the su:m37 cleansing stick, but I’m also kinda obsessing over camp’s desert island wonder balm and board and batten’s “farm to skin” cleansing and conditioning balm.

I hope you found this post to be helpful.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!


10. June 2015 by paige
Categories: Beauty | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

tshirt presale

hi friends!  real quick – my girl Amanda and I have been planning and making… and while we’re no where near a shop opening or something of the like, we thought we’d get the ball (sorta) rolling by seeing if there’s any interest in the tshirt you see above, on the right.  after posting the photo on instagram and facebook, we’ve gathered several emails (yay!) and will be sending out more information, soon.

sooooo… if you’re interested, leave your email address below and we’ll be in touch.

thank you!

09. June 2015 by paige
Categories: Style | Tags: , , , | 2 comments

hi friends!  as I mentioned in last week’s oh sweet friday post, I wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone who used my HUM (nutrition) referral code.  which happens to be F6C27 if you want $10 off.  I’ve earned so much credit (because of YOU!) that I ordered a one month supply of the Runway Ready and plan to give it away along with two cuffs from Gage Huntley.  to enter, please visit instagram, find the giveaway photo you see above and follow the instructions.

this giveaway ends on Saturday and we’ll announce the winner on Sunday.

good luck!

05. June 2015 by paige
Categories: Style | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

SOLD! for sale / peep toe ankle boots

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will someone please give these beautiful booties a home?  I would keep them, but they don’t look great on my short legs and that makes me sad.

I’ve worn them once, so basically they are in perfect condition.  vegan leather.  size 7.  super versatile.  $25 shipped, US only, please.

I’ve posted them on instagram, as well.  first person comment with their email address WINS.  haha.  first to person to comment will get an invoice from paypal is what will actually happen.  but you’re still a winner in my book.

*insert big toothy grin face here*

04. June 2015 by paige
Categories: For Sale | Tags: | Leave a comment

the half up topknot

half up topknot
the thing about topknots is that they’re not as easy as they look.  I’m serious.  I probably watched 10 different youtube videos before it finally clicked… one day two years after the fact.  always late to the party, this one.  anyway, just when I was getting comfortably smug about my perfectly messy topknot, I decided to cut my hair.

so here i am, attempting to master the half up topknot.  honestly, I thought I left the half up ‘do in my middle school locker, but apparently not.  at 35, I’m begrudgingly admitting that I dig it, while my 12 year old self is doing the butterfly (the dance move.  where my 90s peeps at?  heeeeeeey) and yelling too legit to quit – hand gestures and all.

I didn’t have to watch any how to videos this time around, so this is a pretty good first try!
however, as you may know – no two knots ever look the same.

thoughts?  to half up topknot or not to half up topknot, that is the question.


03. June 2015 by paige
Categories: Beauty | Tags: , , | 6 comments

beauty / tony moly brightening sheet mask

ah, the sheet mask.  creepy as hell, but pretty awesome.  they’re not meant to draw out impurities, clear up acne or reverse the signs of aging, but they will give your skin a healthy dose of moisture.  I came across the tony moly masks via urban outfitters and for 4 bucks a pop, i thought – why not?  i purchased 3, but decided to try the lemon/brightening mask, first.  i washed my face, slapped this bad boy on and chilled with a book for about 20 minutes.  these things are one size fits all, so don’t expect a perfect fit.  plus, it smelled a bit like lemon pledge, but whatever – the effects were obvious and instant!  after removing the mask, i dabbed the remaining serum into my skin, waited 30 seconds or so and then applied my nighttime moisturizer.  the next morning, my skin was soft and had a nice glow.

i think sheet masks are great to have on hand… they’re like mini facials!  and inexpensive, too.

i also purchased pomegranate for elasticity and tomato for radiance.  i’ll share my reviews, soon.

happy sheet masking!

02. June 2015 by paige
Categories: Beauty | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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