• beauty

    Get Baby Soft Skin with Olay Winter Skin Challenge

    This post is sponsored by Procter & Gamble. All opinions are mine alone.

    Olay Moisture Ribbon Plus

    This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Olay. The opinions and text are all mine.

    In Chicago, we joke that there are only two seasons: construction and winter. Kidding, but not really! For at least six months out of the year, when we face bitter cold and freezing winds from the lake effect, soft, supple skin is at a premium and we up our beauty game any way we can. That’s why I’ve teamed up with Olay to join the Winter Skin Challenge – just use Olay Moisture Ribbons Plus once for softer and more moisturized skin that feels and looks great!

    Who else wants supple, baby soft skin?

    With winter around the corner, I’ve been prepping my skin to brace for the dryness with Olay Moisture Ribbons Plus. Unlike any other body wash on the market, this one is formulated with a deep conditioning formula that includes Shea butter as the signature moisturizing ingredient, and leaves skin feeling soft and smooth as soon as you leave the shower. Best of all, it’s non-greasy and absorbs well into your skin!

    Oh honey, honey

    After I took my shower using Olay Moisture Ribbons Plus for the first time, I came out of the bathroom and told my husband, “That was a successful shower.” He said he didn’t know that there were “unsuccessful showers” (he’s hilarious, haha), and I explained that this was a hair mask/shave/loofah bath sponge type of experiential shower which sadly doesn’t happen every night.

    The body wash comes in Lavender and Manuka Honey scents – but I’m partial to the honey because it just goes so well with the holidays, don’t ya think?

    I’ve been an Olay girl for the better part of my adult life, since I saw my mom using Olay skincare products daily when I was a child. (She has great looking skin, by the way!) Now there’s an indulgent way for me to incorporate Olay into my shower routine this winter which leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated all season long!

    Won’t you join me in the Olay Winter Skin Challenge? All it takes is one use to start beating dull winter skin! You can get these exact products I’m using here.

    Olay Moisture Ribbon Plus

    olay moisture ribbon plus

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    olay moisture ribbon plus

  • beauty

    Making Beauty Easier, More Accessible with Groupon BeautyNow

    This post has been sponsored by Groupon; all opinions are entirely my own.


    Laying on a beach somewhere. Trying on all the clothes in the dressing room during an epic shopping spree. Reading a stack of magazines and sipping my morning coffee hot, without having to nuke it in the microwave. Basically, all the quiet things I dream of doing, sans kids.

    But, as I usually don’t have that much solo time away from my three kids, I’ll just satisfy my need to treat myself with small luxuries, like a quick mani/pedi, now made more convenient and hassle-free with the new Groupon BeautyNow booking service! Available exclusively in the Chicago metro area, Groupon BeautyNow allows you to seamlessly book your beauty services and nab discounted appointments during select times at top salons and spas in Chicagoland – so great, right? It’s a busy mom’s best kept secret! (Scroll to the bottom of this post to enter an awesome giveaway for salon and spa services for an entire year!)

    groupon beautynow

    I was excited to try out Groupon BeautyNow so I booked a nail service directly on the Groupon app for Red Door Salon and Spa in Chicago, and after a client shoot I had in the city last week, enjoyed a little solo R&R time getting pampered. Everything from the super easy booking process via Groupon BeautyNow, to the delightfully warm eucalyptus neck pillow they offered me at Red Door Spa, was a mom’s day out worth repeating.

    A little about the BeautyNow booking process:

    Appointments can be booked via iPhone or Android. If you’re based in Chicago, download the Groupon app and select “Salon & Spa Booking” at the top to start booking! If you have the Groupon app on your phone, click here to go straight to the experience.

    Groupon BeautyNow is simple and streamlined, and you can choose from an extensive menu of beauty services at your favorite Chicago area salon. This means no more personal phone calls to the salon or wait time to request an appointment while the scheduler checks their system, because I was able to do everything from my smartphone! My kids may have been hanging onto my legs while I was booking away on my phone’s keyboard, but that’s a-ok because BeautyNow does all the heavy lifting and works to confirm your appointment ASAP, so you don’t have to!

    groupon beautynow

    After I got my nails did (check out the gorgeous mani design my stylist gave me!), I didn’t even need to pull out my wallet – because there is no upfront payment when you use the Groupon BeautyNow service, you simply are automatically charged on your credit card (linked to your Groupon account) after your appointment for the service and gratuity that you pre-selected.

    Everything about Groupon BeautyNow is so easy and convenient to use, it may just become a weekly “thing” for me to check out all the salons on their list… 😉 If you’re in the Chicago area and are curious to try BeautyNow, use promo code MTF10 so you can receive $10 off your services.

    p.s. Make sure you ask for “no chip” nails if you’re always on the go – take it from me, moms need no chip! And if you need a festive nail inspiration for all your holiday shindigs coming up, try mixing it up with one or two statement glitter nails on each hand like I did!

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    elizabeth arden red door salon deerfield Illinois

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  • beauty

    How I Achieve Big Beach Waves in 5 Minutes

    loose sexy beach waves long asian hair

    With fall leaves dropping left and right and all the PSLs in hand, thought I might show you how to warm up your look with bouncy beach waves year-round. And since I can’t live in short sundresses and bathing suits all 365 days, I’ll just let my big beach hair do the talking. What does your hair say about you? If there’s one statement I like to make all day, every day, it’s that I’m a confident and feminine woman, and my flirty waves speak this truth. I get asked often how I manage to do my hair routine on the daily with three young kids – and now it’s time to share my 5-minute everyday look and my favorite hair hacks!

    How I Curl My Hair

    Armed with my curling weapon of choice for the past 3.5 years, the Caruso Steam Setter, I am confident I will achieve big, flirtatious beach waves in 5 minutes. With the steam setter, I find that I don’t have to do any prep work to set my hair. With traditional curling irons, I used to have to prep my hair with leave-in conditioner before blowing dry and curling to achieve volume. The steam setter seems to hold my curls better and for longer, and causes less damage to your hair. A win-win, since I style my hair every day so the less stress (and product) on your strands the better, ya know?

    Small, Medium, or Large? Goldilocks wants to know. Just kidding. Always go with the bigger sizes for beach curls. I use a Large roller for the three sections around the face, and Medium for the back sections.

    Time to curl. Simply drop a roller into the steamer and heat for 10-15 seconds.

    • Clip up the top front section of your hair in a 1-1.5 inch chunk. Take the hot roller off the steam setter and twist your hair around it TOWARDS your face, making sure the very ends get tucked in all the way for a seamless look. I like to roll this top front section towards my face because it gives it a “tucked in” look around the ear.
    • Repeat with the two sections on each side of your face. For these sections, I like to curl it AWAY from the face, but this is a personal preference.
    • Curl the back sections down towards your head.

    *Pro tip: Before you curl a section, make sure to drop in another roller into the steam setter to warm it up and get it ready for the next section.

    Ready to unveil. As soon as all sections have been curled, remove each roller. Don’t leave in the rollers too long, or the curls will be too curly.

    How I Finish

    Transitioning to the dryness of the fall/winter months, I look for any way to add texture to give my hair that lived in, fresh-from-the-ocean look. So basically… don’t skip out on the texturizing spray after you curl. My favorite is the ORIBE Dry Texturizing Spray, which acts as an alternative to dry shampoo, absorbing oil and leaving you with just-styled hair for days. Together with the Caruso Steam Setter the pair adds big volume and texture for the most perfect, easy breezy beach curls.

    Finger brush your hair, then seal it with Got2b Glued Blasting Freeze Hairspray for everlasting hold.

    And that, my friends, is how you achieve 5-minute beach waves. Et voila!

    loose sexy beach waves long asian hair

    loose sexy beach waves long asian hair



  • beauty,  personal

    My CoolSculpting Experience with SOLUX Med Spa


    solux med spa chicago coolsculpting event

    I wear false eyelashes everyday.

    I did microblading earlier this year.

    I tried Botox and I liked it.

    I think these are taboo topics that women aren’t supposed to talk about, but there you have it. I said it. I am not embarrassed or ashamed to admit I do these things, because I didn’t do it to please anyone but myself. I believe that one can feel confident and beautiful au natural, or also get a little help to get there. Women put on makeup every day, and to me, these other things are just another step in the beauty game. And there ain’t no shame in the game.

    At a private event hosted by SOLUX Med Spa in Chicago, I recently learned about an innovative treatment called CoolSculpting. This is a procedure that is the only FDA-cleared, non-surgical fat reduction treatment that uses controlled cooling to eliminate stubborn fat that resists all efforts through diet and exercise. Freeze away fat? Are you intrigued to know more? I was skeptical, but interested. Okay, really interested, my ears perked right up and so did my right hand, because I raised it to volunteer to be a model to receive a free CoolSculpting live demonstration.

    CoolSculpting basically boils down to science (excuse the pun, see what I did?). But really, the technology safely delivers precisely controlled cooling to effectively target the fat cells. Once the fat cells are gone, they’re gone for good. Hasta la vista, baby! You can read more about CoolSculpting here.

    The first-time results were so promising that I agreed to a second CoolSculpting session in partnership with SOLUX Med Spa; this time to demonstrate at a CoolSculpting event open to the public.


    My personal experience with CoolSculpting was that the procedure during the first session was a little uncomfortable when the machine was placed on me. I felt pressure and intense cold for a few minutes but then it disappeared. At the second session, the suction didn’t feel as strong. I dealt with Shamaila from SOLUX a lot while scheduling session, and she was a total DOLL. She educated me on the procedure in advance so I didn’t have one ounce of hesitation. I love that the CoolSculpting procedure is completely non-surgical, so I was able to resume regular monkey-wrangling activities as planned right afterwards. By monkeys, I mean my three boys. And bonus points for the private CoolSculpting suite – which is totally gorgeous and flooded with natural lighting everywhere, giving a spa-like environment that is designed to enhance the experience, so that patients can read a book, work from their laptop, or even take a nap. Which you KNOW I did, since I was sans kids!


    I actually see a difference, like promised. I still have some pudge, but not like before! Before and After photos are presented with each session. My first session was in April and my second was in July. It’s been exactly 1 month since the last treatment. SOLUX says you may start to see changes as quickly as three weeks, and will experience the most dramatic results after two months. This was totally spot on for me. But your body will still flush out fat cells and continues doing so for up to four to six months after treatment – and I’m excited to see more results over the next couple months without having to do any work 😉

    After my second CoolSculpting session with SOLUX Med Spa, I’m definitely a believer. This procedure was so worth it. If you’re local in Chicago, you can contact SOLUX for a free consultation to see if it’s right for you. You won’t be sorry!

    This post is in partnership with SOLUX Med Spa in Chicago.

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    CoolSculpting reviews

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