The ULTAmate Beauty Gift Guide & Christmas Wish List!

christmas beauty gift guide

Want to know a little secret? Before last week, I had never stepped foot into ULTA before! *gasps and disbelief* Apparently, it was totally out of self defense and knowing what it could do to my wallet because HOLY BEAUTY PRODUCTS I wanted one of everything in that store. A huge perfume and fragrance section with testers galore, a Benefit Brow Wax Bar in the center of the makeup section, shelves of all my favorite Urban Decay makeup… I nearly died.

Not only did I find a ton of amazing gifts at affordable prices in the ULTA Holiday Gift Guide, I found a ton of amazing things in the store I wanted to get! So below you will find my wish list since, after all, it’s Christmas and I know you’re looking for the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Hopefully it will provide you with some gift ideas for loved ones on your shopping list.


philosophy season of sparkle

I love all things Philosphy. So when I spotted this neat little Season of Sparkle gift set filled with three scrumptious bath gels and it was only $26, I HAD to have it! The Season of Sparkle gift set includes a 6oz bottle of each of the following scents – White Pear, White Cherry, and White Cranberry. If you aren’t familiar with Philosophy’s 3 in 1′s, well then you need to get acquainted asap because not only do they smell fantastic, they can be used for shampoo, bubble bath, or shower gel (hence the 3 in 1 title).

Most of Philosophy’s 3 in 1′s are big 16oz bottles and retail for around $16.50. With the gift set, you get try to different scents so I often by the gift sets for my own personal use just because my kids and I love picking a different scent every time we take a bath!

philosophy gift sets

Other cute gift sets I noticed in the store were:

Fruitcake Mix ($26) – Gift set comes in a cute box and includes Vanilla Cake Mix Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath, Candied Pecan Hot Salt Body Scrub, and Cranberry Medley Body Lotion. Yum!

Snow Angel Duo ($26) – Gift set includes Sweetly Fallen Snow Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath 8 oz and Body Lotion 8 oz. I haven’t had a chance to smell this one yet but it sounds divine!

The Cookie Exchange ($26) – Gift set includes Christmas Cookie Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath 4 oz, Sweet Creamy Frosting Body Lotion 2 oz and Sugar Sprinkles High-Gloss, High-Flavor Lip Shine 0.4 oz and comes packed in a cute metal tin that can be reused.

ulta box

The ULTAmate gift for the ultimate fashionista! The ULTA Beauty Box Blockbuster is on sale for $19.99 (Reg $24.99) and comes in pink and red! This amazing 74 PC Collection Includes: 48 Eye Shadows, 3 Eye Primers, 6 Cream Eye Liners, 2 Dual Ended Eye Liners, 3 Brow Definers, 2 Mini Lip Gloss Shades, 2 Lipsticks, 6 Cheek Powders, 1 Shimmer Powder, 1 Bronzer. A $175 Value! This is the perfect gift for any teenager or college student on your shopping list this year! It’s affordable and they will LOVE it! I got one for my niece and I know she’s going to love it because she just adores makeup!


A flat iron is something that most of us use everyday and is a bathroom staple in most households today. So why not have one that not only delivers superior results but is cute too! The Ultra CHI Flat Iron is now available in 6 different prints/colors that include GLITTER!!! That’s what every girl wants right? The high quality flat iron normally retails for $150 but is on sale right now for just $99.99! I had a hard time selecting which color to get… Which color would you choose?!

UD palette

I am absolutely OBSESSED with Urban Decay Makeup. Admittedly, I have more UD makeup in my beauty arsenal than anything else. Of course when they come out with a new eyeshadow palette, I HAVE to have it. This one was no exception. The Urban Decay Vice 2 Palette ($59) is filled with 20 exclusive shades you won’t find in any other palette. So if you are a UD fan, this is a must-have palette. I know several people, including my primary care physician, that LOVE Urban Decay so I had to grab a couple of these!


A no-brainer gift that almost everyone on your shopping list would love and appreciate is the Clarisonic Mia 2 Skin Care Cleansing System. I couldn’t live without my Clarisonic. It’s a part of my daily routine no matter what skin care products I’m using and if I forget to use my clarisonic for a couple days, boy I notice a difference. It’s definitely one of those must-have items that is worth the “splurge” and will last you for years! I’ve had mine for almost 6 years now and it’s still going strong! :-)

free gift with purchase

The essential first step in your skin care regimen, Clarisonic goes beyond cleansing by using sonic technology to gently yet deeply cleanse pores without abrasion or harsh chemicals. Clarisonic removes six times more makeup than manual cleansing, cleansing so well that products absorb better – making skin more receptive to skincare ingredients

Right now if you head into your local ULTA, you can get a FREE GIFT with your purchase of a Clarisonic! Best of all, they are on sale for $150! (Reg $200.00)


One of the first thing I looked at when I walked into ULTA was the Tarte section! I was just about to put a single eyeliner ($19) into my bag when I noticed this Stop And Stare gift set for only $39 that included THREE eyeliners, 2 eyeshadows and a mascara! What a huge bargain! So you are essentially paying for 2 eyeliners and the rest of the products in the box are free. Seriously, this is one gift I couldn’t pass up getting and it’s ALL MINE!



Check out ULTA’s Holiday Gift Guide for more ideas!

ulta logo

ULTA Beauty is not just another store for holiday shopping; it’s an exciting wonderland of beauty products that make great gifts, stocking stuffers and personal treats. This year, ULTA is filled with a dazzling variety of holiday treasures that are sure to delight your friends, family, loved ones, and even yourself!


Disclosure: Compensation was provided by ULTA Beauty via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of ULTA Beauty.

Great Hair Day For A Great Announcement!

A couple months ago, I tried out Dove’s new Intensive Repair Hair Care Shampoo and Conditioner. After 2 months of use, I have intensely refreshed and uber moisturized hair that is shiny and full of life. I can’t believe how a never-ending “bad hair day” (which lasted about 2 years) suddenly turned around! I now have softer more manageable hair that doesn’t feel dry, brittle or unmanageable.

The best part? My hair is back to it’s original color! I mean, just look at it…

(Click here to see this #DoveGreatHairDay on Instagram)

It’s a great hair day for a great announcement!

Baby #3 is due May 2014!!

My son (3) and my daughter (6) are super excited to welcome a new member into our family this coming Spring. I struggled quite a bit with morning sickness for the first 11 weeks and then it started to subside. Now that I’m in the second trimester, I’m feeling a lot less nauseous. So if you were wondering about the lack of posts (especially outfit posts!) in the past 3 months, well now you know why. If you’ve emailed me and I haven’t replied yet, that would also be because sitting at the computer checking emails hasn’t been high on my priority list considering my physical condition at the moment.

I’ve already done this whole “being pregnant thing”, twice now, so I feel like a pro. I knew what morning sickness would be like and I already knew what remedies worked best for me. The only thing that has really surprised me this time around is how everyone asks me (including my midwife), “Was this planned?!” My parents, uncles, aunts and cousins all had two kids and that’s it. However, my grandparents, on both sides, came from families of 7 or more children. Both my husband and I have always imagined ourselves having a large family. However, as we’ve recently learned, having more than two kids these days is considered bizarre and out of the ordinary! Oh well. I guess you can’t please everyone. We’re absolutely over the moon about our growing family, regardless!

You can have a great hair day too! To enter to win a sample from the Dove Hair Care product line click here. The first 500 entrants will win a sample!

Dove Logo

Dove understands that having beautiful, healthy-looking hair gives you the confidence to feel your best. Whether your hair is dry or damaged, Dove has a tailor-made solution for your hair care needs. After just one wash hair is shiny, healthy-looking and full of life. Thanks to Dove, you can look and feel beautiful from the inside out.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Dove via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Dove.

Change Your Look This Fall with Clairol Professional ‘Classic Collection’

Last week I told you all about how you could Color Your Hair At Home with Clairol Professional “Classic Collection” and today, as promised, I’m going to reveal who was lucky enough to get a FREE makeover from me featuring their new hair color courtesy of Clairol Professional.

My mom has very thin hair so if it’s not the perfect shade, you can see right through it and it’s very unflattering (sorry, mom!). I was happy that I selected the perfect shade for her skin tone and hair because it looks great now!


We used “Classic Lightest Neutral Brown” (5N|85N) from Clairol Professional’s Classic Collection. It easily and expertly covered all the grays and the process was easy to do at home. We both think the results are salon quality. No need to waste money at the salon this Fall. Save it for a new pair of boots and do your hair color at home!

I love the new color on my mom and I think it’s a great, warm color for Fall. I styled her with a Ralph Lauren blazer we scored at TJ Maxx for $14, a basic BCBG tee from TJ Maxx that was on sale for $5 and some black leggings from TJ Maxx that were on sale for $8! The earrings and necklace are her own and she wears them all the time, with everything.



What do you think of my mom’s makeover? Doesn’t she look awesome for 65 years old? She’s such a fashionista… :-)

Check out Clairol Professional’s new “Classic Collection” and pick from their 16 timeless shades to find the color that is right for you. Stay tuned for a post later this month on how to choose the best colors for your skin tone, hair coloring tips and trends and which hair styles are hot for Fall this year!

Clairol Logo

Classic makes a comeback. Clairol Professional’s new ‘Classic Collection’ offers 16 timeless shades with a modern formula for brilliant shine and deep conditioning.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Clairol Professional via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Clairol Professional.

Whip Hair Back Into Shape with Dove’s Intensive Repair Hair Care System

If a summer filled with trips to the beach and hours in the sun did a number on your hair, you’re not alone! But don’t worry, I found something that will help whip hair back into shape just in time for Fall!

Dove® Intensive Repair Shampoo + Conditioner system contains breakthrough Keratin Repair Actives that absorb into Keratin already present in your hair, and repair proteins at the cellular level. You’ll get lustrous locks without excess residue. It’s gentle, everyday moisture doesn’t weigh hair down yet is powerful enough to strengthen hair and prevents split ends. It will leave your hair so silky to the touch and healthy-looking that you’ll wonder what the heck they put in this stuff.

With just a week of usage, Dove® Intensive Repair Shampoo + Conditioner system will make your hair easier to manage and style, nevermind a lot healthier looking to boot!


Now, I was QUITE the skeptic when I heard Dove’s claims to softer more manageable hair… Intensive moisture usually makes my hair thicker and even more crazy. I have a TON OF HAIR. I mean, I break high quality hair elastics after just a week of use. I get headaches if I keep my hair in a bun for more than 6 hours. I have enough hair for 3 people, no joke. Add a bunch of heavy, moisturizing conditioners to that and I can barely keep my head up! Especially when it’s mid/lower back length like it is right now.

So needless to say, I thought that once again I was going to use a shampoo and conditioner for a week that was going to freak my hair and give me a bad hair day… like most drugstore brand shampoo and conditioners do.

Imagine my surprise when I noticed a difference in the texture of my hair before I even got out of the shower. The shampoo produces an excellent amount of suds and rinses out clean. The conditioner, immediately made my hair calm the frig down and also rinsed out easily. I was surprised that my head didn’t feel like it weighed an extra pound after conditioning it. The real test was when I got out of the shower though…

That is when I really noticed how soft and silky it was! I let my hair air dry and shockingly, I didn’t look like I had an afro like I did the day before. It definitely nixed the frizz after just one use and I can tell that with continued use, my hair should get even better. I’m actually amazed… I knew Dove made good soap and body washes, but who knew they had the secret to making hair beautiful? I keep thinking, dear God, what the hell kind of chemicals are in here that would make my hair behave like this?! Who knows! The scientist at Dove have definitely developed a magic formula for good hair days… I’m definitely a convert.

My Red Hair

Make sure you check out Dove’s Great Hair Affair Sweepstakes to print a $1 coupon and also enter to win some fabulous prizes.

Dove Logo

Dove understands that having beautiful, healthy-looking hair gives you the confidence to feel your best. Whether your hair is dry or damaged, Dove has a tailor-made solution for your hair care needs. After just one wash hair is shiny, healthy-looking and full of life. Thanks to Dove, you can look and feel beautiful from the inside out.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Dove via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Dove.

Color Your Hair At Home with Clairol Professional “Classic Collection”


I don’t know about you, but as soon as the weather gets cold and I know summer is over, I’m ready for a change of pace when it comes to my hair! My hair is usually anywhere between shoulder length and lower back and length. Right now, it’s the latter. Because I have so much hair, it get’s pretty heavy having it up in a pony tail, or worse, in a bun all day. I’m definitely ready for a chance in length, at least.

If you aren’t ready to chop off your locks for the colder weather, consider a change in color. It’s easier than ever to quickly and easily change your hair color, get full gray coverage, and do it all on a budget.

With Clairol Professional’s new “Classic Collection” of hair colors, you can get deep conditioning, healthy looking reflective shine, natural looking multi-dimensional color, long lasting results and excellent gray coverage – all from ONE product. Best of all? Youc an do this AT HOME! Not only does that save you time, but it saves you money.

Here’s what the Clairol Professional website says about it’s new “Classic Collection”…

True-to-tone Neutrals; green base brass-busting Ashes; soft Gold Neutrals. Get the classic Miss Clairol tonal results you love, now with SOY4PLEX, for the four signs of healthy-looking color.

These permanent liquid shades can be mixed with each other or with Clairol Professional liquicolor permanente shades for customized color. For best results, use with Pure White or Clairoxide developer.

Classic Collection benefits include:

  • 16 intermixable shades
  • Excellent gray coverage
  • Up to 84% more conditioning than the leading professional cream color
  • Up to 61% more shine*
  • Multi-dimensional shades
  • Long-lasting color

*vs. untreated hair


16 Gorgeous “Classic” Shades To Choose From…

16 shades of classic

So if you are looking to get a new look for Fall but don’t want to drop $100+ at the salon, select one of the 16 gorgeous shades from the Classic Collection and get a professional look in the comfort of your own home.

Clairol Professional Classic Collection Hair Color can be purchased at Sally Beauty Supply stores and online at

classic collection

  1. Clairol Professional Classic Collection Hair Color
  2. Clairol Pure White Creme Developer
  3. Color Bowl
  4. Color Brush
  5. Hair Clips
  6. Gloves


Separate dry hair into four quadrants and secure with hair clips.
Mix equal parts of hair color with developer (Approx 2 oz of Color and 2 oz of 20 Standard Cream Developer).
Apply using desired technique for a full head or brush on roots for retouch application.
Process for around 30-45 minutes total. (45mins for gray hair)
Wash and style!

If you are ready for a change this Fall, start with one of the 16 beautiful shades from the new Clairol Classic Collection.

Come back next Tuesday to see who was lucky enough to get a FREE makeover, by yours truly, that includes a complimentary hair color change courtesy of Clairol Professional! It’s going to be great!


Check out some gorgeous Clairol Classic hair color makeovers
on Instagram by searching for the hashtag #ColorMeClairol

Clairol Logo

Classic makes a comeback. Clairol Professional’s new ‘Classic Collection‘ offers 16 timeless shades with a modern formula for brilliant shine and deep conditioning.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Clairol Professional via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Clairol Professional.

Before and After Pics from My Mini Kitchen Makeover!

If you missed part 1, click here, then check out part 2 here

Here is my kitchen “before” my Mini Kitchen Makeover. Sad, dark and boring. As you can see, I’ve got a little bit of the “Chef” theme going on in my kitchen. It’s been my “thing” for almost 10 years now. I think I’m ready for a change!



My dream is to have a Farmhouse style kitchen, but I’m a little ways away from that dream at the moment. I’m slowly gathering ideas for my dream kitchen in my Inspired Living board on Pinterest.

The first step is going to be painting the woodwork white, which in itself would be a big job. But on top of that, I want white kitchen cabinets at well. Since I definitely can’t afford to buy new kitchen cabinets right now, I will probably end up painting them. Eventually. Someday. At least that’s my dream! Meanwhile, I will keep adding white ceramic a country-themed items into my kitchen to lighten and brighten things up.

Another thing I plan to do soon that will really look great with my new faucet is a backsplash! Right now my backsplash is ugly wallpaper from the previous homeowners and I just haven’t bothered to change it yet. I tend to like the clean, white subway tiles but I also like the look of the beadboard backsplash as well. I can’t wait to rip off that wallpaper and put something beautiful and clean up there! I also totally have my heart set on a big, white, Farmhouse sink as soon as I get the money!

Meanwhile, I installed this absolutely AMAZING Delta Pilar Single Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet with Touch2O® Technology in my kitchen and it made a WORLD of difference.



Not only is it more functional, it certainly adds a huge dose of style and sophistication to the space. Honestly, it made me go from wanting to gut my kitchen to thinking it’s not half bad!

The installation process was a cinch. I did it myself, ladies! Took me less than an hour to get that crappy old faucet out of there and install my beautiful, majestic Delta Touch2O Faucet.

The technology of this faucet has significantly improved how I use the sink as well as the overall cleanliness of the area. First off, the bronze finish wears a LOT better than the polished chrome. No fingerprints, no water spots, just gorgeous, sleek lines. Also, because of the Touch2O Technology, we can simply tap the faucet or the handle to turn the water on with an elbow (I even do it with my chin!) thus avoiding fingerprints, dirt, grime, water spots and germs from getting all over the faucet.

The high arch makes it so much easier to fill pots of water, pitchers for flowers and even giving my son a bath in the sink! I also adore that the sprayer comes out of the faucet head and then magnetically clicks back into place when you’re done. A one-touch button on the sprayer head enables you to turn the stream of water to a shower, while the handle lets you adjust the temperature and the volume of the water.


I feel that this faucet has added a lot to the look and feel of my kitchen as well. As I move forward with kitchen makeover, I will stay inspired by this Delta Faucet and center my design ideas completely around this faucet because I feel that it is the statement piece that made my kitchen go from a house, to my home sweet home.

Amazing what a new faucet can do…


delta logo

Delta Touch2O Technology for your kitchen and bathroom is precisely in tune with your every touch. Take the quiz to learn which faucet style best describes you at

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Deltavia Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Delta.

Fall 2013 Trends: Luxe Look For Less

Now more than ever, we are scrimping and saving every penny we have. I have 2 kids and a total of 6 people to feed, so I can’t “waste” a ton of money on updating my Fall wardrobe this year. Are you in the same boat? No worries! I have a list of My 5 Favorite Fall Trends and how to get that luxe look for less!



Graphic Sweatshirts

I’m absolutely love graphic sweatshirts this season, but I’m not about to pay over $200 for some of the gorgeous ones above. Instead I’m looking in places like TJ Maxx, Target and Forever 21 for graphic print sweatshirts that are on-trend and also, in my budget! I’m thinking around $25 is a more appropriate price for such an item. Here are some adorable graphic sweatshirts I’ve found…



Modern Combat Boots

They are tough, surprisingly versatile and really, we all secretly want a pair to go with that motorcycle we don’t own yet. This season, pair these with flirty skirts, slinky, feminine dresses or cropped pants for a look that is fresh and soooo 2013. Don’t want to spend $300 on a pair? I don’t blame you! Luckily, stores like Marshalls, Target and Kohl’s are stocked with modern combat boots at prices that won’t hurt your eyeballs… or your wallet!



Patterened Pencil Skirts

Such a versatile item for Fall and Winter! This season’s patterned pencils skirts are polished, sophisticated and great for day to night.

For Fall:

Dress it down with a comfy tee, chunky necklace and ballet flats.
Dress it up with a button down blouse, layered necklaces and heels.

For Winter:

Dress it down with a basic sweatshirt, scarf and combat boots.
Dress it up with a button down blouse under a cropped cardigan with a statement necklace and tall boots.

I especially like the selection at Target and ASOS for patterned pencil skirts. Here are a few that are so affordable, you can get a few!



Unique Loafers

First came ballet flats and then the loafer. Now this season, it’s all about being unique and not-so-classic. Look for odd embellishments, graphic prints, studs or anything that makes the loafers stand apart from the crowd. Wear them to work, around town and on the weekend. If you are looking for the perfect pair online, try searching for “smoking slippers” too, as the style is similar. I’m seeing great styles from JC Penny and



Wacky Socks

All right I am pretty sure I am the originator of this trend. I was wearing printed and graphic socks waaaaaay before it was “cool”. I definitely started this trend back in the late 90′s…

With this trend, the wackier – the better. Look for colorful prints, artsy graphics and pretty prints. Just about every store has printed socks, but I’m really loving the selection at Old Navy, Happy Socks and Macys.


This post was brought to you by…


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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Cadillac Certified Pre-Owned Vehiclesvia Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Cadillac Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles.