I have always been an over packer.

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The problem with over packers is it’s hard for us to admit it. If anyone made a comment about how many shoes or jeans I was bringing, I always had an excuse on why I absolutely needed every single item in my suitcase. There were numerous times my suitcase went over the 50b limit but I always just blamed it on certain items being heavy. It wasn’t until I was on my 2nd European vacation that I accepted this title and was pretty embarrassed by it. My husband and I were on a train going from Prague to Berlin. We ended up sitting with a business man from Germany and he took one look at the size of my suit case and goes… American? He then proceeded to talk to us about how he’s noticed a lot of American travelers over pack, and well, he’s right! That trip I didn’t use 50% of what I packed. Since then I have really tried to pack ‘Smart’ regardless of my final destination. Here are some of my top tips when packaging for vacation.

1. Use the proper luggage size – Don’t pack a 30″ suitcase if you’re going away for a short weekend or only for a few days. When you pull out a bag that is oversized, you will always find a way to fill it.

2. Roll, don’t fold – There’s always an exception to the rule but for the most part, rolling vs folding your clothes will give you more space when packing. I even go the extra mile and will use large ziplock bags to compress the clothing which makes everything even more organized.

3. Make a list & stick to it – Make a list of everything you need down to your toothbrush, check it twice. Sticking to the list will make sure you don’t bring additional items as well as making sure that you aren’t forgetting anything important.

4. Pack clothing that is versatile – This is a big one! You don’t need 5 pairs of jeans, 2 sneakers, 3 heels and an endless amount of leggings. Pack clothing that can go from day to night easily and can be reused more than once. Pack only the essentials when it comes to footwear. Try to stick to neutral colors and think about comfort.

5. Leave behind basic toiletries  – Unless you’re traveling to space, your final destination will more than likely have a place that you can purchase all your toiletries and all those other items that not only take up room but add extra weight. Also, your hotel may provide many of these things, including a blow dryer and iron! If you must pack it – think travel sized instead of full-sized.

6. Make use of those extra spaces – Filling your shoes can free up some extra space. It’s the perfect spot for your rolled underwear, socks and even chargers.

Do you have any additional tips that help you pack smart? Leave a comment letting me know what they are!

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As a First Time Mom you are constantly being told from other people what works and what doesn’t. Now that my son is 5 months I can honestly say it varies for each baby. What one persons child loves another one can hate. These products I have listed are items I personally feel will work for all Moms! I also want to note that this isn’t a sponsored post, these are all items I own and use on a daily basis! These items have made not only my day but my son’s day go a lot smoother.
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1.DockATot – If there is 1 item I had to chose as my absolute MUST HAVE item for any parent, this would be it! This product is a game changer. My son at 2 months old was a terrible sleeper. We were up literally every 2 hours during the night and just figured this would be life for a few more months so we just got used to it. When I received the DockATot I didn’t expect much except a comfy new spot for my son but I was wrong, it is so much more. The first night he slept in it, he slept for 5 hours before waking up for a feeding and it has only gotten better. He is now 5 months and uses his DockATot everyday – not only for bedtime but also for naps, tummy time and just hanging out during the day. We just got back from the Caribbean and it was super easy to carry on the plane with us and it doubled as the perfect spot for him on the beach and pool. It comes in 2 sizes, Deluxe ($165) & Grand ($360) – they are worth every penny and grow with your baby. For $10 off your order at www.DockATot.com, use the promo code: 10OFF
2.Fisher-Price Whale Rub / $27 – There are so many tubs for babies out there that you will literally go crazy looking through all the brands and the features. I love this tub because it’s a no frill basic tub. You can use it in your own bathtub or in the kitchen sink and it grows with your child from infant to toddler. It includes a baby stopper and soft foam back which prevents your infant from sliding into the water.
3.Graco Soothing System Glider  / $240 – Graco’s Soothing System Glider has four modes, including a gliding swing, gliding bassinet, portable bouncer and portable bassinet. I mainly only use the gliding systems but have used the portable bouncer a handful of times. This is the only thing my son will nap in. The gliding bassinet was amazing when we first brought my son home from the hospital and now at 5 months he loves the gliding swing.
4.Happy Wrap / $48 – I’m all about baby wearing! Before giving birth I wasn’t really sure if it would be my thing but fast forward to having a fussy newborn who won’t let you put him down and you will try anything. I absolutely love Happy Wrap. Designed for today’s active parent, the Happy Wrap is stylish, comfortable, and fully adjustable leaving you free to get things done while enjoying the closeness of your baby. It supports a baby up to 25lbs and is lightweight and breathable.
5.Babyganics Essentials Gift Set / $28 – I think lotions and bath care is something First Time parents really freak out about. Browsing through labels and trying to break down every ingredient can be not only time consuming but aggravating. Babyganics has really figured it out. All products are made with plant-based, baby-safe ingredients so your baby can go forth and grow safely. Some of my favorite products are the Alcohol-free Foaming Hand Sanitizer, Moisturizing Daily Lotion and the 50+ SPF Sunscreen.
6.The First Years Quick Serve Bottle Warmer / $16 – This is the BEST bottle warmer in my opinion. Super affordable and it works like a charm. I didn’t think I would need a bottle warmer in the beginning but when you have a baby waking up every 2 hours in the middle of the night, you don’t have time waiting for a bottle sitting in water to warm up. This only takes 3 minutes and never over heats the milk.
7.Philips Avent Green Soothie / $4 – I was 100% that pregnant lady saying that her child would’t use a pacifier. When you bring your baby home and he won’t stop crying – you will literally try any and everything! This was the only pacifier that my son would use and he still loves these. Make sure to stock up, for some reason they just end up lost!
8.Munchkin Arms & Hammer Diaper Bags / $4 – My husband and I did’t want a diaper pail/genie. It just isn’t our thing. These bags are inexpensive and really great! We keep them next to the diapers in the nursery for when our son goes #2 as well as in the diaper bag.
9.Nuby Teethers / $2.99+ – At only 2 1/2 months my son was pre teething. This mean tons of drool and him trying to munch on everything in site. The Nuby teethers are my favorite because theres a variety of types and he loves them. My favorite feature is the massaging bristles which really help makes his gums feel better.
10.Dr. Brown Standard Bottles / $10+ – I heard from tons of other moms while pregnant that babies only like certain bottles and that I should get a few different types to try them out. I also heard how Dr. Brown bottles had so many parts which made me decide not to get them. Well, I guess I was lucky – my son would literally drink from any bottle. Then at 2 months the gas started. He was super fussy and we just could’t figure out what to do. My pediatrician suggesting switching to Dr. Brown bottles and at that time I was willing to try anything to help him. These bottles are heaven sent. They help with digestion, reduce colic and spitting up and preserve bottle nutrients. They even came out with a really great options bottle. Oh… and I have zero complaints about cleaning them. They are the best bottle on the market.
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While I do have a few other products that I really like these 10 are the ones I constantly use. I hope this list really can help some of you when creating your registry or even trying to purchase something for a shower. If you have any questions on any of the items above – just send me a message! xo

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I had the opportunity to attend the Urban Decay + Gwen Stefani Launch Party last week. We got to mix, mingle, sip on cocktails and best of all – check out the whole entire collection! The line includes a Blush Palette, Eyeshadow Palette, Brow Box, 8 lipsticks and 6 glide on lip pencils.

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The packaging is stunning but the real prize is once you open each item up. The colors & shades are vibrant and pigmented. The Eyeshadow Palette is soft and bendable. It’s filled with great neutrals as well as bold pops of color. The Blush Palette has shades ranging from matte bronze to a gorgeous shade of pink – all of which have buildable coverage.

The lipsticks are very ‘Gwen’, especially all of the reds. The formula of both the lipsticks and lip pencils are fabulous. They go on super smooth and last, which is always a plus! I received three shades and have swatched them so you can see how they look on my skin tone.

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[L to R – Ex-Girlfriend, Phone Call & Plaid]

Overall this collection is a MUST. It’s definitely one of my favorite Urban Decay palettes and you can create so many looks with it. It goes on sale TODAY at the Urban Decay website!

Go check it out!

What are your favorite items and shades from this collection?? If you are interested in seeing swatches of the eyeshadow palette or blush palette – let me know! xo

The Golden Globes took place last night in Beverly Hills. Celebrities walked the red carpet showing off gorgeous gowns but what always catches my eye is Hair & Makeup! Thanks to the tips below from L’Oréal Paris, you can achieve these looks at home.

Taraji P. Henson

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MAKEUP ARTIST: Ashunta Sheriff for L’Oreal Paris
INSPIRATION: “To accentuate Taraji’s white Stella McCartney dress, we decided collectively (as we often do), to go for a clean and fresh look and have it paired with sultry eyes and lips. This look is not only chic, but sexy and effortless; perfect for anyone who wants to play as a goddess for the night.”

· First, Ashunta started with a clean and moisturized canvas and applied the Revitalift Miracle Blur ($24.99) as a primer for a smooth makeup application
· Next, she applied True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation in C5.5 ($16.99) all over her face and neck
· To follow, she gently applied True Match Concealer in Medium/Deep Neutral ($8.95) under brow bones, eyes and down the bridge of the nose to create a natural highlight effect
· To avoid an oily T-zone, Ashunta gently patted on True Match Powder in C6 ($10.95).
· As a first step for the eyes, she applied Colour Riche Eyeshadow in Sunset Seine ($5.99) all over the lid and followed with Colour Riche Eyeshadow in Café Au Lait ($5.99) on the creases only
· For a dramatic lash, she applied three coats of Voluminous Superstar Red Carpet Mascara ($10.99) on both the bottom and top lashes. “It’s a two-step mascara that creates sexy full, thick lashes in the blackest of black shades.”
· She lined both the upper and lower lash lines (staying out of the watermark) using Infallible Black Velvet Liner ($9.99). “This really outlines Taraji’s beautiful almond-shaped eyes and makes them stand out.”
· Once the eyes were all set, Ashunta moved on to cheeks, gently applying Visible Lift Blur Blush in Soft Pink ($12.99) using her fingers onto the apples of cheeks for a dewy and fresh result
· She outlined Taraji’s lips using Colour Riche Lip Liner ($8.48) and finished filling in with Infallible Pro-Matte Gloss in Bare Attraction ($9.99)
· Her last and final “red carpet ready” step was to spritz Infallible Makeup Setting Spray ($16.99) for a long lasting finish.

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Heidi Klum

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MANICURIST: L’Oréal Paris Global Manicurist, Tom Bachik
INSPIRATION: “Red was all the rage for nails on the carpet this week. We wanted to give Heidi a pop of color on her nails, so went with a bright red shade to complement her look.”

· First, Tom filed nails into a classic round shape
· He next applied L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Nailcolor in Red Infallible ($9.99) to Heidi’s nails. After dry, Tom applied the top coat side of the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Nailcolor and let dry
· Tom advises maintaining a manicure using L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Facial Oil ($24.99); a drop on each nail 1-2 daily will keep nail color looking fresh and shiny, and cuticles hydrated.

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Jennifer Lopez

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HAIR STYLIST: Lorenzo Martin for L’Oreal Paris
INSPIRATION: “This evening, Jennifer went for a classic Hollywood look with her hair slightly flipped and parted to the side.”

· Lorenzo, first washed Jennifer’s hair with L’Oréal Paris Advanced Haircare Extraordinary Oil Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner ($4.99 each)
· For texture and volume, Lorenzo sprayed L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Boost It Air-Blown Texture Mist ($4.99) to add body to the blow out
· Using a small round brush, he then blow dried hair in small sections
· Next, Lorenzo sprayed the hair with L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Boost It Blow Out Heat Spray ($4.99)
· Using a 1” barrel curling iron, he curled the hair in one direction, pinned it and let cool
· He then added a bit of shine using L’Oréal Paris Advanced Haircare Extraordinary Oil Lustrous Oil Serum ($6.99) on the front and ends of hair
· Lorenzo finished the look by brushing out the hair and setting with L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray ($14.99)

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MAKEUP ARIST: Mary Phillips for L’Oréal Paris
INSPIRATION: “ If you saw the Giambattista Valli dress, you’ll instantly get old Hollywood glamour with the shape and even the mustardy, marigold color. The cape and the diamonds, it’s perfection. Her skin and that lip color are the hallmarks of this look. It’s very elegant, gorgeous, and beautiful, while still being very modern and today. We’re always experimenting with her looks, and I think that tonight perfectly reflects that, with this classic, old school dose of beauty.”

· Mary first applied Armani Prima Eye and Lip Contour Perfector on the upper eye lid and around all around the mouth and lip, as lips should be just as hydrated as skin
· Next, she created a natural 3D effect by layering sheerer colors of L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation (C5.5 NATURAL TAN, 5.5 Perfect Beige, and W3 Nude Beige — $16.99)
· She used darker shades in the Infallible Pro Contour Palette ($12.99) in 814 Medium along the jawline, underneath the cheek bones, on the temple and hairline of the forehead and along the nose. The highlighter hue was applied to the center of the forehead, nose, directly above the jawline, and underneath the browbone.
· Mary’s self-proclaimed “holy grail” blush, L’Oreal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Blush in Spiced Plum C7-8 ($10.99), was added to the apples of cheeks for a fresh pop of color and extra dimension
· On eyelids, with special attention to browbones, is L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Eyeshadow Mono in 306 ($5.99). Shade 201 is the backdrop color applied in the crease and 205 is added at the center of the upper lid and along the lower lashline
· She drew a very, very thin line of L’Oréal Paris Infallible Black Velvet Liner ($9.99) on the top lashes only, and concentrated on making the line a little fuller at the ends without “winging out” too much, as that can tend to look costume-y with the rest of the look. Mary finished the liner look by applying L’Oréal Paris Infallible Matte-Matic Liner ($8.99) to the upper and lower lashlines, making sure to get in between lashes to add drama in an understated, “un-heavy” sort of way
· In order to achieve long, lush eyelashes that had the perfect hint of depth that wouldn’t compete in any way with the lip, Mary primed and coated lashes using L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Superstar Mascara ($10.99)
· Mary mixed three lip shades, building up colors in different areas, applying darker colors to the outside of the mouth, and then working her way in. She wanted the lips to be dark but not vampy, and also have dimension and not come across as a one-note color. She customized the lip just for Jennifer using L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Gloss in ROUGE ENVY, NUDE ALLUDE and FORBIDEEN KISS ($9.99) for a very full lip effect, that was neither too wet nor matte.

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*All products are available at LorealParisUSA.com and mass and drugstores nationwide