Five Friday Favorites – August 29th Edition

Five Friday Favorites - A New Kind of Normal

 

I have been trying to come up with some new ideas for A New Kind of Normal and as I’ve been combing through the blogosphere and the land of YouTube, I discovered how much I love Favorites posts or videos. I cannot begin to count how many products/recipes/ideas I have fallen in love with after checking out a favorites post or video by one of my favorite bloggers or YouTubers.

Out of this concept came Five Friday Favorites.

Every Friday I will be sharing my weekly favorites in the following categories: Beauty Product Love, Fashion Find, Gluten-Free Goodness, Pin I’ve Completed, and Most Awesome Blog Post. Of course there is an optional “bonus” favorite because who knows when there may be the need to share a sixth favorite?

Let’s get back in the swing of things and chat about this week’s Five Friday Favorites:

Beauty Product Love

I could not narrow it down to one product this week! I actually have a makeup favorite and 2 hair favorites but its the combo of the two favorites that I love so much so I’m still sticking to the rules. Sort of. I’m pulling out my bonus slots :)

My makeup favorite is actually a brand that I have fallen back in love with, Raving Beauty Cosmetics. I have several of the loose eyeshadow pigments and I love them! They have been sitting in my makeup drawer unused so I decided to pull them back out this week! The very first beauty channel I ever watched on YouTube was GoldieStarling and watching several tutorials using these eyeshadows, I had to give them a try! I have previously posted about her Rocker Eyes tutorial but today I decided to follow the Fall Smokey Eyes tutorial. Loose eyeshadows can be messy but with a good eyeshadow primer and a setting spray, the results are worth it and I love supporting small businesses.

Onto my favorite hair combo of the week! I am in the process of growing out my hair (again!) and I have a lot of hair. My hair is really thick and wavy and while I typically try to tame the waves with a flat iron, I embrace the big and go for a lot of volume and texture. My hair is the thickest at the crown which makes this combo perfect. My two weapons of choice are the Conair All-In-One Comb and the L’Oreal Boost It High Lift Creating Spray. The comb may look a little funny but it is perfect for lifting and styling. After I have finished straightening my hair, I spray the High Lift spray and use the comb to gently tease the roots of my hair in the crown area which helps to counteract the weight of my hair. I love the resulting fullness and texture  so this is definitely a combo I am going to stick with for awhile!

Favorite Hair & Makeup Products

Fashion Find

My fashion find this week is actually a website called ShopMissA.com. The reason that this site is a favorite is that everything on the site is $1. Yes, ladies, you heard me right. One dollar. Miss A is an accessories shop that carries jewelry, hair accessories, and cosmetics. I discovered the site through YouTube and I was pleasantly surprised when I received my first order! I stuck mostly with jewelry and was impressed with the quality. It is a great place to look for more trendy, “disposable” pieces that may not carry from season to season. I tend to have sensitive skin when it comes to jewelry but I have not had any issues with turning colors or irritation. I placed an order this week with some of the new pieces they stocked for the fall! I will definitely post pics on Instagram when it comes in! Definitely check it out and let me know what your favorite pieces are!

Gluten-Free Goodness

I know I happened to post about cookies for my last gluten-free goodness favorite but I’m doing it again! I have always loved Oreos so when I was diagnosed with Celiac disease, I went through withdrawals. When I was first diagnosed four years ago, we did not have a lot of gluten-free options locally but thank goodness that has changed! If you were also an Oreo addict in a past gluten-filled life, you need to find the Glutino Chocolate Vanilla Creme cookies. They are amazing! The Glutino Chocolate Chip cookies are great too if you were a more Chips-ahoy girl. I wonder if we could petition to have them create double-stuffed? :)

Pin I’ve Completed

As I shared yesterday, I am now the mother of a kindergartener and we had our first day of school celebration on Monday! I knew that I wanted to make a sign for Abby to hold for pictures but I also knew that I hate my handwriting so this is where Pinterest stepped in. I discovered these adorable first day of school chalkboard printables by Yellow Bliss Road (which has to be the cutest name ever for a blog) so I sent the sign to Walgreens for printing and put it in a frame! The awesome part is that she has last day of school chalkboard printables too! Awesome!

Five Friday Favorites - Favorite Pin

 

Most Awesome Blog Post

One of my absolute favorite places to find blogging tips and tutorials is Independent Fashion Blogger’s (IFB). Even though I am trying to discover my own style and writing more posts about my favorite beauty and fashion finds, I would not consider myself a fashion blogger. I don’t think you can call yourself a fashion blogger if you get super excited that overalls seem to be coming back in style. Regardless of my niche, IFB is an amazing resource for blogging and tech tips. One of the areas I struggle the most in getting the hang of is SEO (search engine optimization). I know how important SEO is in bringing traffic to your blog and even though I sat in an SEO workshop at the Type A Conference I attended, I still don’t get it. Trying to grasp SEO reminds me of trying to grasp sines and cosines in trigonometry in the 11th grade. There is just a disconnect there but the good news is that IFB posted an amazing post this week that includes 40 (yes, forty) resources as a part of their IFB’s Guide to SEO. The resources are broken down into manageable, bite-size pieces which has helped me get a better grasp on SEO without becoming overstimulated and overwhelmed. If you are SEO-challenged like I am, you will want to check this post out and either Pin it or bookmark it!

 

There are a few of my favorite things for this week! I would love to hear about your favorites so let me know in the comments if you guys would be interested in making this a weekly linkup!

Do you have any favorites this week that I need to check out? 

Ready For Kindergarten

I have a hard time believing that Abby is already old enough to start school and ready for kindergarten! It seems like yesterday I was announcing that I was finally a mom and shared the good news about finally becoming a family of three! Now I am spending my afternoons in the car rider pickup line waiting on a head full of curls to come bouncing out the front door of the school!

Our school system does a stagger start for the kindergarteners to help them adjust to the new schedule and new environment which I think is great. Her teacher was able to focus on 7 kids at a time and show them where everything goes and how everything works. God bless kindergarten teachers (and all teachers for that matter) for being able to handle the moods and drama of five year olds. I have one and I want to pull my hair out sometimes so I cannot begin to imagine dealing with 20. Especially 20 over-stimulated, over-tired five year olds the first couple weeks. When I did my student teaching (K-5 music), I had two classes of kindergarteners at a time (meaning 40-50 kids at a time) and I have no idea how I survived. I was much younger then. And a lot more healthy. Makes a difference.

Even with the migraines that have been plaguing me the last 4-6 weeks, I was determined to make the first day of school a special day. I am not an overly crafty person (creative but not crafty) so I took to Pinterest for some fun but simple ideas.

Is it just me or do you think the Pinterest era has created unrealistic expectations? That is another post for another day.

One of the things that I loved about Abby’s school is that they sent home a special card that had a poem and a little bag of confetti. The poem was about the first day of school and said that if you placed the confetti under your pillow you would have sweet dreams and great sleep to kick off the new year.

I think it worked:

Getting Ready for Kindergarten

 

Her first day started nice and early but once we got her fully awake, she was really excited about the day to come (none of the Millers are morning people). I printed off a First Day of Kindergarten chalkboard print and probably took a bazillion pictures on the front porch. I loved having the First & Last Day pictures from PreK to see how much she had grown! She picked out her first day of school outfit and chose a sparkly Twilight Sparkle skirt. The girl loves her sparkles and her Ponies (her cousin got her hooked). I also snuck out balloons to put in the backseat for her ride to school (that may have been her favorite part of the morning). John’s family had the tradition of going out for breakfast the first day of school every year so we were excited to do the same. When we got to school, she walked in like she owned the place:

Ready for Kindergarten

 

After school I had a little surprise waiting at home. We had a little “you survived the first day of kindergarten” party (maybe more like your mom and dad survived the first day of kindergarten).  I used the same picture frame from the morning pictures as the centerpiece and put a note, flashcards, and glitter on the table and attached a few streamers to the world’s most ugly chandelier (one day we will get around to replacing that horrid thing!).

Ready for Kindergarten

 

It was an absolutely memorable day and while there are tears with watching my baby girl grow up, I am also excited to see her grow into her own little person and to see what God has in store for her! Her first full week is next week so hopefully the excitement continues!

Do you have any special traditions with your children for the start of the year or did you have any special traditions growing up? Would love to hear about them!