Getting Personal – Family Vacations Through the Years!

For as long as I can remember my dad’s side of the family has gotten together every other year for a destination family reunion. We’re spaced all over the U.S. (from here in PA, Maryland, Arizona, Nevada, Florida… basically you can go to any state and have family to stay with), so the reunion is a way to get together and have fun. If not for that, we’d only ever see each other all at the same time for weddings and funerals.

In the past we’ve road tripped as long as 7 hours and ended up at beaches (Bethany Beach, Delaware, being my favorite and probably the one destination we ended up at the most), lakes and even Colonial Williamsburg. Below is a small collage of photos from reunions past, including the one we just went to this year in Deep Creek, Maryland at the Wisp Resort.

(^Going Clockwise from Top Left: Hershey, PA circa 2003 — yes we totally get shirts made for these; me with my Aunt Gloria at a family wedding circa 2000 I believe. Maybe 2001; Grandma with all five of her great-grandchildren — Julia, Anna Rose, Lydia (that blondie belongs to me lol) in 2014, Alexander (also my Godson!) and Owen (mine); my dad with his brothers circa 2014).

The lake was so gorgeous this year. We spent a lot of time at a pavilion by the water and the next day a lot of the family went boating. There was even an area built for white water rafting that I’d have loved to have tried out but my kids were way too little. Also who wants to do that alone?! Especially when you’re not athletic and kind of just want to go for the ride and not work out =D. It’s so awesome to see my kids playing with cousins that are at or around the same age. The resort had this amazing obstacle course for kids (aka Chipmunks) and also one for adults (Spider Monkeys, if you will). My kids did the Chipmunk one three times and we rode a mountain roller coaster where you control the speed. Brakes are for wimps, FYI.

(^what 5 & 7 year olds don’t strap on a helmet and go zip-lining?)

As much as the resort had going on activity wise, when you see a pond and you see ducks and fish in/on said pond, you really just have to feed them. And then yell at them because they’re full from everyone else feeding them all day and they won’t take your bread. On the way home the kids are always passed out in the car. Which is the perfect ending to successful family fun time. Naps for the kids, and a little peace for mom 😉

(^Seriously, how is that comfortable?!)

There’s no better vehicle to bring the family together than the Chevy Traverse. With seating for up to 81., everyone in the family can join in on the fun. A 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score for safety2. helps keep everyone safe on your journey to find new roads, no matter where, or how far, it takes you. And best-in-class maximum cargo space makes packing for family road trips, or hauling around children’s sporting equipment, a breeze. With all these great features and more, there’s no question the Chevy Traverse is the ultimate family vehicle. Learn more at http://www.chevrolet.com/traverse-mid-size-suv.html.

  1. Standard on LS and 1LT. Available on 2LT. LTZ seats 7.
  2. Government 5-Star Safety Ratings are part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s New Car Assessment Program (www.SaferCar.gov).

Makeup Wars – Travel Items I Wish I Could Afford & How to Get Them on the Cheap

This week for Makeup Wars we’re featuring our must have travel items. I’ve covered posts similar in the past when I went to New York and Florida as well as for Beauty Blogger Travel. For this post I wanted to do something a little different by sharing my Travel Items Lust List and a site I have been using to silently stalk these items to get them pre-loved and much, much cheaper.

What are the must have travel items that I lust for? Louis Vuitton luggage, of course. I’d love to get my hands on a keepall, suitcase and cosmetic case as well as a scarf and sunglasses for good measure. Ideally in carry-on sizes, because I’m too paranoid to let them out of my sight.

How am I attempting to get these items on the cheap? I’m using a luxury reseller called The RealReal. They offer pre-loved designer items at up to 90% off the original price and *BONUS* they will also give you 20% off of your first purchase for an even bigger discount… YES you can get brands like Louis Vuitton, Dior, Gucci, Hermes… the list is endless! You can also consign your designer items and make some quick cash.

Other sites that carry authentic designer items at discounted prices are ShopBop, Gilt and HauteLook.

What travel item out there is on your lust list?

***This post contains affiliate links & referral links.

I’m Headed to IMATS NYC!

As of today I’m on the road! My step-sis and I are driving to NYC and hitting the town and taking IMATS by storm 😉 If you’re going to be there definitely come say hi if you see me!

I do have a few posts scheduled but will be a bit slower with replying to and approving comments and emails. Please bear with me until I return on Monday 😉

Of course upon my return there will be posts and photos, but if you want to keep up with me while I’m in the city follow me on Twitter and Instagram!

For now, a little peek on some of the beauty goods I packed:

The small bag above is from MAC (for my purse) and the big bag is the Hold Me Bag which will hold all of the below!

I also took the clothing and items sent from i-ella in this post. Can’t wait to get to NYC!

Makeup Wars: Beauty Blogger Travel

Oh, you over-pack shoes?

As a Beauty Blogger I over-pack makeup.

When it comes to being sensible for travel in terms of fashion, I have it down. I actually lay out all of my outfits ahead of time so that I have only what I need. Everything I want to take is removed from my closet and throughout the 48 hours before my trip I remove things that aren’t must-haves. So, why can’t I do this with beauty?

I will tell you why. Because all beauty is a must-have to me! What if I NEED it?! Of course, my HG’s come along always, but depending on what you are traveling to and what events are taking place, you may need some other special items.

For this Makeup Wars, we’re taking you into our travel beauty bags to show you what we like to bring with us when we go out of town, on vacation or on any sort of trip (business or pleasure!).

So, this is probably a little bit more than what I’d actually end up taking, but I didn’t really choose an event to base this off of. I grabbed up my must haves. My absolute I’m-not-leaving-my-life-behind-for-an-airplane-without-you.

For the face, I absolutely bring the Miracle Skin Transformer Skin and Treat & Conceal, as well as Make Up For Ever Pro Finish (because it’s like a powder and foundation in one), Le Metier de BeautePeau Vierge Correcteur Concealer, Neutrogena Healthy Skin Brightening Eye Perfector and finally the Le Metier de Beaute Blush Kaleidoscope because it’s everything cheeky in one!

The eye makeup is where I can tend to go really overboard. Luckily items like the Urban Decay Naked Palette (versions one and two) make for excellent travel companions! Another palette that is a must have and can be worn for multiple types of events is the Le Metier de Beaute Penelope Kaleidoscope. The liners you see below are the Le Metier de Beaute Dualistic Eye Pencil in Champagne (an excellent base for all shadows!), MAC Orpheus & Mystery Kohl Power, Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in 23L to wake up (I also like 24L when I’m going for a natural look) and for a more dramatic look I’ll use NARS Carpates on the top lid. For mascara I would grab the Neutrogena Healthy Volume (because it’s currently the mascara I’m cheating on MAC Plushlash with), and to cap it off the MAC Clear Brow Set for eyes and Dior DiorShow Brow Styler. Of course, we can’t forget the eye primer – I tend to reach for Urban Decay Primer Potion the most.

For lips, I like to use Le Metier de Beaute because the brand is known for how well the products layer and wear. San Tropez Colour Core Moisture Stain Lipstick makes for the perfect base to layer on a shade to match any outfit. Three glosses from the same line that I would take along with me are Two Lips Lip Creme, Mums the Word Lip Creme and Red Velvet Lip Creme. For those times that you don’t want to worry about reapplication of ANY kind, Make Up For Ever #8 Aqua Rouge is a must have. My lip liner of choice is always MAC Subculture, because it’s the closest to my lip pigment. Urban Decay Ozone is also a great choice when you’re wearing deep colors that might bleed.

As for brushes, it’s easy to stay minimal because you can take brush cleanser in a travel bottle and wash them every night. The brushes that I have to have with me are always the Sigma F80, and MAC Brushes 168, 239, 219, 272 and 226.

There you have it! I stuck with just makeup for this post, but in terms of skin care I learned my lesson the hard way when I went to Disney World in April, so now I stick with my usual skin care from Murad as well as my frizz-free hair care from Living Proof. My fragrance of choice is Chanel Chance and I tend to try and get sample vials of that, especially if I’m on an airplane. I’ll also take whatever nail polish I’m wearing on my tips and toes as well as a top coat just in case. To see some of these things, check out a previous Makeup Wars that we did based off of our HG’s!

What are your must have travel items, beauty or otherwise?

See what the other participants in this installment of Makeup Wars came up with! I’m really excited to see what the other bloggers take with them when they travel! What WILL we think of next?!

Virginia Beauty Blogger Meetup!

On my recent quick trip to Virginia to test out the Le Metier de Beaute CHEM60 Pro-Peel and GLOW10ai Mask Set I also got the opportunity to meet up with a few of my fellow bloggers!

(L-R: Me, Kelly, Anne & Elvira)

The ladies in attendance were the ever lovely Elvira ofPink Sith, Kelly ofGouldylox and Anne ofBeauty Xpose. We had a fun time with makeup at Neiman Marcus and tons of laughs and talks over Cheesecake Factory. Unfortunately, I had to hit the road after that to head home BUT there will be another trip in the works VERY SOON so I can hang out with these ladies again and shop much, much more.

And, yes, Kelly totally picked her seat on purpose so she could be in every single picture. Just kidding. Not really.

Vacation Summation & Central Florida Blogger Meet Up!

So I had a flipping great time in Florida! We were down there for 8 days and as much as I love Disney, I was ready to get home to the house and the doggie.

We hit the following parks – Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Universal Studios, and Animal Kingdom. Animal Kingdom was the only semi-let down. It’s basically a glorified zoo. The only REALLY cool thing is the Safari, so you do need to do that once. After the other four parks, though, I expected more from the AK!

I was super excited to see the Max Factor vintage store front and makeup displays at Universal. There was also really cool makeup effects in a theater for makeup, but pictures weren’t so easy to get in there, so I only have a few of the Max Factor to show you:

The kids had a blast and my son insisted we move there immediately. “We need to get the dog, sell the house, and move here”. LOL

Before I left I posted that I was coming and Brittany from Clumps of Mascara mentioned we should meet up! I’m all for meeting more bloggers (there aren’t so many of us that I know of in Pittsburgh) so I got with the girls one evening at Bahama Breeze and had the BEST time talking beauty, fashion and blogs with some of the greatest minds in Florida (and the best freaking chocolate pineapple upside down cake EVER)!

In attendance (other than me) were Brittany from Clumps of Mascara, Kim from Libby’s Pink Vanity, Catherine from Beauty by Cat, Toni from Toniiz Beauty Blog, Zulay from World of Henna, Pamela from Pamela’s Closet, Lo’Real from Make Me Up In HD, and Elizabeth from Lacquered Up Glittah.

How gorgeous are these ladies?! It’s a whole table of bloggie talent! And Wi-Fi Vampires! Between all of us running laptops, iPads… etc, the normal diner was not getting online. Sorry, bud!

If you’ll notice, Brittany is only noticeable between two heads (but you wouldn’t know it unless I told you) and I’m really leaned in… the woman taking the photo was snapping away and not mentioning that we weren’t all in. One of the girls will have a photo of both Brittany and I messing around with our arms in the air and jumping into the photo lol

Don’t worry, Brittany! I got ya featured 😉

She is using some amazing lip gloss from Philosophy that is a FLASHLIGHT and has a future place in my makeup bag.

Another shot of Brittany and I:

Excuse the shine… it’s hot as Hades in Florida!

Thank you for the AWESOME time and welcome, Central Florida Bloggers! I love every one of you and if $$$$ weren’t an issue I’d fly down every single month!

Back From Vacation

Back from vacation and it was a BLAST seeing so many of my family members. My Dad’s side does this every other year where everyone gets together for a long weekend at a different location. We’re pretty much ALL over the US and have been as far away as Vegas (I’m in PA!).

This year we went to Oglebay (located about 90 minutes from me in West Virginia) and it was just absolutely breathtaking. We set a tent up on the bed and Jeff and Owen camped out every night lol there were butterflies EVERYWHERE and lots of fun things planned.

Here is a huge group shot of my entire family (that could attend) and my core family.

and of course a shot of a butterfly at the resort because I was just in LOVE!

We spent most of our time at family planned activities, but they have so many things there like horseback riding, paddle boats, a light show, golf, spa… something for everyone! We did get a chance to go to the Good Zoo. It’s a small zoo but they have a petting zoo area for the kids and some really cool animals.

I hope you guys all had a great weekend too (and are going to have a great one coming up!) – be prepared for a couple posts today and a special treat tomorrow 😉