How I Am Saving This Spring With Walmart Family Mobile

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MarchIntoSavings #CollectiveBias
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Spring time is finally slowly arriving here in the North East. I am excited as the weather gets warmer and family trips are planned ahead. March also marks the beginning of soccer season for my son, art classes once a week and the usual weekly juggling of texting/ calling for work updates and bridal season. March is a time when we can put some savings into place so that we can enjoy the rest of the warmer season. I really like my current smart phone but needed to make some room for savings ASAP as we have plans to go away in April. One of the ways I decided to save money for my family is by changing my monthly mobile plan spending. I looked around for an affordable Unlimited Talk Text and Data/Web plan that would allow me to keep my unlocked phone and found the best deal with Walmart Family Mobile. When I went to my local Walmart, I was advised to pick up the Nano starter kit for just $25 and this worked with my unlocked phone without any issues. The total cost of my new mobile plan is $29.88/month with Unlimited Talk, Text & Data service, including up to 500MB of 4G LTE data. I was done looking.

One of the reasons why I like this new plan by Walmart Family Mobile is the fact that there is no annual contract and it is a postpaid plan, it is simple and easy to set up. With the new 4G LTE the network spans to cover more than 280 million people nationwide, this is fantastic for a pre-paid plan. With my former mobile plan, I was averaging between $90 monthly for the same exact service and coverage! Let’s do the math here, it is a $60.12 savings every month which a year would amount to $721.44! The numbers don’t lie, it is an exceptional savings which for a family of four, is one plane ticket to Europe to see our family there and or a trip to Peru.

If you are a parent with teenagers and kids in college, this is a perfect idea to get an unlocked phone set up for them using Walmart Family Mobile. Adding an extra line gives you a savings of $5 less per line. You may also choose to do Unlimited Talk & Text or Unlimited Talk, Text & Data, or mix & match on the same plan to fit your needs. I highly recommend going this route to start saving money, it is a great options for families and simple to set up.

For me the benefits of this savings on my mobile service, allow for a much needed family vacation. We are headed down to Peru in a couple of weeks and couldn’t be more excited as this is a trip long overdue for me (it’s only been seven years since I haven’t travelled to see my relatives in Lima). What are you excited for this spring season?

My Body Care Routine Featuring Softsoap Fresh & Glow Body Wash

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FreshAndGlow #CollectiveBias
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If there is one thing I love for sure is a good body care routine. Good body skin texture is refreshing and makes me feel better no matter what season we are in. After long hours of work on set doing makeup and riding the subway home, I always look forward to my shower time. Like my face skincare routine, I take great pride in making sure I also do the same with the rest of my body. I tend to favor heavy hydrating body washes because it works well with my skin type (mostly dry). The new Softsoap Fresh & Glow body hydrating body wash is just what the doctor recommended, it is made with Milk Protein Almond and Coconut 100% Real Extracts. Having a hydrating element in my daily shower is key to having supple body skin year round. What I love about Softsoap Fresh & Glow body hydrating body wash is the subtle scent of coconut, it is like the scent of a vacation, invigorating and sweet. The knowledge that my body skin feels radiant, hydrated and soft as it can, makes me a happy camper.

The next step to my body care is exfoliation. I exfoliate religiously 3-5 times a week, it is the second most important step to making sure my skin does not feel dry or scaly. Exfoliation is crucial during the winter months when the air is dry and we are indoors with heating on, we get rid of extra skin and impurities through exfoliation. I use a loofah with Softsoap Fresh & Glow Exfoliating Fruit Polish, it works especially well and leaves me ready for deep hydration after. The formula has Apricot Seeds, Orange & Kiwi 100% Real Extracts, and it also smells like fresh fruit.

After exfoliation, it is good practice to apply a heavier body cream. Since Softsoap Fresh & Glow Exfoliating Fruit Polish takes care of getting rid of dead cells, using a good moisturizer (or body cream if your skin is dry like mine) is like the finishing step to comfort and protect our skin all over, focusing in the drier parts like elbows and knees. Once all this is done, I am ready to and relax after a long day, pure bliss. Both Softsoap Fresh & Glow body washes are available at all Walmart locations!

Osmosis Pür Medical StemFactor Serum Review

Stemfactor Growth+Factor+SerumOsmosis Pür Medical StemFactor is a new serum I’ve been testing. My dry skin has had the worst winter ever dealing with super cold temperatures. All of February, I had to double up on my moisturizing, exfoliate more, cleanse and remove my makeup with mostly oil-based agents to avoid more drying up further. I liked the idea of trying out Osmosis Pür Medical StemFactor Serum, the ingredients and formula sounded lovely and like they would agree with my face. And so they did! This serum absorbs very fast into the skin, it is meant to treat aspects of skin aging and hyper pigmentation.

Serums are like an additional barrier of help for the skin, most are used in addition to a daily regimen. Typically, I use a serum as the “extra” in my skincare (cleanse, tone, moisture + serum, as well as exfoliate 2-3 times a week). I know this sounds like a lot of steps but if you are serious about your anti-aging care like I am, it is very simple like brushing your teeth and showering. Osmosis Pür Medical StemFactor serum helps by promoting collagen and elastic production. As we age, we lose collagen and elasticity, and this why the extra step is so important.

My recommendation when applying Osmosis Pür Medical StemFactor is use your favorite heavy moisturizer first on a cleansed face. Once moisturizer is on and feels like it is starting to absorb, I’d apply a thin layer of Osmosis Pür Medical StemFactor using my fingertips in a drum-like motion to perk up and give a nice flush to the face. This should be a routine every day, no excuses especially if your skin is dry and you are looking to amp up your anti-aging habits. It is never too early or too late to start!

Adult Stem Cell Derived Conditioned Media, Phosphatidylcholine, Harmonized Water, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Essential Oil Blend.

Osmosis Pür Medical StemFactor Serum retails for $125

**This product was given to me for editorial consideration, all opinions and views are my own. There may be affiliate links within this post

Tips On How To Handle Stress

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As I write this post, I am already stressing on what is coming up today (dinner, homework, blogging, cleaning my brushes for tomorrow’s job). It is non-stop with me as a working makeup artist, blogger, wife and mom of two but it wouldn’t be “me” without all this. In this day and age, there are many ways to lessen your stress factor, some people relax by slowing down, some exercise, and others do activities like gardening, cooking, knitting. For myself, how I get rid of stress takes some slowing down combined with the homeopathic route.

How do I de-stress while on the subway heading to work? I use RESCUE pastilles. RESCUE pastilles are homeopathic, gentle and non-habit-forming with no side effects. I carry these lovely yellow tins in my bag. They work by slowly disintegrating in your mouth, I take two usually and let them do their magic. RESCUE pastilles take effect in about five minutes, the taste is fruity and not too sweet. What I love is that they are completely safe and make me feel at ease.

I am often asked on how I handle the stress of dealing with brides and clients in general? My answer to this question is simple. Stressful situations don’t make nervous, I feel very much at ease and calm when I handle my clients and brides. What I do after is how I best handle this grind. So, what happens after a long day of work or on the weekends when I am not working? I try to spend time doing nothing. This may sound a bit blasé but it works very well. I switch off from my social media and enjoy watching documentaries, fashion or art related.

Other ways for me to de-compress from daily stresses include walking in my neighborhood which is nice, I live in area surrounded by parks and green. Sometimes I like to visit my local coffee shop in Maplewood and take my tablet which is loaded with magazines and books. I love to read about fashion, photography and beauty, see what other artists are doing, this gives me great inspiration. When I am inspired and rested, I feel good and motivated to keep going in this creative field I am in.

I also wanted to share that RESCUE pastilles are available now in the US at CVS, Walgreens, Whole Foods, Sprouts and wherever you find natural products. RESCUE pastilles are $9.99, and now there is a coupon offer on the RESCUE site, definitely take advantage of it.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Easy Vegetarian Lent Tostadas With Jalapeños Recipe

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #VivaLaMorena #CollectiveBias
La Morena Jalapenos and Chipotle SauceProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetVegetarian Jalapeno Tostadas La MorenaJalapeno Veggie Tostada La MorenaLa Morena Jalapenos Veggie Tostadas Recipe
Today marks a week since Lent started for us Catholics, a time when we observe and give up meat at least once a week. I created a super easy (and meatless) idea for a traditional flavor veggie Jalapeño tostada using La Morena jalapeños stuffed in cheese. Lent is period that marks the six weeks before Easter and it is a big tradition across many countries where Christianity or Catholicism is practiced. Growing up, we had meatless Fridays or sometimes another day during week. I always remember my mother using traditional flavors for us as kids, and this entailed vegetables, fish and spicy foods because in Peru this is part of our daily diet.

In keeping with my own tradition, I came up with this creation using La Morena jalapeños for an easy Lent meal/ snack. For this recipe, you can add as many veggies as you like and if you are vegan, of course there are dairy-free options too. I used regular Queso Fresco (a creamy, soft, and mild unaged white cheese), very popular in Spanish speaking countries. La Morena offers a wide range of jalapeño flavors and chipotle sauces, I really loved the sauce in La Morena’s jalapeno stuffed with cheese in red sauce, it is super yummy. My local bodega carries a lot of La Morena and Latin American foods, it is a real short distance from my house, so lucky!

For the Lent Vegetarian Tostadas recipe you will need:

– Tostada shells, toasted
– Fresh tomatoes seasoned in virgin olive oil
– 3 oz of Queso Fresco (I used Mexican Queso Fresco)
– 1/2 spoon of salt
– Pepper
– One can of La Morena 13oz Cheese Stuffed Jalapeños in Sauce

Using a cutting board, I started by slicing La Morena 13oz Cheese Stuffed Jalapeños, fresh tomatoes, first. For the Queso Fresco, since it is a very soft type of cheese, you need to cut it and slice it in small squares separately. Place all your veggies in a bowl, mixing them together with the sauce that comes in the cheese stuffed jalapeños, this I promise adds an amazing flavor kick. You can either have these fresh as they come or if you wish, you can heat up the tostadas with the cheese first. For those wanting some heated tostadas, I suggest heating up your conventional oven to about 450 degrees for about five minutes, once the oven is hot, put your tostadas for a minute maximum, keeping an eye that they don’t overcook. Voila!

What I loved about using this combination of ingredients is how easy and simple this is to prepare, dinner or lunch is served in less than ten minutes. My husband and I are Catholic so when I told him this was our meatless Lent option, he was totally into the idea. Jalapeno peppers are more than just garnish. They are high in nutrients that may help you boost weight loss efforts, improve immunity, promote heart health and fight free radicals from environmental and dietary pollutants. I chose tomatoes not only for their juicy flavor but also because they are great for our skin. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that works as a sunscreen from within. The antioxidants are rich in tomatoes, making it an anti-aging product as they help in fighting cellular damage. I hope you give my little recipe a try.

I’d love to hear about your traditions! Also La Morena has a giveaway, be sure to enter to win some fabulous prizes.

La Morena Lent Giveaway

Goodbye Dry Scalp With Head & Shoulders Moisture Care

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Most my readers know my dealings with dry skin. That being said, my scalp is no stranger to flakiness and dry spells as well. I suffer from very dry scalp, even in the summer, seasons do not make a difference with my skin. I went from living in very hot humid weather in Singapore to seasonal hot and very cold northeast USA. After trying various products, I seem to have found a great solution to this scalp issue, the Head & Shoulders Moisture Care collection, and I am happy to report it is fantastic for dry scalp treatment.

I have been using the Head & Shoulders Moisture Care collection for several weeks now. What I like about this line is that it is made for textured hair (aka mine, porous from color, Keratin treatments and years of heat and styling products). As with skincare products, in hair good ingredients are vital to addressing issues like dry scalp, dandruff, or oil. Ingredients in the Head & Shoulders Moisture Care shampoo/ conditioner and scalp treatment include vitamin E rich almond oil, coconut essence and dandruff-fighting ingredient zinc pyrithione. My biggest problem is dryness from using styling aids and constant blow drying as well as naturally having very dry skin/ sensitive to heat and cold. What I do for my scalp is try to lock moisture in and a lot recovery and repair.

How do I care for my hair? First, I don’t wash everyday because this really makes me more flaky in the scalp and completely strips the natural oils. What I do is shampoo 2-3 times a week and this does help. I can’t do daily washing and because my hair naturally is very wavy, it would mean I’d have to blow dry it making things even worse. With Head & Shoulders Moisture Care collection I am finding that its formula releases zinc pyrithione (ZPT) over time and this is what is helping locking in moisture in my scalp, a total win in my book.

Head & Shoulders Moisture Care comprises of a shampoo, conditioner, a scalp treatment (my most favorite of the collection) and also a co-wash, short for conditioner washes. Co-washing is a technique has emerged as one of the alternatives to traditional shampooing and conditioning on days women wish to omit shampoo. In other words, this is perfect for those wanting to wash their hair gently.

I also mentioned the scalp treatment being my favorite of the collection, and I have several raves on this. Again, it is all in the formula and ingredients which include peppermint oil complex and Vitamin E that cools the scalp and improves moisture balance. Also, the scalp treatment is very soothing and can be used anytime, on wet and dry hair. This scalp treatment can be used between washes to immediately provide relief and provide moisture before washing the hair again.

Head & Shoulders is available pretty much at most large grocery stores, drugstores and online. The Head & Shoulders Moisture Care Collection ranges from $4.99 to $12.

Get Ready With Me featuring Black|Up Cosmetics

IMG_9064The beauty council logoToday, I am taking you through a get ready routine with me using all Black Up Cosmetics and nothing but. It’s been a few years since I discovered this pro-quality brand from France. My first Black Up product was a lipstick and it was definitely a favorite among many brands I get to try and test as a makeup artist.
For this look, I created a couple of options, one using a nude gloss and another look with a pop of color pink lipstick. First, I prepped my skin with a moisturizer and used Black| Up Mattifying Fluid Foundation in 01 (a great match for yellow/ olive undertones). Because we are experiencing such cold weather here in the northeast, I had to balance out the moisture for my skin while using a mattifying product. Needless to say, for someone with oily skin, this foundation is heaven. (I have combination leaning towards dry skin, sadly). Once the foundation was set, I used my Black| Up Neutrals palette 01, a combination of shimmery and mattes. On my lid, I applied a rather shimmery pearly color and on my crease, I went ahead and used a generous amount of a matte brown. The result? A super soft smokey eye! As far as the shadows go, the mattes are definitely my favorite, the pigment is solid, colors build nicely and pretty much no fallout.
For a pop of color, I applied a double layer of purple eyeliner, this eyeliner is a true stunner! (See images). Because I planned to use a very colorful set of eyes, I purposely kept my cheeks soft and simple. Under eyes, I went over twice with the Black|Up concealer quad (The Magic Quad concealer palette Number 1) and the Black|Up radiance concealer (it is like a fine point pen, works super well when mixed with the cream concealers, which carry a thicker, paste-like consistency, good for color correcting, illuminating and blemishes).

I hope you enjoy the looks I created. My absolute favorites from Black| Up are the concealers, eyeshadows/ eyeliner and always the lipsticks. Quality in this brand is outstanding and I carry a few of the Black| Up lipsticks in my own makeup artist kit, they are fantastic, sheer and lovely bold colors. The Black| Up bold pink lipstick I paired my look with is a satin finish lipstick in Rouge 21 shade.

OFFER FOR OUR READERS Black| Up is offering 20% off their products from 2/12 until 2/28 using the code LOVE1

DISCLOSURE Black|Up Cosmetics provided me with PR SAMPLES for review, all opinions are my own. There may also be affiliate links within this post.

Check out what my friends from the Beauty Council created too!

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An International Valentine’s Day Love Story

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #YoursandMine #CollectiveBias
CraigNorahPeruCraig NorahAn International Story YoursandMineAn intl love story YoursandMineYoursandMine
My husband and I met in New York City through an introduction from a mutual friend of ours who knew him through work. At the time, I was very much living the single PR girl life in New York. He was based in London (UK) working on a project that would only last a few weeks here in the USA and had no plans to relocate. We went on several dates while he was working in New York then later travelled to meet in Miami and Mexico City. By the end of the third month of us dating in two different cities, we decided we no longer wanted to be doing a long distance romance so why not just get married and be a couple forever. Our engagement was short and I had my best friend help me plan my wedding in less than six weeks. By the time the decision was made, I moved to London to get married there in a small, intimate ceremony with less than ten people and a sit down dinner as our reception. Our wedding was perfect. Of course, with most of my family being all over the USA and Peru, we also planned a 2nd wedding celebration in Miami right after our nuptials in London.

Fast forward eight years later plus two lovely children, we have lived in three different continents Europe, Asia and now back in the USA as a committed married couple. Married life can be an everyday challenge. One piece of advice that I would love to offer is to keep your sense of humor in any loving, monogamous relationship. One of so many things I love about my husband apart from his British accent, is his dry, witty and sometimes quirky sense of humor, he makes me laugh constantly. We have things in common like dining out and wine, and do go out at least once a month alone on date nights as well as humor each other with notes, silly jokes and gag gifts frequently. For Valentine’s Day, I usually get an array of gifts, sometimes a card and since he knows I am not a roses type of girl, he’ll buy a giant Bird of Paradise flower plus something humorous and unexpected.

This year I plan on surprising him with a romantic bag with several gifts that will humor both of us. Luckily, I was able to put together my gift while perusing Walmart. In a marriage or committed partnership keeping the humor and romance alive are the two of the most important things, in my opinion. I know my husband well enough to imagine how much he’ll love and smile when I give him his romance box. Balancing romance and humor is what keeps relationships going the distance. In my gift, I have our favorite libation, a Valentine’s themed dry erase board just for fun, new socks because who doesn’t need that??! Also, there is a card which I do every year and a very special K-Y® DATE NIGHT pack from Walmart for those intimate moments.

Date nights are important! I’d suggest trying a very unique deal coming soon. What does it entail? It is a $50 value one free meal for two people from delivered to your door for a cozy night of cooking together, a $5 VUDU movie credit for you to stream right at home and the pleasure of K-Y® Yours+Mine Couples Lubricants.

For more ideas on how you can celebrate romance this Valentine’s Day, check out

Love Me Day This Valentine’s With LUSH Cosmetics

Lush Cosmetics Bath BombsThe beauty council logoLush Bath BombsRelaxationValentine’s Day for me is all about a little “me” love. And I can’t think of a better way to pamper than with some rest and relaxation with some LUSH Cosmetics Bath Bombs in Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar and LUSH Flower Bath Bomb. Since I am going to talk about some loving yourself Valentine’s Edition, I’ll give you some insight as to what this ritual means to me.

Since I work almost every weekend either doing makeup on clients or teaching future makeup artists, I spend a lot of time on my feet and trains/ automobiles. By the time I get home, all I want is to get on my pjs and unwind. Nothing is more gratifying than having a nice warm bubble bath and after this very important first step, skincare and body care follow. LUSH makes some awesome body creams and post bath, I love a good dose of this to help me repair much needed moisture (my skin is kind of dry and scaly without moisturizing). Lush has some great moisturizers for the body, you can check them out here.

The LUSH Flower Bath Bombs is perfect for a relaxing bath soak! Before I get in bath mode, I make sure my hair is in a bun with a shower cap. The gardenias and jasmine scent of my LUSH Flower Bath Bombs are simply enchanting. I like to soak for about 20 minutes and get in my robe to start the rest of my “Love Me” moment pampering. The photo you see of me with my eyes closed, is the feeling of total ahhhhhh once you are cozy in your robe, post bath and ready for a well deserved down time.

My two other favorite “me” moments include a night skincare routine (tone, cleanse and moisturize) and for some extra TLC, I usually apply an overnight face mask for deep moisture/ recovery. Next on my list involves a good at home manicure. I honestly find doing my own nails very relaxing and have gotten really good at doing them.

I spend so much time between photography sets, clients and my students, relaxation and pampering at home are a way for me to get some much needed love. After all these steps are done and dusted, I like to sit and watch Downton Abbey or a good documentary on Netflix. What’s your favorite “me” time activity?

Check out what my other friends in the Beauty Council have to say about their Valentine’s Day Prep :)

DISCLOSURE Lush Cosmetics provided me with PR SAMPLES for review, all opinions are my own. There may also be affiliate links within this post.

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