summer’s lovin': weekly beauty favorites | bh cosmetics, maybelline, irresistable me + more!

So, it’s been hovering around 100 degrees at our house these last few weeks, and the house we are renting doesn’t have air conditioning, which really just means that our family has one opportunity after the next to practice patience and joy despite our circumstances.

And yes, I think that might have just been a run on sentence, but my brain is mush and I can’t muster up the energy to go back and edit it now.

Where is winter? I want winter.
Snow would be nice.

Our next house, by the way, will have air conditioning.

All that to say, filming and blogging feels like the hardest thing ever in the world to do right now…but I am trying with all my might to keep up.

So, here are LAST weeks Top 6 Beauty Favorites, with a new product that I am BEYOND in love with, and am so excited to share with you guys.

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Products Mentioned:

BH Cosmetics 10 Blush Palette
Maybelline Eye Shadow Quad
NYX Matte Lip Creme
Skindinavia Bridal Makeup Setting Spray
Agave Shine Spray
Irresistable Me Flat Iron (10% off through link)

And as always, make sure to let me know what you guys have been loving too! I always get the best suggestions from you guys! (not that I need to go shopping at the moment or anything…but you know, for a rainy less financially tight day, I suppose!)


FTC: This is not a sponsored video. While some products have been sent to me, I will always share my honest opinion of everything that I try and review on my channel. I will never accept payment in exchange for a positive review. Some links above may be affiliate.

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confessions of a homeschooling mama: curriculum & update | kindergarten & 4th grade

I think it’s definitely time for a homeschooling update. So much has changed, and this year will definitely be an adjustment for all of us, but I’m actually really excited about it all! As always, God is continuing to teach and mold me so much through this process, and though it’s been incredibly emotional and difficult at times, I wouldn’t change a single second of what we’ve chosen to do. But, I’ve learned to hold whatever plan we’ve chosen for the time with a loose grasp because I realize Gods plan is always better than my own.

Open Textbooks with a Background of Formulas

In the video below I’ll explain all the changes, the curriculum I’ve decided to use, and then just a little about what I’ve come to realize regarding this whole homeschooling education approach! Like I said, God’s definitely been at work, and I realize I still have such a long way to go!

I hope this helps or blesses you in some way, and of course if you have any tips or suggestions to share, please leave them either in a comment below or in the comment section of the video itself!

Curriculum Mentioned:

Spelling Power
Wordly Wise
Singapore Math
Explore the Code
First Language Lessons
Handwriting without Tears
What your kindergartener needs to know

And then I used this book to teach both Taylor and Chloe to read, starting around the age of 3.5: Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.

If you happen to be at Public School, I definitely recommend reading this book, Going Public.

To watch my other homeschooling confession videos, just click here for the full list!


It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!

battle of the beauty & health subscription boxes

If you’ve ever wondered about those infamous beauty subscription boxes that are all the rage these days, let me help you sort through just a few of my favorites.

I will be the first to stand up and admit that I am obsessed with the whole monthly subscription trend happening right now. There just isn’t a whole lot that makes me happier than getting packages in the mail, and even more amazing that it’s filled with health & beauty goodness.

If you’re a beauty junkee like me, or even if your on the opposite end where you feel overwhelmed with just where to begin, these subscription boxes are for you! They take the guess work out of it, and every month you get fun goodies to try out and play with. You will love it….and if ever you get a little something that just doesn’t work for you, simply tuck it away and then you’ll have a little gift to bless one of your friends with sometime!

Here are just a few of my recent favorites:

Bulu Health or Weight Loss Monthly Subscription Box (For 50% off use this code at check out: BULUGAN730):
From their website: Bulu Box is the first health, nutrition and weight loss discovery box designed to help you feel your best. Each month, you’ll get a custom box filled with a new mix of 4 to 5 premium samples from top brands to try. Every sample is sufficient enough to decide if the product is right for you. Of course, shipping is always free and you can cancel anytime. Share your thoughts about each product in our sample surveys and you can earn 50+ Rewards Points (that’s $5!) each month! Use your points to purchase your new favorites in full size at! Here you’ll also get expert tips, tricks and a supportive community of Bulugans just like you! Join the discovery and find a healthier you!
***You can choose either a weight loss box or a health box, or you can even switch back and forth over the months like I do. 


Beauty Box 5: 5 beauty products every month (some full size, some sample size) for just $11/month.


NatureBox: Healthy, delicious and nutritious snacks delivered right to your door! You choose how much you want and when you want them sent, and then simply enjoy your goodies once they arrive!
Start your free trial with NatureBox here.


BoxyCharm: BoxyCharm has absolutely blown me away! For just $21 a month, you get at LEAST 4 full size beauty products, and this month I got 5! And just wait till you see what I got! The worth far exceeded the cost of the box which is a beauty lovers dream come true!

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Have you guys ever tried any of these out, or tried others you love? Let me know!!!

It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!

we exist only to reflect his light | mini instagram blog session

We exist only to reflect His light.
The most lovely light anyone has ever seen.

In everything we say and do…
In all the ways we live and love…
In each and every little decision we make throughout our day…

In all these things, in all these ways, we ought to remember that it’s not about us.
It’s not about proving something.
It’s not even about finding happiness.

It’s only about reflecting Him.



Sometimes I have thoughts.
{Which is often to be celebrated when you’re a parent…}

And so often lately those thoughts just don’t seem enough for a blog post, but the writer in me still desires to share.
In fact, so often its as I write my heart, that I’m better able to understand where it stands.

It’s the writers life, I suppose.

More and more, I’m finding that those thoughts, quotes, pictures and inspirations are spilling out on to the pages of my Instagram, becoming what many hashtaggers might consider #miniblogsessions.
But every once in awhile, I’m thinking those macro posts just might also end up here.

Today is that day.

It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!

summers lovin’ | august 2014 health, fitness & beauty faves

Because I’ve started doing my top 5 beauty faves nearly every week, I decided that my monthly favorites would be just a little bit different.

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While I’ll still include a few beauty things, I’ll also be sharing all my favorites from the month including life stuff, books, tv shows, health, fitness, fashion, and anything else that I’m excited about sharing with you guys! Hopefully, by doing making this little change, it’ll bring more of a well rounded approach to what I share.

What I loved this month:

Tinkle Razors: Yes I shave my face, and you should as well, trust me.
Cover FX Liquid Foundation Brush: Perfect for any foundation, but especially heavier/thicker ones like Tarte Amazonian Clay
Michael Todd Jojoba Charcoal Facial Scrub (20% discount through link): A very mild scrub that works to remove dead skin and draw out impurities. i love this stuff!
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Treatment/Concealer: An incredible under eye concealer and brightener for such an affordable price. And it will last you forever!
Book: Where’d ya go, Bernadette?: This book ignited my love for reading again, and now I can’t wait to start my next one! Let me know what books you love most, fiction or non fiction so I can add it to my list!
Waiakea Water: Never have I loved a water more! Who knew water could have so many added benefits & give back at the same time? Love this stuff.
HIIT & Tabata workouts (just a few i love): These workouts are a total game changer. Ever since I added in more to my workouts, I have seen an incredible change in my body. The areas that are a lot more stubborn are seeming to wake up, and I’m starting to see change, where I haven’t before. They will totally kick your butt, but I promise it is so worth it! Here are just a few links to ones I love, but if you have other ones you think I should try, let me know!
Traci Campoli
Fitness Blender
Suzanne Bowen Streaming workouts


And then also…just in case you missed last weeks top 5 beauty faves, here they are!


Weekly Favorites!

Josie Maran Argan Illuminator
Stila Antiqued Black Gold Eyeshadow
City Cosmetics Eyelash Enhancer
City Cosmetics Liquid Lipsticks
Schick Hydro Razor

What about you guys?
What did you guys love most in August?

It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!

outfit of the day: instagram vs. the blog

If you happen to follow me over on Instagram, then you might have seen me post these outfit of the day pictures, mentioning that I’ve been playing around with the idea of doing fashion/outfit posts again.

When I first started this blog, way way back, I used to do those kinds of posts at least once a week, and I totally loved it. I have no idea why I stopped, but I actually kind of miss it a little.

So, I asked my IG crowd if they’d be interested in having me post at least once a week, and whether they preferred me to do it here on my blog or just over on Instagram, and the overwhelming response was Instagram.

But, I wanted to check here as well, and see what you guys might want… and as I continue to ponder over it, I may just end up deciding to post in both places, or just occasionally post here but always post there.

So many options, ya know?



{dress: target, boots: charlotte russe, purse: forever 21, bracelets: forever 21, sunnies: tj maxx}

I’m thinking maybe Chloe should guest post sometimes as well…after all she styled both herself and Giraffee in this picture:


So, what do you guys think?
Should I take what I post on Instagram and put it here on the blog as well, or is IG the new and only place to be for fashion pics?


It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!

why you need a makeup primer in your life

I’m just a little behind in sharing all the videos I had scheduled to post while we were in Kauai, and while I may not get to all of them here on my blog (but you can watch them on YouTube!), I definitely couldn’t forget to share the latest Holy Grail Makeup Primer in my life.

Holy Grail = The Best Ever or otherwise Perfection Product…just in case you didn’t know.

Okay, so let’s just first go over a few of the reasons why you need a primer, because really, if you’re wearing foundation…a primer should absolutely be in your makeup life as well.


  • The silicones within a makeup primer actually provide an incredible adhesive for your foundation, which allows your foundation to stay on longer than it would otherwise.
  • A primer fills in your fine lines and wrinkles, creating a smooth and flawless palette for the foundation to lay on top of.
  • A primer will also act as a sealant for any products you’ve used prior to it, as well as it creates a barrier to any ingredients in your foundation that you might not particularly want absorbed into your skin.

Now, I have tested and tried out quite a few primers throughout my beauty life, and very few have impressed me the way my City Cosmetics Pore Minimizing Primer has. In fact, the very first day I wore it with my Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation, I was texting and voxering all my beauty minded friends with my freaking out excitement. It was honestly, love at first wear.

It’s now been over a month, and I’m still just as in love.

So much so, in fact, that I made a dedicated video all about it so that I could go into more detail about why I think you guys might want to test it out as well…


Here’s just a few of the selling points…and then make sure to watch the video for my experience and thoughts! (and if you end up wanting to order, click here to get it 30% off!)

  • Unlike other pore minimizers that only fill in pores temporarily City Pore Minimizing Primer works to help physically tighten pores, giving you dramatically visible results that last.
  • cruelty-free, and none of our products will ever be tested on animals.
  • City Pore Minimizing Primer is hypoallergenic, so it is appropriate for even the most sensitive skin types.
  • Uses powerful, naturally-derived ingredients that work together for maximum results you can feel
  • City Pore Minimizing Primer uses only the best clinically-proven ingredients in powerfully effective concentrations to address the root causes of enlarged pores, fine lines, and wrinkles instead of just covering them up. By delivering nourishing compounds deep into the skin, City Pore Minimizing Primer provides dramatic results that last even after makeup and primer are removed.
  • Most primers rely on silicone as their sole active ingredient, so large pores and skin unevenness are only temporarily filled in, but will reappear when the primer is removed. City Pore Minimizing Primer takes a different approach by using ingredients proven to improve skin from the inside out for a smoother, plumper, more moisturized result.
  • Anyone can benefit from City Pore Minimizing Primer! With its clinically-proven active ingredients, people of all ages can use Pore Minimizing Primer to combat enlarged pores, fine lines, wrinkles, dry skin, uneven skin surface, excessive oil production, and even skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis.
  • Watermelon Rind Extract helps to reduce fine lines rapidly
  • Helps dramatically improve key components in skin’s self-moisturizing complex
  • Natural dirt- and oil-destroying compounds derived from a South Africa helps treat and prevent the root cause of enlarged and clogged pores
  • Olive-Derived Squaline helps kill the bacteria that causes unsightly blemishes while potentially helping to fight tough skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis
  • All-natural, hypoallergenic ingredients mean that even the most sensitive skin is safe


FTC: While this product was sent to me, I always share my honest opinion of everything that I try and review on my channel. I will never accept payment in exchange for a faux positive review. Some links above may be affiliate.

It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!

saldana fam cam: kauai style

For years Jimmy and I have been wanting to plan a family vacation for just the four of us, and after our first year of homeschooling, we knew the idea needed to move up in the priority list of our to do’s, stat. So, we started tucking money away and doing research on where we wanted to go, and finally last December we had enough saved and had confidently chosen our location…Kauai.

11 years ago on our honeymoon we spent a week on Oahu, and a week on the Big Island, and we have always wanted to go back and explore the other islands one day as well. After two years of homeschooling, all I craved was relaxation, so Kauai seemed the perfect choice.

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It ended up being the perfect week, and by the time we got home, we were completely content and relaxed. Even the kids seemed more mellowed out, as the plane ride home was much calmer than the plane ride there. (homeschooling was almost easier than dealing with my kids on the way there. oh my word.)

Kauai was unbelievably beautiful, and with every scenic moment we took in, we made an effort to pause for a moment of authentic worship. You cannot deny there is an incredible Creator when you stop and take in all the beauty that surrounds you, especially when you are in a place like Kauai.

I did my best to capture all that I could on the vlog, so that you too could experience a little of the beauty and relaxation the island had to offer as well.

And now that we’re back home, we’re continuing to challenge ourselves to keep up our worshipful heart and mindset, even as we’re surrounded with what feels so simple and familiar…

It’s amazing what you notice when you make the effort.

{To check out all the pictures from our trip and activities, make sure you follow me over on Instagram! I post a lot of things that never end up on my blog or YouTube channel!}


It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!

when being a mom is hard

So many times throughout the early years of being a mom, I struggled with feeling so desperately alone and without any kind of actual purpose to my life. I would look at my little ones making messes I was unable to keep up after, and witnessing tantrums I was sure were a direct reflection of my parenting skills, and the combination of it all would make me want to collapse into a puddle of tears.

My days seemed long, thankless and overwhelming.
And I was incredibly tired, hormonal, and discouraged.

And so often, I found myself wondering if just maybe God had made a major mistake in allowing me to be a mother…

But the truth, the reassuring comforting truth is that even on the days when everything goes wrong, and being a mom is hard and it seems impossible to do our job well…we can be assured that our God is faithful and He never ever makes mistakes….

…to continue reading, please visit my full post over at The Better Mom.


Family at sunset





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saldana fam cam: beautycon la 2014, dance party & more

We’re coming up on the last weeks of summer and I have this itch more than ever to get outside, be active and soak up each and every moment of free time that we have. It’s crazy to me that in just two more weeks BOTH my kids will officially be in school…no more babies in our house!

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This week on the Saldana Fam Cam:

  • This last week my sweet friend, Becky, offered to take our kids for the day so that Jimmy and I could have our first date in 6 months. I didn’t even realize that we had let that much time pass, but once we had the time together again, it hit me just how much we need to make time for that in our marriage. Having uninterrupted time together when you’re not exhausted at the end of the day really makes a difference. But that’s a whole blog post that I’m thinking I might need to write sometime soon. Anyway, we made the most of our day and went grocery shopping without kids (how easy is that?!?), came home to pay bills (no interruptions!), and then got changed and went to hike a few miles down to Torrey Pines Beach and then back up…finishing the night with dinner out at our favorite restaurant, Tender Greens. It was honestly the perfect day for both of us.
  • Another big event went down this week, and that was Taylor finally got his braces off. Hallelujah, Praise Jesus. Although, now we get to live this next year keeping a 9 year olds retainer in tact. So ya, that’s been fun.
  • As usual, there was a Saldana Fam dance party that went down randomly in our house. This actually happens quite often, but I made sure to capture each family members mad skills. You’ll notice I don’t, however, capture my own. One day.
  • We had a family fun night with some of our bestest friends, and Becky…who is supposed to be like me (allergic to cooking) had quite the surprise for us once we showed up to their house.
  • I picked up Chloe’s books for her first official year of homeschool! I’ve never taught Kindergarten before, but I have to admit that I am beyond excited for this little adventure we get to have together. I’ll be doing a homeschool video/blog post in the next couple weeks to share more in detail about what we’re using and how it’s going!
  • I may have also done a little shopping at Forever 21, though I did get out of there for under $15. So that’s kind of newsworthy, I think. ha
  • And lastly, I went up to L.A. on Saturday to attend BeautyCon LA 2014 with Trisha from A Glittery Life, and shared the makeup look & products I used to get ready. The event was INsane, but I’m definitely glad I went and loved the chance to meet with friends as well as try out some new brands to share with you guys! (more on the goodies I got tomorrow!)

* I’ve been trying to be more selective in the moments I vlog and share, so that I am able maintain some kind of balance with being in the moment vs. capturing the ones I want to be sure I remember… It’s a dance I’m learning slowly but surely. xo

It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!