Girly Wednesday ~ xxxix ~ motivational desktops is a website with great projects, designs, and recipes that I go to every so often.  Recently they had an article about 20 motivational desktop wallpapers that were also free!  I LOVE motivational stuff so I had to check it out.  I looked through the post and loved what I saw.  I ended up downloading quite a few of the wallpapers and have them as my computer’s desktop background in a slideshow format so that the poster switches every minute to another one!  🙂

These are some of my favorites:

via – by Breanna Rose

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via – by Design Love Fest


via – by Design Fest Love


via – by Gloria Chen of Little White Whale


via – by Tony Howell


via – by Design Love Fest


via – by Julia Kostreva


Girly Wednesday ~ xxxviii~ a Paris nightclub flashback

Musing on relationships is something I very much enjoy.  Meeting up with old friends is always such an interesting experience.  Regardless of the time that has passed in between, I have found that these encounters either illuminate exactly how similar the two of you still are… or exactly how completely opposite you have become.  I rarely find anything in between….we are either in exactly the same spot in life (relatively speaking obviously) or we could not be in more different situations 🙂  Thinking about all of this the other day made me think back to our Paris trip.  (more posts from our Paris trip herehereherehereherehereherehere, and here)  🙂  While in Paris, Brett and I met up with friends of mine during our week long stay.  We reconnected with two of my friends a few times over the week and had such a lovely time with them.  They invited us to their home in the suburbs of Paris and I couldn’t have been happier with our time spent together (except that I didn’t get a picture of all 4 of us together!  I want to get better at that!)  Brett and I also met up with a group of my friends at a Paris night club.  A picture of the two of us with a favorite couple of mine is below.  I was able to reconnect with a few people that night…though many more old friends were present.  With a few of them, after 7 years of not seeing one another, we picked up right where we left off.  It was so nice to see them and for them to meet Brett.  Just makes me want to up and move across the ocean where I get to speak French all day long 🙂


Girly Wednesday ~ xxxvii ~ Darn Tough

The new year is upon us!  Much of the blogosphere is writing about New Years resolutions.  I have a few of those for sure…one of them is to keep “my chair” from becoming a problem in our bedroom (my chair is what happens when I continually place clothing on a particular chair until it becomes a monstrosity…and I can’t find any of the clothes I want to wear because they are all buried on the chair haha).  I also want to start walking with the girlies (our pups) everyday…the winter tends to put a damper on that.  It doesn’t really seem necessary to go into the rest of the list of resolutions though because what I’d really like to do in 2014 is to stay tough.  I want to take time for myself without second guessing it, to take care of myself without shaming, and to take hold of whatever experiences I can.

Here’s to being Darn Tough in 2014!


Girly Wednesday ~ xxxvi ~ FAQs from a Mary Kay consultant

MKpost2_5CatherineHello!  It is officially time for another post from our lovely Mary Kay consultant, Catherine!  If you missed it, you can see her first guest post here, where she talked about how she achieved the awesome looks that I and some of my bridesmaids had on our wedding day!  Today, Catherine is sharing the answers to some frequently asked questions that she receives as a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant.  Enjoy!



One person wrote in wanting to know “how to make a good foundation choice for when you want to look really fresh and pretty but without looking like you’re wearing makeup”

Such a great question…and the good news is that there is a lot of new technology in makeup these days…so much so that sometimes it can be hard as a consumer to grasp it all!  So, that’s why my first suggestion is to find a beauty consultant to help you!  If you are not in the Chicago area, go to and put in your zip code.  All consultations are complimentary!

With my customers, even though I have been with Mary Kay for 7 years, I still don’t know which foundation is perfect until we try it on.  (I often get it right on the first try though!)  You can’t try it on the back of your hand, or the inside of your wrist, because even though we all wear sunscreen every day (RIGHT?) our face is not the same as our arm or our neck.  If you want your foundation to look like you aren’t wearing anything, you have to try it on the place you’ll actually wear it!

Talking about liquid foundation


If you can, try testing the liquid foundation color in natural daylight.  I will apply some of the color, or the few I am trying, in a line, starting at the cheek and down past the jaw.  You want the color to appear to disappear.  Be careful not to use too much of the product in this test, but that will give you a great starting place.  Once you have determined the best shade, you will want to apply it all over one side of your face, on your check past the jaw.  How you apply it depends on your comfort level.  Some people use their fingers, or a sponge.  But a brush is a great tool too.  If you do use a sponge, be sure to wet it first.  Not only does it give you a bigger surface area to apply with, it makes sure so much foundation doesn’t get wasted by absorbing in to the sponge.  When you choose a brush, be sure to choose one with synthetic bristles, so that the hair won’t absorb the moisture of a liquid foundation.   Stippling (bouncing) the brush or sponge on your face is key.  Start in the center and move outward and downward.  I suggest checks, chin, forehead, nose.  Keep stippling until the foundation seems to disappear.  This blending step may take a few extra moments than you are used to, but it’s worth it to make you look like you aren’t wearing anything.  You may feel as though you are washed out, but that’s easily remedied with bronzer (which I will share later).

The purpose of foundation is dual: even out skin tone (redness, yellow, different shades) and protection against environmental factors.  Whether you wear a mineral powder, liquid or tinted moisturizer (or BB or CC Cream), I suggest you wear something to look more pulled together and protect your skin.

Finish with a light dusting of translucent powder

To make it look like you aren’t wearing any makeup, you have to find the right shade, formulation, and BLEND!

To make your skin look fresh, I suggest a tinted moisturizer or foundation with moisture in it.  If your makeup looks caked on later, you’ve probably applied too much, haven’t blended well, and/or don’t have enough moisture/moisturizer on before you started applying foundation.  Even if you are oil or blemish prone, find an oil-absorbing moisturizer to balance the oil while providing the moisture you need.


Why do I need to put on brow pencil?  How do I do it?

Brows, when done right, frame your face.   For most people, you will need to remove some of the hairs (through tweezing, waxing, threading, whichever way you prefer).  Have a professional help you shape them.  There are three main points.  Using a long straightedge (an eye shadow brush is perfect), place it along your nose straight up.  This is where the brows should start.  Between the two sides, you can remove any of the hairs that fall here.  Next, from the outside corner of your nose, through your pupil.  That line where it ends in your brows is the second point, and should be your high point of your arch.  From the first point to the second your brows should be fullest.  Finally, from the outside corner of your nose, to the outside corner of your eye, that’s your third point.  Your brows should stop here.  (When we talk about eye shadow, no eye shadow should fall below that line.)  Between the second and third points, your brows can taper off.  Now for most people you need to fill in with either brow pencil or brow powder.  I prefer brow pencil, because that’s what I’m used to.  Be sure the pencil is sharp and using short, feather like strokes follow the shape of your brow.  You don’t want to draw on one long line; the short strokes will mimic hairs.  If you use powder, use a short angled brush and feather the powder in the same fashion.  For most people, your brows can be a shade or two lighter or darker than your hair color.  In fact, in the summer, when my hair is lighter, I have to use a different brow pencil!   Practice makes perfect with this…give it a few weeks and I promise you’ll be on board with me!


How do I make my powder foundation stay all day?

1. First make sure you have cleansed and moisturized.  Be sure to allow a few minutes from the moisturizer to settle in.  This is a bit different than with liquid foundation.
2.  Try an oil mattifier. Press, don’t rub, this in to your skin in your oily areas, generally the T zone.
3.  Foundation primer!! Primer gives your foundation something to stick to.
4.  Apply any concealer nextApply this to any areas that are always red, and or the triangle under your eyes.
5.  Apply thin layers of powder foundation, depending on the level of coverage you want.  2- 3 thin layers of foundation will wear longer than one heavy layer.  Be sure to buff, or blend, well.
6.  You don’t really need translucent powder if you are wearing powder foundation.
7.  Finally finishing spray! Different consultants may suggest a different order of application, but I generally say after you have applied all powder makeup (eye shadow, blush) but before any liquid (lipstick, mascara).  This is a matter of personal preference and you’ll have to see what works for you.  Spray about 1/2 arms length away from your face (be sure to close but not squeeze your eyes shut).  If you are really oily, do it in an X and T but if your skin is normal to dry, you only need to do an X.

Remember that powder foundation is a more sheer coverage than liquid so it won’t wear as long, but these tips should help it last longer than it was before.  I love this Lasting Looks Collection.  It has many of the items necessary for helping your look last all day!



How do I decide if I want to use an eyeliner pencil or liquid eyeliner?

I answer that by asking two questions, how dramatic do you want your look and how often do you personally use liquid eyeliner?  If you want a dramatic look, especially like a cat eye, and or you have a steady hand from using liquid eyeliner frequently, then I say go for the liquid eyeliner!  An eyeliner pencil can be more forgiving.  You can apply the pencil in short strokes.  Liquid looks best applied with a long continuous, steady line.  Be sure to get it right in there where your lashes come out…I really don’t like to see any eyelid between the lashes and the liner.  Personally, I wear pencil on a regular daily basis.  The liquid comes out when I am getting all glammed up, like my husband’s company holiday party, or my sister’s wedding in a few weeks.

And that’s it!  Some of our FAQs!  If you have any more, there are a few ways to have them answered…

Have you been watching Project Runway All Stars?  Mary Kay is the official beauty sponsor and I am so excited about this.  Each week, the designers send their models to the Mary Kay makeup studio, and I am so impressed with the makeup looks they create!  A few days later, the looks appear on Pinterest, and you better believe I am pinning those looks and trying them out too.  Sometimes I do have to alter them from runway to real life!  But they are HOT!



Thanks Catherine!  I’m going to her sister’s wedding in a few weeks too!  I’m excited to try some of these make up tips!  I think I’ll even jazz up my look a bit with some liquid eyeliner 🙂

P.S.  Here is an easy way to use liquid eyeliner to get the perfect cat eye!

Girly Wednesday ~ xxxv ~ wedding cupcakes

Brett is a huge fan of ice cream cake.  🙂  When we were deciding what kind of cake to have for our wedding cake it just made sense to try and have ice cream!  With cupcakes being such a craze now, ice cream cupcakes seemed like they would be so fun to include in our big day 🙂  We ordered our ice cream wedding cupcakes straight from Cold Stone and had them set up just like cupcakes would be.  They got a bit melty but I think that people really enjoyed them.  One issue with the cupcakes melting quickly though was that they couldn’t sit out all night and wait for people to come and eat them….Brett and I may still have half a dozen of them in our freezer 🙂

2012 July 7 Justine Bursoni Photography Mallory and Brett's Wedding in Champaign Illinois FOR WEB ONLY-305 2012 July 7 Justine Bursoni Photography Mallory and Brett's Wedding in Champaign Illinois FOR WEB ONLY-306 2012 July 7 Justine Bursoni Photography Mallory and Brett's Wedding in Champaign Illinois FOR WEB ONLY-307 2012 July 7 Justine Bursoni Photography Mallory and Brett's Wedding in Champaign Illinois FOR WEB ONLY-308