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Friday, February 27, 2009

Diaper Bag & Stroller Update

I thought my search for the perfect diaper bag and stroller had ended with the YakPak Olivia and Kolcraft Contours Lite Plus, but oddly enough I never ended up buying either one. I just couldn't justify spending $80-100 on a diaper bag. I stumbled upon a Spark by Skip Hop bag in the Squiggle design @ Target one day on clearance for $7.99! It was marked down from $29.99 and I totally would have paid full price! It has so many great features, I have to pinch myself every time I use it! (Ok maybe not every time.) It has two outer pockets with velcro closures (which I use to stash my keys and phone when I don't wanna bring my purse too), two zippered compartments and a mesh bottle holder on either side. It also comes with a changing mat. I love the pattern too! It doesn't show stains and it's a good neutral for dads. The best feature, though, is the straps. You can carry it on your shoulder, add the extension strap for a messenger bag effect or use the two mini straps on either side to attach it to your stroller! That way your bag is up high and you can actually get stuff out of it easily instead of having to dig around in the stroller compartment underneath, hunched over with your plumber crack hanging out for all to see. (That happens to me way too often!)

*I'll be doing a vlog on my YouTube channel about it soon and about all the essentials I keep inside it.

The Lite Plus stroller got amazing reviews on WalMart.com and I loved that the baby could listen to music from your iPod, but I went with the Kolcraft Contours Options 4 Wheel model instead. It got equally outstanding reviews, but it's much more versatile than the other version. It was about $90 extra, but I felt like it was going to be much more durable in the long run. I love that the seat can face either way, like a pram or a regular stroller. I like being able to see my son's face instead of trying to peek thru a plastic window and wonder if he's choking himself on something. It comes with an infant car seat attachment too so you can just secure the car seat in the frame and push it like a stroller.

I've only used it a couple of times so far because it won't fit into my car's tiny trunk. My old Eddie Bauer Kingston stroller fit, but I had to take the front wheels off of it first. The Kolcraft doesn't give you that option, but I can't hold it against them since my VW Beetle is just so damn small. It is very easy to fold though, almost too easy. I struggled with it the first time until I realized I was making it more complicated than I needed to. It's pretty big, but I feel like that's a good thing. It was fairly easy to assemble, but then again I pride myself on my "putting shit together" ability. There's no parent compartment up top for keys and such but there is one cup holder. The child snack tray is kinda small and I feel like my son could easily slip underneath it if he wasn't buckled. He also looks a little uncomfortable, like he's too small for the seat. (He's 11 months) The underside compartment is huge, but shallow, so it worries me that my stuff will fall out if I go over a speed bump (thank goodness I have my Skip Hop diaper bag secured up top!). I love the vibrant red color and it is easy to maneuver because of the super-sized wheels. I figure I'll hang on to it so I don't have to bother researching a new one and so I can use it for baby #2 in a couple years, at least in the beginning when I'll need the car seat cradle.

Cheap Makeup for the Chic Mommy

Lately I've been obsessed with watching makeup reviews on YouTube. I even decided to make my own channel that I'll link with my blog. I want it to include mommy-oriented product reviews and recommendations, baby and beauty essentials and tips & tricks for a stress-free life (well, less stressful anyway!) I also love to watch the makeup tutorials. I seriously watch for hours! There are links to some of those beautiful and talented ladies on my channel, under my subscriptions. Check it out!

Long story short, everyone on YouTube kept raving about this cosmetics company called Coastal Scents, their 88 color eye makeup palette in particular. I don't NEED any more eyeshadow mind you but I got sucked into the hype and just had to have one. I also needed some new brushes and I heard that they had amazing prices on them, so I went to website to see for myself. I ended up ordering the palette and 4 brushes. With tax and shipping, everything cost me $52. The products are comparable to MAC, people. You can't even get 8 eyeshadows for 50 bucks there! The packaging was cute and they included a free sample of one of their loose eyeshadow colors. The company is based out of Naples, FL which is about an hour south of me so the shipping only took a day or 2. The colors in the palette are smaller than I had expected, but they seem very pigmented and all the colors are gorgeous. The brushes shed a bit when I washed them, but they're extremely soft and seem sturdy. Overall, I am very pleased with my purchases!

Here's my haul:

Clockwise from the top:
Pink Kabuki brush $4.99
Italian Badger Deluxe Fan Brush $3.49
Pink Round Crease Eye Brush $1.49
Pink Duo Fiber Powder Stippler $7.95 <---- This is similar to the MAC 187 brush which retails for $42!
88 Piece Makeup Palette $21.95 (about 58 matte and 30 shimmer)