Beauty

LipSense Lip Gloss Review

January 30, 2017

I started hearing amazing buzz about this LipSense lip gloss last summer so when my friend reached out to me asking me if I wanted to try it and review it, I said YES! I have tried many lipsticks, stains, and glosses and honestly I’m not a huge wearer but what intrigued me about this product was it’s claim to stay on and not budge at all! In fact, they sell a “Ooops Remover” to get the stuff off! Long lasting lipsticks usually lasts about 3-4 hours on my lips and what I don’t like about them is that they make my lips peel or feel dry after every.single.use. I hate to feel like I’m biting or pulling at dry lips all day.

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What is LipSense?

LipSense is a long lasting lip color that is waterproof and does not kiss off, smear off, rub off, or budge off.   The best part is, it that it will not dry out your lips. In fact, it helps to restore the moisture content of your lips when used the right way. The gloss has a base of shea butter and bees wax and it feels so nice on.   LipSense claims that it can last up to 18 hours on your lips so long as you use the gloss with the color together.

Last week, I noticed that the more I used it, the more it made my lips less flaky and dry.   I learned that the lip colors contain a small amount of alcohol to help exfoliate your lips and remove build-up leftover from previous applications.  I’m thrilled about this because that was my biggest complaint from other long wearing lip colors!

They offer 70 plus colors to choose from and even have different finishes of gloss (matte, pearl, glitter, moisturizing and diamond). Another big plus is that it is made right here in the USA and also is vegan, cruelty-free and formulated with safe ingredients.

My Experience: 

I chose the color,  “First Love” which is a nice everyday neutral. It’s almost my lip color but just bright enough to feel more polished. Lord Business isn’t a huge lipstick fan but he immediately noticed this color on me and really liked it. Or maybe he was excited that it was kissable color that won’t get on him!

I put my first coat on at 9:00am and went about my day. I ate breakfast, had some tea, lots of talking then I put another gloss coat on about 11:30am. I ate a semi-greasy lunch, and forgot I had it on which was a nice feeling! The gloss feels like a nice smooth chapstick and not a heavy or sticky gloss. I put the gloss on every 3-4 hours which pumped up the color.

Overall, I really like this product and would recommend it to any of my lipstick wearing fiends. The price is a little steep but like most higher-end products, you’ll use less because of the quality.  I am excited to try other colors and finishes because they have tons! Best part is, you only have to apply once a day! No more worrying about getting lipstick on your teeth, partner, clothes or anywhere else!  Each gloss runs about $25 but if you think about seldom you put it on, totally worth it!

I laughed when I saw the series of pics I took because I’m happy and put together in the morning and by nighttime, I’m tired and checked out! Ha! Keeping it real, baby.

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9:00am–Bright and smooth.

 

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2:00pm–Still going strong, great color and texture still. At hour five!

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10:00pm–Definitely needs another coat of color or total new application but because of this particular color, you can’t tell too bad. This is 13 hours later!

If you are interested in trying  LipSense, go to http://color.kissablelipcolor.com and check out the colors they  have in stock. Thanks to my awesome friend, Kelsee, for offering me this awesome product to try. Get in touch with her at  kelseemellor@gmail.com to buy. I wasn’t paid for this review and I do my best to give an honest and unbiased review for you! She did give me this gloss for free but I told her I’d be honest which shows she’s confident in this product too! Check out my Instagram @pearls_of_suburbia to see how LipSense holds up throughout the day.

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Recipes

Italian Chicken And Veggie Bake

January 25, 2017

Dinner cannot get any easier than this! Well, maybe those cereal-for-dinner nights can trump the simplicity of this stuff.  You can adjust it your family’s preference by adding in different veggies. My boys love this with broccoli, green beans, bell peppers, onions, zucchini and Yukon potatoes however, one of my boys hates cooked onions and bell peppers so he just picks them out.  Just keeping it real! I fried up the leftovers with  some scrambled eggs on the side for Lord Business’ breakfast, and he loved it!  My oldest son, who is my excellent eater, (he’s 10…so you know) can down a ton of this and asks for leftovers in lunch the next day. Mom win!  Have I sold you yet on this recipe?  Can I call it a recipe with how easy it is?  It’s a perfect balance of savory and tiny touch of sweetness.  I love how the broccoli gets crispy and brown and that the chicken stays juicy.   Also, Sriracha on this stuff….delicious. Serve with some fruit and dinner is dunzo! You can find the Italian salad dressing mix over by the powdered ranch dressing packages at the grocery store.

Italian Chicken and Veggie Bake

2 lbs- chicken breast or tenders, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 heads of broccoli, chopped
2 zuchini, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4-5 Yukon potatoes chopped small
1/2 lb fresh green beans, cut in half
2 envelopes of Italian Salad Dressing Mix
3 Tablespoons olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Combine chicken and veggies, coat with olive oil and sprinkle Italian Salad dressing seasoning. Toss to coat evenly.
  2. Spread onto cookie sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, stir on pan and bake another 15-20 or until potatoes are tender and chicken reaches 160 degrees

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Recipes

Instant Pot/Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

January 19, 2017

My kids love ‘cornitas’ as they call it!  My Instant Pot makes this dinner unbelievably easy and the flavors are to die for! Perfectly salty, juicy and tender meat with a crispy edge makes these tacos stand out. Costco sells high quality pork roasts in individual packs of four for around $20-25. (I heart Costco!) With super simple ingredients you probably have on hand, all you need are some tortillas, avocado,  limes and salsa! !  Left over meat would be so yummy in many other things too!   Full recipe below:

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Sleep tight for an hour or so! 

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Instant Pot/Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

1 2-3 lb pork roast

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 onion, chopped roughly

4 cloves garlic

3/4 cup orange juice

  1. Combine all spices, and rub really well onto roast.
  2. Place roast into Instant Pot and pour orange juice over seasoned roast. Add in chopped onions.
  3. Cook on ‘meat’ setting for 60 minutes.
  4. When done cooking, remove roast and shred on baking pan and place in oven at 425 degrees until edges get crispy, about 10-15 minutes.

**You can skip the last step if you don’t care for the crispy edges or you can also heat some oil up in a skillet and fry the carnitas really quickly. SO good this way too.

**Same instructions apply with slow cooker, except cook on low for 6-8 hours.

 

 

Recipes

Crock Pot/Instant Pot Dulce de Leche

December 21, 2016

Have you ever tried to buy dulce de leche in the store? It is SO hard to find. At least where I live! I literally went to 3 stores to find some and nada!  Dulce de leche is so incredibly decadent and delicious in pretty much any form. Resembling caramel, all it is is boiled milk and sugar.  My favorite ways to eat it are in crepes, on toast and with apples! This recipe is fool proof, guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser and it’s cheap to make! If you make this in the Instant Pot on the slow cooker setting, it cooks much faster than in a crock pot (about 5 hours versus 8 in a slow cooker). I believe I was able to fit 7 in my Instant Pot and another 9 in my Crock pot.

This year for my neighbor’s Christmas gifts I decided to give a jar of dulce de leche with a couple fresh,  crisp apples. I found the idea on Pinterest for a teacher gift but thought it was a perfect Christmas gift too. Super easy and something the family will love. It also doesn’t hurt adding a little fresh fruit into the holiday cookie/sweets selection.  I like to have dulce de leche on hand for ice cream topping, pancake topping, and anything really! I mean, it’s a glorified caramel so it’s good right off the spoon! But I don’t ever do that….:D

Full recipe below.

 

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Crock Pot/ Instant Pot Dulce de Leche

8 ounce mason jars, washed and dried
Sweetened condensed milk
water
Slow cooker or Instant Pot

  1. Wash and dry mason jars. Fill almost full with sweetened condensed milk. One can will fill about 1 and half 8 ounce jars so you may want to buy a few jars.
  2. Close and seal jars tightly.
  3. Place into slow cooker and pour enough water to completely cover the jar in the slow cooker.
  4. Cook on low for 8 hours or until desired color/consistency. I like it pretty dark and rich. The longer it cooks, the thicker and richer it is.
  5. Remove from slow cooker and let cool.
  6. Store for up to a month in the refrigerator. Jars should seal after cooking.
Home Products

Last Minute Amazon Prime Christmas Gift Ideas–There’s still time!

December 20, 2016

Hey you guyyyyyys! You still have time to use your Amazon Prime membership to get those last minute gifts for your family and friends! Here are a few finds I threw together for those hard to buy for people. A lot of these would work for men or women. I did about 75% of my Christmas shopping on Amazon this year and it made my life so much easier.  I was a little embarrassed getting several boxes a day but it’s done! Here’s my little compilation of finds I think most anyone would enjoy.

 

We personally own this and my husband loves it and uses it all the time. We’ve had it for about 2 years and still works good as new!  Fogless Shower Mirror with Squeegee by ToiletTree Products. Guaranteed Not to Fog, Designed Not to Fall. (Silver)  $29.95

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Perfect for your DIY husband. Pretty rad wristband with magnet to hold all those loose screws/nail. I know a few men who would love and use these. My husband? Not so much. 😀 MagnoGrip 311-090 Magnetic Wristband $12.95

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I own one of these and I love the organization it offers. It keeps my water bottles in one place and I also keep my emergency snacks, baby wipes, car cleaning junk and even throw in some shopping bags I don’t want rolling around. Keep your trunk nice and organized!  Trunk Organizer $16.79

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Pretty much the best hand cream in all the land, oh and unscented for that man of yours.  O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream Value Size, 6.8 oz., Jar $12.15

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Want to “WOW!” your significant other?  I got these for Lord Business for his birthday in August and he uses them pretty much every day…aaaand I use them too.  My hubby works from home occasionally and these are perfect for blocking out the kid’s noise when he’s focusing.  Socks knocked off, guaranteed. Ain’t cheap though but will be gift to remember. Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling – Black $349.99

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A wallet is one of those things men need but never think to replace. This is a beauty and great Fossil brand quality. Fossil Men’s Bifold Wallet $50.00
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I got this for myself when I got a new car this summer and I LOVE it! It’s got a long cord and little crevice attachments to get those hard to reach places. Keeps my car nice and tidy in between vacuuming and mama loves a clean car. Car Vacuum Cleaner $34.99

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Because what man wouldn’t love the modern day remote control car? I have a couple friends who have gotten these for their husbands. Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Quadcopter  $49.99

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For those who have wives (or husbands, mothers, in laws, sisters, friends etc.) who love to cook. Who wouldn’t love a luxurious and beautiful salt pig? Anyone who is a serious cook would love and use this pretty little thing (other colors available).  Le Creuset Stoneware 10-Ounce Salt Crock, Cerise (Cherry Red) $34.9971BK5k76+jL._SL1500_.jpg

Beautiful genuine jasper and turquoise leather wrap bracelet. I LOVE leather wrap bracelets and own a few of them. They are casual but add just a touch of unique style to your wrist. Oh and they are super comfortable and fit on all wrist sizes! I like to wrap them around my watch. Leather Wrap Bracelet with Turquoise-Green Jasper Beads $27.98

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Highly rated and on my wish list this year! Cheaper than LUSH and the perfect gift for someone who needs to relax in a nice hot bath. Bath Bombs Gift Set – Luxury Bath Fizzies – Lush Size 6oz Natural Bath Bombs $36.99 for 6

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These things are FIVE FULL STAR rated. Perfect for any cook in the kitchen. Pretty much impossible to cut yourself at all with these gloves on. Impressive! No Cry Cut Resistant Gloves  $11.99

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All I can say is, I would LOVE this as a gift and I am going to out on a limb and say that nearly 100% of women would love it too.  On the back it says, “one in a million.” BEAUTIFUL!  kate spade New York Alphabet Pendant Necklace 18inch $58.00

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Hope you gleaned something from this little list, I could add another 50 things but this should cover your bases for those procrastinators out there! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!

Recipes

Chicken Noodle Soup

December 20, 2016

This is the time of year you want to make this soup. You know, around the holidays when you don’t have tons of energy or time to make a full blown meal. Oh wait,…that’s like every other day. Ha! Anyway, this soup comes together SO fast because I use the prepackaged Costco rotisserie chicken. If you don’t already buy it this way, please start! So much easier, so much flavor and oh so convenient.  I don’t use this chicken in all my recipes but recipes like this, it’s just perfect!  My kids devour this stuff and left overs are so good too! I mean, who doesn’t love a good chicken noodle soup? I like to cook my noodles in a separate pot so that I can add them to the soup individually. This way it won’t make the soup part cloudy and it won’t make the noodles soggy the next day. Win/win. You can make the soup part in the Instant Pot very quickly but I was already using my Instant Pot for another recipe so stovetop it is. It comes together start to finish in 20-ish minutes.  Poultry seasoning is a great short cut because it’s basically an all in one for savory herbs that go perfectly in this soup. Marjoram, thyme, rosemary, and a teeny tiny bit of nutmeg. Side note: I used regular noodles since my little guy is allergic to egg or else I would use egg noodles! Full recipe below.

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img_4270Find this base at Costco for around six dollars (I may be way off).

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img_4284**Costco also has these adorable bowls, 6 for $20. They stack so well which is a huge plus for me!

 

Chicken Noodle Soup

1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
salt to taste
1 pound chicken (or 1/2 of the package of Costco rotisserie chicken) roughly chopped.
8 cups water
5 teaspoons Better Than Bullion or chicken base powder
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, diced
1 Tablespoon oil
1-2 cups of noodles

  1. Heat oil in large sauce pan, add in onions, celery and carrots. Cook until just tender.
  2. Add in garlic, basil, poultry seasoning, parsley, pepper and chicken base. Cook 1 minute.
  3. Add in diced chicken and water and salt to taste.
  4. Cover and simmer until veggies are tender.
  5. In a separate pot, bring water to boil and cook pasta until tender.
  6. Drain noodles and add into bowls when serving soup.
Beauty

Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk

December 18, 2016

Why? Why did it take so long for me to find this product? My go to “lazy hair” is leaving it wet, throwing in some mousse and letting it air dry. I wish I had the head shape for that cute messy bun, but I don’t!  And I’m sad to say I don’t know how to braid. Sad face.  My hair naturally has some decent wave to it but by the late evening, it’s mostly straight and just looks straight up UG.  Cue Shea Moisture Curl & Style Milk. I love this brand and use many  of their other products so when I saw this stuff, I knew there was a good chance that it was going to be great! It feels, looks and smells like lotion but it’s for your hair! My hair gets super frizzy and puffy after a couple hours of it air drying so I never really loved how it looks on my lazy days but this stuff keeps it smooth, silky and smells divine! It accentuates the curl and it stays that way for a long while!  I just put a good quarter-sized amount on my hands and gently toss my hair trying to focus on the ends (I figure it’s best not to have that lotion on my roots).  It doesn’t leave my hair or hands greasy and it smells like a pina colada. Mmmmm. I picked this up at Target for around $10 but you can get a two pack on Amazon for around $18.

So ladies, if you have remotely wavy or curly hair, you will love this stuff! Makes my lazy hair days look not-so-lazy! Tried and true coming at you! I’m not a big enough of a blogger to have an assistant to take pics of me and have me look all put together so you must endure my ‘hair selfies’ with bad lighting. Also, this was about 8 hours after putting it in my hair and my hair was completely dry. Not bad huh?! Buy it HERE on Amazon.

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Home Products

~Great Find Friday~ Philips Wake Up Light & Happy Light

October 28, 2016

These two finds SAVE MY SANITY during these dreary and dark PNW fall days.  One of the best feelings in the world is waking up to the sun rising in your bedroom and feeling rested and alert right when you wake up.

I would be a zombie without my Philips Wake Up Light. It basically is an alarm clock that simulates the sun rise.  It gradually gets brighter and brighter during a 20-40 minute time period and wakes you up gently with the increasing brightness. You can also choose between five sounds to wake up as well.  It has a bedtime setting that can do the reverse of getting darker and darker until you want to go to sleep.

With the light gently hitting your closed eyes, you wake up gradually and feel refreshed. It’s an odd feeling to describe but it’s so calming to wake up with this thing!  Many times we wake up before the sound even goes off on it.   This alarm clock has been clinically proven to make waking up more pleasant. Yes, please! It’s great too because it has incorporated colors into the bulb to mimic the sunrise with those orange-ish hues.  It has a tap snooze option, automatically dimming display and a FM radio. Have I sold you on it yet? It’s worth a shot at trying to see if it can help you fight those rough, feet dragging, early pitch black mornings.  It is not cheap however it is worth every penny since it wakes me up feeling rested, refreshed and happy. Worth every penny! It sells for $137.99.  I got mine on Amazon where it has received nearly 3000 five star reviews. Click HERE to view on Amazon.    We also have an older version of this light we got a few years back and we still use it on one side of our bed with this new one on my side. The old one is still going strong! I haven’t had to change the bulb yet.   If you want to see it in action and listen to the five sound options to wake up to, watch my little video below.

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[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iB1A6NnhCg4]

 

The second light that is necessary to keep your body feeling awake and refreshed is the  Nature Bright Sun Touch Plus Light and Ion Therapy Lamp or AKA The Happy Light. With nearly 2400 five star reviews, you’ll see that it REALLY does help convince your body and brain that it is in fact daytime at a pitch black 7am. It retails on Amazon for $51.99.

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In a nutshell this lamp:

  • Improves mood, energy, and sleep
  • Recommended for winter blues
  • Re-syncs your body’s internal clock
  • Emits healing 17,000-Kelvin UV-free light
  • Built-in timer
  • For home and office use
  • Recommended by Columbia Department of Psychiatry and the New York State Psychiatry Institute.

I don’t understand or know all the science but I do know that it works for us! It helps us feel awake and energized. From what I understand the prescription strength 10,000 LUX light is equivalent to what they use for light therapy. Apparently it is effective in treating SAD or seasonal affective disorder which basically is seasonal depression due to lack of sunlight.  It is designed to mimic the effects of the sunny sky with it’s bright white/blue light.  We have ours in our bathroom where we use it each morning while in the shower (we have glass shower doors) and while we are getting ready so a total of 20-30 minutes each morning right upon waking. It has a nifty timer on the side so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn it off. It is on the bigger side but not giant. It would be great for an office desk as well. I’ve seen many other happy lights but you all know I’m a review junkie and when it works, it works! Tried and true coming at you!

We have owned ours for about 5 years and ours is still going strong with no bulb issues. I store it in the spring  and summer and happily whip it out from October-April.  It’s funny reading many of the reviews on Amazon because a lot of the people reviewing are from Seattle and the PNW in general. Lack of sunshine is a real problem here! Day after day of gray and gloom can really affect your mood and that pep in your step! Not with this nifty light! So, if you need a boost of energy and want to feel like you have the same energy as a bright and summery day, try these two products and let me know what you think! It’s worked beautifully for us!

And remember, I’m not a doctor and the info I’m sharing here regarding light therapy/SAD is purely informational and not intended for you to treat yourself or others! 

Recipes

Lentil Soup

October 27, 2016

I grew up with my mama making lentils regularly. They aren’t the most beautiful color on planet earth but that doesn’t stop me from making them and it certainly doesn’t stop my family from happily eating them up! So yummy, healthy and filling!  Serve with some crusty bread and simple salad and you’ll have a perfect fall meal. I made this soup with my Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker. (Click that link to read more about how amazing it is). If you make it stove top, use eight cups of water instead of seven since some of the water will evaporate and none will if you use the Instant Pot. I’ve made this before with bacon added in and have even thrown in some chicken. Ham would be delicious too! Full recipe below.

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Lentil Soup

1 onion, chopped

1 Tablespoon oil

3 carrots, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1-14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes

2 cups lentils

fresh chopped parsley

7 cups water

Seasoning salt or bouillon

  1. Throw everything in your Instant Pot. Add seasoning salt or bouillon and stir. Taste the water to make sure it’s salty enough to your liking. Cook in the Instant Pot on “beans” setting for 30 minutes.
  2. If cooking stove top, heat oil in large pot and cook carrots, onion, garlic and celery until tender. Add in the rest of the ingredients and simmer for about an hour or until the lentils are tender.
Home Products

~Great Find Friday~ One Line A Day, A Five Year Memory Book

October 7, 2016

With a million and one ways to journal these days, here’s another to add to the list.  However, this little cutie has won my heart because of the small amount of time and effort it requires.  It’s a simple and beautiful five year journal and all you have to do is write down just a couple sentences each day because there literally isn’t any more space to write more than that.   It is a gorgeous robin’s egg blue color with gold edges on each page and a coral ribbon book mark. I keep it on my nightstand so I don’t forget to jot down a few things and even if I do forget to write in it for a couple days, it’s very easy to remember a couple lines of what happened in the past few days and get caught up. When I first started writing in it, I didn’t think I would forget random little things but I’ve proven myself wrong. I have already had a good time reading back the past month or so of little happenings. What a fun and simple way to read the super shortened version of your life! One of my dearest friends gave this to me and I’m thinking about getting one for my 10 year old just to encourage him to keep a little record of his life because I know he’d enjoy looking back too. I remember feeling overwhelmed as a kid when I wanted to write in a journal because I had SO much to say and it took forever to write it all down, but this little thing is the perfect size and only requires literally 2 minutes a day. My friend got this at Paper Source but I found it on good old reliable Amazon for even a little cheaper. Keep this one if your back pocket as it would be a perfect gift/stocking stuffer. Click here to get it on Amazon for $13.83. They also have an adorable lavender one that targets moms called “Mom’s One Line a Day” which would be an awesome new mom gift or for any mom really! Click here to see that one for $10.24.  There are several versions of this kind of journaling, so check a few of my picks out to see which one would suit your needs!

Living Well One Line A Day- $16.95 A cute yellow five year journal
Every Day: A Five Year Memory Book– $11.75 A colorful cover with lots of cute items all over it.
Mom’s One Line a Day: A Five Year Memory Book– $10.24 A pretty light purple cover with gold page edges and gold lettering.
Q&A a Day for Moms: A 5-year Journal-$12.92 A line a day but with a Mom question prompt.

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