Illuminating Stella

Archive of ‘Buyers Rejoice/Remorse’ category

Put Down the Puppies and Floral Prints and Walk Away


Today was a slow day, so Stella and I went to the mall to pick up my Lavanila Deodorant at Sephora. I’ve had a gift card burning a hole in my pocket since Christmas. We had a good time strolling through the mall. She especially enjoyed the pet store with all the lively puppies. We picked out a little Labrador and texted his picture to John who replied…..NO WAY!

I made the mistake of going into Gap Kids and fell in love with so many of the new spring looks for baby girls. It is cuteness overload. Since all she actually needed was a sun hat with a wide brim and they did not have any I (after a little internal debate cut short by Stella whining) walked out empty handed. I did pick up two cute hats pretty cheap at Gymboree with a 20% off coupon.

When I got home I created a Spring Fashion Board on Pinterest for Stella while she napped. There are so many pretty things out there right now! It kind of helped fix my little itch to buy all the floral, butterfly and tiny rabbit prints in sight. Especially since so many of the outfits are way pricey! After packing away her clothes sized 0-6 months (with teary eyes) I made myself promise to slow down on buying too much clothing until she stops growing out of things at such a rapid speed. It was pretty pitiful how many outfits she only wore once or twice, which also made me feel kinda guilty.

Full disclosure, I did buy these spring outfits a few weeks ago on sale at Target and TJ Maxx. They were much more in line with my SAHM budget. I love the bright coral, pink and turquoise. They should fit in a month or so.


Here is part of the last closet purge. So sad.


Attempting to be Sulfate Free

I recently read a Mom Blog about sulfates and the harm they may cause, especially to children and adults eyes, hair follicles and skin. It is considered a harsh irritant. I did some more reading and became officially concerned about using products with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). I then checked our bathroom and kitchen and was bummed to find these two ingredients in so many products we use. This included shampoo, body wash, facial scrub, toothpaste, liquid hand soap, dishwashing liquid and kitchen hand soap. SLS and SLES are used to create lather, which is why they are in so many products. There were even sulfates in some of the products I considered to be in that green, organic, all-natural safe zone. I won’t name names.

John and I discussed (argued) it and have agreed (he gave in) to switch to products that do not have sulfates. Maybe we are a little late to this party, as I began searching at Target, the grocery store and drug stores for replacements I noticed lots of products, especially shampoos are advertising that they are Sulfate Free. How did I miss this till now?

Here are some of our replacements. L’Oreal EverCreme Shampoo & Conditioner (L’Oreal has an entire line of sulfate free products), Burt’s Bees Ginger Body Wash, Neutrogena Naturals Facial Scrub, Jason Naturals Toothpaste and Clearly Natural Essentials Glycerin Soap. I am really happy with all of the products, the shampoo, conditioner and body wash also all smell wonderful. I think my hair looks and feels nicer. They are also all affordable as my days of Department Store/Salon Beauty Products are on hold while we are working with a single income.


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Here are some things we were already using that are sulfate free. California Baby Shampoo and Body Wash (we also have a Burt’s Bee’s one for her that is sulfate free), BabyGanics Dish Soap, Earth’s Best Baby Toothpaste, Boot’s Eye Make-Up Remover and Shaklee Organic Cleaning Products. The Shaklee Products were given to us by our friend Woody and we have been really pleased with them. It makes me feel so much better now that Stella is on the floor all the time that no harsh chemicals are there for her to touch with her little hands and mouth.

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Last Few Days

John’s parents have been visiting from the midwest the past few days. It’s been nice for Stella to meet her other Grandparents and they seem pleased with her to say the least. We took them to the Farmer’s Market on Wednesday and had lobster rolls for dinner. Heaven. I bought these flowers, celosia and dahlias. Room brighteners for sure.

There were a few broken stems left for a small vase on my plant cart. I fear my cart will have to go bye bye when Stella starts toddling around. I am trying to enjoy it while it lasts so I’m posting a photo too. Try to ignore the hanging frog in the back (Jeremiah) who is drying off from a swim in the gutter.

Also got these Vegan Tarts from The Little Tart Bakery that are amazing. Shared them with my bestie Michelle who is ovo-intolerant and can’t have most desserts. They also come in small boxes….the cliche is true.

Yesterday, John took his parents to Los Olivos (Mini Wine Country) so Stella and I went to the park for a playdate. We met up with my Sister and some of her South Bay Mommy Crew and their cute kiddos. Stella and me styled by my Mom here.

He did bring back some good wine for me. We shared a bottle of 2010 Andrew Murray Terra Bella Syrah with a Caprese Salad for dinner tonight. Phenomenal glass of wine.

Also bought this blush this week and I am in major love. I usually wear Benetint Blush by Benefit  and was ready to just replace. A new Ulta opened in Long Beach and I went in to have a look and came out with this gem instead. It is super creamy and the color is a beautiful mango peachy coral. The kind of color that just makes me happy.