Everything Happens For A Reason

Back in January, I announced that my sister and sister-in-law were joining me to write Mommy of a Monster and Twins. We were gung-ho and so excited, and then I haven’t blogged since. I don’t know what happened! I just decided to stop blogging. I kept up Mommy of a Monster on social media, however the blog just went to the back burner.

I considered letting go of my domain and shutting it down completely. But for some reason, something told me not to do it. And here I am! Ready to start blogging again.

One thing I regret during the hiatus is that in March my blog turned 7 years old, and I didn’t celebrate. Other than that, not much has changed in the past six months. The kids are out of school now, I’ve been busy with work, and I’m still reading like a bookworm. I’ve also taken up a side business!
Rodan-and-FieldsI have been using Rodan + Fields skincare products for the last year, and I talk about how incredible they are to anybody who will listen. After some gentle prodding from family and friends, I decided to become an R+F consultant. I have lots of people who ask me about the products….how they work, IF they work, what I think about them….and I thought what better place to share the info than on my blog!

In the future, you’ll see great recipes mixed with book reviews by the kids, my sister-in-law’s take on having two little ones under the age of 2, cooking with kids tips, and occasional Rodan + Fields reviews and even giveaways!

I’m looking forward to sharing all of this with you and excited to get back to blogging!

My Morning Beauty Must Haves, Including Tom’s Of Maine Deodorant

Disclaimer: This post was developed in partnership with Tom’s of Maine. All opinions are my own.

My morning routine is a quick one, especially because I have found my favorite beauty must haves and am loyal to them. I try lots of beauty and health products because I like finding products that make me look good, but not made up. I also don’t have a lot of time in the morning to make myself up, so finding products that work consistently is also important to me. I thought I’d share some of my favorites.

My Morning Beauty Must Haves

If you're a busy mom, read about my morning beauty must haves, including Tom's Of Maine Deodorant, to help you make you're beauty routine will be a snap!

Wet Brush – I’m not the only fan of this brush, the girls are too! I have wavy hair but the girls have stick straight hair. Lila has a ton of hair, Mia’s not so much. The cool thing about the Wet Brush is that we can all use it. Use it on wet or dry hair, it quickly and painlessly detangles even the thickest, most stubborn hair. It really works. The girls also like the Detangle Brush, and it works great on their hair but not on mine.

Benefit Cosmetics sun beam – It’s sunshine in a bottle! Seriously, you’ll look like you were kissed by the sun. It’s a golden bronze highlighter that gives you a natural radiance. Just & blend over makeup on to cheek & brow bones. Sometimes I even put a bit on my eyelids instead of wearing eyeshadow.

Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash – This tops my list of beauty must haves! Say goodbye to curling your lashes and then applying mascara because this does it all! Roller Lash not only lifts and super-curls, but it holds for 12 hours and is easy to remove.

Clinique Quick Liner for Eyes (Really Black) – This eyeliner glides on smoothly and has a rubber tip at the other end to smudge it out. And it takes no time at all to apply!

NAKED by Urban Decay – I love this eyeshadow pallette because there are a ton of nude colors that can be worn separately or together. It also comes with a great brush to apply the colors with. With the darker colors, I often times will use my MAC Eyeliner brush (that can be used wet or dry) for a different eyeliner look.

Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay Foundation – This foundation gives you the full coverage of a foundation, but looks and feels light and natural like a BB cream. It’s healthy and natural for your skin, which is why I love it. Apply it with a Tarte foundation brush and it goes on quickly and smoothly. I even use it as a primer on and around my eyes and use a Benefit Cosmetics foundation brush, which is easier to get into smaller spots with than Tarte’s brush.

Tom’s of Maine Natural Deodorant – I know that over the last 6 months as I’ve been losing weight and getting healthier, I’ve been more aware of not only what I’m putting into my body, but also on my body. I’ve switched from using regular lotions to using coconut oil on my skin. And when I got the chance to try out Tom’s of Maine Natural Deodorants, I figured it was worth a shot!

If you're a busy mom, read about my morning beauty must haves, including Tom's Of Maine Deodorant, to help you make you're beauty routine will be a snap!

Tom’s of Maine harnesses the power of nature to make high quality natural toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss, deodorant, bar soap and baby care products. Their team of dentists, scientists and herbal experts that are leaders in their fields develop a wide range of natural products and choices so people can decide what best fits with their needs and values.

I had no idea, but Tom’s of Maine natural deodorant is the best-selling natural deodorant and has been for decades. Tom’s of Maine is introducing a new deodorant formula with new and improved scents, and as always, is free of aluminum, artificial fragrances and petrochemicals. So if you’re concerned about what’s going on your skin, you need to try one of the Tom’s of Maine deodorants.


If you're a busy mom, read about my morning beauty must haves, including Tom's Of Maine Deodorant, to help you make you're beauty routine will be a snap!

The Long Lasting Deodorant comes in amazing natural fragrances like Fresh Apricot, Wild Lavender, Tea Tree, and Refreshing Lemongrass.  It’s clinically proven to provide you with 24-hour odor protection using odor-fighting hops and the mineral zinc.

I was told to try them for at least 7 days, and test out different scents (or unscented) to help determine the best fit for my body’s unique chemistry. My favorite deodorant was the Refreshing Lemongrass Long Lasting Deodorant. It was weird at first because I was worried about feeling “wet” since there’s no antiperspirant in it. Jason only uses deodorant, so he was used to the feeling. I eventually got used to it, and gave it a stamp of approval. The best thing about it was that it really did last a long time! You don’t have to worry about reapplying throughout the day. It works!

Note: I was told and want to pass along to you that when trying a natural deodorant for the first time it’s important to give your body time to adjust. If your body is used to a conventional product, it may need some time to adjust to a natural formula free of chemicals and artificial ingredients.

Tom’s of Maine products come in fully recyclable packaging through local municipalities or the TerraCycle Tom’s of Maine Natural Care Brigade. They never test on animals or use animal ingredients. And with every purchase, Tom’s of Maine gives 10% of profits back to helping people and the planet. Just one more reason to buy Tom’s of Maine products!

I’m not the only one switching to Tom’s of Maine. Listen to Elise explain why she did, too.

Tom’s of Maine is a staple in my beauty must haves, because it works. It even has a permanent spot on the bottom shelf of my medicine cabinet, reserved only for my must have products (I keep my makeup in a makeup case.) Which beauty must haves top your list of favorites?

Since it does such a fantastic job, it’s even getting the Mommy of a Monster stamp of approval!


You can find Tom’s of Maine on Twitter at @TomsofMaine, on Facebook at /TomsofMaine, on Instagram at @Toms_of_Maine, and on YouTube: OfficialTomsofMaine. If you’re a fan, make sure to follow!


Mommy of a Monster and Twins is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com and/or other affiliate sites. If you purchase any items through these links, I will get a few pennies as a thank you and you will still get the same low price! Thanks for supporting our site.

Mom Stress Sucks, But NIOXIN Can Keep You Looking Great!

This post was sponsored on behalf of NIOXIN. All opinions stated are my own.

I’m gonna be honest: Between the kids being home all day, every day and hearing “I’m bored” at least 500 times a day, I’ve already had it with summer break. Mentioning this to a group of friends lead to a conversation about different things all moms experience at some point during the motherhood journey. Things like hearing “I’m hungry” every day of summer break or daydreaming about having more “me time.” Mom stress, y’all

When you bring home your first bundle of joy, your idea of motherhood is picture perfect, though that idea is quickly crushed as you realize that motherhood is nothing like what you thought it would be. It’s wonderful, absolutely. But it’s also messy and a ton of work and frustrating and often takes every bit of of patience that you have.

So I thought it’d be fun to share some things that lots of moms I know stress out about on a daily basis.

Being Tired. Beyond Belief. New moms quickly learn that what they thought “tired” was before kids is nowhere near what tired really is. Oh, and say goodbye to sleeping peacefully throughout the night, like ever again.

Going To The Bathroom Alone Actually Is Me Time. Kids will follow you everywhere, even into the bathroom. So if you want to poop alone, you gotta shut (and lock) the bathroom door. I’ve got an 8 year old and two 6 year olds and this still holds true. Shutting and locking the door when I use the bathroom or take a shower is sometimes the only time during the day that I get a few minutes alone.

You Will Ignore Your Kids. When you hear “Mom” a million times a day, you start to tune it out. The funny thing about this is that if your kids say it, you’ll ignore them. If someone else’s kids say it, you’ll respond.

You Have To Let Go, And It’s Scary. Kids want independence. They want to do things on their own, without your help. They want to pick out their own outfits and do their own hair (and sometimes in doing so they’ll end up looking ridiculous, but you’ve got to let them do it anyways.) They want to get on the computer without you standing over them watching what they’re doing. They want to walk down the street to a friend’s house, alone. It’s hard to give them independence, but it’s something we have to do.

Some Days, They’ll Make You Want To Pull Your Hair Out. We all have those days! And guess what? After having kids, some moms like me literally start losing their hair. It thins out and becomes hard to manage. After brushing your hair, you’ll be surprised you have any hair left in your head and wonder if you may be going bald.

Thinning hair affects men and women of all ages. Sometimes the cause is genetic, but it can also be triggered by certain life stages, like after having a baby (or in my case getting older.) But there is a solution…NIOXIN.


NIOXIN uses advanced technologies to deliver thicker, fuller, denser-looking hair. NIOXIN provides a real solution for making the most of the hair you have, and they help make it even better. There are 6 different systems to chose from, depending on your hair type and the condition it’s in. Each  3-part System Kit includes Shampoo, Conditioner & Treatment. Each kit includes an easy to use daily regimen consisting of just three steps. Use the kit for 30 days and you’ll get thicker, denser-looking hair, guaranteed.

I put NIOXIN to the test by taking the 30 Day Challenge. For the last month, I’ve been using the #5 System for normal to thin looking chemically treated hair. I also used the Night Density Rescue as well as the Bodifying Foam.

Momming is hard! These 5 things are some of the things that makes being a mom hard. Mom stress can make your hair thin out, but no fear! Nioxin can help.

To find which System Kit  would best fit my needs, I used the NIOXIN Consultation Tool. Then, I started using the products daily. I love the smell and tingle of the shampoo and conditioner. After my first use, my hair felt softer and I noticed less frizz.

And after just 30 days, WOW! What a difference! I have a head of full, frizz-free hair. Check out this before and after pic of how much hair used to come out of my head when I brushed my hair versus the amount I’m losing now.

Momming is hard! These 5 things are some of the things that makes being a mom hard. Mom stress can make your hair thin out, but no fear! Nioxin can help.

Barely any hair comes out now! And the best part about NIOXIN’s 30 day money back guarantee challenge was that I can now hop out of the shower, put in some bodifying foam, and let my hair air dry. I would never be able to leave the house without blow drying or straightening my hair before, but now I can!

Momming is hard! These 5 things are some of the things that makes being a mom hard. Mom stress can make your hair thin out, but no fear! Nioxin can help.

No frizz, no fuss, and it has body that it’s never had before! I’m hooked on NIOXIN!

I encourage you to give it a try for yourself – you’ve got nothing to lose because if it doesn’t make you happy, you can get your money back. So take the Challenge! Don’t forget to share your results with #NIOXINChallenge on NIOXIN’s Facebook and Twitter.

For more information on NIOXIN products and to locate a NIOXIN salon, please visit www.nioxin.com.


Soniclear Petite: The Perfect Facial Cleansing Brush!

Looking for a last minute holiday gift? Everybody should take care of their skin – you only get one shot at keeping it healthy – which is why Soniclear Petite make a fantastic gift.

Looking for a gift idea? Everybody needs to take care of their skin, which makes the Soniclear Petite the perfect gift!

There are only five products that I’ve reviewed here on my blog that are my favorites and that I continue to use daily (or regularly): Living Proof hair products (2014), my WaterPik Water Flosser (early 2014), my Saltwater Canvas beach bags (2011), Boogie Wipes (2010) , and my Soniclear Facial Cleansing Brush. So when Soniclear asked me to try out the Soniclear Petite, I jumped at the chance.

Looking for a gift idea? Everybody needs to take care of their skin, which makes the Soniclear Petite the perfect gift!

Why The Soniclear Petite?

There are some differences between the Soniclear Elite and the Petite. One of course is the size.

Looking for a gift idea? Everybody needs to take care of their skin, which makes the Soniclear Petite the perfect gift!

The Petite is well, petite! It’s smaller than the Elite, but works just as effectively. It’s waterproof, which I love because I can take it in the shower with me – that’s helpful because I wash my face in the shower, not in the sink.

Another difference is that the Petite only comes with a face brush, while the Elite comes with a body brush, too. Since I use the face brush every day, it didn’t matter to me that the Petite only had one brush.

The Petite has 3 speeds (instead of 6), which is all you need for your face.

The Soniclear Petite is only $99!

I actually now prefer the Petite because it’s smaller, easier to hold, and is much easier to travel with because the battery life is much longer. It also comes with a USB charger making it easy to charge anywhere.

I LOVE Soniclear, and don’t think you can go wrong with any of their products! However if you are looking for something small, affordable, and totally effective (it does exactly what it says it’ll do!), you can’t got wrong with the Soniclear Petite.

Looking for a gift idea? Everybody needs to take care of their skin, which makes the Soniclear Petite the perfect gift!



Disclaimer: I received a Soniclear Petite in exchange for this review. All opinions and photos are my own. 

Beauty Tips On How To Keep Your Skin Healthy This Summer

As I get older, it’s definitely not as easy to take care of my skin, especially during the summer time. With summer and the sun comes heat, humidity, too much sun, and too much time in the pool (all that chlorine!) With all of that comes shaving too often. Dry skin. Itchy skin. Irritated skin. Red skin…and none of that is any fun at all – not to mention it doesn’t look good either. If you’re like me, these beauty tips on how to keep your skin healthy during the summer are the only ones I have to offer. And when you know better you do better, right?

Beauty Tips On How To Keep Your Skin Healthy This Summer

These beauty tips on how to keep your skin healthy this summer are affordable and doable! Includes sunscreen, exfoliating, and moisturizing tips to keep your skin looking and smelling beautiful.These beauty tips will help you keep your skin in tip top shape (and glowing!) this summer season. These tips aren’t ones that you’ve never heard before but they are good reminders and every one of them is definitely worth following.

Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen
Yes, you’ve heard it a million times before…but that’s because it’s SO important! Choose a sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection (they block both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays) with a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15. That’s the bare minimum, people. Don’t skimp on the SPF! I love Philosophy’s BB Cream and use it every day during the summertime.

Don’t forget to apply sunscreen liberally (at least a one-ounce shot-glass-size amount) before you go outside, and then reapply every two hours and always after swimming. Clouds don’t mean you don’t need protection — apply sunscreen every single day no matter what the weather! Trust me, I got burnt yesterday sitting by the pool when it was overcast because I was too lazy to put it on.

Did You Know…Lips can also get sunburned and  are also susceptible to skin cancer. Wear a broad-spectrum sun-protective lip balm with an SPF of at least 15 to keep lips safe under those rays. My favorite is Hawaiian Tropic Lip Balm, which has an SPF of 45!

You’ll find more smart sunscreen tips for you and the kids here.

Exfoliating & Shaving
Sun, sand, sweat, and sunscreen increase the amount of dead skin cells on your face and body. That’s why your skin gets so dry and itchy. Get rid of the yucky skin with an exfoliating scrub or loofah a few times each week. And because you’re smart enough not to tan in the sun (we all self-tan now, right?), an added bonus of exfoliation is that your self-tanner will go on more evenly and prevent streaking.

Since you’re wearing short shorts and sundresses, you’ve got to shave more often, and shaving more often leads to irritated and/or dried out skin. Help deter this by replacing your razor often, and shave only after you’ve been in the shower for a few minutes (when your hairs will be softer). You should also use a moisturizing shaving cream or gel (I use really cheap conditioner which is cheaper than shaving cream.)

Don’t Skip Out On Moisturizer
Just because your skin might feel silky smooth from the extra exfoliating and shaving, don’t forget that moisturizer! Instead of ditching it all together, switch to a lighter, water-based formula (I love all of Bath & Body Works body lotions and scents) or use baby oil gel, and don’t forget to use eye cream!

I won’t even mentionhow important it is to keep your body hydrated, so drinking lots of water is very important. I’ve got lots of recipes that will wake up your boring water, so check ’em out.

What other beauty tips or suggestions do you have to keep your skin healthy while you play in the sun?

photo source
Mommy of a Monster and Twins is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.