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TRIED & TRUE: BEAUTY PRODUCTS

I love hearing about people’s tried and true beauty products — it’s pretty much the only way I find new products to use since I’m not much of a beauty junky and I’m not willing to risk spending a bunch of money on something I won’t ending up loving. Over the years I’ve found a few beauty buys that I have stuck with and absolutely love!!

 

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One // Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser works to take off my makeup better than any cleanser I’ve ever tried and it doesn’t have a smell!

Two // I’ve been using Moroccan Oil for YEARS. I have naturally very thick, wavy hair (not cute wavy, frizzy weird wavy). I should share a photo of what my hair looks like after I blowdry it — it is huge and needs to be tamed! If I ever had any doubt that this product works to do just that, last year I randomly forgot to use it (must’ve been pregnancy brain) and I had several coworkers comment on how my hair looked different! Ha!

Three // I used to be a strictly drugstore mascara gal, until I found the IT Cosmetics Superhero Maskcare (thanks to Lauren McBride!). This stuff is so good — it lengthens and thickens and makes my lashes almost look fake! I’m hooked.

Four // Listen up tired mamas, you NEED this concealer. This is another one I heard about from miss Lauren and I am so glad I gave it a try. This concealer hides the fact that I have an infant and toddler at home and don’t get nearly as much sleep as I would like. My sister (a total beauty junkie who also has her own infant and toddler at home) ended up buying this too after noticing that I never looked tired even though she knew that I most definitely was 🙂

Five // I’ve had people comment on how “flawless” my skin looks — well, as much as I hate to admit that it’s not my skin, I have to give credit to this mineral powder from Laura Mercier. It provides amazing coverage while not being cakey and it’s also luminous so it gives your skin great dimension. I love it!

Six // When I lived in Europe I became obsessed with Bioderma Micellar H20. I didn’t even wash my face with a traditional face wash, I only used the Micellar water. I loved what it did to my skin! Unfortunately, when we moved home from Amsterdam it was really hard (and expensive) to get my hands on the Bioderma product so I had to stop using it. Then Garnier released a Micellar Water in the last couple years and I was so skeptical it would be as good as the original French stuff, but I have to say it is amazing!! It’s a staple in my bathroom cabinet — I use it on nights I’m too lazy to wash my face or just when I want an extra layer of makeup removal.

So that’s it! My favorite beauty products. Now I need YOUR help — do you have an amazing facial moisturizer you love? And what are you favorite face masks for brightening and fine lines? I’m on the hunt! Any other amazing products I have to know about?

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{Pregger Update: 36 Weeks}


How Far Along: I’ll be 37 weeks Thursday!
Size of Baby: She’s the size of a watermelon – 19-22 inches long and weighs about 6.5 pounds. Whoa.
Maternity Clothes: I’ve definitely bought my fair share of maternity clothes throughout this pregnancy! I just always felt like the maternity stuff fit better and was more flattering – considering it was made for a bump, I think that makes sense! I can still miraculously wear a few pre-pregnancy things, but the number of those items is dwindling by the day!
If you’re wondering, my favorite places for maternity clothes have been:
ASOS.com
Gap
Target
Paige Maternity Jeans via Pea in the Pod
Stretch Marks: Still slathering on the belly butter and still stretch mark free… Fingers crossed…
  
Sleep: Eh, it’s okay! I get up 3-4 times a night to pee, so that’s not exactly fun. But other than that, it’s actually not so bad. Trying to get all the rest I can get before little lady arrives 🙂
Best Moment of the Week:  Working on the nursery. We’re almost finished! Corey and I pulled it all together really quickly in the end. I am so proud of the room – it’s definitely my favorite space in the house. Just a few more details to add and then I’ll share pictures here!
 Movement:  Good grief this girl is always on the move. I thought by this point she was supposed to be a little more crammed for space, but judging by all the kicks and flips I feel all day long, I find that hard to believe! I do have to admit I really love it. And if I don’t feel her for even 30 minutes I start missing her rolling around in there (and, admittedly, get a little worried).
Cravings: I love eating cereal these days – Honey Nut Cheerios. And I could eat Thai food every single day (but that’s been the case this entire pregnancy). Not loving meat, which is kind of a new thing as of the last month or so…
Gender: Little Lady!
Belly Button In or Out: It goes back and forth. At this very moment it’s out!
Wedding Ring on or Off: On! Knock on wood, I haven’t dealt with a lot of swelling during this pregnancy, so I hope I can wear them until the end.
Anything Making You Queasy or Sick: Nausea started coming back for me pretty consistently as soon as the third trimester started. As long as I’m good about snacking and drinking lots of water I’m usually okay.
What I Miss: Being able to stand and walk for long periods of time without having intense back and pelvic pain, being more graceful (getting off the couch or out of bed ain’t pretty), and just generally feeling like “myself”. I want to do everything I used to do when I wasn’t pregnant and I get frustrated easily when I realize I need to slow down.
What I am Looking Forward to: Meeting our baby girl. I can’t believe it’s happening so soon. I just want to know what she looks like and stare into her eyes and finally meet this little lady that is consuming my thoughts and dreams! I cannot wait to see Corey holding her. I daydream about the moment we’ll meet her and it brings tears to my eyes. I just can’t wait.
Labor Signs: Tons and tons of Braxton Hicks contractions – and my body is definitely getting ready for this whole labor thing! My doctor doesn’t think I’ll go past my due date. I hope she didn’t jinx me!
Nursery: Almost done – need a couple picture frames, a side table for the rocking chair and a lamp!

Emotions:  Yeah, they’re all over the place as is to be expected when you’re nine months pregnant, right?! But overall, feeling really great and happy!
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{Pregger Update: 20 Weeks}


I thought I’d start doing these updates here and there. Hopefully you guys don’t find them annoying, but I think it would be nice for me to have to look back on someday ☺ 

How Far Along: I’ll be 21 weeks Thursday!

Size of Baby: She’s the size of a banana – about 7 inches long and weighs about 12 oz.

Maternity Clothes: Definitely. Went on a Gap Maternity shopping spree a couple weeks back when they were having a 40% off sale and I have to say that maternity clothes just fit SO much better and are so much more flattering! 

Stretch Marks: None yet.  Crossing my fingers SO hard they decide to skip me ☺ Slathering on Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil and Burt Bee’s Mama Bee Belly Butter like it’s my job!
  
Sleep: Well, I love sleeping. I go to bed really early every night and I don’t even feel bad about it. I figure once this babe is born it will be a while before I get a full night’s rest so might as well take advantage now!

Best Moment of the Week:  Feeling her move around ALL THE TIME. It’s my favorite! And when she doesn’t for a while I miss her. 

 Movement:  Uh huh! Even Corey can feel her move around. We love to lay in bed or on the couch and wait for her to kick/punch. It’s so fun! Apparently this is really early on for both me and him to be feeling her move so much, but I guess she’s just in a really great position because I’ve been feeling her a lot for almost 2 weeks now!

Cravings: None really recently! 

Gender: Little Lady!

Belly Button In or Out: In

Wedding Ring on or Off: On

Anything Making You Queasy or Sick: I feel pretty good, but if I don’t eat for a few hours I feel a little queasy. But nothing compared to the first tri!

What I Miss: IPAs. And bourbon. I’m not a lush I swear!

What I am Looking Forward to: Our babymoon to Hawaii coming up in about a month! I need some sun – this Portland weather is downright depressing!

Labor Signs: Heck no. Thank goodness!!

Nursery: We have our crib, but that’s about it! Gotta start somewhere!

Emotions:  Last week was pretty rough – my emotions were all over the place, but mainly really low. The last few days have been a bit better. It’s so hard to know how incredibly happy I am yet sometimes I just can’t fight this feeling of sadness. I suffered from depression about 10 years ago, so I recognize these feelings and I know how to deal with them, it’s just a bummer they are showing up during this special time. But I’m hanging in there!
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{Es Trenc Beach: Mallorca}

As our fall/winter weather is in full swing here in Portland, I couldn’t help but long for our wonderful day spent at Es Trenc beach in Mallorca back in May. The water at Es Trenc is the clearest I’ve ever seen – what I imagine the Caribbean looks like (I’ve never been). I found myself in total awe for the few hours we were there. If you find yourself in Mallorca, this is one of the best beaches on the island and a can’t-miss!

All photos are unedited – that is really the color of the water!

{Photo © Liz Denfeld Photography}
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{Five Things About Moi}

I’ve seen this circling around Instagram and blogs and thought I’d join in – why not? 
I’m tagging all of you next! Leave a link in the comments if you’ve done this – it’s always fun to learn more about my readers!
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I hate being cold with a fiery passion and rain annoys the crap out of me.  I feel like a totally different person when the sun comes out- my happiness level spikes! Don’t ask me how I’ve survived my entire life living in Portland and Amsterdam (two very grey and rainy cities). My sisters (who both live in LA) are constantly trying to convince me to move to California. Of course I’m tempted, but I know I’d never be able to go back to Portland after being spoiled with so much sunshine, so for now I just get my dose of sun on tropical vacations!
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At one point in my life I truly felt like I had no “passions” – like, whenever someone would say “follow your passion”, “follow your wildest dreams” – I felt like I didn’t have either of those. Now, totallyyyy different story. Every day I find a new hobby or interest that I feel is calling my name: photography, calligraphy (sure I’ve never picked up a pen, but I’m dying to learn!), interior design, cooking, baking, videography, event planning, you name it!
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Super random… But I can drive a stick shift! I think this is cool because most of my friends (and Corey!) can’t. While I find this useful, I also hate being the only one out of me and Corey who can drive manual because it has caused me to have to drive in crazy European cities (like Paris) and I would much prefer to leave those shenanigans to the huz. We’re off the Cape Town in less than two weeks and we will be driving a lot (on the wrong side of the road!) and we paid almost double to get an automatic so Corey could take the wheel 🙂
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I’m stubborn as a bull. Makes sense because I’m a Taurus! One of the biggest things my marriage has taught me is how to say I’m sorry, and admit when I’m wrong. This has been extremely hard for me to do in the past, but Corey is probably the least stubborn person in the world and the first to apologize (even when it’s not his fault!). I’ve learned so much from him and feel so lucky to have him as my life partner. I’m a better Liz thanks to that guy!
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I do too much.  My mom will attest to this time and time again. I try to do it all. I succeed many times, but those few times where I break down because I’ve put way too much pressure on myself and overplanned my schedule…It ain’t pretty.

Now it’s your turn! Five things about you… Go!

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{Happy New Year!}

I realize this post is coming a wee bit late, but I figure we’re only three days into 2013 and I can’t let 2012 go that easily. Happy New Year!
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I truly can’t believe I’m sitting here reminiscing on another year come and gone. And what a year it was! 2012 brought so much adventure… Putting this post together and reminiscing on so many memories made, I realized why I am so darn exhausted all the time… We’ve been BUSY. We traveled to over 10 countries (including the UK for the Olympics and living out a dream vacation in Greece), we had lots of family come visit, I went home twice, was in two weddings for two of my best friends… we made new friends, thrived living on our own far away from everything we know and love back home, grew so much closer, celebrated two years of marriage and so much more. It’s been a truly incredible year. One we’ll never forget. And 2013 has so much greatness in store, I’m so excited it’s finally here! We’ve got big plans for this year, it just might be the best one yet. So here’s to 2013, full of so much possibility. Hope it brings you all love, happiness, health and prosperity. Happy New Year!
Here’s a look back on some of the highlights of 2012. Thanks for following along on all our adventures!


 {Photos ©  Liz Denfeld}


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{Love for Sandy Hook}

While I normally don’t post on this blog because I’m just too busy with day-to-day life, this week I’ve been intentionally silent. Mostly because I just don’t have the right words to speak about the tragic events that happened in Newton last week. But also because I am just so incredibly sad, I was taking time to be quiet and mourn and think. Blogging about anything else just felt wrong…
I’m not sure how something so terrible could happen and I have spent so many hours thinking about how the United States can change things so this never, ever happens again. I certainly don’t have the answers, but I hope that this tragedy, yet another senseless mass shooting, is the final straw that wakes everyone up and makes us take action. I am praying that by the time I have children and send them off to school, I won’t have to be scared, but instead can think back to the horrific events at Sandy Hook Elementary as the catalyst to radical change that helped keep my babies safe. Maybe that is the only glimmer of hope in this unfathomable situation. We can’t let the deaths of these innocent children and heroic adults be in vain.
I’m praying for everyone affected by this tragedy. If you want to help Sandy Hook, here are a few ways you can do so:
Send your condolences. Sandy Hook has set up a P.O. Box  for such mail: 
P.O. Box 3700
Newtown, Connecticut 06470
Donate to the United Way fund set up to to provide support services to the families and community members.


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{It’s About Time!}

Ah! I’ve been a bad, bad blogger! I got a sweet “I miss your blogging” comment in my Formspring yesterday, and then this morning my sis texted me wondering why I hadn’t blogged in a while, and then when Megan called me out on Twitter this afternoon, I finally realized it’s about time I hop over here and say hello.
Well, where have I been? Not doing anything particularly fun, unfortunately. Work has been pretty nuts and top that with my commute and Corey’s class schedule and I haven’t had much time to blog during the week. Luckily, I’ve had the weekends to recharge, as we haven’t left Amsterdam in four weeks! I think that’s a record for us! It has been so nice doing fun things around our city and laying low. But fear not, the traveling won’t slow down forever – we’re off to Venice this coming weekend (I hope it’s not still flooded!!) and beyond that we have all our trips planned through the end of March!
I’ll be back to regular blogging very soon, promise! But in the meantime, when I’m not here, I’m tweeting, instagraming and pinning away – feel free to follow along!

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{Two Things}

Two Things!
One: I’m opening sponsor spots back up! Hooray! I needed to give myself a breather to get through a busy work season and a hectic travel schedule, but I am finally accepting sponsors again for Explore.Dream.Discover! I’m discounting the sponsor price for the first month! If you’re interested in more information, shoot me an email at exploredreamdiscoverblog {at} gmail.com. Can’t wait to hear from you!
Two: I’m selling my Canon 60D camera with 18-200mm lens. Both the camera and the lens are in great condition, and only one year old. I recently upgraded to the 5D Mark II, which is the reason I’m selling. I truly loved this camera/lens combo. Send me an email at exploredreamdiscoverblog {at} gmail.com if you’re interested! Here are a few photos I took with this camera and lens if you’re interested in the quality:
 Hope you’re all having a great week!