Sweet Critique: Seventeen Magazine’s Ultimate Guide to Beauty


I am so not a girly girl.  I like pink, and I like glitter, and I like sparkly stuff, but I don’t wear makeup and I rarely do my hair.

My mother never really taught me how to do any of that.  And that’s not a dig at my mother; I never asked about any of it.

I just wasn’t interested.  So here I sit, at 31, without a clue as to how to do anything other than straighten my hair, put mascara and lip gloss on, and maybe throw a hairband in.

This is one of the reasons I agreed to review Seventeen Magazine’s Ultimate Guide to Beauty.

The other?

If I can’t do it, how in the world will I ever teach my daughter how to do it?

Because really, I’m not anywhere near 17…

I like how the editors of Seventeen have broken down the components into hair, makeup, resources for care of skin, nails, etc.

Also a fave? The gratuitous use of pink throughout the book.

The makeup seemed a bit heavy-handed to me, but you have to take that with a grain of salt {points to the comment about my makeup usage above}.  There was quite a variety of looks, though, which I can imagine is a teenage girl’s dream.

The hair section really shined.  I think hairstyles are something that can apply to a wider audience, as far as age goes, and Babydoll has been tearing up that section of the book.  She enjoys playing around and doing the various hairstyles.

And then there are the sections that have practical information, like how to master the manicure.

Overall, I think this is a great guide to have around if you have teenage daughters.  If “celebrity” bothers you, the pictures of a variety of female celebrities {to illustrate certain looks} might be a bit bothersome to you, although it’s nothing excessive in my opinion.  I do totally heart the fact that Seventeen also included “real” girls, in all shapes, sizes, and hues.  Gold stars for them.

I definitely learned a ton from the guide, and feel much better about Babydoll entering the teen years.  I think the book will be well-worn from use…

True Confessions:  I was provided with a review copy of this book.  All opinions are my own.

Sweet Critique: Alpha-Phonics


In my quest to provide you with as many resources as possible, I’m reviewing yet another learn-to-read program.  While we don’t necessarily need this at this point in our homeschool, I’m sure many of you do.

Up today is Alpha-Phonics by Samuel L. Blumenfeld.  This product is described as “A Primer for Beginning Readers.”  Those of you who are fond of phonics programs will love this one.

Designed for parents, this program provides 128 lessons that require little-to-no prep work.  By introducing vowel sounds one at a time, and the word families that result, each lesson builds on the next.

Extra bonus? Spelling and handwriting can be incorporated as well.

One of the things that struck me about this approach is that the lesson text is really large; something that would definitely catch the eyes of a little person, and wouldn’t seem so daunting.

The back of the book contains the parent handbook which is very straight-forward.  There really isn’t much to complicate this program.  It’s very direct and can be used in as little as ten minutes a day.

At only $35.95, I think it’s a great deal for any parent who is looking to help their child learn to read, supplement an existing program, or just build a better foundation.

I like that you can also purchase a CD with all the phonogram sounds.  You can make sure that you’re teaching your kids correctly!

Definitely give this a closer look if you’re in this stage of educating your child; it just might be the thing you’ve been looking for!

True Confessions:  I was provided with a review copy of this product.  All opinions are my own.

August 24, 2012

August 24

August 13, 2012

August 13

I Have a Photo Portfolio #GrillingisHappiness #SoFabU


Oh, squee!

A real-life, grown-up portfolio of pictures.

This, my friends, is the culmination of weeks of learning the basics of photography thanks to Sears, Social Fabric, and Stewart Cox.

I am so very grateful to them for making this class possible.  I never dreamed I’d be able to take {and edit} the pictures I’ve taken during this course.

And while this may seem a little frivolous, I totally *heart* Sears for providing all 20 of us gift cards to purchase our own grill.  Love!

I am even more proud of my blog now, and excited that I have the basic knowledge necessary to include some killer photos.

I learned how to edit, how to use my camera in manual mode, how to properly use props and lighting, utilize angles, and more.

Here we go, my ten best photos from the past few weeks!

True Confessions:  I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Sears #CBias #GrillingIsHappiness. All photos and opinions are my own.