renee rouleau

These Are A Few Of Our Favorite Things - Day 17 #31DaysOfBlogging

One time we wrote a song called “Things I Like.” You can hear it on our Songs on the 17th album. We love sharing with you guys some of the things we like/love, whether it’s food, books, places, TV shows, or other people.

We did a whole episode about this on our podcast called These Are A Few Of Our Favorite Things.


You can listen to it to hear more about why we love all these things, but here are links to all the things we talked about in this episode. Maybe you need to do some last minute Christmas shopping?? US TOO. Hopefully this will give you some ideas!

CLOTHES AND SHOPPING

Carly Jean Los Angeles

The Shop Forward (they donate a portion of all sales to different charities and make the famous #4ThingsTote bags and our most favorite #hallmark sweatshirts —see below and you have until TODAY (12/17) at 2PM CST to get your Christmas orders in!)

IMG_8368.jpg
IMG_5756.JPG

BOOKS/ MUSIC/APPS

You Are A Badass

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Sigrid

Troublemaker by Leah Remini

Calm App

Plested

FOOD/DRINK

Kale & Mozzarella Chicken Burgers

SweetLeaf Sweet Drops

TV SHOWS

Happy Valley

Broadchurch

Young And Hungry

SKIN CARE

Anti Bump Solution (if you struggle with cystic acne — this will save your life.)

Weightless Protection SPF (looking for a daily SPF moisturizer that won’t make you break-out? this is it!)

Triple Berry Smoothing Peel

Tomorrow we are going to tell you about our #1 mood booster…true story.

See you tomorrow.

J&K

Our Trip To Africa Last Month #31Days2016

Hello!

Hope you are still having a wonderful Christmas break! We wanted to tell you a bit about our trip to Africa last month. When you travel abroad, there is so much to take in…it’s kind of nice to have a few weeks to process…to let it all soak in…and to see what memories and experiences are still brimming up and over your heart & mind after some time has passed.

Our main objective was to go up to the HOHA home in Zimbabwe and hang out with the kids up there. We didn’t have a building project this time…we simply went to have face-to-face time with the kids. Most of these kids have been at the house for almost 3 years and this marked our 3rd trip up there. These kids are all at the house permanently. The laws in their country do not allow adoption, so once they arrive, this is their forever home. We have built relationships with these kids and so our main objective is to keep up our end of our promise when we leave which is: “We’ll see you again! Until next time. See you soon.” They make it easy for us to keep...they are pure joy.

During this visit, we spent most of the time playing games, reading, doing puzzles, jumping rope, riding bikes, singing and eating some sugary treats! We thought we’d share some memories and highlights…and of course LOADS of pics because their little faces will make your heart skip a beat. Note: some of these memories are random and fun…some are more serious…we just want to give you a realistic view of our time there: 

  • When we landed, it was just as torrential rains started to hit the area. We are talking MAJOR FLOODING. It was crazy. We were waiting for Kate’s dad to pick us up from the airport but he couldn’t leave the grocery store he was in because of ALL OF THE WATER. Water was coming in the airport. We were waiting for the elevators and when the elevator doors opened, about 5 inches of water came rushing out of the doors. YIKES. We took the stairs. Thankfully the rain subsided and Kate’s dad made it safely to pick us up! Nothing like hitting the ground with a bit of excitement. 
This is a small glimpse of the flooding...and also that's the grocery store Bill was trapped in!

This is a small glimpse of the flooding...and also that's the grocery store Bill was trapped in!

  • It’s a 4 hour drive to the border and then an unknown time to cross the border...then about 3 hours past the border. We had angels watching us because we made it through the border in RECORD TIME both ways. Seriously. Sometimes there can be hundreds of people and no real organization and it can take anywhere from 3-6 hours. We made it through in about 1.5 hours! YAY!
  • We had our first real Grey’s Anatomy moment on one of our trips. A few hours after arriving, we got word from a house mom that there was a bicycle accident involving one of our orphans and the house mom was walking to see what had happened. She hopped in our truck and we went to go find him. (Important side note: we are literally in the wild bush of Africa. There is no electricity, no running water…the mode of transportation is bicycle or donkey cart. No joke.) So, she hops into our truck and we whiz through the bushes to try and find the accident. When we arrived we saw people gathered around, and a uniformed little boy face down in the ground with a bike behind him. Our hearts sank a bit. We had no idea what condition this little boy would be in and neither one of us does super well around blood or anything of that nature. But, there is adrenaline that kicks in and we all flew out of the car. As we approached we realized that the kid was conscious (thank God) and then we realized this wasn’t one of our orphans but a neighboring village kid. Still, this kid needed help and we all began to try and see what the problem was. We quickly figured out that his precious bare foot was bent behind him and stuck through the inside of the tire spokes. He had a gash almost down to the bone with blood trickling out. Deep breaths. Deep breaths. Again, neither of us do well with blood or wounds so this was a shock. But, my dad, his friend Johnsy and I (Kate) immediately tried to see if we could pull the spokes lose so he could get his foot out. But it wouldn’t even budge. My dad remembered a tool he had brought with him that would cut the spoke so we jumped into his truck and raced to Philip’s house to grab the tool & a first aid kit I always pack but truthfully have never had to use. Jill & Johnsy stayed with the boy to comfort him. We got back as quickly as we could and a little crowd had gathered. Another villager had showed up to help and it took 3 grown men to cut the spokes and get his foot out. We were worried it was broken so we all had to be super gentle. I put on gloves, channeled my inner Meredith Grey and cleaned his wound, gave him some Tylenol, and bandaged him up. We were able to drive him to his home and offered to drive him to the clinic if his mother wanted us to. She declined so we left him with some pain killers and candy. That was definitely an experience we will never forget and we are thankful that he was okay and that the accident was not worse. 
The bike accident scene.

The bike accident scene.

Bill, Johnsy & Jill working on the bike. If you look closely you can see his foot in the spokes. 

Bill, Johnsy & Jill working on the bike. If you look closely you can see his foot in the spokes. 

Jill was comforting him and giving him water.

Jill was comforting him and giving him water.

Johnsy, Jill & the little boy all bandaged up.

Johnsy, Jill & the little boy all bandaged up.

  • We brought jump ropes and these were a big hit! The kids jumped and jumped and the smiles on their faces when they were in mid-air are forever cemented in our hearts. PURE GLEE. Such simple fun. Also...Jill's still got it.
  • It was really hot. LIKE probably over 100 degrees with 100% humidity but we couldn’t check our phones to confirm because you know, NO electricity. Also, no running water means no showers. Kate’s dad has rigged this “make-shift” shower at Philip's (the orphan home director) home. Go to your sink, turn it to a trickle and that basically what the “shower” was. It’s a bucket that is filled up and just trickles out. But, we were thankful for even the slightest relief from the heat and the ability to get somewhat clean. 
Philip's son, Tsepo, climbs up & pours in our water for the shower. One of the favorite shots of the trip. Water = life. 

Philip's son, Tsepo, climbs up & pours in our water for the shower. One of the favorite shots of the trip. Water = life. 

  • We saw 3 scorpions. One was in Zimbabwe at Philip’s house where we were staying and it was a TINY baby one. Jill spotted it and she must have ninja-night-vision-eagle eyes. Apparently the smaller the scorpion the deadlier it is….yikes. 
This was the big scorpion we saw in Kruger Park. Jesus take the wheel...this was not a happy moment.

This was the big scorpion we saw in Kruger Park. Jesus take the wheel...this was not a happy moment.

  • Bill (Kate’s dad) wanted all of the kids (that are old enough) to have their very own bike. The children have access to bikes from their school but they are only allowed to use them when school is in session…so during school vacation they have no bikes. My dad thought having a bike during school vacations was important so he got new bikes to give to each kid. It was awesome to see their excitement and having something that was THEIR VERY OWN…with their names sharpie'd on so no one would mistake it as theirs. So fun! The older kids also gave rides to the younger kids…precious. 
The men who went to get the bikes!

The men who went to get the bikes!

New bikes!

New bikes!

  • We sang a bunch of songs and Jill even gave out some guitar lessons. Music is universal and it’s beautiful to see music translate & break all sorts of barriers. The kids love singing but finding songs that they all knew and we knew was a bit of a challenge. We have learned some songs in their language so that’s always fun to give it a whirl. 
Jill teaching some guitar!

Jill teaching some guitar!

  • The littlest guy at the house is named Thumi and he was terrified of us. He wasn’t there the last time that we visited the house and has probably not had much interaction with white people. So…anytime we got near him he would just melt down and wail. Also, we realized when we played tag with the older kids he didn’t realize it was a game. He thought we were chasing them and going to take them away so he would just sit and scream. The smiles and laughter were apparently not enough proof for him. Ha! Finally we realized and had the older kids explain that we weren’t taking anyone away and it was a game. He understood but still watched cautiously. Since the home operates like a family unit, it’s really a beautiful thing to see the older kids look out for the younger kids. The older kids take pride in caring for the younger ones..truly inspiring. PS. The only time Thumi allowed us to hold him was when we were feeding him cake and ice cream or holding balloons…hahaa…smart kid. 
Thumi's "get away from me" face. 

Thumi's "get away from me" face. 

This was on the last day...he was giving us a thumbs up!

This was on the last day...he was giving us a thumbs up!

  • After we left ZImbabwe, we drove back to the airport in Johannesburg via Kruger National Park. If you’ve followed us for any amount of time you know that this is our ultimate happy place. There is nothing that compares to seeing animals in their natural habitat like that. We saw the Big 5 (elephant, cape buffalo, lions, leapard & rhino) all in one day. It was INCREDIBLE. Such a nice way to end the trip. 
Giraffe!

Giraffe!

Elephants!

Elephants!

There is an elephant behind Kate...can you find it?

There is an elephant behind Kate...can you find it?

So there are some highlights from our trip. Many of you have asked how you can help: www.housesofhopeafrica.com/support You can sponsor a child monthly or you can give a one time donation. Also, if you are the praying kind…we ask you to pray for the children up there…for safety, for health and for their futures to be bright and prosperous. 

Thanks for loving these kids with us! 

Much love,

Jill and Kate

Here are some more pics from our trip! xo

Reading time!

Reading time!

Thumbs up in the back of the truck!

Thumbs up in the back of the truck!

Bill with the kids!

Bill with the kids!

This is Remember. He has the best smile and also hung the moon :)

This is Remember. He has the best smile and also hung the moon :)

Moon.

Moon.

Brought little point & shoot camera for the kids!

Brought little point & shoot camera for the kids!

Group shot!

Group shot!

Clarence on his new bike!

Clarence on his new bike!

Kate & Remember. 

Kate & Remember. 

Jumping on the last bit of paved road we saw in a while. 

Jumping on the last bit of paved road we saw in a while. 

Kate, machete scorpion killer. Just kidding. I didn't kill any scorpions...

Kate, machete scorpion killer. Just kidding. I didn't kill any scorpions...

All smiles!

All smiles!

Walking from Philip's house to the orphan home. Literally NOTHING around. 

Walking from Philip's house to the orphan home. Literally NOTHING around. 

Some of the HOHA property.

Some of the HOHA property.

Smiles!

Smiles!

Coloring & arts + crafts in the shade!

Coloring & arts + crafts in the shade!

Bill had this crazy idea to make ice cream for the kids...cause that's what you do in 100 degree weather with no electricity. HA! But, the kids had never had ice cream and he made it happen! They each got a turn to "churn" the ice cream...thankful for Bill & his crazy dreams!

Bill had this crazy idea to make ice cream for the kids...cause that's what you do in 100 degree weather with no electricity. HA! But, the kids had never had ice cream and he made it happen! They each got a turn to "churn" the ice cream...thankful for Bill & his crazy dreams!

Look at those smiles...eating ice cream for the first time!

Look at those smiles...eating ice cream for the first time!

Bill gets big hugs for his ice cream making!

Bill gets big hugs for his ice cream making!

It's 5:30am in the morning....ahhh!!! Oh also...the last day we were there is dropped to like 40 degrees. IT WAS FREEZING. Note the sweatshirts and cold looks on our faces. 

It's 5:30am in the morning....ahhh!!! Oh also...the last day we were there is dropped to like 40 degrees. IT WAS FREEZING. Note the sweatshirts and cold looks on our faces. 

Jill reading to the kids!

Jill reading to the kids!

Surprise. Always the best smile!

Surprise. Always the best smile!

This is Beyonce (no kidding) and she's the sweetest thing ever!

This is Beyonce (no kidding) and she's the sweetest thing ever!

Tsepo on his new bike!

Tsepo on his new bike!

Kate washing her face with a nalgene & her fav Renee Rouleau face wash!

Kate washing her face with a nalgene & her fav Renee Rouleau face wash!

Beyonce & Kate.

Beyonce & Kate.

The only sign in the middle of the wild African bush. Houses of Hope Africa! Until next time :)

The only sign in the middle of the wild African bush. Houses of Hope Africa! Until next time :)

 

 

 

Annnnnnnd...we couldn't forget awesome fan pics! Only 3 more days of #31Days :)

This was in Boston with Haley!! She's awesome!

This was in Boston with Haley!! She's awesome!

At the Storyline Conference!

At the Storyline Conference!

Kate with her dark hair! Does anyone think she should dye it dark again?

Kate with her dark hair! Does anyone think she should dye it dark again?

Finally…THE Make-Up BLOG!

One of the sweetest things that people say to us is: "I LOVE YOUR MAKE-UP. What products do you use?? Tell me how you do it!!!" Hahaha…gosh you guys are kind.

So, I'm finally making good on my promise to finally write this blog. I, Kate, do our "work make-up" most of the time. I have to say that I am by no means a professional and if I explain how I do things it's 100% just doing what works for me. I am not a pro, I am learning each day...

I learn by watching people. That's the only way I really learn most things in life. I've had the privilege of watching people like Ashley Donovan and Nichole Lim…they are the professionals, people. Follow them to learn tricks of the trade and REAL, professional advice.

I've always been obsessed with make-up and "girly" things. I went to a Mary-Kay party when I was 11 and was HOOKED. I love trying new products and love anything with little-to-no fuss.

Now, on to the fun, scrappy things I've learned and the products I love :)  Again, this is how I get ready for a show or a photo-shoot or a glam/work event. Most of these products are pricy. I choose to spend money on these products because they are an investment in my work and career. This is NOT, I repeat NOT what I do on the daily. I a) do not have the patience to do this each morning and b) I like to be a little more "real life" in my everyday routine. I'll post another blog to show you guys my every morning 5 minute or less glam routine.

I am going to go in order of how I apply them to my face.

Step 1: I start with primer. I switch between these two. Note that they are both oil-free. This is super important for me because I have had bad breakouts and have acne-prone skin. So, choosing products that won't clog pores is VERY important. {sidenote: if you are looking for an awesome skin regime to help your skin be glowing all on its own, check out Renee Rouleau. I believe in her products whole-heartedly and use them morning and night.} Using a primer helps give you a clean slate for your makeup to sit on top of. The Smashbox one feels really good. If we're doing anything on camera I try to be sure to use the photo finish.

SB_C1PW_SKUC1PW01_340_7483285

 

Step 2: Next is foundation! I mix these two or three gems. Again, they are all oil-free and offer great coverage. The Laura Mercier is definitely a thicker, heavier coverage. You want the foundation to give you a good base for your face but you don't want it to look like a mask. If you want to invest in foundation, go to a store that specializes in make-up and have your skin matched. The worst is when your face is one color and your foundation is a whole different color. And let's be honest. It happens. #abaseforyourface <---- New favorite hashtag!

IMG_9567

IMG_9568

IMG_9569

I apply the foundation with a foundation brush and sponge to blend. Scroll down to see the array of brushes I use. If you don't have a foundation brush, just use a sponge--or even cheaper than a sponge...your fingers. The key is blending. Make sure you blend the foundation under your jawline into your neck--this will help blend your look and make it seem more natural. Also, make sure you blend around your temples and hair line by your forehead. You want it to look natural. (The Mat Velvet foundation is a little too drying for my skin to use all on its own, but if you have super oily skin you might want to try it. I just mix it with the others.)

Step 3: Got to love concealer! I use this to cover any problematic blemishes, cover dark circles under my eyes or to even out any red blotchy skin. I love this Laura Mercier concealer because it has two shades in the same pallet. I use a lighter one around my eyes…sometimes I even put concealer on my eyelids. Again, I think the goal is make your face a blank slate to build on. So, by using foundation and concealer you can create a blank page to work with.

IMG_9562

(Sorry for the very used picture of the concealer. Real life y'all.)

IMG_9573

I also have this concealer pallet from Make Up For Ever. I don't use it a ton. Not sure why…it's just not my favorite. The green is helpful for neutralizing redness. For instance, if you have a bright red zit, it's helpful to dab a tiny bit of the green on/around the redness. Then cover the green with one of the other fleshy colors. Now, don't go crazy with the green or else you're going to look like you're auditioning for Wicked. Not cool.

Step 4: Set it. Set it. Powder. Powder will be your best friend for two reasons. One, it keeps all the foundation and concealer in place. And two…it keeps you from being shiny. I mean, you want to shine…but not in that way. The powder will keep everything in place. When you get a little shiny after a few hours…re-apply a dab of powder and you're ready to roll. This High Def powder is awesome. I couldn't tell you the fancy reasons why it's superior to others…cause I don't really know. What I do know is that it's just awesome. A little goes a LONG way here. Don't over use.

IMG_9564

Step 5: It's all about the eyes. Eyeshadow. Eyes are the window to your soul. I LOVE these Naked pallets by Urban Decay. They are great, great, great. So many colors. So many different looks you can create. I have the original and Naked 2. I'll give you the step by step of what I do for Jill. This is a go-to look that she likes. I use Half-Baked in the inside corner of her eye to the middle. Then I use Hustle from the outside corner, and blend into the Half-Baked. I take the Hustle to about mid-level on her eyelid. And by "mid-level" I mean about half way between her eyebrow and lash line. (Maybe I'll do a video tutorial to show this sometime because my word descriptions might not be so clear--sorry!) Then I take a darker color like Blackout or Creep and smudge it in the corner of her eyes. Sometimes I even draw it out if she wants a more dramatic cat-eye. I finish by dusting a little lighter shadow, like Virgin or  Bootycall underneath the brow. (Guys, side note…who names these shadows and why are they all sexual? I do not understand this.) This is to highlight the brow--be gentle with highlighter anytime you use it on your face. You don't want to look painted or like there is a GLOWING WAND OF LIGHT UDNER YOUR EYEBROW. Gently highlight.

Don't be afraid to play with shadow colors. Grays and black are perfect for a smokey eye. Colors are fun too. A small rule of thumb: if you use a crazy eye color or make it super dramatic…go lighter on the lip color. If you do a super bright or dramatic, strong lip color maybe go lighter on the eye colors. I did not invent this rule…it's just word on the street.

 

IMG_9559

IMG_9560

s1393636-main-hero-300

Step 6: Fill in the brows. Brow-shadow. Jill is a perfect example of someone who needs zero brow filling in. She has the darkest, most perfect eyebrows. Mine on the other hand are a little spotty. They've got some bald-spots gaps. So, I actually use an eyeshadow to fill in my brows. I use Buck. I believe I learned this trick directly from Ashley. So yeah…I just fill in a little to darken them and fix the gaps. Follow your natural brow--don't re-invent the wheel here.

Step 7: Jill's favorite. Eyeliner. There are several different kinds of eyeliner. I prefer a creme liner verses a pencil. Maybe if I invested in better pencils I'd change my mind. But, this is what I use. Don't be intimidated by a brush to apply the liner. You can do it! I do a line above the top lash line and try to bring the the end out ever so slightly (a little more exaggerated if you want a cat eye.) Then I line the inner-rim of the lower lid. This black up against the white of the eye makes your eyes pop. I then take a little on the brush and line under the lower lash line. Then sometimes I take a little of the charcoal or black eyeshadow and smudge it with the liner underneath the lower lash line.

IMG_9565

This stuff means business. When it says "waterproof" it means this: it's never coming off unless you use a make-up remover and then even after that it will be a struggle.

Jill's best quote about eyeliner is: "The secret to my eyeliner is yesterday's eyeliner." Don't worry. The t-shirts are coming ;)

Step 8: Lashes, baby. Mascara. I use and have used this brand of mascara for years. Yearsssss. Please, Maybelline never stop making it. I love it so much. It's $5.49 at Walgreens and I get compliments all the time about our lashes. Jill curls her lashes before applying but I generally don't. Call me lazy. My biggest pit-fall with mascara is wanting to be thrifty and use the mascara for months and months. When it starts to get dry,  just go get another one. There is no point trying to use old mascara--it's flaky and smells funny. I find when I fly a lot my mascara dies sooner. Not scientifically proven or anything…just my 2 cents.

IMG_9575

Step 9: Blush. Bring some color and life to your face. This I will tell you is Jill's LEAST favorite thing I do. She always cringes and thinks I'm over-doing it. Childhood issues I'm sure. Anyway. Here's what I use. 2 NARS colors that I vary between are: Desire & Sin/Casino. The duo pallet is great if I'm traveling light cause it has a bronzer  & blush together. I will not be talking about how to contour your face. I don't really get how to do it so there's no point in me attempting to tell you.  All I will tell you is that I suck in my cheeks to make a fish face & dust the bronzer color along the part that sticks out. When applying a color I purse my lips up (stick your lips out like you were going to be kissed) and then apply the color to the apple of your cheeks….the round part! I always draw the colors in an upward direction to blend with my bronzer. Start with a little and build. It's easier to go little by little than start big and have a TON on your face that you need to get rid of.  Desire is such a bright pink that a little goes a lonnnnng way.

IMG_9571

nars-highlighting-bronzing-blush-duo-sin-casino

After I blush I put a little highlighting/shimmer along my cheekbone. I either use a NARS color called…ahem, Orgasm or this MAC cream in Pearl. Yes, it's called orgasm. Shocking that another make-up color would be overtly sexualized. Name aside, it's a beautiful color. Just a light dusting above your blush/bronzer with this stuff is the perfect finishing touch.

IMG_9570

IMG_9578

Step 10: Make those lips shine! Lipstick. I am not great at picking lip colors. Once I find one I like I tend to use it until it runs out. I use 2 lip pencils and carry a couple shades of lipstick with us when we travel. Sometimes I fill in the entire lip with a pencil and cover with gloss. Sometimes I just outline my lips with the pencil. I've found the lip pencils help keep the color in place. sephora-collection-8593-423241-1 Unknown Sephora_R17

Smashbox-Primrose-Lipstick-2

Step 11: Set it all! It might seem weird to spray your face with something wet after you spent all this time perfecting it. Hold the bottle a few inches from your face and give yourself a good spritzing! Seriously, you'll want some of this. This keeps your face from melting or sweating off when you are under lights or if you need your makeup to hold up for hours and hours.

604214851108_allnighter

 

Step 12: Body-bronzer! Can I get an AMEN for this product? It's the best. If you are a little whiter than you are wanting to be, mix this bronzer called Laguna with some lotion and in an instant you will look like you've been sun-bathing in the South of France for the summer. It's magic and awesome and I hate when I run out.

IMG_9566

 

 There you have it ladies and gents. Kate's make-up 101. Remember: make-up isn't what makes you pretty…but that could be a whole other blog. Let me know if you have any questions!

Love you all lots…and thanks for all the kind words about my make-up…you know how to make a girl feel special!

xo

kate

 Here is a close up of the countered eye-liner brushes I use. I love them.

IMG_9574

Below are the brushes I use:

-The top yellow one I use for blush

-The big yellow one for powder

-The black one (next to the big one) I use for the bronzer on my face

-The rest are eyeshadow brushes

IMG_9576

Here are some close-ups of make-up I've done for us :)

IMG_2058

IMG_1784 IMG_0202

IMG_0652

IMG_2903

IMG_3113

IMG_1858