Thursday, April 10, 2014

Luxembourg City, Brussels, and Amsterdam all in one day....with KIDS

Okay so as most of my followers/blog readers probably know we are stationed in Germany.  My husband is in the United States Army and we started out in Schweinfurt Germany and then moved to Grafenwoehr Germany because Schweinfurt Army Garrison is closing down.

We are fitting in as much travel as possible with a teeny tiny budget :).  We want to make the most of our time here but don't want to break ourselves doing it.

Our ways of travel might not work for everyone but we choose to pick out a couple sights we want to see in each place and move right along to the next.  Of course we would love to stay for a week or more in each place but we don't have the means to do that.  The longer you stay, the higher the hotels costs....the more money you need for food, etc.  So we say at least we have been there and walked around and enjoyed it rather than not seeing it at all.

On the training holiday (4 day weekend) in March we decided to go to Brussels while on the way stopping in Luxembourg and trying to make it to The Netherlands if we had time.  Here's how it went down.  We stayed at Air Force Lodging on Ramstein Air Base.  Its like 45 minutes from Trier (a beautiful must see city in Germany) The kids had testing at school that week so we couldn't leave as early as we had planned but we took them out at about 11:00 drove to Ramstein, checked in and everything.  Drove to Trier...unfortunately it started getting dark but we got to see the Roman baths and a few other sites but the pictures didn't turn out great.  We went back to the hotel after the short trip and went to bed because we had to get up early.





So on to day 2......

I believe we were out the door at 6:00am and on our way to Luxembourg city.  We walked the streets and strolled through the city market and saw the outside of the Grand Ducal Palace.  Stopped for pastries and hopped right back in the car and set out to Brussels.  Now just to be clear we had planned on just Luxembourg and Brussels this day but plans changed.






So its about 2 hours from Luxembourg city to Brussels.  Our first stop was the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences.  We thought the kids would love the Dionosaur exhibit and honestly we did too.  We had never really seen that kind of stuff.  Here is the link..... http://www.naturalsciences.be/museum/dinosaurs





We made our way through the museum quickly and then had a heck of a time trying to find parking to to the Grote Markt (The Grand Place) in the center of Brussels.  I almost gave up honestly.  We walked and walked but really we got to see a lot more of the city and enjoyed it once we knew we were in the right direction.  The traffic looked crazy so we were kind of glad we ended up walking.  We stopped for Belgian waffles (amazing by the way) and of course picked up some Belgian chocolates.  We finally reached the beautiful Grote Markt and honestly pictures just don't do it justice.  To see it all in person was incredible.  I could of stood there all day staring at everything.














We had to move on though.  We decided on our walk that we should just try to shoot up to Amsterdam while we were closer.  We would have been back tracking if we went back to the hotel since we opted to stay at the same hotel both nights.  We were making good time so we hopped in the car and made our way to the Netherlands.  The drive was nice and easy and the kids enjoyed the different windmills along the way.  We found parking pretty quickly and realized we parked right by some kind of boat museum with really old ships and boats out on display....it was beautiful and the kids loved it.  Then we started walking in hopes to finding the Anne Frank house.  Even though we knew we wouldn't make it inside we at least wanted to see the outside.  We enjoyed strolling the streets, the canals were so cool and the city itself is just beautiful.  It was starting to get dark and a little cold out so after strolling around for maybe 1.5-2 hours we got back in the car and drove 4 hours back to our hotel.











Needless to say we slept in a little.  We got back to the hotel around midnight and then we just explored post and went out to lunch before heading home to Grafenwoehr.  The hotel was very inexpensive and we mostly spent money on gas.  I always pack a lot of food so we don't eat out as much.
So the best way to save money when traveling.......
  • planning ahead as much as you can....
  • Packing water and food
  • Budgeting your spending/souv. money and sticking to it (we pulled out 100 euro) 
  • Realizing you aren't going to get to see everything
  • Not going in every museum/attraction
As cool as it might be it gets expensive with a family of four so we have been in so many castles/palaces/ etc in our time here that they all start to look the same on the inside.  The outside of each one is unique and beautiful but I don't feel the need  to go into every place.  So that really saves a lot too.  

If you are stationed in Europe or just coming to travel just keep that in mind.  Its beautiful here and we feel so blessed just to see all that we have seen but it does get very expensive, even if you do live here.  So make the most of it but try not to go crazy.  Honestly every little city it beautiful to me so we try to just enjoy it all and take it all in.  I hope someday we can be stationed in Europe again because there really is so much to see and do and experience.  

I hope this post helps a few people travel to a few places they want to see or helps them save money.  If you have any questions please let me know :) 

Have a great day.  

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Little Update

Hey everyone,

Should have some new videos up in about a week and a half....YAY sorry for being all over the place with the makeup and hair tutorials.  I really had the best intentions but life just gets crazy sometimes.  


I have been trying out a few new products and I will have reviews on those and maybe some swatches coming soon.  

Ethan and Kylee have been suuuuppppeeerrr busy with school and sports, girls scouts, etc....you guys know it how is and I try to be involved with as much as I can.  

This is also our last year in Germany....kind of bittersweet.  I am going to miss all the wonderful things in Europe and I am disapointed we didn't get to see more but grateful for all the opportunities we have been given...and the year is not over yet!!!!!!!!  It will be busy though....my husband has WLC coming up and training and preparing for the promotion board on top of figuring out his re-enlistment has him crazy busy.  So therefore I have been a little crazy busy myself and neglected my blog/you tube, etc.....I love hair and makuep products, skincare products, etc and I started all of this for a reason----to share my love and knowledge of this industry with all of you, so I intend to keep improving and staying more consistent.  

I am also trying really hard to stick to my goal of losing 20 pounds before summer.  I have been going to the gym with my best friend here in Germany and she is keeping me motivated.  I will keep you updated on my progress with all of that.

My baby boy is about to turn TEN.....AHHHHHHH I just can't even believe it....It doesn't seem real.  He is so incredible...smart, athletic, fun...just an all around amazing kid.  We are so very blessed and grateful for all the joy he brings to our lives every single day.  I think we are headed to Berlin for his Birthday.


Have a wonderful weekend and I will let you know when I have a new video up

xoxoxo
JS


Here are a few recent photos of my beautiful Children.  The one of me is from Valentine's Day when My solider, the kids and I went to dinner.











Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sedona Lace brushes~Vortex Professional Set

HELLO FELLOW BEAUTY LOVERS,

Just wanted to do a quick review on the Sedona Lace brushes I ordered.  

First of all I ordered these on black Friday so they were 50% OFF.  Seriously an incredible deal.  It also came with a free liquid liner.  

http://www.sedonalace.com/Cosmetic-Brushes/53/Vortex-Professional-Makeup-Brushes-without-Belt.asp


I LOVE THEM.  I think that even at $90.00 they are worth it but I was much happier paying $45.00 I know they have different deals and specials all the time so keep an eye out for that and one of the best ways is to like their FB page

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sedona-Lace/119334004766579

I love the jumbo fan brush, so many uses.....It's great to use for highlighter.  Another favorite is the crease brush, perfect for getting that neutral shade in the crease for blending out.  I am also obsessed with the bent liner brush.  I wasn't sure I would really like it but I LOVE it.  All the other brushes are great too and I use all of them.  They are super soft, they wash well...I have no complaints.  

The bigger brushes also come with the plastic coverings to store the brushes in and help them maintain their shape.  This is a great brush set for anyone, professionals...beginners....you will enjoy it.  

Really glad I purchased them and just wanted to share with you guys because I know with so many out there it's hard to make a choice sometimes.  I have other brushes that have just fallen apart and shed...I haven't noticed anything bad about these brushes.  I hope this review helped and please let me know if you have any questions or what you want to read about or see next.  I have some other posts coming up and hopefully I will be back to filming soon.  

Have a great Tuesday everyone

XOXO

~JS


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas

Hey everyone, sorry it has again been forever since I have posted.  A few updates~

I will have some videos coming up in the next couple of weeks on my you tube channel so subscribe and check those out!!!!

Also let me know what you guys want to see in the videos or reviews you might like.  I have been trying a few new products so I will write up some reviews for you guys.

CHRISTMAS IS ALMOST HERE.....It is my favorite time of year but it came so fast this year...the older my kids get the busier we seem to be and with concerts, parties, Army parties...etc....it's been hectic but I still love it all.  We are in Germany and It's so beautiful here...the Christmas markets and all the beautiful decor...we do miss family though.  We are hosting a little unit part at our house this year and I am keeping  it simple but it will be fun.  What are your plans for Christmas?

Well be on the lookout for the new videos and posts.  I hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year....start thinking about he new year's resolutions...I might post mine ;)

Love you all and as always thanks for all your support.

Jessie




Sunday, September 8, 2013

YOU TUBE

Just wanted to do a quick post to let those of you who don't know...... I am finally posting videos/tutorials on you tube. YAY  I am planning to do 1-2 videos per week.  Hair and makeup and reviews on products I try.   I will have the links in this post.

Also I plan on still doing blog posts.

Thanks for all your support



Monday, September 2, 2013

Revlon Colorstay-Whipped foundation


I am in love with this foundation.  I had not purchased foundation in awhile.  I was using up what I had but finally needed some more.  I thought I would give this a try.

I have read good reviews and heard about it on some you tube videos I watched.  It really is great.

With it being a cream I was a little worried it would feel heavy on my face but it doesn't. It's perfect, good coverage and feels nice and smooth.

I paid $11.99 at our PX in Grafenwoehr and I think that is around the average price.  I think it will last quite awhile too.

I am pretty fair but have a little color from the summer months so I picked up the second lightest which is buff.  I looked at it once opened and thought it would be to dark but it's great.  I am happy with the color.

That is probably the only downfall it's hard to tell which shade to get but I guess that is never easy :)

If you need a new foundation I would definitely give this one a try.

I applied it with my real techniques face expert brush and I really like it.

I will have a new brush review coming up and I finally filmed a fall makeup tutorial but need the adapter for the memory stick so I can edit...boooo....I know but I used my webcam for the first video and then have been trying to film on my ipad since our canon camera was broke on 4th of July but then well I have a video camera I could use that lol.  I think it will turn out well but have to edit a little.  I appreciate the patience and the continued love and support.

I hope everyone had a wonderful long weekend and I will post again soon.

Lots of Love,

JS

http://www.revlon.com/Revlon-Home/Products/Face/Foundation/Revlon-Colorstay-Whipped-Creme-Makeup.aspx

Monday, August 19, 2013

Makeup Look




 So I created this look last week and put it up on Instagram and facebook.  I really liked it and I feel like it can be used for Summer or Fall.  So I am going to walk you through how I created this look and what products I used.  Next time I do a look I will be filming it for you tube :) YAY you guys will get a better idea on how to do it.

So first thing after my shower I moisturize my skin with Mario Badescu A.H.A & Ceramide Moisturizer I love it.  Makes my skin feel nice and doesn't leave it feeling like there is a bunch of product on my face.

http://www.mariobadescu.com/aha-and-ceramide-moisturizer

Next I apply my eye primer.  Its a brand that came in my kit when I took my class at

http://www.makeupartiststudio.com/ (which is fantastic, especially for military spouses) check out the site

For this look I used my Sedona Lace Palette.  The 168 pro full color second edition

http://www.sedonalace.com/Cosmetics/121/168-Pro-Full-Color-Second-Edition.aspx


I started with a light off white for all over the eye area.  I then took a bronze color in a lighter shade and put it all over the lid.  I blended out with a tan color and then took a purple (it was bright but you can't tell in the picture) to work in the outer corner.

I used maybelline gel liner
http://www.maybelline.com/Products/Eye-Makeup/Eye-Liner/Eye-Studio-Lasting-Drama-Gel-Eyeliner.aspx
to do the winged liner on top.  I then used a dark brown liner for the bottom liner right on the water line.

I applied red cherry lashes #43 with DUO lash adhesive.  I buy my lashes and glue here.....

http://www.madamemadeline.com/

Then I filled in my brows with some powder (also from my kit) I don't have a name for it but I used an angle brush and powder.

I then used my CG tru blend foundation and my real techniques face expert brush and applied my foundation.

http://www.covergirl.com/face-makeup/foundation-makeup/liquid-foundation
http://realtechniques.com/shop-collection/your-base-flawless/expert-face-brush

Next I used my NYX concealer and brightened the under eye area.

http://www.nyxcosmetics.com/p-28-concealer-wand.aspx

Set with some translucent powder and applied a neutral-peach blush on the cheeks.

I finished the look with a lipstick I recently purchases CG lipstick 415 in Siren

http://www.covergirl.com/lip-makeup/lipstick/lip-perfection-lip-color

So I know it seems like a lot of products but hey it was a full face of makeup :)

I hope you guys liked this and please subscribe to my you tube channel.

http://www.youtube.com/user/JessicaSmith4811/about

Love you guys
~Jessie