Fall 2015 Beauty Haul for the Basic White Girl

If you are a longtime reader of ALB, then you know that I am a hair & makeup whore. Unless I am going to WalMart, my hair is always mermaid-waved and my eyelashes are heated & curled. That being said, while the upper extremity is quaffed, the lower is usually covered in grey sweats. It's called balance.

So, I'm not a beauty expert by any means, but these are the cool things that you need this fall to be cool like me. And Lord knows, I am one cool betch.

1. #alltheplaid. If you don't have at least 10 different plaid button downs, you are literally doing everything in your life wrong. I have 5 shades of a red & blue plaid. I mean, a girl's gotta have options.

2. L'Oreal Tan Towelettes. This goes right along with my discussion on not being ugly just because you're camping. Yes, the season for tall boots, leggings and pumpkin spice deodorant is upon us, but one does not need to look like a ghost before Halloween. My sister told me about these towelettes, I told Kylie, Kylie told 94875984375983 people. She actually accused me of trying to be hotter than her and holding out on beauty information.

3. Heidi braids. If you aren't familiar with Barefoot Blonde, then you don't know what social media is. Amber has become a YouTube sensation by braiding her frickin' hair. I mean, for the love. I am doing everything wrong. Maybe I could start painting my nails on YouTube & become famous. Anyway, braids. Long, loose, crazy. Braid your hair & you are suddenly a hairstylist.

4. Red lips. I, for one, cannot pull this look off. I look like I got in a fight with my mother's Caboodle. My best fran? Hot. You know what's annoying? I just learned how to contour my damn face, and according to Harper's Bazaar, it's out. We're back to blushed cheeks. Rude.

5. Pumpkin Spice Latte. You are not a basic white girl without this accessory in hand. Let's face it, Starbucks matches anything. I will admit that I have yet to find an outfit that my Starbucks cup cannot enhance, but dammit, I will keep trying just to get to the bottom of it.

What's something you can't live without this fall?

Camping 102: Three Kids & Three 6-Packs

"I have a great idea: let's take the kids camping!"

Famous last words. I have this Pollyanna thing inside of me. In my head, all 3 children are dressed like Land's End models, the coffee is steaming over the fire, a crisp autumn air rustles the changing leaves, laughter floats along the smoke from the fire.

Then reality smacks me in the face & I remember that these ^^^ are my children & there is nothing catalog-worthy of this scenario. No shoes, the boys need haircuts, Maddie refuses to look at me, but hey, everyone is wearing pants, so I call that a win.

Upon arrival, it was cloudy, but dry. We decided that the guys should go scope a spot while we kept the kids in my car. AN HOUR LATER, we had lost our ever-loving minds, strapped the little psychos back into their car seats & started heading toward the campground, not caring if we ended up finding our husbands or getting lost in the middle of nowhere. Either scenario was preferable to sitting in a parking lot with 3 hysterial toddlers. Oh, and did I mention? It's POURING now.

Enter: beer, round 1.

Luckily, kids are dumb. They love dirt and rain, so tromping in the mud was all they needed to make them happy.

In my infinite wisdom, I decided it was best to invite along two extra pairs of hands. So, Fort Rosenbohm expanded this week. See that thing on the right? Genius. A baby cage. Trap those little mofos in a netted tent and enjoy the show. The amount of times these morons ran full force into the netting was, well, actually embarrassing, but made for some great laughs & even better pictures.

The rain stopped as soon as all of our shelters were up. Of course. So, we hiked. Well, whatever the hell hiking can be with two 16-month-old boys. Turns out these little buggers really love sticks & dirt. I mean, such boys.

Beer, round 2.

Back at the fort, we do the catalog-worthy shit. Grilling hot dogs on the fire, snuggling up in our chairs, and s'mores. 

If you're not using Reese's peanut butter cups in your s'mores, you're failing at life.

The great thing about kids & camping? They pass the F out so fast because they are, literally, running in circles out of sheer happiness, believing they have found freedom. 

Now, here's the catalog-worthy pics. It just so happens that the children are locked up in a tent and it's quiet. Coincidence? I think not.
Beer, round 3.

Tamron 28-75 // SS: 30" // f/2.8 // ISO 25600
You may not know or care what any of that means, but smarter people will want to know. This doesn't apply to the morons who are reading this blog.

After a fitful night of being cold, Jax whining, Maddie needing to pee in the middle of the night, Josh snoring in my ear, and Jett taking over my sleeping bag, punching me repeatedly in the face with his spindling arms AND squeezing and pulling my nose in his sleep, we awoke to a beautiful, picturesque mountain morning. We hastily started the coffee, only to decide that Kuerig should look into a more instant way to make coffee over a fire for those of us who camp with children.

This one doesn't do mornings well.

After naps, food, beer, and a potty break, we headed out for more hiking.

As good as it's gonna get. 

No camping trip is complete without a bearded mountain man chopping wood with an ax. He's not just corporate eye candy, ladies.

Not included in this post: the deafening volume at which these children squealed with delight, the whining from aforementioned children, the shivers during the cold, windy night, the sheer terror of walking around the corner to the bathroom and finding that deer up there, standing right in front of it to greet me. Funny thing about that encounter was that I was holding my PINK, Dooney & Bourke pepper spray. That deer is lucky I didn't F him up. 

While driving back to civilization, my tender heart bear of a husband got the feels. "Honey, we're driving back from our first camping trip with our kids." As if on cue, those 3 little buttholes began screaming, whining, & crying in unison. 

Stay tuned for the Camping 200 series beginning next summer!

Camping 101: A Former Blonde's Survival Guide

Here it is. Our tent. I am a self-professed non-camper. My best friend, Kylie, camps like every weekend. Why? What did you spend a small fortune on your beautiful home for, if only to leave it and go stay in a house of cloth and to shit into a large hole?

Insert: 3 children. I can tell you, honestly, that I love these children with every fiber of my being. I would do anything for any one of them, but seeing as how the opportunity to get a moment of sanity is few & far between, we do not currently shit money, and we are stuck watching Mother Goose rhymes all damn day, camping seemed like an oasis. I mentioned to the hubs that I would like to go. We quickly sold a kidney, and bought #allthecampinggear.

Here's the funny thing: we fecking loved it. I had forgotten what quiet sounded like. I forgot what it was like to pee by myself. Mind you, I was suspended over a hole of shit, but still, I was alone. I forgot what it was like to eat a large hunk of bloody cow instead of mac 'n' cheese. I forgot what it was like to have sex without a dog nose in your ass or the threat of a child banging on the door mid-coitous.

Our adventure was not without funnies. Please enjoy this photo-heavy post. If photos annoy, then get the hell off my blog. Otherwise, please enjoy. I will narrate along the way.

Tent went up, beers came out, clothes came off.

Our campground at West Chicago Creek was breathtaking. Aspens & evergreens in every direction. 

That beard tho. He just looks like an outdoorsman. You should see this lumbersexual chop wood with an ax.

"Honey, take a picture of me relaxing. It never happens. It needs to be documented."

Bob Ross paints mostly by computer these days, but since we were going into the neeture, he decided to pull out his oil paints and paint something outdoorsy. He quickly scrapped this after putting too much paint on the canvas, and then some mozzies got stuck to it and died.

I would like it to be noted that I said we should wrap these gargantuan steaks in aluminum foil. Camper Joe thought this would be fine. False. After burning our $16 hunks of cow flesh, we wrapped them in that aluminum foil, scraped the black off and soaked the steaks in balsamic vinegar to help with the dryness. Corn was great though.

I don't have a picture for what I'm about to tell you, and for this, you are welcome. I peed on myself. I was too lazy to make the walk (100 feet) to the shit hole to pee for the 51543213 time since we had arrived at camp. "I do squats everyday, so I can squat & pee like a boss." Turns out, I can squat. I cannot squat while peeing. I stood up chuffed with my peeing in the forest abilities, only to realize that I had pissed all over my pants, camping socks, and tennis shoes. Shit.

I quietly walked into the tent, made no mention of my accident, changed clothes and sat down next to my husband. Sorry, babe. Please still have sex with me.

Yeah, I curled my eyelashes. I also contoured. Get over it. Just because we're camping, doesn't mean we have to be ugly.

If you've never camped before, Pinterest. You can find anything you need from homemade camping bug repellent to camping menus. Once we decided to go camping, I made a Pinterest board dedicated to all things camping. I was going to eat like a queen & I was going to look cute, dammit. These amazing campurritos were premade at home. Scrambled eggs, hot Italian sausage, potatoes, & cheese. Wrap in a large tortilla, wrap that in foil, store in cooler. Heat them over the fire and you have a tasty dish ready to go. Also, coffee because those birds wake up really f-ing early in the woods.

I learned how to use the timer.

I want to get married right here. I realize I already did get married, but like, if we renewed our vows or he didn't survive the zombie apocalypse and I had to remarry, it would be right here. And if you bitch about the trek to get here, you don't get to come to my wedding.

I had to remind Josh that he needed to take pictures of me to prove I was there. Also, you can't see it, but I have a giant hole in the thigh on my left leg, but I'm unwilling to part with these sexy yoga pants because they are so comfortable.

I may look cool AF, but as soon as the shutter opened back up, I was choking like a mofo. I'm so sexy.

That ax. Ok, so, we found out that I am really good at one thing: foraging. I mean, I can find sticks, twigs & tinder like a BOSS. Josh: "So, you pick up sticks really well?" Ass.

So, there were two dudes in the campsite next to us. They left shortly after breaky, so I wanted to see if they left us any good firewood. I found a huge piece of wood, and just beyond their firepit, was that sexy ax. I carried it surreptitiously (it's a real word, you moron) so that Josh didn't see it immediately. He was chuffed with my firewood find and had not yet seen the ax. I quickly swung it over my shoulder & his eyes bugged. "It's cool, babe. I just foraged this ax for you. NBD."

For you, KyKy! Yoga + Beer

If you camp and you haven't made this, you're doing it wrong. Garlic toast with spaghetti in the middle. A PMSing woman's dream. Also, follow it up with s'mores. 

"Who knew I would love nature so much?" Truly. I'm surprised myself. I like my AC, my Starbs & my creature comforts, but I was like a pig in shit out in Idaho Springs. I cannot wait to go back & take the circus. They will love it. I think we'll need more alcohol though...

© andrea lebeau. Design by Fearne.