Having it all: How I balance everything from beauty to babies


beauty blogger, mom blogger

Picture above is from a photoshoot I was trying to do at home…in between toys and toddlers

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Nissan via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Nissan.

Happy Holidays! I hope that all my readers have a happy and healthy holiday season with their loved ones!  I’m looking forward to some down time with the family and gearing up for a busy and best year yet in 2015.

As a mother, wife, full time worker, Philly.com blogger, A Beauty Loft blogger, and editor for the South Jersey Chapter of Jack and Jill, my plate is definitely full and more time than not, chaotic. But love for what I do keeps me going. Time management, organization, and a supportive husband and family are key to getting the job done. As impossible as it may seem, we can have it all and accomplish our dreams–whatever they may be!

That’s why I love hearing about inspirational women that are doing it now, like celebrity interior designer, Cathy Hobbs. Hobbs not only runs her own successful design business, Cathy Hobbs Design Recipes, but also appears regularly on TV for shows such as “The Nate Berkus Show”, HGTV, and more.

Below is a video of Cathy showcasing her NYC home and providing some fabulous design tips, as well!

T4_Red_ITE_4C_340Note from our sponsor: With its stylish looks and premium interior, the Nissan Altima is just as much as an individual as you are. Not fitting into one mold is what makes the Nissan Altima not only unique, but very exciting!

Forever Young: The only 5 anti-aging tips you need to know



Underneath the glitz, glam, and makeup, good skin is the foundation of real beauty. Take care of it now and it will pay off in the future!


It’s my job to research and dig deeper to find out what really works when it comes to keeping a youthful appearance. So when Olay wanted to know what exactly my routine was to stay “Forever Young”, an impending birthday was the perfect soundboard to talk skin care.

It’s the birthday that puts you in a whole new age bracket. At the big 3-5, no longer will you be checking off the 28-34 box on surveys. No, you have new number friends like 36 and 37, with 40 only living a few doors down. And you’re really in for a rude awakening if you decide to have a baby at 35. You’re considered Advanced Maternal Age. The medical community must have not gotten the memo that 35 is the new 25.

While I’m convinced that J.Lo’s secret to never aging is the teardrops of magical purple unicorns that us mere mortals will never have access to, I’m determined to look like the best 35 year old me possible. Luckily, when 29 year old Renee was approaching another crushing monumental birthday,30, she had the good sense to start incorporating lifestyle changes that have paid off today.

These tips are tried and true and what I incorporate every day.

  • Drink water. A lot of water. I drink over ½ gallon a day. Yes, I have to pee several times a day, but my skin breaks out less and appears more supple and vibrant.
  • Wear sunscreen. Every. Single. Day. If I could tattoo one beauty tip on women (and men), that’s what it would be. Prolonged sun exposure to your skin causes wrinkles, sunspots, hyperpigmentation, and let’s not forget the #1 reason to wear sunscreen – skin cancer. Even I, as a woman of color, wear a Broadband SPF of at least 35 every day.
  • Remove your makeup every night. Not only do dermatologists recommend this but I’ve seen the results of this in real life. My *cough * older sister is a stickler for always washing her face at night and looks a decade younger. It’s from either that or she’s been sipping on J.Lo’s unicorn juice.
  • Start a skincare routine and stick with it. Yes, my night routine is an extra 10 minutes, but it’s worth it. I cleanse my face every night with a gentle cleanser, then apply an anti-aging serum…usually a retinol product, followed by a great moisturizer. Great skincare doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. Olay’s Regenerist line is a steal for the low price. The Micro-Sculpting Cream has been giving me the softest skin and minimizing those fine lines.


Above all the superficial tips, the best thing to remember is that age really is just a number and to not live by previous rules or preconceived notions on how one should act at a certain age. Living life to its fullest surrounded by positivity is the best anti-aging tip!

Olay-RegeneristMessage from sponsor: Olay is a worldwide leader in skin care and has been trusted by women for over 60 years, maintaining its founding philosophy: to maintain a deep understanding of women’s changing needs and to combine products that fit their needs with the latest advances in skin care technology. Regenerist was created along those lines to address women’s anti-aging needs, and millions of women have tried it and loved it, making Regenerist the #1 anti-aging moisturizer.*

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by P&G via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of P&G.

10 for $10! Last minute beauty gifts that won’t break the bank



I love buying presents during the holidays and according to my credit card statement, I have a tendency to go overboard and over-budget.  So when I agreed to participate in my office “Secret Santa”, I didn’t realize until after the fact, how hard it is to find gifts with a price limit of $10. At that price point, even Ed Hardy perfume wasn’t an option.

But, with a little research, I came up with a great list of 10 beauty gifts for $10.


Ole Henriksen The Clean Truth Cleansing Duo

Ole Henriksen The Clean Truth Cleansing Duo:  Since I love Ole Henriksen’s Truth Serum, this is the perfect gift for glowing skin. It contains 10 x The Clean Truth Cleansing Cloths: Brightening  and  1.5 oz African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser. $10


Alterna Caviar Moisture Trio:   Yep, your hair shows signs of aging too! Altering gift set contains shampoo, conditioner and leave-in CC Cream. $10


Bliss Lemony Trinkets: – I love the scent of lemon! Get a lemon scented cleansing body wash and body butter from Bliss. $10


Burt’s Bees Beeswax Bounty – Classic Mix: Can’t go wrong with a classic! Set includes 4 count multipack of 100% natural lip balm in 0.15 ounce tubes and bonus change purse. $9.99


NYX Cosmetics Butter Lipgloss Sugar Rush Set:  My favorite drugstore line has some great gift sets. I love their butter lipgloss and this set contains 3: featuring Cherry Pie, Cupcake, and Sugar Cookie. $10


BECCA Online Only Complexion + Perfection Sample Pack: Each collection includes a sample of Ultimate Coverage Complexion Crème in two of the most popular shades allowing you to trial the formula multiple days and discover your shade. Also included is a deluxe sample of Shimmering Skin Perfector. $10


Clinique Happiness in Colour Gift Set: Love this set filled with minis for only $10! Clinique Happy Perfume Spray, A Different Nail Enamel in Juiced Up, Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Oversized Orange. Bag included!

_9757324Lulu Lip Gloss Set (Set of 4) (Juniors): Great set of gloss from Nordstrom’s junior section for your little sis, niece, or yourself! $10


Vaseline Gift Set: I love the Vaseline line of moisturizers. This set gives you the body lotion, spray lotion, classic vaseline, and vaseline lip therapy. $9.99


Philosophy Purity Made Simple Ornament: One of Philosophy’s cult favorite products, this facial cleanser melts away all makeup and gently cleanses the skin. $10  (now on sale at Nordstrom.com for $9)


BCA Lip Balm & Nicole by OPI Nail Lacquer – Pink 2 Pc: My favorite lip balm with a side of OPI? Yes, please! $9.99

Turn Back the Hands of Time (Or At Least Press Pause) with Rejuvenique




Happy December everyone! I know it’s been a couple of weeks since my last update, but that is because I’ve been working on some great projects and of course, testing out new beauty products!

First up, is a new multipurpose oil that I’ve been using that’s is perfect for this colder weather. It’s called Rejuvenique Oil Intensive by Monat and it’s formulated for both hair and skin. What separates it from the other beauty oils on the market? It contains Abyssinian Oil, which mimics the body’s own natural oils to replenish and repair, making it the perfect anti-aging product.

My hair has been extremely dry and difficult to manage lately due to not only the cold weather but because I’m over due for a hair trim. After warming a couple of drops of Rejuvenique in-between my hands, I apply it throughout my hair, only concentrating from the ear and down, concentrating on the ends. It does a great job moisturizing and softening my hair after blowdrying, without weighing down my hair. As a matter of fact, I was pleasantly surprised that I stretched my blowout even longer this week to 6 days.


It’s also great for your cuticles—I keep the bottle by my bed and apply it to my cuticles before I go to sleep. Love a hard working/multi-tasking beauty product!

There’s a ton of different ways to really utilize this revolutionary oil. From deep hair conditioning treatments to skin softening, get more details at #Rejuveniqe www.monatglobal.com!

Full Disclosure: Some of the products in this post were provided by the manufacturer for consideration. For more information on my disclosure policy, please see my disclaimer page

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