escaping to bacara {beautycounter incentive trip}

It’s been a week now since being back from California.  On the plane back home, I thought to myself: “Well, that trip pretty much rocked my socks off!”  It was!  Not even exaggerating.

I want you all to catch a glimpse of what I experienced that weekend.  First let me tell you….  Beautycounter has an incentive trip every year.  I remember being new and seeing photos from last year’s incentive trip in Ojai.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be on an incentive trip some day.  It sure looked lovely though!

When they announced the trip this year, I said to myself… “Well, geez.  I’m going to try at least.  Heck, I’m going balls to the walls!”  😉 I had nothing to lose but so much to gain.  I’ve already come out of my comfort zone (and still am) throughout my year with Beautycounter.  You know when you’re a kid and your parents told you that you can be whatever you want to be?  I’ve learned I can be passionate and love what I do, even if I have no background in it….makeup, skincare, ingredients, or laws and regulations.  Drive and excitement is all I had when I started so I learned and am still learning everything else.  I’ve learned to have a voice….to ask, to inform, to educate (with confidence).  I’ve learned that if I believe in something, to go after it.  I’ve learned that being part of a direct sales/retail company is not a bad thing.  I’ve had so many supporters with only a few sprinkles of “haters gonna hate.”  The people that have supported me know that I’m just an average girl who found products and a mission that I adore and want to share with them.  That’s it.  I would never twist someone’s arm.  No one should ever be violent like that. 😉

Educators had 2 months to earn a spot.  It wasn’t easy.  Actually it was pretty darn tough.  There were times I wanted to throw my hands up and say “I’m not getting it.  I’m done trying.  I’ll try again next year!”  I wanted to, but I didn’t.  It’s so easy to give up.  Isn’t that how it is with anything in life though?!  No one ever wants to push themselves.  No one ever wants to put effort if it’s not achievable right away.  No one wants to take chances if it makes them feel uncomfortable.  No one wants to push through any obstacles.  Well goodness gracious, I don’t know about you, but I always tell my kids:  “If you want it don’t give up and work harder.  If you want it, you gotta earn it.”


Aug 1st, I earned my spot on this year’s Beautycounter Incentive Trip to Bacara.  144 earned it out of over 25,000 Educators.  I didn’t get this doing it on my own.  I couldn’t have done it without the support from my teammates, my mentors, my amazing clients, my friends/online community, my kids who rooted for me so we can do something fun every time I earned points, and especially my hubby, Blaine, who held down the household when I was out doing socials, opportunity events, and trainings.  It’s never a 1 person show with any business.  It’s a tribe and my tribe ROCKS!

Day 1….

If you’re Facebook friends with me, you already know I was having anxiety before going on the trip.  Anxiety is real and sucks.  It’s crazy to be so excited yet so anxious all at the same time about a trip I’ve been looking forward to for months!  Thanks for the prayers everyone!  I stepped onto the plane in Des Moines, and I was more comfortable and at peace.

What was in my carry on bag (Jo Totes “Gracie” camera bag)?
2 amazing books “Closer to God Each Day” and “You are Bad Ass
Beautycounter‘s Rosewater Mist, lip sheer in Twig, lip gloss in Opal
Beautycounter canvas pouch filled with my makeup
Business Cards
Fujifilm xt1 digital camera with 35mm 1.4 lens (used this camera for the photo below and most of Day 2.  I completely forgot to bring my charger so iPhone pics the rest of my time there)

storyboard034Starbucks is a must when traveling. 😉


There are hardly any pics on Day 1 since it was a day of traveling mainly.  I finally got to Santa Barbara in the evening later than I expected and missed part of the welcome reception.  On my way back to my villa from having a nice chat with my mentor, Leah, I captured this beautiful sight and couldn’t wait to see this place during the day!


Day 2…

Time for breakfast!

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Training for 3 hours.  It’s so inspiring listening to these rockstars!

storyboard011 storyboard012 storyboard013 storyboard014Everyone got a brand book and a new shade of lip gloss.. Bare Shimmer!  If you love the lip sheer in Twig, you’ll especially enjoy this.  Guess what?!  It’s included in one of our Holiday Collection! 🙂

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After training, it was time for lunch.  Check out this view…  Talk about being in paradise!

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Lunch with these ladies from Minnesota… learning from the best!  😉

storyboard019storyboard017The meal I had there was so delicious.  This meal gets 2 thumbs up.  I’ve never had crunchy corn and it’s a great added texture to the tacos (my love for the reality show Top Chef is coming out).  Do I need to get out more that I’m raving about crunchy corn?


Check out all this SWAG!  I was speechless when I saw all this stuff for us trip earners.  Talk about spoiled!!

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Krysten and I then went on a walk on the beach!  It was so beautiful and peaceful.


We came across 3 of Beautycounter’s Regional Directors: LeeAnne, Kelli, & Natalie!  These ladies are our support and help us grow our businesses as consultants!

storyboard030storyboard028Lots of laughs trying to get these 2 shots on the self timer on my camera!

storyboard032 storyboard033storyboard068After a couple hours on the beach, we headed back to get ready for the Beach Bash!  On our walk, we were greeted with some bubbly and food at each station.  I really enjoyed the progressive drink stations on our walk to the final destination.

storyboard035 storyboard036 storyboard037 storyboard038 storyboard039 storyboard040storyboard003These views before walking to the tent!  WOW!

storyboard041 storyboard042 storyboard043You guys, I felt like I was at a celebrity wedding.  The details, ambience, food, and music made it one of the most beautiful parties I’ve ever attended!

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This lady right here.  Everyone needs to meet Madame-Athena our Director of Community with Beautycounter.  She has so much heart and passion that when she speaks, you can’t help having a big smile from ear to ear.


Super bummed this pic is blurry, but it has such fabulous ladies in 1 pic, I had to post anyway!

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Gregg Renfrew, CEO and Founder of Beautycounter, had her kids there…. her “WHY BEAUTYCOUNTER” is right there standing along side of her.

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Her husband was there too.  Support from loved ones is such a HUGE part of someone’s success.  This made me miss my husband, Blaine, and I don’t think I thank him enough for all he does.  The post office runs he makes so I can get samples to people.  The last minute meetings with my teammates.  When I’m hosting online socials, he’s making sure to keep the kids busy downstairs.  Being away isn’t easy, but I can always count on him to pick up the slack when I’m gone.  The list goes on and on.  Supportive husbands are amazing!! 🙂


Dessert station… why yes, I’ll have some of that!

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What a nice little surprise when I got back to my room!


Day 3….

Time for breakfast before some more training!

storyboard072Check out our HQ staff!  Again, it takes a tribe!  We are so thankful for them!

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No biggie, just Chris Moore who is a film producer known for Good Will Hunting and American Pie AND Lindsey Dyner who was a producer for the Today Show is the new Head of Digital Content at Beautycounter.  They talked about the importance of video which reminds me that I need to start doing some more.  I have been doing more of mini vids on my Instagram stories (click HERE to follow me so you don’t miss a video)…short and to the point.  Sometimes all I have is 10 seconds to watch someone’s video so I can relate!  What do you guys think and/or want?  Once a week?  Twice a week?  Comment below!


Lindsay Dahl… This girl.  I love hearing her speak.  She let us know what is all going down in Washington DC with all the work we’re doing trying to get more laws in place for the cosmetics and personal care industry.  She makes me understand a little more about laws and regulations every time.  I hate to admit but before I was clueless.  It’s actually quite interesting how it all works and what all goes down inside those walls.


After training, it was time to soak up some sun by the pool!


It’s times like this that I’m so thankful for the people Beautycounter has brought into my life.  Meet Krysten.  We have been Facebook friends since last year.  We finally met for the first time in Minnesota at the Fall Workshop in September.  We have cheered each other on and helped each other out.  She gave me the greatest compliment.  “You’re as cool as you are online.”  It made me laugh, but sometimes you never know how people are on social media compared to real life.  So I’ll take the compliment even though I don’t really think I’m that cool.  Just a mom living one (hot mess) day at a time. 😉 If we counted how many minutes throughout the trip we talked and laughed out loud together just the two of us, it would have been probably a good 12 hours. That’s how you know you just made a new BFF!

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We devoured those nachos!  Check out my view from my room.


More swag from my mentors Jen, Britta, and Leah! <3 Thankful for their guidance.


We then ended the evening at The Lark!  Great food, drinks, and company!

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Lisa was my roommate and goodness is she the sweetest!


Here’s a photo with Christy Coleman, who is the Head of Innovation at Beautycounter.  She comes up with the great ideas like an introduction to charcoal products (cleansing bar and mask)!  She is a fashion and celebrity makeup artist applying our very own products on models and celebrities for magazines and red carpet appearances!  Pretty awesome, right?!


Check out these group of beautiful leaders on Jen’s team!  We are all so different yet have the same passion!

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Lots of laughs having dinner with these 3!

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Photo with Gina Murphy, Head of Sales at Beautycounter!  What a sweet soul this woman has!  Gina does such a great job fueling us with knowledge, confidence, and energy!


We ended the night with a photo with Gregg.  Now, that’s how you top off the weekend!  It all started with Gregg’s vision.  The mission of getting safer products into the hands of everyone.  Because of Beautycounter, many people are being educated and are being part of this change.  The change for safer beauty because your health should never be compromised for beauty.  AMEN SISTA!


What a nice surprise, when we returned to our rooms!


 Day 4….

Time to go back to the great state of Iowa!  Here I am back in my own personal paradise.  Paradise can also be a place with corn fields all around, right?  😉

What a trip that was!  I’m so glad I’m on this adventure as an Educator.  It came to me when I needed it.  God just knows.  This path is something I couldn’t have ever imagined.  A path that has even made me uncomfortable at times as I have stepped out of my comfort zone, but every time I do something uncomfortable, I feel like I can take on anything.  Literally.  You know what they say, great things never came from comfort zones.  😉 You all should try it!

I needed something that I could be at home with the kids more and was flexible with our busy schedules.  This is a type of job that doesn’t ever feel like a job.  Every day is exciting, and every day is rewarding.  Don’t get me wrong, I still work.  As Rupaul says… “You better WORK.”  Just an FYI incase you forgot, money doesn’t grow on trees. 😉  I’m busy…like REALLY busy before Beautycounter.  I didn’t think I would have time for something like this, but I treat this like a business.  I make time even if it’s an hour a day.  Who wouldn’t want to make time for this?  How amazing to be able to be a part of something so HUGE and making a difference, bigger than selling a lip sheer or a moisturizer.  I hope to leave a legacy for my kids.  I’m advocating for better laws so in the future my kids don’t have to worry about what’s inside their products.  A job that’s for a cause, have access to safe, chic products that perform (I love how I get savings on these amazing products), while being financially compensated!  As Gregg says: “Take the job!”  I have to mention by saying: “hashtag” bestjobever  !!  Plus, surrounding yourself with other likeminded individuals is so good for the soul!


My babes were excited to have mom back home, but I’m pretty sure my husband was the most excited. 😉


Want to know more about how to become an Educator for Beautycounter?  I want to take you with me next year on the trip!  Let’s chat or click HERE to get more details!  #takethejob

Final thoughts not Beautycounter related…

  1. I’m short.  It’s no newsflash but being 5’2″ and wearing heels is still short when everybody else is in heels. 😉
  2. I loved dressing out of my typical yoga pants and sweatshirt.  It was a pain to pack outfits and I fully admit I overpacked, but it was great to get the heels and jewelry out multiple days in a row!


So I’m laughing out loud that I took a selfie showing my pool attire WITH my sunglasses on.  Who does that?!  I swear I’ve never done that in my life before.  It’s ok, you all can laugh and shake your head too!  LOL

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Categories: Beautycounter, Cecilia, Trips
time to bust out the winter coat

It got in the 40’s in the morning so we busted out the winter coat before heading out the door.  This coat we got at the Gap a year or so ago.  I’m so glad this still fits her…phew!  Images captured using my iPhone!  🙂

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Categories: Cecilia, Kids Style, The Moments
beautycounter brushes

I never knew how important makeup brushes were until I got brushes from Beautycounter.  I actually waited the longest time to get these because I already had my brushes from Target.  😉 Similar to assuming personal care products and cosmetics on the shelves at a store are regulated so they HAVE TO be safe for us (SO SO WRONG), I assumed all brushes are all the same (SO SO WRONG).  I’m telling you…With these brushes, the perfect amount gets on the brush and then the perfect amount goes onto your cheeks.  Oh my goodness, these brushes are SO soft too.  With these brushes, there’s NO “awww…crap, I put way too much on” coming out of my mouth.  The struggle was real!  My clients who’ve purchased these Beautycounter brushes say they’re hands down the best.  My friend, Julie, confessed “True story, I’ve spent a lot of money on other brushes, these are by far the best!”  I had another client love the brush collection so much, she bought one for her daughter-in-law!  Goodness, where was this all our lives?!  


Now, I’ve had people adding the brushes to their wishlist which is so exciting!!  I quickly took a photo of which brushes I use for which products.


1- Retractable Complexion Brush: pea size of Tint Skin Foundation (my shade is Golden) on the palm of your hand.  Swirl with brush and then apply foundation on face.  It will go on way smoother and more evenly than using your hand or a sponge.

2- Flat Complexion Brush: to apply a little bit of foundation to areas where I want more coverage like my cheeks (love how our tint skin foundation is buildable for times when you want to look ‘flawless’).  To be honest, I only do this when I’m going out on the town like a girls night or date night.

3- All Over Eye Brush: to apply eye shadow duos (Peach/Bronze for this one, but I also love using the Fawn/Night).

4- Crease Brush:  I applied Concealer Pen (I use “Medium 1” for under my eyes) under eyes ‘drawing’ an upside down triangle.  Not sure if this is the right thing to do, but I then used the crease brush to blend.  Works great and I don’t have to get my fingers dirty!

5- Powder Blush Brush: to apply Mattify Skin Finishing Powder on top of foundation to set makeup and for a matte finish

6- Angled Blush Brush: to apply Matte Bronzer (my shade is No. 2) for definition/contouring.  Drawing an imaginary “3”…From hairline curving to end of eye curving to cheek area.  Let me know if this doesn’t make sense.

7- Powder Blush Brush: to apply Color Sweep Blush Duo (Flamingo/Apricot is perfect for my skin tone but Tawny/Whisper and Bloom/Tulip are very popular).  Flamingo next to bronzer and Apricot on apples of my cheek.

Here I am!  🙂 For lips, I’m wearing the Color Pinch Cream Blusher in Hibiscus (love how it can be used for both cheeks and lips) and the Lip Gloss in  Sienna.



You can grab these brushes individually, but I highly suggest taking advantage of the brush collections to save you money!!  Who doesn’t love saving money?!


Complexion Essentials Brush Set: $76

Eyes on You Brush Set: $55

Cosmetics Brush Collection: $114

Time to makeover that makeup bag!  Thanks for switching to safer beauty!!  Shop here for these goodies!


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Categories: Beautycounter, Cecilia, Mommy Style
bonus room workspace

When we first moved in, I made this bonus room a sitting area with seating near the perimeter. Well, no one ever wanted to sit in there. 🤔 So finally I asked my hubby to move my desk from upstairs in our bedroom to this space and moved the seating in other places of the house. With a work from home job at Beautycounter, I love how I’m able to work on the same floor as the kids and make sure they’re not getting into too much trouble! 😉 // Cecilia #welcometomyoffice #workfromhomemom #momboss#buildergradetomodernhome

Check out more home inspiration on and getting real with ya’ all on


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Categories: Builder Grade to Modern Home, Cecilia, Home Inspiration, Home Projects, Mommy Writing

PDA…. It’s the holding hands while walking to church, the kiss on the forehead randomly, smacking the booty when no kids are watching, the tickling when he wants my attention, the kiss of see ya after work, the first one at the dance floor when a slow song comes on at a wedding, and the random bear hugs in the kitchen.

Even though I think we all can confess that life gets busy and kids suck up our time and energy, shouldn’t marriage and the simple form of PDA always be on the top of our list? Everyone needs some lovin.  Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you need to stop flirting.  <3

#dateyourspouse #marriedlife #noperfectmarriage


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90’s dance moves you’ll never forget

Who else pretended like they were a train at school dances?! Well, let’s refresh your memory. For your viewing pleasure only.

Looks like you all enjoyed it too…LOL!  🙂















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Categories: Cecilia, Niña, Videos
e-design: Ella & Liana’s bedroom

It’s always fun to get hired and help decorate a room and then finally seeing it in person all together!!  Lindsay wanted a gorgeous space for her toddler (Ella) and newborn daughter (Liana) to share.  I created a private pinterest board for Lindsay.  The board included inspiration of what I envisioned including items for her to choose from and links to purchase the specific items from.  She was also able to add pins on there as well if she had seen something that caught her eye for me to see before purchasing.



Here’s the final reveal!

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White ruffled curtains – Urban Outfitters

Rug – Pottery Barn Kids

Crib and light fixture – Ikea

Garland – Lincoln & Lexi

Wall Decor – Hobby Lobby, Homegoods

Pillows – Target

Headboard – Target

Paint – Sherwin Williams

Gold Decals – Bling Factory

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Categories: Cecilia, Home Inspiration, Home Projects
Beautycounter products for low key days…

Days when I don’t really want to take the time to put on makeup…am having a low key day that doesn’t require me to get all ‘dolled up,’ I use these products…


Dew Tinted Moisturizer – I use #4.  I love how it’s a very light coverage…just enough to even my skin tone.  It also gives me that dewy glow.  🙂

Cream Blusher (Hibiscus) – I used on my cheeks and a little bit on my lips.

Lip Gloss (Opal) – My favorite lip gloss.  I actually was never a lip gloss person until I finally decided to try Beautycounter’s.  It’s not sticky and this color works great to put on top of a lip sheer or cream blusher.

Lengthening Mascara – Love it for my sensitive eyes.  It does a wonderful job lengthening these puny lashes of mine.  The custom wand works wonderful to apply a coat to every single lash.

Order yours here:

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kitchen update

Our house is still a work in progress, but here’s a quick update.  We still need to get a backsplash, new faucet, crown molding, and that BIG $8 markerboard put up that I got from Target that we showed in our video.

BEFORE photos:

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AFTER photos:


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Categories: Builder Grade to Modern Home, Cecilia, DIY, Home Inspiration, Home Projects
ring pop proposal

Daddy proposed to Mariah.  I’m pretty sure all the feelings that you go through in real life, she experienced.  😉


The shock of the proposal.


Then sees THE ring.


The excitement kicks in.


That bling.  She can’t keep her eyes off of it.


The final test before officially saying yes.


Yup, it tastes yummy.  She approves!

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Categories: Cecilia, The Moments
As Seen On: Right This Minute


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fall home decor

It’s officially fall!  This is my favorite season weather.  You know, when you can wear a sweatshirt while not have to wear a coat. 😉  I usually don’t decorate for fall, but this year with the new house, I just had to do little touches of fall throughout the house!  I’m sure if you follow us on our home design page on Instagram, you’ll see that I’m obsessed with neutrals.  …so even my fall decor doesn’t have too much color!

This little area by the stairs always looked so empty, so I knew that eventually a little console table would go there.  I finally found one at Home Goods for the right price, and it fit so perfectly in that space!  Phew!


These little pumpkins were actually in a garland that I also got from Home Goods.  I love how the pumpkins were a cream felt material, but didn’t want it for a garland so I just took it out of the string.  Now I have pumpkins as table decor 😉

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This garland is from Target!  When you first look at the garland, you might think, “okay, I can make that myself.”  You know what?  Who has time for that?!  It was cheap enough that why waste your time? 😉


I also got this wreath from Home Goods!  My original plan was to use it for our front door, but this wreath is HUGE!  It was way too big for my door, so on top of the mantle it goes.


Do you guys remember those $5 pillows I got at Target in our “Target Addiction” video?!  Well, I found a spot for them!

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Here’s those little pumpkins again!

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Hope you enjoy!!  How did you guys decorate for fall?

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Categories: Home Inspiration, Niña