Amazon Alexa Hacks

If you follow me on Instagram, you are probably familiar with my deep and abiding love for Alexa. We got our first Echo in December of 2016. I purchased it as a Christmas present for Jason and we put it in our kitchen, which is the main gathering place for our family downstairs.

Amazon Echo – Sandstone Fabric – $84.99

To be honest, I’ve always felt we didn’t use Alexa to her full potential. I occasionally ask her the weather, and I use her to play my Pandora stations when I’m cleaning the kitchen, but I just have never really understood all she could do. We don’t have smart devices in our home, so using her to turn off lights/change the thermostat/etc was out.

This Christmas my mom gave Jason an Echo Dot, which we are now using upstairs in our bathroom. I love it – it’s awesome to have as we are getting ready. I will say that Echo Dot is for sure the better value money wise, but in my opinion, the sound quality is less.

Amazon Echo Dot – $39.99

As I’ve said, lately I’ve felt like I wasn’t using Alexa to her full potential, so I’ve put together some great hacks for you if you are like me and feel like you don’t completely understand everything she can do.


First of all, did you know you can connect your Pandora stations to Alexa? Simply say “Alexa, play my Hillsong United Pandora station” and she will comply. She will also play I Heart Radio and Spotify!

If you’re a Prime member, you can stream over 2 million songs for free. Try saying “Alexa, play Michael Jackson music” or “Alexa, play pop hits from the 90s”.

I did start to find that when I would ask for specific songs or albums, they would sometimes be unavailable. I recently subscribed to Amazon Music Unlimited. I haven’t found an album or song they didn’t have available yet. To enable a free 30-day trial, say “Alexa, I’d like to try Amazon Music Unlimited.” Warning: it will give you a 30-day free trial, and it will cost you $3.99 monthly thereafter… for the one device you enabled it on. For additional devices (if you have more than one Echo in your home), you have to upgrade to a more expensive plan. Those options start at $7.99.

Ask Alexa for your favorite music playlists: hip hop, pop music, oldies, country hits, etc. While she’s playing songs, you can also interrupt and ask her “Alexa, who sings this song?” or “Alexa, what’s the title of this song?”


One way I love to use Alexa is to ask her to add items to my shopping list. As I’m in my kitchen each day, I often find items that we are running low on or need to replace soon. I simply say “Alexa, add toilet paper to my shopping list.” Then when I’m making lists for the store or am menu planning, I can open up my Alexa app on my iPhone and add items to my grocery list. This has been a huge benefit for me because I’m notorious for forgetting those little items and having to make multiple trips to the store during the week.

Another thing I love is that you can re-order Amazon items. Let’s say you order your child’s diapers through Amazon – simply say “Alexa, reorder diapers” and she’ll place the order for you.


You know how sometimes you are doing one thing, and you get sidetracked by the realization that you have something else that really needs to be done? (Maybe that’s just me.) Tell Alexa to add tasks to your To Do List. You can then access the To Do List in the Alexa app on your phone, or simply ask Alexa to remind you of a task later.


Here are a few ways Alexa can help you be more productive:

  • Alexa, set a timer
  • Alexa, what time is it?
  • Alexa, what’s the weather like today?
  • Alexa, what’s the forecast for this weekend?
  • Alexa, set an alarm
  • Alexa, read me a book (if you have an Audible account)


Here’s where I’ll admit that I’m sometimes woefully ignorant of what is going on in the world. I no longer watch the news, and our television is seldom live. I check in with Alexa each morning for headlines by saying “Alexa, give me my flash briefing.” This will give you an overview of the major headlines of the day.

You can also ask for local traffic. “Alexa, what’s local traffic like” or “Alexa, how long will my commute be today?” are two helpful commands.


Ask Alexa for recipes. I will often ask for conversions – “Alexa, how many tablespoons are in a cup?” or substitutions “Alexa, what can I substitute for buttermilk in a recipe”.

Did you also know you can ask Alexa to help you figure out what to cook for dinner? Say “Alexa, I have ground beef, onions, and potatoes; what can I cook for dinner?”


My kids love Alexa, and we have fun figuring out things she can do.

  • Alexa, launch spelling bee
  • Alexa, tell me a knock knock joke
  • Alexa, open a bedtime story
  • Alexa, listen to Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
  • Alexa, play lullabies
  • Alexa, let’s play Simon Says

Kids MD is an Alexa app created by the Boston Children’s Hospital, and as a parent, this is a nifty tool for medical questions. Ask “Alexa, what is the Tylenol dosage for a 2 year old” or “Alexa, what are the symptoms of the flu?”


  • Alexa, use the force!
  • Alexa, tell me a random fact.
  • Alexa, play 20 questions.
  • Alexa, play Animal Game.
  • Alexa, what does the fox say?

Obviously, this doesn’t even scratch the surface of all Alexa can do. What do you use Alexa for? Do you have any Alexa hacks to share?

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small percentage of any sale if you use my links to purchase. Thank you for your support of Tickled Peach!

Recent Faves

Hello friends!

Wow, it has been a long time since I’ve posted. The holiday season seemed to swoop in and take me under – I feel as if I have no idea what day or month it is. Cooper has been out of school for three weeks and has returned today. Hurrah! Actually, I’m really going to miss him, but I’m hoping him heading back to school will the push I need to get back into a routine. I still have Christmas up, and we’ve been wearing daytime pajamas and nighttime pajamas for weeks. Can I get an amen?!

I thought I’d ease my way back into blogging with a light, fluffy post – just some Tickled Peach Recent Faves! These items were all purchased with my own money, and I love them so much I want to share them.

My mom gifted me a limited edition Breast Cancer Awareness pink Yeti rambler tumbler for Christmas. Jason and I both have stainless Yeti cups, but they were purchased before Yeti added the cool sliding closure top on the lid (I know, small things excite me). I usually use the Bubba brand (from Wal-Mart) of silicone straws in my Yeti cup because I can squeeze it through my Yeti lid. I was down to one Bubba straw and knew I needed more.

A couple of months ago, one of our Lily Moms meetings had a Favorite Things theme, and my friend Virginia brought a set of stainless steel straws to give away as her favorite thing. I remembered her saying how neat they were because they made what you were drinking extra icy and cool. When I was searching Amazon for silicone straws, I found this set that includes 6 silicone straws and 2 stainless steel straws, plus the cleaning brushes for both.

If you know me, you know I am an ice girl – I like my drinks super cold with lots of ice. I know it sounds ridiculous but the stainless steel straw keeps your drink super cold as the liquid travels to your mouth. (If that sounds weird, forgive me. I’m trying to avoid using a word that could bring perverts to my website.) I do have to say the one drawback is the sound it makes hitting against your stainless steel cup, particularly if you don’t have on the lid – it’s like nails on a chalkboard. I also love the silicone straws, too!

Click the picture below to purchase!

If you are like me, you are on an organization kick. I wanted to share two products I have purchased to help me get ready quicker and more efficiently in the mornings!

I have an antique desk in our bedroom that I use as a vanity. It’s beautiful and the drawers hold a ton of makeup, but the lighting in our bedroom is less than ideal. I’ve tried lamps, brighter bulbs in our fixtures, natural light, and even a lighted makeup mirror and I just haven’t been able to find the right lighting to do my makeup at my vanity. I’ve been using it mainly for storage and putting my makeup on in our bathroom. This involved carting my makeup back and forth each day, and what would usually happen is that I would leave it on the counter, only to be destroyed by a child or to migrate into my husband’s meager portion of the bathroom counter. Jason would not be amused.

I had seen these beautiful acrylic cubes used to store makeup on Instagram and YouTube – but I just couldn’t get behind the insane price tag. I purchased a few smaller acrylic drawer systems from Muji, but the drawers were too shallow to hold anything other than lipsticks or glosses. I finally found an acrylic storage tube that really meets all my wants/needs and I purchased in back in March.

It is glorious.

The drawers are deep enough to hold foundation bottles, powders, palettes – there is nothing I haven’t been able to fit into this baby. It’s easy to clean – I just use Windex and a paper towel. I’ve moved most of my makeup into this storage case, with the exception of palettes I don’t use everyday or items that I don’t use regularly but don’t necessarily want to get rid of.

I know that it is a little on the pricey side, but it is heavy-duty acrylic and I can see myself using it for years.

I purchased a smaller version for my mom for Christmas – that’s how much I love the organization and convenience of having all your makeup at your fingertips and in view. My mom just remodeled her bathroom and her jumbled makeup drawers make me twitch whenever I visit. Hers is more budget friendly, although it is smaller. This one also has the black drawer liners.

I also got this rotating, adjustable height acrylic makeup storage for my mom for Christmas and then decided to buy one for myself. I wanted to use it for my skin and hair products, moisturizer, makeup brushes, etc. I haven’t put mine together yet but I’ll let you know what I think when I do!

Last thing – my favorite calendar has long been the Erin Condren Life Planner. I’ve owned an Erin Condren since 2011. I’ve tried other brands such as the Mom Agenda, Day Designer, and the Simplified Planner, but I keep coming back to the Erin Condren Life Planner. I own and use a horizontal, colorful life planner.

I like to map out my month using the monthly calendar, and then I can go into the horizontal, weekly view to add reminders and to do lists. I’ve tried both the vertical and the hourly versions and they just didn’t work as well for me. I love all the personalization you can do with Erin Condren, and the customer service has always been top-notch to me!

When Erin Condren did their Black Friday sale and offered 40% off, I ordered a monthly calendar notebook and I think I’ve fallen in love.

The Deluxe Monthly Planner is a planner and notebook in one. It has the regular monthly calendar utilized in the Life Planners, but instead of a weekly view, it has productivity pages and note pages. I purchased this to use as my blog calendar, but if I really like it, I might use it in place of a Life Planner next year. I find myself using the monthly pages in my planner a lot, but instead of really diving into my weekly pages I will just scratch out daily to do lists on notepads. This might actually end up being more my speed. I’ll keep you posted on this as well!

If you’ve never purchased a Life Planner, please use my referral link – you will receive $10 off your first purchase!

Be sure to check in with me on Instagram today – I’ll be sharing little snaps of each of these products in more detail on my Instastories. You can find me on Instagram at @andrearhouse.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small percentage if you click the link or make a purchase. Thank you for your support of Tickled Peach.

Dupe Alert? NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer VS Maybelline Fit Me Concealer

One of the things I always hear when I ask for feedback is that people want to know about makeup dupes. If you aren’t sure what I mean when I say dupe, a dupe is a product that performs just as well as the original. Oftentimes people want to find more affordable dupes for expensive, high end makeup. Sometimes companies can pull it off, and sometimes it is a big old waste of money. I’m working on a series of drugstore product dupes – I put them to the test to find out if they are worth the money!

First up in this series is NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer VS Maybelline Fit Me Concealer. Is it a dupe? Read on to find out.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, $30 at Sephora

I first heard about NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer from my friend, Tricia. She is a professional makeup artist and this is a concealer she uses on herself. It is exactly what it says: creamy. It just applies extremely smoothly, with no tugging or pulling. It really does glide across your skin. It provides full coverage and it doesn’t crease or wear during the day with the proper setting powder. I’ve been very pleased with this concealer, and it is one I’ve used often in my own makeup routine.


  • Comes in 16 shades
  • Lives up to its name: applies easily and is light and creamy on the skin
  • Lasts all day when it is set properly


  • At $30, this is expensive for such a small amount of product.

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer, $5.48 at Amazon and $6.99 at Ulta

I’ve been hearing great reviews of this Maybelline concealer, and several YouTube beauty vloggers have stated that it is a dupe for the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. I decided to put it to the test! I have to say, the application is very similar. Obviously the more expensive NARS product comes in a more beautiful, luxurious package. But this concealer is extremely pigmented, applies well, and lasted all day! My one concern about this product is that it burned the area under my eyes slightly as I applied it. The tingle did go away once I had blended it in, but upon application there was a brief burning sensation. I’m not sure if that is just me or if it has happened to other people.


  • At $6, this is extremely affordable.
  • It applies easily and blends well.
  • It lasted all day with proper setting.


  • I did experience a slight burning sensation upon application. This did go away quickly, and my skin wasn’t red or irritated. However, it is a little off putting, to say the least. I wouldn’t let it stop me from using it, because it didn’t harm my skin or continue, but just be aware this could happen if you have sensitive skin.
  • It only comes in 6 shades.

So… which would I recommend? Well, I plan to continue to use my NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer until I’ve used all the product, but I would definitely use the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer instead of purchasing more of the high end product.

Is it a dupe? I hesitate to say it is an exact match, but it is VERY close.

If you’ve tried this, please let me know what you think!

This post contains affiliate links, meaning I will receive a small percentage of the sale if you decide to purchase the products. Thank you for supporting Tickled Peach!

All About Dinosaurs!

I originally published this blog post back in 2014. I was updating my category lists for my blog and stumbled upon the post, and I’m planning on doing a DIY dinosaur dig with Sullivan and Poppy soon. I hope your dinosaur loving kids love this activity!

I have a dinosaur obsessed little boy. It all started when he discovered Dinosaur Train on PBS. He loved watching and naming the dinosaurs, so I started brainstorming hands-on ways I could teach him more. I started off by buying him a few things from Amazon.

I love, love, love the National Geographic Kids line of products. They are so well made, easy to understand, and very educational products. I purchased the National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Dinosaurs. The text is very easy to read (beginning readers could read to themselves) and is written in a way that even the youngest readers can understand. Cooper and I read the book together, and we used the play set below to match up dinosaurs to their names.

I also purchased the Animal Planet Big Tub of Dinosaurs. It’s a 40 piece set that comes in a storage tub. It contains a variety of dinosaurs, a printed mat, trees, rocks, and volcanoes. Cooper was really happy with this, as you can see! Update: this set is still going strong three years later. It is played with frequently around here!



After reading some reviews, I also ordered the My First Dino Kit. This kit encourages hand and eye coordination and observation skills as kids become paleontologists. It comes with a fossil block and excavation tools. I also loved that it came with a booklet of discussion questions and activities.

After we got these items and started to play with them, it dawned on me that I could make my own All About Dinosaurs! DIY Dino Dig at home.


You’ll need the following supplies:

  • 3 boxes of cornstarch ($1 per box at the grocery store)
  • Water
  • Measuring cup
  • Plastic dinosaurs (I used the Assorted Dinosaur Fossil Skeleton from Amazon but after I ordered them I discovered dinosaur fossils at The Dollar Tree) (Cost = $3-$8) (If buying at The Dollar Tree, you will need multiple packages)
  • Plastic container ($1 at The Dollar Tree)
  • Excavation supplies – I used a paintbrush, magnifying glass, and a Popsicle stick


  1. Pour the three boxes of cornstarch into your container. Add an 2.5 cups of water and stir vigorously to remove clumps. Add more water as needed until the cornstarch is a smooth, thin consistency.
  2. Add in your dinosaur fossils.
  3. Set it outside to dry (or in your garage if you are expecting rain). It will take 24-48 hours to fully dry.
  4. As the cornstarch dries, it will shrink, and water will pool at the top. Check the container every 8 hours or so and pour off any excess water.


When your DIY Dino Dig is fully dry, you are ready to excavate! I did this outside as it is super messy. I laid down paper on our outdoor table and carefully popped the block out of the container. I laid out a few supplies – a paintbrush, a Popsicle stick, and a magnifying glass. Then I told Cooper to go to town. He broke up the block with the wooden stick and then started chipping away at the dinosaur fossils. Once they were free, he brushed them off with the paintbrush.

This was a fun activity for a dinosaur loving child!

I would say this activity is best for ages 3-6. The younger the child, the more assistance they will need in this project. Older children can participate by excavating and labeling each dinosaur as it is freed!

This post contains affiliate links, meaning I will receive a small percentage of the sale if you decide to purchase the products. Thank you for supporting Tickled Peach!

Tickled Peach’s Picks for the 2017 Sephora VIB/Rouge Sale

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not Christmas, although I do love me some Christmas. It’s the 2017 Sephora VIB/Rouge Sale!

Every year, without fail, Target and Toys R Us send out their Christmas toy catalogs. My kids snatch those catalogs out of my hands as soon as they arrive. They gather around the kitchen table and begin to browse, circling their favorite picks with black sharpies. “Oooh!” and “I want this!” can be heard from the other side of the house. Even sweet Poppy gets in on the action, as her brothers show her baby dolls and Trolls figurines. That catalog will get carried here and there for at least a week, and it ultimately ends up in my purse, where I use it to shop for their gifts.

And then there’s me. While my kids might wait in eager excitement for the toy catalog, I wait for the Sephora catalog. Not only does it contain the latest holiday product releases, but it also contains… a COUPON! Holy smokes, friends, coupons for Sephora are unheard of. You better believe that I’m not different than my kids – I browse that catalog and make a list, one that is emailed to my mom and to Jason as my Christmas wish list. Of course, being that I’m not a person that does waiting well, I also pick a few things  for myself. I mean, its a COUPON. You have to use it, right? 😉

Read on, friends, for Tickled Peach’s Picks for the 2017 Sephora VIB/Rouge Sale!

Here’s the way the sale works. You must have VIB/Rouge/Insider status to shop. If you’ve ever been to Sephora, at check out they ask for your VIB/Rouge/Insider card. This is their store card that tracks purchase points (which you redeem for samples) and it also is needed to be issued coupons for the sale. If you do not have a card, you cannot shop the sale. These are all access codes, meaning the code is not tied to one person. However, you will have to sign in to your account (you cannot check out as a guest and use the code) and you must be at minimum an Insider to use the code.

  • For Rouge cardholders: Use code 20FORROUGE from 11/3/17-11/6/17. You can use this code again from 11/10/17-11/17/17.
  • For VIB cardholders: Use code 20FORVIB from 11/10/17-11/15/17.
  • For Insiders: Use code Insider15 from 11/10/17-11/15/17.

VIB and Rouge get 20% off while Insiders get 15% off.

If you are local and don’t have a card, let’s chat and maybe we can meet at Sephora for a shopping date!

I debated the best way to do this, but I think today I will just do my top picks of what I like to purchase from Sephora, and perhaps on a later date I can discuss holiday gifts sets and gift ideas. Let me know if you would be interested in that type of post!

Let’s get started! (You can either click on the pictures below or on my text links in the item description.)


Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Coverage Foundation: This is my go to foundation when I have an important event such as a wedding, holiday party, etc. It’s also what I use when I know I will be having my picture taken. It’s a medium coverage liquid foundation that blends like a dream. I don’t use this on a daily basis, so my purchase can easily last me a year or more.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer: This was recommended to me by my friend Tricia, who is a makeup artist, and it is exactly what the name suggests: creamy. It’s so comfortable on your undereye area and it blends out like a dream.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer: I have three concealers I use on a consistent basis, and this is one of them. It has great coverage, yet it doesn’t feel heavy on your skin.

Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder: Ok, I know at almost $40 this seems expensive. I won’t argue with that. But what I will say is that I’ve tried at least 4 other powders in an attempt to find a more affordable version, and nothing even comes close to the power of this setting powder. My makeup does not budge when I use this! I have no under eye creasing, no smudging, my makeup locks into place, and it doesn’t fade throughout the day. I’ve also been using the same container for over a year now and I still have about 1/3 of the product left.

Make Up For Ever Duo Mat Powder Foundation: As I age, I have stepped away from using powder foundation on my face because I have found it accentuates my lines and wrinkles. This used to be my go to foundation! However, I love this powder to set my makeup, and it has enough coverage to work as a foundation on its own. It would be great for oily girls, girls who like a low maintenance routine, or someone who needs a little extra coverage over her CC cream or foundation.


Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush: I will forever sing the praises of Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Blush. They advertise that the blush lasts 12 hours, and it DOES. My favorite colors are Paaarty and Exposed.

Tarte Limited Edition Blush Bazaar Amazonian Clay Blush Palette: I have last year’s version on this palette, and it is such a fantastic buy. You get 10 blushes for $44.

Kat Von D Shade and Light Face Contour Palette: I don’t contour on a daily basis, but when I do I use this palette. I love that is has multiple shades, meaning it works for different skin tones and I can go darker or lighter with my contour depending on my mood. I also love that it is refillable, so that when I run out of one shade I don’t have to re-buy the entire palette.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Matte Waterproof Bronzer in Park Avenue Princess: I got one of these bronzers as a free sample about 4 years ago and I’ve been using it ever since. It contains Amazonian Clay, so it lasts, and I love that the color isn’t sparkly or glittery.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter Pressed Highlighter: There are a lot of highlighters on the market right now, and I have a lot of them. Ha! But one I consistently reach for is the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter. It delivers a WOW highlight that you can notice from space. This is what you want to use if you want people to say “wow, you’re glowing!” My favorite colors are champagne pop, opal, and rose gold.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz: If you prefer a pencil to fill in your brows, this product is for you. It locks into place and doesn’t budge, even if you scratch or rub your brows.

Benefit Ka-Brow: I use this most days to fill in my brows. This is a brow cream that comes with a brush. I initially thought this would be difficult to apply, but I’ve come to love it more than a pencil.

Benefit 24 Hour Brow Setter Shaping & Setting Gel: This brow gel smooths down unruly brows and locks any color into place.

Benefit Cosmetic Bigger & Bolder Brows Kit: This would be my top recommendation if you want to dive into the world of brows, or if you want to try the Benefit products I’ve mentioned above. This kit is how I got turned on to Benefit brow products. It comes with smaller sizes of Ka-Brow, 24 Hour Brow Setter, High Brow (a highlighting pencil), and a stencil set.

Urban Decay Primer Potion and Too Faced Shadow Insurance: I use and buy these two eyeshadow primers interchangeably (meaning, I don’t have a preference for one over the other). I feel they perform the same. The one positive of the Urban Decay Primer Potion is that it comes in smaller sizes, so you can purchase a mini version for cheaper.

Tarte Toasted Eyeshadow Palette: This is one of the items I purchased from the sale. I love Tarte eyeshadows – they are all infused with Amazonian clay so I find they last longer that other shadows. They blend perfectly, and I love the mix of shimmers and mattes.

Tartelette in Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette: I’ve had a few people ask me recently what eyeshadow I was wearing on my Instastories, and this is likely the answer. I’ve been using this almost daily lately. I’m a nude girl when it comes to eyeshadow, and this palette delivers both nude shades in shimmers and mattes. LOVE.

Tarte Pro Amazonian Clay Palette: This is another palette in heavy rotation. Tricia also recommended this one, and I held off on buying it because I don’t love mattes as much as I do shimmers. However, these mattes as so easy to work with, and each row is built to work perfectly together for a eye look.

Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Eyeshadow Palette: I also ordered this palette from the sale. I’ve heard mixed reviews: people who love it LOVE it, and people who hate it say it is terrible. But those GLITTERS, y’all! The good news is Sephora has an awesome return policy so I know I can try it and return if I don’t love it.

It Cosmetics Tightline: I can’t remember where I heard about this, but someone told me this would do amazing things for your lashes. The brush is super small and dense, meaning you can really get to your roots and just work to build volume and length. It really makes your lashes pop!

Benefit Roller Lash Curling & Lifting Mascara: This really does what it promises. My lashes are stick straight, but with this mascara I can curl with a eyelash curler, apply this mascara, and my lashes are curved and lifted all day.

Tarte Picture Perfect Duo: I have long used a Revlon eyelash curler, but a few months back the pads fell off and I started to worry about chopping off my lashes, ha! A friend posted on Instagram raving about this eyelash curler, so I picked it up. I love how heavy it feels, yet the clamp allows you perfect control. Bonus: it comes with a trial of mascara!

Edit: I can’t believe I forgot eyeliner! It’s the one thing I would probably take with me if I ever got sent to a deserted island! What was I thinking?!

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper: This right here is my holy grail eyeliner. It is the stuff a makeup lover’s dreams are made of. The felt tip allows you to create a perfect, smooth line, and it is truly waterproof. I have allergies, and I wear contacts, so my eyes water and I rub them throughout the day. This liner truly locks into place and stays all day.

Clinique Quickliner for Eyes Intense: I remember when I was in high school. I wanted to start wearing makeup and my mom took me to the cosmetics counter for a 3 step skincare routine and I also got to pick out some makeup. One of the things I picked out was the Clinique Cream Shaper eyeliner. That was over 20 years ago, and I’m STILL using this eyeliner. It’s been repackaged and the name has been changed, but it’s still the same product. It does an amazing job of just gliding on your lid with no tugging at all, and it smudges out so easily. I love that the new packaging comes with a smudger on one end to make that really easy. I’ve never experienced any transfer of this eyeliner – it really does last all day.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil: My second pick for pencil eyeliner is this Urban Decay liner. It, like the Clinique liner, really just glides along your eye, which is important when dealing with the delicate skin of that area. It also does not budge. I highly recommend this pencil in particular for lining your waterline.

Stila Magnificent Metals: Now, I know this is sort of an “extra” item. Glitter is by no means a necessary part of a girl’s makeup routine. But why not, I ask you? Glitter is FUN and with the holidays approaching, it will elevate any look. I love adding a dab of this on top of my lid for just a little extra sparkle, or if I really want to go all out, I’ll cover the lid with several layers. My favorite shades are Kitten Karma and Gold Goddess.

Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Bold Lip: I’m not really a person who will walk into Sephora and buy a lipstick. However, I do love these lip kits! You get to try out a bunch of different colors/brands at a great price. It’s a great way to build up your lip collection. There is also a nude version of this kit.

Buxom Perfectly Plump Collection: I love Buxom glosses, and the kits are a perfect way to get different colors. They a thick yet not sticky, and last on your lips.

Sephora Rouge Cream Lipstick: This is my top pick for lipstick at Sephora. It feels so comfortable on your lips, and it is creamy and has a sheen so you don’t need gloss. You cant beat the price!

Smith’s Rosebud Lip Balm: The tubes and tins are available in the checkout line, and I always buy a few to stash in my nightstand, purse, and car.

Sephora Collection Mud Mask: This is a dupe for the much more expensive Glam Glow mask. I have it and have to agree that it is a dupe! It really does a great job at pulling gunk out of your pores.

Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion Correction Pads: I use these as an (chemical) exfoliating toner each night. It does a great job of removing problem congestion and blackheads.

Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm: I take my makeup off each day with this balm. It completely removes makeup and mascara with no tugging or pulling (which leads to wrinkles and lost eyelashes!).

Origins GinZing Eye Cream: This is a great eye cream for the morning. It brightens and de-puffs the undereye area. I’ve been using this for years!

Well, that’s about all of my recommendations for today. Please know that the links above are affiliate links, meaning if you purchase the product I may receive a small percentage of the sale. I appreciate your support of my blog!

What are you buying from the Sephora sale?

This post contains affiliate links, meaning I will receive a small percentage of the sale if you decide to purchase the products. Thank you for supporting Tickled Peach!

A Tale of an Instant Pot

I’m always late to the party.

I mean that figuratively, although I am also often literally late. If there is something new or “hot”, I don’t often jump on the bandwagon until the fervor had died down a bit. I will hem and haw and convince myself I don’t need something or that it isn’t as great as the hype makes it out to be. Quite often, whatever the “thing” is transforms my life and leaves me wondering why I didn’t buy it sooner.

Case in point: Instant Pot.

I was quick to tell myself I didn’t need an Instant Pot. After all, I had a crock pot, and why in the world would I need something that did exactly what a crockpot could do? I sat through endless Instastories featuring the awesomeness of the IP. I watched as friend after friend raved about how it had changed their ability to get dinner on the table for their families. My friend Diana asked me countless times “so, have you bought an Instant Pot yet?

The answer was always no.

Until last April. I succumbed to peer pressure, and I started to read the reviews. I began to look at recipes. Hmm… maybe it would change my life. Maybe I do need another appliance. Maybe Diana is right.

So I placed my order. And then the box sat in my dining room for another 2 months.

Diana’s “have you bought an Instant Pot yet?” became “have you used your Instant Pot yet?”

I was scared! I had seen all the memes of pressure cookers blowing up people’s kitchens. Trust me, if something bad is going to happen, it is going to happen to me.

One day in late June, I decided to pull the Instant Pot out and try my hand at macaroni and cheese. I had everything I needed in my fridge and pantry, and it was time. Or so Jason House said repeatedly, every time he passed the boxed in the dining room.

Y’all, it did change my life. I’m not kidding. This thing is awesome. Read it again: AWESOME.

Yes, it can do everything a crockpot will do (and I love my crockpot, no shade Bessie) (Bessie is my crockpot) {quietly so Bessie doesn’t hear} it does it better.

I still haven’t really scratched the surface of everything it can do, but I am using it multiple times a week.

What I Love:

  • It has solved my “but I didn’t defrost any meat” dinner dilemma. This thing handles frozen chicken like a boss. I take 3 large chicken breasts, some sort of marinade or chicken broth, and cook for 25-30 minutes. It shreds like butter. You can cook hamburger meat, roasts, pork tenderloin, etc all from frozen! (Of course you can also cook defrosted meat, and it will shorten the cook time considerably).
  • Most of my meals have now become one pot meals or easy cook dinners. At least once a week I cook chicken that is used for buffalo chicken sandwiches, wraps, or salads. Another favorite is greek chicken – I shred and use on pita bread, salads, wraps, and more. Our favorite family recipe is sausage macaroni and cheese: I just brown the sausage on the Saute setting, then add the macaroni and cheese ingredients and cook.
  • The Instant Pot makes the best hard boiled eggs! We go through 12-18 hard boiled eggs per week. Jason loves to take them to work for breakfast, and the kids eat them as snacks or with their lunches. You can stack the eggs in the Instant Pot and truly – I have never had eggs peel easier than they do with the Instant Pot. The entire peel just slips right off.

I haven’t really found any downsides to the Instant Pot yet. My only complaint is that depending on what you cook, the plastic inner ring of the pot can retain the smell. That sucker reeked of onions after an attempt at Instant Pot salisbury steak. However, you can pop it out and put it in the dishwasher and I found that helped tremendously.

Stayed tuned for more Instant Pot recipes – they are coming!

Anyway, I write all this because I was on Amazon (as you do, some people like to browse news stories in the morning – I like to browse Amazon) and I saw the Instant Pot was on super sale. I paid $80 for my 6 quart Instant Pot and it does not have a yogurt setting. This Instant Pot is also 6 quarts and it has more settings than mine does. It is on sale right now for $69.99 – that’s the lowest I’ve ever seen the price go, including Black Friday and Prime Day.

Instant Pot DUO60 6 QT 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Coker, Steamer, Saute, Yogurt Maker and Warmer


You can either click the link directly or click the box above to purchase. This is an affiliate link, meaning if you purchase by clicking the link I will get a small percentage of the sale. If you are not comfortable with that, please feel free to search directly on Amazon. This is a daily deal, meaning the price will only be active for today only.

If you already have an Instant Pot, please share your favorite recipes!

I would be remiss if I posted this blog without mentioning the tragedy in Las Vegas. I woke up to news of the massacre, and my heart is so heavy. I pray for all the victims, the survivors, and all the loved ones who are mourning and standing strong today. Jesus, please be near to those who are hurting and scared. There doesn’t seem to be adequate words in a time like this, so I will pray, and I hope you will as well. 

Tips & Tricks of Dry Shampoo

I think at this point it is safe to say that we’ve all heard about dry shampoo. I mean… who loves to wash their hair? Not this girl. Dry shampoo can help me get 4 days out of a shampoo – five days if I’m lucky! But did you know that there are tips and tricks of dry shampoo? There are, and I’m going to help you get the most out of that time saver in a bottle.

First off, my favorite dry shampoo is Pssst! (not an affiliate link).  I’ve been using this for years, ever since I read in a magazine that this was the dry shampoo that Jessica Simpson uses. What can I say – I was on a huge Newlyweds kick at the time. You can find Pssst! at just about any drugstore for less than $5.

Tip #1: Drugstore Gets the Job Done

I know some may disagree with me, but I think drugstore dry shampoos do just as good of a job as higher end dry shampoos. I personally don’t see the point in spending more than $7 on a bottle of dry shampoo. I’ve polled my friends, and the following drugstore brands get two thumbs up:

  • Pssst! (my personal favorite)
  • Batiste
  • Not Your Mother’s
  • Dove (I have personally tried and I like it)
  • Suave

At $3.74, Dove is the cheapest of the bunch, but none of the brands I listed above are more than $10 on Amazon.

Tip #2: Use Dry Shampoo for Volume and Hold

Do you have hair that often falls flat? Does your hair refuse to hold a curl? Dry shampoo can be used to “dirty” up clean hair so that it has texture and hold. This is great for days when you’ve just washed your hair, but you want to curl it or put it up. It can add extra texture to hair that is helpful for getting thin or fine hair to stay in a braid or updo. Fine hair girls, dry shampoo can be used to give you extra volume. Spray it at the roots and tease!

Tip #3: Spray on Your Roots at Night Before Bed

I know this sounds crazy,  but you can experience incredible volume and absorb oil by spraying in your roots before bed. DO NOT COMB IT OUT. Spray, massage into your roots, and let it sit overnight. Brush your hair and style in the morning.

Tip #4: Don’t Use Colored Dry Shampoo

I know colored dry shampoo is all the rage for brunettes, but I have had terrible experience with colored dry shampoo. It can get on your clothes as you spray, and if you scratch your head, the color will transfer to your nails. Not cute!

Now let’s move on to how to apply dry shampoo for your best results.

Trick #1: Hold the Can At Least 6 Inches From Your Hair

Think of dry shampoo as a mist. You don’t want to hold it close to your scalp, because you are going to get a concentrated burst of product only in one area. You are also going to waste product. Hold it away from your hair and move your arm as you apply.

Trick #2: Spray Your Hairline

Spray your hairline first. A lot of people make the mistake of just separating their hair into sections and applying to the roots, but where do you see oil first? The hairline. Make sure you blast the hair at the top of your forehead all the way to your ears. If you are wearing your hair up, pick up your hair and get the back as well.

Trick #3: Divide into Sections and Spray Your Roots

This is the point where you want to begin sectioning off your hair. I start by parting my hair in the middle and then I move down each side towards my ears.

Trick #3: Massage Into Your Roots

Using the pads of your fingers, massage the dry shampoo into the root area.

Trick #4: Let the Dry Shampoo Absorb

Let the product sit on your hair for anywhere from 3-5 minutes. I use this time to brush my teeth and put in my contacts.

Trick #4: Brush It Out

Boar bristle brushes are best because they distribute the oil down the shaft of the hair. If you don’t have a boar bristle brush, use any brush you have. I like to brush away from my natural part. This step is really just meant to remove any excess shampoo and blend any residue into the hair.

Now style your hair!

Tell me – what is your favorite dry shampoo? Do you have any tips or tricks for dry shampoo that you can share?


The Secret to Lasting Curls

I, like many other women, have many things I don’t like about myself. My nose is big. My legs have stretch marks and cellulite. You could rest a plate on my butt and it wouldn’t fall off. I have t-rex arms.

One thing I rarely complain about is my hair.

I have extremely thick hair. Like super thick – so thick I frequently break ponytail holders and brushes. The texture, naturally, is coarse and frizzy. If I let my hair air dry with product, it looks like this:


Even with product it is frizzy and crazy big – now that I don’t much care for. If I had my way I’d straighten it with a flat iron or curl it with a curling iron daily but really ain’t nobody got time for that.

However, my hair straightens and curls easily and when I take the time to fix it, I love it. I’ve watched many a YouTube video and have been very trial and error as far as products go, and I’ve found the perfect combination of curling technique and products to curl my hair. When I curl using  the products you see below, I can get three days of perfect, bouncy curls. Today I’m sharing The Secret to Lasting Curls!


Some of you are giving me the side eye, I’m sure. You’re thinking “yeah my hair looks like that right after I curl it, but 10 minutes later it is flat!” Mine used to do that, too, until I switched up my products and changed the way I curled my hair.


PicMonkey Collage

The picture on the left is my hair the night I first curled it. The pictures on the right are three days later. Three days! In the heat and humidity of May, after I had slept on my hair for two nights. (And who am I kidding, probably two naps. This girl loves naps.)

Further proof:


This is from my maternity photo shoot last August. It was 98 degrees that day and about 80% humidity. I was drenched with sweat the instant we walked outside. This particular shot was after about an hour of walking, sitting, and standing. My hair was dripping wet but the curls held.

Ok, so want to know my tips and tricks?


It’s all in the product, baby.

First of all, I curl freshly washed hair. I know a lot of people say to curl your hair when it is dirty but I don’t do that. I do put product in to “dirty” it up and give it texture, but I usually curl the day of a wash or I wash the night before and air dry. I never double process… meaning if I curl my hair, I let my hair air dry. Save your hair some damage – don’t blow dry and curl with heat. As I mentioned, my hair is wavy and frizzy. The heat of the curling iron smooths the wave and frizz so there is no need for me to blow dry or flat iron to straighten beforehand.

Tip: if you hair is fine, apply products and style as normal. Curl on the second day. Fine haired girls need that extra day of natural oil to help the curl hold.

Fresh out of the show, I apply a heat protectant. Right now I’m using Kerastase Nutritive Oleo-Relax. I got a sample in my Birchbox last year and loved it, so I ordered the full size. I did not love the full size. I mean, I don’t hate it but once I started using it daily I quickly discovered it wasn’t worth the exorbitant price tag. However, since it was so expensive I am going to use every dang drop. Once I am done I will be switching back to Moroccanoil.

Next I apply mousse. This step is the key, y’all. Mousse gives your hair texture and “grab”. I apply a golf ball amount to my hair from my ears to the ends of my hair. Right now I’m using BlowPro Body by Blow No Crunch Volumizing Mousse. No particularly reason for this brand except I got sucked into a QVC infomercial.

Tip: never apply product to your roots, unless you are using a root lifter or dry shampoo. Never.

Occasionally I will use the It’s a 10 Miracle Blow Dry Volumizer. I don’t use it every time because it breaks my “don’t apply products to your roots” rule. I have a dry scalp and products further irritate it, so I usually skip this step. My hair is big anyway and I don’t really need volumizer. However, I do like this product and would recommend it to girls with fine hair.

As I said before, I wash my hair, apply the products mentioned above, and then air dry. Once my hair is dry, I curl my hair. Keep checking the blog — I have a vlog coming soon on how I curl my hair! The curling iron I use is the Pro 1″ Curling Iron from Walmart. It is less than $15 and I love it. The cord rotates, it has adjustable heat settings, and it heats up quickly. The barrel is also coated so it doesn’t snag my hair. I highly recommend this line!

Tip: my lovely hairdresser, Kessler, gave me this tip. You should never straighten your hair and then curl. Blow dry, sure, but don’t use a flat iron and then turn around and use a curling iron the next day – the curls just won’t take as well.

I separate my hair into three sections to curl. After I curl each section, I do a quick spritz of Moroccanoil Glimmer Shine. My hairdresser used this on me once and I fell in love. It smells amazing and it makes my hair soft and shiny. I am stingy with this – too much can cause your hair to look greasy.

While I do my makeup, I let my curls sit (for at least 20 minutes). Do your makeup, put on your clothes, get the kids dressed, whatever you need to do – but don’t touch your hair. Let the curls cool completely.

Then I bend over and rake my fingers through my hair. I stand up and use my fingers – not a brush! – to arrange the curls like I want them. Then I take a small amount of pomade (a pea sized amount) and a small pump of the Oleo-Relax and mix them together in the palm of my hand until the pomade has melted. I scrunch this mixture into my hair, again starting from below my ears to the bottom of my hair.

The products I use for this are Mitch Clean Cut Styling Cream and Kerastase Nutritive Oleo-Relax. The styling cream is my husband’s and I just use what we have on hand. You could use any pomade or styling cream and any shine drops.

Lastly, I spray with a light hold hairspray. You still want to be able to run your fingers through your hair and work with it, so I wouldn’t recommend a stiff hairspray. Freeze It is my hairspray of choice but when I curl I use BlowPro Blow Out Spray.

I really think the key products are the mousse and the pomade/shine drops mixture. Also, do not brush your hair! I don’t use a brush at all during those three days. I use my fingers or a wide tooth comb. A brush pulls out my curl and makes my hair frizzy.

So there you go – The Secret to Lasting Curl! Keep checking back for a vlog on the technique I use to curl my hair. That will be posted July 27th. If you have any questions, let me know!