It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts, but here are a few things I love and want to share with you, so you can love them too. ❤
BOOK OF THE MONTH: Y’all know I’m an avid reader, and I’m seriously obsessed with this service! Here’s why –
1. The books are new titles with different genres to choose from
2. If you want to skip a month you can
3. It’s $14.99/month (cheaper than buying the book new from B&N or Amazon) and you can add another book into your box for just $9.99!
4. It’s been pushing me to read more because I want to finish my book(s) before the next month’s selection arrives
If you’re interested, use this link to sign up for Book of the Month – you’ll get a free book and I’ll get a free book! https://www.mybotm.com/sbucdim3rc
(I promise you won’t regret it!!)
You can also check out my book reviews here – quite a few from BOTM!
LIVING PROOF DRY SHAMPOO: I’ve tried so many dry shampoos – affordable and expensive, and this is hands down the best one I’ve tried. It’s a little more on the expensive side, but it feels like it actually cleans my hair and doesn’t leave white residue. I buy it in the big bottle for home and the small bottles to take with me when I travel!
Sephora full size: $23, mini: $13
ALLBIRDS: Husband was the first to join this bandwagon and to be honest, I was skeptical. But now, we both have two pairs each and are totally in love. They’re the perfect shoe for running errands or traveling, they’re so cute, so comfortable and you can just throw them in the wash if they get dirty. I have them in black and pink.
BURT’S BEES PEACH BLUSH: Since working on Burt’s Bees, I’ve been trying a lot of their products and loving a lot of them, but one of my current favorites is the blush. I love it in Bare Peach, but it comes in three shades. It’s 100% natural, lightweight and the coloring is perfect.
BLOW-UP POOL: If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve undoubtedly seen this pool and how much I’ve been using it this summer. In this high 90s, high humidity Arkansas weather it’s been a lifesaver! It fits 2-3 adults, has a seat and cup holders. I’d say it’s the perfect “adult kiddie pool”!
So when we bought it it was $30, but now I can’t seem to find it for less than $52 on Amazon, but definitely keep looking if you’re interested – it’s worth it!
Things I love and want to share with you, so you can love them too.
LULULEMON: Guys, I never thought I’d be that girl. I tried to fight it for so long. They always said, once you go Lulu you don’t go back, and now I completely understand. Thanks to my sister-in-law over Christmas, Husband and I got our first Lulu gear and instantly became hooked. I can’t even explain it to you, but it just feels amazing. I now have a shirt, sweater, leggings and a scarf and I love them all so much. Yes, it’s definitely expensive, but now I can’t go back.
STILA HUGE EXTREME LASH MASCARA: Thanks to Birchbox for sending me this one because I am now officially obsessed! I try new mascaras regularly, but this one has been my go-to for a while. It gives you volume and length, and it comes in a pretty gold tube. I do supplement with cheaper mascara so I don’t use this up too quickly. I purchase either online or at Ulta.
BENEFIT GIMME BROW: Thanks to Birchbox for sending me this one because I am now officially obsessed! (wait, am I having deja vu??) But for real, this is another one from the subscription service that I now cannot live without. It’s different than other eyebrow fillers because it goes on like mascara, which is kind of strange, but once you see the difference it makes you won’t believe your eyes. I use shade 3, and again purchase online or Ulta.
WOODWICK CANDLES: As of late, I love love candles. And I especially love woodwick candles. I received one as a gift a couple of years ago, and now I buy new ones every season. They make the perfect crackling sound when they’re lit, and it lasts the entire candle. It seems like the noise might be annoying, but it is surprisingly very relaxing. Even husband was skeptical at first and now loves them. You can find good deals at Home Goods and sometimes on sale at Target.
HILLSHIRE SNACKING SMALL PLATES: This one seems kind of random, but I had to share this with you if you haven’t seen these before. I love cheese and crackers, but can easily eat an entire block of cheese when I shouldn’t. This is perfect – it’s the perfect amount for a snack or even for lunch if you add in some fruit or carrots, and it’s delicious! This is great to keep in the fridge just in case. Buy at Walmart!
LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER: Husband and I are hooked on John Oliver – a weekly 30-minute show on HBO. It’s more than just a John Stewart/Stephen Colbert type show because I truly learn a lot about the week’s headlines and he goes deep into a topic each week that’s fascinating. While he delivers the news very seriously, he also adds in witty commentary. We are aligned to his political beliefs and are often cheering at the TV for saying all the things we want to say.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever chopped off your hair.
Raise your hand if you were as nervous and stressed out as I was.
Y’all, I was a mess. Why is that? Why was I so wrapped up in myself about my HAIR?? I loved my long hair, and I felt like it was my identity. For the longest time I couldn’t even imagine cutting my hair. It took me so long to get it as long as it was and I felt so beautiful with long hair. I often thought if anyone really wanted to punish me they should cut my hair in my sleep and I would be devastated. I recognize how narcissistic this sounds, and that’s one of the reasons I went through with it.
My worth is not in my hair. It’s not in my clothes. It’s not in the car I drive or the house I live in or the trips I take. Praise the Lord for that, seriously.
When I finally cut it, everyone kept asking, “What does your husband think?” Of course he loved it, but when I told him that, he said, “Why does that matter? If you’re happy, I’m happy.” Awww.
But he’s right. I should be confident in myself and my choices. It doesn’t matter what other people think. I know that’s easier said than done, but I really do think self-confidence is radiant. You can tell when someone loves their body no matter what their size and it’s just so beautiful.
I’ve only had my short hair for two days, but I have been LOVING it. It’s so fresh and easy. I feel more trendy and modern. And I’m so ready for spring. It’s given me the push I needed to transform myself into a healthier version of me – working out, toning my body and loving me for me.
“A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.” – Coco Chanel
Take a look inside my makeup bag and here’s what you’ll find: a mix of drugstore and department store finds. I’m not one to spend a bunch of money on something just because of the brand or label. Some things are definitely worth splurging (jeans, handbags, classic heels) and others are definitely worth stealing (statement necklaces ((shameless plug, Walmart has some amazing ones for $10 right now!)), trendy items, seasonal home decor). I’ve realized lately that I have a consistent makeup routine that I’m happy with and I know what I need to splurge and save on, so here are a few tips …
S P L U R G E
Foundation/Powder – This is a must. This is the most critical part of your makeup routine. It’s your base for your art. It’s not something people will notice if done right, but it IS something people will notice if not done right. I’ve been using BareMinerals for years now and absolutely love it. I have my base shade, but then can add in some loose bronzer to the powder during the Summer.
Eyeliner – This is actually something I didn’t realize until recently. I’d always gone with cheaper eyeliner, Revlon or Maybelline, etc. but always complained about the smudging or wearing off too easily by the end of the day. It just didn’t stay put as long as I thought it should. Then my eyes were opened by my mom with Clinique quickliner – I’m now a huge fan. It’s easy to use, stays on ALL day and doesn’t smudge or drip when I’m sweating.
Eyeshadow – Again, very similar story as above. I didn’t realize this until I started receiving samples of eyeshadows in Birchbox earlier this year. I no longer have creases in my eyelids by the end of the day and feel like I have to reapply multiple times.
S A V E
Blush – I’m actually a convert on this one. I used to buy Cargo blush for $30 because I loved the different shades and subtle shimmer mixed into one, and then I found Revlon’s Rose Glow for a third of the price. Technically called a highlighting pallet, the colors are beautiful and remind me exactly of Cargo.
Mascara – I can’t even tell you how many countless brands of mascara I’ve tried and always go back to this L’Oreal one. I’ve heard from multiple people that their go-to mascara is from Walmart, so I think it’s safe to say it is not worth it to pay more for mascara. Two quick tips for getting the most out of your mascara – 1. Always curl your eyelashes first. 2. Start with the wand as far to the bottom of the lash as you can go and shimmy your way up. Do 2-3 coats immediately before it dries.
Eyelash Curler/Makeup Tools – You can spend a heck of a lot of money on something that you use for 5 seconds/day and all do the exact same thing. Save your money, buy the $5 curler and then splurge on the $20 eyeliner.
Things I love that I want to share with you, so you can love them too.
1. Reading on an iPad I’ve had an iPad for a couple years now, but I’ve resisted reading on it because it’s just not the same, right? Well I have news for those of you who have been resisting like me – it’s pretty awesome. I bought a great book for $2.99. That’s right, $2.99. First awesome point. Second, you can highlight without ruining the pages. You can make notes without ruining the pages. You can then see all your highlighted sections and notes in one place. AWESOME. I’m sure there are lots of other awesome things you can do I just haven’t learned yet, but so far that’s enough for me.
2. Organix Moroccan Argan Oil How many of you either use Moroccan Oil or have used it in the past? My hand is raised. I loved it, but it’s pretty pricey and you can’t buy it at Walmart or Ulta. I’ve seen this Organix brand at both Walmart and Ulta for a while now and been curious how it is. So, on my trip to New Orleans, I bought a little three-pack of travel size shampoo, conditioner and oil. Guys, it changed my life. Let me spell it out for you –
Total cost of Moroccan Oil Shampoo & Conditioner (8.5oz), Treatment Oil (3.5oz): $84
Total cost of Organix Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo & Conditioner (13oz), Treatment Oil (3.3oz): $22
3. Love t-shirt from Riffraff I wear this ALL.THE.TIME. To bed, with colored jeans, with leopard cardi, to workout, on road trips, on Dickson. Seriously, it looks cute always. You probably need one.
4. Hostess Cupcakes Did you know Hostess made the sweetest comeback in the history of ever? I’m not a Twinkie fan, but I do love me some Cupcakes. They also make me think of my grandfather, which is always a good thing. You should also check out hostessrecipes.com. Oh my gosh.
5. Dunkin’ Donuts Strawberry Shortcake Coffee This may look really weird, but it’s so worth a try. The first time I had it was at work. Someone was brewing it and the smell alone was amazing, then I tried some and it tasted even better than it smelled. We’ve been drinking it at home ever since. Hurry and go get some, because it’s limited time only!
6. Buzzfeed Why it’s taken me this long to catch onto this trend is beyond me. I’m totally obsessed and check the app a couple times a day. A few of my current favorites: 23 Times Mindy Kaling Perfectly Captured Your Angst, 30 Signs You’re Almost 30, 25 Ways to Tell You’re a Kid of the 90s
I feel old. I’ve found the makeup I like, and I’m sticking to it. No more turquoise eye shadow. No more sparkly lip gloss. No more thick black eyeliner. So, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite makeup essentials.
1. L’Oreal Extra Volume Collagene Mascara, $7
2. Elizabeth Arden Tinted Moisturizer, $30
3. Stila Eye Shadow Trio – Gilded, $20
4. Cargo – Sunset Beach, $30
5. Bare Minerals, Foundation $27 & Warmth $19
6. Jack Black Lip Balm, $7.50 **new favorite
All available at my makeup store of choice: Ulta
What’s your must-have makeup?
I wanted to share with my lovely readers a few of the little things in my life right now that are making it just that much sweeter.
Vitatops — A BIG shoutout to Hungry Girl for this find and my next one. (If you don’t know who HG is, check her out.) These are 100 calorie muffin tops that are absolutely delicious! They come in tons of flavors including Deep Chocolate, Banana Nut and Pumpkin Spice. You could only order them online at vitalicious.com for a long time, but just recently they’ve come to Target and I’m so excited! You can find them in the freezer section.
Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk — Okay, I know this sounds weird, but hear me out. I kept seeing HG rave about this in emails and I was very suspicious until one day I was out of milk and my spontaneous shopper alter ego showed up. I. will. never. go. back. to. milk. I don’t drink milk, so I rarely use it, but this stuff adds a little vanilla sweetness to cereal and coffee. How does that not sound good? And it’s healthy! All natural, 50% more Calcium than milk and only 40 calories a cup. OH and it lasts way longer than milk! I’m a huge fan, if you can’t tell.
Phytoclear moisturizer — I got this moisturizer in Dallas and I don’t know how I’m ever going to use anything else. It’s literally one of those “keep for life” products. The moisturizer is lightweight and sinks right into your skin so you don’t have to wait a while before putting on your make up. It even smells great!
Spray Tans — This has been my latest addiction (yes, it is definitely an addiction and no, I do NOT look like Snooki.) I was very skeptical of spray tans at first, but it was almost spring and all I wanted was to be tan. So to keep me out of the tanning bed I decided to try a spray tan. To be safe I went to a spa and had it done by a professional spray tanner, rather than a machine at a tanning bed place. Though it’s kind of pricey, it looks wonderful and you don’t have to risk your health tanning!
Essie, 5th Avenue — I know I blogged about coral nail polish as a spring must-have, but now that I’ve actually worn it I’m way more on board. I’ve always been a dark or neutral colored nail polish gal, but this is busting me out of my rut. It took me a few days to get use to, but now I absolutely love the burst of color! I always recommend Essie nail polish, and this color is a great coral.
Editor’s Note: I apologize for the salesperson who wrote this blog. I have not been endorsed by any company. These are my real feelings about these products.
This is a poem Audrey Hepburn wrote when asked about her beauty tips. It was read years later at her funeral.
For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone. People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.
Thank you mom for sharing this poem with me, but I already knew all of these tips because you have taught them to me over the years. You are the most beautiful person I know inside and out and inspire me to live this way, remembering that beauty comes from within.