Apartment tour // bathroom

shower curtain & bath mats from Marshall’s, rolling cart from IKEA

Moving in to my new apartment with my sister was really exciting except for one small issue:  the bathroom connected to my bedroom has very little storage. I knew I’d have to get clever.

I started searching for a rolling storage cart. I felt like that could be cute and affordable without being clunky like a cabinet or a unit with drawers. I went to my usual hangouts – Target, Marshall’s, T.J. Maxx. I found a few, especially a mint colored one that I loved, but couldn’t believe the prices! We are talking $80 and up for a 3-tier metal cart with wheels. I couldn’t justify it. I started looking online and found this IKEA rolling storage cart. I scooped it up – it was the perfect solution! I was able to order it online, it was much less than the ones I had seen at Marshall’s and TJ Maxx, and it was easy to put together (although I have to admit, Andrew put it together for me. I’m sure I was busy doing something very important, like petting the doggies). I also love this mint colored one from Michael’s, that of course I’m just finding now, months later, when I already purchased my beige one. No hard feelings or anything, of course.

I rolled up some towels on the bottom tier of the rolling cart – my other towels are on a shelf in my closet, but these are there when I need them or if I have guests. I also made sure my bath items were easily accessible, because I do have a big garden tub perfect for soaks! I love Dr. Teal’s bubble bath and epsom salt soak. I keep a pretty good stash of toilet paper in my bathroom, too. I don’t have the space for it under my sink, so I had to find a way to make it look nice just sitting out. At least a guest will never have to panic when the toilet paper runs out! Finally, on the top rack of the rolling cart, I have my daily faves and things that I use constantly when getting ready or getting out of the shower:  My favorite lotion, nighttime skin care cream, deodorant, lip balm, brush/comb, argan oil for my hair, q-tips, makeup brushes, and hair ties/bobby pins. The beat up old vanity chair was my Nana’s. One day I might re-cover it, but I kind of love the cracked seat and aged look; it reminds me of being a little girl at my Nana’s house, dreaming of sitting and doing my hair and makeup like a grown up one day.

At my sink area, I like to keep things pretty clean and simple. I just have a tray on the edge of the counter with my perfumes and a small tea light candle. The vase is old from anthropologie and it holds the first rose Andrew ever got me! My perfumes are Kate Spade Walk on Air, Daisy Dream by Marc Jacobs, and Lolita Lempicka, which I have worn on and off since college, maybe even high school. The soap container I have is from Marshall’s a long time ago, but I love the way it looks and I love the fact that I can just refill it and it looks nicer than a regular old soap bottle.

In my under sink storage (not pictured), I have stacked storage on metal racks from the dollar store. It is a lot of bins:  All of my cleaning supplies, my travel supplies and makeup bags, all of my nail polish colors and manicure/pedicure tools, etc. I have a long rectangular bin that holds all of my hair supplies – flat iron, hair dryer, curling iron and curling wands, hair spray, mousse, etc. Then I have my two drawers full of extra shower gels, sunscreens, lotions, toothbrushes, and my makeup.

my daily face + all my other makeup

And I can’t forget my favorite bathroom item, Bruno! He loves to lay down on the cold floor and watch me get ready wait until I’m not looking so he can chew the corners of my bath mats.

not as innocent as he looks

That’s it! Both hanging items on the walls were gifts, and the long white shelf and picture frame are from Target. I’m so happy with the bright shower curtain and pops of white!

Lately

I know. I haven’t written in over a month. Life has come at me fast lately and I have had my hands on too many things (as usual). I try to be honest with myself, and I know that one of my major flaws is doing too much. I have way too many expectations for myself, and for fear of letting anyone down, I say yes to everything that I care about because “It’s important,” and then find myself barely hanging on by a thread, my head spinning and everything left at about 80% because I have too much going on to focus on anything completely.

I’m having to let some things go so I can keep space for my sanity and happiness. I don’t want to let go of MAXOUThappy, but I had to step back for a while to get a grip on some other stuff in my life. Everything is good stuff, but it’s just too much stuff.

So anyway, long story short, I’m trying to get back to some type of regular posting and I hope you’ll stick around!

Here’s what has been going on lately:

-Andrew and I had our one year anniversary last weekend! I can’t believe how fast time flies. We really met by chance through our friends who are married, and I love making him tell me the story through his point of view of the night we met. It gets better every time, even though it’s always the same.

img_5416-I am loving this Burt’s Bees BB cream and have been using it since my yoga studio started putting out samples of it. I was hooked after one application and went out to get it at Target. It is natural, super moisturizing, goes on like velvet, and smells nice! It lasts all day and I set it with my always favorite Lorac POREfection baked perfecting powder. I have the light/medium shade in the BB Cream and I use shade PF3.5 in the powder.

-My hair is getting longer, and I’ve been keeping it a little darker blonde these days. In the summer I’m generally a sunshiney white blonde, but for the fall and winter I’ve been keeping a more rooty look with balayage painted sections. I go to Jamie at The Parlor at North Ridge and have for years and years.

-I have recently had to come to grips with the fact that I am almost 30 and need to be wearing more supportive shoes for teaching all day on my feet. I feel so old. I asked for these, these, and these for Christmas, and we’ll see if I’ve been a good enough girl this year!

-I managed to get almost all of my Christmas shopping done last weekend, and mostly all online! I love the holidays and good cheer, but I find that if I go out in public to stores around this time of year, my happy attitude quickly plummets. People are just in too much of a hurry, it’s too crowded, lines are long, and it seems like people forget the whole point of the season. It felt so good to check that off my list.

-There are only 9 school days left before Christmas break, and I am holding on to that for dear life! Here comes the push! (Imagine angels singing).

That’s really all that’s new with me! Otherwise, just running from one thing to the next, slowly trying to balance myself out with my commitments. Enjoy the weekend! Ugly Christmas sweater season is upon us 🙂

lately-products

Summer faves, from me to you

It’s another scorching week here in Raleigh! I don’t know why it’s always such a surprise to me when I step outside and my makeup immediately begins melting off my face. Why do we find it necessary to keep saying, “It’s HOT out there!” when we finally get inside the sweet, sweet relief of cool AC? But we do – maybe it’s a southern thing.

This summer, I’ve been saving every penny since teachers don’t get paid in the summer acting like I have an unlimited supply of money, and I’ve bought a few new products I want to share! They’ve helped me through these hot months, and hopefully they’ll carry me into the next few that are still coming!

Since I’m generally rushing from hot yoga to nannying or from nannying to hot yoga, and as I’ve mentioned, it’s hot hot hot out, I have kept my makeup and hair routine super simple this summer. I also mostly use items from Target. I don’t have a fat wallet, so when I can find awesome products that don’t deplete my money for food and rent, I latch on.

Summer Faves1) Dove dry shampoo and curl defining mousse: my hair is stick straight, fine, thin, and needs to be washed daily. I could have cried when I finally discovered dry shampoo. I love this Dove one and have used it for months and months without looking elsewhere. I use the mousse after shampooing to “squish” my hair, as Andrew calls it (the rest of you might refer to it as scrunching your hair). It’s my summer ‘do because I don’t have to use heat to dry my hair, and I just shampoo & squish – no conditioner (or combing) needed, because it makes my hair too soft and straight to squish. It also saves a ton of time!

2) Heat taming spray: When I DO blow dry my hair, I like to use a heat spray to help protect and volumize my fine, limp hair. I have been happy with this one from L’Oreal! An older spray I used to use before looking for one with a volumizing boost is this one from TRESemme.

3) Olay cleansing wipes and moisturizer: Both are gentle, have a nice subtle scent, don’t break me out, and my sensitive skin doesn’t burn or react to these products.

4) Tea Tree Oil mattifying toner: I have always loved The Body Shop, and this tea tree oil toner is so refreshing. It makes my skin look soft and velvety. I use it am and pm, after washing and before moisturizing. My sweet roomie Lauryn hooked me up with it because she got one free 🙂

5) Philosophy purity made simple face wash: this is my one splurge this summer. I know it’s more expensive than what you might normally buy, but my skin is sensitive and prone to breakouts, and I have noticed a HUGE difference in the few weeks I have been using this. So. Worth. It. I got the 8oz. one for $24 and it will last a long time.

6) This Sephora collection dry clean brush cleaning spray has been an amazing find! You can use it and keep on doing your makeup since it’s not a wet product. Just spray, wipe on a towel, and keep on keepin’ on!

7) Essie spa many many mani lotion: I always seem to have dry hands and feet, so I love putting this on both right before I get under the sheets at night! It smells great and is silky smooth, not greasy.

8) These linen shorts from Target:  I have them in green, red, and gray/black…they have literally saved me this summer. Elastic waist, light and airy, not too short…what more could a girl want?

9) Maybelline Dream Pure BB cream: I use this one to help keep my skin clear, moisturize and even out my skin tone, and as a layer that my powder can sit on top of.

10) My favorite sunscreen: I have been using this for a few years and always make sure to get the SPF 30 and reapply often. I love the hydration aspect of this sunscreen. I always buy the face one, as well!

My summer makeup routine:

After washing/toning/moisturizing, I’ve been using the NYX photo loving primer in green to fight redness and fill in any pores or smile lines. If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll skip the primer and put on some Maybelline bb cream. I’ve been loving the Covergirl trublend fix stick concealer for under my eyes, redness, and blemishes. BB cream or not, I always use a powder brush to dust on my forever favorite powder, Lorac porefection baked pressed powder (I’m shade PF 3.5). Next, I hit the hollows of my cheeks and go in a “3” motion on the sides of my face with the tarte Park Ave Princess bronzer, and then I use my bronzer brush to hit my cheekbones and around the sides of my eyes with my new Urban Decay highlighter (shade is sin-champagne). After that, it’s an eyebrow pencil, mascara, and tinted Baby Lips balm from Maybelline (a long-time fave!), and I’m finished! Simple for busy days carting around kids and running errands, and easy to wipe off before teaching a hot yoga class at Hot Asana Durham.

Summer makeup 1

Summer makeup 2

 

What’s in My Bag

Hello!  Sorry for the lack of posting lately.  I am currently trying so hard to make it to summer break and juggle side jobs and projects at the same time, in addition to moving!  Hopefully some pictures of the new place will be available as soon as I can wrangle my best friend Whitney into a photo shoot 🙂

Anyway, if you don’t know already, I am always ballin’ on a budget.  

No doubt you’ve heard that they don’t pay teachers billions to educate the youth of America.  So, I have to be crafty with my spending and really pick my splurges.  I have tons of Target bargain buys for makeup, clothes, shoes, hair products, and more, but I also like to spend here and there on my non-negotiables.  I usually carry the same purse around for a while, so generally it gets weighed down with a bunch of useless and heavy junk (I am guilty of the mom purse problem and I’m not even a mom yet!). However, if I emptied my bag on any given occasion, you’d be likely to find certain items time and time again.

Here’s what is currently in my bag!  (I know it’s a little busted up – it’s an old Target bag from years ago and I just love bringing it out in the spring…I can’t be bothered to worry about fraying and fading.)

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  1. Bright colored lipstick (generally several at a time; you never know) – I like to keep at least two bright colors at all times, in addition to at least one moisturizing chapstick or tinted lip balm, and one neutral color (either a nude or a neutral pretty pink…or both!).
  2. Notepad and many, many writing utensils – in a meeting, I’m always the person who has several pens to pass around, and I’m also the person who will remember to collect them all back!  I love school supplies and always have.  I like to have a notepad with me in case I get inspired to write, or need to take notes somewhere, or for reminders and to-do lists.  I’m old school.
  3. Travel sized Roller Perfume (Kate Spade, Walk on Air scent) – pretty self-explanatory…I like smellin’ fresh.
  4. Lorac POREfection Baked Pressed Powder – for touch-ups throughout the day or for when you have something in your eye/teeth/nose or your hair is ridiculous and no one told you about it and you realize you can only count on yourself in this world.
  5. Wallet – I wish I knew who made this wallet so I could link it out.  I have two wallets from this person, a local shop in Raleigh that I do not know the name of.  I got it at a boutique trunk show through a Yelp event I went to with a friend.  There’s no stitching or tags or initials inside the wallet anywhere and I have been asked several times where it (or the other one I have) is from.  I would love to promote this local shop!  If anyone has an idea, let me know and I’ll link it.  I love this little guy – perfect to use as a wallet or even a clutch!  Holds all my cards, cash, change, and checkbook and usually also my keys and a lipstick.
  6. Gum – I feel like there are two types of people in this world:  gum people and mint people.  I have never been a mint person.  You can usually find me chewing on peppermint or spearmint gum.
  7. Headphones – for those occasions that pop up and you’re like, “Dang, I wish I had some headphones right now.”  Perfect for Netflix-watching, discreet Snapchat and Instagram checking, and music listening.
  8. Hair tie and a few bobby pins – so you’re always ready for an updo or a messy bun when you need it.

I also mentioned some of my favorite lipsticks, the Lorac Porefection Pressed Powder and the Kate Spade Walk on Air perfume in my favorite products post here.  I tend to be a creature of extreme habit, especially when it comes to products that make me feel confident and put together!

I’m sure soon this bag will get full of extras and things that I end up throwing away or recycling to other parts of my home (most likely lipsticks and gum wrappers), but for now, these are the things I carry.

Bags I’m currently crushin’ on:

Structured Crossbody bag from Target, Double Zip Crossbody bag and Faux-Leather Foldover Crossbody bag from Old Navy, Street Level Leather Crossbody bag and OMG Tassel Crossbody bag ($14!!!!!) from Nordstrom

Everyone enjoy the (hopefully long) Memorial Day Weekend!

A few of my favorite things.

And just like that, Spring is here!  I know that soon the sun will be here to stay for a while…and it makes me so happy.  (Remind me of this when I’m complaining about my makeup melting down my face in the July Raleigh humidity).  When the new seasons come, I always feel like a little bit of a change – a new nail polish, scarf, or a new pair of sandals to use through the warm months.  Still, there are always a few items I keep around no matter what the season.

There are so many products out there, and sometimes it’s overwhelming to decide what to splurge on or save on.  I’m no expert, but when you find something that works, you want to tell everything you know!  Here are some of my favorite tried and true items.

Face

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Rimmel Lasting Finish primer – keeps me feeling put together and hydrated, but not oily.  I know some people swear by fancy primers and how important they are…but for my everyday rush to teach the youth of America, I don’t always have time to be fancy.  This one does the trick for me, and my teacher wallet can afford it!

Bare Minerals concealer and brush – unfortunately, in my 28th year of life, I am dealing with the double-edged sword of under eye circles and the very occasional pretty frequent ‘random’ hormonal breakout.  I have read rave reviews about different under-eye concealers like Visible Lift Eye Concealer or Bye Bye Under Eye, and I’d love to try them (I’d actually love to try a lot of the It Cosmetics brand products…), but for now, until I win the lottery, I’ll stick to this Bare Minerals concealer.  The brush does a really good job of lightly layering and covering whatever you’re dealing with.  It’s not going to cover up a tattoo or a black eye, but luckily I don’t think I need to worry about that.  For everyday use, I love it.

Bare Minerals matte foundation powder and brush – no matter what foundations I hop around to, I always seem to come back home to Bare Minerals.  It’s natural-looking, and you can build coverage really easily without looking like a cake face.  I love that I don’t feel like it is clogging my pores throughout the day or in the summer heat.  The matte version of the foundation powder does a great job of giving a velvety finish.

Lorac POREfection baked pressed powder – the ultimate smooth, velvet powder finish with a good amount of coverage!  I love to keep this in my purse for long days/nights and touch ups.

Tarte Amazonian Clay matte waterproof bronzer and brush – I LOVE this bronzer.  It is subtle and does a great job of easily and naturally contouring your cheekbones.  I put it in a 3 shape from the sides of my forehead, going in at the cheekbones, and around again under my jawline for a nice and easy glow, then down my  nose.  This brush is awesome for contouring, but I don’t spend a lot of time doing that, and to be honest, my favorite bronzing brush is the black and silver drugstore one pictured above – I got it years ago at CVS – I think it was Cover Girl…similar brush here.

Smashbox Full Exposure mascara – I’ve been using this one since I got it as a birthday sample from Ulta back in November.  It doesn’t clump, and I have gotten a lot of compliments on my eyelashes since wearing it.  I am also a fan of most drugstore mascaras – L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly mascara, many from Maybelline and Cover Girl.  Also, Tarte, whose products I am a big fan of, has an amazing mascara called Lights, Camera, Lashes  and it is everything.  If you’re not willing to spend the extra money on mascara, do what I do and keep a nice list of ‘wants’ for all of your fancy makeup needs.  Then, ask for them at birthdays and Christmas!

Stila stay all day liquid eyeliner – there is no other liquid eyeliner.  Plain and simple.  I would never want to do a winged eye with any other makeup item.  It never budges throughout the day, but it’s easy to correct with a wet q-tip if you mess up during application.  So worth the price.

 

Hair

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I am a pretty simple gal when it comes to my hair.  It’s thin, fine, and naturally stick straight.  Most days, I blow dry it with a round brush for volume and run a flat iron through the ends to keep them bouncy and turned under, and on those days, I stick to my volumizing products.  My two favorites are Aquage Uplifting Foam, which I read about for years from the small things blog, and Bumble and Bumble Thickening Full Form Mousse, which my friend and hair stylist suggested.

A couple of years ago, I finally trained my hair (or damaged it enough?) to hold a curl, so I love my Remington curling wand for big loose curls – I bought it when my hair was much longer, but still like it for my shorter ‘do, too.  I love that it tells me how hot it gets up to so I don’t have to guess.  After burning my fingers a few…dozen…times, I think I’ve finally gotten the hang of it.

This Dove dry shampoo is probably my favorite and most vital hair product…yes, people.  I said vital.  When you don’t feel like washing your hair every day or you just need some boost or texture, this stuff is it.  It smells amazing, and for me, the white spray is great because as my roots start to grow out, it keeps my hair super light and fresh-looking.  I use it even when I’ve just washed and dried my hair for a little extra volume and texture.  My best friend and the photographer behind the lens of all of my photos introduced me to it.  We both buy it two (or three) at a time!

Body

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Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream and Kate Spade Walk on Air are my two favorite scents to carry me through all of the seasons.  I have a handful of favorite scents, but these are my two all-time faves.  I got them both as gifts from my ‘wants’ list and it’s about time for both of them to be replenished!  My boyfriend Andrew loves the Walk on Air and that’s one of the many ongoing compliments that he has given me since we started dating – better keep it on hand!

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel nail polish – I am the type of girl who likes to keep my nails painted at all times.  I have an alarming amount of nail polish under my bathroom sink.  The most annoying thing is finding one that will last past a few good days without chipping.  If you ask me, there is no nail polish that will last you a full 14 days unless it’s a gel manicure from the salon, which is what this nail polish claims to do…but it does usually last me a solid week if I’m careful applying and drying.

This Spring, try something new.  Pick up a bright, bold color of lipstick (you know I’m all about that), jazz up your makeup bag, or start using a new scent.  It really is the little things, my friends.  Treat yoself.

All photo credits go to J Parker Photography