Daily face

I get a lot of compliments on my makeup (granted, it’s mostly from my 15-year-old students). I’m always a little bit surprised when I get compliments because I literally do the same makeup routine every single day. I am a creature of habit. I love makeup and beauty products, but once I find something I like, I tend to stick with it. I’m loyal; what can I say?! I did recently start using the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue, which I mentioned in this post. Now it’s in my daily face rotation!

My friend Abbie asked for the post on the Complexion Rescue, but she also said she needed a whole new makeup routine, so I thought I’d write this post to highlight the products that I wear every single day.

the entire daily face, makeup-stained and all

First, I moisturize and prime my face. I’ve used this moisturizer since high school, and I love this green NYX primer to cancel out redness and set me up for a smooth finish.

Lately, I’ve been using a combination of Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue tinted moisturizer + my all-time favorite powder, the Lorac POREfection baked perfecting powder. For the tinted moisturizer, I dab it with a damp beauty blender or just use my fingers and rub it in like a moisturizer. After the complexion rescue comes the underage concealer triangle phenomenon.

A NOTE ABOUT CONCEALER:  You want to conceal after you put on your foundation or tinted moisturizer base so that you can set it with powder afterward, and because you are basically wasting your time if you go rubbing something on top of all the concealer you just carefully placed! I use this NYX concealer because it was listed somewhere a long time ago with great reviews. I’m still on the hunt for a great concealer, but this isn’t bad. I use my ring finger to dot in on and around whatever I need to hide. I don’t always do under eye concealer, but if I really want to brighten things up, I’ll use the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye and spread in a triangle under my eyes. I blend that concealer in with a tiny damp beauty blender.

this is what you should look like after the under-eye concealer…scary.

Then use a brush to blend powder in all over your face, dabbing on top of the concealer rather than brushing back and forth. I use this bronzer in the hollows of my cheeks, temples, and along my jaw line (think of a 3 shape). I use this blush in “achiote”on the apples of my cheeks, and this highlighter in “sin” on my cheekbones and down the bridge of my nose. Those three are all pretty pricey, but they last FOREVER. They are all really pigmented, so a little goes a long way.

For eyes, I typically go for a delicate cat eye with my Stila stay all day waterproof eyeliner. Nothing too crazy for a daily look, but I like to have a little tail from the corner of my lids, and I find that I can be messier with my mascara because the eyeliner covers it up (can I get an amen?!). A basic tutorial and step-by-step for how I do my eyeliner is in this post.

After eyeliner, I apply my eyebrow pencil in shade 2 – you literally can’t mess it up and it’s so perfect. Then on to mascara. I have mentioned before that I have naturally long lashes, but they are also naturally blonde, so when I don’t wear mascara I have such a baby face and you can’t see my eyelashes at all. I love to splurge on fancy mascaras like Tarte lash paint or Urban Decay’s perversion, but you can typically just find me sporting my long-time favorite CoverGirl Full Lash Bloom mascara (in the hot pink tube!). I honestly don’t notice much of a difference when using the higher end mascaras. I think it just makes me feel fancier to have the nicer ones!

bronzer, blush, highlighter, and eyes

And that’s it! I always finish with my lipstick, and I like to change that up every day – usually a bright pink, dark red, or plum color for this time of year (I recently purchased this in “baci” and have added it in the mix! Pictured in these photos). If I was going out for an event or something where I was planning on photographs, I’d do a more finished and full face by adding a golden smokey eye, more dramatic mascara and eyeliner, and I would use foundation instead of the tinted moisturizer (still my current favorite).

What are your can’t-live-withouts for makeup? I’ll cry the day they discontinue my favorite Lorac powder, but hopefully it’s good enough to stick around!

Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue

love this stuff. I had my eye on the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue for a while, so a couple of weeks ago, I stuck it in my cart and accidentally hit purchase! I got the shade Vanilla 02, and it ended up being the perfect match for my skin tone. I have used this for a solid amount of time now, so I thought I’d do a review on it! Plus, my friend Abbie asked me to 🙂

I just use this with my fingertips after I moisturize and let my primer sink in. Sometimes, I skip the primer altogether, because mornings are hard. I rub it in circular motions inwards toward my nose (they say that’s better for preventing wrinkles?!). It leaves a really nice glow and a dewy finish. I follow the rest of my daily makeup routine afterwards, and I have noticed that I’m getting a nice soft glowy look for the rest of the day! No oil, no smudging or cakey looking streaks throughout the day, and no worries!

my photographer wasn’t here so an iPhone photo it is!

I love that I can use this in place of a full on foundation look every day. It evens out my skin tone and gives an illuminating finish. It is so lightweight, and perfect for wearing under a great fuller coverage powder. You could definitely use this with a beauty blender, but I’m lazy, so I will probably only do that for fancy occasions where I want to spend more time perfecting my makeup. This is the only face makeup I’m bringing home with me for Christmas – I’m just loving it!

This stuff is wonderful! I definitely recommend it. Plus, it’s SPF 30, so you’re protecting your skin while you wear it! Win-win 🙂

 

Back to life, back to reality

horseshoe bend, arizona 

I am back from Arizona! The trip was absolutely amazing, and I’ll write up a post about it soon – I have to sort through my hundreds (and hundreds) of pictures first! I feel like I need a vacation from my vacation. We landed late Sunday night, and I had to wake up at 5am to teach! So I’ve also had to do laundry, unpack, get back in the swing of things with school, and try to catch up from the three hour time difference!

I have a super busy week ahead of me, like always! There is a lot of stuff going on at school this week, meetings after school, work on Wednesday at the pub, and I’m trying to get back on track with cooking meals and packing lunches since I was mostly gone last week and eating only salads indulging with my mom!

Fall is (pretty much, almost, basically) here! I am in the mood for a nice deep berry color like this for my next manicure, or if I’m feeling froggy, a nice dark blue (colors are “raisin’ the bar” and “less is norse – dark ice blue.” Is anyone else obsessed with color names like me? Someone has that job!) I love this lip paint in “Fomo” or “Manbun” for fall, and I can’t wait to start shopping for some tall boots to wear with leggings and cozy sweaters! Call me basic if you will, but it’s time for those cozy fall favorites. Some year-round favorites I’m hoping to re-stock soon include my Philosophy Amazing Grace lotion, my Benefit Hoola Bronzer, and my splurge mascara (I missed it when it was on sale for $10 and I am kicking myself!). I also do not need another bag – I repeat – I do not need another bag – but if I did, I’d get this one in gray! I mean, it’s not even really a bag, right? It’s a clutch…totally different?!

I hope everyone has a great week & makes it through to Friday the 13th without any spooky and strange happenings! 😉 Before you know it, we’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas. It always feels like it comes faster each year!

Date night dress, two ways

dress, necklace, similar sweater, booties, similar clutch

Andrew and I don’t always go out for fancy date nights; typically, we have dates at casual places for dinner or we just stay in and hang with the dogs and cook something at home. Time together is what’s most important to us! But we do love to go out to a nice dinner every once in a while so we still feel hip and get to see each other all dressed up! Tell me we’re not the only boring couple out there…?! But we recently did have a date night out and I wore this dress for the first time and loved it!

quay sunglasses

I’ll admit it, I do have a little bit of a “safe” style when it comes to clothes. You know my motto:  Classic with a twist! But I do like to throw in a good surprise twist here and there. This dress is perfect for that! I love the color and the fact that it isn’t too low cut or too short. It’s from Tobi, an online boutique for women. A lot of their clothes are a little more edgy or bold than what I would usually go for, but they have so many options that you can easily find some more basic items if you’re a more classic with a twist girl like me! I loved the way this dress fit, which is something I’m hugely picky about, and it also has a cute strappy T-strap back. My necklace and earrings were a gift from my dear friend Abbie for my birthday – everyone knows I’m obsessed with Elisabeth Ashlie.

My sister made me try the dress with her faux leather moto jacket and scarf from Swoon, one of our favorite boutiques! She is an expert stylist and definitely knows a thing or two about fashion. Even though it is still wayyy too hot here in NC for the jacket and scarf, it was great to know that I have a different way to style this dress as the weather gets more crisp!

looking for stuff on the ground like kylie jenner

For makeup, I went for a full face with my new favorite Bare Minerals BarePro liquid foundation, my favorite powder of all time, this Too Faced Natural Eyes eyeshadow palette, and always, my Stila stay all day liquid liner. I used two of my sister’s lipstick shades to get this one here – a nude and an electric purple. I loved this date night outfit (I went with the white sweater to beat the heat). As for Andrew? He says I always look pretty, but he likes me best in my soft clothes. He’s a keeper!

photos are of course by my talented and beautiful best friend at j parker photography

BarePro foundation review

I recently bought the new Bare Minerals barePro liquid foundation from Ulta. I have been a long-time wearer and believer in Bare Minerals products, but for full coverage needs and special events, I love a good liquid foundation. Especially for taking pictures! When I started seeing great reviews about this foundation on Instagram and YouTube, I had to try it for myself. I got the shade “Cashmere 06” and it was a PERFECT match for my fair skin – even though it looks a little off from the shade of my hands in the picture!

This foundation has A LOT of claims. I will spare you all the specific details, but basically this foundation is supposed to give an incredibly flawless finished look, the site says it is amazing for your skin, “so pure you can sleep in it,” good for hydration, pores, texture, and more, great for photos, etc. So clearly I had to see if it lived up to the hype. And I think that, overall, it does!

I wouldn’t say that the foundation lives up to every single one of its claims necessarily, but I am really loving it! It sits on your skin softly, without feeling greasy or thick, and gives coverage throughout the whole day. With my job teaching high school, I need to be able to put my makeup on at 6 in the morning and then not look at it again until about 4pm, and I can do that with the barePro foundation!  You can use as little or as much as you want – it is very build-able. And I love that if I’m too tired at night for a full skincare routine, I can just use a makeup wipe to clean my face and put on my moisturizer, because there’s nothing in the makeup that will clog my pores or cause a breakout.

For school days or special events where I really want a full face of makeup, I use 3-4 drops on a foundation brush or damp beauty blender. For a quick daily face, I use 2 pumps on my fingertips and spread it on my face like a moisturizer. I finish setting it by dusting my favorite powder of all time over it with a brush, and then I complete my look with whatever else I want to use that day!

here’s my before, with just mascara on & a big shiner hanging out on my chin

beauty blender (i got mine cheap from target but there are nicer ones)

I run the beauty blender under water for a split second, then squeeze it out and pump my foundation on it. I start with 2 pumps, because this foundation is pretty liquid-y and it runs! I dot the foundation all over my face with the sponge – a few blobs on my cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin. No rhyme or reason, just spreading the love.

always make sure to look super glamorous while doing this

Then blot, dab, blot, dot, dot, and before you know it, you’ll have a full face on! Try not to rub the makeup around, because then the sponge will absorb it more than your skin. You’re just using a stippling motion to set the foundation nicely on top of your skin. Then, finish with the rest of your face!

my daily face lineup

if no one is around to take 5 million photos of you, use a tripod and clicker

let your dogs steal the show for a minute, as always

and there you have it! makeup is done and now you have selfies galore

I think what I love most about this foundation is that it just looks so natural and soft – in real life and in pictures! I hate feeling like I have a cake face or like people think I look like a totally different person with my makeup on, so this foundation does a great job of bridging that gap without going too overboard. It’s a win for me!

For a less expensive foundation, I’m a longtime fan of Revlon ColorStay for combo/oily skin. It lasts FOREVER and gives a really full-coverage, flawless finish without looking cakey. But for now, I’ll keep enjoying this Bare Minerals liquid foundation until it runs out!

Eyeliner that can CUT YOU

 

My general daily makeup routine is pretty simple; I use the exact same products on a daily basis and if I want to make it more dramatic, I’ll use a full coverage foundation or add a subtle smoky eye. But my “thing” is a bold lip and winged eyeliner, with plenty of mascara. I’ve done it for years, and I just love the simplicity and classic look of a cat eye and pop of lipstick. Classic with a twist, if you will (I explained that in my last post).

I never realized anyone thought anything of it; I certainly did not invent the winged eyeliner look. But when I went back to teaching, my high school students would comment on how they loved my eyeliner and wanted to know what kind I used. I always write my students individual goodbye notes at the end of every semester, and sometimes they write me notes back. One of my students wrote in her goodbye letter last spring, “I’m going to really miss Miss Weaver. Her eyeliner could CUT YOU.” I died laughing – best compliment ever! My friends and Andrew now make jokes all the time about how “sharp” my winged eyeliner is when I do a more dramatic eye.

Here are my tips for eyeliner that could CUT YOU:

1. I start by filling in my eyebrows to frame everything. I don’t love the eyebrow pencil I’m using in these pictures, but this one by NYX is super easy to apply and comes with a spooly brush! I use the color Taupe.
2. Use a smooth, thick liquid eyeliner. I swear by this one and have used it for years. It lasts forever and is worth the splurge!
3. Draw a thin line starting at the inside corner of your eyelid, and when you get about halfway across the eyelid, stop the line.
4. From the natural outside corner of your eyelid, make a slight line outward at an angle, length depending on how dramatic you want your wing (angle towards the end of your eyebrow, as shown). This is about as dramatic as I get! I know they say it causes wrinkles, but I simply can’t do this without pulling out the corner of my eyelid. Just don’t tug! If you can do it without pulling on your skin, PROPS TO YOU.
5. Go back to the middle of your eye where you stopped the line before. Thicken the line at a slight angle toward the outside angled line you just drew until the lines meet at a point (your ‘wing!’). I think the angle from the center really makes a visual difference and adds a subtle bit of glam.
6. Once the lines meet up, fill in any gaps in your eyeliner between the two lines. Get as close to your lash line as possible! That will make your lashes look fuller and more dramatic when you add mascara.

Here is everything step-by-step with pictures! PLEASE bear with me; it is so very weird to take this many pictures this close up of yourself. Also, I took these pictures on my floor next to the window, and Oliver is making a cameo appearance in one of these! Such a ham, that guy.

no makeup flyaways
middle stop point
before filling gaps
eyebrows oliver
angle to eyebrow
q-tip eraser
starting line
filling in
mascara

Don’t forget to go back with a wet q-tip to “erase” any mistakes and sharpen your lines. Finish with black mascara and a fun lip color (here I’m using Too Faced’s La Matte lipstick in “Pitch Perfect”)! I frequently get asked what mascara I use, and the truth is I stand pretty regularly by my Covergirl Full Lash Bloom in very black. I do have naturally long lashes, so this one keeps them looking nice without breaking the bank, but this one and this one are my ‘splurge’ mascaras and have great reviews for shorter-lashed gals if you’re looking for something higher-end.

Here’s the final look!

Please let me know if you try it out! Like I said, I didn’t invent the look, but this is how I do it and maybe you’ll find some new products to try. Life is tough enough without trying to decide on all the makeup products, you know?

 

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

 

FriYAY feels!

We made it through another week (praise hands emoji)!

I wanted to start a sort of ‘week in review’ series up here, because I feel like my weeks fly by and sometimes I don’t take the time to really appreciate the small moments in the everyday.  Life is busy – believe me, I know that – but I think it’s important to reflect and touch base with yourself every now and then. And I chose Friday because…well…because FriYAY!!!

So here’s my first FriYAY feels post 🙂

-I started my week spending time with my big sister Emily – she came in for the holiday weekend and I hadn’t seen her in forever.  We had a great time! We checked out Cinebistro at Waverly Place to see The BFG, grilled out by the pool with Andrew, took the dogs for a walk, got our nails done, and she came to my regular Sunday night warm flow yoga class at Hot Asana Studio in Durham.  For the Fourth of July, we went with Lauryn to a Carolina Mudcats baseball game and saw fireworks – I got a foul ball! It was a great holiday weekend.

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I am currently dying for the glasses/braces snapchat filter. I can’t help myself.

-I recently purchased some new makeup items and tried them out this week. I’m going to do a full post soon, but I’m currently L O V I N G these:  Urban Decay afterglow 8 hour highlighter, Essie Spa Many Many Mani intensive hand lotion, tea tree skin clearing mattifying facial toner from The Body Shop, Sephora collection dry clean instant dry brush cleaner spray, and – I finally bit the bullet – The Philosophy brand Purity made simple face wash. I’ve bought travel sizes on and off and recently bought the big 8oz bottle, and I am so pleased.

-I finally had some time this week to get back to cooking! I made skinny buffalo chicken strips with homemade garlic parmesan potato wedges and balsamic brussel sprouts, and Romano chicken with lemon garlic pasta – I love Gina’s recipes from Skinny Taste and have used them for years.  I definitely believe in being healthy, but you have to find a balance – her recipes allow you to live a little without guilt.  The Romano chicken was one Lauryn made and I had to have it again!

-I got better sleep this week than I have been getting, and focusing on that has really helped me be refreshed in the mornings and ready to take on the day. It makes sense, of course, but this week I tried to stick to it. I love listening to the Instrumental Study playlist on Spotify before going to bed to help me wind down, and I don’t care if that makes me a nerd.

-I FINALLY broke down and started using the Starbucks app.  I have created a monster! But this week I ordered a new drink for in-store pick-up (YES THAT IS ACTUALLY A THING) and it was so delicious. It is a double shot on ice, a grande iced espresso drink with just espresso, nonfat milk, and classic syrup. Only 100 calories, velvety smooth and just sweet enough to curb the bitterness of the espresso. I don’t want to call it my new drink yet, but it’s a hard possible. Forgive me if I’m super late to this game, but I was excited about it!

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-I wrote a lot of new yoga classes and workouts to do at the gym.  One yoga class I wrote this week was on balance, and I thought it was an interesting juxtaposition of balancing with your body on your mat and trying to find balance in your life – we are all struggling to do that in some way, whether it is with fitness, food, finances, family, friends…man, that’s a lot of words starting with F.  It was a good week to think about balance for me.  I’m also excited about my gym workouts.  I used to be pretty fit and spent a large portion of my time in the gym, planning meals, counting calories, measuring and weighing, etc. and then there came a time in my life when that was the last thing I cared about, and it started to show! Now I’m really working on finding a balance because I like love to eat and have a good time, but I also love the way it feels to be working toward a goal and working toward a long and healthy life. So I’ll be working out hard at the gym between going to yoga classes, and it feels really good to be planning for that.

That’s it for me this week!  A lot of great things in addition to these, but these are my highlights.  I hope everyone had a wonderful week.  Enjoy your weekend!