Pamper yoself.


Summer has taken such a toll on my skin and hair this year. I’m sweating constantly at the pub, my hair gets blow dried and curled often so there’s a lot of heat damage, and I just tend to get more breakouts in the summer. On top of that, I have a worry wrinkle between my eyes that I swear gets deeper every week. Life, man.

So what’s a girl to do?! I decided I needed to start a pampering routine for my skin. I’ve never been great at keeping up with a routine, plus I have very sensitive skin. I typically just wash my face and use either my daily moisturizer or my night time anti-aging moisturizer, and that’s it. But this is a weekly or bi-weekly routine even I can keep up with!

I received this cucumber + aloe face mask in my Christmas stocking this year and this was literally the first time I have used it! (See? I told you I’m bad at keeping up with skincare routines!) A lot of times, I’ll break out badly a few days after using face masks, so I typically stay away from them. I used this one last week, though, and no issues! It felt so cool and refreshing, smelled clean and comforting, and rinsed off easily. I really enjoyed it and actually look forward to using it again!

I picked up this hair mask at Target while I was getting groceries. It was around $3 and looked good for my fine, thin, color-treated and heat-damaged locks. I am interested in trying other products from this line! It smelled so good in my hair and wasn’t overwhelming. Like with any deep conditioner for your hair, it left mine pretty oily at the roots after rinsing out and air-drying, but I just planned to wear my hair up the next day before re-washing. My hair was noticeably softer and sleeker. It just felt like a win!

So here’s the routine if you’re in the mood to pamper yoself this summer (or anytime!). I took a nice long shower and used my regular philosophy face wash plus a detoxifying pore scrub from Olay (I love their products for my skin). The pore scrub was very gentle and felt exfoliating without hurting or scraping my skin. I used the scrub after washing my face.

Then, after using my favorite body lotion, I wrapped up in a fluffy robe and applied the hair mask and face mask. I kept the hair mask and face mask on for longer than recommended because I just feel like it must work extra well if you do that (is this just a me thing?). I just pinned up my hair with a duck clip while I sat and did some things around the house with my green face. I used warm water and a wash cloth to rinse off the face mask. When I rinsed out the hair mask, I combed through my hair and let it air-dry. Finally, I used my Olay Regenerist night cream and slathered on a good bit, being delicate around my eyes of course and using circular motions from my neck up! I finished with a thick lip balm and I was relaxed, pampered, and ready for bed.

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And that’s it! Other than my dogs trying to lick the cucumber aloe mask off of my face, everything went off without a hitch. Something easy to do once a week or so, not too many steps, and safe for sensitive skin like mine! What other products should I be trying? Let me know if you have any favorites!

FriYAY feels!

It’s finally,   o f f i c i a l l y   summer! If you’re in the south like me, it has already felt like summer since April, but now we can finally be correct when we say it.

My sister and I planned on doing a free community event Wednesday morning for the summer solstice and international yoga day, but it got rained out and rescheduled. Since we were already up at the butt crack of dawn and dressed, I led us through a yoga class on our balcony while the sun came up. It felt so good; I have totally fallen out of a routine with my yoga and I always notice a difference when I get back into it.

pardon the poor quality selfie

yoga mat + blocks (blocks were a gift)

For summer, I’m focusing on some goals, like I said. Doing more yoga is one of them. Being more active in general, actually.

I’m also trying to make time to read for fun, which I love to do. I started summer off by devouring The Girl on the Train. I know I’m way late to that game, but I finally got around to it. I’m about to start reading All the Missing GirlsI know I’ll be done with that one in a few days, so any book recommendations would be greatly appreciated! I also just got set up for Audible with my Amazon Prime membership, so I can listen to books while I’m driving or at the pool, too.

Speaking of listening to books, I finally jumped on the bandwagon and listened to the S-Town podcasts. I went to see my dad for Father’s Day in Charlotte this past weekend, so I had time to do some listening. I tend to doze off at the wheel if no one is in the car with me, so I needed something to keep my attention. It was so good. It was one of those stories that really leaves you thinking about it for days. When it was finished, I just sat there for a minute, brain whirring and heart stirring (see what I did there? But really). I wish there were more chapters.

Finally, since I’m limiting alcohol due to 1. trying to be healthier and 2. not having money in the summer, I’m fixating on a couple of guilty pleasure libations right now. (As in, literally drank both of these while writing this blog post). I said I never would, but I find myself loving La Croix now. My sister and I found a new flavor that we can’t get enough of:  Blackberry cucumber. So refreshing. We have only been able to find that flavor at Target near us. My other summer must-have is iced coffee. I drink it year-round, but in the summer it’s a given. Of course I can make my own, and sometimes do, but Emily (my sister) and I have been loving the Starbucks Dark Roast Iced Coffee. When I’m not paying a reasonable amount way too much for pre-packaged coffee, I use my french press to brew strong coffee and stick it in the fridge overnight. Yes, I realize I also just wrote a blog post about our new coffee bar. It’s a drug, people, I’m telling you.

i have way too many pictures of food & drinks on my phone

That’s all that’s really new with me! I’m waiting for some sunshine so I can have a pool day and work on my golden tan getting more pink and freckly. It has been rainy and stormy on and off here for a few days now, so I haven’t had a chance.

Enjoy the weekend, and let me hear those book and podcast recommendations!

Apartment tour // My happy place

If you know me, you know I   l  o  v  e   coffee. I have been drinking it regularly ever since I was in high school, and even remember being a little girl and having my parents or nana pour me some “coffee” like theirs – which was mostly milk and sugar with a splash of coffee. As an adult I feel tricked, but I get it. Coffee isn’t for children.

My sister and I have been working on making our apartment decorated and homey. I decided to post some apartment tours of my favorite spaces in our new place, so here is the first of many! My favorite project we have taken on so far is our coffee bar. I just love the way it turned out. It feels so right. Coffee is so good. Making coffee in the morning is one of my favorite rituals in the summertime. During the school year I’m usually splashing coffee down my shirt as I race out the door to get to school by 6:45am. In the summer, I can sit and enjoy a cup while I watch a show or make breakfast (or work on my blog!). My sister is a coffee lover, too, so it made sense to have a dedicated space for ours.

For our coffee bar, we used an old dresser that our mom gave us (it was our grandmother’s!). We knew we wanted storage for extra coffee k-cups, ground coffee bags, coffee mugs, etc. Why not stick our coffee mugs in a cabinet like normal people, you might ask? Because the truth is two of those drawers are full of coffee mugs, and we still have more in the cabinets. I have a slight problem, okay?!

Unfortunately, we forgot to get a before picture, so imagine a dark brown, not-so-good-looking dresser with tarnishing retro silver drawer pulls. We spray painted the dresser and distressed it a little bit to make it look worn in. Our color is Seaside – we got 2 cans at Home Depot and will use some on another project (coming soon)! We ordered these drawer pulls to replace the retro silver ones that were already on the dresser. Then we recruited my boo thang to hang the shelves. The shelving and storage cube unit are from Target (duh). I’m so happy to have a place to display my Poole’s Diner cookbook! (PLEASE go there if you live in the Raleigh area and haven’t yet.)

the original drawer pulls 

the new ones!

Our coffee and cookbook area is my favorite wall in our whole apartment so far. It’s organized, right by the window, and full of happy and bright colors. The only thing missing is the small patch we missed in spray painting on the two lower legs of the coffee bar (you’re looking now, aren’t you? I cropped it out for the sake of the picture. Can’t ruin the ambiance, people!). BUT, you know…we’re all human.

Here’s to lots of coffee drinking and finally getting set up in our new home!

 

Summer goals

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Like I mentioned in my last post, it’s almost summer break for me!!! The kids are on ANOTHER LEVEL and the teachers are beyond ready, too…but before you start saying, “Oh, those lucky teachers, they get a whole summer off!,” remember that a summer off means a summer of ZERO PAY…so I am always hustlin’ side jobs through the summer. Last summer I juggled 3 different jobs, but this year I’ll just have one – I’ll be serving at Salem Street Pub where I’ve worked on and off for years. Their food is delicious and it’s a great relaxed atmosphere, good for dates, friends, or the whole family – and trivia every Wednesday night! Lots of local brews, flights, and outdoor pup-friendly seating! That’s my shameless plug.

To gear up for the summer, I made a big Target run recently with my last paycheck of the school year. I needed black shorts and some comfy shoes for working at the pub, and I settled on these and these – the shoes are so comfortable and you know I love anything with an elastic waist. These shorts are nice because the elastic is in the back, so the front still has the zipper and button to look a little more professional – and you can’t beat the length! It’s just right.

Between shifts at the pub, I’m hoping to have some down time to relax and lay by the pool. I mentioned my favorite summer items last year in this post, but this year I needed a new bathing suit that I felt okay in since I’m working on my health and fitness! There’s always that fine line with a one piece that isn’t basically a connected bikini vs. a suit that seems too much like a “mom” suit (no offense to any mom suit wearers…I’m just not even a mom yet!). I saw a really cute young mom at the pool on Memorial Day and she was wearing this bathing suit – it looked so great on her. I looked it up online right then, stalked the reviews on fit and look, waited till pay day, and raced to Target to try it on. I was really pleased with how it fit, even at this fluffy stage in my life. The high neck keeps me covered, but the cutouts keep it trendy, and the subtle ruching over the belly hides a lot without looking like it’s trying to. I’m really happy with it! I got black, because black is the new black, but I love the other colors too! I’ll be using this sunscreen all summer – I discovered it last year and don’t know what I’d do without it now. It goes on like real lotion, smells great, and doesn’t feel as greasy as other brands. I am super fair so I buy the SPF 30 and 70 and use both in different areas to keep protected.

Finally, in trying to get moving more this summer, I’m so excited that I’m living right by a lake with a nice walking trail behind my new apartment complex. I plan to do lots of walking, renting canoes, and taking Bruno and Oliver for walks as long as their short, stubby little legs can carry them. I’m still loving my Cloud shoes, and believe it or not, Wal-Mart has these amazing running/fitness shorts for about $8 a pair! I bought two and plan on getting more since leggings aren’t going to cut it in the Raleigh heat.

Somewhere in there I’ll fit in reading for fun, cooking, dinner dates with my boo and girlfriends, wedding planning with my BFF, waking up early to enjoy coffee on the porch before it gets blisteringly hot…maybe even a few beach day trips on the weekend!

Summer 2017, I think we’re going to be great friends.

FriYAY feels!

FRIYAY!!! We made it another week. I know I haven’t written in forever…I’ve just been busy and sometimes feeling blah from all of this gross weather changing. Speaking of which, can it PLEASE be spring already? We got to enjoy such beautiful weather for so long…and then the dreary cold came creeping back in to laugh in our faces. I’m so ready for sunshine and warm weather…but the humid summer can definitely take its time getting here! This post brought to you while dreaming of higher temperatures.

I am loving this skirt from J.Crew Factory! I am always excited about an elastic waist, and this still looks chic and comfortable. This top from Old Navy…they just get me. I love silky tanks that can easily transition from work to play, or from warm to cool weather with the addition of a cardigan. This top is perfection, too – and would be great tucked into that J. Crew skirt with a long delicate necklace like this! When the warm weather finally shows its face again, these shorts will be my go-tos. They are similar to the ones I basically lived in last summer from Target. Cozy and lightweight for the sweltering heat we get in NC.

I can’t do a platform, and I just haven’t gotten into the chunky heel trend…but these little wedges look right up my alley! I love all three colors, but if you know anything about me, you know I’ll probably get black if I buy a pair.

I’m so curious about this crazy charcoal peel off mask everyone is talking about  (and recording themselves using!). Curious…but also scared enough not to have bought it yet!

Speaking of skin care, I’m going to be 30 in September, and I’m starting to notice smile lines and a worry wrinkle between my eyes that has been slowly creeping up for a couple of years. I like to tell my students it’s because of them…and it probably is! I’m in the market for some anti-aging skin care that will keep my skin healthy and not break the bank – I’m reading great things about this eye cream and this moisturizer (I have used an Olay daily moisturizer for years already). I might even get brave and buy a face oil like this one or make a DIY one – they’re all over Pinterest!

Here’s hoping that next week and the first day of spring brings sunshine, balmy breezes, and soft t-shirts that can be tucked into elastic waist skirts. Happy Friday!

Button up with a twist

tied up shirts

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Am I the only one who has a longing and love for the old tied-up 90s style shirts? I’m not trying to show my age, but I remember being a little girl and having a little lime green sweatshirt material shorts and t-shirt set from Upton’s department store. Does anyone even remember Upton’s?! Are they even around anymore?

Anyway, I think my grandmother got the outfit for me and I loved it. Wore. It. OUT. The best part about it was the little tie-off in the middle, right at my belly button. I felt so grown up, so chic, so sassy. The sassiest, lime green-wearing, photo-bombing 6-year-old you’d ever seen. With the token 90s girl bowl cut/mullet hybrid hairstyle…the straight across bangs that kind of faded down on the sides to a chin length bob. You know you know what I’m talking about.

Over the summer, I purchased a long, button up, sleeveless top from Target. It was way too hot to wear it with jeans, which I felt was the best choice if wearing it long, so I tied it up and wore it with a pair of casual shorts for daytime errands. If I wanted to dress it up, I wore it with a little stretchy black skirt I’ve had from H&M for years (like 8 years, actually…when it’s good, it’s good). The back of the shirt stays long when you tie it, so I just folded the back tail up under itself so there was a nice smooth line across the back. One shirt, two ways!

This is such a simple way to put a little twist on a classic outfit and change things up for your wardrobe. Take it from the office to happy hour or rock it on the weekends for a day out! For fall, layering with a long cardigan would be perfect.

If you don’t have a shirt that’s long enough, Forever 21 has a few really inexpensive options that are already tied up – you can try them out without breaking the bank! Target has a cute one on sale right now, too! Here’s another one from Banana Republic, on sale, and one on sale at J.Crew!

They say fashion always repeats itself, and I’ve been seeing shirts tied around waists, overalls, and chokers recently…seems like the 90s may not be done quite yet! I’m not sure I’ll jump on board with all of the trends, but I do love a good tied up shirt. Try it out and tell me you don’t feel even a little bit sassy!

FriYAY feels!

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Hydration, goals, monograms, and daily reminders

It has been a while since I’ve written a Friday update! I have been covered up, but here I am. Things are getting a little more balanced around here.

-This week has been focused on prioritizing. I am teaching a unit on time management in one of my classes, and it always makes me take a look at my own life. I’ve been making plans (as you can see, I am no longer using my Passion Planner because it ran out – but I am trying this floral, $9.99 Target planner for this school year.) I’m trying to be better about looking at my weeks and being very deliberate about my priorities and when I can fit things in…as well as when I need to say no to things to take care of my own values.

-I was so excited this week to look at my progress on my six week shred! It really lifted my spirits and I know it’s only three and a half weeks, but it feels good to have stuck to something. My clothes fit better, I feel more energized and excited about picking out what to wear, and it has been a really nice way for my mom and sister and I to stay connected.

-I have picked up a new Monday afternoon class at Hot Asana where I teach yoga, and that has helped get me back in a groove with my own yoga practice. Lately I had felt like I was kind of in a yoga rut…using the same playlists, having trouble making it to take classes, not feeling inspired to write brand new classes. But with my new class time, more consistent practice on my own mat, and holding yoga club meetings for the students at the high school, I feel revamped. My new S’well bottle that is beautiful, bright, and keeps everything freezing cold doesn’t hurt, either!

-After buying a sample of it at Ulta, I finally bit the bullet and purchased the Living Proof dry shampoo (this one comes with a free gift!). It actually makes your hair feel and look clean, not to mention the a  m  a  z  i  n  g smell that stays in your hair all day. I still love my Dove dry shampoo the best all-around, but if I constantly had $22 to blow on dry shampoo, this would be the one.

But…most importantly…back to speaking of planners…I do have my eye on the pre-order 2017 Passion Planner in Blush. I just can’t help myself. I am who I am.

Happy Friday! Enjoy the weekend and stay out of the rain!

 

Fall feels

Today is the first day of fall! The autumnal equinox. I always love the changing of seasons and I know I’m not alone in my belief that it’s a perfect chance to start new again.

I’m finally, finally beginning to feel the slightest baby breezes of fall. Temperatures are not 90 degrees and climbing, sweat doesn’t pour down my temples as soon as I step outside, and wearing jeans doesn’t sound like a cruel joke.

This is my favorite time of year, due to a lot of factors. My birthday is in September, along with a lot of people I love. School starts back, lovely fall colors start to appear in the leaves and in the clothing stores, fall food and drinks start creeping onto menus, and the color potential for lipsticks and nail polishes opens up to a whole new world. Finally, with fall comes the promise that holidays are near and time off is hopefully around the corner.

There’s just something about the crispness in the air of fall that makes it feel like things are possible, or that good things are coming. Last fall I had just begun my yoga teacher training, where I made so many dear friends and learned a lot about who I am and what I needed to leave behind. I started back teaching at the high school, started this blog, and met my main squeeze, Andrew. This fall, the eBook I co-wrote is launching, I started a yoga club at school for the kids, and I’ll be going on a week-long yoga and meditation retreat with my sister in Maya Tulum, Mexico. Not to mention, Andrew is moving to Raleigh so we’ll be in the same area!!! It’s feeling like a wonderful season.

So with all of this goodness, I needed a little celebration. And what better way to celebrate the coming of fall than to treat yoself? I got this perfect bag from Target not too long ago, and I am loving it so much. It has all the pockets and is big enough to hold all of my totally practical crazy ‘you may need this someday’ items.

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Color is cherry peony.

It holds my planner, yoga notebook for teaching, lotion, lint roller (corgis, remember?), several lipsticks at a time, and anything else I need it to. Going somewhere overnight? No problem – it’ll fit in the bag. Need to keep it light? No problem – the shape of the bag holds even if it’s not full. Perfect for be-bopping around town or taking on a flight. And the color!

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Best jeans ever, here (currently buy one pair, get one for $30). Shoes were on sale at Aldo in Aruba.

Whether fall is your favorite season or not, I hope that good things are coming for you. For my nerdy astrology buddies, the autumn equinox is when the sun enters Libra (my astrological sign). The equinox is supposed to bring equal night and day; however, this year, equal day and night won’t happen until September 25 with sunrise as 6:47 a.m. EDT and sunset at 6:47 p.m. My birthday! For someone who loves balance as much as me, this is a real treat this year.

We face a lot of seasons in our lives, but it’s always cleansing and important to leave some behind. With each new season, each new current moment in our lives, we have the choice to make the most of our lives, be better, try new things, and start fresh.

Happy fall!

Packing for ARUBA!

This time last year, I was taking a break from teaching (actually, I thought I’d never be back in the classroom) and I worked in a corporate training job that allowed me to travel quite a bit. Since I traveled so often, I got pretty good at packing light and being resourceful with my travel items.

My sweet, funny, and world-traveling aunt is taking me on a trip this weekend to ARUBA!!! I can’t believe it! My mom and sister are also going, and we will celebrate my aunt’s 70th birthday in style – she has planned everything to a T and I feel incredibly blessed to get to go on this trip that I would otherwise not be making until maybe my honeymoon or…never (did I mention I am a teacher in North Carolina? Not exactly money bags over here). I wish more of my family could go because we always have the best time together, but we can’t have everything we want. Aruba is a tiny island right above Venezuela, and my sister and I will attend a wedding in Asheville before flying with our mom to meet our aunt in the Caribbean!

aruba

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Here are my best travel tips, honed from years of over-packing:

1. Make a list. MAKE. A. LIST. Traveling is no time to wing it and if you’re a Type A, detail-loving, listing champion like I am, this is a no-brainer anyway. But if you’re not, trust me. Make a list. Cross it off as you pack things and add to it as you think of new things. You can make the list on your phone, too (I’m not even ashamed to say I made one on my phone first, and then transferred it to paper because there’s nothing like physically marking something off a list).

aruba list

2. Check the weather where you will be. It is always smart to pack an extra sweater/jacket or travel-sized umbrella, because you just never know.

3. Pack extra underwear, but not extra clothes. You can roll up your clothes to save space, but that doesn’t mean you need to bring your whole closet. Stick to things you know you always feel comfortable and good-looking in. Don’t branch out on that ‘if I am feeling thin that day’ dress. Pack the one you know you can let it all hang out in. There’s nothing worse than packing something and then not wanting to wear it when you get to where you’re going.

4. If you have hanging clothes or silky/wrinkle prone clothes but have to pack them up, roll them and lay them lightly on top of your suitcase. Pack a wrinkle release spray for when you take them out and hang them up…which should be pretty much immediately when you get to where you are going. Most hotels have an iron, but I kind of refuse to iron and this is how I do it.

packing
Everything laid out and ready to go in a suitcase!

5. Make sure you have the most essential items you need, but understand that it is 2016, and anything you forget can probably either be provided by your hotel, bought easily, or go without being missed too much. You need underwear, you need some clothes, some bathroom items, and probably a phone charger…but everything else is just fluff. We are not our things. We do not need to pack our entire lives for a week long vacation. (See number 1)

Here are some of the essentials I always take with me on trips:

This Mary Kay travel roll-up bag was given to me as a gift a couple of Christmases ago, and I love this thing so much. It has four zipper pouches with velcro on the back.  They’re clear plastic, so you can easily find your items, pull out a pouch if you need it, and clean them out without any hassle. In my four pouches I keep the following ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ITEMS:

Pouch 1: all of my makeup. I keep it pretty simple…I generally use the same face and eye makeup every day, so I pack that, then add a few lipsticks and maybe an extra eyeshadow palette – that way I’m covered no matter what comes up.

travel makeup 2

Pouch 2: all of my shower items. I use containers that I get at Target and fill them up with my everyday shower items and body lotion. I used to have fun buying little travel shampoos and body washes, but my skin and hair like what they like. I have found that it’s best for me to stick to what I know – plus, it’s a little bit of home every time I shower on vacation.

Pouch 3: other bathroom toiletries. A travel q-tips case, hair ties, bobby pins, a couple of duck bill clips for styling my hair, toner, moisturizer, cotton pads, eye drops, tooth brush, travel-sized tooth paste, travel-sized deodorant, makeup remover wipes, and a disposable razor or two.

Pouch 4: random but often needed travel items. Tums, ibuprofen, wrinkle release spray, small lint roller, clorox wipes, and a small first aid kit and nail kit. You never know when you’ll get a headache or tummy ache on a trip. I also keep band-aids, neosporin, and a small manicure kit in case of blisters, cuts, broken nails, etc.

travel items

I tie a small travel-sized loofah to the handle on top of the bag. When you roll it up, it’s a nice little carrying case and fits nicely in a corner of your suitcase or carried separately if you don’t have size limitations.

mary kay travel bag

Miscellaneous travel info: I always pack one pair of casual shoes that I can wear every day if needed, one pair of nicer shoes for a nice meal out or an event I might be attending, and a pair of tennies. I always try to keep up with some sort of exercise while I’m traveling so I don’t fall off the deep end, especially since vacation, in my book, is no time for strict dieting. Flip flops are a must if a beach or pool may be involved.

I always start off with the items I know I’ll always forget if I don’t write them down, like my phone charger, fitbit charger if it’s a longer trip, laptop charger, any medications, and a notebook. I love to write, and I always like to keep a notebook handy in case I feel inspired or need to make a list about something. I like to keep travel journals, too – so I plan on doing that for this Aruba trip!

Finally, instead of buying a million new things for your trip, try borrowing some of your clothes/shoes/accessories from a friend! It is new to you, you haven’t had any pictures in it, and you can get it for FREE.99.  Win-win! I am borrowing a bathing suit cover up and this fun, bright yellow clutch from my BFF Whitney (corgi not included).

bruno clutch

And here are the two extras that I have purchased specifically for this Aruba trip, because I know my skin, I know that I will be near the equator, and I know that I need extra help (fair-skinned people, can I get an AMEN?!).

Neutrogena beach defense SPF 70 sunscreen. This goes on smooth, smells great, and offers more protection than my usual 30 I have used in past summers. After many careful but failed attempts, I just can’t trust the spray-on sunscreens.

A plain black Rash guard for wearing a few hours a day to cover areas most prone to burning, or in the tragic event that I actually do get a sunburn and have to stay covered up. This one will match any of my bathing suits.

follow your bliss

That’s it! I could go on and on (and sort of have), but I am so excited about my trip and it feels good to have an organized system to tackle a week long trip in another country, even if it will mostly be laying in the sun 🙂 Please send good vibes for my blindingly white skin.

Follow me on instagram to see pictures from my trip!

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