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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Six Things I Do Every Single Day That Make My Life Better.

I want to start this off by painting a picture of my current life for you. I am in the trenches of toddlerhood, y'all. I also work (like, an actual job that requires me to do actual things) from home. My house is never all clean at once. I am rarely dressed with my hair and makeup done. My to-do list overflows to the next day 110% of the time. No matter what my intentions are in the morning, I end most days as a passenger on the hot mess express. It's just what this season of life looks like.

I say that so you don't think I have this routine where I wake up in my Pinterest perfect home (lol, no) that's nice and clean (also no) and do these things stress-free while looking like an instagram model (lolzzz never). 

It's more like, I do these things every day, often in my pajamas, in a messy house, in between doing dishes and emails and FaceTime meetings and fixing snacks and phone calls. 

But I do them. 

Every day.

1. Drink alllll the water. || So much freakin' water. Have a headache? Drink water. Skin breaking out? Chug some water. Have a project due that you haven't started yet? Girrrrrl you better hydrate. I feel 100% better when I drink enough water. 

2. Practice Gratitude. || A list of five things I'm grateful for, from that day, every single day. When I start my day from this perspective, I'm more open to the good that day has to offer. Gratitude changes your perspective. 

3. Move Intentionally. || I really wanna say workout, but I definitely don't workout every day. But even on the days I don't workout, I make sure to spend at least a few minutes moving my body on purpose. Whether it's an actual workout or just going for a walk, I make sure I don't spend the entire day in one place (which, when you work from home, can be really easy to do). 

4. Skincare. || I have finally realized that if I am not nice to my skin, it will not be nice to me. I don't fall asleep with makeup on anymore. My skincare routine is a few minutes of self-care that benefits me in the moment and in the long run. These are the products I use, if you're curious.

5. Reflect. || I'm gonna put a whole post together just on this topic, but this is often my favorite part of my day. I ask myself two questions: 1) How was yesterday? 2) How will today be better? I reflect on the highs and lows of the day before, then I dive into how I hope I will be better today. 

6. Inspire. || This world can be a dark place, guys. If you're a caring person, it can really weigh you down. It's so important to make sure you're feeding yourself inspiration and staying centered on the good. Ways I do this: Devotions in the Bible app (you can find short little notes about any topic you can think of), reviewing my notes from things that have inspired me (Like Rise Conference), looking at content from people I admire (Mel Robbins, Rachel Hollis, John Maxwell, etc.), and reading books that encourage to me.

These things are so simple and all make the biggest difference. My days are better when I do them. My life is better when I do them. 

I've learned that if I wait until I have my life together to do things that are good for me, I'll never do them. If I wait until my house and hair are clean on the same day to practice gratitude, there would never be another thankful list written again. 

No matter what season of life you're in, find a few things that make your days better. Maybe it's meditating, or taking a walk. Maybe it's reading before bed, or making yourself drink a green smoothie. Find things that you know make your life better, then actually do them. 

Whether your hair is clean or not. 
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Monday, August 19, 2019

Live Blog: Stranger Things and Back to School Mantras.

I actually got a full night of good sleep, which is apparently something my body doesn't know how to process anymore, so I woke up hours before my alarm thinking "are we suuuuure we're not supposed to be doing something right now?" So here we are, with a cup of coffee and an opportunity to fire out a blog live, which we know is my favorite because it's just an excuse to talk about all the random things that don't quite deserve their own post. 

Up first: Stranger Things. I've never seen an episode, or really even been interested in it, but now I 100000% get the obsession. A weekend of binge-watching the first (and part of the second) season and I'm hooked. It's so good!

I've started saying a mantra with Jack every morning before school. We say, "I am strong, I am brave, I am kind, I am going to have a great day!" Sometimes he repeats it back to me and I could absolutely melt into a puddle. But also sometimes I get the first three words out and he says, "No thank you, please." You win some, you lose some. 

I've mentioned before that August is my favorite because it's still summering so hard, but fall is riiiiight there. I love summer, I love fall, and I love looking forward to things. So this is my jam. Some things I'm currently looking forward to about fall: Pumpkin everything (duh), cute sweaters (even though I'll have to wear them with shorts, because Florida), and fall scented candles. What about you?

Speaking of fall, I've started a fall section on my amazon store. I'm a summer girl through and through, but fall fashion has my heart. 

And speaking of it still being summer, it has been waaaay too hot to use the gym stuff in the garage, so I've been doing (indoor) at home workouts. My favorites are anything by Blogilates and Yoga With Adrienne. If you love any at home workouts, drop them in the comments so I can give them a try while I wait for Florida to cool down just a tiny bit.  

My coffee needs a refill so this seems like a good place to land for the day. I hope you have the best Monday ever. Like I'm about to tell Jack: You are strong, you are brave, you are kind, you are going to have a great day!"

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Amazon Storefront + Giveaway!

If you've followed me for more that two minutes, you probably know a good portion of my life comes from Amazon. Dresses? Amazon. Bikinis? Amazon. Reusable straws? Amazon. ALL THE EXTRA EARRINGS EVER?! Amazon, baby. 

I'm SO FREAKIN' EXCITED because Amazon finally approved my storefront! This means I can keep all the things I'm always posting about in one place. Dresses I love, sweaters I want for fall, pool floats...all in one place. 
You can see my store here and if you follow, you'll get updates when I add new things! 

I'm so excited to be able to keep all those recommendations in one spot now, instead of scattered throughout blog posts here and there. 

To celebrate, I'm giving away an Amazon gift card (because, duh). All you have to do is follow me on instagram and comment on this post

I'll be updating these categories constantly, so tell me: What do you want to see?!

Happy Wednesday, beauties! 

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Friday, August 9, 2019

Light & Dark.

I've been both struggling with and finding beauty in the fact that so much good and so much bad can coexist. Days full of light and days full of darkness. The heavy weight of sadness and the ease of experiencing joy. 

I was visiting family the morning the news of the mass shootings broke. I was heartbroken and angry and sick to my stomach. That same day, I went out on the boat with my family and had a beautiful day with my sweet baby boy. 

How? How can that be the same world? 

I woke up last week to see one of my precious friends lost her little brother. The very same day, another friend welcome a baby girl to her family. The best day of someone's life, the worst day of someone's life. On the same day. The same 24 hours. How can that be?

Life and death, coexisting in the same day day. 

Happiness and devastation. 

Light and darkness. 

The last year has been the hardest I’ve personally faced yet. A lot of loss, a lot of grief. A lot of hurt and a lot of heartbreak. The last year has also been the most beautiful one - hello, Jack exists, remember?! I've watched him learn and grow and light up my whole life with joy. I went to a conference I've been dreaming of going to. I've chased after my dreams and invested in and believed in myself like never before. I've had nights with friends where we laugh so hard we cry, I've read books that changed my life. I've had beautiful moments. Seen stunning sunsets. Loved and felt love in return in beautiful ways. 

How is that? How is the same year that I thought was unsurvivable, the year where I had to watch those closest to me walk through pain I couldn't is that the same year that was so good? The same year that had the best weekends, the best beach days, the best vacations? How? 

How did 31 people wake up to the senseless loss of their family last weekend on the same weekend I watched my son laugh while he rode in an inner tube for the first time? 

The short answer is this: I don't know. 

The long answer is this: I don't freakin' know. 

The hard answer is: I don't know, I don't understand, but life somehow keeps going on. 

Life keeps going on, even though people senselessly were gunned down this week. 

Life keeps going on, even when we think our hearts are too broken to function. 

I FaceTimed my best friend yesterday and we were in our feels about the hard things. We were both crying and said, “how is the same year we had TacoLu lunches where we laughed and dreamed and ate tacos and left feeling so happy the same year all this happened? 

I don’t know why I got so caught up on the tacos. It was very dramatic. But it was just insane to me. How was the year that we spent so many carefree days laughing over tacos the SAME year she lost someone precious to her? How were those dang taco days the same year I didn’t know how my family would survive? 

We cried about it. 

And when we got off the phone, we made plans to go to TacoLu's soon. And I had to laugh at the irony of it. We laugh. We eat tacos. We have beautiful days. We lose people we love. We walk through hardships. We fight the darkness as hard as we can. 

And we eat we laugh. We eat tacos. We have beautiful days. 

I’m not trying to minimize any of the devastation. I know that the beauty we have in no way minimizes your pain. I know this because life is freaking beautiful and it hasn't minimized my pain. But I think it does bring some comfort to know that alongside the pain, beauty is there, and will continue to be there.

Comfort that the morning will always come. There will be a reason to laugh, no matter how small. There will always be a new day that brings new memories with people we love. There will always be sunshine. And laughter. And dreams. 

And tacos. 
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Tuesday, August 6, 2019

My Clean Beauty Skincare + Makeup Routine (on Sale!)

Since we're friends, I'm going to let you in on the reason I switched to clean beauty and skincare products. It had nothing to do with toxins, or wanting to be better to my body. It was for one reason and one reason day, my skin decided that every single time I wore makeup, it was going to reward me with a breakout. Didn't matter if I washed my face. Didn't matter if I bought expensive makeup. If I wore it for more than a few minutes, I was guaranteed to wake up with a breakout that wasn't there the day before. ANNOYING. 

Last year during Beautycounter's friends and family sale, I reached out to basically a stranger on instagram and told her everything I was currently using and told her I loved how my makeup made me look but I was sick of my skin acting like I was a freshman in high school. She gave me recommendations based on the products I used and the rest is freakin' history. Since I've been using them for a year (I'm busy, OKAY) I thought it was finally time to answer the "what kind of makeup do you use" questions. These are affiliate links, because obviously. 

M A K E - U P :

Touchup skin concealer pen. Under my eyes (because, #Jack) and on any blemishes. I used NARS concealer before and I like this one just as much. 

Dew skin. If you know me at all, you know I just want to look like I'm glowing all the time. The fact this had "dewy glow" in the description had me SOLD. If I could only wear one makeup product forever, this would be it. This is more of a BB cream, but I use it as foundation because I love how light and glow it is.

If I want more coverage, I mix it half and half with tint skin. I was using Becca Aqua Luminous foundation before I switched, and this is comparable to that.

This bronzer. I have been using this bronzer for an actual YEAR and it's not even halfway gone. It's the best bronzer I've ever used. A little goes the longest way and it never looks orange. I also use it on the outside corners of my eyes instead of eyeshadow, (because a makeup artist told me that's what Victoria's Secret models do to make their eyes pop, but that's neither here nor there). 

This highlighter. Again with the dewy skin. I'm obsessed with this. Swipe it on my cheek bones, under my eyebrow, and my temples. If I'm feeling fancy, I'll take a small eyeshadow brush and put it in the inner corners of my eye. GLOW BABY, GLOW. 

This blush. Look, I have no idea what possessed me to buy a cream blush last year. I'd never used a cream one before. In my head, it would give me a more dewy finish. Turns out, I was right and I'm obsessed. 

This lip sheer. My favorite nude lip when I want something but don't want to go full on glossy. It's so pretty, goes with everything, and smells like vanilla. 

S K I N C A R E 


This Cleanser. Use if: You want an acne fighting cleanser that doesn't strip your skin of all moisture. 

This toner. Use if: You want to shrink your pores. 

This acne treatment. Use if: You have breakouts

This moisturizer or this serum. The moisturizer adapts to your skin level, so it's good for everyone. Use the serum if: Your skin is thirsty, you want to get rid of some lines, you want to firm stuff up. 

This eye cream. Use if: You have eyes. But for real. De-puffing, de-wrinkling magic. 

Every few days: 

This resurfacing peel. Hands down, the best skincare product I've ever used. It's the most expensive face product I own, but it's worth every penny. And it lasts f o r e v e r. You put it on before bed and wake up looking like you got a facial. PURE. MAGIC. It gets rid of fine lines and dark spots, minimizes pores, does your taxes AND the grocery shopping. 

Once or twice a week: 

This face mask. I am a face mask junkie. I'm telling you, this is the best one I've ever used. If you have blackheads that try to ruin your life (me), this is the move. 

As needed: 

This spot treatment. If there's something popping up on my face, this gets rid of it super fast. 
This week, the whole website is 15% off. That's the sale that made me try this stuff last year, and I've continued to use all of it. So it seemed like the perfect time to share! If your skin is breaking out even though you take good care of it, you might be like me and need to give clean beauty a try. Happy Tuesday! xo
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Monday, August 5, 2019

An August Coffee Date.

...I'd tell you that I just had to spellcheck the word "August" because I stared at it for too long and it didn't look right. So, there's that. Fill up my coffee cup, please. 

...I'd tell you that I just spend two days on the lake with my favorite people. We drove way too far for way too short of a time, and it was glorious. Sometimes irrational decisions are the best ones. Time in the sunshine with people I love is my love language. Being on a boat in the sun is also my love language.  

...I'd tell you that I've been struggling with and also finding beauty in the idea of heavy and light, happy and sad. How they can coexist. How good things happen in the midst of heartbreak. How I can wake up to news of two mass shootings and feel my heart breaking over that and then go on and have the most fun day with my family. How this year has had heaps of devastation but also some of the most beautiful days I've ever had. It's hard to reconcile the two, you know? 

...I'd tell you that I've got a website overhaul in the works and I am so excited about it.  I set some big blog goals in June and have been chasing after them hard. BIG things in store, and I cannot wait to share it all!

...I'd tell you that I'm returning my library books today, which means it's time to request new books! I'd ask you what the best book you've read lately is so I can put in on my list. 

Your turn - what's going on with you?!
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Friday, August 2, 2019

Welcoming August.

August is this beautiful pause in the year. Not quite all summer, not quite all fall. It's still roughly ten million degrees outside, but the stores are filled with back to school supplies. I love this month. It's full of my favorite summer things with the slowly creeping in anticipation that all my favorite fall things are right around the corner. It's a good month. 

Question: What if this could be the month that could change everything?

Second question: Why can't this be the month that changes everything? 


What a beautiful month to do something amazing. 

Some of us, the amazing thing we need to do involves doing. It involves getting up early and putting in the time and working harder than usual and checking things off a to-do list. It is important and sacred and requires hard work. 

Some of us, the amazing thing we need to do involves less doing. It involves slowing down, learning to take deep breaths, saying no more, pushing some things off of our plate. It is important and sacred and requires hard work. 

Take a few moments today and be honest with yourself: What do you need from August? And what does August need from you? 

You're the only one who can answer that question. You know what you need to do more of and you know what you need to do less of. You know where you're not pushing yourself enough and where you're completely overwhelmed. So take stock of that and decide - you're going to have a good freaking month. August? It's gonna be your month. 

Let's welcome this month with open arms. Let's leave whatever hard things happened in July in July and welcome the fresh start of new beginnings. 

Let's be so open to the magic that August has to offer.  

Happy August, beauties.
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