Rachel Hollis x QVC Clothes Have Launched!

Love her or hate her (full disclosure, I’m one of the people that loves her), you have to admit that self-help guru (is that what I should call her?) Rachel Hollis is doing things right. She’s a 2x New York Times best-selling author, has a sold-out self-help conference, a documentary, 2 top charting Podcasts, an online morning show, online coaching, an awesome goal setting journal, and now she has her own line of clothing! As someone who is regularly encouraged and inspired by Rachel, I am thrilled for her and her success. It’s really cool to see a woman dominating in her industry.

Because I’m a fan and a blogger, I felt it was necessary to share Rachel’s latest endeavor with all of you. If you’re looking for a few new things to add to your wardrobe, perhaps this is it. Rachel designed a line of clothes meant to be cute while being exceptionally comfortable. As I sit here in yoga pants and a fitted T-shirt, this wardrobe philosophy speaks to me on a personal level. From a new take on the good old t-shirt to a dress that doubles as a kimono, Rachel has a practical line of clothing to offer the everyday woman in a wide range of sizes (XXS-3x).

Is there anything you might be interested in picking up? I’m personally debating between which size to get the adorable sweater & with one of her camis to go underneath it. I like things a little more fitted, and since this line is super flowy, I’m thinking I’ll need to size down. Let me know in the comments if you’re planning on getting anything from Rachel Hollis X QVC!

7 Spring Must Haves

Springtime has finally arrived and it is glorious. Granted, it’s still a tad chilly here in Chicagoland, but the sun is shining and there is no snow on the ground at the moment so I will take that as a win. To me, spring means freshness and renewal, as well as a time to prepare for summer. This got me thinking about some of the products I tend to use or fashion items I tend to look for in preparation for the warmer months. Since I found (or already use) some pretty awesome things, I figured I’d share some of them with you.

Fashion

You all know I’m not huge on fashion blogging, nor am I really a fashionista in any sense of the word. I love things that are comfy and easy to move in. I consider it a bonus if they look super cute. My fashion picks are two things I recently aquired and love, and one thing I’d just love to have.

First, let’s talk about my “would love to have” item. I feel like a good looking, clean cut and flattering denim jacket is a great piece for spring. I’m really getting into the basic T with a fashion jacket over it look, and having a nice denim jacket would be the perfect addition to anyone’s spring wardrobe. This jacket from Macy’s is super cute and gives great lines and is decently affordable (and as of 4/12 it’s on sale).

I saw this amazingly bright chrome t-shirt from White House Black Market online and ever since I saw it I could not stop thinking about it. As I said before, basic tees are something I wear on the regular, and a lot of my tees are dressed up ones with a little bit of sparkle. I love all things glittering and shiny, so I needed to see this shirt in person. The other day, I went to the store and tried it on. It’s everything I ever needed in a chrome colored t-shirt! Flattering, shiny, and not see through. Epic win! Even better, WHBM was having a 40% off the entire store sale, so the shirt landed in a more reasonable price range. Needless to say I now own it and can’t wait to wear it out.

Finally, I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t tell you about my latest purchase from Grace & Lace. I bought their super stretch zip up midi shorts and they’re basically the best pair of shorts I’ve ever owned. I had them in time for my latest trip to Florida, so I was able to give them a solid test run. They’re stretchy all over, including an elastic band in the back which helps keep things super comfy. The length is perfect: long enough to not be showing your booty, but not so long that you feel like you’re in Bermuda shorts. They come in several denim shades as well as new colored pairs as well. I currently own the olive green and the mid wash denim, and I just ordered a pair in black. I will likely acquire most, if not all colors eventually. I wear a medium, but they are clingy enough (not constricting though. They’re perfect!) where I know that if my body dropped a size, they’d still fit fine. This will be my most comfortable and stylish shorts season ever!

Beauty

My first spring beauty choice is my all time favorite spring nail polish: OPI You’re Such A Budapest. For several years now it has been my go-to springtime purple shade. It’s light and fresh, and I truly feel like it’s a purple shade that can go with almost anything spring has to offer. I wear it all the time during the spring months and I will continue to do so until OPI stops making it.

Sticking with the pretty purple theme, I have been loving Stila’s Glitter and Glow eyeshadow in the shade “Plum On.” I own several of these shadows, and while they’re all amazing, this deeper (but not too deep) purple shade is the perfect pop of color to was across my lid. It offers me my favorite color and a little bit of sparkle, which basically makes it my perfect eye shadow.

In the warmer months, I love using a lip gloss with a hint of color. I recently discovered the brand Lano and am obsessed with the two lip products I already own by them (a strawberry lip treatment and their original ointment), so when I saw they had these pigmented glosses, I knew I had to get them. While I don’t have them yet, my Ulta 20% off coupon just came the other day, which means I will own them soon. If they’re anything like the Lano products I already own, then I’m certain I’ll love these too.

Finally, I think a spring refresh means something new and awesome to your skincare routine. One of the best serums I’ve ever used in my life is the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. This magic potion is packed with good for the skin ingredients that make my skin soft, smooth, and I swear it even helps clear things up a bit. It’s one of my all-time favorite facial serums, and I’m pretty sure it’s perfect for all skin types, making it an ideal universal suggestion as a new step in your skincare routine. Have you tried this serum?

What are some of your spring time must-haves?

Lovely Luxuries Holiday Gift Guide

 

 

Jo Malone Perfume Collection: Jo Malone is something I have personally been dying to own, but the price is so high that I can never decide exactly which fragrance I want to commit to. Why do I want to own Jo Malone? No idea! I likely have it in my head that it’s some symbol of ultimate luxury or something, but it’s been on my wishlist for years now. This set has 5 minis in it that give a nice variety of fragrances so you can try things out and decide if there is any scent you love or you can mess around with mixing the scents to come up with your own signature scent. The scents included are Lime Basil & Mandarin, Nectarine Blossom & Honey, English Oak & Redcurrant, Wild Bluebell, and Wood Sage & Sea Salt. You end up with 1.5 oz of product total for $115, which prices it out as slightly more money per ounce ($77/oz) than buying a one-ounce bottle ($68), which is a bummer, but you would get to try 5 different scents instead of having to commit to one. Ultimately, this would be an amazing and luxurious gift for any fragrance lover in your life. 

Tata Harper Jumbo Resurfacing Mask: This mask is my new love. I went and got a sample at Sephora and after that one try, I knew it was going to be a love of mine. This made me sad because it is a really pricey mask, clocking in at $62 for a 1 oz container! 😱 I know, what am I thinking? I happened to go over to Tata Harper’s website instead of Sephora, just to look around, and I stumbled across this beauty. Meet the JUMBO sized container of my new beloved mask! This is 3.55 oz of product for a whopping $125. Before you think I’m a crazy person for not only suggesting this but also buying it (because I totally did!), do the math. At that price, the mask is only $35.20 per ounce instead of the regular price of $62. That is a major discount and completely worth shelling out the extra cash for upfront. I am excited to see what using this mask regularly does for my skin, and with it being as popular as it is, I’m certain this is a great gift for the skincare lover in your life. 

Dagne Dover Midi Tote: I use this bag every single day. It’s just like my Dagne Dover Classic Tote (which I did an entire blog post on) only smaller and more convenient for everyday use. I ended up buying mine because the color was on sale, but I didn’t realize I was purchasing my new go-to handbag. All of the small details that go into a Dagne Dover bag is why I have become a brand loyalist. In the midi tote, there are pen loops, an iPad sleeve, many pockets, and (most importantly) a build in water bottle holder. This bag carries everything I could possibly need while I’m out and about. I get so many compliments when I carry a Dagne Dover, no matter what size (I own a petite one too). This is a beautiful, but fully functional gift. 

Sugarfina Holiday Gift Box: This gift box is a great gift for anyone with a sweet tooth that you want to shower with a little bit of luxury. This box contains festive, limited edition holiday flavors from Sugarfina dressed in a super fancy box to make it look and feel extra luxurious. A great gift idea for someone you want to buy an extra special treat for but don’t really know what they’re into. 

Beats Headphones: Noise canceling headphones are something actually appearing on my wishlist this year. In the age of noisy workspaces, inability to focus (my issue) and people at the gym that you just want to tune out while lifting, noise-canceling headphones are something that you might not buy for yourself, but they’d make a truly thoughtful gift for someone who loves music and quiet.

Thread & Supply Fleece Pullover: Doesn’t this pullover just look like the coziest thing you ever did see? When temperatures outside are as chilly as they’ve been lately, it’s easy to live in your favorite sweatshirt. Treating someone to a high quality, super cozy pullover is a gift that anyone is sure to enjoy this time of year. 

Dyson Hair Dryer: This is the most expensive hair dryer ever, but I’d be lying to you if I didn’t tell you it was also the best hair dryer ever. I have owned this for a year or two now, and I LOVE it. I’d go into details, but I actually have an entire blog post about it that you can read that tells you all about how awesome it is. If you know someone who regularly does their hair or someone like me, who physically struggles to blow dry their hair, this is 100% worth every penny.

Weighted Blanket: This is another product that I’ve owned for a year now (got it last Christmas) and I love, love, LOVE it. Weighted blankets are supposed to help with anxiety, insomnia, and have an overall calming effect, and I must say, it is the coziest thing I’ve ever slept under. I’ve been using it every night and it just feels so good to slip into bed and let the extra weight of my blanket take over. I only use it at night, as carrying a 20lb blanket around from my couch to my bedroom is a bit difficult for me, but I imagine it’s a joy to curl up under while watching a movie or anything you need a quick break to close your eyes and regroup.

Tata Harper Let There Be Light Gift Set: I personally purchased this gift set after falling in love with the resurfacing mask (see above), and it’s a wonderful set at a wonderful price. It contains a full size resurfacing serum ($88 value) as well as .5 oz each of the regenerating cleanser ($24 value) and the resurfacing mask ($31 value) for $92. Not too shabby. It’s a great way to try out several of the most popular Tata Harper products. Another option, if you want smaller sizes of a greater variety of products is the Tata Harper Everyday Essentials kit.

I also have to add that if you don’t already use Ebates as a part of your online shopping experience, you need to stop what you’re doing this instant and go join. All you do is click a little button when you’re shopping and you will get a percentage of your purchase back in cash! I’ve already gotten over $450 back, and that number is getting higher with Black Friday shopping. Sephora is also doing 10% back with Ebates for Black Friday, which is worth it all on its own. Ebates is totally free, and if you use my link you will get $10 credit after your first $25 purchase just for being a friend of mine 🙂

These lovely luxuries are sure to bring a smile to the face of any lucky recipient. Do you have any suggestions for items to add to this list?

 

 

*links may be affiliate links*

August 2018 Favorites

Another month come and gone and it’s time for my monthly favorites. Every month I curate a list of things that I’ve been using and loving all month long from all different areas of life. This month we have some food and beauty favorites, as well as some media favorites that I was particularly impressed by. Without taking too much time, let’s jump right into my favorites for the month of August. 

Beauty

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Powder: I purchased this powder foundation a few months ago when I was trying to find face products formulated without talc, bismuth oxide, or silicones. This proved to be more difficult than I thought it would be. When I went to replace my old favorite powder foundation (which had talc as the first ingredient…sad day), and this powder was one of only a few options I could find. Since I know and trust the It Cosmetics brand, I decided to give it a try. While it took me a few months to appreciate it, this powder is now one of the only products I use every day.

The coverage is sheer to full, and it does, in fact, build up to a full coverage foundation, which is something I look for to cover the acne issues I have along my jawline. I apply it with my favorite flat powder foundation brush, and in less than a minute, I am out the door. There is SPF 50 build right into the powder, so when I’m out and about I don’t necessarily have to take the extra step to apply a sunscreen. I find that the IT Cosmetics powder lasts a long time, and I don’t just mean in the compact. When I apply it in the morning, I notice there is still a significant amount of product to be removed at the end of the day, whereas with other products seem to melt into the skin and be barely there at the end of the day. While some of the coverage does fade ever so slightly (and reapplication is a breeze), my skin goes all day and into the evening with a coverage that leaves me feeling good about my face. On my more recent videos, people have been complimenting my skin and make up a ton. It’s all this powder, my friends. Quick, easy, and flawless! Read more

My Grace and Lace Sale Order


I know I am not typically the blogger that makes “hold the phone! There’s a big sale happening right now!!” posts, especially knowing that posts like that are usually just an excuse to pop some affiliate links on a post, but I’m making an exception today.  Grace and Lace is having a pretty significant Labor Day sale, and I just wanted to share my excitement because I personally took advantage of the sale.  Yes, there are affiliate links, but I’m not writing the post simply to post them, okay? 

Grace and Lace is a company that somehow made it onto my radar before their big break on Shark Tank, so I feel like I have an “I knew them when” relationship with them (they don’t know who I am at all). Over the years, I have watched the Grace and Lace inventory grow and change and now it’s a shop that makes me wish that almost every item was in my closet. Their style is very similar to mine, and if it wasn’t for the prices, I’d own a lot more from Grace and Lace, which is why this sale excited me greatly.

Pictured above and below are the 3 (yes only 3. I really restrained myself!) items I purchased from the sale. The denim jeggings are perhaps the most exciting piece, as I’ve been wanting them for a long time. Guys, these have an elastic waistband! Hello, looking cute and put together on days I just want to wear pajama bottoms around because I’m bloated and feeling blah! The excitement about these pants is very, very real.

The pocket T-shirt is final sale, which supposedly means there’s a flaw, but at the price for a still good quality shirt (in theory…I haven’t gotten to try these shirts yet), I decided to take my chances. Finally, the oversized cardigan is something I already have in my wardrobe and use all the time, so when I saw that it was half price, I jumped at the chance to buy another one in the beautiful blue shade because it’s so warm, so comfy, and just the perfect item for fall! 

Altogether, my order is one complete outfit, every item on sale, and all the pieces I will wear over and over again. I saw at least 4 or 5 other things I wanted to put in my cart, but by some miracle managed to control myself. I wanted to make sure I told you all about the Grace and Lace Labor Day Sale because it will be over before you know it.  Is there anything you have your eye on? If you’re interested in my choices, click the pictures!

Have a great weekend!

 

My 2018 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks

I know, I know. I’m not a fashion blogger. Far from it, actually.  When it comes to clothes I regularly live in 2 different camps: comfy loungewear/workout clothes or “I need to look put together” for when I go out. Both of these categories will have one trait in common if they’re in my wardrobe and that is comfort.  Even if I’m trying to look super done up and cute, I still want to feel comfortable and be able to move with ease, which is why most of my clothing choices are basics that I can easily dress up or down.

Every year I look at the Nordstrom anniversary sale primarily because so many bloggers that I follow keep dishing out their recommendations and I end up intrigued. This year, I decided to look on my own, without much influence from those I follow on Instagram, just to see if there was anything that jumped out at me as something that would end up on my personal wishlist, and much to my surprise there was a solid handful of items that I would love to add to my cart. 

In the images below you’ll see all of my choices. I managed to find several things that fit right into my typical wardrobe choices like leggings and inexpensive basic Ts, but I also found a few things that I don’t own that I want, like the hoodie with a wider neck. Does anyone else feel like regular hoodies are a little too constricting around your neck area?

I’m learning that I am very drawn to the colored moto jacket, as evidenced by my two choices below. There’s just something so perfect about being able to wear jeans and a T, and by adding this brilliantly colored jacket you’ve automatically dressed it up into something fabulous. I seriously wouldn’t be opposed to having a moto jacket in 5 or 6 different colors. 

Of course, I had to take a stroll through the beauty sales, and while there was a lot that didn’t interest me, there were several items that are 100% worth it. First, the Elemis cleanser that I use regularly is available in a jumbo size for a killer price. I’m still working my way through my first bottle that I started using in December, so a little goes a LONG way. Believe it or not, I’m a big fan of Makeup Eraser cloths, as they actually do what they’re supposed to, and you can get a 2 pack on a pretty deep discount. Lastly, there’s a great trio of Stila’s glitter and glow liquid eyeshadows that are basically all I want to wear on my eyes lately.  I own 4 of them and am truly anticipating a Christmas wishlist with at least 5 more shades on it. They’re wonderful, especially if you like sparkle as much as I do. 

All of my picks for the sale are down below, and there’s a little something for everyone.  Enjoy! 

Sephora Play! July 2018

Sephora Play is one of two subscription boxes I still subscribe to (the other being FabFitFun) and for good reason. Most of the times, my boxes are filled with deluxe-sized samples that are things I’m actually thrilled about trying.  This month had some exceptional choices that are perfect for me, so I’m beyond thrilled with my box. I know I’m really bad at sharing them with you, but I promise I will try and get better about making it a monthly habit to share these subscriptions.

This month’s box was themed “the good stuff,” which means everything in the box is free of parabens, phthaltes, and sulfates for a cleaner beauty routine. 

Here’s what my $10 earned me this month.  

Biossance Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer

A hydrating gel that uses 100% plant-derived ingredients for brighter, balanced skin. Both squalene and probiotics are definitely hot in skincare right now, so it’s nice to have them both packed into one little moisturizer.  Biossance is a brand that seems to be getting really high reviews, and while I’ve only ever tried a sample of their retinol serum, it’s a brand that is on my radar, so I’m excited to have something else of theirs to try. 

Algenist GENIUS Liquid Collagen

A vegan, collagen-based serum that visibly restores skin’s suppleness and resilience. Collagen is also very trending right now, both topically and as something to take internally.  Apparently, we don’t get enough collagen naturally, and it’s one of the best things for our skin to help prevent signs of aging. I tried this serum once, and the consistency is a little weird because of the beads of microalgae in the container, but they melted into my skin quite nicely. This is also something I’m looking forward to using. 

Briogeo Rosarco Blow Dry Perfection Heat Protectant Creme

A heat protectant blow dry cream that boosts hair’s luster and softness. I love a good blow dry creme, as I find they really do help make my blowdry a little sleeker and smoother. My current go to is by Bumble & Bumble, but I’m always open to trying something new.  The only bummer about this is it’s a single use packet, but I much prefer something like this over a perfume sample, so I’m glad to have received this instead. 

Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Active Brightening Oil

An Ultra concentrated vitamin C face oil that reduced the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Two oils in one box? Yes indeed.  This serum is formulated to help brighten the skin with a heavy dose of vitamin C in each drop.  I gave this a try last night, and I won’t lie, my skin feels really soft this morning. I’m not entirely sure if it’s because of this serum or the combination of products I’ve been using lately, but either way, I like it. Buyer beware: if you don’t like the scent of rose, you will not like this product. 

Tarte Color Splash Lipstick in Salt Lyfe

A long-wear, full-coverage nude lipstick with a satin finish that hydrates and conditions. It’s formulated with algae to helps lips look smoother, and it’s vegan-friendly. I just applied it to see how it looks and feels, and I actually am really enjoying it. The color applied evenly and with pretty heavy pigmentation considering how light the lipstick feels. It’s got a hydrating almost watery feel to it, which is pretty comfortable, but I’m not optimistic as to how long the color actually lasts. Still, it’s hydrating, looks nice, and feels even nicer, which is good enough for me. Also, thank you Sephora for sending me a nude shade rather than the crazy bold colors you normally send that I’ll rarely wear. 

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in Paaarty

This blush was worth the $10 alone for me, so if you add in everything else, I definitely got my money’s worth this month. The shade Paaarty is a Sephora exclusive shade and it was actually part of last year’s Beauty Insider birthday gift, so I already have this exact shade in this size. Why am I so pumped about getting something I already own? Becuase I absolutely love it! It’s a beautiful matte pink that is perfect for everyday wear, and it has been the blush I’ve been reaching for most often, so of course, I’d be thrilled to have another one. 

As I said, I am super pleased with this box, and I look forward to giving all of these products a try. For $10 a month, Sephora Play is hands down my favorite monthly subscription because it sends products from brands found in their store, which are all brands I trust. Are you a Sephora Play member? What did you receive in your July box?

My No-Makeup Makeup Routine (Actually Using As Little Product As Possible)

Ah, the “no-makeup” makeup look. Where we strive to look like we’re flawless whilst looking like we’re not wearing a stitch of makeup. Have you ever noticed that most of the no-makeup tutorials out there actually use a ton of products and take a lot of time, even though the goal is to look like we’re not wearing anything at all? In my opinion, this is not the way the no makeup look should go. When the goal is to achieve a natural, no-makeup look, don’t you think we should be using as little product as we can?

Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of full face, full coverage days when I’m filming for my channel or going out for the evening, but on a normal weekday, I can be found with nothing on my face except a little lip balm. 

I’ll be honest, I wish I could say that my no-makeup look actually involved wearing absolutely zero makeup, but sadly this is not the case. The truth is, my skin is something that shakes my self-confidence because I have adult acne. I feel very self-conscious about going out in public without at least trying to tone down some of my skin’s imperfections.  While I often throw on a little bit of something, I have managed to create a no-makeup look that actually involves only a few products. The goal of my look is not to make my skin look totally flawless, but simply to help me blur the imperfections that make me most uncomfortable.  Some days, this doesn’t involve any makeup at all, but on days where I’m feeling particularly broken out, there are few products that are quick and easy to use that make me feel like I can go out in public and not worry about my skin’s appearance.  Read more

8 Winter Skin Must-Haves to Combat the Harshest Cold

I don’t know about you guys, but I feel like it is the coldest winter we’ve had in a long time.  I’ve heard that even parts of Florida are getting snow, which means only the most bitter cold for those of us in the North. With temperatures that barely reach double digits, it’s frigidly cold and insanely dry in the Chicagoland area. Wearing a cozy sweater is nice until you do something that ends up giving you enough of a static charge that you see sparks the next time you touch something. Guys, this isn’t even an exaggeration.  There have been several instances in the last few weeks where I’ve shocked myself so hard that I saw sparks and felt significant pain from it. Bottom line: it’s dryer than a desert right now, and everything on my body is reminding me of this regularly. 

Hydration for your skin is so important all the time, but in the winter it seems that dry skin symptoms end up 10 times worse than they’ve ever been.  Even this oily skinned, acne-prone 31-year-old has had to change her skincare game to focus less on getting shine and blemish free and more on getting my skin adequately hydrated to avoid cracked alligator skin. We’re talking there are days where I don’t bother putting makeup on because my dry skin would look worse with a layer of foundation than it would with some exposed pimples. It’s awful. So, I started looking for solutions. Read more

Cozy Home Gift Guide 2017

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, my friends, and that means it’s time for us to forget that Thanksgiving is even a holiday and skip ahead to Christmas shopping.  This year I’m actually trying to get a few gift guides on the blog, and here’s my first one.

As a housewife, blogger, and certified homebody, I spend 90% of my time at home, so I feel that I have the expertise to create a gift guide perfect for the woman (or man) that spends a lot of time in her cozy little part of the world.  I love having things around that make my home feel warm and cozy, and I think this list covers several different bases and price points.  Let’s jump right in.

Interchangeable Letter Board 

This is a less expensive gift on the list, but it’s a great addition to the home, especially for the blogger or Instagram addict in your life.  If I had one, you had better believe it would make a regular appearance in photos.  It’s a great place to put your favorite inspirational quote or Bible verse, or even a little note to your husband.  They come in a bunch of colors and you can find letters for them in all kinds of places.   Read more