Why I Love Maxi Dresses

Maxi dresses are one of my very favorite things to wear. I love that I can throw on one piece of clothing and feel effortlessly styled! They're also perfect for those days when you don't want to wear anything remotely fitted (if ya know what I mean 😉).

I naturally think ahead to someday when I'm a mom, and I think maxi dresses will be high up on the game plan for me. One of my cousins has 3 little ones, yet always manages to look put-together (she doesn't wear workout clothes out and about - ever!). I've noticed she wears a lot of maxi dresses because they're comfortable and breathable, yet also stylish and put-together. So smart! Even though I'm not a mom yet, I'm still down for that strategy right now.   

This Free People maxi dress caught my eye immediately. I definitely gravitate toward black floral prints, and I loved the ruching at the top, as well as the tie details (which make it customizable to your height). I wore this dress this past weekend for a 1st birthday/housewarming party, and it was perfect for the occasion (even in the heat!). I see it being a great dress to bring from summer to fall, and can't wait to style it with an oversized denim jacket.

Dress (currently 40% off!)  |  Sandals  |  Lipstick 

How I Unwind at Home (with Capri Blue)

shelf styling

As someone who works full time beyond blogging (and has another side hustle too), I am always looking for ways to de-stress and to make my home as relaxing and homey as possible. As a homebody that doesn't get to be home as much as I'd like, I really cherish my time at home and appreciate all the little things that make it better! Today I'm collaborating with a brand I absolutely love, Capri Blue, to share some ways I make my home (and my routine) that relaxing oasis that I definitely need in my life! 

shelf styling
With two indoor dogs (that are sometimes a little stinky), I really rely on products that help make our home smell good 24/7. Their reed diffusers are so effective, and look beautiful too! I don't have a good sense of smell, so sometimes I can be a bit "nose blind" and worry that our house smells like doggies, but a friend came over the other night and commented on how good our house smelled, and I knew it was because of this reed diffuser!

how I relax while cooking
Capri Blue volcano candle
To be honest, I used to dread cooking, but over the last year or so I've come to really enjoy it. This is partly because I love learning about nutrition and now really look forward to making nutritious meals, but also because I've learned to turn it into a relaxing, enjoyable experience for myself. What used to stress me out after work is now something I look forward to so that I can unwind a bit in the evenings. I like to listen to music or one of my favorite podcasts while I cook, and also love to light a candle in the kitchen or dining room. I find the smell to be so relaxing, and that the candlelight helps create that positive and peaceful energy I want in our home.

I've found that Capri Blue candles have a much stronger aroma than other brands, and last longer too. Since I don't have a great sense of smell, I love that I can actually smell their candles throughout the entire house when they're burning!

gold candle as decor
at home with Jacy of Love, Lenore
Home decor is also huge for me because it's something I really enjoy, and because it really sets the mood and energy of your home. I love walking into our house when it's clean and when the decor is giving off the vibes I want. Something I love about Capri Blue candles is that they're so pretty! The aesthetic is seriously on point and fits right in with my home decor. I've always loved using candles as decorative accents, and theirs are simply the best for that.

capri blue hand cream
 My nightly skincare routine is also something I look forward to doing to unwind each evening. As I get into bed I set my phone aside for the night and put on my hand cream. I've always had dry hands, but this hand cream is a dream for moisturizing, and it smells absolutely heavenly!

What are some little things you have in your home or do on a nightly basis that help you create a relaxing environment and routine? I am always looking for new things to try!

Thank you for reading this post and for supporting brands I love and get to partner with! I already had Capri Blue products around my home before partnering with them, so I was really excited to work with them to bring you this post!

Products in this post:

stripe tee (c/o) |  similar jeans
white candle (my favorite Capri Blue scent!)  |  rose gold candle  |  reed diffuser  |  hand cream
bookcase  |  marble tray  |  dried eucalyptus  |  similar wood tray  |  wood sculpture     

Q&A and Giveaway with Esthetician Alana Mitchell

I'm so excited to have an absolutely amazing guest for you today! Alana is an incredibly knowledgeable esthetician who has her own skincare line (!!) and skincare e-commerce site. She's an incredibly kind soul and I knew in a heartbeat that I wanted to get to know her and collaborate with her. I've been using her skincare for a few weeks now and I can truly say that my skin hasn't looked this good for as long as I can remember. My undereye circles are noticeably lighter (never thought that would happen), and my skin tone is significantly more even. Stay tuned for the end of this post, because Alana is giving away a full set of her skincare to one of you!

And now, here's my q&a with Alana...

Hi, fellow beauty-lovers, my name is Alana Mitchell! I’m a licensed esthetician and owner of a skincare business based in Orange County, California, and I’m so excited to share some of my knowledge and expertise with all of you! Having grown up in the beauty industry, I developed my passion for skincare from a young age and eventually honed my craft as an esthetician before opening my own spa and retail space here in Southern California. Thirteen years ago, that endeavor developed into an online retail business, skincarebyalana.com, that has helped me educate and assist people to achieve their most beautiful skin; I believe in only the best ingredient-savvy products that perform well and actually deliver results!
Not long ago, I was able to launch my own skincare line, Alana Mitchell Skincare, which has been such a labor of love! Being 100% cruelty-free, I test each of the Alana Mitchell products and formulations myself for efficacy and to make sure they perform up to my standard. So it has been incredibly gratifying to see some of the most recent products in the line (like the 4-in-Cleansing Pod and Quick Comeback Masque) featured on the Hallmark Channel and nominated for the CosmoProf BeautyID Awards – and seeing our local KTLA meteorologist sharing the love for us on Instagram! Because anti-aging is always a relevant topic in skincare (it’s never too early to start!), I’m very happy to have developed such unique and innovative products that help to fight wrinkles and other signs of aging – one less thing we have to worry about!
Jacy and I became acquainted through this gorgeous site, Love, Lenore! As someone who wants to remain in-tune with the world of beauty and follow fashionable trends, I’m constantly on the lookout for new-to-me sources and outlets of information and ideas. When I reached out to Jacy and let her know how much I enjoy her content and her vision, I was thrilled to hear that she was open to collaborating! My goal is to help others uncover their most beautiful skin through education, so I jumped at the opportunity to answer some of Jacy’s skincare questions she’s tailored just for you, her lovely readers!

Jacy: In our twenties, most of us are blessed with wrinkle-free skin, but what should we absolutely be doing now to help prevent and delay aging in the future?

Alana: I know we all feel invincible when we’re young, but it’s super important to start age prevention now! My anti-aging motto is that it’s easier to prevent than reverse. There are three things you can do today to delay signs of aging tomorrow and into the future: find yourself an eye cream, hydrate (internally and externally!), and embrace SPF. 

Depending on your skin type, choose between an eye cream or an eye gel – cream for normal to dry skin, and gel for oily or problematic skin. The formula should provide moisture to the delicate eye area without feeling heavy or greasy. 

I will repeat what you’ve heard a million times – DRINK WATER! Drinking water is the easiest way to keep your skin looking clear, bright, and youthful. Making sure not to skip moisturizer is also a crucial part of skincare – even if you have oilier skin, moisturizer is an incredibly important step in any morning and evening routine. I promise there is a moisturizer out there that meets your needs!

I’m going to blow your mind a little: Sun damage is the biggest culprit when it comes to hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. It’s not just my mommy instincts telling you to apply sunscreen every day – it’s me as someone who is invested in skin health. SPF isn’t just for beach days!

Most medical professionals recommend an SPF of 15-50 to protect against UV damage. I personally recommend getting into the habit of including an SPF of 30 or higher into your skincare routine. Besides a regular sunscreen, SPF can be incorporated into tinted sunscreens and moisturizers, and finding one with SPF 30 isn’t difficult. Apply daily as the last step in your skincare routine (before your makeup) and you’re good to go!

Jacy: As someone in their twenties with a limited budget, what products should I prioritize with my spending?

Alana: Ever heard the term “less is more”? This can apply to all sorts of things, and is especially important when considering a budget. So, be on the lookout for products with multiple benefits in one! Maybe your serum has Hyaluronic Acid and pulls double duty as a moisturizer. Or maybe you found a moisturizer you love that also has SPF 30. With skincare, there are some amazing products that can do it all – talk about multitasking #goals! 

Jacy: In a sea of skincare brands and products, what ingredients should I be looking for that will actually help with different concerns, and what ingredients should I be watching for that are just fillers?

Alana: There are some fantastic ingredients out there, like Glycolic Acid and Retinol that can work for all skin types (in moderation). Glycolic Acid promotes the shedding of dead skin cells, revealing a layer of smoother and softer skin. It treats conditions such as oiliness, acne, blackheads, and fine lines. Retinol repairs damaged skin, from stubborn pimples to wrinkles and dark spots. It also increases cell turnover and encourages collagen and elastin production. Depending on the formulation’s concentration of ingredients, it can do so without irritation -- phew! 

Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid are great for all skin types in general. Vitamin C is perfect for anti-aging and an excellent source of antioxidants to fight free radicals. Hyaluronic Acid is great for hydration: it binds moisture to the skin, and plumps fine lines and wrinkles. 

My rule of thumb? If you can’t pronounce it, Google it. Sometimes the ingredients you read could be the real deal, but more often than not they’re fillers.

Jacy: As someone who is still fighting hormonal acne and often sensitive skin, how do I balance an anti-aging skin regimen while also working to prevent breakouts?

Alana: Spot treating is ideal and will be your best friend! Fight acne with a combination of salicylic acid and glycolic pads then follow with balancing and nourishing acidophilus probiotic cream. Make sure you include an anti-aging eye cream because the skin around your eyes is delicate and the first place you will see aging. Once you’ve found a balance that works for you, your skin will glow!

So much good info, yes?? Pictured above is her full skincare line that one of you will win! After years of struggles with my skin, I'm so happy with the progress I'm seeing while using her regimen.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Good luck with the giveaway! xo 

Some Small Wins

stripe button down top with a front-tie
tie-front top, distressed skinny jeans, sneakers
short sleeve button down

Do you ever think about the little things that can make you day feel so much better? I call these small wins! The list of small wins can be endless, but here are a few random ones that came to mind 😉 

When something you've been eyeing goes on sale

When you get to come straight home from work and stay in for the evening

When you have more money in your bank account than you thought you did

 When you look in the mirror and don't have any zits for once

When someone gives you a wonderful compliment out of the blue and it makes your entire day! (which is why I try to give out a lot of compliments)

tie-front botton down top
summer casual: button down, skinny jeans, espadrillescasual outfit with a button-down and sneakers
Top (on sale for $7!!?? | c/o)  |  Similar Jeans (mine are old H&M)
Similar Sneakers (love the Steven & Superga pairs)  |  Sunglasses

What are some of your favorite small wins? I would love to hear!

Crop Top + Mom Jeans

cute strapless top
ray-ban clubmaster sunglasses
yellow crop top, Ray-ban clubmaster sunglasses

Hey gals! I hope your week is off to a great start. After a really fun Sunday in KC (our first MLS soccer game!) and a late drive back home, I'm still recuperating a bit. Turns out I can't function well off of 4 hours of sleep like I used to 😅

So I feel like this top and this photo location are giving total vacation vibes and I wish that were actually the case! Turns out this is just a random tree in front of a vacant building in my little Missouri town lol. But I love this little top! I'm not typically a strapless fan, but I saw this on megababe Sivan Ayla (honestly looks significantly better on her gorgeous tan skin!) and knew I wanted it for Mizzou games! The first couple of football games are usually hot as balllllz so I knew this top would be perfect! It was my first time ordering from Vici, but they always have a ton of cute stuff I keep my eye on.  

crop top + mom jeans
striped crop top
cool blonde, messy waves | yellow crop top
Top  |  Jeans (on sale for $28!) |  Sunglasses  |  Slide Sandals  |  Similar Bag  |  Necklaces  |  Lipstick