My Fall Nighttime Routine
11.13.2018

My Fall Nighttime Routine and favorite moisturizing cream

I love a routine and any ritual that makes my day more pleasant and calm. My morning and nighttime routines change up a bit throughout the year and depending on my schedule, but lately I have a calming fall nighttime routine I thought I would share with you today! Keep in mind this usually takes place after a busy night of dinner, clean-up, [sometimes] workout, shower, and a few hours of work on my laptop (either blog work or photo editing), so I need these little rituals to help me slow down at the end of the night.

Drinking a cup of hot tea
I try to do this year-round, but I especially crave my evening cup of hot tea in the fall and winter. I usually drink peppermint tea later in the evening and/or before bed because it’s really relaxing and promotes healthy digestion. This one is my favorite!

calming nighttime rituals // @OlayUS Regenerist Whip Fragrance-Free

Doing my skincare routine
I love doing my nighttime skincare routine and find it so relaxing! At night I always apply a good moisturizer + oil at the end of my skincare routine so my skin gets re-hydrated overnight. This fall I’ve been using Olay Regenerist Whip Fragrance-Free and my skin is loving it! I wake up dewy, but not oily or greasy due to the lightweight texture, and it makes my skin so soft and smooth. You girls know how sensitive my skin is, so I was so excited when Olay released a fragrance-free version of the Regenerist Whip. It’s definitely lived up to the hype and my skin is glowing now more than ever! And I love that I can pick it up at Walgreens whenever I need to restock it. 

calming nighttime routine essentials

Diffusing essential oils
I keep an essential oil diffuser in our bedroom and love to diffuse oils before we got to bed and while we sleep. Not only do they give off a lovely aroma and create a calming atmosphere in our bedroom, but essential oils have many health & wellness benefits too. Most of the year my go-to is lavender oil because it calms you and promotes good sleep (and lavender is one of my favorite scents)! Lately I’ve also been diffusing lots of Thieves oil because it is great for the immune system and has a really nice fall/winter scent to it. 

Drifting off to a show
I know a lot of wellness experts say not to have a TV in the bedroom, but Trey and I love to watch a show in bed as we fall asleep. I think this is one of those things that’s different for everyone! We personally find it super relaxing and usually throw on an episode of Friends, The Office, or That 70’s Show.

what herbal tea to drink before bed as part of your nighttime routine

What are some things you do to wind down before bed?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Olay. All opinions and text are my own.

Fall Sweater Edit
11.01.2018

The best affordable fall sweaters

It's sweater weather y'all! Like it or not, chilly days are here (at least in Missouri) and it's time to cozy up in some cute sweaters! Now, I'm pretty picky about sweaters... they have to be flattering and they can't be itchy. I can't personally vouch for most of these sweaters, but I do own a few of them (which I'll point out below), and have ordered several of these too! Looking at my closet, I would say most of my sweaters are from H&M. You definitely have to weed through the good and the bad, but year after year they have awesome ones at a steal of a price! I actually ordered a few while writing this post last night!

Also, I can't link from these some sites in the widgets below, but definitely check out some of my favorite online shops, Shop Lux, Maude Boutique, Lulu's and Zara for cute and affordable knits as well!

CREAMY NEUTRALS
Ahhh...my favorite! I could probably own 20 cream and tan sweaters and still want more versions. I just ordered this one, I've worn this one tons already, and I have last year's version of this sweater



COLOR
I've always been a neutrals-only kind of gal, but this year color has been growing on me! I have several of these in my cart!



BLACK + GRAY
You girls know I love my black clothing! I have this sweater and this sweater and can vouch for their amazingness! I ordered this cozy gray turtleneck last night too. 



PRINTS
I don't usually go for a bold sweater, but I can't get this one out of my head! Probably need to go ahead and order it! I'm also in love with all things leopard at the moment and love it in sweater form here & here.  


The Surprising Factor that Kills or Boosts our Confidence
10.23.2018

The Surprising Factor that Kills or Boosts our Confidence
messy waves, cool-toned blonde hair with roots

I feel like there's not much worse for the confidence than a bad hair day, am I right?? My hair is super fine, so my bad hair days tend to be when my hair is flat and lifeless. This makes me feel so gross! I end up fussing with my hair all day and wondering if I should just chop it off! Turns out you guys absolutely hate bad hair days too. This is what some of you girls had to say about how a bad hair day makes you feel:

"Ugly"
"Fidgety, like I can't stop playing with my hair"
"Low self esteem"
"Gross"
"Less confident, worried about how I'm being presented, messy. Even if everything else is good."
"Vulnerable, self-conscious, less outgoing"
"Frustrated and frumpy"
"Like I want to go home and bury myself in bed"
"A little discouraged. Like I already know the day will suck."
"It plays with my confidence"

WOW. Can you believe the impact a bad hair day has on our confidence?? 

According to a survey by Yale University, only 1 in 10 women experience a great hair day regularly. 

That means our hair is affecting our confidence all the timeI hate that so many of us feel this way so often. 

how to get more volume with fine hair
Pantene Sheer Volume Shampoo and Conditioner - give you volume, but also shine

When Pantene reached out about joining their 14 Day Challenge, I was anxious and excited to see if I would have more great hair days! I used their Hair Advisor guide to pick the best shampoo and conditioner for my hair needs, and went with the Sheer Volume Shampoo and Conditioner to give my fine hair a boost. I used it for every wash over the course of two weeks, and definitely saw some positive changes. My hair held volume and curl way longer than it had been before! My styling lasted all day, rather than fading by the afternoon. This was a game changer for me because I'm used to my hair falling flat and feeling gross within a few hours! Somehow, even with more volume, my hair was smoother and softer than usual too. 

Overall, I definitely had more good and great hair days overall, which was an amazing feeling! I felt more confident, more attractive, and I didn't go through my day just wanting to throw my hair in a messy bun. And guess what, I'm not the only one who feels SO much better when I have a good hair day! Here's how they make YOU feel:

"Empowered! Ready to take on the day."
"Unique"
"The best and like I can conquer the world!"
"Put together"
"The day is going to be good!"
"Happy and positive"

"LIKE I CAN DO ANYTHING"
"Like I won the hair lottery, swishy and comfortable, more confident"
"Like a kweeeeeeeenn"
"Like I want to see everyone I know and catch up!"
"It is a mood booster"
"Like I can do anything. But really it just makes me like my hair more and not want to chop it off."
"HAPPY"

rooted cool blonde hair

Isn't it amazing to see the difference?? Our hair really plays a huge role in our confidence, our happiness, and how social we want to be! 

I want all of us to feel this way more often! I encourage you to check out Pantene's 14 Day Challenge to find the right shampoo and conditioner for you so you can have more great hair days too!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Pantene. The opinions and text are all mine.

10 Healthy Tips for Eating Out
10.09.2018



As much as I love to cook my healthy meals at home, sometimes life is crazy and we’re forced to grab takeout, or sometimes we just want a night off to grab a bite together! And that’s ok! Honestly, I sometimes struggle when I don’t have control over every ingredient I’m eating because I look and feel my best when I’m eating “my food” at home. But balance and moderation are key, and it’s it’s absolutely okay to eat out sometimes! However, if you eat out multiple times a week, then you probably won’t want to splurge every single time (although there is absolutely a time and a place for that too). 

Beyond special occasions, I try to make the healthiest choices I can when eating out and am excited to share 10 of my tips with you!

Evaluate what kind of night it is
Is it your birthday dinner, anniversary or other special occasion? Girl, get the pasta you’ve been craving and drink a glass of wine with it! Is it a random weeknight when you don’t feel like cooking? That may not be the best time to carb-load. If you eat out multiple nights per week, then splurging every time is really going to add up over time, so figure out what balance works for you and pick and choose when you want to splurge.

Look at the menu ahead of time
I often like to go in with a game plan or make sure a restaurant is a good fit for me ahead of time. For example, if there are zero gluten free options, then I won’t pick that restaurant. I also find that when I look at a menu ahead of time and come up with a few healthier options, then it’s easier to stick to one of those when it comes time to order.  

Stick to water
In general, I stick to drinks that don’t have calories because I’d much rather eat my calories. I love water, so I have no issues with drinking it at dinner or any other meal - and it’s free! I’d rather spend my money on food or activities most of the time anyways! If I’m on a nice date night with Trey I’ll get a glass of wine or a tequila cocktail sometimes, but I never drink soda or other “fancy” drinks on the menu that are typically full of sugar.

Modify, modify, modify
Again, everything in moderation, but I personally choose to make modifications to most of my meals to make them gluten free and/or lower in carbs. I always order a burger or sandwich without a bun/bread, eat fajitas or tacos without the tortilla, keep the croutons off of a salad, and sub in a salad or vegetable for the fries. I find that all of these little swaps really add up and keep me on track with feeling and looking my best.

Choose between drinks or dessert
Unless it’s your birthday or anniversary, I recommend picking between drinks or dessert instead of doing both. This will help prevent a huge blood sugar spike (which make us gain weight)! If I’m with Trey we usually opt for drinks, and if I’m with a friend (i.e. Jo), then we will usually splurge on gelato.


Build a breakfast/brunch around eggs
Regardless of where I'm eating breakfast or brunch, I always get an egg dish. I skip on dishes like french toast or pancakes, especially now that I'm gluten free, but also because those are like eating a massive dessert for breakfast (totally fine here and there btw). If I'm at a nicer brunch spot I'll get an egg dish, then add some avocado or greens on the side (and maybe some bacon or smoked salmon). This ensures that I'm getting some fiber and greens alongside my protein and healthy fat. If I'm at a casual, diner-type spot, I'll usually opt for an omelette and I look for one with lots of veggies in addition to my protein. I now skip the toast on the side, unless I'm on vacation and there's a really good gluten free option available. If I can't get greens or avocado on the side, I try to eat half (or less) of my hash browns or breakfast potatoes. 

Look for vegetable side dish options
I’m sure it’s not as common everywhere, but people in the midwest sure love their fries and carbs! I'm constantly subbing in different side dishes! I love to do side salads and steamed or roasted vegetables for my sides. These mimic a more normal meal for me, help me to eat more vegetables and fiber, keep the calories down, and help me to feel good.

Go for grilled/smoked rather than fried
Fried anything is no longer an option for me since I’m gluten intolerant and fried foods have always given me an instant stomach ache anyways, but skipping fried meats and foods is a good way to go at least 80-90% of the time. Not only are fried foods packed with carbs, calories and unhealthy fats, but the grease will really weigh you down, and in my case, cause a major stomach ache. I personally feel so much better when I stick to grilled or smoked options for my protein! 

Salads aren’t always the healthiest option
Restaurant salads are often calorie traps and in fact, I don’t order a dinner salad that often. Often times restaurant dressings are packed with sugar and calories, and sometimes the toppings aren’t doing you any favors either (fried chicken, croutons, tons of fruit, cheese, etc.). Definitely weigh your options, but I often find I can put together a healthier meal (i.e. grilled chicken or bunless burger + a side salad or side of veggies) from other parts of the menu. 

Slow. Down.
I’ve recently started eating a bit slower, and also chewing my food more. Many of us tend to shovel our food down (especially if it’s super tasty), and I’m definitely guilty of that. Eating slower gives you time to not only savor what you’re eating and enjoy someone's company, but also allows your body to keep up and properly signal when you’re full. Many of us also don’t chew our food thoroughly, but spending a little more time chewing works wonders for the digestion!

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I hope you enjoyed these tips and found a couple of takeaways you can apply in your own life! Leave me a comment below about what you're planning to try or if you have some tips of your own!

My Makeup Routine + Favorite Products
10.03.2018


This post is so long overdue, but I'm finally breaking down my makeup routine and favorite products for you! Most of these products I've used for quite some time (and many for years now), so believe me when I say I love these products and believe in them (also, none of these are gifted - they're all things I've purchased). In some categories I couldn't pick just one product, so I've shared everything I use.

Also, this is everything I use for a full face of makeup. There are many days where I leave out a few steps to get out the door quicker or to achieve a more "natural" look.

Okay...let's dive in!

Primer
I haven't always used a primer, but ever since discovering the magic that are Supergoop! SPF primers I'm hooked. I'm currently using this one, but have also used and loved this one. They both have an SPF of 40, and create a smooth surface to apply your makeup on. They're not cheap, but last for months and months (and don't break me out!).

Foundation(s)
I couldn't pick just one foundation to share with you, because there are a few I love and use for different looks! I've used the Revlon Colorstay foundation for well over a year now, and it's a great full-coverage foundation that isn't heavy or thick! It still feels lightweight but is very buildable, and it's matte without being crazy matte (ya know what I mean?). I recently purchased the Lawless "Woke Up Like This" Flawless Finish Foundation, and it's a great product too! It's full coverage (covers blemishes and hyper-pigmentation really well), but dewy, which is something I've never found before. It's also completely non-toxic! Unfortunately on its own it's a little too dewy for me for most days (oily skin is a bummer sometimes), BUT for the past several weeks I've been mixing it with my Revlon Colorstay foundation and creating my own perfect foundation! I also have to mention Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation. I haven't bought it in awhile since I found such a great drugstore foundation, but it's still my all-time favorite foundation!

Application tip: I pump my foundation onto the back of my hand then apply in little dots all over my face. Then I use this brush to stipple it into my skin. This is the best application I've found for a natural, yet full coverage look!

Concealer
I've had very dark circles since I was a little kid, and they've always been a struggle to cover. Once I tried Tarte Shape Tape a couple of years ago there was no going back! It's the best I've found to cover dark circles, plain and simple. And a tube lasts me a long, long time! I used to apply it with a blending sponge, but now I just lightly blend it in with my ring fingers.

Setting Powder
I next use setting powder to set my "wet" makeup products before moving onto powder products. I've tried a few over the years without having a diehard favorite, but I've recently been using the Lawless "Seal the Deal" Loose Setting Powder and I love it! It's another non-toxic product and is free of talc, a harmful ingredient found in most setting powders. It has a really soft, natural finish! I use the color "brightening translucent."

Brows
Next I jump to eye makeup, and first up is my brows! This is probably my favorite part of my makeup routine because I've really embraced my thick brows, and feel like a defined brow can make your whole face! My all-time favorite brow pencil is the Anastasia of Beverly Hills Brow Whiz! It adds a lot of thickness, while still looking natural and staying put all day. As an alternative I will sometimes use the L'Oreal Brow Stylist Definer, which is a great dupe. It doesn't stay put quite as well, but I still love it! I'll use it when I'm out of my Brow Whiz or if I'm not doing a full face of makeup. 

Eyeshadow
I don't wear eyeshadow every day, but I do love to play around with different colors! My all-time favorite palette is this one by Tarte! The colors somehow all blend with one another in a ton of combinations and are super flattering. I also love this Tarte palette, which is slightly cooler toned. If I'm in a hurry or don't feel like doing a full-blown eyeshadow look, I'll often swipe on a bit of my Becca highlighter or one of these cream eyeshadows with my ring finger to achieve a subtle glow on my eyelids. 

Eyeliner
I don't wear eyeliner every day, but when I do I almost always wear liquid liner! I recently bought this liner by W3ll People (a clean makeup brand) and really like it, so I'm planning to stick with it for now! I've always just used drugstore eyeliners and have never had any issues or a reason to go high end in this category. 

Mascara
I've found a drugstore primer + mascara combo that I haven't strayed from in over a year now! I use this primer on the front, then back, then front of my lashes, and then use this mascara! I apply on the front, then pull through the back, then do two more coats on the front. This mascara keeps my lashes nicely separated, while also adding length and volume! On the occasion that I want even more volume, I'll add a couple of coats of this mascara on top. 

Application tip: applying my primer and mascara through the back of my lashes makes a huge difference! I learned this tip through Courtney of Bring Your Own Beauty.

Contour Bronzer
I'm on my second Benefit Hoola Bronzer, and I love how easy it is to contour with! It's matte and cool-toned, which recreates the look of a shadow or natural contour. The packaging could definitely be improved, but the product is so good that I deal with it (hah). I use this brush to lightly contour my cheekbones, and then use the thin brush it comes with to contour the sides of my nose.

Glow/Warmth Bronzer
This may be high maintenance, but I use a second bronzer to a) blend out my contour and b) add warmth and a bit of tan to my face! You may have seen on my Instagram Stories that I recently bought a new compact of MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Global Glow to replace my old one that was 3.5 years old. Yes, you read that right - it lasts forever! I use this brush to dust it along my hairline, as well as to lightly blend out my contour.

Blush
I got a Tarte Amazonian Clay blush for free for my birthday in 2017 and haven't looked back. I now have two colors ("paaartay" and "exposed") that I rotate depending on the time of year, and I absolutely love them both! This is by far my favorite blush I've ever used. 

Highlighter
My friends Jo and Brianna talked me into splurging on the Becca Pressed Highlighter about a year and a half ago and I'm so glad I did! Not only does it give you a beautiful, subtle glow, but a little goes a long way! I still have a ton of product left, so I feel like this was a good investment. I use the color "opal."

Setting Spray
I am a late adopter to setting sprays (as in the last few months), but am now a believer! I recently picked up the Mac Fix+ setting spray that several friends raved about to me, and it really does make a difference in my makeup! It helps my makeup to last longer and to have a nicer finish.

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I hope you found this post helpful and found a few new products to try! I'd like to experiment with some mini tutorials on my IG Stories and IGTV channel - so let me know if you'd be interested in seeing something like that and if you have any specific requests!
  


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