Memorial Motivation

Hello and Happy Memorial Day!

It never hurts to have a little dose of workout motivation, especially during a holiday. I don't know about you, but I tend to overindulge using the long weekend as an excuse. For example, the past two days Justin and I treated ourselves to sangria, cider, baked mac & cheese, bbq, and even some key lime coconut custard pie - see what I mean hah!? Luckily, I finally joined a gym on Friday, so now I have no excuse not to work off those extra calories. I've always had a love of fitness and staying in shape, but after moving and hunting to find a job, working out just hasn't taken priority. Those who know me well know I definitely dress for the gym or the barre. I understand it's not for everyone, and that some days throwing your hair up in a pony and grabbing a slouchy tee is the way to go...

But normally I dress to impress...not for everyone else, but for me. I find if I feel good about the way I look I work out harder and am motivated to push myself further. Gyms and barre studios are covered in mirrors so you're going to look at yourself quite a lot. I use to teach Pure Barre and encouraged clients to constantly recheck their form in the mirror - so it's nice to look over and think, "Girl you look good in those yoga pants!" - there's no shame in that! Here are some of my tips for a motivating workout wardrobe:

1. Fit matters. Finding the right fit in your workout wear is very important. Every brand is different - some run big, most run small (i.e. in Lululemon expect to size up by at least 2 or 3 sizes.) so try not to get defeated if your usual size feels too snug. It's a plus to feel lifted and held in by your tanks and leggings, but you don't want to feel like you can't breathe. Remember, even the most in-shape girl or guy can look distorted by the wrong size wardrobe. I know I've had to size up many times in fitness tops, because they squeeze me in all the wrong places and many times I can barely get them back off. So if you need to, size up! The world of work out wear is totally different than your usual clothing.

2. Beam brightly. Have fun with your tops and bottoms! There aren't many professions where you can wear neon green and bright pink to the office, so embrace the brights! I love a pop of color under a tank, like in the photo above. A fun tip: Buy tops, bottoms, and shoes with multiple colors so you can mix and match your outfits! 

3. You can never go wrong with black pants. My go to is almost always black long or cropped pants. They are universally flattering and very slimming. Plus they go with just about everything! My favorite pair of black pants are from Alo Yoga and goodness gracious, they're great! Make sure to check out their site - they have a 20-60% off sale going on for Memorial Day (use code memdayalo).

4. Find a fun & supportive sports bra. The sports bra I'm wearing above is from Victoria's Secret and it's one of my favorites for a few reasons: 1. It's colorful. 2. It can be worn with many different tops I own 3. It's supportive 4. Drum roll has push up! 

5. Buy breathable fabrics. Always look for tops and bottoms with ventilation. Mesh has become a huge trend and although it's fashionable, it will also keep you cool. I can always tell the difference in tops that breathe and those that don't. Try wearing a long sleeve top to a 55 minute Pure Barre class that doesn't have cut outs or might just burn up! Sometimes you might end up paying more for these beneficial details, but it's usually worth it! Keep your eye on sales and monitor pages like Lululemon's "We Made Too Much" on their site. 

6. Color coordinate. Buying pieces that match or go together can make getting ready so much easier! Also, it's common for companies to debut collections with certain colors for certain seasons and once they're gone they're gone. Buying several items that coordinate guarantees you'll be able to make outfits even after the collection is gone. For example, I like buying a sports bras at the same time I buy a tank with an uncommon color(s) so I know I'll have something that pairs together properly.  

7. Invest in your sneakers. If you're going to invest in anything, it should really be your shoes. Running, walking, climbing, etc. in the wrong sneakers can be really bad for your feet, back, and body. I paid full price for the Nike's I'm wearing above and they are the most comfortable shoes I own! And cute! I did, however, buy a second pair of gym shoes (also Nikes) at TJ Maxx for $39.99 which was a total steal - so keep your eyes open. 

8. Never forget your smile. Don't forget the best accessory of all...your smile! Sometimes the gym or the barre can be a very intimidating place to be, but a smile always seems to break the ice. Remember, everyone is there for self improvement and is working towards a goal just like you!

My favorite athletic brands? Lululemon, Alo Yoga, Karma Athletics, Kira Grace, Nike, and Target (they carry some of the best graphic muscle tees). You may be wondering, "Does spending more mean better quality?" And the answer for the most part is yes. The cost is usually higher for pieces with greater detail and higher quality fabric. With that said, that doesn't mean you have to spend a lot. TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Nordstrom Rack to name a few. All offer luxury workout brands for less.

After shopping and coordinating your workout wear, make sure to check out today's sales and discounts! I've highlighted a few below.

Remember to thank a soldier today (and every day) for his or her service! So many have sacrificed so much so we can live in a country where we can enjoy luxuries like blogging, shopping, and working out. It's a great day to feel thankful for your freedom. 

Thanks to all the soldiers in my life - I'm so very proud!


Bridal Beauty

Nail Polish // Makeup Bag // Earrings // Self Tanner // Goldfish // Sweatshirt // Candle

Hello and Happy, Happy Friday!

I hope some of you are off today traveling or getting an early start on the holiday weekend. I'll be working a couple hours and then plan to kick off the break with some Heidi cuddles and maybe a nap - exciting huh? Justin and I were saying how much we wish Orange is the New Black were coming out this weekend, because we would have so much time to do nothing but Netflix. As of right now our plans are to relax (and maybe take some blog photos hehe). 

I thought I'd share a Bridal Gift Guide today, because I recently attended a shower and know wedding season is in full swing - hopefully this will be helpful! Many times brides have registries to choose from, but in my friend's case, she set it up more as a formality, so I took the creative liberty of picking out her presents myself. Originally, I was going to purchase some candles she said she liked when she came to visit, but sadly, couldn't find them. So instead I found this adorable pineapple candle at Target and it all evolved from there.

It's not shown in the photo, but I purchased a white and pink square cloth basket with handles and used that as the gift bag. That way she could actually use it and wouldn't have extra trash to throw away. I found it in the $1-$3 section of Target - and let me tell you, never turn your nose up at that section at the front of the store. So many cute & essential items especially for gift wrapping!

Some other great gifts for your special bride to be are: nail polish, bright baubles, self-tanner (think of that tropical honeymoon), a makeup/toiletry bag, a gift card (so she can buy what she really wants), lip balm, adorable bridal/wifey clothing, and even some snacks! Would doesn't love snacks?! I put it all in the basket and then stuffed it with gold & mint tissue paper.

I ended up absolutely loving the way it turned out - so bright & colorful...and I may have made sure all of the items & packaging color coordinated. Also, don't forget a thoughtful card - words can mean so much more than stuff!

Again, I hope everyone has a restful, fun, safe Memorial Day weekend. Come back Monday for some motivation and maybe some Memorial sales!


Shrimp & Grits

Tee c/o // Pants (want these and these) // Shoes // Sunglasses // Lipgloss

Welcome to Wear It Wednesday Ladies & Gents!

I literally cannot say enough good things about this shirt from Shrimp & Grits! They are a southern brand with a love of leisure, a passion for relaxing, and promise of a quality product. The company recently reached out to me and were incredibly kind to send me this mint green fitted tee, a regular fit tee (post to come), AND a super cute koozie! 

I knew the tees were adorable from the start, but you never know what you'll get when you order a t-shirt. You know what I mean? Sometimes they are soft, others are scratchy, some fit loose, some fit tight, etc. etc. etc... But I can tell you with confidence that Shrimp & Grits got it right! No joke...these are now officially the most comfortable, best quality tees I own. I love companies that don't sacrifice quality just to sell more of their product. + the pricing is still really wonderful! 

I can't wait to build a bigger Shrimp & Grits collection and am actually looking forward to cooler weather just so I have a reason to purchase a long sleeve tee and sweatshirt. I highly recommend these shirts for anyone who is looking for comfort AND fashion. There are so many ways to wear them. Dressed down to run errands, casually with shorts, or dressed up with white skinny jeans and wedges (how I will be wearing mine next).

Make sure to stop by their website here to shop! They also have an Instagram shrimpandgritsco.

My apologies this post is up a little late today. I planned on getting into the office early before posting, but got a late start and somehow managed to lock my keys and all of my stuff in the car. It's not even supposed to be possible hah! Thank goodness for AAA and very friendly service. Hopefully the rest of the day will be less eventful!


Five Minute Journal

Good Morning and welcome back to Motivation Monday!

Today I thought I'd talk about The Five-Minute Journal, "the simplest, most effective thing you can do everyday to be happier." I've mentioned it before, and you may have even seen the picture above in a post from a few months ago. I originally heard about this journal while watching an incredible video on relationships by Mimi and Alex Ikonn (you can watch it here). They talk about how they start their morning and end their night by writing down what they are grateful for, a daily affirmation, quotes, and what will and did make their day great. After, they share aloud with each other. And it only takes five minutes or less, hence the five-minute journal! 

I found my copy at the store Paper Source - journal is linked here. This kind of thing isn't for everyone and it isn't for every couple (I write in mine solo), but for those who are into self-motivation, I highly recommend! I find that starting my day by being grateful, aware and confident really makes a difference. And ending it by remembering what made the day great and what I could have done to make it better, gets me in a positive mindset for the coming morning. I like to keep my journal on my bedside table along with a pen. This way it jogs my memory! + once you get in the habit, it will become part of your daily routine. A much better way to start your day than getting sucked into your phone right away.   

I hope everyone has a wonderful start to the week and lots of coffee :). Please don't forget about tonight's Subscriber Social with Beautycounter! You can join the event by going here. Make sure not to miss out on a lot of great info about a wonderful company, a chance to purchase great beauty and skin care products + the chance to win a giveaway if you participate! 

If you can't join tonight or would like to go ahead and shop you can go HERE.


Stressed Out Skin + Giveaway

After moving to California I started noticing that my skin was looking red, dull and dry. I hadn't been exceptionally crazy about my skin before I left Virginia, but don't think I ever gave it a whole lot of thought while living by myself. Moving in with Justin made me take a closer look, because I actually started caring what I looked like in my down time at home. There were definitely several factors at play causing my skin, especially my face, to act out. I attribute the dullness, dryness and redness to stress, travel, a new climate, and an irregular skincare routine. Since, I have worked really hard to make my skin better, brighter and more beautiful. Below are my recommendations. 

Find a routine and stick to it! The best piece of advice I can give is to find a skin care routine that works for you and to stick to it. I've realized that, like most things in life, consistency is key! It's easy to try out a product for a couple nights, see little result, and call it quits - I've done this many times (usually with Sephora samples). Now that I have a pretty solid product lineup for day and for night, that I've really given a chance, I'm seeing much more positive results. 

Invest in a cleanse off oil. For many years I struggled to find a way to take off all of my mascara without pulling on my eyelids and pulling out my eyelashes. Fortunately, I heard about MAC's Cleanse Off Oil via YouTube and gave it a try - and it totally changed my routine! Since, I've tried other cleanse off products, but MAC's still stands strong as my tried and true. It may seem strange, but this product is designed to use on a fully made up, dry face. Using the oil while your face is dry causes your makeup to emulsify and slide right off. I like to use a warm wash cloth or makeup wipe to take off all the oil and residue before cleansing.  

Cleanse nightly. A good cleanser is one of the most important parts of a skin care regime. While cleanse off oil is great for stripping hard to remove mascara and makeup, cleansing gets your skin nice and clean. If you go straight to cleansing before using a remover wipe, cleanse off oil, or a micellar water to remove your makeup, you won't achieve the cleanest canvas possible. I have very sensitive skin so I only use cleansers without fragrance and additives. My go to for over a year has been this one (a little goes a long way).

Gently exfoliate. Recently I discovered a new product and a new company that I love - Beautycounter! If you haven't heard of Beautycounter, you're seriously missing out. I participated in a Facebook event several weeks ago for one of my girlfriends and ended up winning a 4 oz. bottle of their Gentle Exfoliator Polishing Cream and oh.em.gee. it's fantastic! You may think all exfoliators are created equal, but boy they are not. I have super sensitive skin, like I stated above, and this exfoliator doesn't bother my face one bit. + it makes my skin feel silky smooth. Make sure to check below for an exclusive invitation to an exciting Beautycounter event coming next Monday and an opportunity to win an awesome #giveaway... trust me, it's a good one!

Moisturize.  Moisturizing is important regardless of the season. Like my cleanser, I use a product (here) with zero fragrance that is dermatologist recommended. I normally purchase the 2 oz. bottle and it lasts me for a very long time. I always use it at night before bed and sometimes in the morning if my makeup primer isn't very hydrating. I also recommend this cream for moisturizing overnight. Yes it's pricey, but it lasts quite a long time AND it smells heavenly!  

Reduce redness. This has been the biggest issue I've had with my skin and I didn't take the time to address it until recently. I don't have any diagnosable redness like rosacea, but I've always had sensitive, fair skin with red undertones. While researching how to combat this problem I started hearing about hydrafacials. Before March I'd never had a facial of any kind, because I'd always been afraid it would make the redness worse or damage my skin. Fortunately, hydrafacials are designed for people with my skin type and leave the face super clean, hydrated, and bright. You don't have to wait to wear makeup (although it's recommended for a couple days and you probably won't need to) and you can go about your day without having to hide in the house while your skin calms down. While at my appointment my aesthetician recommended this and it is by far my skin care game changer.

Zap zits. Pretty much everyone, yes everyone, suffers from the occasional breakout. And when you do you'll want to try this product. I kid you not, I consider it a "magic" treatment. I'll place it on an imperfection before going to bed. And 99% of the time it's basically gone or much, much better when I wake up!

Try Vitamin C. While at my hydrafacial appointment, my aesthetician gave me a couple of samples from the company Image Skincare (which I later found out is the skincare sponsor of Miss USA). I just finished up my Vital C Hydrating Facial Cleanser and plan to purchase the full size. I love products with Vitamin C for the morning because they wake up the skin and leave you feeling refreshed and squeaky clean. Previously my morning skin care routine was nonexistent (insert hands over eyes monkey emoji) and creating a sunrise skin session has really helped!

Brighten those eyes.  I'm in the process of trying to find a night eye cream that I love (please send recommendations!) but for the morning I absolutely love this one. It has the most amazing brightening properties, making the eyes look and feel much more awake.

Hydrate. This is one of the few things I've been doing consistently for a long, long time. I understand the importance of drinking plenty of water and always try to keep water bottles nearby while at work. At home I have several cute tumblers that encourage me to hydrate regularly. It's so important for your body and I guarantee you'll see a difference in your complexion if you sip the recommended amount of H2O.

Okay, I know that was a long post - thank you for making it through - I have some very exciting news to share! On Monday, May 23rd I'll be hosting an online Facebook event with my friend Reagan, who is an expert Beautycounter Consultant + there's a super exciting giveaway for those who participate. If you're interested, and I hope you are, here is how to receive your invitation: 

Like Pardon Muah on Facebook and then comment on the Facebook page "Please invite me to the Beautycounter Social." I will be checking the page consistently until Monday night to make sure everyone gets added. If for some reason you've requested an invite and you don't get added in a timely fashion, please comment on this post and let me know!

I really hope you all can join - please don't feel pressured to spend - everyone is welcome! I really believe in the company and their products and hope you can participate Monday. It's very interactive, so feel free to ask questions!

If you can't join via Facebook, please use this link to browse and shop at your convenience :)
Beautycounter + Pardon Muah


Peach Chambray

Earrings c/o // Shirt (similar) // Pants // Shoes // Purse // Sunglasses 

Welcome back to Wear It Wednesday!

I think these may be some of my favorite photos yet and I assure you this outfit will be on repeat throughout spring. So many pieces I love - a chambray tank, the perfect white jean, sky high wedges, a neutral cross body bag, big shades, a top knot bun, and last but not least, a gorgeous pair of statement earrings!

These peachy pink, sparkly beauties (the Jordie Earring) were sent to me from Glamour Girl, and I kid you not, are the only jeweled statement earrings I own. Sadly, both of my earlobes are torn (sorry tmi) from years of wearing heavy jewelry so I have a really hard time finding pieces that don't hurt or make the problem worse. I usually have to opt for studs, but was so smitten with this pair I just had to test them out! I was SO happy when I received these and they were light enough to wear all day (and I did wear them all. day. long). No discomfort or pulling...just a lot of pretty. If you're looking for affordable, adorable jewelry definitely give Glamour Girl a try. Great customer service and super cute packaging! 

>>> Today ONLY they are offering 10% off with the code "pardonmuah." <<<

I paired this look with a bright lip and a sheer white nail. I love that this outfit feels chic, while also casual enough to wear around town. Plus all of the pieces are neutral so you can pair with all sorts of fun, bright jewels like this and this and this

Make sure to stop by Pardon Muah this Friday for my skincare favorites and a very special giveaway from a new brand I'm loving. Trust me, you'll want to enter! 


Mondays & Mornings

Good Morning and Happy Monday!

I thought today's post would be appropriate, because it's day one of my new job and this morning came very, very early. Luckily, no Sunday blues yesterday, but definitely a little anxiety and a couple nerves - keep your fingers crossed for me today! I've talked about this before, but I've always struggled with mornings and have never ever been an easy early riser. I wish I had this "internal alarm clock" so many people talk about, because all I have is a snooze button hah! I will probably never be a "morning person," but I'm definitely going to keep trying and have a couple of suggestions for anyone else like me who needs some daybreak determination. 

1 // Prepare for tomorrow. I always have a better, less stressful morning if I prepare the night before. I have a clothes rack from IKEA I hang my weekly outfits on and it makes things so much easier. No rushing to iron or steam or hunt down what I need at 6am. Plus, I usually like what I'm wearing if I give it a little more thought. And I don't know about you, but if I feel like I look good, my mood is brighter and my productivity is higher. 

2 // Write yourself a "wake up!" note. I don't always do this, but if I know I'm going to have to get up exceptionally early, usually for a special event or work trip, I will create an event on my phone, instead of the usual alarm clock. I like to do this because I can write a note to myself that tells me to "Get up!" "Don't hit snooze." It seems simple, but this really does help. 

3 // Start your morning with affirmation. Once I'm wide awake I like to start my day by writing in my Five Minute Journal. This step isn't for everyone, but it encourages gratitude and gets you thinking about what needs to be accomplished for the day. In addition, you complete a daily affirmation..I like to remind myself I'm capable and kind and that good things come to those who work hard and give 100%. Many days it only takes me a minute, but it's a minute well spent.

4 // Try to stay off social media. It's rare I follow this advice, but getting on your phone first thing in the morning can really suck you in and can become a total time drain. Try and place your phone across the room or in your bag so that you aren't tempted to look at it until you've finished getting ready or have the first break in your day.

5 // Make a cup of coffee [in a cute cup]. This is my favorite part of the morning (well a close second to putting on makeup) and the step I most consistently complete. I wouldn't classify myself as a coffee addict, as I can go a couple days without it, but it's something I enjoy - a quick morning treat! + It doesn't hurt to have your coffee or tea in an adorable mug or tumbler. If you are short on time, like most of us are, and you need something more filling than coffee, a breakfast smoothie is a great choice - see my favorite here.

6 // Give yourself time to prep & primp. There's nothing worse than being rushed to get ready. Especially if you work outside the home, where you get points for presentation! Again, if you feel like you look good (inside and out) most likely you'll work harder. This is also true for the gym! Some days I will even lay out my cosmetics the night before so that in the morning, when my brain is still waking up, it will take little to no thought. If you're a product junkie like I am, you know how hard it can be to decide on your blush and your lipstick - Light pink or peach? Dark nude or light nude? I know you makeup obsessed ladies understand!

7 // Listen to your favorite tunes. Sometimes nothing lifts your spirit or motivates more than music. I love turning on my Spotify account (I usually listen to what's trending) or iTunes while I do my makeup at my vanity. It's a great way to get into a good mood right from the start! If I'm not listening to music I like to turn on the morning news. As I've gotten older I've encouraged myself to stay on top of what is happening locally and nationally. + It's a great way to start a conversation or weigh in on a group discussion.

8 // Leave early. Make sure to complete all of your morning tasks ahead of schedule. It never hurts to get into the office early and it will keep you from being late if you run into traffic (it's not a bad idea to set your home and car clocks ahead by 5 - 10 minutes). I, myself, am about to learn all about leaving early, due to a California commute. On the plus side, there are palm trees and sunshine!

Remember, we all have "those days" where the coffee spills, you get a stain on your skirt, the dog pees on the rug, you forget something important at home, etc. etc...but that doesn't mean the rest of your day won't be great! And if all else fails, one of my favorite things to do to get into a positive mindset is to watch EllenTube. It's a great way to get in a little a lot of happy!

I hope everyone had a beautiful and relaxing weekend! I feel like I got quite a bit done...several blog photo shoots, lots of cleaning, and even a little shopping. 

You can find my tee above here - it's only $14.99! 


Brush 101

Happy Friday Friends! Today's Face It Friday is all about my five favorite face brushes!
It was hard to choose five, but these are ones I literally could not live without. They create a more flawless finish and make application so much easier. Plus most won't break the bank!

Concealer. I've had several favorite concealer brushes over the years, but for the past couple months have only been reaching for my Real Techniques Sculpting Brush. It's intended use is for contour, but I've found it's so nice and dense that it does a fabulous job of packing concealer into the skin and the angle allows you to get into the creases right underneath your eye. I highly recommend, especially because it's only $9.99!

Setting. This is by far my most used brush. I've actually used it so much the brush head is coming loose from the handle. I keep waiting for the day it breaks, but luckily it's still holding strong - so no tears yet! The angled shape makes setting your highlight a breeze and it's small enough to use when wiping off excess product after you bake (a process of packing powder onto your highlighted areas and letting it sit so that it creates more emphasis and leaves you with a flawless finish). + this brush is very soft for the price point!

Contour. This is the BEST brush for blending in contour. The bristles are short and super compact, making it easy to blend and keep product where you want it. I don't think I would know how to contour properly without this brush - seriously. And only $8.99!

Blush. A while back I ordered this baby blush brush from MAC when they were selling their Proenza Schouler collection. When I received it I could not believe how much I paid for such a little, travel size brush...BUT then I used it, and it's been my favorite blush brush since. It's a similar shape to others I own, but there's just something about it. The bristles are ultra smooth and it works really well for a more pigmented application. I've linked the full size version above.

Foundation. I saved the best for last! I kid you not, I haven't used anything else for foundation application in well over a year. The price tag is higher, but let me tell worth it! This brush is amazinggg quality and through all the wash and wear I've yet to see it shed. It's extremely luxurious with very soft bristles and a very sturdy handle. My liquid foundation has never looked better and if I ever try to use another brush (or even a blending sponge) I always go right back.

As always, all products are linked above so you can shop!

Have a wonderful weekend and make sure to come back for Motivation Monday! If you live in California try and stay cool. Such a hot, hot week - set that powder ladies!


Mint Palazzo

Tank (old), but love this and this and this! // Pants // Shoes // Sunglasses // Lipgloss // Nail Polish

I remember the first time I ever saw a girl wearing a pair of palazzo pants and I immediately loved them. She had them on with a pair of wedges and the length and shape were incredibly flattering. Since then, I've owned a couple pairs, but they were all pretty casual and I ended up mostly wearing them around the house. Luckily, palazzo pants still haven't gone out of style and I'm swooning over this pair from Target - and only $19.99! The material is very light weight so you can wear them throughout the spring and summer, and they are wide enough to not stick to your legs. 

Keep in mind, these pants are long if you are short, like myself. I could have had mine hemmed, but I ended up finding the best pair of Jessica Simpson wedges to make up the difference! FYI I'm 5'2" and my shoes are close to 7 inches tall. I know this seems excessive, but they have a 3 inch platform in the front which makes them really comfortable. AND I feel they make my legs look a mile long, which is such a rare and wonderful feeling! 

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find this tank online anymore. It's from Lush Clothing, one of my favorite brands - and very affordable (I usually purchase from Nordstrom)! Note: Their tops usually run true to size or a little large depending on the style and shape. I've linked some similar and equally cute tanks above. 

Funny story. The day we shot these photos we were planning to go out to the mall after for a little shopping and lunch. But when we went to start my car it wouldn't. Somehow the lights, which are automatic, were manually turned on and ran the (new) battery right down. Per usual I started to stress and worry while Justin went into "Mr. Fix It" mode. Before I knew it he'd taken the battery out of his car, placed it on top of mine, and restarted my car. Problem solved! I can't even express how nice it is to have someone around who can fix all the house, car and technological problems. Need a party planned? Need your suitcase packed in an orderly fashion? Need your closet organized? I'm your girl! Cable go out? Car need an oil change? Buy IKEA furniture with 800 parts? Justin's the man!

Thanks for reading! I'll be back Friday with some more beauty 101!


Motivating Morning Smoothie

stock photo c/o

Good Morning and welcome to the very first Motivation Monday!

As I mentioned last week, I want these posts to encompass all things confidence building, happiness inducing, health inspiring, and obviously, motivating. So I decided to start off with one of my favorite breakfast smoothie recipes. It's a great way to feel satisfied & full, while being a better alternative to sugary cereals and carb loaded bagels & breads. I find that if I start my day off with a healthy, filling meal, it really kick starts my motivation and heightens my energy. I've been drinking it as a replacement for my usual coffee & cereal and find myself feeling full until lunch. It's also a great treat before or after a work out and pairs well with some natural, unsalted almonds.

A while back I pinned a similar smoothie recipe, but it contained banana, which I'm slightly allergic to...and it was just a little too bland. I decided to add in some coconut greek yogurt in place of the banana and it worked wonderfully! I also added additional peanut butter and a giant squeeze of honey. If you enjoy banana feel free to add it back in. I added up the calories and this smoothie comes to 345, give or take a few, which I don't think is so bad if you're drinking it as a meal or a large snack after burning some calories at the gym. The recipe below will make you one good size smoothie, so make sure to double or triple the ingredients if you are making some for your sweetheart or roomie!

Note: Try to buy unsweetened and natural ingredients. I find that Jif's natural peanut butter has more taste than some, and Califia Farms makes one of the only unsweetened almond milks I could find at the normal grocery store. They also make amazing cold brew coffee! 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend! Sadly, it rained here in Sacramento Friday and Saturday, but Sunday ended up being quite pretty. Kind of chilly in the morning, but a fantastic day to go out on the lake! Justin's been out of town for work and luckily two of our sweet friends took me out in their beautiful boat. I had the most relaxing time drinking cider (one of the only alcoholic beverages I like - Crispin is the best), eating Trader Joe's gummy bears, looking at new fashion magazines, and catching some much needed rays (although I used spray sunscreen and I'm definitely paying the price for my uneven application). I'm including a photo I took yesterday of Tower Bridge near downtown Sac, because the lighting made it look so scenic!

Make sure to come back Wednesday for another Wear It Wednesday!


April Favorites

stock photo c/o 

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1. Milani Prep + Set + Go Translucent Face Powder. I recently stumbled upon this powder while perusing the aisles of CVS in search of a new, affordable, all over face powder. To be honest, the reason I like translucent powders so much is because I don't have to worry about color matching (or color matching wrong and having to return it and so on). My go to translucent powder for many years was by NARS and as you can guess came with a pretty purchase price. I loved how matte it kept my skin, but always overused the product, because I couldn't tell how much I was getting on my brush. Milani's powder is much looser and I'm even able to use it to bake under my eyes and around my t-zone. Plus $9.99 won't break the bank every couple months. Another interesting fact: this powder was designed to use before (as a powder primer) and after makeup to set, hence the prep + set + go. I've been using it for over two weeks now and give it two thumbs up!

2. MAC Honey Love Matte Lipstick. I'm a such a creature of habit when it comes to lipstick. I own several reds and berries, but only wear them for special occasions or photo shoots. I always feel like people are staring at me funny if I put them on running errands around town. It might all be in my head, but for now I'm much more comfortable with my baby pinks and light nudes! Before I moved to California I had quite a few "Back to MAC" containers and picked up some new shades and some of my usual go-to's. I was introduced to Honey Love and Oh. Em. Gee. they should put LOVE in all caps. This nude is darker than many I own, but creates a beautiful matte finish while making my lips look fuller and more defined. A great work color if you want a shade that shows without drawing too much attention to your lips all day.

3. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. I'm pretty sure this is still every YouTubbers favorite luxury foundation, and for good reason. Originally, I wasn't wowed and I sent my Giorgio Armani baby back to Sephora. But after using several samples (shade 5.5 matches my Loving Tan perfectly!) over the course of several months, I've grown to really love it. If used with the right powder it gives me a beautiful finish. If I don't set it well enough though, my face ends up looking more shiny than luminous by the end of the day. 

4. Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer. I'm not going to lie this primer is e. x . p . e . n . s . i . v . e. BUT it's sooo goood! Ya'll this is my absolute favorite primer of all time. It's literally like applying silk to your face and helps your foundation and concealer glide on seamlessly. This product comes in three sizes, with the jumbo 2 oz. bottle costing a shocking $72...never fear, you can purchase the travel size for $18 and it really does last a long time. Remember, a little goes a long way! Each time I squeeze too much primer onto my finger I shudder just a little knowing that was probably a waste of $3-$5 hah!

5. NYX Dark Circle Corrector. Great drugstore find! I originally purchased Becca's under eye brightening corrector and love the luminous property (don't love the overly sticky consistency). So I was searching for an affordable alternative when I found NYX's dark circle corrector (in fair). It does a fantastic job of covering darkness and isn't sticky to the touch after application. I like to use mine before foundation so that my under eye darkness is covered before concealer.

6. MAC Studio Face and Body Foundation. I'm a medium coverage kind of girl. Yes I am. But lately I've spent a lot more time at home and really see no reason in going through my full beauty routine every day...but I still want to look presentable. So I started using my Face & Body (in N2) more consistently and have grown to like a lighter finish (plus I've been working on my skin which makes a huge difference). I prefer to apply with a dense, flat, synthetic foundation brush so I don't lose much product and it goes on slightly thicker. I try to pat versus rub so that I'm not sliding it all around my face and it sticks to the skin. 

7. Hourglass Luminous Bronze. If you are looking for a beautifulll, luminous bronzer look no further! Hourglass truly got it right with their luminous bronze powder and the color payoff is amazing. I was expecting to have to build and build, but a couple sweeps of product and you'll be a glowing greek goddess. I like to apply to the top/around my forehead and onto the apples of my cheeks. fyi if you're looking to contour use a matte bronzer and then a more luminous one for extra color.

8. Loreal Magic Lumi Concealer. This is the only drugstore concealer that I own and it's fab! But seriously, this is the most luminous medium coverage concealer. I still like my Urban Decay and MAC for full coverage date night looks (and covering imperfections), but this is the best for every day. It doesn't last all that long, but it's a much lower price point than anything you'll find at the department store. I've been using the lightest shade, because it's sheer enough to not make my under eye look too white or ghostly. 

9. NYX Vanilla Sky Lip Liner. Hands down, this is my most used lip liner. I purchased it many months ago as a less expensive nude liner, but it's entered my usual rotation. Why you may ask? It's a roll up liner so 1. it never needs to be sharpened 2. the consistency is like butter and easy to apply 3. it matches my lip coloring to a T so I can finally over line my lips in an effort to channel my inner Kylie Jenner. 

10. MAC Painterly Paint Pot. This is really the only eye primer I use. It doubles as an eye shadow so it leaves the eyelids nice and matte, while covering any veins or imperfections. Mine has lasted me forever (and I still have a lot left) and a little goes a long way! It absolutely prolongs the wear of your eye shadow and creates a more flawless canvas, while intensifying colors.

I hope everyone has an amazing weekend! It's been raining here in California so that's a downer, but always much needed. I'm hoping by Sunday it will go away so we can get out and take some fun pictures. I'll see you all soon for Motivation Monday! Also, remember all products are linked below 
underneath the bottom photo.


Baby Doll Dress

 Welcome to the very first Wear It Wednesday!

This is the dress I was wearing in Monday's post and it's become one of my absolute favorites! I purchased it from J.CREW Factory while they were having an additional 50% off sale (check for those regularly) and it cost less than $40 - which is a steal for a super cute spring dress. AND it has pockets! I love the neckline and the fact it's flirty while also conservative and fit for a wedding or social spring outing. Disclaimer: Please note, this dress runs big so make sure to go down a size. And if you're not vertically challenged like myself (I'm 5'2") this dress may be a tad (or a lot) too short. It all depends on your dimensions, but make sure to try it on first!

I paired this Daybreak Dress with a pair of nude heels so my legs appear much longer than they really are. The only thing about these shoes...they HURT...sadly. I know a lot of companies are designing a very similar style heel so I'm sure there are more comfortable options out there. Just beware if you buy these, I ended up with a huge blister on the back of my heel. I'll probably wear them for photos mostly, because I find them very flattering and very pretty - but definitely won't be dancing the night away or sporting them for a long social event where chairs aren't available.

The cross body bag I wore is one of the best, because it fits all the needed necessities and the strap can be doubled up or worn as a single. I've linked it above from a department store and fyi make sure to check back in July when they usually have various colors on sale! I also added several simple go to tortoise sunnies, my usual kelly green watch, and several bangles + my favorite pretty pink polish.

If you have any additional questions please let me know!

You can SHOP this post by clicking the links above (below the last photo) or any of my Instagram photos by going to

I have to give Justin the photo cred here as this was the first shoot were he helped me out...and I think they turned out really well! He's definitely warming up to this whole #bloggerboyfriend thing and has been so supportive. If you're reading babe - thank you!