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Summer Must Haves


It's sweeeeeeet Summertime!! That permanent feeling of exhaustion from the sun and water has finally kicked in, and I couldn't be happier about it. As Summer is beginning I have already noticed a few things I've been reaching for pretty regularly, and thought I would share them with y'all.

These are my Summer must haves that I've recently discovered, although I'm sure this list will update in the future. Let me know if you use/like any of these products, and if you have any you think I'd like send me a link!

1. Tarte Lifted sweat proof mascara. This mascara is part of their athleisure line, but to be honest I just wear yesterday's makeup when I workout because I workout at home and DGAF if my mascara runs :) I do love to wear this mascara however, anytime I'm going to the beach or lake. It doesn't run, so I don't get raccoon eyes, it's dark brown so it looks really natural, and it gives my eyelashes this beautiful feathery look. I don't like to wear waterproof mascara because I've always heard about how bad it is for your eyelashes, but I never see any damage after wearing this typically all weekend or week, depending on what I'm doing. It never fails either, anytime I post on my instastory and am wearing this mascara I get at least one message asking me if those are my natural eyelashes. HIGHLY recommend!


2. Pacifica Bronzing Body Butter. (In coconut scent, of course). I actually discovered this last summer, although I was using the spray kind and switched to the lotion this summer. First of all, the SPF is the most important thing. That 50  gets the job done, let me tell ya. But my favorite thing is the bronzer in it. It gives this nice, opaque brown tint to your skin, which is super nice for pale girls like me! Also, just like anything I buy, it's cruelty free, vegan, and recyclable. It also is free of chemicals and hydrates your skin as it's protecting it. They make lip protector, face screen, and this same lotion in a few other scents as well. You can buy anything from the collection at Target, which is where I got this bad boy. It's actually time to replenish I do believe I'm almost out!

3. Khloe Kardashian KoKo mirrored aviator sunglasses with Diff eyewear. Diff eyewear is my FAVORITE place to buy sunglasses, and when I saw their collab with Khloe Kardashian I had to buy. I think they've completely sold out of these frames on their online store, but I did see them still available for purchase at Revolve and Dillard's.



4.  Ok so up next I added this Love, Beauty & Planet conditioner. I ran out of my conditioner and decided to pick this coconut water and mimosa flower conditioner up to try. It attracted me because the packaging is just so darn cute, and the scent was delicious, but I absolutely love the way it makes my hair feel! Soft, bouncy, full of volume. This line is designed to help the planet too, which I am so for. The bottles are recyclable, as well as made from recycled bottles, they are made to rinse out quickly so as to save water, they're cruelty free, AND they disclose their annual carbon emissions created through their production, and stay actively working to reduce their carbon footprint 20% by the year 2020. THIS. LINE. IS. AMAZING. And I predict they will be huge.









5. MY FAVORITE PRODUCT ON THIS LIST!! I have over the years collected an insane amount of beach totes from various places, mostly Victorias Secret, but have never really found one I love. UNTIL. I ran across this monogrammed poolside palm beach bag from pinklily.com. I fell in love with the print when I saw it, so I purchased it on a whim (and on a sale) and when I got it in the mail-OH MY GOODNESS. It's so spacious, I fit five of my HUGE beach towels in it, with plenty of room. It's super cute, it has a pocket on the front, and you can get it personalized. What's not to love?






Hey, don't forget the most important summer must have-SUN AND WATER!!! Thanks for reading, if y'all have or try the products let me know what you think! xxo



20 Questions With Yours Truly.

Hey y'all! Keeping this blog post simple with the token 20 questions to get to know me. It was actually really entertaining doing this, reminded me of my old Myspace days. How many of y'all used to fill out those survey things and post them?! Anyway, here's 20 questions to get to know me better. If you make it to the end, bless your heart for reading!


1. Go-To Coffee Order? Iced Mocha. Any type of Espresso, really.


2. Worst Trait? My temper. I have yet to get it under control. Tongue like a gun.


3. Sweet or Savory? Definitely sweet. I am a chocoholic.


4. If You Could Live Anywhere In The World, Where Would It Be? Nashville! My absolute favorite place. I could live there...I don't know why I haven't moved there yet.


5. Current Celebrity Style Icon? Probably Blake Lively or Reese Witherspoon. They have impeccable taste.


6. Can't Live Without It Beauty Product? Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara by Tarte.


7. Biggest Pet Peeve? Coughing! I know, that's so random, but it really aggravates me. I had difficulty giving my final presentation in college because a girl in the front row wouldn't stop coughing.


8. Favorite Food Order? ...dessert? Like, any.


9. Current Netflix Obsession? Thirteen Reasons Why. Thanks, mom. 


10. Guilty Pleasures? I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE The Real Housewives. Jersey is my favorite, but I really love them all. Also, Southern Charm-Charleston


11. The Reason You Started Blogging? I had a professor in college I really respected who was always trying to convince me to blog, and so I would, but I have commitment issues, (Extra fact in there!) so, I always quit again. This is one of my "on" times!


                                             
               


12. Where In The World Do You Want To Visit Most?  Greece. Maybe one day.


13. Tell Us Something Weird About Yourself.  I read the endings of books first.


14. Best Beauty Tip? Less is more.


15. Favorite Holiday? I absolutely love the Fourth of July. Middle of Summer, outside, BBQs, fireworks, fun, 'Merica...what's not to love?


16. Describe a Typical Morning For You. Get up at 5 a.m. (yes, you read that right), drink a cup of coffee and scroll on social media for approximately 30 minutes, then workout, then eat breakfast, shower, get ready, and off to work!


17. Describe Yourself in 5 Words. Smart, honest, brave, loyal, free-spirited.


18. Favorite Smell? Anything coconut. 


19. What Advice Would You Give To Your Teenage Self? Don't worry, it will all work out in the end.


20. Life motto? Hashtag Unbothered. 










I Did Lauren Gleisberg's ConfidenceKini Challenge and This Is What Happened


At the end of April, I decided to participate in a 5 week fitness challenge created by fitness enthusiast Lauren Gleisberg. This challenge was to prep you for Summer and was titled the ConfidenceKini challenge. This is what happened during those 5 weeks.

First off, let me start by saying I have "dabbled" in health and fitness for years now, (by dabbled I mean I would work out a little, eat healthy a VERY little, do it because I wanted to look different not because I wanted to be healthy), but didn't really buckle down until last Spring. I have been a Tone It Up member (if you don't know who/what that is, PLEASE do yourself a favor and go check them out, I HIGHLY recommend them) for years now, but last Spring I decided to participate in their bikini challenge and ended up losing 22 pounds. It was awesome. Unfortunately, I couldn't manage to convert this success into a lifestyle, because the nutrition side of the program just didn't make me happy enough to sustain. Could I do it for 8 weeks, which is the length of the bikini series, and lose weight? Yes. Could I do it for the rest of my life? No. That is the difference in a diet and a lifestyle. A diet I do not recommend. Sure, you lose weight, but if you don't keep it up (turn it into your lifestyle) the weight just comes back. Until you diet again. And it's this never-ending yoyo of weight loss and gain, self esteem loss and gain, until you end up so frustrated you quit entirely, or do it for the rest of your life to no avail. 

So, inevitably, after the 8 week challenge, I went RIGHT back to eating how I wanted. I did however, keep up with the working out, because what I found through Tone It Up is that I absolutely loved working out! Who knew? Due to this, I only put 8 pounds of the weight I'd lost back on throughout the course of a year, which leads me to my before picture, taken April 28th of this year, one week into my ConfidenceKini challenge-skinny fat. 130 pounds in the picture, not toned, and absolutely depressed about it. Picture on the upper left. (Which is obvious, I hope).

So how did I get to Lauren's program? Well I fully intended on doing Tone It Up's bikini challenge again, knowing that it worked for me last time, and this time telling myself I would just have to bite the bullet and eat whatever until I could make myself enjoy it. Unfortunately, the bikini series was starting late this year. It wasn't starting until mid-May. In my opinion, Summer was way too close for comfort by then, and I wanted to feel good enough to go out in a bikini the first warm weekend we got. This led me to searching, and googling, and instagramming, until I stumbled across LG. I saw she had a challenge coming in a week, I saw that it utilized weights (yikes) and I saw an opportunity. So I bought her membership program, bought her recipes and workout plan, and jumped right in. 
This is what happened. Actually, let me start by saying what didn't happen. I didn't lose any weight. Not a single pound. That's right, in the picture at the top I weigh the same amount. Actually, I think in my after picture I'm 130.4, so .4 pounds heavier. This. Scared. Me. To. Death.

When I started Tone It up last year, I was losing 1.5 to 2 pounds a WEEK. After TWO weeks into this program, I had lost ZERO and was FREAKING. OUT. I got on LG's instagram (@laurengleisberg) commented on a photo in hysterics, asking why in the world it wasn't working. What was I doing wrong?! She commented back and said, STAY OFF THE SCALE. Just like that. She also said she doesn't focus on weight loss, she focuses on fat loss, which was a totally separate thing. She then reiterated to STAY OFF THE SCALE. As a result, I googled weight loss versus fat loss. I was clueless. I read up on it, discovering that fat loss is what I was desiring this whole time, not even knowing it. So I decided to trust the process, and keep on keepin' on. 

A lot happened in that five weeks. I felt discouraged. I would look at my body, see no change, feel helpless, and then keep going. I would have more than I should have for "treat" meals, feel angry, and then keep going. I would get on the scale (yeah, I don't listen real well) see it staying the same, be upset, and KEEP GOING. 

More than anything through this five week challenge, what I discovered about myself was that as long as I trust the process, am open and willing, who I am as a person will always keep going. 
I discovered that I'm strong. Really strong, actually. I started incorporating heavier and heavier weights into my workouts, sprinting 7 minute HIIT cycles (and LOVING it) <---they're my fav thing now- and holding planks for longer and l o n g e r.

My boyfriend told me he didn't think 5 weeks was enough time to see a lot of change. pfft. But I didn't see it either. It was so gradual. And I was studying my body every day almost. Looking for any sign of an ab, a muscle, a hope. I didn't see it. But I could FEEL it.

I started noticing first that in the evenings when I got home from work, my cognitive ability was WAYY better. I could focus. I could have conversations. I had ENERGY. I could do ANOTHER WORKOUT. This was new. I have always, always, always came home from work and crashed. Mentally and physically. 

Then I started noticing the way my body felt throughout the day. Strong. Energetic. I couldn't sit still while teaching in my groups, I couldn't wait to get home and workout, I felt like I was ready for a race at any given moment.
               
The emotional change was the best. I felt so positive. I started becoming unbothered by things. Like a weight had been lifted. If there was a rough day I felt okay, knowing I could go burn it out in the weight room or on the track, or on the mat. And I would. 

The food is the best thing LG's program did for me. It was healthy, but it was normal food made healthy. It wasn't fancy, it didn't look real pretty, it wasn't difficult to make. But it was delicious. It was meals I looked forward to eating. It's been sustainable. 

Over the course of 5 weeks, I lost zero pounds. But my mind changed. It went from being HARD for me to stick to my meal plan, to HABIT for me to turn down ice cream. My mood changed. It went from dreading the morning, the day, the night, to determined every morning, day, and night. And my body changed. I didn't take measurements beforehand (Lord, I wish I would've), and I didn't see it on the scale, but man am I glad for those progress photos. My body toned up. And it will keep on toning because I finally found something I can stick with. 

I know this all sounds like I was paid to say it. I wasn't. I'm not dishonest by nature, I wouldn't just bullshit for a good post, those are my REAL results, and those are REAL changes I found in five weeks. My after pictures were taken this past weekend (May 28, 2018). What I have to say about the past five weeks is this: Lauren's program changed my life. I changed my life. She has a summer challenge coming up soon... are you in? I sure as hell am. 

Here's How I Spent My Memorial Day Weekend (And It Didn't Involve Alcohol)


 



Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!!

There are so many reasons to love this holiday. First and foremost, to remember those who have died so we can all live. Seeing everyone wearing their patriotic colors in honor of those who have served and are serving, is such a beautiful thing. It's like we all finally come together on this day and wear our team colors to show just how thankful we are, and expressing gratitude is what I think makes this weekend not a sad one, but one for celebration. There's so much positivity in demonstrating gratefulness, I swear it's contagious.


Next, having a three day weekend ain't too shabby. Still not sure why we all haven't petitioned for permanent three-day weekends?! Maybe because then they wouldn't be so sweet...




Also, we can't forget the sales! Anyone else spend waaayyy more than intended on beach cover ups? No? Just me? 

Finally, one of the things that makes this holiday so sweet in my opinion, is it marks UNOFFICIALLY the beginning of Summer. Which is, OFFICIALLY my favorite season. I absolutely love everything about tan lines, the smell of coconut, and sand that ends up in the oddest of places. 

One thing I have noticed about this holiday is the amount of drinking that occurs. When Matthew and I were trying to decide what we wanted to do this weekend, we noticed that just about everything includes alcohol. And for those who don't know, neither one of us drink. Well, I will occasionally, but I"m talking once every six months or something. So, we made our plans and then I decided I wanted to share them with you. Not only because they were SO. FUN. But also because you might just be someone who needs non-alcoholic ideas for next Summer. So here we go!


Nothing too exciting about Friday...we ran some errands, played a little backyard volleyball, and got food prepped. Saturday was a trip on a whim, and it was such a good idea! We traveled to a little town close by called Utica, where they were having their annual ice cream fest. The fact that it was an ice cream fest pretty much said there was no way we would go and regret it, but it definitely didn't disappoint as a whole regardless. 


The ice cream festival is centered around Velvet ice cream, which you have probably seen in gas stations, Kroger, Walmart, etc. It is made locally, in Utica Ohio, by generations of the Dager family. The mill, pictured to the right, is the actual mill the ice cream is made in, and there's a picture of this mill on all of their packaging. There is a gift shop you can go into, as well as a restaurant behind the mill, that has the history of Joseph Dager and his coming to America and selling hand-cranked ice cream. It's extremely interesting, featuring old photographs of the family, including one where they bought this mill initially, and it was a roller rink at the time. Reading up on the history was my personal favorite part of the festival.


But there was plenty to enjoy for everyone at the fest. They had a car show, bouncy houses for the kids, a market to shop at, food trucks, homemade baked goods, helicopter rides, pony rides, horse and buggy rides, and even a library truck. Oh, and the ice cream! We spent about 3 hours there and enjoyed every minute of it. 


Sunday we decided to take our dog, Arrow, to Cedar Falls for a hike. THAT was interesting. The hike was beautiful. We got there at about 10 o'clock, and it was pretty busy but not too bad. We walked a little bit of everything, trails, through caves, fields, past a lake, saw several waterfalls, and then ate lunch at a picnic table.

 I love hiking, it's one of my favorite things to do, and that was Arrow's first real long hike which was cute to watch. He never ran out of energy which was a little scary on the cliff paths when he was pulling Matt, but also seeing how excited he was, I was glad we took him. He got really hot obviously, and took his first swim in one of the pools of a waterfall, which might be the best thing I've ever seen. He's also terrified to go across bridges, which might be the second best thing I've ever seen.


The only thing I would say negative is that around 1 o'clock people starting piling in by the masses, and it became hard to walk at the pace we wanted to (and needed to with our energetic pup) and also slightly annoying. The earlier the better on that, I'd say. Here's some pics from our trip! 

                                              

Finally today, Sunday, we spent all day at the lake. Which is probably my favorite thing to do. I love the sand, I love the sun, the water was amazing. I get to relax, and read, and even bronze a little. Again, with this, the earlier you get there the better. We left around 2 and there was just lines of traffic coming in to an already crowded beach. 

Anyway, that's my weekend in a nutshell. probably going to finish this evening with some hotdogs and chili, and of course, some ice cream. Happy holiday everyone!!



  

Aspyn Ovard Tarte Palette Review

Hey all! It's Memorial Day weekend, and I'm spending this rainy Friday evening publishing my first post!

While I was getting ready for today's festivities, I was using this palette, and I thought-hey! This would be a great post to do. I've seen it being mentioned all over social media and since it's still new, I thought I might put my two cents in for anyone who hasn't tried it yet. I want to start this post out by saying 2 things: First-I am not in any way, shape, or form a makeup guru. I actually find my makeup skills to be quite lackluster. However, I do enjoy playing in makeup and feel like I know ENOUGH if you will. Second-I am a HUGE Tarte Cosmetics fan. It is literally THE ONLY makeup I use. I love everything about the line, from the way it looks, to what it's made of. SO, with that being said, probably any makeup reviews I do will be on Tarte products because I am RIDE OR DIE for them! Okay, so let's talk about their newest palette.


Aspyn Ovard is a social media influencer who I personally love to follow on Instagram (she has amazing photo presets if you're looking to amp up your photo game) but she also has a youtube channel, a blog, and an online store. AND she's only 22. (wtf have I been doing with my life actually?)

So, I love her, and I love Tarte, inevitably I bought this palette. Let's first talk about the aesthetics of it. Rose gold packaging, a heavy feel, beautiful floral design-I mean the first word that comes to mind is whimsical. Might be my favorite packaging done on any Tarte palette thus far. Also, I would be remiss to mention the smell...vanilla? Cocoa? DELICIOUS?

Moving on. I will admit, when I first opened the palette I was a little disappointed. The pan sizes seemed to me to be much smaller in person than what they appear in pictures. More specifically the blush and highlight. Once I used both, this enhanced my disappointment because I very quickly realized this was going to be my go to palette, and I was going to need BIG product, people!

I've used this palette for about two weeks now, and as I said above, this is my new go-to palette. The neutral colors are PERFECT for every day, and I feel if you are a beginner to makeup this is the perfect palette for you because you can't really mess these hues up. Any look you do will have such a natural and light feel to it, it's just amazing for every day.

My favorite aspect of the palette is the highlight, Pure Soul, it is absolutely STUNNING. I was shocked when I saw how bright it is in comparison to the more natural tones of the eyeshadows. My favorite eyeshadow shade would have to be Heart of Gold, so pretty. I will say for the shimmer shadows you're going to get the most pigment payoff by using your finger. I tried both a brush (wet and dry) and my finger, and it was no contest.


The only other thing I might note is that the middle shades on my arm in the picture above, which are the first three shades on the left in the palette, are almost TOO neutral. As you can see, they don't really show up. And they are very similar colors to one another. I've still used them to highlight and build color though, which is another awesome thing about these shades, they are so buildable.

I also have had the thought while using this palette that the shades in this palette are pretty similar to some of the ones in Tarte's Rainforest of the Sea Eyeshadow Palette Volume III (which was my previous go to). So if you have this palette, you may not need to splurge on Aspyn's HOWEVER-that highlight...I'm telling you. It's a winner.

So that's my thoughts on this palette, like I said, really love it, new favorite, it's a for sure staple for me. 10/10!