‘Rent The Runway’ And Steal The Show! High Fashion, Low Cost!

 

I’m normally a planner!  I love having a schedule and creating to-do lists.  I like mapping things out in my mind and checking off my tasks – especially if it’s something really big and important!  But as luck would have it, this year we decided to go to the Museum Ball at the last minute.   When I say last minute, I mean FOUR days before the ball!  FOUR. DAYS.  I was absolutely, one hundred percent unprepared.  I didn’t have a dress, shoes, hair appointment….nothing!  I quickly started scrambling; browsing every single dress website that I could find.  I knew what I was looking for – I wanted full length with long sleeves.  I kept running into the same problem over and over.  All the dresses I liked were either $350 – $500 (ohhh sweet Jesus! I can’t even.) or they wouldn’t ship until next Month (yeah, thanks but no thanks.)  After hours of searching, I finally decided to try Rent The Runway!  I quickly found several dresses that I loved….but this gold beauty caught my eye immediately.

 

I debated back and forth most of the day, trying to decide if I should try Rent The Runway.  I knew several people who loved RTR, but I also knew how very picky that I am (finding something flattering for this c-section x 2 tummy isn’t always an easy task!)  But I weighed my pros and cons and decided that I would take a chance this time.  If you all know me, you know I was really living on the edge by doing this.  I mean, what are the odds that this dress will fit and that I’ll actually like it?!?  Ironically, I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be.  I guess I realized that it was my only option at that point.

So here’s how it works if you’ve never used Rent The Runway before.  You get to pick your dress in two sizes (in hopes that one of the sizes will work.)  As a first time user, you also get to pick a back-up dress.  You can rent the dresses for either 4 or 8 days, depending on how long you’ll need them.  They overnight the dresses to you (you typically get them the day before your event.) At the end of your rental, you take the dresses back to the UPS store and overnight the dresses back to RTR.

This process is SO perfectly streamlined.  It’s like a well oiled machine.  The dresses ship/arrive in an extremely heavy duty garment bag (they do not come in a box or typical shipping bag.)  The dresses are neatly packed deep inside the garment bag.  Once you are finished with your dresses, you pack them back into the garment bag, zip them up, change out the shipping label (they even provide the return shipping label for you!) and overnight them back to RTR.  I’m not kidding, it’s really that simple.  Aren’t these bags SO neat?!?!

 

 

When you’re scrolling through all the dresses on RTR, you’ll notice that there are TONS of reviews for each dress (pictures included!)  It tells you on there what size formal gown each person wore compared to their regular clothing size.  It tells if they sized up or down or if they felt that the dress was true to size!  It also tells the person’s height, weight and chest size.  This was particularly helpful when trying to decide on a dress size!  I normally size up a size or two when buying a formal gown, but nearly every review I read on my gold dress said that it was true to size.  I went out on a limb and ordered my true size and the size up.  But, just like everyone else, I ended up wearing my regular size.  I feel like the reviews were EXTREMELY helpful in picking out a dress!  Total game changer.

The dress I chose was technically a high neck with a low cut back. However, I noticed that one user reviewed that for short girls, it worked best to wear the dress backwards (seriously, who would’ve even thought about that?!)  But let me tell you, she slayed in that dress.  She was my total inspo.  Just like me, she was approximately 5’2″ and curvy.  So when my dress arrived, I decided to try the dress both ways and she was totally right.  The dress was so much more flattering when worn backwards!  (That’s probably more cleavage than I’ve ever shown in my entire life {YOLO!  Your welcome, husband!})

As for their customer service, I can not praise RTR enough!!  When my dresses arrived, they had sent the wrong back-up dress to me.  In my panicked state, I called and talked to the sweetest guy at customer service.  He told me how sorry he was, that my backup dress had accidently sold out so they just sent me something similar (it wasn’t really similar at all, but I couldn’t be mad at him!  ha!)  He found my original backup dress in a size down and he overnighted it to me for FREE!!!  So now I’ve received four dresses for the price of one – how amazing is that?!?  And sure enough, it arrived on time – before noon on the day of the event.  And although I ended up wearing my original gold dress, I can not tell you how thankful I was that he sent me my backup dress!

 

Here’s the cool part: if you absolutely fall in love with your rented item, you can purchase it.  The website tells you the rental fee vs. the purchase price.  My rental fee was $80 but full price for the dress was $700 (I might faint!)  Although i’ll never splurge and spend SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS on a formal gown, that dress was totally worth it.  It made me feel like a princess – and that was really fun for a middle aged momma!

In case you’re on the fence about trying Rent The Runway, here’s a Glitter Jungle Coupon Code for $30 off your first rental!

 

It was approximately 900 degrees in there!  I went full on Hollywood star and did a hair change mid gala.  Thank god for bobby pins and complementary hair spray!  I should’ve just brought that backup dress and had a wardrobe change as well (don’t even think for a second that I didn’t debate it! ha!)

Happy Shopping my friends – you’re going to look fabulous!

XOXO

Jill

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Couples Workout – Marriage Maker or Breaker?

In this month of love, John and I tried something that we have never done before. While it took a bit of convincing, we finally decided to take the plunge. We tried – wait for it – a COUPLES BOOTCAMP class! If your read my bucket list post, you know that a goal of mine this year is healthy living and adventure. This class seemed to check both boxes…and what says love more than couples bootcamp??

John and I generally don’t workout together, besides the occasional tennis game or walk. So, I thought this would be a fun way to connect and get a good workout in! (Side note: He joined me for a couple of weeks during a P90X kick I was on, but after spending an uncomfortable amount of time and eventually getting stuck in frog pose, during the Yoga day, he was out.)

If you checked out the Acro Yoga or Aerial Yoga posts, you know that I am all “gung-ho” about signing up for new workouts, but when the rubber meets the road, I freak out! So, this time was no different, but I tried to put on a brave face for John. I’m not a total bootcamp class newbie (usually end up puking my guts out at minute 40) but this was John’s first time. I won’t say that I gave him ALL the facts about the workout we were about to do, but thought I prepared him enough to not be totally caught off guard. (John is one of those annoying people that doesn’t work out regularly, but can join in and outwork me, so I didn’t feel too bad.) When we got to the gym and he saw the set up below, John gave me one of his “looks”, followed by a characteristic *sigh*…he he.

We were divided into groups of three couples and circulated through several stations. Our trainer, Brittany, kept us “motivated” and on track. She and her training partner were super encouraging and took special care to make sure we had good form and knew what we were supposed to do (especially for those of us who probably had a “deer in the headlights” look).

I would totally recommend this bootcamp class! You can catch it every Saturday morning at the HIT center. Take your gal-pal, bestie, or significant other and have a fun, calorie torching workout before 10am!

XOXO,

Lauren

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Be Your Own Valentine: 5 Tips For A More Confident You!

We live in a world that constantly reminds us that we’re not good enough.  We’re not tall enough, thin enough, tan enough, happy enough, healthy enough….the list goes on and on.  It’s exhausting, honestly.  We are hit with a constant flow of information, via the internet, that tells us exactly how we should look, act and think.  Our senses are on overdrive trying to keep up with the latest workouts, trends and technology.  All we want to do is better ourselves, but what ends up happening is that we don’t love the skin we’re in.  We’re always searching for happiness and chasing contentment.  We always think “if just this one things happens, THEN I’ll be happy.”  Or “if I find this kind of man, THEN I’ll be happy.”  The truth is, you don’t find happiness, you make it.  If you can’t find peace where you are, then you never will.  I’m as guilty of this as anyone else.  While I agree that it’s always important to move forward, grow and better yourself, it’s most important to stop and smell the roses and LIVE.  To enjoy the present and love ourselves and those around us.  While truly loving ourselves on the inside is a little bit harder to achieve, here are five easy tips that will boost your outer self confidence.  When you look good, you feel good.  Outer self confidence will start to boost your inner self love!

1.  Go-To Jeans

There is literally nothing more important than having a favorite, go-to pair of good fitting jeans.  A cute pair of jeans can really boost any woman’s confidence.  Find a pair of jeans that can be dressed up or down.  While I’m normally chasing a good deal, jeans are one thing that I don’t skimp on – I’ll pay top dollar for a pair of good quality jeans.  My favorite jeans are American Eagle High Rise Jeggings.

 

2. Good Skin Care Routine

I am SO guilty on this one.  Luckily, I didn’t have skin problems during the teen years.  While that is a huge blessing, it’s a curse in it’s own way.  Because I never had to take care of my skin, I didn’t.  Last year, at 33, I finally got on board with a nightly skincare routine and I can definitely see the difference.  I keep my routine simple, but I still feel like it’s important.  Nothing makes a person more self conscious than to have a giant zit on their face that everyone is staring at (at least that’s how it feels!)  All skin types are different, but here’s what works for me (bonus: you can get this at the drug store for cheap!)

These Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipes are literally the bomb.  They get everything off while still being gentle on the skin.  I even use them on my kids delicate skin after wearing dance competition makeup.

After thoroughly cleaning my face, I moisturize with Olay Firming Night Cream.  This stuff will literally make your face as soft as butter – and it smells good, too!

3.  Lipstick!

Even though I keep my lip color very “nude” most of the time, I make sure to incorporate a bold, fun lip color on date nights.  It’s also fun to wear a bold lip with minimal makeup – to switch things up a bit!  Here’s one of my favorite looks:

 

4. Pearly Whites!

This one ranks right up there with good skin care.  A healthy oral routine is very important to me.  No one feels very confident if their smile isn’t on point.  I’ve had teeth problems my whole life (lots of cavities – *eye roll*, ugh.)  As an adult, I try to take really good care of my teeth.  I brush two-to-three times daily and use this Listerine Whitening Mouth Rinse.  I’m not even kidding, I can totally tell a difference when I’m not using it.  A warm, happy smile goes a long way – share yours with others!

5. Head Swag!

I can not stress this one enough!  As women, we are constantly doing our hair.  If you’re anything like me, you probably dread doing your hair – it’s SUCH a process.  You might even plan your hair washing days around your social calendar (not that I would know anything about that!)  Here’s a tip that will help you out majorly.  Find several different styles of hats that you like.  Create a collection.  I have hats for most all occasions.  If you’re in a hurry, skip the hair wash.  Just throw your hair up in a messy side bun and throw on a cute hat.  You’ll look trendy and your husband will be happy that he didn’t have to sit around and wait on you!

While I enjoy slathering paints all over my face and jacking my hair to Jesus, it’s not because someone else made me feel like I need to do that.  It’s because I like it and that’s what makes me feel confident!  It’s not even because of my husband.  In fact, he would much prefer me in workout clothes, a ball cap and bare faced.  But I’ve come to realize what’s most important is making myself feel confident and beautiful.  That feeling is going to be different for every single person.  Your job is to figure out what makes you feel beautiful!

Whether you’re spending your Valentine’s Day with your lover, your Galentine or you’re flying solo, make sure that you remember to love yourself first!

Hugs & Hearts,

Jill

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V-Day Gift Guide: Super Unique Gifts You Can’t Miss!

Who doesn’t like getting a gift? I realize that there are other “love languages” out there, but let’s be real, no one is going to to turn down a present picked just for them!!  If you are looking for some unique options that will up your gift game from chocolate and flowers for your parents, sibling, boyfriend/girlfriend, spouse, and friends, keep reading!

Capitol Market

We stopped by this market on our way back from Aerial Yoga for some fruit and found a huge selection of tasty treats and drinks! There is something for everyone here. You will find everything from delicious candy, wine, coffee to cheese, meats and fruit. There is something for everyone here!

 

 

Birchbox Subscription

While this isn’t a new idea, Birchbox had evolved with the times and have started curating more personalized boxes of makeup, skincare, nail care, and fragrance options. I absolutely LOVED receiving these boxes each month with new beauty products to try. These start at just $10/month and now have them for the GQ men in your life. 😉

 

UE Wonderboom

This little waterproof, super portable, bluetooth speaker will change your life. The sound quality is awesome. This is a must-have for anyone with kids.  You can easily carry this speaker from room to room for dance parties and sound machine noises. It is also especially good for traveling.

 

Packing Cubes

For your organized friends (or ones that need some organization in their lives), these packing cubes are AWESOME! They are totally worth the less than $25 price tag. I used these when packing my kids for Disney and it was super helpful.  They come in several different colors, which makes it easy to identify whose clothes are in the suitcase!

 

Mousepad

While this might not be the most romantic gift you’ve ever given, I can say that this is one of the best mousepads I’ve ever used! My husband, who spends the majority of his day at the computer, recommended this to me and I haven’t turned back. It is super responsive and under $10! Your techie friends/family will thank you!

 

Silicone Ring

In addition to our Acro Yoga and Aerial Yoga adventures that you’ve seen, these rings would definitely be great for weight training or crossfit workouts. I got my husband one and he says it is super comfortable and would totally recommend it. These are less than $25!

I hope these unique gift ideas will be a great paring with the fun/romantic/crazy night you have planned with your boo or gal-pals!

XOXO,

Lauren

P.S. Make sure to check out the Sushi Bar at Capitol Market – they have some of my favorite grab-n-go treats (even my kids approve!)

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