Things I Bought and Liked – All Under $40!

There have been a few things I found this fall that have made me feel like have SCORED in the staying-sane-and-keeping-myself-and-small-humans-alive department (#winning). Some I have found in random shopping trips or browsing online, one was a stocking stuffer (ULTA, you hooked my husband up!) and a couple came on recommendation. Here they are in no particular orderūüėĀ:

Corduroy Jumper

This cute corduroy mini-jumper has been one of my fav fall purchases from Birds of a Feather (BOAF)! I felt like I was having a mid-life crisis with this purchase because of the length, however I made all the girls at BOAF promise that I didn’t look like I was an old person trying to look young.¬†ūüėā I had an extensive convo with Jill (many many pics and texts) about how to style this and what kinds of places I could wear it. I’ve been so focused on building up my professional wardrobe, that I have sadly forgotten my fun, casual wardrobe. I was able to wear this to a concert for a parents’ night out! I paired it with a black mock turtleneck, black tights and leopard print flats. You could also add booties or a white ribbed shirt underneath.

Ice Roller

Don’t get me started about this. This $12 item has brought me so much joy in the past two weeks. I have been using it first thing when I wake up to “de-puff”. It also is great for headaches. I keep this in a plastic bag in the freezer and have it ready for use. This is so worth it – go get yourself one.

Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer

This little bronzer packs a huge punch for its size. It is super pigmented, so you only have to use a small amount to create a bronze goddess look, use as blush or to contour. This size is great to travel with too! 

Firearm Kids’ Clothes

If you are a fan of Mini Boden, you will love Firearm. I’ve found some great dupes for half the cost! Best of all…it’s all available on AMAZON. The fabric is soft and breathable – enough for my two year old.ūüėÖ

Universal Thread Booties

These adorable cut out booties are TARGET dupes for the more pricey Free People ones. They are only $32.99 (and there is a BOGO 50% off going on right now)! They are comfy and very on trend for Fall.

As a fellow (working) mom, I hope some of these ideas help you to stay chic, have $$ in your wallet and generally make life easier!

Xx,

Lauren

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‘Swing’ Into Fall With This Must Have Dress; Perfect For Every Occasion!

Last week Lauren clued you all in on her super cute bibs (they really are adorbs!)¬† This week, it’s my turn to fill y’all in on one of my favorite fall pieces.¬† I’ve mentioned to you before how much I absolutely adore a good swing dress, BUT these are my favorite swing dresses of all time. This is the perfect combination.¬† I love the oxford dress shirt look, but the flattering fit of a swing dress!¬† This design is more fitted through the chest and then very forgiving in the waist and hips.¬† It also provides the perfect amount of twirl factor! ¬†

These swing dresses are the perfect weight for nearly every season Рyou can wear them bare-legged or with tights.  There are so many ways to style them: just throw on a cute pair of slides or tennis shoes to dress them down or pair them with booties to dress them up.  As the weather gets colder, just add in a pair of opaque tights and you are good to go!

While the pattern above in unavailable right now, there are still several¬†colors/patterns to choose from!¬† (Spoiler alert: I ordered them all this past weekend – I’m not even kidding.)¬† Check them out and let us know what your favorite one is! ¬† And keep checking back as we continue into fall; last year they came out with a Holiday collection and it was the perfect amount of plaid.

XoXo

Jill

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MISSION: Lasik Eye Surgery – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

Who: ME!

What: Lasik Eye Surgery

When: July 2018

Where: LasikPlus, Columbus, OH

Why: Unassisted perfect vision, yo!

I have thought about getting Lasik eye surgery for the last 10 years. I’ve seen each of my family members get Lasik and ask me “WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??”. My first evaluation was about 10 years ago. I got the “go” from the doc, despite my astigmatism and young (*ahem*) age. Besides the fact that I’d have to pony up 3 months worth of rent (in DC!) for the procedure, it just didn’t feel right. From what understood, my eyes should be stable for 1-5 years and many times prescriptions will change after pregnancy. At that time I wasn’t married and there were no kids in sight, so I backed out.

Fast forward 10 years and after suffering with increasingly itchy eyes around the spring and fall allergy seasons, it was time to take the plunge. I didn’t really plan to get Lasik this year, (if I had it to do over, I would have maxed out my FSA!) but after my brother’s pseudo-spiritual experience (ūüėā) with Lasik, I had to get on the ball.

After copious amounts of research, I settled on LasikPlus in Columbus, OH. I made an appointment and because of scheduling, took my 4 year old.¬† He was playing a game on his Kindle and would yell, “YEAAHHH” or “WOOOO”, which freaked out the opthamologist checking my eyes. ūüėÖ¬†She double checked both eyes to make sure the side comments didn’t cause any mistakes. The appointment lasted about an hour and I got my results the same day. I was told I had a beautiful optical nerve and lots of cornal tissue which made me a candidate!! (Do they say this to everyone?) This news was so exciting that I made my surgery appointment on the spot. I had one month to mentally prepare myself.

 

DAY OF SURGERY:

So, if you read our¬†aerial yoga blog post¬†you know that I have a serious fear of the unknown. I have been known to dive head first into “fun ideas” only to FREAK OUT the night before the event. There were lots of thoughts running through my head before I went in for surgery (check out the Glitter Jungle InstaStories).

I had another full eye exam to confirm the results of the exam a month ago. During one of the exams, the tech put numbing drops in my eyes and asked if I wanted a Valium. Before I could answer, my husband said “yes, she would like a Valium.”ūüėí¬†(I, of course, agreed with him). Once in the final waiting area, I watched a couple of people go in before me and literally walk in and out in 5 minutes, like nothing happened. My name was called and I didn’t even have time to stress.

MOMENT OF TRUTH:

Once I was in the surgical room, (aka giant fishbowl that everyone could see into) I was ushered into the first chair where a plastic dome was taped to my left eye. My right eye was fitted with another device that held it open. The surgeon explained that I would feel some pressure, my eye would go black and then it would be over.¬† I started my deep breathing and he began the 30 second countdown. My right eye was suctioned to the machine and felt some pressure. My vision went black, but it didn’t freak me out because I just imagined that I had closed my eye because of the pressure. The surgeon got to 3, 2, 1…and I let out a sigh of relief. NO pain at all. They switched the plastic dome to the right side and my left eye was propped open and suctioned. Same 30 second countdown, deep breathing and boom, off to the second chair. Did anyone else initially freak about not being able “to hold my eye open that long” or “thought I might look away”? Yeah, no chance of that with the kind of suction that was going on here.

Once in the second chair, I was informed that I would see a series of Green and Red lights and was instructed do my best to keep my eye on it until the 30 second countdown was over. At this point, I had the plastic dome taped to my left eye and my right eye was held open with a metal device. It wasn’t hard to keep looking at the lights. Towards the end, I did notice that the surgeon had folded the flap back into place and looked like he was painting my eye with a small paintbrush. Kind of disturbing, but I didn’t feel a thing. Same story for the left side.

Here’s how it all went down:

After the procedure, the surgeon asked me if I felt ok and advised me to get home and take a 4-6 hour nap. Just like the three people before me, I donned my sunglasses they provided and walked right out of the office. Luckily our hotel was in the same complex and it took us 10 minutes to get to our room. Let me stop here – I am a championship napper. I have joked that I should write a book about how to nap. Of course this day, I could not nap. The nurse told me that there would be 3 uncomfortable stages if I couldn’t nap. The first would be a feeling of onion juice being poured into my eyes, the second would be non-stop watering and third, dry eyes. Each stage lasted from 30 – 60 mins. I kept my eyes closed the majority of the 4 hours. I would not suggest peeking (oops) because that’s when I felt the pain. My suggestion would be NyQuil, if you aren’t a good napper.¬† I should also mention that I was given a series of 3 different eye drops and vitamins to take over the next few months. These are super important! After my “nap” John and I went to dinner (I wore sunglasses) and walked around Easton. I don’t know what was more impressive, that I didn’t have contacts in or glasses on, or that we were out past 10pm with no kids.¬†ūüėā

The next morning I woke up and felt great. I put my eye drops in every couple of hours to keep my eyes from getting dry. Waking up and being able to see without glasses was awesome; even better was being able to watch a show before bed without glasses! No more falling asleep with glasses on. Hooray!

It has now been about a month and my eyes feel great! I would definitely recommend Dr. Thomas at LasikPlus in Columbus. He was great and I felt like I was in good hands. It sounds completely cliche, but this was one of the biggest quality of life changes I’ve made in a long time.

Have you had Lasik? What was your experience?

XOXO,

Lauren

 

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How To Create The Perfect Bronze Glow With Self Tanner: Part 2

 

Although self tanner is currently the new rage, I’ve been using it since way before it was cool!¬† I can remember being a Freshman in High School and having a big show choir performance coming up that I just had to look perfect for.¬† It was early in the spring and I was as pale as a pregnant lady with morning sickness.¬† I knew I had to do something and there was no time to get a real tan, so I bravely decided to try “man tan” {as my dad so lovingly refered to self tanner.}¬† I literally went.to.town with the self tanner.¬† All over me, everywhere; rubbing in every direction imaginable and paying no attention to the “problem areas.”¬† It quickly started to show color and I was SO proud of myself.¬† {Look at me, gettin’ all tan and stuff.}¬† I was beyond excited, until¬†I woke up the next morning to the zebra stripes all over my hands, wrists and feet.¬† Ironically, my body wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great either.¬† Needless to say, self tanner has came¬†a long¬†way since the 90’s and I’ve learned a lot in regards to the application process.¬† Many of my friends refer to me as the “Self Tanner Queen” (a title i’ll proudly wear) so i’m here to share my opinions on everything self tanner!

Helpful Tips For Application:

1.  Before applying self tanner, make sure to moisturize your problem areas: hands, wrists, ankles, feet, knees and elbows. Lather those areas with lotion before AND after self tanner application. Those areas will grab the color much easier and appear darker than the rest of your body. Be very sparing when applying self tanner to those areas.

2.  ALWAYS wear gloves during the application process. I always wear latex surgical gloves. Some self-tanners even come with latex gloves included (Like Toma Self Tanner- i loooove Toma.)

3.¬† Rub in a circular motion and stay concentrated in one area until that area is fully covered (don’t get crazy and just start rubbing it everywhere!)

4.  Apply self tanner in a cool room or in front of a fan! DO NOT apply self tanner in a hot bathroom that is full of humidity or on skin that is sweaty/moist. It will cause the self tanner to run/streak. Always apply self tanner to cool, dry skin.

5.¬† To apply self tanner on your back, I have two suggestions: If you have an awesome husband like me, ask him to apply it – the back is very flat and pretty hard to mess up! So far, my husband has a good track record. If your husband/significant other isn’t an option, then I suggest keeping a can of spray on self tanner for those times that you need to wear something backless! The QuickTan listed below is great for this.

6.¬† To avoid self tanner build up, I suggest exfoliating once or twice a week. The easiest way to do this is to buy a body scrub that has the little “scrubbing beads” included in the body wash.

7.¬† To blend any areas that are either too dark or too light, I suggest using the leg makeup that’s listed below (as mentioned before, you can use this all over your entire body!)

8.  Once the application process is complete, make sure to wash hands thoroughly and once again apply lotion to your hands Рspecifically around your palms, knuckles and wrists.

9.¬† After applying self tanner or bronzer, make sure to allow adequate time for the product to dry!¬† Do not rush and put your clothes on.¬† I generally wear a towel after application and I also keep an old robe that I often wear when the tanner is still fresh.¬† I would suggest that you wait 20 minutes or more after application before putting on nice clothes.¬† Be particularly careful with tight undergarments – especially your bra!!¬† If you put a bra on too quickly it will create “tan lines.”

10.¬† Because it takes several hours for the full color to develop, I always apply my tanner at bedtime, when I’m fresh out of the shower.¬† Clean skin and a full overnight for the color to develop will bring your best results!

 

***One leg bronzed and one bare leg.  The difference is unbelievable.***

Favorite Self Tanners:

1. ¬†My Current Favorite¬†is Tanwise One Hour Sunless Lotion.¬† This can be found at Sally Beauty.¬†¬†This gives a very rich, deep color; like you’ve just been to the beach.¬† This is a more drastic look, which I¬†prefer.¬† If you’re going for a subtle tan that people won’t notice, this may not be the one for you.¬† However, this gives the most natural looking color I’ve ever found!¬†¬† No cheeto look with this one, ladies.

Tanwise One Hour Sunless Lotion

 

2.¬† Next up is Toma’s Perfect Tan Self Tanning Lotion.¬† This can also be found at Sally Beauty and also gives a deep color.¬† This is a VERY close second to the Tanwise.¬† Anytime they’re out of Tanwise, I get Toma’s and it never disappoints.

Toma’s Perfect Tan Lotion

 

3.¬† Body Drench Quick Tan Bronzing Spray: ¬†For years, this was my go to!¬† It’s like an at-home spray tan.¬† It’s in an aerosol can and the color is amazing.¬† It actually has a 5 star rating, and for the most part, I would agree with that.¬† However, the last two cans I’ve purchased, the aerosol spray lid has malfunctioned causing me to lose/waste some of my tan.¬† Therefore, I’ve rarely purchased it lately because who wants to spend $20 on self tanner and then have the bottle malfunction.¬† This aerosol tan is perfect for a “top layer” of tan to give you a very bronzy glow!¬† Do one layer of Tanwise lotion and then apply the QuickTan Spray the next day for a seriously deep tan!

QuickTan Bronzing Spray

 

4.¬† Loreal Sublime Luminous Bronzer:¬† I’ve used this one for years.¬† It’s good, not as great as the tanners listed above, but it’s a very good substitute if I only have time to run in the drug store and grab something quick.¬† You can find this one at most pharmacy’s, Wal Mart, Target, etc.¬† I almost always keep a bottle of this one hand as a back up.¬† It’s also slightly cheaper.

Loreal Sublime Luminous Bronzer

 

5.¬† Jergens Natural Glow Wet Skin Moisturizer.¬† This¬†product is fresh on the market, and so far, I’m loving it!¬† This provides a gradual, subtle color.¬† Although you will notice some color after the first application, it will take 2-3 applications before you notice substantial color change.¬† For someone who is scared of applying self tanner, this is definitely the place to start!¬†¬† Here’s the wild thing about this one – you literally apply it to wet skin, fresh out of the shower.¬† As crazy as it seems, it works!¬† I do pat my skin semi-dry¬†before applying.¬† {Sidenote: I have applied it to completely dry skin as well and it worked just fine; no streaking.}¬†¬† This gives you just a nice sun-glow look.

Jergens Natural Glow Wet Skin Moisturizer

 

6.¬† Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs, Deep Glow Leg Makeup – Ladies, this is a game changer!¬† Literally, keep this in your makeup kit at all times.¬† This¬†is foundation for your legs (and can be used on the entire body to cover up anything that you want to hide; tan lines, blemishes, scars, *self tanner fails!*)¬† This stuff is amazing!!¬† It’s in an aerosol can and sprays out like hairspray, but has the same consistency as foundation for your face.¬† This has immediate color and gives your legs a flawless, airbrushed look.¬† Once it dries, it rarely budges.¬† The only time I’ve ever had it get on my clothes was at a football game when it was approximately 100 degrees and we had been tailgating for hours.¬† My sweat (gag) did eventually make it slightly rub off on the inside of my shorts.¬† However, it did not ‘run’ or cause any major streaking.¬† I often use this on top of my self tanner to just give it an even more natural look.¬† I highly suggest buying a can of this, like right now.¬† You’ll thank me later.¬† This product can be found at your local drug store or Wal Mart.

Sally Hansen Airbrush Leg Makeup

 

7.¬† St. Tropez Self Tan Express – This one is a FAN FAVORITE, hands down.¬† Even the ladies at¬†Ulta swear by this one.¬† It has the most radiant bronze glow and it rarely streaks!¬† While I highly recommend this one, it does come at a much higher price tag!¬† If you’re committed to your tan and want to take it to the next level, you must purchase¬†St Tropez Self Tan Express!

Ladies, I hope this information was helpful!  As always, we would love to hear your feedback if you decide to try any of these products!  Comment with any questions below!  If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends and subscribe to our blog!

 

XOXO

Jill

 

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Say NO to B.O. – Go Native!

B.O.¬† It’s just one of those things that is not socially acceptable, unless you are living in a commune or hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I don’t think any of those people are reading this blog.¬†ūüėā

In my pre-teen or early teen years I started using deodorant (mostly because it was cool and a bit because I needed it).¬† I progressed from Teen Spirit to Secret to Dove and that’s where it ended. I have tried all varieties of Dove over the last 15 years, but recently noticed that it hasn’t been working as well.

About that same time, a friend of mine (thanks Jenna!), asked if I had ever tried Native deodorant. I had heard of Native but never really gave it a second look.  Since I am trying to eat/live more simply (I had a party in the Target aisle when I found a 4 ingredient granola bar for the baby), I thought I might as well try to do the same for the things I put on my body.

I love the fact that Native deodorant is aluminum free – which helps with the laundry situation and clogged pores.¬† (It is also¬†parabens, phthalates, and talc free.) If you are like me, you might wonder if all of those eliminated ingredients would make the deodorant less effective, so I tested it out in several scenarios.¬† My first test was a day at the office, not much activity, but can we say stress sweat?!?¬†ūüėā¬† The Native deodorant passed with flying colors! The second test was a high intensity workout AFTER a day at work. I didn’t reapply and jumped into the workout. This was another success! I was super sweaty but didn’t have that dreaded B.O. smell. The third test was a day at home with my two toddlers. It was an 85 degree day and we were in and out of the house. I probably sweated the most this day. While I didn’t HAVE to reapply, I started feeling a bit gross, so I swiped on a couple more times.¬†ūüėā

Native gives some helpful tips when making the switch:

One drawback is that you can’t pick up Native in local stores. However, they do offer a subscription, so you aren’t stuck without deodorant! Also, it’s free shipping and free returns (music to my ears). I would definitely recommend Native and hope you like it as much as I do! If you order now, you also get a free travel sized deodorant, here: Native.

We’d love to hear your deodorant experiences. Let us know if you make the switch!

XOXO,

Lauren

 

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‘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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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 Рand 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. ūüėČ

 

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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Pout It Out – My Favorite Lipstick this Summer

Full disclosure: I am not much of a lipstick girl. I generally only use lip balm or gloss. HOWEVER, that’s before I found the perfect lipstick. ¬†While browsing the MAC counter at the mall, the fabulous makeup artist suggested that I try a natural colored matte lipstick, in addition to the¬†foundation, blush and brow filler (spoiler alert: it’s actually eye shadow!) I had already picked up. ¬†I took the plunge and got the¬†lipstick¬†(in Honeylove – Matte) along with this gloss¬†(in Spite, when I want to take it up a notch). It has been a few weeks and I can say that I LOVE it!!

 

 

 

Not only does it moisturize my lips throughout the day, it also makes me feel a little more “put together”. ¬†Matte lipstick is a good way to ease into daily lipstick wearing or stay current with the latest in lip trends.

 

 

I’m wearing the matte lipstick only in this pic. ¬†No filter here (*gasp*), so you can see the true color.

Whether you are a lipstick newbie, veteran, or a mom that just wants to feel a little more put together, you’ll have the perfect pout with this product! Try it out, see what you think and let us know!

XOXO,

Lauren

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The Magnificent Maxi Dress That Every Woman Should Own

It’s summer and beach vibes are all around us.¬† If you’re anything like me, style is very important but comfort is too.¬† My go-to ‘mom uniform’, in the summer, is any dress that’s cute but also keeps me cool; versatility is a must as well.¬† I feel like it’s my job in life to let you all know that I’ve officially found the PERFECT maxi dress.¬† It’s stylish, comfy, SUPER flattering and made out of material that doesn’t wrinkle or¬†cling (hallelujah!)¬†¬† And the best part is, this dress is less than $35.¬† I wore this dress for a date night at the beach, but I also plan to throw on a kelly green cardigan and wear it to the office as well.¬†¬†Another positive feature is that this dress has adjustable straps¬†for short people like me!¬† (Yay!)¬† I paired my dress with cute brown leather slides, but you could totally rock wedges with it as well.¬† If you’re on the market for a fun maxi dress, give this one a try.¬† I promise you won’t be disappointed.¬† Dress¬†fits true to size.

 

Sleeveless V-Neck Maxi Dress

Sidenote:¬† This pattern literally went unavailable today (hopefully they’ll restock), but there are still three other colors available that are all adorable.¬† The mustard yellow pattern is one of my favorites; I’ve tried it on in person and almost purchased it.

If you decide to purchase, make sure to share your photos with us!¬† We’d love to see you.

 

Happy shopping and much love,

Jill

 

(Affiliate links included.)

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