I feel like the weather skipped right over Spring and now it’s suddenly super hot every day.
I’m certainly not going to complain about nice weather, or the opportunity to wear all of my new sandals on a regular basis.
With Summer basically upon us, I wanted to share all of the great new shoes I’ve been wearing lately and where you can find them.
As usual, I got all of these on sale and they’re still priced really well.
These Valentino dupes from Amazon are perfect, and such a great bargain at under $20. Valentino is one of my favorite Luxe brands because of their more edgy styles. The rock stud is one of my favorite design elements they use, and these sandals look just like the real thing for a fraction of the price.
My sister actually gave me these Franco Sarto wedges because they were a little too small, and I happily took them off her hands! I’m building quite the collection of wedges lately, but I can’t help it. I love the cute but laid back style that wedges have.
These Steve Madden slides are my favorite new shoe! I love the spikes and I’m also pretty into white sandals this year. I’ve always been a fan of Steve Madden, so I’m not at all surprised to find myself obsessing over something of theirs this season.
Speaking of Steve Madden, these Madden Girl sandals are so sparkly and pretty. I’ll definitely be wearing them on warm Summer date nights this year. I love a versatile shoe, and I could see these pairing well with both casual and dressy looks.
This pair of Sam Edelman sandals is another one I’ve been giving a lot of use so far this year. I do own other Sam Edelman shoes but this is my first sandal from the Circus brand. The first time I wore these, I was pleasantly surprised by how cushioned the sole was. Super comfy and cute!
Those are my Summer shoe recommendations for today!
All of the shoes shown above have lower price points and are really stylish.
I’ve worn and will continue to wear all of them for the rest of this Summer and, most likely, many Summers to come.
You’ll definitely see more Summer fashion finds from me soon, so be on the lookout for future posts.
Thanks for reading and I hope you have a wonderful weekend! 🙂 ❤
So, unlike many other bloggers (and many other girls in general) I’m not a huge fan of makeup.
When I was younger I was never allowed to wear it, and that’s probably why I wasn’t really interested in makeup when I got older.
I’m also pretty terrible at doing my own makeup; again, most likely due to my lack of practice.
However, I do like to wear basic makeup when I want to look a little more dressed up, so I’ll do a natural look for client meetings, parties, photo shoots, etc.
I wanted to share a super simple, natural makeup approach that is my go-to whenever I want to highlight my natural features and make my skin look more even-toned.
All of the products I use can be found in a drug store or on Amazon (all are linked to Amazon in this post) and are pretty inexpensive.
So here’s a step-by-step guide of how to create my natural makeup look; this only takes 20-25 min and is very easy to do, so it’s perfect for a daily morning routine or a once-in-a-while look refresh.
Step 1: Primer
This product is actually a recent find for me, but I absolutely love it.
It has great coverage for a primer and the “Light” shade blends perfectly with my skin tone; I’ve actually worn just this primer with mascara when in a rush!
It is also available in a transparent color, which allow you to get the same pore minimizing benefits with an even more natural look.
Step 2: Foundation
I love this foundation because it goes on smooth and is still only light-medium coverage.
In the winter I use the Ivory shade but in the warmer months I switch to one of the Light or Light-Medium shades; they have a lot to choose from so you should be able to find the right one for your skin tone.
You can use any type of blender or sponge to put on your foundation, but I prefer the standard makeup wedges; they are cheap and disposable, so I can just throw them away after a few uses to avoid causing extra breakouts on my skin.
Step 3: Bronzer
This is one of the most expensive makeup items I own, but I actually got it from an Ipsy bag some time ago and it has lasted me a while.
A few things I love about this product: it smells like chocolate (!!!), it adds the perfect amount of color and slight tan to my face, and it (seemingly) lasts forever.
I would definitely recommend this bronzer, but if it’s a little above your price point, there are certainly others from trusted brands like Neutrogena or Maybelline that are cheaper.
Step 4: Mascara
This mascara is literally the BOMB…it’s double-sided and adds both volume and length to your lashes.
I’ve read online that a trick to getting really great-looking lashes is to use two different mascaras, but you don’t even have to do that with this Covergirl tube because it’s already two in one.
I kind of bought this on a whim a few years ago when I saw the commercial for it, but I’ve loved it ever since and am always going back to get the same one when I run out.
Step 5: Lip
I’ve posted about Baby Lips before; it’s basically a great lip balm with a few different shades to choose from.
My everyday go-to is Coral Crave, which is just slightly pinker than my natural lip color.
It adds a little more color to my face without it even looking like I have anything on, which is awesome.
That’s it! I don’t use eyeliner, highlighter, eye shadow, or setting spray for my typical makeup look.
As I mentioned, I like to keep it simple and I also aim to highlight my natural features rather than changing the look of them.
Of course, I’m not knocking anyone who likes a more intensive makeup look; I went the first 18-ish years of my life wearing virtually no makeup, so even this very minimal style sometimes feel like a lot on my skin.
The thing that I think is cool about makeup is how customizable it is; there are so many different products out there that you can choose something as bold or as tame as you want, and you can change it up every single day if you want to.
I hope you found this list of products useful, and I’m more than happy to hear any makeup tips you may have to share!
Comment below to let me know some of your favorite products, and what you think they work best for (every day look, costume makeup, extra glam, etc).
Thanks for checking out my latest post and I hope to see you back here again soon! ❤ 🙂
This black and white chevron dress is so easy to accessorize because its neutral colors go with pretty much anything. For Spring, I’d add a mint colored purse from Kate Spade and some pretty arm candy (pictured are the lotus, Stand Up to Cancer, and ‘What’s for you will not pass you’ bangles from Alex+Ani, plus a colorful bangle from a local boutique).
This dress is a little more formal; great for a graduation, shower, or any other event you may have coming up over the next few months. Also shown here are a large Kate Spade purse (not currently avail) and a matching necklace/earring set from NY&Co.
I love some fun, bright colors in the warm weather! These adorable color blocked shorts are perfect with any white top, and I’ve just been dying to use this Valentino bag that I got at a huge discount from Saks, so here it is. 🙂
Another pop of color comes from this pretty Boho Factory dress. Shown here with the same sandals and purse as the previous picture, and some added statement earrings (an old pair that I’ve had forever) to complete the look.
It seems like every time the warm weather comes around I find myself with a new sunflower dress…not that I’m complaining! The dress and belt were both Amazon finds, the shoes I’ve raved about in multiple previous posts, and the bracelet set is from Boho Factory. The earrings, again, are a super old pair.
I like this list because it covers a lot of different things—I got personal with a few and discovered things about myself, I covered beauty with my hair and skincare routines, fashion was of course included with outfit inspiration throughout, and then a threw in a few other recipe and work-related posts to round it out.
I hope you enjoyed reading these posts as much as I enjoyed writing them; I think my favorite ones were the zodiac sign analysis, 10 things about me, and who Id have dinner with, because these really forced me to take a look at myself and get personal with you guys.
Thanks so much for taking this journey with me, and even though I might not continue posting every day for the next month, I’ve still got a lot of fun content planned for future posts. ❤ 🙂
Today I want to talk about my most used phone applications, including the ones that I use most for blogging as well as in my personal life.
I do try to limit my screen time, but like most other people today, I am on my phone a lot.
The cool thing is, there are so many apps that help with productivity and tracking progress, and that’s what most of my frequently used apps help me with.
Here’s a list of my go-tos and what I love about them.
Notes – The notes app is standard on iPhones and I’m sure there’s an equivalent on other phones, as well.
As a writer, I use the Notes app to take down random ideas or inspiration all the time.
I use Siri to create notes while I’m driving so i won’t lose a good thought, and I even write some blog posts on here while on the go and then transfer them to my laptop to add into WordPress when I’m ready to finalize and post.
This app is free and easy to use, and is continuously getting more advanced, which I think is pretty cool for a standard phone app.
Instagram – As much as I complain about social media, I do love Instagram.
I like being able to see little snippets of people’s lives and am always surprised by the photography skills of some of my friends and acquaintances.
I like Instagram better than other social media apps like Facebook and Twitter. I feel lien people just use those to complain or be nasty to others these days, and it’s a little easier to ignore that stuff on Instagram.
I also just like posting and browsing pictures of outfits and other lifestyle inspiration that people I follow post.
I definitely have not had as much time as usual for Instagram lately, but I do enjoy using it for both blogging and personal purposes.
Goodreads – Those of you who read regularly are probably familiar with this app, but if you aren’t then you should definitely check it out!
Goodreads is an awesome community, reading tracker, and review system for readers all rolled into one.
It allows you to rate books you read and see ratings from others if you’re considering a book.
It allows you to keep lists (i.e., shelves) of your read, to be read, and currently reading titles and has challenges that you can set for yourself; Goodreads is what I used to track my 50 book reading challenge last year.
Another cool thing about Goodreads is that a lot of authors get involved with it, so I’ll occasionally get emails about virtual Q&A sessions with my favorite writers or other updates directly from them.
Nike+ Run Club – I’ve been using this app for almost 10 years and, although it has changed a lot over time, it’s still my favorite run tracking app.
I find it super easy to use, plus it has all of my running data (and all of my PRs) from throughout the years.
My favorite feature on the app is that your friends can send you “cheers” in real time when you go on a run and you literally hear cheering cut into your headphones at random times throughout your workout.
I hate paying full price for things, so if I see something I really like I save it on the app (super easy to do once you download it) and I get notifications about it from then on!
The app notifies you if something is low in stock/out of stock, back in stock, and on sale.
I just got some great new shoes this weekend because the app notified me that they finally went on sale; I may have had to wait a couple of weeks, but I got the exact pair of shoes I wanted without having to pay full price for them.
Ebates – This is another app I wrote about in my save while shopping post, and have buzzed to my family and friends about for a couple of years now.
Ebates is an app that you use to shop, or a browser extension you can add, that track what you buy and gives you cash back on purchases from qualifying stores.
It’s a free and easy way to get additional discounts on things you want to buy!
Those shoes I mentioned buying this weekend? I got them for 30% off from Macy’s thanks to Shoptagr notifying me that there was a sale, and then got an additional 10% cash back from Ebates.
All of that discount came just from downloading a couple of apps on my phone…so awesome.
PicMonkey – So, I prefer to keep it as real as possible whenever possible, but sometimes you have to do a little photo editing for your blog.
My editing app of choice is PicMonkey, which I found by reading through a few lists of the best apps for bloggers.
It was an app that I had to buy in the app store; the only one on this list that requires payment, but it wasn’t expensive and it’s been useful to me since starting this blog.
The app is great for adjusting lighting, color, and adding some cool filters or effects
Pinterest – I can’t even count the number of amazing tips I have found on Pinterest, especially while planning my wedding.
Between my husband and I building a house, me being a Matron of Honor for my sister, and me constantly needing creative stimulation for my job, Pinterest has been a bottomless well of information and inspiration for me.
I can get caught up and spend hours poring through all of the great posts and pins, but my favorite thing about Pinterest is that I’m not just killing time on it, I’m actually finding things that will help me with what’s going on in my life.
There are a bunch more apps that I use regularly, but I think seven is a good amount to highlight for now.
All of these help me be productive in some way, and I’m happy to know that a lot of the time I spend on my phone is used to get things done.
It’s so important to relax and be able to do things that you enjoy, but it’s also important to spend the necessary time on your responsibilities.
It’s all about balance, and I’m glad that my cell phone and the apps that I use every day help me find a balance between work and play. ❤ 🙂
Only three more posts in my 30 day blogging challenge!
Today I want to focus on weekly workouts.
It’s hard to stick to working out regularly, especially when you’re really busy.
Fitness is important to me, so I’ve found easy ways to ensure I’m working out different parts of my body, at least a little bit, each week.
Here’s a summary of my week in workouts.
I’m primarily a runner, so most of my workouts are focused on making sure my body is healthy enough to run long distance.
I try to change it up and do things that are effective, but not too time consuming.
Monday: Morning yoga. This one is hard to stick to, because I’m usually super tired on Monday mornings. Every time I do get up and get some yoga in, though, I’m so happy I did. I like to do some quick videos, and one of my favorites is Yoga with Adrienne. She has so many videos to choose from, focusing on all different muscle groups or objectives. I always feel relaxed and ready to take on the week after some morning yoga.
Tuesday: Morning abs. I do a few YouTube videos in bed after I first wake up. Doing things the lazy way kind of tricks my body into thinking I’m still relaxing, while I’m actually strengthening and toning my muscles. A few of my favorite YouTubers for workouts are Pamela RF and Rebecca Louise. Both of these women have short videos (10, 20, or 30 minutes) that totally blast your abs. The 10 minute six pack workout by Pamela RF is a killer, and only takes 10 minutes to do!
Wednesday: Arms. I use free weights at night while watching TV. This is another one I tend to slack on, but when I stop doing it I definitely notice a difference in the way my arms look. I have very little upper body strength, so all I need for this is a 5lb dumbbell. I’ve collected arm workouts from magazines over the years, so I follow those exercises, but you can also find plenty of great ideas on Pinterest.
Thursday: Abs (again!) and some back. Abs are really important for running because they help with speed and with overall form. When I’m slacking on abs, not only is it harder for me to run faster but I also start to feel pain in my hips and other areas. Same thing with my back; if I don’t strengthen those muscles, my performance suffers and then I’m left with pain afterwards. It’s crazy how all of the muscles work together and depend on one another; I used to think running just required strong legs, but in order to be good at it you really do need to focus on full-body fitness.
Friday: Squats/lunges/whatever other leg and butt exercises I can think of while I’m getting ready in the morning. I’ll do squats while brushing my teeth, lunge to my closet to pick out my clothes and then back after getting dressed, and do calf raises while I’m flossing. It sounds silly, but working these moves into my morning routine is an efficient way of slowly increasing the strength of important muscle areas.
Saturday/Sunday: Long run day and rest day. Depending on my fitness level and where I’m at with training, I do try to run multiple times per week. However, right now I’m taking it easy and the only race I have planned is a 5k, so I’ve been running on the weekends only. I wake up early and do anywhere between 3-5 miles (again, this number drastically increases when I’m working towards a larger goal or longer race). If I run on Saturday, then Sunday becomes my rest day, and vice versa. This week I ran on Sunday because I had to get up early yesterday to look at some cabinets for our future kitchen. My weekly run is by far my favorite workout, and I’m excited to work back up to running 3-4 times a week.
I also do ankle exercises 2-3 times per week because I’ve had a lot of issues with weak ankles.
I was a ballet dancer for 17 years and after I stopped dancing my ankles got very weak and I was constantly getting injuries.
I don’t really count this as a workout, more like maintenance, but it’s just as important because if I don’t take care of my problem areas, they can keep me from being able to workout hard altogether.
Another thing I do sporadically is get on the stationary bike at work.
This year, my office put in a few stationary bike desks, and I’m so excited to have that as an option.
When I’m not stuck in meetings or running around, I’ll sit on the bike for 30-60 minutes and get a workout in WHILE I’m doing stuff for work.
It’s so convenient and another easy way to fit some activity into my bust schedule.
As I mentioned, my workouts tend to change as my training goals change.
I’m planning to do at least another half marathon this year (maybe another full marathon, too), so I’ll do another future post with my more intense training schedule when I’m back to that.
Until then, I’ll stick to my lazy morning workouts. 🙂 ❤
I can’t believe I almost missed today’s post with just a few days left in my blogging challenge!
But I made it in time, and I’m here to share some money saving hacks with you.
These are little things you can do each month to help you save here and there, and eventually you small monthly savings will add up over time.
All of these things don’t require much effort and are therefore easy to start or implement into your current monthly routine.
Let’s jump right in!
Set up a monthly budget. If you don’t have one already, you should absolutely create a budget ASAP. You can use online resources like Mint or do it on your own. Creating a budget doesn’t have to be anything complicated, just list out all of the expenses you know you have each month, then list out any luxuries that you splurge on regularly. Subtract your monthly expenses from your monthly income, and you’ll get an idea of how much money you have left over. If you notice that you don’t have much left over each month, you may want to consider spending less on luxuries or cutting some out altogether.
Contribute to a savings account. If you don’t already have a separate bank account just for savings, the first thing you need to do is create one. This is an extra account that is not meant to be used or even touched for a long period of time. Once you have the account, make sure you are contributing to it every month (or every 2 weeks, if you can swing it). I have a set transfer from my checking account to my savings account, occurring twice monthly. As my expenses and my salary change, I change this amount, but I do make sure it is always happening bi-monthly. I’ve managed to save up a nice chunk over the last year or so, and because my transfer isn’t a huge amount and it happens automatically, I hardly even notice the money coming out.
Bring your lunch. If you work full time, you may have fallen into the pattern of going out or buying lunch every day. Not only does this get expensive, it also probably isn’t the most healthy option. Since I started working full time 6 years ago, I have always made and/or brought my lunches to work, and it blows my mind to hear others talk about how much money they spend in a week on food. I light to eat multiple light meals throughout the day and then a big dinner at night, so I bring things like granola bars, fruit, rice cakes, protein shakes, cheese, raw vegetables, and nuts with me to work with me. Meal prepping is another great option; my sister makes all of her lunches for the week on Sunday, and she packs things like salad, guac and hummus with pita and vegetables, cooked vegetables, grilled chicken, baked sweet potatoes, you name it! When you’re buying and making your own food, you’ll likely save money AND you’ll know exactly what’s going into your food.
Don’t pay full price for things. Okay, so this isn’t always an option, but when you can manage it you’ll probably save yourself from spending a lot of extra money. Let’s talk shopping, for example. I have a post about apps you can use to save money while shopping, and one of them helps you to track items that you want to buy. It notifies you when they go on sale, so you can wait before buying something to see if the price goes down. I recently did this with a new pair of Steve Madden slides I’ve been wanting. They caught my eye weeks ago but I made myself wait to see if they would go on sale, and they did this weekend! I ordered them today at 30% off (plus 10% cash back!) and saved big! That money I would’ve spent by paying full price can now be saved for something else in the future. I know it can be hard to be patient living in this instantly gratifying world that we do, but forcing yourself to shop a little smarter (and not instantly buy every pretty thing you see) is a good exercise that I think a lot of us could benefit from.
Those are my quick hacks for saving a little bit each month.
Whether you want to have more spending money, are saving up for a house, or anything in between, I believe that these small efforts can pay you big dividends if you stick to them.
Feel free to share any additional tips you have for saving, or shopping smarter!
You guys know by now that I love a good shopping score. 🙂 ❤