Friday, April 28, 2017

Easter Dress for Less


Easter Dress for Less

Easter Dress for Less

Easter Dress for Less

Easter Dress for Less

|| Dress: J. Crew via thredUP || Heels: Kate Spade (from a few season ago) || Necklace and Earrings: Kate Spade (birthday gift from my sister) || Ring: Tiffany & Co. || Photos: Melanie Foster Photography ||

One of my favorite parts about springtime is Easter. When I was a little girl, it was a huge holiday. It was a time to go shopping with my nana and papa to find a new dress for church with matching accessories, sometimes even a hat or new handbag. Easter morning at First Baptist Church in Pawhuska was like a mini spring fashion show. To this day, I still love seeing families in their coordinated outfits. It seriously makes my heart explode into heart-shaped confetti pieces. Now that I am a grown up, I can only imagine all of the work behind that one great Easter family photo.

Speaking of Easter pictures, my mom went above and beyond one spring. My nana made the girls matching dresses. We had a photo shoot in Bartlesville in our coordinating/matching outfits. I am not sure if it was the same year or not--but there were LIVE bunnies involved. It was all fun and games until we broke out in hives from the little furry creatures. Shout-out to all of the moms and dads making silly memories with your kids and having hilarious photos to laugh at later down the road!

Before Easter, I had a chance to work with one of my favorite brands, thredUP. I was on a mission, find the perfect Easter dress for under $45! When shopping on thredUP, I find it easier to narrow it down by the brands I like. I wanted to find a little spring number by J.Crew. To my surprise, this beautiful dress was brand new with tags still attached! The color of the dress was a little out of my color wheelhouse, but I took a chance on it.

I wore this to church on Easter and received so many compliments on it! It also was the perfect attire to our Sunday brunch. My favorite part about this dress is the tiny details of the design. I am also into the length of it. Because of my fuller hips/thighs, I find that dresses get short in a hurry! It's all about finding a style that works for your body type. I would say in the past year I have owned that I am not a size two anymore. I am starting to feel more confident and comfortable in my new body.

A while back I wore a post about thredUP if you are interested in ordering a closet clean out bag or if you want a coupon code. You can find more details, here. If you need help finding a dress for an upcoming event, please send me an Instagram direct message. I would love to help you!



Monday, April 17, 2017

My Mini at Home Spa Night



My Mini at Home Spa Night

There are two types of people in the world: bath lovers and bath haters. Honestly, I didn't realize how magical baths were until a few years ago. When I was in graduate school, I was also working full-time (as a 4-H Educator and later as a Travel Blogger). Each Sunday I dedicated most of my day to homework, reading and writing. I found that a bubble bath, reading materials and a glass of wine made for a productive evening.

Now that grad school is behind me, but I still find myself reading in the tub. Over the years, I have enjoyed sampling different products to make bathtime more fun. One of my favorite stores is Lush Cosmetics. They joke that bath bombs are the gateway drug. I have to say, I agree. Bath bombs got me into the door. However, I find their entire product line is pretty impressive.

If you need some me time, I have a few products that you should check out! Today I am going to share with you three products that transform my bathroom into a mini night at the spa. Below you will find my honest review of three different products at very varying price points.

Lush Cosmetics Ro's Argan Body Conditioner, $36
This body conditioner smells like a dozen roses and will leave your skin smooth to the touch. It is a tad expensive, but a little of this stuff goes a long way. I love to apply it after shaving! When you get out of the tub, make sure to pat dry instead of rub. This is one product that I keep going back to.

Farmhouse Fresh Rosemary Mint Tea Gourmet Mineral Bath Soak, $23
If you have had a hard barre class or run, this soak will have your sore muscles singing praises! This small bag contains enough salts for eight deep tub baths. Farmhouse Fresh products are also free of parabens and sulfates. Warning, this will leave your tub a hot mess. There will be slight clean up after your soak.

Lush Cosmetics Sleepy Hand and Body Lotion, (seasonal)
I am bummed that this product is seasonal. It came in one of my Christmas packages. After soaking in the tub, I apply this lotion all over my body. It smells like a field of fresh lavender and will have you off to dreamland in no time at all. Since this product is not currently available, I would check out the other body lotions that Lush has in stock.

Side note, if you shop at Lush, keep your little black pots. They are made from 100% recycled plastics. When you bring back five clean empty posts--you get a free fresh face mask!




Saturday, March 25, 2017

My Evening Skincare Regimen

My Evening Skincare Regimen


It's no secret that I have struggled with acne. Over the years, I have tried anything and everything on the market and prescription. For the first time in a long while, I am comfortable and confident in my skin! I am not sure if my oil production is slowing down or not, but my face is looking more clear and radiant. The funny part about this whole situation? I don't wash my face at night!

I don't believe that you can start taking care of your skin too early. Let's face it, our skin is the largest organ in our body. We need to take care of it. I also think that my water intake has a lot to do with how hydrated and happy my face is. In the past two years, I have actually cut back on my Dr. Pepper. In college, it was nothing for me to drink one per day. Now I couldn't tell you the last time I had a sip of pop. It was hard, but I am so thankful I have kicked that habit!

Today I am going to share with you six products that I use each and every night (no matter how tired I am). I have very oily skin so some of these products might not be the best fit for you. Below you will find my honest review of six different products at very varying price points (three not pictured).

Neutrogena Hydrating Make-Up Remover Cleansing Towelettes, $8
Each evening I remove my make up with these cleaning towelettes. I have tried each of their different formulas. The hydrating formula is the one I like most. These towelettes can get a lot of makeup off without harshly scrubbing the skin.

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Cleanser & Waterproof Makeup Remover, $9
After I use the cleaning towelettes, I lightly soak a cotton pad with this cleanser and go to work. This stuff will pick up all the stuff that was left behind. It's so gentle on your skin, and you will be amazed at how powerful it is. A little bit of this remover goes a long way!

Bobbi Brown Eye Makeup Remover, $20
I don't know what your mascara habits are. I use a primer and two different mascaras to achieve the look I want. I don't use a waterproof formula, but I have found it takes a lot to get this many coats off before bedtime. I use this remover on a Q-tip and gently rub my eyelashes until everything is gone. I take the towelette and make sure the excess is gone.

Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner, $8
Truth be told, I do not feel clean until I use toner. I have tried almost every toner on the market at some point in my life. This is the only bottle that I keep going back for. It's alcohol-free, so it doesn't burn your skin. It is still able to pick up things that all of the other products cannot. I love how it leaves my face feeling. Think of toner like mouthwash but for your face.

Bobbi Brown Extra Eye Repair Cream, $74
I am letting you all in on my best-kept secret. This stuff is the reason why I look so well rested (nine times out of ten). When I was getting my makeup done for my engagement photos, the woman behind the Bobbi Brown counter encouraged me to start using eye repair cream. This product has been a game changer! I am so thankful that young lady was able to tell me about my skin situation.

Bobbi Brown Hydrating Gel Cream, $58
I love how this cream makes my face look! I wake up feeling refreshed, and my skin looks hydrated! Here's a little secret. There are times when I don't feel like applying my full face. I mix a few drops of my foundation in with this moisturizer and apply for that "no makeup" look. I have been using this product for three years religiously, and I think it has a lot to do with my transformation.




Friday, March 17, 2017

The Best Roasted Broccoli

Roasted Broccoli with Garlic


Growing up, my mom always encouraged us to eat our vegetables. She did a stellar job at providing us a well-balanced meal three times a day. Looking back, I am not sure how she was able to do it all. Phew! I can hardly create balanced meals for just the two of us.

Jered is not the biggest vegetable lover out there. When we started dating, I was constantly trying out new dinner ideas with him to see what he would like (challenge accepted). He is more of a meat and potato kind of guy. Hear me out; there is nothing wrong with that. I would say that's the majority meal preference of all of the men in my family. However, it is important to eat your greens!

I came across this Roasted Brocolli with Garlic recipe from Food Network a few years ago (it makes four servings). Over the years, I have made a few tweaks to amp up the flavor! I think that lemon and garlic pair beautifully together. I am also obsessed with cheese. Speaking of cheese, the cheese counter at Whole Foods is a grown-up version of candy land in my book. I always dig around in the bargain bin to find a new variety to try on the cheap.

Here are my additions, after the roasted broccoli comes out of the oven, I cut one lemon in half. I squeeze the juice from one-half of the lemon over the hot broccoli. Then I take a potato peeler and grate six shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano. You could do more or less depending on your love for cheese.

This dish has the seal of approval from Jered (and that's saying a lot)! It's so easy to make you will find yourself adding it to your weekly rotation. Roasting vegetables is one of my favorite ways to prepare them. I love when they get crispy and crunchy bits! Fair warning, you might not want to take the leftovers to work with you. It will make your office break room smell unpleasant. Office etiquette is important, y'all!

Roasted Broccoli with Garlic

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch broccoli (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into florets, stems peeled and sliced or diced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


Directions
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Toss the broccoli florets with the olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper on a baking sheet. Spread them out and then roast, without stirring, until the edges are crispy and the stems are crisp-tender, about 20 minutes.

Serve warm.