Seersucker Sass: 2018

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Fragrance Favorites

Happy National Fragrance Day!  I'm probably one of like five people who loves those made up holidays, and I have zero shame, especially today.  I'm an extremely nostalgic person, and scents are something that will stop me dead in my tracks and have my brain flooding with memories.

When I was a little girl, my mom would get me ready for school and then do the final touches for herself, including a spritz of perfume.  Sometimes, if it was a special occasion, my mom would give me a spritz of her Jovan Musk.  I always thought my mom was so glamorous with her big curls, long eyelashes, and fancy perfume.

In middle school, I fell in love with classic Hollywood glamour.  I insisted on having my own bottle of Chanel No. 5.  Even though I identified much more with Audrey Hepburn, if Chanel No. 5 was good enough for Marilyn, surely it was appropriate for me.  I wore one spritz to middle school every day, and two spritzes to church on Sundays.  (Can I just say God bless my parents?!  Sometimes when I think back on myself as a child, I just want to hug them for never trying to change me and just letting me be my weirdo, ridiculous self.)

High school and college were fun.  I own probably every Juicy Couture scent known to man and the whole collection of Ralph Lauren's Ralph Hot/Cool/Wild/whatever random adjectives also appealed to teenage girls thanks to this time in my life.  I proudly displayed them on a mint green cake plate in my dorm room and invited my girlfriends to try them out before going to the bars in college.

When I graduated and became a very professional woman, I wanted something more subtle and natural.  (At this time, I was also afraid of pretty much any chemical thanks to cancer and a lovely little lymph node removal.)  I wore Barr & Co's signature scent, and I smelled like a little sugar cookie.

When I turned 25, the search for a signature scent began.  I started sampling scents from my monthly PLAY! by Sephora subscription box, and eventually settled on three.  While I sometimes feel a little frivolous about it, I love that I have an everyday scent, a night out scent, and an elegant scent for special occasions.

EVERYDAY SCENT - My Burberry Blush

Described in one word:  sweet

Scent type:  fruity florals

Notes of:  pomegranate, rose, jasmine

Why I love it:  This is a subtle, feminine, sophisticated scent.  If it was an article of clothing, it would be a classic Burberry trench.  It's nice and it's polished, but it doesn't scream "look at me!"  I look forward to putting this on every morning because it lifts my mood.  This is definitely my "I'm a polished career woman" scent.

NIGHT OUT SCENT -  Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium

Described in one word:  sexy

Scent type:  addictive, floral, energetic

Notes of:  coffee accord, orange blossom, cedarwood essence, patchouli essence

Why I love it:  I've always played it safe when it comes to scents, and this is the opposite.  If it was an article of clothing, it would be a leather jacket.  It's spicy and sensual, and I get a little confidence boost whenever I wear it.  This is my "it girl for the night" scent.


Described in one word:  elegant

Scent type:  fresh

Notes of:  orange, bergamot, mandarin, Tunisian curacao

Why I love it:  For starters, I love it because it was a gift from my aunt.  I never purchase fragrance for myself, and I was desperately in need of something new.  It was a just because, surprise gift, and it tickled me.  (It was actually my everyday scent until my aunt gave me the Burberry scent for Christmas!)

This scent is very feminine, and it's very strong.  If it was a piece of clothing, it would be a blush chiffon dress or a tweed jacket.  It's very ladylike, but it stands out.  This is my "fancy, wise beyond my years" scent.  

I've also noticed that I receive a lot of compliments from men regarding this scent.  So if you're looking to pick up a man, here's your scent.  You're welcome.

Black Opium  •  My Burberry Blush  •  COCO MADEMOISELLE

I want to hear from you - what's your "signature" scent?  And is there a scent that immediately takes you back to childhood?  Let's chat in the comments!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Five Things I'm Doing for Myself this Week

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It's no secret that self-care is a trending topic in 2018.  First there were the posts about bubble baths and face masks.  Then there were the "opposition" posts about how self-care was so much more than bubble baths and face masks, and we should be focusing on therapy and mental health.

In my opinion, self-care not only looks a little differently for everyone, but it looks a little differently by the day.  Some days, I need a really good ranting session with my girlfriends where I'm free to yell and get worked up and get it out of my system.  Other days, I need to be on my yoga mat, sweating out my stress.  And after a really long day, there's nothing better than soaking in a hot bath and just enjoying the silence.

Yesterday morning, I realized that I had some errands that couldn't wait any longer.  Nothing opened until noon, so instead of continuing to sit around and wait for the world to open, I left a little early and treated myself to a healthy breakfast at my favorite juice bar.  While enjoying my avocado toast, I kept thinking about just how nice it felt to take a little time to do something for myself.  So I made a list of five things I would do for myself this week.  I'm sharing it not just for accountability, but also to encourage you to do the same.  As we discussed before, self-care doesn't have to be a face mask and it doesn't have to be therapy.  Self-care is whatever you need it to be that day.

1. Getting my eyebrows done.  Yesterday, I took the time to have my brows threaded for the first time since January.  A brow pencil is one of the few cosmetics I use on a daily basis, and it was to the point that even a brow pencil could not save them.  Despite the fact that brow threading is not a painless experience, I felt like a new person walking out of the salon.  Moving forward, I hope to prioritize taking pride in my appearance a little more, as it's currently the first thing I'm willing to cut when I need more hours in a day.

2. Recording a "list of gratitude" throughout the day.  Y'all, I cannot tell you how much this has rocked my Monday.  Instead of giving something up for Lent, I decided to be more intentional about gratitude. [more about that here]  Mondays can be rough, so I decided that this week, I would make a list of things throughout the day that I'm thankful for.

So far, I'm really thankful that I can move my car because there is no longer a random washing machine sitting behind it (I know, seriously, WTF.  #apartmentlife), I made it into the office before 8 AM, I have an amazing boss, and my new toner is working.  It is crazy how differently I'm seeing my day now that I'm looking for the positives.

3. Working on a personal writing project.  I love to write, and I've decided to write a work of fiction for fun.  I don't have intentions to publish it or really share it with anyone except a girlfriend or two, it's just something that I'm doing to prove to myself that I can and to continue sharpening my writing skills.  I started this weekend, and it's crazy how much more inspired I've felt with blogging.  I plan to dedicate a few hours this week strictly to working on this project.

4. Ordering new powder because the one I currently use just isn't doing it for me anymore.  Have you ever found yourself using a beauty product just because you have it?  That's  where I am with my setting powder right now.  It finds tiny, almost nonexistent fine lines on my skin and clings to them.  After pretty much giving myself a complex, I've decided the powder has to go.  I'm taking the plunge and ordering Glossier's Wowder (along with their Cloud Paint because I also have a complex about looking washed out... but that's a different story for a different day.)  And to avoid feeling wasteful, I'll be passing the product on to a friend who isn't dealing with fine lines.  Everyone wins :)

5. Scheduling time to do nothing after work.  This is a big step for me.  I only have plans after work two days this week - one is a coffee meeting at a cafe that I love and one is dinner with my best girlfriend.  I actually turned down a meeting this week because it would be occurring immediately after my annual skin check up, and I knew my body and mind would need time to rest afterwards.

I want to hear from you - what are you going to do for yourself this week?  Write it out, schedule it on your calendar, whatever you need to do, let's make it happen!

PS - If you pray, would you mind to send some prayers my way on Thursday?  As I mentioned, I'll be having my annual skin check up.  I trust that it's all part of God's plan for my life, but prayers for calm nerves while potentially playing the waiting game and acceptance of the outcome are much appreciated.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

March Coffee Date

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I don't know about y'all, but March snuck up on me.  It felt like January lasted 12 years, then I blinked and February was gone.  Here's to hoping that March is that perfect sweet spot of chaos and stillness.

I'm excited to sit down and have a little coffee date with you this Tuesday morning.  Grab your beverage of choice and let's chat!

GOALS UPDATE  •  As always, let's start off by talking about our goals.  How are your goals going?  Any new ones?  Here's a quick update on my 2018 goals.
  • Goat yoga - It happened!  And it was glorious.  I'll have a full recap of my experience soon, but in the meantime, you can read more about it here.
  • Read 12 books - I'm a little ashamed at how little reading I've done recently.   I finished Party Girl on February 5, and I haven't read another book since.  I'm currently reading Awkward Grace, The Beautiful and the Damned, and Bad Girls Throughout History.  I'm still ahead of my goal, having read five out of 12 books so far, but I'm hoping to make more progress in March.
  • Go on more fancy dates with my girlfriends - While I haven't been going on any "fancy dates" with them, I've spent a lot of time with my girlfriends this month.  My friend Lindsay and I had a rough night last week, so we ended up grabbing a late dinner and drinks and laughing for two hours straight.  Last night I had coffee with a friend that I've known since elementary school.  I'm thankful to have such encouraging, empowering, positive women in my life, and I hope to spend even more time with them this month.
  • Incorporate more natural products into my daily routine -  I finally got around to writing a post about this!  And I can't wait for my next post, as I've added even more products, including teas that will help with inflammation and bloating, aloe pills, chlorophyll water, and so much more :) 
  • Meditate daily -  I actually stopped meditating.  I was doing really great on my streak and had almost reached 50 days, and then I got out of my routine on the night of the dog rescue.  To be really honest, I dreaded meditating.  I loved how I felt afterwards, but I would even put off going to bed at night because I just couldn't get excited about meditation.

TRAVEL  •  I went to Asheville this month to celebrate my birthday!  And I'm currently planning a quick, long weekend trip to Myrtle Beach next month.  I haven't been there in ten years and I have no idea what to expect, so please send any recommendations my way!

LENT  •  When I decided to start controlling my health through my diet, I had to give up a ton of things that I loved.  In an effort to be kinder to myself, I decided to add a new habit instead of removing something from my world.  I'm writing 40 notes of gratitude over the 40 days of Lent.  I'm also removing items and friendships from my life that I feel no longer serve me in order to make room for more gratitude in my every day life.  Did you give something up this year?

HEALTH  •  I'm hanging in there!  As I mentioned above, I've added some new supplements and a variety of teas into my life to help with inflammation and bloating, as those are the two symptoms that bring me the most pain and stress.

BEST PURCHASES  •  To be completely honest, I haven't done much online shopping this month.  I'm definitely still loving the contour sticks that I raved about last month, and my (knockoff) beauty blender has been doing overtime.  

WHAT'S NEXT  •  While I haven't been blogging very much lately, I've been doing a crazy amount of work behind the scenes.  I hope you'll continue to bear with me and my limited posting schedule, because there are really great things in store.

What's new with you?!  Leave a life update in the comments.  I love to know what you're up to, how your goals are going, and how I can support you!

Thursday, March 1, 2018


I love trying new products!  One of my favorite things about having a blog is that it gives me an opportunity to share my findings with y'all.  There are two things that make me more likely to buy a product - organic buzz on reviews written by bloggers and actually being able to sample a product before purchasing.

If you share my sampling obsession, you need to give PLAY! by Sephora a try!  For $10 a month, you receive five deluxe samples + a bonus, packaged in a cute little bag.  (So perfect for organizing goodies under your cabinet, traveling with jewelry, etc.)

Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Mascara ($26) •  This mascara is incredible.  It gives me flashbacks to the summer I had eyelash extensions.  If you're looking for a mascara to separate and lengthen your lashes, this is it!  I don't wear it every day, but I love it for special occasions when I really want to up the glam factor or on days where I wear minimal makeup but want to look polished.
Briogeo Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray ($20) •  This was not a great product for me.  I have oily hair, so I intentionally avoided getting this anywhere near my roots, and somehow it still made my entire head an oil slick.  

Bare Minerals GEN NUDE Matte Liquid Lipcolor in 'Swag' ($19)  •  The name for this shade is cringeworthy, but the product is not.  It's hard to find a good matte lipcolor that isn't drying, but this one passes the test.  I love to wear this to events because it's long lasting. 

Touch in Sol Eye Shadow Duo in 'Talia' ($25)  •  This is another one of my favorites for special occasions!  The product has both a glitter primer and a fine, loose glitter that can be applied on top of the stickier primer.  This was one of my favorites during the holiday season, and I plan to pull it out again when spring rolls around.

IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cleanser ($28) •  I love this cleanser so much that I purchased it!  Its milky and gentle on my sensitive skin, and my skin made noticeable improvements when I started using this.

IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream ($48) •  I started using this moisturizer when my oily skin started getting dry patches, and it cleared that right up.  I will probably transition over to a lighter gel product for spring, as feel like the heaviness of this product is better suited for fall and winter.

I want to hear from you - what should I try next?!  What have you been using that you love?  

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Natural Products Worth Trying

If you've been following along for awhile now, you know that I've slowly started cutting back on the chemicals in my life.  I know I'll never live a lifestyle that is 100% free of harmful chemicals (is that even possible?), but I've started making small changes for healthier options.

I was diagnosed with cancer at 20, and it was related to a medication that I was taking for a chronic illness.  Last summer, my chronic illness flared up, and I decided that enough was enough.  I didn't want to go back on steroids and taking a literal handful of pills twice a day.  So I did my research, and I started taking the steps to control my health through my diet.  I worked with my specialist on this, and she set up benchmarks.  I understand that being able to do that is a luxury, because there was no way that this would have been feasible 10 years ago when I was diagnosed.  (I am currently still receiving my infusion, but I am getting a second opinion soon to see if I can start to get a lower dose less frequently.)

When I began researching how my diet affects my health, it opened my eyes to what I was putting in my body.  This is when I really started swapping things out for healthier options.  I'm really excited to share some of my recent finds with you. 

I want to preface this by saying that I'm going to be sharing what I like about these products... that's it.  Nothing along the lines of shaming or scaring you into buying them, because that's silly.  It's so important for us to make choices that work for us and our lifestyles.

Thieves Dental Floss  This is the easiest swap I made.  I like that this floss is a little thicker and sturdier than flosses I've used in the past.  It's Thieves branded, but there isn't much of a taste.

Thieves Mouthwash  This is not the most delicious mouthwash I've ever used, but I prefer it's spicier taste to the sometimes overwhelmingly fresh taste of other mouthwashes.  My teeth and gums are sensitive, and I have found this to be less irritating.

Lavender Essential Oil  I use lavender for everything.  Blemish?  Lavender.  Can't sleep?  Lavender on the wrists.  Not sure which oil to use?  Lavender.  And it sure doesn't hurt that it smells amazing.  (When people ask me if I could only have two oils, this is consistently one of my picks!)

Native Deodorant  This product has been a game changer for me.  I spent over six years struggling to find a natural deodorant after cancer.  I had lymph nodes removed from my right arm pit, and everything irritated my armpits.  There are so many things I love about this deodorant.  It's aluminum free.  I can actually use a scented deodorant (#thelittlethings).  And Native offers free shipping and free returns, and you can even purchase in bulk and save some money.  I could go on and on about how much I love this product.  

Thieves Spray  I originally purchased this to use on my yoga mat, as the hot yoga studio I attend uses a similar essential oils based cleaner.  I usually keep this in my purse just in case, especially during flu season when it seems like everything is covered in germs.  I like to use this on my bathroom counter, I even took my mom some of this when she was in the hospital so she could keep her food tray wiped down.

Thieves Toothpaste  I switched over to this toothpaste because it was another easy swap, and fluoride is added into the water where I live.  I have sensitive teeth and gums, and this is extremely gentle on them.

Thieves Waterless Purifier  I cannot say enough positive things about this product.  Unlike hand sanitizing products I've used it the past, this doesn't dry my skin out, doesn't irritate cuts, and doesn't have that strangely sterile smell of other sanitizing products.  (I actually love how this smells so much that if they made this in giant bottles, I would stock the office with them.)

Maple Holistics Tea Tree Oil Shampoo (c/o)  This stuff is amazing if your scalp starts to freak out and flake when the seasons change or if you accidentally sunburn your scalp.  I use this every other time I was my hair, and I continue to be pleased with the results.  It uses some of my favorite oils - lavender, tea tree, argan, rosemary, and jojoba.  (And it's Prime Eligible!)

Floss  ||  Mouthwash  ||  Lavender Oil ||  Deodorant  ||  Thieves Spray  ||  Toothpaste  ||  Hand Sanitizer  ||  Shampoo

I hope that you enjoyed learning more about some of my favorite natural products.  I want to hear from you - have you found any natural products that I should check out?!

Also, somewhat unrelated, but I'm going to Asheville this weekend to celebrate my birthday, and I will finallyyyyy have the chance to shop at Trader Joe's.  Any recommendations?  So far I have their frozen dumplings, turmeric tea, and chicken less tenders on my shopping list!

Monday, February 19, 2018

This is 27

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Can we talk about something for a second?  I'm not the biggest fan of my birthday.  I used to be obsessed with celebrating, but around the time of my 25th birthday, I was filled with anxiety instead of excitement.

For me, birthdays are when the comparison game starts to sneak in.  I think about my age, how I'm pushing closer to 30, and how so many people at my age are running their own companies and changing the world, and how I'm doing consistent good work but nothing spectacular and struggling to get content on my blog more than once a week.

I'm obsessed with growth and change and progressing, and I truly believe that has become a double-edged sword.  I'm so focused on becoming the best version of myself, that I don't really take the time to appreciate who I am at the moment.

Last fall, I wanted to be on one particular board so bad that I could taste it.  I can't think of many things in my adult life that I have wanted that badly.  It aligned with my community service passions and my career, and I couldn't think of a better fit.  My boss agreed that I was highly qualified, signed off on my application, I submitted it, and the waiting game began.

The week before I was supposed to find out if I was chosen for the board, I found out that someone I serve on a different board with had nominated me for an award.  The nomination process is lengthy, and it meant the world to me that my friend had not only written a thoughtful nomination, but had coordinated with people in my life to have letters of support provided.  I don't have many items on my bucket list, but this was a bucket list item for me.

Two days after I was interviewed by the magazine that runs the awards program [you can read all about how I botched the interview right here], I got the email that I was chosen as an alternate for the board.  And I lost my damn mind.

I sat in my car, and I cried.  And then I got even madder because I was crying, and I rarely cry, so I cried even more.

And I texted everyone I had told about the board to tell them how dumb this was (to the best of my abilities because by this point I was ugly crying, snot was probably everywhere, and my autocorrect was working over time because I couldn't see anything), and everyone said the same thing, a version of I'm so sorry, but you won an award a week ago... Focus on the good and let this go.

I think about this situation so frequently, mostly because it was not my shining moment.  26 taught me so much about how one of the happiest days can also be one of the saddest days.  Whether you're winning an award and all eyes are on you or sobbing in your car hoping no one sees you, the world is still spinning, life is still happening, and everything is temporary.  Cling to the good moments as long as you can, and acknowledge when the bad things happen, then let them go.

Sweater:  Mimi Mae Boutique  ||  Jeans:  Loft  ||  Flats:  Mimi Mae Boutique (similar)  ||  Handbag:  Gucci  ||  Watch:  Gucci  ||  Cable Bracelet:  David Yurman  ||  Enamel Bracelet:  Hermes  ||  Lip Color:  IT Cosmetics (Naturally Flushed)

One last thing... 

Last week, I was watching Bob's Burgers, and the episode with Linda's birthday comes on.  Linda shares my distaste for birthdays, and I felt so comforted by that.  (I have no idea why I'm basing what's normal in my life off of Linda Belcher, but I guess that's a different story for a different day.)  Literally everything that could go wrong on Linda's birthday goes wrong.  I'm pretty sure if a combination of any two of the things that happened to her had happened to me, I would be revert back to the ugly crying in my car version of me mentioned above.  But Linda doesn't.

Linda takes all of it in stride.  She's annoyed, and she keeps on trucking.  At the end of the episode, when Linda is soaking in a tomato juice bath because she's been sprayed by a skunk... twice... she comments on how it's not only been the best birthday ever, but how she wants to start a tradition of doing lots of difficult things every year on her birthday to prove to herself that she can, despite the fact that she's getting older.

At 10 PM on the night before my birthday, we happened upon two dogs in my apartment complex parking lot.  They had collars but no tags, and they were clearly someone's babies.  After hitting dead ends with any emergency vet we called about checking for microchips and an experience where animal control refused to pick them up and suggested we just tie them to a pole outside, it was determined that we were having a puppy sleepover.

It was stressful (Francis hates other dogs and had to be separated), and I got very little sleep, but I woke up the morning of my birthday with a home full of doggies.  I didn't think I had it in me to take two dogs to the pound on my birthday, but I channeled my inner Linda, and I knew I could handle whatever I needed to.

We took a walk to Fran's vet, and while they were searching for microchips, one of the staff members recognized the dogs.  She knew their names and their owner, and offered to hold them there until their owner could come by to claim them.

On the way to breakfast, I thought of that episode, and I not only thanked God for the fact that the doggies were soon to be reunited with their family, but I thanked him for an adventure and for the reminder that I could handle anything that comes my way this year.

This is 27.  And I'm ready for it.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Skin Care Essentials for Changing Seasons

This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you purchase a product from this post, I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you.  Thank you for supporting Seersucker Sass blog.

Has anyone else been experiencing crazy weather lately?  My skin is definitely feeling the effects of experiencing a snowy Monday followed by a mid-60's Thursday and the heat and air conditioning that come with.  Plus, there's something about cold weather that makes me eat all of the things I shouldn't be eating, leading to even more stress on my skin.

Because of all of that, I've started paying more attention to my skin and trying to create a consistent routine, instead of just grabbing whatever I feel like out of the medicine cabinet and layering it on my skin.

If you're in the same boat and just want your skin to chill out and be normal again, today's post is for you.  I'm sharing six products that keep my skin in the best condition it's seen since high school.  My skin is combination oily, but most of these products are great for all skin types.

IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cleanser ($28)  •  Most of my makeup is IT Cosmetics, and I received some deluxe skincare samples with my last order.  My skin was not adjusting well to the seasons changing, but the IT Cosmetics Confidence products completely turned my skin around.

This cleanser contains all the good stuff - collagen, hyaluronic acid, and a ceramide complex.

[For reference, the travel size product is shown in this photo, and it's $12.  I purchased a set, and it was basically free with the moisturizer.  The $28 product is giant.]

IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream Super Moisturizing Cream ($48)  •  This moisturizer complements the cleanser really nicely.  It's the thickest moisturizer I have ever used, which made me really nervous since I have combination oily skin, but it's the first time in a few years that my skin hasn't gotten dry and patchy.

Note - If you're interested in purchasing these products, QVC has a deal where you get the cleanser, moisturizer, eye cream, foundation, and foundation brush for $100 (including shipping), which is only $24 more than if you purchase just the moisturizer and cleanser.  

Clinique Moisture Surge 72 Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator ($19)  •  I use this on days when I need something lighter.  The gel texture soaks right into my skin and makes a great base for applying makeup.  Like the products above, it also contains hyaluronic acid.

Young Living Lavender Essential Oil ($25)  •  I use lavender oil for a lot of things, but one of my favorite uses is on blemishes.  It works faster than any other products I've tried, and unlike other products, it doesn't dry my skin out.

[I have a few lavender sample packs if anyone is interested in trying it!]

Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser ($16)  •  This product uses glycolic acid to exfoliate your skin, instead of using something gritty, messy, or abrasive.  I use this three times a week, and I definitely notice a difference in the pores around my nose and on my chin.  If you only purchase one item on this list, give this one a try!

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme ($15)  •  I usually use these once or twice a week, and slather with moisturizer immediately after.  This product has all of the acids you want in a skin care product:  glycolic (exfoliates), salicylic (unclogs), lactic (weakens bonds holding dead skin), DL Mandelic (deeply cleanses pores), and hyaluronic (moisturizes).  I love the convenience of this product; the pads are so easy to use.  (Also, I *always* see these on sale.  So if you're hesitant to spend $15 on a product, just keep an eye on these.)

I want to hear from y'all - how do you keep your skin in check when the seasons change?  Any products I should try?

Monday, February 5, 2018

February Coffee Date

This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting Seersucker Sass blog.

Ahh, February.  It's equal parts how is it *already* February?! and how is it *only* February?!  February is my favorite month.  Not just because it's my birth month, but I love Valentine's Day.  What's better than a day that's all about love?!  I've written about this before, but I don't think you have to necessarily focus on romantic love on Valentine's Day.

I've been looking forward to our coffee chat for the past couple of weeks!  Treat yourself to your favorite drink and let's catch up.

GOALS UPDATE  •  I'm one of those extremely curious people who like to ask people about their goals.  If you're curious about how my goals are going, here's a quick update.  I'd love for you to give me an update on your goals in the comments or on social media.
  • Goat Yoga - Tickets have been purchased, and I'm going this month to celebrate my birthday!  I can't wait to share more about it with y'all.
  • Read 12 books -  I'm one third of the way there!  So far, I've read four books - In Over Her Head, Can't Stand the Heat, What Goes Around, and A Beautiful Poison - and I'm currently reading Party Girl.  My mom and brother bought me a big stack of books for Christmas, and I currently have Kindle Unlimited, so I'm excited to see how many books I can knock out this year.  If you have any recommendations, please send them my way!
  • Organize -  I have started the process!  I cleaned out a ton of stuff from under my bathroom sink last month, and a closet clean out is coming soon.
  • Incorporate more natural products into my routine - So far, so good!  I have a full post about this coming up soon.  My most recent purchase was this shave oil.  See ya bye, ingrown hairs.
  • Do things that make me feel like me - Reading has been a big part of this!  I've also worked to have a little more fun with fashion lately and play in my closet a little bit more.
  • Write more - I haven't been doing nearly as much writing for pleasure, but I've been doing a lot more copy for work and for volunteer organizations.  I hope February is a month where I can work on some personal writing projects.

HEALTH  •  I was determined not to get sick with everything going around.  I went to get my infusion earlier in the month, and I think I ended up picking something up while I was there.  After two weeks with a cold and an additional week with a cough, I think I am finally back to feeling like myself again.

TIME MANAGEMENT  •  Since taking on a new leadership role with one of volunteer organizations I'm involved with, I have really stepped up my time management skills.  I've learned to take advantage of every single second of my day.  Now that I'm a month in + no longer battling a cold, I hope to get more content on the blog.  I've shot a lot of content, I just haven't had time to put words on paper.

BEST PURCHASES  •  If I had to pick one product, it would be Ulta's Face Sculpting Color Stick.  I have it in Highlight, Contour, and Punchy, and I only paid $5 a stick!  They are buildable and blend beautifully.  

WHAT'S NEXT  •  My birthday, gearing up for social events, and a weekend getaway.  Looking forward to finding a speakeasy appropriate dress and hopefully getting my hands on the Spanx faux leather leggings that don't seem to exist in my size!  Haha.

I can't wait to hear what's new with you!  It's been so long.  Leave me a comment or reach out to me on social media to let me know what's new with you!

Friday, January 26, 2018

What's in my Bag

I'm naturally a very curious person.  Sometimes I feel a little sad that I can't possibly read every book I want to and learn about every topic that I'm interested in.  My favorite posts are those that give me an insight into a blogger's life - what's in my bag, a day in the life, what I eat, etc.  If you enjoy posts like that, then today's post is for you!  I'm sharing all of the stuff I manage to cram into my small but mighty everyday bag.

Before we get into the contents of my bag, let's talk about the actual bag.  I carry a Gucci Soho Disco bag.  It is the perfect size for my on-the-go lifestyle - it's small enough so that it isn't heavy and is deep enough to fit my travel camera in.  The strap is adjustable, which I have come to really appreciate now that it's cold outside and I'm wearing a big coat.

I also carry the matching wallet, but in black because that's the only color it was available in.  (When I purchased the bag, the Soho Disco was in the process of being discontinued.)

I use a Louis Vuitton Key Pouch as my business card holder.  I love the key chain clip because I can easily clip it on to the handle of my work bag.

I keep the products necessary for a "five minute face" in my bag at all times.  I've found that I'm much more likely to actually put a little effort into my appearance if it's convenient.  Haha.  I use:
  • Skin Smoothie - I use this to give my skin a little glow.
  • Highlighter - More glow :) I just make a line on my cheekbones then blend it with my fingers.
  • Brown Pencil - I fill in spots that are a little bare.  This one is super easy to use.
  • MascaraI don't really commit to mascara.  This one is the exception, and I'm on my second tube.
  • Eyeliner - Sometimes when I'm wearing all black, I like to add a little cat eye.  This makes drawing one easy.
I'm immunosuppressed, so hand sanitizer is a must have.  I prefer Thieves Waterless Hand PurifierIt doesn't have that gross "sterile" smell that a lot of sanitizing products have, and it doesn't dry my hands out.

Speaking of dried out, I cannot live without lip balm.  I'm honestly surprised that there's only one floating around in there!  I'm currently using Blistex Complete Moisture Lip Balm for Chapped Lips.     

There is never a shortage of office supplies in my bag!  These are my favorite pens, and I love this type of highlighter.  I also keep an endless stash of Post-It Notes at my desk and keep some in my bag because I like to make to-do lists on them during meetings.

I've gone from never having a camera card to always having one on me.  This one was floating in my bag, but I keep one in my wallet, as well!  My brother runs and my mom, aunt, and I all bring our cameras to meets to switch off taking photos of his team's runners, so I keep an extra just in case one of us forgets our card or our runs out of storage mid-meet.

I'm working toward a professional certification, and I spent five days in a row in a conference room from 8 to 5:30 learning.  I was getting tea at breaks to keep me alert, and sometimes they would bring out the most random, disgusting tea, or tea that had so much caffeine that I would shake.  Now I keep a couple of tea bags in my purse for when I need a little pick me up at a conference or training.

Speaking of travel, I keep my suitcase key in my wallet, and I always end up with random room keys floating around.  (I really need to be better about cleaning out my bag after a trip!)

Top-knots have become my go to hairstyle, so I keep a few bobby pins in my wallet in case I notice a stray hair or my bun starts to fall.

I have to be extra careful with germs, so I keep band aids stashed everywhere.

I also keep a little stash of safety pins.  You never know when the neckline of your brand new shirt will unravel during a board meeting or the hem of your favorite J. Crew work pants will completely come undone.

I want to hear from you - what are your must haves in your handbag?  And how has your week been?

Monday, January 15, 2018

Four Things I Don't Have Time for in 2018

It's hard to believe that we're already kicking off the third week of 2018.  I took the first three days of the year off to regroup, and I think I may have spoiled myself.  This year has started off with a bang - work has been busier than ever (so good!), my year as chairman of a volunteer board has kicked off, I've already read two books, and my brother's indoor track season kicked off, as well.

While it's still early in the year, I know one thing is for sure - this is my sassiest year yet.

Graphic Tee  •  Cardigan  •  Skinny pants  •  Heels

When the first week of 2018 was over, I was exhausted, and I knew something had to give.  So I made a list of things that don't serve me and that I no longer have time for. If you're already feeling exhausted, I encourage you to do the same.

In 2018, I don't have time for:

Self-doubt.  Having a leadership position is hard.  It's one of those things that you know is going to be hard, but every day it's just a different kind of hard.  Haha.  After spending so much time worrying myself silly that my body was physically aching, and I'm letting self-doubt go.

Weird self-imposed rules.  I had a nail appointment a week ago, and my nail place had sooo many beautiful new colors, including some colors that changed with your mood.  I wanted them so bad, but I talked myself out of it because pink sparkly nails that change colors aren't appropriate for a professional.  But as I sat down to get my nails done, I said screw it to Bubble Bath pink and went for it.  And I am so happy!  My nails don't define my professionalism; my behavior does.

This situation really made me think about how many weird rules I've made for myself.  My former co-worker Robin used to remind me that life gets a lot better when you let go of the rules you make for yourself, and I am learning that she is yet again right.

Blog comparison.  Two Sundays ago, I was sitting on my couch crying because I was so frustrated and felt like my blog was hopeless.  I had been making so many excuses about why I couldn't blog, and the biggest one was because I don't have light and airy photos like so many other bloggers do.  But it led to a great discussion, especially about my obsession with light and airy photos, as they don't necessarily represent my personality.  In 2018, I'm going to focus on doing my best, and doing so in a way that is authentic to me and my brand.

Criticism that isn't constructive.  I don't know if it's becoming more frequent or I'm just becoming more aware of it, but I feel like people have become so nit picky over the past year.  I used to let other people's criticism get to me, but in 2018, I'm letting go of all non-constructive criticism.  I am not for everyone, and that is okay.

Before I go, I wanted to take a minute to talk about the "DON'T" shirt I'm wearing in this post.  I am obsessed with Schitt's Creek, and when I saw Dan Levy's character David wearing this shirt I made a comment about how I've never related to a t-shirt so much.  I was so excited and surprised to receive it for Christmas!  Keep an eye out for it in future posts; it's too good to only style one way.

I hope your week is off to a wonderful start!  I want to hear from you - what is something that you don't have time for in 2018?