Wednesday, July 30, 2014

GOING POSTAL ANNOUNCEMENT

NOTE: AUGUST PEN-PAL ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE SENT OUT NEXT WEEK.

Last November, I set up a Snail Mail Exchange. Within hours of the post being published, emails poured into my inbox with old and new readers eager to participate. Honestly, it made me giddy with delight! Over the past nine months, word has spread about #OFDGOINGPOSTAL and this little social experiment has taken off. Seeing strangers from Melbourne to mid-Missouri connect via card stock and Washi tape makes my heart oh-so happy. Thank you! You've restored my faith in old-fashioned correspondence. I love it!

I wasn't exactly sure how long it would be before the Snail Mail Exchange would run its course. As we get closer to our little guy's arrival in October, I feel it's important that I prioritize some of my to-dos. While it's been a thrill to coordinate #OFDGOINGPOSTAL, I've decided August will be the last month in which I assign pen pals. I say this with a heavy heart, but I feel it's best for the time being. To those of you who have participated with enthusiasm, I appreciate all you've done to spread a little sunshine.

After nine months of colorful card stock and confetti, I think we can all agree that parcels and post will always be best.



IMAGE CREDITS: PEN // SNAIL
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

TAKE FIVE TUESDAY

I mentioned it briefly awhile back, but this past Spring my skin was in a tizzy. I could chock it up to stress, hormones, or the dry Swell Rio climate—I just knew I wanted to fix it, but I wasn't sure how. After testing a bunch of preggo-safe beauty products, nothing seemed to work. I felt like I was being kicked when I was down. That "glow" that everyone talks about felt like a ginormous load of malarkey, because my skin certainly wasn't getting any better. I scrolled through countless product reviews and spent hours reading blog posts with advice from the pregnant pros. Finally, I switched up my regimen and incorporated these Mario Badescu products into my daily routine. After using these five products for the past few months, I thought they were worthy of a little bloggie praise.

  1. Enzyme Cleansing Gel $7 // In addition to properly moisturizing my skin, I attribute most of my recent success to this cleanser. I use it once a day with my Clarisonic, and it removes the day's makeup without drying my complexion. Hallelujah!
  2. Haluronic Eye Cream $18 // Lightweight and doesn't agitate my sensitive skin. I can't say that I've noticed any immediate results, but I love the way it hydrates my skin—prepping and priming the under-eye area for my trusty NARS concealer.
  3. Vitamin C Serum $45 // I've tried a handful of various serums (all price points), but I never found one that I really loved. Like most people, I want to see some results and FAST—I guess patience has never really been m' thing! I typically apply 3-4 drops to my face each evening before I apply my night cream. Paired together, these two allow my sensitive skin to retain moisture. I'm pleased with the way the serum has brightened my overall complexion and has smoothed the texture of my skin.
  4. Oil-Free Moisturizer $22 // I knew I needed a moisturizer with SPF; however, my skin is easily irritated, so I never really found one that I loved. This one is gentle, moisturizing, and doesn't leave me feeling greasy. Pesky breakouts be gone. Woo Hoo!
  5. Seaweed Night Cream $20 // It's moisturizing, but doesn't feel heavy—hydrating without feeling oily. I've found that it's perfect for my combination skin and soothes any redness in my complexion. I wake up and my skin feels smooth, not greasy. A little goes a long way, so you can't beat the price, especially with all of the spendy night creams available. 

I realize this post is heavy on the Mario Badescu end. While it's not a sponsored post, I've had a lot of success with their line since I started dabbling with their products (off and on) about three years ago. I'm really pleased with the results, and I noticed my overall outlook on pregnancy turned around once I stopped battling with icky breakouts and dryness. Thank goodness! I should note that some women don't experience any of this nonsense while they're expecting. In the name of keeping things real around here, I felt it was important to share my side of the story. When your hormones are whack and your body is changing, it's nice to have a win.


Are there any skincare products that you swear by?! The product junkie inside me is just dying to know.
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Friday, July 25, 2014

LURVE LOAVE LUFF

Let's get right to it, shall we?
Here's what made me feel all twitterpated, smile contagiously, giggle uncontrollably, etc.

  • Scallops Print by Note To Self // I've had my eye on this print for awhile, but I'm still not sure where I'd put it. Does this ever happen to you?! I've noticed that I keep using "Max's nursery" as my primary excuse to hoard cute artwork lately.
  • Dress Your Tech by Julie Song // Each Thursday, I look forward to DLF's Dress Your Tech series. This week, I couldn't help but be inspired by this Ralph Waldo Emerson quote. It's incredibly important to be honest with yourself.
  • On the Dot Bangle // I have a feeling I'd wear this little guy on repeat. Does anyone do bangles better than Kate Spade?!
  • Bell White Flush Mount Lamp // Many of you keep asking for a house tour, and it kind of stresses me out. It's not that I don't want to show you what we've done with the place (because I'm super proud of how far it's come), but we live in base housing. Believe me when I say there's no magic filter to get rid of the grody linoleum flooring and popcorn ceilings. Ha Ha! While Lil' Puna had its a-mazing view, we were able to hide many of the rental's imperfections, but it took some time. I've found that swapping out little details like ugly fixtures can make a HUGE difference. This light fixture might be one of those small updates that makes an impact—or at least that's what I'm hoping... 
  • Harper Scalloped Suede Flats // Remember my Magic Pot Shoes? Let me jog your memory with this post. Aside from the silly story that's synonymous with my favorite skimmers, I absolutely LOVE these shoes. Of course, J.Crew had to up the ante and add a snazzy scallop detail. I honestly didn't think I could love them any more. Please don't tempt me. I might slap myself if I bought another pair of flats, but it would be totally worth it...  
  • Double End Crystal Cuff // This may be hard to believe, but it's been months since I've added a new piece to my bauble collection. This cuff is cordially invited to the arm party. Répondez s'il vous plaît.
  • Mrs. Godfrey Chair // When I came home from Iowa, Flyboy set up some of the pieces he picked up at Ikea. I'm incredibly smitten with the wingback chair we got for the nursery. As a result, I can't stop thinking about beautiful armchairs, especially colorful mid-century pieces. Some girls dream about diamonds and shoes, but I adore yummy upholstered chairs. If for some reason I fell into a pool of cash, you can bet I'd splurge on a few ridiculously amazing pieces.
  • Ban.do Twist Scarf // This accessory has been on repeat this week. Why worry about washing your hair when you can throw it up with something this cute? Not to mention, it's just another stylish way to beat the summer heat.
  • Bye Felicia Tee // When my sister texts me with a link and a handful of emojis, I know it must be important. In fact, I almost fell off my spin bike when I reached for my phone to see what this link was all about. Just as I imagined, my little sister did NOT disappoint. Tees in the Trap is an a-mazing site with tons of cheeky tees. I've got my eye on Bye Felicia, Adorbs, and Girl, Bye. If only they made one that says "Bye, Ashy." That would just be too perfect!
  • Cardholder // As a card-carrying member of the Blair Ritchey fan club, I was ecstatic to see these added to her shop.

Cheers to a snazzy weekend, m' dears! Make it count. 
P.S. Thanks for your patience this week as I worked to get back into the bloggie groove. You're a peach!
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

THURSDAY'S THOUGHTS


Artwork by KT Smail
THANKFUL FOR: As the Swell Rio temps continue to rise and my belly continues to grow, I've found I have fewer wardrobe options than I'd prefer. Thankfully, a few trips to Target and Gap with my mom and sister restored my faith in getting dressed during the third trimester. Hallelujah! While I tried to find pieces locally at Marshalls and Ross, I always seemed to strike out. The stores here are so picked over, and I came awfully close to making some really bad choices out of desperation. For shame! I'm so grateful to have had them around for moral support and honest opinions in the dressing room. Phew! I think I came home with a handful of tops and dresses that will help me survive this Texas summer as stylishly as possible with a love goblin growing inside me.   

EATING: Remember the part in Tuesday's post where I mentioned I ate A LOT of really great food last week?! Well, bouncing back from eight days of overindulgence hasn't been easy. My aunt had so many tasty treats readily available, and each night since I returned home I've found myself standing at the pantry or refrigerator just praying one of those cookies or a slice of cake would magically reappear in Swell Rio. Le sigh. In an effort to keep my sweet tooth in check, I got a box of Tangerine and Carrot Popsicles. At 60 calories a bar, I satisfy my need for an evening treat and they remind me of my cousin's little girl, Lucy, who snacked on one of these "carrot bars" every night while we visited. After trying them, I can see why she's hooked—although, I still prefer a cookie...

WATCHING: I have a confession. I tuned in to the season finale of Real Housewives of New York City and I may have rewinded the part where Aviva slams her prosthetic leg on the table at least five or six times (watch clip here). I've been waiting for this moment all season. The expressions were priceless, especially Kristen's gasp. Andy Cohen, where do you find these people? Because I love it.  

FEELING: Back in April, my mom, sister, and I discussed our plans to visit Iowa this summer. I guess I knew the closer we got to our reunion in July, the closer we'd be to October and Max's impending arrival. For months I looked forward to seeing my family, but saying good-bye last week was especially hard because it meant the next time I saw them things would be different. So much of me is excited and curious about life with a little one; however, I still can't help but fear change. The night before I left Iowa, I laid in bed with my mom and I couldn't help but cry. It seems like every time we've parted over the past year, I've been anxious about something (moving, pregnancy, etc.). Just once I'd like to hug her good-bye and feel really confident about the direction in which my life is headed. Is that too much to ask? Ha Ha! If nothing else, couldn't I just try and fake it?? But I guess that's the thing about my mom, she has a way of exposing the most honest and vulnerable side of me. She gets me like no other.  

THINKING ABOUT: A little over a year ago, I bought this bright pink NARS blush. I couldn't get over the gorgeous color, but I knew if applied incorrectly it could be a disaster. Naturally, I turned to my makeup guru cousin for some tips. She suggested I apply the pigmented blush with this Yachiyo Kabuki Brush. I searched high and low for this fancy little tool and whenever I asked for help at Sephora or Nordstrom, I received nothing but looks of confusion. On a whim, I found it on my own and immediately added it to my brush collection. Now, a year later, I finally know how to use it properly. Ridiculous, isn't it?! While I was back in Iowa, I asked my cousin for some help and she broke it down into three simple steps: "Swirl. Tap. Bounce." It's been a week since I was enlightened and my mind is still blown. Swirl. Tap. Bounce. What's not to love about that?

LISTENING TO: Yesterday around 2:30 pm, I heard a door slam and Beesly started to bark. I was seated at my desk writing thank-you notes when I looked up to see Flyboy was home for a quick two-hour break in between flights. Say what?! This never happens. When he left Wednesday morning, I hadn't planned on seeing him again until around 9 o'clock that evening. Hooray for unexpected surprises! Some days can feel painfully long around here, so it was really nice to spend time together and break up the monotony.

READING: I wish I was sharing some fabulous article or quote with you this week; however, any free time I have right now is spent reading customer reviews. Mind you, it's not about fun stuff like snazzy matte lipstick or a miracle face wash. Nope. It's most likely a review about baby strollers or breast pumps. My goodness, why are there SO many options?! I think my brain might explode. Because I could use all the help I can get, feel free to weigh in with any bebe-related products that you prefer. It's greatly appreciated!

LOVING: For as long as I can remember, my dad has donned a pair of black Ray-Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses. These shades are synonymous with my father—they're classic Randy! One of the first gifts I opened at the baby shower was from my parents. I can only assume it was picked out by my mom; however, it was inspired by my pops. I looked inside the gift bag to find a baseball cap,
a navy polo, and a pair of miniature shades. I couldn't help but grin and sniffle at first sight. This little ensemble is the perfect ode to my dear dad. I can't wait to see Max and his Gampy in their matching outfits. Gah, it's going to be flipping a-dorable!


Enough about me. How are you feeling today? What are you up to? Thanks for stopping by!!
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