Wednesday, May 31, 2017

My Current Favorites

Hello Friends!

Normally at the end of the month I do a Book Club post, but I didn't get any reading done this month. As I sit here writing this I remembered that I actually ordered a book that I have to go pick up. So I figured I'd change things up a little and talk about some of my favorite things as we start transitioning to warm (read HOT) weather.



As you've probably guessed from my current favorites list, I am spending A LOT of time out at the beach. It has been the perfect weather lately. Not too hot, not cold. It has been breezy and beautiful. My goal is to go to the beach a lot more often this summer!

What are your favorites this month?
XOXO

Friday, May 26, 2017

Getting Memorial Day Ready

Hello Friends!

This weekend is Memorial Day Weekend. This means a lot of things! For starters there are always some pretty great start of summer sales. The weather is usually nice so its perfect for some fun outdoor activities. Its pretty much the official start of summer (and you can wear white now!). Most importantly it is a time we give things and remember all the veterans that have so bravely fought for our freedoms. I think it is important to keep in mind why holidays are around. I hope you all have something fun planned for the weekend. I think it will be relaxing for us, probably head to the beach.



Without further ado here is the list of some of the best sales I've seen for Memorial day! Feel free to add more in the comments.

50% off

Up to 50% Off

Take an additional 25% off clearance

Up to 60% off sale

40% off everything with code: VACAY

Up to 40% off with Half Yearly Sale!

Up to 50% off

30% off your purchase with code SWEET

20 or 30% off plus free shipping starting on the 29th

30% off sale with code: EXTRA30

40% off purchase with code: BRSummer

Extra 40% off sale

Up to 70% off purchase with code: AMAYZING5


What are you doing this long weekend?
XOXO

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Things to Consider When You Choose Your Next Desitnation

Hello Friends!

This year has been pretty travel heavy for me and its not looking like it will stop anytime soon. From skiing in Virginia, to Ohio, to Maine, and eventually I'll be in Ocala, Fl then North Carolina and Boston. Now when it comes to traveling the million dollar question is "How do you choose where to go next?" This is something my boyfriend and I have been having a particularly hard time. We want to go somewhere fun for our anniversary, but choosing a place is incredibly hard! These are somethings that we have considered when looking for a place to go.

one// Your Travel Budget

This is the first thing you want to determine! This takes place in two parts. First, you need to figure out how much money you have to spend on the trip. Come up with one number, but remember that it needs to cover EVERYTHING!! That includes airfare, lodging, food, and any other activities you want to do. Secondly, once you pick the destination you need to figure out how much you're spending on airfare and lodging vs. activites and food. Depending on how far you go the airfare might go down and you'll have more money for your events there.

two// Your Lodging Preference

Nowadays there are many options when it comes to travel lodging. There are hotels, hostels, and online hospitality services (Airbnb). The tricky part is deciding which of the three is best for you. If you don't plan on spending much time in your room a hostel or airbnb might be a good options. Usually, this involves shared sleeping spaces and bathrooms. Hotels tend to be more expensive, but they have the advantage of privacy. If you open an account with a hotel you use often you can start accumulating points which can help lower costs. Some cities have apartments for rent, if you are going somewhere for longer those are usually the best option They give you the privacy and the option to cook for yourself. This is a great option for traveling in Europe or South America.

three// Your Travel Purpose

This is incredibly important! Its always the big debate: city vs beach or mountains. What do you want to do? Do you want to check out a city and all the culture that comes along with it? Or is this vacation more about relaxation? Do you want it to be heavy on the outdoor activities? Or be a tourist in a city? Other factors, also, come into play. You may want to see historical sites such as monuments or pyramids. You might want to be active. Deciding what you want out of your vacation is the best way to narrow your list of possible destinations.

four// Your People Tolerance

This is important when considering seasons of travel. Depending on the location they will have different high seasons and low seasons. If you don't have a problem with large crowds and long lines, then go for it during high seasons. But if you're like me and try to avoid crowds as much as possible, you might want to opt for something more off the beaten path or go during low seasons. This usually means summers or holidays are off the table for vacations and travel.

five// Your Travel Party

This is a huge thing to think about! You want to be mindful of whom is traveling with you. If you're going solo, then the choice is all yours. Things get more complicated with family or friends. I find that having a plan laid out when you go with family and friends will make it a more enjoyable trip. When you go with family, you'll want a destination that features more family-friendly activities. Traveling with friends opens up other options.Ask others for opinions and try to come up with fun things for everyone.

Where are you off to next?
XOXO

Monday, May 22, 2017

Motivational Monday

Hello Friends!

Mondays can be rough and some times we all need a little extra motivation to get us going. I know I'm feeling the effects of a fun weekend and am unwilling to get out of bed! Both Sammy and I had a rough time getting up this morning.


We just have to put on our crowns, keep our heads up, and take on the day! I believe in you all and I hope you all have the most amazing week!

How do you motivate yourself?
XOXO

Friday, May 19, 2017

Netflix Shows I'm Loving

Hello Friends!

I am totally loving some shows on Netflix lately. Some of my friends have been giving me suggestions of different shows to watch. And with both my sisters in town, we are definitely watching a lot more Netflix lately. I decided to share some of my favorites with you all! If you have some current favorites share with me!!


one// Great British Bake Off

Obviously this one HAS to be my number one. If you haven't seen it you MUST. It is the perfect combination of baking show, drama, and Brits. The best part about it is how easy it is to replicate the recipes. 

two// Leverage

LOVE this show!!! It is basically a group of criminals that work together for the greater good. It is really fun and kind of amazing how well they can come up with plans. Ultimately the criminals really are good guys and they work so hard to help "the little guys".

three// Outback Truckers

This one is very similar to Highway Thru Hell. If you've seen this show you'll know just how amazing it is. Outback Truckers is the less good version of Highway thru Hell, but you get to explore Australia and all the difficulties they go through.

four// Anne with an E

I recently finished Anne of Green Gables and this is a pretty good tv remake of the book. I wasn't sure I'd like it, but it was a great show! I would totally suggest watching it (and reading the book).

five// The Crown

This has been my favorite royal show! I watched Reign and the Tudors, as well. I love watching shows about the royal families, they're kinda accurate, but mostly fun. You get to see how truly petty they were.

What are you watching?
XOXO

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Time Management Tricks

Hello Friends,

I know, I know, I am one of those people that writes "time management tricks" all the time. I give advice about planners and how to budget time and how to be productive and organized. I feel like every other month, I'm trying a new way of managing my time. Whether we like it or not, time is one of the most precious resources that we truly never can recover. We can't rewind. We can't bank time. We can either show up as present as possible and create strategies to make the most of every minute we got, or it is lost. This is why I have to keep trying new, different management tips until something works for you!

One important thing to remember when thinking about time management is that most people think that being more effective with their time, means doing as much as you possibly can in any given window. Rather, it is about creating the most amount of value with the time you do have. It does not matter what you have on your list of goals for this year these are some new ways I've found to be productive and to get the most important things done:

Sunday Night Planning

There are a couple of things I like to do at the end of the month to start off my next month on the right foot. Same goes with planning out my week. I like to set up a weekly to do list on Sunday night to get a jump start on my week. I like to go over all the things I have on my calendar for the week and really get a feel for what my week will look like.

Go Dark

There is some work that needs 100% of your attention. There are many things that cause us all to be SO distracted. (You don't even want to know how many tabs I have open right now). One thing I find most helpful when I have something I really need to finish. I like to put everything on airplane mode or on Do Not Disturb so that I can't get distracted. 

Hide the Phone

Along the same line as above, I really do try to hide my phone. While it is on do not disturb, I also hide it that way I can't even hear it buzzing. This is also important when you are with other people. Like at dinner or with friends. Hide. Your. Phone. When you're also on your phone you end up not really being there. Don't be half at dinner while obsessing over notifications on your phone. You really want to have those memories.

Bucket Time

Different tasks require different skills. You want to be able to group your activities according to the type of energy and skill you are expending. I've found that if I bucket my time according to the type of energy or skills it needs. I can concentrate and get waay more done when I'm not constantly bouncing back and forth in my brain. 

That UGH

We all have things that we hate doing and drag our feet on. Whatever it may be, whatever you hate doing or scheduling, try to get one in per month. Every month I schedule something that I'm not excited to do and something I'm excited to do. At the beginning of the month I give myself a due date. 

When you feel like you're drowning in all the to-do's, you may need to try being more intentional with your time. Remember, it is not about how much you can do at a time, but how many high-quality hours you can create for yourself.

What kind of tricks do you like to use?
XOXO

Monday, May 15, 2017

How To Use Honey To Eliminate Acne

Hello Friends!

I'm sure if you have followed some of my posts, you know that I'm pretty obsessed with DIY, natural beauty stuff. I love at-home remedies and treatments. There's a lot of reasons. They're cheap, they can be super effective, and they are healthier for your skin. Especially if its sensitive like mine. I love sharing easy and luxurious DIYs. My all-time favorite is French Vanilla Coffee Body Scrub. I'll definitely have to do a review on it! When it comes down to it almost all natural beauty concoctions contain, one common ingredient: HONEY.



Honey is great for many reasons. It is antibacterial which is great for acne. It is anti-inflammatory, cleansing, and has many other wonderful effects. Some people swear by using it as a secondary face wash daily. By either swapping out your regular face wash for honey or by complementing your routine with a honey wash follow up, you will notice major improvements to your skin. Follow your normal skincare routine and follow up any cleansing activities with a quick honey face wash.

Tip 1:

Opt for organic, raw honey to reap the full benefits of the natural beauty routine.

Tip 2:

If you're replacing all your facial cleansers with honey, you might need an extra bit of exfoliation. You might want to use a konjac sponge. Apply the honey directly to the sponge and wash normally.

Tip 3:

Honey Face Masks are a great idea. Coat your face with honey and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Its sticky, but totally worth it! Time to get serious about treating acne.

Tip 4:

Spot treatments are great for some on the run treatment. Honey is loaded with all-natural and effective ingredients. All you need is to dab some of the goo onto any problem areas. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Its similar to a face mask but just for small spots.

How do you use your honey?
XOXO

Friday, May 12, 2017

Prom Hair

Hello All!

Last week was my little sister's prom. She asked me to do her hair! So after some research and seeing what she wanted for her hair, we finally decided on three hairstyles before settling on one. She wanted something that was a little messy, had at least one braid, and was an updo.



I decided to make a spin off of this fishtail updo that I saw. It is a fairly easy hairstyle. It requires bobby pins, elastics, and LOTS of hairspray. I didn't want it to fall while she was dancing the night away, so it was definitely tough on her head. You really need to know how to fishtail for this one.



You will make a dutch headband fishtail braids. The fishtails will add texture and interest to the hair and bun. I really liked it and I think it came out great. The most amazing part of this updo, is that you can make it as neat or as messy as you want. Each different style can work for different events.

Steps

  1. Start with parting the hair off to a side. You will pick up a small part of the hair and separate into two pieces.
  2. Pick up a sliver from the outside of the first section and pass under to the second section. Pick up another sliver from the outside of the second section and pass under to the first section. Repeat one more time.
  3. Next stitch you will add in new hair each time you pass under a section. Repeat this process until you reach your ear.
  4. Once you reach your ear, stop picking up new hair and finish with a normal fishtail all the way down.
  5. Before tying it off,  pull the edges of your braid. You want it to be nice and fluffy, but still neat. Secure with an elastic.
  6. Repeat your dutch fishtail brain on the other side. (leave out a small bang piece or wisps if desired)
  7. Take all the hair outside of the braids and pull back into a large, fluffy bun. Secure with bobby pins.
  8. Take one fishtail braid and drape it back over the bun, secure the bobby pins. Place the second fishtail back and secure as well. You will have created an X with your braids.
  9. If you left bangs or wisps, add a little curl with a 1" wand. 
  10. Finish with hairspray.

How did you do your hair for prom?
XOXO

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Fun Mother's Day Activities

Hello all!

This weekend is Mother's Day which means it is time to come up with fun activities to do with mom. My mom, personally, hates breakfast. She has never been a fan of the typically breakfast in bed that we tried to do. (Also, it's hard to wake up before her, we end up forcing her to stay in bed). Ultimately we end up doing different types of activities. Hence my post! I wanted to share some fun activities you can do with your mom, or as a family. Remember its her day! Choose something she'll enjoy, something that brings you all together.



  • Go to the beach
    • we typically pack a picnic and make a day of it
  • Go horseback riding
  • Have a spa day
  • Go to dinner instead of brunch
  • Go to a baseball game
    • this is what we did a couple of years ago
  • Explore your mom's favorite place
  • Do a touristy thing in your town
  • Picnic
  • Bake or cook together
  • Volunteer together

We haven't decided what we are going to do this year, but I suspect that its going to involve the beach. My mom has really been wanting to go to the beach, but it has been sooooo cloudy and rainy on weekends. It will be perfect with the present we got her this year (but shhh that's a secret).

What are you doing for Mother's Day?
XOXO

Monday, May 8, 2017

Green Smoothies

Hello Friends!







































We are well into spring and getting ready for summer now. With that in mind, we have been having more smoothies in my house. My sister convinced us to make Green Smoothies, and I was the only one brave enough to try it with her. I was surprised as how good it actually was and how easy it is to make. I am totally in love with smoothie bowls, but this is a great alternative to making them yourselves at home.

Ingredients:

-Frozen fruits
-Spinach
-Frozen yogurt
-Blender
-Chia Seeds
-Fresh Fruit





Steps:
1. Choose the type of fruit you want to use. I suggest staying away from red fruit.
2. Add the frozen fruit, frozen yogurt, spinach, and some liquid into the blender. We used orange juice.
3. Blend all together until there are no more fruit pieces.
4. Serve in a bowl and decorate with fresh fruit and chia seeds as wanted. Enjoy!



What kinds of smoothies do you like?
XOXO

Friday, May 5, 2017

DIY Date Jar + Date Ideas

Hello Friends!

As I just recently talked about, I'm in a long distance relationship which can make date nights difficult. Because we don't live in the same place, we have lots of ideas for dates and stuff to do, but when the time comes we tend to forget. There's just so much stuff we want to do together, by having our date jar with a place to keep our ideas it keeps us on our toes and doing lots of fun stuff. We have even added a couple of more things for long distance dates. We have, also, added some sillier dates.


Making the Jar

Making the jar is actually super easy! Its nothing to stress about. You can make it your own. You can make it as elaborate or as simple as you want. All you need is an empty jar (or even a can can work), some glue, and decorating supplies. I kept mine really simple and actually drew a design that I then glued onto the jar. If you're not up to crafting you can just print out your own design. I would suggest using scrapbook paper for the label across the front. Get creative with it!

Adding the Dates

You need large craft sticks and I would suggest a paint pen. I used sharpies. You can also type and print out our date ideas and glue them to the sticks. I almost did that because my handwriting is the WORST. Its really simple and fun!

Date Ideas

  • Stargazing
  • Movie Night
  • Watch the Sunset
  • Go to the Zoo
  • Go Out for Ice Cream
  • Backyard Picnic
  • Taco Night
  • Happy Hour
  • Walk in the Park
  • Homemade Pizza
  • Go hiking
  • Build a Fort
  • Bake Something from Scratch
  • Go Minigolfing
  • Start a Tradition
  • Try Out a New Restaurant
  • Build a Fire & Roast Marshmallows
  • Breakfast for Dinner
  • Go to Brunch
  • Go to a Museum
  • At Home Spa
  • Make a Bucket List Together
  • Go Ice-Skating
  • Play Trivia
  • Wine & Paint
  • Go to a Carnival
  • Get a Couples Massage
  • Play Mad-Libs
  • Visit Garage Sales
  • Volunteer Together
  • Cook Together
  • Go Horseback Riding
  • Puzzle Night
  • Plan a Dream Vacation
I'm sure there are a lot of other ideas out there for people to do! I tried to get some low-budget or at home ideas. I know for us, being long-distance, we like to try out the at-home one. We also enjoy doing Skype dates. Especially watching movies.

What would you add to the date jar?
XOXO

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Dress Up Your Water

Hello Friends!



Well its that time of the year again, we are right near summer and its getting really hot down here. With the increased warm weather we all have to start drinking more water. It can be hard to convince ourselves to drink more water at times. I understand it! Water can just get sooooo boring. It really is so nice to switch things up once in a while! If I don't have enough time to make fresh juice, I love making a healthier version of lemonade or infusing my water with herbs or fruit.


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Pink Lemonade
A healthier option than the traditional lemonade. The pink lemonade is made with stevia, lemons, and raspberries. It's sweet and tangy. This is perfect for summer BBQs.




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Watermelon-Lime-Coconut Refresher
This is a very refreshing combination, it is also amazing for your skin. Coconut water is rich in electrolytes, which makes it perfect to cool down after an intense workout. If you're like me and don't like coconut water, this is a great way to get those electrolytes in. It has no added sugar and the lime, watermelon, and coconut combo is great!

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Mint, Cucumber, and Lime Infused Water
This combination is not only refreshing, but also amazing for your skin! Mint is rich in antioxidants, aids with digestion, and its smell can help fight depression and fatigue. When mixed with water mint leaves add an extremely refreshing flavor. Cucumbers can help reduce cholesterol and control blood pressure.

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Fruit and Herb Infused Ice Cubes
This is definitely my favorite way to dress up my water during summer. It is soooo easy to do and you can just keep it in your freezer until needed. They are perfect for cookouts and BBQs. It makes the water look all pretty and fancy. There's so many different options. You can use rosemary, mint, raspberries, limes, lemons, basil, and other different kinds of berries.

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Cold Brew Matcha
My little loves matcha! She always tries to get me to try it with her. This is the best one for when you need a little dose of energy, but iced coffee is too much.

Will you be giving any of these a try? What’s your favorite summer drink?
How do you dress up your water?
XOXO

Monday, May 1, 2017

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Hello Friends!

Mother's Day is right around the corner. I find myself looking for something that is worthy of my mom. It seems like anything I can afford to give her is just not good enough for everything she's done for me. My sisters and I are possibly going to get together and get my mom something. When in doubt you can always DIY something for mom.





Personally the best gift I got my mom was a PJ set. She really loved it. It came with a bathrobe. It was really fun. She also always loves when we get her lotions and soaps. We really try our best to get my mom something that she needs.

What are you getting your mom?
XOXO