Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer Hair Inspiration

One of my favorite activities in the whole world is happening soon- getting my hair done! Holy hair Batman, I haven't been able to get into see my hair girl Nikki since she's so busy doing weddings, photo shoots, etc. I can't wait to see her! As always, I have a million different things I want to do to my hair. Dye it darker, go blonder, do a mix, cut it shorter, cut layers, keep it blunt, and so on. Lucky for me, Nikki is bomb and I can walk in and say "do what you want" and she always does a great job and somehow knows exactly what change I'm looking for. I've been trolling Pinterest and Instagram and here are some of my favorites I'll be drawing inspiration from.

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What are some of your favorite hair trends for summer? Are you making any changes to your hair before fall creeps up on us?

Be sure to enter my Tiny Tags giveaway and enjoy 15% off your purchase through 07/31 using LLP14!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Hair Routine + Products

Since cutting my hair back in March, my hair has been so healthy. Cutting off the inches really gave me a chance to sort of start over with my hair. My routine hasn't changed much since cutting it, but I have noticed that I have been able to keep my ends healthier since the chop. I have another appointment coming up and I've been debating on keeping the length that it has grown or cutting it even shorter than I previously had. I definitely want to add some more layers at the bottom and maybe add some low-lights to make the blonde highlights pop. Or just go blonder overall. Matt and I cleaned out our garage a few weeks ago and came across a bunch of pictures from when we were first together, and I was so blonde! I'm thinking of going back to it. We'll see, I'm sure I'll change my mind several times by my appointment.

I’m still washing my hair 2-3 times a week, just depending on the amount of product buildup (or lack thereof) and whatever it is that we’re doing. I usually wash my hair on Saturdays/Sundays and then again during the week. I've noticed I will sometimes have to wash my hair a third time if I haven’t used any product at all because it gets really flat. In that case, I usually will use Suave Keratin Infusion Color Care Dry Shampoo to build some volume to get an extra day or two of wear.

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For shampoo I use Tressemme and have switched off buying the volume one and the moisturizing one. I just ran out of it so I picked up some Nexxus Therappe Shampoo, I haven't tried it yet (as of this post), but I'm looking forward to using a better shampoo to keep my locks healthy. I have also been using the Macadamia Deep Mask and Nelson j  Healing Mask conditioners once a week (switching off with each wash). As for blow-drying, I have only blow-dried my hair once a week and let my hair air dry during the night the other wash. I think this really has been the biggest reason why I have been able to maintain the health of my hair, but have noticed that using my HANA Air Blow Dryer gives me so much more volume and helps me to maintain not washing my hair as often. I’m also using more products when I blow-dry it, so it’s really a combination, but I have noticed I can get an extra day of wear even when using no products at all when drying it.

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For products, I use a combination of L'Oreal Boost It Volume Inject Mousse, Redken Guts 10L'Oreal Boost It Blow Out Heat Spray, and a Herbal Essence Leave-in Conditioner that's no longer available. If I use my Redken Guts then I will skip using mousse, for my hair it’s just too much product and will weigh it down the very next day. Redken Guts is such a great product, I get a ton of volume and my hair really holds when I use it. It’s kind of pricey, but you can use coupons and find good deals online for it, it’s one of the few hair products (along with the Macadamia Deep Mask) I use that’s worth the extra expense.

For styling I'll use the Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play Volumizing Hairspray when curling my hair.  When teasing my hair on day 2-4 I'll use L'Oreal Boost It High Lift Creation Spray to create more volume. When I first bought this spray, I wasn't completely sold on it, but it really makes your hair hold a tease all day long! I really enjoy the product and will definitely re-purchase it. On any day I need more volume, and especially on day 3-4 I'll use Suave Keratin Infusion Dry Shampoo. It is hands down the BEST dry shampoo I've ever used in my life. If I've let my hair air dry and need more volume/texture I'll use it on clean hair as well. On 2-4 day hair I'll also sometimes use TRESemm√© Styling Aid Keratin Smoothing Serum (not pictured) to bring some life back to my hair and lose some frizziness. I don't care as much for this oil as one they discontinued. One pump is just so much product and it's heavier than the previous oil. I think I'm going to have to go back to my tried and true Paul Mitchell Skinny Serum.

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As for tools, it’s pretty simple. I use a paddle brush (similar here) to comb through my towel-dried hair and a combination of that and a round brush (similar here) while I blow-dry. If I have the time, I like to use Conair Think Big Velcro Rollers to set my hair and then use either my Corioliss Classic Pro Flat Iron or Conair 1 1/4" Instant Heat Curling Iron to style my hair. To tease my hair, I’ll use either a comb, hair pick, or a teasing brush.

What products do you like to use? What are you must have, holy grail hair items? Please spill!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tiny Tags Giveaway!

Goodness guys, I am so excited about today's giveaway featuring Tiny Tags! As you know, I'm obsessed with anything that is monogrammed or personalized and today's giveaway is perfection. Melissa from Tiny Tags created special jewelry for mommies to celebrate "the love in our lives". Their jewelry and mission is to celebrate children and to give back to children and mothers in need. Wearing a piece of their jewelry, personalized with the blessings in your life also gives back to several organizations! Tiny Tags donates every month to nonprofit organization like the St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.

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Tiny Tags jewelry is perfect for any woman celebrating those dear to their hearts. It's the perfect staple necklace to wear daily- the pieces are sweet, feminine, chic, and goes with everything. They're gaining popularity and have been featured in several magazines, including this month's People StyleWatch!

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Melissa has generously offered to giveaway 1 Tag Sterling Silver Necklace! See below on how to enter! The contest will run through July 31st and you can also enjoy 15% off your purchase through then using LLP14 at checkout through then!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

OOTD: Seeing Spots

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Top: Forever 21 // Skirt: Forever 21 (old, similar here) // Shoes: Nordstrom Rack (similar here and here
Bracelets: Very Jane (available here and here too!) // Lipstick: MAC Angel with Angel Lipglass 

This has to be one of my favorite outfits I've worn to work. I was browsing online and fell in love with this top and ordered it almost immediately. The tulip sleeves are so sweet and feminine, I love the high collar with the little details, and I don't have a lot of polka dotted items- I had to add this to my closet! I can't wait to wear this again, it's such a versatile top, it will look cute with jeans, shorts, slacks, etc.

Have you bought anything recently you just loved? I love when I find an item I can't wear enough. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Beauty Buys + First Thoughts

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e.l.f. Essential Smudge Pot - Aint That Sweet? // e.l.f. Studio HD Blush - Headliner // e.l.f. Studio Blush Palette - Light // e.l.f. Studio Baked Blush - Rich Rose // e.l.f. Studio Mineral Powder Brush // Maybelline One By One Mascara // NYX Matte Bronzer in Medium

So I randomly ordered some items from e.l.f recently. I kind of gave up on their products, but seeing some blog reviews (like Meg's!) and using some of my older purchases from them I bought a few more products. I haven't tried any of these out yet, but kind of tested them on my hand when they were delivered. I got the smudge pot to use as kind of a primer like MAC's paint pots, so we'll see how it goes. I keep hearing about the HD Blush so I hope it lives up to the hype. The color is really nice, it's a soft natural looking pink and I'm excited to try it. The Baked Blush is really pretty and I thought it would look nice over some pink or coral blushes for some summer shimmer. I saw the blush palette in my People StyleWatch so I thought I would give it a try. The top left and bottom right colors look like blushes they sell individually and that I own  (Pink Passion  and Pink), but I really like the two top colors so far (in my swipe). 

The Maybelline mascara I got on a whim before trying my beloved Younique (best mascara ever!), and I freaking hate it. I guess it's been discontinued and I totally get why. It does absolutely positively NOTHING for my lashes. I'm just gonna dump it. 

The NYX bronzer is a repeat buy, this is my 5th one I think? I was looking around Ulta to maybe try a different brand, I almost bought Benefit's Hoola, but when I was swiping colors and brand these two were identical? I had to do a few swipes to know which one was which!

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Conair Volume and Styling Comb: I really like this comb a lot! It teases really well, almost too well even. It's great for getting a good tease that builds up a pouf- perfect for updos!
L'Oreal Boost It Blow Out Heat SprayI've been looking for a new heat spray and I figured I'd try this one, I also have the other Boost It products, so I figured they would work well together. The smell of this line is delicious and the spray is nice. It's light weight and doesn't weigh down my hair or builds up product with use. I haven't used it enough to know if it really works, but I've enjoyed it so far.
Suave Keratin Infusion Color Care Dry Shampoo: Holy Grail status! This is so much better than their basic one I've been using (and loving). The smell is great, it adds a ton of texture and volume. I absolutely love this dry shampoo! Get yourself one asap!

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MAC Tinted Lipglass- AngelWhen I went shopping with my SIL a few weekends ago, I came across this gloss and fell in love with it. I have the lipstick, and I somehow had NO IDEA they also made it in a gloss. Turns out, they made a bunch of their top lipsticks into glosses! How I missed the memo I have no clue. Of course, they were out of it then, but I picked it up the weekend after. It's such a great summer shade and is pretty opaque but with some color in it.
NYX Butter Gloss - Creme BruleeI keep hearing about this shade and NYX's Butter Glosses so I finally bit the bullet and bought it. I really love the consistency and color. It's gorgeous on its own and I love pairing it with MAC Creme Cup.
Maybelline Vivids- Fuchsia Flash: I bought this one because it's a total dupe for MAC's Candy Yum Yum and I didn't know if I would really love the color so I didn't want to spend the extra $$ for a lipstick shade I may not wear all the time. It's really pretty and a lot of fun to wear. I don't know if I'll be wearing it all the time so I'm happy with this price point and purchase.
Maybelline Baby Lips- Pink: I love the Baby Lips products to wear as a quick chapstick with a wash of color. This pink is great and very natural, the scent is medicated and a bit strong, but doesn't bother me too much.

What beauty products have you purchased lately? Have you tried any of these? What was your experience?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Weekend Catch-Up

Weekends have always been my favorite time of the week, but since having a family of my own, they really are the best days ever. I look forward to the days of sleeping in, eating breakfast, and spending time together regardless of the activities we have planned.

This past Saturday, I was hoping to sleep in until 8, but Ellie Bell woke up at 715 bright and cheery eyed. After breakfast we headed out to a first birthday party and Ellie had a blast playing in the park.

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We tried to take a picture of the three girls together. They are Matt's bff's daughters and were all born right after each other (we also got married back to back months!). Getting multiple babies to look in the same direction at the same time is incredibly hard, there is several people behind us calling their names and clapping and still...nothing. Here were the best shots.
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After the party we ran our usual errands (Costco/Lowe's) then Matt and I came back and played with Ellie. It's so nice having a playroom and a backyard to play in. I'm still working on decorating the playroom, so I'll post some pictures soon. It's not done yet and is far from being ready, but we have a bookshelf for the toys/books and a couch so the necessities are there! After playing, Matt and I relaxed and watched a movie together. We haven't done that in so long! It was nice to be able to unwind together.
On Sunday, Ellie and I went to church and I am counting down the weeks until she can be in the nursery. All she wants to do is play and be loud and it's pretty tough during sacrament. Four more months! I bring the usual briberies: cheerios, sippy cup, quiet toys, etc. It's just such a tough age (so the RS women tell me!). She finally got a chance to wear this yellow dress I got her a few months ago. I love this dress and wish she had worn it more, I had to snap some pics of her in it!
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Those pink chubby cheeks just kill me. Hope you guys had a great weekend and today starts off the week right!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

OOTD: Skirting the Issue

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SKIRT: Forever 21 (old, similar here) TOP: Old Navy (old, similar here) Cardigan: Old Navy 
PUMPS: DSW (old, similar here and here) NECKLACE: Stella and Dot

Skirts are one of my favorite pieces to wear for work, I've worn three just this last week. I don't think women wear skirts that often in the work place. In my last two positions, most of the women I've worked with almost always wore pants. Even though our dress was casual and we wore jeans daily, we would have days or meetings that we would have to dress up for and I always chose a dress or skirt, but would be the only one! What do you prefer to wear?

This weekend I was reviewing my closet to see what items I wanted to be on the look out for to add to my wardrobe and I definitely need to get some more dresses, but it's so hard to find ones that are long enough or have a sleeve (so I don't have to wear a cardigan). I think I need to step out of my comfort zone for stores and shop at new places. On a side note, I've had these heels for years and there one of my favorites. They are so comfortable, I wish I had bought them in every color! 

Hope you guys are having a great week!

Don't forget to enter my White Plum Giveaway and enjoy 20% off through July 18 using LIPSTICK20 at checkout!

Friday, July 11, 2014

OOTD: Nice to Mint You

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TOP: Forever 21 (old, but similar here) PANTS: Express Columnist HEELS: Nordstrom Rack
NECKLACE: Very Jane

Happy Friday! Thank you so much for all the wonderful feedback and support on yesterday's blog/IG post! I'm hoping to do more OOTD posts of my work outfits. It's been a big transition going from casual to business, did I tell you we have to wear nylons? I feel like I'm back in my sorority chapter meetings! 

This weekend we don't have too many plans. Tomorrow we plan on cleaning/organizing our garage. We have so much stuff that we need to get rid of by throwing it away, selling, or donating. I've joined a couple of exchange Facebook pages for our area and hope to purge some items through there. It's pretty cool, you post what you're selling/looking for and can get it local from your neighbors! Our family who use it have had good experiences and I've seen some legit items so hopefully our stuff will find good homes. Then Sunday we have some family parties then it's back to getting ready for the work week.

I'll leave you guys some cute pics of child labor in it's finest. Next week I plan on teaching her to fold and put away the laundry.
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Don't forget to enter my White Plum Giveaway and enjoy 20% off through July 18 using LIPSTICK20 at checkout!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Work OOTDs

This week has been so great! Last Thursday I moved all of mine and Ellie's stuff to our home where we are finally living full time! It's been amazing to wake up and go to sleep every night here and see Matt everyday. Ellie sleeps so much better too and is so happy. Our night routine is better, the last few nights at bedtime I ask her if she's ready to go to bed and she says "ya" and then we get her dolly, her paci, give kisses and she goes right down. It's so cute! She's also learned where her bellybutton is and points to it when asked. We are trying to teach her where her ears are now, but she keeps pointing to her bellybutton, ha ha! Sometimes she'll get it and point to each one individually when asked, but we're still working on it.

On Monday, I started my new position closer to home and I've really enjoyed it. It's a lot of training and I can't wait to be done and dive in fully. I'm still with the same company, but my new position is a whole new ballgame and a completely different environment than my previous one. It's a lot of fun and I look forward to the new role.

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DRESS: Old Navy (Similar here) CARDIGAN: Old Navy HEELS: Nine West Flax Pumps
NECKLACE: Nordstrom (super old, similar here)


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TOP: Old Navy SKIRT: Forever 21 (old, similar here) SHOES: Nordstrom Rack (I hate this color, it's very yellow, I plan on getting the Nine West Flax Pumps I'm wearing above in the nude)

I've really enjoyed dressing up this week for work, it's been a nice switch these last few days. I still need to build up my wardrobe with business clothes, I'll just add things over time. I have a lot of blouses, but I need to get more heels, skirts, and dress pants. I definitely want to still wear a lot of color and not just black/gray all the time. It keeps life fun.

Hope you guys are having a great week!