Category Archives: Favorite Things
When I’m on vacation, I always like to pack items that I can just throw on and go. This Lilly Pulitzer Gigi Maxi was perfect for just that. Threw it on, added a hat, and voila – off we went. It is machine washable and has adjustable straps…and you can see it is full of color! Lots and lots of bright colors. But that’s one of the reasons I love it. I’m sure if you have followed me at all, you know what I’m going to say next. Yep. I got it on sale when I was in Charleston. 63 big smackers is all! Score!
I ventured into the mirrored sunglasses this summer too. I love these green Ray Bans. I think they are such a fun color!
In the first picture, that is one of our favorite horses to go and visit when we are in Hilton Head. Harley has lived at Lawton Stables for such a long time. If I remember correctly, he is actually a reject Budweiser Clydesdale because his coloring wasn’t what they wanted (crazy, right?!). When we take him carrots, we try to give a few to the ponies out there too, and he can be such a big bully. So we distract him so the ponies can get a few carrots too 🙂 We’ve seen the stables change so much over the years. It’s such a great facility. When my kiddos were little, they loved to go on pony rides. I was so sad when they were too big to get on the ponies. Check it out if you are ever on the island.
When I was in Hilton Head and saw this adorable fringed cover up on sale for $59, I just had to pick it up. It’s such a fun print, and who could resist the fringe?! It’s nice and light weight for those humid and hot days at the beach or pool.
The hubs and I went on a getaway weekend to one of our favorite spots, Highlands, NC. Our favorite spot to stay was purchased by Old Edwards Hospitality and they did a lot of work on it this past winter and spring. The Half-Mile Farm looked just gorgeous, including their updated pool. Two of our favorite parts they didn’t change: gourmet breakfast is included and so are wine and appetizers each night. We like to workout while we are on vacation, and it’s so nice to now have access to the Old Edwards Inn’s workout facility that is in town. It’s only a few minute drive, so no excuse not to use it. Highly recommend this place if you need a little break!
After a few months of seeing Rodan + Field’s Lash Boost results all over my Facebook feed, I finally caved. I’ve been using their Redefine products for over two years now, and I love them. The brand has so many options for all skin types. Yes, it can be pricey, but you only have one skin and it’s your largest organ, so you have to take care of it, right?!
Being a natural blonde, my eyelashes were basically nonexistent without mascara on them. You can see them when I reviewed benefit’s mascaras. Now with using Lash Boost after 16 weeks, they are so much thicker and darker…and definitely longer.
Using Lash Boost is so easy to use. I literally pull the little brush out of the tube and swipe it on the upper lash line of both eyes. There’s enough product to do both of my eyes (and I have yet to have to reorder after 16 weeks!). You are to only use it on your top lashes.
As you can see, they are so much longer and fuller. (Let’s not look at how horrible my brows look in the before pic…they were bushier so that skews how long they look now. LOL) I have people ask me all the time if I have gotten lash extensions, and I love saying NO! I couldn’t imagine the upkeep with getting extensions – and of course the price.
Don’t mind the eyeshadow in the before picture above 🙂 This is to really show how thick and long my lashes have become. In the before picture, I had SO many coats of mascara on too to even get them to look that thick. Also, my lashes just curl by themselves now; I do not use a lash curler.
I do not have sensitive eyes, so this product works well for me. My friend said she tried it but her eyes were too sensitive. Unfortunately, she couldn’t use it.
If you are looking for an affordable solution to longer lashes, you should definitely try Lash Boost. If your Facebook friend’s list isn’t full of consultants like mine, let me know and I can get you in touch with one!
Forewarning – if you don’t like feet or pictures of feet, you don’t want to read this post!
Now…to get on to the review…
I saw a blogger talk about her experience with Baby Foot Exfoliation Peel, and I was intrigued. Then a few days later, I saw people.com do a review on it as well. So I thought I better try it!
I wouldn’t say my feet are in horrible shape, but I definitely have a few calluses that are pretty rough – and my typical pedicure never seems to really tackle them. So I thought for the price of a pedicure, I could try this exfoliation treatment. I read a lot of reviews and saw a ton of people’s pictures. Truthfully, they were a little scary! Some people’s feet looked…well…disgusting during the process. But, the after pictures made it all worth it.
So here are my feet before:
I hate the calluses underneath my big toes and on the balls of my feet. My heels are pretty scratchy as well. I know it’s a little hard to see in the picture.
Did I mention I convinced my mom to do it with me? 🙂 She wanted to have smooth feet, too. So each package comes with two booties filled with a jelly substance. The directions recommended you soak your feet in warm water first before putting the booties on…so we soaked for 10 minutes.
Then it was time to put on the booties…and sit. For one hour. And I understand why they don’t want you walking around because the gel substance made you slip around in the booties and you could easily lose your balance.
After the hour, we washed the substance off our feet. And that was it! Now it was time to wait for the peeling to start. In the directions, it said it could take a few days before you start seeing anything happen. And they were right! Mine started to peel before my mom’s due to the fact with how much I work out, my sweaty feet and wearing socks helped get the process started. Mine started three days after I had the booties on, and my mom’s started to peel about five days later.
Here are my feet five days later – and the peel was in full force:
Now, I know there are some of you out there saying “I bet it was so fun to pick the skin off!” The instructions said not to peel it off. Let it happen naturally. So, as hard as it was, I didn’t pick at my feet. See the blue under my feet? Those are the socks I wore constantly when I was home. The socks made my unable to pick.
The tops of my feet didn’t peel too much. It pretty much stopped half way up my toes. Now, the top of my mom’s feet peeled like crazy!! She wasn’t as willing to share pictures 🙂
I was able to hide my peeling by wearing pumps to work. If I would have worn sandals to work and people looked down at my feet, they probably would have looked away in disgust. The skin peeled off a lot on the sides. You should have seen my kids’ faces when I showed them! It was pretty priceless.
So here are the results:
They definitely are so much smoother. The skin just feels new and like the name says, baby like. It helped with my two trouble spots. Although they aren’t gone by any means, they are much better. The flash from the camera also caught the nice shine from the new skin! My mom’s feet are also so much smoother, and she is happy with her results. Her peeling lasted longer than mine, probably nine days.
Unless you don’t mind the peeling, you may want to wait until fall or winter to do the peel. But I highly recommend it. It’s such a great way to get rid of the dead layer of skin on your feet naturally.
Here’s a side-by-side for comparison:
I absolutely love my Henri Bendel travel gear that I have collected over the years! They hold up so well and when the adorable pattern is covered by a durable vinyl…it’s a win-win in my travel book. The best part of this time of year – their great travel pieces are on sale! Here two pieces I highly recommend:
First is the Extra Large Carry All. The best feature – it hangs! I love putting this on the back of the door in a hotel room or even just hanging it from a towel rack. I can fit all of my essentials in this bad boy – travel sized shampoo, conditioner, lotion, shave gel, full bar of soap, eye cream, full sized toothpaste, toothbrush, day cream, night cream, etc… See, I’m not lying. It fits everything. And you can snag this today for $57.60!
Next is the Four Piece Cosmetic Bag. For starters, the three smaller bags fit nicely into the big one for storage purposes. I’ve found myself just using the various pieces for short trips. The striped bag is perfect for when you are just taking your essential makeup for a quick trip; it is long enough to hold your brushes, too. The smaller polka dots bags are good for your girly that-time-of-the-month products. The largest one perfectly hold my brushes and full size hair products! The sale price…$44.10!
I know it’s only July, but this is also the perfect time to start thinking about Christmas gifts. Henri Bendel has such a good sale going on right now, not just on travel goodies but their handbags, jewelry and fun accessories!
My hair is not long enough to just throw back in a pony tail. I’ve got to have some sort of band to hold my short bangs back. Because what is worse than your sweaty bangs flopping in your face while you are working out? Well I’m sure some things are worse – but you get the point.
I had a hard time finding workout headbands that actually hold my hair back AND DO NOT FALL OUT OF PLACE. Whoah you say…you just used all caps. That’s right. I’ve tried lucy and lululemon bands and they don’t hold a candle to Sweaty Band headbands! When I had those brands on, I had to constantly reposition them because they would start slipping. So aggravating while dancing in Zumba and your headband just falls on the floor mid-dance.
Sweaty Bands do not slip. Once I put it in my hair for a workout, that’s the first and last time I’ll touch it until I’m home and ready to take it out of my hair. The fabric on the underside is a velvety feel, and that is the magic trick. I was lucky enough to try out one for free…my company actually has customized ones that we give to clients. And it’s black polka dot design. Love dots!
I can’t recommend these headbands enough. It’s the best $15 you will spend for your hair. And they aren’t just for working out! Anyone who wants a cute patterned headband should shop this great band. You won’t be disappointed. If you are…well, you won’t be so I don’t have to worry! 🙂
With blonde eyelashes, if I don’t wear mascara, it basically looks like I don’t even have any! Being so light, they don’t seem like they are long either. Oh but they are! They just need a little help.
I’ve been using They’re Real mascara from benefit for almost three years. I. Love. It. And you can see why…
On the weekends I tend to wear minimal makeup…or none at all, which of course is my favorite. Sometimes my face just needs a break. Oh wait, and I get lazy. 🙂 Even just adding mascara, I feel somewhat made up. It just pops my eyes.
This mascara really lengthens my lashes. As you can see, it’s more of a lengthener than a thickener, which I am completely fine with that. I’m sure if I put tons of layers on they would thicken up, but I want them to seem more natural.
I can’t recommend this mascara enough. It really is one of my favorite beauty products! What do you use? What’s your favorite?
I love stila’s eye shadows. I’ve been wearing them for over 10 years. I find their colors are so pigmented, thus having to use less of the product and the eyeshadow lasting for such a long time.
On Haute Look, they had stila. So of course I checked it out to see what was on sale. I saw these Smudge Crayons, and for $8 I couldn’t resist trying them. I have a deep navy and my favorite Kitten color. Even though I saw these crayons don’t have great reviews on stila’s website, I freakin’ love my Smudge Crayons!
I’ve been using them for a couple of months now. And on Friday I thought I would do a little test. Here’s what I did:
- 6:30 a.m. – Used my Kitten Smudge Crayon with stila’s powder Golightly shadow in the crease (liner was stila’s waterproof liquid liner in dark brown).
- Worked all day!
- 6:00 p.m. – Sweated my booty off at the gym lifting and walking on the treadmill with all of my makeup on.
- 10:30 p.m. – took another picture of my eye makeup at the end of the day. And it looked fabulous!
The crayon goes on very silky and smooth. Seriously, I use it like a crayon coloring on a piece of paper. To me, it acts like a a perfect primer to set my crease shadow. I use the powder Kitten color, too, and I do feel the crayon pops more.
You may be thinking, “Em, you said you had a deep navy, too. How does that work for you?” Now, for the navy color, I’ve only used it as a liner. And it too lasts all day. I line my eyes and then use a Q-tip to smudge it more. It is so pigmented that I have not tried it all over my lid. That may be a bit much for work, huh?! 🙂
I highly recommend the Smudge Crayons if you are looking for a great new type of shadow!
I’ve always been told that it is good to give your hair a break and not wash it everyday. But as a blonde, sometimes I find it hard to do. Why? Because I feel my hair looks like a big ball o’ grease the next day! I get so jealous of my brunette coworkers who can go three or four days between washes (but they also have long hair where they can do braids, pony tails, etc.).
bumble and bumble made a hair powder back in the day that I loved. They discontinued it, I cried, and stocked up on a few bottles. When those ran out, I cried again. bumble and bumble tried to replace it with a spray powder which did NOT work as well AT ALL. But they came out with yet another replacement that is freakin’ fantastic. The Prêt-à-Powder!
At first, I didn’t know if I wanted to spend $26 on hair powder. I know the brand is great. But seriously? It’s powder. I’m so glad I did though because it works great for my blonde hair. And I’ve had my bottle for almost a year and it’s only 1/2 gone! How the top is designed, it doesn’t put a ton of product out at once, so you end up not wasting it. See (please don’t get grossed out by my grease!)…
Now, I’m a visual person, so I wanted to show you how well this product works. These are before and after pictures of using the Prêt-à-Powder. This was after not washing my hair for one day.
As you can see, it takes away the grease and oil. What it also does a great job of is giving the hair some volume. I shake it all over, but focus on my part and the hair around my face.
While I have done the Johnson & Johnson baby powder trick in the past, this powder 1. doesn’t make you smell like a baby’s bottom or 2. leave a white cast in your hair. Although it’s pricier, it does a much better job. And the scent is wonderful and not overpowering. After you put it on, you don’t even notice it.
You’ve got to try this powder!
In a recent online order from Sephora, it included a sample of Soap & Glory’s The Righteous Butter Body Lotion. Typically I don’t even open the samples, but I love new lotions…and the packaging was fun, so I gave it a whirl.
When I first put it on, I noticed the lovely scent. The description says it their Pink fragrance, which is a blend of bergamot, peach, vanilla, and sandalwood. I have to say it does go on strong, but it does fade, but not completely.
After just using the sample, I noticed how soft my skin was. Just like butter! So what did I do? The next day I made a pit stop to my local Sephora store to buy some of course! When I go there, I love the fact that the lotion comes not only in the tub, but in a pump!
I’ve been using this lotion for a little over a month, and I’m almost 1/2 way through the bottle. I LOVE this stuff! I lotion my entire body with this stuff…and my skin has never been softer. It soaks in really well and is NOT greasy at all. It does exactly what it says it does – hydrates.
If you are skeptical about the scent, as I’ve noticed a lot of the reviewers on Sephora have complained about it, they have a small $5 tub. It’s the perfect size to use a few times to see how you like it.
I can’t recommend this lotion enough! It’s a UK brand, and is only sold at Sephora! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I know your skin will!
You know how I said last month how my children were two of my favorite things…and so is my husband, but that post will come later…well….it’s later.
One thing that is funny about my husband is when I first met him, I thought he was kind of a jerk. I was a marketing intern at a zoo, while he was a full-time zookeeper. He shaved like once a week and he just seemed very straight forward with zero personality. On Fridays, I didn’t have class, so I worked all day at the zoo. Well, that’s when we started to bond and become friends. I really got to know him and learned how my first impression was completely wrong.
As we started hanging out, I also saw him around his nephews and niece. I would constantly think to myself, “Wow. This man is going to be a wonderful father someday.” And I would like to say how completely right I was about that thought!
And since I write about fashion so much – I have to side track real quick with this side note. OMG. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being not great fashion sense to 10 being the best dressed man, I would have given him about a 2.5. But one good thing, he was completely open to letting me help him shop. And I still love shopping for him to this day!
Now…back to the story…we got engaged when I was 21 and he had just turned 28. My mom and dad were hesitant since we hadn’t dated very long, but they already loved him. You want to know how he won my mom over? After our first dinner out together, he wrote my parents a hand written note thanking them for a wonderful evening. Who does that? Uh, my husband does. And it worked.
We got our first house right before our wedding, and life has been busy ever since then. So that’s a whopping 10.5 years now. We have gone through a lot, which I know most marriages do. We’ve rescued a St. Bernard, got pregnant 6 months after we were married (surprise!), found out I have a blood disorder called Factor V Leiden Mutation, lost my husband’s mom to cancer, had another baby, watched our 3-year old go through open heart surgery, got new jobs, moved to the South to a town we had never even visited, drove a mini-van (what?! oh, yes!), transitioned our son to a facility daycare when he was used to home daycare, lost my husband’s dad, lost my grandmother and grandfather…and I’m sure I’m missing a lot of other things in between, too.
Our relationship has been tested a few times, but through it all, we’ve learned to love each other for who we are. Through thick and thin. Through mistakes and faults. Through sickness and health. Through grieving and extreme happiness. That’s what marriage is, folks. It’s a partnership. It’s being a team. I am blessed to have my husband as my teammate in this crazy life of parenting two children and being working parents.
I’m so lucky he knows me so well…my quirks and all. He even knows exactly what I want to eat when I’m sick (Panda Express anyone?!). I’m so lucky I can be so dependent upon him sometimes because I know he will be there. For me. For our children. For my parents. His heart is the size of Mount Everest. How am I so lucky?
Here’s a few pictures from our 10-year vow renewal. It was an unbelievably touching moment that we will never forget. It was a testament to our commitment to each other – no matter how crazy our lives can get.
I love you, honey! I hope you know how much.
You are definitely my favorite thing.
Now, this post isn’t about my favorite makeup or my favorite accessory…this edition of “a few of my Favorite Things Thursday” is dedicated to my favorite two things in the whole world. My kids.
I know I usually don’t talk about them or the hubs on the blog a lot. They are a part of my life that I just don’t want to share with the whole world. But today, I just felt like it. 🙂
See these two? I’m a little biased, but they are the cutest things EVER. I had the girl right after I turned 24, so I was a young momma. But I wouldn’t change that for the world. Her personality is one in a million. If I’m stressed or had a bad day, what does she do? She’ll come over and just hug me for the longest time. Her heart is so full of goodness, it’s amazing. And speaking of that heart, we just passed her 6-year anniversary for her open heart surgery. Talk about one of the most scary times in my husband’s and my life! Just thinking of the chance your baby could be taken away from you, makes you learn to appreciate what loving a child is all about. It puts your life (and your priorities) into perspective real quick.
The little man, although extremely shy to outsiders (he has selective mutism), is the sweetest, most loving boy. When he says he loves me, I just want to melt. I’m hoping he’ll stay this way forever, but I know the stage in life when I’m the most annoying person in the world will be here before I know it. His spirit and demeanor just make me smile. One of my favorite moments is when we are traveling and he’ll be deep into watching a movie in the car, I’ll look back at him from the front seat, and he just looks at me and gives me the biggest smile on the planet. I’ll reach to the back seat and pat his leg, and then his little hand pats mine. Love. That. Boy.
Being a working mom is challenging at times, but I’ve never known it any other way. I feel the time I do have with my kids is special. And truthfully, I think sending them to daycare and summer camps has helped shape them into the great little people they are today. Do I ever get working mom’s guilt? Oh absolutely. But the kids now know how to get along without mommy or daddy being right by their side. It’s helped them gain independence at a young age…and I’m so glad for that.
By no means do I want to speed up time, but I am looking forward to seeing the people they are going to grow up to be. Will she become a nurse? Will he outgrow his shyness and anxiety in new situations? How many grandbabies will they give us? 🙂
My kiddos are definitely my two favorite things. Hands down. (Oh, and my hubs is the third, but I’ll save that post for another day!)
All I have to say is I. LOVE. THIS. WATCH. It was pretty much love at first sight. A friend of mine had received this watch for her birthday, I tried it on at lunch when she showed me, and told the hubs I had to have it. He’s smart and listens when I say I like something or have an idea for a gift…so it was sitting under the Christmas tree for me in 2011.
Michael Kors watches have been all the rage for the last two years. If you take a walk around my office, you’ll see about 1/2 of us ladies with MK watches on! (Yes, we’re a stylish group of Benefits folks!)
It literally goes with everything. Dress it up or dress it down. I get tons of compliments on it, too. I love the oversized face. It’s slightly more manly, but feminine at the same time. Here’s how I have worn it recently…
If you haven’t tried a MK watch on. Do it. You’ll fall in love. My momma even has one…with tortoise shell, too…and she loves it. Join the craze. I dare you 🙂
Welcome to a few of my favorite things Thursday! One of my greatest friends, Karen, thought it would be a good idea for the name of the blog. But of course it was taken, so I thought I could make it a feature each week. Now, this girl loves her some Disney…and she’s ridiculously creative. She even came up with this little saying, BUT you have to say it as if you were singing the song from Sound of Music…
Polka dotted dresses and stripes on my sweaters.
More colored denim than I could wear ever.
Coordinating my outfits, even down to my rings.
These are a few of my favorite things!
So welcome to the first edition!!
When I was in Chicago last month, I did some major damage shopping. I think the 4th of July sales are THE best! While I was in Anthropologie, I didn’t find any clothes that just screamed “take me home!” but I did find this necklace. And it has quickly become one of my favorite things.
I was drawn in by all of the fabulous colors! Neons, pastels, gold…ahhh!!! But, I didn’t know if I had that much to wear with it. I’m glad I took at chance and bought it because I’ve worn it so much!
Here’s just two ways I have worn it. (Well, technically three from the picture above…wore it with a blue and purple plain shirt.)
The possibilities are endless with this necklace! Another great part – it’s on sale 🙂