Thursday, August 30, 2018

My Daily Makeup Routine

I have put off this post for a while since I feel like I have no expertise when it comes to makeup. My roommate, Ellison, had to deal with my watching eye as she applied it since she made it look like an art. Meanwhile, my makeup always seems to look the same, but y’all were curious after I posted some Instagram stories answering your questions, so it is about time to finally share it with you.

Since Sephora’s Beauty Insider Appreciation Event is currently going on, I figured that now was as good of a time as any to share my routine with you. That way if you are interested in any of the products I use then you can stock up on the item for yourself while it is on sale. For those of you who may be unfamiliar about how the sale works, Sephora Beauty insiders get 10-20% off starting today. If you’re not a Sephora Beauty Insider Member then no worries, you can sign up for free today to get 10-20% off. So if you’re planning on purchasing hair, makeup, or skincare items before the end of the year, this is the time to get it!

So I actually have two different routines to share with you so to speak since some days I wear more makeup than others. I’ll start with the simpler routine (takes maybe 5 minutes) and then move into one with a few more products for when I want more coverage or to look more put together (closer to 10-15 minutes).

Quick and Easy 5 Minute Routine - For those of you like me who aren’t committed to spending much time on your makeup in the morning, this has been a great routine for me when I’m heading to work or to run errands. This is what I have on my face most days unless I’m taking blog pictures or going somewhere fun or different with friends.

1. Curl Eyelashes - I know lots of people may not do this on a daily basis, but I like the way it makes me look more awake. I recently got a new eyelash curler since my last one was showing some wear.

2. Maybelline Lash Paradise Mascara - I always do my mascara first since I’m not very good at it. I have to get close to the mirror and end up wrinkling my forehead every time in an attempt to make my mascara look decent. After I’ve applied my mascara, I take a wet q-tip and get any of the excess off my eyelid.

3. Charlotte Tilbury Healthy Glow Moisturizer - I have lots of freckles, especially in the summer, and like to make sure that none of the products I use cover them completely. This Healthy Glow Moisturizer is a great way to accentuate those and provide a bit more color to my face. I’ve been using the same container of this since April, and it is still going strong after almost daily use. Once I run out I know I’m going to need to get another one.

4.(Occasionally) IT Cosmetics CC Cream applied with a Beauty Blender - If my face is pretty clear then I’ll skip this step, but if I want a bit more coverage but not too much then I’ll use this IT Cosmetics CC Cream. I apply a small pump of the CC Cream with a wet Beauty Blender. What I love about this product is that it is dewey and provides a decent bit of coverage without completely covering my freckles but making my skin look clearer overall.

5. RMS Beauty Un-Powder - I have to use a powder to make my makeup stay, and this powder has been the best one I’ve used. It is very lightweight, so it feels great on the skin and sets makeup nicely.

6. Bobbi Brown Blush - For a little bit of color on my cheeks, I like to use Bobbi Brown’s blush in Desert Rose. I’ve used this color for a while and have found that it looks natural and is a nice finishing touch before leaving the house.

More Put Together Makeup Routine - This routine takes more time but in turn, creates a more cohesive look. Perfect for dinners, blog photos, or going out at night I still look like myself but a bit more polished. This uses a few more products but will hopefully provide you an idea of makeup you may want to purchase during Sephora’s sale.

1. Curl Eyelashes - Same as above.

2. Dior Fusion Mono Eyeshadow - One area in which I have plenty of room for improvement with makeup is with eyeshadow. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t even attempt it. Instead, I apply a little bit of this neutral eyeshadow to my eyelid with my ring finger and call it a day.

3. NYX Eyeliner - To make it seem like my makeup is a little bit more “done” I’ll tightline my upper eyelid with a brown eyeliner. This makes my eyes look a little bit more defined than they do on their own.

4. Lancome Eyelash Primer - While this is definitely not a necessary step, this primer really does make a difference when it comes to the appearance of my lashes. It goes on white which is a little strange but does a great job separating and volumizing your lashes before you apply mascara.

6. IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara (if you want a bit more separation) - I have a travel size version of this mascara and really like it. If my mascara happens to look too clumpy, this is the quickest fix I’ve found!

8. (If Needed) IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Concealer - If my skin is being particularly finicky, this concealer (applied with a Beauty Blender) does a great job of covering up any red spots. A little goes a long way with this product so I think it may just last forever!

9. IT Cosmetics CC Cream - Same as above.

10. RMS Beauty Un-Powder - Same as above.

11. NARS Bronzer and Blush Duo - This duo is as great for packing and taking on the go as it is to accentuate your cheekbones. I use a little bit of the bronzer and then finish with the blush on my cheek bones. Since I am definitely not an expert, neither shade in this set is too intimidating or harsh to try out on my own.

12. (For A Bit Of Extra Color) Bobbi Brown Blush - Same as above.

13. Becca Highlighter - I often forget to put on highlighter but love the way that this one looks. I apply the tiniest bit to the top of my cheekbones. Because I use so little of this product I bought the travel size of this product and it has been the perfect amount.

14. Beautycounter Eyebrow Pencil - This is another step I often forget but does a good job taming and filling in my eyebrows so that they don’t look so scattered. The only downside of the product is that you need to have a sharpener instead of just being able to twist the product up.

15. Fresh Beauty Sugar Lip Color - If there is one thing I am horrible at it is applying lipstick. It is so bad that I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t even try. A colored chapstick or lip balm is much more my speed if I’m using something aside from a gloss. This one by Fresh Beauty has been a go to for quite some time.

16. Viktor & Rolfe Flower Bomb Perfume - Lastly, even though it isn’t makeup, this perfume is my favorite scent to spray before heading out the door. I received mine as a gift for Christmas and even now, months later, can’t get enough of it.

Did you make it this far? I hope that wasn’t too overwhelming but instead informative when it comes to the products I use and love. I’d love for you to share any of your favorites with me so that I can look into them during Sephora’s sale!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Fall Transition Pieces

With September almost here (how?) I am starting to get into the fall mindset when it comes to clothes. This is just comical with the heat and humidity we are experiencing here in Alabama so while it is fun to envision these pieces in my closet that is where they are going to have to stay for a while. Over the years I’ve figured out some ways to still dress for fall but without incorporating sweaters and overly hot items that would be uncomfortable given the reality of the weather.

I’m sure I am not alone when it comes to this dilemma of wanting to dress the part for fall while keeping the temperature in mind. Because of that, I thought it would be fun to share 6 key pieces, that you may already have in your closet, that can easily transition your style from summer to fall.

What else would you add to this list?

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Beginning Of The Semester To-Do List

For the first time in my life (that I can remember at least) August does not mean back to school. I am so used to a fresh start each August with new school supplies, teachers, and routines, so it is a bit odd not having that this year as well. Last year it nearly felt like an overload during the back to school season since not only was I preparing a classroom for all of my students, but I was also preparing for another semester of grad school. I think the double duty from last year should make up for the fact that there isn’t any school on my horizon this year. Having been through countless new semesters, I thought it would be helpful to share some of my best ways to prepare for new classes as they kick off for many of you this week. Even if you’re not in college, taking these tips and altering them to fit your own lifestyle will help to ensure that you start out a new school year on top of everything helping you to feel less overwhelmed in the long run.

top // skirt (similar here and here) // bag

Write Down Dates From Your Syllabus In Your Planner

I really loved the first week of school in college. I got to get back into a routine, see my friends, and begin to prepare for the semester ahead. In addition to choosing a good seat in class (because let’s be real, they aren’t assigned but where you sit the first day tends to become your unofficial assigned seat) and settling back into the routine of going to the library, I love opening to fresh pages of my agenda in preparation of writing down my schedule. Moral of the story, I am kind of a nerd.

If you’re in college, the first couple of classes back tend to be full of discussions about the syllabus that the professor has prepared. In high school, most of my teachers also provided students with a syllabus of sorts however they didn’t contain as firm of dates as those you get in college. Regardless of how many dates are included in the syllabi you receive, I find that I feel more prepared for the semester when I have written them down in my planned. As a very visual person, it helps for me to see everything in the monthly overview and ensures that I won’t forget anything important from assignments and presentations to tests and finals. Take some time while you have it to get it all in one place so that you can save yourself some time in the long run.

Update Your Resume and Linkedin

With a bit more free time as the semester kicks into gear, try to use at least a little bit of this time wisely by updating your resume and LinkedIn profile. Whether you’re sharing the activities you are participating in or are including the classes you’re taking on your profile, updating this as updates come makes it less of a chore when you’re applying for jobs or internships in the future.

Admittedly, I didn’t make a LinkedIn until the spring of this past year and I so wish that I had used this tip throughout college. For the longest time, I didn’t think I needed a LinkedIn since in the teaching profession it often isn’t something that is requested on applications. While my profession didn’t necessarily need one at the time, you never know when you’ll be like me and choose to change gears entirely. Creating a LinkedIn from scratch all at once surely led to me leaving important things off. If you don’t have one, use this as your opportunity to make one!

Stock Up On Groceries

This really applies better to those of you in college who may not be benefiting from home cooked meals all the time. Go ahead and get your big shop out of the way before you get stressed by meetings, homework, and tests! There are basics that you don’t necessarily think about needing until you do so take some time, make a list, and go ahead and get what you need. Snagging a few extras of your favorite study snack or drink is also a great idea if you have a bit of extra storage space! Nothing is worse than coming back from a long night in the library hungry only to realize that you don’t have anything in your fridge or pantry.

Create A Place For Everything

I always get excited when it comes to moving into a new space since I love to decorate and have a fresh start! One thing that I tried to do in college aside from just making my room look pretty was to make it functional too. By creating a place for everything, I was able to keep things organized and in their place which made my room a very relaxing environment. I know myself well enough to know that if I’m tired and don’t have a place for something I will slowly begin creating a pile that will grow over time and becomes overwhelming. By stocking up on organization supplies for my closet, desk, and the underbed area, I was able to keep clutter tidy and avoid the pile that could have resulted.

Organize Your Supplies (And Computer)

This tip is a bit like the last although it applies to your supplies instead of your space. If you haven’t stocked up on supplies, then you’re going to need to do that first, but if you have, then you are ready to organize them in the way that works best for you. For me, that always meant designating a specific color notebook and folder to each subject. I also did my best to color coordinate those notebooks and folders with the color that I used to write down that classes assignments in my planner. While I know not everyone is quite as concerned about that as I am, it is what worked best for me each semester. Since we are at a day in age when hand writing assignments isn’t a reality, I would also make a folder for each class on my computer. This would help me to make sure that no assignments were misplaced and everything was easy to access!

I’d love to hear any of y’alls tips for starting a new semester out strong! Anything I’ve missed?

Monday, August 27, 2018

Step Into My Week

It's my last week of "summer vacation" and to be quite honest, it is going to be filled with a long to-do list of little chores and packing that need to get done before heading to the beach this weekend and then officially moving into my house in Birmingham before starting work. I am hoping to spend some time preparing a number of blog posts to have on deck so that I have things to go live as I get adjusted. 

This week was a bit of that way as well. I feel like I haven't done a ton since getting home aside from behind the scenes sort of things. Because of that, I don't feel like these updates are especially fun. Fortunately, I've been getting a lot of sleep so hopefully, that stockpile will make it so that I do more fun things once I'm in Birmingham making these posts more fun as well.

At the beginning of this week, I was able to catch up with another friend who happens to be home currently before starting her job. We had plans to go kayaking but unfortunately, it has been raining a ton in the afternoon so it was too choppy. Instead, we biked on the boardwalk by the bay to the Grand Hotel for tea time. We ate a cookie, sipped some tea, and caught up with one another after way too long apart. 

I went on a few walks with our dog, Scout, who seems to be loving having playmates at home. On Wednesday, my dad and I drove to the airport to pick up my brother after his flight from California. My mom is thrilled to have both my brother and me at home at the same time. He will be in town for a week after me but is planning to come to Birmingham with his fiance (who will fly in Friday in time for our family beach trip) to visit which will be fun. He has been helping me with a few upcoming blog projects which has been entertaining, to say the least. Luckily, he is doing a pretty good job so I am hoping I can convince him to help with a few more pictures before he is completely over helping out. 

One afternoon this week, I came home to the sweetest gift from my friend Sophia as a congratulation for my new job. She sent me a Greetabl (which I sent Nell forever ago seen here). It was the most thoughtful treat and I am really looking forward to hanging the photos she included on my bulletin board once I move into my new place. You can get 15% off your first greetabl here!

This past weekend we went to the beach on Saturday morning and were able to go out on the boat while getting some maintenance done before everyone is there next weekend. I was able to read a book, enjoy sitting on the front porch and hang out with my family. Overall it was a relaxing weekend! 


I did it. After over a month trying to get through this book I finally finished it this past weekend. After hitting page 90 I flew through it. It stinks that it took so long to get into it, but once the plot thickened the book was intriguing! 

Watching: Southern Charm
I am officially on Season 5 of the show and am ready to get completely caught up. Ellison, my last roommate, told me I am not allowed to check or follow the characters on social media until I am caught up (which was a smart rule of her) so I'm ready to see what they are up to now! 

I can't help but love the prints and styles of everything from Brooke Wright Designs fall collection. Things are selling out quickly so if you are hoping to snag something you may want to do it quickly! You can see a top I have from the brand in this post

Last Week’s Posts You May Have Missed:

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Summer Shopping Vol. 7

Have y'all missed my summer shopping series? I have! I'm thinking I may change the name to Saturday shopping so that I can keep it going into the fall. Today's Summer Shopping is going to be quick since I am heading to the beach today. 

To shop the items click them directly in the picture. The pink buffalo check dress isn't linked directly in the image but you can shop it here

Hope y'all have fun plans for the day! 

Friday, August 24, 2018

Tuckernuck Sale On Sale

Without a doubt, my favorite place to shop is Tuckernuck. I've been shopping their pieces since my freshman year of college and still constantly am adding their items to my cart. Over time they have grown a lot which means that they have even more products to offer! The only downside is that because of the quality and brands offered, sometimes these beautiful pieces come with a larger price tag. Fortunately, the brand has a great sale section and right now has that entire section discounted an additional 20% off with the code SENDOFF20.

Since I knew I was going to shop through the sale anyway, I thought I'd go ahead and share some of the things I found. Some of the items I purchased this spring and summer are included in this sale, and I can't recommend them enough! 

Shop my sale finds below by clicking directly on the item you're interested in to be taken to the site, or you can shop using the links beneath the graphic. 

pink two layer top // embroidered blouse // blue and white stripe maxi // straw bag // pink blouse // slide on sandals // blue peplum dress // blue embroidered tank // blue bow tank // pink rain jacket // white ruffle tank // white blouse // pink flower earrings // blue peplum top // blue embroidered blouse // grey short sleeve // navy and white top // grey patterned top // pink embroidered blouse // pajama set // white eyelet dress // navy fringe top // pink tassel clutch // bold pink scarf

Items I Own And Love: Scarf // Navy Top (Perfect for Work) // Embroidered Top // White Blouse // Peplum Top

Which item are you adding to your cart? 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

College Dorm Room Essentials

It has been a bit since I moved into my final dorm room my sophomore year of college although I still remember it very well. Freshman year I lucked out with a spacious dorm room however, that space was traded out sophomore year in order to live with my pledge class on our sorority hall. Furman is unique in a number of ways, but since we don't have sorority houses, we get a hall in the dorms for our sophomores instead. For whatever reason, the room was shaped like an "L" making it tricky to come up with a good arrangement for the furniture included without it feeling like an obstacle course in the room. 

Through these dorm experiences, I was able to figure out what essentials were necessary for sharing a room with other people, making a small space feel more like home, and attempting to keep things organized while following the rules put in place in the dorms. Today, I thought it would be fun to share 12 of my dorm room essentials. When looking through this list, I've realized that even after moving out of a dorm and into an apartment, these items are still in use! I suspect that most of these products will quickly become essentials as I move into my house as well.

(To shop the items, click on them directly in the image or shop using the links below.)

Nell, I blame and thank you for this one. When moving into our freshman dorm, Nell brought along this sound machine and I quickly became hooked. When living on a busy hall where not everyone values shut eye as much as you might, a sound machine that provides a bit of white noise provides a bit of peace. Even though Nell and I no longer live together, a piece of our time together is since I have owned my own sound machine ever since. 

Hear me out on this one...Is a fancy detergent really necessary? No, but little luxuries like the small of the dive scent glamorous wash detergent gave me a taste of home even when I was 8 hours away. I never thought I'd take pride in a detergent being my signature scent, but my little figured out I was her big because the t-shirts I gave her smelled like me. Now when my friends hug me or walk into my room after I've done laundry they always say I smell like me which means I smell like this detergent. A secret to make this detergent last longer is to put a cap full in with a regular unscented detergent. That way you get the scent from the more pricey detergent but the cleanliness from a more affordable option. 

As a huge fan of natural light, I've realized that occassionally it comes at a price. Somehow I end up with windows that offer great natural light but also have artificial street lights nearby that give my room a glow even at night. I have gotten to the point where I like total darkness when I sleep making blackout curtains a responsible choice. The ones I've included are from PB Teen and are a bit more expensive (but are the *best* and *cutest* blackout curtains I've had), so here is a more affordable option as well. 

This is a bit of a cheat since I never had these in my dorm room, however, I so wish I had! In my apartment these were the perfect way to organize some bathroom products in the tiny space that I had meaning it could do the exact same thing in your dorm room! Although the bathroom I'm about to have in the house we are renting has more storage space, these shelves will be a cute way to display perfumes and products I reach for often without cluttering my counter space. Plus they are available on Amazon Prime, a major win in my book.

This may not be an essential for everyone but if you're looking to make your dorm room a bit more homey, a headboard is the perfect solution! I made both of the headboards I used in college and got one from Not Just Dorms for my first post-grad apartment. There is something about a headboard that makes a room look more complete. You'll quickly find that your bed will serve many purposes in your dorm from sleeping to a study spot and even additional seating when friends come to hang out. A headboard is the perfect way to make your bed more inviting in all of those situations! 

If you're not a coffee lover yet, college has the potential to make you one. While I do have friends that deny themselves of this simple energizing pleasure were able to resist a daily cup of coffee, for those of you like me who can't a keurig in your room will be a game changer. I've been using the same keurig since my junior year and it has undergone making more than one cup of coffee for my roommates and I for years. Although you may have a meal plan where you can grab a cup of coffee in your dining hall on the way to class, there are times you will be in a hurry or want need a late night cup making it convenient to have your own coffee maker in your dorm. It may just be the best roommate you ever have! 

The best space saving piece of furniture I had in my dorm rooms was a desk hutch. With textbooks, notebooks, and pens and pencils alike, your desk can get crowded quickly. Instead of spreading out your stuff atop of your desk, spread up. My desk hutch was super easy to build and under $50 (which is a steal compared to many others that were available when I was on the hunt). Available in a few different colors, it's easy to match your decor and furniture while giving you a little bit of extra room.

Removable wall hangers may seem like a no brainer but stock up ahead of time because you won't want to pause your dorm decorating to run out to try to find these (which can be tricky in a college town). All four years in college, we were unable to hang things any other way than using non-damaging, removeable wall hangers and I found that ones that had velcro on both sides ensured that what I was hanging stayed up and that I didn't damage the wall come time to move out. 

Closet space wasn't something that was overly abundant in college. From storing costumes for different functions to your suitcase for trips home, making the most of the space was important. Before I left for college my freshman year, I switched all the hangers in my closet to skinny huggable hangers. These hangers gave me that ability to fit more pieces of clothing horizontally in my closet and even had the ability to cascade downward. I can't imagine how tight my closet would have felt had I chosen to use plastic ones. 

My freshman and sophomore dorms had community style bathrooms meaning that nearly 40 girls were using the same space to brush their teeth, wash their face, and shower. As someone who doesn't love getting ready with other people, I couldn't foresee myself putting on makeup while making small talk in our hall bathroom. Instead, I purchased a small makeup mirror that sat on my desk so that I could allow that space to double as a vanity. If you're anything like me and plan to get ready in the comfort of your own space, this is a must have!

So I may be pushing it with the term "essential" at this point by including a personalized pillow, however, touches like this made my room feel so much more like home. Whether you go for something monogrammed or something patterned in your favorite color, these touches of your personality will provide a sense of comfort no matter how far from home you might be. 

Maybe I should have listed this first, but Clorox wipes are necessary to have on hand from the minute you walk into your dorm room. Although the room has likely already been cleaned, it doesn't hurt to wipe everything down before settling in. Once the move in process is over, you'll be glad to have these on hand for spills or quick clean up sessions as needed. While it doesn't hurt to keep other cleaning supplies on hand, if you're anything like me in the dorms you'll find that these become your go-to.

What are your go-tos?

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Novels With Nell - Hurricane Season

If there is anything that growing up by the water has taught me, it's that an especially hot summer can lead to an eventful hurricane season. Growing up I never really had snow days but instead our school had more hurricane days than I can remember. That's the price you pay for being nearly waterfront. From boarding up the house, evacuating, stepping outside during the eye (and my dad and grandfather even cutting down a tree in the midst of the eye one year), and picking up debris, hurricanes were essentially part of my childhood. 

Nell's most recent pick certainly has some overlap with where I am from and what I am used to. I recently discovered my love of books that switch perspectives periodically making this book particularly enticing. 

By: Lauren Denton

I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that this will be my last post for a while as I’m about to start PA school (also good news), but I don’t know how much non-academic material I’ll be reading. The good news is that I’m leaving you with the name of a great book to finish up the summer. I wrote an earlier post about The Hideaway, and this is Lauren Denton’s second novel so if you enjoyed that or are like me and love Southern fiction, you should read Hurricane Season. Alternating between three narrators, the book covers a lot of ground on family relationships, sister bonds, and seemingly out of reach dreams. One review I read described it as a “comfortable” read, which is an accurate description. You feel like you are right there with the characters in their relatable struggles. Thanks for reading; hopefully I’ll be back soon!

“Betsy and Ty Franklin, owners of Franklin Dairy Farm in southern Alabama, have decided to put life’s disappointments behind them. At least in theory. Ty manages their herd of dairy cows, while Betsy busies herself with the farm’s day-to-day operations and tries to forget the longing for motherhood set deep in her heart. But when Betsy’s free-spirited younger sister Jenna drops her young daughters off at the farm to attend a two-week art retreat in Florida, Betsy’s carefully constructed wall of self-protection begins to crumble.

As those two weeks stretch much farther into the hot Alabama summer, Betsy and Ty learn to navigate the new additions in their world and revel in a home that’s suddenly filled with the sound of laughter and life. Meanwhile, record heat promises to usher in the most active hurricane season in decades.

Four hundred miles away, Jenna is fighting her own battles. She’d once been free to travel and pursue a career in photography, but all that changed with the appearance of two pink lines on a plastic stick and a boyfriend who hit the road. At Halcyon art retreat, she finally has the time and energy to focus on her photography. As the summer continues, she wonders how her rediscovered passion can fit in with the life she’s made back home with her two children.

When Hurricane Ingrid aims her steady eye at the Alabama coast, Jenna must make a decision that could affect both her and her children’s futures, and Betsy and Ty find themselves protecting their beloved farm as well as their own hearts."

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