How To Give Yourself a Makeover This Spring for $50

This shop has been compensated by Schwarzkopf. #FashionColorExpert #sponsored

*Dramatic Announcers Voice*

It’s time to play everyone’s favorite game….Guess What Color Nicole’s Hair is Now!!!

A few years ago when hubby was still in school, one of his favorite professors was switching to a new school. The electrical engineering program at UT Tyler was small and had a very family type atmosphere. Because of that, the professor invited his students to his house for a farewell shindig. At the party we ran into one of hubby’s fellow students. I’d met him just twice before, about a year earlier. We’d gone out to eat together, and once he came over to our place for a BBQ.  At the party, though, he didn’t even say hello. Then as the night went on he started acting rather cold towards me, which I thought was very strange.

Towards the end of the evening, all of a sudden he bursts out laughing and comes over dying. “Oh, my…..” He gasps. “You’re NICOLE!!!”

“Ummm….yes????” I, Nicole, am very confused.

He continues, “You look NOTHING like yourself. The last time I saw you, you had short black hair. When I saw Bob walk in with a long haired blonde and start flirting with her I was so upset. I didn’t know if he was cheating on his wife or if you had split up. I was thinking that no one had told me anything, and you guys had seemed so happy together.”

We all died laughing!! I continue to joke with Bob about “cheating on me, with me” every time I make a radical change to my hair.

After that point I decided one of my life motto’s must be “Life is Short, Have Fun Hair”

Spring is the *perfect* time to give yourself a makeover! This is usually a crazy time of year for everyone, and freshening up and looking beautiful is a great way to reset and refocus! This week I gave myself a makeover for $50! Here’s what I got (prepare to be impressed!)

Hair Color: $18.58 (my hair is so long and thick I had to purchase 2 boxes–if you only need one you’ll save even more!)

Hair Cut: $20

New Dress: $9.99

Total: $49.57

Here’s the breakdown of what I got, and how you can re-create it in your own style!

You can find all the Schwarzkopf color ULTÎME® colors in the Hair Color aisle of Walmart. While I was in the store, I also browsed the clothing section and found a gorgeous and oh-so-comfy sundress for $9.97 for my photo shoot!! You wouldn’t believe how many cute clothes I’ve purchased for me and the kiddos at Walmart over the years.

You’ll remember that last fall I dyed my hair a beautiful purpley black using the Schwarzkopf brand. In between then and now I decided my next fun color was going to be RED! So I picked up the box mix to make that happen. Recently, my roots were growing out and the shade I picked last time was more orangey than I wanted this time, so it was time to refresh and tweak slightly!

This time I picked up Schwarzkopf color ULTÎME® in Ruby Red. The Schwarzkopf color ULTÎME® is the most fashionable & vibrant hair color that defies fading for up to 9 weeks of color shine. (Vibrant, long-lasting color is a must for a busy gal like me!) It also delivers a “True to box” color result which is always great. Another bonus is the shine and feel of the hair after coloring even after weeks! My hair is thick, on the coarse side, and since I change it out so often and style it with #alltheheat it goes through a lot! I love using dyes that help repair my hair instead of hurting it more!

In my last hair blog post I walked you step-by-step through how to dye your hair at home. This time I thought it would be fun to do a time-lapse instead! Watch my 40 minutes of work in 40 seconds!

Ta-Da!

I also desperately needed a new cut! It had been almost a year since I’d cut my hair, and my poor scraggly ends were begging to be cut off. I found a local place that accepted walk-ins that had excellent reviews and photos and went in! When you do the color at home you can get a nice salon cut for around $20-$30 depending on where you live. If you want to save even more or are in a pinch for time, just have them do the cut and not the shampoo/style.

I absolutely love my new look! It was just the makeover I needed. My hair feels silkier, softer, lighter, and it has such a pretty color and shine!

The after conditioning treatment in the Schwarzkopf color ULTÎME® is wonderful and really made my hair feel and look amazing. I’m in love with the color too. As you can see in these photos it looks one way in the shade/inside….

And then it takes on fun new dimensions and tones in the sunlight/outside.

There you go! For under $50 you can give yourself a fun makeover this spring that’s as unique and fashionable as you are!

Want even more Beautiful Hair Inspiration? Check out all the great posts here!

How To Put Together The Perfect Valentine’s Date Outfit

How To Put Together The Perfect Valentine's Date Outfit

{2/3/2018 Update}

Somehow it happens that I wrote this post a year ago?! Don’t ask me how that happened.

I just had to re-post this year to give you an update. I absolutely *love* the Nicole dress. It has held up so well and looks just like it did in these photos. I’ve gotten so many compliments on it, and it’s my go-to for any fun occasion.

If you’re still a Lularoe hold out or need a new group to join definitely check out Keli’s–she’s still going strong!

Original Post:

Can you believe that Valentine’s Day is coming up so quickly?! Crazy!!!

So how do you celebrate the day? Some couples love to go All Out with a big, fancy, romantic meal and date.

Others prefer a nice but family-friendly celebration that’s fun but not-too-fancy. (We did this for years when hubby was in the military and there were no babysitters around)

Still others prefer to just stay at home, order-in or cook together, and snuggle on the couch watching their new favorite show.

No matter how you choose to celebrate your love, I’ve got your look covered this year with these 3 adorable looks that are *perfect* no matter how you’re celebrating! Want to know my *secret weapon*?? It’s totally  Keli Jennings’ LuLaRoe Group!

Amazing LuLaRoe Outfit

Now, odds are you HAVE heard of LuLaRoe (if you haven’t yet…ummm..welcome back to the internet because I assume you’ve been gone a long time?)

If you have heard of this company it’s very likely you fall into one of two groups.  The first group is already Lula-obsessed and wants to join All.The.Groups and Buy.All.The.Things.

The second group (which I was a member of until *very* recently) has looked longingly at the beautiful and bright pieces from afar but has held out with all determination. You see, I knew that once I tried them I’d be in love, and it just wasn’t the right time.

Amazing LuLaRoe Consultant

If you’re in that second group, as I was, I have to tell ya, girl, there is no better time to fall in love than Valentine’s Day. So come on in, join the craze, and the fun! 😉

I’d love to have you in Keli’s LuLaRoe Group along with me! She’s also on Instagram so be sure to follow her over there as well! We met each other when we were both Coastie Wives and stationed in North Carolina. Sadly, we were only able to get together a few times, but since then we’ve stayed online buddies and kept in touch through both our our many moves! Her hubby is still in the Coast Guard and she is a busy work from home mamma just like me!

She was SO sweet to send me these pieces to try out and to style together. With just 4 pieces you can put together these three completely different and totally versatile looks! ((Pssstt….be sure to read aaalll the way to the bottom as she’s *also* so sweet she’s giving out an amazing prize that you can win!))

Date Night At Home

Look #1 Comfy Date Night At Home  — perfect for a night of Netflix marathoning, video gaming together, board games, cook outs, or roasting s’mores on your fire pit!

Since I didn’t have tons of experience with this brand when I heard LuLaRoe I thought Leggings. I love leggings, or at least, I always loved the concept of them! (feel as comfy as wearing jammies but look totally cute and on trend, yes please!)

I’d never really found super comfy ones previously, though. When all my friends started raving about how amazingly comfy and soft the LuLaRoe leggings are (they’re nicknamed Butter Leggings), I knew I wanted to add them to my closet! Some of my favorites are the super unique, amazing, and wild patterns that they have. For my very first pair, however, I wanted to go with some that I can wear aaalll the time with nearly all my clothes. So, of course, this gorgeous slate blue pair was just the thing. #allthebluethings

Date Night At Home

If you’ve never tried on a pair before, one thing to know about these leggings is that they really are leggings–not jeggings. I’d describe them as really thick, but super comfy tights that do feel soft as butter and comfy enough to sleep in. So you absolutely, positively need a long, loose shirt to cover up with, at *least* down past, ahem, what my mom-in-love calls your “hineybow”.

Good news, LuLaRoe actually sells those, too! This is the Classic shirt and it’s just perfect because it can completely be dressed up or down according to whatever you’re doing. You’ll see I used it for both my most casual *and* my most fancy outfits–so awesome!

This outfit and look are just aaalll about the comfy! The leggings are all that they claim to be, and the shirt is super soft and flowy and comfy, too!

Oh–and meet our newest kitty addition! I’m quickly becoming a crazy cat lady as we recently adopted a kitty to be friends with Sylvanus! This is Arwen and she is the sweetest cat you’ll ever meet! She will sit and meow at me if I don’t give her a thorough snuggle session every few hours, it’s hilarious!

u part wig

Here’s Sylvanus! She’s gotten SO FAT it’s hilarious! It’s amazing to see how much she’s grown since she found us as that itty bitty kitty that was the size of Amber’s hand! And she’s just as crazy as ever. It wasn’t planned but our kitties look uncannily alike! You can tell them apart by Sylvanuse’s pretty white dipped paws and chest, and she’s about twice the size of Arwen!  They made the perfect props for this shoot! 😉

Paired with big, comfy boots this look is great for any at-home date night! For a final touch, you’ll want to add just a bit of fancy to this look. It is a date, after all! So I topped it off with two long faux pearl necklaces, fun drop earrings, and a pretty bracelet. I did my hair in half up twists and did my makeup in my everyday way. No need to be fussy with this look, just let your every day pretty that your hubby fell in love with shine through!

Look #2 Date Night Out — Perfect for going to the movies, a sit-down restaurant with a kids menu, or around town to play tourist.

Out of all 3 looks, this is the look that feels most like ME. Lately, I’ve been wearing dresses, styling my hair, and doing my makeup complete with contouring and all the shadow even just for an everyday occasion. Not *every* day mind you, #aintnobodygottimeforthat , but I try to do it pretty frequently. When I feel like I look my best, it just brightens my mood and as a result, it makes everyone in our families day better!

Plus, did you know that dresses are MAD COMFY???? For real!!! I’ve actually gotten to the point where if I want a “comfy” day I find myself reaching for one of my dresses OVER a pair of jeans–true story!

This dress is the Nicole dress from LuLaRoe. I know, I know–it was MEANT to be. And honestly, I’m pretty sure they had ME in mind when they made this.

(Just kidding! It was actually named after the founder’s *daughter* who helped get the company started almost on accident! The Story Behind The Company is SO inspirational, so be sure to go watch that!!)

I seriously adore this dress. It really is like it was made for my body type!!! I’m smaller chested with a bigger booty and for some reason the fat I have decided to migrate to my upper arms once I hit 30.

Now, I’m not complaining! I’m just letting you know–these clothes are made for REAL people who are REALLY moms and have mom bodies! I certainly have one! They are cut in such a way that they flatter all your gorgeous points while being so forgiving with the parts that are maaayyybbee just a lil more full or lumpy than your high school self had.

The half length sleeves, fitted bodice, and flowy skirt to just below knee length are a dream for me!

It’s stunning and comfy and makes me *feel* beautiful. And isn’t that what *really* matters. When you FEEL pretty you exude that, and that’s what people focus in on and see!

Oh, and it’s totally twirable, too. One of the tests Amber loves to do with dresses is to see “if it twirls”. Well, I know from careful testing 😉 that this dress totally twirls *and* it also makes for some epic curtsies!

Trust me, your hubby (or boyfriend) is going to L O V E this look!

Look #3 Total Glam for a Fancy Date — perfect for going to see a play or orchestra, a restaurant with white tablecloths, or if you just want to watch your man’s jaw drop when he sees you!

Isn’t it crazy how you can take the same Classic top from couch to five star worthy with just a few changes?! When I saw this *gorgeous* Cassie skirt I was in love. I believe my exact (facebook) words were “THIS ONE!!! PLEASE!!” As you can see it has this epic and beautiful detailing, and the color is one that I’ve been obsessing over for awhile now. Even when it goes off-trend I will still wear it because it’s so pretty.

I’m so superly in love with it!!! I wasn’t sure which Classic T I wanted to pair it with, so I let Keli pick one out for me. I’m usually soooo matchy-matchy that I wouldn’t have thought to pair these two together, but the result is simply perfection! She can put together the perfect look for you, too!

For a super fancy night out I paired these pieces with high heeled boots, big curls in a half up style, and plenty of bling!

Go all out on your makeup, too! This is the time to break out your favorite Youtube makeup tutorial (if you don’t have one yet just go on there and search for one, there are tons and I’ve learned sooo much through watching them! Amazing makeup tricks for the win!). For this look, I went for bright, pretty eyes and a bold lip.

Absolutely stunning enough to be worn on your fanciest date (short of needing a formal) this outfit is oh-so-comfy too! The skirt is also very easy to pull up or down, so you can keep it the length you need. I have a very short torso, so it rode high on me when I kept it knee length, but these days I prefer the top to my bottom pieces a little higher, anyways (remember that 2 kiddos and after 30 years old bod I mentioned earlier)? This is another pairing that perfectly flatters beautifully real mommy bodies!

So there you go! 3 Totally different looks for any celebration you have planned! And, of course, these don’t have to be Valentine’s Day looks only!!! These are the perfect solution for any date, or life scenario, ranging from working from home (top) to church (either look 2 or 3!).

Want to know the best part? One reader will win their very own gorgeous Cassie skirt! So don’t forget to Join Keli’s VIP LuLaRoe Facebook Group and Follow Keli on Instagram then enter below to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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How To Find Your Own Personal Style

This shop has been compensated by Schwarzkopf. #CareWithKeratin #sponsored

 

I love to play dress up.

No, not in a cosplay or larp-ing kind of way (#closetgeek that I even know what that means) But in a *squee* I love to wear pretty dresses and get all sorts of fancy way.

When I was little I adored dresses and wore them to school all the time. As I got older dresses every day were just not in style in the rough and tumble Wyoming culture I grew up in. As a result, I wanted to fit in, so I quit wearing them and opted for jeans, tees, and hoodies like everyone else. Through my twenties, I floundered around a bit trying to figure out what to wear and based a lot of my purchases on what I thought other people liked or what was trending.

I’ve come to realize now that was all a big mistake! Now, there’s nothing wrong with dressing or doing your hair a certain way because it’s what your significant other thinks you look amazing in. There’s also nothing wrong with jumping on the latest adorable trend because (or even if) everyone else is. However, most of the time you need to dress in your personal style! Your confidence will soar, you’ll look your best, and somehow life just seems more tackle-able (yes I made that word up) when you’re looking your best and also feeling comfortable in your own skin!

Are you stuck where I was just a bit ago, floundering around to find what fits you best, in every way? Then you’ve come to the right place! Today I’m going to give you some tips and tricks on how to find and rock YOUR personal style!

How To Find Your Own Personal Style

Get Amazing, Fun Hair

So for me, my hair has always been a huge part of my overall look and style. I think for most women it is! It’s such a fun thing to play around with. Today I’m especially going to focus on your hair color! If you’ve been around for a bit you know that you need to learn to recognize me by my face, because my hair color varies wildly with my moods and the seasons!

Today I’m going to let you in on a little secret. The reason I’m able to change up my color and styles so often? I dye it myself! Yes, you read that right! All those varying hues are box dyes that I pick up at Walmart! It might seem super scary at first. I remember the first time I picked up a box kit I made my hubby help me and I was just sure that I was going to end up with trashed hair the color of slime that would require a walk of shame to a stylist.

In reality? It was so easy-peasy and my hair looked gorgeous and no one knew I colored it myself! If it’s your first dye-at-home adventure I have some pro tips for you, and I’ll walk you through step-by-step!

Pro Tip: If you’re dying your hair at home for the first time pick a shade just one away from your own. It’s a great way to freshen up your look without being too shocking and it’s nearly fail-proof!

Ever since I went multi-tone purple and blue with my hair I’ve been trying to figure out what I wanted to do next. I was tired of sticking out everywhere I went, so last time I picked a brownish hue. It had started to fade out, and left me with these weird, nondescript colors. I think my face pretty much sums up how I was feeling about it. It was definitely time to pick a new color and dye it again!

I decided to go for Schwarzkopf Keratin Color in Ruby. I picked this brand because it’s professional quality hair color at home that offers flattering colors while caring for the hair. Keratin Color cares for your hair, which is important to me since I dye so often! It also has a  Pre-treatment for even color result, which is what I was desperately hoping for this time. I had a hard time choosing which of their fun shades I wanted to try, but this one jumped out at me. It was just the right amount of “fun” with its intense color while not being “everyone turn and look at Nicole”. Also, it followed my other pro tip which is:

Pro Tip: When dying your hair yourself going darker is always safe, but you cannot go loads lighter. If your current hair color isn’t on the “color result” chart on the back of the box, there’s a reason.

You can see that my multi-weird colors fit within the Dark Blonde to Light Medium Brown range, which also had close to the same color result. I was wanting to get one, consistent tone that would be fun, so this was perfect!

***Right now you can actually try Schwarzkopf Keratin Color for FREE with this rebate offer!!! Just purchase it at Walmart, keep your receipt, then mail it in with this form to get the rebate!***

How To Dye Your Hair At Home

So, this should go without saying but I will say it anyway, always *follow all instructions in the package and follow all safety instructions including doing a patch test and using gloves.* The instructions are wonderful and will walk you through step by step through the three easy steps, so I’ll just show you step by step photos of how I did it so you get a feel for it!

One important thing I do want to reassure you of is when you see that weird color in the bottle *don’t panic*!!! When you are dying your hair the dye going on to your head is NOT the color your hair will be. As you can see this dye is a weird orangey color. That would have freaked me out if I had never dyed my hair before. Just trust them and as long as your first color is on the chart on the back you’re good!

Pro Tip: If your hair is very long, and/or very thick you’ll need more than one box of dye. For this brand, they even said that in the instructions, which I appreciated! 

Because my hair is SO THICK and long this time I actually ended up using 3 boxes of dye to get the result I want.

And here it is! I’m in love with it!!! Inside it looks like this beautiful, rich brownish-black. But as soon as I go into the sunlight you pick up this gorgeous purply-red shade. I’ve already gotten so many compliments on it. After church on Sunday standing outside my sweet friend gushed, “Oh Nicole! Where the light hits your hair, well you’re just *glowing*! It’s so pretty!!” It’s also so soft and silky now, I loved the pre-treatment and the conditioner included in the set.

So now that your hair is looking a-MAZ-ing it’s time to focus on the rest of you! After your hair, the next big area to find your style is, of course, your clothes! Before we dive into the next topic I want to share that one more reason I purchased Schwarzkopf Keratin Color is because I love supporting companies that give back to causes I’m passionate about!

Keratin Color brings out confidence in every woman by gently restoring and augmenting her hair. With every purchase of Keratin Color, we can also help women get a fresh start through a partnership with Dress for Success®. Dress for Success Worldwide empowers women by providing them with the tools they need to achieve economic independence. Through education and mentoring, they’re making a difference in your community and across the globe. Over one million women have been served by this international organization and its programs. This partnership empowers women looking for upward mobility to revitalize women’s hair and clothing options so they can be as successful as they look.

You know my entire site is dedicated to helping women feel confident and be successful, so this cause is near and dear to my heart! And speaking of dressing for success–our next point is for you to focus on:

Find Clothes that Look Great on You, You Love, and Are Comfy!

Do you have a closet full of clothes that fit the size you are *right now*, that you’re comfortable in, and that you LOVE?!

Chances are good that if you’re anything like most women (especially moms!) I know that you don’t. Revamping your personal style doesn’t have to be super complicated or expensive, though!

If you’re really just stuck in a sea of tees and yoga pants with no idea where to start, I want you to think back to your childhood. Before peer pressure kicked in what did you LOVE to dress in? Have you always been a Tees and Jean’s gal, or (like me) did you live in pretty, fancy dresses? Getting back in touch with what you wore before you really cared what everyone else thought can clue you into *your* personal style.

Over the past few years, I’ve re-discovered my original LOVE of dressing up. I realized that skirts and sundresses are MORE comfy for my body type than jeans are and that they look so much more flattering on me. As a result, I now rock this look several times a week, despite living in an area where yoga pants and jean shorts are the typical “mom uniform”.

I mentioned before that as far as trends go, it’s great to embrace the ones you LOVE! When you see a trend ask yourself if you’ll be sick of that piece of clothing in a year. You want to invest in pieces you’ll look amazing in and wear forever, regardless if chevron goes out.

I mentioned before that revamping your style doesn’t have to be expensive. Want to get in on a little secret? I purchased both of the pieces you see above at Walmart on the clearance rack when I was picking up my hair dye! So for under $45 I got a completely new, adorable look that included dying my hair and a completely new outfit. Two trends that I absolutely swoon over are lace overlay and asymmetrical hemlines. These pieces both showcase those, and the Go Your Own Way on the shirt was just *Too* perfect for the theme of this post.

They’re also SO comfy! Being stylish does NOT mean you have to be uncomfortable. All my clothes are yoga-pants-comfy while making me look polished and stylish. It is possible, you just have to find what fits and feels good on you!

So there are some of my best tips for How To Find Your Own Personal Style! Don’t forget to  try Schwarzkopf Keratin Color for FREE with this rebate offer! And you can get more Personal Style Inspiration from some of my favorite Bloggers Here!

Are you really stuck with finding your personal style or need more tips on where to buy clothes or makeup? Give me a shout out on social media and I’ll help you figure out what will REALLY work for you!

Tweet Me Here — or Leave A Comment On Facebook or Instagram!

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6 smoothie benefits for your skin and health

There are several benefits that a smoothie is going to have to your skin. Some of these benefits include increased energy, improved mental focus, glowing skin, a better immune system that can fight many diseases and infections, rich in fiber, healthier teeth and bones, a slimmer and sexier body, and the ability to take the smoothies with you.

Increased energy

The first benefit is that your energy will greatly be increased and your mental focus will improve. This is because of the fruits and vegetables that will be mixed into the smoothie. There are a variety of different healthy minerals inside of these fruits and vegetables. Therefore, you are going to feel the boost of energy almost as soon as your get through drinking the green smoothie.

Glowing Skin

The second benefit is that the person is going to have clearer skin that glows. This is because of all of the antioxidants that are inside of the smoothie. Therefore, your skin is going to be healthier, which is what is going to give you this completely natural glow to your skin. This means that your immune system is going to kick into overdrive if you drink a lot of smoothies. You will be more resistant to catching the nasty bugs that could be going around. The smoothies can also help with the prevention of diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s.

Rich in fiber

The third benefit is that the smoothies are high in fiber. This means that they will be able to help you get rid of all of the waste materials and toxins that they have been inside of your organs. It is very important that you do not need to get rid of the good stuff when you are making a smoothie. The fiber is a big part of a person’s healthy digestion. The smoothies also help reduce the amount of gas that a person will have along with getting rid of the feeling of being bloated that comes with gas.

Healthy teeth and bones

The fourth benefit is that the person is going to have stronger teeth and bones. Of course, this is because of the calcium from the milk inside of the smoothie. The vegetables inside of the smoothie can neutralize the excess acid inside of the stomach that can make the teeth weaker.

Slimmer you

The fifth benefit is that are you are going to be slimmer. This is going to make you feel sexier about yourself. The smoothie can help curve your food cravings so that you do not feel hungry in between your meals. This means that you will not have the urge to snack or eat unhealthy foods when you are hungry. Therefore, you are going to lose a lot of weight since you are not going to be eating all of the time. The smoothies are high in nutrients and fiber that your body needs when you are losing weight. One of the best smoothies that you can drink to lose weight in the green smoothies since they are low in calories.

An on the go drink

The sixth benefit is that you can take the smoothies with you no matter where you go. It is only going to take about five minutes to make a smoothie unlike if you are trying to prepare a meal that is fully balanced that will take an hour or two to make. You just throw all fruits and vegetables into your smoothie blender, pulse a few times and blend to your heart content. That makes plenty of bottles to carry around. Using a spilling proof bottle would make it even easier to take your smoothie with you when you are on the go.

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Victoria is a home cooking mom and a food blogger behind How Daily. Her enthusiastic is in creatively cooking and seeking new flavors. She also loves to share about her experience on the journey through authentic, original taste or traditional cuisine.

How To Survive Summer in the South

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SummerSkinReady #ChooseSkinHealth #CollectiveBias

How To Survive Summer in the South Ad

Recently I sat wiggling my toes into the sand at the park and texting my dad. “Hey!” I told him, “It’s 86 degrees here today.” He responded, “No way, we have snow in the forecast for tomorrow!”

Summers in Wyoming are 75 degrees, no humidity, and lots of outside fun up in the mountains. Summers here in Texas usher in 100+ degrees and enough humidity when you walk outside you feel like you need a shower, or that you just took one. I might always be surprised by this drastic change, but I wasn’t about to let it beat me or keep us inside. In the years since we moved here, I’ve developed an arsenal of tips and tricks on how to survive summer in the South. Come to think of it, though, almost all of them are perfect for summer anywhere. So feel free to use them even if you don’t have to battle triple digits for months on end!

How To Survive Summer in the South

Sunscreen, Sunscreen, and more sunscreen

This is my number one summer (let’s be honest, year long) tip for everyone, everywhere. Protecting your skin is so very important, for so many reasons. This is even more true when you’re on the paler side of the spectrum like my family is. In Texas, we get to enjoy being outside nearly all year long so having a great sunscreen is a must. When summer approaches I always go through our stash, toss out any old or expired tubes, and run to Target to restock. I want to make sure we have a ready supply for all our summer fun, so I won’t be scrambling around at the last minute. Right now is the perfect time to stock up, because with the purchase of $15 in sun care (in store or online!) you get a $5 Target GiftCard! Score! (offer is running 5/21-5/27 so don’t miss it!).

This year I picked up Neutrogena Sheer Zinc® Sunscreen for a several different reasons! It has naturally-sourced zinc oxide, it’s hypoallergenic, oil free, won’t clog pores, and it’s also sweat and water resistant for 80 minutes. One of the biggest reasons I purchased it, however, is that it is Dermatologist tested and was Awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance™. As you might recall Amber has suffered from eczema for years now, so I make sure all the products I purchase are ones that she can use! I picked up the regular Broad Spectrum SPF 50, and also their special Neutrogena Sheer Zinc® Face Sunscreen version as well.

Get in the habit of getting Neutrogena Sheer Zinc® sunscreen on everyone first thing in the morning during the summer. It has a great texture and rubs in easily with no scent. When you make it a part of your morning routine you won’t ever have to worry about forgetting. Also make sure to take Neutrogena Sheer Zinc® sunscreen along with you, and re-apply as needed. This will depend on how long you’ll be in the sun, and how active and wet you’re getting. I love how their sizes make them just perfect for slipping into my purse or camera bag!

Guzzle Water

Sky-high temperatures and humidity zap energy and water right out of you! The best way to combat this is to guzzle water all summer long. We have several large, reusable bottles that I keep full and handy. To keep us cool I fill them to the brim with crushed ice and then add water in. This keeps the drink icy-cold and refreshing even if we’re outside in the heat for awhile. If you have trouble drinking enough water try putting slices of lemon, mint leaves, or cucumber into it. They all give it a fun, light flavor!

Get Creative About Being Active

As I mentioned, life in the south is just about the opposite of the rest of the country. During February while everyone up north is shivering and battling snow my family is playing at the park. Come July we hear of everyone else going for hikes while triple digits try to keep us locked inside.  Our family thrives outdoors, though, so we’ve just had to get creative! My favorite way to be able to enjoy the South outside in the summer is by playing in the water! Whether it’s a trip to the beach, swimming pool, splash park, running through the sprinklers, or water balloons it’s easy to get outside and have some fun. No one wants to feel trapped inside with the AC blasting for 3 months.

You don’t only have to rely on water for outside fun, though. Picking the times your family gets outside strategically opens up all your favorite activities. First thing in the morning or right at sunset usually have beautiful weather during southern summers. Take advantage of it and run to the park, take a walk, or squeeze in a hike or bike ride. The bugs love these times too (especially dusk) so just be sure to bring along your favorite insect repellent as well!

Think Outside the Shorts Box

The Texas standard issued uniform for all women seems to be t-shirts and shorts. Shorts have just never been my cup of tea and don’t flatter my body type. However, I knew I wouldn’t survive summer in the South in any kind of pants. Last summer I had a light bulb moment when I turned to dresses as the answer. Sundresses in a mix blend or soft cotton are often even more cool and comfy than shorts. Adding soft, flowing, comfy skirts and dresses into your southern wardrobe arsenal makes you look amazing because they are universally flattering. Plus they also gives you so many more options for enjoying those hot summer days!

Now you’ve got all the bases covered! Pair these easy steps together for an amazing summer you can spend making memories, not worrying about the heat.

What are your best tips for surviving summer when the temperatures are sweltering? Leave me a comment and let me know! And don’t forget to take advantage of the great Target GiftCard offer in-store & online!

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5 Effective Skincare Routines For Managing Oily Skin

Oily skin is never fun to have. Aside from the annoying grease and shine, it also makes you more prone to several skin issues. Just think about clogged pores, blackheads and acne. Apart from that, choosing the right products can also add to the frustration. Instead of helping you manage your skin, most of them only make things worse. Here are our best tips! After be sure to check out this Stemuderm Review as well for more great options.

If you are struggling to keep your oily skin under control, here are 5 of the most effective skincare routine you should be following:

1. Cleansing

Cleansing your skin twice a day is a cardinal rule for oily skin. It helps get rid of the dirt, oil and dead skin cells that can clog your pores.

The best cleanser for oily skin is one that is water-soluble. It should be easy to rinse off without leaving any nasty residue on your skin.

You should also skip fragrance or highly abrasive scrubs in your cleanser as they can potentially cause irritation.

Cleansing tools can give you a deeper clean but make sure that they aren’t too harsh.  If you are thinking of using a brush, its bristles must be extra soft so you won’t end up with minute tears on your skin.

Another highly recommended cleansing technique for oily skin is the oil cleansing method.  Now, you might cringe at the idea of using oil on your already oily skin, but don’t fret. It can actually put your problem under control.

The cleansing method relies on specific oils to pull out dirt and excess oil from your pores to make them easier to remove. It works like a magnet in removing the impurities on your skin.

As the oils cleanse your skin, they leave your skin extra hydrated and moisturized.

2. Toning

A lot of people skip toners because they think they aren’t really needed. The truth is, if you have oily skin, toners are extremely necessary.

Toners basically work to bring back your skin’s natural moisture. For some people, they make a good replacement to moisturizers, especially during day time- though that isn’t strongly recommended.

When you choose the right toner for oily skin, it should also be able to recharge your skin, minimize the size of your pores and get rid of the residues and dirt your cleansers might have missed.

3. Exfoliating

Exfoliation is one of the things you shouldn’t miss when you have oily skin. You see, your skin tends to build up a thick layer of dead skin cells on its surface and this can make it hard for your cleanser to unclog your pores.

When left to build up, it can cause acne and small bumps to appear on your skin. Exfoliation is the most effective way to prevent those things.

Ideally, you should do it not more than twice a week. Be gentle when scrubbing your skin and always follow up with a moisturizer after.

Go for chemical exfoliation as it considered more effective for those with oily skin. Beta Hydroxy Acids, for example, are oil-soluble and can penetrate deeper into the skin.

Apart from dissolving the glue that holds dead skin cells together, it also contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

If you are going for physical exfoliation, be careful in choosing your product. Skip those that contain large exfoliants, like nut shells and fruit pits.

They aren’t gentle on the skin and can leave you with micro tears that can make the surface of your skin uneven and rough.

4. Moisturizing

A lot of people forego moisturizers in fear of making their skin more greasy and oily. The truth, however, is that moisturizer can help keep your oil production under control.

When you skip your moisturizer, it leaves your skin dry and dehydrated, especially with the acne treatments you’re applying. To prevent damage and as a way to compensate, your skin produces more oil.

This, in essence, triggers more problem.

When selecting the best moisturizer for oily prone skin, you should pick out one that is water-based and oil-free. It should feel lightweight and shouldn’t clog your pores.

Check out its ingredients, too. Oily skin will benefit from moisturizers that contain alpha hydroxy acids, humectants and organic ingredients.

On the other hand, ingredients that are occlusive can spell bad news for your skin. They work to seal in moisture on your skin and they can clog your pores.

Lanolins and mineral oils are poor choices, too.

5. Night Time Hydration

Your skin undergoes repair while you sleep so it’s only right that you provide the help it needs.

Applying serums, for example, can speed up the process by providing your skin with repairing ingredients as well as antioxidants. They can help keep your skin as healthy and nourished as possible.

A face serum should be applied after you cleanse your skin and before you moisturize. It’s meant to deliver really powerful ingredients in high concentration into your skin.

Since it is made up of smaller molecules, serums can easily penetrate the skin. They can target specific skin concerns.

Although serums can keep your skin moisturized, it doesn’t really work as a moisturizer.

Consider this:

A moisturizer creates a barrier from the outside to lock in moisture inside your skin. Serums, on the other hand, nourishes and moisturizes your skin from the inside.

In general, the best serum for oily skin is one that can regulate oil production, unclog pores and reduce inflammation. It should also be able to enhance your skin’s repair process.

Considering these things, you should pick serums that contain vitamin C, retinol, zinc or salicylic acid.

Conclusion

When taking care of oily skin, it’s not enough that you pick the right products for your skin type. The way you use those products and how consistent you are with your routine can affect the results you’re going to get, too.

Remember that your skin undergoes skin cell renewal every 28 days so don’t expect to see dramatic improvements in your skin overnight. Regulating your skin’s oil production can take a while.

Hannah Do is the founder of Thank Your Skin, a beauty blog dedicated to provide honest skin care advice and information. She aspires to help her readers achieve their most beautiful skin by sharing personal tips learned through both years of experience and thorough research. Check out ThankYourSkin.com to learn more about her work. You can find her on TwitterPinterest and Facebook

Pretty, Easy Makeup Tutorial

It’s screaming towards the end of April, Easter whizzed on by, and I just can’t believe it! With the passing months, my hair has continued to change its look as well. This time having Mermaid Hair has been a lot of fun. While I loved my bright blue look from last summer, it was not only expensive it also faded out really quickly and a little awkwardly. So when I got the itch to do it again I decided to go the DIY route and to plan on my top half fading out super fast from the roots down. As a result, I also kept enough dye to freshen up my blue twice. Now I’m letting it all fade out, though, and the result right now is this fun color mash-up which I feel like is just perfect for spring!

Through the last few months I’ve also been continuing to play around with my new Younique makeup products that Kristen sent me to review, and so today I wanted to bring you one more tutorial, which turned into three!

I’m hosting a Facebook Party for Younique this Friday, April 21st but it will stay open and you can see all the posts for quite awhile, so if you’re interested in checking it out be sure to leave me a comment and we can connect and I’ll get you invited!

Pretty, Easy Makeup Tutorial – Three Looks using the same products!

I started out using the Touch Glorious Face Primer as my primer. Like I mentioned in my last makeup tutorial I love how silky smooth it feels! I’ve also noticed recently that I don’t need to use as much foundation when I use the primer.

hairpieces for men and women

The next step is to apply the Touch Mineral Liquid Foundation foundation all over. It has this very unique (or should I say YOUnique — sorry, had to insert terrible pun) dispenser. I almost always use liquid foundation but I’ve never seen one quite like this before. You’re to shake it well before using it. The texture is thin and also feels silky smooth when you put it on.

Now it’s time for the eyes! I used the  Moodstruck Addiction Shadow Palette.  For all three looks, I wanted to keep the eyes pretty but a little downplayed since last time I focused mainly on them in my Easy Purple Smokey Eye Tutorial.

Take Determined and put it all over your eyelid. Use Ecstatic lightly from middle to the edge of your eyelid. Blend middle and two other colors together using tickled. Highlight the corners of your eye lightly with smitten. Fill in eyebrows using brow liner or eye shadow.  Apply Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes+ or your favorite mascara.

Look #1 Easy, Pretty Every Day

It’s that easy to achieve look #1! This pretty, downplayed makeup look is perfect for day to day life or when you want to go for a “no makeup, makeup” look that’s just a little more polished.

Now you’re about to see how adding just one more product makes a makeup look radically different. We’ll be going for a bold lip look now. The first step is to make sure your lips are smooth. It’s easy to exfoliate away any chapped skin using a rough face cloth or an old toothbrush or a lip scrub. I always like to re-moisturize with a lip balm at this point since my lips love to be dry. Now you’re ready for the next makeup product – Splash Liquid Lipstick there are a ton of fun, bold colors to try out but for this look I used Sensual.

So the thing to know about this is that a little goes a LOOOOONG way. I found it worked best if I dabbed a bit on as shown here, and then used my fingers/a clean applicator to blend that amount out. When you’re done you’re left with this!

Look #2 Beautiful Bold Lip Night Out Look

Ta Da! Just like that, you go from daytime subdued to bold night beauty. This is the perfect tutorial for when you are going from work or taking care of the kids to a date night or a special event.

Bold lips are so much fun, and you shouldn’t be afraid to try them out! If you would never feel comfortable flaunting a deep berry lip, though, don’t feel bad! Bold looks aren’t for everyone, and that’s fine! Most of all makeup should be about making YOU feel beautiful, not about embracing the trends. If you want a little fun and flirty, but not too much, my last look is the perfect middle ground between looks #1 & #2.

Look #3 Subdued Bold Lip 

This look is perfect for those who want to take their look up a notch, but are not ready to commit to a deep, bold berry lip. For this look follow all the tutorial up to the final step. You’ll still use Splash Liquid Lipstick in Sensual, however, use just a tiny dot on your bottom lip and spread it all around so it creates a pretty berry color without being bold or dark at all. Next layer on Moodstruck Minerals Stiff Upper Lip Lip Stain in Sappy. The layering creates this really pretty lip that still creates attention but isn’t so bold.

So there you are! 3 totally different looks with the same products and just a few small changes! Which is your favorite look? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Don’t forget to connect with me not to miss out on my Younique makeup party happening this week!

Did you miss my last makeup tutorial? Check out my How To Do An Easy Purple Eye Tutorial by clicking here! It’s a video tutorial so you can see almost all of the products I use in this tutorial in action!

How To Do An Easy Purple Smokey Eye Video Tutorial

My love of makeup is surely no secret by now! I’m always happy and ready to try the next best thing. Which means that I love discovering a new beauty company. Recently I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz around the Younique brand of makeup products. I found out that my friend Kristen sells them, and so when she offered to send me some of their best products to try out, of course, I said yes!

Here’s the amazing collection I received! You can check out all of their collections here. It’s a great way to try out a bunch of amazing products for a little less! Plus, Younique has a Love It Guarantee, which I always appreciate anytime I’m trying new beauty products out.

I sifted through the website, poured over different shades, and eventually picked out these products to try.  Younique has great tools to help you find the right shade of foundation. Kristen was also so fun to work with as she helped me select the products she loves the most, and the shades she thought would work best for me! Here is the glorious stash that arrived at my doorstep:

Younique Products:

I’ve been using the products daily for over a month now, and so I was ready to put together a few looks for you using my favorites! I’m absolutely in LOVE with the Eye Shadow Palette. I got palette #3 which is a gorgeous mix of cool pinks and purples. Today I’m sharing with you this super pretty, super easy Purple Smokey Eye.

My favorite makeup tutorials are videos because I love being able to actually watch how to apply the products. Because of that, I want to start bringing you makeup tutorials on how to do easy, pretty looks that are quick enough for a busy mom to fit into her schedule! So this is my very first one! I’m excited to delve in and learn more about the whole new world of vlogging and video makeup tutorials!

One thing that’s especially amazing about this look? From start to finish it’s under 10 minutes to recreate!!!

How To Do An Easy Purple Smokey Eye Video Tutorial

Next time I’ll be focusing on the lips, so be on the lookout for another look with these products soon!

Want to recreate the look? Get all the products here!

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Your New Secret Weapon To Looking Cute, Feeling Comfy, and Doing Good

Legalese Disclosure Nonsense: I was sent these oh-so-comfy and cute pants and dress in exchange for helping you know how to look cute and be comfy! As always, all mermaid hair and posing outside my house so my neighbors think I’m crazy as they drive past is my own.

 

As a busy mom, there are two biggies when it comes to my wish list for how I look.

#1 I want it to be cute

#2 I want it to be comfy

I have a sneaking suspicion that you might also want to look cute and be comfy. When products bring #1 in along with #2 and add the extra bonus of doing good for the world, and the people in it? Well that, dear friends, is the cherry on top.

How To Look Cute And Comfy prAna clothes

Que my introduction to prAna . I instantly fell in love with their “wear it everywhere” styles and themes. These clothes are designed for athletes, people in the midst of their careers, or busy moms transitioning from yoga to an appointment. They are some of the few I’ve seen that can actually work across all these categories seamlessly.

(Psstt don’t miss scrolling aaallll the way to the bottom–I have a special discount code just for you!)

How To Look Cute And Comfy prAna clothes

Their Mantra Pant especially caught my eye. Online it looked super comfy while also being stylish. In real life, it’s even more so! This explains why it’s rated so highly! The Mantra Pant is designed to be great to work out in, but is also so easy to dress up for anything!

How To Look Cute And Comfy prAna clothes

Here’s an interesting fact you never would guess. The company uses Hemp to make these pants. I know–when I first think of Hemp “soft and comfy” is not what comes to my mind, either! Check out this fun video on Why Hemp Matters to learn more about this product. The video also shares why hemp is great to use, and how you’re doing good for the world when you purchase it. prAna’s ultimate goal is to make sustainable clothing accessible and important to everyone.

How To Look Cute And Comfy prAna clothes

Recently I told you that my go-to piece for being cute and comfy is a great dress. So I absolutely love that prAna also offers several cocktail dress options that are right up my alley! Pretty, stylish, and yes, again, oh-so-comfy! This Cali Dress in Lavender Gemstone fits all three of these, and is sure to become my go-to piece to battle off the 110+ degree heat this Texas summer!  I can confidently wear this dress because it’s made of recycled materials! You can also purchase it knowing that you’re looking cute, being comfy, and creating a sustainable future!

I actually threw a light pretty purple jacket over this and wore it for Amber’s School Open House, it was just the right amount of dressy for the occasion!

cocktail dresses

It comes in a huge variety of colors and patterns, so be sure to check them all out!

Another thing that prAna is especially passionate about is using Organic Cotton. Check out this video to learn Why Organic Cotton Matters. I love that they work directly with the farmers who produce the crops they use!

As I get older, I also really appreciate better quality products that last, and whose companies give back. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all cut down on the quantity of things in our house?  Instead of focusing on getting more, we can purchase pieces that we truly love, that do good, and that increase our quality of living and that of those around us. That would make looking cute and being comfy the best it could possibly be!

Get your own prAna makeover towards cute and comfy when you use this special and unique discount code. The company created it *just* for you! 15% off your entire prAna order! Just use code PMOMNCF it’s good through April 14!

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