19 July, 2019

My NSale Picks




Now that the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is open to the rest of us who don't have a Nordstrom credit card, I decided to take a look. I never, ever buy a thing from the NSale normally because it's way too hot here and will be till October/November to even think about wearing a sweater. I'm sure I've missed out on some good deals though! I try not to be influenced by all those big bloggers/influencers out there in the Instagram world and buy what I think I'll truly need. Not just because they recommend it, you know what I mean? So I went into it with a clear mind and no opinions formed and found a few things I thought I would share. In case you're interested, too!


Zella Studio Crop Lite Leggings - I own the long pair of these and they are SO good! They suck you in so well and stay up and are just super comfy. I can't wait to get the cropped pair too.


ASTR the Label Lace Midi Dress - I see this dress on blogs/IG all the time and have always thought it was so flattering on so many different body shapes. I can't decide between the Light Orchid, Rose, or Coral. What do you think?


BP. Longline Open Cardigan - I've always wanted a long cardigan but have never bought one. When I buy things I tend to stick to basics and clothes/shoes that are classic and not trendy so they'll last me for years. Can't go wrong with a cardigan!


Patagonia Los Gatos Fleece Jacket - This is a great price for a Patagonia Jacket. My current fleece jacket has seen better days so I could definitely use a new one.


BB Dakota Up to Speed Faux Leather Jacket - I actually bought this jacket years ago and returned it because I needed the next size up, which of course was out of stock! Think I'm going to snatch it up, in the correct size! It's the perfect jacket to wear with jeans and a t-shirt and you instantly look put together. Looks awesome with dresses too. It's so versatile and will never go out of style.


Chantelle Lingerie Soft Stretch Seamless Thong - These are truly the best thongs, ever. They're seamless, you don't feel them, and they wash well. This is such a good deal for them too, 3 for $40. What I also love is they're one size fits all so you never have to worry about what size to order. I'm telling you, once you buy these, you will buy no other. I used to wear Hanky Panky but I prefer these so much more.


Wacoal Red Carpet Convertible Strapless Bra - This is hands down the best strapless bra. It stays up and doesn't leave that obvious strapless bra look through your clothes. I've had mine for years and it still looks good as the day I bought it. This is an awesome price for this bra. So if you've been looking for a good one, I highly recommend it!


Sole Society Kapa Asymmetrical Loafer - Cute loafers to wear everyday in the fall. 


St. Tropez Jumbo Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse - I just recently bought and used this sunless tanner before our beach trip this past week and was blown away by it. It left me tan not orange and had zero streaks. I was very happy with the results. I think using this mitt made all the difference too. 


Maxi-Cosi Magellan 5-in-1 Convertible Car Seat - It's time to get rid of Elsie's baby bucket seat and get her a big girl car seat. This is the same one we have for Oliver and love it. He seems so comfortable in it. 


Tucker + Tate Smocked Front Dress - Obsessed with this for Elsie! You know I love my babies in smocked clothes. It's going to look adorable with white tights for the fall.


Tucker + Tate Fitted Two-Piece Pajamas - Oliver would go crazy over these. He loves anything with an animal or a design on it. 



I want to hear if you're buying anything from the Nordstrom sale! Let me know!

12 July, 2019

5 on Friday


We had a fun 4th of July! Hope you did too! We had lunch at Taco Boy, for some reason we end up there a lot on 4th of July. Then we had a family party that afternoon. Oliver stayed up wayyy too late watching fireworks. He had a blast!




Not sure if you guys know or not, but I have a Poshmark account @ally72386 with lots of good stuff for sale. Everything is excellent used condition and priced really well, I think. I'll always accept offers too. Here's some screenshots of just some of the clothes I have for sale:











A recent outfit that I had to share because the scarf is on super sale right now. It's probably one of my top favorite purchases ever (I know, big statement) but it's so versatile, classy, yet unique at the same time. It has that Hermes look but for much, much, much less. It has the neatest ship design on it that has a vintage look to it. Also, love these shorts and they're on sale for only $22. I had to buy a new pair of white shorts this year because my pre-pregnancy shorts were not working out anymore. I went up a size in these and they're so comfy and fit on the higher side. 




I'm such a big tea drinker and these are my two favorites right now. I love this detox tea to sip on before bed. I like to think it helps to get rid of water weight, no clue if it does, but either way its calming! I'll drink this green tea around 3 pm to perk me up for the rest of the day. Let me know if you have any favorite teas, I always love to try new ones. 




And lastly, loved this article on The Best Super Easy Healthy No Cook Dinners. The Thai Chicken Salad and Avocado Gazpacho sounds so yummy!


07 July, 2019

Making Time for Myself



Since going from one to two kids, finding the time for myself is practically non-existent. And, that's ok! It's what I signed up for when deciding to have children. Since finding the time isn't the easiest, that means that when I do find the time, it's precious to me. Here's a few things I try do for myself each day so I can recharge and be my best self. 


One big thing for me when I had kids was to get them on a schedule. Kids like the predictability and so do the parents. I know schedules aren't for everyone but for our family, they work. My kids have set naps and bedtimes. Although, Oliver's isn't as black and white as it used to be now that he's 3.5 years old. This allows for Theo and me to have breaks during the day to get stuff done around the house or just relax on the couch. Once bedtime comes, we usually eat dinner, clean up the house, then sometimes watch a show. A lot of times, I'll retreat to my room to have time to myself. I'll clean, read, organize my closet, put on a mask, drink a cup of tea, whatever I feel like doing, but it's the alone time I need each day. 


I recently listened to the best podcast from Wellness Mama. It was actually about hormones but it also touched on how your mental health is so important for your overall well-being. How we're always thinking about the future or living in the past instead of the right now. I'm very guilty of always thinking ahead and wishing for the next season to come or holiday. Or that I need to buy something because for some reason I think it will make my life better instead of being thankful for what I have right at this moment. The only thing we have for certain is what's happening right now. I think social media has definitely played a big role in everyone always wanting more and more and never being satisfied with our own lives. Thinking oh, life will be so much better once my child is older, or once summer comes, or once I lose those extra 10 lbs. Instead, I'm working on embracing my body right now, my children at their ages right now, summertime, and living more in the moment. This may not be tangible time for myself, but it's "me time" for my mind. 


I drink a smoothie for breakfast about 5-6 days a week. It's filling, easy, and ensures I get some veggies in my diet that day. I recently started making the Fab 4 Smoothie by Kelly LeVeque and it's really helped me lose those extra 5-10 lbs from pregnancy/breastfeeding. I guess the smoothie I was making before had a lot more calories then I realized! What a difference it has made by actually measuring stuff out and putting in correct ratios of fats/protein/fiber. I have so much more energy when I drink a smoothie and I don't get that crash you get with pancakes or other carb-loaded breakfasts. Drinking a smoothie leaves me feeling happy, satisfied, and positive the rest of the day. Just another way I take small time for myself each day. This is my favorite protein powder that doesn't take chalky or have that horrible Stevia taste I can't stand.


Sometimes I wish social media never existed! I know that's drastic but I think back on how many hours of life I've wasted on my phone, and I get sad. I downloaded the app called "Flipd" and it locks all the apps on your phone for a set amount of time. I use it every single day so I can have a break from my phone. I wish I could be more discipline to just not mess with my phone, but I'm not, so I'm thankful for this app. I'll usually turn it on anywhere from 1-4 hours a day. You can still make phone calls, take pictures, you just can't access any apps while you have it locked. I'll turn the app on when I get to that point in the day where I need a break from social media. This allows to get away from the comparison game, clear my mind, and spend time with my kids or myself, and be present.


Lastly, listening to podcasts or reading are so important to me. I love learning and finding ways to better myself, while trying to be happy with what I have right now! It's a balance. I love reading self help books, parenting books (Bringing Up Bebe was my favorite!), and fiction books. My favorite podcasts are Wellness Mama, Mind Body Green, The Skinny Confidential, and Goop. They all cover wellness, skin care, and ways to be a happier, better, version of yourself. 




What are some ways you make time yourself?

30 June, 2019

Recent Hits and Misses

Hits


Ice Roller- I feel like I've talked about this on Instagram about a 100 times but that's because I LOVE it. I really do notice a difference when I use it. My face is less puffy, more awake, and when I apply makeup, it just goes on smoother.


J.Crew Point Sur Button-front Square neck top- I lusted over this top for months and when I saw it was on sale, I snatched it up. It's super cute, right on trend, yet a great basic you could wear with shorts or dress it up with jeans and heels. The reviews said to size down so I got a small, I'm usually a small/medium, and it fits great.




Soludos Cadiz Sandal- I was pleasantly surprised how comfortable these shoes are. You never know with a flatform shoe but the bed of this is a very soft cushion. You forget you're even wearing them. The neutral color goes with everything too, which is a big plus! I got my normal size. If you wear a size 8-9, they're on sale here for only $77!




Hanes Men's Long Sleeve Cool Dri T-Shirt UPF 50+ - This is a guy's shirt but thought I would mention it in case your husband/boyfriend/son/brother/dad etc. is looking for a sun protective shirt. Theo bought this two pack and has been very happy with them. He says they're breathable and comfortable and so far he hasn't gotten burnt, so that's a win! They're an awesome price too. Now, if only I could find a child's sun protective shirt in a two pack at this price!




Tarte Dry Shampoo - I got this when Tarte had their big sale where you get 7 items for $68 (I think that's what it was!). I go through dry shampoo almost weekly so I'll always take a new bottle. When I first sprayed it didn't have a white cast to it like most dry shampoos, so I honestly didn't think it was going to be that great. That whiteness that comes out is usually what soaks up all the oils, then you brush it out and it looks fine. So I sprayed this dry shampoo all throughout the parts of my hair that get greasy, waited a few minutes, then brushed it out. I was pleasantly surprised of how clean my hair felt. It looked fresh and didn't feel stiff, like I had product in it. This one would work great for dark hair too since it doesn't leave a whiteness in your hair.




Misses

Tuckernuck White Royal Shirt Dress- Lately, all my purchases from Tuckernuck have been sent back. I've had the worst luck! I love their clothes but when I receive them, I'm just disappointed. Maybe it's because I wore a white cotton dress for years while in nursing school but that's all I could think about when I tried this dress on. Just needed a stethoscope and I'd be ready for clinicals. It had a very boxy fit too, which I'm usually fine with, but I just didn't like the overall look of the dress.

English Factory Smocked Poplin Dress- I probably would have liked this dress more if I had sized down but it was so much fabric, it made my hips look huge. It was not flattering at all so it got sent back!

Emerson Fry Short Caftan- I thought this was going to be the perfect throw on, summer dress, but instead it was a big piece of overpriced fabric. There was nothing flattering about this dress at all. I know a lot of bloggers are loving the long Emerson Fry Caftans so I thought about trying one of those, maybe. I will say, this would be perfect if you were pregnant or postpartum since it's a big sack.

26 June, 2019

My 5 Steps to Clear Skin




I started dealing with adult acne when I was 20 or 21. Pretty much since I became an adult. Adult acne is generally acne located on the lower half of your face and it's usually big, painful cysts that don't go away overnight. I feel like I've tried almost everything they make to get rid of it and some worked, most didn't, or if they did, it didn't last for long. Since having kids and being pregnant and breastfeeding, it helped me discover what was the cause of my acne and how to fight it. I learned that when I was pregnant and breastfeeding, which meant I didn't have a menstrual cycle, that my acne was practically non-existent. That taught me that the rise and fall of my hormones was the cause of it. Once I did get my cycle back, I learned that I broke out more when I was ovulating. Especially if I had eaten lots of processed foods, fatty foods, and sugary foods right around that time. Once I learned all that, it helped me come up with regimen that works for my skin. I decided to write this post in hopes it will help someone else out who's suffering from acne as well. It's surprising how many women get acne in their 20's and 30's!



1. Have a simple skincare routine

Acne prone skin gets irritated very easily if you use too many products at once. Less is more when it comes to getting rid of and preventing acne and I learned this the hard way! This is what works miracles for me:

AM
Wash face with Osmia Black Clay Soap
Apply makeup



PM
Wash face with Black Clay Soap
With a soft cotton pad, use Bioderma Micellar Water all over face to get rid of makeup and sunscreen, keep using it til the cotton pad no longer has makeup on it
Tone with Lotion P50
Spot treat with Kate Somerville EradiKate 



2. Micellar Water

This is one of those simple products that was a total game changer in my skin.  I didn't realize how much makeup, dirt, and sunscreen that was left on my skin after washing it. All that build up was causing more acne. I've had amazing results with Bioderma Micellar Water. I also think that using these very soft cotton pads make a difference too. They're so gentle on your skin and don't irritate it like the thicker, more coarse ones do. I think if I had been using Micellar Water years ago I probably would have avoided lots of breakouts and leftover scars.



3. Spearmint Pills

I took a prescription for years called Spironolactone that is used off label for acne and it worked really well. It's an androgen blocker. Androgens are the hormones that cause hormonal acne, testosterone being one of them. It was originally used for heart failure/liver failure patients because it's a diuretic and somehow was discovered it worked amazing for adult, hormonal acne. You can't take Spironolactone while pregnant so I quit right before I got pregnant with Oliver. I thought about going back on it after I stopped nursing him, but I'm funny about taking pills and I also knew I was going to start trying to get pregnant in a few months for baby #2 so I never went back on it. After I stopped nursing Elsie, my acne of course can back and this time I wanted to find something more natural and came across Spearmint. It has similar androgen blocker benefits as Spironolactone. You can drink Spearmint tea or take pills and I found taking pills was easier than trying to drink 2-3 cups of tea a day.  I take 2 pills a day, one in the morning, one at night. It took about 2-3 months to notice an improvement, but I can honestly say it has a made a big difference in my skin. I don't get pimples like I did around ovulation or if I do, it's like 1 or 2, not 6-7 like it was. Spearmint is super cheap and has zero side effects. 



4. Omega-3 

I went to a Naturopathic doctor a few years ago and she recommended Omega-3 pills for acne. I was trying to get pregnant with Elsie and it was taken longer than I had expected, plus my skin was insane. I'm sure from the stress of not getting pregnant. I wanted to know if something was hormonally wrong with me since my skin had gotten so bad and I wasn't getting pregnant. I got pregnant with Oliver on the first month and it just wasn't happening that way for baby #2. As luck would have it, I got pregnant that month I saw the Naturopath and my acne went away because I was no longer having a period. I always remembered what she said about taking Omega-3's for acne and recently started taking them. I picked up this bottle from Whole Foods and I've been happy with it. I've also heard you need an Omega-3 with more EPA then DHA, and this one does.



5. Eat whole foods, and stay away from processed ones

Like I said earlier, my skin would get pretty bad if I ate lots of junk around certain times of the month and plus it just makes you feel yuck eating fake food. I drink a green smoothie every morning and avoid processed foods as best as I can during the day. I don't beat myself up if I eat Chick-Fil-A for lunch or have a cookie, I just don't eat that way all day, everyday. A lot of websites will say to stay away from dairy if you get acne and I don't notice dairy making a huge difference in my skin as much as I notice high sugary foods do. I recently heard a podcast and the speaker was a woman who's written lots of books on hormones and she even said the week of ovulation to eat raw foods to avoid acne from your hormones spiking.  It kind of confirmed what I thought was going on with my skin all along.