If you guys haven't noticed I've really embraced Instagram Stories after a long while of shying away from anything following the Snapchat model. I never jumped on board to Snap bandwagon just because to me it honestly just seemed like a whole lot of work and set up for little to no ROI. Let me explain.... you have to make a conscious effort to make sure you are promoting yet another user name on another platform for your brand, you have to make sure you are keeping up adding brands you are going to promote on both Instagram and Snapchat, and it just was another app that I had to deal with. Sounds high maintenance but I also just couldn't get into the whole sharing every little thing in my life until I realized there was actually value I could add by doing so. I still don't share everything but I do get to share quick tips on products, funny things about my dogs, and give people a look at what my non curated life looks like. Not only does this leave my Instagram feed freed up but it also has helped me to connect with readers/followers of CB in a whole new way. I just love it now. I like that Instagram is already something that I utilize on the regular so adding a new feature is easily integrated into my social media habits. I love that I can just tag brands that I already love without having to go find and follow on another site and I love being able to see updates from not only my friends but businesses and bloggers I follow along with. Instagram you did it right. There are a whole lot of other things that I do not like about you right now but I will save that for a different post..... (in case you haven't heard, Google "Instagram algorithm" be prepared for lots of shade).
Basically the point of this whole rant is that I've been utilizing stories to share real time updates and finds so I think I have slacked a little on sharing them on here. I DO want to get back to doing that though because I think it really is important to have posts to go back to that round up the top content you are sharing day to day. So, takeaway #1- follow me on Instagram to see real time updates, #2- enjoy this new, updated post of all of my favorite new and now finds that I can't get enough of.
I absolutely LOVE decorating for Fall. That being said, though, I don't like veering from my neutral color scheme and the usual fall colors don't go with my whole "look" I have going on at home. In the past I have been all about the white pumpkin decorating craze that dominates Pinterest but this year I switched things up to green pumpkins! They aren't AS basic as the white pumpkins but still fit my color scheme requirements. I picked up some cute decor for Fall (including green pumpkins, at Hobby Lobby and Target).
FARMACY LIP BLOOM
I got a sample of this product at Sephora the other day and have been so obsessed ever since. It is super moisturizing, tastes amazing, and adds a perfect finish to your lips if you are going for a natural look (which I pretty much always am). I can't get enough of this stuff and have been recommending it right and left to pretty much every person I meet. You can get it for yourself HERE. You won't regret it.
LE PEN PENS
I am so OCD about office/school supplies and the pens/pencils that I write with so when I found these I was skeptical at first but soon made a believer. I ordered these bad boys off of Amazon (I have the multi color pack) for writing and color coding my planner and for organizing my notes at work. The thin tips make it so easy to write neatly and the color selection is amazing. You can get them on Amazon and have them at your house in two days. Score.
BRUSH ME ORGANIC WHITENING TOOTHPASTE
I did a whole Instagram post on this stuff but to give you a quick rundown.... this stuff is a miracle for whitening teeth painlessly. It is made of clay, it is organic, it is pain free, and you can get 30% off of your first order with my code "M30". Click here, you are welcome.
This stuff has become my go to. So far I have tried their Pinot Noir and the Rose and both have been heaven for my tastebuds. The wines aren't too sweet and definitely gets you a little buzzed with your first class (or is that just me?). Did I mention that they come in cans? Yup, cans. So they are great for bonfires and other outdoor Fall events. Especially for us gluten free folk who can't drink beer, these are a cool alternative so you don't have to look like the asshole drinking out of a wine class while everyone else has Miller Lite cans.
I always see Moon Juice products featured by The Skinny Confidential but haven't been totally sold. The other day I gave in and tried this Brain Powder one morning at work. I was pretty surprised that about 20 minutes after drinking the powder (I mixed it with caffeine free mint tea) I was more alert, awake, and focused. Usually it takes me a couple cups of coffee to get to that point but if this powder can get me amped up that quickly without the negative gastro effects from coffee then I guess it is worth it! Get yours here.
I am always on the hunt for products that will hydrate my skin without making me break out or have a reaction from it. ThirstyMud is heaven for skin transitioning seasons. I put it on for about 20 minutes while I am taking a bubble bath and when I take it off my skin feels plump, moisturized, and so smooth. A little of this stuff goes a long way so you can make the jar last.
KONG DOG TOYS
Charleston is obsessed with toys that we can stuff treats into and those things will keep him busy for hours. Kong toys are a lifesaver when we are trying to get things done around the house and need Charleston to be occupied. Rhaegar is a little easier to entertain. We put him in front of the window and he can stare for hours. I like to browse the different Kong toys at my local pet store to decide what is best for my boys. There are different ones for different ages and strength of chewers.
BLACK BEAN PASTA
It all started with Red Lentil pasta from Trader Joe's and then when I saw this stuff I had to give it a try. This has quickly become a dinner staple in my household especially when I need to whip something up quickly. While I usually opt for zoodles or spaghetti squash for a gluten free pasta alternative, this pasta is a great way to get your carb fix while still packing in protein and keeping gluten free. I usually just make this quickly with a bit of olive oil, garlic salt, and parmesan cheese. Perfect come home late from work week night dinner.
BUTTER LONDON WINK EYE PENCIL
I was going through my makeup to organize it the other day and found an unopened Butter London eye pencil that I got for free a while ago and never had the chance to use. What! So I started using this in Earl Grey and have become kind of addicted to it. I like that it is a softer color than the black I usually use. It blends easily and is long lasting so I don't have to worry about it smudging throughout the day, even when my eyes are watery from allergies. I've used other Butter London products, all of which have been great, so I wasn't surprise when this stuff exceeded my expectations. You can get yours from Ulta.com.
MARLEYLILLY MONOGRAMMED BALLET FLATS
I am a Tory Burch flats girl through and through. Call me basic, but I love how comfortable and durable they are. I have worn some variation of a Tory Burch flat almost everyday to work for the past year or so. My black flats are on their last leg so I wanted to replace them but try something new. I have been loving monograms lately, especially with my new monogram (I am so corny, I know). When I saw that I could get monogrammed flats from Marleylilly I had to place an order ASAP. I am so picky about my shoes but these definitely are up to my standards. They are cute, comfortable, and unique to you.
I can't wait to hear what you guys end up trying or have tried from this list! Also, please feel free to message me any recommendations on new things to try! I am always game for a new product.
I've been a little M.I.A. this past week. Mostly because my health hasn't been awesome. I've been super exhausted leading up to my Remicade this past Friday and I've been trying to relax as much as possible. As much as I hate being a hermit and feeling under the weather, it is a good opportunity for me to test out new self care products (skincare, bath products, etc.). Now that I am bouncing back a bit I am excited to share some of the new things I've tried.
My number one new product right now is amazing, hydrating, and only $12 (and can be at your house almost instantly thanks to Amazon Prime). Drugstore brands are revolutionizing their products more and more to compete with the prestige lines of skincare and makeup. Long gone are the days of looking down on skincare products because of their lower price tag. Every time I read a beauty blog or watch a tutorial, there is a heavier mix of prestige and drugstore brand products that when mixed together can create the perfect cocktail of products that are not only amazingly effective but also affordable. I used to blow more money than I care to admit on high end beauty and skincare products but the more new drugstore brand products that I try the more I am swayed to sometimes swing by my local CVS instead of Sephora.
This e.l.f. Bubble Mask has been hyped up all over the internet for a while now but I just recently decided to give it a try. To be honest, I was not expecting much and thought it was some crazy thing that middle school girls use for fun. Well, it is kind of amusing but it also does a damn good job of hydrating your skin. I left it on all over my face and neck for about 20 minutes while I was taking a bath. It comes out of the bottle as a clear gel substance but as soon as you rub it on your face it is game time. Tiny bubbles take over and as they pop it creates a soothing, tingling feeling on your skin. When about 20 minutes were up I rinsed the product off of my face and was genuinely surprised at how smooth my skin felt. I looked more youthful, fresh, and rejuvenated. I thought that maybe I was just having a good skin day but the experiment proved to be legit when after a long day at work I brought life back to my sad looking skin. I think this stuff is the real deal.
Something I worry about when I shop drugstore brands is that the ingredients may irritate my skin or cause me to break out. This actually is a little bit crazy because often times when you compare products at different price points they have the same or very similar ingredients. It is all about doing your research and also some trial and error. The Bubble Mask didn't cause any irritation to my skin or cause any breakouts which was a huge win. The only negative I can come up with is that it feels kind of weird to leave on for an extended period of time. With some hydrating masks that are more creamy I will actually leave them on my face and neck all night. I know this isn't recommended but, yes, I do it. This mask is more of a 'do while you catch up on your DVRed shows' or 'while you take a bubble bath' kind of thing.
Overall, I think this stuff will be a lasting part of my routine going into the winter. For $12, you can't beat the price, and it definitely helped out my tired skin. I suggest you head over to Amazon and order one of these ASAP to add to your self care routine. I'm serious. With colder weather creeping up it is best to be proactive with hydrating and prep your skin in advance instead of waiting for disaster in ensue. I literally do this every year and wake up one day at the end of November wondering why I look like a psycho who hasn't put on moisturizer in 10 years. Don't do that. I also like to think that since I am dehydrated (thanks Crohn's!) pretty much 24/7, quenching my skin's thirst with some yummy products are even more necessary.
I can't wait to hear what you guys think once you try this or if you have already tried this! I also would love to hear any recommendations that you have for hydrating products/any must haves going into the chilly months!
Be back with some more later this week.
Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you all had a relaxing, refreshing, and rejuvenating weekend! I have been curled up in my house, post Remicade, catching up on blogging and Real Housewives of New York. Today I had my big outing of the weekend and went to grab some Greek food for brunch with my mom, grandpa, and Matt. We tried a bunch of small plates (they have GREAT gluten free choices) but my favorite was the spinach frittata, seriously to die for. It's nice to get dressed and put some makeup on even when you aren't feeling so hot, it boosts my spirits a bit.
I sported my new Lulu's aviators which I ordered in my ER/pain medicine induced haze and I've ended up really loving them. Also, below is my live action shot of me yelling at Matt for something because I am a gem of a girlfriend. Just kidding, not yelling at him, love you boo.
Anyway, by time I got home I was totally exhausted and I knew writing the full post that I wanted to do was NOT happening. I got a little creative with this one and decided to just do a video of what I was going to do a post on. Genius! According to Gary V. video and audio content is the KEY right now so count me the F in. Honestly, when I am not feeling great it is way easier to articulate myself through spoken words than it is writing something witty and engaging (sorry yall!).
This week I wanted to show you all my favorite things that I am obsessing over lately! I feel like I used to do these in individual posts but I have been trying out so many cool new things that I feel like I needed to group some together. This segment has a mix of books, jewelry, beauty, sparkling water (yassss), and my favorite website for summer fashion. The best part is that everything I am recommending to you all is under $20 and you can get pretty much everything on Amazon. That is, minus Lulus.com because you can spend a boat load of money there. I am not responsible for that.
I hope you guys enjoy! Please let me know if this is a style of delivering content that you guys and enjoy and I can do some more of these!
Also, feel free to drop me a DM or let me know on my Instagram what products you are ABSOLUTELY LOVING RN.
When I originally was thinking through writing this post I was singing the tune of "oh my god I love summer, I love the heat, I love everything warm and summer". Now I am sitting here with fans blowing on me on an 87 degree day on day two without central AC. Yikes. And get this, they can't come out to repair it until Monday. It is like the universe had to knock me down a little from my "I love summer" high. Either way, I am fighting through the fact that I feel like I am in a hot yoga class 24/7 and I love my dogs more than I love myself so I give them prime fan blowing real estate.
Despite my air conditioning mishap I am still going to bring ya'll a little update on some products that I am obsessing over right now. The amount of different beauty products I try on a regular basis borderline crazy but I consider it research. I am not only a sucker for things that deliver results but also for super cute packaging. I love some good, cohesive branding and product names and packaging that wows. When it comes to beauty products there are always the latest and greatest trends that brands follow but how many companies can make virtually the same product with almost the same formulation playing into the same trend that everyone else is playing into? Every company does this. Yes, there are brands that sell you on formula or price point but something that I think can really set a product apart for their competitors: packaging.
In a world where everyone is documenting everything brands need to make their products beautiful and photogenic that way customers and influencers are more likely to snap a picture and share. There could be two products that are exactly the same but the one with more appealing packaging is the choice I will always go for. I think it is more than just about the fact that it "looks cute", I feel like it makes me feel like the brand put more care into the whole experience that their customer will have with this product. That makes me trust the brand more and in return I want to buy into the whole experience of what they are selling.
Right now some of my favorite products (for both performance and packaging) are summer themed and I am loving it. Palms, pineapples, & flamingos are taking over my vanity set up and I am basking in the cuteness.
These four items not only perfectly packaged but they also are must haves for my fresh, dewy summer look that I am currently really liking. I have been using brightening face wipes, a slight bit on foundation with highlighter mixed in, some swipes of mascara, and highlighter on my cheek bones and under my brows to top it off.
Like I said, I am a total sucker for packaging and TJ Maxx is my ultimate weakness. I always love picking up makeup wipes from TJ Maxx because they always have a great variety and you can get a package of about 60 wipes for under $5. The best part, other than getting the chance to try different brands, is that their selections always have cool packaging that varies in color and pattern. I love this because I can obsessively pick the packaging that best matches the aesthetic I am going for at the time. Just make sure when you are picking that you are reading the ingredients to make sure you are selecting a good product (and not getting suckered in by the cute packaging only) and make sure you are picking out a wipe that is fitting for your skin type.
One of the highlighters and the mascara that I am really liking right now are from The Beauty Crop. Both of these items I ordered or received via Birchbox. The Lighting Crew highlighter is a very thin formula that sits lightly on your skin. If you mix it in with a BB cream or light foundation and blend with a beauty blender you get a perfect dewy look. I love that the formula is light enough to easily blend with foundation because a lot of other highlighters can be way too shimmery for all over use. A little of this stuff goes a long way so this tiny $18 tube will be blessing your makeup bag with its pineapple cuteness for quite a while. The Fabulous Flocking Lashes is another current favorite. It is a waterproof formula that doesn't leave your lashes feeling dry or crispy. I usually hate waterproof mascaras but this one is a winner thanks to the moisturizing nature of it. It provides a very natural look that makes this a perfect product to rock when you want to look super effortless. For the full size tube it is about $20. I am flamingo obsessed (my mom is too, must run in the family) so I freak every time I see something flamingo themed. Must. Buy.
You can get both of these products here along with some other cute stuff. I got mine via Birchbox so I could use my reward points but if you want to buy them directly from The Beauty Crop website you can get 10% off of your first purchase (yay!).
My last must have isn't a hero because of the packaging but really because of the freaking heavenly summery smell. I usually am not one to take notice of the scent of makeup because that is not usually one of my deciding factors for making a purchase (unless it is disgusting). This product changed my mind. I received this Marc Jacobs highlighter complimentary to test for Influenster. I immediately noticed the delicious coconut smell with the first tiny pump of product. I just can't get enough of it not. It isn't like that sunscreen coconut smell, its like a nice coconut candle smell. Once I got over how amazing the scent was I realized that the product performance was pretty awesome as well. This gel highlighter is great for creating a natural glow on your cheek bones, brow arch, and even a tad right above your lip. A little goes a long way with this highlighter as well so I will be, for sure, enjoying this all summer long.
Currently they are out of stock but you can check it out here and bookmark that ish for when it comes back in stock. You can also get 15% off of your first purchase with Marc Jacobs Beauty.
Let me know what other products you all are loving for summer and other themed products that are taking over your makeup collection!
Blonde babe. Maryland native. Crohn's crushing puppy mother to two sweet rescues.