Wednesday, January 24, 2018

DIY Choker T-Shirt

I've got a super simple and quick DIY for you today! If you're anything like me, you like your crafts to be as few steps as possible, and with tools that you already have around your house. Cut out necklines have been popular lately, and that won't be going away anytime soon. The good news is, you can make your own for super cheap, and with items you already have lying around! I chose a vintage t-shirt that I've had for-ev-er. I refuse to get rid of it because it's the softest, most comfy thing ever, and it's riddled with holes (which also adds to it's charm), so it was the perfect option for converting into a choker tee. 

1. Start by laying your shirt on a flat surface. 

2. Put the shirt on and pin in two spots where you want the low part and high part of the V to be. Make sure you place a pin below the collar. 

3. Pick the shirt up and fold it in half long-ways, making sure that the collar is even on both sides of the fold. 

4. Starting at the lowest point, cut straight up to the highest pin. Don't cut the fold! Think of when you used to cut out paper hearts for Valentine's Day in school, it's kinda like that! 

5. Cut along the top part of the triangle, right under the collar band, to the highest pin point. 

Pull a little to roll the edges and voila! You've got a choker tee! Style it however you want! I went with a glam rocker look below, but it's also super cute with a long cardigan sweater and jeans too! 


Monday, January 22, 2018

Fancy Pants

Around this time of year I find myself getting in kind of a style rut. I pretty much keep black jeans on rotation, and I've been wearing them 4-5 days out of the week. Since up until a few days ago, wearing a dress or skirt sounds pretty terrible in single digit temperatures, so I've been trying to find some new pants to work into my rotation to spice things up. 

I found these sparkly pinstripe pants with a ruffle detail and knew they'd be a super fun addition to my wardrobe, especially since I need a kick in the pants in the pants department. The slightly fancy vibe lent them to be paired perfectly with these blush block heel mules from Coco

A basic cropped sweater works well with the high waist trousers and I gave the look a finishing touch of a layered gold necklace also from Coco

How about you, do you ever try to spice up your wardrobe with fancy pants?

Outfit Details:
Necklace (similar here and here)


Friday, January 19, 2018

Winter Weekend Uniform

I've noticed that I tend to have a "uniform" in the winter. It generally consists of a huge, snugly top that I can wrap up in, leggings and boots. I've recently been wearing these leggings to death. They go with everything and suck you in in all the right places. Plus, they balance out the voluminous tops that I've been favoring as of late. 

I really love this duster sweater that I picked up last year. It's a classic cut and the black and white print is modern and chic. 

I'm also a HUGE fan of these booties. They actually have a rubber bottom that makes walking in the snow a breeze and they elevate an otherwise boring outfit to a whole new level. 

Sweater (similar)


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Chia Seed Pudding

If you've set any healthy resolutions for the new year, how are those going? I feel like I constantly need inspiration to stay on track when I'm trying to eat better, so I figured I'd share one of my favorite go-to breakfasts with you that's super healthy and easy: chia seed pudding!

First, if you don't know about chia seeds, let me fill you in. If you're an old pro with them, just skip ahead to the recipe. Chia, which means "strength" in Mayan, were once eaten by Aztec warriors who claimed that one teaspoon could give them huge bursts of energy and sustain them for a full day. These little seeds pack a big punch: they are chock full of antioxidants, protein, fiber, and omega 3 fatty acids (more than salmon!). They absorb 10 times their weight in water, so a little bit goes a long way to feel full. And, they're easier to digest than flax seeds, so they don't need to be ground up for maximum absorption.

When mixed with milk, they form a sort of pudding which makes for a super easy make-ahead breakfast! I pretty much rotate chia seed pudding, plain Greek yogurt with fruit, and oatmeal for weekday breakfasts, and there is so much variety you can create among these, I never get bored.

I will say, the texture of the pudding is a bit slimy. Once you get over that though, you don't even think about it anymore. To me, the pudding kind of has a delicate earthy taste, almost like herbal tea, (others describe it as nut-like) but you can add toppings or add-ins like cocoa to give it any flavor you like.

Now that you're sold, let's get making some puddin', puddin'!

1/2 cup chia seeds
2 cups almond milk (but soy, coconut, or dairy would also work fine)
1 T sweetener like coconut sugar*, agave, or honey
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

(4 servings)

*I loooove coconut sugar; you have to try it if you haven't! It has a richness to it, almost like brown sugar, but is very low on the glycemic index (no sugar crash!), and is naturally filled with nutrients like magnesium, zinc, calcium and potassium. It's so good on oatmeal too!

To make:

Combine all ingredients in a plastic container or large mason jar, adding the chia seeds in last (to prevent clumping). I use Chinese takeout containers that egg drop soup or curry chicken come in. They are the perfect size!

Shake the ingredients well until there are no longer clumps of chia seeds. Refrigerate overnight and voila! You've got 4 breakfasts already made for the week. Top with dried or fresh fruit or granola and enjoy!

If you make some, be sure to let us know how it turns out!


Monday, January 15, 2018

Sequins and Scrunchies

Just because the holidays are over doesn't mean you can't still have some sparkle in your wardrobe! After eyeing this sequined beauty, I knew I had to have it. With all things '80s coming back in a big way, this slightly oversized fit and shoulder detail were speaking to me on a spiritual level. 

Before even checking out, I told my husband I was feeling very Goldie Hawn in Overboard, and that was before I spied this silvery-gold scrunchie! In case you've also missed that, scrunchies—and hair accessories of all sorts— are coming back in a big way this year, so you might as well come to terms with it. 

After wearing this scrunchie only a couple of times now, I cannot wait to add more to my arsenal. It honestly feels so much better on my scalp and my hair than a restricting hair tie! Who knew how comfy a ponytail could be? Scrunchie-wearers, that's who. 

Because mixing textures can really elevate a look, I paired the sweater with crushed velvet leggings. White platform shoes ensure the ensemble works as well for daytime as a fun going out look. 


Where do you stand on sequins and scrunchies? Are you excited for some fun '80s comeback pieces or horrified to see that they've returned?


Outfit Details:
Velvet Flares (similar)


Friday, January 12, 2018

Fur-ever Plaid

The one great thing about January is that you can experiment with layering! I am loving throwing on this fur stole with all sorts of outfits and coats. Luckily, I have plenty of navy blue and forest green in my closet to match. 

I wore this look to a family dinner the other night. I love this plaid halter top because it's a crisp plaid and has a delicate silver metallic stripe running through it. I will definitely wear it into the warmer months as well. 

How do you like to layer in the winter?

Jacket (similar)
Booties (similar)


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Our Skincare Essentials

If you're looking to revamp your beauty routine for the New Year, we're all for it! After I (Molly) asked Jodi about her foundation a few weeks ago, we thought it would be fun to share our routines and see what products our readers love as well.

So, we're starting with the base of any good beauty routine: skincare! It is never too late to change up your routine because—and I get way too excited about this—your skin constantly regenerates, and is completely new about every 27 days, so you always have a chance to improve it.

Since we each have different skin types and have found different things that work, we've broken down our separate skincare must-haves below. Be sure to let us know in the comments what skincare products you couldn't live without!

Molly's Picks

I have pretty good skin, other than being super fair and having to slather on sunscreen all the time. I only get pimples one week out of the month (thanks, Flo). And, yes, I know how incredibly lucky I am for this. Up until a couple of years ago, I never did much about skincare other than cleansing, toning and moisturizing daily. I'm ashamed to admit that up until that time, I didn't even wash makeup off my face at night, and never really had any issues. However, when I started seeing some fine lines show up in my mid-20s, I started taking skincare a little more seriously, and now it's become a huge part of my routine. I'm prone to dry spots in the wintertime and I'm always looking to minimize the pores on my cheeks, so I've found masks to be really helpful (and fun) to solve some issues. Here's a rundown of my essential items below.

1. St. Ives Apricot Scrub
This scrub is the absolute backbone of my skincare routine. In high school, I used to have small white bumps on my cheeks, and since using this scrub daily for the last decade, I haven't seen them since. Remember than skin cell regeneration thing I'm all jazzed about? Exfoliating is so helpful at sloughing off dead cells to help make the way for new ones! It also increases blood circulation, and allows other products to absorb more effectively. This is my secret weapon to smooth skin.

2. Micellar Cleansing Water
This is my new favorite eye makeup remover. It has no smell and it's super gentle on sensitive skin around the eyes, without leaving an oily residue. This stuff removes Lipsense and waterproof makeup better than anything else I've found.

3. Witch Hazel Toner
Pore-minimizing toner has always been a must-have for me after cleansing but for the past year or so, I've exclusively used witch hazel and I love that it's natural and still does the job. The smell is a little funny at first, but once you get used to it, you don't even think about it.

4. ThisWorks Mask, Moisturizer and Primer
While I switch out moisturizers all the time, I really love this one that's a mask and primer as well. It leaves a slight texture that my makeup seems to stay on super well. What's not to love in a 3-for-1 product like this? I may keep rotating, but this is one I'll be getting again for sure.

5. Glamglow Gravity Mud (shown below)
In addition to this being a silver mask (srsly how cool is that), this gravity mud is a great peel off mask that leaves your face feeling tighter, firmer, glowing and almost silk-like.

6. Hanalei Lip Scrub
Especially during the winter, I feel like my lips peel like crazy and if I don't constantly moisturize them, I look like a little kid who drank red kool-aid from the dry area around them. This lip scrub not only gets rid of that peeling skin, but has an oil-based residue that stays on after you wipe the scrub off that really treats the dry areas. I try to do this scrub once a week in the winter, or however often I feel like my lips are straight up falling off my face.

7. Activated Charcoal Mud Mask 
The hype is real when it comes to activated charcoal masks, and for good reason. These seem to pull out impurities and tighten my skin better than about any other mask I've tried. Feel a blemish coming? No prob, just dot a bit on the spot overnight, and it will almost always disappear. This is pretty magical stuff. It's also magic because a little bit goes a long way. My husband and I typically do this mask once a week or every other week, and after a year, I still have almost half of the container left.

8. Good & Clean Mini Peel
This mini peel is perfect detox for a mid-week pick-me-up. It's incredibly inexpensive and makes my skin ridiculously soft. It doesn't actually peel off, it's just a gel you leave on for a few minutes after cleansing and rinse off. It tightens pores and is made with fruit acid, so it's natural and smells refreshing!

9. Mario Badescu Rosewater Spray
After reading interviews with skincare experts, they all had one thing in common in their beauty routine: rosewater spray. To be honest, I didn't notice a huge difference right away when I started using it. However, when I used up the bottle and it left my routine, I missed it immensely. I seemed to have an onset of blemishes and my skin felt more dry overall.

I won't go without it now. I mist my face with 3 spritzes after toning, and I feel like it really seals in moisture before I put on moisturizer. The rosewater also acts as a disinfectant and anti-inflammatory agent, clearing pores and reducing redness. It can also be used to set makeup, or just as a refresher throughout the day. And it smells great! PS-it's like $7, so what have you got to lose?

10. No 7 Serum
This serum has been a game-changer for me. A couple of years ago, I went to Ulta, asking for something to work for my fine lines, this is what was recommended. Reviews have said it takes weeks of daily use to notice a difference, but I was staring at my face that first day in disbelief. It wasn't dramatic, but noticable to me. The lines seem to be reduced and my face just feels tighter and more supple. I simply apply one pump to my face after my rosewater mist, but before moisturizer and it works wonders.

11. No 7 Night Cream
This night cream is a perfect partner to the serum. It goes on somewhat thick, but soaks in and feels light in no time. I love having a product that moisturizes well overnight without feeling greasy and heavy.

Jodi's Picks

My skin has been a problem for me pretty much my entire life. I had horrible acne through middle school, high school and parts of college. So bad, in fact, that I went on Accutane, which is another story for another day. There was also a point in time when I got huge, gross boils on my nose. So, needless to say, I was super popular in my adolescence. ;) Anyway, if anyone has tried every skincare trick in the book, it's me. I actually have had pretty clear skin since my early 20's, however, I have to be super careful with what I put on it, lest I risk a breakout. Now that I'm in my early 30's, I have also started noticing some minor wear and tear on the ol' epidermis, so over the past few years, I've also added in a few more steps to keep my skin looking bright and tight. The big things that help me are to make sure my skin is exfoliated and moisturized properly. Here's what I use to keep my skin looking clear, fresh, glowing, and protected. 

I'm ashamed to say that I haven't always been diligent about wearing sunscreen. Like, at all until real recently. As I've gotten older, I have noticed a few sun spots on my face that don't go away like they used to. I also have scarring and dark spots from acne that won't budge. About a year ago I started using the Lift & Luminate day cream from No7 and haven't looked back! I can immediately tell that it brightens my complexion as soon as I put it on in the mornings. It also gives a nice lift to my skin. I also use the Lift & Luminate night cream. 

This stuff is like liquid gold. I use it in the evenings as a toner and I can always tell a difference in my skin right away. It also has a really nice tingling sensation after you use it, which, let's be honest, is reason enough to try a new product. 

I have a major problem with blackheads and this is the only thing that helps to keep my skin clear. I use this in the mornings in the shower and Neutrogena Deep Clean Daily Cleanser at night to wash all of my makeup off. I religiously wash my face every night and have since I started wearing makeup. If I don't, it's breakout city, so it's very important to me to have a face wash that cleans off all of my makeup and really gets down into my pores to clear out all of the gunk. These two items are a winning combo for me. 

I use a combination of this, BB cream and CC cream (below) under my foundation. It's a triple threat! I love this liquid illuminator because it gives my skin just the right amount of dewy glow. 

I just recently started using a beauty blender to apply liquid creams as part of my makeup routine and I will never go back to just using my fingers. It gives my makeup a beautiful finish and makes all the difference when it comes to makeup application. I love this blender because it is easy to hold and you can use both ends for different areas of your face. 

This sucker is a game changer. I'm OBSESSED with it. I only use it every other day in the winter, otherwise my skin gets red and irritated, but it is the best at cleaning out my pores and exfoliating my skin. I've noticed a huge difference in the look and feel of my skin since I started using it. It also feels amazing and super tingly and clean! It is a bit pricey, however, I would say it is most definitely worth it AND they run deals on them all the time. I got mine in a Christmas sale at Ulta last year. 

This is the second component of my triple threat combo. This BB cream is a great primer for foundation and pairs nicely with the illuminator and CC cream that I use. It's also great on it's own if you're short on time! 

As I said, it's just been recently that I have started thinking more about wearing sunscreen daily. I wanted a sunscreen with a higher SPF that also doubled as a makeup item and found Aveeno's CC cream. This cream is tinted and is also a moisturizer. It helps to even out my skin tone and protect my skin from the environment. It's also the third and final component of my triple threat cream combination! 

I have always had dark circles under my eyes and as I've gotten older, they've gotten worse AND I've noticed that if I don't use a daily eye cream, it looks like I've been awake for a week straight. As with the other No7 products that I use, I can definitely tell a huge difference as soon as I put this cream on in the mornings. I never leave home for a trip without it! 


Monday, January 8, 2018

Head Poncho

Here in the Midwest we're in full-blown winter right now. I don't know about you, but I'm having a heck of a time wearing anything but giant, cozy sweaters and boots. Even so, there are still options for keeping your wardrobe fun and interesting while staying toasty. Enter the poncho. 

I snagged this vintage poncho at Horticulture KC before the holidays and I'm just loving it! (Don't worry, I've linked similar versions at the bottom.) It's basically like wearing a blanket, and I'm not mad about it. The vibrant blue is sure to cheer up any gloomy winter day.

I paired this poncho with a white cable knit hat and tall brown lace up boots for a look that works equally well inside and outside. A hot pink lip adds a bold and playful vibe to any ensemble and is another major gloom-fighter. 

Three cheers for any outfit that looks put-together but feels as comfy as pjs, amirite?!

Check out similar outfit components below:

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