Beauty & Fashion

Friday Favorites

It's been a long time since I've done one of these. Sometimes it feels like I can't post until I have something super meaningful and motivational to share. But part of being a good friend is being well rounded. I love encouraging you in this space. But...I also love to watch TV,  eat yummy snacks, and wear cute clothes. And I want to tell you about that stuff, too! So here we go!

1. THE shorts.

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On social media this week I shared this photo of me in my absolute new favorite pair of denim shorts. I have been basically scouring this internet trying to find cute distressed denim shorts that didn't cost a fortune and didn't also look like a denim diaper (you know the ones I'm talking about). A friend introduced me to Striped, an online boutique. I was so excited to see the shorts of my dreams when I landed on her page. AND they cost $34. Hello!! I immediately got a pair. The waist is the perfect rise, 4.5 inch inseam, no thigh squish, no sagging material after a few hours of wear. Win win win win win. She adds new items to the shop almost every single day so go check out her shop! For reference, I'm 5'11, 155-160 lbs. (depending on the amount of chocolate consumed), and normally wear a size 10 in jeans & shorts. I got the large and they fit perfectly. Mine are the lighter wash. Use the code coldcoffee10 for 10% off your order!

2. Cucumber water with peppermint

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I've been trying to focus on my water intake, especially since the heat of summer is basically already here. I honestly love water, but I wanted to make it even more appealing. So I've been slicing cucumber, then adding it and one drop of peppermint essential oil (I use this one from Plant Therapy) to a water jug that I keep in my fridge. It's 64 ounces so I know I need to drink all of it plus another full cup or two (I use this cup and love it!) to get the right amount I need each day. It's so refreshing, especially now that it's hot outside.

3. Natural Calm

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I'm so obsessed with this stuff, y'all. It's a magnesium supplement that's made to help with stress. I heard about it from a friend years ago. She kept it in her water glass anytime she was at an event with a large crowd to help her social anxiety. I got it a few months ago when I realized I was struggling with some anxiety related issues brought out by difficult parenting situations (that's a nice way of saying my now 4 year old was being craaaaaay cray). I don't really have those issues anymore, but now I drink it every night at bedtime. I fall asleep like a champ. And I STAY asleep. I used to lay on my pillow and toss and turn for way to long before finally falling asleep, so this has been a huge game changer for me. 

4. Real Life Dinners cookbook

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I may be getting ahead of myself a bit with this one, but that's never stopped me before. I got this cookbook in the mail this week, and I'm super pumped about it. Dinner is hard for me! I want to cook for my family, but 4 PM - 6 PM at my house is INSANITY every single day. So I get overwhelmed and just end up serving the kids chicken nuggets and then Jonathan and I end up eating random leftover things. Not exactly an ideal family meal situation. It works for us, and I know this season won't last forever. But I'm excited to get my hands on a resource with recipes fully intended for families, that fit into our real life. The cookbook is beautiful, each recipe has photos of the finished product and step by step, which this not-so-fancy cook needs. It comes out June 5, but you can pre-order it now! I'm planning to share some full recipes with y'all soon!!

5. So YaYa cleansing balm

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I did a skincare post not too long ago, but that was before I got to try the natural skincare products from my new friend Rachel! She makes a line of oil cleansing based products that are hands down the best I have tried. My skin loves this cleansing balm so much! I can feel that it's cleaning and gently exfoliating my skin. It comes off easily which is not the case with a lot of oil cleansers. It moisturizes. It smells really good. The price point is amazing. And it's a local mom-owned business. If you are struggling with your skin or just wanting to try something new, I recommend checking out her shop. If you are in the Baton Rouge area, she sets up a table at the market downtown on Saturdays as well! Treat yo' skin to some love!!

6. Going Scared podcast

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I have been loving this new podcast from Jessica Honegger (founder of Noonday Collection). Each interview is packed with so much good tangible information and encouragement. This week's episode with Alison Faulkner is SO GOOD. I listen while I drive, but I need to listen again at home so I can write down all of my take-aways. I can't even sum it up for you because there was so much, so you should just go ahead and listen to it, k? And then come back and tell me how much you loved it, too!

That's it! That's the big things I am loving right now. I want to hear from you! What are you loving that I need in my life?! Share away in the comments. And if you want to hear from some other fabulous women about their favorite things, head to this link where lots of other bloggers link up and you'll find a ton!

Some, but not all, of the items I shared today are affiliate links.

My Favorite Skincare Products

Skincare. It's something I get asked about a lot since I am pretty outspoken about safer products. Or maybe people just think I have fabulous skin? We'll go with that ;) I am finally settled in to a skincare routine, and I didn't want to do this post for you until I felt 100% confident recommending certain products. Our skin is with us our entire lives, so we need to take good care of it, right?

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Some of these items are affiliate links. If you aren't sure what that means, you can read about it here.

Cleanser

Primally pure cleansing oil Oil that cleanses? YES. This cleanser works because oil is meant to dissolve oil. Instead of using a harsh cleanser that strips your skin of it's natural oils, this pure oil cleanser works into your pores to dissolve the bad stuff, and then you replace it with the good stuff. I have super dry skin, but I also am prone to break outs. Oil cleansing has totally balanced my skin out. No dry patches, no oily patches, and no major breakouts. I know it's a great option for oily skin as well because it slows down your skin's own oil production! Primally Pure is the best oil cleanser I've used, and the packaging is absolutely gorgeous which doesn't hurt either. Make sure you choose the oil that best serves your skin type, and know that you'll have to moisturize with oil as well. I know it sounds crazy, but it really works. You can cleanse with this at night and just cleanse with warm water in the morning. Or use baking soda and water if you need a little bit of exfoliation.

Toner

Fatco toner I never really got the point in using a toner until I consistently started using one! And now there's no turning back. This toner has a simple ingredients list, made from ACV, witch hazel, and essential oils. Apple Cider Vinegar and Witch Hazel help balance out your skin's PH. Essential oils like Lavender and Rosemary help heal and regenerate your skin. This toner works really well with my oil cleansing routine. I use it morning and night.

Serum

"Buffet" from The Ordinary "Serum" was another thing I didn't really know much about or know I needed. And then I had three kids and turned 30. Gimme all the serums!! This magical "buffet" targets multiple signs of aging at once. It's a multi-peptide serum in a base of 11 skin-friendly amino acids and multiple hyaluronic acid complexes. It's very light weight, but very nourishing. It evens, softens, and brightens my skin. I use it morning and night. You need a tiny amount so it will last you a long time. And don't let the low price point on The Ordinary's products make you think they don't work - because they perform just as well as many high end products! 

Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane from The Ordinary I hope all the safe skin care people don't come after me for this one. Balance, ok?! Retinol generally gets a pretty bad wrap because it can cause bad reactions in sun light and can be harsh on your skin. This retinoid from The Ordinary has caused zero irritation on my skin, and it's paired with squalene oil which is very moisturizing. This formula has been shown to offer better results against multiple signs of ageing than retinol without any of the irritation and drawbacks common with retinol. This, or any other form of retinol, should only be used at night. Make sure you cleanse your skin in the morning, limit sun exposure (which we all need to be doing anyway, right?) and wear sunscreen daily (I love Dew Skin from Beautycounter, and it doubles as my day-to-day foundation).

Eye cream

Beautycounter rejuvenating eye cream Magic in a bottle for your under eyes. It's very moisturizing and actually reverses the effects of all those sleepless nights thanks to our precious little children ;)  A good eye cream generally has a high price tag, especially when you see the little container it comes in. But it will last you months! Promise!

Moisturizer

Squalane Oil from Biossance or The Ordinary You would think with dry skin I would need a thick creamy moisturizer. Nope. This one ingredient solution does the job. The human body produces its own version of squalene oil (known as squalene), but the amount made and retained in the skin decreases over time. It can prevent ongoing loss of hydration that impairs dermal suppleness. It doesn't clog pores and it's great for all skin types. It can also be applied to your hair! Two for one, y'all. I use 2-3 drops of this as my morning moisturizer (the retinoid I use has squalane in it already so I don't need to use another moisturizer at night). It's best to press oils into your skin instead of rubbing them in.

Mask

Aztec secret Indian healing clay This is my weekly go-tos. I know this one looks like it might be sketchy, but if you don't believe me just read the reviews or take two seconds to google it and you'll see hundreds of people singing its praises. Clay works to pull impurities out of your pores like no one's business. You can literally feel your face pulsing as it visibly brings the junk out and improves the blood flow to your skin. You can mix the clay with water or with apple cider vinegar. Using it with water is better if you have sensitive skin. 

Extras

Micro-Roller - Normally I wouldn't be all about a device that is covered in needles, but trust me when I say you need one of these! It stimulates epidermal growth factors to boost collagen and elastin that plump and firm skin and increases absorption of serums and moisturizers by more than 90%, making it one of the most powerful and effective ways to stop early signs of aging and prevent new fine lines and wrinkles from occurring. GLORY! And no, it doesn't hurt. Not even a little. I use my roller 3-4x a week after cleansing and before putting on serums and moisturizer.

Norwex body cloth - Ditch the makeup remover wipes that tend to leave behind a residue. The norwex body cloth is one of our can't live without items. We talked about Norwex in our safer cleaning products post, but they apply the same principles when it comes to your body. The microfiber cloth is able to pull all the gunk and junk off your face with just water. Seriously - all your makeup! I use it to pull the oil cleanser off my face at night and it works perfectly. It also contains a micro silver agent, which goes to work with self-purification properties against the mold, fungi and bacterial odor within 24 hours so that it is ready to use again.

Jade Roller - Jade rolling reduces wrinkles and puffiness, stimulates collagen production, minimizes toxic build up, closes and minimizes enlarged pores, boosts elastin and improves blood circulation, increases absorption of your daily face products, and it's simply relaxing. I started jade rolling a couple months ago and saw the benefits of it almost immediately. I keep my roller in the freezer and use it first thing in the morning to help with morning puffiness and to wake me up!

Water - Half your body weight in ounces. Every. single. day. This makes a huge difference in so many things, including your skin! 

Probiotics - At the end of the day, you could spend all the money in the world on skincare, but if you're not taking care of your gut it will all be for nothing. I notice a huge difference in my skin if I forget to take my probiotics everyday. When I take them, it really helps to keep my complexion free of flare-ups from too much dark chocolate ;). 

Skincare can feel really overwhelming if you're trying to find what works for you. I hope this made it a little bit easier. I have tried so many things, so if you want some help beyond this feel free to comment below or reach out to me on Instagram, Facebook, or email! And let me know some of your favorite products in the comments!

Fall Favorites

FALL Y'ALL! Ok, I know it's technically been fall for a few weeks now, but it's just now starting to feel like fall may be actually coming here in South Louisiana. Yesterday I even went outside without immediately breaking a sweat. Amazing!

For this week's Friday Favorites, I am sharing some of the things I am loving for the fall season. You won't find PSLs on my list (GASP), but I do have a few fun things to share with y'all.

Favorite Clothing

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Last month, Jonathan got me the cutest white Converse for my birthday! I've had my eye on a pair of white sneakers for the past year or two, but was having trouble actually spending the money on myself. So I was so excited when I opened my present!! These are seriously so cute. I've never seen anyone else with the exact pair he got me, which makes me love them just a little bit more. I love that I can throw them on with leggings, jeans, or even a t-shirt dress. And when it's inevitably still over 85 degrees in the afternoon, they'll pair well with shorts, too. After having these for just a couple of weeks, I'm going to go ahead and say that a pair of casual sneakers is a must-have for your wardrobe.

Favorite Food

I love when the weather cools off for SO many reasons. But a big one is because I love getting to eat chili, soup, stew, etc. etc. A big hot bowl of hearty food is my love language. I may not be a huge fan of a pumpkin spice latte, but I do love pumpkin in my food - especially this pumpkin chili! It's delicious! And you make it in the crockpot, y'all. I don't know what I'd do without that wonderful kitchen appliance.

Favorite Oils

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Fall clothes, fall food, and fall scents - they're all so good! I gave up fall candles in an effort to reduce artificial fragrances in our home, so I have turned to my trusty oil diffuser to bring me all the fall scent goodness. Cedarwood and lavender are a great fall blend. The combination of the two gives a great woodsy and cozy aroma to your house. So even if the temps outside aren't quite at "cozy" level, I can fake it inside when I turn the diffuser on.

Favorite Traditions & Activities

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There isn't much I love more than having it finally be cool enough to go for a walk in the evenings with my little family. Some days we all walk, some days Evan takes off on his bike, Porter hops in the wagon, and of course Gibson hangs out in his stroller. It's a sweet time to soak up fresh air as a family. No TV or phone distractions! Jonathan and I can almost always have an uninterrupted conversation. It's a true miracle. I love walking in our neighborhood.  It's about 20 minutes total to the end of our street and back. There are also some great walking paths and parks nearby that we like to visit on the weekends.

For my non-local friends, is it actually feeling like fall for you yet?! I am soaking up every little bit I can. Let me know some things you are loving for fall in the comments below!

Mama Tried So Wine Down with SFT

Today, I want to introduce you to one of my favorite local businesses: Southern Football Tees, or SFT for short. Meredith Waguespack started SFT in 2011 because of her love for football.“The versatility of expressing your personality and style through apparel has always intrigued me,” says Meredith. Although, at first, all of the designs were inspired by football, their tees have evolved to represent the many great things about living in the "sweet South". SFT offers t-shirts, hats, and one of my very favorite subscription boxes; the Lagniappe Box. The Lagniappe Box (lagniappe /lan'yap/ means, a little something extra) is a monthly subscription box that includes a newly designed (never before seen) t-shirt by SFT as well as other Louisiana curated items.

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SFT celebrates all things Louisiana and Southern, but they also stand with Baton Rouge during the hard times. After the Louisiana Flood of 2016, Meredith and SFT created a t-shirt to honor the men and women of the Cajun Navy (read their story here and how the shirt came to be here), and proceeds from the shirt went to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank that lost hundreds of thousands of pounds of food because of their own facility flooding. Today, SFT has raised over $50,000 for the GBRFB from sales of their Cajun Navy t-shirts.

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This Mother's Day, SFT has a line of t-shirts for you or the moms in your life. All t-shirts are unisex and are made of quality material; my closet is FULL of SFT shirts. To say I love SFT would be an understatement! My shirt is all about what some moms need at the end of a long day; quiet time and a glass of wine. If you're in the market for some of the best graphic t-shirts out there, check out Southern Football Tees!

I was not compensated for this post, however SFT generously gave me the t-shirts you see above. Opinions are my own.