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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Saying Thank You

cute thank you cards

Two things that might seem old fashioned, but in this day and age is all the more special is saying thank you and sending out a card. Truth be told, sending and receiving cards are one of my absolute favorites. That's something I've taken cue from my dad. No matter the holiday, he always sends a card to let you know he cares. That feeling you get when you receive it is one I love sharing with others. And this year I plan on doing more of that.

While I might not go as far as sending cards for all the holidays, thank you cards is where I'm committing. Naturally, they have to be cute and that's when I was introduced to Basic Invite. Get ready to customize to your hearts content! Besides having over 1500 designs to pick from, you can literally customize any of the colors on their cards, fancy it up with gold foil, type of paper or pick the color of your envelop.
experience ordering from basic invite

With all the easy customization options, this is the grown-up version of Paint. Did I just age myself there? Don't answer that. Personally, I have Spring on my mind (not that flowers are just for Spring) and went with these. But no matter what life occasion you're needing to say thanks (looking at you brides-to-be), there is something for everyone! 

Do you usually send thank you cards?

Thank you to Basic Invite for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Styling Denim on Denim

denim shirt, distressed jeans

styling a denim tuxedo

womens denim look

grey cardigan, denim top and jeans

We made it to Friday! As you may or may not know, the weather in LA is very unpredictable. Nice and sunny a few days. Then, it's too hot for January, but not complaining. Then, it's cold and rainy for a week or a day. So during those weird stretches of what feels like Spring, I've been taking advantage of reaching for old favorites. Denim and chambray will always fill my closet and lifestyle. But I need to throw in I've been getting so much inspiration and perspective from some girls on Instagram doing that 10x10 challenge. While I haven't gone shopping much, I know with Spring ahead I will want to. Their insight has given me enough to pause and think before I go crazy shopping. One think I know I get my moneys worth when I buy denim pieces. Is there a piece/style that you buy season after season because of this?

Let's flashback to last year's look here. One thing I do for fun or because I'm cold is layering. This time, it's because I'm cold. Using a button down for extra warmth is still a styling trick I love. I'm just not sure if I love it because it has that cool girl vibe or more for being warm?

Thanks for linking up with us! Our picks are Rachael from Threads for Thomas and Cheryl from Cheryl Shops!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Best Natural Deodorant

sway deodorant review

When I decided to commit to switching to natural beauty, there was no question I was starting with deodorant. Let me tell you how big of a deal this is. My armpits are possibly the stinkiest, most sweaty as they come. Yeah, think teenage boy in the summer bad. I was the girl that clinged to her clinical strength deodorant for life. It was the only thing that worked. BUT this outweighed all the health risks associated to wearing conventional deodorants. Honestly, I'm not sure I would have made this change or journey without having breast cancer diagnosis hit close to home (you can read about that here). 

It's been over a year of testing, hating, loving and back to testing. It is frustrating and plain smelly. Boy do I wish I knew what I know now. Luckily, I am 100% positive I've found something that works. But let's dive into the gists of what you should know before switching to natural deodorant:
  • Girl, you need patience and commitment for this switch. Unfortunately, it's not an overnight thing. Your armpits have built up all the product for years of your conventional deodorants and need a grace period to detox. Let me tell you it's not pretty. This could take weeks to a month. 
  • Do yourself a favor and try not switching during the Summer months. Like I said, it's going to get smelly. 
  • After doing all that detox period, your body could get used to your natural deodorant and stop working like it did. This happened months after for me. It's disheartening--I KNOW. Many times, people end up buying several brands and rotate. It's not ideal, but something to know.
  • Most natural deodorants contain baking soda and your body could be sensitive to it or become sensitive to it. There are formulations without it, but not many.
  • Natural deodorants will still make you sweat, but kill the smell (after the detox period).
  • While natural deodorants do work, you might have to increase the amount of times you apply it. For me, I noticed I had to apply 2-3 times a day.  

sway deodorant start kit

The truth is I thought I found my deodorant and it stopped working. Then, I had to start using two brands of  the deodorant for my own little concoction. I was applying that multiple times a day and still self conscious of smelling half the time. Even worse, I started to develop a sensitivity to one of deodorants. Again, I just could not give up on this process for my health. Not to mention, I wanted to find something for the women in my life and ultimately you. While this two deodorants several times a day and the occasional rash was not ideal, I stuck with it.

Then one day, I received a sample of SWAY Deodorant and I haven't looked back. As you know, I've been burned before with natural deodorant, but guys this by far has been the best natural deodorant I've used. Trust me, I have been using this skeptically for about two months, but have only good things to say. It hasn't been on the market longer than a year, but is very different from other brands. First off, they understand that there is a detox period and make a Detox Starter Kit. It comes with a roll-on deodorant and a dusting powder. While I didn't have that weird detox period, I'm certain it's because I've been using natural deodorants for the past year. The other big difference is there isn't any baking soda. They actually use apple cider vinegar in their deodorant. The funny thing is another natural brand suggests doing a detox paste with apple cider vinegar. You'll also appreciate that over time your body might need less applications and will not stain your clothes. And the woman behind the business is one of nicest business owners, so there's that. Never did I think I would be able to forgot about whether or not I put on deodorant and I can't tell you how awesome that is.

Have you thought about switching to natural deodorant or have? 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

My Go-To Weekend Outfit

black jacekt, white tee, skinny jeans

casual womens outfit

cute black jacket

vegan leather jacket

cute white tshirt

Jacket // Top (size xs) // Jeans // Mules // Sunglasses // Purse (similar under $30)

Okay, that title is a lie. There's a good chance this basic look or outfit formula--moto jacket, cute tee, ripped jeans and flats-- is happening close to everyday of the week. That's basically what LA will do to your style. Although I was born here, so is it just in my DNA? Regardless of where you live, I do think every woman needs a good moto jacket. It's like a super hero cape that's acceptable to wear as a grown up. While we were snapping these pictures, my boyfriend (happened to talk him into being my photographer for 5 minutes) noticed how much sass I had with this jacket. If you know me, I'm definitely the easy going gal. But with this jacket I stood a little taller and had that boost of confidence. Do you have a jacket or piece of clothing that just makes you feel extra? 

Now, let's flashback to last year's look here. And what do you know, it's a very similar outfit formula. That moto jacket still is one of my most worn pieces to date! I think that proves my point about having moto jackets in your wardrobe.

tan vegan leather jacket

Thanks so much for linking up with us! We love looking at everyone's posts, so keep sharing ladies!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

3 Easy Steps to Transition Into Natural Beauty

think dirty app review

When we think of skincare and makeup, our minds think of the beauty and appearance aspects. Both are completely valid. Who doesn't want to look their best? Except you might have heard that there's a lot of weird ingredients that beauty brands use and how all these ingredients can be absorbed into our skin impacting our health. I know, it's scary to think about. Sadly, the US doesn't regulate the beauty industry and there are way more ingredients banned in Europe than the US. So what can you do to take matters into your hands? After a year of detoxing my skincare and makeup I use, I found these three things made it easier to transition.

1. Think Dirty App

First off, get your mind out of the gutter. While it's a work in progress, this is the app you need to download ASAP! It has a database of thousands of products that you can enter by name or scan the SKU to give you a rating of how clean or dirty it is. Is every product in there? No! But you can submit the item for review. The best part is if something does rate dirty, it will give suggestions for cleaner options and breaks down the ingredients. Not going to lie, it's addicting and shocking.

2. Swap Your Deodorant

If there's one thing I wish everyone would swap, it would be their deodorant. Is it freaking hard (not to mention stinky)? ABSOLUTELY! But not only starting with the hardest swap in this whole natural beauty journey, it's the one I find extremely beneficial to our health. The reality is we are meant to sweat. That's healthy. It's normal. We have been conditioned into thinking we shouldn't sweat there. These conventional deodorants are just plugging up our pores and not allowing our bodies to detox. Deodorants are applied so closely to our lymphoids, which carry blood into our entire bloodstream, that it makes sense to try to use the most natural ingredients we can. If I can do it (girl with the worst armpits ever), you can do it. I shared my absolute favorite natural deodorant here.

3. Replace As You Run Out

Once you start scanning your items on Think Dirty, you might panic and want to throw everything out. That's normal. I just wouldn't encourage that. That will create overwhelm and that's not the goal here. So look at what you're running out of, do some research for alternatives and then toss and replace it. Repeat until you swap everything, which could take months. You might even shed some tears for your beloved item (or was that just me?) What can I say, but I get attached to products that have been working for a decade. Here are some of my go-to brands and places to shop:
I hope these tips help simplify transitioning into natural beauty! It is a process, but starting this has been empowering to take responsibility of my health. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out because this is something I could spend hours chatting about and wish I had someone to help me through the process. You don't have to do it alone. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Madewell Try On's: Late Winter

It might be a new year and all, but somethings never change-my love for Madewell! It honestly feels so long since I stepped inside those fitting rooms. So good to be back. While I knew we are in that weird not Winter, not Spring collection, I wanted to have a peek at some of the new arrivals making way online. Also, the associate told me the first big Spring launch is January 19 (insert happy dance). Take this as a warning that I love anything tie-knotted ;)

cute white tshirt

basic long sleeve white tee

Not going to lie, the second I spotted this top it was a must try on. It reminded me of the short sleeve version they came out with in the Summer, which I own and love. It comes in black and rust, but went with the white. Because it is textured, it has some thickness and ultimately makes it not see through. I was wearing a black bra at the time and could get away with it. While I am short waisted, I would say it's a high waisted jean situation.

burgundy star print top

star print silk top

Whenever their silk items hit the sale section, I take note. This top would be one to scoop up right now with the extra percentage. Normally, I wear a size 0 or xs in their structured pieces, but found the size 2 to be fit I liked more. Mainly, I like room in the waist (girl likes to eat, k?). But I know I could wear a size down for a fitted look.

olive utility jacket

Oversized utility jacket

This is their take on the classic utility jacket and they did make it oversized, per their style. But it's EXTRA big (just look at the side view). It's not to say this is a bad thing. It is adjustable at the waist and good if you plan on layering to your hearts content. Just know that it's unlined, so good for this LA gal not so much for everyone else until Spring.

cute orange sweater

rust sweater

An update to your basic crew neck sweater that is done in a thin knit. It comes in a few other basic colors, but love this rust color. As I mentioned, it's thin (hence you can see my black bra), but it does feel soft and of quality. And at this point of pushing through Winter, this little sweater has me excited.

boho printed top

flowy boho top

cute madewell top

While the print is giving me the Spring vibes, this is another piece that runs large. The drawstring waist is very generous, so size down. This is polyester, so for the price I would say it's worth buying on sale. Most tops at this price point are silk.

buffalo plaid top

tie front buffalo check top

black and white buffalo plaid top

While it might feel early for buffalo plaid, I grabbed it on a whim. Based off the cut, these style tops are oversized and roomy. Rarely do I wear small, but found it to the right fit. The fabric has a nice soft touch and the back detail makes this top feel worth the price.

Let me know your favorites or if you have any questions on sizing!

Thank you for linking up with us! Our picks from last weeks link up are Lydia from Chic on the Cheap and Kileen from Cute and Little

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Mustard Sweaters

sweater (similar) // jeans // booties // sunglasses

Well I can say I have officially found my new favorite color--this yellow mustard. You might remember me testing out this color in this post and then I got this sweater for Christmas. And it's been on repeat. I'll be honest, I still feel it's out of my comfort zone only I'm okay with it. The punch of color is a nice change and I find it surprisingly flattering. That was a big reason I stayed away from it. I thought it just wouldn't work with my complexion. Sometimes trying new things is the only way to know if it will work or not. Is there a color you've recently tried that ended up working? 

Now, let's flashback to last year's look here. This reminds me to dig out that sweater. It's the perfect length for leggings.

Thank you, as always, for linking up with us! Our picks are Ashley from Le Stylo Rouge and Laurie from Vanity & Me!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Best Green Beauty Products of 2017

green beauty products review

Never in my life have I been into beauty products until last year. I was that one girl, who if she found something she stuck with it. Basically, I used all the same skincare and beauty products for a good decade. That all changed when cancer hit real close to home (you can read more here) and found myself head deep in trying to make some preventative changes for myself. While I kept replacing and discovering new-to-me brands/products, I came to find some I flat out hated and loved. Lucky for me, there were more loves than hates, but it's not fun wasting money. So after a year of discovering, these are my favorite green beauty products and hopefully helps you find a clean replacement!

Sway Deodorant
The first thing I tried hard to switch was deodorant and let's just say it was a very stinky year until November/December. This brand has only been on the market for less than a year, but it works like no other natural deodorant. It does come in a kit with the deodorant and dusting powder. There will be a full review coming this month, but had to mention it.

Lansinoh Salve (AKA Nipple Cream)
If there's one thing I learned from my former boss, it's nipple cream is the best chapstick of your life. I did work in the mom industry, in case your wondering how the heck this topic came up.Believe me when I say that you're looking at the girl, who had the worst chapped lips all year long. Nothing ever worked until I used this. They come in small tubes (practically lipgloss size) making it discrete and convenient to use on your face.

OSEA Vitamin C Polish
Not only is OSEA natural, but they are family owned and have been doing this for 20 years. While their Vitamin C Polish is one of their newer products, it's a splurge that is worth it. Powder based, it's a probiotic for your face and does the best exfoliating job. You always hear about glowing skin, while this is my glowing skin product rave. Again, it's an investment, but a little goes a long way for results you can see and feel.

Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Daily Shade Facial Lotion
Obviously, I care about my skin and protecting it from the sun is equally as important as the ingredients I use. But finding an SPF moisturizer when your tan complected is no easy task! Just picture me walking around with a white film on my face--not cute! You don't get that from this affordable moisturizer. The rose scent is mild and no where near off putting.

100% Pure Lipsticks
We can all agree finding your favorite nude lipstick is a big task. After realizing that my conventional lipsticks were ending up in my stomach from eating and lip licking, I made it a priority to find replacements. Out of the one's I tried this year, 100% Pure's latest lipsticks in mojave and cassia are clean and the prettiest nude shades.

Skylar Perfume
One of the big giveaways that something is not clean and green is if it has fragrance. Finding a non-toxic perfume was one I thought would take me years to come by, but so glad Skylar landed in my hands. They were created by a mom, who wanted something clean and hypoallergenic. Besides having minimal packaging that I'm all about, the scents are fresh and unique. You can find my wearing Meadow everyday! While I feel (and smell) good wearing them, I do notice they fade quicker. My tip: spray your hair and clothes to make the scent last.

Defy & Inspire Nail Polish
While there is no such thing as a completely clean nail polish, there are better choices. Trust me, it was hard tossing my collection of beloved Essie bottles both for the money spent and plain vanity. But this brand is one you can find at Target making it easily accessible and affordable. They are 5-free (I've only seen 7 or 9-free), so they are middle of the green standard. They last just as long as your average nail polish and appreciate the range of colors.

Have you bought any green beauty items? I would love to hear your favorites!