A Perfect Summer Day

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It’s a beautiful, sunny June afternoon and I’m lounging by the pool with a little rosé spritzer in hand and Bossa Nova playing in the background. Open up a good book (currently reading Grit – will do a post) and add my favorite spicy watermelon/pineapple snack, and now it’s a perfect Summer day!

POPSUGAR captured everything you need for a day like this with their June Must Have Box. It’s full of goodies with everything from the cutest monochrome sarong to a fun bottle opener and the heavenly snack that is Sriracha “pressels” (AMAZING).

When I’m headed out for a beach or pool day, I’m very particular about what goes in my beach bag. My main objective is to pack anything I might possibly need avoiding extra trips home or runs to the store. Efficiency is key! I’ve got all of the usual suspects – towel, headphones, books, watermelon juice, sunscreen, sunnies. Throw in the Must Have Box goodies and you’re set for a perfect Summer day!

POPSUGAR sent me this Must Have box to try and you can find your very own box here!

So Fresh & So Clean

There’s one thing we use everyday where bacteria thrives, but often gets overlooked –  our makeup brushes. For someone like me with sensitive, oily skin, using dirty makeup brushes is detrimental. Not only do they carry/transfer bacteria, but the product build up makes application uneven. Basically, you’re not getting the full potential out of your (likely expensive) makeup and setting yourself up for a massive breakout in the meantime!

There are various opinions on how often to clean your makeup brushes, but most agree that you should aim for once a month. What usually prevents us from doing this regularly is the time-consuming nature of the project and/or not having time to wait for your brushes to dry before you need to use them again. I like to set about 45 minutes aside one Sunday a month to tackle this. Just 45 minutes, shorter than it takes some to apply their makeup!

My method is very simple:

  1. Layout 2 towels – one is for cleaning and one for drying.
  2. Wash each brush/sponge with basic white, unscented soap and warm water.
  3. Lay brushes on towel #1 after washed.
  4. Rewash each of the brush with gentle shampoo. I use either Johnsons Baby Shampoo or travel sized shampoos from hotels. I love this Malin + Goetz shampoo because it’s simple and has peppermint oil that leaves the brushes smelling fresh for weeks.
  5. Lay brushes out to dry on towel #2 by a window or fan.

That’s it! Super easy and highly necessary.

p.s. I’ve linked some of my favorite brushes above!

2 Years

Relationship advice, anniversary, two year anniversary, what i've learned about love

Champagne + Pomegranate seeds!

This weekend Andrew and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary. I’ve always looked at 2 years as a big relationship milestone. My mom used to tell me that it takes 2 years to fully know someone. Over time you have a chance to see how someone fares through different stages and experiences in life. This has definitely been true for us as we’ve faced some major life changes, especially within the past year. In honor of our anniversary, I thought Andrew and I would each share the 2 biggest lessons we’ve learned in  the past 2 years:

Alex:

  1. The more complete you are individually, the better partner you’ll be in a relationship. I cannot stress enough that a relationship is not the answer to filling a void in your life, finding yourself, feeling whole, or finally living the life you’ve wanted. A boyfriend/girlfriend is not the key to happiness. This is something you must find within yourself and continue to work at as an individual. You are ready to be a good partner when you have a sense of self and are comfortable with who you are. A partner should complement you, not complete you. Andrew and I met when we were both at a good, strong place in our lives. This allowed us to come in to the relationship baggage-free and build something really special together. It also takes a lot of pressure off of the other person from feeling like they must be the key to your happiness.
  2. Avoid drama. Outside of your family, your mate is the one person who will be by your side throughout everything in life. There is nothing more amazing than someone who is committing to do life with you throughout every circumstance. This is the last person you want to fight with, so minimize the drama at all costs. It’s not worth it!

Andrew:

  1. Always put the other person before yourself. As human beings, we’re always in our own heads. Our interpretation of what other people want and need might be incorrect. It’s important to always listen and put what that other person wants first because that’s what’s going to bring your own happiness.
  2. Express Gratitude. It’s easy to take things for granted,  but it’s important to express sincere gratitude and count your blessings when you’ve found someone who is your true mate. Every relationship requires work. Being grateful for who the other person is and what they do for you is critical to finding the path forward when times get tough.
Relationship advice, anniversary, two year anniversary, what i've learned about love, red dress

Andrew and I at Heart Ball

My Podcast Addiction Pt. II

It’s been a while since my last podcast post so I thought I’d share a few that I’ve been listening to lately. The content that I’m interested in changes with the different seasons of life.  Right now, I’ve been listening to podcasts that are either business-oriented, branding-focused shows or those that tell a unique story. It’s very similar to the way I read books. I’m always reading at least 3 types of books: non-fiction, light/fun fiction, and business depending on my mood. This diversity is helpful when you’re working through a challenging project, trying to develop a more balanced perspective, or just simply need a mental vacation!

  1. The #AskGaryVee Show – If you’re not familiar with Gary Vaynerchuck, he is an expert and successful entrepreneur in the world Social Media Marketing. He is the CEO of Vayner Media and speaks at a variety of events around the world. Gary packs a lot of ego, but makes some excellent points. His is quick and to the point. Listening to his show is one of my favorite ways to kick off the Monday morning commute.
  2. The Art of Charm – While I’ve only listened to a few of their episodes, I’ve loved the variety of speakers they bring on board. What makes their show unique is the raw nature of the conversation and unfiltered advice.
  3. Bodega Boys – Speaking of unfiltered, I feel like I should add a word of caution about the Bodega Boys. It’s best to listen to this one when you’re not around any sensitive ears. That being said, Desus Nice and The Kid Mero are absolutely hilarious! They aren’t talking about much of anything, but just laughing about current events with a true bodega, cornerstone vibe. Their perspective and humor is raw, but reminds me so much of the way my brother and I crack jokes with each other.
  4. This American Life – If you’re new to the podcast world, you definitely want to start here. This American Life captures the true essence of powerful storytelling. Each show has a different theme, usually unexpected. Listening to the show is like getting lost in a great fiction book with a surprise ending.

P.s. I’d be remiss if I didn’t share that my fiancee was just featured on 2 incredible episodes the Blogs of War podcast, a natural security show. Check them out here and here

Cheers to a great week!

Blooming

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Top (similar here and here)// Skirt (sold out – similar here and here on sale)// Shoes// Bracelet// Bag (similar on sale)// Lipstick (Color is Cosmic Raspberry)// Jacket (old – similar here)

Last Sunday started with one of those perfectly still mornings. The streets were clear (a rarity here), the wind was only a slight breeze, and the weather cool, but bearable. Andrew and I took a drive through Pacific Heights and it seemed like all the flowers had sprung overnight. A promising sign after years in drought!

We got out and walked through the neighborhood admiring the impressive homes. Also, I’d be lying if I didn’t mention I was trying to get my Fitbit steps up on a usually sedentary Sunday. Taking these walks through Pac Heights is something we love to do. Each time I’m amazed at intricate design of each of the homes, it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Even more beautiful are the flowers that bloom across the trellises adorning many of the homes. The outside of the homes are literally covered in these flowers!

This Ted Baker skirt was made just for days like these. This season, I love pairing textured tops with a floral bottoms to add a bit of dimension to the look. If you have a statement jacket, layer it to enhance the look even more. This green coat is one of my favorites because it evokes a classic Kate Middleton feel. With many jackets going on sale now, check out a few other options here, here, and here.

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