What I’m Loving Now

This is quite a random collection of things I am currently obsessing over this summer:

IMG_5029I’ve been wanting to try a new skin routine for quite some time now, but everything out there seems either super expensive or irritates my skin. My mother-in-law recommended that I try First Aid Beauty (aka FAB) products because they are made for sensitive skin, so I did a bit of research on it and then took the plunge. I bought a few items from the line, including the Milk Oil Conditioning Cleanser, which gets mixed reviews. It’s a facial cleanser that you rub into your skin without water and it dissolves all of your makeup (including waterproof mascara). I used a damp washcloth to gently wipe off my face afterwards, but the label says you can use a tissue or cotton pad (which, if that really works, would be perfect for traveling). So far, I am super impressed by this product. It does what it says, and it made my skin feel super soft. The Ultra Repair Cream feels amazing and I’m liking that so far. I wanted something really gentle to cleanse my face in the morning, so I purchased the Ultra Repair Wash. This is actually a body wash, but you can use it on your face as well. I read many reviews  and testimonials before I put this on my face, don’t worry! FAB products are free of harsh chemicals, and although I’m no expert on skin this sounded pretty good to me. Since I just started with these products this week I’ll let y’all know how they work out in the long run. Lately, I’ve had pretty dry skin with breakouts along my chin here and there…and to be honest, it’s driving me CRAY! It’s about time I take action! Also, I plan on adding some type of eye cream and serum to this newfound beauty regimen (depending on how this works out) but I am going to wait a week or so because I need to continue my research. If you have any recommendations on that, let me know!

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Some of y’all are going to be VERY shocked by this, but I went to Trader Joe’s for one of the first times EVER yesterday. I had been to one before but didn’t really look around. I was too busy comparing it to Publix and did not give it a fair chance. This being said, I am pretty impressed by their prices and the quality of the items they have to offer. For instance: the flowers. Oh, the flowers! I purchased two bouquets for $3 a piece and put together this arrangement (something I am by NO MEANS a profesh at…at ALL) that I would NEVER be able to get at my go-to grocery store. All flowers aside, I found some other amazing deals. I tried cooking with coconut oil for the first time ever last night, found some great priced almond meal that will be perfect for my macaron baking fiascos, and also purchased a bottle of the $4 Trader Joe’s wine that I keep hearing about (btw I need some direction on this…there were several Trader Joe’s wines available and I wasn’t sure which one is the one that everyone always raves about?). All in all, I think it’s safe to say I love Trader Joe’s. Some people are just late to the party…but at least I finally showed up.

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Just a few other items that I’m love, love, loving for the summer: Havaianas slim flip flops (many more styles to choose from in store). Who am I kidding, I’ve been loving these forever. They are just so comfy and cute. There are so many different styles to choose from that I’m sure anyone can find something. Annnd, did I mention, are always on sale at Nordstrom Rack for like $12. No brainer. This next one is a little bit pricey, and I know that people will judge me for getting sucked into all the hype! But I DON’T CARE! Because it totally works, and is sooooo worth the price: Pureology shampoo and conditioner. I know, I know…I used to be among those who judged and laughed at the fact people spent this kinda money on shampoo. But, when I went lighter with my naturally curly locks this summer, I needed something that would not continue to make them feel like straw after washing. I decided to just give it a try, and I don’t think I will ever be able to go back to regular shampoo. It also helps that one little bottle has lasted me since February…and I’m still not finished with it! Since the formula is so concentrated, you just don’t need as much as regular shampoo to start up a good lather. I do not have to wash my hair as often which is also great, since I hate blow drying my mane. This stuff smells great and makes my hair feel great, too. I’ve noticed it’s also more manageable, and actually growing faster and not breaking off at the ends as much as it used to. My final summer must-have is Essie nail polish, particularly in “Knockout Pout.” I found this color online and looked for it in stores everywhere, and then to my surprise came upon it in TJMaxx…for $3.99. I also love Essie nail polish in “Urban Jungle” and “Turquoise & Caicos”….you can’t go wrong with these hues in the summer months. Thanks for reading this super long post! Any and all beauty/Trader Joe’s recommendations are welcome!

Thrift on!

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Totes on a Budget

Parker and I are finally taking a Honeymoon (over a year after our wedding 😁), and we are going to a tropical destination. Therefore, I have been scouring shops for cute and affordable beachwear. I need stuff that will be easy to pack, comfy to travel in, and nice enough to look good in all of our sweet, sweet, honeymoon pictures! Most of my friends know that I am not really a fan of being in pictures, but I’m trying to get over that mostly because I’m getting old and want the memories! I’ve been obsessing over cute beach bags lately, and I don’t know if it’s just me or if the world is going cray, but these prices are outrageous! Now, I’m all for great quality in a purse…but spending $150 on a bag I’m gonna throw on in the sand is nutso. So I’ve rounded up some of my favorite, more affordable options for y’all (with one exception…just because I love it so much!).

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1. Saks Off 5th $30 2. Target $30 3. Vera Bradley $51 4. ASOS $30 5. Target $30 6. LUCLUC.com $23 7. Target $40 8. Macy’s $40 9. Calypso St Barth $100 (Splurge…but too cute not to post!)

More of my summer faves coming soon! Thrift on!

The Gym Diaries

I loathe the gym. Seriously, I hate walking into it. Once I’m on the treadmill running, I’m absolutely fine, though. Back when I lived near the ocean, I was able to avoid the gym because I had the whole entire beach in my backyard to run on. It was fab! Not a care in the world! I’d wake up and just throw on my old running shorts (some of which were from high school, and the only reason they still fit me was because the elastic was snapped on all of them. Not a pretty image, eh?), an old raggedy tee, and hit the sand.

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I finally joined a gym with Parker (my husband) shortly before our wedding, because that’s what all my other engaged friends were doing and I felt the peer pressure. They called it “shedding for the wedding” or “the bridal Barbie diet.” Every time we would get ready to go, I would secretly freak out on the inside about being judged by everyone there who knew what they were doing. You know who I’m talking about…the ones who walk around and immediately know how to use every single machine, or are running uphill with the resistance all the way up and their makeup and hair still looking super perfect. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, it’s probably you.

Anyways, I would hold in my complaints until we got through about 10 minutes of working out every time. Ya know, just to give Parker time to warm up and brace himself for the “I look so gross” speech. And usually he would just listen and ignore it or tell me to go run on the treadmill. But one day, ONE DAYYYYY, he finally spoke up. He said something along the lines of, “Lauren! If you really feel like your workout clothes are that ugly, go buy new ones that match! You’ll feel a lot better and I won’t have to listen to your complaining anymore.” Okaaaaayyyy. Touche’.

Did I do that? No. We were planning a wedding and work out clothes are super $$$, plus, I had no time to search for that stuff! So instead, while he would go to the gym, I’d just stay at my apartment and run a few miles on the beach in my gnarly gear. I let the old dirty clothes win.

Fast forward one year. We live in California now, but I have no beach in my backyard. So one day, Parker comes home with a free, year-long membership to a nearby gym. He already belongs to a CrossFit gym (which I kept saying I’d try with him, but the 6:00am class time along with all the scary people who look like they could throw me across the room turned me off to that), so he wasn’t going to use it.

This free pass sat on my desk for, oh, I’d say about 4 months. Then, one day, I was perusing the aisles of Nordstrom Rack and something really cute and bright caught my eye. It was a work out tank. AHHHH! Instead of running away immediately, I looked at the tag. I’m not kidding you, this thing was $13! Then I spotted some pants. Cute…and only $25, but I’m sure they will fit weird. So I tried the little outfit on, and my goodness, the pants were so flipping comfortable! The whole entire outfit together made me feel cute. I figured even if I don’t go to the gym, I can wear this around the house and stuff to make it LOOK like I went to the gym. So, on the way back from the fitting rooms, I spotted some cute Nike’s, then I bought them because they were a pretty great deal too. Ugh, I gotta get outta this store!

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I wore this outfit around for about 3 days. It’s the exact aqua tank, grey sports bra, grey leggings, and Nike’s shown above. I know that sounds super unsanitary, but it made me feel so great! Every night when Parker got home, he would say, “Oh you worked out today, huh? (winky face)” because he knows all my tricks and secrets. Finally, this got to me. So, I reluctantly took the pass, and one day, all by myself, went to sign up for the gym. Walking in there was still scary, but I’m not kidding you, I actually get up off my butt and go now! I know this whole entire thing is so silly, but if you’re like me and can’t get motivated to get off your rump and get goin’, maybe this will work for you, too! 

Since this revelation, I have found SO MANY cute and affordable things to work out in!

IMG_4579This one is Olive’s fave.

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Most of the items I’ve found are from Nordstrom Rack, because they have really great prices but don’t compromise quality. I’ve seen some great stuff at T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s, too, but have not tried any of their brands on, and fit is everything when it comes to workout clothes. I have a couple things from Forever21 that I don’t ever wear to the gym, because the pants get all stretched out while I’m running and the sports bras get all warped in the wash and are itchy.

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Ok, this post ended up being a lot longer and crazier than I thought it would. BUT, lastly, I cannot believe how many cutesy running shoes there are out there. They are way too expensive, so if y’all ever see any of them for a good price, let me know ASAP! Here are my faves!!!nikes

In addition to this, I need some gym music recommendations. If you’ve got ’em, leave ’em here please! Thrift on!