Thursday, September 21, 2017

Bridesmaids Gifts + End of Summer Tips: Ru Paul Edition

Like every good twenty-something (well, for a few more months) I get a little ZIP of excitement when I sniff Fall in the air. Actually, doesn't everyone? Even though I adore Fall that doesn't mean I am ready to release my death grip on summer. Nope, not yet. This summer flewww by and I have had this post in draft-mode for a while. Thankfully for me, summer is flashing back this weekend with temps predicted to be in the mid-80s on the East Coast!

When I was chilling with my ladies before the wedding my friend Andrea, and recent bride, asked me when I was going to start blogging about makeup. I have written on the topic before, but I didn't know who would really want to read about it. With some prompting, I'm going out on a limb and sharing some hot-weather makeup tips and products that I utilized all summer, and will again this weekend at my dear friend's baby shower in DC!

If you know me IRL you know I could talk for hours about makeup. I'd like to say it's not because I'm vapid or vain or too image conscious. It's really just something I've loved since I was a kid and has honestly become a pretty regular topic of conversation throughout the years. Hence why I themed my bridesmaids' gifts around makeup as well! Below is the little print-out I put in the gift bags for my ladies, along with each of the items listed.

The Waterproof Better Than Sex Mascara and the Urban Decay All Nighter Spray and Eyeshadow Primer are staples for me. Two other products that I loved all summer (and many summers) are the Tarte Amazonian Clay Powder Foundation and the Tarte Shape Tape Concealer. During our mini-moon in Charleston, I really put all of these products to the test.  The humidity in Charleston is no joke, it is truly suffocating. Thankfully that meant I could test the sh*t outta these products and tell you they are legit! The two photos below are after wearing the concealer and foundation, with the setting spray, for many hours. These are super true to life: I was hot and walking around and a little shiny, but it still looks natural!

I've been wearing that foundation for three summers now and have it in a few colors. It is a loose, illuminating powder and looks so good when you set it with a spray. When I get a little "glowy" it's like it hydrates the foundation a bit and continues to look good! The concealer is one that dries totally matte and stays put. Essential for summer heat!

One product I did not know about at that time was LipSense, which I truly wish I had for my wedding and honeymoon! This stuff is crazy and literally does not kiss off or come off at all until you remove it. It has been an end-of-summer staple and I intend to get a few darker colors for winter. My beautiful sister sells it (yes, it's one of those) so check out her Insta if you are interested.

This is a glam shot TWELVE HOURS after applying LipSense in Caramel Apple. It's fo-real:

Hopefully, some of these products will be helpful for you makeup-lovers and year-round shvitz-ers out there!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Baby E is ONE!

In case it wasn't obvious, I am obsessed with my nieces. When Amanda told me she was pregnant with Louisa, I had no clue what a blessing it would be to be an Auntie. Now that Evaline has entered our lives, the joy has tripled! One of the best parts of hanging with my nieces is watching them interact. They are SO different. Never having spent much time around kids I didn't really realize that children had such distinct personalities.

Evaline is as calm as could be, especially when considered in contrast to her wild and vivacious older sister. She goes with the flow and smiles the whole time! I spent 30 solid minutes at her birthday party pushing her in the baby playset swing and chatting with Amanda's friend. No way in hell would Louisa have let me get away with ignoring her for so long. These little kiddos have created a depth of love in my grinch heart that I didn't know was possible.

To celebrate Evaline Ruth's first circle around the sun, I went to Philly for the party a few days early to spend some extra time with my sister and nieces. Amanda and I even had some time with just the two of us, which rarely happens and it was really fun! I also got to bathe in her Liberace-style swimming pool/bath tub hybrid in her new house, so that really made the plane ticket worth it. And she brought me snacks. In the tub. If that's not living, I don't know what is.

Saturday my parents, my friend Michelle from Dickinson and tons of Amanda's friends came to celebrate our little girl! On Sunday, after four beautiful days in Philly, it was time to truck it back to the mountains. As we got older the time we have together becomes more precious. Every time I leave my people it seems to get harder, not easier. Hence why the PHL airport has earned a lot of money in the form of milkshakes and shoes. All guaranteed to soothe the soul!

I can't wait to see my babies again!

And just for fun...

Saturday, August 26, 2017


Nature always has a significant role in most favorite and pivotal life moments. On Monday, the cosmos came together to make another one happen...the total solar eclipse! Eclipses are not something that have ever been on my radar, though I soon learned that tons of people in my area had had epic eclipse plans for years! Also, being an Eclipse Chaser is a thing. So...#lifegoals.

Once the eclipse was on my radar, I was surprised to learn that my parents already had plans to travel to THE PATH OF TOTALITY. Totality means that the moon completely blocks out the sun, making it so dark that it looks like nighttime for a few minutes or seconds, depending on your location. Lucky for us, the center of the path (AKA the longest total darkness) was only one hour from me and where my parents would be vacationing in Montreat. My sister made a last minute decision to join and it became a full family affair!

This cool Nasa video shows the path of totality, in case you were under a rock this week!

Leading up to Monday, the news was warning everyone that our area would run out of gas, that the highways would be so backed up that folks should be prepared with water, food, and maps due to over-taxed cell towers. My inner girl scout kicked in and I packed a couple gallons of water, lots of sun protection and SNACKS.

There were so many places to view the Eclipse, including parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway, camping spots, and even where we got married! But my parents had planned to go to Greenville, South Carolina to the Furman campus where they met and lived the beginning of their married life! We began our trek at 9 in the morning for the 2:30 pm event, and had no traffic issues! 

Luckily we were able to snag a shady tree spot outside the metal-sweat-trap stadium where the college put on some performances and the physics department narrated the changing sky. It was ungodly hot and we were so lucky to grab a shady spot with our chairs, blankets, and cooler where we could see and hear everything. We spent the day following the shadow, sweating and chasing hot babies with a screen screen bottle until around 1:30 pm when the moon first touched the edge of the sun!

The 'eclipsing'  hour was spent periodically tracking the path of the moon crossing the sun through our super cute eyewear.

As we got close to 2:38, our totality time, the energy totally changed. The light was reminiscent of the 'golden hour' right before the sun sets when everything feels dim but glowy at the same time. Know what I mean? When it finally got dark...I couldn't believe how bright the ring of light around the moon was. That, I did not expect! 

Right before total darkness

We spent the next two minutes bumbling around like idiots, trying to take pictures and staring at each other. I regret wasting time on silly iPhone pics when I should have been focusing on the sky, but it is crazy to see now how dark it really got. What you can't see is the dramatic temperature drop which was so welcome on this 90+ degree day.

I had never considered how quickly 2.5 minutes would pass!! It was such an intense experience, I wish there had been a moment of silence or some sort of reverence. That said, it was totally crazy and really cool to experience with my whole family (minus my bride who couldn't take the day off work). We were really fortunate to have had great weather and a clear view, so that was the trade off for being surrounded by thousands of people. Lots of people who went to the mountains had clouds and rain! Also, the Furman band played the Stars Wars theme song as the full eclipse was completing, so there's that.

Crazy moon-shaped shadows, made by tree leaves!

We ended the day racing back to Black Mountain for the last reservation spot at the Red Rocker Inn. If you are ever in Montreat/Black Mountain their food is incredible!

It was a fabulous celebration of a really cool day. Hope you all had a memorable Eclipse day!