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15 Ways to Relax, Reset, and Recharge

If you saw my Instagram stories on Saturday, then you know I had what I dubbed ‘Mom’s Mini Day Out’. Basically, it was a few hours all to myself (with the hubs watching little one, of course) to relax, reset and recharge. When I got home, it was noticeable how much better I felt. I was excited for the day, in an overall better mood, my body felt less tense, and I was more patient. Overall I was a better mom and better wife for taking the few hours to myself!

If you’d asked me prior to Saturday if me-time was important, I would have answered yes, but truthfully I wouldn’t have had anything to base that off of. Since Beckett was born (16 MONTHS AGO YOU ALL!!! Where has time gone?!), I’ve really really struggled with mom guilt. If you are someone who doesn’t believe mom guilt is a real thing, I invite you to my house to which I will show you just how real it is.

For 16 months, I’ve made Beckett my top priority. Her meals, her play, her learning, her care…whatever she needed came first and foremost. As a result, I was exhausted and I had serious struggles with finding time for myself. You guys know this…I mean, I didn’t write on here for months! I felt guilty leaving her to shower (even when she was with Joe!), felt guilty not playing and teaching her every spare second of my day, felt guilty for enjoying myself on the rare chance she wasn’t attached to my hip. Truthfully, my mind was a mess, my body was in pain and I was just exhausted overall.

Evidently it was clear to Joe that I was in need of a break, as he surprised me with a massage on Saturday and I can’t thank him enough for forcing me out of the house. I woke up Saturday morning and he was practically pushing me out the door (he knows I would stay home given the chance), but I’m so glad he did. The masseuse told me that was body was pretty tense (shocker!) and that was skin was so dry she used an entire bottle of oil during my massage (#fail). So lesson learned ladies – take care of yourselves! It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or extravagant – just put yourself, and your health first. I promise your spouse and/or children will be SO glad that did!

If you need a little help figuring out how to relax, reset, and recharge then here are 15 tips to help:

  1. Go for a walk

Every time I go for a walk, I make a conscious effort to appreciate the beauty around me as my child does when we go on walks. The littlest things make her so happy – the dog across the street, the wind tickling her face, the sounds of cars or the butterfly that passes. The world from the eyes of a child is truly magical, and it’s something adults are often too jaded to appreciate.

  1. Take a bath

Prior to Beckett, I did this all the time. Now the only time I get one is if she’s in the tub with me! To me, there’s something so relaxing about breaking open a bath bomb, filling the tub with warm water and just sitting starring at the water.

  1. Get a massage

Here’s another prime example of something I did all the time prior to the birth of my child, and I haven’t done it once since she’s been born (until this past Saturday, of course!). It was nice to get some of the built-up tension out of my muscles, and it forced me to put my phone down and relax for an hour.

  1. Invest in little things that make you happy

This is actually one I do really well! Over the course of the last year, I’ve been really good about finding ways to enjoy mundane tasks more, like cleaning and laundry. I’ve been buying Mrs. Meyers Multi-Surface Cleaner in different seasonal scents (currently loving Mum and Apple Cider) because it makes cleaning around the house exciting since these sprays smell amazing! Also, I recently caved and bought The Laundress laundry detergent because it smells so so good and makes my clothes so soft. It’s the little things people!

  1. Find a hobby

Joe telling me to get a hobby is exactly the reason I started this blog and everyday I’m glad that I did! I love writing and connecting with each of you! It clears my mind and gives me purpose aside from being a wife and mother. I’ve also recently really taken up photography and while I’m still in the beginning stages, I really love and get so excited when I capture something magical!

  1. Take up something new

Speaking of hobbies – take up something new. Like a cooking class, or tennis lessons. Just put yourself out there!

  1. Ask for help

Asking for help is my nemesis. I struggle so much asking for help, because truthfully I feel like I failed when I need help. In my mind, I should be able to do everything, and google or research anything else. I’m constantly reminding myself that it’s okay to need help and that by needing help doesn’t mean I did something wrong.

  1. Light candles

This goes back to the little things in life. I love candles, so sometimes when I just need a quick reset on life, I light one of my favorite candles (really love this one!) and take a few deep breaths.

  1. Enjoy a meal alone

This probably sounds so stupid, but after having a child I rarely eat alone (and sometimes, I don’t eat at all). I’m always just trying to eat when I’m feeding her (usually leftovers of whatever she’s eating), or I’m eating as fast as I can while I’m doing a thousand other things. Recently I’ve been putting a solid effort to having at least one meal a week, in which I sit at the table (or in a restaurant), by myself and enjoy my meal in peace.

  1. Always eat dessert

I’m such a huge proponent of eating dessert! I feel like the more we deprive ourselves of things we want, the more we crave and when/if we give into those cravings, it’s so much worse than if you just ate a little dessert the first time you wanted it. I mean kudos to the people who hate sweets, but I eat some form of dessert every single day. Sometimes it’s just a Hersey kiss or two (or three), sometimes it’s ice cream and sometimes it’s just adding whipped cream to my coffee. But so long as I have dessert in moderation, I will never deprive myself of it. You only live once, and damn it – I’m eating dessert!

  1. Drink tea before bed

I like to drink a cup of tea before bed. It doesn’t happen nearly as often as I’d like, but if I had the energy, I’d drink a cup every night before bed. Last week, I was truthfully exhausted! So much so, I made some mint tea and rather than sitting downstairs watching TV with Joe and drinking my tea, I decided to take my cup upstairs and I sat in bed, drank my tea and decompressed from what has been a busy few months. As a result, I slept like an absolute baby! Drink tea ladies….specifically tea in bed!

  1. Get a mani/pedi

This isn’t something I’ve done for myself since before I got married, as I usually just paint my nails at home. But so many women swear by regular manis and pedis that I felt I needed to add it to this list. Leave the hubby with the kids and hit up the nail salon for some cuticles, color and clear mind!

  1. Buy a nice robe/comfy lounge clothes

I work from home 3 days out of the week, and so recently I decided to get this really nice robe and some really comfy lounge clothes. It just makes such a difference! Soft, warm, cozy clothes for home are just heavenly and it’s so much better being stressed out and comfortable, rather than just stressed out. 

  1. The Slip Pillowcase

Talk about beauty rest! There’s nothing like a few extra Zzzz’s to really help you reset, but a few extra Zzzz’s on the Slip Pillowcase? Um, yes please!

  1. Stay off social media

There’s nothing like having a few minutes to yourself, and then all of a sudden you get sucked down the social media rabbit hole. You spend all the time you were supposed to be using to relax, by getting wound up, playing comparison between you and every other person on social media. Uffff! When I really want to reset, I stay off social media. I also (and you guys already know this) make it a point to take one day a week off from posting on social media because it helps me recharge, and focus on family. 

Grid Turtleneck | Similar Tweed Skirt | OTK Boots

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Thursday Thoughts

Well aside from the fact that I’m currently sitting here thinking that I’m starving (for real though!), my brain has been going about a hundred miles a minute over the last couple of days. I go through these phases, where I’m pretty chill and nothing seems to phase me and then I have 18,000 creative ideas, all of which must be implemented at that exact moment. These ideas are always followed by a 1000 questions (none of which are important) that must be answered immediately and before I know it, it’s 2 am and I’m wide awake, listening to my husband snore, wishing I could just flip a switch, and turn off my brain.

Please tell me I’m not the only one!?

Case in point – what started as a simple google search of ‘best purple shampoo’, ended with me discovering that I’ve been using it wrong all these years. This then led me to searching various other hair secrets I might not know of, which led me to a research study on the connection between old plumping/pipes, copper and hair loss. This then led to me researching water filters for my shower head, which led me to wanting a brass shower head instead of the chrome one I currently have. This led to me planning a hypothetical future bathroom (picking tiles and wall paint colors), which led me to researching houses to buy to which I could insert previous planned bathroom. After picking a house, this led me to researching how much it would cost to paint the outside of a house because the house I picked (mind you a house I’m not going to buy!) needs a fresh coat of paint on the outside…and maybe a little lawn work if I’m being honest. 

You all – these are the moments where I feel like I’m going crazy! I mean, talk about 6 degrees of separation! 

And this is just one rabbit hole. In the last couple days, I’ve wanted to open a clothing store, start a photography business, write a book, and change my hair color – all which were met with a considerable amount of time researching, rabbit hole after rabbit hole, and none of these will come to fruition.

I guess my point here is that even though I drive myself crazy when I get in these moods (yes Joe, I know it’s driving you crazy too!) it’s always good to keep dreaming, challenging yourself, and learning. Although my brain is filled with an endless amount of random knowledge (hello, local bar trivia nights!), it’s also the same wheels that inspired me to move to Chicago, and to start this blog, both of which are decisions I’ll forever be grateful I made. And if you’re curious, I often refer to my brain as the ‘wheels’, as in ‘the wheels on the bus go round and round’. It’s my way of saying my brain is always going round and round. 🙂

So anyway – keep dreaming ladies! Be yourself, love yourself and believe in yourself. Be comfortable being unique. Be inspired by everything. Google the sh*t  out of everything. And here’s to hoping we’re never sitting in a police station being asked about our Google search history 🙂

Ruffle Top | Camo Skinny Jeans | Nude Sandals | Earrings | Backpack

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3 Tips for Wearing Hair Extensions

Let me begin by saying that I have always wanted to try hair extensions. Not for length or even really thickness (I actually have pretty thick hair as it is), but because everyone that wears hair extensions has the most beautiful head of hair that I couldn’t help being envious. So for the last two years, I’ve debated whether or not to cave and buy clip in extensions (I don’t do well with anything that is permanent-ish, so it was important to me that I could wear them when I wanted and store then away for when I didn’t).

I’ll be honest, shopping for extensions is SOOOO hard because no matter what description or color is used through a website, you just can’t guarantee an exact match when you receive them in the mail. And this stopped me time and time again from pulling the trigger and buying extensions. I mentioned in this post how my hair isn’t quite naturally blonde, but not quite naturally brown, and rather this very difficult in-between color. And I highlight my hair (like once every 6 months or so) so I generally felt like my hair was never consistently one color and certainly not a color that would be easy to match. With that, I finally just accepted that any extensions I got would most likely need to go with me to my next hair appointment and be matched.

After that realization, I did some research and finally landed upon Glam Seamless Hair Extensions. I’ll be honest, I was incredibly fortunate to be able to partner with this company, but part of why I love them so much and why I agreed to the collaboration was because of one little detail: they’ll ship you a color ring with hair color samples of all the extensions straight to your home so you can ensure an exact match prior to ordering!

Fast forward roughly 3 weeks later, and I’ve been playing with my extensions quite a bit. When I first got them I was entirely clueless on what to do. Where do I put these in my head? Am I supposed to use all these wefts?  How can I put my hair in a ponytail? Why isn’t my natural hair disguising these? To be honest, I spent a lot of time on google and trial and error to get the process that works best for me. In an attempt to save you those endless hours of YouTube rabbit holes, here are the 3 biggest tips I have for any newbies or hair extension wearers in general:

You don’t have to use all the wefts or even the biggest sized wefts in the pack

Ohhh, this is truly that one that got me. I mean, 7 pieces come in the pack, so logically it would make sense that you need to use all 7 pieces…WRONG! Even though I have pretty thick hair, it carries a fine texture so I just couldn’t hide all 7 wefts in my hair and attempting to find a way to make it work was super frustrating. Finally I came to understand that it’s okay not to use every single weft that comes with your purchase. ANNNNDDD, the largest weft (my largest one has 5 clips and is supposed to go from ear to ear) just didn’t work for me. I tend to part my hair and wear it on my shoulders around my face. With a weft this large it was easily noticeable in the back when I parted my hair – no bueno! Instead, I use roughly 5 of the wefts, and really love the ones that are only two clips. For my hair type, those are the easiest to disguise!

Don’t place the wefts as close to your scalp as possible.

Again, in my logical brain I’m clipping something into my hair and it would make sense to place it as close to my scalp as possible. Yea no – don’t do that. Frankly it hurts and made them so much more difficult to maintain. Instead, place them roughly half an inch away from your scalp, which makes them more manageable and easier to disguise. Also, if you’re afraid they’ll slip out of your hair if you don’t place them at your scalp, just give your hair a little texture spray or dry shampoo (loving this one and this one) so the wefts have a little grit to hold on to.

Place extensions in your hair first, then curl/straighten and style

Again, maybe I’m just stupid here, but when I first got these I curled my hair, then put in the extensions and curled those. It was the most unnatural and cumbersome process that I swore I’d never wear the extensions again. Well being that I’m generally just overly dramatic, I came around after a day or so and found that the more I played around with them, the more comfortable I became treating them just like my own hair. So the last couple of times I’ve worn them, I put them in my hair first, then curled or straightened all my hair at once. To me, this makes the extensions look so much more blended and realistic.

I’m by no means an expert here, but hopefully these tricks help if you are on the quest to conquer the hair extension world. Do you wear extensions? Do you have other tips, tricks or cheats for wearing them? Share your thoughts below!

Bow Top | Similar Velvet Pants | Similar Heels | Earrings

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Must-Haves In My Makeup Bag

In all my years of writing and publishing on this blog, I don’t think I’ve ever shared my beauty routine. Can you believe it? What the hell have I been talking about for 3.5 years?! And I’m not talking about my skincare regimen, because I have written about that here and here, but more so my favorite makeup products that I use on an everyday basis. Sounds fun, right?

I’ve always been a makeup lover – from the time I was like 15 and my mom finally let me start ‘wearing makeup’, until now. My look has certainly refined as I’ve gotten older (so long silver, smokey eyes and ultra-dramatic eye liner) but one thing has remained constant: that you can always find me perusing the aisles of a Sephora or the beauty section at Nordstrom 🙂 I’ve used, tested, and/or sampled SO MANY products throughout the years and as a perfectionist, it takes a lot for me to fall in love with a product. Even when I want to love something, if it doesn’t work with my skin – it’s a no. So you can rest assured that the following products are all things I swear by!

PRIMER 

Bare Minerals Prime Time

There are so many primers that I’ve tried that I wanted to love, and every single one of them clogged my pores, led to breakouts or just didn’t keep my foundation in place throughout the day. Until I tried Bare Minerals Prime Time! It feels weightless on my skin, keeps my pores happy and healthy and my makeup stays put for the 16+ hour days I sometimes put in.

FOUNDATION

Dior Forever in Medium Beige

Oh mylanta – I really have tried every foundation on the market, and I always come back to this same one over, and over. I’ve been using Dior Forever foundation for the last 2ish years and nothing (and I literally mean NOTHING) compares. I’ve tried Estee Lauder, NARS, Clinique, Make Up For Ever, CoverGirl, Bare Minerals, etc. and something about this Dior formula is perfection for me.Just a heads up, but this is a medium to full coverage foundation, so if you are looking for a something more along the lines of lightweight, and barely there – this probably isn’t for you. 

CONCEALER

Bare Minerals BarePro in Light/Medium Neutral

Not going to lie – I would have never tried this concealer had I not attended a PR event for Bare Minerals back in the Winter. Prior to trying this, I was an avid user and lover of NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard. I have nothing negative to say about NARS and it was my favorite for such a long time, but after trying BarePro, there was no turning back. This concealer just looks so natural, photographs well, doesn’t crease and really covers up my sleepy-mom dark circles 🙂 

POWDER

Kat Von D Lock-It Setting Powder in Translucent

I don’t use powder all over my face, but rather only in my T-Zone to help control oil throughout the day. Honestly, I didn’t even start using setting powder until about 6 months ago so this is one product I don’t feel I have an expert license in. That said, I have zero complaints about this powder. It does what I want it to and at the rate I’m going, it will last until I’m about 50.

BRONZER

Bare Minerals Warmth All Over

I love me a good bronzer. It’s amazing what bronzer can do for your overall look and how healthy and happy it makes my face (ha!). I switched to this bronzer after only using Physicians Formula for many years and while I love PF, I didn’t love that their bronzers always had some highlighter in them (or some form of a sparkly glitter). The Bare Minerals Warmth bronzer just looks more natural on my skintone and there is no added sparkle – hooray!

EYEBROWS

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Taupe

My natural hair color is dirty blonde, which means not quite brown, but not quite blonde. With eyebrows that same color, it’s been a challenge over the years to find an eyebrow color that matches. Anastasia Beverly Hills in Taupe is the perfect color for my eyebrows and looks so natural. I’ve used the pomade and like it, but it’s too much work for me, so I made the switch to the brow wiz pencil and haven’t looked back since. 

BLUSH

Pixi Beauty Strobe & Bronze | Bare Minerals Gen Nude Powder Blush in Call Me Blush | NARS Orgasm

I use a different blush depending on what I’m wearing or what lip color I’m planning to put on, but these three are pretty much the only ones I alternate between. Most of the time, I layer some combination of them together since they each have something different I love about them. That said, I have my eye on the new Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic Blush in Pillowtalk, so stay tuned for an update and we’ll see if it’s added to my blush arsenal 🙂

HIGHLIGHTER

Pixi Beauty Glowy Duos in Delicate Dew

I love highlighter. Like bronzer, it just makes a world of difference on my face. Right now, I’m loving the Delicate Dew highlighter from Pixi Beauty, but I also have two thumbs up for Avon Moonlight Highlighter in Quartz and Marc Jacobs Dew Drops Coconut Get Highlighter in Fantasy.

EYESHADOW

Bare Minerals Gen Nude in Copper / Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Palette / Morphe x Jaclyn Hill / Urban Decay Born to Run Palette

Ohhhhh…I heart eyeshadow! I always tell myself I’m going to branch out and try all the fun eye shadow mixes I see on Instagram and Pinterest, but I never do and I always stick to golds and mauve toned shades. So if there is a palette that contains gold and pink shades, I’ve probably tried it and I probably love it 🙂 Like blush, I go back and forth depending on what I’m wearing, but these are the palettes I’m currently loving.

EYELINER

Pixi Beauty Endless Silky Eye Pen in Black Noir / Ciate London Fierce Flicks in Black

No winged eyeliner for this gal, and rarely any liner that isn’t black. This is like the one category of makeup that I never experiment with. I use this kohl liner for an everyday look, and this liquid felt tip pen when I want something just a touch more dramatic. Other than that, I’m a total basic when it comes to eyeliner. Boooo, me!

MASCARA

Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara in Black | Bare Minerals Lashtopia Mascara in Black

Up until a few months ago, I used the same mascara since I was 18. I tried many different ones, but always came back to two coats of Buxom Lashes. Until one random day, I decided to give two different mascaras another go, except this time I used them together. Both the Lashtopia and Velvet Noir mascaras were ones that I loved, but weren’t quite perfect, ya know? But what one lacked, the other had, so I thought – why not just do one coat of each? And I’m so glad I did! While I will always love Buxom Lashes, these two mascaras mixed were just the like a match made in mascara making heaven!

LIPS

Charlotte Tilbury in Pillowtalk & The Duchess | Nars Orgasm Lip Balm | Marc Jacobs in Pretty Thing & Sugar Sugar | Maybelline in Touch of SpiceFresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Petal

Finally – my favorite category of makeup! I can’t pass by a beauty aisle and not get a new lip color. Seriously, it’s almost overwhelming how many lipsticks and glosses I have, which is why it isn’t surprising what a long list of favorites I have. Each of these lipsticks are carried in my makeup bag 100% of the time, so that they’re always with me if I need it and I have mixed and matched every lippie on this list to create even more beautiful and fun shades. Really, I could write a whole blog post on lipstick, but you’ll have to settle for this for now. 

Thanks for reading!!

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Stylish Sweatshirts

Wow – honestly I can’t remember the last time I sat down to write a blog post, although WordPress tells me I last published back in July. It’s September – I mean where did summer go? You guys, I don’t even know where to start, and I feel like every time I start a blog post I tell y’all how busy I’ve been and with each passing day life gets busier and busier. And to be frank, I am someone who doesn’t like to do things unless I can fully commit and give something my 150% effort. It’s how I am at work (my full-time, day job), it’s how I am with parenting and relationships, and honestly  t’s how I want to be with this blog.

But most days – I’m exhausted. And not just physically, but mentally which doesn’t leave a lot of room for creative writing. I pride myself (and this blog) in not just being about ‘fashion’, but writing as well. I’ve always had such a special love of writing, and it’s something I’ve become ‘known’ for in adulthood. So when I started this blog, I promised myself that it wouldn’t be me writing about just sales and clothes, but rather would be a fun outlet for me to write creatively and freely, about whatever I want, incorporating life and humor along the way. And lately, I’ve found myself drifting away from this because it’s SO much easier to just write about a sale or to not even write at all, than it is to challenge myself and my exhaustion levels to put together a blog post worthy of my loving and fabulous readers (you!).

So I’m sorry. I’m sorry I’ve taken such a long break from connecting with each of you. I’m sorry the content I’ve published over the summer has been garbage. This is my commitment to being better. I’m challenging myself to being better by starting fresh and setting expectations for what you can see on this blog moving forward.

I’m committing to, at the very bare minimum, of two blogs posts a week (under promise, over deliver people!). These posts will be published every Tuesday & Thursday because the routine is something I love about other blogs I read, and something I want for you all with Jessica Lynna.

So without further ado, let’s get into it and for the love of all things holy stop talking about how busy life is, because apparently that isn’t going to change anytime soon.

So…this adorbs sweatshirt..pretty cute, eh?! I pretty much live in sweatshirts because our house is freezing 110% of the time and I work from home 3 days out of the week. Like seriously – it could be hell on earth outside, but I will be in a sweatshirt and pants because apparently Elsa from Frozen controls our thermostat (I’m looking at you Joe.). Any who, as a spokesperson for all things sweatshirt, I believe that qualifies me to tell you all that this particular sweatshirt (which is only $6 might I add) is extra special because you can wear it with standard lounge pants around the house, but you can also throw on some jeans and heels and look relatively casual but still dressed up if you’re going out somewhere. Hmmm, come to think of it, it’s sort of how I feel about most hoodless sweatshirts. So long as there is no crazy writing or print across them, you can basically get away wearing them in so many different ways.

For example: occasionally, I’ll throw a button down under a solid sweatshirt, to which my once comfy, slouchy sweatshirt now looks like a sweater. And if you want to wear your sweatshirt to work, just throw a blazer over it, and viola (I hope my boss isn’t reading this because I’ve done this more times than I can count – ha)!

Nevertheless, with Fall rapidly approaching (we’ve had several cooler days already here in Chicago and I’ve already broken out the crockpot for soups!), it’s time to start thinking about sweatshirts, sweaters, puffer vests and pumpkin spice everything. Although I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to Summer (who is really?!), I’ve come to love the crisp cool air of Fall, the orchard trips, the homemade apple pies, and I especially love that this time of year, my skin seems to love me again (aabout time!).

On a completely random side note – does anyone have any Photoshop tutorial or class recommendations? I’ve been slowly (as in tortoise speed) learning Photoshop and I’m always looking for new classes and tutorials to learn more. Feel free to share any recommendations below or comment on my last Instagram pic here!

As always, thanks for reading!!

Sweatshirt | Favorite Black Jeans (40% off right now!) | Black Suede Heels | Necklace | Bracelets

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