My Favorite Face Mask (From Hawaii)

My Favorite Face Mask (From Hawaii)

Wow, can time fly! It feels like just a little bit ago I was returning from my honeymoon, and then I looked up and a month of the school year flew by.

Thinking about my honeymoon made me remember this great face mask that I picked up in Hawaii. I waited to try it until I was back home and my sister was visiting. It made for great sister bonding.

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When Eric and I were in Hawaii we did so many cool things that absolutely reminded us of how great God’s creation is, and it was so worth it; however, I also made Eric take me to a local makeup boutique which was also totally worth it.

The boutique introduced me to some Hawaiian brands. This is when I discovered Leahlani Skincare. At the boutique I picked up Leahlani’s Meli Glow Illuminating Mask.

I absolutely loved it. My sister liked the smell and color, but didn’t love that it was sticky (it has honey in it). Ultimately, we both loved how it made our skin feel and look  afterwards.

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I wish I had a picture with her too, but she was very excited and impatient about the whole face mask process!

Leahlani claims that the mask “works at the molecular level to increase blood circulation and oxygenation.” I’m not a scientist, but I can tell you that my skin looked and felt heavenly. The site also says that this mask is good for all skin types but especially for dry or combination skin (that’s me!). I also love that it’s full of vitamins, enzymes, oils, and clays.

My only complaint: it drips off your face while you wait. Maybe I put it on too think, but I do think it is probably due to the mask’s consistency. Was this a deal breaker for me? No, not at all. I’d just be careful with what clothes I was wearing, furniture I was sitting on, etc. Next time I’m going to try applying a thinner layer.

Overall, at $48 I think the product is well worth the cost. Plus, I can’t lie: this product will always remind me of my honeymoon; therefore, it’ll always have sentimental value.

An Ode To Friends

An Ode To Friends

This week marked my first week back in the school building and my first full week at my new job. My students don’t show up until this coming week, but it’s enough to say that there’s been a lot of change in my life lately. Good change, but change nevertheless. And as we all know, change can be stressful (some stress is good, but stress nonetheless).

I could go on about all the changes, but instead I want to focus on the things that have remained the same. These things have been my calms in the storm of life. They have helped me to recenter myself and to remain centered. These things are my friends.

Today, I have been messaging my childhood friend about life. We were talking jobs and perceptions, and I had to settle myself down. I basically said, “I don’t understand why people can’t admit that just about everyone works hard. It seems silly to think that you work harder than everyone else.” This was not meant toward my friend or anyone specifically (it’s not a subtweet y’all). It was just a generalized response in our conversation about work. My friend sweetly (paraphrased) replied, “People put too much stock in their jobs and find their identity there, which partly makes sense, but we need to balance our identities better.”

Yes ma’am.

Wow, what a reaffirming conversation.

It’s nice that at the end of a long and tiring (but ultimately wonderful) week, I have someone to talk to that I’ve known since I was five.

I’ve known this girl since kindergarten, and this summer she was in my wedding *cue the tears*. We did prom together. We did college apart, but we made sure we visited each other. She’s the only person I’ve ever imagined doing life with other than Eric, and I know that I’ll know her longer.

 

Anyway, friends make life better, even already awesome lives. And maybe we should take more stock in the relationships we build than in our jobs, just saying.

 

PS – I’m really excited about my new job. Technically, it’s the same job title I’ve had before, but it’s in a new place with new people, and I’m so excited to build some new relationships with these incredibly awesome humans.

 

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3 Skincare Products To Help You Relax At The Start Of The School Year

3 Skincare Products To Help You Relax At The Start Of The School Year

I have written previously about how skincare has become a form of self care for me. Well today’s post is dedicated to even more self care items.

This week marked my first regular work week of the school year. My students come next week. I’m so excited for the start of the school year and also for the start of my second full year of teaching. I love the new school I’m at. The entire school is full of absolute gems of staff members, but I especially love my English department. I’m pretty sure it is full of angels.

Nevertheless, the beginning of the school year also marks a time of exhaustion and stress for teachers and students alike. A lot is starting up again, but it’s important for us all to take time for ourselves. These are things that will help me relax, and they might help you too, but if they don’t reflect on what helps you relax!

1. Stress Relief Lotion $13

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I love this lotion. I’ve been using it for years, and I’ll be keeping it by my desk at work. I love skin care so putting on lotion is already fun for me, but this is also eucalyptus and spearmint scented. Wow, what a nice, relaxing scent. It’s a great, tiny break from your otherwise busy day.

2. Pumpkin Sleeping Pack $20

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You know how you feel on December 31st? That weird mix of anticipation and melancholy? That’s how I feel at the start of a school year. But not this year. This year I decided I’m leaning into fall hard. I’m so excited for falling leaves, pumpkins, hay rack rides, and everything else. I also know that my skin is already showing the wear of early mornings, long days, and late nights so it’s going to need some TLC. I love that this mask will perk up my skin while I sleep and help me embrace the upcoming change in seasons.

3. Foot Cream (and Exfoliation) $27

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Massages of any kind help me relax, and I bet they help you too. Massages are even better if you have someone else who can help you with them, but even if you don’t, you can massage your own feet! It’ll release so much tension! Plus, with this set you can exfoliate your feet after you’re done loosening up those ankles.

 

Ok, so those are my relaxation skincare products! How do you relax? Do you have any go-to relaxation products? Let me know!

 

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7 Vintage Etsy Finds For Back-To-School Season

7 Vintage Etsy Finds For Back-To-School Season

I’m one of those annoying people who fully throws herself into every task she is handed. My parents hated it when I was younger because it would take me ten times longer to complete a task. My husband kindly calls this characteristic “passion.” No matter what you call it, I definitely went all-in with wedding planning, as was expected given my personality.

Eric was truly terrified that I wouldn’t know what to do with myself when the wedding was over, but honestly I don’t miss it that much. It was just one day out of my life, and I like the rest of my life too. In fact, I was happily surprised with how much time I had to throw back into all my other passions as we settled into married life (OK, I know it hasn’t been that long and we’re still settling, hence my varied posting here). Instead of picking cake table decor, I can devout myself to writing ten thousand words a day, or something of the like.

As I get ready to go back to school, I’ve decided to try my hardest to convince Eric that, just like students, teachers too must go back-to-school shopping. In the process of moving, Eric and I both decided to get rid of a lot of clothes we don’t where anymore. We’re still thinning things out, but it’s a good habit. And over the last four to five years, I’ve gained an interest in fashion. In the last year, I have turned that interest to sustainable fashion.

There’s a lot of different ways to go about sustainable fashion, but essentially you’re committing yourself and your closet to a more eco and people friendly life in terms of your clothing. One simple way to do this is to buy clothes that are used. Thrifting is nothing new, and it has even gone through a resurgence of popularity in recent years. And lucky for me, I already dig vintage style.

So for your back-to-school shopping pleasure, today I have compiled a list of 7 Etsy Vintage Finds for your “new” back-to-school wardrobe!

1. Denim Midi Dress, brownbagvintage, $36

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Denim always feels like back-to-school must for me in the fall. And also don’t get me started on the comfort level with dresses. I also love this dress because no matter how silly your school’s dress codes are, this dress will easily make the cut. And it’s definitely professional enough for the teachers out there too!

2. Novelty Sweater, Raxclothing, $25

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If you ask me, there’s never a wrong time to invest in a sweater. I’d live in them year-round if I could (and I pretty much do). I like wearing comfy clothes to school, and when you can get something that is BOTH comfy and cute, you jump on it. Like this sweatshirt. People it’s on sale right now. Jump on it.

3. Oversized Denim Jacket, ShopExile, $59

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Denim is good. It will always be good. Oversized is also good. I love wearing oversized clothing if you haven’t noticed, and not only is it unbelievably comfy, but it also allows you to keep wearing it as it gets colder by simply layering underneath. There’s so much extra room you can just put on a few sweatshirts underneath! Whatever you wear underneath, I highly suggest wearing more than a bralette underneath it to school. Just a suggestion.

4. 90s Leather Backpack, LyndiLane, $70

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We all need bags to carry our school supplies in, especially us teachers. How many bags to you carry on a daily basis? Me? At least three. To this day, I love backpacks, and this one is super cute. Let me tell you, I’ll be a lot more excited bringing stuff to and from school if I get to do it in a pretty bag. Just make sure you can fit all your stuff in it!

5. 70s Gold Blouse, WearitWellvintage, $40

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As a teacher, I’m constantly on the lookout for clothes that are nice, but not too nice. Does that sound weird? Maybe it is. The thing is, I want to look professional, but I also work with kids everyday so I don’t want it to be too stiff or formal. Also, I like having transitional clothes that I can wear to work or out on a date night with Eric. Trust me, Eric won’t take me on dates if I tell him I need to buy separate clothes just for dates. I think this shirt does a lovely job of covering all the bases. It’s nice, but not too formal. I can rock this at work or on a date. It’s the transitional piece we’re all on the lookout for.

6. Burgundy Skirt, SHOPPOMPOMVINTAGE, $36

burgundy skirt

I always tell myself I should try wearing colorful clothes, but then I don’t because it turns out that I like my clothes to match my coal of a heart (it’s a joke people). If there ever was a piece of clothes that could convince me to join team color, it would be this skirt. It’s a nice length (once again passing dress codes and professional codes all around). Also, look at those pockets. We all know if a skirt has pockets it already ten times better than all other skirts.

7. Blue Leather Huaraches, 1919vintage, $44

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Of course, no back-to-school shopping trip is complete without a new pair of shoes. These huaraches have my heart because they seem like such great year-round shoes. Maybe not marching-through-the-snow winter. But I could still change out of my snow boots into these babies once I was safely inside. And let’s face it, these things are beautiful.

 

Ok, there’s my back-to-school Etsy finds that fit into my new sustainable fashion quest. What’s on your back-to-school list? Have any favorite Etsy or other sustainable fashion shops? Let me know!

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My Favorite Matte Lipstick

My Favorite Matte Lipstick

In the past, I told you how my sweet husband gave me his Sephora Birthday Gift. Well, today I’m going to tell you about my Sephora Birthday Gift.

This year, I chose the Tarte Birthday Gift, complete with blush and matte lip paint. Truth be told, I haven’t tried the blush yet. I lay off a lot of my makeup layers in the summer, and when I do dip into my blush, I tend to stick with my go-to. So I guess here’s to fall and getting to try new blush.

The blush comes in the shade Paaarty and the lip paint comes in the shade of Birthday Suit (very purpose appropriate names, am I right?!). Unfortunately, Birthday Suit is currently out of stock at Sephora, but you can still find it at Ulta. If you’re truly loyal to Sephora you can sign up to receive an email when it’s back in-stock.

The blush feels a little expensive to me at $29 for a full size. However, I’m sure it lasts awhile, and honestly, since I rarely wear blush, I also rarely buy it which means I don’t have the best understanding of the blush market. I do think that if I’m going to buy this blush ever, I’m going to have to really like the sample (I’ll update you all in the fall).

The matte lip paint comes in at $20 full size. This is a pretty average price for a lip product of this quality, but it’s still quite a bit more than an average, drugstore lipstick. So is it worth it?

For me, it’s one hundred percent worth it! Unlike most of my other matte lipsticks, this one isn’t super drying and actually feels like it stays creamy (the product description describes the feeling as velvety and I agree with this and can totally get behind it). It also stays put extremely well, and let me tell you, I couldn’t have received a better color shade! I absolutely love the way this shade looks on me. It’s pretty neutral, and only a step darker than my nude lips, but the full-coverage formula keeps my lips standing out and looking great. I also love it’s incredibly light, but pleasant scent.

Overall thoughts? I was pleasantly surprised with the lip paint, like to the point where I thought that this might be the lipstick that converts me to a daily lipstick wearer. It seems so perfect for so many different occasions, and I truly love its versatility. It also has me super excited to try the blush. I’m hoping it’s as good as the lip paint!

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The Perfect Lip Scrub

The Perfect Lip Scrub

Right before I left for my wedding and honeymoon, I made a last minute lip scrub purchase. I realized I needed one, but I was having a hard time finding one that looked like it was of decent quality for a decent price.

Lucky for me, it was also right around Amazon’s Prime Day. As I was madly searching the internet, I happened across the brand Hanalei. It’s products received strong reviews and the ingredients seemed nice and healthy (no swollen lip reactions!). They also had a sugar lip scrub.

I was even lucky enough to find the scrub on Amazon as part of Prime Day. Normally, the lip scrub costs $20, but since I found it on Prime Day I got it for $15 including shipping. In a couple short days, the lip scrub arrived and I got to test it out.

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I’m not super picky with my lip scrubs. I want them to make my lips softer and I don’t want to have an allergic reaction, all at a reasonable price. So I was very happy with Hanalei’s lip scrub. I hardly have to apply any. It works extremely well. It even has a sweet taste.

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My lips felt so soft after using it, and it helped my lipstick go on smoothly and look great for my wedding.

Overall, it was a win.

Bronzing Sunscreen (And A Story)

Bronzing Sunscreen (And A Story)

So this weekend, Eric and I took my youngest sister to a water park. Lot’s of fun ensued. We had a blast. And like all good people, who are deeply concerned with skincare, we reapplied sunscreen regularly. Like a lot. Especially to my little sister. There was no way that I was taking her back to my parents with a sunburn.

Luckily, this was no big deal because we had a bunch of sunscreen leftover from our honeymoon in Hawaii (I’m very pale so I stocked up). But all good things come to end. And so mid-way through one of our sunscreen applications, I finished off one of our spray sunscreens on my sister.

As I opened a new bottle and started spraying Eric, I noticed how the finish of the sunscreen looked so different than that of the other stuff. My sister and Eric are both much tanner than I am. I said something along the lines of, “Ooh, Eric, look how smoothly this goes on you. It sprays so evenly!”

Eric looked down in shock and shouted, “What’s in this stuff?”

That’s when I finally looked closer. The smooth finish was because the spray looked tinted, not it’s normal glossy finish. I told Eric to rub the sunscreen in, and after he did, he looked at his hand.

“Eew it’s sparkly,” he said, “and tinted, like makeup.”

I looked down at the bottle of sunscreen in my hand. And at that moment I came face-to-face with a truth that recently kept coming more apparent: I need to read product’s labels more thoroughly. That, or I guess you could argue, that product’s needed to keep their labels more simplistic. Either or really.

What I bought was Pacifica Coconut Probiotic SPF 30 Water Resistant 80 Minute Sunscreen. What I didn’t realize I bought was Sunscreen BRONZER.

I had accidentally covered Eric in bronzer, sunscreen bronzer, but bronzer nonetheless. And for a few seconds he was convinced I did it on purpose.

“Is this makeup?” he asked in disbelief.

“No,” I said, “it’s sunscreen.”

“But it’s bronzer,” he said. “Isn’t there makeup bronzer?”

“Yes, but it’s different,” I said.

I finally convinced him that I didn’t purposely cover him in bronze toned sparkles by reminding him how pale I was and badly bronzer sunscreen would look on my skin.

In the end, the show had to go on, and we had a bunch more rides to go on so I finished applying the bronze sunscreen to Eric and then applied it to myself.

Eric walked around the park sparkling and I walked around with orange legs.

But the most important thing is this: We all had fun, and the sunscreen worked and no one got burned!

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