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Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day!

I hope everyone is out celebrating the unofficial end of summer!

We’re expecting temperatures well into the 90s this week, so we’re not exactly busting out the fall sweaters or pumpkin spiced lattes just yet. If I can get out the door early this morning, I might make it to the beach – otherwise, I’ll be hiding in the air conditioning while reading a good book!

Have a great day, and we’ll be back this week with even more fun articles!

If you’re interested in learning more about the historical background of Labor Day, check out the U.S. Department of Labor’s website!

Friday Favorites

friday favorites yoga

Welcome to another weekly edition of Friday favorites!

Man, it’s been a crazy week around here!

Summer finally decided to make an appearance, with temperatures well into the 90s all week. We’re also dealing with a smoke cloud over the Seattle area, thanks to a forest fire that started in Canada. Needless to say, I spent the last week cooped up inside hiding from either the heat or smoke!

Here are some things I enjoyed this week while hiding from the heat!

  • Free People wrote a great post this week on when to toss your green beauty products. If you recently cleaned up your beauty routine, it’s worth checking out to make sure your beauty products are still safe to use!
  • I’m in the process of re-organizing my closet, and Aimee Song’s closet tour was full of so much inspiration!
  • You know I love a good DIY face spray, and Orchid Grey came up with a quartz-charged rose spray I’d love to make! I’m not sure if I buy into the whole quartz thing, but the scent sounds divine!
  • I am currently cooking my way through Veganomicon, and recently made their Southwestern Corn Pudding. I’m definitely making this one again soon!
  • My husband’s succulent has exploded, and I’ve been shopping online for some small pots to plant all the little baby succulents. I am going to do my best not to buy, like, 10 of these adorable Japanese-style painted pots:

Aren’t the adorable?

Anyway, before I go down the rabbit hole on Amazon…I hope you all have a great weekend! I’m planning to maybe go to the beach if it’s not too hot. Otherwise, I’ll be in front of the air conditioner like everyone else in Seattle!

Friday Favorites 8/26

Friday Favorites August 26 2016

Happy Friday!

Now that I’m feeling renewed and re-inspired to start blogging on a regular basis, it’s time to bring back the Friday Favorites! Here are a few things around the internet I’ve been digging lately:

Well there you go!

I hope you all have a great weekend! I have a feeling this weekend is going to be a rough one. It’s in the 90s here, and I’m battling some allergy issues – and so is D, which makes him a real dream to be around. My plans right now include hiding in the air conditioning, sleeping in, and lots of ice cream to stay cool!

Summer Beauty Cleanout

Summer is coming to a close, and our September magazines are already telling us what to buy for fall. As seasons change, it’s always a good idea to do a summer beauty cleanout. This is a great time to go through our beauty arsenal, noting what we’d love to keep, what needs to go, and what to stock up on for the future.

My beauty stash isn’t nearly as large as others, but I still need to take stock to make sure the products I have are safe, loved, and useful. It also keeps me from buying things I don’t need, which is a huge bonus!

Here are 5 tips I use to do my own summer beauty cleanout each year. Whether you have a small stash like me, or a giant one, this should be easy to do in an afternoon!

Summer Beauty Cleanout

summer beauty cleanout

1: Get it all out

I find that when cleaning, it’s best to just get it all in one place to start. This helps you see what you have and take note of how you feel about it. Do you feel okay with how much you have? Overwhelmed? Underwhelmed? If you are overwhelmed with how much you have, it’s a good sign that it’s time to pare down.

Before you begin, grab a notepad and pen to take notes of what to buy/replace when you’re done. I never remember what I tossed out, so I always do this!

My beauty products were stored in my bathroom, office and bedroom. Once I got it all out and looked at it, I realized I shouldn’t have it divided among 3 rooms. There isn’t that much, and I don’t know why it was spread out all over the apartment.

My goal for this project became simple – try to get everything in one room!

summer beauty cleanout

2: Check expiration dates

The first thing you should do to start your summer beauty cleanout is to grab everything with an expiration date and check that it’s still good. It’s also good to go through your medicine cabinet and travel kits too. Anything that’s past it’s prime, toss it – no excuses – and jot down anything that needs replaced!

For anything without an expiration date, you can check out this handy guide for how long to keep common beauty and makeup products.

summer beauty cleanout

3: Be brutal with makeup

Many women I know agree that makeup is tough to pare down. We keep things well beyond their shelf life, buy duplicates of products over and over, and keep things we don’t like. Being ruthless with your makeup stash will ensure your products are safe, effective, and will actually get used.

My biggest issue with makeup is that I buy duplicates. Do I need two bronzers that are basically the same? No – especially since I know the Sephora one is at least 4 years old. I also got rid of all the nubs of eyeliner I was holding on to. I bought new ones months ago, but never replaced them because the nubs still had product in them. It felt wasteful to just throw them out – until I noticed I kept stabbing my eyes every time I tried to use them.

Once I pared down my makeup, I took notes on what needed replaced, and some ideas of things to freshen up my makeup routine for fall.

summer beauty cleanout

4: Toss / Keep (and what to do with each)

Once you’ve gone through everything, now you have to deal with the “toss” pile. Do you throw it all out? Give some of it away? Sell it? Here are some simple rules for how to get rid of things:

  • Throw away anything that’s past its expiration date – no exceptions!
  • Throw away any used makeup that didn’t make the cut. I know it’s tempting to give it away to friends or family, but it’s too risky – especially if the product is old and/or used.
  • If you have any makeup that was never (and I mean never ever) used, and it’s still relatively new, see if you have a friend you can give it to. If not, toss it.
  • Don’t sell makeup online. I know some people do that, but it just seems…shady to me.
  • For those almost-empty bottles of lotion, shampoo, soap, etc.: Decant them into travel-sized bottles and toss into your travel kit! Why spend money on a travel-sized bottle of shampoo when you have 2 ounces of it sitting in a bottle in the back of your bathroom sink?

After doing my summer beauty cleanout, I was also left with a small box of “things to use later.” It’s a great place to keep things that I haven’t used in a while, but should work on finishing before buying new stuff. Keep it under the sink so you don’t forget about it!

summer beauty cleanout

5: Stock up on essentials

The last thing to do is easy – go shopping! Take your notes of what to replace or stock up on, and head on out! Fall is a great time to stock up on essentials like cotton pads, cotton swabs, sunscreen (lots of end-of-summer sales!), and other basics. With everyone heading back to school, or moving off to college, stores are having crazy sales right now. I hit up my local Target and grabbed a few things I knew I’d need soon, and a few things just for fun!

I met my goal of getting all my beauty products in one room, and feel more confident that nothing left will go to waste. I’m also looking forward to stocking up on some new fall makeup soon too, whenever it’s not 90 degrees out anymore!

July on Instagram

July on Instagram

Holy shit, July flew by quickly this year!

I started out the month doing what I spent most of June doing – hanging out by myself. The husband was insanely busy at work, either working late or going in super early. For the second year in a row, I wound up alone watching fireworks on the 4th. One more year, and I’ll consider it a tradition!

One reason I didn’t blog much last month is that some family came in to visit. It was…mostly stressful, to be honest. I spent much of the week feeling like a chauffeur/house mom – and don’t get me started on how long it took me to clean the place after they left. Boys are gross. Grown men aren’t much better. Sure, there were some fun moments – but I don’t remember them yet. Ask me again in a few months, and I might be over the trauma to come up with something. 

After going through my Instagram photos from last month, I also realized I spent much of the month cooking. I’ve gotten into the whole “meal prep” thing. Unfortunately, I am starting to find it’s more work than I wanted to deal with. Meal prepping for a family of 5 is probably worth it – meal prepping for 2 people isn’t. The weather was so hot that we ended up eating salads most nights anyway.

Speaking of hot weather, I did manage to make it to the beach once this summer! I’ve been trying to find unique and chill places to read my blogger buddy Kayley’s “The Year of the Work” letters, and I attempted to do that at the beach in July. Instead, I ran into an old college friend and spent the afternoon catching up with him. It was just what I needed to wrap up a long month of solitude! Hopefully we can keep in touch, since he’s the only person I know out here who isn’t family!

I haven’t really made a plan for posting in August, so this month will be more “flying by the seat of my pants.” I miss blogging a bit, but man it’s hard to get back into the habit!

Enjoy the last remaining weeks of summer, and start working on your Pumpkin Spice Latte recipes!

PNW Parks: Seward Park

PNW Parks Seward Park

Every time I think summer is over around here, Seattle has other plans! I took the photos for this post the day after I had packed up all my summer clothes, including my shorts. Big mistake – it was way too hot outside for pants!

Last Friday, I decided to check out a park I hadn’t been to before, and was pleasantly surprised to find a relaxing, beautiful park amidst the hustle and bustle of Seattle. Seward Park Audubon Center is located in Southeast Seattle, and has some of the most amazing views I’ve seen yet. They have tons of beach to lounge around on and some amazing hiking trails, all set on a small peninsula that juts into Lake Washington. The park also has nature classes for all ages, playgrounds, and an outdoor amphitheater.

Without further ado, I’ll let the photos speak for themselves:

PNW Parks Seward Park

PNW Parks Seward Park

PNW Parks Seward Park

PNW Parks Seward Park   PNW Parks Seward Park

PNW Parks Seward Park

This is definitely a park I’ll be going back to in the near future – maybe when it’s not so hot outside! I didn’t get to explore the hiking trails inside the park (just the 2.5 mile loop around the outside of the peninsula), so I’ll for sure check those out next time!

If you’d like to check out Seward Park Audubon Center yourself, check out their website, Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter!

Life on Instagram: July 2015


(Clockwise from top-left) July started with a crazy heat wave, so I spent a lot of time at the beach and pool! / I also managed to check out a few new parks in July – this one was by far the most challenging. I was sore for days after. / Of course, the first time I take my husband to the beach, it’s cold and cloudy! It was nice to chill out and read, though. / Just noticed my pink sneakers are looking a bit worn out. Time for a good washing! Image Since we’re wrapping up the first month of Afternoon Glow, I thought I’d share some of my favorite posts!

Summer Skincare: (Mostly) Drugstore Edition I’ve gotten so much use out of everything on this post so far this summer! Now that the temperatures are cooler (for now), I’m missing my beach time!

Road Trip Tips I’m still itching to get out on the road and travel somewhere, but it’s not looking like I will for a while. I still can’t believe I made that cross-country trip almost a year ago – where does the time go?

Easy Green The succulent is doing well – the other plant is already failing on me. We haven’t had a lot of sunshine lately, and I’m starting to see that’s going to be a problem for me trying to grow anything here. Maybe someday I’ll live in an apartment that isn’t a dark cave!

Homemade Granola Bars I just remembered that I need to make more of these today – we’re almost out again! I still need to try making these with ingredients I’d like more…maybe next time….

Summer Nail Polish

Summer Nail PolishOne thing I get excited for in the summer months is getting to branch out with nail color. Most of the year, I stick with plain neutrals or classic reds – but not in the summer! I think this happens because I wear brighter colors in the summer, and it’s the only time of year where my toes are on display, which means more valuable real estate to paint!

I chose the four that I find myself wearing most during the summer, and all of them work just as well on fingers as they do toes. I’ve also branched out in brands lately, too, since you can find some great colors without paying top dollar for them. I’ve been known to grab a $12 OPI nail lacquer and walk around the store trying to find a cheaper version!

Oh, and you can wear any combination of these four on your fingers or toes, which takes a lot of the guesswork out of the whole “do they match” argument. Yes, they all “match.” Wear one on your fingers, and another on your toes – you can’t really go wrong.

Here are my favorites for summer!

Summer Nail Polish

Revlon Nail Enamel in Enchanting

I bought this one recently while on the hunt for a good lavender shade. This shade doesn’t go on evenly, so it definitely takes 2-3 solid coats to fully cover. However, it is a great bluish purple with just a tiny hint of sparkle, which looks great with a tan!

OPI Nail Lacquer in My Chihuahua Bites!

It was really hard to get a good photo of this one, so pretend it’s a bit more watermelon pink than bright orange! I’ve been a die hard OPI fan for years, and this shade is a great deviation from my usual reds and oranges when I’m looking to switch things up for summer.

Essie Nail Color in Turquoise & Caicos

While I’ve never been a huge fan of Essie polishes, I took a chance on this one last summer because everyone online was raving about it. It’s a great shade for toes, especially if you have darker skin or a good tan. My main problem with Essie polishes is that they go on uneven, but this one didn’t at all, so I’ve kept it in the rotation.

Maybelline Color Show in Sapphire Siren

I raved about the Color Show collection on my old blog, and I still am! I love these polishes because they’re usually in the $2-$4 price range, and they dry very quickly – which is perfect when you’d rather spend your evenings with friends than waiting on your nails to dry! In the summer, I like going with navy as an alternative to the black and grey polishes I wear the rest of the year. It’s dark, but not too gothic for summer.

Summer Skincare: (Mostly) Drugstore Edition

Summer Skincare: (Mostly) Drugstore Edition 1

We’re in the middle of an insane heat wave here in Washington. This means I spend many afternoons at the beach, soaking up the sun – then straight home to hide in the cooler temps of our half-underground apartment. No A/C here – thankfully we don’t need it with the apartment being partially underground!

I thought now that we’re eyeballs deep in 90+ degree temperatures, it would be a great time to share with you some of my skincare must-haves for hot and steamy weather!

Summer Skincare: (Mostly) Drugstore Edition 2

 L’Oreal Paris Advanced Suncare Suncare Silky Sheer Lotion in SPF 30

I have oily, breakout-prone skin in the summer, so I always switch out my face sunscreen to something that dries matte and lasts forever. While this one isn’t technically for your face, it is gentle enough for sensitive skin, dries to a light finish, and does the job well. In fact, my face is still a shade or two lighter than the rest of me – it works that well! You can use this on the rest of your body as well, but since it comes in such a small bottle (and isn’t cheap compared to other sunscreens), I think it’s perfect for the face and neck.

Summer Skincare: (Mostly) Drugstore Edition 3

 Olay Foaming Face Wash – Combo/Oily

While I’m usually a Cetaphil junkie the rest of the year, I usually have to break out something a bit stronger in the summer. This stuff is great for removing makeup, sunscreen, and sweat without being too harsh. It also doesn’t have the “tingle” that many other cleansers have, so it’s perfect when you get a little too much sun too. It also smells nice, but what cleanser doesn’t anymore?

Summer Skincare: (Mostly) Drugstore Edition 4

Secret Outlast Solid Antiperspirant & Deodorant in Completely Clean scent

This is a fairly new product that Secret brought out. I’ve always used their clinical antiperspirant, but it does get expensive to keep shelling out $10 for a tiny stick. This stuff costs less than half as much (I got mine for $4), contains twice as much product, and after using it for a couple months now, it works just as well! If you’re like me, and you got hooked on the super strong antiperspirants, try this one out! It contains the same ingredients (just a tiny amount less of the “active ingredient”), and is a much better value than the clinical version!

(*Tip: If you’re “well-endowed” in the chest department like me, slide this stuff under your boobs before heading out. It helps prevent against heat rashes and the dreaded boob sweat lines!)

Summer Skincare: (Mostly) Drugstore Edition 5


Up & Up (Target generic brand) Sport Sunscreen Lotion in SPF 30

Unlike sunscreen for my face, I have no problem going cheap on sunscreen for the rest of my body. After years of working as a lifeguard, I found cheaper sunscreen worked just as well as the brand name stuff. I ended up with the Target one because that’s where I happened to be when I remembered I needed some – nothing more complicated than that! This stuff works really well, smells nice, and stays put. I always recommend going with a “sport” sunscreen because they don’t shift around as much when you sweat.

Summer Skincare: (Mostly) Drugstore Edition 6

 Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater

Okay, so this is the only thing I use on a regular basis that isn’t a “drugstore” purchase, and frankly, it doesn’t really do anything. Keep it in the fridge, and spritz it on after a long, hot, sweaty day. Trust me – even the best of us need a bit of refreshing once in awhile, and don’t always have time to shower. This stuff will help in a pinch, and isn’t as strong or offensive as perfumes can be in hotter temperatures!

There you go – some easy summer skincare swaps that are easy on the budget too!

What skincare products are you loving this summer? I’m always on the hunt for new ideas!