Avoid Breakouts with My Favorite Moisturizers

Let’s talk moisturizer! It’s that time of year where the weather really messes with your skin causing dryness, irritation, and breakouts. It’s the worst! If you’re breaking out like crazy it’s because you’re not moisturizing enough. Even if you think you are, you’re not. What happens is that your skin gets so dry that nothing can come out of your pores causing you to breakout and even get those nasty underground zits that are sooo painful. I learned this from my girl Julie at Mirelle’s Studio. She gave me a facial and she could barely do extractions because my skin was too dry. This is when I started to use a good moisturizer that got the job done. In about a month’s time frame, my skin cleared. It’s funny that something as simple as moisturizing can do the trick. I’ve tried countless creams, gels, and even eliminated certain foods from my diet. Who knew?!

This weather totally sucks but your skin doesn’t have to. Below are my favorite moisturizers both drug store and high end brands. Have you tried any of them? What is your favorite moisturizer?  Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 10.24.38 PM

Falling for Flannel

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 5.58.41 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 5.58.58 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 5.59.21 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 5.59.44 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 6.00.12 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 5.56.48 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 5.57.49 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 5.54.45 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 5.56.20 PM I was not crazy about this trend coming back at all. When I think of flannel I think back to the 4th grade when I wore it with my dr martens thinking I was the coolest girl in school. A couple of months ago when I saw flannel coming back I never thought I would get into it… ew flannel, wtf.

What I realized is that you have to wear it right. Flannel is perfect for this weird in between weather. Throw it over a t-shirt and wear it open (see above), tuck it into leggings with otk boots, or tucked into a pencil skirt with a blazer and heels. To be honest, it’s a great way to keep cozy while still looking chic. What are your thoughts on flannel?

Weekend Reads

Happy Weekend

An elegant updo in seconds. Prefect for when you’re running late to work.

How french women get their effortless natural beauty.

blog is so funny it will make you pee your pants.

Is your sister your best friend? Mine is!

10 pieces every woman should have before 30.

Everyday ideas to make your life easier.

I’m definitely making a big pot of this comforting soup this weekend

Casual Friday

IMG_8532 Top: Baily44 (similar here + here), Jeans: J Brand, Shoes: Steve Madden, Watch: Michael Kors, Sunglasses: Prada

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I always look forward to casual Fridays in the office. Not only is Friday the best day of the work week it means that I can wear jeans! I just got this pair a couple of weeks ago and I love them. They are soft, comfortable, and figure flattering. I feel like they suck me in! I could literally wear them 10 days in a row and not get tired of them. They are the mid-rise skinny leg jean. They are worth the investment because you will wear them to death!

Speaking of J Brand, you can purchase them for 25% off from now until October 21st at Saks Fifth Avenue. It’s their Friends & Family event. Yay! Have a fabulous weekend!

Dutch Apple Pie Recipe

It’s my favorite time of year… FALL!  I went apple picking over the weekend and got about 10lbs of apples. There’s something about going to the apple orchard and picking the apples yourself. It’s like a feeling of accomplishment. So, I went to the apple orchard, picked the apples with my own bare hands, and made 3 dutch apple pies. Talk about domestic! Actually, I had to do something to entertain myself while J was watching football alllllllll day on Sunday. He just can’t get enough. Right now, it’s all about his fantasy team. Woof.

My sister Samantha coincidentally went apple picking as well so we combined our apples to make the pies. We were like a little tag team. Samantha peeled the apples and I chopped them. We had a little assembly line going. Thank goodness for Samantha because making an apple pie is a lot of work. I don’t know what I would have done without her! Our Mom gave us her recipe for dutch apple pie and the recipe itself is pretty simple. The only annoying part is preparing the apples. P.S. This is my Mom’s recipe, thanks Mom!

 Dutch Apple Pie

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For the crust:

The apples are difficult enough. I purchased pre-made pie crust from the refrigerated section of the grocery store. I used Pillsbury pie crust that comes in a long red box. All you need to do is unroll the crust, mold it to your pie pan, and poke small holes with a fork throughout the pie crust.

IMG_8517 Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

For the filling:

25 apples cored and chopped

2 tbsp flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Peel, core, and chop the apples into 1/2-1 inch pieces. Sprinkle lemon juice over the chopped apples so they don’t turn brown. Put the chopped apples into a pot and boil for 10-12 minutes until tender. Drain well and transfer into a mixing bowl. Add the flour, sugar, and cinnamon to the apples. Gently mix together making sure the apples are fully coated. Don’t mix too much or the apples will become soggy. Pour the apples into the cooked pie crust.

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For the topping:

2/3 cup flour

1/3 cup butter

1/2 brown sugar

Combine the flour and brown sugar. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour and sugar mixture. With clean hands, mix the butter into the mixture so the butter looks like small peas.

IMG_8518 Sprinkle over the apple mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Put a baking sheet underneath so the pie doesn’t make a mess in the oven.

Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. YUM!!!!!!!

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The Best Boots for Fall

Capture.PNG10 Capture.PNG3 Capture.PNG4 Capture.PNG5 Capture.PNG6 Capture.PNG7 Capture.PNG2 Capture.PNG8 Capture.PNG1 Capture.PNG9 It’s October! I can’t believe how fast September FLEW by. Chicago has been super lucky, the weather has been amazing. It’s supposed to get up to 82 today and I’ll take it! As the weather cools down I put my sandals and flip flops in the back of my closet and bring out my boots. I personally believe boots are a great investment. Not only because they are awesome but because you wear them 6-8 months out of the year. Well worth it if you want to splurge on a pair of Stuart Weitzmans– I’ve had my eye on these bad boys! Lately I’ve been wearing my booties with jeans, leggings, or skirts. I can wear them dressy at the office and casual for a night out. I also looooove over the knee boots, I think they are so sexy and flattering on everyone. Do you have your eye on a pair of boots your dying for? Do tell!

My Favorite Neutrogena Products

Neuto

Oil-free Eye Makeup Remover: I’ve been using this for years! I love how this is oil free and I can use this all over my face without clogging pores. It’s light, non greasy, and an all time favorite of mine. I also like the wipes but I tend to go through them very quickly. I’ve found the liquid lasts much longer.

Triple Moisture Leave-On Cream: I just began using this about a month ago. I got sick of spending $30+ on leave-in conditioner. I found that this does the same thing for a quarter of the price. The best part, it smells amazing!

Body Lotion: This super light, non greasy, lotion doesn’t smell too over powering. I slap this on after every shower.

Body Oil: Obsessed. This has been a staple of mine. I leave the bottle in my shower. After I’m done showering I put this all over my body when it’s still wet and pat dry with a towel. It sinks into my skin leaving me smelling amazing all day.

Rainbath Shower Gel: This shower gel smells like a spa, no joke! I buy the 32oz  from Nordstrom Rack and it lasts me months.

DIY’s Around the House to Make Your Life Easier!

Instead of calling the maintenance man or dealing with the problem until it gets REALLY bad, DIY! The below DIY jobs can be completed in less than an hour and won’t leave you broke. I hope they help you as much as they help me!

How to fix a broken fuse

First, locate the fuse box. Mine is in my closet. You should see a bunch of switches in there (they are called breakers). They all point the same direction. One or two should be flipped in the opposite direction. Flip that one back to the same side as all the others and everything will turn back on!

How to get water spots off dishes

Glass cleaner, it’s like magic! If you have a really bad stain let it soak for a few minutes and wipe clean. Make sure you rinse with soap and water to remove any chemicals from the glass cleaner.

How to fix a clogged drain

There is nothing worse than a clogged drain, especially in the shower. Gross! I pour an entire bottle of drano into the drain and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Then, I use a plunger and plunge the drain. It works the same way as if you plunge a toilet. The drano loosens up the hair and dirt in the drain and the air pressure from the plunger forces the drain to clear.

What to do with wet/dirty dish gloves

If you are an avid user of dish gloves, you will know after using them they are soaking wet and kind of nasty. Instead of throwing them under the sink (what I used to do), I put them in my dishwasher. That way, they have a place to dry and it’s easy access when I need to do the dishes.

How to keep flowers from wilting

Stick a penny in the vase after you put your flowers in water. I guess there is something about copper that prevents flowers from wilting. It really does work!

Labor Day Highlights

IMG_8267 IMG_8276 IMG_8280 IMG_8277 What a great start to September! My Labor Day was filled with back to back wedding celebrations and festivities, followed by my birthday. Friday began with the rehearsal dinner for Joree and Simon’s wedding which I was a bridesmaid for. Joree and I grew up together and it was so sweet of her to make me a bridesmaid at her wedding. The rehearsal dinner was on the Odyssey which took us all around Lake Michigan. Saturday was the wedding and Joree made a stunning bride! I loved every little detail of her wedding, it was absolutely beautiful!

IMG_8295 IMG_8312 IMG_8298 IMG_8320 Sunday was Stephanie & Dan’s wedding, my second wedding of the weekend. My family was invited as well and it was great to be together and celebrate. I’ve known Dan my entire life and our families are very close. J and I were exhausted from the night before. My ankles got very swollen from all the dancing and wearing heels but it was worth it!

Capture Following the wedding celebrations, it was my birthday celebration. Monday J and I had our friends over for our housewarming party/my birthday party. We decided to do an open house so our guests can come and go whenever they want. We kept it casual and served drinks and appetizers. My girlfriends were so sweet and brought me a cookie cake (pictured above). That was gone in about 5 minutes. We had a great turnout and J and I were so happy to invite our friends and family into our home.

IMG_8326 IMG_8327 20130903_213347 Lastly, Tuesday (yesterday) was my actual birthday. To be honest, I’m not much of a birthday person. I always like celebrating everyone else’s but my own. On top of that, I’m getting pretty old! J and I relaxed and recovered yesterday from all the festivities and went to MK for dinner with my family. We ordered two tartares (tuna tare tare) as an appetizer and the endive salad. J and I split the steak which was in a red wine sauce. All of the dishes looked amazing. The side dishes we ordered were the pommes frites with a truffle cream sauce and the roasted sweet corn. Both sides were excellent! Last but not least, desert! Two of my girlfriends sent the cake and shake to the table. Chocolate layer cake with chocolate fudge and a vanilla milkshake on the side. SO GOOD! Special thanks to Alex for helping us have an incredible meal!

Low Calorie Snacks: My Current Favorites

I’m always on the lookout for new products that come on the grocery stores shelves. Some of these snacks are new and some have made a comeback. When I become obsessed with a new snack I usually eat it everyday until I get sick of it, but if it’s something good I will eventually start buying it again. I’m the type of person that loves to snack. I always make sure I have a variety of healthy snacks available both sweet and salty. I almost always have some sort of bar in my purse at all times. Let me know if you have any questions about the products below!

Veggie Straws: I was introduced to these at my friends bachelorette party in June. Apparently I was late to the game because these bad boys have been around for a long time. With 130 calories per serving (serving size: 38 straws) you’re allowed to sit on your couch with the bag in hand. When I’m craving salt, veggie straws are my go-to. I literally feel like I’m eating potato chips without the guilt. You can find them in your grocery’s chip aisle.

Dole Banana Dippers: These make a great desert! They come in pre-portioned individually wrapped packages with 3 banana slices per pack equaling to 100 calories. J and I love to eat them with a glass of red wine after dinner.

Kind Bars: They now come in a variety of new and awesome flavors such as dark chocolate cinnamon pecan, maple glazed pecan & sea salt, and dark chocolate, nuts & sea salt. I eat them as my mid-day snack before I hit the gym to give me some energy. I’M NOT EVEN KIDDING when I say, they taste SO good that I feel like I’m eating a candy bar. They are also made from all-natural ingredients and super filling.

Vita Tops: I love these for breakfast with my coffee or as a mid-day snack. They are filled with tons of fiber to fill you up and taste AMAZING. I’ve been really into the golden corn and apple crumb flavors. Honestly, all of the flavors are awesome AND they are only 100 calories per muffin top!

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