Friday, February 28, 2014

Bitter Root Vintage Review: Audrey in Bloom Dress

About two weeks ago, I was contacted by Bitter Root Vintage and they asked if I'd be interested in reviewing one of their new dresses. Of course, I said that I'd love to. I had a choice between three dresses and while the other two were gorgeous, I couldn't resist this breathtaking pastel floral pattern against the navy background. This dress, my friends, is the Audrey in Bloom. I opted for a cardigan because, well, it was freezing. And I don't like my upper arms, but who's paying attention? I absolutely love the high neckline, natural waist, and full skirt. Bitter Root was kind enough to send over a petticoat for me to try with the dress so I could give y'all the full effect. No pun intended. Ok, I totally intended on that. 
 Audrey in Bloom dress/belt, petticoat: Bitter Root Vintage, cardigan: New York & Company, shoes: gifted/Payless
If you follow your measurements for this dress, it will It's such a pain to online shop and have your items arrive all ill-fitting. I'm a tough girl to fit and my contact, Lauren, at Bitter Root, was so knowledgable about helping me choose the perfect size. If you love this style, but aren't into all the flower power, Bitter Root also stocks the Audrey in Midnight and Ivory. You can also pre-order 10 different colors of the Audrey (Turquoise with red accents is on the site, now)! The dress was beautiful without the petticoat, too. I'd be more apt to wear it that way, to be honest. But, who doesn't want to play dress up with crinoline? I had so much fun! I think this would be such an awesome dress to wear to a spring wedding.
All truth be told, this dress completely stole my heart. But, my Old Navy-shopping self couldn't get past the price tag. Audrey in Bloom is $112 and worth every penny, in my opinion. However, my budget doesn't allow for such glamorous things. Even with the blogger discount, I will still be sending this insanely gorgeous piece of artwork back, because I'm scared to hurt something that's worth so much! My lifestyle lends itself to lots of spaghetti sauce, glue, watercolor paints, bleach, and... you get it. I couldn't bare to own this dress and have it sit in the closet, while my yoga pants and I get down and dirty with the magic eraser. You, however, should probably give it a test run! If I could bite the bullet, it'd be mine. The solid colors are under the $100 price point, which is less of a blow to the wallet.
Big thanks to Bitter Root Vintage and Lauren for being so amazing to work with! I absolutely love this dress and I know everyone who gets to place it in their closet will have nothing but great things to say!

*The Audrey in Bloom dress,/belt and petticoat were provided to me, temporarily, for review, from Bitter Root Vintage. All opinions are my own. I fully tested all products before reviewing.
**Big thanks to Alida, of Alida Makes, for taking these beautiful photos.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Influenster J'Adore VoxBox Review

In order of review:
Boots Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask
John Frieda Frizz Ease 3 Days Straight Flat Iron Spray
KISS Looks So Natural Lashes
Red Rose Simply Indulgent Tea (Creme Caramel and Lemon Chiffon/Decaf)
Hershey's Kisses Milk Chocolates
I haven't gotten the hubster to try out the Vaseline Men's Spray Lotion... yet!

Boots Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask $9.39
Y'all, I have the most finicky skin in the world. It's so combination and I get wrinkles, dry patches, breakouts, and oil slicks all on one plane. It's pretty horrible. I use Clinique's Emergency Mask when I feel I need an extra kick, but it's a bit too harsh and dries my dry spots out a lot. The Boots mask made my skin feel so smooth, pulled the oil, but didn't over dry, and was super easy to wipe off! I hate a mask that you need to chip off of your face. I loved this and the price is definitely right. You can purchase Boots products at Target, so this is on my list when mine runs out.

Frizz Ease 3-Day Straight Flat Iron Spray $9.99
Love another fairly priced product! I don't know about you, but I do some sort of heat damage to my hair every day. I try not to wash but every 2-3, but I do have to re-flat iron or curl my style. This stuff is magical. The top left is before I ironed my hair. The bottom left is right after I ironed it. On the right, you'll see my non-frizzed, very straight ends on DAY 3. My roots are definitely more oily than I like and my favorite dry shampoo just ran out. But this product did exactly what it said. Smooth, straight, frizz-free hair after three days. Well done, John Frieda. I'll purchase this, too.

KISS Looks So Natural Lashes: $3.99
Hello, affordable! I'm not really ever in the market for false lashes. Let's be honest. My lifestyle doesn't really lend itself to the dramatic look they acheive. These, however, are very lightweight and easy to apply. Don't watch my Instavideo or you won't believe me. The second time went way better than the first. I took a video the first time and photos the second. I'm tricky like that. What a seriously huge difference these make, though. My eyes look pretty fantastic in the after photo, yes? Don't lie. You love them. Now, get me a date at a swanky restaurant and a super fly LBD, I might have an epic reason to dazzle out my eyelashes. These are awesome for what they are, but I won't purchase another set.

Red Rose Simply Indulgent Teas: $4.49/20
I'm not going to lie. I'm a coffee drinker. I'm actually taking a break from caffeine right now and had a nice mug of the Creme Caramel flavor right before I went off. It. Was. Delicious. No sweetener or milk needed. The tea was like drinking a creamy, thick, sweet dessert. I had it pretty piping hot and cuddled myself up in my reading chair with a blankie and my bible app. Good stuff. I gave the Lemon Chiffon to my oldest daughter since it was decaf and she loves warm tea on cool days. I didn't even taste it, but the smell reminded me of my Lemon Cheesecake candle and she kept raving about how yummy it was. 3 cheers for Red Rose teas! I'll repurchase because there were $1.00 coupons included and I loved the Creme Caramel. Perhaps, I'll get some Lemon Chiffon for Sadie, too.

Hershey's Kisses Milk Chocolates (Family Size Bag): $5.29
Thanks, Influenster, for feeding the frenzy. My kids are on such a candy kick in the aftermath of Valentine's Day. I love that Kisses are the perfect size for a sweet indulgence, but they aren't overboard to give the littles one a day in their lunches. I plan on trying those little mini kiss pies out, too. Do I need to review these, really? I mean, duh. YUM.

Vaseline Men Spray Lotion: $7.99/5oz
Like I said, above, I haven't gotten hubs to try this out, yet. I did, though, and the consistency is amazing. It comes out in a really fine spray, but has the Vaseline thickness. It helped my dry elbows out, but didn't really touch the dryness of my knees. Years of sun damage and scrubbing floors hasn't been nice to them and they're all calloused up. I honestly haven't found anything that keeps them moisturized overnight. I'll be putting the man's review up on Instagram.

All products were provided to me for review by Influenster. Opinions are honest and my own. I tested each product before writing this review.

Be Still, My Beating Heart

dresses/lunchbox: Old Navy, jellies: Target, sparkle ballet flats: WalMart, bow: Julia's Bowtique 
My sweet babies are growing into beautiful little girls. You've watched them both from almost the beginning of them (according to their lives) and although I won't post about the girls every week, I do want you to continue to see them change and grow. I love them like my life depends on it. I know you know what that feels like.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Influenster J'Adore VoxBox - Unboxing

Feast your eyes, friends. The J'Adore VoxBox, provided to me by Influenster, for review, is pretty much my dream collection of products. What more does a caffeine addicted, flat iron using, chocoholic, skin care junkie need? I will admit that I have nowhere exciting to wear the KISS lashes, but I sure am excited to surprise the hubster when he gets home one night! He's going to be like, "WHO are you?" I'm also psyched to Instagram a photo of him using the Vaseline Men's spray lotion. He isn't going to like the photo op, but I know he'll love the product! Y'all, I am so excited to share some kisses, protect my heat-treated hair, drink some delicious tea, give my skin some TLC, and, well, shock my husband with false lashes. I've already tried the Botanics mask and let me just tell you that it was amazing. I'll have more details on all of the products later in the week. You may have already been graced with my mask-wearing face on Instagram or Twitter. Sorry 'bout your eyes.

Products provided for review by Influenster:
Boots Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask
Frizz Ease 3-Day Straight Flat Iron Spray
Vaseline Men Spray Lotion
KISS Looks SO Natural Lashes
Red Rose Simply Indulgent Teas (Creme Caramel & Lemon Chiffon/decaf)
Hershey's Kisses Milk Chocolates

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Stop Talking. Start Praying.

I totally stole this from Tenley Molzahn's (@tenleymolzahn) Instagram. I love her. If you ever need inspiration, just follow her. Seriously. I want to be her friend in real life.
How often do you get caught up in talking about your bad luck (or whatever it is) until your face turns blue? How often do you forget to go to Jesus? I've been trying really hard to pray before I open my mouth. During this particular season of life, most of my friends are starting (or growing) their families, making big decisions about more kids, education, jobs, have husbands who aren't around as much as they'd like. I understand. I'm in the trenches with you. Let's remember that prayers aren't unheard and unanswered. God's time is not always our time. His plan is not always our plan. But God's timing and plans are right.

Quiet. Prayer.
He's listening.
He's answering.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Splash of Color

There is a certain level of disheveled, after a day with 27 preschoolers, that I cannot apologize for. Take it for what you will, but these photos were taken after work. I've been dying (or dyeing- hah) to take these tights out and make them work for an outfit that's appropriate for something other than an 80s throwback party. I mean, let's be serious- neon tie dye tights? Yes, they're amazing. Yes, they're comfortable. And yes, for the love of color, they are SO ME. However, they are not an every day staple or basic. Agree? I figured if I chose a simple black palette and accessorized with another solid that pulled from the tights, I could pull them off. With the peekaboo tie dye just showing at the knee, I think I made them totally work appropriate. Now, to be fair, I work at a preschool where I can literally wear anything from a suit to yoga pants. I figured the kids would think they were pretty awesome, so I gave it a shot. Turns out, my very stylish boss loved them, too! #winning ... Do people still do that?
 dress/oxford/belt: Old Navy, boots: Diba, tights: c/o We Love Colors
What's something you love to wear, but might be afraid to wear to work? How could you style it so you could pull it off? I'd love to hear! Maybe you'll inspire me to wear something else crazy. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Comeback with the Bangs

I wrote on my facebook page, last night, that I've been away for a while. My family has suffered the loss of a deeply loved member and while struggling to stay afloat, emotionally, I dove into prayer and sought to deepen my relationship with the Lord. During my time of prayer, it was revealed to me that I have lost myself in emotional wallow and a bit in the robotics of motherhood and family management. While I adore my position in life, I realize, now, that writing is a core part of my creative being and this blog has been a sweet landing place for several years. 
I've drafted out some ideas and taken a quick poll on facebook, but if you're still reading, I'd love to hear your input, too. While I plan to let the blog take shape as I get back into a routine, I also would like to have a moderately narrowed focus. Part of my being overwhelmed enough to put coming back off was that I have too many ideas and can't seem to pin down where I want the blog to go. I have a personal journal and am not interested in making this such. There will be sprinklings of the girls, here and there, and of course, I'm still an open book. But I'm writing for my friends, family, myself, and for any other sweet reader who cares to ice the top of my little internet corner cake. The ideas I've journaled out for possible focus are:
a) fashion/beauty (personal style and product reviews)
b) mommy/family
c) recipes/meal planning
d) journey with organization and redecorating the home
f) "come along with me" vlogs and blogs
g) DIY
h) health/weight loss
If you wouldn't mind taking a moment and commenting with your top 2-3 favorite ideas, I'll love you forever! Thanks a bunch!

Now, back to regularly scheduled programming:
Y'all, I got bangs. If you follow along on facebook, instagram, or twitter, you already know this. I turned 30 last Thursday and decided I was going rogue. I had plans of dyeing my hair some radical shade of deep red or going with a pixie cut. Instead, I opted for bangs. I'm so daring.
 dress (hiked up as tunic): Target, tee/cardigan/leggings: Old Navy, boots: Diba
So glad to be back! Stay tuned for the Influenster J'Adore VoxBox unboxing and review, We Love Colors neon tie dye tights for work, and a review of one of the most gorgeous dresses I've ever laid eyes on, from Bitter Root Vintage! Can't wait to share! Please leave a comment with your top 2-3 blog focus ideas! Thanks a bunch.