My Favorite Cookbooks


I enjoy cooking but mothering three little ones means that creative recipes are usually at the bottom of my list of things I can tackle during the week. Honestly, that is one of the reasons why I love Home Chef so much! It takes away so much of the work and leaves the fun behind!

Anyway, when I do have a moment to think through creating a meal, these are the two cookbooks I am most likely to grab. And listen: I included a baking cookbook on this list because baking is something that I can always find time for since it doesn’t need to be hot and ready for 5 people in the 5 o’clock hour.

Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines : Try the 3 Cheese Quiche!

Cravings Hungry for More by Chrissy Teigan

Sally’s Cookie Addiction by Sally McKinney : Everything I’ve made is so good, but my favorite recipe is the Monster Cookies.

I’ve since ordered the Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant and Unfussy New Favorites since I often search for Deb’s recipes online. I can’t wait to get it and

Home Chef is what I use for dinners most nights of the week, if I’m being totally honest, but I’m still happy to have the cookbooks in my cabinet for times when I want to look for something new.

Do you have a cookbook that you reach for over and over again? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

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How was this week for you? I felt a noticeable shift in my mood and perspective on Monday so this week was easier than last week. The temperatures are starting to warm up for us, which is such a gift right now, and I’m looking forward to spending time outside this weekend!

Here are a few links + loves from this week!

A really cute idea for getting your kids to wash their hands! This little ball of soap has a toy inside, the more you wash your hands the closer you get to the toy!

If you carry your coffee around with you in the morning while you are getting ready, and you don’t want hairspray to fall into it (or am I the only one thinking about that?) this is a cute reusable coffee mug with a lid!

I’ve been wearing this bra more than ever since social distancing went into effect and my daily outfits got much more relaxed. It offers a nice amount of support while still being very, very comfortable!

Glamour released its 15th Annual Beauty Awards for 2020 and I can say that they truly found fantastic products that deserve to be winners! From their drugstore category, the Revlon Candid foundation (plus the Candid Glow) is a beautiful medium coverage, easy to wear foundation. Check out the full list of drugstore makeup here!

I shared a post all about the DIY And DDIY beauty routines that you can do at home, click here to read it!

I hope you have a great weekend!

What Beauty Routines Can you DIY, and Which Ones You Shouldn’t!


In such a time as these, non-essential appointments are being canceled if they haven’t been already. There are quite a few beauty routines I think you can do on yourself in the time being, but there are also a few that you should really save for a professional.

As someone who worked as a stylist, and owned my own business as well, I have a true appreciation and knowledge of what it takes to be a qualified professional in the beauty industry. My hope is that this blog post provides you will a little help to get you by during this time, but also a full acknowledgment that no one can replace the professional you were seeing just a few weeks ago.

One of the most special parts of being a hairstylist was the fact that my work allowed me to be in physical contact with my clients. I washed their hair with my own hands, colored or cut their hair, and then styled it. The physical interaction between my clients and I was allowed due to trust and friendship.

If you have a stylist or beauty technician that you love, you understand how comfortable and enjoyable it can be when you go to your appointment. I’m sad that it is put on hold for the time being, though it seems to be for the best.

There are less risky beauty routines to do at home, and then there are those that can create major, major problems for you down the line. Let me first share a few straight forward DIY Beauty Routines that you can handle during this time at home.

I’ve shared a few different blog posts and videos about DIY manicures, and a handful of posts about my favorite nail products and polishes.

I’ve also shared some of my favorite self-tanning products if you are into that kind of thing. I have tried a new brand recently so you can expect an updated review post coming soon!

Easy beauty routines to do in the shower are body scrubs or deep conditioning treatments for your hair. You can also get into the routine of doing a clarifying shampoo once a week or so if you go a few days between washes.

If you are feeling ready, you can try maintaining your eyebrows or other small areas on your face where there is unwanted hair. I shared a step by step demonstration of the Flamingo pre-waxed strips on Instagram, click here to check it out.

I love doing a Baby Foot foot peel every few months to get the extra dry skin off my feet. It’s a strange experience but it makes my skin so soft!

On the flip side, there are a few beauty processes that I cannot recommend that you do at home. It goes against everything I stand for as a former professional stylist. I know what can go wrong when you try these things at home, and it has the potential to be dangerous and ultimately end up costing you a lot of money to fix.

One of the questions I’ve been asked recently given the fact that the world is shutting down more and more every single day during this COVID-19 pandemic is how to color your own hair at home. This is risky, can cause serious damage to the hair or scalp, and can really create a bigger problem down the line for your hair color goals. I’d normally never ever recommend coloring your own hair, but I’m fully aware that so many of you are in a position where you are trying to cover grey or have very noticeable outgrowth and you still need to maintain a professional appearance for your job.

First, try switching up your part. I know this may not seem like a significant enough change, but it may be able to buy you a little bit of extra time. After that, just promise me that you’ll do everything you can to wait until you can see your stylist again. And then finally, if you are in a place where you truly cannot wait until your next appointment with your professional stylist, then here are the next steps I would take.

First, try to get ahold of your stylist and see what he or she would recommend. I’ve seen some salons providing at-home kits with professional hair color for clients to do to themselves while they wait. This could be a really great option for those of you with a simple, one-step hair color process. In general, covering grey or going “darker” with your hair color is more simple of a process than highlighting or trying to go lighter.

If you are able to get the color you want with a gloss (aka toner, semi or demi-permanent color, etc), you can likely do that at home without too much trouble. While I haven’t tried them myself, Kristen Ess does make a few at-home glossing kits that can help darken OR stay at the same lightness but adjust the tone. For example, if your blonde is turning brassy, you can use a “cool” gloss with violet or blue tones to help counteract the golden yellow brassiness.

If you need to cover grey, and cannot get a professional color from your stylist (which may not be allowed by the State Board for long, if at all, since you need to be licensed to handle professional color), try to color match to your existing color as closely as possible. Step outside, take a photo or have a friend help you determine how light or dark your hair is. Sunlight, or natural outdoor light, is the best way to have an unfiltered look at your color.

If you decide to color your hair at home, obviously follow the steps exactly. Set up your space to be clean, organized and have everything you need. Have plenty of duckbill clips, combs, and washcloths that can get stained.

One of the hardest things to do on your own hair is highlighting, so I’d discourage you from trying that on yourself. If you really cannot wait until your appointment, which I understand, you can look into at-home balayage kits to do just at your part and around the front of your face. The fewer highlights the better, and make the ones that you do put in count!

As far as product recommendations, I do not have any personal experience with any of these products but I wanted to share brands I’ve heard of or that look like reasonable options. Madison Reed is a company that helps you determine what at-home color would work best for you and ships it right to your door. They also have an at-home balayage kit. This kit doesn’t look like the easiest thing to do, but it could help you create highlights around your face and in your part area. This is also a great list of viable options for at-home hair color, from grey coverage to highlighting.

I think I’ve probably made my point but I want to assure you that while it may seem really simple, coloring your own hair can be a lot more complicated than you imagine, and if you make a mistake you are kind of stuck with it for at least the next few weeks.

Cutting your hair is a lot less dangerous (less risk of chemical burns or permanent damage to the hair), but it also is more complicated than you may imagine. As a friend, I’d tell you to just wait as long as you can until you can see your stylist. If you have to trim your bangs, which I totally understand, that is generally pretty simple to do. Always trim dry hair and don’t pull it too hard before you make a snip.

Lash Lifts are another beauty process that I would wait for a professional to do. There are so many reasons, from the lashes being bent in a weird direction to the product falling into your eye! Just grab a good old fashioned lash curler to get you through in the meantime!

More than anything beauty related, I truly hope you stay well and that we are all able to come through this pandemic stronger, more unified, and with a greater appreciation for the tenderness of human touch.

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March 20, 2020

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