Casual Spring Dresses

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 It’s not unusual for the seasons to rapidly shift here in North Carolina. We’ll have winter like temperatures one week, and 80 degrees and humid the next.

Dresses are my top choice for staying cool and comfortable, and I’ve rounded up some of my favorite casual dresses for a warm spring day.

I bought this one from Old Navy recently and love it! And you know what I did? I ordered it in tall. I’m not tall, in fact Justin and I made a return to StrideRite last weekend and I humbly measured myself along with the other kids in the store to see how tall I actually was.

As it turns out I’m 5’5”. Anyway, I ordered the dress in a tall so it wouldn’t be too short on me while I play with the boys. And it’s *perfect*.

I’m most tempted by the Corrie short sleeve dress (#4) but I’m not sure if it will be too short?

I ended up returning the blush colored dress from H&M because it was a little too clingy. Otherwise it would have been perfection. If you don’t have leftover baby weight to hide, definitely check this dress out.

I’ll likely pair my New Balance sneakers with these dresses, or just simple nude sandals.

Hello from Bluffton!

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I was planning on writing a candid post about how stressful and crazy the 5 hour road trip with a 3 month old and 17 month old was today.

But, with much shock I’m here to say that the road trip was easy.

A breeze actually.

At one point I was convinced that I was actually in a dream and there is no way it could have gone so smoothly.

We left in the morning right before Luke’s second nap, and both boys fell asleep almost instantly. David typically doesn’t take a morning nap unless he’s in the car so I was happy that he ended up falling asleep easily!
We stopped for lunch at Chick fil A around 11:30, let David stretch his legs and play for about an hour while we ate.

Then we hopped back in the car and Luke fell asleep within 10 minutes, and David was out cold in about 30 minutes.

And they both slept basically the entire rest of the trip.

IT WAS TRULY SHOCKING. Historically Luke hates the car seat and cries quite a bit, and David gets tired of being strapped down after awhile.

I think the key factor during this drive, as opposed to driving around town, is that there were no stops or turning. It was just I-95 the entire way.

Anyway, we’ve been here for a few days and have had so much fun already. The boys have done pretty good napping and sleeping in a new place, and we’ve had full and exciting days so far. We took them both to the beach on Tuesday morning, and David had a smile plastered across his face the entire time.

It’s so fun to see David take in a whole new place, and I can’t wait until Luke is old enough to enjoy it with him!

RQ: Layering Hair Products

Reader Question: Can you do a post on layering products? Between mousse, waxes, texturizers, oils, etc I have no idea what goes together and what does not, or in what order to apply them. I was a teenager in the 80’s so I still basically use mousse and hairspray and need to get out of my rut! -Tammy

I can totally understand how overwhelming hair products can be if you are unfamiliar with them! I have found that a lot of stylists don’t communicate how and why to use certain products as they are finishing a clients’ hair, and that leaves the client (you!) in the dark!

And then they try to encourage you to buy it as you are leaving, but you aren’t exactly sure why you need it!

So, I’ll break down a basic rule of thumb for layering hair products, but since every hair texture is different, it ultimately takes some trial and error on your part to determine what works best for you.

Basic rule: Start with the thinnest/lightest products first, and work your way up to the thicker ones.

layering products

And let me chime in here by telling you that you don’t NEED to use multiple products. But if you do, this is a great way to get them to work effectively.

But if you do layer products,

I’ll run through a few of my favorite combo’s from my time behind the chair.

Naturally curly/wavy hair –> straight : I’d always use Redken Slim Supreme* first, despite it only being labeled for use on “fine hair”. I loved how light but effective this serum was. I’d also use it after the hair was dry and straightened, to seal everything down. After Slim Supreme I’d choose a creamier product to help soften and smooth the hair shaft as I blew it dry. More often than not, I reached for Redken Align. It’s a bit sticky, but it was great for resistant hair.

*as usual, the great products always are discontinued! I’ll try to find a dupe.

Fine or flat hair –> volumized : I would always, no matter what, start with my all-time favorite Aquage Uplifting Foam at the roots. Then I’d either add a non-aerosol spray like Redken Body Full Volume Amplifier or apply L’anza Healing Volume mishaft to ends. I recently tried Kevin Murphy’s Anti Gravity Oil Free Volumiser and I LOVED it. So that could be a good mishaft product to apply for lots of volume all over.

Curly –> curly : More often than not my curly haired clients wanted their hair straightened so it was extremely rare that I styled the hair curly, but a good concoction I’ve learned is serum + cream for the softest, touchable curls. If you need to use a bit of gel for hold, but hate the crunchy gel feel, mix a bit of a creamy product in with your gel to soften it a bit.

Straight hair –> textured, soft waves : I would typically save the bulk of my products for the dry, curled hair so I would keep it simple with a bit of It’s a 10 prior to blow drying. Then, after the hair is dry and curled with an iron, I’d use a texture spray, read this post to see some of my favorites, or even a texture powder at the roots to mess things up a bit. (Read this post if you want to know the difference between texture powder and texture spray)

In general, unless the hair was extremely limp and lifeless, I would always spray a bit of It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In treatment for repair and protection or KMS Free Shape to cut a bit of blow dry time.

So as you can see, there’s a great variety in the products I used depending on the clients’ hair and hair goal. Mixing and matching different products was always fun for me, and I’d recommend trying it if you are bored with your hair. You may be pleasantly surprised with what you come up with! But remember, use the lightest/thinnest products first!

Renewing My Skin, Part 2

Alright it’s been roughly a month since I’ve been using the Burt’s Bees Renewing line and I’m pleased with the results! BBafter-2-2 While it’s probably the most trivial, my favorite part of the products was the pleasant, semi-earthy aroma. I hate products that are too floral or pungent on my face since I smell it all day. These reminded me of a spa. Of the handful of products from the line, my absolute favorite was the Burt’s Bees Renewal Firming Night Cream. I loved how hydrating it was without feeling too heavy. I’ve tried night creams in the past that are just too sticky and heavy, and I was afraid to smear it all around as I slept. So the consistency of this one was just right! I found that on days when I wasn’t planning on wearing much makeup, I would just splash my face with a bit of lukewarm water and didn’t even need to add a moisturizer for the day. That’s how nourishing the night cream was. BBafter-1-2 Here I am without a stitch of makeup. BBafter-1 BBafter-3 The biggest thing I noticed was just a general look of health to my skin. It may sound cliche but I think I can see a nicer glow now that I could before. It looks, and feels, fresher if that makes any sense. I also noticed more smoothness, especially on my forehead. BA I noticed a big change in the melasma under my eyes, which could partially be due to time passing, but could also be thanks to the renewing properties of the cleaner and Sensitive Face Serum. Either way, I’m pleased to see those spots fading. Up close and personal, the crows feet at the outer part of my eyelids isn’t quite as noticeable. That wasn’t a major concern of mine, but I’m always happy to be doing good things for my skin NOW instead of trying to back track once I’m old and wrinkly. And I spotted my first grey hair the other week so it’s coming quickly. The price point for this line, along with anything else from Burt’s Bees is fantastic. I’d really recommend looking into it if you are in the market for some new skincare!

April and May Beauty Favorites

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I grouped my beauty favorites from last month and most of this month into this favorites video! I’m traveling a bit and moving soon so I wanted to be sure I got this posted before it was much too late!