I always pare down my makeup routine during the hot Summer months, and now with staying at home, I'm using even less products on a daily basis. It's a funny thing really - I've played with makeup ever since I can remember, have even collected it throughout the years. But when it comes down to it, I prefer a very minimal, effortless look. Especially as I get older, I find that wearing less makes me look and feel younger instead of layering or covering my skin with a bunch of different products. Sheer, buildable powders and creams are what I look for when buying anything new, and now with Summer right around the corner, it's the perfect time to embrace our natural beauty.

Before we start applying any makeup, don't forget the SPF: I go for a lotion that's oil-free and absorbs quickly, but it depends on your specific skin type. I also frequently use sunscreen as my regular body lotion and slather it on from head to toe pretty generously. Whatever brand you like, just make sure you use something to protect your skin.

Cheeks and Brows: Every women's magazine I've read recommends switching to cream blush during Summer, but it wasn't until I found cloud paint from Glossier that I happily bought into the idea. I use my finger to dot a small amount and blend out. It adds just the right amount of color, looks incredibly natural, and lasts all day. You can also top it with powder for even more color and lasting power, but I prefer not to. As for brows, I like a tinted gel that fills in sparse areas and keeps them in place. This doesn't create a defined brow, but it does help brows look more polished.

Eye Cream: I'm a big fan of eye cream in the morning, as it instantly adds moisture and therefore makes eyes look refreshed and awake. If you wear concealer, it also goes on more evenly if you apply an eye cream first.

Glossy Lips: Sheer, glossy lips are quintessential Summer aren't they? Easy to reapply, flattering on everyone, and just feels so good on.

Curl Lashes and Add Mascara: I've been skipping these steps on some days, but a little curl and a light coat of your favorite (waterproof) mascara is a must for many people.

Finish With Fragrance: This may sound ridiculous, but spraying perfume is my favorite part of my daily routine. Brushing my teeth, washing my face, applying makeup...the grand finale is being instantly uplifted by this beach-inspired fragrance.

With the long Memorial Day weekend coming up, maybe you can try a more minimal routine and take that extra time you'll save to enjoy some sun! I'll be back next week.


I'm making an effort to dress in real clothes (some days), and documenting what I put together is actually a huge mood boost. These aren't exactly groundbreaking outfits, and taking snapshots of them in my loft isn't how I'd like to share them with you, but for now it'll have to do. Spring is moving along quickly, and the weather has been so perfect that I've spent every afternoon outside in my backyard soaking up as much as I can. In-between reading this book and making some healthy lunches, I'm daydreaming about when I can truly enjoy getting dressed again. Normally during Spring, I'm planning outfits for outdoor festivals, concerts, and trips. Now we are in a perpetual state of...who knows? The upside is that I'm getting my money's worth on all of my clothes, and I'm getting more comfortable with repeating outfits on a weekly basis! Here are some recent favorites.

This kimono can be worn as a dress, but lately I've been wearing it open and layered over another (bodycon) dress.

I bought this floral swimsuit coverup in late February, fully expecting to wear it in Palm Springs during our yearly getaway. During a heat wave a couple weeks ago, I wore it to sit on my patio.

Jeans and a tee, always my go-to in Spring & Summer. I love the desert print on this one. 

Or if it's too warm out, a loose tee and 4 year old denim distressed shorts will work! 

An olive utility jacket is a Spring staple. I just love the look during cooler days. 

I hope everyone is doing well and taking care! I'll be back on Wednesday 💋


Some days, it seems impossible to have a positive outlook on everything that's going on in the world. I go back and forth all the time, grasping for any semblance of control. One of the positive things I can control at the moment is my desire to become more comfortable in the kitchen. If I actually get good at it, that's a different story! A few months ago, I created a board on Pinterest and I titled it "cooking for the timid cook." I don't own any cookbooks or have many family recipes to go by, so I began searching for anything that looked delicious, somewhat healthy, and most importantly, doable! I've slowly been attempting different recipes, but since the pandemic started my efforts have increased.

As some of you know, I was also diagnosed with high blood pressure in 2013. It's a scary thing to hear when you're 29 years old and otherwise healthy. I remember going to my doctor right before my wedding and the lead nurse joked that "we need to figure this out. You don't want to walk down the aisle and suddenly your heart explodes." Um, excuse me sir?! Not funny! Thanks for that. Anyway, after that morbid scenario, I've been doing my best to better manage what I put into my body. I struggle a lot and there's more I can always do, but thankfully I've gotten to a place where I'm finding it more manageable, and I'm being honest with myself instead of denying it's a problem.

I modify recipes to lower the amount of sodium, and I often adhere to DASH - dietary approaches to stop hypertension.  Lots of vegetables, certain fruits like blueberries, poultry, fish, and limiting sugar and alcohol intake (honestly the hardest part for me). I still drink, but I can't split a bottle of wine with a friend anymore. This isn't to say that my eating is perfect, or that I don't give into certain cravings, because I definitely do! I'm not sure I'll ever be able to give up my love of cheese entirely. I'm just more mindful, and having an underlying health concern that I'm finally dealing with head-on is a way to show love for myself.

Foods that are typically in my grocery cart:
Sweet potatoes
Cherry tomatoes
Ground turkey
Whole wheat bread
Eggs or egg whites
Cottage Cheese
Greek Plain Yogurt
Unsalted nuts
Olive Oil

Here are some favorites that are easy to throw together:
Smoothie with frozen and fresh blueberries (or whatever frozen and fresh fruit you may have), a handful of spinach or kale, plain yogurt, handful of walnuts, and water. Make sure to blend well.
Note: You can add some juice to make it even better, but just be mindful about added sugars. I like grapefruit juice but it counteracts my medications. 

Quick snack or even breakfast - cottage cheese with any type of berry (I obviously like blueberries) and a drizzle of local raw honey.

I love Greek flavors, so I try to make a salad or bowl with grilled or baked chicken, tomato, red onion, cucumbers, olives, and feta cheese. I used a leftover Greek dressing from Baron's, but it's healthier to just add olive oil and lemon juice. 

I've saved a lot of really simple recipes on my Pinterest board, so I hope you'll take a look and follow along! There's a mix of everything, and as I said above, most recipes are easy to substitute or tailor to your specific tastes and dietary needs. I'm learning a lot, laughing at myself when I mess up, and cooking for fun...something I'm only beginning to understand!

If you have any recipes that you make often, please share below! Also, do any of you have high blood pressure? 


In keeping with this post on my blog last week, I just want to reiterate that nobody needs the beauty products I'm about to share. I'm not even sure I need them. But I did run out of eye cream and shampoo, so I decided to replenish them with products I've never tried before. Anything to add some excitement these days, right? I took advantage of Sephora's Spring sale to get a discount, and I bought the shampoo directly through my wonderful hair stylist who was kind enough to drop it at my door.

I've been using all of these products for a little over a week, which isn't enough to write full reviews. I do have some initial thoughts:

1. Tatcha The Silk Peony Melting Eye Cream:
 I don't have any fine lines or wrinkles around my eyes just yet, but I am concerned with dark circles, puffiness, and overall hydration. I see why this is called a "melting" cream, as it is extremely cushiony and smooth, sort of like a balm. A little goes a long way. I pat some underneath my eyes using my ring finger, and then a little on my lids as well. It's very hydrating without being too slick, and my concealer has been applying seamlessly afterward. So far, I like it a lot, but I wouldn't say it's any more moisturizing than other eye creams I've used for years from Kiehl's and Origins.

2. Drunk Elephant Time to Wake Up:
I've used Drunk Elephant's Protini moisturizer and have sampled their vitamic C serum. I really enjoyed both, so I picked up this duo that includes the C serum as well as the B-hydra serum. You mix both and apply all over the face in the morning for a fresh skin boost. I really love the result. They combine perfectly, and absorb quickly into the skin without a greasy, oily residue. I'm very impressed with this line of skincare.

3. Peace Out Acne Healing Dots:
My struggle with hormonal acne continues, and it's probably been made worse due to stress. I'm being extra diligent and barely wearing makeup, so why the crazy flareups? I think a visit to the dermatologist is in my future, but in the meantime, these acne healing dots have made a noticeable difference. Overnight, the spots I had on my chin were significantly reduced in size, and they dried up fast. I can't say peace out completely, but I'm just relieved they did something. Good to keep in my medicine cabinet!

4. Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo:
I mentioned in my low maintenance hair routine that I was in search of a new shampoo, and after weighing some options and researching a few brands, I decided to go with Olaplex. So many people (including my hair stylist) rave about it. After using it only a couple times, I can see why. It's the thickest, richest formula I've ever tried, it lathers well with the smallest dime size amount, and the scent is lovely. I'm in desperate need of toner and a good healthy trim, but at least I have a nice shampoo to hold me over.

I'll keep you posted on all of these as I use them more, but this has mostly been the extent of my online shopping (in-between groceries, Etsy birthday gifts, and organic cotton bed sheets).

Have you tried any new beauty products during this crazy time? Linking up with Straight A Style.


"Quiet the mind and the soul will speak."
- Buddha

I took a drive on Wednesday morning through the wineries. I woke up to a glorious blue sky with painted clouds, took one look at my car keys sitting on the kitchen counter, grabbed a very excited Nettie, and made a beeline for the door. I needed to clear my head, and what better way to to do that than by driving through the valley with all the windows down on a sunny day.

The warm air smelled of jasmine and orange blossoms. After the rain we had at the beginning of the month, the barren vineyards had transformed into a sea of lush emerald green. I turned the radio up, laughed at Nettie's lips flapping in the wind as she stuck her head out the window, and let out a huge breath that I had been holding for what felt like weeks. The beginning of April dragged on, but the ending was exactly what I needed. 

Fazeli & Robert Renzoni Winery

We watched one of our favorite shows on televison, Ozark. We only allowed ourselves two episodes per night, but the season went so quickly and was so gripping that we felt kind of depressed once it was over. If you haven't watched the series, you must! Just make sure you start at season 1. Other notable shows included "How to Fix a Drug Scandal" which I highly recommend, and The Housewives of New York City and Beverly Hills. I like watching The Housewives back to back with a glass of wine in hand. Say what you will about reality shows, but they offer a fun break from actual reality.

A few of my favorite people have May birthdays, so I searched Etsy for personalized meaningful gifts. I can't be with them physically this year, but that doesn't mean I can't still wish them a happy birthday! Plus, I'm all about supporting small shops and businesses now.

A family member who is licensed in the practice of mindfulness started a Zoom workshop, and I'm learning so much already. The class is once a week for two hours, and along with therapy sessions, it is really teaching me how to be present in my own life. We as humans have over 60,000 thoughts per day, and much of those days are lived on autopilot. No wonder we are anxious, distracted, and overwhelmed.

It's been pretty warm the last couple weeks (dare I say hot) so I ditched my joggers and long sleeve shirts for shorts, camisoles, and kimonos. I really only dressed up a bit for Zoom calls and virtual happy hours, but it was a nice excuse!

Nate and I spent last weekend cleaning up our backyard. It was overgrown with weeds. We have rented this house for a few years, and although there are many things we aren't allowed to change about it, we do what we can to keep things nice and make it feel like home. We really want to buy our own home, but with everything going on now, we will have to wait longer than we expected.

Happy May! I hope everyone is going to have a great month. Summer is near...


I've been thinking a lot about blogging, social media, consumerism, and self-worth in the age of a global pandemic. I hesitate in writing this, but I think I just need to get it out of my system so please bear with me.

I've been blogging for over a decade now, and I've mostly enjoyed every aspect of it. It has provided me with confidence, formed some wonderful friendships, and has pushed me to pull myself together during periods in my life of great anxiety, uncertainty, and depression. It's enhanced my life in ways I never imagined. There was something really special about it. But as the game of blogging and what that really entails has changed, so has my attitude towards much of it.

Social Media
First, there's the social media aspect. Don't get me wrong, there are wonderful connections in our lives because of it. There are genuine benefits that come along with using it, especially if you're a small business and want to get your name out there. I post, interact, and scroll through my feed as happily as anyone else does. But I also feel deeply that it's contributed to mental health problems, and that's really hard to scroll past. How can you ignore it? Sometimes it just seems like a constant barrage of photoshopping, mass consumption, oversharing otherwise private moments, inflated egos, narcissism, the glorification of eating disorders and unhealthy habits...the list goes on. I'm not trying to judge or pearl-clutch, I'm just concerned about the effects it can lead to especially for kids and teens. Obviously I don't have any answers. That's the frustrating part.

I also contribute to it. I filter my photos, not heavily, but I do it. I use affiliate links to make a small commission. I belong to a platform that helps people shop for clothes, beauty products, home furnishings, kitchen gadgets, cleaning products, whatever. I use it myself, and for the most part, I enjoy it. But I also feel conflicted, now more than ever. I've always tried to be careful in what I share and promote - only things that I buy (or would buy in the rare instance it's a sponsored post) and use myself. When I see other people being careless with their platforms, I think it shows and it makes it harder for people to trust bloggers and influencers. I hate that word. I'll admit I've made mistakes in this area in the past, but I've learned from them.

I also hate that we are collectively being told everyday that we need certain things in order to lead our lives. Or that we have to improve this or that in order to do so. "This (insert product) changed my life! You need this too!" Yeah, okay.

Consumerism & Self-Worth
Instead of telling you what you absolutely, positively have to have, I just wanted to remind you that's false. that you're strong, kind, capable, loving, hilarious, and uniquely beautiful just as you are, or as you see fit. There are so many actions you are told to take every waking hour, all in the hopes of...what exactly? A better life, a happier you? How about just being. How about acceptance.

You don't necessarily:

 need an expensive eye cream, although I did just pay an exorbitant amount for one.

have to try a crazy new workout routine or cleanse, unless it's recommended by your doctor of course.

 need 20 products to prevent the inevitable signs of aging; we are blessed if we live a long life.

have to buy the dress I'm wearing on my blog. I mean I don't mind if you do, but I want to show you that style isn't related to a specific item I feature.

need to pretend you're happy all the time, or crazy witty, or that you've got all your shit together. Everyone's winging it.

Don't need to create inspirational content on Instagram in order to inspire others with a photo of a place you visited, or a memory you created with a friend. Why not post "just because?'

Or, if you do want to try these things or set new goals or whatever else you want to accomplish than do that! But do it on your own terms, without pressure or worry.  When I feature products I've purchased, when I recap my beauty routines, or when I post links to my clothes, I hope you understand that I truly don't expect you to buy them. A lot of bloggers I admire, respect, and read regularly have made a living doing this and I hope that if they read this, that they don't misunderstand me. I'm not pointing fingers or saying that selling items to their readers is bad. I have purchased many things over the years through their links, most of which I never would have found on my own. I love being able to do that, as well as having the choice in supporting them! I just know that none of us really needs anything - aside from the people we love, the air that we breathe, and knowing that we are each more than enough.