Thank You!

 Thank You!

Thank You!

There are no words to express what you, my dear readers, mean to me. You have stood beside me and supported me on this writing journey since 2006. This year has been busy and this space has lacked my own words because I've been burning the candle at both ends writing for other outlets. I have dreamt of this moment for years and I am appreciative although everything is happening at the same time. I'm not complaining. I'm ENJOYING as my friend Renee likes to tell me.

I just want you to know that I am getting back to the business of coming to you with words every week. And often.

Thank you and À Bientôt!

pixi + Caroline Hirons

pixi + Caroline Hirons

pixi + Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse. If you are a skincare junkie and not following Caroline Hirons on Instagram, do you beauty self a favor and go follow her now. She is so funny, smart, and has that lovely British accent that has me swooning over all the skincare products she writes about. I follow very few beauty blogs these days since I’m not an exclusive beauty blogger anymore, but I love everything she writes about. Although, I’m not going crazy like I used to I am still a beauty girl at art. 

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February Reading List

February Reading List

I decided to showcase this month's reading list at the first of the month instead of the end. I realized I needed to put my book reading on a schedule this month. This may not work moving forward, but I will let you know. If you use the library to check out e-books you know the dilemma. You put your name on the hold list and then all of a sudden all your books come in at the same time which means you can’t turn the wi-fi on your Kindle because you still haven’t finished the other 3 you downloaded. 

So here is what I plan on reading for February. I’m sure I will throw a few extra in the mix. 

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Beauty Duty: Bite Beauty Matte Lip Crayon in Fraise

Beauty Duty: Bite Beauty Matte Lip Crayon in Fraise

The one thing about Instagram I love is finding all the beauty girls. I fell hard for Sarah James of Whoorl years ago. My friend Erika put me on to her. She was then living in California, but now in Oklahoma City so in my mind she’s so close to Texas which makes her a Southern girl to me. Over the past few years, Whoorl has been focusing on greening her beauty routine. She posted a quick video on Instagram regarding her love of Bite Beauty and their Matte Lip Crayons.

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Beauty Friday: Bergdorf Goodman Spring Beauty

Bergdorf Goodman Beauty

It's time that stores are thinking about spring beauty and it's definitely on my radar. I have been using the fall and the spring to really get exactly what I need in terms of major beauty purchases. Bergdorf Goodman's Be Beautiful Gift is here. This is the perfect time for me to replenish my Memo African Leather scent and grab a refill of my AERIN Rose Lip Balm

Beauty Friday: IT Cosmetics Superhero Palette

 Beauty Friday: IT Superhero Palette

Beauty Friday: IT Superhero Palette

Welcome, Michele y'all. Michele and I became fast friends a few years ago and when I decided I needed a beauty intern, so I could focus on other lifestyle writing I went to her first. Michele and I will be bringing the beauty every Friday. She's a beauty girl like moi and is a great person to have on the team. 

What’s there to say; this palette is a dream. All the colors you need to do any makeup look from day to night. The colors are pigmented, very blendable, and a good eyeshadow base. The bases are the three eye foundation shades at the top of the palette.  They create a flawless canvas, and make applying the eyeshadows a dream and blending easy. 

There is some fall out when applying so, pressing or tapping eyeshadows are recommended. This is now my every day and night time palette.

Michele 

 

Beauty Duty: The Best Hand Cream You Will Ever Use

 Order these before they sell out. They always sell out.

Order these before they sell out. They always sell out.

It’s been a long time since I wrote about a beauty product that I want you to have, but I can’t keep it to myself. It’s not new, but it’s the best hand cream you will ever use. I mean, it’s good. It’s really, really good. Like supa dupe fly good and you may want to play a Missy Elliott song while using it. I discovered it last year and it’s the only hand cream I have used this year. I keep one in my car, one in my bag, and one in my travel suitcase. I’m addicted. 

Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream is everything. I wash my hands a lot and this cream is (1) not greasy, (2) moisturizing, (3) heals minor cuts and scrapes, and (4) softens your hands. I don’t buy the large size. I buy the 3-pack from Nordstrom every winter and stock up for the year. In Europe last year Clarins released the hand cream in various scents and now it’s available stateside and I didn’t have to pay an exorbitant amount on Ebay. I guarantee once you smell the fig scent you will be like me and begging Clarins to make it a staple. I sometimes put it on my hands and inhale just to smell the soft scent. It’s not overpowering, but trust me it works if you are on a plane and your seatmate smells like an ashtray.  

Grateful for the New Year Despite the Pain

Sunset in Louisiana

Here we are. A new year. A time to start again according to the calendar. I usually start my new year on my birthday. But, my birthday last month was not how I intended to start my own "new year." My brother Justin passed away on that day. Now, my birthday will never be the same. I had already planned to spend a month in Louisiana to assist my aunt with her knee replacement so being here for my mom and my family was actually a blessing. 

At Justin's service, I spoke that he always lived life on his own terms. He truly did not care what anyone thought about him. It's a lesson to all of us to live on our terms even if it doesn't agree with what seems "normal." In honor of him, I am going to do just that. To lose two brothers in two years is hard. It's the absolute worst. It sucks. In both their honor I'm going to enjoy every single day. I'm going to work harder and smarter. Write more. I'm going to laugh more. I'm going to show love more. I'm going to continue to travel, and I'm going to make sure I take care of myself. 

I know to take care of myself I need to make sure that the hereditary heart disease in my family does not come to my front door. Normally when I come to Louisiana, I lose my food loving mind. I eat all the things I can't eat in D.C. The South really does have the best food. I decided before coming to Louisiana that I wouldn't do that on this trip. I would not eat boudin, fried shrimp, and Blue Bell ice cream every day. I would eat them, but in moderation. The lifestyle of a wine, food, and travel writer means you eat everything. I decided I would workout 6 days a week and get my system and body back on track. It's been two weeks and I'm proud of myself. 

I wish you new year blessings full of love, laughter, travel, peace, sweaty workouts, food, and good wine. As Tim McGraw sings "live like you are dying."

Shopbop's Go BIG Sale!

Shopbop has long been one of my favorite shopping sites. I have spent the past year working on minimalism in all areas of my life. I've found a few of my favorite clothing and home items on Shopbop.

Shopbop has their GO BIG SALE happening now and I suggest you head over and grab a few items. I love a good handbag and had been lurking over this one from Zac Posen for a few weeks. I love it. I am slowly transitioning the majority of my sweaters to cashmere. It's warm, can be layered, and lasts. These booties will transition well into spring and I love a statement pair of gloves. 

The sale ends Monday, November 28. Happy shopping!

Shopping For Fall // Shopbop Main Event Sale

 Shopbop MAINEVENT Sale

Shopbop MAINEVENT Sale

https://www.shopbop.com/I'm home sick, but that hasn't stopped me from taking advantage of the latest Shopbop MAINEVENT sale. I only need a few items for fall. I'm still working on my minimalist style and Shopbop sale actually helps. I picked up two sweatercoats, leggings for style and working out, and super cute booties. I definitely think you should get involved. The sale ends Friday.

Book Friday: Read These Books

 Book Friday: Read These Books

Book Friday: Read These Books

I can't believe we are already in August. I know I am not alone when I say the summer has flown by. The days home has been wonderful.I enjoy going to the farmer's market, cooking, and enjoying my time when I can be a tourist in my own city. Here are three books I definitely think should be on your book reading list.

All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker. I discovered this book through Reese Witherspoon's Instagram. If you didn't know it, Reese is a book lover, and a has translated some great books to film - Wild and Gone Girl. I always read her suggestions and when she mentioned this book and I read a quick excerpt I had to read it. I have roughly a 100 pages left and it is so good. It's already been optioned for a movie. P.S. Reese's Bookclub regrammed my photo of the book and it definitely made my day.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld. I discovered Curtis through her first book Prep and have loved most of her books. If you are fans of Pride & Prejudice, this book is for you. It's a modern retelling of the story. I had to read Pride & Prejudice so much in college that I was against reading this book, but I'm over it and can't wait to dive into this book.

The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight. If you have never read Remembering Amelia go read it now. This will help you understand how much I enjoy reading Kimberly's work. I have been saving this book to read on my next flight which is Wednesday and I can't wait to lose myself in this book. 

 

 

 

Currently Coveting: These Pretty Things

 Currently Coveting: These Pretty Things

Currently Coveting: These Pretty Things

I have become obsessed with the Bumble and Bumble Curl Line. I know I'm an old school beauty girl because I didn't even notice they changed the name to reflect - Bb. I see you Bumble. Whatever floats your copy boat. I have been using my old faithful curl pomade for my low cut fade for well over 20 years. Then I go get my haircut and my stylist Q at Parlour (Seriously if you live in DC you should go see her. She works on all types of hair and you don't have exorbitant wait times. She starts on time).

Bb Curl LineQ suggested I try the anti-humidity gel oil. I wasn't expecting much because most curl creams take forever to penetrate and I just don't have the energy. This dried quickly, was moisturizing, and made my super low curls pop. I immediately purchased the gel oil and the conditioner. If the styling aid was good I knew the conditioner would be. It didn't disappoint either. I'm hooked. I'm taking it on my trip later this month and I can't wait to see how it travels. 

Casal Garcia Vinho Verde Rosé. The store near my home discontinued my favorite Vinho Verde Rosé this summer and for a second I was livid. How could they do that to me? Yes, I took it personally. When I told the store owner he laughed and said I have another one for you to try. I trust his wine choices and he told me if I didn't like it the next bottle was on him. Okay. Challenge accepted. Needless to say, it's delicious, perfect for these hot summer days, and will take me well into September. I'm praying for an Indian summer.