Effortless Spring Style

Spring feels like a fresh start and reset, especially when you declutter your closet. I'm sharing what is trending for fashion this year that you'll need in your spring closet to update your style to be more modern. Being truly stylish is having that closet where you always feel like you made an effort for any occasion. I want to look cute for me, because when I feel like I look horrible, then I feel terrible, and my energy drops. Here are some ways to look more fashion forward while refreshing your closet.  I like to look like a woman who has an effortless look without displaying designer logos. If you want to elevate your style and look on trend, here are some tips for a minimal, classic, chic style. 

6 Canned Mocktails You Need to Try

Over the last few years I've tried many different alcohol alternatives during Dry January and have created a roundup of my favorites! You can enjoy a drink minus the buzz on weeknights with these delicious drinks. I recommend keeping them on hand to have better options for your dinner guests who don't drink alcohol. I serve these in fun cocktail glasses to make the drink festive. I promise you won't miss the booze with these! 

10-Year Blog Anniversary!

My blog is now 10 years old!  I would like to take a little time to reflect on its journey. It's truly genuinely my passion to share the ideas that I love, must buy products, interesting books, fashion trends and anything useful that I run across because I'm hoping it will add value to your life.

I love photography and enjoyed scouting locations for photoshoots back in the day. In the early days of blogging I remember going to blogger meetups and meeting other local bloggers, I even had a business card for my blog then. Back in the day people used to leave lots of comments on blog posts so it was a much more social venue. Now I'm starting to see bloggers abandon their blogs to focus on other avenues like IG, tiktok and youtube. I want to thank those of you who still come to my blog every week as I feel like blogs are falling out of favor and nobody is reading them anymore. I've been doing a lot of work on the back end of this blog to make it better. At the beginning of the year I tried publishing more often but that didn't result in people returning more often so I'm going back to publishing less often. I've been thinking about starting an email newsletter so you can be notified about new posts since bloglovin went out of business. 

My Travel Bucketlist 2023

I’ve been to 75 countries and I’m happiest when I’m heading out on an adventure into the unknown. I think you should search relentlessly until you find what lights you up inside, what makes you smile your most genuine and happy smile and then never, ever let it go. For me, that’s travel and I’ve always prioritized it in my budget. My last couple international trips have been solo trips and I truly believe that cool energy brings cool people into your life. When you're fearless and open to anything it attracts the best things possible. When you get outside of your bubble and travel alone magical things start to happen because there's nothing to interrupt the flow, thus you bump into people more easily. As a solo traveler you're able to follow intuition about what to do and where to go next. I try to see all situations in a positive light rather than in a negative way. Good energy attracts good energy!

Writing down my travel bucketlist is a reminder of everywhere I want to go but the only problem is that this travel bucketlist grows faster than I can tick off the destinations. While I have been to many places there are so many places left to travel. At the bottom of this post I’ve linked my previous travel bucketlists so it’s fun to see what I have accomplished and what is still on the list. You can use the Travel drop down menu at the top of my blog to see all of my travel posts. I continue to play the points game with travel credit cards so I can spend less while I travel more. Here's my top 10 list!

Project Pan 2023: 10 Makeup Products to Finish this Year

Project Pan is a challenge to finish makeup/skincare/ haircare products to get your money's worth. You know how if you use enough blush or eyeshadow you eventually "hit pan" and see the metal in the middle. This way you're not letting things go to waste and expire. It teaches you how long it takes you to go through an item and this will help to mold your shopping habits. For instance, you don't need to buy another blush when you already own 10 when you know it would take a whole year to go through a blush. This project should not be a punishment, rather it's an experiment for 12 months to get the full value and enjoyment out of things you already own. 

Nashville Travel Guide

Nashville is nicknamed the Music City and it's a big city with a small town feel. It has an emerging food scene and is a top destination for bachelorette parties. It's a very photographic city with its beautiful murals, parks, and historical buildings. Bar hopping on the lower broad at the honky tonks give off a Vegas feel with  the iconic neon signs at night. The music scene is diverse as you'll see live musicians playing classic country tunes, bluegrass, and rock music. Nashville is both the capitol of the state and the center for the country music industry. I was there in November and to my surprise Nashville has four distinct seasons, so it gets as cold as DC in the wintertime. Reese Witherspoon opened up her own clothing store in 2015 called Draper James which sells beautiful dresses in classic southern style and extended sizing. Here are some must see spots in Nashville! 

How My Dry January Went

Dry January is more and more popular these days! Dry January is good for social drinkers to create new habits. I found a ton of non-alcoholic alternatives to drink last month and want to share my discoveries in this post. Last month I felt I could take booze or leave it, I didn't think about it at all.  Turning down alcohol in social settings was empowering, I celebrated both my birthday and company holiday party during this month. Taking a 30-day break from alcohol, such as during Dry January can create a bunch of benefits, including developing a more mindful relationship with alcohol. Even though people say they lose weight by not drinking, I did not. Some people say they get better sleep during Dry January because while alcohol makes you sleepy, it interrupts your sleep cycle so you don't get a good nights sleep and will possibly wake up in the middle of the night. Another benefit is you may feel less anxious and handle stress better. Excessive alcohol consumption causes gut microbiome imbalance and impairs your immune system and ability to recover from illnesses. Alcohol dehydrates your body and skin so abstaining from alcohol may give you clearer and less red skin. Hence it's key to do this for a consecutive 30 days to get the full benefits.

My Favorite Products for Dry or Damaged Hair

I've been a blonde for 12 years so I'm constantly working on perfecting a healthy hair routine and these are my holy grail products to strengthen and moisturize my hair. I have 3c hair texture that is bleached and super dry. I experimented with airdrying my hair for a few months wondering if the lack of heat styling would make it healthier but that just made it extremely dry and brittle. My hairdresser told me on Sunday that I have healthy hair and I thought that was the biggest compliment ever! These are the products of someone who regularly blow-dries her hair every week (I wash and blow-dry once a week.) When my hair is blow out you can see how shiny it is.

This year I’m switching up my color to try the new hair trend of Lived-in-Blonde which is a subtle look where similar shades to your natural color are weaved into your hair, so your hair looks grown out but polished. The finished look is multi-dimensional with multiple tones that are beautifully blended. It’s a great low maintenance way to have healthy looking blonde hair. These are products I have been obsessed with for a while and my hair looks amazing afterwards, soft and smooth and sealed.

I know a lot of these products are pricey, but Sephora has quarterly sales, just keep the products you want in your cart and in a few months a sale will pop up. Last September Sephora had an Oh Hair Yeah! Sale with everything 15% off and daily deals that were 50% off. In fact I've noticed they are copying Ulta's sale model of daily 50% off deals of select products they announce in advance. 

Having the right products is super important but if you don't know how to use them, you won't get the best results. I will occasionally re-read the instructions on products I use to ensure I'm using them properly. I know there are a lot of products on this list, but they have all been thoroughly researched by me, recommended by experts, tested by me for the last year. The top three innovative products from this list are: K18, Living Proof Triple Bond Complex Leave-in Hair Treatment, and  Pureology Color Fanatic Multi-Tasking Leave-In Conditioner. These three cult hair products are seriously good!  You won't see your hair's true potential unless you treat it right. 

My 400th Peloton ride!


I wrote a review of everything you need to know about Peloton in this post, so now I want to update you after taking 400 rides, although this photo was taken when I marked the 200-ride milestone. I've been working from home for three years now and my 12pm ride has been a regular part of my day since I got my bike. Last year I logged 8K miles! Exercise improves mood, and health is wealth! Research has proven that exercise makes for younger looking skin as it increases blood flow and that helps with improving skin tone so you look more youthful and drains fluid so you look less puffy. Exercise also helps to lower the effects of stress and helps you sleep better.   I love the joy of movement. I've always had a good relationship with exercise and enjoy it. I  crave my peloton rides and look forward to it every day.  The serotonin we get from moving our bodies is absolutely amazing.  I make exercise non-negotiable and work out 5x a week at home and on Saturdays do something outside like a long walk to the grocery store and/or a virtual zumba class. 

3 Memoirs Written by Men

On Black Friday I purchased an annual Audiobooks subscription for $137 so $11.42 a month when if I were to purchase a single audiobook it would be  $20-36. For comparison Audible Premium is $15 a month, only with premium can you get new releases or books people have actually heard of. Sometimes the line at the library is so long and they take back the audiobook when your time is up so I thought it would be easier for me to get a membership and this way I'm guaranteed to read/listen 12 books this year. I listen to books while I walk down the street.  I think I will only do this for memoirs because for fictional books I really need to sit down and read to get a grasp for all the characters involved. On my wishlist to read this year are the following memoirs by Pamela Anderson, Paulina Porizkova, and Anne Heche. Last year I listened to Viola Davis' memoir which I highly recommend! 

Best Long-Lasting Lipstick

I was looking for a wallet friendly formula for my mom whose lipstick always disappears as soon after she puts it on. If you’re looking for a budge proof lipstick that will actually stay on your lips, I’ve put together a list of 3 lipsticks that will stay on all day. I bought these at Ulta but you should also be able to find them at CVS. All three of these set within minutes so they won’t rub off, then they fade slowly over time. I tested these lipsticks by wearing them all day on my lips even though I looked funny working from home on zoom with lipstick on. I ate, drank and exercised as usual during the day. To remove them at the end of the day I used a sugar based lip scrub then conditioned my lips with a balm as they are a little difficult to get off. If you’re looking for an alternative to the sold out Rhode peptide lip treatment, try out Ole Henriksen or Paula's Choice.

What to Watch on Netflix

Here's a comprehensive list of the most BingeWorthy TV in my opinion. These are all shows that have come out in the last 3 months. I know everyone is watching Wednesday (the Addams family) but here are some other good shows not to miss. 

Pamela, a Love Story releases Jan 31

Netflix describes it as an intimate and humanizing portrait of one of the world’s most famous blonde bombshells and follows the trajectory of Pamela Anderson’s life and career from small-town girl to international sex symbol, actor, activist and doting mother.

Last year Hulu had the miniseries Pam & Tommy which Pam claims to have not watched and wanted to release her own story. The hulu show followed the story of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee's relationship, going back to their whirlwind romance that started with them marrying after only knowing each other for 96 hours in 1995 and how their infamous tape was stolen. I also highly recommend watching The Dirt on netflix to learn more about Tommy. Pamela is now 55 and even though she has had quite a few plastic surgeries she said she will never get botox so she is aging naturally in Hollywood. I hope the documentary discusses her relationship with  Julian Assange as she used to go visit him while he was holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy in the UK.

Top 5 Best Travel Pillows

I want to talk to you about my favorite travel pillows that will help you get more comfortable and hopefully fall sleep on your next flight. These innovative pillows are better than the old U-shaped travel pillow! All five products are available on amazon; however the turtle and the bcozzy have overwhelmingly the most reviews. These first class travel pillows will make your long haul flights in economy more doable. When sitting for a long period of time on a plane you want to have the best support and comfort. These premium travel pillows each have their own strength. Choosing the right travel pillow for you will be a personal decision. For me, I only use travel pillows for 4+ hours of travel. In choosing a pillow you want to think about functionality, so for long haul flights you want to  ensure that the pillow doesn't move when you move, for instance when you're not in a window seat. Look for ones that will stay anchored to your body or seat that will be good for sleep. 

Best Instagrammable spots in Charleston

Charleston is the most charming small town I've visited! From the scent of the blooming jasmine everywhere in May, cobblestone streets, charming historic district, amazing restaurants,  elaborate flower window boxes, waterfront views, pastel colored homes, moss-laden oaks and palm trees galore this Southern city stole my heart! Downtown was extremely walkable and easy to get around and I also rode the public bus which happened to be free the month I was there.  

Charleston is called The Holy City because it has 180 churches.  For ethical reasons I chose not to visit a plantation. Charleston is a beautiful city in the low country with pretty parks, beaches, has southern hospitality and incredible architecture. If you love photography, there are many Instagrammable spots in Charleston! Take a walk around the The Battery to see all the grand estates from the 17th and 18th centuries. I made a list of the best photo spots for you so you can have fun exploring this quintessential southern charm of a city.

Oaxaca Food Guide

Oaxaca is considered Mexico’s food capital for it’s complex cuisine full of rich flavor. Oaxacan food is made up of moles, chocolate, quesillo cheese, grasshoppers, tlayundas, tamales, huitlacoche (corn fungus), memelitas, worms & herbs. My meals there did not start with a frozen fruity margarita, guac &chips.  Instead in Oaxaca, it's all about mezcal. Food to me is an integral part of any travel experience and thus when I travel I always research the best places to eat; and go out of my way to find them. I don't want to waste a single meal; and by that I don’t mean expensive or Michelin star restaurants, I just mean unique experiences or typical representations of the country’s cuisine. I spent a week eating my way through Oaxaca with a food bucket list of all the things I wanted to be sure I tried and checked off my list along the way as a vegetarian.