Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Last Minute Ladies Gifts

Whether you need a stocking stuffer or a gift for a secret sister exchange I've the things that will make her excited. Don't forget to check out my mother in law, coworkers, and bestie gift guides too. 

1. Plush Blanket // No one gets mad about a ridiculously soft blanket. 

2. Travel Cosmetics Bag // Perfect for travel or keeping your counters organized.

3. Swig Cup // I have given so many of these as gifts. 

4. Mini Waffle Maker // These are so cute and come in a ton of colors and shapes. 

5. Erasable Pens // That's right... I said erasable. 

6. Mittens // I love this pack because you get two sets. 

7. Frother // One of my favorite kitchen appliances. 

8. Dinner for Two // I recommend ALL Of Christina Lane's cookbooks.

Make sure you don't miss any of my gift guides by subscribing to my weekly newsletter. You can also check out all of my previous gift guides here and I'll be updating them throughout the month. 

By clicking on these links I may receive a commission from qualifying purchases.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Last Minute Guys Gifts

 The countdown is on and are you still struggling with what to buy the favorite guys in your life? Well, I have you covered. All of these gifts are approved by my husband as awesome and they will arrive by Christmas! The best part is most of these are under $25. 

1. Gloves // I grabbed these for Jon last year. I was skeptical of them for the price but the rating was high. Jon loved them and they are still going strong through their second winter season. 
2. Swig Tumbler // I love the golf dimples on this one. 
3. Crave Box // Jon received this gift earlier this year and flipped out. I promise you'll be winning if you buy your guy this. 
4. Speaker // Waterproof, 10 hours of playing time. Perfect for the shower or the shop. 
5. Thermometer // I buy Jon on of these every Christmas because ours usually get lost between seasons, lol. 
6. Heater Ice Scraper // Enough said. The perfect gift. 
7. Gas Can // Or as Jon would say the best gas cans on the market!
8. Heated Vest // Jon has had his for a couple years and loves it. Last year he bought me one for Valentine's. If you grab one for yourself know the lady's version runs pretty slender. 
9. Jack Stack Seasoning // Jack Stack is our favorite KC BBQ. Order in their meat as a great gift OR grab these seasonings. 
10. Calendar // Because this is hilarious. 

Make sure you don't miss any of my gift guides by subscribing to my weekly newsletter. You can also check out all of my previous gift guides here and I'll be updating them throughout the month. 

By clicking on these links I may receive a commission from qualifying purchases.

The Best Cinnamon Buns on the Planet

This isn't quite your typical food blogger post. I have zero pretty pictures to go along with this post, however, so many asked for the recipe after seeing me talking about my cinnamon buns on my Instagram stories that I figured this would be the easiest route. 

The recipe comes from an amazing cookbook my great aunt Betty Rockfellow put together. My mom has made these cinnamon buns so many times that I am pretty sure she has the recipe memorized. There are a few steps so bear with me. I promise all the effort is worth it. 

Two Hour Buns

This Cinnamon Bun recipe actually uses a bun recipe for its dough. If you don't want to turn all the dough into cinnamon buns these rolls are equally as delicious. 


  • 3 cups warm water
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 6 tbsp oil 
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp or two packets of quick rise yeast (usually comes in a three-packet strip)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 7 cups flour 
Mix yeast with 1/2 cup warm water and 1 tbsp of sugar in a bowl. Let rise for about 10 minutes. In a large bowl mix eggs, 5 tbsps sugar, oil, salt, and rest of warm water (2 1/2 cups). Now add year mixture and then flour. Spray countertop generously with cooking oil (you can grease with butter too). Turn out onto a greased surface. Knead about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place dough in a greased bowl (again I use cooking spray), turning once to grease top. Cover with tea towel and let rise for 15 minutes. Uncover and punch the dough down to release the air. Let rise another 15 minutes OR until double in size. 

The are the instructions to continue with regular buns. Place balls in a greased 9x13 baking dish. Three across and four length-wise. If you are using an 8x8 or 9x9 you with do three by three. Cover and let rise for 1 hour. Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes. This recipe can be made into 2 loaves of bread as well. Note from Aunt Beatty: Jean found this recipe about 30 years ago. It is the only recipe I have used since. 

Cinnamon Buns 

  • Filling Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 2 cups golden raisins 
Base Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 2/3 cup brown sugar 
Note from Aun Beatty: I use the Two Hour Bun recipe to make my cinnamon buns. If you use the whole recipe it will make about 5 or 6 (9-inch) pie pans of buns. The above ingredients are for 1/2 of the bun recipe. 

Instructions: If you are using the full dough recipe divide two into two. On a greased counter, roll dough into a rectangle about 8x30 inches. Onto the dough spread softened butter. You want your butter very soft so it spreads easily. Then cover with brown sugar, sprinkle with cinnamon and raisins. Starting on the long side of the rectangle, roll to the other side. Slice roll, cutting them about 1 1/4 inches wide. 

Mix together the base ingredients and spread the desired amount of mixture into the greased pan. My mom and I don't use very much of the base mixture. Place bun slices in the pan. If you are using a 9x13 baking dish again do three across and four down, or if using an 8x8 do three by three. They will expand. Let rise until double (probably 30-45 minutes). 

Bake in 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes. Be careful to not let the raisins burn. When cooked turn out leaving the sticky side up. 

Whether you make the buns or the cinnamon buns both recipes freeze really well. 

If you make the recipe make sure you tag me on Facebook or IG at CrystalCattle

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Winter Uniform

Puffer Coat | Black Top (love this one, and this one too | Masks (these are hands down my favorite out of all the ones I have bought | Earrings | Winter Boots | Suede Booties 
Black Jeans (you won't believe how cozy they are)

These staples have been on repeat and probably will be that way throughout the rest of the winter. The best part is several of the pieces I have been wearing are things that are always in my wardrobe. Yes, even Old Navy clothes can last season after season. This year I watched for sales and added two new boot options. The winter boots are so warm, and I am obsessed with the booties. They elevate any look instantly. Don't forget to through on a cute pair of earrings and you'll put together in no time. Even if you are on day five of dry shampoo ;) 

By clicking on these links I may receive a commission from qualifying purchases.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Your Shop Small Saturday Guide

 “Behind every successful woman is a squad hyping her up.”

  1. Burlap & Bovine: I love Malorie and her little cows to bits. Shop fast because her items sell out quick!
  2. Stella & Dot Boutique: yes, I too do a happy dance each time an order comes through and I get to help someone with a gift. Now through Monday receive 30% off all jewelry and bags. Spend $75 and receive a free pair earrings.
  3. Baby Boss bag. You choose the strap, also 30% off.
  4. Farmher Graphic Tees: I already did some shopping here. Marji does a great job of telling the stories behind women in agriculture.
  5. Ginger Hill Farmer: Abby has some great gifts in her boutique and has a 10% off for you with the code CRYSTAL.
  6. This Farm Wife: I die over this hoodie and Meredith has all kinds of other unique pieces. She was a huge supporter of our Iowa Derecho Fundraiser.
  7. Pampered Chef: I don't sell it, but seriously fill your kitchen or your friends' stockings up with their pieces. The quality is so good and this Mix and Chop is one of my favorite gifts to give. The consultant that I linked to, Edan, works in the swine industry!
  8. Chilled Freezer Meals: Lindsy freezer meals save my butt. I love having a few ready to go if we get in a bind. Take a peak at her IG for some deals. I couldn't have pulled off our Iowa Derecho Freezer Meals for farmers without her.
  9. Letters and Laurels: This is a new favorite shop. I LOVE their pennants and I want one of their felt signs too. I have this Better Together pennant for our office. Use code CRYSTAL for 10% off.
Make sure to check out all my other gift guides and if you never want to miss out on the fun make sure you are signed up for my Five Favorites newsletter for lots more goodies. 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Best Mother in Law Gifts

1. Deluxe Caffeine Station // the Keurig does it all. From regular cups of coffee and tea to espresso. And you can't miss foamer for your lattes. My SIL has one and it is amazing. 
2. Best PJs EVER // I love these pajama sets. The fabric is so soft and you can also get them with pants. 
3. Rhett Earrings // mixed metals is such a trend right now and you can't go wrong with these lightweight earrings. Get them for 30% off through Cyber Monday. 
4. Lavish Duo // This hand cream smells amazing and my MIL already has it 
5. Initial Necklace // these rainbow charms are beautiful and can be customized so many ways. 30% off through Cyber Monday. 
6. Ember Mug // This mug keeps your drink consistently warm 
7. Grandkid Pillow // Because you know who her favorites are now. 
8. Packing Cubes // We got these for my MIL last year and she loves them so much she ordered another set. 
9. Earring Huggies // You can't go wrong with a simple pair of studs. 30% of through Cyber Monday. 
10. Garden Markers // Such a cute Etsy shop! 
11. Mittens // When you aren't sure you can't go wrong with mittens, so much better than socks. 

Make sure to check out all my other gift guides and if you never want to miss out on the fun make sure you are signed up for my Five Favorites newsletter for lots more goodies. 

By clicking on these links I may receive a commission from qualifying purchases.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Gift Guide for Teen Girls

While there aren't any teens under this roof, so many of you requested ideas for this group. So, I polled my friends with teens and I can assure you these will land you in the cool mom or aunt pile.

I wanted to bring up something real quick on these gift guides. I've been talking about supporting small businesses on my Instagram. I think it is especially important this year. In each of these posts, it is my goal to make sure there are small business owners mixed into the list. 

1. Earring Holder // because I remember my dresser growing up was scattered with them 
2. Mini Light Box // a favorite amongst teens and me ;) 
3. Reusable Make Up Pads // I recently switched to these over cotton pads 
4. Moon & Star Earring // Mismatch earrings are all the rage (wait do teens say rage)
5. Starter Skincare // If your teens it getting into makeup and skin start her off with a clean skincare routine. Beauty Water is also great for maskne. 
6. Sherpa // because she is going to want to get cozy 
7. Glitter Airpod Case // for a little extra sparkle 
8. Waterproof Speaker // to make those showers even longer 
9. Tie Dye Kit // the perfect DIY activity over Christmas break 
10. Makeup Case // so it isn't spread out all over the bathroom counter 

By clicking on these links I may receive a commission from qualifying purchases.

Gift Guide: Co-Workers and Teachers

When I did my Instagram poll a lot of you said that you struggle with gifts for your coworkers. As I was pulling everything together I was thinking to myself this is all the stuff I would love, ha. So if you are shopping for a coworker, teacher or some form of boss lady this is the perfect gift guide. 

1. Tote // I mean it is kind of perfect 
2. Notebook // everyone can always use another 
3. Customized Tumblers // these are a ton of fun and can be customized with a name 
4. Extra Long Charging Cord // because someone is always stealing hers
5. Boss Necklace // remind her how awesome she is
6. Affirmation Cards // this year I have really gotten into affirmations. I love having these positive notes on my desk. 
7. Candle // I have talked about these candles before and they are hands-down best smelling ones EVER. Yes, I really love them. 
8. Flair Pens // I love the messages on these 
9. Personalized AirPod Case // I love everything in this Etsy shop! 
10. Engravable Pulley Bracelet // customize with a saying, date or name(s)
11. Rinse-Free Handwash & Moisturizer Set // because everyone is keeping the germs at bay 
12. Ultimate Laptop Bag // they don't call this the Boss Lady bag for nothing 

Make sure to check out all my other gift guides and if you never want to miss out on the fun make sure you are signed up for my Five Favorites newsletter for lots more goodies. 

By clicking on these links I may receive a commission from qualifying purchases.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Plan Your Next Trip to Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas

It has always been on my bucket list to go and see everything that Chip and Joanna Gaines have built in Waco. I had been to Waco once before, long before Magnolia had made its mark and honestly, the town wasn't much and still really isn't. However, when you find the pockets that Chip and Joanna transformed you are whisked away to another world. 

When to Go and Where to Stay 

We were able to tie this quick trip into a business trip, which meant arriving in Waco on a Wednesday afternoon. We were repeatedly warned about the lines there would be to get into the bakery and other shops. I can gladly say that the online line we waited on Wednesday was for the bakery, and that wait was only about 15 minutes. On Thursday as we ventured in and out of the Magnolia shops we didn't wait once. Weren't able to get a reservation for Magnolia Table, but when we arrive around 9:15 a.m. we had a 45-minute wait. Thankfully, there were lots of places to sit even with COVID regulations. 

We stayed at one of the two Holiday Inn's in Waco. There are lots of chain hotels, with the closest being the Hotel Indigo, which would be in walking distance. 

Lay of the Land

I was a little surprised to realize that not everything is on the same "campus." Magnolia Table (the restaurant) is not where the Silos (the main campus) is located. The Little Shop on Bosque (Joanna's first shop and now a discount store for Magnolia pieces) is also a ways from the main campus. On the Silos campus, there are six brand new shops and a gorgeous church, as well as the new Magnolia home (furniture store) and Magnolia Press (coffee shop) open. I would recommend starting at the Silos, and if you purchase something at the Magnolia Market store keep your receipt as you can use it to get 10% off anything at The Little Shop on Bosque. 

Each shop is carefully curated with everything from clothing, to notebooks, to pencils to adorable children's clothing. It was a good reminder that Jo isn't all white shiplap. 

As for food, Magnolia Table is some of the best breakfast/lunch food I have had. I wish we could have eaten there multiple times. Even if Chip and Jo aren't your thing go for the food. If you aren't able to get a reservation or want to wait for a table there is a to-go/take-out order window. Silos Bakery Co. at the Silos is where you will find the cupcakes. To be honest they aren't the best cupcakes that I've had. If you are short on time go to the coffee shop or skip altogether. I DO recommend grabbing one of the Elderflower Lemonades though. They are delicious. 

The free parking lot is currently under construction, but there were two church parking lots close that charged $10 to park. There is still a lot of construction going on at the Silos. There is the constant noise of jackhammers and machines, however, we still had an awesome trip. 

What We Skipped

We didn't do a Fixer Upper house tour, but if we were to it sounds like Waco Tours is the tour guide to do it with. We didn't stop by Jimmy Don's JDH Iron Designs or Harp Designs. 

The Non-Magnolia Things 

There is lots more in town other than the Magnolia enterprise. Spice Village is a must stop. It is a huge warehouse filled with a variety of small shops and boutiques. We ate a celebration dinner at DiamondBack's Steakhouse and it was incredible, but definitely spending. The food was amazing, and there were so many things on the menu I wanted to try. Hecho en Waco was recommended by several people and it is close to the Silos. Waco has several museums and other attractions as well. However, Jon and I both agreed that it would be hard to fill up more than two days in the city even if you had added on one of the Fixer Upper home tours. 

Overall, we loved our trip. Waco knows its food, and I would love to plan a trip back with a group of girlfriends. 

Hard to Shop For Guys Gift Guide

What would you like for Christmas... "nothing." Is there an answer that makes you want to pull out your hair more?! With the assistance of my hard to shop for husband, I have rounded up some tried and true gift ideas for your father-in-law, husband, brother, boyfriend. You get the picture ;) If I have items missing from the list make sure you comment below or DM me on Instagram

1. Blackstone Grill // Now we are team Traeger in this house but SO many of you said that your husband's LOVE their Blackstone. 
2. Man Crate // Another recommendation that you all gave me over and over again. 
3. Green Lights // Jon has already listened to the audio version once, and we then relistened to it on our Texas trip 
4. Cologne // This is my hands down favorite scent on a guy 
5. Leather Tags // I bought Jon one of these as a stocking stuffer last year. This Etsy shop has all kinds of awesome personalized leather goods. 
6. Bose Speaker // will last forever. He loves his on the golf cart. 
7. Heater Ice Scraper // Tons of 5 star Amazon reviews. 
8. Golf Caddy // Perfect way to keep all of his gear organized. 
9. Can Cooler // A few people in our family are getting these this year. I love the golf dimples on it. 
10. No-iron Shirts // Jon loves these, and I love not ironing. The quality is really good and you'll never guess where they are from. 
11. Northface Vest // I have given these to my dad and brother-in-law. They will last forever, are super warm, but look dressy. They are a slimmer fit so size up one if he'll want a little more room. 

Be sure to check out my Men's Gift Guide from last year, and there are lots of other great suggestions on my Foodie's Gift Guide. I'll be posting my Farmer's Gift Guide this weekend. Make sure you subscribe here so you don't miss out. You can find my complete list of gift guides here

By clicking on these links I may receive a commission from qualifying purchases.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Foodie Gift Guide

Whether you love preparing the food or simply want to be the one to consume it these gifts will be sure to please any foodie. 

1. Cocottes with Cookbook // My SIL got me these for Christmas one year and I love them. They are perfect for desserts or serving dips. 

2. Insulated Tumbler // I bought these last year for my besties. Lots of colors and I love that they come in a pack in two. 

3. Food Ornaments // If you want to make the foodie in your family giggle here is your chance.

4. Yeti Soft-Sided Cooler // Yeti doesn't need much explanation other than they are awesome. Plus, I love this color. 
5. Smart Garden // Bring the garden inside and grow your own herbs or veggies. 

6. Frother // I have talked about this frother so much. It is perfect for milk, your protein powder or hot chocolate. 

7. Mini Waffle Maker // This is too cute. Comes in multiple colors and different shapes. 

8. Food Pouches // I LOVE these reusable pouches. They are perfect for simple snacks on the go. 

9. Joy Tea // If you need a change from your typical Earl Grey or chai tea this is my FAVORITE. 

10. Dessert for Two // This is one of my go-to cookbooks and I love gifting it. It is perfect for empty-nesters, newlyweds or your single friends. 

Make sure you don't miss any of my gift guides by subscribing to my weekly newsletter. You can also check out all of my previous gift guides here and I'll be updating throughout the month. 

By clicking on these links I may receive a commission from qualifying purchases.

Bestie Gift Guide

Hi friends, it is time to roll out my annual gift guides. Let's kick it off with the women we call sisters whether they are related or not.  

1. 100 Days of Brave // I did this devotional with a group of friends last year and LOVE it. I still refer back to it all the time. 
2. Lavish Body Butter // This stuff is SO good and makes the perfect gift. I love the original scent and the limited edition lavender scent. 
3. Sherpa Pullover // this is unbelievably cozy and under $20. 
4. Pouf // I love these poufs for "girl stuff", throw it a larger bag to keep everything organized and more. 
5. Tumbler Cup // Everyone can use another cup, and I love all the colors. This was one of my most purchased items on Amazon Prime Day. 
6. Schitt's Creek // If you haven't gotten your girlfriend on the bandwagon yet do it now! 
7. Pom Beanie // In Canada, we would call this a toque but either way it is really cute. 
8. Scrunchie Advent Calendar // this is adorable and the gift that keeps giving. 
9. Stud Earrings // a simple pair of earrings that will be sure to please. 
10. Personalized Necklace // engrave a special date, her word or the name or her kids. If you need more room for engraving this is a great option too. 

Make sure you don't miss any of my gift guides by subscribing to my weekly newsletter. You can also check out all of my previous gift guides here and I'll be updating throughout the month. 

By clicking on these links I may receive a commission from qualifying purchases.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Beauty Favorites From Sephora

 Sunday marks the start of Sephora's Fall VIB Sale. The VIB sale is exclusive to those that have signed up for Sephora's free rewards club. There are three levels: Insider, VIB and VOB Rouge and each level will receive a tiered level of discount during the sale starting at 10% off. The great news is that you can sign up right before check out and still get your 10% off during the sale. You'll also earn points for each dollar that you spend throughout the year and these points can be redeemed for luxury samples. 

I've broken down my picks into things I currently use/will be reordering and then some holiday gift ideas. In the coming weeks, I have a ton of holiday gift guides going up so if you haven't signed up for my newsletter now is the perfect time. 

Becca Undereye Brightener: I have gotten so many of my friends hooked on this. It dark shadows under your eye or uneven skin color on your lids (that's me) are your problems then grab this. You can wear it on its own or for more coverage layer a concealer over top of it. 

Born This Way Concealer: I moved away from Tarte Shape Tape (gasp, I know) awhile ago and this is what I replaced it with. It has all the coverage but is a lot more moisturizing. 

Anastasia Brow Set: Ever holiday season I make sure I grab one of these sets or put it on my Christmas list. Taupe is the perfect color for fair blondes like me. 

Flawless Finishing Powder: I held off for a LONG time before I purchased it, but yes it is as good as all the influencers and beauty bloggers say. Whether you want to make sure your makeup says put or you need to reduce some shine before your next Zoom call you'll love this powder. 

Natural Eyes Palette: I bounce back and forth and combo this palette and my EVER palette all the time. Lots of pigment and you can easily do an every day or glam look. 

Make-Up Forever Shadow: If you are only going to get ONE THING get this shadow. Every time someone compliments me on my eyeshadow I have this on. I pop a little bit in the center of my eyelid and it bright the whole look to life. I wear shade ME-513. 

Natasha Denona Mini Nude Eyeshadow Palette: I don't own this palette YET, but it is the one my sister wears and it always looks awesome. At under $25 it is a really good buy. 

Mario Badescu Skincare: This spray is great for wetting an angled eyeshadow brush and then turning a dark eyeshadow into an eyeliner. If my face is dry I will also spritz it before I apply my moisturizers. The drying lotion is perfect for clearing up a blemish overnight. 

NARS Orgasm Mini Blush: NARS' signature color this is the perfect year-round color. I have this in the powder and a cream stick version. 

All Nighter Setting Spray: It'll take you forever to go through a bottle, so grab the set and then gift the second. If you are having problems with makeup rubbing off on your mask this is an awesome product. 

Hourglass Ambient Light Powders: These powders are the perfect way to give yourself a little glow. If you don't want to splurge on the larger palette, I also love the mini powders. Plus, these palettes will last you years. Yes, I said years. 

First Class Dry Shampoo: My all-time favorite dry shampoo isn't in stock at Sephora anymore (here I come Ulta) but I do like to include this one in the rotation. Also, this is the ideal time to stock up on dry shampoo because it's on sale and you are getting a bonus mini.  

Verb Blonde Mask: I have not used this mask but my bottle is empty of the one I've tried before and a friend had rave reviews about this one so I am going to scoop it up. 

Briogeo Dry Shampoo: If you are looking for a clean, nonaerosol dry shampoo I really like this one. I have been out of it for a bit and have missed it more than I thought I would so it is going in the cart. 

Pro Tip: If you need to buy for a lot of people or simply love treating friends grab a gift set, then break it apart to make multiple gifts. 

Sephora Lipstain Lipsticks: Another favorite amongst my friends and the price point is awesome. Even better in this gift set. 

Voluspa: I love this brand of candles and this set contains three different vanilla scents. 

Beard Lube Conditioning Shave: This is Jon's favorite and I love buying it in the big container so he always has some on hand, aka I like a clean-shaven face, lol. 

Laneige: This used to be my favorite lip balm until I started using EVER Smooth. But, a tube of this lasts so long I still find myself switching between the two. 

Face Masks: Great for teens and grown-up friends. Break these apart and they are just over $4 each. 

You find additional gift guides here.  

By clicking on these links I may receive a commission from qualifying purchases.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Loft Fall Looks

By clicking on these links I may receive a commission from qualifying purchases.

I have been a LONG time Loft shopper. Honestly, I think the Loft is such a hidden gem. The quality of clothing is so good, and they last. COVID hasn't been awesome to me in terms of my boy shape, and that means it is time to stop being uncomfortable in my old clothing. However, when I was going through my pile of "I'm not fitting in those again" there were so many jeans from the Loft because the clothing lasts. 

Whether you need a work from home look, or casual weekend or loungewear they always have something I love. Plus, the sales are almost too good to be true. 

Outfit 2: Floral Top (I am wearing this backward and in a large for an oversize look) | Slim Ankle Pants

One of the things I really about their jeans is that they offer most of their pants in classic (more of a traditional super skinny fit) and curvey (those who have some hips aka me).

Green Floral Blouse | Mock Neck Tunic | Sunglasses

Friday, September 4, 2020

Leopard Loungewear and Simple Earrings

 I will never have enough leopard in my closet. With fall around the corner, yet knowing that I am still probably going to have to continue to be on a bunch of Zoom calls, I wanted to add some fun yet cozy new pieces to my closet.

1. Black Mock Neck :: I love the polished look. Throw on with faux leather leggings or black skinnies and be ready for a night on the town. 
2. Leopard Snap Up Fleece :: I bought the Amazon dupe a few years ago and you get what you pay for. This is already in my closet and I am obsessed. 
3. Tunic 3/4 Zip :: A friend had this on at golf league. The length is perfect and I love the softer color. 
4. Leopard Tunic :: This is also in my closet. I think the color is so unique. A little hard to tell but there is deep plum in the pattern. 
5. Drop Sleeve Crew Neck :: I am a sucker for a good crewneck. This would look great with a chambray button up under near for when you need something more polished. 

When going a little more casual with a sweatshirt it is easy to dress up your look with a great lipstick or a pair of earrings. I love statement earring but these daintier studs from my boutique are a great everyday look. 

Hammered Hearts (available in silver, gold & rose gold) | Pearl Huggies | Rebel Stud (also available in gold) | Sparkle & Spike HoopRoar Studs | Black Pave Hearts

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Most Wearable Lipstick Colors

To celebrate National Lipstick Day I am bringing you my updated ride or die lipstick colors. Many of the same colors made the list as last year, but I do have some fun updates. I split up my pick into: the only colors you'll ever need, glosses that I love and fun pops of color.

Details on my jewels here.

This grouping of lipsticks and the lip liner are all my MAC. Honestly I LOVE their lipsticks. They are super easy to wear, look amazing when you combine them with the lip liner or wear two of the three at the same time. These three really are my ride or die lip color.

1. MAC Soar: a pinkish brown lip liner that looks good with everything. I've also worn this lip liner with a lot of the glosses that I mention below. 2. MAC Snob: a light pink that is more on the girly side. 3. MAC Pink Plaid: I just realized this is discontinued. Sad face. 4. MAC Brave: I should have listed this one first. It is my all time favorite. Described as a pink-beige it looks good on everyone. 70% of the time this is the lipstick I am in. 

I am not a big gloss personal because they are normally so sticky. However, I will personally guarantee that these are not sticky. Remember glosses aren't going to have a lot of staying power. Layering a lip liner underneath will help, but you are likely going to have to reapply a lot. 

1. Laneige Glowy Balm: the perfect product for moisture and a tiny tint of color. 2. EVER Smooth Peptide Therapy: this product keeps selling out and for good reason. A bit of color, but more importantly you will fix chapped lips with Smooth. It is clinically proven to increase the appearance of lip volume and decrease fine lines. 3. EVER Rose Nude: a slight tingle and great over all of the MAC lipsticks. 4. EVER Cameo Nude: a slight tingle, one of the most unique colors I wear. It is the perfect gloss in the fall. 5. EVER Sunset Nude: a slight tingle nude metallic.

Bring on the color. If you are looking for a long wear lipstick remember that a liquid lipstick or matte is going to wear a lot longer. 

1. YSL 3 Rose Ink: A buildable lip stain. 2. EVER Pink Sapphire: long wearing deep pink. 3. Dollup Beauty Love: bright matte red. 4. Becca Flame: orangey red, super comfortable to wear. 5. EVER Glam: long wearing mauve nude. 6. MAC D is for Danger: matte deep berry red. 

What lipstick colors or brands am I missing out on? Come hang out in my Insider's Group and share your favorites. It is girl code to dish the details. 

Friday, July 24, 2020

Hidden Gem in Eastern Iowa

This post is sponsored by Travel Iowa. All opinions are my own. 

The need to scratch my travel itch is strong. I keep thinking about all the places I would love to hop on a plane and go visit, but then I think of all the places in Iowa I have yet to visit. I admit this a little sheepishly but until last week I had NEVER been to a state park. I know, I know.

After a two-hour Zoom training call on Friday afternoon, I said "today is the day" and I jumped in my car. I drove the 15 minutes to the Cedar Rock State Park and started on my adventure. Cedar Rock is located in Eastern Iowa, south of Hwy 20 between Independence and Quasqueton. I had driven past the park's entrance dozen of times, but had never turned in.

Cedar Rock provides over 300 acres of native grasslands, but is more famously known for being the location of one of the most complete designs of Frank Lloyd Wright's, an American architect and interior designer. The home was built for Llowell and Agnes Walter in 1950 and it is so cool. So, if you are looking for a state park to explore on a rainy day, Cedar Rock is for you!

I was in complete awe walking through the home and listening to the Walters' story. Wright picked out all the furnishings, vases, plates, every detail, and it is all still in the home today. The home is open for tours from May through October. RSVPing for the tour is recommended as limited people can be in the home at once in order to uphold social distancing guidelines. Normally, more than 10,000 people from across the U.S. and world visit the park and home each year. 

Living, entertaining and dining area in the Frank Lloyd Wright House

The park also provides two walking trails. I road on the tractor wagon down to the home and then hiked the 3/4-mile trail back to the visitor center. The trail is perfect for someone like me that isn't a huge hiker. Throughout the park and on the trails, you'll find stops with QR codes that tell you about your surroundings, and you can pick up a BINGO card at the visitor center. 

The park is full of native wildflowers and planted garden.

Before you visit any state parks, I highly encourage signing up for the Iowa State Park Passport. When you sign up, you get access to the Iowa State Park app which will allow you to track the parks you visit this, and enter to win the Grand Prize of a two-night stay at Honey Creek Resort. The app also has a bunch of information on the parks in Iowa, when they are open and COVID precautions they are taking. If you need help planning a day trip, the Travel Iowa plan a trip tool is awesome. You enter you starting city and ending city and it'll give you stopping points all along the way. 

I can't wait to go back to Cedar Rock. They have multiple Monarch butterfly release days, music in the park events and participate in the Iowa State Parks First Day Hike. 

Sunday, July 19, 2020

The Best Zucchini Blueberry Bread

I remember when I was a young girl we were invited over to our neighbors house for chocolate cake. Once we arrived she shared with my mom that she had used zucchini in the cake. Say what?! I came for chocolate cake, not some veggie cake.

To my surprise the cake was amazing. It tasted just like tradition chocolate cake, but was SO moist. That's when I learned that zucchini takes on the flavor of whatever it is paired with, and is a great way to add moisture to your baked goods.

This particular recipe is one my MIL shared with me. If you have a ton of zucchini it is a good one because it uses two cups of grated zucchini. The small zucchinis you find in the grocery store typically only generate about a cup or a little less once grated, so grab a BIG one from your farmer's market or pick up a few small ones at the grocery store.

I also love that these recipe calls for the use of mini loaf pans. If you don't have these available I would split the recipe between two regular loaf pans.

3 eggs
1 cup canola oil
3 teaspoons of vanilla
2 1/4 white sugar
2 cups shredded zucchini
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 pint fresh blueberries or 1.5 cups frozen

Step 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease four mini loaf pans, or two regular loaf pans.

Step 2. Grate zucchini with box grater. Squeeze out additional liquid.

Step 3. In large bowl, lightly beat together three eggs, oil, vanilla and sugar. Fold in zucchini.

Step 4. In separate bowl mix flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.

Step 5. Beat dry ingredient mixture into wet ingredient mixture.

Step 6. Gently fold in blueberries.

Step 7. Bake 50-60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes in pan, and then remove from pan and finish cooling on wire rack.

Try not to eat an entire mini loaf in one sitting, but remember if you do you just got a 1/4 cup of veggies in, lol. Next up on my list is to try this Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread from Dessert for Two.


Friday, June 19, 2020

Best Tanners for Pale Skin

By clicking on these link I may receive a commission from qualifying purchases

I have many secret talents including I can hands down win a palest leg contest. And yes I would put my legs up against your 65-year-old uncle's. The only people that could maybe beat me are my sister and dad. Genetics are strong.

The thing is I really do love tanned skin but the reality is that my skin just doesn't tan, and secondly SPF is my secret to younger looking skin. I am actually a little SPF crazy. One of my good friends passed away from skin cancer. So lather up ladies. We want you around for a long time.

1. St. Tropez Foam Ulta Amazon | 2. Jergen Instant Tan Ulta Amazon | 3. Neutrogena Tanning Mist | 4. Tanning Mitt  

1. St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse $$$ 

I have always found mousses a lot easier to use when it comes to self tanners. This is one that I can be a deep rich tan quickly. What you need to know about this option is that it goes on dark, gets quite dark within 12-18 hours, and then you are going to want to rinse off which will leave you with a nice natural glow. I don't recommend using this on the day or at least right after you have shaved your legs.

2. Jergens Instant Tan Foam $$

This is a brand new product for me and I have to say I am loving it. The color of the foam is a little odd when you pump it out but it gives you really nice color. I find this is a little more forgiving than the St. Tropez and you can go back in the next day to fix spots you missed or deepen the tan easily. You also can't beat the price.

3. Neutrogena Micro Mist $

This is my I am in a pinch because I forgot I am wearing a skirt product. It is simple to use. It is forgiving on skin that isn't perfectly exfoliated. Get your spray on and you are walking out the door in minutes.

4. Tanning Mitt $

A foam self tanner is only as good as your application mitt. I love to use a fluffier one as they don't leave as many streaks and they are easy to throw in the washing machine. Yes, your tanning mitts need to be brushed the same way your make up brushes are washed. Also, we've heard it a mitten times but regardless of which product you use exfoliating is key. I love this body polish.

5. EVER Tanning Drops $$

I don't like to put the self tanners mentioned above on my face so I opt for a cleaner product that I can more gradually build. I love the EVER Tanning Drops as they can be added to my daily moisturizer or my SPF tinted moisturizer easily. I usually use 4-5 drops the first time and then two drops to maintain. Since I am exfoliating and washing my face daily I really have to use a product continually if I want my face to match my body.

6. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Radiant Light $$

There is nothing wrong with faking it with a little powder. I am not a sparkly bronzer girl but I do LOVE the Hourglass powders. They create that glow from within and they last forever.

7. EVER Out the Door Face and Cheek Palette $$$

I hate to say you need this palette just for this bronzer but is really so good, especially if you have a pale to medium skin tone. The blushes are also gorgeous for a sun-kissed look. It is my ever day go to palette.

Side note: I also really like this brush for both of the bronzers I mentioned.

What self tanners or bronzers have become ride or die products for you?

Monday, June 15, 2020

Yes, I shave my face.

As an Amazon Affiliate I earn commission from qualifying purchases. 

I'm going to start off by saying don't knock it until you try it. And I would bet money on it that once you try it you are going to love it. I started shaving my face a couple years ago. I didn't have some mustache that I was trying to hid. Instead I was really curious about the skincare benefits.

You may have noticed that I have REALLY blonde hair. The thought of is this peach fuzz going to grow back darker when I shave it off definitely crossed my mind. However, I did my research and talked with my esthetician and she reassured me that wouldn't be the case.

Why would you want to shave off that peach fuzz? Shaving your face is just another way that you can exfoliate your skin. No matter how much moisturizer you use, if you never exfoliate to remove the dead skin your products aren't going to be able to sink into the skin. You spend good money on clean, effective products you don't want them just sitting on top of your peach fuzz or skin.

Exfoliating also has huge benefits for fine lines. Think about the men in your life. Have you ever noticed somehow their skin isn't aging the same way yours is despite them only using bar soap? That's right they shave their face and you don't.

I also love how much smoother my makeup goes on without that peach fuzz acting as a barrier.

So what should you use? For me this facial razor has been the easiest to maneuver. You can also use a men's razor. Regardless of what you use you want something that is sharp and clean. I typically only use a blade 1-2 times. This will also help prevent breakouts.

I start by wetting my face and then apply a moisturizing cleanser. This will help reduce friction and irritation. Next, grab your blade and hold it at a 45 degree angle. Use short strokes and go in the direction the hair grows. Be very careful around your eyebrows and hair line. After you are done wipe your face clean, and be sure to moisturize well. I love to give my skin an extra drink with this hyaluronic acid, and then will apply my daily moisturizer.

My skin look best when I do this weekly, but sometime I get a little lax and it ends up being every other week. So are you in? I can't wait to hear how it goes because I am betting that you will love it!

If you are curious about what skincare products you should be using to combat your concerns take my Beauty Consult Quiz
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...