Category Archives: Style & Beauty

TWB Goes Shopping

You guys. I have to be 100% honest I had zero content planned out for this week. So I am quite literally flying by the seat of my pants over here. And there is nothing that gives me more anxiety than flying by the seat of my pants, especially when blogging with a slight case of writer’s block.

But speaking of pants.

(Smooth transition, huh? Lol.)

I know I’m not a style blogger by any means, but y’all know I love clothes.

Lately, though, I’ve been trying not to buy clothes after seeing what I spend each month using Mint (and P.S. I swear this isn’t an ad, I just love it). I talked about this in last week’s tidbits but OMG you guys – when I signed up for Mint it was the most eye-opening experience ever and gave me the motivation to completely overhaul my spending.

BUT.

With that being said I have only had one pair of the MOST uncomfortable black jeans ever that I absolutely needed to replace. It was one of those situations where they had been washed so many times they were basically see through and could fit a toddler.

Not a good combo.

But the reason it has taken me SO LONG to replace them is because I’m super weird about black jeans. I am not a fan of super-dark, super-pigmented black jeans. Idk. They just remind me of dress pants and I feel like there’s nothing in my closet I can wear without looking like a hostess.

This weekend though, I actually went to a mall (which is a big deal here in Chicago because it involves a lot of planning/traffic/patience) and I found the perfect pair (for $35!!) at Zara which made it so worth the drive. (P.S. here is the link to the jeans, they aren’t linked below because they weren’t available on ShopStyle).

They’re super comfy, the perfect color, and they go super well with my new kicks.

Yup. I bought the Vans I linked in last weeks post. It was the best $60 I’ve spent in awhile. And they already make my life 100x easier because they’ve been the exact shoe I’ve been missing in my life. Sorry y’all I just can’t do chucks anymore. I like them, just not on me. They just really aren’t my style. But they’re the only casual shoe I really had.

And then once I had the jeans & the shoes, I had a little gift card burning a hole in my comfy new pocket, so I found this top at Madewell and couldn’t resist. I LOVE a good detail like the buttons down the back. So cute, and so easy to transition between seasons. I’m already so excited to throw on this shirt with some cutoffs & rock it to a street fest.

(Sidenote: Does anyone else do this? Like anytime you buy clothes in this awkward February-March-pre-Spring-gray-area you justify it by saying you can totally wear it all Spring/Summer?)

Anyway. So there ya have it. This week’s purchases that I totally didn’t expect to share, but did anyway. Hehe.

So tell me – are you the same way about black jeans? Do you have a pair of casual sneaks that changed your life? Are you also a sucker for anything with buttons down the back? Tell me everything! I will be back Thursday with a new coffee talk, so I will see you then! Xo.

-TWB

The Windy Blonde’s Skin Secrets

Hi friends!! How is everyone doing!? We woke up to a little ice kingdom here in Chicago and I’m dying to turn right back around and fly back to Siesta Key. I mean who wouldn’t right?!

But anyway.

I am doing something a little different today and NOT doing a coffee talk.

I know, I know. Wipe away those tears. I promise it’s worth it.

This week was just one of those weeks where I really couldn’t think of a coffee talk topic. So I decided to take the week off and give you guys some SERIOUS info on how I completely changed my skin around.

Ok so last year around this time I was REALLY struggling with my skin. Like…. really struggling. I’m talking a forehead full of pimples and horrible cysts that would stick around for weeks. And I was 26 and wondering how much longer I was going to have to deal with acne. It felt like no matter what I tried – even going makeup free – didn’t completely clear it up and make it glow the way I wanted.

Plus, I always thought going to the derm wasn’t going to help, because I was under the (naïve) impression that it was Accutane or bust, and I didn’t feel like my little pimples warranted any medication. But here I am, a year later, feeling super confident about my skin and I FINALLY feel like I have that real, #nofilter glow.

Are you guys ready for this dramatic transformation?

Yeah. I know. I didn’t realize it was that bad.

So now I need to share my secrets with you guys. Because I KNOW how crappy it feels to go through the viscous cycle of dry skin, oily skin, pimples, and repeat.

Let me start by saying, though, I am definitely not a dermatologist, but I highly, highly recommend that you visit one if you have skin issues! I was in the dark about SO many treatment options that are available now. I now take a daily prescription and use a topical treatment for those little pesky surface pimples. This routine, plus some other tips & tricks, have completely transformed my skin.

So my #1 advice, if you get anything from this post, is to go to a dermatologist and find out what your options are!

And while we’re on the topic…

Skin Secret #1: Research your derm!

Before you pick a dermatologist, do your research! I picked a dermatology office that also specialized in cosmetic surgery procedures and I did this on purpose – I knew my doctor would understand the aesthetic side of what I wanted to achieve. Yes, I know it sounds vain, but it’s true. Plus I have a built-in Botox hook-up. (KIDDING.) So check Yelp or another consumer-based review site for recommendations! (Or if you’re in Chicago, email me for more info on mine! thewindyblonde@gmail.com)

Skin Secret #2: Moisturize, moisturize, and then moisturize again.

I know. So boring, right? But my light moisturizers were not cutting the mustard. This one (pic below!) is my absolute favorite that my derm introduced me to. I used to have terrible flakes that would clog my pores and cause pimples, and this moisturizer has completely gotten rid of those nasty flakes. Plus it’s silky, smooth, dries super quick, and it’s non-comedogenic (aka won’t clog your pores). If you’re more of a drug-store product junkie, I would recommend this one from Neutrogena!

Skin Secret #3: I wasn’t kidding. Moisturize again with a hydrating, anti-aging tinted moisturizer.

You guys. I SWEAR by this stuff. Even if you’re in the stages of having some pimples that you need to cover up, this CC Cream from itCosmetics will help. And the shimmer in the Illumination version makes your face glowy & dewey and SO pretty. I have never felt more confident about my makeup since I started using this line of products. It’s anti-aging, has SPF 50, and honestly has improved the look of my skin since I started using it. TRY IT.

Skin Secret #4: Be sure to drink your C-O-L-L-A-G-E-N

Ok I was trying to be funny (a la A Christmas Story? Yes? No?) but in all seriousness adding collagen to my coffee in the mornings has made SUCH a huge difference in the moisture level of my skin. I used to feel super self-conscious about this frown wrinkle in the middle of my forehead and I feel like adding these Vanilla Collagen Peptides from Vital Proteins in my coffee has helped plump and smooth my skin from the inside out and my pesky little wrinkle has almost completely gone away. This stuff is filled with hyaluronic acid, 20g of collagen, and a whopping 18 grams of protein per serving!!

BEST PART: It’s Whole 30 approved. YES. I know. If you’re a creamer lover and hating life on Whole 30, add a scoop of this plus some compliant coconut milk or almond milk and you won’t even miss your creamer. It’s so tasty.

Skin Secret #5: You are what you eat

Omg. I know. Eye roll. Bored again. But what really got me motivated to start caring for my skin was the glow I had after Whole 30! Not only was my skin clear for the first time in months (and I wanted to keep it that way!) but the red blotches from my system’s inflammation cleared up, too. I avoid dairy all the time, and I try my best to avoid gluten, sugar, and soy. Plus, I’ve added as many fermented probiotics to my diet as I can – I swear by Gut Shots! (You can find them at Whole Foods near the Kombucha!)

Skin Secret #6: Use natural oils for a natural glow

I absolutely LOVE Argan Oil. My mom picked me up some Organic Argan Oil when I was in Louisville from a health food store and I love to smooth it on my chest and neck before I go to bed. My skin in those areas is super thin, but I wake up to super plump, dewey skin. It’s an amazing moisturizer and anti-ager, and it’s all natural and organic which I love, too.

Ok. So there you have it. This is EXACTLY what I do to keep my skin clear & glowing! I’m hoping this even helps one person with their skin issues because I know exactly how it feels!

So tell me… what are some skin issues you face? Do you have any skin secrets to share? Anything you want to try that I’ve talked about? Tell me everything!! I will be back soon with a fun new post! Xo.

-TWB

Weekend Wrap-Up: THE WEDDING

Hi sweet friends! How is everyone doing today?! I am laying on my bed, listening to some music, and sippin’ on some Intelligentsia coffee and I am one HAPPY girl because I swear this is the best coffee in the world. Really hoping it hits me soon because I’m freakin’ exhausted.

But it’s SO worth it.

Because you guys… my brother got married this weekend!!!

My brother, Scott, is four years older than me and lives in Lexington, Kentucky with his now-wife. Ah! So weird to say!! But it has been a LONG time coming because they have been dating for 10 years.

The FAM!!! My pops, me, Scott, Jenny, and Mumsy!

Yes, you read that correctly.

At the wedding I wanted to have a total Charlotte York moment and scream at the top of my lungs “They’ve been together for TEN. YEARS!”

There was something about their 10-year courtship that made the wedding that much sweeter, though. The wedding was freakin’ BEAUTIFUL. It was on Siesta Key Beach in Florida. We were all barefoot with flower crowns in our hair, and the prettiest dresses ever. It was cloudy all day and then as soon as the wedding started the sky opened up and the light streamed down and we were all choking back tears because it was so perfect.

Plus there’s something about watching two people you love get married that is unlike anything else. Jenny has been a part of our family for a freakin’ decade, so she’s felt like a sister forever, and now it’s just official!

The rest of the weekend in Florida was spent playing in the ocean, eating oysters, and way too many margaritas.

It was lovely, magical, and filled with so much love. This weekend, though, I’m officially putting my luggage away and STAYING AWHILE. It is going to feel pretty nice to stay in town for a few days.

I just wanted to stop by, say hi, and share some deets since I posted some pics from the weekend! I will be back tomorrow with a fun new post you won’t want to miss! Xo.

-TWB

P.S. COMING UP ON TWB: my clear skin secrets,  2017 health trends, why I’m obsessing over deodorant, & some of my fave Whole 30 recipes from other blogs! Subscribe to stay in the know!

Weekend Wrap-Up + Minimalism Challenge

Happy New Year sweet friends!!! How was everyone’s night!? Did you go out? Stay in?! Ok so first of all I seriously feel SO bad because I definitely intended to have this post up yesterday, but I ended up going on a little photo adventure with Jordan, eating at Left Coast, and then watching Harry Potter in my PJs. Obviously.

BTW… if you live in Chicago the Robust Rosa salad at Left Coast is freakin’ DELISH. And dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan unless you add your own meat. So it’s a really good option for a healthy meal on-the-go! This is just a PSA. I just thought you guys should know. Lol.

Anyway, after a pretty relaxing day, Ben & I celebrated the New Year with some friends at a house party, which is SO ideal. No lines. No tickets. No sequins required. PERFECT.

And my sweet friend Jordan also gave me this Five-Year Memory Journal which is so freakin’ cool! Each day gives you a prompt where you fill in your thoughts, and it has an area to fill out each page for the next 5 years. You guys know this is right up my alley and I can’t wait to start!

Ok. So you guys.

I stumbled upon a little 30-day challenge that has nothing to do with food or working out, but more about SIMPLIFYING.

Which I love. (And talked about a little bit in my coffee talk earlier this week!)

I have been SO interested in the idea of minimalism since reading the book Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I talked about it on TWB awhile back. I read the book, followed her program (in my closet… I think the journey needed there tbh), and once I got rid of all of the stuff I literally NEVER wore it made my life so much easier and made my mornings way less stressful.

Now when I get ready in the morning I pick from a selection of 3 pairs of jeans (seriously) and a few favorite sweaters and off I go.

I feel like I’m so Steve Jobs, no?

wearing one of my three pairs of jeans, lol

Kidding.

But seriously since simplifying this one aspect of my life, it’s made me want to try to simplify more.

source

SO.

I found this minimalism challenge on Pinterest (I’m addicted) and instead of working out for 30 days (because lets be honest, not happening, sry) I’m going to try this instead!

source

WHO IS WITH ME!?!?

Look, I know it’s kind of corny or whatever but I really do think it will help. I especially love days 4, 10, and 23. Just REALLY hoping day 20 doesn’t fall on Bachelor Monday. Lol.

We’ll see how it goes! I’ll keep you guys updated on the blog.

So tell me… is this a challenge you would try? Do you feel like you already lead a pretty simple life? Do you honestly think you could spend an entire day without TV?! Tell me everything! I’ll be back Tuesday with a new Whole 30 Bowl of the Week that is perfect for lunch on-the-go! I’ll see you then. Xo.

-TWB

You Should Wear Pajamas

Hi friends! How is everyone doing today!? Hopefully you have the day off, or at least a short day ahead of you?! I’ll be working today BUT I do get Monday off and today I’m working from home. *mini perks*. Then after work I’m finally getting this insane hair done. People have legitimately started calling me The Windy Brunette because my roots are so grown out.

*Yikes*

*Ombre was cool at one point, right?*

Anyway. Today we’re going to talk about a SUPER important topic that requires some SERIOUS attention.

Are you guys ready????

Today’s we’re talking about pajamas.

Yes, that’s an outlet and a cable cord. Idk. #REALLIFE.

And I hope I didn’t just lose you because you really should be wearing them. Especially if you have trouble sleeping. But first I think I need to tell you about my serious LOVE for pajamas. They are one of my favorite things in the entire world. And they always have been. I’m serious. As a child, I remember pretty clearly having one bad public meltdown. I was at Target (shocker) and I wanted a pair of pajamas and I wasn’t allowed to get them.

Not kidding.

That’s how passionate I’ve always felt about them.

There’s something that’s just SO comforting about putting on PJ’s at the end of a long day. I literally wear them every single night. I feel like I could be on my own reality TV show called True Life: I’m a Pajama Addict.

I tend to rotate my pajama collection, but at any given time I probably own 6-8 pairs. And yes, I’m talking actual PAIRS of pajamas. Like matching sets. Nightgowns. Long sleeves. Sleeveless. Short sleeve button downs with matching shorts.

You may think this is extreme.

But I also happen to be a pretty good sleeper.

I mean – don’t get me wrong, I can’t sleep past 7 AM. (Again, this is a trait that has been true my entire life. You can ask Mumsy and/or Phaedra Hope). But I genuinely think this is because I fall asleep in less than a minute and sleep really freaking WELL.

Plus I have very specific rules about the bedroom. I never, ever work or blog on my bed. I just feel like my body starts to associate my bed with “working” and then when I lay down, I can’t calm down or get my mind to stop racing.

I think that association between sleeping and your environment is also true for your sleepwear. Ariana Huffington actually talked about this in her book (this is complete secondhand knowledge, BTW, Shauna Niequist talked about it in Present Over Perfect).

But it’s so true.

Your body associates your clothing with the type of activity you’re doing. So why is sleep any different?

Think about it.

That’s why offices have business-casual dress codes, even when you don’t see clients. When you’re dressed professionally, you tend to act more professionally, right?

And how many times have you been feeling super ehhhh about your workout, and then you put on your Lulu and think I can do this?!

It’s the same with sleep. If you go to bed every night in workout clothes, and you’re not sleeping well, your sleepwear might seriously be hindering your sleep patterns. Your mind is thinking it’s time to go work out while your body is trying to rest. It’s a confusing message. PJ’s are super important to get your mind prepped for some snoozing.

So. Have I convinced you to wear pajamas yet?!

I’m serious. I get nothing out of this except the feeling that I’ve helped y’all learn how to sleep a little better. Andddd possibly a small commission if you click on one of the links below for some cute PJs. Just bein’ honest.

But seriously. If you have trouble sleeping or staying asleep I really think you should at least try to wear them. Even if they’re $10 Target pajamas. Because those are the best.

You just need to wear pajamas.

OK!??!

So tell me… do you wear pajamas? Or do you wear quasi-pajamas (like oversized t-shirts and leggings)? Or do you sleep in your birthday suit? Have you learned any tricks that help you personally sleep better at night? Tell me everything! I will be back tomorrow (YES, AGAIN!) with a 30-day challenge that I’m going to try this January that surprisingly has NOTHING to do with Whole 30! Lol! See you then. Xo.

-TWB