Best Swimsuits EVER!

Every single time I go to the beach I look at houses for sale because I never want to leave! Any one else do this too?! ๐Ÿ˜‚ It is the best form of self-care for me. I am working on a travel guide for 30A and that should be up in the next few weeks. But, until then, I wanted to talk about the best swimsuits ever! P.S. they’re on sale!

If you haven’t tried anything from Aerie, you are seriously missing out. I haven’t tried anything from them I haven’t loved. Once I discovered how amazing their swimwear is, I knew I had to share it with you all!

The Aerie brand is built on celebrating and advocating for body positivity and the empowerment of all women. Their clothing is meant to inspire customers to love their real selves, inside and out. Personally, I think their swimsuits do just that! They make me feel the most comfortable and confident I have ever been in a swimsuit.

Pictured above is what I like to call my “Carole Baskin” swimsuit ๐Ÿ† ! It is seriously the cutest thing and it is so on trend right now. I don’t normally purchase printed swimwear, but I am so glad I got this one. This style is the Wide Strap Scoop Bikini Top paired with the High Cut Cheeky Bikini Bottom. The top gives the perfect amount of support and has no padding in it, which I love! It also doesn’t dig into my skin and didn’t move around and leave me with weird tan (ahem, sunburn) lines. Let’s talk about the high-waisted bottoms for a second. Y’all, these are not the normal high-waisted diaper/grandma look. They are high cut on the leg (without showing anything you don’t want to) and the backside is just cheeky enough to keep things fun! ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ‘ They also suck you in a little but definitely don’t feel constraining so you can eat as manyyy beach snacks as you like!

For this next suit, I opted for something I typically never do โ€” strapless. I normally loathe anything strapless because more often than not you see people constantly tugging and pulling up anything without straps. It is just never a good look. But this top, the Ribbed Longline Bandeau, stays right where you put that thing on! I absolutely adore it and the bright color of this suit.

Aerie make it easy to mix and match different styles of tops and bottoms as well as prints. I recommend their suits to all of my friends and I know you won’t be disappointed if you pick some up for yourself. They also offer a great rewards program, so get to shopping today and start earning some points!

Let me know if you find one you love by leaving a comment below! Can’t wait to share more about my mini-vacay with you!

june makeup must-haves + effortless summer dress

I hope everyone is having a great week so far! It has been rainy here in Alabama, but thankfully that has cooled things down a bit! At the beginning of quarantine, I was seriously judging everyone who was wearing makeup and anything other than stretchy pants while they were confined to their own home. But now I have become one of those people! In order for me to be productive, I have to get up and get ready as if I am physically going into work or I won’t feel like doing anything all day. Quickly, I found that doing my full-face routine was just too much, so I adapted my routine to a simplified and more summer-friendly look.

The past month I have been trying out some new makeup products and I am excited to share these with you because I think they are a must to add to your makeup bag! I always love drugstore products โ€”they have come such a long way since I was a diving into the world of cosmetics as a kid. Unfortunately for my bank account, I go through phases where I am also really into higher-end products. This was one of those times, but I am so glad that I splurged because these products are worth it! All of these products are linked so you can purchase directly.

Make Up Forever Blurring Powder Foundation – This stuff is a game changer! Easy and quick application with great coverage for everyday that is buildable. This can also be used as a powder to set your makeup! If I do a light foundation or just some concealer, I swirl a powder brush in this product and then set it. The shade finder on Sephora makes it easy to find the right shade for your skin and undertones โ€” I use the shade Ivory.

Fenty Beauty Freestyle Bronzer – This is my first Fenty Beauty product and will definitely not be my last! The quality of this product gets 5+ stars easily. There is a great shade range in this product. I purchased the color “Amber,” which is a contour shade. It is the perfect cool contour for fair skin and I wish I had found it sooner. I use this e.l.f. brush to apply some product under my cheekbones, around my forehead, sides of nose, and jawline. Even if you aren’t doing a full glam face, just blending some of this product in will give you an effortless pulled together look!

Benefit Cosmetics Gold Rush Blush – I LOVE this blush. It is a perfect blend of a warm and glowy peach shade that makes you look perfectly flushed and summer ready! Highly recommend because you can skip highlighter with this product since it has a bit of shimmer in it.

Tarte Sea Breezy Cream Bronzer – Waterproof and buildable, a bronzer that applies effortlessly. It really gives you a just got back from the beach glow! I stipple a little of this over my blush and around the forehead to warm up my face.

Keep reading to get the outfit details!

Breezy Summer Dress

This effortlessly chic and flowy dress is a must buy! You can wear this around the house working from home, for a fun summer dinner date, or while running errands. It is so versatile and I need it in more colors!

Earrings: Kathryn Stallworth Designs | Hat: Amazon

Headed to the beach later this week and I can’t wait to relax and let my brain reset. Talk to y’all again soon!

baby got goals

Did you make a resolution at the beginning of the year? Did you โ€œfailโ€ a week in or not even try at all?

Just because we only have four months left in 2019, doesn’t mean it’s too late to get started. Instead of waiting until next January to crush your goals, why not start now?

Improve Health and Wellness

Health and wellness go beyond your physical body. It also includes your mind and soul, so be sure to think beyond your waistline as well. Do you need to start practicing more self-care? Have you been struggling with depression or anxiety? Don’t wait until next year to take care of yourself! I started doing yoga earlier this year and dropped all of my other gym memberships because not only is it good for my body, it is also good for my mind. It also is more feasible for my body to do multiple times a week since endometriosis makes a high-impact workout painful!

Save Money or Get Out of Debt

This is something I started doing mid-yearish. I knew I wanted to save more and spend LESS! I looked at my bank statements to see where I was spending all my money! You may not think much about a $3 burger here or a $4 coffee there, but these little things add up quick. I started doing the Dave Ramsey envelope system and now I see what all the hype is about!!

Get a New Job

If you loathe your current job or have been wanting to make a change for years, start doing things to get a new job today! Don’t wait around several months and continue to be miserable when you could be doing something about it!  Freshen up your resume. Update your LinkedIn. Make a list of the companies that you would love to work for and reach out to them or sign up to get job opening alerts.

Making SMART Goals

Whew, I hear about SMART goals all the time in my professional life! But they are the key to accomplishing any of these goals. SMART goals are goals that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Based

Keep track of your progress month-by-month and take pride in each and every step you take. As you achieve your mini goals, reward yourself well. Do you have goals you’ve made progress on lately? Or are you setting new ones before the year is over? Let me know in the comments!

This is the only life youโ€™ve gotโ€”letโ€™s finish this year well no matter how it started! 

Hot Girl Summer

Does everyone feel it’s too soon to browse pre-fall outfits or is it just me?! Walked in one of my favorite boutiques over the weekend and it was FULL of fall sweaters and I thought whew, I can’t even think about buying these right now! Even the lightweight ones aren’t wearable until Octoberish here in Alabama!

Since this hot and heavy weather seems to be sticking around a bit longer, I thought I would talk about some of my favorite makeup products that stay put for 12+ hours during a full day of activities!

#1 Elf Poreless Putty Primer | First of all, ELF has come a long way since it’s original days as a cheap, low quality makeup brand! I have many things I love from this brand, but this one is my latest fave. Feels light on the skin and creates a great smooth canvas!

#2 Makeup Revolution Full Coverage Foundation | Oil-free yet creamy and comfortable formula that dries down to a long-lasting, demi-matte finish. Totally full coverage and doesn’t settle into fine lines!

#3 NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator | Even in this extremely hot summer, this stuff gives a luminous and healthy goddess glow. I promise it won’t make you look a sweaty mess. Also looks great under makeup or alone!

#4 Smashbox Spotlight Palette | An easy-to-use, 3-well highlighter palette that spotlights your favorite features, adds dimension and gives you a buildable glow. This palette is my FAVE for traveling because it has 3 different levels of highlight perfect for daytime and going out wear.

#5 Laura Mercier Undereye Brightening Powder | A transparent, weightless powder to set under-eye concealer, brighten dark circles, and diminish the look of fine lines. Need I say more?

#6 Essence Lash Princess Mascara | My lashes look like falsies when I wear this and it is typically less than $5!

#7 NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray | I purchase this stuff over and over again! Every time I stray from it, I come right back. It will lock your makeup in place for hours. Even in this terrible heat!

#8 MegaLast Liquid Catsuit Matte Lipstick | I love a good lipstick. One that stays all day, has high color pigmentation, and is under $10 seems like it would be too good to be true. But this one is it! This stuff does NOT budge. Like at all or all day. You can purchase online for swing by your local Walgreens to find it in stores.

#9 Countercontrol Matte Effect Gel Cream | This stuff provides all the hydration and no shine. Plus it’s a safer beauty product and doesn’t contain anything that you don’t need to put on your skin and in your bloodstream. I am trying to transition to cleaner living. It’s hard, but this brand makes it a little easier!

I hope these product recommendations work for you. Give them a try and let me know if you’re going to make them a part of your daily rotation to beat that dreaded makeup melting off in the heat look!

High High Hopes

If you didn’t know already, I love a solid black outfit. One that can be worn to work, dinner with the girls, or just on a casual shopping day. I typically don’t think I look great in a peplum style top, but this one from Rent the Runway, is super comfortable and flattering. Seriously โ€“ the fabric is stretchy but sucks you ALL in! It is great for every day wear and can be easily dressed up.

This week I ventured out to the this civil rights mural depicting Bloody Sunday and the civil rights marches in Selma beginning at the corner of Lee and Montgomery Streets. (Mural painted by Sunny Paulk.)

Sometimes in my day-to-day life in Montgomery, I forget how rich the history is running through these streets. I will run out to grab lunch and see tourists walking around downtown and I am instantly reminded of the stories and places that gave rise to a movement and created change.

Standing in front of this mural, I couldn’t help but think how great change can come from peace and hope and that the world still needs a lot of people bringing about peace and equality for all. I am inspired by the stories of those who came before me and the courage and sacrifices of each of them.

This theme of hope is rampant in our lives daily. We constantly speak in what I call “hope language”:

  • I hope I am healed.
  • I hope she isn’t mad at me.
  • I hope my prayers are answered.
  • I hope I can pay my bills this month.

The issue isn’t whether you hope, but what holds your hope. Remember these things as your attach your security, your sense of peace and rest to something every day.

  • Your hope is in something โ€“ What are you placing your hope in right now?
  • Hope is a lifestyle โ€“ You always live your hope in some way, it isn’t just something you do with your mind.
  • Most of our hopes disappoint us โ€“ When our hopes disappoint us, it is a sign we’ve put our hopes in the wrong thing.
  • There are only two places to look for hope โ€“You rest your hope in the hands of the Creator or look to the world for hope.
  • Hope in God is sure hope โ€“ Hope placed in God is well placed and will never disappoint.

I hope this blog post inspires you as enter into a new week. Let me know you keep your hope well placed by commenting below!