Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Royal (Baby) Blues

Welcome to the world little Prince George Alexander Louis! The world has definitely been watching and waiting for your arrival.

To celebrate, I won't inundate you with any more photos of the Royal Baby's big reveal, or of Kate's unbelievably flawless hair after giving birth (seriously, some things in life are not fair, and her hair falls into that category!) but I thought I'd celebrate with some fun beauty and fashion in shades of Royal (Baby) Blues! And polka dots too, to honor this amazing moment: 
I mean, honestly, what a touching and beautiful little nod to Diana.
(via ABC news)

Have you been watching all the coverage?
And what did you think of the name?! 

Hope y'all are happy and healthy and enjoying this Wednesday! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

About Face: Fresh Start on Skin Care

We all went through an awkward phase with acne in middle and high school, but for most of us it never got to a point where we took our skin care "seriously". Personally, I struggled with a few different face washes and bought fancy concealer now and then, but that's about it.
I'll admit to being a girl who has always had pretty "good" skin. If you can call being as pale as a ghost year round good, that is. But lack of a tan aside, my skin had pretty much never been truly problematic, and I always take good care of it in terms of of making sure not to get burnt.
 Up until recently, my routine has been very simple and has involved a basic cleanser and heavy moisturizer. That's it. I've always toyed with the idea of buying a Clarisonic, but basically never did because there was no serious need.

About 4 months ago, I was put on a new immunosuppressant for my Crohn's, and as a result my skin has a been a total mess. I've taken this as an opportunity to get serious about skincare, because I do think it's more important than I had realized. Today I'll outline my plan, and I'm going to update in about a month and then again in 3-4 months to review how my skin is coming along! I'm mostly doing this so that I can review the Clarisonic, but I'll be reviewing the line of skincare that I'm using too!


My routine is really simple! In the morning I use the Neutrogena Naturals Purifying facial cleanser to wash my face and the Garnier Moisture Renew Gel-Cream as a Daily Moisturizer before I put on my makeup.
Then before bed, I use the same Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Cleanser (which I just decided to buy because I've really liked the Neutrogena Naturals Acne Spot Treatment and I've been using that for a while) and then I turn on my Clarisonic Mia, and do the full minute, making sure to wash my cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead well. Then I use the amazing Neutrogena Naturals Multivitamin Nourishing night cream all over my face and neck. I am in love with this cream! It smells faintly like almonds, and it is so soft! Finally, I touch up any problem areas with the Neutrogena Naturals Acne Spot treatment.

I do want to point out that while I used a lot of products from one brand, it is only because I was enjoying the spot treatment and I've had good experiences with Neutrogena skincare in the past. So far I am very happy with all the Neutrogena Naturals products I've bought and would buy them all again in a heartbeat!

 My thoughts so far on the Clarisonic, after about 4-5 uses: I really enjoy using it! It's fun to have a little nighttime ritual, even if it is a little hectic with our bathroom renovation, haha! I am noticing softer skin and that my moisturizer seems to soak in better. So far nothing else super noticeable, but I also haven't had that "purge" that other people have talked about!

I'll keep y'all posted on how my skin care overhaul is going! Have you ever totally shaken up your skincare regimen though? Any favorite products I need to know about? Do you have and love a Clarisonic Mia?

Hope y'all are happy and healthy!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday Motivation- On Getting Back Up.

I'm back. Again!
Cue the fanfare, hopefully! Just kidding, y'all. I have no delusions of grandeur about this blog. However, I am hoping to get back into seriously blogging as I get back into real life and college.

Which brings me to Monday Motivation, of course! This graphic was an experiment for me with Chalk art on photoshop, so let me know what you think, ok?

This quote really spoke to me on so many levels. We can always start over. We can always come back. Choose now! I also love the idea that failure is only in staying down, not just falling down. Falling down happens. We're human. We make mistakes and life is messy and complicated. But if you can get back up when you fall down, you will never be a failure.
This is so relevant for me right now as I pick everything back up and prepare to go back to school after a year of medical leave. Has life been messy and difficult? Of course. I've taken more hits than I would have liked this year. But I'm getting up and moving on now that I can. I am hopeful and ready.

Are you starting over with anything this fall? Or ready to move on and have your fresh start? Now is the time!

Oh and as a blogging note before I go- I finally got a blog button to work, so let me know if you're interested in doing a button swap!

Hope y'all are happy and healthy!

Friday, April 12, 2013

An App To Make You Happier?

I stumbled upon this little app the other day and while I'm still getting the hang of it, I'm in LOVE with the concept. It's simple: throughout your day you take a minute or two to document the little things that make you Happier. 

So whether that be in a photo, a sentence, or a little blurb about what's going on in your day, you can  talk about the great thing that makes you happy. Then you can categorize it (things like animals, friends, little things, nature, etc) and post it.
Focusing on happy moments is a great way to center your life around gratitude. This is always hard to do, but Happier has simplified the process by making it fun, and even allowing you to set a reminder to post about the things that make you happier. It's like keeping a gratitude journal combined with instagram and twitter--- genius!

My favorite part of the app is being able to go to the discover page and look through everyone else's Happy moments. It's awesome to see the little things making other people's days. It's such a positive app, and you can click a little smiley if you like someone's post, or comment to congratulate or encourage others.   I smiled a ton seeing pictures of a delicious lunch, a first ultrasound, an acceptance letter to college... it's awesome to witness even a stranger's happy moment.

So I'm still figuring things out and I think I'd love this app all that much more if I had lots of friends on it! Come join me? Let's all get Happier!

Check out Happier on their website and download the app!
If we're Facebook friends you can find me on the app already, but if not I'm on there under Hannah Baartmans :)

Hope y'all are having a very happy weekend!
All my love,

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Recharge Your Hair With Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge

If y'all didn't know, I am a BzzAgent, which means that I do surveys, test and review some great products. Recently I was sent three products from the new Garnier Hydra Recharge line.

My Garnier Hydra Recharge Package from BzzAgent- 3 FULL Size Products! 

This shipment timed out perfectly because I've been struggling with my hair a ton lately. As y'all know, my health is far from perfect, and it tends to impact just about every part of my body. I've been so sick that I had started to notice thinner, dryer hair--- so not ok. I had even been struggling with a super dry scalp, and using awful, smelly medicated shampoos to try and remedy my hair problems.

Enter the Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge line of products. Let me start by saying that it smells amazing. All of the products are packed with superfruits like goji berry, kiwi, and passion fruit.  I feel like I'm on vacation when I shower.
But the best benefit of the Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge line? My hair feels healthier. My scalp feels healthier.  My hair looks better too! It's not as dry or brittle, and it's back on the way to looking like my hair did when I was healthy. Seriously y'all, it's a miracle!

Now that I've told you how much I love using the products as a system, let me tell you a little bit more about each individual product:

Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge Shampoo: 
I really enjoyed this because it has a gel-like texture with moisture beads (similar to the Bath and Body Works hand sanitizer beads if you've ever used those!) and it smells incredible. It's a really refreshing, bright scent, and it doesn't feel like it strips my hair of moisture like some shampoos do.

Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge Conditioner:  
This smells a little more mild than the shampoo because of the creamy, traditional conditioner texture. It's still got that great superfruit blend smell, and is incredibly moisturizing! I love that it's super moisturizing without being heavy and weighing down my short hair.

Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge 1-Minute Moisture Plenish Treatment:
This is my favorite part of the set. I use it at least once a week, but it's what really turned my hair around from being lifeless and dry to being healthy and happy again. It smells super fantastic, has a creamy texture, and is a great deep conditioner. I also love that it's a 1-minute conditioner instead of the usual 5 to 10 minute treatments. I hate standing in the shower and wondering if I've let some high-priced goop sit on my head for long enough to have it work. With the Garnier 1- Minute Moisture Plenish Treatment, you can put deep condition while you shave your legs! It's easy and fast when you've got better things to do! I've been using it lots lately after I go in the hot tub, since the chlorine is bad for my hair, and it helps my hair bounce right back.  This is definitely a new holy grail product for me because it's an affordable deep conditioner that actually works, which is so hard to find!

Overall, I've been super impressed with the Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge line. I have used lots of  high end shampoos and conditioners in hopes of protecting my hair, but this has really helped to keep my hair healthy and happy while my body is struggling. And that's something to smile about for sure! I would recommend this to anyone who likes fruity smelling hair products (um, who doesn't?) and anyone who feels like their hair needs a little boost. I feel like the best word to describe this line of products is nourishing. My hair feels healthier having used these products for more than a month, and for that I am so grateful!

Out and enjoying happier hair at aTaylor Swift concert with my mom. She has also used some of the Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge products I was sent, and she loves them too! 

I did receive all three of these full-size products for free through BzzAgent, a Word-of-Mouth marketing program, which I am proud to represent. However, all opinions on this blog are my own and I will never review a product dishonestly or tell you about something that I am not excited about. These products truly did help my hair and I would absolutely recommend them to friends, family, or a total stranger at the store!

Have y'all tried these products? What do you think of them?

Hope y'all are doing well today!

All my love,

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

March Favorites- Beauty

Y'all I am so sorry I'm behind in blogging! Obviously these favorites are belated, but better late then never, right? I wrote these up right at the end of the month too, so they're all things I was loving in March.

Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer: I bought this through one of my favorite beauty sites, Beautylish. I had a $20 credit to Beautylish, so I got the bronzer for an amazing price ($15 total with shipping, it's regularly $30) and I was really excited to try this out. It's a great bronzer for fair skin because it's not too dark, and it's perfect for contouring because it's matte. Overall, I've LOVED it. It smells like chocolate, is smooth, blendable, and flattering for my fair skin. Also worth mentioning is Beautylish's awesome customer service. Each order comes with a handwritten note. How sweet is that?
L'oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara:  An oldie but a goodie. I ran out of mascara and hadn't liked my last few purchases, so I went back to something tried and true. This is a great mascara  to give you jet black lashes with great volume. 'Nuff said.
Maybelline Babylips in Quenched: I kept this by my beside a lot this month. Even in the hospital, I reached for this constantly. It's just a great staple lip balm!
Illamasqua Nail Polish in Cameo: It's no secret that I LOVE nail polish. I had been coveting this polish for months and after my hospital stay I had to treat myself a little bit. Let me just say, I have a new favorite splurge brand. Oh my goodness, this polish has a gorgeous formula. The color is vibrant, the polish went on smoothly and evenly... no complaints. It's perfection.
Benefit High Beam: This has become a holy grail product for me. I pat it on under my eyes for an instant pick me up (which- let me tell you, I often need) and on my cheekbones for a little lift. It's gorgeous. It's a no brainer product and I'm in loooove.
Maybelline Master Precise Eye Studio Eyeliner in Black: This is the finest tip liquid eyeliner pen I've found and it's awesome. It's perfect for a quick little swipe of liner at the lashline, which is my go-to look. Definitely recommend this for anyone who likes the look of liquid liner but wants a little more control.

What did you love this month? Any great beauty recommendations?
Hope you're doing well!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Monday Motivation-A Little Grey's Anatomy Wisdom

Glad to be rejoining the blogging world. It's been a difficult few weeks for me in terms of my health, so I apologize for my absence. I'm working with my doctors to make some tough choices,  and hopefully I'll know soon what the next few months will look like for me.
Until then, I'm just hanging in there and trying to find some comfort wherever I can. It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Grey's Anatomy. The show is one of my biggest comforts when I'm sick,  and I'll admit to watching it too often. The other night I was really struggling with how much I've been going through and how sick I've been and I ended up watching an old episode from Season 3. Right after the big ferry boat accident where Meredith almost drowns, all the rest of the interns are standing in the hallway, and Izzie Stevens gives this great speech. Izzie was always one of my favorite characters because she's so hopeful. This one line hit me hard and I knew I had to share it today.

I made this laptop background size so that I could use it for my laptop, so comment if you want me to e-mail it to you! 

I love that.  So for now, I'm going to keep on going because I believe that BELIEVING I'll get through is what will get me through. Keeping my faith in God, leaning on friends and family, and remembering that it'll all work out in the end.
I think sometimes we forget how powerful our beliefs are. So take a minute today to remind yourself that no matter what you're going through, you'll get through it because you believe you can.

With all my love,

Friday, March 15, 2013

Quick Update on Me

Just to let y'all know why I'm not posting: I've been admitted to the hospital for monitoring of my Crohn's disease and I'll be staying through the weekend. I've got my laptop but I'm honestly so exhausted that I haven't been able to post! Sorry I'm not posting! I'll be back soon!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Etsy STEAL: Monogrammed Necklaces

Just wanted to bring you a great deal today! 
I know y'all are huge fans of monogrammed necklaces, and I've bought some for friends and family members and even have one myself. So when I saw this on Etsy I knew I had to share it with y'all. It's two monogrammed necklaces for the price of one, and they're adorable!

$30 Acrylic necklace deal Via Vitabravo1 on Etsy

The seller has lots of color choices, and you'll get TWO monogram necklaces for $30,  which is a pretty good price for an acrylic monogrammed necklace! I say run and grab this deal RIGHT NOW!

Oh, and if you've been wanting to get a monogrammed necklace in silver or gold instead of acrylic, this Etsy shop is running the same deal for $50 on metal cut out monogrammed necklaces! This is such a great deal for these necklaces, and you can't go wrong with silver and gold, right?

$50  necklace deal Via Vitabravo1 on Etsy
Are you going to jump on this deal? Let me know if you do!
Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday Motivation- Find the Good

Happy Monday, y'all. Anyone else finding this Monday a little extra... Mondayish? I think it's Daylight savings, ain't nobody got time for that. Seriously. Well, I mean, I guess I technically do since I'm home, but I don't enjoy it either way. So I'm definitely needing a little motivation today.

This week I've been struggling a bit with finding the good.  We all have our struggles, and that's just mine. Whatever you may be going through right now, I think it's important to take time to step out of your head and your life for a minute or two and remind yourself of all the incredible, beautiful, wonderful GOOD that is out there.

This video does that for me. It's another one from Soul Pancake (remember the Motivation Monday when I featured Kid President? Love that kid!) and it just reminds me how cool people are and how much we all have in common. 

Would you have sat in the ball pit and opened up to a stranger? What helps you find the good when you're down? Share with me!

Hope you're happy and healthy y'all!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Saturday Instagram Recap

Happy Saturday! Hope y'all are having a great weekend! Let's jump in to the link up with Sara! 

Missing my OM team from back in the day!

New background

My fave game

Gracie attacked my heating pad

Puppy Snuggles.

Bath and Body Works Candle Haul

American Idiot today! We were literally first row, touching the stage haha. 

Encore at AI! I got a pic from St Jimmy :) 

 A good week overall. Hope y'all are doing great and you're happy and healthy!


Friday, March 8, 2013

Creating a Sanctuary

Whether you're just surviving midterms or about to come back from Spring Break, you're no stranger to the concept of stress. I'm still dealing with stress on a daily basis and I'm not currently in school. Stress is known to have all sorts of negative impacts on the body, from chronic illness to anxiety and more!
But it's not as easy as saying "Don't be stressed out". Uh, thanks. I'll work on that between all the other stuff I have going on.  
Lately I've been working really hard on wellness as a whole concept. Medicine is not enough to cure my Crohn's, and I'm turning to alternative medicine, diet, meditation, and more. One thing that has been particularly effective for me lately is having a safe space in my home that relaxes me. I like to think of my room as my sanctuary.

Making your living space comfortable, safe, and relaxing is so important. Knowing you have a place that is a go-to for relaxation can help you relax when you're sick, stressed, or just need sleep! Here are my ideas to transform your room from stressful to sanctuary.

  • Make sure spaces are functional: If you have a lot of bookshelf space being used for books you haven't read anymore, clear them out and donate, then buy boxes to store things you'll actually use and enjoy. The less there is on your floor and cluttered on shelves, the more comfortable you'll feel! 
  • Cultivate collections of things you enjoy: For example, if you love nail polish like I do, bring that into your room and make that a focal point in the room. Put it on display instead of hiding it in bins.
My nail polish collection is a point of pride for me, so having it on display is a great reminder of something I really love! 
  • Bring in things that help you relax: For me, it's scented candles. I have a whole table of scented candles I light while I'm in bed and not feeling so great. If that's not a possibility for you, try music, or whatever works best for you!
  • Keep it clean: I know it's a pain, but a clean space is comforting AND relaxing.
  • Hang things that inspire you: I made these canvases for my dorm this spring and I really love having them in my view every day. 

  • Surround yourself with positivity: That means pictures, good memories, cards whatever helps. 
  • Bring in material that is both stimulating and entertaining: I've really enjoyed my Kindle lately, and keeping that by my bedside has been great. On the other hand, it's just as important to me to read my favorite fun, lighthearted blogs. Just being in touch with others is important! 
What do you do to make your space a sanctuary? Do you have any other tips?

Hope you're all happy and healthy!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pick A Pair: Mani-Pedi Combos You'll Love

I got the idea for this post when I was doing my last mani-pedi. I always try to come up with chic, unique, and eye-catching combos for my mani-pedis. It's easy to pull two polishes from the newest collection and have them go together, but it's much more fun to mix and match old favorites and watch them come to life in a new way.
This Spring's collections from Essie and OPI were a little disappointing in my opinion. There were definite winner polishes amongst the bunches, but I didn't end up purchasing much at all, which y'all know is unusual for me! So I've actually really been enjoying shopping my collection and rediscovering old favorites. These are just suggestions, and feel free to look at your collection and change the combos based on what you have. There are no rules when it comes to mani-pedi combos in my book. If you think it works, it probably does! I also want to say that I've set these up so that you can wear them with either polish on your fingers OR toes, so there's no right way to read this!

The combo that inspired this post! I love these polishes together! I think they work with either polish on fingers or toes. I'm currently wearing Ole Caliente on my fingers and Bikini So Teeny on my toes. It just feels more unexpected to have the baby blue on the toes, which I love. Plus, the hot coral on my fingers is to die for! But I'm thinking I'll reverse this one soon! 

This combo is a little cooler in nature. If you don't have Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Pacific Blue, you might have Essie's Butler Please. I like the idea of these two together because they both have purple tones to them. Also, I like to add the Revlon glitter in Radiant as an accent to Pacific Blue sometimes, so that's a fun addition if you're bored! Again, it's up to you which is for fingers and which is for toes!
Zoya Elodie is such a gorgeous color, I feel like it just looks like the inside of a grapefruit! I had to pair it with something equally dynamic, so I chose Essie's Boxer Shorts, which is a blue with shimmer and purple shades to it. This combo will feel really fresh as we head into spring. In a more conservative setting, Elodie works well on fingertips, but I think this combo works well both ways. 

I wanted to do a combo that felt like it would work for someone who had to be in an office setting. This includes a really gorgeous nude shimmer for fingertips from this January's Mariah Carey collection, and my favorite glossy hot pink shimmer from the Minnie Mouse Collection. The shimmers pair well together, and it's a good balance of grown up and girly!
Last, but not least are Where's my Chauffer and Pink Friday! I like these two together because they really bring out the true pastel tones in each other and they were both big sellers in their own collections. I think combined they'd look incredible and feel like Easter came a little early. Give it a whirl and let me know how it goes! 

These are just a few of the combos I came up with this week while I shopped my collection. What are your favorite color combos for spring? Do you shop your collection, or do you have to have something new to keep inspiration flowing? Share your favorite pairs with me please, I'm always looking for a new duo!

Hope you're happy and healthy!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Time for a Staycation!

What, you're not lucky enough to be headed somewhere exotic and fabulous for Spring Break?
Me neither! So I'm having a Staycation and you're invited! 
Here's the plan:

Got any other ideas for a fun little staycation? Share with me, because I'll be home for a while!
I'm using my student ID to seeing American Idiot (the musical) this weekend! I got front row tickets with my best friend and I'm super excited! I'll let y'all know how it goes.
Hope y'all are happy and healthy!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Kickin' It With Keds Collaborations

Ok, I have a teensy tiny confession. I am not a shoe girl. Don't throw your heels at me, ladies! I've never been all that coordinated and I have difficult feet. So I live for cutesy, comfy kicks. I'm the girl who wears out her pair of Jack Rogers and will rock a pair of classic black ballet flats probably too often in the winter. Whatever.

When it comes to the awkward Spring weather in Charlotte (y'all, it snowed this weekend?) I'm loving fun little sneakers. Keds is throwing out some seriously chic collaborations too! Can you say Kate Spade and Taylor Swift? Yes please!

I'm loving some of Taylor's Picks for Keds. Then again, I'm a fan of her style in general. Lots of girly flair and cute dots. I also love the way she's wearing the little tennis shoes with dresses and skirts. I'm not sure I'd be able to pull it off, but I so want to try, don't you?
via MTV Style

Also, can we talk about the Kate Spade collaboration? I think it's very much in the same vein as the new Kate Spade Saturday line--- a more affordable, accessible Kate Spade. Still bright, still sweet, and still CUTE. These are limited edition and a little more pricey at around $75-85, but I love the patterns and colors! I think they're a great tribute to both Keds and Kate Spade!

Via Keds site

What do you think of the Keds spring line? Would you wear these fun shoes this spring? Are you loving the collaborations with Kate Spade and Taylor Swift?

Stay beautiful,

Monday, March 4, 2013

Monday Motivation: A Season For Everything (Also, I'm BACK!)

I'm back y'all! Hopefully for good this time! If you didn't know, I took time off from blogging because my life got a lot overwhelming. My health has been a constant source of difficulty for me over the past five years since I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. I tried to go back to college this Spring after a major surgery (in October), but it turns out a major Crohn's flare was just an insurmountable obstacle and everything became incredibly difficult at college. I withdrew from school last week and now I'm back at home unfortunately. I'll be taking time to work with doctors to improve my health, and doing whatever I can mind, body, and spirit to heal. I'm also hoping to do a lot in terms of advocating for Crohn's and other chronic illnesses.
 The way I look at it, this experience is just a speed bump. I'm on a great path. I have a great future. I'm doing great things, and I'm excited about that. There's a season for every thing, and right now I KNOW I need to take care of myself and my health.

I know God would never steer me wrong. I spent so much time before I withdrew last month crying and stressed out. Praying for an answer that all along was right in front of me. Let me just say, my health is already improving now that I am home and taking care of my body and spirit. I know this is what I need right now.
I encourage everyone to listen to themselves and God more, because even when it seems like you "can't" you probably can and need to.

Ignore anyone who tells you you're not good enough. Even that part of yourself that sometimes wants to call you a loser. Because I dealt with that girl a lot last month, and let's face it, she's not helpful! God is on your side and he has a reason and a plan for everything you're going through.

Hang in there. Keep praying and keep going.

Oh and bear with me if I'm a little all over the place with posts. I'm hoping to be back to this but I really don't know what the next few months will be like now that I'm home. Glad to be back though!

Hope this finds you happy and healthy,

Friday, February 8, 2013

Valentine's Day Phone Backgrounds

I am one of those girls who actually loves Valentine's Day. I may be single, but that definitely doesn't mean I can't enjoy a holiday devoted to love and chocolate.  I always take time to decorate for Valentine's Day and enjoy a day full of chocolate, chick flicks, and time with people I love.
So be a rebel this year and fall in love with the world's most hated holiday! Tell your friends and family you love them, and give out Valentine's like it's a 3rd grade class party.
To help you get into the Valentine's Day spirit, I made 6 fun phone backgrounds for y'all to use!

How are you celebrating this Valentine's Day? Share your plans with me, I love to hear about cute Valentine's Day plans! 

With lots of LOVE,

PS- Just wanted to apologize for not posting much lately! I've been very ill and struggling to get better, and I just haven't had energy to blog. Hopefully I'll be back at it all the time soon!