Monthly Archives: June 2017


My Best Beauty Finds {Summer edition}

Another edition of my most recent & most beloved health & beauty finds… and this time it’s all about summertime!

Fresh, dewy, glowing skin. Freshly polished, brightly-colored nails. Easy-does-it, shiny hair. Bronzers, blushes, sunscreens, lip glosses, and more!

Essie Gel Couture

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I love a gel manicure. Always looks so professional, shiny, and I don’t have to worry about my nails for 10-14 days! But, I’ll be perfectly honest, I don’t need to budget that amount every 2 weeks for a fresh manicure and, oftentimes, I am not faithful about returning to the salon to have the gel removed and I end up peeling it off myself, and damaging my nails in the process. I know, I know. Very bad. So, when Essie came out with their Gel Couture line, a long-wear, at-home gel-like product that lasts 7-10 days and removes easy as a traditional manicure, I was blissed out and couldn’t wait to try it!

So, here we are wearing Rock the Runway, a great, classic, candy-apple red perfect for summer and all 4 seasons.

Commence my series of Bathroom Selfies…

Day 2

Day 4

So, I only took 2 pictures, because on day 5, I got caught by the cleaning staff and it was really embarrassing. Ha!

But, you get the idea.

All in all, this manicure lasted 7 full days before my first chip!  And even then, I touched it up, slicked on a little more top-coat and my nails were strong well into Day 9 before I removed the polish & started all over again on Day 10.

Definitely 2 thumbs-up!!!

Kenra Professional Shine Spray 

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Kenra Shine Spray provides weightless, instant shine to any hair color or hair style. This superfine mist provides frizz and flyaway control and contains UV protectants to help guard color- natural or color treated hair types. Just wash, style, set, and then shine! Or, after you use a dry shampoo product on day 2 or 3 of your style, top off your looks with a little shine spray so your hair doesn’t look too dry.

The perfect product for summer! Skin is glowing- why not your hair?

Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder 

And speaking of shining hair and skin…

A light-reflecting powder that gives your complexion a high-impact, light-reflective, shining-from-the-inside glow. Sweep over your cheekbones and the bridge of your nose, exactly as sunlight would hit your face naturally, for a luminous glow that makes your best features shine!

Pink Glow is the shade I wear, and is pictured above, but it also comes in Bronze Glow for those with warmer skin tones.

Ilia Lip gloss

Mom was who originally discovered Ilia as she is passionate about discovering all-natural beauty products and has even gotten into essential oils as well. I have been a beneficiary of that new hobby as well. Ilia was an all-natural beauty brand that she had researched and ordered a few lip sticks to try, and in her box, as a free gift was a beautiful pink lip gloss. Not a pink wearing gal, Mom gave the gloss to me next time we met and I have worn it every day since.

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It’s the perfect amount of coverage for summer and it’s ultra creamy feel and sheer wear is perfect for summer.

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Loving the nudes and pale pinks, but am always partial to a classic pinky-red as well. Why do you think the French always wear red lips & nails? Classic and beautiful on most skin tones.

ColorScience Sunforgettable Brush-on Sunscreen, SPF 50

FairIt is very important to wear sunscreen every day. Particularly this time of year, but I have a hard time wearing cream sunscreens and then wearing make up as well, so powdered sunscreen is the answer to that!

Stay radiant every single day with this brush-on sunscreen that offers powerful SPF 50 UVA/UVB protection, all alone or over make up. This powder can act as a finishing powder and it has a nice translucent coverage. Comes in a variety of shades: Fair, Medium, Tan, & Deep.

I absolutely swear by this stuff and use it all the time! Plus, if you have oily skin (like me) and sunscreens and heavy moisturizes tend to break you out, this is the perfect answer! Such a wonderful investment in your beauty routine.

Neutrogena Ageless Intensive Tone Correcting Moisturizer, complete with SPF 30

Y’all…. this stuff!

BUY NOW This powerhouse product is a total timesaver. "The sheer tint, SPF, and anti-aging retinol and vitamin C mean you can essentially get away with one product in the morning instead of three," says Dr. Waldorf.

I first read about it in Good Housekeeping Mag- you know, where all good things in life come from- and so I picked up a small tube the next time I was in CVS and it’s a great product for those of us that may have some additional redness, unevenness, and even hyper pigmentation around more sensitive areas.

Here is what Dr. Waldorf said about it in GH, “…sheer tint, SPF, and anti-aging retinol + Vitamin C mean you can essentially get away with just one product in the morning instead of three!”

Well, I like those numbers…



Summer Reading

Ya’ll. I have shared this before, but it deserves another retelling.

I was one of those children.

One of those children who couldn’t wait to dive in and get lost in the stories that filled my summers during school break.

In fact, some of my fondest childhood memories are in Ormond Beach, FL; where Nana & DatDat had a home for 26 years, and where I grew up for 25 summers. There I sit, curled up on the patio chaise lounge or on the edge of the swimming pool as my feet glide atop the watery surface with a book in my lap. Totally absorbed. I hear nothing and I see nothing around me. I was hooked.

In fact, it was in the summer in between my 10th and 11th grade years that A Voice in the Wind, perhaps my favorite book of all time written by Francine Rivers, was on my Honor’s English reading list. And that book ignited a fire in me that has never really fully extinguished.

I pray it never does.

So, each summer, I have endeavored to make my own little Summer Reading list. The days are longer, we are taking vacations, some time away from work and home, and days are spent outside around pools, lakes, beaches, soccer fields, etc. and are the perfect times to crack open a book! Plus, it doesn’t get dark until really late now, so I am staying up later than I do in wintertime. Again, I love the discipline of reading every night before bed, and in truth, I sleep so much better having read right before I turn out the lights. So much more constructive than watching TV or playing on your phone or iPad.

So, already underway, here is my Summer Reading List for 2017:

This Life I Live by Rory Feek


The Sound of Glass by Karen White


Already read the 2 above and my only words are “WOW!” Unbelievable faith, perseverance, and encouragement from one. And unforgettable characters, an insatiable mystery, and the sounds of the Carolina Coast in the other. I would recommend both highly.

And next up…

The Magnolia Story by Chip & Joanna Gaines


So fascinated by them! Their story, their business, their inspiration, their marriage, family, & farmhouse! Can’t wait for this one.

I also, guiltily, enjoy some light-hearted chick-lit or “beach reads” in the summer. Some laugh-out-loud, mindless entertainment never hurt anyone. And I have had a recent recommendation from a trusted friend and fellow bookworm to check out The Lowcountry Summer series by Mary Alice Monroe.


The Summer Girls is Book 1 in this series and then we will see about the other 2. But, if the book is half as cute as its cover, I am all in!

Another recommendation(s) was from some friends as well as videos I have seen on “BookTube” YouTube channel and they are 2 series, so it’s a toss up as to which I pick up first. But, below are the first books in each of the series.

One a mystery series by renowned author Louise Penny…


And the other, a fantasy/adventure tale (definitely not my usual, but it’s nice to do a little escapist-reading every now & again)…


I am also planning on re-reading a few of my perennial favorites as well.

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton is what’s on my nightstand now and I am flying through it just as I remember doing with the first reading. And I might like it even more now than I did then!


The Mountain Between Us was the first book I read by one of my favorite authors, Charles Martin. And since the film is coming out this fall, I decided this was a great time to re-read!

It’s a great, pusle-pounding adventure that I look forward to reading again. And the film trailer looks amazing! Check it out! 

I love going through my shelves and rediscovering a beloved story all over again, don’t you?!? And, I discover something new with each re-reading.

So, what are you reading this summer?