Monday, June 29, 2015

My Skincare Routine

I get a lot of compliments about my skin and am always asked what my skincare routine is. First, I think I was just blessed with good skin. In the last few years I have noticed more dryness though. My guess is it is a result of age. UGH...I'm getting old :( So this is my current skincare routine...

Love the Clarisonic (mine is the Mia2), it knocks out any texture on my face and gives a deep clean. I first heard about this product a few years ago at a beauty event at Nordstrom. Thought it was cool, but didn't believe the salesperson's pitch. Then I kept hearing from people they loved it, read about it on blogs, saw videos on YouTube and thought I better get one. I use the Clarisonic every night in the shower with Philosophy Purity, a 3-in-1 cleanser. If I need a quick face wash I reach for Purity.

For fast makeup removal or to make sure everything is gone (especially mascara) after using the Clarisonic I use Pond's Wet Cleansing Towelettes. I've tried a lot of wipes and I hate the ones that leave your face greasy. That does not feel "clean" to me. Pond's are my favorite and you can get them at any grocery or drug store. Typically purchase the original fresh scent, but occasionally I get evening soothe (mmm relaxing scent).

As I mentioned, I deal with dryness so I've added Origins GinZing to the routine. Morning and night. Since it's light weight and oil free I can put it on under my makeup and it won't affect my foundation/concealer's performance. Sometimes I like to just stick my nose in the jar because it smells sooooo fresh oranges! Staying hydrated and having a good diet drastically changes your skin. Think about go grab a bottle of water ;)

I'm always looking for something new to try. I plan on testing out Lush Cosmetics' Mask of Magnaminty Cleanser and Skin Drink Moisturizer, GlamGlow Thirstymud, and some of the Josie Maran skincare line.

What are your go to skincare products? Leave a comment so I know what I should test out in addition to the ones already on the list!

Until next post...xoxo Becca

All items were purchased with my own money and all opinions are my own.
This routine works for me and my skin, but it may not work for everyone.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Favorite Pin Friday | Volume 12

Two weeks ago (Volume 10) I featured DIY 4th of July decorations and with the 4th right around the corner I thought this would be another appropriate post. Of course today's DIY project will be useful throughout the summer, especially for those summer parties and BBQs.
DIY Mason Jar Tiki Torches
The Frugal Homemaker
If you visit the Pins' source it provides step-by-step instructions. Don't forget extra bug spray and sunscreen for the guests...

cute idea that we may have to use for our outdoor summer wedding "be smitten not bitten"
Love the tag! | Source
Great idea for picnics and parties or backyards
If you're planning a 4th of July party or another summer event I wish you luck! Tell me about your party, I'd love to hear about it. Until next post...xoxo Becca

Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Birthday Daddy-O

When I first started this blog I wasn't sure how many personal things I would share other than day-to-day life and events. As this day approached I decided it would bring comfort to share this story. After all, it has had a huge impact on my life.

Today would have been my dad's 65th birthday. Happy Birthday Daddy! He's now my guardian angel and I am so thankful to have him still watching over me, but from a much better place.

There are so many milestones that take place in your life and of course I wanted my dad to be there for all of them. My wedding was a big milestone and I was thankful to have him walk me down the aisle. I am also thankful the hubs got a chance to meet him and for my dad to meet the man who would take care of me. I knew my dad approved and was happy the hubs was a good man. Shortly after our wedding my dad's health started to decline. At our 1st anniversary (in April 2011) he was proud to have made it that long, at his 61st birthday (late June) we were all surprised. In mid-October 2011 he lost his battle with cancer.

For 10 years I watched a man I idolized battle different types of cancer and I learned a lot. What I learned along the way (and am still learning)...  The cliche answer is "live life to the fullest" which is very true. I learned how strong my dad really was and how much of a fighter he was. Each weekend for about the last year of his life I would pack up Lexi and head to my parents' house to spend time with him. We had a lot of great conversations that I appreciate more now that he's gone. My 24 years worth of memories with him come back to me at random times. The sadness still comes and goes especially at big moments like purchasing my first house and graduating with my masters degree, but I understand grieving is part of the process. If I could give anyone advice about losing a parent at a young age it would be to embrace the memories. Happy Father's Day and Happy Birthday Daddy!

Until next post...xoxo Becca

Friday, June 19, 2015

Favorite Pin Friday | Volume 11

Welcome back for another Friday! Ever have guests over for dinner and need a dessert idea? OR have unexpected guests and need a dessert? Here's a twist on a classic and guess's done in under 5 minutes. Brownie Waffles! For years I have seen Pins about all the crazy things you can make in a waffle makes, but until now I hadn't tried any. I need to go try all of them because this was so simple!

Start with your favorite brownie mix, add ingredients according to package + 1 extra egg. Mix it up and pour batter into greased waffle maker. Top however you like...fruit and whip cream, ice cream, or serve plain.

Have a great weekend everyone! Until next post...xoxo Becca

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

California Recap | Part 2

Have you read part 1? If not, read it first ;) Continuing with our adventure...

Day 4: Made our way down the coastline into Laguna Beach to enjoy the scenery and shops before visiting Wilson Creek Winery. One word...beautiful! During the wine tasting I started with the White Cabernet Sauvignon. We were told this is one of their most popular and people often buy it by the case. I would describe this wine as sweet, fruity, and delicious. Next I chose another white called Golden Jubilee; little drier, more of an earthy flavor, but good. Skipped over the reds, they’re just not my thing, and moved onto the sparkling wines…oh my! I tasted some of my mother-in-law’s almond champagne, but it wasn’t as good as I hoped. The next three I would purchase for any event I was hosting; the first two for a brunch and the third to serve at a girls’ get-together. First up was the Orange Mimosa and let me tell you it was beyond any traditional mimosa I’ve had (and I’ve had several lol). Next up, Peach Bellini; again, light, refreshing. Finally, the bottle I purchased, although I’m regretting not getting the White Cabernet Sauvignon too, the Sparkling Sangria. What a lovely, light taste. At the winery, the family dogs roam the property and the tasting room so we were greeted by a few of them. Overall it was a great experience and if you plan to do some wine tasting in southern California I recommend visiting Wilson Creek Winery. There are many wineries along the same road so you could easily make a whole day of it!
Beautiful scenery in Laguna Beach
One of the friendly Golden Retrievers having a drink.
Sangria Sparkling Wine
He is the love of my life.
Day 5: The day I was most looking forward to! San Diego Zoo! Rather than bore you with details, pictures below. We were there from opening (9:00am) to closing (6:00pm). After all that walking, drinks and appetizers were in order at el agave, restaurant and tequileria in San Diego, which features over 2,000 tequilas. Yep, you read that right, over 2,000! It was quite a showcase of tequilas! Dinner took place at Eddie V’s. I know some people who rave about this restaurant, but sadly I wasn’t impressed.
The gorillas had a staring contest, the koala bears were my favorite, the baby giraffe was 3 weeks old!
We took the Skyfari to see the zoo from above. (Love my hubby's gorgeous eyes!)
This is a sand sculpture! How fabulous!
Day 6: Started with a trip to Coronado Island to see the historic Hotel Del Coronado. The hotel has been running since the 1880s with room rates of $2.50 (included 3 meals a day) when they first opened their doors. On the way back north we stopped at the Birch Aquarium on University of California San Diego’s campus. Although a small aquarium, they had some great exhibits and it kept us entertained for several hours. After taking a stroll in the sand and listening to the waves for a little while we opted for Pizza Port in Carlsbad, CA. Delicious and an exceptionally busy spot! I can see why! Winding down the trip we checked into our hotel near the airport and went for ice cream at Hans’ Homemade Ice Cream and Deli. It was after 9pm and the place was packed with a line out the door. I know I’d selected a good place (with the help of Yelp) when I saw the crowd. Each of us tried something different and were impressed, minus the crowdedness inside.
Beach in Carlsbad
Left: Pizza Port       Right: Hans' Ice Cream
Day 7: Time to head home and it was bittersweet. As I packed my bag I wished I would have gotten a few more workouts in, but that can happen this week, along with many more salads instead of burgers, pizza, and ice cream :). After arriving home, my very hunky hubby had to do some manual labor and change a flat tire on our car. Not the best greeting, but oh well. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed our California recap and the pictures. Hopefully some of you followed my journey on Snapchat. Until next post…xoxo Becca

Monday, June 15, 2015

California Recap | Part 1

Did you miss me? Hopefully last Monday's and Friday's post helped hold you over while I was gone. Besides...who doesn't love to smell good with some fresh fragrances. Need a gift idea for your father or your significant other? Well there ya go...the bonus in last Monday's post should help solve that dilemma. Go to a craft store over the weekend? No? Why not?! Lots of cute decorations are waiting to be made for the 4th :)

But I know why you're here today, to see how the trip to California went. I'm going to write this in 2 parts so it's not super long. 

Day 1: Monday morning started off early as we made our way to the airport. Security took longer than usual (Dad, we miss your priority access!). I don't know if any of you have had the opportunity to fly with priority access, but it really does make things much smoother. I'm sure many business men and women are privileged to have this access and love it. The flight was an easy one...thank goodness because I hate flying.

Upon arrival we met up with mom and dad whose flight landed earlier than ours and headed to lunch at Mama D's Italian Kitchen. Our neighbor recommended Mama D's and I am soooooo glad she did. Everything was amazing, including the complementary warm chocolate chip cookies. Since check-in at the resort wasn't until 4:00 we went across the street to Newport Beach Brewing Company...happy hour prices ALL day. That's what I'm talking about! After a round of drinks we headed off to the resort. Beautiful place...lots of children though. Maybe I will dedicate a post to a resort review soon. 

Since our villa had a full kitchen we went to Trader Joe's and picked up a few groceries to make dinner for Monday and Tuesday night. We have a Trader Joe's in The Woodlands, but it took me going all the way to California to step foot in one lol Then it was wine, cheese, fruit, and leftover Mama D's for dinner.

Day 2: Hit the gym for a sweat session and it felt so good. Next we took the resort shuttle to Crystal Cove Beach where we planned on having brunch, but Beachcombers had already stopped serving breakfast. Ruby's Diner's website said serving breakfast all day...LIES, only until 11 :( So we settled for a burgers and shakes. Then back to the resort for some much needed pool time and a wine and cheese reception. Then for a change of scenery we cruised along the beach and visited a few neighborhoods near there....the homes were adorable. Beautifully landscaped and decorated and I wanted to buy them all :)

Crystal Cove Beach
Pool time!
Remember to stop and smell the roses!

Day 3: Rather than hitting the gym, the hubs and I went for a long walk around the resort and to Crystal Cove Beach. We saw a lot of cool ocean critters in the tide pools, surfers, and others exploring the beach. The weather was so strange, cold and gray, not what I pictured of California. The locals called it "June Gloom" and that's the perfect description. The family had lunch at Javier's, great environment and the food was good. Took a trip to Balboa Island for shopping and frozen bananas. Apparently they're famous to the island and we were told to visit Dad's Donut & Bakery Shop. I had a frozen banana covered in chocolate and peanuts. Certainly a touristy thing to was good but ehhh wouldn't do it again. We drove north to Huntington Beach, famous for great waves for surfing. Walked the pier and saw a lot of talented surfers. Watched the beautiful sunset. Headed back to the resort to relax and pack for Thursday. Headed to La Jolla. 

View from resort
Left: Frozen Banana     Right: Balboa Bar covered in Oreos
Dad's Donut & Bakery Shop
Huntington Beach

Second half of the trip coming soon (probably tomorrow or Wednesday)! Until next post...xoxo Becca

Friday, June 12, 2015

Favorite Pin Friday | Volume 10

Can't believe Favorite Pin Friday is 10 weeks old now. Have you read them all? There are links at the bottom of the post so you can catch up...#FBF lol Today is about DIY 4th of July decorations. Every year the hubs and I throw a 4th of July party and every year it grows! The first year we had about 10 people and last year almost 40. Everyone seems to love it and look forward to it so we keep hosting. I rarely decorate since the party is outside and guests are more interested in BBQ and fireworks. Doesn't mean I can't decorate and Pinterest is full of crafty ideas for a patriotic party! Here are the favorite pins I've run across.

Patriotic Monogram Door Hanger with Burlap Bow | Etsy
This patriotic monogram door hanger would be easy to do. Hit up Hobby Lobby or any craft store to find the wooden letter, paints, and ribbon. Grab some painters tape and you're good to go. This would be a fun project if you have kids who are a little older.

Patriotic String Lights | eHow

So simple! Ballons, glue, yarn, and a string of lights (which you probably have from Christmas!) Another kid friendly project. Good luck with the sticky hands mom and dad ;)

Rag Wreath | Sassy Sanctuary
I think this would be easy, but cutting all those stripes of fabric would take awhile. I like this type of wreath as an alternative to the deco mesh wreaths everywhere.

KariAnne over at Thistlewood Farm shared cute and easy ways to decorate for the 4th. Tell me what you're doing to decorate for 4th of July in the comments below.

I'll be recapping our trip to California in Monday's post. xoxo Becca

Monday, June 8, 2015

Fresh Fragrance

Hi all! As you read this I am in California, but I wanted to make sure you had something to do while I was away ;) As if you don't have your own little lives to keep you busy.

Like the combo of black and white, I have an obsession with perfume. Mostly I just love the bottles haha I haven't purchased any in awhile because I've been gifted some or I talk myself out of a new bottle because I know there are several at home needing to be used. These are my favorite for spring/summer.

Victoria's Secret Bombshell Body Mist
Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue
Ed Hardy Hearts and Daggers
Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh

Bonus!!! These are two colognes the hubs uses that I love. Always love a good smelling man!

Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue
Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male
Until next post...xoxo Becca

Friday, June 5, 2015

Favorite Pin Friday | Volume 9

Leaving for California Monday morning and I still need to pack. Sigh. Talk about procrastination! Today is all about travel tips and packing. In my first "grown up" job, I traveled for a week at a time and sometimes several weeks back to back. I remember my first week out I over packed and by being alone on the road was therefore responsible to load and unload my luggage. Let me take a minute to tell everyone how thankful I am for a husband who does this for me when we travel together. He's amazing every day, but especially when it comes to heavy lifting. I never have to do it. Now back to my story...I quickly learned to pack in a carry-on size bag plus an overnight bag. I could manage the two. I'm hoping to pack this way for the trip to make things easier for myself and the hubs. Queue the "Babe, do you really need all those shoes?" The answer is YES, always! :P Here are a few things I've learned along the way and a few I've learned from Pinterest and other bloggers.
Before ANYTHING...know the airline's and TSA's rules for carry-on and checked baggage (i.e. weight limits, liquids in carry-on, etc.).

Pick a color scheme in your clothing so shoes and accessories can be reused and outfits can be mixed and matched for multiple days. Here's a great example!

Roll your clothes, they take up less room. Anything that won't wrinkle easily gets packed this way.

Use plastic wrap to keep your bottles of shampoo and other liquids from leaking. It really does work! I've had everything from contact solution to sunscreen bust in my bag.
Stuff small items like socks in your shoes. Don't let the shoes hog all the space ;)
Make use of the compartments/dividers in your luggage. They'll keep things organized!

For the return trip home...well, just stuff and stuff until it all fits lol

Until next post...xoxo Becca
p.s. I'll be doing a lot of updating on Snapchat (@r8d6g)
p.p.s. There will be posts next week. They've already been written...look at me being about that packing thing...gotta get to it

Monday, June 1, 2015

Going to Cali

Wow what a busy weekend! My sister-in-law graduated from Texas A&M University two weeks ago and Saturday was her graduation party. It turned out great and the BBQ was delicious. Before going to the party I went shopping because there were a lot of sales going on. The hubs and I are going with his parents to Newport Beach, California in 1 week! I'm so excited! They travel frequently and I am looking forward to spending some time with the in-laws and relaxing.

I've never been to California so I'm not sure what to pack or what to expect with the weather. I've been keeping an eye on the forecast and it seems like highs of 71-74 each day. MUCH cooler than the weather we have in Texas. My goal is to pack jeans, light long sleeve or 3/4 length sleeve tops, light sweaters, and several sandal type shoes. I think layers are going to be the way to go. If anyone has advice...please leave me a comment. 

Here are a few of my recent purchases:

DSW | Comfy and several colors to choose from

Lucky Brand | On sale at Macy's $27.99

Old Navy | On sale $22

Topshop | On sale at Nordstrom $39.99
Hope you have a great week! I'll be back on Friday with Favorite Pin Friday.
Until next post...xoxo Becca