Sometimes, products don’t work out for you, even if they have tons of positive reviews and are beloved by others. Below is a look at products I regret purchasing and why they aren’t my favorites. As a disclaimer, just because I don’t love them doesn’t mean that they won’t work for you, and if you love them, then keep on loving them! Also, I have other products that I love from all of these brands. 🙂
This doesn’t do much as far as true “radiance,” I just see a lot of glitter on my skin. Also, this does nothing to help with the duration of my foundation, which is what I’m really personally looking for in a primer.
This doesn’t give me enough coverage and does not last long on my skin. If you’re looking for a NARS foundation, I would HIGHLY recommend my all-time favorite, the NARS Longwear Radiant Foundation. This shade is also terrible on me, and I believe was the only shade even remotely in my very fair shade range when I purchased this. But, it does look like the shade range has expanded (I wear Mont Blanc in the Longwear Radiant, as reference).
This foundation is THICK, and not in a good way. I really don’t like the whipped texture and feel like it slides off my oily skin super quickly. Also, the lightest shade at the time that I purchased is now the fifth shade up, so that just goes to show how orange it looked on me and how much the shade range has thankfully expanded in the past couple of years!
So, this has been re-branded and the version that I have has been recently discontinued. I’m currently only keeping it to use as a body SPF because of how heavy and sticky it feels on my face. My makeup just slides off any time I wear this underneath. However, the new version may be a new formula…but, I personally don’t plan on finding out. 🙂
The SMELL. I can’t handle the smell. I also don’t think this has anywhere enough hold for a hairspray. If you do decide to purchase this, only get the unscented, unless you want to smell like expired, musky perfume all day long.
I bought this to wear when we were going to be on a lake and it felt like all of my eyelashes fell off after I wore this. It took foreverrr to get off and was super thick on my lashes, so I’m afraid to try the non-waterproof version.
Iceland is the most beautiful place I have ever been to and will ever go to. In September of 2018, I had a jam-packed week of adventures with two incredible friends, Allyson and Wendy. We honestly barely scratched the surface of this gorgeous country, but what we experienced was nothing short of amazing. As only my second international trip, experiencing Iceland meant so much to me, and I can’t wait to go back and bring Tyler and other family members and friends. With that being said, I cannot shower enough praise on Allyson for planning this trip. My only request was seeing the puffins, and she brought us that and so much more.
Now settle in, get ready to scroll, and I hope you enjoy a glimpse at the beauty that is Iceland:
Our first stop after getting off the plane and procuring our rental car was the iconic Blue Lagoon (a note on the rental car situation: having a rental car was essential for us and definitely the right move, but also be aware that the security deposit for these things is quite substantial). We had pre-purchased our Blue Lagoon Premium Package tickets ahead of time, which was so worth it, and enjoyed a wonderful meal in the Cafe before soaking in the hot springs with their signature face masks to unwind and relax. Although it is one of the busiest and most popular attractions in Iceland, it is beyond worth experiencing.
***Side note: You absolutely, 300% need to get a wi-fi hotspot. Ours worked without fail on our entire trip and was easily picked up and dropped off at the airport.
After leaving Blue Lagoon, we checked into our Airbnb. I highly, highly recommend this Airbnb. Beautiful, comfortable, fantastic location, and a great host. After dropping off our stuff, we ran to Bonus to pick up some groceries (if you do one thing while visiting Iceland, make sure to stock up at the grocery store and bring your own lunch and snacks with you. Between our sandwiches and the Rx bars that Allyson brought with her, we saved so much money doing this in a famously expensive country). After unpacking our groceries, we ran over to Rossopomodoro for a celebratory Italian dinner. (Another side note: alcohol is extremely expensive in Iceland, which we knew, but found out the hard way when we wanted a glass of wine with our pasta. It came out to about $23 for a glass, so DEFINITELY grab your alcohol at the Keflavik Airport at duty-free and bring it with you if you want to drink).
On Day 2, we were up bright and early to do “The Golden Circle,” the iconic ring of destinations in the Southern part of the Island. First step was the amazing Thingvellir National Park. We learned so much about Icelandic history at their visitor center, and I adored their gift shop. (Also, if I could start every day with an Icelandic skyr, I would. I haven’t been able to find this brand in the states and none of the other versions compare. Such wonderful, yogurty goodness).
The below geysir is the original geothermal phenomenon that caused the word to be created. Also, please check out the warning signs below that were at the main visitor center and gift shop. Comedic gold.
You can walk around not only the perimeter of the crater, but can also go down to the crater floor. The third photo is where “Adventure Carly” was born as I trekked down the path. Also, Bjork held a concert on a temporary platform floating on the lake as fans watched from the crater walls, so that is wild.
We did not go to a ton of restaurants to help save some cash, but we loved Hofnin, Braud & Co., and Eldsmidjan Pizza. Hofnin was by far the best meal we had, every one of our plates was delicious (my fish dish pictured below), and it has an incredible view of the water.
There are many naturally occurring hot springs that form little hot tubs, or “hot pots,” throughout Iceland. We visited the Landbrotalaug Hot Pot, which was so much fun. Nothing like walking through an Icelandic field in your swimsuit!
Budakirkja – The Black Church at Budir, was honestly a bit overwhelming for me, it was that beautiful. Starkly looking over the turbulent sea below, this church is a photographer’s dream. We even saw a fashion photo shoot as we were leaving. So. amazing.
Snaefellsnes Peninsula – The lava field walking path between Arnarstapi and Hellnar was one of the most quiet and peaceful moments of the trip. We all took some time to walk alone in the serenity and just enjoy the beauty. We also had some amazing fish & chips in Arnarstapi afterwards while overlooking the water.
The Reynisfjara Blacksand Beach at Vik is so crazy cool. However, make sure and keep a very safe distance from the water, as there are warning signs every wear to avoid the treacherous waves.
The Skogafoss Waterfall is so powerful it’s scary (hence my hat blowing off below). By this point on our trip, we had kind of gotten into an “oh, another waterfall, cool…,” mentality, but that quickly changed when we got up and close and personal with this behemoth.
Then came time for us to hop on the ferry and visit the Westman Islands to see us some puffins! First of all, let me just say, that water was GNARLY. I am not prone to sea sickness, but you definitely need some dramamine on this voyage. We were NOT well. Also, you 100% need to go on a tour with Eyja Tours. Our tour guide, Ebbi, is amazing and a life-long native on the island. We learned so much about spranga and the 1973 volcanic eruption, and of course about the amazing puffin nuts that the island is famous for. We also got to check out the Vestmannaeyar Golf Course, which I dream of taking my dad, Tyler and Davis to some day.
I MET A PUFFIN. And we also stood on top of one of the windiest places in Europe. It was amazing. We also had no idea that we were on the island the night that the puffin babies jump from their nests and land into the town. No shade of a lie, it’s crazy. If you want to learn more, you definitely need to check out the Eyja Tours Instagram account (@eyjatours).
After the best tour I have ever been on, we stopped for a yummy lunch at Gott and went for a beer at The Brothers Brewery. Still the best fruit sour I’ve ever had!
After getting back to the mainland, we went and checked out the Seljalandsfoss Waterfall (which you may recognize from the “I’ll Show You,” Justin Bieber music video).
Snaefellsnes Peninsula – Our final stop was Kirkjufellfoss, one of the most photographed locations in Iceland, and for good reason. Absolutely STUNNING at sunset.
With that, our time in Iceland came to a close. At the Keflavik Airport, we stopped for drinks at Loksins Bar and grabbed a bite to eat at Nord before heading back home.
Have you been to Iceland? If so, what were your favorite parts of your trip?
Like I assume so many of y’all are also doing, I have been taking advantage of all of the online retail sales while I am sheltering in place at home. I am always looking for a bargain, and if there is one thing I can reinforce to y’all to do to take advantage of those deals, it is to check your junk email every day for coupons. You know, that email address that you use when you are required to provide an email at a store checkout. 🙂 We’ve all got one. Staying on top of what deals are available and giving a critical eye to my closet to determine what I actually need to purchase to fill gaps and make some replacements in my wardrobe allowed me to snag all of this for less than $275. Seriously y’all. Those Franco Sarto sandals were $4 and the Bleecker & Bond loafers were $2 because of all of the DSW coupons I used.
Hope y’all are having a wonderful Saturday. It’s a beautiful day here in Memphis, but since Tyler and I are obviously staying at home today, I’m enjoying the sunshine from our sun room on the couch we have out here and it is LOVELY!
While perusing my Instagram feed yesterday, I saw that Kendra Scott did an Instagram Live (@kendrascott), featuring vintage pieces throughout the history of the brand. It was so neat to watch Kendra show the beautiful designs that helped build her incredible brand and legacy. Having collected Kendra Scott pieces for basically every holiday, birthday and treat myself moment of the past 8 years, the post got me thinking about my own collection and what it means to me.
When I think of Kendra Scott as a brand, I think of every single happy memory associated with a piece of their jewelry. Now, I know that sounds a bit odd, but I am known far and wide in both my family and friend groups as the girl who not only wears an overwhelming amount of jewelry each day, but also that chances are I’m wearing at least two KS jewelry pieces at all times. The brand has always been something that I am passionate about from a philanthropic standpoint as well, as the work that they do to give back to the community from their support of the MD Anderson Cancer Center where my incredible Grandma Jean was treated, to the work they are currently doing to provide over 1 million meals to date through Feed America during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Check out their Everlyne Friendship Bracelet, where 50% of the proceeds go towards the Feed America efforts. I picked up the Dichroic Glass version and it is beautiful).
From my first-ever pair of earrings that my mom surprised me with for my 17th birthday (still swoon over those abalone shell beauties), to the matching earring and necklace set that my husband hid my engagement ring in while opening up Christmas gifts, and the Texas/birthstone charm bangle that some of my best friends surprised me with when we moved to Memphis, my entire, ever-growing collection will always hold a special place in my heart. Here’s a look at my collection, featuring some vintage beauties, custom Color Bar pieces and recent purchases:
What are you favorite Kendra Scott pieces in your collection? And, if you don’t have a piece yet, what’s stopping you?!
A few years ago, we spent a wonderful, long July 4th weekend in Las Vegas. Surprisingly enough, it was a super relaxing trip, proving that Vegas doesn’t always have to be a go-go-go destination. (*Side note: If that’s what you want out of your Vegas trip, then live your best life, and our next trip will definitely be full of more of that fun with hopefully a few friends in tow). Below is a look at where we stayed, what we did, and what we ate:
The Wynn: We stayed at the beautiful Wynn the first night, stopping in at Charlie’s Bar + Grill for a late dinner getting off the plane before playing a few slots and walking around, and it was such a great experience! We only stayed through the afternoon of the next day, so I’m excited to spend more time there in the future, but brunch at The Buffet was just as iconic and yummy as you would expect.
Caesar’s Palace: We spent the rest of our time in Vegas at Caesar’s Palace, which was just plain awesome. We had a full spa day at the Qua Baths & Spa. The 50 Minute Classic Couple’s Massage and my Signature Facial were absolutely to die for and the facilities there are stunning.
We also spent a full day at the massive pool complex, renting two lounge chairs at the Venus Pool + Lounge, which I would highly suggest doing if you want a designated space. We drank ridiculously expensive piñana coladas all day long and relaxed in the Nevada sun.
We also spent a lot of time wandering around and exploring the Strip since it was our first time to Sin City, which was a ton of fun. You’ve never experienced people watching like Vegas people watching. I got an amazing blowout at the Drybar @ The Cosmo, we walked and shopped through The Venetian and Paris, and had a very memorable and delicious lunch at Wahlburgers during an exciting World Cup match.
Have you ever been to Vegas? And what did you love about the city? Let me know in the comments below!
I purchased this on sale a few weeks ago for about $5 (my best Amazon tip is to try and save things in your Wish List so you can be alerted when there is a price fluctuation, as they are constantly changing their prices), and I love it! I’m allergic to so many different types of metals and this one has given me no problems thus far.
This was Tyler’s Christmas gift two years ago and we have absolutely loved it! This was a recommendation from my friend Matt, who always has this version, and he is the one person you always must trust on a technical purchase of any kind!
Another purchase for hiking in Iceland, this backpack is so nice and protected my camera so well (another Alyson Haley recommendation). My only complaint is that it doesn’t have a compartment to hold a water bottle on the side.
Honestly, these are my #1 favorite Amazon purchase of all-time. I had no idea they existed until I saw someone recommended them on Instagram and they have brought all of my sterling silver jewelry back to life! I hadn’t been able to wear one James Avery bracelet in particular for years because the oxidization on it was so bad, but now it looks brand new!
(Sorry y’all, I don’t talk to anybody in person besides Tyler and couldn’t bring myself to do it on a conference call yesterday).
Today we’re talking all things home decor. While I’m most certainly not ready to do a full home tour any time soon, I thought it would be fun to put together a list of home decor that we love, with a glimpse of some of the pieces that I stare at day in and day out as I am one of the lucky people who gets to work from home right now (for those of you who are going into work, thank you for all that you are doing). 🙂 A lot of our pieces are super budget friendly or amazing gifts from family because, well, we’re young and we knew we would be moving around a lot, but they have served us so well! Below is a look at some of our favorite pieces, and for anything I couldn’t find everything online, I tried to link similar versions:
How are you doing? In this time of uncertainty and fear, I know we are all feeling worn down, confused and scared. Also, for those who are serving on the front lines in so many different capacities from medicine to transportation to hospitality, we know that you are all weary beyond compare and can’t thank you enough for all that you have done and will continue to do.
With that being said, I personally am feeling pretty overwhelmed in a lot of ways, while also trying to steer my thoughts and prayers toward positivity and to focus on trusting in the Lord more than ever during this time. However, I am also feeling quite uninspired and torn at the moment, as a part of me is wanting to post travel guides and makeup tutorials to help bring some lightness and distraction to your feeds and timelines, while another part of me is acutely aware that some people are currently undergoing massive financial blows and are doing all that they can to make it through the next day and make ends meet. Moreover, I know there is an ever-pressing feeling of frustration and sadness for so many people about not being able to celebrate Easter in-person with their loved ones this coming weekend.
As such, I needed to take a step back today and just talk about what is on my heart, while also wanting to know more about what is on your hearts and minds as well. Over the past few days, I’ve seen a bunch of posts on social media about the “10 most unpopular opinions” people have about things that the majority of society are perceived to like. While quite a few of these posts have made me laugh, I thought I would try a bit of a positive spin on this topic and discuss some things that I am the most excited about doing once things go back to as normal as they possibly can to show a bit of solidarity:
HUGS – I am not much of a touchy feely person, but I love me a good hug, especially when greeting someone. While I can hug Tyler (which I am extremely grateful for), I can’t wait to hug family and friends as soon as possible.
Going out to eat – I know we’ve all seen the memes, but I truly have established that my #1 hobby is going out to eat or to get drinks. I can’t wait to be able to laugh, catch up and hang out with all of my favorite people over appetizers and Moscow Mules.
Browsing a store – The TJ Maxx and Target withdrawals are REAL y’all. There is something so relaxing to me about browsing a store on my own, even if I don’t buy anything, so I’m ready to have that time back, as silly as it sounds.
Movie theaters – Tyler and I love going to the movies, so we can’t wait to go in, get us some Sour Patch Kids, Bunch-a-Crunch, and a White Cherry Icee, then settle in to see a good movie.
Travel, of any kind – Y’all, I want to get on an airplane so badly. I can’t wait to visit both places that I love and new places that I’ve wanted to discover, with a fresh appreciation for how blessed we are to be able to travel.
Nail and hair salons – My nails are a catastrophe after having to finally soak off my dip polish and need professional intervention ASAP. Also, this blonde hair of mine is going to need some serious maintenance from my hair angel, Rende Baker, once all things are said and done.
What are you looking forward to the most post-quarantine? And what are you doing to keep yourselves preoccupied? I’ve personally got a sloth coloring book coming my way on Thursday that I couldn’t be more excited about if I tried!
Keep your chins up, lean into Him, and please let me know if there is anything that I can be praying about for you.
Fredericksburg, Texas, is my favorite weekend getaway location, especially with my favorite ladies. We’ve made the trip twice in the past couple of years, and it just gets better and better every time! Below is a look at the favorite places we have been to so far in this lovely little Hill Country wine town:
Chicago, Illinois, is my favorite big city in the U.S. After spending 3 days in the city in May of last year with my amazing best friend, Amanda, this city has forever found a place inside my heart. Below is a look at where we stayed, what we ate, and what we experienced:
Architectural River Cruise: The cruise is a DREAM and is a must for your trip to Chicago. You learn so much about the city in such a short amount of time and experience spectacular view after spectacular view.
After walking past the Centennial Fountain, we head to the Navy Pier, then hop a ride to Wrigley Field and catch the last few innings of the game at the Brickhouse Tavern. From Wrigley, we head to Eataly, which was easily one of the best meal experiences I have ever had. The Aperol Spritzes were divine, the pasta beyond compare, and the dessert bar was the perfect icing on the cake. Following dinner, we headed to the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, Al Capone’s old haunt, which was so neat, but packed to the brim on a Saturday night (make sure you have cash!).
Day 2: We’re up early and ready to head to the Art Institute of Chicago as soon as it opens! We spent hours marveling at the incredible collection. It was, in my opinion, the best museum I have ever been to! (Sorry for the art spam, but I’m obviously obsessed!).
After the art institute, we headed to Giordano’s for a late lunch, then did some shopping on Michigan Avenue, with Stan’s Donuts & Coffee in hand. Before heading to the museum, we had checked out of The Drake and into the Palmer House hotel, so we went and dropped off our shopping bags, freshened up, then headed out for a night on the town. We wandered around the lobby to see all of the amazing history of the hotel, then Ubered to the J. Parker rooftop bar for appetizers and drinks.
Day 3: Our final day in the city! We head to open up the Field Museum, which was so, so cool and another amazing learning experience. We were lucky enough to see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year traveling exhibit from London’s Natural History Museum, which was 100% worth it and one of the best museum exhibits I have ever seen. If you ever have the chance to see this exhibit in any museum, we highly recommend!
We head to Cindy’s Rooftop after the Field Museum, where we saw some of the best views of the city while sipping our cocktails. We then wandered down to take our obligatory photos at The Bean, then walked down to the stunning Buckingham Fountain. Keeping up with the theme of getting our steps in, we walked back within the city center and headed to get some much deserved coffee and sweets at Goddess and the Baker before grabbing our bags and heading to the airport.
We also received these recommendations from some local friends that we made on what to do the next time we were in town: