• Gear,  Lifestyle,  Products I Love,  Shoes,  Skincare,  Style,  Work

    August Favorites

    Y’all. I had two big paychecks come in during the third week of August. The worst part about freelancing is the budgeting aspect. I can handle the crazy hours,and the walking into the unknown, but the budgeting sometimes gets to me. I worked ten days of an 11 day gig July 19th through 29th. I got my check on August 24th. It was a lovely paycheck that was worth the work and the wait. Couple that with my paycheck from my SIXTH! Belmont Welcome Week, I was able set a budget for September and October. That’s the hard part about freelancing. Two big checks come in at once, and I can’t just spend blindly. They’ve got to go toward paying bills. Oh, and then there’s the whole not get lazy and find some more gigs thing.
    Throughout the summer, I had focused on paying off hospital bills so I didn’t spend or set aside money for some things I needed or had my eye on. I set aside a portion of my paychecks to buy some things. Here are some of my recent purchases that I love!

    Tula Probiotic Skincare
    I found out about this brand when I read Krista’s post about her skincare routine. I’ve been following her for a long time, and I think we have really similar skin problems. Late last fall, I started developing acne along my chin and forehead. It was so bad, it actually hurt! I tried everything. When I was younger, I never had terrible acne- only the occasional zit. I cut out added sugar and stopped drinking Coke. I changed a lot of eating habits. I started working out more and washing my face immediately after. I even caved and bought Proactiv! (Side note: I could write an entire post about what it’s like to cancel Proactiv.) None of this worked. I finally bought this Neutrogena wash T on a whim because I saw that it had a much high concentration of benzoyl peroxide than Proactiv did! (Seriously, do not buy Proactiv!) It immediately helped my forehead and chin clear up, but I still had discoloration on my forehead. At my annual skin exam, I told my dermatologist nurse practitioner that we had to do something. I just couldn’t deal with this anymore. She recommended we try some topical creams. It’s made a huge difference. Seriously, if you’re having skin issues, go see a dermatologist! I wasted so much money on so many products when I could have put that money toward going to the dermatologist.
    ANYWAY. I’ve been on the lookout for a new face wash. When using a retinol cream, it was recommended that I don’t use a medicated face wash since it could irritate my skin and cause dryness. I had been using Fresh’s soy face cleanser, but I wasn’t 100% set on it. In Krista’s post, she mentioned that her facialist will only let her use Tula’s cleanser. I first bought the discovery kit two weeks ago, and I’ve already ordered the full size of the cleanser and Hydrating Day & Night Cream. These have already made a huge difference in my skin. You know that kinda slick but tight feeling some facial cleanser leave you with and you mistake it was clean? This cleanser doesn’t do that! The moisturizer is perfectly light, but not so light you feel like it’s not doing anything. I cannot recommend this brand enough. I’m definitely a loyal Tula customer now. If you’re interested in a monthly subscription, Tula’s brand website offers a monthly delivery that you can save 10% on.

    Adidas Cloudfoam QT Racer Shoes
    So I bought this awesome pair of Nikes a while back, and I’m lowkey obsessed with them. They’re super comfy to workout in, and the teal color of gorgeous. I wanted to buy another pair of them just to have a “pristine” pair. I know this is completely irrational. But you’re talking to the girl who just bought four more of the same shirt because she didn’t want to ruin the original one and not have another one. I don’t have a shopping problems, but when I find something I love, I go hard. I own ten of the same black shirt from Old Navy because I’m obsessed with them. Watchu gonna do?
    I’ve never considered myself a sneaker obsessed person though, not even a shoes obsessed person. I’ve always been a Nike girl; I’ve never owned another brand since I’ve been making attire decisions for myself. I swear by original Converse. They are my everyday go-to. The most expensive pairs of shoes I own are two pairs from the Red Wing Heritage line. DAMN. They were expensive, but I adore them. Throw in some classic heels, some summer sandals, a pair of cowboy boots, some dressy ankle boots, and Chacos, and that’s my shoe wardrobe. But I bought those stupid teal Nikes, and all of a sudden I wanted EVERY PAIR of sneakers. Tennis shoes is what I grew up calling them. WHATEVER. I want them ALL. Who am I?!
    So, I’ve been looking around for a pair of sneaks that aren’t my teal Nikes that I work out and walk the dog in and that aren’t my Chucks. Enter these Adidas shoes. I saw them on Academy’s website, and I thought “Hmm. These might be a good.” I oogled over them for a bit before biting the bullet, going to Academy, and buying the damn things. They’re incredibly comfy and really cute. They’re perfect for running around town. I legit haven’t owned Adidas shoes since I was little. I don’t even care about betraying Nike at this point.

    Pixel Eyewear
    When I graduated from Belmont, I had no idea I would fall totally in love with doing graphics for live events. I’ll always love doing audio, but man, there’s something special about helping shape visuals for live events. Over the last few years though, I’ve been staring at computers a lot more at work than when I was just doing audio. I’ve walked out of shows with heavy eyes and a headache just from staring at computers. I can handle the long or early hours and the not eating good meals at appropriate times. Looking at the monitors for so long started to bother me.
    Krista featured this company in a recent post, and I was super intrigued. I honestly thought the whole computer glasses thing was a little hokey and didn’t think they could help me. Krista is surrounded by monitors at work, and she said these glasses have been a game changer for her. Since my work situation is similar to hers in that there are SO MANY screens EVERYWHERE when I’m doing graphics, I figured why not try it.
    So I bought a pair. They’ve completely changed my life. I thought I would only use them at work, but I’ve used them pretty much any time I’ve been in front of my computer or TV. My eyes don’t feel as strained after a long show call, and I haven’t had any headaches. If you work a ton with computers, I cannot recommend these enough!

    Juice Beauty Moisturizer
    I’m really into finding safe, effective sunscreen every summer. It’s always an adventure going through EWG’s sunscreen guide. I’ve found a few awesome sunscreens that I really love, but I have struggled finding a SPF moisturizer that actually moisturizes AND protects my skin. I tried out this Juice Beauty oil free 30 SPF moisturizer and ended up liking it. When I first opened it and put it on my fingers, I was super skeptical. It looks like it has a light tint to it, but it goes on clear. It also doesn’t have a typical SPF moisturizer smell. It weirded me out a little in the beginning, but I’ve gotten used to it over the last few months. It’s been a great daily moisturizer. It doesn’t feel like it’s sliding off my face when I’m walking the dog or working out. It’s a bit hard to rub in so I find myself having to take my time and remind myself to not rub hard.

    Full disclosure: I haven’t put this on under any makeup other than eyeliner and mascara. I don’t think this would be the best moisturizer to use under foundation even if you used a primer too. I probably won’t put foundation or anything else on top of this. It’s almost too thick to be used under foundation. Generally when I wear a full face of makeup, I’m not going to be spending any time outside so I usually skip a SPF moisturizer anyway.
    If you try any of these, let me know!

  • Shoes,  Style

    That Time I Spent Way Too Much $$$ On A Pair Of Boots

    My closet is full of staples and not much more since I’m usually in jeans and a black shirt for work. Last fall, I had just stocked up on plain t-shirts, flannel, and socks (because #PayDay) when I found the most beautiful pair of shoes. Why spend gobs of money on blouses and skirts and dresses when SHOES.
    Quick story about Red Wing. My husband Dan took me along to the Red Wing store a few years ago when it was time to buy him new steel toe boots for work. Because who wants a 200 pound projector in a road case to roll over your foot? The service he experienced was top-notch. He spent $235 on a pair of work boots. Three or so years later, they’re going strong. I had (key word: HAD) never spent that much on a pair of shoes before, and I had a good laugh about it. I was so amused by this fact, I instagrammed the receipt. Fast forward a few year, and I spent well over this for my first pair of Red Wings.
    Dan told me about the Red Wing Heritage line some time in 2015, and I thought they were amazing. Of course I drooled over hand-crafted leather boots from a company that Dan swears by. But there were only men’s shoes, and I didn’t quite like the styles enough to buy a men’s size 5 for me. There was no women’s line until last September, but neither of us had any idea it had launched! Zip! Nada! No clue! Back in October, Dan needed to give his work boots a good oiling and wanted to look for some new non-steel toe work shoes. We made a quick trip to the Red Wing store in Smyrna, TN, and the first thing I saw when I walked in was the Lillian Boot in cognac. While Dan shopped and tried on a few pairs of shoes, I drooled over these boots. Every time he told me to try them on, I refused. I knew if I put them on, I’d fall in love with them. I was not about to fall in love with a shoe and not be able to walk out with it.
    Dan made his selection, and when we went to check out, he told the salesperson I wanted to try them on. She only had them in a 7.5. I was this close ** to being devastated. For western-style boots and booties, I typically wear a 7 or 6.5. I tried them on anyway, and they fit like a glove. I couldn’t walk out of the store without them. Many thanks to Dan for sharing a tiny portion of his recent bonus check to buy me these boots that’ll last forever.

    *photo from Red Wing Heritage
    These shoes are the most high-quality shoes I have ever purchased. They fit perfectly, and if you get this particular style, I would go up half a size. I’ve worn them with a regular-weight ankle sock and a light-weight, long boot sock. The thickness of these socks is perfect. Not too much that the leather squeezes me and not too little that my foot is sliding around. The heel height is perfect. And who can resist the smell of brand new leather? Red Wing will do repairs for a small fee, oil shoes for free, and give you new laces for free. The Lillians, along with many more in all the Red Wing lines, can be resoled too! If the craftsmanship is anything like Dan’s steel-toes, I will wear through the sole long before the leather AND that doesn’t even matter. Here’s to next 15 years with the most beautiful pair of booties ever.
    My favorite things to pair with them:
    Woolrich Flannel (Linked to the actual Woolrich site here, but if you have a Sam’s Club near you, you can get them for under $25 there!)
    Black Old Navy Tank
    FAVORITE Old Navy Jeans