It’s no secret I’ve changed my ways when it comes to face makeup over the past year– I’m planning to write a post about that soon, but I converted to a light coverage kind of gal and ditched my old full-face, matte routine. But I think for the summer, most of us don’t want to wear our normal makeup and opt for something lighter or something with SPF.

Recently I ran to Ulta and picked up some new things for the season that I have been absolutely loving. I’ve been really leaning towards a light or no base, with bronzer and blush and something to give my skin a dewy effect. For eyes, I really have been loving a warm-toned look.

These products give me just that! Let me know if you try any of them and what you think.

Summer makeup products

Almay Smart Shade Skintone Matching Makeup

Ya’ll, I am shocked at how much I like this stuff. Its one of those products that comes out white with little grains, but it changes color when you rub it on. I rub it between my fingers for a few seconds until the color starts appearing, and then apply it directly to my face and blend with the warmth of my fingertips to make sure the color is just right. There’s several different shades that adjust, and I went with the lightest. 

I LOVE the way this cream feels on my face, and I love it has an SPF. Its the perfect beach makeup for me! It also isn’t very dewy, so if you’re looking for something like that just use a dewy primer or spray over it and you’re good to go. Perfect natural face makeup when you just want a little help and protection for your skin! (Buy it here)

Australian Wellness Co. Mango and Papaya Lip Balm

I picked this up at a CVS at the beach on a whim (it was in those darned things by the cash register, they always get me!) and I have been in love ever since. It goes on really white and thick, so I use it before bed or first thing in the morning before I do my makeup. After it has time to soak into your lips, you will feel the difference. I don’t think there’s an overwhelming smell or taste, despite the claims on the bottle. It’s pleasant, but definitely not too much.

PSA the applicator on mine had a little plastic bump on it, so I’ve just been applying it to the back of my hand and then using my finger to rub it into my lips. (Can’t find it online, but I love this brand too)

Sun Bum Tinted Lip Balm

Can you tell I have a slight lip balm addiction? This stuff is great because unlike the other one, you can wear it like a lipstick during the day. It smells AMAZING, tastes good (don’t ask) and has a color that wears like a light lipstick. And, it’s got SPF! Lips are one area, like the tops of your feet and your ears, that usually don’t get sun protection. Anytime you can remember to protect those areas and actually have a product that makes you forget you’re helping your skin, it’s a winner. 

I have the color Sunset Cove and Sand Bar. You can pick these up at Ulta or online!(Buy it here) 

Revlon Volumazing Mascara

This is an incredibly underrated mascara, in my opinion. It’s a really lightweight and easy to remove formula, which is awesome, but it stays put all day even in the sweaty summer days down south. It gives you that thick, flirty lash look and is more volumizing than lengthening, but I’m completely down with that. If you’re looking for a new drugstore mascara, check this guy out. (Buy it here)

Colourpop Brow Boss

I am usually NOT a thin brow pencil kind of girl- my usual go to is Benefit Goof Proof. I ordered this on a whim because it was $5 and at first I wasn’t crazy about it… but I started using it, along with a little brow gel (Archery from Soap and Glory is my fave) and I love the way it looks! I use the gel first, and then fill in any bald areas with this little guy, concentrating on the front and the arch. I love the thick look this process gives my brows! With a light, summer makeup, I think full brows are a must. And God knows I do not naturally have those. (Buy it here)

Summer makeup products, Naked Heat petite palette

Urban Decay Naked Petite Heat

The internet made me do it. I’ve seen this palette since it came out last year and I have always liked it, but I didn’t ever bite the $29 bullet and buy it. Well, that day came and I am completely smitten. I was a little worried about the limited looks 5 shades could give, but it’s actually surprised me in the best way possible. There is a great browbone/highlight color, a neutral for the lid, two great outer corner or crease colors, and a color I can use as a liner. Shockingly, I have been reaching for it everyday and haven’t gotten tired of it! 

I also love how this little guy has a big mirror, and its perfect for travel. I’m already planning for it to be the one shadow I take with me to the Bahamas next month! (Buy it here)

Pacifica Alight Multi-mineral BB Cream

This is another product I bought on a whim (are you seeing a pattern here?) and I’m surprised I actually like. It’s also another white-turn-nude formula, but maybe a little less versatile than the Almay shades. This product doesn’t actually give you any coverage or color to your skin really, but acts as a dewy cream that makes you look like you have a Victoria’s Secret model skin. I recently used this with a little of my Petite Heat eyeshadow, some strong brows, and my tinted Sun Bum balm for family dinner after a day at the pool and it was such a perfect look! It isn’t irritating to my skin or covering up my face, but rather giving a little healthy glow to look a little less tired than I usually am.

I am curious to see if this lays well under makeup— if so, it would be the best primer! (Buy it here)

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I’m not usually a huge LOFT person, but I have occasionally found some really good finds there. Especially when they have awesome sales! I recently saw they were having a 40 percent off sale & I thought I should check it out.

So I did, and found some really great pieces! Here are the items I bought, plus two not pictured that I ordered.

LOFT romper

Floral romper

I ordered a simple black high-neck tank and a long sleeve, chambray type dress shirt with a subtle polka dot print. Both are SO SO soft and both so versatile!

Yellow shorts/ black tank (old from Free People)

Everything I got is precious, but I have to say I think the romper and the basic black tank are my favorites. And I’ve already worn most everything I got!

LOFT shorts and shirt

Yellow shorts/ floral blouse

Do you like shopping at LOFT? Or are you a more trendy shopping kind of girl? Let me know where I should try!



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Red Dress is one of my favorite places to shop. No, I’m not sponsored by them or paid to say that, it just truly is one of my top places to find adorable, cute, and trendy pieces. Everything I have ordered from them is top-notch quality (kind of surprising for the prices, if I’m being honest) and I loooooove that they have a full-refund policy if your pieces don’t fit. I hate places that only let you return for store credit, especially when it’s an online store where you can’t try before you buy! That’s definitely one of the top reasons I buy from Red Dress again and again.

Here are some things I’ve bought lately from Red Dress! Some I kept, some I sent back for fit reasons, but there was nothing that was “bad” by any means.

Let me know if ya’ll try shopping at Red Dress and what you think of it!

Radius of Radiance Dress & 2. Castaway to Somewhere Dress

Both of these got returned. Not because I didn’t love the look or because they weren’t made well, just because the fit didn’t work for me. With the Radius dress, it was too small and also just didn’t flatter my body type. I’m 5’7″ and have an athletic build and this was definitely made for someone more petite. If you fit that bill, this is a precious little dress! Castaway was also precious, but way too short for me. If you are tall, again this may not work for you unless you’re looking for a swim coverup.

3. Hey Gorgeous Light Blue Multi Maxi Dress

This one hasn’t hit my doorstep yet but my gosh I am so excited. I was on the waitlist for this guy and I jumped on it as soon as I got the restock email. I bought the small and I know it’s going to be great for dinner dates or outdoor, summer-night parties.

4. The Perfect One Khaki Round Bag

I got this as a Mother’s Day present for my mom and I know she’s going to love it. It’s so cute and lightweight, I’ve had to stop myself from using it before I give it to her!

5. Weekends in the Hamptons Mint Multi Bikini Top & Bottoms

This bathing suit is gorgeous, and I wanted it to work so badly. Sadly, this was just a little too small for me! I could have returned for the large, but I wasn’t sure if the bottoms would work or not. If you are petite, this is a great pick. Every bathing suit they have though is adorable!

Red Dress maxi dress
Such a fun wedding & the best dress for a beach event!

6. Make It Magical Maxi Dress in Sweet Surprise

UGH why can’t I wear this dress every single day? I love it so much. I bought the medium and it’s perfect. I got so many compliments when I wore this to a recent beach wedding and I definitely already have plans to wear it to another reception coming up. It’s the best color for summer and the low cut top isn’t as revealing as I thought it would be. Sure, its low– but I definitely didn’t feel uncomfortable wearing it around my high school friends and their moms. This might be my favorite purchase of the site!

7. Be My Date Dress in Olive

I got this in the olive color and I love it so much. I bought the medium, but I def could have used the small… but it’s so cute, I don’t think it really matters. The material is silky and feels so expensive, and I love the smocked waistline that you can adjust to what works best for your waist/hips. It’s also a great length for this long-torso gal! I am planning to wear this to an upcoming rehearsal dinner and probably a (different) wedding too.

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It’s transition season ya’ll, and you know what that means in Alabama. It’s sweater and shorts season.

While this season doesn’t last long here (we typically move from winter into summer within a week), I still love this time of year. Its perfect weather to sit outside, the mosquitoes aren’t out, and you don’t sweat your face off.

Sweater and shorts outfit for spring.
Shorts (similar)/ Sweater (similar)/ Bag/ Name necklace/ Earrings (similar)

I loved these denim shorts last year and they’re already in my rotation again this year. They’re Joe’s Jeans from TJ Maxx, but here is a similar option from the brand. I think they’re the perfect length, which can be so hard to find!

This sweater is from Three Dots and I can’t find the exact one, but there’s a lookalike at Forever 21.

Also, ya’ll know I love me a good pair of statement earrings, and these are no exception. They are also from TJs, but Red Dress has some cute white earring options. Name necklace is one of my new faves from the Sis Kiss, and the other is my name in Arabic all the way from the Middle East.

Happy Spring!

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own.
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I recently had a pretty big trash bag full of makeup products- both empty, expired, or simply ones I didn’t care for. I thought it would be fun to list the things I’m tossing for whatever reason and tell ya’ll what I thought about them! I love trying new beauty products, so I think it’s definitely proof that something is awesome if I plan to buy it again.

Let me know if you have tried any of these products and if your verdict was the same as mine! (Links for everything is listed in the name of the product)

Will repurchase ASAP

Neutrogena SkinClearing concealer– Y’all, I adore this stuff. The color is a little dark for me, but I make it work because I love that this product allows me to cover my blemishes but still treat them with salicylic acid while wearing makeup! If you’ve ever used a spot treatment, you know makeup does not layer over it well. I adore this concealer and have used it for years.

Maybelline Dream Cushion foundation– Y’all. This foundation is the perfect light-coverage foundation for girls looking to get ready on the go, or those who want just a little bit of makeup for a natural day. I love this stuff and have used it as my “get up and run” makeup for as long as I’ve had it. I can pat this on in my car mirror with a sponge or with the little pad it comes with and throw on some mascara, and be ready to go.

Beauty products I'm keeping


Maybelline Fit Me concealer– While Shape Tape is my favorite concealer at the moment, Fit Me is my all time favorite. It’s definitely thinner than Shape Tape but you get great coverage and it is super hydrating without looking oily. I will buy this again and again and never look back.

Eco Tools makeup sponge– The ONLY dupe for a beauty blender that I use. This guy is the truth!

Maybelline Brow Precise Fiber Volumizer– I know there’s a lot of Maybelline on here, but for good reason. I always liked a pencil brow product until this guy— it’s like a fiber mascara for your brows! The color is perfect for me, and I love how thick my brows look with just a few swipes of this. The only thing with this product is that you’re not going to get a very neat, Instagram-looking brow, but if you’re okay with messy brows then this is for you.

Maybelline The Rocket mascara– My ride or die mascara since 2012, I don’t even want to know how many tubes of this I’ve gone through. It’s embarrassing. This is truly the best first-coat mascara on the planet and I will buy it until you bury me.

Won’t rush to repurchase

Rimmel Stay Matte powder– This stuff is fine for a powder when you’re doing your makeup, but it’s not awesome for touch ups later in the day. It works, but I think there are better powders that doesn’t make your skin look patchy and your makeup separated.

Soap and Glory One Heck of a Blot primer– I heard several Youtubers rave about this product, but I never could make it work. Every time I use it, my pores look huge and my foundation slides off my face. Not a good look, but maybe this is better for someone with a different skin type.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint– I love the formula of this and I think it’s a great product. But the color doesn’t match my skin really well, especially when I am not self tanned. If you have a little deeper or more warm-toned skin than me and want a summery foundation, this is a great choice.

Beauty products that I'm throwing away

LA Girl Pro Powder in banana– Again, I heard people rave about this product. I have never been able to make yellow-toned powders work for me— again I think it’s my coloring, because they make my face look sallow and dull. Also, baking my under eye area is something that just doesn’t work at all for me! I know this is the main point of this powder, so I knew I should toss it because I will never use it again.

L’Oréal Infallible stick foundation– While I adore both liquid foundations in the Infallible line (and the powder) this stick formula didn’t work for me. I tried applying it so many different ways, but each time the finish was cakey and the product quickly separated in my T- Zone. Not for me.

This post was not sponsored; all opinions are my own

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I did something I tell ya’ll ALL THE TIME not to do, so I felt like I should come clean.

I weighed myself and then was hard on myself for the number I didn’t like staring back at me.

I know, I know. I say constantly— and I know to be true— that weighing yourself on your home scale doesn’t give you a full picture. When I stated working out seriously I gained weight, and I was okay with that. And, I tell ya’ll to be okay with that too.

But I wasn’t okay with the number the other day, and I was upset at myself. I wallowed around for an hour about that number. Soon though, I remembered something. I remembered I can break a wooden board with my kick. I can get out of choke holds and I know how to throw someone to the ground. My body is strong and capable.

Maybe it’s not 100 pounds. But why does that matter anyway?

I am strong, I am healthy, and overall I am happy with the way my body looks. Those three little numbers on the screen below me shouldn’t make me want to throw all that way.

This was something I wanted to share to show that while I always want to be as body positive as I KNOW I should be, sometimes I have setbacks– and I’m okay with that. But when I, 9 days out of 10, practice self love and self care, I am happy with my body and I don’t even have the temptation to get upset over a number.

And you shouldn’t either. But if you do, don’t beat yourself up about it. Cry a little or wallow in your misery, but in an hour you pick yourself up and remember, you are capable of so much more than that number can show.

In 2019, let’s stand together against criticizing our bodies and body shaming. Let’s stand for pushing our bodies to do their best, and thanking them for keeping us going.

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Last week we talked about graduation gifts, now it’s time to talk graduation invitations. Some of ya’ll know I made my own wedding invites and I definitely do not regret it. They turned out exactly how I wanted! But, I think since graduation invites are not as elaborate or detailed, and you don’t need as many (ie expensive) as wedding paper suites, you can pretty much buy them exactly how you like and spend less than you would making them and have less of a headache.

Enter Basic Invite. Basic Invite is an online company that offers thousands of paper products, including business cards, stickers, and stationary. They specialize in invitations though, and they have some of the cutest grad invites I have ever seen.

Picture of Basic Invite graduation invitation

One really cool thing about Basic Invite that makes them different from some of the other paper companies out there is that they have nearly more than 180 color options for every element on your card, meaning you can completely personalize *everything* and make your invite look like YOU, and not just one picked off the shelf at Hobby Lobby. That’s the biggest thing for me— I want my invites to be as unique as I am, and Basic Invite lets you do that.

They also offer custom samples, so you can hold an actual printed sample of your invite before you put in your order. That way, you don’t order 100 and realize you don’t actually like the picture you chose.

Basic Invite also offers more than 40 colors of envelopes, and the envelopes are peel and seal (praise the LORD, you do not know how helpful this is unless you’ve licked 300 wedding invitations!). They also have an address service that works with a link you post on social media, so friends and family can directly input their address info and its saved to your account. The best part of this service is Basic Invite offers recipient address printing at NO COST on all card orders. What! 

Picture of Basic Invite graduation invitation

For my extra gals, like myself, they also have foil cards too in gold, silver, and rose gold.

If you want to try out Basic Invite for their medical assistant graduation invitations,save the date graduation invitations, invitations for college graduation, or anything else they offer, you can get 15% off with coupon code: 15FF51

If you get overwhelmed, some are my favorites are called The Tassel, Script Frame, and Gold Confetti Corners.

Thank me later! 

This post was sponsored; all opinions are my own.

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It’s that time of year! College graduation invites are coming in– and its match week for all my med school folks– and you’ve got to get shopping for the perfect gift for the lady in your life who is about to take her next step, whether that be a job, residency, a big move, or whatever.

I put together a list of some items at different price points that I think would be amazing college or higher ed graduation gifts for any woman in your life! Let me know what you think. What was your favorite graduation gift?

Gold Bangle: The Yearly Company is one of the coolest businesses I have found in a while. They make real gold bangles, designed to be given yearly or for special events like graduations, marriages, and babies. If you get your graduating girl one now, its so easy to just keep giving them when she hits major milestones! Built-in future gift ideas, and she will love stacking them.

Charm Bracelet: If you know me, you know I love Alex and Ani bracelets. They have the cutest college collection of charm bangles, so you can get your graduate a little piece of her alma mater to take with her wherever she goes. See them here.

Leather Tote: Your girl is about to be running all over the place, from job interviews to happy hour and everywhere in between. Give her a big tote bag that she can stuff her laptop, notebook, and a pair of flip flops in, and she will be a happy girl. Bonus if it comes with a wristlet attached! This is one of my favorite totes because it is designed to fit a MacBook, and it’s available in different colors! 

Bedding: Get her some cute pillows and bedding to make that college mattress look a little more adult. I love light colors with muted patterns!

Kitchenware: While really anything for the kitchen is a good gift, some real bowls and plates can really make the new college graduate feel like an adult. And look like one too when people come over! I love this baby blue set, and they are the perfect cereal size… which I ate a lot of at that time.

Books on how to kick a**: Books are one of the best gifts, especially for graduation. Girl Stop Apologizing is the new book by Rachel Hollis and is supposed to be amazing for women who want to learn how to fearlessly take on their goals and conquer them. Buy it here.

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own.

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There are so many products that claim to change your life, its hard to figure out which ones actually will without spending all your money. Don’t worry though- I’ve spent all my money on them so you don’t have to!

Here are my top gimmicky products that I have actually bought and loved, and I think are worth purchasing. Let me know your fave product like this!

Beachwaver Pro

Beachwaver Pro

I’m starting with the best, because I am hopelessly addicted to my Beachwaver. I actually got hooked when my mom bought one, but figured out pretty quickly her hair was too short to use it. Since then, I’ve basically turned into an infomercial for this product. (not sponsored, unfortunately. just obsessed)

If you’ve never heard of the Beachwaver, here’s the deal: You clip your hair in it like a normal curling iron and push a button, and it winds your hair around the wand for you. Leave it for a few seconds, release the clamp, and viola! Perfect curls that last for days. Theres a button for the left side of your head and one for the right, so the only real trick here is making sure you remember to switch the button for which side you’re on.

Seriously, this curling iron is life changing. I can curl my whole head in under 10 minutes. 10 minutes for all this hair! The heat is adjustable and even though I use it on the lowest setting, my curls last all day and turn into pretty waves for the next few days until I wash it. I know this guy is expensive, but its worth every penny.

Drain wig

This is a less sexy, I know, but hear me out. I have long hair, my husband has long hair… which means our drain is pretty much always clogged. And cleaning the drain out to me is the worst thing in the world. It’s disgusting. In order to avoid that, I have tried every single hair catcher on the market, and nothing has worked for us.

Until the drain wig. This little thing is awesome. You just suction part of it on your tub and thread the little metal chain into the drain. That’s it! Every week or so (honestly I just wait until the water begins pooling) you pull the chain out and wipe the hair off of it. I don’t know exactly how it works– I think its the little things that stick off the chain– but I don’t care. Its about $12 for a two pack so RUN to that Amazon link above.

Clarisonic

I recently had to buy a new Clarisonic brush because the one I had for the past 5 years or so finally bit the dust. But, when I realized my old one was ready for the trash can, I knew I had to get another! There really is no way to get your face as clean as you can with these brushes. I use it probably 3-5 times a week, because honestly I am just too lazy to use it twice a day… oh, the struggle.

I know there are other electric face cleansing brushes on the market, but I’ve only tried and and can vouch for the Clarisonic brand.

For reference, I had the Mia 2 or 3 brush before and this time I got the Mia Prima. The “deep pore” brush head is my favorite, and I am dying to try the sonic exfoliator attachment.

Benefit They’re Real Lipstick

This lipstick is one of those two-in-one things, where there is a liner portion attached to the main lipstick bullet. The liner area of the They’re Real lipstick is super small, so I find it pretty effective and I don’t think I’ll finish the tube with no lipstick and all liner. You have to learn how to position the product when you’re applying it, but once you do it is gold.

I love love love the color Bare Affair and every time I put it on, I wonder why I don’t wear it everyday. Isn’t that the best feeling?

Wet Brush

If you haven’t heard me talk about my Wet Brush, you don’t know me. I’ve gotten everyone in my life hooked on it! If you have long hair like me or hair that instantly tangles the second you get it wet, this product is for you. When you get out of the shower, or the pool, or wherever you are and your hair is wet, a normal brush can pull at your hair and cause breakage. But this brush is specifically designed for wet hair and doesn’t pull or break at all. Even for the most tender-headed people I know, they can use the Wet Brush totally pain-free! If you buy anything on this list, make it the Wet Brush.

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own.

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Being southern is something I have always associated with my identity, and not just where I live geographically.

And, that can surprise people.

I think it was something engrained in me when I was younger, especially by my mom and my grandmother. There was no sort of strict “rules” of how to act…  but my grandmother definitely thought I needed to know how to snap a green bean, and my mother made it clear there should be a set table and fresh flowers in a vase every time guests came over for dinner.

And no, none of us lost any of our teeth and we wore shoes (in public)…

Never show up to a party empty handed. Plant your bushes and trees in the winter for the best blooms. Grow your own herbs. Never touch up your lipstick at the table. There were basic lessons like that, but there was one TRULY non-negotiable rule.

And that is Southern women are strong.

I never forgot the stories my grandmother told me about growing up on a farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and the hard work it entailed, and the physical strength she earned from it. But what always made an impression on me– and still does– is when she told me about marrying my granddaddy and moving to Alabama, leaving everything she had ever known behind for this foreign place.

Now, that’s strength.

All of these seemingly small things, from the way Ma churned homemade ice cream on the fourth of July every year to my mom’s constant gardening, made such an impression on me and made me appreciate the place and the culture of where i grew up. There’s truly no place like the South, and like southern people. These ideals were so engrained in me throughout my life that I forget some people don’t quite realize how helpful the Farmer’s Almanac is, or that you can wear red lipstick to any event you want and yes, you can pull off overalls.

Some people have such an idea of what they think southern women are like, but I’ve found that just isn’t true. I have a career, I’m independent, and I am educated. But I also love to bake, I think cowboy boots go with everything, and some of the best food I have ever had was from a gas station in Selma.

You can be both. You can be all of these things. And to me, that’s what being a Southern woman is about– being strong enough to know that.

Writing this blog is a way for me to share these ideals I was so immersed in and share them with people who weren’t.  And more importantly, to show that southern ideals aren’t what many people think they are. It’s a modern take on those ways of life that I want to share.

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