Spring is quickly approaching, and I couldn’t be happier! The season brings some of my favorite clothes, and it feels like such a good time to shop for warm weather items, without being already worn down from the Alabama heat!

I often get asked about what I’m wearing at the time, or trends I’m into, so I thought it would be fun to out together a little spring wish list for ya’ll! These are some things I love and am interested in picking up or copying, from some of my favorite stores.

Because I get asked this a lot too, I wanted to share some of my favorite places to shop. Many of these products are from those places, but here’s a list of my top stores: TJ Maxx, Madewell, Forever 21, ASOS, Free People, Nordstrom Rack, Target, and H&M.

Enjoy, and happy spring shopping!

Products mentioned

1. Madewell High-Rise Denim Shorts: Button-Front Edition 

2. Vince Camuto Wide Lace Up Leather Espadrilles

3. AE Next Level Seamless High-Waisted Jegging Crop

4. Bed Stu Somalia Platform Sandal 

5. Elodie Ruffle Sleeve Striped Print Shirt

6. Free People Moab Jumper

7. Madewell Bandana 

8. Punto Vita Made In Italy Leather Oval Bead Belt 

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If you’re planning a wedding, you know your registry is one of the most fun things to think about.

We haven’t officially registered yet (fingers crossed we’re going tomorrow!) but we have a list of things we know we want so the process can go a little bit smoother and we don’t go sticker crazy with things we don’t need or have room for. We’re planning on registering at Bed Bath and Beyond, Macy’s, and either William Sonoma or Amazon. Haven’t quite nailed down that third one!

Here is a list of the top things I can’t wait to register for! If you’ve gotten married recently, what did you register for and what has ended up being the most useful thing you received?

Southern Style Diaries, registry, Ivana Hrynkiw1. AERIN Sea Blue Floral Salad Plates

Blue and white china is my FAVORITE china, and I think it looks great in a fancy situation or for a casual dinner party. There is so much you can do with this set and these colors, and I think it would look so pretty in our cabinets! Now, I just need a glass cabinet for them…

2. FirsTime Shiplap Wall Clock in White

The farmhouse obsession strikes again! I love shiplap, especially in this color combination. Wall clocks are the perfect combination of function and style– I have one in the kitchen, and we used to have a big one in the dining room, but it fell and we never replaced it. I think this would look so cute over our dining room table, and go so well with the wood detail on those walls!

3. Lucky Brand Embroidered Ikat Comforter Set

Bedding is something we always need (hello, sleeping with two dogs) and this cute Lucky Brand set is one of my favorites. I love white bedding, but the black detailing on this set won’t show as much dirt as a plain white comforter would. Also, the pattern is interesting without being overwhelming… which means I don’t have to redecorate our entire room to make this work!

4. OXO Stainless Steel Salad Spinner

This is the one thing my fiance wanted on our registry, so I don’t think I have much choice about including it. But, these are super helpful for mixing together a big salad and dressing so you can stick it in the fridge and eat on it for several days.

5. Fiesta Dancing Lady Cookie Jar

Ya’ll already know I have a Fiesta obsession, which you can read more about here. But, I don’t have this fancy cookie jar and I think I need it in my life. To be honest, I’m not sure if this is a typical registry item… but I’m going for it.

6. Magnolia Home Lucca Area Rug in Terracotta/Ivory

The line is by Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper, and the farmhouse look is my obsession, so this is a perfect line for me! I love rugs like this, especially to give a pop of character to an otherwise plain room. I want this rug in our bedroom underneath the bed, and I’m already visualizing it with the bedding mentioned above! Plus, I think most women will be excited to see her line on our registry so they can browse for themselves, too.

7. Philips TurboStar Digital Air Fryer

No words for this one. I have wanted one of these since I saw Living With Landyn (check out her blog if you never have!) use it in her Instagram stories, because she literally took everything in her kitchen and fried it. Being a southern girl, ya’ll know I love fried everrrrything, so this is exactly the kitchen gadget I need. Fried okra and fried Oreos are first on my list.
This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own
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I love podcasts.

I love turning on a podcast when I’m doing my makeup, or getting dressed, because it’s the perfect time to completely zone into a show without sacrificing time I already have trouble finding. Also, I love listening to podcasts in the car because it makes time go by so fast– especially on long trips!

I put together a list of my top 6 podcast favorites so you can check out what I’m listening to, or if you’re a podcast newbie, you can find your new favorite. Happy listening!

Southern Style Diaries, podcasts, Ivana Hrynkiw

Heaven’s Gate

Heaven’s Gate was not what I expected it to be. The show is about a cult, named Heaven’s Gate, where dozens of members committed a mass suicide in the 1990s in a California mansion. The podcast starts at the beginning, with background on the founders of the cult and how they started the group. Host Glynn Washington, who actually grew up in a cult environment, shares some of his experiences too… and it’s fascinating to hear the story through his perspective. Washington talks to members who left the group before the suicide, including some who still believe in the group’s ideals. It was weird, sometimes creepy, and fascinating all at the same time. If you’re into dark movies and shows (hello, me) then you will love this!

The Influencer Podcast

This podcast comes from Julie Solomon, the Goddess of internet marketing and blogging. While I am in no way caught up in this show, I love taking an hour or two out of my week to hear her advice and tips on how to successfully grow in this ever-changing, sometimes scary, and amazing thing we call the internet. The show is done in an interview format with a new guest each week, and I love Julie’s interview tactics. She always asks the questions I want to hear and has a great knack for picking up on key takeaway points from each week. I always learn something during this podcast and I love being able to implement it in my website immediately! Even if you aren’t a blogger or influencer, you can see the passion Julie has and how carefully she studies the field.

Serial

As a crime reporter myself, of course I got sucked into Serial. The format is a little different than I expected it to be, but each episode hooked me even more. Season one of the show is about a man named Adnan, who was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend in 1999… but, he may have got a raw deal. Season two is about Bowe Bergdahl, which I thought I wouldn’t like, but I ended up loving. Both seasons are fast-paced but also give you every detail you need, and each lets you make up your mind on what you think really happened.

Up and Vanished

This podcast took over my life! It’s about an murder in Georgia that’s been unsolved for more than a decade, and the case is allegedly the largest in GBI history. It’s a long show, but host Payne Lindsey talks to everyone involved in the case from start to finish. He talks about tons of crazy theories, and his investigation actually led to an arrest in the case last year. Now, the case is unfolding in real time, which is fascinating. Again, it’s looooong, but I was interested in every episode. I hope Payne updates the show as the alleged killer goes through the court process! He’s got a new podcast now, called Atlanta Monster, but I am not as into it as I was UAV.

A Killing on the Cape

If you liked Serial, you’ll love A Killing on the Cape. The podcast is from ABC’s 20/20 team, and is about a murder in the early 2000s on Cape Cod. The victim was a single mom, who was also a fashion writer for top magazines like W and Vogue. After years of investigating, authorities arrest a man and convict him of her murder. The story is intriguing and heartbreaking, and truth be told I have more questions now than I did before listening. That being said, it’s worth it.

Becoming Fearless

Similar to The Influencer podcast, Becoming Fearless is the Style Collective podcast by SC creator Annie Spano. You don’t have to be a SC member to access the show though! It’s also in interview format, and features Annie talking to marketers, influencers, motivational speakers, and more. While it is a lot like Julie Solomon’s show, I think Annie’s focuses a little less on the business aspect of entrepreneurship and more on the mindset. She talks a lot about spiritual wellbeing, meditation, and how to get in the right head space for starting a blog or an online business. I get a lot of inspiration from hearing Annie’s conversations, and I think you will too.

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

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Hi ya’ll!

I recently filmed a video on my first impressions of the new Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation. There were some highs and some lows, but you’ll see in the video! Overall, I love the finish of this product, I just need to see if I can get past the blending issues. If you want an update, just holler and I’ll tell you my thoughts! 

Please let me know if you like this video and want to see more like this!

P.S. I’m still getting my feet wet on the tutorial videos, so please helpful comments and suggestions!

Till next time—

Ivana

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If you’re planning a wedding, I feel you. It’s hard work, and it’s stressful…but, it’s also the most fun thing in the world!

I’m planning my own wedding, with the help of amazing family and friends. I have done SO much research about topics from flowers to linens to chairs, and I also joined a wedding library in town that gives me helpful tips and recommends popular vendors to me. While I still have a little way to go, I feel like I have gotten so much done in a relatively short amount of time!

To be truthful though, I had no idea what I was getting into when I started working on my dream wedding. Here are my top tips for planning your own wedding, so you can hopefully learn from my mistakes and have a stress-free experience! The most important thing to remember is to breathe, and have fun!

Happy planning!

wedding, wedding planning, Southern Style Diaries, Ivana Hrynkiw

Get organized immediately

Start off on the right foot, and keep everything organized from day one. Immediately after getting engaged, you’ll start paying more attention to weddings you attend or see in magazines, and chances are there will either be something you love and want to copy, or something you want to avoid. You’ll need a place to keep all of that so you can look back at it, and also add more important documents for safe keeping! My wedding planning binder is from the ladies of Southern Weddings, and it’s precious. It comes with the cutest little tips and tricks, and reminds you to enjoy the planning process! It also has plenty of room to add in pages (with page protectors… I learned the hard way!) or stuff folders in, which you can tell I took full advantage of.

Know the basics (of what you want)

I don’t mean you have to know what color your bridesmaids dresses will be or what your date is. But, I do think it’s wise to have a basic idea of what you want your day to be like— outside or inside? Church or a swanky ballroom or a rustic barn? Winter, or summer? Things like this will make it easier to envision your day, and then your details can start to come together in your head. Everything is so beautiful, it can really sway brides when looking at venues if you don;t have any idea what you want. Things will change along the process, but if you go ahead and know the basics your life will be a lot easier.

Don’t panic when you get your first round of prices

Learn from my mistakes— stuff is expensive. You *think* you understand that, but when you write everything down for your budget, suddenly you are hyperventilating and that’s not going to help anything! Be aware of the price ranges that wedding things cost. You can easily find this online or in a wedding planning book if you purchase one— just for a general idea, reception venues can be $3000 and up, while food can range around $20-30 a person. And don’t forget your tables, chairs, servers, bartenders, etc… it adds up fast, so be mentally prepared.

Pinterest is your best friend

If you already have a wedding Pinterest board you started way before you even thought getting married was in the near future, I suggest either deleting things that you can’t truly see yourself doing/wearing OR starting a new board. When I got engaged and got a general idea of what I wanted (see #x above) I realized that all the poufy dress and the flower walls were beautiful, but they just weren’t for my dream day. Having some kind of vision board, if you don’t use Pinterest, is insanely helpful to both you and your vendors! I use Pinterest and I cut out pictures from magazines and keep them in my binder.

Get help of a trusted family member, friend, or wedding planner

I’m lucky enough to have an awesome mom, aunt, cousin, and mother-in-law, along with tons of friends, that have helped me tremendously through this process. They’ve kept this whole thing moving! I’m pretty convinced no one has it better than me in that department, but if you do, use them to your advantage! Most of your family members will want to help you in some way, so it will help you and make them feel good if you give them a job. Also, this isn’t their first rodeo, so they know better than I do. If you don’t have any family/friends that you want to help you, get a wedding planner! It will take so much work and stress off your plate.

Venue first, then everything else

Venue, venue, venue! Do not book anything else until you do this. Sometimes certain venues require you to use certain vendors– so if you love the venue, you have to play by their rules. Don’t get into a situation where you’ve committed to a vendor and have to back out, or you have everything except your dream venue and it’s booked on your date because you didn’t start looking soon enough. Just save yourself the trouble and trust me, book it first.

Do everything earlier than you think you need to

I know someone will disagree with me on this, but I jumped ahead of the typical planning calendar guidelines by like two months. I am a person that needs to know details ASAP, and to me, there was no sense in waiting. Once I had the venue, I was excited to start looking into other vendors and getting them secured for my date. Sooner is better than later in my opinion, always. Plus, it’ll save you so much stress when you have your dress a year in advance, rather than running to every bridal store in one weekend trying to find the perfect gown.

You’re not going to buy the dress you think you want

I wanted dress A, and I ended up with dress Z. If you think you know exactly what you want, chances are you’re going to get it on and say, “eh,” and go back to the drawing board. All I’m saying is be open minded and don’t set your heart on something until you have it on your body!

Break tradition…or don’t.

Your mom, aunt, cousin, and sister all wore grandma’s wedding dress… but you want a Hayley Paige studded gown. Or everyone is very religious and got married in a church, but that’s just not your thing. Sit down and talk with your family, and explain to them your concerns. Just because everyone else did something does not mean you have to do it! You wedding is hopefully something you only do once, which brings me to my next point…

It’s YOUR day!

Remember that, and own it! Don’t be a brideszilla, but keep in mind that your opinion is the most important. It’s not selfish, its making sure that your day is what you want. I had to be told this several times, and stop putting everyone else’s feelings and wants in front of my own. And you know what? They were right. While I have kept everyone’s opinions in my head (and sided with 99% of them) I have had to make several calls that were different than what some people would have preferred. If you’re like me, you might feel bad in the moment… but that’s better than being disappointed on your wedding day.

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If there’s one thing I love, it’s the feeling of a good exfoliator. Maybe it’s just me, but I go crazy over the feeling of using something grainy, and getting out of the shower to have baby-soft skin. Enter, Lush’s scrubee.

This little bee-looking butter bar is an absolute miracle. Its made of ground almonds and coconut shell, with honey, cocoa and shea butters. Scrubee— like a honeybee— has alternating stripes. With scrubee, one stripe is filled with the exfoliators and the next with the moisturizing butters. That means you get the perfect mix of sloughing off your dead skin, while making sure you’re still hydrated and you feel super silky.

I use it mine the shower, and I actually leave it in the shower without any issues of it melting. I rub the flat side of Scrubee across my legs and arms, and then rinse it off pretty quickly. When I get out of the shower, I gently dry those areas without rubbing off all the moisturizing butter. While I usually put lotion on top of those areas anyway, I totally don’t have to because they are so soft.

And use it for tanning!

Also, I have very pale skin and am a HUGE advocate of self tanner. For reference, I use Fake Bake Flawless Darker spray

Before I apply it, I like to exfoliate my skin so my tan is more even and sticks better. The scrubee bar is so perfect for this, and it’s become a total necessity for me before I tan! I definitely think my tan lasts longer when I apply it to clean, exfoliated skin.

I love Lush (read about my face mask from the brand), and scrubee has become one of my favorite products there! If you try scrubee let me know how you like it, and let me know if you want to hear more about all of my favorite Lush products!

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own

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Some things never change, including beauty products. The things I have found that are my all-time favorites are things I use daily, and that I never have the urge to change. I often switch foundations, eye makeup, etc… but, some things are too good to stop using.

That’s what I wanted to talk about today and share with ya’ll– the products I use every single day, ones I KNOW live up to the hype, and I can definitely say I cannot stop using!

Do you have an all-time beauty favorite? Have you tried any of mine? Let me know! 

Coty Airspun Translucent Powder

This powder is amazing, and is truly a beauty staple. It’s been around since the beginning of time, and it works better than any product I have ever tried. I reach for it over my Laura Mercier Undereye Brightening Powder! A little goes a long way with this powder— just take a little bit in the cap on a stippling brush and dab it under your eyes, and your concealer is totally set. I like to use a little on my nose, chin, and forehead too to keep the shine away.

Some people are turned off by the smell (its like your grandma, seriously) but I strangely adore it. Also, one jar of this powder will probably last you until you die… so that’s a plus.

 

Find this in WalMart or drugstores, or order it on Amazon for $6.99

Tarte Shape Tape Concealer

Y’all know I am hopelessly addicted to this product. It’s about as full coverage as a concealer can get, minus slapping paint on your face (and there have been days where I wanted to do just that). A little goes a long way, so a few swipes under your eye can brighten your whole face… and your the tube lasts much longer than concealers you have to cake on. This stuff covers all my dark, purple-ish circles, doesn’t noticeably crease, and blends so well. There is literally nothing wrong with it, hence why I’ve used it every day for a year. Why fix what’s not broken, am I right?

 

Shape Tape is an Ulta exclusive. Buy it here for $27

Wet n Wild Makeup Brushes

I know I mention these all the time, but they are so good and so affordable! I have all of the Wet n’ Wild brushes that came out a little over a year ago, and I use them all. My face favorites are the small stippling brush and the blush brush; my eye favorites are the crease brush and the large flat brush. These brushes hold their shape— even after washing— and evenly distribute product without being streaky, like a lot of drugstore brushes can be. I will admit to you, I stocked up on these and have several backups in case they ever stop making them…

You can check out the full collection here, but you can find most all of the brushes in drugstores like Walgreens and CVS. And they start at 99 cents!

Ponds Cold Cream Cleanser

I first started using this after I saw it featured on the Today show as one of the oldest beauty products still being sold— and actually still being used by millions. I figured if it’s been around that long, it had to be good… I wasn’t wrong. This cleanser is AMAZING!

In the morning, I wash my face with a scrub. At night I use this to take off my makeup, cleanse, and moisturize my skin. It makes my nighttime routine so much easier by using this one product, instead of reaching for three, and it allows me to hop into bed so much faster! This cream has made a visible difference in the texture and feel of my skin since I started using it— my skin looks so much more hydrated and healthy! Bonus… it’s just about $8 for the big jar.

Try it out and you won’t regret it! Just $7.99 on Amazon Prime!

The Ordinary “Buffet” Multi-Technology Peptide Serum

I was never really into skincare (like I should be) until this product. This changed the game for me! Everything in this beauty line is so affordable, I had a hard time choosing which serum to go with. A super helpful employee at Ricky’s in NYC recommended this one to me, and I’m hooked!

Named the “buffet” because it’s got a little of everything, this little guy contains 11 skin-friendly amino acids and multiple hyaluronic acid complexes. Its perfect for a skincare newbie, and gets you a head start on anti-aging, too! Since I started using this, my skin has been so much more even, my pores a little smaller, and overall tighter. Must have!

Sephora now carries The Ordinary! Buy it here for $14.80

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

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I don’t know about you, but I’m into the embroidery trend.

I admit, I have bought way too many embroidered items this season… but I don’t regret any of them! One of my favorite purchases is these embroidered booties from Karl Lagerfeld.  I. Am. Obsessed.

When I bought these, so many people were like, “but what will you wear them with?” The answer is everything. Literally, everything. I have worn these booties SO many times, and I’ve only had them two months! They are comfortable, the 3 inch heel is a perfect height, and I love the colors.

Here is one of my favorite outfits to pair my embroidered booties with. I hope this encourages you to buy shoes that you were a little worried about being “impractical,” because those are always the best kind.

Links to buy all products are underlined!

Southern Style Diaries, Southern Style, Ivana Hrynkiw, Ivana

This top is from last year’s fall collection at H&M, and I am regretting not buying it in the other two colors it came in. It is so soft, I could sleep in it! I love the funnel neck detail, and it’s the perfect length for tucking in. (See a similar one here)

Mitri always likes to do a few shots playing around with the focus. And actually, sometimes they turn out pretty cool.

Zara’s jeans are some of my favorites, and this pair is evidence. They came hole-y, but they have definitely gained more holes throughout the years. (Similar jeans linked here)

& for those who have asked before, I use the Beachwaver Pro Curling Iron to do my hair. It’s expensive, but worth every penny. I can do my whole head in about 8 minutes, and the waves last into day two! (See it here)

That’s it! It’s so easy to rock the embroidered trend. I hope you use my look for inspiration, and let me know if you do so I can see. As always, thanks to my future husband for the photos. He knows the way to my heart! (Buy my booties here)

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

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It can be so challenging to eat well during the holidays.
I know when I am with my family and off my daily schedule, I want to eat like a trash can. And sometimes I do, but I wanted to give ya’ll 10 quick tips on how to stay healthy and stay (mostly!) on track with your eating during the holiday season.

I hope these tips help you! If you need motivation, feel free to reach out and we can do this together… in between Christmas cookies.

Southern Style Diaries

(Yes, my Christmas cooking tips all stem from Paula Deen!)

-Eat a fiber-filled, balanced breakfast. Those cinnamon rolls are fine once or twice, but try to start your day out with good carbs (like a banana nut muffin) and yogurt, or an egg sandwich and a fruit cup.

-Guzzle that water! If you’re like me and love a good glass of eggnog (or two), you need to make sure you’re staying hydrated and getting your electrolytes. A Gatorade is also good to add in, especially if you feel like you went a little too hard at the ugly sweater party.

-Divide your plate. At buffet-style gatherings, try to fill half your plate with veggies. Use the other two quarters each for protein and starchy dishes. Also, try not to up your serving size more than you would at a typical dinner at home.

-Speaking of veggies, try to bring a good veggie plate to your gatherings, so everyone can have a healthier option. My mom always makes a veggie and cheese board shaped like a tree for Christmas morning, and it’s gone within the hour! Check that out on my Pinterest here.

-Have a dessert rule. Try not to go for the sweets at every event– stop by the dessert table at one party, and skip it at the next.

-Eat your lean meats! Lean chicken and turkey are better options than a pork chop or a steak smothered in butter.

-And get in your protein if you aren’t into meat. Peanut butter is my go to for a good shot of protein if I need something fast between meals!

-Pre-made meals are your friend. I typically eat prepped meals throughout the week anyway, but it’s SO helpful during the holiday season, because things are always much busier than normal and it’s hard to find a healthy option. For lunch, they can be a lifesaver–either at work or doing last minute Christmas shopping.

-While I know I said this post was about eating well, I have to add this in: Get in exercise when you can! It’s really tough to make time for the gym when you have parties and family obligations, but everyone can fit in some type of exercise. Take a walk with your baby cousins, opt for the stairs at the mall, lift the heavy presents and carry them to the car. Anything helps, especially when you’re probably consuming more food and being more sedentary than normal. If you want some of my ideas for quick exercises you can do at home, click here.

-Don’t beat yourself up over a binge. It’s the holidays, for the Lord’s sake. Have a peppermint cupcake.

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I love the holiday season for so many reasons, and one of my favorite things is shopping for that perfect gift for my friends and family! Nowadays, there are so many products shoved in our faces that sometimes it’s tough to figure out what the best gifts really are. I put together a gift guide of some of my favorite things to get for Christmas, so maybe it will help you figure out what to buy that special someone (or to ask Santa for!)

 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping Season to all, and to all a good night! 

Shop the gift guide

1- Mou Eskimo Sheepskin Winter Boot

I am slightly obsessed with these boots! The only thing I don’t love is the price point, so I’m working to find dupes on Amazon or a gently used pair on eBay. But, in a perfect world, I would have ordered these babies yesterday. A great gift for any woman is always a good pair of fuzzy slippers or comfy boots!

2- InkJoy Pens & Cambridge Notebooks
There is nothing I need more in life, or love, more than pens and a cute notebook to write in! Both my day job and this blog require lots of writing, and I am a person that would much rather write things down on paper than electronically.

3- Apple Watch

Truth, I asked my daddy for a gold Apple Watch with a pink band… I have a problem. But, everyone and their mother has an iWatch these days! I know, because my mom has one.

4- Nike Pro Warm Dri-FIT Leggings

Most of my days consist of going to work, to the gym, and home. If its not work clothes or gym clothes, I don’t need it! I have several pairs of exercise shorts, but I only have a few pairs of leggings that I rotate during the winter months for my workouts. I’m sure my trainers and my workout friends would really appreciate a few new, clean leggings.

5- Target’s Animal Print Design Faux Fur Throw

Every year I ask for a fuzzy blanket. I have never regretted it, and she won’t either.

6- Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette

I have fought the crowd so hard on this palette, but I’m close to breaking. It is just SO gorgeous! And, word on the street is, the colors are beautifully pigmented and have minimal fallout. Every beauty guru either wants this product, or already has it. Ya’ll know I love a good bargain though, and I have heard this Wet N Wild version in “Rose in the Air” is a complete dupe!

7- Copper Measuring Spoons

I have copper pots, an ice bucket, measuring cups, pans, you name it. They look beautiful hanging on my kitchen wall, and they’re useful too! The only thing I’m missing is copper measuring spoons… meaning I may have to buy these for myself.

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliate links, meaning I could earn a percentage from your purchase.

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