Tuesday, August 20, 2019

books | what I read on vacation

links for my kimono & bathing suit

I've been meaning to get this post up for a minute now, but as you know I've been a little preoccupied (read about that here). Better late than never I always say! I hadn't been in a reading mood heading into vaca-I was more in a reading slump, but there's something about the beach and the Carolina room at the house that gets me right in the mood to cozy up with a good book :) Here's the 7 I devoured while I was away!

Brief Summary: At age twenty-one, Auburn Reed has already lost everything important to her. In her fight to rebuild her shattered life, she has her goals in sight and there is no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry. 

For once, Auburn takes a chance and puts her heart in control, only to discover that Owen is keeping a major secret from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

To save their relationship, all Owen needs to do is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin.

My thoughts: Well duhhhh, I loved this book. It had everything a Colleen book has it kicked off my vacation the right way. I was a mess on the beach finishing this one, so just a fair warning. 5 star read for me! 

Brief Summary: Meth, crank, ice, glass, fire, tina, chalk, crystal or crystal meth.
Whatever you call it, it’s the same thing. Addictive.

Drugs ruin people’s lives. 
I should know, they destroyed mine. 
I’m Hannah and I got hooked on ice. What started as a trickle, ended with a tsunami washing everything away; my family, my life.
I’m not sure you’re ready to read my story; it’s real and confronting. 
Open the book, read the pages and see how easy it is for anyone to get addicted. 
Ice affects all types of people. It doesn’t discriminate. 
It will SCREW. YOU. UP.

*Drug abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse and emotional conditioning. Recommended for 16+ Contains distressing content. It will cause you anger, frustration and you'll want to hurt some characters.

My thoughts: This book deals with some real heavy shit. There were times I wish it was written a little better and a little more adult (which sounds strange cause the topic of drugs is very adult.) There are parts of this story that you will want to reach in the book and hurt the main character to shake some sense in her...this was a 3.5 star read for me.

Brief Summary: Solène Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of an art gallery in Los Angeles, is reluctant to take her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favorite boy band. But since her divorce, she’s more eager than ever to be close to Isabelle. The last thing Solène expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon. But Hayes Campbell is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate. That he is all of twenty years old further complicates things. 
What begins as a series of clandestine trysts quickly evolves into a passionate and genuine relationship. It is a journey that spans continents as Solène and Hayes navigate each other’s worlds: from stadium tours to international art fairs to secluded hideaways in Paris and Miami. For Solène, it is a reclaiming of self, as well as a rediscovery of happiness and love. When Solène and Hayes’ romance becomes a viral sensation, and both she and her daughter become the target of rabid fans and an insatiable media, Solène must face how her romantic life has impacted the lives of those she cares about most.

My thoughts: This is BY FAR the best book I've read ALL YEAR. This was the BEACH read for me.  I stumbled upon it and I have never been happier with a random purchase. If you read the summary then you know that this book is my dream (ahem, there's a certain member of *nsync that this could happen with...JT boo, looking at you) but man, this is a top 5 fave for sure.

Brief Summary: Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines, when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.

Poignant and powerful, Without Merit explores the layers of lies that tie a family together and the power of love and truth.

My thoughts: My second Colleen book of the trip & it pains me to say this, but I didn't love this book like I wanted to. It was well written, but I was missing that Colleen factor. I think it was just cause I had read another one 4 days prior. I know there are a ton of Without Merit Stans out there and unfortunately, I'm not on that train. For me this was 4 stars, cause Colleen just writes so freaking well...!

Brief Summary: Sometimes at night, I wake up and stare at the heart for hours. I think of how I collected each piece from the beach, how I glued it all together into one big sculpture. I wonder if Connor realizes what it means, that he'll always have a piece of me no matter what happens. Each piece of glass is another piece of myself that I gave to him. It's too bad I didn't keep any pieces for myself. At the beginning of senior year, Ann was a smiling, straight-A student and track star with friends and a future. Then she met a haunted young man named Connor. Only she can heal his emotional scars; only he could make her feel so loved - and needed. Ann can't recall the pivotal moment it all changed, when she surrendered everything to be with him, but by graduation, her life has become a dangerous high wire act. Just one mistake could trigger Connor's rage, a senseless storm of cruel words and violence damaging everything - and everyone - in its path. This evocative slideshow of flashbacks reveals a heartbreaking story of love gone terribly wrong.

My thoughts: I found this because I googled books like Colleen Hoover (what can I say, I have a type!) And this book was gut wrenching at times, you felt this story. It hurt and I just wanted to get to the ending so I could see how it ended (& hoped it ended how I wanted it to). For me this was another 4 star read. 

Brief Summary: It's been one year since the brutal murder of her older sister, Zoë, and fifteen-year-old Echo is still reeling from the aftermath. Her parents are numb, her friends are moving on, and the awkward start to her freshman year proves she'll never live up to her sister's memory. Until Zoë's former boyfriend Marc shows up with Zoë's diary.
At first Echo's not interested, doubting there's anything in there she doesn't already know. But when curiosity prevails, she starts reading, becoming so immersed in her sister's secret world, their lives begin to blur, forcing Echo to uncover the truth behind Zoë's life so that she can start to rebuild her own.
Prepare to laugh your heart out and cry your eyes out in this highly addictive tale as Alyson Noël's Saving Zoë tackles the complicated relationship between two sisters and shows how the bond can endure long after one of them is gone.

My thoughts: I needed a mystery and man did this one deliver. I had a hunch where this one was going and I was right, but it was still a great read. It will be a movie later on this year (or maybe next year!), but either way I can't wait to see the real life sisters play Echo and Zoe. Def a 4 star read for me! 

Brief Summary: Brooklyn wanted two things.
Her own bakery.
And Nate Riley.

Opening her own business was the easy part.
Trying to forget about Nate when he disappeared was the hard part.

Now, years later, she's running her bakery while engaged to the ideal man.

Then the unimaginable happens.

She is left shattered once more and vows to never love again.

An unexpected meeting with Nate has him back in her life, wanting a second chance.

He'll do anything to win her back.
But Nate must confront his demons before he sends Brooklyn's life into another tailspin.

Can they reconnect and overcome their obstacles to be together?

If there is such a thing as destiny, does it win at all costs?

My thoughts: I love these types of books...the will they get back together type books. One, you know there will be drama & two, you know there will be some sort of hot make up sex along the way...this book delivers the steaminess that I love in a beach read. For me it was 4 stars for sure!

 What do you like to read by the pool or on the beach? Let's chat in the comments and share with me what you have loved this summer so I can add it to my to be read list,

ps-all these links are affiliate links, so I'll get a small piece of the pie! Which means that I will smile really big and you will be helping me pay for Buggy's v expensive vet bills and we will love you forever and ever! 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

life update | the big (small) C

I've been going back and forth about if I wanted to post this or not, but I ultimately decided it would be the easiest way to share what's going on with Zoey-my Pomeranian pup. If you've been around my blogging career for a while then you'll remember when Zoey aka Buggy took over the blog on occasion and did her own posts (they were so fun and I loved pretending to see things from her side!) But I guess to get caught up with her health I should start from the beginning...I got Zoey on Tuesday Nov 29th, 2011. It was raining and I was having a bad day (I worked in retail and it was just really busy...) & the guy I was dating was also having a tough day, so we decided what makes you feel better then going to see puppies? Well, there was a little black ball of fluff there and about 30 minutes  after walking in the door, she was my ball of fluff. 

I had cats my whole life, but now here I was the mom of a 2 month old, 2 pound puppy and I quickly became a helicopter mom in every sense of the word! She didn't spend a minute alone for the first 6 weeks with us, we took her everywhere and once I did start leaving her home alone, I had very specific instructions for the tvs in all rooms-Disney Channel, volume 14. If you babysat her, I gave you a page-front & back of what needed to be done, what she liked of the treats, food, toys I sent her with, what could be wrong if she cried, etc. What I'm trying to make very clear is that she isn't just a dog to me, she is my baby, my child, my everything. 

Last Friday, I took her to the vet for a cough that had just developed and they found after an x-ray that she has pneumonia. But the visit didn't end with that diagnosis, they felt some swelling in her lymph nodes and pulled some samples from them. After waiting over the weekend, on Tuesday I got a call that the results were in and my baby has cancer in two spots. One in her mammary gland and the other is in her lymph node by her hip. 

We have an appointment with an oncologist on Monday to see what our next steps are and the course of action should be. I'm completely distraught, was caught off guard, and am heartbroken that this is happening to the soul I love most. She has gotten me through the hardest of times and has been my very best friend day in and day out. I only want to give her the very best and I'll do whatever in my power that I can to make sure she is comfortable. I was meant to be her mom-she's my spirit animal from sleeping in and not wanting to be bothered when she's asleep to wanting to be the center of attention. Pupaccinos & chicken nuggets the second she is feeling better, but for now, please keep my baby in your prayers & thoughts and send her all the positive vibes you can,

Thursday, August 8, 2019

fashion | easing into fall

I know, I know I don't like pushing the seasons, but trust me, it's time to start thinking about you fall wardrobe. And there's a new boutique in town (literally for my local babes, well soon, v soon!) that is hooking us up with the CUTEST pieces for fall && 15% off :) Here's my picks to ease into fall and be sure to use code BLONDE15 whenever you purchase from Hudson Square Boutique to save you some $$$!

these are a STAPLE for the colder months and will make you look & feel like a badass

I live for anything long and this looks like the comfiest thing ever which would be perfect to throw over a dress instead of a jacket on those chilly mornings.

cheetah is a neutral in my opinion and is always right on your feet! these booties are perfect!

this is lightweight that you could pair it with shorts and get it a lot of wear out of it. I picked this one up!

I love a sweater dress in the fall with strappy sandals or cute wedges and then it's an easy transition when it gets colder pop on some booties/boots. 

What's your fave way to ease into fall fashion? Do you just dive right in or dip your toe in like I do? To be honest, I tend to think it's colder than it is and end up sweating mid day, but luckily my office is like 54 degrees year round-hello sweater weather ;) Let's chat your fave looks in the comments and don't forget to check out Hudson Square Boutique and use code BLONDE15 for 15% every purchase!

ps-these are affiliate links and I'll receive a small commission if you use them, but that really just means me love you long time! 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Beach Do's & Don'ts

Wooooo, today I'm officially off to vacation and couldn't be more happy to spend the next 9 days on the beach, so I figured I'd share some of my tips and tricks to make your beach days even better. Let's dive right in cause you want to soak up all the sun!

Don't wait to put on your first round of sunscreen until you hit the beach. Instead do it prior to putting on your swimmie. I'm talking fully naked, head to toe, put on the sunscreen everywhere. This way you have no excuse for missing any spots. 

Do opt for a sunscreen that is as clean as you can get it and if it happens to have a shimmer in it which will basically give you a an all over highlight-I bought this one...then call it a win!

Don't skip on face masks cause you think your face needs a break. Instead opt for a soothing face mask to help heal your skin at night and get it prepped for the next day ahead. Tip; pop it in the fridge to cool off before you apply for an extra treat!

Do keep your lip balm with SPF (your lippies need sun protection too!) in the cooler while you're out at the beach it will stay nice and cool for your touch ups. 

Don't let an overcast day steer you away...you can get some of the best color even when the sun isn't out, but that doesn't mean you get to not wear sunblock...see don't number 1!

Do have a game plan if you love to read at the beach like me! Here's what I plan on tackling (which is no where near my impressive book a day on my last vaca) 

ps-these are links were I will get a very small commish if you use them to purchase, but that means I'll love you forever and ever!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

beauty | night routine

Bedtime is my favorite time. Come on, you knew that right? I don't necessarily mean the prep of getting ready for bed, I mean sleeping, haha! But I've been keeping with a night routine for sometime now, so I feel confident in sharing with you.

I told you all about how I finally learned how to properly wash my face (yes, there is an incorrect way!) and I'm proud to say that I've been actually doing this on the daily. Okay, I can't sit here and say that I'm at a perfect 60/60, but I've been doing better than ever before so I actually have a routine and that's something I can be proud of.

Alright enough chatting...here it is!

Okay, first up I put my hair back using a head wrap/headband. Next, I wet my face lightly and then I go in with the Pre-cleanser from Savor Beauty. I like to drop 3-4 drops of this in my hand then warm it up and then work in small circles going in an upward motion the opposite way of the hair growth. I make sure I get my lashes too!

Next, I wet my hands and pop on the Tula cleanser. Working it in my hands and then onto my face the same way I did with the pre-cleanse.

Now I rinse my face and pat dry. Then it's time for 3-4 drops of the Nourish from Savor. I put a little bit around my nostrils and then warm up the rest in my hands then pat that into my skin. You never want to rub into your skin, but pat as that will evenly distribute the product.

After that I take a teeny bit of the Hydrate onto my ring finger tips and pat that into my under eye area-think where you put highlight!

Last, I take a dime size of the Youth to the People Dream Mask into my palms and rub them together and then press this all over my face and neck.

And then it's off to dreamland for me! What's your night routine like? I find that even on the nights I don't run through all the steps I have to put on the dream mask cause it's just my fave! What's your must have night time product? Let's chat in the comments,

ps-some of these links could get me a v small commish, but that only means I will love you forev-eva. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Blog Post Roundup | July Goals

Happy July, pretty babes! I love July...well duh, I'm a July baby so of course I do. && this is the month that I typically go away on vacation, so it's a month that I look forward to all year. I wanted to round up last month's posts in case you missed any and share what I have in mind for July!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Starbs Summer Drink Guide!

One of my fave things to find out about people is their Starbucks orders. I really feel like it says a lot about a person what they are ordering when they need a pick me up of any sorts. Which I'm not sure what that says about me cause lately I order something different every single time I go (even without doing research for this post!) 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

try-on | 4th of July Target Roundup!

I'll admit I'm not really one for patriotic wear, but there's something pretty cute about seeing it all over IG that I decided to see what was out there...and needless to say, Target didn't disappoint!  So, I decided to try on a bunch of finds and give you babes some inspo for your bbq or partays for America's bday cause we need to celebrate her.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Collab | Summer Wish List

Some of my fave blogger things (in no particular order...) collabs, summer, wish lists, my blogger gfrans...and guess what? This post has ALL OF THEM-inset the praying hand or the "YASSS QUEEN" hand emojis here! 

Teamed up with my girl Brooke to give you our summer wish lists to kick off the new season and to be honest, I live for putting together a wish list. I find it so satisfying to be able to see all the things I want in one place, haha ;) wink wink-my bday is also in less than a month, so shop-able links are below!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Budget Challenge | One Week Vacation Under $300

I'm LOVING putting together these challenge type posts (they are a lot of work!), but they are so fun to come up with and exacute. Jen and I actually shot this one over a month ago, but I just didn't have a chance to sit down to put it together...buttttt here we are! && YAY! I feel like it's hitting the bloggyblog at the right time cause vacation season is upon us (I'm hopeful that every one of you get the chance to get away!) Anyways, let's stop with the babbling and get on with the post...

We had gone back and forth with the theme of this post...5 or 7 days on a cruise? 7 days at a resort? Neither of us have ever done either, but we decided we would tackle a 7 day trip at a resort where you would be taking an adventure or two. We also decided to do a budget of $300, but could go over by $10 (so really it was a sliding scale between $290 - $310!)

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Beauty | Current Shower Routine

I really like routine posts either in blog post form or a YT vid form, so I decided I'm going to share my current shower routine with you cause what better way to get to know someone then jumping the shower with them, amiright?! 

First things first, I typically either pop on an exfoliant on my face or a mask on my face and then I jump in the hot shower. The thing about being a true layz girl is that you find ways to multitask, so I a mask before a shower that you can finish up or wash off when you get in there, is a great way to get something off that check list. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

where I've been && my June intentions

Woah, it's June! Idk about you, but May flew by...it was a weird month and I was all over the place. The weather was awful. It was cold and rainy for a majority of the month. And all in all, May ended up being really rough for me. Work was/is very busy and every day was a complete struggle. I didn't feel like myself at all. I had a lot of days that ended (or started) in tears. I would wake up just wanting to skip the day cause I was already defeated. Most days I got home and just went right into bed. Not that I was tired or more tired than usual, I just wanted to close my eyes. I know reading this you're probably thinking "umm, Kayla, you sound depressed." and maybe I was, but I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Not that work has gotten any slower or anything has really changed, but as the weather has started to even out, so has my mood. Now it may have something to do with the fact that I'm having my first period in 84 days, but who really knows. I finally don't feel like crying every single second and I'm going to hold onto this feeling as long as I can. 

Okay, now that we have all of that heavy stuff out of the way, let's talk about June! Here's what I'm putting into the universe for this new month. 

Try to turn my attitude around quickly...this can be a big struggle for me. I'm very sarcastic, so that can tend to get the best of me, but I will give it my all.

Blog every Tuesday and Thursday.

Plan out July's content.

Be consistent on IG-post every Sunday thru Friday

Get back into reading-I cannot believe I'm about to share this with you, but I haven't picked up a book in AGES. Nothing holds my attention...

Put myself out there for a local collaboration or two...I have a few in mind, but I just need to pull the trigger. 


What's on your list of goals or intentions for June? Did you have a rough May? I know a lot of people were feeling blah last month-especially my local babes-the weather plays a big role in your mood! Let's chat in the comments,

*ps-if you shop my links, I get a small comish && I'll love you forevereva. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

skincare | a night with Savor Beauty

I had the privilege of going to Savor Beauty Spa in Saugerties this past Sunday night for an intimate night where I got to test out their whole line, meet other local lady bosses, eat a delicious farm to table dinner, and learn how to correctly wash my face! (which who actually knew there was a WRONG way to do it! I'll get into that later tho!) 

Robin (babytooth to all you OG readers) was also invited so we hit the road and got to the cutest little spa. Upon arriving we were literally welcomed with open arms by Angela the owner and Sabrina the party planner, who were so sweet and couldn't wait for us to get the night started. Angela wanted us to all introduce ourselves and give a little bit of our backgrounds, so we could then get down to the facial part of the evening. Angela and her team taught us SO much about our skin-which they all said we should treat like expensive silk. Something I was so intrigued by was that in our 20s, our skin exfoliates itself every 14 days. In our 30s, its every 30 days and then in our 40s its every 45 days...which is why exfoliating is v important to keep your skin looking young and it's very best.

Face Washing;
Savor Beauty is a 5 step skincare line that is all natural and organic and literally made 45 minutes from my house.

0-pre cleanse; this will their makeup remover and will help get your skin ready to get it's cleanest.
1-cleanser; put this on right over the pre-cleanser for the full effect!
2-toner; Angela says she uses this throughout the day to keep her skin fresh and give it a boost!
3-serum; 2 to 3 drops in your fingers (think flat hand), rub them together to heat it up and then pat, pat away. 
4-hydrate; this day cream can be used at night, as well!
5-repair; you only need a teeny bit of this eye cream, put it on using your ring rings (they are the least strong of the fingers and have less pressure!), & don't put it too close to the eye-really on your cheekbones works-think where you hit your face with highlight.

*I linked all of the things that were recommended for my dry skin, but there are other options for different skin types as well!

How to properly wash your face;
Figure how which direction your facial hair grows, now wash in the opposite direction going in small directions. Use small amounts of products. Layering the products is best and ALWAYS pat them in, never rub. Patting allows them to be distributed evenly. You should always look like sunlight on the river, meaning if you move your face side to side, you should see a sheen on your skin. 

After we took off our amazing masks and applied steps 4 & 5, we were asked if we wanted to use the makeup area to get touch ups done by the in house makeup artist and all of us declined because we all felt so good in our glowing skin!

Dinner was a delish farm to table meal curtesy of Olsen & Company complete with a cashew cheese for Alane and I who don't eat cheese and let me tell you, it was the most delish thing ever. Dinner included hemp pasta, quinoa patties with jalapeño mayo, and roasted veggies. Dessert was a homemade salted caramel marshmallow & raspberry truffle from Lucky Chocolates w/ champagne, so you know I was a happy little camper. Between the tasty food and the flowing conversation, it felt like a dinner with a group of old girlfriends. 

Goodie Bag;

Now not only did we get to have this amazing experience and meal, but we left we a custom face mask, brush applicator, and whichever serum would work best for us! Mine of course was the raspberry which is perfect for my very dry skin. But I think the coolest goodie of all was the planner Angela designed for the next 90 days. It's a thoughtful gift for us to not only help us expand our beauty, but our minds as well. And Angela is not only beautiful and talent, but she is the ultimate lady entrepreneur who left me feeling so inspired! I cannot wait to head back to Savor Beauty & Spa for some treatments! Local babes; Savor Beauty & Spa has 3 locations; West Village, Upper West Side, Saugerties. & if Savor Beauty couldn't get any better, if you use their #cakefaceforacause they donate a skincare product to a local woman in need!

The other attendees;
Katrin-an amazing food photographer and author
Nina  & Alane-two photographers and creative eyes behind the local powerhouse And North
Robin-who is talking about fitness and nutrition on IG while keeping it real
& me who just wants to take a nap, but has promised to wash her face the right way at least once a day!

Did you know how to properly wash your face? I will honestly say that I haven't worn any makeup since the event because my skin is still GLOWING! What skincare do you love? Let's chat...