Thursday, May 18, 2017

a few of my favorites for spring

 despite the month of may being more than half over,
seattle has yet to experience much of a 'spring' season.
rain, rain, please go away!
if you are from the greater seattle area, or familiar with the
pacific northwest, you can likely relate to our weather woes. 
while we are accustomed to a slow start to spring,
this year is seemingly ridiculous (in real life:
i was freezing when these photos were taken).
we have had more rain this year than as far back 
as i can remember; temperatures in the low 50s are
less than ideal -- especially when all i want to do is wear
spring attire and enjoy the sunshine.
 a few weekends ago, three bloggers and i
packed our bags (many, many bags!)
 for a day trip to the skagit valley tulip festival; i shared my first 
outfit here. we met in the morning and drove an hour north 
of seattle to the infamous tulip fields. although the tulips were
nearing the end of their peak, we greatly enjoyed the vibrant
colors and gorgeous blooms!

we were fortunate to visit towards the end of the 
tulip season, as the groundskeepers were less strict about 
foot traffic in the fields. i did not recall this, but you are 
**technically** not supposed to walk between the rows,
as it can harm the tulips. we were very cautious, however,
 when taking our photos.
it's no secret that voluminous, bell sleeved tops
and dresses are prominent this spring. while i've
always been a bit of a hippie at heart (my mom often says 
i was born in the wrong era), i added
a few new bell sleeved dresses to my wardrobe.
other trends i am loving right now?
fringe (on clothing and accessories), chokers,
tropical prints, ruffles and all things 70s-inspired.
photos by jenn from hello rigby

dress: zara (exact here), bracelet: nordstrom rack,
boots: hunter gloss rain boots via nordstrom (short version here),
purse: steve madden via tj maxx, ring: forever 21

i picked up this floral print dress at zara
a few weeks ago (exact style linked above -- it's
very budget-friendly, too). it was fun and festive with my 
pink rain boots. i wore wedges with my previous outfit
and was rather unsteady on my feet, trekking through
gravel and mud. rain boots were a much better 
(and more practical) shoe choice.

what trends are you loving right now?
did you visit the tulip festival this year? my good 
friend and fellow blogger, ana luiza of 'northwest blonde'
is sharing a guide to the skagit valley tulip vestival on her blog.
stop by for tips on what to wear (including what to pack for 
your day trip), the best route to take and
dining options along the way!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

five tips to help you unwind

over the years, i have realized i have a
difficult time prioritizing self-care. sure, i enjoy
painting my nails (and getting frequent manicures!),
and i find writing therapeutic. i am also a skincare junkie,
so i often apply a face mask before bed. these activities,
in addition to keeping active by going for walks or
visiting the gym, help minimize stress.
however, simply relaxing at home is
 not something i often do. between working,
babysitting, striving to keep active, and of course,
juggling a blog, i rarely have 'down time.'
there's always a family trying to squeeze in
a date night or a photo i simply must post to social media.
 i like to stay busy, but recently, i have made a goal for myself
to occasionally say 'no' to social engagements and 
work-related functions, and instead take that time for
myself; it hasn't been easy! 
i recently had the opportunity to attend a
glamorous, yet relaxing 'blogger pajama party,'
hosted by mattress firm and revolution pr.
i must admit, it was far more relaxing than the
slumber parties i recall from my middle school days --
pizza and french fries, nail painting and staying
up far too late watching the olsen twins --
those were the days.

this pajama party included complimentary facials
and/or hand massages by the estheticians at skoah,
braids galore by the talented stylists at gary manuel,
organic miniature donuts from mighty-o and a
presentation by a local dream interpreter. when preparing
to leave, i felt utterly relaxed and pampered! 
upon arriving, we were given cozy pajamas
to change into. i have a special place in my heart for
fuzzy and/or fleece pajama bottoms (particularly
pajamas with dachshunds). this sweatshirt, courtesy of
big feet pajama co, has quickly become a favorite!
much to our delight, our slumber party adventure was 
complete with tasty treats. we enjoyed miniature donuts and cupcakes 
(provided by trophy cupcakes). my sweet tooth was thrilled!
^^^ getting pampered spoiled ^^^

five tips to help you unwind:

1. before bed, pamper yourself
this is open to interpretation -- i enjoy washing my 
face with warm water, applying a face mask (if i start
the night-routine early enough!), and then applying a serum
and lotion to my face, and often, moroccan oil to my hair.
find a ritual or regimen that works best for you!

2. light a candle and/or drink a cup of tea
as you're winding down
i love valuspa candles, and my favorite 
tea as of late is celestial seasonings' 'sleepy time' herbal
tea. i drink a cup before brushing my teeth and
crawl into bed feeling warm and relaxed.

3. write down your thoughts in a journal
i know i am biased, as i find writing to be 
incredibly therapeutic. i often blog before bed 
(gotta finish that new content sometime, right?!). however,
writing down reflections or thoughts on your day
can be equally beneficial. not
a writer? i sometimes find it helpful to simply
(mentally) look back on my day.
4. stretch!
this may sound silly, but stretching your neck,
shoulders, arms and back can do wonders
for your body. taking a deep breath in, and then
exhaling deeply, can relieve stress that manifests
itself mentally and physically.

5. avoid screen time 30 minutes before bed
i am terrible at this! i constantly scroll through
blogs (and then instagram, pinterest, twitter 
and facebook) before finally saying, 'what am
i still doing awake?!' i am working to be better at putting
my phone away before crawling into bed and 
instead taking those last few minutes before sleep to
read and calm my mind (i set this goal a week ago,
so i will let you know how it goes!).

do you have any helpful relaxation tips?
i appreciate any advice! a very special thank you to 
revolution pr for inviting me to this unique and 
incredibly relaxing event!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

your (last minute) mother's day gift guide

  'mother's hold their children's hands 
for a short while, but their hearts forever.'

the weekend could not come soon enough!
i am eager to relax, catch up on sleep, enjoy more tacos
(it is still acceptable to celebrate cinco de mayo, right?)
and, of course, to spoil my mom on her special day.
i may or may not need to finish up my mother's day 
shopping, as this week month has gotten away from me.

if you're like me, you may (unfortunately) have 
procrastinated in picking out the perfect gift for mom. however, 
i have rounded up a few last minute gift ideas that are 
budget-friendly and sure to make mom feel loved. after all, 
mother's day is her day!

for the fashionista:
1. alex and ani 'i love you mom' expandable wire bracelet
 my mom and i are avid collectors of alex and ani
bracelets. worn individually or layered with other
pieces, these bracelets are a fun, meaningful way to
to commemorate travel, life's adventures and celebrate those 
we are closest with.

2. ellen degeneres 'langston' ballet flat
these 'love' striped flats are perfect for spring. mom can 
style them with her white denim, floral dresses or 
favorite pencil skirt for a chic, polished look.

3. 'love love' code charm necklace
this unique necklace is only legible when the wearer
gives it a spin! it is 14k-gold plated and will have
mom thinking of you every time she wears it.

for her everyday use:
4. charlotte tilbury 'instant glow' palette
this all-in-one palette instantly adds radiance 
to mom's skin. the palette includes an eye brightener, 
eye enhance and smoke, face bronzer, cheek swish, 
cheek pop and face highlighter 

5. scalloped faux leather tote
a large bag is imperative during the work week.
mine is typically packed with my wallet, book, water bottle,
cosmetic bag and lunch for commuting to and from work.
this adorable scalloped tote is large enough
to store mom's essentials.

6. glint metallic lightweight wrap
this lightweight, blush wrap (with a 1" fringe)
is trendy yet practical for layering up on those
chilly spring days. the metallic sheen adds a bit of glam
and can be worn over a denim jacket or with
all mom's favorite sweaters and dresses!

for the beauty lover:
7. give your mom a brighter smile with a customized teeth 
whitening kit from smile brilliant
i began using smile brilliant's teeth whitening trays 
before the holidays. past whitening systems have been
harsh and increased the sensitivity of my teeth.
smile brilliant is different! each kit includes whitening and
desensitizing gel. you can see my full review, including before
and after photos here. smile brilliant is graciously
offering $25 off your kit with the code 'diaryofthisgirl25.'

8. philosophy's 'amazing grace' gift set
i received my first amazing grace perfume as a gift 
earlier this year. the scent is fresh, feminine and 
will seemingly appeal to a variety of wearers (as giving
perfume can often feel risky). 

for the fit mom:
9. fitbit 'flex 2' wireless activity and sleep wristband
does your mom enjoy keeping active?
utilizing a fitbit is an excellent way to track daily 
steps, active minutes, water intake, sleep and more! this sleek, 
modern wristband can be worn to the office or at the gym.

10. brooks 'ghost 9' running shoes
it is no secret that i love brooks running shoes!
i have now gone through a few pairs and greatly
appreciate the support they offer my (aching) feet after
a run. the 'ghost 9' is available in a variety
of colors, depending on your mom's preference. keep
mom comfortable stride after stride.

11. bose 'soundsport' in-ear bluetooth headphones
i have to admit, i was initially skeptical of 
wireless, bluetooth headphones. what can i say, i
am a creature of habit. however, i received wireless
headphones as a christmas gift, and i will never go back!
they're incredibly convenient when on a walk, 
at the gym or to simply wear while doing chores at home.
the sound quality is far better than that of other
headphones i have used in the past.

have you finished your mother's day shopping?
how do you typically celebrate?
a very happy mother's day to my mom as well
as the other mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers
godmothers and dog mothers!