What You Should Be Wearing This Spring

Spring is officially here even if the warmer temperatures might not be, at least they aren't here in the PNW.  However that means you still have a bit of time to build your spring wardrobe. If you love to be on trend then you will want to incorporate some of these pieces if you haven't already.

Shoulder Bearing Tops

No shoulder, one shoulder, cold shoulder options are everywhere. This is one of my least favorite trends because I have broad shoulders and don't like drawing attention to them. But if that isn't a concern for you, shoulder bearing tops can be fun. Wear one with a jacket or cardigan to work and you can go from the office to happy hour.

From left to right: Madewell Cold Shoulder Top, BP Off The Shoulder Top, AQUA Off The Shoulder Top, Willow & Clay Pompom Off The Shoulder Top, Madewell Pinstripe Off The Shoulder Top, BB Dakota Lace Off the Shoulder Top


Embroidery

I love embroidery. It can add pretty feminine detail to any piece. Of course you can also go bold with your embroidery and make a statement.

From left to right: Madewell Embroidered Top, Topshop Floral Top, Lucky Brand Mixed Media, Democracy Skinny-Fit Jean, Madewell High Waste Jean, Highline Collective Cropped Jean  


Ruffles

This is another one of my favorite trends. I've always worn them and will continue to do so even after the trend passes. I've already added a top with ruffles to my collection for my spring/summer capsule.

From left to right: Poplin Ruffle Tee, The Great Ruffle Tee, BP Ruffle Shirt, Clu Ruffled Top, J.Crew Ruffle Bib, J.Crew Ruffled Strip Top













Statement Earrings

Statement jewelry has been around for the past few seasons, this time it is the statement earring. There are some very big and very bold options available. While my earring wearing days are few and far between, this is a trend that can easily be worked into any wardrobe.

From left to right: Marchesa Drop Earrings, SUGARFIX Beaded Tassel Earrings, Kate Spade Color Crush Drop Earrings, Serefina Dangle Fringe Earrings, AQUA Medallion Tassel Drop Earring, Gold Tassel Drop Earrings 


Shoes

Personally I am loving all of the shoes trends this year. Some of the trends from when I was younger are coming back around. I will admit to being a little nostalgic. Lace ups, platforms, slip on sneakers, and embellished sandals are just a few trends you will be seeing this summer.

From left to right: Sam Edelman Gretchen Sandal, Audrina Platform Espadrille, Indigo Lace Up Sandal, Keds Triple Decker Metallic Sneakers, Keds Leather Slip On Sneakers, Keds Triple Vintage Crochet

Want to see some more of my spring and summer picks? Check out the widget in my sidebar!

What You Should Be Wearing This Spring

Another Year, Another Life Lately



So March is my birthday month. That makes this a special edition of my monthly Life Lately.

Birthday
So I don't want to be a total bummer, but my husband was not able to join me for my birthday dinner. Yes, that means I went to a restaurant by myself on my birthday. I'd like to say it didn't bother me, but I'd be lying. It stunk big time. I really need to find a babysitter for the boys that is a bit more dependable or flexible. Because my MIL is my free babysitter, I can only do things like have a birthday dinner or date night when it is convenient for her. They won't take both boys overnight so my option was to have a small window of time during the day so I could have a kid free birthday. Well it just so happens that during the small window of time I had for my birthday, my husband was not available. Go figure. I already don't get much time with him so it was a major disappointment. I can't reschedule either. Honestly I shouldn't be surprised this happened. I didn't really get a birthday last year either. Last year, my MIL took me to a children's museum with my toddler for my birthday. Anyway. A few hours without the kids was nice, but I really wanted to spend the day with my husband.

Reading
This shouldn't even be a category for me anymore. I've read nothing.

Watching
I've starting watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show at night while I work on blog stuff. I also watched the complete season of Timeless. It was really good. I'll be sad if it gets cancelled.

Kiddos
Help me! Please! I have a toddler with a bad attitude and I have a 9 month old that will be walking soon. The little is crawling all over the place and pulling up on everything. I do really love seeing the
boys start to play together. There is a bit of toy stealing that goes on and occasionally my oldest will get a bit too rough. But it is the cutest when my oldest gives his little brother tickles. Or when the little one crawls around trying to follow big brother.

Wifey Life
So I don't want to go into too much detail about it here, but things could be going better. My husband and I are having a hard time with our relationship right now. We both know we need to put some time in toward addressing some things, but neither of us actually has time.

Blog/Social Media
I am trying to actually post on the blog a bit more often than I did last month. I really don't have as much time as I need to put out 10-12 blog posts a month. This is particularly true since I am trying to incorporate more original photography. I can't exactly take the best photos in the middle of the night, when I have time away from little boys. But I also know, if I don't post I won't have any growth. Instagram has been growing pretty quickly since it is the easier platform to manage.  My Pinterest growth has been fairly stable but I want to grow it faster. If you have a secret to help with Pinterest growth, I'd love to here it.

Self
I realized I had been leaving a big part out of my life lately posts. Myself. Like a part where I really reflect on my life lately as a whole. Right now it is pretty obvious I have way too much stuff on my plate. I have so much work that needs to be done and not enough time to do it. On top of that, I haven't had time to do things I really enjoy like spending time with my husband, seeing new places, trying new restaurants, and trying new hobbies. My try a new thing every month has been helping with this a bit. This month I took a class on DIY bath products at Workshop. I spend a ton of money on bath time stuff at Lush, so it will be nice to learn how to make things myself. I shared bits of this experience in my Instagram Stories but I wasn't able to share as much as I would have liked. Mixing the ingredients and playing with essential oils made my hands too slippery to record what we were doing.

Stitch Fix For Plus Sized Women Is Here

As a mother of two kiddos, I don't have the time I need to go to the store and try on clothes. I do a lot of window shopping but rarely actually end up buying things. Actually most of my shopping these days is for the boys. So as soon as I heard Stitch Fix (affiliate link) was going to expand its services to include plus sizes, 14W-24W, I knew I had to try it. P.S This post contains affiliate links. I'd love it if you chose to sign up through my link. If you do, I will make a small commission, but there is no added cost to you.

So in case you didn't know Stitch Fix is an online retailer that delivers a personalized shopping experience. All you have to do is fill out the Stitch Fix Style Profile and the stylists will pick out five items for you. Best of all they take into account your style preferences, budget, and lifestyle! The profile form is super quick and easy, so don't let that deter you. It did ask about weight, size, and fit preferences. I really loved that it gave visuals for different styles. Other services I have tried don't do that. Here's an example of two styles I was able to rate:

Stitch Fix Style Profile

After filling out your profile, you select a delivery date. I really loved being able to do this because it meant I could schedule it for a time when I knew I would have money! Wouldn't stink to get a box and have to return items you love because it came after you paid rent but before your next paycheck? 

There is a $20 styling fee that is charged when your own personal stylist picks out the items for your box.  Which is really a steal because shipping charges can add up fast when you order online. What is extra nice is that if you make a purchase from your box, your $20 styling fee goes toward the purchase! 

When you get your box, it includes your five items, price information,  a card with styling suggestions, and a bag with prepaid postage so you can return the items you are not going to purchase. 

After you try on your items, you log in to your account and let them know which ones you are keeping and which you are returning. You also share your feedback on what you loved or didn't like about each piece. Once you make your selections, you are brought to a screen that looks like this:

Plus Size Stitch Fix Review


After making your selections, you put the items you are returning in the bag with the prepaid postage. Drop the bag off at your local USPS by the third business day. That's it! So easy. 

My First Fix

As a blogger, I do a lot of online shopping and window shopping. I was pretty sure I was going to get a box full of items I had already seen at Eloquii, Fashion to Figure, or Asos. When I opened my box, I was pleasantly surprised to find five items I had never seen before. On top of that, they had sent me five items that would have totally fit with my existing wardrobe. Granted, I was pretty specific in my profile about the colors and styles that I prefer. They also had access to my blog to learn more about my preferences. That being said, if your first Fix isn't awesome, it might take a couple of tries before your stylist starts to understand what you like and don't like. 

I'll share with you what I kept and returned as well as the reasons why.

41Hawthorn Abrianna Longsleeve Knit Cardigan: I almost sent this back. The color is one that I don't usually wear. I opted to keep it because it would pair well with white and black tops. It was also so soft. I mean like amazingly soft. 

Love& Legend Juliana Skinny Jean: These jeans almost got sent back without being tried on. The word skinny and the price tag scared me off a bit. Granted I don't think $78 is too much for a good pair of jeans but I didn't think these jeans were going to be for me. However, I am so glad that I decided to try them on. The fit was amazing. I also really love the color. 

Bay To Baubles Leila Reversible Station Necklace: I returned this for a couple of reasons. The first being that I don't wear a lot jewelry because I have children. Second, I didn't think the piece warranted the price.  I usually buy cheap jewelry or I buy designer.  This piece was more expensive than cheap jewelry I usually buy and not as nice as some designer pieces I own. 

Colette Kye Cold Shoulder Knit Top: I am not particularly crazy about the cold shoulder trend but I actually liked this top. The material was so super soft. Ultimately, I had to return it because it was too small and very see through. 

Skies Are Blue Brandan Pocket Detail Top: This top was really nice. It would pair well with some wine colored jeans I already own. I had to return this top because it was too tight across my broad shoulders. 

I've opted to receive a new Fix every other month because that is what works best for me. You can elect to get one more often or less often depending on your preference. 

If you have more questions, they have a really great FAQ on the website. Not plus sized? That's okay. Stitch Fix carries women's sizes  0-24W and men's sizes XS to XXL. Want to sign up for Stitch Fix? Sign up here.



Skin Care For Your Skin Type: Normal

Whenever I read a post about beauty on a blog, one of the first questions I have is about the author's skin type. If someone has super dry skin then I am less likely to take their advice because I have more combination skin. Whenever I try a product, I try to really think about how it works on my skin and then think about how that might translate to someone else that has a different skin type. Sometimes, I will even solicit the help of friends and family that have different skin types and skin concerns.

Because I know what it is like to want recommendations for my skin type,  I have decided to put together some recommendations for several common skin types. This first skin care guide is for normal skin. If you don't have normal skin, don't worry. I promise I will be putting out more guides.

Just to let you know a few of my thoughts on skin care:
Eye cream is life
I am pro multi product
Anti-agers are for every age
Exfoliate in moderation
I rarely recommend toners
Nighttime is when your skin repairs itself, use that to your advantage

Normal Skin

AM

Cleanser: It is really important that you don't use too harsh of a cleanser. Recommended cleanser include Fresh Soy Face Cleanser or First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser

Eye cream: I believe wearing an eye cream during the day is a must. Clinique All About Eyes or Caudalie Premier Cru The Eye Cream

Serum: In order to save time in the morning this can be skipped. Really it is up to your preference. Also pair a morning serum with a moisturizer that has SPF as different acids can cause irritation when exposed to the sun. Ole Henriksen Truth Serum or Belif Peat Miracle Revital Serum

Moisturizer: To keep your face from aging it is important to wear sunscreen. I highly recommend a moisturizer for day that has an SPF. You could skip the SPF in the moisturizer if you wear a foundation with SPF. Belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb or Clinique Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer SPF 20

As Needed: Physical exfoliation of face with special textured cleanser as needed. Over exfoliation of the skin can irritate it and strip it of its natural oils.  Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Age Defying Exfoliator or  Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Gentle Exfoliating Treatment

PM

Cleanser: You can use the same cleanser in the evening if you want or use one designed specifically to remove makeup if you are a daily makeup wearer. Sephora Micellar Cleansing Water or Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Triple-Action

Eye cream: Same

Serum: Same

Moisturizer: You could use a cream specifically for night which tend to be more rich or you could use your day time moisturizer. Philosophy Hope In A Jar Overnight Recharging Moisturizer or Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask

Skin Care For Your Skin Type: Normal

Looking Good and Smiling Bright With Home Teeth Whitening


When I set my goals for the year, I decided I was going to try something new every month.  This month I tried a new teeth whitening system. 

Now when it comes to teeth whitening, I am a seasoned professional. To keep my smile nice and white, I had been whitening every six months or so with whitening strips. They did a fine job, but I wanted something that would help me upkeep my pearly whites with less work. With the strips, it takes an entire month of hour long treatments, which is just too long in my opinion.

Looking Good With Smile Brilliant

This post was sponsored by Smile Brilliant, but all opinions are my own.

While I wanted white teeth, I didn't want to pull a Ross Gellar. I also knew that going to a dentist was not an option. That would be around $650! When I had the opportunity to try Smile Brilliant, I knew I just had to do it. 

In the mail I received a kit with:

Impression materials (3 jars of catalyst and 3 jars of base)
2 impression trays
An envelope with pre-paid postage 
Teeth whitening gel (mine came with 3 syringes)
Desensitizing gel; optional
Detailed instructions



I was bit nervous about making the impressions, so I made sure I read the directions very carefully.
To make the mold you mix one catalyst and one base. Then you put the mixture in the impression tray. To form the molds carefully pushing the mold evenly onto your teeth. Allow the mold to stay on your teeth until a good impressions is made. Then repeat with the other tray. Once the impressions are made, you have to wait until they are dry before mailing them. After mailing the impressions, I received my custom fitted teeth whitening trays in about a week.

Smile Brilliant At Home Whitening System


This included

Custom fit whitening trays
Compact carrying case

Before using the system, you brush your teeth without toothpaste. Put a thin line of gel in the whitening tray. Then carefully place the whitening tray on your teeth. I would also recommend having an empty glass with you. I found having both trays in my mouth led to a large amount fluid in my mouth. Gross, I know. I only whitened for an hour. Then I brushed my teeth. The first time I used the desensitizing gel but skipped it on the second treatment. I wished I hadn't skipped it because I did have some sensitivity.  I waited a few days after the second treatment before I started whitening everyday again.

I will suggest you get the kit for sensitive teeth. I didn't think I had sensitive teeth but I am so glad for the desensitizing gel. The whitening gel works so well you will need it.

My teeth didn't have many stains when I started the process. But if you look at the before and after, you can totally see a difference.



If you are looking to remove stains from your teeth, Smile Brilliant is the perfect system to do that. Check out Kelli's results. Doesn't she look great?



If you have more question about whitening, you should check out 7 Things To Know Before Buying Teeth Whitening. It has a ton of helpful information.

***I am so excited to announce a giveaway to receive your own Smile Brilliant whitening kit!***



Just click on the link and fill out the form with your name and email address. How easy is that?

Everybody wins with a discount code for  5% off your order with code: feistygreenpolkadot5

*Giveaway is open for two weeks. Giveaway is for $139 credit- and is open to USA, UK, Canada, and Australia residents*

Whitening Teeth At Home