Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Add it to my List: Beauty Addition

Today, I'm back again and linking up with Bre and Lauren for Add It To My List! I really enjoy reading everyone's posts and have definitely found some new things to try. So, today, I thought I would go with some of my new (or just tried and true) beauty finds.

Up first is my new Wet Brush! After my hair appointment a few weeks ago, my stylist (if you're in the Charlotte area, you should hit me up and I'll send you her way!) gave me a wet brush. I have very thin hair BUT there's a lot of it and it's super tangly. This thing smooths out my hair in less than 30 seconds. I used to fight my hair after every shower and hated washing my hair specifically because I didn't want to detangle it.

The next product I've been buying repeatedly for over a year now: NYX under eye concealer. I've found a lot of NYX products that I really love and even used a few when I did a friend's wedding makeup last month, but this is my absolute favorite that I tell everyone about. It works on multiple skin tones, too. I am the lightest but Kristin in the darker shade and it works beautifully on both of us!


Since we moved into our house almost three years ago, I've had dry scalp/dandruff. I'm blaming the water. I tried everything to clear it up: getting a water filter on our shower, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar rinses, Head and Shoulders (even though its terrible for your hair!) until I finally found Clear shampoo. I use the Complete Scalp shampoo and conditioner and I am finally flake free! Plus, it's made my hair super soft and shiny. I will say it can be a little hard to find and I usually start checking stores before I actually run out, but I typically find it at Target.

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I use a mix of drugstore and high-end makeup. Most of my high-end makeup comes from Tarte (and I buy most of it on sale around the holidays and it will last me most of the year! My current favorite that I bought myself for my birthday is this Tarte blush. I have a lighter color and it's almost like a highlighter with a pink flush to it. It looks so natural and dewy. A few reviews said they disliked it because it took off their makeup when they swiped it on. I've found that dotting in on and blending it solves that issue! 


And finally, my newest favorite is the Loreal Air Dry it spray. I have weird hair (as previously mentioned above) and it doesn't air dry well. It's super flat to my head and gets greasy when I air dry it. Every time I washed my hair, I had to blow dry it. On top of the once a quarter coloring I do, this is not good for the health of my hair. When I saw this stuff advertised, I had to try it. Since I don't have wavy hair, it doesn't make my hair wavy but it does make it dry beautifully. No weird greasiness, not totally flat to my head and it dries very quickly! I have two friends at work with wavy that have started using it, too, and they're hair also dries quickly, not frizzy and with a wave! There's also a cream and mouse version! 



Monday, September 25, 2017

Happy Fall Y'all!

And welcome back to your own blog, Leslie. 
I've learned that I'm just not good at blogging in the summer. For most people, this would be because they're so busy outside enjoying it. It's exactly the opposite for me. I spend most of the summer hunkered down inside and refusing to go out unless I absolutely must or it's dark. 

For any of you that are also cursed by living in the South, you may understand this. I just find ZERO joy in sitting outside pretending to enjoy myself while it's 110 degrees and 100% humidity. 

Recently, I wore shorts to the first Panthers tailgate and my family gave me the hardest time for how white my legs are and "not to worry, there's plenty of time left in the season" (insert cry laughing emoji here). Basically, what I'm saying is Summer is the WORST and I'm pretty happy to say buh bye to it. Sadly, its still in the 90s here in Charlotte so if it's cooler where you are, please send it my way! 
This was in June - proof of the paleness.

To jump back on the blogwagon, I decided to just share a few reasons I love Fall so much and I've got almost 10 blog topics sitting in my drafts begging me to write ranging from big life decision to workouts and healthy eating so I will be staying in Blogland for awhile (you know, until it gets hot and I go back into hiding). 

one // My TV shows are back! 

Now that I'm writing that, I think I've got another blog post to add to my drafts! I love when shows come back on and I have something besides The Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor in Paradise to look forward to. Don't get me wrong, those are my guilty pressure but they're literally all I watch in the summer (except I did watch The Bold Type this summer - go watch it!) 

Whitney wrote a rundown of what shows are coming on what network if you're interested to see what's new this year! 

two // Jeans and booties. 

As I mentioned earlier, my legs are pale. I'm a VERY pale human. I used to go to the tanning bed (I know, I know) and I have attempted a few spray tans in the last few years and they're all bad. So, I just embrace it now. And by that,  I mean I much prefer being in pants and sweaters. 
And let's be real, I really enjoy not shaving my legs. Don't we all? And to cap it all off, keeping the toes ready for sandals constantly sucks, too. Basically, jeans and booties hide my laziness. 

three// Fall activities. 

Back to my earlier point, being outside during the summer sucks. Everyone is pouring sweat and pretending to enjoy themselves. In the Fall, its actually gorgeous and being outside is comfortable. Therefore, it's the perfect time for corn mazes, apple picking, pumpkin carving, bonfire sitting, breweries, festivals and taking the dog for looooong walks. 

four // Cooking. 

I find meal planning much harder during the summer. Yes, all the fruit is in season and I eat a ton of it, but I hate slaving away over a hot stove/oven in the summer. And for some reason, I always want to make fish in the summer since it's light but there's only so many nights Christian will eat fish in a row. 

During the Fall, I cook a lot more stews and "hearty" foods (although I've found healthier ways to do this now!) and it's just easier to think of new ideas when it's not so hot in the kitchen. 

five // It's gorgeous! 

Can you really beat the gorgeous leaves falling and  flying everywhere?! Answer: no. 

Six // It's our 7th dating anniversary and 3rd wedding anniversary! 

Friday, August 18, 2017

I was there.

I was in Charlottesville last weekend.

I've written about my love of Charlottesville a few times before (here and here). My best friend moved there three years ago and I've spent so many weekends exploring the town and totally falling in love with it. I'm always so amazed at how nice and welcoming ever person I've met is. All of the businesses are vocally welcoming and inclusive.

This is something Kristin loves about Charlottesville - it's open, inclusive, loving culture; and it's a reason I've come to love it as well.

Friday night, we went to Fridays After Five on the downtown mall. This is an event where they have beer tents, food trucks and live music during the summer. When we got down there, Kristin remarked how not busy it was for  Friday and we assumed it was because it had rained a little earlier and people didn't want to risk getting caught in it.
After hanging out awhile, we walked down the mall to grab dinner at Jack Brown's. As we walked through the mall, I noticed a LOT of police officers gathered in groups all over the mall and things were much less crowded than normal.

As we left the mall, I noticed there were multiple temporary barricades around Emancipation Park behind the mall. At this point I said "oh, I guess there's a rally happening?". We knew there was a rally planned but it didn't hit us until that point that the city was probably quiet because of it.

Saturday morning, we woke up to the news of the violent march that had started very shortly after we had left the mall. I couldn't believe that such horrible hate and violence had taken place in the very spot that we had been just a few hours early when the town had been so sleepy and peaceful when we left.

Anytime I'm in Charlottesville, I always need Bodo's Bagels and this weekend was no exception. We drove to our normal spot to find it closed and the parking lot closed off. Immediately, I check their social media to find they preemptively decided to close that location to protect their employees.
At this point, Kristin and I both started to really get worried about the day's events. As we ate breakfast (we went to a different Bodo's), I saw things on social media that the rally may not really be happening because things got violent before it even started.

I was there to help with wedding preparations, and we needed to do some shopping. Kristin picked a place that was farther away from the Downtown mall to be on the safe side. As we were driving down the highway, Kristin points out my window and says "oh my god, look.... "

As I turned my head, I saw probably 200-300 white, primarily men marching into McIntire Park beside the YMCA and a playground. These people were carrying Confederate flags, Nazi flags, swastika emblems, poles and other random things that were later used as weapons. And we both froze.
Source - Read. This.
I can't describe how awful that scene made us feel. I truly thought I would be sick. And, then, I became extremely aware of my privilege. I, as a white, middle class female, was not in dire danger just by existing in this town at that moment. I realized that we were free to go about our errands, while others were living in fear by these people being in their town. And I think that is what made me feel so sick.

I felt (and honestly still feel) helpless. How do I help? What can I do? How do I make a difference? How do we end such vile hate? I really don't have the answers but I have spent the last six days consumed by these thoughts and truly trying to discover what I can do. There are marches and rallies being planned but is that the answer? Will that solve the underlying hatred that exists in this country and has become more tolerated in the last 18 months?
Source
One thing I also want to note is that these people traveled to Charlottesville specifically to cause an issue and to bring hate and violence to a town that is loving, open and progressive. These were not Charlottesville locals and this is not a problem with Charlottesville. The majority of arrests made during the rally and protests didn't even reside in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The man who drove a car into a crowd of peaceful anti protestors who injured over 19 people and killed Heather Hyer was from Ohio.
Source
Thank you if you made it this far into the post because I know it's heavy and it's kind of rambly but I just have so many thoughts and I don't know where we go from here. I just know that it hurts me so I can only imagine how those who were actually being targeted feel and I want to know how to help.

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Try More 2017: 6 Month Check In

Well, we're halfway through this year, now, so it seems like a good time to pop back up on this ole blog. The last month-ish has just been overwhelmingly busy, but somehow I just really don't know what all I was doing. Do you ever feel like way? Like you're just BUSY but kind of on autopilot?

I felt like this would be a good time to look back on the year and how I'm doing with Try More 2017! This post is going to be kind of long, but it's nice to have it all together in once place!

January

I got a slow start in January because it's easier to lay on the couch and binge watch TV.  But, I did make the decision to volunteer with Girls on the Run. Considering I'm not a runner, this is shocking and the season is over and I'm still shocked that  I did and enjoyed it so much. I have an entire post planned to talk about the organization and what I learned being a part of it!

I did get a discount code for Classpass and joined for January and I'm still loving it! If you'd like to sign up and try it out, you can use my link and we both will get $30 off!

February

After a lackluster January, I was off and running in February starting with a watercolor and hand lettering class for Valentine's Day with Skill Pop. I created two cards - one for my grandmother's 70th birthday and the other for Christian!
We ended up going to a Charlotte Checkers (hockey) game which was my first hockey game. We seriously had such a blast and I'm looking forward to getting to go again next season!

If you follow along on Instagram, you've probably seen a few posts about my new obsession with AIR Fitness. I have a couple of friends who had gotten into it and I convince my Classpass buddy at work to go with me one Saturday morning. It was weird and I felt so lost BUT I've been going a couple of times a week now and I just love it so much. There are different types of classes: a HIIT class, yoga and the standard AIR class that uses the silk hammock to do crunches, burpees, planks, push ups, etc.
Also, thanks to Classpass, I tried my first hot yoga class and was going pretty consistently. Hot yoga and hot summer in North Carolina don't work for me so I'll be waiting a couple of more months before I go. But, it's seriously such a workout. My biggest piece of advice though: drink SO much water during the day before you go.

March

During March,  I was definitely eating really well and exercising a lot which was definitely a part of the whole "try more" initiative. I felt like I was finally starting to see some results, too, and feel really good! I also had my first facial at Mud. Facial Bar which is in the same building as AIR.

If you can't tell from the name, all the facials are mud based and they're about 30 minutes in length. Lisa and I got facials together and tried Yafo Kitchen for the first time and it was an absolutely perfect girls morning.
April 

Buckle up, April was crazy!

We started into April with a trip down to Atlanta to see our friends, The Reimherr's! Maggie and I cheered together freshman year of high school and she's been stuck with me ever since - she even sang at my wedding. After they got married last year, they were in Boston so this was the first time we'd seen them since their wedding. Now, yes, being from Georgia, I've been to Atlanta quite a few times. But, it was fun to see it in the eyes of friends and try new restaurants and places. (But, yes, we did go to the Aquarium and World of Coke because duh).
I finally made it to Charleston, SC for a trip with my best friend. We had tickets to see Tim McGraw and Faith Hill in their Soul 2 Soul tour and it was SO fun. I've seen Tim before, but never Faith. She is absolutely flawless in person. Amazing. We also spent the day bouncing around King Street and the Battery and another day being lazy on the beach!
The weekend after Charleston, I ran my first 5K with my team from Girls on the Run. And I use "run" lightly because I didn't fully run the entire but I tried to!
For Easter, I attended another SkillPop class: Cooke Decorating. The class was hosted by Lindsey of Follow the Ruels. I thought I was going to totally bomb, but they didn't turn out as bad as I thought they would!
May 

Oh, man. We had a blast in May. I celebrated my birthday for the first time in three years (we've been at my uncles' weddings the last 3). But to REALLY celebrate, we went to New Orleans with Christian's best friend and his wife. Three of the four of us have April/May birthdays so we wanted to really celebrate this year!
We had SUCH a blast. So many Hurricanes, beignets, and LOTS of seafood. I'm pretty sure I gained 10 pounds in the 5 days we were there but it was worth every single bite and sip.

June 

I ended May and started June by heading out to Lawton, Oklahoma to watch my little brother graduate from Basic Training. I never thought I'd end up in Lawton and I'd really like to not ever go back there. But, if he ever ends up stationed back there (he might drop out of the military, LOL), but I would go visit if I had to.

The rest of June, I didn't really have any huge "try more" moments like earlier in the year, but I did try a few new restaurants, had a mac and cheese hot dog at my first Charlotte Knights game and started Parenthood for the first time.
On the workout front, I worked out at the gym with Christian for the first time ever and ouch. He's a mean trainer and I couldn't walk for a couple of days. I've also been working on incorporating more yoga and trying out some handstands with my practice.
Whew. A lot has happened this year and plenty of it wasn't covered in this post that I may never talk about on the blog or maybe I'll write a huge, long post spilling my guts. Who knows. But, if you read this far, kudos to you. We'll do it again in December ;)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

On Turning 26

Last year, around a month before my birthday, a coworker asked me how old I was. I confidently replied that I would be turning 26 on May 4th. We had a conversation about "how young that is" and la ti da. A few days later, I was emailing my best friend and I said "Can you even believe we're turning 26 this year?!" To which she responded, "Leslie, we're turning twenty FIVE this year...."

I was so certain that I was turning 26 that I called my mom that night after dinner and asked her how old I was between fits of giggles because I couldn't believe I didn't remember and Christian was just trying to confuse me more because he thought it was hilarious. 

First thing my mom said was, " Are you drunk right now?!" But, no, I had just forgotten my age for over a week and somehow had forgotten how to count. My mom told me that if I ever forgot again, all I had to do was subtract the year I was born from the current year. And I very bravely said, "But, mom, 16-91 is a negative number and I'm definitely not in the negatives."

It's a wonder my mother didn't drive herself up to Charlotte to make sure I wasn't drunk or sick or had gone crazy but she instead burst out laughing and told me it would be 2016 minus 1991. And that is how I learned that I'm turning twenty six TOMORROW and not last year. 

So, in honor, some pictures from past birthdays: 

17th
Both Katherine and Kristin were at this birthday and I'm still friends with both of them. :) 

 19th
Whew. Freshman year: The Year Leslie Needed a Burger.

 20th. 
My first good ish picture with Christian. Taken on a flip phone. 

 21st. 
The night where we pulled a "Hangover" and didn't look at pictures until the next day. 

22nd. 
The year I forced all my friends to see Tim McGraw even though they don't like country music. 

23rd. 
The year all my uncle's started getting married. 

24th. 
The year I quit my job and went to Hawaii (for an uncle's wedding). 

25th.
The last uncle finally got married!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A Summary of Books

I've been trying so hard to get back into reading again. I love reading so much but real life just keeps getting in my way! I downloaded a free trial of Audible last month so I "read" one book that way (and I'm still not sold on the whole audio book thing) and then I was traveling for work last week so I got in one book and two half books ;) So, today, I thought I would link up with Steph and Jana to share my thoughts and get back into this blogging groove, too. 

Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty 

I was inspired to download this because of Big Little Lies  coming on HBO. I decided I didn't want to read it because I was too hooked on the show. I still may read it, though, now that I've watched the show. I've also read The Husband's Secret  a few years ago so I knew I liked the author pretty well. 
Image result for truly madly guilty
I found this book a little harder to listen to because of all the POV changes. Each chapter is a different person's viewpoint of either present day or "the day of the barbecue". Essentially, something big happens at a neighborhood barbecue and each person is dealing with the ramifications in different ways. On top of that, there are interesting relationships between all of the characters prior to the barbecue that are also being dealt with. 

Final thoughts: A good read that will keep you guessing, but drags on for awhile before you find out what the big event is they're all reeling from which got a little annoying. 

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris 

I like a good psychological thriller so that's what I was looking for before leaving on my trip and had seen this one pop up a few places. Like, Liane's book, it also switched back and forth from present day to about a year and a half prior. As the book goes on, the timelines meet for climax of the book. I liked the way this one was structured in tat respect, but WOW this book is so heavy. 
Image result for behind closed doors

Slight spoiler but I don't want to give it all away: it deals very heavily with abuse and the antagonist is a very twisted person - it's not a typical situation. I was very interested in the beginning, but towards the middle, I almost put it down because it made me uncomfortable. But, I hate not finishing a book and I was hoping for a positive ending so I kept reading. I wouldn't say the ending is "good" but it ties up the book nicely. 

Final thoughts: Don't pick this up if you want a happy, easy book. It is heavy and very hard to read but written very well. 

Uganda Be Kidding Me by Chelsea Handler 

I'm going to be honest, I'm not totally done with this book, but I'm close. And I've read all her other books, so I kind of know how this goes. I find Chelsea to be absolutely hilarious. I also wonder if her books really are true. I don't know how one person can drink so much and still function, LOL. But, she's got a funny way of writing and I have laughed out loud quite a few times while reading it. It was definitely good to break up Behind Closed Doors with this one on the plane. 

Image result for uganda be kidding me

Final Thoughts: A good vacation read. 

I've already got 3 more books downloaded on my tablet and one I'm listening to on Audible so hopefully I'll be back next month with some more books! 

Happy Tuesday, friends! 

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