Tuesday, August 2, 2016

My Monthly Edit

Earlier this year, I started having some neck & shoulder issues, which forced me to make a few adjustments like getting a more supportive pillow, doing regular strengthening & stretching exercises and making the switch to carry a smaller every day bag.  I love the idea of a darker hued crossbody for fall, so I'm adding this luxe suede bag to my wish list.  If you're looking for a slightly larger style for the coming season, this hobo tote or this leopard bag are also great options.

I typically use my spiralizer to make "spaghetti" out of green or yellow squash, but lately I've been playing around with the settings a bit & have discovered so many more dishes I can make when I create thicker pieces.  This zucchini noodle recipe is gluten-free & vegan-friendly - I love that it can be served as a side dish or as a complete meal with your favorite protein on top (I prefer grilled chicken or shrimp).  If you can tolerate dairy & have a little more time on hand, this zucchini lasagna is also insanely delicious.

I'm pretty loyal to Essie nail polishes because I know I will get a streak-free application and long-lasting manicure every single time.  So I couldn't wait to try their Gel Couture line that they sent over to me - sadly, a few bottles were broken in transit...but I was able to salvage the remainder of the box & try out some of their pretty new shades.  This mauve-infused taupe is one of my early favorites because it's the perfect neutral color for transitioning into fall - when combined with the glossy gel-like topcoat, I was able to get 12 days of wear without any signs of chipping!

I think it's important to re-evaluate the direction of my site every year and determine what types of posts are the most valuable to my audience.  At the beginning of the season, I did away with my Recent Purchases posts after some reader feedback, while Steals Under $30 and 20 Under $20 are both ongoing series that many of you have mentioned are your favorites.  So, I'd love to create some new recurring content for the remainder of the year based on your suggestions.  I've tossed around the idea of a Q&A, more beauty tutorials or some lifestyle posts.  But I want to hear what you're interested in seeing more of, so please share your thoughts in the comments below & let me know!

Because I have fine & thinning hair, I am constantly trying out new volumizing products in an attempt to achieve a voluminous shiny mane.  My latest obsession is this thickening mousse - I've never used this brand before, but was so pleasantly surprised that it created long-lasting volume without drying out my strands.  I also appreciate that their entire line of anti-aging products is formulated without parabens, phthalates & sulfates.  If you're looking for good volumizing products, the shampoo & conditioner are equally as good (as is this miracle-worker CC cream).

As a blogger, part of my job is to put together stylish outfits & create pretty pictures.  Through the years, I've purposely tried to shy away from overly-staged shoots and a heavily curated Instagram account (also part of the reason why I refuse to monetize my Snapchat).  Making these choices may have stunted my business growth a bit because I'm not traveling to exotic locations or living in an aspirationally beautiful home.  But it's more important to me to be honest about the lifestyle I truly have...so when I came across this article, it really struck a chord - my favorite quote: "Honesty doesn't let people down; instead it makes room for real connections".


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