Tuesday, March 31, 2015

My 7 Workday Essentials

Sometimes getting through the workday can be.. well.. work. Between looking professional, keeping organized, staying hydrated, and rocking your job- today's career girl has a ton on her plate! I have by no means mastered how to get through perfectly, but I do have some essentials that I can't get through my day without.

Workday Essentials
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

Trench. This is my favorite work wear item that I own. I absolutely love how versatile this jacket is! The removable liner inside is perfect for this crazy VA weather, and it helps me to transition this jacket through more seasons. It even has a detachable hood!

Bag. I am currently on the hunt for a new work tote. My current choice is a mustard yellow compartmentalized tote from Target. It has been a trooper, but the straps are on the verge of breaking at this point! I love the different pockets and pouches to keep me organized and the size to carry everything from my planner to my laptop! I am going to need to shop around some more, but having a professional looking yet functional bag is key in my day-to-day.

Planner. As I just mentioned, my planner goes everywhere with me. I keep my outlook calendar up-to-date, but I really love carrying around my paper one to access quickly. Everything from dinner plans to dentist appointments to work events go in here to help me remember them! I love Sugar Paper products, and have been using the brown and gold line available at Target for the past 2 years. They are cute, functional, and high-quality!

Wedges. I basically live in the black JCrew wedges. They are just high enough to make me feel professional, yet low enough to keep my feet comfortable. The patent material goes with just about everything in my closet and is super easy to keep clean. Two thumbs up from me!

Wallet. When I first started working, I didn't have an envelope wallet because I rarely carried a purse large enough to fit one. Now that I'm living out of a work bag, having an all-inclusive wallet to throw from bag to purse is a must! It keeps me from forgetting anything, and is easy to grab to take to lunch or into Starbucks without lugging the whole bag.

Travel Mug. Although I have really enjoyed my new routine change regarding my morning coffee, I still take a Tervis to work with me every day (even if it's empty!). I am a fan of the reusable aspect and how cute they are! I am able to get it filled at any coffee shop and they keep drinks the correct temperature- crucial detail!

Water Bottle. To be perfectly honest, I have a hard time staying hydrated throughout the week. I have a scale that measures my weight, BMI, and it also reports my percent water in my body. I have been trying to keep it up in the healthy range- which for women is 45-60% of total weight- and one of the easiest ways to do that is to simply have water with me! I find that if I wait until I'm thirsty to grab some water, I end up drinking less. If it's by my side all day I WILL drink it! I am a fan of Camelbak because I don't have to worry about spilling.

What are your workday essentials? Do you have any secrets to surviving your workday?

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Weekend Reading

Happy Saturday, readers! This weekend is coming as a much needed break for me. I feel like 2015 is just FLYING by so far, and I have been busy the whole time. I am planning on heading into DC today for a little sight seeing since we have been holed up with rain the past few days. I have been missing the sun so much lately! Enjoying a lazy morning or evening in? Have no fear- I have some great articles for you to click through.

Even before blowouts, I have been all about extending a good hair day. Check out these tips on adding more time in between washes!

I love these ideas for staying in the moment- I have experimented with unplugged holidays before and hope to continue to incorporate more of this disconnected time into my everyday life!

As many people have already freaked over this, I still have to share- Target released their Lilly Pulitzer for Target lookbook! It is gorgeous.

I am swooning over the Spring 2015 collection from Essie! At-home-manis are a favorite of mine. I love the new Flowerista and Petal Pushers!

Speaking of spring, I am loving these gorgeous blooms. I can't wait to have a garden of my own!

SPF is my best friend, therefore this guide to self-tanning might come in handy to get a little glow!

Per usual, here is a little online shopping with a spring-y twist!

Have a beautiful weekend! xo.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Dead Sea Mud Mask Review

Happy Monday, y'all! I hope you had wonderful weekend! These past few weeks have been crazy with work for me, and it's really starting to show on my face. When I get stressed out, my skin gets more oily and I feel as though I break out every single time! Nothing is worse than having to deal with bad skin AND a crazy busy schedule! Thankfully, I got the opportunity to try out Pure & Essential Mineral's Dead Sea Mud mask. It couldn't have come at a better time for me!
dead sea mud mask, pure and essential minerals
Mud masks are well-known for their ability to purify your skin and shrink your pores. Now, there are many products who include those claims on their labels so it can be difficult to sort through all of the mess to find what actually will help out your skin! I have fair and sensitive skin, so I have to be extremely careful when selecting what I put on my face. Through knowing and understanding my skin type, I have found that I look my best when I use products containing mostly natural ingredients. Pure & Essential Mineral's Dead Sea Mud mask is 100% natural and organic- so I didn't have to think twice about giving it a try.
dead sea mud mask, pure and essential minerals

The instructions recommend weekly use, but I was hesitant to go all in until I had tried it out a few times. I have currently used it twice and am pleased with the experience. The product is silky smooth and went on easily. The mask does have a pretty strong smell, but I honestly didn't even notice it once it was on my face. It's not an artificial or perfume scent, so it didn't bother my eyes or nose during use! The mask dries quickly and you can feel it tightening on your skin right away so you know it's working. There was no burning sensation like I have experienced with other mud masks. Allow it to dry and after 10 minutes, re-activate the mask with warm water for simple removal. My skin is very soft and feels squeaky clean after using this mask! I have noticed a reduction in the size and redness of already-present blemishes. The mask does claim to reduce blackheads, but I did not see that on my skin. Maybe that is a benefit of longer or more frequent use than what I have been able to do so far.

I am excited to have a new secret weapon in my beauty routine and will definitely be keeping this mask handy for those stressful weeks! Head on over to Pure & Essential Mineral's Amazon shop to try it out for yourself!

Full Disclosure: I received a complimentary product sample from Pure & Essential Minerals to review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support A Peachy Sonder.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Easy DIY Sugar Scrub

Hi out there! Last week I shared with you my experience with Argan oil, and I am continuing to share my love for this awesome beauty staple today with a simple DIY! When I go get a manicure or pedicure, one of my favorite parts is getting massaged and scrubbed up with their fancy spa products. I just got the first pedicure that I've had in over a year (read more about that here), and I felt inspired to try to make my own spa scrub!
diy, sugar scrub, argan oil, fractionated coconut oil

I think it turned out pretty great if I do say so myself! I found some lavender essential oil at TJ Maxx, used my argan oil, and also got fractionated coconut oil from Radha Beauty on Amazon. I decided to store it in that cute mason jar I had sitting unused in my apartment. I didn't realize how easy it would be to create such an indulgent and pampering product! Because it contains simple and natural ingredients, this scrub has so many uses- on your hands before an at-home mani, on your legs after shaving, on your feet in your bath, and anywhere else you could use some extra exfoliation. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
diy scrub, easy sugar scrub, make at home beauty
sugar scrub, fractionated coconut oil, diy scrub, spa scrub

Easy DIY Sugar Scrub

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup fractionated coconut oil (or carrier oil of your choice)
10 drops lavender essential oil
5 drops argan oil

Start by measuring out the coconut oil and then add in the drops of essential oil. Add the oils into your sugar and stir gently until combined. If your desired texture isn't reached, add additional ingredients (add more oil for a liquidy texture, add more sugar for more gritty texture). Store in airtight container with lid and enjoy within a month!

I think it's a great time to start incorporating some extra exfoliation into your routine to get you skin smooth and ready to be exposed in warmer weather outfits- thank goodness!

Have you experimented with DIY beauty products before? What do you do to get your skin shorts and tank top ready?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Why I stopped taking my coffee to go

For the past 2 months, I made a minor change to my mornings that has had a major impact on my day. I have decided to enjoy my coffee at home instead of taking it with me to drink on the road. I didn't realize how much this was going to change my routine, but I absolutely love it! At first, I started waking up 10 minutes early to make sure I wasn't off-setting my morning routine. I slowly found out that it truly didn't make a difference! I gave myself those 10 minutes back in bed and still have time to enjoy my cup of coffee {and the benefits I've realized through taking the time to do so!}.
coffee, mug, for here
In the mornings, I always have the Today Show playing while I get ready. I love the background noise, as well as hearing most of the stories. My apartment is pretty small so I can play it from my tv in my living room and hear just fine in my bathroom. I had previously been eating breakfast at my desk while getting my day started on my work computer. Although I didn't realize this, the behavior caused me to feel rushed through my morning and thrown into business before I actually started my work day. Not a good way to start things off. In addition, I hate to bring drinks to my desk for fear of spilling. So I was putting off my cup of coffee until I was completely ready and walking out the door. If I'm being completely honest- I felt as though eating and starting my work day a my desk was successful multitasking, however I actually found out that it was taking me more time to complete both tasks at the same time than it would to do them separately. Since the very first day I changed my ways, I find my mornings to be more relaxed and surprisingly more productive. I feel like they belong to me, not my job. I eat my breakfast on my couch with my cute trays {check them out via Instagram} and enjoy a hot cup of coffee while actually watching the Today Show. It's glorious!

I think that I tend to get to caught up in planning my day/week at the computer, so I wasn't taking the time to wake up and really begin my day in a calm manner as I prefer. This attitude shift helps me in several ways: I feel much happier when leaving the house, I'm more alert because I've already jump started my system with caffeine before getting behind the wheel of my car, and I feel as though my mind is truly ready to start the work day. Beginning the day with a positive and relaxed outlook helps set the tone for the entire day- which I appreciate!! I plan on keeping up with this change, even if it requires me to make small adjustments to my morning to ensure it stays in the routine. It truly is my recipe for morning success!

How do you start out your day to ensure it's successful? Do you have any tips on making the perfect morning routine?

Friday, March 13, 2015

My Current Favorite Instagram Accounts

Happy Friday, y'all! Shortly after starting this blog, I created an Instagram account to capture moments in between my posts. I have a separate personal account, but was truly unaware of the inspiration and beauty overflowing from some of the accounts out there. Wowza! I wanted to share with y'all a couple of my favorites from my feed. Many of these are popular bloggers that you may already follow, but be sure to check them out if you come across anyone new!

@kellyinthecity This Chicago-based blogger brightens up my feed, both literally and figuratively, with crisp photos. She shares a variety of gorgeous shots with bold hues and great styling. I absolutely love when her adorable pup noodle makes appearances! Follow along for colorful outfit inspirations!

@evelyn_henson She has got to be one of my favorite artists, and I WILL own an original painting one day! I love her floral paintings and spunky prints. Her feed includes little sketches and paintings that take you "behind the palette" as she says. Follow along for beautiful and bright art.

@lemonstripes This Connecticut lifestyle blogger shares beautifully-styled photos that maintain a clean, high-exposure feel. She shares a wide variety of snapshots and it's so fun being along for the ride. I've been addicted to her glimpses of the beach during this cold winter! Follow along for stripes and gleaming white fun!

@travelandleisure Need I say more? This magazine has the BEST destination shots. I wish I was in there enjoying all of the exotic and luxurious stops. Follow along for breath-taking shots that make you want to plan your next get away.

@sweetsouthernprep Ashley was my first taste of the blogging world back in 2010. I have been following along ever since, and I love love LOVE her blog! She is so candid and has the most adorable family. Follow along for cute kiddos, great style and the best sales/promo insight!

@theodorefitzpatrick Teddy belongs to Carly of The College Prepster and he leads a pretty fabulous life. The cute puppy snaps help to satisfy my puppy fever and make me laugh. Whoever does the hashtags for his account is spot on! Follow along for witty captions and cute puppy curls!

@mackenziehoran She posts a mix of personal shots and items from her shop, Design Darling. Loads of pink and navy- styled to perfection- are in store for your feed. I love the attention to detail and happy vibe her shots contain. Follow along for bright shots filled with inspiration.

@healthfullyeverafter Let me just start by saying YUM. These predominately white shots are bursting with healthy foods and words. I love the calmness emitted from her photos. Follow along for beautifully styled food and recipes!

@dcgirlinpearls Lauren adds vivid and happy photos to my feed. She posts a mix of different subjects- all paired with witty caption details. I love her preppy style and delicious cocktail recipes! Follow along for colorful and girly photos!

I hope you enjoyed these suggestions and found someone new to follow along with! Have a wonderful weekend!

Who are your favorite accounts? Are you on Instagram? I'd love to check out your account too!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

My secret to beating Winter beauty woes

This winter has been rough on my skin. I'm not sure if it's the colder temps or that I'm doing something different, but my skin has definitely been suffering. Not good! I've dabbled around with different moisturizers and techniques to beat the dryness, but I think I've FINALLY discovered the cure for my skin. Better late than never, right?
argan oil, certified organic, radha beauty
Enter my miracle treatment- 100% pure Argan oil. Argan oil has essentially limitless uses because it is such a pure and simple ingredient. You can add a few drops into your bath, infuse a beauty product with a little extra moisture, apply to skin as a head-to-toe moisturizer, smooth stray/frizzy hair, repair split ends, or even sprinkle over a salad! {I'm not sure I would do that last one, but it apparently is good?} I've been using my Radha Argan oil for just under a week and am already pleased with my results.

Radha Beauty is committed to creating high quality and effective beauty products that happen to be at a great price. I have perused other Argan oil brands and was shocked to find a 4 oz bottle of certified organic product at such an affordable price point! I was also really impressed with the fact that Radha Beauty uses environmentally friendly packaging methods, natural ingredients, and partners with woman-empowering organizations throughout their production. And to top it all off, the product actually WORKS!

certified organic, pure argan oil, Radha Beauty
certified organic, Radha Beauty, argan oil, pure argan oil
At this point, I have used my oil in several ways. I first tried it out as a skin moisturizer. I warmed the oil between my hands, using 4-6 drops at a time, and applied all over my body. The oil absorbed quickly without leaving behind a greasy or sticky film. My skin was slick, so I would recommend avoiding your feet unless you are putting socks on or getting into bed right away- no need to slip and fall! I found time to draw myself a bath Sunday evening and added several drops of oil into the tub as it was filling up. I could actually tell a difference in my skin's texture after my soothing soak! My final use so far was in my hair- I smoothed several drops through my hair, after warming between my hands, starting halfway down my strands and concentrating on the ends. My hair has a healthy sheen and feels moisturized at the end. I hope this will help me avoid some split ends and keep my hair looking healthy in between hair cuts.

I have an idea for a DIY involving my new favorite oil, and am hoping to find some time to get it together in the next week or two! Be on the lookout for that. Interested in picking some up for yourself? Head over to Radha Beauty's Amazon shop for great pricing on this essential beauty product.

Full Disclosure: I received a complimentary item from Radha Beauty to review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support A Peachy Sonder.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Put a little Spring in your step

It has been a long, rough winter for this peach. Although it's my second winter up in VA, I'm still barely used to the cold temps and snow. We have gotten a few teases of Spring weather recently but I have had visions of flowers and sandals dancing in my head since long before those! One part of my wardrobe that I'm particularly excited to expand is my sandal selection. I have plenty of flip flops, but far fewer sandals. I've perused the web a little already and many brands have released their spring lines! Here are a few of my favorites that I've seen so far {click to shop!}:

It's nice to think that sandal-appropriate weather is right around the corner {hopefully}. I'm ready to swap out my wool socks and Bean boots for some of these lightweight pretties!

Have you started your Spring shopping list? What are you currently coveting? Do you have a favorite pair of sandals that you can't live without?

Happily linking this post up with the Spring Fling Link-Up!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Weekend Recap

Happy Sunday! I have had a wonderful and relaxing weekend, I hope you have too! I feel as though I say this often but 2 days isn't long enough for the weekend! I wish they were at least 3. Think about how much happier everyone would be?! But obviously I don't control that and I need to work to support myself so 2 day weekends will have to continue.

Friday was a crazy work day for me- the roads were still iced over from Thursday's winter storm so I was a nervous wreck every time I was out on them. When I got home after work, I knew I was in for the night because I couldn't stomach anymore driving out there. I had a relaxed at-home movie night with my neighbor. We watched 'The Other Woman' while sipping on hot chocolate and enjoying some popcorn. We were both in our pjs and had the perfect girl's night in! I am a huge fan of those and plan on doing them more often.
The Other Woman (2014) Poster
Saturday, I met one of my other girlfriends at Organic Nails and Spa in Vienna for a little pamper session. I typically paint my own nails and toes but I couldn't pass up the opportunity for some indulgence. It was my first time at the shop, and I immediately felt relaxed upon walking inside. They have a soothing atmosphere and kind staff who take care of everything you might need! I got a standard manicure and spa pedicure. I loved all of the products that they used, and especially loved how much time they spent massaging my muscles. That's usually my favorite part of getting pampered- I tend to keep my muscles tense so it's great to get them to relax through massage.
spa pedicure
After getting our nails done we wandered over to Sushi Yoshi for a late lunch. This little spot is adorable and the sushi was great. I loved the little details- from the place mats to my tea cup!
sushi yoshi, placemat
sushi yoshi, tea cup
We headed over to Pentagon City mall with full bellies to finish up our girly day with some shopping. I got the cutest pair of scalloped shorts and Jack Rogers booties. I consider it a great success!
jack rogers, boots
Jack Rogers 'Marianne' Bootie
Today I got my taxes prepared {womp womp} and went grocery shopping. Nothing terribly eventful but completely necessary. I did nab a box of Girl Scout cookies outside of the grocery store. I was surprised that no one in my neighborhood came around selling this year, so I was thankful to find this stand! I can't make it through the year without at least one box of Samoas! I plan on spending the evening tidying up, relaxing, and preparing myself for the week ahead! I hope y'all had a great weekend too!

What did you do this weekend? What do you do during a girl's night in? Do you have a go-to treatment when you need a little extra pampering?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

10 Ways to Relax Right Now

relax, tips, how to relax, ways to relax now

Do you ever feel as though you couldn't squeeze one more tiny thing into your day? My life can get so hectic and fast-paced that it seems like I am always moving, always thinking, and always stressing. This is supremely evident to me when I lay down to sleep at night. I feel as though I can't clear my mind and just relax into sleep. Unfortunately this is not the only time the overwhelming feeling creeps up on me. Sound familiar? Here are 10 ways you can relax right now:

1 Take a deep, cleansing breath.
2 Listen to music.
3 Change your scenery.
4 Work up a sweat or head to a yoga class.
5 Reflect on a happy memory.
6 Write down a list of 5 things you're thankful for.
7 Laugh.
8 Call up a family member or friend who you haven't spoken to in a while.
9 Focus on the end result of a daunting project.
10 Watch a funny or uplifting video.

These are just a few ways that work for me. Although it can seem impossible, there are tons of different ways to clear out the negative or stressful thoughts in your head. I know for me work is a large {and consistent} source of stress in my life. Being able to identify the triggers and do your best to combat them is a great way to keep your mood in check. Hopefully these are helpful for you too!

How to you relax? What stresses you out?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Head-to-toe hives.

Yesterday I made a mistake which I haven't made in a L-O-N-G time. I forgot to check a label and consumed one of my allergy triggers. My allergies are all over the place- from mold to milk to dogs. My list of food allergies is pretty short, so I am usually able to identify foods that contain them. My latest interest in cold pressed juice got me into trouble with an unexpected trigger. I am allergic to grass, which is something that I am able to manage fairly easy by not rolling around or sitting in it. I can honestly say that I never expected to have to check a food label for grass. Which is why I didn't. And why I spent all afternoon and evening in a miserable, itchy state.

Unfortunately I didn't have any oatmeal baths or any of the typical remedies I have done in the past to alleviate that excruciating itch. After a phone call to mom, I took a cool bath and covered myself in lotion to keep my skin chilled. That last feat was easy because it's still so stinkin' cold here. Winter has got to be one of the worst times to get hives because mine are irritated by warmth. And being warm is usually all I crave in the winter. Quite the predicament.

Needless to say, it was one of those evenings that made it hard to be away from home. My mom probably still to this day has at least one oatmeal bath packet and Benadryl on hand- just in case. How do mom's do it? They really are so thoughtful and prepared. As for me, I'm headed to the store on my lunch to pick up some supplies to have just in case there is a next time!

I hope your Monday was better than mine! xox.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

A little weekend recap + online shopping

Happy Sunday! I hope y'all have had a wonderful weekend. Staying in stride to last Sunday's lazy day post, I wanted to share some of my life happenings lately! This weekend was just what I needed- laying around and relaxing.

On Friday I caught up with a sweet friend from home, as well as had a much needed FaceTime date with my sister. Since moving 10 hours away, it has been increasingly difficult to keep up with my friends still back home. I don't think it's a result of drifting apart, more so that we all have separate lives going on in separate places now. We each have stressful work days, long to do lists, and attempt to keep up a social life with those still around us. Trying to mesh together 2 sets of those, with varying schedules and sometimes timezones, can get messy. With that being said, I absolutely cherish the times I do get with my friends because I realize how difficult it is to make it happen. My sister and I have the guilty pleasure of watching Hart of Dixie on the CW together. It's been a fun activity for us to do even though we aren't physically together when we watch. Having someone to discuss episodes and plot twists with is the BEST! I finally caught up to the live airings on TV, so we can now FaceTime during the show or afterwards to discuss. I'm sure she appreciates that we are now on the same episodes so she doesn't have to keep plot secrets from me anymore!

breakfast in bed, tray, coffee, bagel

Saturday was awesome. I made myself breakfast and enjoyed it from my bed, as seen above {please pop over to my Instagram to follow along with me!}. My morning consisted of sipping coffee and discovering new blogs to read. I absolutely love reading other people's blogs- whether it be fashion, cooking, travel, or lifestyle/personal! I find all kinds of inspiration from others. After doing some blog hunting, I got sucked into a little online shopping! I didn't have plans until the evening, so it's not hard to distract me with some online shopping. I am currently trying to expand my accessories collections, and I've included some of my favorites I saw yesterday below!

Sunday consisted of the usual Sunday activities- church and grocery shopping. Unfortunately we are in the middle of another icy mix so the roads and sidewalks are pretty slick. It's enough to keep me stuck inside to be honest. I was able to get out- I met up with a girlfriend for lunch and we went to go see 'The Duff' for some silly laughs. It was definitely entertaining, but I think I am officially too old for teen movies! Me and my friend were the only people laughing at certain jokes, which upon later discussion were determined to be the jokes built in for parents. Wow. What a rude awakening! Are Urkel jokes really THAT outdated?! I didn't think so. Oh well. I surprisingly have made it this far into the weekend without starting House of Cards.. This snow/wintery mix must be messing with me. I'm sure I'll just be addicted once I start, so I'm putting it off to try to make it last as long as possible!

How do you keep up with long distance friendships? Have any blog suggestions for me to check out?
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