Tuesday, June 23, 2015

My Recent Purchases

Happy Tuesday, y'all! This week as been rough so far- jet lag is not my friend! I've had the most difficult time readjusting from my 3 hour time change last week in Arizona. Hopefully I'll be back to normal tonight or tomorrow night. Mornings are already rough for me, I don't need to make things any more dramatic! Before my business trip last week, I did a little last minute shopping to put my best foot forward at my meetings. I wanted to share a few of my favorites out of my recent purchases!

Recent Purchases

1 J.Crew Factory Polka dot blouse. One of my challenges with work attire has got to be finding cute blouses. I have a difficult time finding age- and work-appropriate tops. During the summer, I prefer short sleeved blouses so that I can forgo the cardigan yet stay modest. This was the perfect fix for me and I love how light the material is!

2 J.Crew Factory Mini-Skirt. I bought this same cinched skirt in a beautiful emerald green before the holidays and absolutely adore it! The fit is perfect and it's just the right length to still be fun for happy hour after work! I desperately needed a navy skirt, so I thought I'd go with a tried and true silhouette.

3 Kendra Scott Alex Earrings. You may not believe me, but I found these cuties on CLEARANCE at Nordstrom Rack! Not only are they a beautiful color, but I couldn't pass up the price. I was a little worried about the weight, as I normally wear studs, but they were manageable for me. I paired these with the polka dot blouse and white jeans for my travel outfit to my meeting. I will definitely be repeating the combo- I got a ton of compliments! Who doesn't like that?!

4 LOFT Eyelet Skirt. This scalloped skirt is so on trend for several reasons- beautifully scalloped bottom, flowy silhouette, and laser cut-outs around the edge! It's perfectly flirty yet tasteful for work. I have already worn this twice and am sure it will get a heck of a lot more use as the summer weather is here to stay!

5 Cole Haan Leather Tote. I have been carrying a tote bag from Target for the past 1.5 years and it has officially seen it's last day. It was so overdue, I probably could've retired it around Christmas and that may have seemed like I was stretching it. Needless to say, I am so excited for this new bag! I removed the exterior dogtag and love the sleek look. It has a coy zipper that lines the pocket for extra storage. I love having organization in my bags, and this has plenty of room for everything I need. I am not sure how long I will make it without multiple interior pockets, but this will be a great bag to have in rotation if I decide to pick up a second bag.

6 J.Crew Factory White Shorts. Obviously I've blown up the J.Crew outlet near my house, but I couldn't resist these! I didn't have a pair of white shorts before, and love these! Yet again, I have a pair in another color and was surprised at how thick the white pair turned out to be. I am very aware of the delicacy of white shorts these days and don't like when you can see everything including white/nude undergarments underneath! That's ridiculous. Thankfully, these fit my thickness requirement and were perfect with wedges for casual dinners in Arizona!

I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week, and thanks for stopping by to read! I truly appreciate every person who takes the time to read my ramblings and am thankful for those who come back post after post. You have no idea how much that means to me. Thanks, y'all!

Which item is your favorite? What have you purchased recently?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Beauty Shortcut: Cleaning Your Brushes

Hey y'all! I hope you're having a wonderful week so far. I am absolutely thrilled because I am going to be hitting the spa tomorrow and getting a massage! I haven't gotten a massage in over 6 years, so saying that I'm excited is an understatement! They're going to have to roll me outta there, I'll be so relaxed! YAY.
Cleaning your make-up brushes

Today I wanted to talk about beauty brush hygiene. To be perfectly (and embarrassingly) honest, I didn't really know this was as necessary as it actually is. Ladies, we should be washing our brushes once a week. ONCE. A. WEEK. I started using facial brushes when I began using BareMinerals foundation- I got a starter kit, which comes with a few different brushes, and wasn't educated on how to take care of them. Thankfully, when buying my second canister at Sephora, I thought to ask the sales girl how to and how frequently I should clean my brushes. To my delight and mortification she informed me that it should be a weekly occurrence. I am sure that I blushed a deep red because I hadn't cleaned them at all before asking this question. She showed me a few specialty (read: expensive) cleaning solutions and must have read my face before asking me if I would be interested in a shortcut.

She took me to the samples near the checkout counter and picked up the Philosophy purity face wash sample. This bottle was only $10 and she said it works to clean your brushes just as well as the expensive solutions! Although small, it should last a while with my intended use. She suggested pouring a dime sized amount into a glass, adding warm water, and stirring/soaking my brushes in there. After a short soak time, the brushes should be rinsed until the running water is clear again. I lay them out on a hand towel to dry, typically rotating them once after several hours to make sure they dry all the way through. Because the face wash is gentle and is designed to remove makeup from our faces, it works wonderfully to clean the brushes. Thank the Lord for this timely tip, because I had to wash them about 5 times to get the rinsing water to run clean. I cringe just thinking about that first time I cleaned them. But, it's totally worth it- I love the texture of my brushes after they're cleaned!

If you aren't already cleaning yours, I highly recommend the Philosophy wash. I am still working to get through my first small bottle and feel like it will continue to last me a long time. Happy cleaning!

How do you clean your make-up brushes? How often do you do so?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

"Dark Places" Book Review

Hey y'all! I've been busy busy busy so far this week- I'm actually out in Arizona this week for a work conference. This is my first time here and I'm hoping to sight see a little bit after all of the meetings. The weather out here is so different than what I'm used to, considering the fact I've never lived in a desert, but dry heat is pretty awesome! I was scared by the forecasted weather for the week, but so far it's manageable.

I wanted to share another book review today. I absolutely FLEW through this book. It sucked me in right away and I had a seriously hard time putting it down every time I picked it up to read. I just adore books like that. Dark Places is written by Gillian Flynn, the author of Gone Girl, and mirrored the darkness found it that book. So, if you were bothered by the plot or imagery in that book- this one is NOT for you.

Front Cover
This story follows the survivor of a murdered family in a small Kansas town as she looks into the details surrounding the event that's haunted her for over 20 years. It twists and turns through flashbacks and current day, keeping you on the edge of your seat with each page. The ending is too good to even hint at or spoil, so trust me in saying you've gotta pick this up and read it for yourself! Overall, the book was very intriguing to me and sent me through a wide range of emotions- from sadness to surprise to disgust. I've always believed that a good book evokes strong emotions from you- whether they are positive or negative- and this definitely did!

Have you read this book? What are you currently reading? What are your favorite kinds of books?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Adovia Dead Sea Salt Scrub Review

Happy Tuesday, readers! I hope your week is going wonderfully and that you are still feeling rested from your weekend. I had an unexpected whirlwind of a weekend, but managed to find some time to relax. A friend from college was in town, so I ended up spending Friday and Saturday up in the city instead of plopped by my pool. Very fun but very busy! I found some time to relax on Sunday and treated myself to a pamper session. I had the opportunity to test out one of Adovia's Dead Sea Salt Scrub and was eager to add that in with my session! I painted my nails, did a face mask, used a cooling mask on my eyes, and drew a relaxing bath. It was quite the home run!
adovia, dead sea salt, scrub
When I first received the opportunity to try this scrub, it was a no-brainer for me! There are so many benefits to exfoliating your skin and there are many ways to do it! A scrub is my favorite technique by far. Even when you have it narrowed down to a scrub, there are so many options! Adovia products are cruelty free and natural, which to me are important facts to consider when choosing new beauty products. Needless to say, it was a happy mail day when this arrived!

The container is a generous amount and I know it will last me a long time. I have the Ocean Breeze scent, and found it to be very soothing! The scrub itself is made of dead sea salt. The size of the granules is perfect for a scrub! It's recommended to scrub in a circular motion and I didn't find the salt to be too harsh on my sensitive skin. I found the consistency of the scrub to be my least favorite aspect of the product. It is oil based- which offers great benefits for your skin but makes for a messy experience. I had a hard time making sure I didn't spill a lot of the oil out while picking up the salts with my hand. Maybe a scoop or similar tool would help keep things less messy! When I opened the jar initially I felt the need to stir the product, but I found that it separated again quickly.  In addition, this product left my tub extremely slippery after use. It was easy to rinse out before my next shower- I just had to remember to do so.

After exfoliating, my skin felt and smelled great! I loved how silky my skin was once I got dried off- I felt as though I didn't even need to put lotion on! That's huge perk for me, as it's one of the first things I do when I get out of a bath. This is great to keep my skin ready for the shorts and dresses I plan to wear this summer. I also would like to note that I don't recommend using this after shaving. The scrub irritated my legs when used immediately afterwards.

Overall, I like this scrub and will continue to enjoy the benefits it brings to my skin this summer. Interested in trying this out for yourself? Pick up your own container here or here! Do you have any questions about this product? Feel free to leave a comment below or shoot me an email!

Full Disclosure: I received a complimentary product sample from Adovia to review honestly. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I benefit in no way if you purchase this product. Thank you for supporting brands that support A Peachy Sonder.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

French Toast for One

Happy Thursday y'all! So close to the weekend, I can already feel my body relaxing. I've been driving all over the place this week and am looking forward to parking myself by the pool and reading a good book this weekend. Wohoo! I'm getting excited just talking about it. I love taking it easy and treating myself over the weekend. I especially enjoy brunch and breakfast foods, but rarely used to treat myself to fun breakfasts because it can be difficult to cook for just one. Reheated breakfast isn't usually very good, so large recipes are out of the picture for me. Even when you get the recipe divided down, it can be cumbersome to go through a ton of trouble for one serving. Those feelings disappeared one weekend when I was talking to my dad about this situation. He's an AMAZING chef and is definitely where I get my love of food from. We worked out an incredibly simple and decadent recipe that I want to share with y'all today.
french toast, breakfast for one, recipe
French toast is always a winning breakfast food. The crunchy texture mixed with the flavorful batter and sweet toppings just make my mouth water. I'm guilty of making this more than I'd like to admit, but when you find something so easy that turns out so perfectly- how can you resist?! Just FYI, I cook with stainless steel cookware so your skillet may need to be over a slightly higher heat to achieve the same cook times. If you don't want to turn up the heat, just be patient because it will take a little longer to achieve the crunchy perfect texture of this recipe in a nonstick pan at these cooking temperatures. Additionally, this is just a basic recipe- so feel free to play around with it. Add nutmeg, vanilla extract,  more or less cinnamon to fit your taste, or top your toast with fruit! The possibilities are endless and that is one of my favorite things about cooking for yourself. The only pallet to please is your own! Now finally, here is the simple and perfect recipe to make french toast for one!
french toast, breakfast for one, recipe
french toast, breakfast for one, recipe
french toast, breakfast for one, recipe

French Toast for One

You'll need...
2 slices of bread
1 egg
1/8 cup milk
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp powdered sugar (optional, for garnish)

Steps to take...
1. Whisk the egg with a fork or whisk. Once the yolk is totally blended, add in the milk, sugar, and cinnamon. Mix until fully combined.
2. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Melt butter into pan once hot.
3. Soak each slice of bread into the whisked egg mixture and make sure both sides are coated!
4. Cook soaked slices of bread for about 4 minutes on one side or until browned. Flip and cook second side for about 3 minutes, or until browned.
5. Add syrup/fruit/powdered sugar and enjoy immediately!

What are your favorite breakfast treats on the weekend? Do you ever cook a fancy breakfast just for yourself?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

6 Ways To Rock This Summer

Hello hello! Y'all. Can you believe that it's finally SUMMER?! No more threats of snow or waddling around under layers wrapped in down puffer jackets! Hallelujah! I'm loving it so far. I've spent plenty of time at the pool- reading and listening to Serial (more to come with both of those topics in the near future..). It's my picture-perfect way to pass my free time. For me, summer has taken on a new persona in my adult life. Even though I went to school during my summers in college, it was still MY summer. I had plenty of time to do what I wanted with whomever I wanted basically whenever I wanted. I definitely miss those days. But I have learned to capitalize on my new relationship with summertime and wanted to share a few ways you can rock your summer!
summer, summer ideas, staycation
Take a day trip.  Living up in metro-DC means that I have a ton of attractions within a short driving distance. Last summer, I tried to make the most of my weekends and visit some cities within 1-3 hours of me. I'm not native to this area, so everywhere is a new beautiful experience for me. Annapolis, Baltimore, National Harbor, Fredericksburg.. I am hoping to grow my list this year as well! Pack up a cooler, make a new playlist, grab your friends, and hit the road! Even if you're revisiting a city, you can definitely find a new perspective!

Throw a pool party. Pool parties aren't just for 13th birthdays anymore. Skip the balloons, streamers, and cake (actually, I say keep the cake..)- add good friends, a wireless speaker, and blended fruity cocktails to a pool deck then stir. That is the recipe for a perfect pool party in my book!

Create your own summer reading list. Now, the words "summer reading list" may send a wave of fear through your body, but I promise it's more enjoyable when you make your own. Do a little research of popular reads and create your own list to enjoy in your down time. No deadlines or reports due at the end!

Explore your surroundings. No matter how long you've lived at your current residence, neighborhoods are constantly changing. Try a new restaurant, take a bike ride in a new park, go hiking on a new-to-you trail. Finding new things to do in your immediate area not only allows you to fall more in love with your present hometown, but may also help you discover a new hobby!

Grill out/picnic. No summer is complete without a good cook out. There's just something so special about eating your grilled (or any, really) meal outside. I think it actually might taste better- and we all could use some more fresh air. My apartment complex has community grills around the property and I am determined to try one out this summer! Wish me luck!

Attend local free events. Many towns and cities offer free or donation-based events to their residents over the summer! There are several blogs and Facebook groups dedicated to publicity for these and I encourage you to find one near you. Whether it be attending an outdoor movie, a fitness class, or a baseball game- there's no reason to miss out!

Hopefully these ideas will help inspire you to make the most of your summer. I know I plan on doing each of these things at least once before Fall comes around. Did I miss any good ideas? Please share your thoughts in a comment!

How will you rock this summer? What are your favorite summertime activities?
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