A weekend guide to Dallas, TX - Where to stay, Where to eat, and What to do!

Dallas, Texas was the last stop of our Texas tour. We road tripped after landing and started in Houston then made our way to Austin, Waco and finally Dallas. We loved them all!! Every town has its own unique vibes. The food was great everywhere but was especially good in Dallas!!

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Where To Stay:

First thing when we did when arriving in Dallas was check in and drop our bags off at the cutest little hotel called Texican Court, actually located just miles outside of Dallas in Irving, TX. This was the perfect location for us! Our activities were in Dallas and its suburbs of Fort Worth and Arlington so this location was nice and central! It was also SOOO cute!! A modern 70’s vibes and I loved every single bit of it!! They also had a super cute Restaurant and Cantina and outdoor firepits for s’mores at night!

Jumpsuit Here Pajamas Here

Where To Eat:

Tacos Mariachi - You know it, all about the tacos! Delish! They are known for their shrimp & octopus tacos, so we tried both along with 2 meats. All great! Scotty loved the meat ones and I loved the shrimp.

Pecan Lodge - Waited in line for an hour and a half for this bbq and I wasn’t even mad about it! Totally worth every single minute! Come Hungry!

Smoky Rose - We ate here because it was A. adorable and B. right by the Dallas Arboretum. The appetizers were good but we were a little disappointed with our food. I had the Salmon BLT and Scotty had the Brisket (which we ate everywhere, so we may have just been on BBQ overload by this point!)

The Rustic - Known for their margarita with a popsicle in it! Super cute and Super strong! Food was great and live music, a fun night time vibe or a weekend hang!

Tribal All Day Café - A cute little coffee shop in a fun part of town that is getting a ton of new places built!

Other Places we didn’t have time to try but were highly recommended:

Nick & Sam’s

Velvet Taco

Marianos ( in Arlington & the first frozen marg!)

Deep Ellum Brewing Company

What To Do:

Dallas Arboretum - Such a gorgeous place to walk around and enjoy the beautiful flowers in every corner! Would be a great place to pick up food or pack a lunch and have a picnic on the grass overlooking the water and gorgeous flowers.

North Park Center - IF you are a shopping junky this is totally your place! It has all the shops you will be looking for in one place!

Trinity Groves - The perfect place to take pictures of the Dallas skyline

Dallas Cowboy Stadium Tour (or game if you visit that time of year!) - Such an incredible stadium to tour! Whether you are a fan or football or not you will want to see this place!

Texas Rangers Game - We travel all over the Country to visit each baseball stadium. So this stadium is number 19 on our quest for 30. We always get the most popular food at each park, which you can see if a 3 foot hot dog called the “boomstick”

Visit Fort Worth Stockyards - Such a cool experience, and the perfect place to pickup some cowboy boots or a new hat! We got to watch the cattle drive and if you are in town on Fri and Sat nights they have a rodeo year round.

Dallas Was such a great place to visit with SO much to see! We luckily narrowed it down to a weekend but be sure to let me know and everyone else who reads this if I missed anything! Xo, Amanda

Houston, TX - Where to Eat, Stay and Play

If you’re new around here you may not know me and my hubby Scott. We have a bucket list dream to see all of the 30 baseball stadiums. After this trip we added numbers 18 and 19 to the list! This is a fun way for us to see different areas of the country that we may have otherwise never have. We arrived in Houston after landing in Dallas , rented a car, and 3 1/2 hours later, we finally arrived at our beautiful hotel.

Where to Stay:

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We stayed at the most beautiful location, Hotel Alessandra. The Hotel is actually owned by The Valencia Group which has quite a few properties around Texas. We have stayed at 2 others and loved them both equally as much! Three things we always love at hotels: 1. A gym for the hubby (Super important stuff here! lol) 2. Esthetic! I love a gorgeous location, something different then most hotels. This gives me pure joy! 3. Service! Customer service is always so important to me and a hotel that goes above and beyond also gives me joy!

This Hotel was nothing short of that! A perfect hotel for the hubs, amazing customer service for me, and talk about beautiful! Every little detail was so stunning. They even had fresh flowers throughout the hotel. I would have been just fine enjoying this place the entire trip.. but we did come for other reasons as well.

What To Do:

Nasa Space Center - A forty minute drive from downtown Houston. Totally worth the drive for your space lovers to experience. You will want to do the tour that shows you inside of the center for sure!

Astro’s Baseball Game - After all this is the whole reason we were visiting Houston! This stadium was super cute and not too far from our hotel. Every time we visit a new stadium we try to eat the food they are known for. This stadium is known for their chicken and waffles. Its a waffle cone stuffed with chicken and mashed potatoes.

Brenham to visit Blue Bell Ice Cream - We stopped in Brenham on our way to Austin, but this is such a great trip from Houston as well. Loved visiting in April to see all of the beautiful blooms all over, peep photos below! Also so great to visit the Blue Bell Ice Cream, every scoop is $1 so come prepared!

Other must do’s are:

  • Wild West for line dancing (we were suppose to do this on night one but showed up too late)

  • Museum of Natural Science

  • Houston Zoo

  • Children’s Museum of Houston

  • Cockrell Butterfly Center

  • Toyota Center to see a basketball game

Where To Eat:

Sweet Paris - So many locations throughout Houston. We ate at the Drexel Dr. location. This is the best place to grab food. So cute, so delicious and the area surrounding it was the best to hangout and drive around.

Original Ninfa’s - Delicious Mexican food located in Houston, not too far from downtown. Make sure to get the tacos and queso dip. You wont be sorry.

What-a-burger - So… this is my second time in Texas having What-a-burger and I just cant get behind it. I am just an In-n-out burger girl at heart. With that said I still think you should try it if ever in Texas or a location where they have it!

Other places to try:

  • El Tempo

  • 8th Wonder Brewery

  • Boomtown Coffee Main St. Café & Bistro

Thanks for tagging along on our Houston journey! For more behind the scenes on all of our travel adventures be sure to subscribe. Xo, Amanda Warren

My bedtime routine in 7 steps

What you do before bed sets you up for a beneficial 7-8 hours in your beauty routine! My husband is constantly cracking jokes about how long it takes me to get ready for bed. No matter the time its totally worth it to me! So here is my 7 step run down:

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  1. A Clean Face

    No matter what I always go to bed with a clean face. Going to bed with your makeup on or only using a makeup remover is leaving your skin prone to acne, wrinkles, and enlarged pores.

    1. Makeup remover - I always use a makeup remover towellet to start this process and currently am loving the Rodan + Fields makeup remover.

    2. I posted about this a few times, but I always use the Dermalogica pre cleanse. You massage it into your face without water to help clean off your makeup. You then add water to your hands and massage a little more

    3. Cleanse - I have used several different face washes over the years and I always seem to come back to Rodan + Fields. It really helps with my stubborn acne. If acne isn’t what you are fighting with I would recommend the Dermalogica cleansing solution.

2. Tone & Prep

  • I will typically use a toner with witch hazel. If I haven’t already in the morning I will use a daily peel treatment from Dr. Dennis Gross and get my skin nice and clean and prepped from my nightly moisturizer.

3. Hydrate

  • While my skin sits from the toner I brush my teeth, take my vitamins (they give me a tummy ache so I take them before bed to save myself)

  • Drink a full glass of water! — this ensures I get some extra hydration before bed and keeps me satisfied for the night of sleep.

4. Night Creams

  • Depending on how my skin is doing (breakout or not) I will add a light moisturizer to my face like the Fountain of Truth insta-face elixir

  • IF I am breaking out I will put on the Rodan + Field unblemish treatment

  • I apply foot cream with socks to help my toes stay extra soft and hand cream ( I love the Fountain of Truth - Youth in hand cream

5. Lash Boost

  • I quickly apply my lash and brown boost from Luna Nectar to help the condition of my lashes and growth of both my brow and lashes while I sleep

6. Lips

  • Add some lip moisturizer or chap stick to help my lips from drying out and making them so kissibly soft.

7. Pillow Magic

  • A few months ago I got this amazing NIGHT sleep pillow and have been having the best nights sleep ever since. I am in no way exaggerating. This pillow helps hair while sleeping, by reducing frizz and adding shine to the hair. It also helps with wrinkles and acne by protecting against environmental allergens, dust mites, mold and fungus from setting on your pillow and potentially clogging your pores. WORTH EVERY PENNY!

Hopefully these 7 steps help clear up why I spend so much time in the bathroom every night! For all products click on the photo for more info and to purchase! Also, please let me know below if you have any recommendations for me! I always love trying new products!

Xo, Amanda Warren

Decorating a power girl's Office

Now that I am working more from home I decided I needed to redecorate my office and make a creative space for me to work out of. I needed a bright space with touches of pink!

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I added a rack for my clothing to shoot soon or to use when I am picking out clothes for our next trip. I also added these cute Scout storage boxes. The bottom box is to store all of my Matrix supplies and the top for my paperwork, files and taxes. I was lucky enough to find everything pretty much at Amazon (all linked below just click on photo)

The photos above are from   Desenio.com   and can be found on their website.

The photos above are from Desenio.com and can be found on their website.

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I needed a space that was functional and helped inspire me! It truly changes your outlook when you have a place to work from everyday that keeps you happy and upbeat!

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10 Count Guide To Picking The Perfect Outfit Everytime!

When I was fresh out of high school I was crowned “Dairy Princess” of my hometown. This meant I traveled around educating people about the importance of milk and dairy products with the Real California Milk Advisory. Right after getting my sash and crown they shipped me out of town to learn all there is about milk, speaking and etiquette. I learned many things on that trip, but the two big things I still use today are, the 10 counting steps to picking the perfect outfit, and dinner etiquette. I know you are here for all the fashion 411 so lets dive right in!

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Each piece of clothing, hair accessory, hat, bag, jewelry, shoes are all 1 point. If the item has a print, sequins or anything that makes it more than a neutral piece it is 2 points. The etiquette class explained to never go over 10 points, but also not to go under 5, at the risk of being a bit boring and not having that sparkle factor.

  • As shown above the green dress with flowers would be 2 points.

  • The hat would be 1 point.

  • The bag could be 1 or 2 points depending on what you wear it with. If I wore it with the dress I would say 1 point.

I am a bit basic as I’ve gotten older so I mostly use this when I am about to leave the house and want to make sure I have enough points. When they first taught me this method I had a print skirt, tiara, sash and a sequined sweater among other things. Lets just say I was well above 10! Here are a few examples of my everyday outfits and how I count them!

It’s always fun to push the boundaries and make your style uniquely yours! This is my way of helping ensure I have classic, beautiful outfits in many different styles! I Hope this helps you in your evolution of your own fashion game….and never forget to do so following proper etiquette!

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Balayage Vs. Highlights (whats right for you?)

Balayage has been the latest trend for many years now. Coming in all colors, dimensions, and lengths, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, anytime soon. Balayage is a French word meaning to sweep or paint. This technique gives the look of a natural “sun kissed” hair color. This technique was to give more of a look that young children get when spending all summer swimming in the sun. The trend has gone in many directions and been used in more ways. The sweeping technique gives an easier grow out process, by not giving a hard line when the hair grows out. This buys you more time before salon visits (unless you have grey hair and need to go in for touch ups in between).

Highlights have been around forever, They come in different forms, and are usually wrapped in foil. Highlights give you a compact and even color appearance. By wrapping in a foil it makes for an even lift when using lightener. Still able to use highlights in many colors and tones, you will be able to change the look and make it your own. Nowadays stylists are doing what we call a “shadow root”. This gives a darker base color on your highlights about a 1/2 inch to an inch to give your hair a better grow out process and give more of a balayage look all while still giving clients a lighter all over look.

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Basic Highlight

As you can see the color goes all the way up to the base of the hair and is solid the whole way through the hair.

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Shadow Root

As you can see here I took a section at her base and used a darker color allowing her longer time between visits and giving a better grow out process and more of a balayage look than a regular highlight.

Now you know the run down.. So what’s right for you?

You may want a balayage if you:

  • Don’t like to go into the salon as often

  • You like a more “natural” look

  • You only want to see the lightness towards the bottom of your hair

  • Less noticeable regrowth lines

You may want highlights if:

  • You want lightness right at the base of your hair

  • You want all over uniform lightness

Highlight VS Balayage

What will you choose?

Beauty & Health Benefits Of Raw Honey

You may know that honey can help with a sore throat, but do you know the difference between regular honey and raw honey? Raw Honey contains vitamins, nutrients and enzymes. Regular honey has actually little to no pollen and it’s main ingredient is actually high fructose corn syrup. Raw honey will help with anti-viral and anti-fungal properties, contains powerful antioxidents, balances blood sugar levels, stabilize blood pressure, boost immune function and helps heal skin conditions.

Recently I was having terrible stomach pains every time I would eat something. I read online raw honey would help with digestion. Every time my stomach would act up I began to drink hot tea, raw honey and a dash of cinnamon. Thankfully my stomach issues have been gone this whole week.

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Raw honey has so many benefits both internally and externally. Here are my top 5 favorite beauty benefits of raw honey:

  1. Sunburn: Honey is an anti-inflammatory which helps with burned skin and speeding up the recover process.

  2. Nourished Hair: It’s no wonder Biolage R.A.W. Shampoo and Conditioner contains honey. It helps hair by curing dry damaged hair leaving it nourished and full of shine.

  3. Moisturizing Skin: Don’t have the latest mask from the store but suffering from a dry winter? Honey is a great moisturizing mask! Leave on for 15-20 min and rinse with warm water. Leaving skin soft and glowing.

  4. Bath Soak: Leave that bath bomb at the store and grab some raw honey for a bath that will leave your skin silky soft. Just mix 2 large tablespoons with hot water until dissolved and pour into tub.

  5. Scar Fader: honey has been known to be a great wound healer, the antioxidants nourish damaged skin and help the healing process. Massage into skin for 1-2 minutes and rinse off.

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Some additional health benefits that come from raw honey are:

  • Reduces the risk of illness and disease

  • Helps to heal cuts and wounds

  • Helps with weight loss

  • Boost energy

  • Relieves morning sickness

  • Supports good bacteria

  • Raises levels of antioxidants in blood

  • 27 minerals and 22 amino acids

  • Helps fight off allergies

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When shopping for raw honey its really important to keep in mind are where its sourced. Republic of Vermont takes pride in their honey by not using antibiotics on their bees. This always insures the healthiest of honey rich in flavor and natural enzymes. For more info on them and their honey head to www.RepublicofVermont.com

The Most Delicious 3 Days In Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy checks in at the number one place we have ever visited. A major deciding factor on this opinion was based on all the delicious food we enjoyed. We traveled to Florence from Venice by train. The train was the easiest way to travel around Italy.

Where to Stay

Once we arrived in Florence we took a cab to our hotel at the Helvetia & Bristol hotel. This hotel was in a great location and came highly recommended through Costco Travel. We booked parts of our trip to Europe through them and were so pleasantly surprised on how well everything went. They went above and beyond for everything and all of our rooms were upgraded. Score!

What To Do

The First day we arrived in Florence we had a Vespa tour of Tuscany, with wine tasting and lunch all included. It rained a little that day but rain or shine we were ready to have this experience. What an out of this world experience we did have! The views were straight out of a movie or dream! This was so much fun, totally worth the helmet hair and ugly poncho’s. We used Viator to book the tour, click here for more information.

The next two days we toured all that Florence had to offer.

The Duomo

We also went through Viator for this tour, here. If you want to go to the top of the Bell Tower it is important to book this before ever arriving on your trip.

Shop for Leather

So much leather goods, bags, coats, luggage, you name it they have it. Never settle for the first price always haggle!

Uffizi Gallery

If visiting the first Sunday of the month like we did, go earlier in the day and grab a ticket. This will show what time to come back and begin your tour. This is the only day of the month that the gallery is free. It was busy everywhere in the city that day, but it didn't feel too bad in the museum once we go in. If going any other day of the month get your tickets online to preplan ahead.

Ponte Vecchio Bridge

Walk the bridge of gold, each store along the bridge sells gold and jewelry only. We walked this bridge on our way to Piazzale Michelangelo, where you can watch the sunset.

Other

Take a Train to Pisa or do a tour of the Leaning tour of Pisa from Viator, click here for more info.

Accademia Gallery, another museum that you could book a dual tour with Uffizi Gallery click here for more info

Now.. The reason I truly fell in love with Florence..

Where to Eat

Trattoria ZaZa : You will want to make reservations ahead of time here, the lines can get really long, but are totally worth it. The Food was so amazing here! We had a pasta dish with truffles that came recommended by our waiter and the Florentine steak. Pictured below.

Trattoria Sostaza :

If you are going to eat anywhere in Florence, EAT HERE! Believe me when I tell you this will be the best Chicken of your life. Yes Chicken. I can still taste the delicious and amazing flavor. Out of this world! Often frequented by celebs and locals alike, there was a huge line as the small restaurant doors opened for business the afternoon we arrived. So be sure to make a reservation!

Osteria dell’Enteca :

The most divine selection of wine and food. Again you want a reservation for this delicious place and it may be a bit out of the way depending on where you spend your time, but will totally be worth it!

All’ Antico Vinaio :

On our way out of town we stopped to pickup sandwiches for our train ride to Rome. We were able to pickup our sandwiches very quickly. However we walked by here on the weekend and the line was down the street.

Thanks for following along our delicious journey! I hope you enjoy your time in Florence as much as we did. Xo

Packing My Salon Bag With Ease

This past weekend I attended the cutest bridal event called Milk and Honey. I was a vendor and was able to do so many braids on newly engaged brides in our local community. It was such a fun experience and truly was great to put my packing skills to the test, for the many weddings I am doing hair for this year. Thankfully I had my Clevermade SnapBasket LUXE.

This great storage bag is so quick and easy to assemble. With just the snap of two sides it goes from flat to a standing bag in 2 seconds. This helps me store the bag away when not using it between weddings as well as at the salon where space is at a premium. I can store it flat, do my work, and prop it back up with 2 clicks and head on my way!

The convenience and ease of the CleverMade bag is also great for grocery shopping, picnics, beach days, and anything else you need a great bag for. Then when your back home it stores in a less than 2 inch flat bag. I was mostly impressed with the bags ability to collapse and then to snap into place and be a stable bag that stands upright on its own!

With laundry baskets, coolers, crates and this great bag the Clevermade line really has the whole organization thing on lock. Tap here for the LUXE bag and here for others.

Latest 5 things I Cant Live Without!

With so many new products and trends hitting the market everyday, its no wonder my skin care and beauty routines are changing constantly. I enjoy trying them all.. and I always love to report my findings. These are my 5 latest favs and why I love them!

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Moon Boost Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum by Luna Nectar

I am an eyelash extension junky and I am not afraid to admit it.. now that I have my lash boost serum. I apply this easy to use serum nightly on my lashes and my one eyebrow that is a little lower than the other. Within weeks of using it I had so much less brow to fill in and my lashes were full of sprouts. Sparse lashes and brows can be a result of many things; cancer (radiation therapy), thyroid disorder, and the natural aging process. Not able to prevent these causes the only alternative is to find a product that will help with a solution. The Moon Boost Serum is rich in essential fatty acids that will help lock in moisture to help supplement and encourage longer, fuller lashes and brows!

Other ways to help protect lashes and brows are being sure to remove your makeup before bed and making sure to take your vitamins and minerals. For more info and product click here.

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VII Code - O2M Oxygen Eye Mask For All Night Repair

Who doesn’t want to go to sleep and wake up looking well rested. Seems easy right? Yeah.. we all know a great night of sleep doesn't always show on the outside. These 8 hour under eye pads are so easy to use and the first of their kind that have been okayed for this long of use. They left me feeling moisturized and instantly reduced my quickly increasing fine lines. They also have eye masks for dark circles that will help increase the blood flow and boost oxygen. This line is sure to help all your under eye needs and leave you feeling like you just spent the day at the spa. For more info and product click here.

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Clean Skin Club - Clean Wipes

The number one thing I loved about these face cleaning wipes was that they were two times as big! This is hugely important when taking your makeup off, especially when you have a full day of makeup! I also love the fact that they are paraben, and fragrance and alcohol free. Clean is not only in the name of their cleaning wipes but the fact that the whole line Is for cleaning and keeping your skin clean. I love the cleaning wipes along with their clean towels, clean swabs and so many other great products to keep your skin CLEAN and clear! For more info and products click here

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Celery Juice

I recently started drinking celery juice every morning on an empty stomach, then after waiting 20 minutes to eat or drink anything else. I first started this to help my skin. Its no secret I suffer from acne, and if you follow me on the gram I am always talking about it. After turning 30 I started to not only suffer from this but was also having allergic reactions from the use of Salacilic Acid products. After juicing for nearly 3 weeks now my skin is not only on its way to a speedy recovery, but my mood is happier, I’m much less tired. Honestly, starting your day out with vegetables is a sure fire way to be on the road to a successful day! For more information on celery juice head to www.medicalmedium.com for my favorite juicers look here, here, and here.

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Dermalogica PreCleanse

This is one of my new great loves! I honestly get excited about using it! The smell is amazing and I can feel it cleaning deeply into my pours as I use it. Before I found this product I was double washing my face. I would start with a clean wipe, then one face wash and then another to make sure to get all the products I had from the day off my skin. Along with the day’s products there are many environmental chemicals we can often pickup. In December I switched out the first face wash with precleanse and I have never been more happier. It not only cleanses the skin, but it smells great and helps nourish it. Trust me you wont be sorry you tried this! Pick yours up here .

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Thank you so much for checking out my 5 new favorite beauty items! Let me know below if this is helpful to you! Also, let me know what I should doing next! Xo, Amanda

Three Days In The Rainy City!

For Seattle being such a rainy city, we never felt a drop…and we were just fine with that! This trip to Seattle actually took place back in 2017 before I had a blog and was sharing my favorite travel spots with you all! This trip was AGAIN a trip for my husband’s birthday and to see another baseball stadium. We headed to Seattle from Fresno, CA on a direct flight through Alaska Air. Quick and Easy!!

DAY ONE

As soon as we landed we hit the ground running! By 9am we had already dropped off our bags and were seated at the cutest restaurant overlooking the water above Pikes Place Market. Lowell’s had food just as good as the view. You wont want to miss this breakfast! Once we fueled up we were ready to explore. We shopped throughout Pikes Place where we watched the famous throwing of the fish, smelled all the fresh Peonies and checked out all the yummy looking food!

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After exploring we hopped in an Uber and headed to the Seattle Mariners game! We grabbed some beers, garlic fries and sat in some excellent seats behind home plate! When teams aren't quite as good, or don't have the biggest fan base, or because its a mid week game you can often get seats like these for a steal! You know what that means…more money for shopping later!

Once the game was over we opted to walk with the rest of the crowd back towards our hotel and get our room situated. We stayed at the Kimpton Palladian Hotel. With its moody modern feel and being walking distance from Pikes Place, this was a perfect feel for us!

Now that we were all checked in we headed down to the Seattle waterfront and rode their famous ferris wheel before having a beautiful dinner over looking the water at Elliott’s Oyster House. They had the most amazing salmon we had ever had!

Taking a gorgeous walk along the water back to our hotel we spotted the first ever Starbucks! Although the last thing either of us needed was coffee we couldn’t pass up the fact that there was no line!! (This is unheard of! The lines are usually so long to get a coffee here. So I highly suggest going right before they close!)

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DAY TWO

Waking up on Day 2 was my hubby’s actual birthday. He wanted to start it off no other way than with a great workout. Yeah, he’s one of those people.. (insert eye roll emoji) lol! Peep the photo of the hotel gym.. we also scout out where we will be staying according to if they have a gym. Yes, you can insert another eye roll if you like!

Now that we got the workout out of the way.. we headed out to…you guessed it…eat. Lets face it, we only workout so we can eat more! At the top of the Space Needle they have a restaurant called SkyCity, we headed here for brunch on the rotating top! Such a cool experience, with great food! Even a smoking dessert for the birthday boy! Our meal came with a voucher for visiting the next level on the Space Needle.

Next we walked a couple steps over to the Chihuly Garden and Glass. Talk about out of this world and such a unique experience you can only see in Seattle. Peep the photos below for how amazing it all was.

Now that our bellies were full and our minds full of art we called an uber and headed 30 min north of the city to the winery Chateau Ste. Michelle. Their Riesling was one of the first wines I ever started drinking. I have them to thank for my delicious habit. They have the most beautiful venue with free tours going all day and a large tasting room. They also do huge concerts throughout the year. We were one day late on our trip for seeing John Ledged. Be sure to check them out it was totally work the cost of the uber!

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After a long day of fun we headed back to the hotel for a quick 20 min nap.. (its tiring drinking all that wine!) and a change of clothes before dinner. We ate at the Metropolitan Grill. One of my all time favorite restaurants we have been to. The food was amazing and the staff was the very sweetest! It’s no wonder its a favorite spot for Russell Wilson! My mouth is literally watering as I am typing this. If you don't go anywhere I suggest on this blog.. Go here!

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DAY THREE

Woke up a little later today after sleeping in, ordering room service, and packing up for check out. We ran, literally, to catch the ferry to Bainbridge Island. I felt like I was on an episode of Greys Anatomy.. looking everywhere for McDreamy with no luck. Bainbridge is a cute little town, something out of a Hallmark movie with all the charm and quiet town vibes. We walked and admired the beauty all the way to the local diner, featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives! If it's on triple D’s we go! Two orders of burgers, fries and milkshakes later we were headed back on the windy ferry.

Once back on ground in Seattle we hopped in another Uber and went to Theo Chocolate Factory for a tour and delicious tasting! (Although we don't see much of these chocolate bars in Cali we did JUST see them in Yosemite last week!) Not far from the chocolate factory is the Fremont Troll which is a local tourist spot for photos that is nestled in between homes and under a bridge.

Back to Pike Place Market for a little shopping and some more FOOD! I am a terrible influence on vacation, but Beecher’s mac and cheese had to be sampled and it was oh so worth it!!

After a little exploring we picked up our bags from the hotel and headed to the cutest train station. Heading to Portland next, the train ride was super easy and convenient. We use Amtrak often on our trips over driving whenever we can get a straight shot. This gives us time to read, sleep, eat some more, and not have to deal with driving and traffic.

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Thanks for following along our 3 day trip to Seattle, Washington! We had so much fun visiting this beautiful city and hope to go back again one day! If you have any other recommendations please let me know! OR if you visit any of the places we mention please let me know how you liked it! I always love to hear everyone’s travel plans! Until next time.. XO, Amanda

The Perfect Surprise Trip To Denver

I’ve noticed a trend of you guys loving my social photos and stories over on Insta a little more than others. That makes me so happy because I just love planning travel trips for me and the hubs! So I decided to incorporate some travel guides from our most favorite trips! I do hope you will enjoy! First up.. Denver, Colorado! We went for a “Surprise” trip for the hubs birthday last June. Although I didn't tell him where we were going just that it took a plane to get there, he somehow guessed it! We go on trips every year to see new baseball stadiums, so I think he knew that was one we hadn't been to. Nevertheless, we had a wonderful time!

Where We Stayed:

Kimpton Hotel Born

I have been obsessed with Kimpton hotels for a few years now, so of course I had to find one on this trip as well! This hotel was just as amazing as all the others and was about 10 steps from Union Station. They have a nightly wine hour, that sometimes has beer and appetizers! Delish! This hotel also had a Tesla for the hotel car and could take you to wherever you needed to go around the city. Score!

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What To Eat:

Sam’s #3 Breakfast - Such great breakfast, and super packed so be ready to wait! With 3 locations in Denver you will be sure to find one to eat at. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner and have over 100 items on the menu, so everyone will love it! It was featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, so that's basically why we went there.

Linger - Such a trendy and cute place with a menu that makes you feel like you just got on Disney’s Soaring Around the World. It lists food by places around the world. We loved everything we ate and enjoyed the views just as much! Save room because the little man ice cream is located just below and tastes just as delish!

Little Man Ice Cream - YUM! I love ice cream more than the average person so we of course ate here more than once on our trip and both times were just as delicious! The cutest little spot is located just outside of Linger and has so many different flavors! Again be ready to wait in line, its longer at night but totally worth the wait!

Denver Biscuit & Co - My mouth is watering as I type. It was that good! Everything biscuits and they even have stacks of games to play as you wait for a table or your food. Super cute, fun and delicious!

Bacon Social House - Although this location was nowhere near our hotel or anywhere we were going, we just had to! Plus it was a trip for the hubs birthday and he says “Anything is good with bacon on it” all the time so it was a perfect place to have our last breakfast in Denver! You must get the Bacon Flight, its so good! Everything, even the non bacon items, were amazing!

It looks like we mostly ate at breakfast places but other places I found to eat at but never got a chance to try were:

  • Lucile’s Creole Café (Beignets)

  • Spinelli’s Market (Deli)

  • Sugar Bakeshop and Coffee House (Homemade Poptarts)

  • Comida (Mexican)

link for dress    here      -   Bag        here        and        here

link for dress here - Bag here and here

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What To Do:

Coor’s Brewery Tour - This is about 35 min from the hotel in Denver we stayed at and is in Golden, Colorado. When arriving you want to go to the parking lot, the line for the tour starts there. You can’t take any purses or bags into the building, so if you got there by an Uber like we did you can put your purse in a locked box across the street in a liquor store. Kind of sketchy but everything was fine when I picked it back up! (thank goodness!) The tour doesn't take long and they give you samples along the way, if you like beer. The hubs drank for us both!

Rocky Mountains Tour - Such a great experience. The tour we went on was Discover Rocky Mountain National Park from Denver, link here, it was full day with lots to see and full of knowledge from our driver about the area. Lunch is included along with a stop on the way home at the Stanley hotel. This is where the Shining and Dumb and Dumber scenes were filmed. The tour picks you up right out fron of the Union Station in Denver, which is perfect if you are staying at the Kimpton Born, it will take you about 2 min to walk across to the front of the station.

Walk Denver - Take a walk down 16th street where they have many shops, places to eat and the cutest pianos that are all decorated differently and you can enjoy playing on. Another great place to walk around is Larimer Square, such a cute spot to explore with many boutique shops and delicious places to eat.

Union Station - This was by far my favorite part of Denver. The CUTEST place to hangout and have a drink. People are walking in and out at all times, playing games and have a drink. There are some cute places to look at, including BLOOM a super cute flower stand that I couldn't help but take a picture by!

Mile High Stadium - Even if you aren't in town for a game its fun to do a tour. I even enjoyed getting to see all the behind the stadium tour of how everything is ran. Of course I’m sure the hubs enjoyed it more than I did, he is the only football fan at our house after all.

Coors Field - Now the real reason we went all the way to the mile high city! To see our 16th stadium of the 30 Major League stadiums. Always a great time seeing a game, grabbing a beer, and eating whatever the most popular food is at the stadium. This stadium was known for the rocky mountain oysters. (they taste like chicken)

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Jumpsuit linked    here      -      here      -      here

Jumpsuit linked here - here - here

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The best pants ever!    Here    - Similar Top    here    - Sunnies    here

The best pants ever! Here - Similar Top here - Sunnies here

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Dress linked    here    - bag linked    here    - shoes linked    here    (my favorite summer shoe) scarf tied on bag    here

Dress linked here - bag linked here - shoes linked here (my favorite summer shoe) scarf tied on bag here

Thanks for following along our fun trip to Denver! One last tip I have for you is to ride the train from the airport to Union station. Super easy, fast and you save some extra money for all that beer you’ll be drinking!

If you’ve been to Denver and have a favorite spot I didn't list, I would love to hear about it for my next trip! It really was a great place to visit! Enjoy your travels Xo

Picking The Perfect Facemask

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Finding the perfect skincare product that is right for your skin type, without spending all your time and money can be tough! Lucky for you, this girl is a sucker for a great facemask and I tried about a million different masks! All in the name of research!

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Lets start the fun off with Acne, my sworn nemesis! My favorite mask for acne after all I have tried is still Indian healing clay mixed with apple cider vinegar. See article here . Others I loved were Dr. Jart+ Dermask Micro Jet Clearing Solution, helping fight breakouts and reduce the appearance of my scars was a solid win for me! Another one for more of a splurge was Sunday Riley, Saturn Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask. This left my skin filling amazing and helps to fight future breakouts as well as those you already have, total win!

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Sheet masks! Besides being the perfect ghost costume next Halloween, what’s the best? Are they actually helping? What I have found using a sheet mask vs. using a regular is the harshness of the mask is not as much, this is a great product for a first timer or those with sensitive skin! Revolve.com and Costco have LAPCOS Variety Pack that will give you everything you are looking for! What I loved about these is the thickness of the mask and how well they fit on your face compared to other sheet masks! Sephora also has great sheet mask options!

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Pore minimizer… who couldn't use that! Kiehl’s rare earth deep pore cleansing masque was a perfect light mask that took away shine and oils while reducing pores. Origins also has a mask that does the same, Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask. One of my favs, because you can see the pores when the mask is done doing its job is The Glamglow SuperMud Clearing Treatment. This is a must try, you will love! Can also be used upto 3 times a week!

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Lastly an overnight mask! I never used these until recently and boy am I glad I started! Glow Recipe -Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask is a great overnight choice to help brighten and hydrate skin while helping with oil and not making acne flare up (from experience here!) The smell is also amazing! Another Night mask I actually use for my under eyes when I am going to wake up early, have been traveling or just need a little love for those bags, is Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Hydro Sleek Mask. Helping lock in moisture and the nutrients your skin needs all while helping with dryness, lack of firmness and elasticity!

Hope These top recommendations help you next time you are out shopping for a face mask! Let me know what your personal favorite is below!

The Perfect Party Favor

This year my Christmas gift to my clients is the best party favor I just had to share! I made my favorite festive popcorn and wrapped it up in the perfect customizable bags from Zazzle.

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White Chocolate Popcorn Recipe

Supplies

  • 2 bags of Orville butter movie theater popcorn

  • 1 bag of Wilton white melt chocolate

  • Wilton red and green melt chocolates (or whatever colors go with your theme)

  • Salt

  • Sprinkles (in the theme and colors of desire)

Recipe

  • Pop popcorn as instructed on packaging and place in large bowl.

  • Place white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for one minute, stir. Heat for 30 min and continue to stir until well melted.

  • Drizzle on Popcorn and blend well until evenly distributed.

  • Take a pan with edging and line with waxed paper. Evenly lay out popcorn mixture and sprinkle with salt (as little or as much as desired)

  • Melt chocolate colors in bowl in the same way. Put into pipping bag (I have linked below) and drizzle over popcorn mixture.

  • Sprinkle the fun and bright sprinkles over everything. Let cool and harden for 1 hour, or 10 min in fridge. Break apart and enjoy!

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Supplies You Will Need



The Perfect Gift For The Man Who Has Everything!

The Holiday season is upon us and the last gift I always have to buy is for the most difficult man to shop for. He’s the one who needs nothing and has everything. Sound familiar?? I came up with a fun gift for that exact man that is practical, and something he will love!

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I’d like to start this gift by picking a cute and light weight toiletry bag. He can use this at home to hold all of his products. It’s also great for travel when he is on the road and exploring! I fill it with hair products, brushes, and all the things you know come in handy for anyone… Not sure which hair care items will be the right one for him? Let me narrow that list down for you!

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First, I start with a shampoo. The shampoo I love to for a man’s gift is “Grow” shampoo by Johnny B. It contains plant extracts that deeply cleanse the scalp. It also removes impurities from the hair bulb letting hair growth continue to happen. This shampoo is not just for the man who is needing help with growth but a great choice for all men looing to keep their hair optimally healthy and strong.

Next, I pair the shampoo with a conditioner. I like the “Conditional” by Johnny B. Their special formula contains Jojoba for treating dryness, amino acids for shine, and hops for thicker looking hair. This can be used on all hair types to give healthy shiny hair. Perfect for ANY man!

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Now that you have a shampoo and conditioner picked out I like to add a styling aid. This can be a little harder to pick out if you don’t know what he uses. So I narrow this down to two different types.

  1. Control, which is a gel. This will be more for someone who enjoys volume. As well as long lasting hold, that never gets flaky ( thanks to its alcohol free formula). This gel is easy to wash out, and never gets sticky, greasy or oily. It also gives hydration to all hair types and volume to fine hair.

  2. Molding Paste is for the man you’re shopping for that likes natural shine with heavy duty hold! This paste accentuates the natural hair texture to create any edgy look. Great for every rocked out style with maximum hold.

Both of these products can work in so many ways. You really can’t go wrong with either! Johnny B is my favorite go- to for all the men I have sit in my chair. The smells of each product are clean and never over powering. They don’t lose their hold or get runny or flaky during the day as you are sweating and keeping up a busy life. This makes them a great choice for all ages!

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Lastly, I like to add something in the bag that every man can use… a brush or comb! In this gift I went with the Feels Brush. This brush is soft, flexible and gentle. It’s great for anyone and an ideal accessory for those with sensitive scalp who want to promote less breakage and add more shine.

These are my favorite things to give to the man who has it all! Other cute things to add in could be:

  • A protein bar (who doesn’t love a snack)

  • Johnny B Shave Cream, has medicinal-like ingredients that help with a friction free shave.

  • Johnny B Beard Oil (helps with conditioning, hydrating and growth)

  • After Shave, Johnny B has a great one that smells amazing and doesn’t use alcohol

  • Mouth wash and/or tooth paste

I hope this helps with shopping ideas during this crazy time of year! Have a Merry Christmas and have fun shopping for the man who has it all!




10 Must Have Travel Beauty Finds

It's no secret that I LOVE to travel, but I also love my skin and hair to look as great as it does in the comfort of my home. Sometimes that's hard to do when you’re constantly on the go. There are so many other factors, like different water quality, humidity, etc. that come into play when seeing all the beautiful world has to offer us! Along my wonderful journey I have found products that work great for me and keep my skin and hair in the best shape! Checkout my 10 fav beauty products that fill my toiletry bag to save so much time when packing and getting ready in small hotel bathrooms!


First thing to start packing when heading on a trip is the luggage and toiletry bags. I got this bag last year on Amazon. Great find to be able to separate your items by (makeup, cleaning, and hair) Also has a hanger that is perfect for the limited counter space you have in hotel bathrooms! Hang it up and its out of the way for your whole stay!


1. I always have to pack a great face wash! My skin is normally oily and acne prone, but on vacation I feel like everyone’s can be! This face wash will help remove impurities and oils, which can be in overdrive when on vacation! Not to mention extra pollutants that can be in the air if you are traveling to a big city!


2. Another great skincare item I like to take with me is Dr. Jart+ water fuse hydro sleep mask. Although your skin can get oily from the constant movement and all day fun you are having, sometimes it can be dry. That will depend on where you are heading, but I always pack this just incase! This mask is super easy, you wear while you are sleeping so it wont take away from any of your traveling fun!


3. This next item is probably already in your everyday essentials and probably goes without saying. However I must add! I use these makeup removed towelettes everyday. They help to pre-remove my makeup before washing. I don't recommend using just these or just a facewash when taking off your makeup. I use these, and two face washes to help remove makeup! Makeup brands make that stuff to last, and that LAST thing you want to be doing is sleeping with makeup you thought you removed


4. Speaking of sleep.. I cannot do without my sleep gummies! These babies come in handy when getting on a long plane ride and trying to adjust to time change!


5. What good are sleep gummies without a sleep mask! Slip Eye mask is my favorite! Helps keep all your skin products on your face instead of absorbing into the fabric. Also helps to reduce friction and static on your hair! Silk pillows are also the best for your hair!


6. Now that your skin is prepped and sleep is covered let us talk hair! My favorite shampoo and conditioner duo to take on vacation is Nourish by Biolage. My hair always seems to be more dry when I leave home so I try to over compensate and beat the problem with my haircare routine on the road! This R.A.W. duo always works amazing for my trips!


7. Cant pack a bag without toothpaste! And my favorite is Marvis!


8. Last things I pack in my bag are my go to quick beauty products! Last thing I want to be on vacation is high maintenance… (okay ANY MORE high maintenance then I normally am! lol) So I use a tinted moisturizer over a foundation. For one I want extra sunscreen coverage without that heavy coverage that may sweat off depending on what the day might bring! Laura Mercier has the absolute best tinted moisturizer!! BEST!


9. After I have applied my tinted moisturizer and let it sink into my skin I use this MAC contour kit. Super easy to pack and all in one container. I can use this to fill in my brows, as eyeshadow, contour, and blush! Although at home I have many different items I use, on vacation you want to bring as little as possible and something you can use for everything


10. Lastly.. I add on my favorite Sugar Rose by fresh to help keep my lips hydrated while on the go. It has the best tint to it! I will sometimes apply this at night as well if my lips are more chapped then usual


I hope this rundown of my must pack beauty essentials will help on your next travel adventure! Feel free to click on each photo to better help you shop!

3 Holiday hairstyles anyone can do!

The holidays are quickly approaching and I am beyond excited for all the Christmas songs, Hallmark movies, yummy food and gorgeous styles! I wanted to put together a few of my favorite seasonal go-to hair styles I love doing on myself. Here I did them on my client in order post better photos, but be on the lookout for videos on the gram of me doing them on myself soon! Follow along below so you don't miss out, if you aren't already!

First up we have one of my favorite go-to styles when I don't feel like doing an updo but I need something more formal. Simply Elegant.

First curl hair all in the same direction the entire way around the head

First curl hair all in the same direction the entire way around the head

Next spray brush with hairspray and brush curls down and gently. (as shown in photo)

Next spray brush with hairspray and brush curls down and gently. (as shown in photo)

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Finish By

teasing hair to desired fullness and spray into place

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For added Drama

Add a deep part, tuck behind ear on the side with less hair and wear a pair of gorgeous earrings


Next up is a super easy updo that only takes about 5 minutes to do if my hair is semi curled from the day before. This style looks super chic and intricate, and is great for weddings, holiday parties, and even a day at the office if you are wanting something a little more special.

Smooth hair into a low pony

Smooth hair into a low pony

Tie hair with hair tie and when wrapping the last time leave hair into a bun like photo

Tie hair with hair tie and when wrapping the last time leave hair into a bun like photo

Spray hair with a texture spray like Biolage texture spray shown

Spray hair with a texture spray like Biolage texture spray shown

pinch and pull pieces to give a more “lived in” textured low bun

pinch and pull pieces to give a more “lived in” textured low bun

Now take the left over hair from your bun and wrap over the top of hair tie until you hit the back. Pull remainder of hair through the tie to hold in place. Use bobby pins to pin in place.

Now take the left over hair from your bun and wrap over the top of hair tie until you hit the back. Pull remainder of hair through the tie to hold in place. Use bobby pins to pin in place.

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Lastly, I wanted to show something that was simple and a little different than an everyday style. You can dress this up or down depending on the ribbon or hair accessory you are using. Here I used a mykitsch styling wrap to add a casual and fun style. You could also go to your local fabric store and get some velvet ribbon to add a more dressy look to this style.

Gather HALF hair and put into a half up securing with a no snag elastic. Make sure before securing hair tie that hair is smooth and any fringe around your face you would like left out is.

Gather HALF hair and put into a half up securing with a no snag elastic. Make sure before securing hair tie that hair is smooth and any fringe around your face you would like left out is.

Now that hair is in tie pinch and pull on crown if wanting added volume and fullness.

Now that hair is in tie pinch and pull on crown if wanting added volume and fullness.

Now take your detail piece and start by wrapping around and tying a knot in the back to hide knot. Continue to wrap around the hair until reaching desired length. Secure with knot in the back and tuck extra fabric.

Now take your detail piece and start by wrapping around and tying a knot in the back to hide knot. Continue to wrap around the hair until reaching desired length. Secure with knot in the back and tuck extra fabric.

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Wrap

using any type of fabric to give different looks and texture


Click to Purchase Items to help complete your look


Keeping a Tan all Year long!

Summer is over, Fall is here, and Winter is soon upon us! How’s that tan? If its half as bad as mine was then let me help you out! 10 hours before this photo I was as white as my spotted bestie, but thanks to Tanceuticals my tan is back!

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4 reasons this is my go to self tanner

  1. The tan itself! This self tanner color is spot on, not orange and looks natural!

  2. The smell! My husband didn't even know I had put a tanner on before bed because it smells so good!!

  3. Its so easy to apply! The glove that comes in the kit makes it so easy to apply the tanning lotion! It glides on super fast and smooth!

  4. It uses natural ingredients that are actually good for your skin!

When I was younger I use to love sunny days and laying out for hours with the “best” tanning products to increase my tan. All that was increasing was my mole count and the risk of skin cancer. Now as I am more worried about wrinkles and my actual health. I still try to enjoy the sun responsibly using sunscreen. Tanceuticals is a great way to give you a beautiful tan all year long and save you from the damage of the sun, along with giving your skin the added moisture that it needs.

More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other countries combined. Don't become part of the statistics. Make sure you are using sunscreens, checking your moles with a dermatologist, and getting and keeping your tan with a bottle not by worshiping the sun.

For more info on Self Tanner visit SelfTanning.com



3 steps to fix the dry hair from all that Summer Fun!

Summer is gone, tans are fading, and you’re left with nothing but dry hair and your memories. Follow these 3 changes to your weekly haircare routine to fix that dry hair and be ready for Fall in no time!

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Step 1: You may be using a shampoo and conditioner that is right for your hair type, but right now is the time to RECOVER your hair from the damage of chlorine and summer sun. Switching to Biolage Raw Recover Shampoo & Conditioner will help restore your hair making it 15 times stronger through conditioning. You’ll also notice an added shine.

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Step 2: Add a weekly hair mask to your end of Summer routine. The Biolage Raw Re-Hab Clay Mask helps to deeply condition stressed hair and helps to rebuild the strength of your hair. Apply to your hair once a week. I like to wash my hair at night, then apply this mask. I leave it on my hair while I sleep. When I wake in the morning I’ll rinse and style as normal.

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Step 3: Once a week use the Matrix 3 step Re-Bond system in the shower. Step 1: shampoo with re-bond shampoo, containing citric acid. Step 2: apply pre-conditioner containing maleic acid and leave on for 5 minutes, if extreme damage leave for up to 10. This step ensures the proper balance of strength and cosmetic feel in the hair. Step 3: layer conditioner, containing taurine, on top of step 2 and condition like usual. The ingredients contained in each of the steps work in tandem to restore the bonds of the hair. This 3 step system is the first haircare regimen to actually restore the chemical bonds on the hair


Click on link to purchase



My Fast Cure for Acne!

Are you suffering from acne that started in your teenage years and continued through adulthood? My joke to myself was “I’ll have acne right until the wrinkles start to set in”. WRONG! Wrinkles are coming and this darn acne is not leaving! I have seen so many dermatologists and done everything I can to help fight the battle! Certain products seem to really help, but others are just a quick fix. Around two years ago while looking for a new facemask on Amazon I found this Indian Healing Clay mask and decided to give it a try. At this price point it was worth a shot! Years have gone by and I still use it on a weekly basis, sometimes more if I am having a breakout or an important event coming up! (my husband calls it the “Hulk” mask. He thinks he’s funny!)

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The Indian Healing Clay works with Apple Cider Vinegar to help smooth and soften the skin, all while removing toxins. There are many things Indian Healing Clay can be used for, but my favorite is the ability to dry up my acne by drying up my breakouts in just one mask!

For application mix equal parts of Indian Healing Clay and Apple Cider Vinegar, apply to face evenly, and let sit. For sensitive skin they recommend letting it sit for 5 min and 15-20 for normal. I usually leave it on as long as I possibly can. My face is always beat red after washing off, but not to worry this is normal and will go away shortly after!

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I hope this helps you as it did me! Some other tips I would recommend are changing your pillowcase daily, washing morning and night and never touching your face. Remember, oils are NOT our friend!


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