5 YouTube Channels I'm Loving

Eleventh Gorgeous

These sisters are beauty/lifestyle gurus and incredibly entertaining the watch! As self-proclaimed drugstore girls, they have introduced me to some of the best products I've used. 

The DeFranco Family

This family vlog stars a precious little man and his mom who is basically #RealMomGoals.

Tati AKA Glam Life Guru

Need to see a review of a beauty product you're interested in? This girl will have it! I don't know if there is anyone on YouTube who strives to test every product out there as much as she does.

Carly Cristman

With Carly, you'll find sarcasm, humor, and incredible style all rolled into one. Honestly, if she wore  something other than black and white, I'd copy her whole wardrobe. 

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Hello October

My favorite YouTuber from across the pod! Her style is a tad more luxury, but her style tips are excellent. I especially love her vlogs around Brighton.

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Thoughts about my First Bracket and  Binging Podcasts is the New Black

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Sleeveless Trench Coat

Dress: Francesca's (old, but similar here and here) | Trench Coat: H&M (old, but similar here and here) | Shoes: BCBGeneration | Sunglasses: American Eagle | Nail Polish: Essie | Lips: CoverGirl 

 

When I came home with a sleeveless trench coach in my shopping bag, Steven shook his head. He looked at me and said, "What is the point of a sleeveless trench coat? It's not going to keep you warm." I laughed and while I knew he was correct, I couldn't help myself, I just loved it!

Since it's purchase, I tend to only wear the coat in spring and fall because the black is so heavy.In summer, I gravitate towardswhite and bright, vibrant colors. As a result, I typically find the long black silhouette to be overpowering when paired with summer outfits. Recently though, I realized this coat would look perfect with a black and white lace summer dress I already owned.

I've had this dress for a few years now and in the past, I've worn it with cropped jackets. They give the outfit a finished look, but because of the fuller skirt, there ends up being a boxy feel to it. The beauty of pairing this trench coat with a full skirt is the entire outfit suddenly slims down. I immediately feel taller. I paired the outfit with my black heels and added a bold red lip. Despite the lack of color, I am loving the diametrically opposed colors. While it deviates from what I typically like to wear in the summertime, I find the contrast bold, appealing, and striking.

As a bonus, I have found that this coat does keep my core warm!

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Events with Victoria Beckham For Target and Fall Skirt For Spring

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Yoga Playlist Vol. 2

I put together together another yoga playlist that became insanely popular with many of my students. Since the response to this one was as good as the first, I thought I would share it as well!

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Creativity and Set Your Intention: Find Stillness in Your Mind

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Summer Beauty Wish List

When it comes to beauty products, I am a drugstore girl at heart. I love finding quality products are great prices. The majority of the products I swear by can be found in drugstores or Target.

But sometimes, there are those higher-end products that I would just love to get my hands on. When I splurge on makeup, I do so with items that fall into one of two categories. 1) I have tried a smaller sample and LOVED it, or 2) the reviews I've seen on Ulta, Sephora, Influenster, and YouTube had been amazing! So I have complied my list of higher-end makeup items that I hope to eventually add to my beauty collection.

Anastasia Brow Wiz Pencil

Stila Heaven's Hue Highlighter

Nars Liquid Blush

Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara

Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer

Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette

Urban Decay The Velvetizer Translucent Mix-In Medium

Tarte Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Contour Concealer

Too Faced Melted Matte Lipstick

BeautyBlender

Too Faced Shadow Insurance Anti-Crease Eyeshadow Primer

Have you tried anything on this list? Loved it or hated it?  Think I missed anything? Let me know in the comments below. I love hearing your thoughts!

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, then you will also like Fall Nail Favorites and  My Favorite Beauty Products (under $20!)

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Friday Finds: Mid-Year Refection

Happy Friday friends!

We are one full week into July which means we are also passed the midpoint of this year. Around this time, I like to do a little reflection on the last six months. I think about the goals I had set for myself and what I have accomplished thus far. Doing this sort of re-grounds me and helps me get back on track so I can finish out the year strong.

Here are some of my favorite finds this week!

My idol had a baby!

The best prom revenge.

Major MAJOR change coming to Target

The sweetest commercial!

Some crazy (and gross) Oreo flavors.

The most amazing, yet underrated actress, ever!

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Friday Finds: Finally It's Summer! and  Friday Finds: Happy June!

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

 

Set Your Intention: Creativity

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Am I creative?

"Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and love of play." - Henri Matisse

For as long as I can remember, I have been told that I am creative person.

The truth is, I do have a natural gift in art and design. So by traditional standards, I am creative. As I grew up, I ventured further down the artistic path. I obtained a degree in Advertising and have been doing graphic design work for the last 6 years.

Today, my creativity comes through in my style, my home, DIY projects, and more. But the older I got, the more self-conscious I became of my creativity. I’d get called out by my friends and family for "going the extra mile", or "making something special". They were being sarcastic, of course, but I never knew how to respond other then an awkward laugh and a smile. The follow-up was usually, "I don't know how you do that; I'm not creative."

I began to question, "why I am considered the creative one?". My instincts are to do things differently and my execution comes from research for inspiration. (Thank you Pinterest!) It was then that I began to consider what is creativity and why do people say I have it? Upon further thought, and some light googling, I came to the realization that creativity can be show in different forms; not just in the traditional sense. 

Creativity of the Mind.

"Creativity is an act of defiance. You're challenging the status quo. You're questioning accepted truths and principles. You're asking three universal questions that mock conventional wisdom : "Why do I have to obey the rules?", "Why can't I be different?", "Why can't I do it my way?" - Twyla Tharp

My creativity comes from a need to surround myself with beauty. I firmly believe this desire is embedded into everyone. The true difference is not whether a person is creative, but rather how they define beauty. To be creative, you must be searching for a unique solution, for something different, for an unbelievable sight. However, this idea doesn't solely identify itself to art and design. This applies to all parts of life.

My husband claims he's not creative, but he can solve any computer problem. He has the ability find creative solutions to issues I can't fix. My mother-in-law claims she's not creative, but she is creating beauty in the world with her amazing garden and appreciation for nature. I have what I refer to as a "black thumb"; I can't grow a damn thing. I have several family members who are teachers and claim to not be creative, but everyday they come up with creative and unique ways to teach and inspire children. I don't have that level of patience.

My point is simple. Everyone has the ability to be creative in their own way.

Creativity of the Body

"Creativity is experimenting,  growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun." - Mary Lou Cook

Yoga is creativity of the body. By coming to yoga class and moving through the flows you are being creative. But let's hold onto this thought for a moment.

Moving your body can effect mood and perspective on your life. Your mood and perspective are critical to your creativity. There have been several studies proving movement improves thought process, problem-solving, and creative work and development.

But, aside from the obvious physical and mental benefits of movement, yoga itself is a creative activity. Think about the poses you take on in each class. Whether it is something as simple as Mountain Pose (Tadasana) more challenging like Crow Pose (Bakasana), you are moving your body in new creative ways. You are taking yourself outside of the norm of walking, standing, and sitting. You are a creative person simply by attending a yoga class. By realizing this, youare rejecting the notion that you are not "creative". Don't feel held back because you claim you "can't". So, in your next yoga class:

Experiment with yoga.

Grow in new ways.

Take a risk and try a new pose.

Break the rules you think you should follow.

Make a mistake, even fail!

But above all have fun.

Creativity of the Soul

"Creativity is the way I share my soul with the world." - Brene Brown

I believe this: If your creation is authentic and true to yourself, it will be a window into your soul. Other people are able to see through your eyes. They can see your love, your hate, your perspective on all parts of life. It's rather remarkable.

Catching a glimpse of someone's soul can be incredibly powerful, but also incredibly scary. It's a vulnerable situation to be in, which can easily be overwhelmed with doubt and criticism. Creativity requires a tough exterior because, unfortunately, it's subjective. Take this entire post for an example. One may read it and think it's a creative piece, while another may think otherwise. It can be scary putting myself out there like this, but it's one of the ways I exercise my creativity.

So I encourage you, rather I challenge you, in whatever way you express your creativity, do it! Do it now! Take this opportunity to embrace your skills, your gifts, and your creativity. 

Please feel free to join me as we further explore creativity throughout July at Corepower Yoga.

Inhale Possibility. Exhale Creativity. 

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Find Stillness in Your Mind and  Set Your Intention: Accept Support

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Happy 4th of July! Sales and Deals 2017

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*Outfit details in this post!

Happy 4th of July everyone! If you're in KC, or stuck in a rain storm like we are, you may not be able to jump in a pool or layout in the sun. That just means it the perfect time for some online shopping! Personally, I find that to be an acceptable way to celebrate :D

4th of july sales and deals

Abercrombie & Fitch | up to 60% off.

Anthropologie | take an extra 30% off sale items.

ASOS | up to 70% off sale items

BaubleBar | up to 75% off sale items

Bloomingdales | Save 25-50% during Deal Reveal!

DSW | Spend $50, get $10 gift certificate

Express | 50% off tees, shorts, dresses, and more.

Francesca’s | up to 70% off clearance.

Free People | 40% off selected styles

Gap | Up to 50% off

H&M | up to 70% off with some deals as low as $4 with code EXTRA40

J. Crew | 30% off your purchase with code ‘HOORAY.’

J. Crew Factory | 50% off everything

Kendra Scott | 15% off Color Bar with code COLOR

Levi's | 40% off sales items with code 40Extra

Lulus.com | Up to 70% off sale items

Macy’s | give $3 and take an extra 25% off

Nordstrom | Summer Markdowns

Target | 20% off clothing

Victoria's Secret | $15 off of $125

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Events with Victoria Beckham For Target and Lace, Leather, and Leopard

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Summer '17 Bucket List

Honesty time. I did a terrible job of trying to complete my Spring Bucket List. Had my list said "Be busy every weekend" I would have completed the list very easily. In the 12 weekends of spring, 10 of them were spent either with us out of town, someone visiting us, or a big event in Kansas City. As for the weekdays, between Steven's travel and my evening yoga schedule, we barely saw each other.

But the saving grace in this whole spring madness has been summer! While we still have a few things planned, in the coming months, but for the most part we are free and I am determined to get this list done!

Read 5 books

Have a picnic with Steve (Already checked this one off the list!)

Go to the drive-in movie

Make our own homemade ice cream

Visit Nelson Atkins Museum

Travel to Little Rock, AR

Dye colored streaks in my hair

Go to the Overland Park Farmer's Market

Go to the pool with some friends

Begin to clean out and decorate the house

Attend a summer concert

Meal prep on Sunday nights

As always, thank you for reading! XO-

P.S. If you liked this, then you will also like The Cotton Year: Our Second Anniversary and Kaleidoscope Spinning Turns One! 

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Saturdaze: June '17 Update

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Oh June, I am so happy to see you leave. You brought me travel, adventure, and a new roomie. However, I must admit I am now much more interested in July. We had out fun, but July promises to be less demanding and more relaxing.

I've talked about it here on the blog and on my Instagram, but June is over and so is my social calendar (for now). Steve and I were so overwhelmed this spring that we literally had to plan a trip out of state just to get some alone trip together. (The irony of adding more to our schedule for the purpose of relaxation was not lost on us.) While I am happy to see June go, it did bring a lot of good memories and experiences. 

In June, I…
Watched: Rewatched all of Younger in preparation for the newest season.

Heard: I found a playlist of song of the top songs from 2012 and loving the throwback to my senior year of college.

Reading: The Dinner.

Ate: Smoothie bowls! I am loving a mixed berry smoothie bowl with dark chocolate coconut granola.

Traveled: Iowa to visit my in-laws and Charleston, SC for our 2nd anniversary trip.

News: Kaleidoscope Spinning had their own booth at the Just For Her Event. Two days later, Steve and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary on June 27th! Also my younger brother started his new job in Kansas City and moved into our spare bedroom.

As always, thank you for reading! XO-

P.S. If you liked this, then you will also like May '17 Update and Saturday: April '17 Update 

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

 

Friday Finds: Finally It's Summer!

Happy Friday friends!

It is officially summer and I could not be happier! Although we were hit with some intense rain yesterday in the Kansas City area, the sun is shining and birds are singing and my schedule is finally starting to clear up. Going into spring, Steve and I knew we would be busy, but I don't think we realized how exhausting the constant travel and entertaining would be for us. But the season has passed and now it's time for a relaxing summer.

Now someone get me to a pool and hand me a glass of rosé!

Here are some of my favorite finds this week!

Am I the only one who thinks Parisians live the most glamorous life?

Grab and go breakfast.

This wreath that I think would look perfect on our front door… once it's painted.

This is genius, but that is typical from HBO.

The mini pies I baked for our anniversary picnic.

It has been one of those weeks for me.

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Friday Finds: Happy June! and Friday Finds: I was sick…

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

The Cotton Year: Our Second Anniversary

When looking back upon the wedding, what is the first memory that comes to mind?

Helen: When we first walked into the ballroom and were first introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Harm!

Steven: First thing I think about is being nervous, waiting in the room behind the alter before the processional because I knew your on your way.

What was the highlight of this past year?

Helen: All the travel! We went to 6 new states!

Steven: Obviously, buying the house.

Things the other person can't live without?

Helen: Steve cannot live without all his apple products, country music, and our Amazon Alexa (aka his second wife).

Steven: She cannot live without M&Ms, twifigram (my combination of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Copyright pending :P ), and Real Housewives of any city.

Any favorite traditions?
Helen: We try to have proper dinners as often as we can. I cook a full meal, we sit down together, and take our time eating talk about our day and future plans. Between his travel and my evening yoga schedule, we actually don't get to do this as often as you'd expect.

Steven: We have this recipe for Chex Mix that I love. It's the perfect road trip snack. It's reserved specifically for road trips and we make it every time we have to drive a long distance. It's small, but its our own silly, little thing.

What have you learned about marriage or your spouse in the last year?

Helen: We've learned how to argue better. It's an odd thing to say, but we have somehow learned to remain calm and have a conversation, rather than an actual fight.

Steven: We have to support each other in every possible way. Big or small, it doesn't matter, we always have to appreciate the other.  Something as simple as saying "thank you" can make a huge difference.

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What do you hope the next year will bring?

Helen: I want us to stay open to new adventures and opportunities.

Steven: I hope to see a lot of growth with us as a couple and as a family overall. 

 

As always, thank you for reading! XO-

P.S. If you liked this, then you will also like Kaleidoscope Spinning Turns One! and The Paper Year: Our First Anniversary

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

May '17 Update

May flew by. It was a whirlwind of travel, furniture shopping, illness, and work; lots and lots of work. Even as I write this, I am having trouble remembering details about May because so much happened so quickly!

In May, I…
Watched: Finished watching Frasier and started Cheers. Backwards, I know.

Heard: Continued obsession with the How I Built This podcast and Seincast podcast.

Ate: Been obsessed with avocado toast and egg whites for breakfast.

Traveled: Bowling Green, OH for my younger brother's college graduation and back to Chicago for another wedding.

Saw: Beauty and the Beast! And I finally got to meet my cousin's newborn son! What a handsome little man!

News: Demas Designs joined The Knot!

Top Posts: Events with Victoria Beckham For Target and and Yoga Playlist Vol. 1

 

As always, thank you for reading! XO-

P.S. If you liked this, then you will also like Saturday: April '17 Update and Saturdaze: March '17 Update

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Friday Finds: Happy June!

Happy Friday and Happy June everyone!

Here are some of my favorite finds this week!

"That" friend.

Exciting contest for KC Royals fans!

Gingham style.

The eternal interns.

Seinfeld from the perspective of Jerry's (many) girlfriends.

Well,... it's important to have goals.

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Friday Finds: I was sick… and Friday Finds: Demas Designs on TheKnot.com

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Set Your Intention: Find Stillness in Your Mind

This week, I offer the intention to "Find Stillness in Your Mind".

With the spring ending and summer quickly approaching, our schedules tend to get busier. Weekends fill out with weddings, parties and day trips. Typical Monday through Friday norms are shifted with kids home form school and vacations to new places. It is very easy to get lost in the constant movements both physical and mental.

So as we entire the busy summer, I encourage you to find time for yourself. Let your mind be still, let your mind wander, get lost in your own thoughts. Take whatever actions you need to make this a reality. This can be during your yoga practice or on your time. Either way, find it!

" The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness."

- Sakyong Mipham

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Accept Support and Yoga Playlist Vol. 1

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Friday Finds: I was sick…

Happy Friday loves!

Not much to report on my end. I spent most of the week sick in bed. :( Thankfully I'm doing well enough now to finally get back into my yoga practice. This month at CorePower Yoga is doing another challenge! Hit the mat 20 times in the month of May for a chance to win prizes for nationally and at your local studio! Getting sick kept me from my mat for several days, but I am getting back on track!

Here are some of my favorite finds this week!

Our next trip.

A gorgeous fruit plate.

Modern wedding stats.

My new favorite yoga book.

My new phone case.

Lipstick obsession.

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

 

Set Your Intention: Accept Support

This week, I offer the intention to "Accept Support".

In yoga , we have the option to use blocks and straps to help deepen and elevate our practice and postures. They are available for every class, but do we use them to their maximum potential? Probably not. These tools are there to help and support us, yet many of us just ignore them. Our ignorance of these tool could have originated from different places, including embarrassment. I used to be sheepish over grabbing a block before class. I was fearful that my practice would appear weak or unstable.

Similarly to every day life, sometimes it can be difficult to accept help or support from people for fear of looking weak. This could not be further from the truth. It takes a strong person to know when they need to accept support.

Blocks and straps turn our practice from "I can't" to "I can" to "I did". A strap can take you from Extended Side Angle to a Bind to Birds of Paradise. A block can encourage you to engage your inner thighs, deepen your twist, and lengthen your spine. * We use them until they don't serve us anymore; and we return to them when a new challenge faces us.

Accepting support can takes us to poses and places we otherwise thought unimaginable. It's rather amazing what we can accomplish So this week, both in your yoga practice and in everyday life, I encourage you to accept support.

"Sometimes asking for help is the bravest move you can make. You don't have to go at it alone."

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Yoga Playlist Vol. 1 and Set Your Intention: Be a Beginner

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

 

*Ed. Note: All these examples are based off my own personal practice!

Yoga Playlist Vol. 1

I put together this yoga playlist about a month ago and got such a  positive response from it! After almost every class where I played it, at least one person came up to me to compliment the playlist or ask about a particular song. In fact, so many people have asked about it, I thought it be best to post it here so it's available for all to see!

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Be a Beginner and Set Your Intention: Small Acts of Kindness

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.