Three Skincare Products I Use Daily

Today I’m taking a short break from my regular fashion-based posts to discuss the topic of skincare. Beauty is also one of my interests, so I can guarantee you that this won’t be the last time you’ll see a post about it! Within the past six months I’ve been working towards incorporating more natural and toxin-free skincare products into my daily routine, at least where it made sense. I’ve almost completely switched out our household cleaning supplies to non-toxic products, thanks to wonderful brands like Seventh Generation and Norwex. Since skincare products are literally absorbed into my bloodstream, I figured that would be a pretty good place to focus on next! I am a huge fan of Beautycounter and how it only sells safe, nontoxic beauty products. Hopefully you’ll be hearing more about them from me in the future!


For now, as you can see by the first product in this post, I haven’t yet switched to 100% natural skincare products. That being said, I am still planning on switching out products for natural ones as I finish them OR only using a select few brands that are not all-natural but are highly regarded – such as Neutrogena. Enjoy!


  1. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Face Lotion with Sunscreen

I started using this lotion last summer after noticing that my face could use a daily moisturizer. Now that it’s winter, I apply this twice daily, and would apply it more if I were home to do it! My skin dries out so severely and so easily during the colder months and I feel like it’s something I can never get ahead of. Thankfully, this product by Neutrogena helps me to fee a little less behind. Something I was also looking for in a facial moisturizer was SPF so it could count as both a sunscreen and a lotion. This only has an SPF of 15, so not as high as I’d like, but it’s definitely better than no protection at all.


2. Claire-ity Vitamin C Serum

Within the past year I’ve jumped on the anti-aging bandwagon (and will be on it for pretty much forever) and decided that it was past time to incorporate a daily anti-aging product into my routine. I can’t currently use any retinol-based products so that helped to narrow down my choices, and then I visited a spa where my facialist sung the praises of Vitamin C and its anti-aging benefits. I found this serum on Amazon, where I find pretty much everything anymore, and it had extremely high ratings. I apply it to my forehead, eye area, and neck daily and have been pleasantly surprised at how long the bottle is going to last – I’ve had it for over six months and it’s still at least 3/4 full. However, as far as results go… I haven’t noticed a decrease in fine lines but I also haven’t noticed an increase since I’ve been using this serum, so there’s that. I plan on continuing to use it as a preventative measure, if nothing else.


Trader Joe’s Rose Water Facial Toner

Say hello to the newest member of my daily skincare routine – a rose water facial toner. Honestly, I purchased this product mainly because I liked the smell, which is a great reason, right?? Plus, rose water is pretty popular in skincare right now, which leads me to believe it must be at least somewhat beneficial. This toner is supposed to be hydrating to your skin, and I do feel refreshed and cleansed after I spray it directly on. It may or may not lead me to look into other rose water based skincare products to see if I like those as well.


Hearts and Flowers

Hello and happy almost Valentine’s Day! Valentine’s Day has always been one of my most favorite holidays of the year, even though I realize it technically isn’t a real holiday (details..). I love all the hearts, shades of pink and red, flowers, and fun love-themed decorations that come with it each year, most likely because I pretty much love all things feminine. Knowing this, my mom always gave me some sort of fun gift on Valentine’s Day each year, such as a heart-shaped pillow or a heart wreath, and I absolutely loved it.


Through the past few years, however, I’ve come to love Valentine’s Day for an additional reason, and that’s because of the fun- and sometimes funny- memories my husband and I have shared celebrating the day. As this will be our sixth Valentine’s Day together, I thought it would be neat to share a snapshot of what each of our Valentine’s Days together have looked like:

  1. [2013] He picked me up in his old sports car with a giant pink bear sitting in the passenger seat. He also gave me a gallon of sweet tea and a gallon of unsweet tea, because he knows I like it half-and-half. We went out for dinner and margaritas at Chili’s and then went back to his dorm and did homework the rest of the night because it was a school night. #collegelife.

2. [2014] We were engaged and he came to visit me in Indianapolis for the weekend to celebrate. We thought it would be a good idea not to make reservations for dinner because who goes out to dinner for Valentine’s Day, anyways? Fast forward to later in the evening, after we tried three restaurants all with ~2 hour wait times and a heated argument fueled by hunger, and we finally ended up at Cooper’s Hawk. Better late than never.

3. [2015] We were in Chicago and it was our first married Valentine’s Day, and he bought me roses. We went to Saturday night church and then went shopping at Old Navy of all places (so romantic) because our dinner reservations at Cooper’s Hawk weren’t till 9:30, whoops. We ended up closing down the restaurant.

4. [2016] We drove from Columbus to spend the snowy weekend in Indianapolis, meeting our brand-new nephew. We stopped by the hospital for more baby time before going to Cooper’s Hawk (sensing a tradition here?) for wine tasting and dinner. We had reservations once again this time and it was definitely a good thing, the place was packed like sardines.

5. [2017] We waited to celebrate until the weekend after Valentine’s Day, and went to Cooper’s Hawk (…again!) for wine tasting and dinner. The weather was so mild that we walked around the outside mall by the restaurant without coats afterwards for awhile.

6. [2018] Well, technically this hasn’t happened quite yet since Valentine’s Day is still five days away, but our plans are to go to La Scala just down the road for dinner (no Cooper’s Hawk this year!). Keeping it very close to home because it’s a work night and we’ve found sleep > late nights (sorry, younger us!).


Ending this post with some of the many fun Valentine’s or Galentine’s- themed photos that have inspired me this week. Enjoy!




Living Simply I

Well, now that we’re officially into the second month of 2018 (so long,  January!!) I wanted to give an update as to how my unofficial goal to live simply was going, and I hope to continue to give updates like this as the year progresses. You may remember me first mentioning the term “live simply” in my blog post from November. I’ve found that, unlike a myriad of well-intentioned ideas that pass through my mind on any given day, this thought has actually stuck and I really do feel like it is currently one of my main approaches to life. Something that I think will help me to continue with trying to live more simply is to post “updates,” such as this one, as a sort of check-in to how I’m doing. So, here’s the first one!

This month’s update: I am happy with how I’ve adapted the mantra of living simply so far. I really haven’t bought much recently and instead have focused on re-using or re-inventing what I already own. The other day I was getting ready to go to work and feeling like I didn’t have any shoes to wear (which, if you know me, is a huge joke!) and then I pulled out a pair of boots I hadn’t worn since last year. I had actually even forgotten about them, even though they were just a year old. Problem solved. I certainly didn’t need more shoes, I just needed to see and appreciate all that I already have.

Probably the most tangible way that I’ve simplified things is that I didn’t actually buy myself any new winter clothes this year (for various reasons…). This may sound like a rather drastic and unnecessary measure, but I can assure you it began unintentionally and just kind of gradually evolved into a realization that I just don’t really have any gaps in my winter wardrobe that need to be filled. And you know what? I haven’t once felt like I’ve “run out” of clothing or have been wearing the same thing over and over again. Quite the opposite, actually- I’ve felt like I have a more than ample collection to choose from, and it’s all still on-trend, which is obviously important to me.


So that’s where I am now. Not intentionally cutting out new clothes, but enjoying what it is for the time being. I realize that living simply looks different from person to person and will even look very different in my own life from season to season. This is just what it looks like now, and I’m happy with it.