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Family, Fashion

What I wish I had known about acne when I was younger…

August 23, 2018

Acne. Goodness, is there a person on the planet who hasn’t struggled with acne at one point in their life, if not more? I remember going to dermatologists growing up in search of something that would help with my acne and breakouts. I never had horrible skin as a teen, but as I got into college I struggled with terrible terrible acne – the type that crippled me with insecurity and sent me into a tailspin searching for any and every product that would remedy my issues. I tried the harshest of harsh products, thinking that instead of “less is more” I would take the “more is more” approach to treating my acne.

Well, spoiler alert, because more really isn’t more. Harsh products really aren’t the solution. Stripping the skin with harmful ingredients might work for a time but won’t be the long-term solution to acne if you’re really looking for a solution that sticks.

My days of dealing with acne are behind me, healed by embracing a gentler approach to skincare and working to fix some of the underlying hormonal imbalances that were connected to my breakouts. During the times that I was struggling with acne the worst I was also at my heaviest weight, severely under-eating and over-exercising and wreaking havoc on my hormones. And we know the correlation between hormones and acne!

But what about those who are eating the right things and doing all they can but still struggle with pesky, humiliating breakouts and/or oily skin?

For the last three years that I’ve been working with Beautycounter, when clients and readers have asked me for my recommendations for this type of skin, I’ve only had a few products in my arsenal that I could recommend: namely the Balancing Charcoal Mask, Charcoal Cleansing Bar, Balancing Face Oil, etc. These products are great, don’t get me wrong, but they are individual products rather than a cohesive line geared toward targeting and treating breakouts and the root imbalances in the skin.

Today, that all changes! Beautycounter launched our newest line targeted specifically for those with oily and/or acne-prone skin. It’s our lowest price-point skincare lined, designed with five steps to treat AND prevent acne and keep oily skin under control without stripping the skin of the moisture it needs. You can see all the steps below!

For someone like me, who doesn’t have oily skin but is still prone to the occasional breakout, I’ve been working in the Clear Pore Cleanser, Instant Matte Toner and the SOS Spot Treatment (as needed on breakouts) into my current skincare routine. And I kid you not, my husband, who is NOT a product junkie or prone to want to use much skincare got mad at me when I gave away the cleanser because he loves it so much. That’s really saying something!

As you know, if you ever have questions about finding a skincare routine that’s right for you – made without harmful ingredients and targeted to treat whatever issues your skin may have – you can email me ANY time for a personalized skincare consultation. I love connecting and working with you all and it brings me so much JOY to work with readers to help people feel great about their skin without sacrificing their health and safety.

Food & Recipes

Desk Lunch // Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad

August 19, 2018

If you’re signed up to receive my weekly meal-planning and behind-the-scenes newsletter, then chances are you’ve already heard that I’m on a mission to make Joe’s lunches a little healthier, with more variety and interest each week. I realized that I had been phoning in her lunches for a long time now that life has been busy with littles, and when I don’t prepare lunches in advance, he really doesn’t get the most well-rounded lunches. So each Sunday, I prep and assemble five lunches for Joe’s week to keep things easy for me but healthy, tasty and well-rounded for him.

I’m hoping to share a few more “desk lunch” ideas as we approach the back-to-school season. Some of these ideas will probably transfer into school lunch ideas, while others may be catered toward more adult tastes. My kiddos don’t love pesto all that much, so if I were making this for the girls I would keep most of the ingredients in the recipe but swap the pesto for olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese. The rest of the ingredients in this dish my kiddos love!

This recipe also gets my stamp of approval because it can be made in advance for the entire week, doesn’t require heating in the microwave and is well-rounded and flavorful. I will serve this meal with a side of carrot sticks for Joe as well as a piece of fruit or a Lara Bar for mid-afternoon hunger on those long days that he’s going to HS football practice after work this fall!

Desk Lunch // Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad
Author: 
Serves: 5 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. (16 oz.) corkscrew pasta, cooked according to package directions, then drained and rinsed in cold water
  • 2 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped (I used a rotisserie chicken and chopped it up)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 8 oz. fresh mini mozzarella balls
  • ½ cup pitted and halved kalamata olives
  • 1 jar (8 oz.) pesto
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, chicken breasts, halved cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, olives and pesto. Stir until well-combined. Spoon into lunch containers and refrigerate until ready to eat.
  2. Note: It's best to slightly under-cook the pasta to prevent it from becoming too soft as it sits in the refrigerator.

 

Fashion

Sun-Kissed Summer Glow Look

August 10, 2018

With summer on it’s last leg in the Midwest (cue tears and sad face emojis) I wanted to share a bronzed, fresh-faced makeup look that’s easy to create and perfect for the ultra-hot days of August before we transition into cooler temps. It’s been SO hot here lately, which means that I’ve been living in workout gear with the girls and pulling my hair back most days because it turns into a sweaty mess any other way.

This look is all about giving your skin a radiant GLOW. While makeup can certainly give you a glow when used correctly, I must also say that the best glow comes from healthy skin. Joe and I have both been using this Overnight Resurfacing Peel a couple times per week. He might kill me for putting that out there on the internet (sorry, babe!) but it’s been amazing to see the change in the way my skin looks over time using a peel a couple times per week.

As for the makeup, here are the products and steps I used to create this summer glow look…

PS: ALL the makeup linked in this post is currently 20% off now through August 13th. Use the links in this post and enter the code LOVE at check-out to get a super deal on safer makeup. 

STEP 1
Apply a tinted moisturizer (or BB/CC cream…) all over to subtly even out skin tone and appearance. Apply concealer under the eyes and any place that needs a little extra coverage, such as blemishes, around the nose, etc.

STEP 2
Fill in your brows with a brow pencil to create definition and frame the face.

STEP 3
Apply the world’s most universally flattering blush shade (this blush in Nectar) on the apples of your cheeks for a rosy glow.

STEP 4
Use a cream or powder highlighter on your cheekbones and in the corners of your eyes to brighten the face and give your skin a fresh glow.

STEP 5
Apply a shimmer body/face oil under your cheekbones and on your temples to give your skin a dewy bronzed appearance.

STEP 7 
Finish with mascara, liquid eye liner and a great neutral lip color (such as Terra) to complete the look!

Family, Food & Recipes

Meal Planning Resource // Seasonal Meal Planner

August 8, 2018

For those of you following along the last month, you’re well aware that we are on a journey to be more intentional with our meal planning and prepping this fall in hopes of creating a more intentional and less stressful meal time each day. Other benefits include having healthier options on hand for the whole family and saving money at the grocery store. So! When my friend Natasha reached out asking if I would be interested in giving her Seasonal Meal Planner a little test drive and sharing it with you, I said YES.

I’ve been jotting down grocery lists and meal plans on scraps of paper for the last, well, as long as I can remember. My grocery lists can be found on scraps of paper and envelopes and whatever is around at the time, notebooks scribbled with meal plans, etc. Basically our entire meal planning process was a little frazzled.

When Natasha sent me an early-access download of her Fall Seasonal Meal Planner (which launches TODAY for everyone!) I was immediately hooked. The planner houses everything in one place. There is a page each week to jot down dinners and a spot at the bottom of each day for noting any recipes you might use. There is another page for breakfast and lunch plans for the week and, what I find most helpful, a page that encourages you to take inventory of what you already have in your pantry as well as what commitments you have on that week’s calendar. It’s so smartly designed for meal planning – as formal or as relaxed as you want to be with the whole process. I have plans in the coming weeks to 3-hole-punch all the pages for an entire season’s worth of meal planning and put it in a binder to store in our kitchen so it looks as pretty as Natasha’s does! Isn’t it cute?

Natasha also has free crash courses on planning meals that you can sign up for HERE. Over the last couple weeks I’ve found her meal planner to be an incredible compliment to the semi-casual way that I like to plan my meals throughout the week and a great resource as I’ve tried to utilize what is in-season and in my pantry when planning meals throughout the week. Seriously, for $29 you get a lot of bang for your buck. Pair that with signing up for my weekly meal planning newsletter and you should be set with everything you need to get on the meal-planning and prepping bandwagon for the fall.

Madison

Fashion

My Simple Makeup Routine for Put Together Days

August 7, 2018

I’m the first to say that I’m no makeup expert. Most days I have a really minimal routine that includes a little tinted moisturizer, concealer if necessary, blush and mascara. But there are occasions when I crave looking a little more put-together. If you’re like me, it helps to have a little bit of a step-by-step guide for putting yourself together. Enter the Flawless in Five. I’ll admit that I haven’t shared this routine nearly enough, but for those of you who want a one-stop-shop for a full, fresh face of makeup this set has you covered.

My Flawless in Five // 
1. Tint Skin Hydrating Foundation in Linen (Porcelain in the dead of winter)
2. Touchup Skin Concealer Pen in Fair
3. Brow Pencil in Medium
4. Volumizing Mascara 
5. Satin Powder Blush in Melon (Nectar and Sorbet are also favorites)
6. Lip Gloss in Blush Shimmer

One tip I feel must be shared: I find I get MUCH better and more even coverage (almost an air-brushed look) using the Retractable Complexion Coverage Brush with the Tint Skin. It makes applying the foundation so much easier and the coverage is so smooth and even.