In Art We Trust

Photo Credit: thewordly_weekender

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Vacation t-shirts have never really been my thing. Usually they are cheesy or hard to style. Last month we spent spring break in Amsterdam and had a blast! While walking to the IAMSTERDAM sign I noticed an exhibit for one of my favorite street artists, Banksy, at a house turned museum called MOCO. I was completely excited, especially since the last piece of Banksy art I saw was in New York City, where the crowd made it difficult to see.

After asking C and J we all decided to add the MOCO to our list of “must do’s” for the next day. We arrived at opening and I spent the next two hours soaking in each piece of Banksy art. I was so overwhelmed by the political messages and current events that I completely bypassed the gift shop in favor of talking to the guys about what we just saw.


The last day we were in Amsterdam J asked if there was anything we couldn’t leave the city without, besides taking home some vinyl records from vintage shops and a few bags of fresh stroopwafles, I had decided I wanted to see how much a piece of reprinted Banksy art would cost me at the gift shop.

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My favorite piece of Banksy art, reprinted, 18,000 Euro

The art had an 18,000 euro price tag (ouch and yet so ironic for the message displayed), so I settled on a t-shirt / coffee mug combo from the Banksy exhibit. It wasn’t until I approached the cashier that a lady was wearing a t-shirt simply saying ‘in art we trust’. 15 minutes later and I was the proud owner of 2 t-shirts and a coffee mug. Probably one of my favorite Amsterdam purchases.

I had big plans for this MOCO shirt… pairing it with black blazers, leather jackets, long wool coats, thick gray blanket scarves, different color jeans, dress pants, pencil skirts, and all the nude or black shoes I have in my closet. I had visions of boyfriend cardigans with jeans and white sneakers. ‘In art we trust’ has been a fun reminder of one of my favorite art exhibits in a beloved city.

 
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MOCO T-Shirt (Not for sale online) | Old Navy Rockstar Skinny Jeans | Tory Burch Quilt Bag (similar)| Halogen Wedge (similar) | Evereve Varsity Jacket (similar) | Quay Australia Odin Sunnies from Lennox + Lane

 

Spring Daytime Skincare Routine

Photo Credit: Radical Rainah
*This is NOT a sponsored post. All products and opinions are my own.*
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With all the beautiful weather in our future one thing is for certain, skin care needs a look over and adjustment. In my 20’s I only committed half way to any kind of skincare but turning 36 means a skincare regiment is a must thanks to things like sun damage. My mom, who is a wealth of skincare knowledge, imparted one little piece of wisdom on me; “you can’t completely erase wrinkles once you have them” and “falling asleep with make up on ages you”. So she preaches preventative care because, who wants to look like a wrinkled handbag at 40?

Nobody. That’s who.

I have finally figured out what my extra dry skin needs this summer to look it’s best, daily. Here’s my RX on how I apply my products (in order):

1. Make-Up Remover
2. Cleanse Skin
3. Moisturizer
4. Sunscreen
5. Vitamins + H2O

Weekly: *Mask

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Cleanser:

Your face is like a canvas so step one is always clean skin. My everyday face cleanser is  Cetaphil All-Skin, easily found in drug or big box stores in the states. When I need to scrub off dead skin without aggravating the next layer I turn to St. Ives Blackhead Clearing Green Tea Scrub once a week or whenever needed.

Moisturizer:

Since moving to Germany I have had to double up my daytime moisturizer. This is a combination of genetics, very cold weather, and the local German water being very heavy in minerals like calcium, which can damage hair and strip skin. My first layer is Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream because of its super light, moisturizing feel. It is unscented and perfect for my sensitive skin. I, then, apply my second layer of Origins GinZing once the Neutrogena layer is mostly dried, usually after drying and styling my hair. Last step is a little Aquaphor dabbed under my eyes.

We know overexposure to sun ages skin and brings on cancer so I self tan using Jergens Natural Glow. Doesn’t stain your face, smooth application, and it leaves a light, sun kissed color. Natural Glow has never left me with breakouts or upset my skin.

Sunscreen:

Before I recommend this particular product I have to give a little back story as to why I have step 4 of this system but not the other 3 steps. Rodan + Fields doesn’t work for me. The soothe line left my skin angry, red, and burning. This does not mean R+F doesn’t work for others, it just doesn’t work for me. However, I love the sunscreen. Rodan + Fields Soothe Mineral Sunscreen (step 4) isn’t greasy or heavy. If you want a bottle of your own you’ll have to find an R+F distributor. I highly recommend my friend, Meredith at pineapple.and.prosecco.

Make-Up Remover:

I don’t always use make-up type remover in the morning but I’ll swipe a cotton pad with a little L’Oreal Micellar Cleansing Water quickly over my face, especially when I have worn make-up the day before. This definitely gives me one more opportunity to clean up anything I missed the night before. If you choose to use this method, add it at the very beginning of your daily routine before cleaning and moisturizing your skin.

Mask:

Everyone needs to apply a great face mask every week. It’s like hitting refresh on your skin (#treatyoself). In the warmer months I get a few more clogged pores so the Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask helps me combat bumpy, extra dry, red skin. Plus, that spa skin care feeling is definitely on my living your best life list.

Vitamins + Water:

Don’t underestimate the power of being properly hydrated or the importance of a good vitamin. For water the rule is to drink half of your body weight in ounces as a minimum goal. I sometimes add in citrus, mint, or cucumber to jazz up plain old water. Grab a reusable bottle to go that holds a days worth of water so you never go thirsty. My favorite vitamins for skin are from Halo Beauty and  Olly Flawless Complexion. As another alternative I also add in Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides as well as coconut oil to my coffee and I make a shot with Glow Advanced Inner Beauty Powder for gut health.

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Summer’s ‘It’ Earrings

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All Photo Credit: Radical Rainah

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All my ladies who love warm weather put your hands up! This is it, warm weather is here in Germany! Flowers are blooming, the landscape is green, and the farmers have started harvesting these terrible fields of yellow flowers called ‘rapeseed’ which is causing me to reach for Claritin every morning before coffee happens.

Knowing that our sun shine filled days are limited, back patios are set up with outdoor furniture and the German people are embracing colorful warm weather clothes. Dinners are enjoyed and laughter over beer is expected with visitors, everyone is just more social. More bikes are on the road than cars and people are walking everywhere. Germans are welcoming spring and summer with open arms after long days of gray skies and heavy coat wearing. It’s like Europe in Technicolor!

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This change in seasons also means embracing some color in our clothes and accessories. Being a true belle of the south I am a sucker for color so embracing the popular trend of bright colorful tassels was a smooth transition. They are so easy to find and more affordable because tassels are on everything; bags, clothes, shoes, and jewelry.

This spring/summer season I started my colorful tassel collection with the new Kendra Scott Justyne in Blue. No photos give this ear candy justice and I highly recommend if you walk away only owning one tassel item these earrings should be it!

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These versatile earrings can easily go from day to-night. Below I have linked my outfit for a fun spring time day look but if you want to take these earrings into night I suggest a little black jumpsuit, black sheer shirt with black slacks, or dress with a pair of fun wedges or classic pumps. With so many options to wear them you’ll be seeing the Justyne by Kendra Scott in my outfit of the day posts more often.

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Jean Jacket | Slub Tee (similar) | Earrings 
Tassel | White Jeans | Straw Bag
Belt | Shoes

Favorite Summer Pajamas

Photo Credit: Radical Rainah
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I have a confession to make, I would live in pajamas if society would let me. On an unrelated note I would also wear my wedding dress grocery shopping if people wouldn’t cut crazy eyes at me while I pushed my Target buggy with one hand and sipped on a Starbucks with another, but that’s too much info that I seem to willingly share lately. However, if you see a lady wearing a Vera Wang in aisle 6 it’s probably me and you’ve been fairly warned.

Besides the obligatory matching Christmas family plaid jammies, summer runs a close second to my favorite pajama season. Fun patterns of palm leaves, cactus, and flamingos. Love stripes, gingham, and polka dots? Yup this season is for you too (and might I add you have excellent taste). Navy blue, bright pink, and all the shades of green, just about every color of the rainbow is used. There are no rules when it comes to sleep. Think you can’t pull off navy blue sequin sleep shorts, well your wrong. This is your season of color and comfort and you are going to rock them. Raise your coffee mugs and toast to living your best life!

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Look #1: Sequin Sleep Shorts | Dinner Jacket Robe | White Tank | Bra 

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Look #2: H&M Blue Stripe PJ Set

Star Shorts | Stripe Robe | White Tank | Stripe Shorts


Wishlist Pajamas


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1. TANK + SHORT | 2. | 3. | 4. | 5. | 6. | 7. TANK + SHORT

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

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Photo Credit: Radical Rainah 

Shout Out to all my Mother’s! It’s May and this is your month! Breakfast in bed, sleeping in, coupon books drawn in crayon offering hugs and kisses, lots of opportunities to enjoy a mimosa (without having to use the excuse it’s 5 o’clock somewhere). Yup, May 13th is so going to be an awesome day.

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However, Mother’s Day leaves lots of us scratching our heads on what exactly to buy or even ask for (#momguilt). But you won’t be, not this year because we are living our best life and I’ve gotcha covered.

The fashion, practical, home design, beauty, sentimental, funny, fitness lover, and foodie mama is represented below. Check out what I am giving all the heart eyes to!


Gift Guide


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Gal Meets Glam Hillary Dress | O-Venture Key Chain Bracelet
Banana Republic Blazer | A Slice of England Coffee Table Book w/Home Beads
Magnolia Table Cookbook | Susan Woodard Watercolors w/ Framebridge Framing
Tom Ford Soleil Blanc | Welcome to Shit Show Wine Tumbler
Aviate Hat | Apple Airpods | Herbivore Coco Rose
Steve Madden Greece Sandal | Insta Pot
Go-Pro Hero | Yumi Kim Floral Robe | H&M Pajamas

From Gym to Street

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Photo Credit: Jonathan Smith

If I walk away with one thing that living in Europe has taught me, hands down its fashion. Everything is acceptable within reason, even your gym wardrobe. Yes, those who live across the ocean do wear activewear from time to time but there are concrete rules to this style of dress.

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Photo Credit: Jonathan Smith

One |  It’s never okay to wear yoga pants, unless you are just coming from yoga and if you are, remember you are only there to pick up milk not shop. Activewear is not an all day outfit choice.

Two |  Take pride in how you look. Invest in some basic pieces. Want a more edited closet? Look for items in neutral colors. You’ll never see a European woman in ratty sweatpants, an old bra with no support, dirty sneakers, and an ill fitting washed out top. Think sleek, functional, and transitional. Try items on before you buy and return what doesn’t fit.

Three | What you rock doesn’t have to be expensive, European women can teach you how to stretch a euro. Need a great workout outfit? H&M and Zara to the rescue! There are Puma and Adidas outlets + concept stores galore (because both brands are German), don’t get me started on the great Under Armor deals and TKMaxx too (It’s the American TJMaxx incognito)! It’s all about the deals without sacrificing quality, with the occasional splurge.


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Photo Credit: Jonathan Smith

Below I’ve listed some options for creating a Gym to Street look worthy of European streets. Think layers; A strappy bra, basic white tee, cropped black sweatshirt, black mesh yoga pants, and a slim NorthFace puffer jacket. Grab a pair of printed bright sneakers or classic black Nikes and you have the perfect look.


Tops


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Athleta Serenity Criss Cross Sweatshirt | Nike Dry Ribbed Hoodie
Lululemon Sweat Date Singlet | Victorias Secret Sport Mesh Tee
Athleta Power Up Easy Tee | Koral Active Venus Tank


Bottoms


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Alo Ultimate High Waist Leggings | Wunder Under HI-Rise Tight Mix & Mesh
Nike Power Epic Lux Flash Running Tight | gFast High Rise Sculpt Revolution Leggings
Zella Covet High Waist Midi Leggings | SPANX Faux Leather Moto Leggings


Bras, Panties, + Socks


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Balega Hidden Comfort Running Socks | Nike Reflective Running Socks
Nike pro Indy Cooling Light Support Sports Bra | Ivy Park Logo Bra
Zella Covet Sports Bra | Victorias Secret Angel Max Sport Bra
UA Pure Stretch Sheer Bikini | Athleta Triple Dare Bra
Gap Fit Medium Impact Strappy Sports Bra | Camel No Tracy Cheeky


Shoes


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Nike Free Run Flyknit 2 Running Shoe | Nike Presto Fly Sneaker
Nike Free TR7 Amp Training Shoe | Adidas NMD XR1 Athletic Shoe
Adidas ‘UltraBoost’ Running Shoe | Nike Free TR7

Creating a Home Gym

I know this is a statement of the obvious, but I am not a doctor, dietician, or nutritionist.  As always, you should do your own research and consult with your doctor before embarking on a change in diet, exercise, etc.

It doesn’t take much to carve out a home gym. All you need is a small space and a well thought out routine to follow. Don’t stress or limit yourself on where. I’ve set up areas from my living room, to a main hallway in a condo, a back patio in warmer weather, my hotel room when traveling, and even in a garage. The house I live in now has offered up the opportunity to build an actual “gym” in a designated room, however, I know based on the equipment I have chosen it can travel and be set up anywhere in the world in any sized home, garage, or apartment.

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I am asked by friends and family what I really gravitate towards when choosing items for my personal gym and that is super simple to answer; multi functional with minimal (size/space) impact. If you are just starting out or reassessing what your home gym has the five pieces below should be something you’ll carry for the rest of your life. I’ve never regretted these purchases and when push came to shove all fit into a rubbermaid tote for easy storage.

Do I have a gym equipment wish list this year? Sure.  I hope to add a weight bench (husband request) and a TRX band system in the future. Equipment I’ll be updating due to safety, resistance bands; both handle and loops. Items that are meant to hold tension made of rubber like materials should always be replaced every couple of years to keep from injury due to snapping.


Equipment


One | Bosu Ball

What are the benefits of a Bosu Ball? Hands down its versatility. It can be used both flat side down and up. The domed side is best known for aerobic exercise and athletic drills. Flip the domed side down and you have the perfect balance trainer. Bosu forces the user to engage more muscles in order to stabilize themselves giving a more over all body experience.

What kind of workouts can you use a bosu? Here’s a list of basic moves that a bosu ball can elevate to the next level:

Lunges
Squats / Squat Jumps
Burpees
Squats with over head press
Push ups / Planks
Plyometric moves

Two | Free Weights

Labeled as one of the most versatile and efficient pieces of gym equipment, free weights allow your body to move through all three planes of motion. They are not fixed to a certain piece of equipment making it easy to simulate everyday movement. For example bicep Curls can take on the same workout as lifting groceries from your car into your house. By engaging several muscle groups to gain stability, using free weights help with balance, coordination, and torch serious calories.

I use to work with individual free weight sets from 5-25 lbs each, however, my husband saw that storing these sets were becoming harder as I became stronger, so he bought the Bowflex SelectTech 552. The verdict? I’m in love! In just two hand held weights I can lift anywhere from 5 lbs to 52.5 by clicking the lock into place and never have to compromise space. If you are just starting out you don’t need such a large range, however, save your floors and invest in sets wrapped in neoprene.

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Three | Resistance Bands

Ever gone on vacation just to realize the hotel has no gym or a full gym *raises hand*? Pack a lightweight resistance band and get a great 15-30 minute workout in your room. The benefits don’t just end at easy transportation; they are cost-effective, adaptable for all fitness levels, add resistance to everyday exercises, can give a whole body total workout, save on storage space, easy to use alone, and can easily be combined with other equipment.

Four | Yoga Mat

Ever worked out on the floor with sweaty hands and feet? The outcome is not pretty as you slip and slide. The benefits of a yoga mat range from adding stability, comfort, protects joints from falls as well as muscles from straining, and defines the space you will be working in.

Need a fairly inexpensive but well made mat? Check out Incline on Amazon. I own the Carrara Marble print but it was so hard to choose! The tropical palm leaf, geometric, and ombre were definitely on my list. Have some money to splurge? I love the Yoga Zeal Mat, and so do other yogis because Nordstrom can barely keep them in stock!

Five | Foam Roller

Weight lifter? Runner? They already know how amazing foam rolling can be. I just recently bought my first foam roller before starting bootcamp with much skepticism on it really helping soreness. Without rolling it took me two to three days to recover. Foam rolling cut it down to maybe a day. I am a total believer, and you will be too. Rolling can break up scar tissue, prevents injury, speeds up recovery, improves mobility and flexibility, removes that nasty lactic acid which brings on soreness, saves you money on the need for a sports massage, and can even be used as a piece of exercise equipment.

The trick is to roll for 60 seconds at a slow pace, always moving. Spending too much time in one position puts extreme pressure on that spot creating an environment for injury by hitting a nerve or damaging tissue.


Workouts


Plank

In my opinion your core is one of the most important muscles to your body. A weak core can bring back and joint pain. By planking you can improve your balance and posture, improve mood, flexibility, and give you a toned belly when performed while eating a balanced diet. You’ll need minimal if no equipment, just a Yoga Mat, to prevent injury on smooth floors. I also love the number of different workouts that you can do just by being in the planking position. Try these 10 different workouts to challenge, strengthen, and tighten your core.

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Resistance Band Run (grab a partner)

This is a bootcamp move and one of my favorites. Have your partner position themselves in a sitting wall squat against a wall. Wrap the band around your waist while your partner holds the handles. Don’t forget to time yourself (1 minute) run for 50 seconds while pulling forward on the resistance band. In the last 10 seconds sprint as fast as you can running on the balls of your feet to propel you forward. Switch up to complete three 1 minutes sets each.

Squats + Lunges

Suffer from joint and back pain? If you need a workout that targets the lower half of your body with little bodily stress you have to add in squats and lunges. There is a difference; lunges mimic basic walking or running patterns so lunges are perfect for runners looking to improve performance. Lunges can help “even out” the muscular imbalances in your legs (i.e. strengthening the weaker side) and help you become stronger when performing other workouts like squats.

Squats also mimic an everyday movement; sitting down and getting up. Squats build leg strength and muscles while slight modifications to the movement or stance can work out hamstrings and quads. Try having a wider stance, this will put more emphasis on inner thigh muscles and abductors. Front squats target your core muscles because you have to engage your core for stability. Want a great backside? Squats target the butt muscles helping shape and form. Try the popular 30 day squat challenge to reach leg and butt goals.

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Jog/Run

Jogging/Running doesn’t have to be long distances. Jogging can be performed to bring down heart rate slowly and Running sprints can elevate heart rate in a HIIT workout. It’s easy to perform this exercise by running back and forth in a hallway, around a room, and of course outside. No equipment needed.