Blog

New York, New York

I hope you read the title in a Frank Sinatra voice, or at the very least, starting singing “Welcome to New York” by Taylor Swift.

No? Okay, fine.

I want to start this by saying that I have been to NYC many times in my life, BUT until the last couple of years, I always declared that I was not a city person. The hustle and bustle gives me anxiety.

That being said, having a friend who lives in the city and tells you all the places to go changes everything!

So, if you don’t have a best friend who lives in NYC like I do, I’m going to be your bestie! This post is going to be specific to what we did this last time we went, but if you want ideas of other things to do, I’m more than happy to help you (by asking my friend…ha!)!

To Drive or To Take The Train

That is the question…

If you live within driving distance like we do (3-4 hours), we highly recommend….taking the train. It eliminates the stress of driving in the city, finding and/or paying for parking, and it cuts down on travel time! Plus, you can relax on the train. The seats are surprisingly comfortable!

Itinerary

Friday

Photo Credit: thebean.nyc

We arrived in NYC around 8:30 a.m. Our friends picked us up and drove us a bit south to Union Square. From there we walked to a little café called, The Bean, where I got the most delicious açaí bowl! I wish I could eat this every day. It was sooo good! They have a TON of these types of bowls, and they all look equally delicious.

After we fueled up, we took the long walk from Union Square down to Battery Park to catch the ferry over to the Statue of Liberty. This walk would typically be a straight shot, but we walked to the Hudson River first, so that we could have more of a scenic walk along the river. I would say it took us about 40 minutes or so to walk the three(ish) miles.

I’ve been to NYC too many times to count, but I’ve never been to many of the major tourist attractions like the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island or the 9/11 Memorial. So, when we were talking about this trip we really wanted to incorporate at least one or two of these attractions. After doing some research, I found the Official Downtown Experience which included all of the above, plus the One World Observatory for $79.99. This is a savings of about $20.

While none of these attractions required a reservation, the 9/11 website indicated there were timed entries. So, just to be sure I emailed the 9/11 museum just to ensure there was plenty of time slots available. Note: Rules may change as NYC opens up again.

Now back to our day.

Once we got to Battery Park, we boarded the ferry over to the Statue of Liberty. The closer we got to the statue, the more surreal it got. If you ever get the opportunity, I highly recommend visiting the Statue of Liberty! There is also a little museum on the island that has pieces of the statue that have since been updated or restored that you are able to see up close. And of course, for all the history nerds like my husband, there are tons of plaques and things to read about the history.

We spent about a half hour here before we got back on the ferry that took us directly to Ellis Island. For planning purposes, the ferry comes every 30 minutes.

I was completely unprepared for just how BIG and comprehensive the museum at Ellis Island was. Honestly, you could spend an entire day just at Ellis Island. There was sooo much information and history to take in. It truly was incredible. I’m glad we went, but this one is definitely more for the history buffs.

It was about 3pm when we left Ellis Island and ventured to one of our favorite places to get a quick bite…Shake Shack. I know, we are easy to please, but dang those burgers and fries are good! Don’t even get me started on the Cookies & Cream Milkshake! It’s a good thing there are no Shake Shack’s around me, that’s all I have to say!

Our next stop was the 9/11 Museum. I’ve heard that this is an emotional experience, and I can confirm that to be true. Photographs are not permitted, and, to be honest, I had zero desire to take any. I’m not one that likes to read plaques (unlike my husband), but I read every single one and really took everything in. Again, it was extremely surreal. If you have time to visit any of these attractions, this would be my number one recommendation.

Finally, we headed over to the One World Observatory. I honestly had never heard of this so I didn’t even know what to expect. Basically, you are taken to the top of the World Trade Center (aka the Freedom Tower) in an elevator that rises 102 stories in under a minute. While riding up in the elevator, there are screens that show you the transformation of NYC over the years which is pretty cool to see. When you get to the top, there is another quick presentation before you exit to a 360 degree view of the city from above.

I have to say, it was pretty breathtaking seeing the skyline from this perspective. They also have tablets you can rent for $15 that allow you to take a deeper dive into different neighborhoods to learn about the culture. We hung out here for about 30-45 minutes before catching the train back to our friends house.

After such a long day, we decided to just hang out and relax for the evening. So, we ordered pizza and played games.

Saturday

This was probably my favorite day of the entire trip. We started the day by renting Citi Bikes and riding the entire way around Central Park. I’m pretty sure I’ve now added and crossed this off my bucket list. I had NO idea just how vast Central Park is! The full loop where we rode is 6.1 miles, and I did NOT dress appropriately.

I thought this would be a leisurely stroll. Boy was I wrong! There are some killer hills on the loop where my Peloton practice (and encouragement of my husband) came in handy. I don’t think I would’ve made it up without that!

Side note: It’s helpful to have your phone with you when renting your Citi Bike. Otherwise, you’ll spend 15 minutes figuring out how to rent it, only to realize there is a kiosk 10 feet away that you can use. (Cough, Dan, Cough)

Once we finished our ride, we were HUNGRY! So of course we went to one of our other favorites…Sweetgreen! If you have a Sweetgreen near you, I’m more than jealous. The closest one to where we live is an hour away! This place has the most heavenly (and expensive) salads, but they are soooo worth it. I always get the Harvest Bowl! We took these over to Lincoln Center which had just opened up a new space called The Green.

The GREEN features grass-like recyclable, biobased SYNLawn material, and is designed so that people with different levels of mobility can access the space.  (Taken from LincolnCenter.Org.)

As you can imagine, we definitely needed showers after this. So we headed back to their place to hang out for a little bit, shower and change for dinner…legit the best dinner I think I’ve ever had in my life.

If you’re ever in New York City, I HIGHLY recommend Ampia located in the financial district. We made reservations weeks in advance, but for some reason were still not able to sit on the rooftop like we wanted. I mean, take a look at that website to see how dang cute it is! BUT it didn’t even matter.

Ampia is a gnoccheria, something I’ve never heard of before! It had the BEST gnocchi I’ve ever had in my life. My mouth is literally watering just thinking about it. Also, I’m a terrible blogger because I ate it all before I took a picture. Oops! You’ll just have to take my word for it!

Once we finished dinner, we walked over to South Street Seaport which sits on the East river with an amazing view of the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s such a cute little area with cobblestone streets lined with so many little shops and restaurants! Next time we go, I’d love to go see it during the day because it was so adorable!

I know, I know, this is getting long, but I’m almost done!

Since we were leaving Sunday evening, we decided to just hang out until lunch. It was so nice to just do normal things that friends do when they live close to each other, like build toddler toys and watch soccer. 😉 I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, but if you live close to your best friends, do NOT take that for granted!

We had to go for one last lunch before we left. If you haven’t figured it out yet, we basically plan our entire trip around where we will eat. For our “last supper”, we went to the cutest little place called Gilligan’s at Soho Grand. You’d never know you were in NYC once you were in this restaurant.

It had such island vibes and a very popular watermelon margarita that fit right in! If you ever make it here, the margarita is a must! We ended up both getting basically the same thing, the lobster cobb salad and the coppa stone oven pizza. Both were DELICIOUS!

If you made it this far, thanks for reading! I hope you got some good recommendations of places to go and things to do in NYC. Obviously there are other things we didn’t get to do this trip, but don’t worry…we’ll be back! In fact, broadway opens back up in September and we’re hoping to make it up this fall, this time with Audrey too!!

If you’ve been to NYC, I’d love to hear your favorite spots so we can check them out the next time we go! Drop them in the comments below.

xo-

LBT

Blog, Gift Guides

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Father’s Day is right around the corner! I feel like these holidays really sneak up on you…at least they do for me! So, while I was searching for gifts for the dads in my life, I figured I’d put some of my favorite finds in one place for you!

  1. Cosori Air Fryer Max XL – Air fryers are making a huge wave these days, and I can see why! They are a healthier alternative to all those fried foods we know and love. This specific one is highly rated and has an extra $10 coupon available! It’s also available for Amazon Prime free one-day shipping!
  2. Kopi Mug & Warmer Set – Moms aren’t the only ones who end up with cold coffee! This cup comes with a special charger that uses magnetic induction energy to heat up the metallic layering on the bottom of the coffee mug.
  3. Battery Daddy – This may seem silly, but it’s actually genius! It holds ALL THE batteries in one place, and even comes with a battery tester!
  4. Wireless Charging Station – If he is an Apple lover, this is the perfect gift! It will charge all of his devices in one place. And its on sale right now for less than $20!
  5. BBQ Grilling Tool Set – What dad doesn’t love grilling? This grilling tool set is perfect for all dads who love their grill!
  6. Beer Making Kit – This is one that always intrigues me! Whether you get this one or not, I think this would make a great gift for the beer-loving dads!
  7. Massage Gun – I got this for my husband for Christmas a couple years ago, and we have both used it often. There are plenty of these on the market right now, but this one is more of a middle-of-the-road price-wise.
  8. Sephora Cologne Sampler – This is something that will ALWAYS go on my gift guides for men. It comes with nine different fragrances to test out, a nice travel bag AND a certificate to redeem a full-size bottle of his favorite scent! I highly recommend this!
  9. Blackstone 4-Burner 36” Griddle Cooking Station with Side Shelves – Standard grills no more! The Blackstone is where it’s at! We got ours last year, and absolutely love it! You can make all your normal grill foods on this, but can also make your full breakfast or hibachi on it! It’s so versatile and the perfect addition to your outdoor space!
  10. Apple AirPods Pro – We have recently hopped on the AirPod train, and I don’t know what took us so long! These things are amazing, and they are currently $50 off at Target!
  11. Andar Wallet – Of course I included a wallet on this list. The Andar wallets are pretty awesome though! They are thin and sleek, but still hold up to 10 cards, have a pull-tab for quick and easy access to the cards, a cash strap and are RFID protected! Use code DARYLANN for a discount!
  12. Bluetooth Shower Speaker – Does your husband/dad like to sing in the shower? Or maybe just listen to music while he showers? Well, here’s a great idea for him! We have one of these and it’s so nice to have the music playing right in our shower!
  13. Emergency Survival Kit – This is one for all those outdoorsy dads out there! AKA, not my husband. 😉 The kid includes everyday from a knife, to a flashlight, to an emergency blanket!

I hope you found these ideas helpful! If you grab any of these things, let me know in the comments below!

xo-

LB

Blog

My Botox Experience

Botox. To be honest, when I was younger, I never anticipated this as being something I would want, let alone go through with. I thought it was only something celebrities did and that anyone with Botox looked plastic and fake.

Then I turned 31. Don’t ask why, but 31 was the age that did it for me. I’ve been lucky up until this point, but now the wrinkles are really starting to set in. Most noticeably, the line(s) between my eyebrows, more commonly referred to as the 11 lines, or medically known as glabellar lines. These are caused by years of muscle movement, and in my case, by squinting from the sun. (Or at least I think that’s what does it for me.)

I started really looking into Botox about two months ago. Then, one of my friends got it done, and I was immediately sold. I told my husband I wanted to do it, and guess what he said?

“You don’t need that!”

Of course he is going to say that. One, because he thinks I’m beautiful the way I am, and two, because it isn’t cheap. He’s sweet and frugal. 😉

Now, am I comfortable in my own skin? Absolutely. BUT, what I hated was that no matter what I tried, my makeup would separate between in that deep line. It looked awful! So, after talking to my friend, I immediately booked an appointment to see Bethany at Face Forward Skin Care Center.

I absolutely love this place! It has a very modern vibe and everyone there is very welcoming!

Now, a little bit about Botox before I get into my experience. Botox is a purified protein injected to soften lines created by frowning, squinting, smiling and concentrating.

Like I mentioned earlier, I thought that anyone who got Botox looked fake, but I now know that isn’t the case. Here’s some information about Botox directly from Bethany:

Botox is absolutely great for prevention as well as resolution for those pesky lines and wrinkles. The earlier you start getting Botox the better, but it’s never too late to start! I have patients in their 60s getting their first time tox treatment and are seeing gorgeous, bright youthful results. Botox is becoming as common as highlights and a manicure; think maintenance! My focus always is to give soft natural results and for my patients to look like themselves but refreshed!

Bethany Thierolf

Does it hurt?

I am an absolute wimp. Even though I went through natural childbirth (not by choice), I still can’t stand needles so I was a little nervous. It did not hurt! It felt like little pricks, but nothing that I couldn’t handle. I didn’t even flinch!

What does it cost?

The cost will depend on how many units of Botox are needed to achieve the results you’re hoping for as well as where you are going. At FF, the cost of Botox is $12/unit.

How often do you need to get it done?

Botox can typically last anywhere from 90-120 days. This varies by person, but it usually metabolizes faster in someone who is active vs someone who doesn’t work out as often.

Are you happy with your results?

100%! It took a couple of days to settle in, but now that I can see the full results, I’m extremely pleased. I was very nervous of looking unnatural, but I don’t at all (in my opinion)! Also, an unexpected perk was that it gave my eyebrows a little bit of a lifted arch which they have never had!! I’ve included a couple of before and after images below for you to see!

Don’t mind the crazy faces and the change in position. 😉

Before
After
Before
After

Overall, my experience with Botox has been wonderful! I’m so happy with the results, and I’m so glad I started this when I did! If you’re interested in Botox or other services that Face Forward Skincare Center offers, and you’re local to Central Pennsylvania, I highly suggest setting an appointment! Let them know I sent you! 🙂

xo,

LB

Blog

Styling a Denim Jacket for Spring

Do you have a denim jacket in your closet? If not, I highly suggest investing in one as they are such a great piece to have in your closet, especially in the transitional seasons such as spring and fall.

Denim jackets come in so many variations, white, light blue, dark blue, black, cropped, oversized… The list goes on! Today, I’m going to touch on a very basic distressed denim jacket and five different ways to style it!

As always, everything you see is linked. Simply click on the picture to shop that exact picture or click on the linked words under each picture to take you directly to that item.

Style 1

This is probably the most casual of all the looks, and so easy to recreate. I’m wearing my Spanx Faux Leather leggings in this picture, but you can literally wear any leggings, add a t-shirt and sneakers and you’re good to go! Such a easy, but chic look!

Style 2

I love pairing a denim jacket with white jeans. This look is similar to the first one, just switched out a couple of pieces! The mules elevate the look to make it a tad less casual, but you could still easily wear this to the park with your kids or running errands and look instantly put together!

Style 3

Okay, how fun is this look?! When I was twirling around making a Reel for Instagram, I just pictured myself riding a bike to happy hour at the beach. Random? Maybe, but it’s such a fun look! I have a tank top on here, but would’ve much preferred a white bodysuit!

Style 4

Do you notice a theme here? All of these outfits are so easy and duplicatable! I’m just wearing dark denim with a peplum top and leopard mules for a pop of fun in there! This is great for those days where it’s chilly in the morning and/or evening, but warm during the day. Simply add the jacket and you’re good to go!

Style 5

This one is sooo easy! I am wearing a striped dress here, but you could wear any swing or t-shirt dress and simply layer on a denim jacket! You could make it even dressier by adding heels, but I kept it simple with my current favorite sandal and added a pop of color to my lips.

Let me know in the comments which outfit was your favorite!

xo-

LB

Blog

How to Style a Chambray Shirt

If there is one piece of clothing everyone should have in their closet, it’s definitely a chambray button down shirt! This piece can be worn SO MANY ways, and it’s a great transitional piece from one season to another. You can find these basically anywhere from Target to Madewell to Nordstrom. It really depends on your preference and budget where you get yours, but this is definitely a piece you could invest in and have for years to come.

As always, everything you see is linked. Simply click on the picture to shop that exact picture or click on the linked words under each picture to take you directly to that item.

I styled this one seven different ways, but the possibilities are endless!

Pro Tip: Rolling your sleeves up will give you a more polished look! This goes for all button up shirts! 🙂

Style 1

First up, the Canadian Tuxedo! Don’t be afraid to pair denim with denim! My best tip is to just make sure the shades of denim are at least slightly different. I paired this with a neutral mule and this fun leopard bag. I’m loving this look for a day-date or a fun weekend trip with your best girls!

Style 2

How simple is this next look?! Throw on a pair of white denim to really make the chambray shirt pop. You could go with a neutral shoe or spice it up with a pop of color. Either way, this look is so easy to duplicate and oh so chic!

Style 3

Talk about a casual Friday work look! This is perfect for those who still have to go into the office, but have the ability to dress a bit more casually. Or, wear this out to dinner or even just to run errands. It’s a versatile look and so easy to put together. Just grab a pair of black (or dark) denim and pair them with a fun belt and shoe!

Style 4

How fun is this look?! All I did was unbutton the lowest button, and tied it in a double knot around my waist. This gives me more of a waist line so I don’t look frumpy. I love pairing this with a skirt! It’s girly, but still comfortable without being too fancy! Of course, you could throw on a pair of wedges and give this a whole new look!

Style 5

This may be my favorite simply because it’s the easiest! A t-shirt dress is another one of those pieces that can be worn a million different ways. Adding a chambray around your waist gives you some definition and point of interest for the eye making you appear thinner! I paired this with sneakers, but you could also throw on sandals!

Style 6

Okay, I’m also LOVING this look. This is so good for a beach date night or a night out with the girls. Sexy, comfortable, but also cute! Again, I tied at the waist, but this time I left all the buttons undone. Add some lipstick and jewels, and you’re good to go!

Style 7

If you’re heading anywhere on vacation this summer, this look is a MUST! I only ever travel in this jumpsuit and I almost always pair it with either a chambray shirt or a denim jacket. Planes (and cars) can get cold, so it’s nice to have something to cover up with. This jumpsuit comes in multiple colors too, so if black isn’t your thing, check out the other colors available. But don’t sleep on this one because it’s goooood!

Let me know in the comments which outfit was your favorite!

xo-

LB

Blog

Four Ways to Style the Target Midi-Dress

I had so much fun last week styling the pretty floral Target dress, so I’m hoping to keep this going every week! This week I styled the Target Midi-Dress four different ways! This dress is only $15 and comes in four different colors/patterns. The last time I checked, it’s unfortunately out of stock, but you can always sign up for restock alerts! Either way, a version of this dress can easily be found and replicated!

As always, everything you see is linked. Simply click on the picture to shop that exact picture or click on the linked words under each picture to take you directly to that item.

I was a little worried at first with this dress since I’m so short. Typically, midi-length dresses don’t quite work well on me. That’s not the case with this dress! It fits me perfectly and is incredibly flattering. I can’t wait to wear this all spring and summer, and even into fall! For reference, I’m 5’2” and range from 135-140 lbs. I’m wearing a size small in the dress and a size 7 in the sandals. These both are pretty true to size for me.

Style 1

The first way I styled this is so simple! Literally just add sandals! That’s it! Sure, you can accessorize a little bit, but this dress makes a statement on it’s own, even though it’s pretty simple. So, throw on a pair of sandals and you’re good to go for a quick and easy outfit!

P.S. The picture below is the best screenshot I could get from the video I took. No judgement, please. 😉

Style 2

Next up is for my girls who love this dress, but want to wear it more casually. All you have to do is throw on a baseball hat, some sneakers and wrap a light jacket or chambray shirt around your waist for a little definition. I added leopard sneakers for a little extra something, but this would look cute with really any pair of sneakers!

Style 3

If you’re looking for a fun vacation vibe, this is it! Who would’ve ever thought throwing a shirt over a dress would look so chic?! These t-shirts from Old Navy are my absolute favorite, and perfect for tying a front knot (again, for that waist definition). Add a straw fedora, sneakers and a fun bag! The only thing you’re missing is a margarita!

HatT-Shirt Dress
SneakersBag

Style 4

You know I couldn’t do a styling session without giving you an option to dress it up, right?! I looove this look! Comfortable, but sexy all in one! This is so easy to recreate, too! Simply add a moto jacket (again, my absolute favorite moto jacket!!), some heels and add a pop of color to your lips!

My bag and shoes are both old, but I did find the shoes on Poshmark! If you’re looking for your size, search for “Treasure & Bond Sannibel Platform Wedge Sandal“.

Let me know in the comments which outfit was your favorite!

xo-

LB

Blog

One Dress Four Ways

Whew! It’s been a while since I’ve been on here, but I’m so excited to bring a new series to you all! I’ll be styling one clothing item for you multiple different ways to show you just how versatile pieces can be!

First up, this $25 Target dress! Everything you see is linked. Simply click on the picture to shop that exact picture or click on the linked words under each picture to take you directly to that item.

As soon as I put this dress on, I knew it would become a favorite. You’re going to see me wearing this all throughout the spring and summer. It is so incredibly versatile and flattering! For reference, I’m 5’2” and range from 135-140 lbs. I’m wearing a size small in the dress and a size 7 in the sandals. These both are pretty true to size for me.

Style 1

The first way I styled this is so simple! Add a cute straw fedora and some sandals, and you’re good to go! This is so easy to throw on and head to a picnic, casual date night or stroll on the boardwalk on vacation!

HatDressSandals

Style 2

Next up is another simple style! I pulled from the colors in the dress and added a cute pink headband and matching mules. You could always switch those out with flats, too, if mules aren’t your thing! Side-note: You don’t HAVE to match the headband and shoes. That’s just what worked for me with what I already had in my closet.

Style 3

Here’s one for my edgy girls! I LOOOOVE this look! It gives the dress a whole different vibe and really takes it up a notch. I can see myself wearing this out for a girl’s night or even a date night. Either way, this look is definitely one of my favorites! All of these pieces are closet staples too! So, if you don’t have them in your closet, I highly suggest grabbing them over time because you can really make so many different outfits from just these four pieces!

P.S. This is the BEST moto jacket I’ve ever worn. It is stretchy and comfortable unlike many others that are very stiff and constricting.

Style 4

The last way I style this dress is another easy throw-and-go look! This one is great for those days where the sun is out, but it might get a tad chilly here and there. I simply added some white tennis shoes and a denim jacket! You can either wear the jacket normally, just over your shoulders or tie it around your waist. There really are so many different options. Either way, you’ll look put together and oh so chic!

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did! It was so much fun to put together and really inspired me to do more! Tell me in the comments which ‘fit (as the kids say these days) you like best!

xo-

LB

Blog

FabFitFun

If you’re like me, you’re inundated with ads for FabFitFun on all the social channels, from influencers, targeted ads and even friends (hi!) But, there’s good reason!

It’s worth it! Each season, you can get hundreds of dollars of full-size products for just $49.99, most of which you get to choose! Or, if you upgrade to an Annual Membership, you save $20 and get to further customize your box!

To show you the value, I’m going to take you through what I received in my winter box and just how much everything costs!

Summer & Rose Cozy Robe – $70

This robe is heavenly! It’s the softest robe I’ve ever felt, and the best part is that it has pockets and A HOOD! Talk about cozy!

Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm – $68

I’ve been looking for a good eye cream for a while now, so the fact that I got a $68 eye cream in my box that costs only $49 is mind-blowing! This eye cream has a blend of alguronic acid, vitamin C, and green tea extract which helps to reduce puffiness and hydrate your eyes. Who doesn’t need some extra hydration these days?!

dr. brandt® skincare PoreDermabrasion® – $58

If you’ve been following me for a little while, you already know my love of dr. brandt products. In fact, I was first introduced to them in one of my FabFitFun boxes, so I love that they continue adding them as options! The PoreDermabrasion is a micro-crystal solution that instantly deep cleans and refines pores. I used this one this morning and it left my face feeling as soft as a baby’s bum! 😉

Tula Skincare Rose Glow & Get It Cooling &
Brightening Eye Balm
– $30

This is one of the items I was most excited for! It’s been on my wishlist for months, so I was STOKED that it was a choice for the winter box. As soon as I got my box, I tried this out and it did not disappoint. It has a cooling sensation that helps to energize and awarenesses the under-eye area, but it also doubles as a highlighter on your cheekbones or cupid’s bow for an instant glow!

eparé® Cutting Board (Set of 4) – $19.95

How cool are these cutting boards?! I only have one very large cutting board, so I was excited for a lightweight option like this. These cutting boards have a non-slip back so you can cut all your food with ease!

Paradox Lucky Stars Blemish Patches™ – $18

Have you seen people posted about pimple patches?! I keep seeing them, but I’ve never tried them. These ones are super cute and have the added benefit of getting rid of blemishes. I’m excited to try these and will report back on how they work!

Daily Concepts® Daily Facial Dry Brush – $20

Dry brushing. A thing I’ve always been intrigued by! But, I’ve never seen a facial dry brush! You can use this on your forehead, cheeks, nose, chin and neck to help stimulate lymphatic pathways and reduce puffiness! Another product I’ll test out and report back on! Comment below if you’ve ever dry-brushed before!

Phase Zero Makeup Making Moves Blusher – $27.50

I’m a sucker for new makeup products, so I’m excited to try this new blusher. It has a silky smooth formula that blends seamlessly onto your skin to give you just the right about of flush color.

Laura Geller® Cinnamon & Spice Eyeshadow Palette – $45

When you sign up for FabFitFun, you also get to choose add-ons which are more full-size products at a steep discount. This round, I added on the Laura Geller® Cinnamon & Spice Eyeshadow Palette for just $15. It’s normally $45! This palette include 12 beautiful shades perfect for both day and night looks!

Did you add all of that up? The contents of my box is valued at $326.45! I only paid $49.99, plus my $15 add on! Tell me that’s not insane?! What started as a one-time Christmas present from my hubby, has now turned into a seasonal surprise I look forward to very much! (Sorry, babe!)

If this is something that speaks to you, and you want to treat yourself, or treat someone else, I have a special link for you! You can get $10 off your first box simply by clicking here! Not sure if you’re ready to commit? Comment below with your email address and I will send you a box valued up to $75 for the price of shipping! But hurry, I only have three starter boxes to send!

xo-

LB

Blog

Picture Perfect

Originally posted on 4/29/2020.

As many of us have been doing lately, I was group FaceTiming with a group of my best friends the other night, and something came up that I need to share. Honestly, it’s something that’s been going on for a while and I didn’t want to share because, well, it’s scary. But as we talked, we realized that it’s those scary and raw moments that you connect with others the most, and that’s what the whole purpose of this platform is!

So, let me take you back to the beginning of quarantine. You know, when we weren’t in the thick of it, and it wasn’t ALWAYS raining and cold. It was a gorgeous day, and my husband was off work so we took full advantage! We took a walk with the kids and both dogs. Audrey even walked one of them all by herself, something she was extremely proud of, yet made me a nervous nelly! Then, we went to our backyard and played for hours. We chased each other, played soccer, threw a frisbee, wrestled, and laughed until our cheeks hurt.

There was a moment during this where I took a step back and realized that I am literally living my dream. I have a white picket fence for goodness sake! I felt like I had stepped into the exact picture I had in my mind during my younger years of what I wanted my life to look like when I grew up. How cool is that?

But then, the days turned into weeks, and now the weeks are turning into months. I started breaking down. I alluded this in my post, This. Is. Freaking. Hard. Being home all the time trying to work and be mom is exhausting. Not necessarily physically, but mentally and emotionally. I know I’m lucky that my kids aren’t school-aged yet so that I don’t have to also worry about distance learning, BUT I still feel like I’m failing them. I can’t help but wonder if my irritability and lack of undivided attention are going to be engrained in them for the rest of their lives. Dramatic? Maybe, but I think in extremes.

Things kept mentally piling up on me. As much as I tried to continue being the happy, go with the flow, bubbly person that I typically am, it seemed to be getting harder and harder. I was crying, for seemingly no reason, every day. The kicker? My friends and I seem to be experiencing a lot of the same feelings. It may seem weird to say that, but we all went through something very traumatic together as teenagers…a school shooting.

I’ve always thought that I was good at handling the emotional stress that came from the shooting. And to be honest, I thought I was pretty good at handling the stress that came with other traumatic life events too. i.e. my parents divorce, my best friend committing suicide, etc. But now that my friends and I are all experiencing eerily similar feelings/thoughts, I can’t help me think that maybe I’m not as good at dealing with this stress as I thought.

I guess simply blocking out thoughts and memories isn’t good for you…

Another point that was brought up was social media. My friend mentioned that if someone looked at my Instagram page, they would think I have the perfect life. That hit me hard. Not in a bad way, though! But, I really, truly want to be completely authentic for my audience. I want to    show you the good, but I also want to show you the bad. If I’m going to connect with my audience the way that I intended, then I need to be completely transparent. Hopefully, if you follow me, you know that my stories are where the unfiltered, no makeup me is present, but still. I never want to depict a perfect life, because it simply isn’t the case.

So, after talking with my friends I decided to reach out to a professional. While I haven’t had my first appointment yet, I feel a sense of relief even knowing that I’m taking that step. I absolutely hate that there is still such a stigma around mental health. Just because you are seeking help doesn’t mean that you are broken. It doesn’t mean that you are crazy. in my opinion, it makes you strong!

I want to start therapy so that I can be my best self not only for me, but for my husband and especially for my children. I want them to know that it’s ok to seek help. It’s ok to not be ok. Most importantly, I want them to look up to me as someone they admire and hope to be like someday. I want them to look back and have joyous, fun memories of me. Not memories of me being sad and crying for seemingly no reason.

I’m writing this with hopes that maybe this will be someone else’s sign to seek help. You’re not weak or a failure if you want to talk to someone. You’re stronger than you know!

xo-

LB

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This. Is. Freaking. Hard.

Originally posted 4/16/2020.

Let me paint a picture for you…

I’m sitting at the dining room table eating grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch with my two- and four-year-old after a morning of trying to work my full-time job from my kitchen island while simultaneously entertaining my children, basically just making sure they are safe and alive. Mid-bite, I burst into tears. The kids both stop talking (their “talking” is honestly more like screaming) and stare at me, bewildered.

Are they shocked I’m crying? I know the four-year-old isn’t, but I’m sure it seems weird to my two-year-old. My kids are in difficult stages as it is., testing their limits and learning what they can get away with. There are constant attitudes, eye rolls, and fights in our house. Attitudes and eye-rolls towards me, fights between the two of them. Constantly.

It’s only Tuesday, and I’m crying, feeling defeated, in front of my children.

Like many others during this unprecedented time, I’m home working my full-time job and my kids’ childcare facility is closed. Since my husband is in law enforcement, he is an essential worker and is still reporting for duty. I’m only slightly jealous he gets to leave the house for human interaction on a regular basis…only slightly. My only solace is knowing I’m not the only one going through this currently, and the fact that I’m lucky to work for an incredible company that is supportive and understanding is a huge relief.

But this. is. freaking. hard.

I am not cut out to be a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM), and I sure as hell am not cut out to be BOTH a SAHM AND a full-time working mom at the same time.

Please don’t get me wrong here, I love my kids, I love spending time with them, but the fact that there are no boundaries between work-life and mom-life is chaotic. I can’t pay attention to my kids’ needs. I can’t play with them the way they want me to. I can’t hold them constantly. The list goes on, and it makes me feel like I am the worst mom in the world. In fact, my super sweet princess of a daughter has even told me that I am “the worst mom ever,” she “doesn’t like me,” AND that I’m “the meanest mom ever!”

The thing is, I know she doesn’t mean those things, but it can be hard to not take it seriously when you’re already thinking the same things about yourself. As I was crying during lunch, unable to form words, both my kids got up from their seats, came over, and wrapped their arms around me. They told me they love me, and that I’m the “best mom ever!”

It was nice, but, again…this. is. freaking. hard.

I know, I probably shouldn’t have cried in front of my kids, but at least there was peace and quiet for a solid two minutes. I’m kidding. Kind of.

The worst part of all of this is that I know I’m not being the best mom lately. I’m not being the best wife, the best employee, or the best me for myself. I can’t give anything I love 100%, and it only makes the guilt compound.

I’m trying to do things to stay sane like getting outside, working out and practicing self-care, but all of that is only going so far right now. I’ve lost any semblance of patience that I had (which wasn’t much), I’ve raised my voice more than I would like to admit, and I’ve cried oh so many tears.

The thing is…I’m a happy person! I really, truly am a happy person to my core. But this whole working from home while watching my kids and not having outside human interaction for almost two months has got me on a crazy tidal wave of emotions that I cannot seem to get under control.

So, if you’re a parent out there who is on the struggle bus like me, just know you are not alone. Every day we are in this is another day closer to normalcy. We will get through this. And let’s hope when we are on the other side that we won’t take for granted everything we are so desperately craving right now.

xo-

LB

I would like to add that I am extremely grateful that my husband and I both still have our jobs, we have a roof over our heads and are healthy. Just because I’m feeling all of the things above does not mean that I am ungrateful. This is simply my little corner to share my thoughts and feelings, and that’s exactly what this post is about.