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Happy 2020 ladies! I just wanted to share a quick blog post about where Tracy and I stayed when we went to Nashville this past November.
The Union Station Hotel is a stunning choice to stay if you want to be just blocks from Music Row and The Gulch. Fun music, great food, and so much more just minutes away!
Union Station Hotel was an old 19th century train station turned hotel, now offering over 125 rooms and onsite dining. Tracy and I stayed in the Crescendo suite, located on the second floor just above the lobby. Spacious and beautifully decorated in modern decor, it made a wonderful space to relax and rest. The Crescendo suite offers one bedroom with a Queen size bed with a large bathroom that includes a soaking tub and full shower. The Crescendo suits also has a half bath in the main sitting area, a nice feature when two girls are both trying to get ready at the same time.
I will mention that the Crescendo suite is directly connected to the hotels meeting room/ event room. Definitely check to see if there will be any early morning meeting going on during your stay if you like to sleep in.
Tracy and I got to check out Carters, the on site dining offered at the hotel. They have a full bar, including over 40 whiskies. You can dine inside the restaurant, or at the bar that stretches out into the beautiful lobby. The Crispy Brussel Sprouts were definitely a favorite.
I have included some photos to really speak to the beauty of this hotel!
Feel free to check out the hotels website here.
Christmas is my absolute FAVORITE time of the year, and putting these gift guides together is always so fun! I love showing you all some of this seasons hottest buys, as well as the timeless favorites.
Lets dig into this years BEAUTY gift guide, and why I chose the items listed!
I listed two different lip kits, Give Me Lip from Sephora has already sold out since publishing this so I linked a very similar one here. Also, the NYX lip collection is such a great way to find your favorite new colors while still getting full size products. It’s $50 but NYX has some of the best neutral shades I have found.
This makeup brush collection got great reviews and is under $20, which is a great deal for an entire brush collection. It is a great starter set for a young teen or a great set to use with eye shadow pallets and such. You will still need to invest in a separate foundation brush if you are a brush snob like I am. But this set is solid for a teen daughter or niece!
You can never go wrong with candles, or anything Kendra Scott! This KS one is such an amazing scent you can burn anytime throughout the year. The scent is just so luxurious! Perfect for a nice hostess gift, mother in law, or friend that likes nice things and literally has everything.
Have a beauty guru to shop for? The gift of great skin never goes out of style. I tried Tula products for the first time this fall, and let me tell you I am a hard one to impress. But I can honestly say, I really did like it. I thought just from the short time I used them that I definitely had brighter skin. I am VERY particular of any skin care brand I share. In fact, I have turned down over 20 (TWENTY) skin care collaborations this year because I did not find their products up to my standards. I guess I am the Simon of skin care products. This gift set would be awesome for anyone on your list…or treat yo self!
The Kardashians came out with a new set of perfumes this year. They are shaped like lips, and I am a sucker for some great packaging. Bonus- they actually smell good too! I particularly liked the “Nude Lip” one. A woman needs a different perfume for each mood, and I for sure have a special Kardashian mood…more like a state of mind.
I listed two silk pillow cases on this gift guide because I wanted to have a splurge one and a save one. The Silk brand one will run you about $85 but people swear by its power of wrinkle prevention. Again, a wonderful gift for the glam girl on your list who literally has everything already. And this one is an alternative option for under $22 on Amazon and comes in multiple colors.
Girls just wanna have fun, right? Umm yes, and fabulous hair! Have someone on your shopping list that has amazing hair and loves to try new things? A teen who is discovering different styles? This amazing hair waver is under $27 and is sure to produce some selfies when used. It is super easy to use, start at the scalp or about three inches down and just work to the end to produce super awesome beach waves.
This cute heart shaped makeup vanity tray was just too cute to pass up. I am most definitely going to add this to cart! You could put your favorite and most used products in here, your jewelry or cherished accessories. A beautiful, and very affordable, gift for any gal on your list. Under $20!
Ok, once you see the price tag on this hairbrush you might think I have lost my marbles. I assure you I have, but this hairbrush just might be worth it. Quick backstory on this brush: I was shopping at Ulta and stocking up on some of my regular goodies when I saw this new Dry Bar hair brush. I didn’t think much of it, tossed it in the basket and went along my way. Fast forward to me being home and checking the receipt while watching my oldest daughter run this “elite” hairbrush through her long brown locks. I about spit my water out when I saw I had been robbed, and by robbed I mean I had purchased an $85 hair brush. It was too late to return it since my oldest was currently grooming herself with it. HOWEVER…this hair brush has been my saving grace. I would buy it again, and here’s why: my daughters who absolutely loath brushing their hair, will now ONLY use this brush. They tell me it doesn’t hurt, it glides through their wild and messy manes with ease and without causing tears from either of us. We have tried every brush known to woman on this planet, including the much raved about Wet brush. Who knew we just needed the Dry brush! So yes, it’s costly but if it gets my girls out the door with their hair brushed and without World War Hair 3….it’s PRICELESS. Ps- I have long hair with extensions and I have used this hair brush and loved how soft and shiny it left my hair. But since we can only afford one of these magical brushes, it goes to the girls.
Too Faced always comes out with the cutest products. I commend their marketing and design team. This year they put together a Christmas Cookie House Party set that when your put it together (the edges are magnetic) it looks like a Gingerbread House. Like….how can I not buy this?! The two eyeshadow pallets alone have some of the best holiday glam colors as well as some solid neutrals. It also comes with a travel size Better Than S*X mascarra.
Urban Decay is another brand we can count of for some of the most amazing eyeshadow pallets this turn of the century. They just launched their Reloaded pallet with all of the most popular shadows as well as larger portions of the most used neutral base shades. Thank you Urban Decay for understanding the struggle! Any makeup guru would be super delighted to open this on Christmas morning!
Another product worth the splurge is the T3 Micro Convertible Curling Trio. Ya’ll know I only wash my hair about once a week (8 days but who’s counting?) So I wash and dry my hair on day one, and then because after all of that hard work I am too exhausted to do anything else, I just put it in a loose pony tail until the next day. On the second day I use my 1″ curling wand to put loose curls/ waves into my hair. And when I curl it on day two, its LASTS until I wash it again. I have never found another wand to product this same effect. Sometimes I don’t even use a hairspray, so I can assure you its this magic curling wand. Save yourself time and a drawer of curling irons that don’t produce lasting curls and get this one!
If you travel often, you know that some of your most precious cargo you pack is your makeup and skincare. I mean let’s be honest, what’s in your toiletry bag is probably worth more than the rest of your suitcase contents. So you want to pack it safely, but also who wants to arrive to said destination and have to dig like an opossum in a trash can to dig out your eyeliner from the bottom of the bag. Well you are sooooo going to love this travel bag! It offers good space, and awesome protection and organization. If you don’t already have one for yourself then go ahead and just buy yourself one. For under $24, maybe your entire office needs one too.
These have been around for a while now, and they keep adding improvements to them. I have suggested this one because we all know that washing the face is super important for healthy skin, but did you know that HOW you wash your face actually matters too? I suggest using this Sonic tool every night to get good clean skin as well as a little exfoliation.
Last but not least, the power house of all hair dryers. I personally do not own this item, but the reviews have me wanting one! With long/ thick hair or extensions you know how lengthy the hair drying process can be. I have to switch arms so I don’t build up a bigger bicep on one side. The process is real…and sometimes I am standing there in the mirror, three hours later with half my head still wet just dreaming of this dream tool. I have a Dyson vacuum cleaner, and it does not disappoint, so I can only imagine how amazing this hair dryer will be. You know their quality when you see the name Dyson. You walk in a public restroom and see they have Dyson hand dryers and suddenly drying our hands doesn’t seem like such a dreaded chore. Because we know Dyson is a power house and gets the job done quickly and with ease. So Dear Santa, if you are subscribed to my blog, toss one of these in that big ole sack for your favorite girl Christie’s Lion-esq mane.
I hope you all have enjoyed reading about this products and my honest feedback. The next gift guide will be a Women’s guide and will be up soon. Now get to shopping!
This post is sponsored by CBDMEDIC but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
I have personally struggled with back pain over the years in my personal and professional life. And also as a mother, with two kids who still love mom to carry them. One of the simplest and most effective solutions that I have found thus far is the use of the CBDMEDIC cream for neck and back pain.
The feel of it is light and not greasy, side effects and I have encountered. Just long lasting reduction in my pain. That’s allowing me to get back to my busy day as a mom, and not have to sacrifice any downtime. I personally use my product every evening before I go to bed, and I have even noticed a more solid nights sleep.
It is 100% THC free and so I can rest assure in what I’m putting on my body isn’t going to alter my mind. I highly recommend if you suffer from arthritis, neck and back pain, or sore muscles from sports activities that you implement this into your daily use.
You can purchase the CBDMEDIC products at your local CVS and learn more by visiting the CBDMEDIC website linked here!
Recently I traveled to Indianapolis for the weekend to attend several blogger events. During my trip I had the pleasure of being invited to stay at the beautiful Ironworks Hotel. My BBF (Best Blogger Friend) Tracy, from @thefashionsessions had flown into Cincinnati, and together we drove to Indianapolis, Indiana. Who knew this amazing place is just an hour and a half from Cincinnati?! The Ironworks Hotel is located just north of the downtown Indianapolis area. It sits across from the amazing Keystone Fashion Mall, and remains the only boutique hotel in the area.
The moment you walk in you notice all the amazing industrial architecture, reflecting a time when things were made with the integrity and pride of true American spirit. Exposed beams, distressed wood panels and exposed HVAC. There was a very unique, earthy smell (A good smell I promise!) with an abundance of natural lighting. It was certainly the coolest hotel I have ever been to thus far in my life! I am ready to go back now!
We stayed in one of their Heritage Rooms, offering two queen size beds with unique vintage headboards. There were two large desks for work (or as Tracy and I used them, for all our clothes and accessories), a 70 inch TV mounted on the wall, a mini bar, a Keurig (Praise The Lord), a full sitting area with a distressed leather tufted couch, and huge windows to peep out.
The bathroom had plenty of space for two bloggers to sprawl their curling irons, beauty blenders, and enough dry shampoo to hold Marge Simpson over for a few days. The walk in shower with two shower heads was amazing, and if you are traveling with your significant other, the see through frosted glass separating the shower and bedroom offers a great silhouette… umm, view. #nopeeking #honorsystem
The Ironworks Hotel is pet friendly as well. No need to leave Mr. Tail Wagger at home. The hotel also has three restaurants on site if you don’t feel like going far from your room. If you bring your workout clothes they offer an awesome workout room with a full rack of weights, treadmills, ellipticals, and a rowing machine! I only know this because I looked in for you all. I haven’t actually participated in physical exercise in quite some time.
Lastly, the staff was very kind. They were super helpful when Tracy locked us out of our room… barefoot. Also, the hotel was extremely clean. Next time I need a hotel in Indy, the Ironworks Hotel will be at the top of my list! Thank you again Ironworks Hotel Indianapolis for hosting us and I hope to see you again in the near future.
Well we are into 2019 full swing now, and I wanted to share what have been the top selling items so far this year. And the best part are the great prices of these items! I love a good luxury item from time to time but there is nothing better than finding a great deal. So here are the TOP 5 selling products so far this year:
This LV dupe wallet has been a huge hit. The price point of under $17 is too good to beat! It tends to sell out fast! It also comes in several colors!
I love this lace bodysuit. And apparently ya’ll do too! So many of you have sent me messages saying how much you love this bodysuit. I love the bodysuit trend, I hope it sticks around a long time. Under $17
Number one selling slip on sneaker! I have sold more of these than almost any other item ever!! And I have to agree with you ladies, they are worth every penny. For $29.99 they are one of the products I have really gotten my moneys worth out of.
You all know I love a good dupe! These Gucci dupe sunnies are under $10. That’s correct, less than TEN dollars. They come in solid black too. I own both and love them.
And last but definitely not least, this Glamorous Wash will change your life. Add one cap full to each load and people will be sniffing you and your entire family. I literally just had my daughters teacher chase me down at lunch to ask me what I use to wash our clothes because my daughter smelled so good. This stuff is the real MVP in my book. A little goes a long way, this $24 bottle lasts us about a month. We add it to every wash.
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Sharing my current favorites in medical grade skin care! I may have the upper hand being a skin care nurse on all the science behind this stuff, but I promise to break it down so it makes sense as to why your face should be something you invest in.
It’s never, and I mean NEVER, too early to start with good skin care. That being said, it’s also not too late. If you have a pulse, get yourself some eye cream girlfriend. People have often commented I look years younger than I am. And even though I am still young, I believe its partially from how well I care for my skin. It doesn’t matter if right now all you do it let the water hit your face in the shower, there is hope for you. I, too, was once a bar soap to the face kind-of-girl. However, these days I would rather someone beat me with a pillowcase full of soap bars (name that movie) than wash with bar soap.
First things first: Cleanse. Without a clean pallet to begin with, nothing else is going to penetrate the skin as it should. My current obsession is Skin Ceuticals Simply Clean cleanser (Not pictured). It removes makeup well and leaves me feeling clean and refreshed.
Next….one of my most favorite products I have ever used. I will be long gone petting a stuffed cat in the nursing home before they take my Vitamin C serum away from me. Skin Ceuticals Phloretin CF is my favorite Vitamin C serum and is always rated number #1 in articles I read. So, what is vitamin C? Well the quick answer… it’s a powerhouse serum that protects your face against the environment. It also promotes cellular turnover, fades hyper-pigmentation, brightens the skin, and the list goes on. One thing to take note of is that there are two kinds of Vitamin C serums from Skin Ceuticals. The one that I use, and is linked above, is for combination to oily skin. It’s called CE Ferulic, and it’s for more dry skin. I know these are not cheap, but they are worth every penny.
Quit facts on Vitamin C serum:
- Vitamin C is applied only in the morning
- Only 1% of the Vitamin C we ingest into the gut makes it to the bodies largest organ (Your skin!!)
- Not all Vitamin C serums are created equal. Skin Ceuticals has formulated their Vitamin C serums as a stabilized L-Ascorbic acid serum. (That is fancy for saying your skin will know what to do with this stuff and will actually be able to use it.)
Next up, moisturizers that aren’t just moisturizers. They are the Holy Grail of moisturizers and I have both because, well, I am a product fein.
Lets start with Skin Ceuticals Metacell Renewal B3 , its a lightweight moisturizer made with amazing ingredients like Niacinamide to keep your face looking and feeling flawless. Its lightweight emulsion delivers serious hydration to protect the skins barrier. Makeup will go on just fine over this because of how thin and emollient it is. It’s also packed with peptides to help fight aging. Win-Win. I find that two pumps is enough for my face and neck. (Don’t forget to treat your neck, you don’t want a firm face and turkey gobbler for a neck.)
Another favorite moisturizer that even my dry skin gals love is the ZO Medical Daily Power Defense. Still light enough for even an oily gal like me to use (one pump goes a long way) but hydrating enough to really feel like your face has had a drink of hydration. The patented ingredient in this called Matrixyl 3000 is what makes this product unique. It’s a powerful blend of peptides that specializes in firming the face. It’s packed with goodies to defend your skin against those free radicals trying to come toss pennies into your fountain of youth.
Both of these moisturizers last me about 4 months and I use them once or twice a day.
If you ever had a crush on JTT, if N’sync and Backstreet boys were in your walkman, or if you had NKOTB slippers….girls….the time has arrived. These products above need to be your tribe of anti-aging products.
First let’s start with eye creams.
Skin Ceuticals A.G.E.Eye Complex is ideal for dark circles and puffiness. Packed with peptides but also caffeine, helping to stimulate the eye area and reduce the unwanted raccoon eyes that have formed darker with each child who refuses to sleep at night. This product is actually a pretty pearly white color, helping to reflect light away from the dark circles. A tiny bit (seriously) goes a long way. The blueberry extract in this eye cream also aids in boosting the skins elasticity and reduces crows feet. I really love this eye cream because it does such a great job covering the fact that its been almost a decade since I had a decent nights sleep.
Obagi is the king of medial skin care, and this eye cream is no less. The Elastiderm eye serum is one of many amazing products that comes from the Obagi family. The reason I am bringing light to this one in particular is that recently they just rolled out (no pun intended) this product in a roller ball option! I have found it to be a great product for tightening the skin around the eye, upper and lower! It also contains caffeine as well to help with dark circles.
Next is what I call the Super Model cream. If you have ever heard Christie Brinkley, Faith Hill or any other mega beauty queens out there spill their beans on the secrets of aging so well, they will always tell you this: Retinol. There are many species of this product. All are forms of Vitamin A, aiding in speeding up the cellular turnover rate. As we age our skin gets lazy at making new, high quality, skin cells. Over time skin gets rough and saggy (attractive visual) and unless we keep the skin what I like to call “active”, we will notice that we are mere produce wilting away. (Please know I am laughing while writing this, have some humor peeps!) All of that being said, not all forms of Vitamin A are created equal. If this post teaches you anything today I hope you learn that quality surpasses all when it comes to good skin care. Good skin care requires a routine and it is an investment. Investing in a good retinol or tretinoin (only available by prescription) is actually more cost effective in the long run. Why? Because of the way it’s delivered and broken down at the cellular level inside the skin. I have chosen to highlight the non-prescription Retinol that I have found is more gentle to the skin than the prescription kind of Tretinioins, especially on younger or sensitive skin. I am currently using mine 3-4 nights a week and haven’t had a single problem. I started twice a week until I knew it wasn’t going to leave me peeling and red. I will eventually work up to using it every night.
Quick tips with Retinol:
- Night time use only
- Work your way up slowly (in strength as well as frequency)
- Sometimes there is an acclimation period for your skin, hang in there
And, if you are still reading this (bless your heart), let me tell you about the most important product that has ever touched my face. SPF. I am 100% serious that without adequate SPF use you are damaging your skin and really risking your skins health. Skin cancer is so serious, just ask the nearly 10,000 people that die from melanoma each year. So with that said let me go all Mom on you for a moment and also say you should see a dermatologist every single year (or as often as recommended by your provider) and wear sunscreen not only on your face but your entire body. Nobody looks cool tan in a casket. Did you know that Bob Marley died of Melanoma?! All skin types, all shades, should be wearing adequate SPF. And I never leave my house without my SPF 50. Not only because I know that the sun will age your face faster than anything else, but because skin cancer is real, and I don’t want it. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends wearing an SPF of 30 or higher. The one I have linked is Obagi’s SPF 50 Matte finish, meaning it won’t leave you looking shiny and I find it wears so well under my makeup. There are many tinted options available as well.
I truly hope that the last couple hours of me sitting here typing this up and pounding your brains full of nerdy skin care information has been helpful to someone. I love answering skin care questions. The good news is if you are local to Cincinnati, I work for the most awesome Plastic Surgeon in the city! We offer all of these products in the office, as well as other skin care services that I will cover in another post. Feel free to email me for more information.