Best Products for Dry Skin

April 20, 2018

Categories: Beauty

best products for dry hair

I didn’t have dry, sensitive skin until I moved to Colorado. When I lived in the Midwest, my skin was combination-oily and I used to think people were insane for complaining about their dry skin. At the time, I was simply trying to keep my makeup from sliding around my face and fighting my hair falling flat in the oppressive humidity with a series of volumizing mousses and sprays. Quite frankly, dry hair and skin sounded like a dream to me. And then I moved to Colorado.

As I unpacked my boxes that first winter, I experienced the full-blown effects of Colorado’s climate and I understood what ‘dry skin’ really meant. Within a few weeks my lips were split and bleeding, the tops of my hands were chapped, and my heels were cracked; my skin actually hurt. I remember thinking there was no possible way I could ever survive in such a dry climate, but I had already fallen in love with my Denver man and there was no going back, so I spent the next three years trying to find products that would save my hair, skin, and body from the dry Denver climate.

Products for dry and sensitive skin is one of the things I get the most questions about on social media, so I wanted to be sure this post was as comprehensive as possible to answer all your questions and help heal your hair/skin/body!

Details on the Sephora VIB Sale:  Only through Monday, April 23rd… Sephora VIB Rouge members can take 15% off their orders with code YAYROUGE, VIB members can take 15% off their orders with YAYVIB, Beauty Insiders can take 10% off with code YAYINSIDER. Shop now at


Aveda Pramāsana Purifying Scalp Cleanser

Available Here

Sometimes what we assume is dry scalp is actually just buildup from hair products. This scalp cleanser gently cleanses the scalp pre-shampoo and removes all traces of dry shampoo and hairspray buildup. If you do have a dry scalp (I tend to just have dry hair) you can apply the Aveda Protective Scalp Concentrate after your shower.

Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3 Treatment

Available Here – VIB Sale!

This healing hair mask is designed to strengthen and protect the structure of damaged hair. And it really works. This product healed my hair and helped me to go from blonde back to brunette. Once a week I like to apply this treatment to my dry hair halfway down to the ends, twist it up in a claw clip, and let this miracle product work its magic while I do things around the house before I shower. The longer I leave it, the better this product works!

Amika Soulfood Nourishing Mask

Available Here – VIB Sale!

I love the scent and creamy-smooth texture of this hair mask. It doesn’t heal my hair the way the Olaplex above does, but it does smooth ends and hydrate my hair. I like switching back and forth between the Amika and the Olaplex each week for soft, hydrated hair.

Le Labo Scrub Shampoo

Available Here

This refreshingly gritty shampoo feels like a scrub for the scalp. Whether you have a dry scalp and need to exfoliate or you just have a lot of product buildup, this is a great product to add into your haircare routine. I like using this once a week to exfoliate my scalp, but my husband uses it nearly every day to help wash out his pomade.

Unite 7Seconds Leave-In Detangler

Available Here

A huge part of keeping my hair hydrated is protecting it against breakage. After my shower, I spritz several sprays of this product halfway down and through the ends, then I comb through my damp hair with a wide-tooth comb. It smells refreshing and makes the comb glide through my hair like water while conditioning and protecting against breakage. I also like using this on second or third day hair to moisturize my ends.

Kérastase Elixir Ultime

Available Here

I was introduced to this magical potion several months ago and it has changed my life! It’s unlike any other oil I’ve used. I apply two pumps of this oil on my ends after the leave-in detangler. It heals and moisturizes my hair without weighing it down, making my ends shiny and soft. If I had to choose any product for my dry hair, it would be this one.

Unite U Oil

Available Here

This is another hair oil I like to use. It’s really just a personal preference between the two!

Kérastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique

Available Here

This creamy hair treatment goes onto damp hair halfway down and into the ends after the detangler and oil. I use a quarter-sized amount. It smells incredible and it nourishes hair with lipids and proteins, making it soft and bouncy.


best products for dry skin



L’Occitane Reine Blanche Illuminating Scrub

Available Here

This gentle scrub has the most perfectly sized exfoliating beads for a refined, smooth complexion. I use this every other day and I love the way it brightens and refreshes my skin.

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate

Available Here – VIB Sale!

I apply this to my skin in the shower, gently rubbing it onto my face for about 20 seconds to activate the lactic acid and fruit enzymes that exfoliate skin, then leaving it on for 2 minutes in the steam. It’s a great way to get brighter, smoother skin without the facial appointment.

Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

Available Here

This luxurious cleansing balm removes dirt, makeup, and grime while moisturizing skin. Made up of rose and mimosa waxes and elderberry and starflower oils, this product smells like a trip to the spa. I like applying this to dry skin then splashing a little water on my hands and massaging to remove all my makeup at night.

Biossance Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil

Available Here – VIB Sale!

This cleansing oil is moisturizing and gentle on my skin, but still manages to remove makeup and product. I like using the Cleansing Balm I mentioned above at night to remove makeup and then I use this in the mornings or daytime to cleanse my skin in the mornings and/or post-workout.

Peter Thomas Roth Hydra-Gel Eye Patches

Available Here – VIB Sale!

These anti-aging eye patches are infused with 24K gold and colloidal gold to help lift and firm the eye area. I use these post-shower and leave them on for 10 minutes before I apply the rest of my skincare and makeup. They help hydrate and plump my under-eye area and provide a smooth canvas for my makeup.

L’Occitane Pivoine Sublime Flash Moisture Mask

Available Here

I did a previous blog post with L’Occitane on these mask pods. They are little miracle workers that pack a punch. This Flash Moisture Mask is my current favorite because it hydrates skin in just 10 minutes. Try this mask before you apply your makeup, whether at night or in the morning; you’ll love the glow they give your skin.

La Mer The Tonic

Available Here – VIB Sale!

This is my daytime toner. I apply it after cleansing and it removes any trace amounts of makeup or product, tightens pores, and gently hydrates skin.

Pixi Skintreats Glow Tonic

Available Here

This is the toner I use at night. It contains glycolic acid, which gently exfoliates to reveal healthy, glowing skin.

Lift Lab Lift + Firm Eye Cream

Available Here

This eye cream is one of the only I’ve tried that actually improves my dark circles. The science behind it? Aquafill reduces wrinkles and Glucosyl Hesperidin and Niacinimide help to lighten dark circles. Try it for two weeks and I bet you’ll notice your eye area looking brighter!

Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil

Available Here – VIB Sale!

This silky, luxe oil is made from soothing rose oil and plant-derived squalane. Vitamin C helps our skin create collagen and fights free radicals. I love layering this product on after my toner and sometimes I even mix a drop or two in with my foundation for a more dewy, fresh look.

Biossance Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer

Available Here – VIB Sale!

The perfect lightweight gel moisturizer for daytime use. Plant-derived squalane acts as a barrier against the loss of moisture during the day.

La Mer The Moisturizing Soft Cream

Available Here – VIB Sale!

I fell in love with this luxe face cream as soon as I learned the proper way to apply it. Instead of smearing it all over your face, tap the product between your fingers until it emulsifies, then melt it into your skin. I like using this as my night cream but it also can soothe and soften dry skin during the day. It’s incredible; there’s a reason this product has a cult following.

Sara Happ Lip Scrub

Available Here

This brand has updated their packaging since I got mine, but it goes to show you how long this luxe lip scrub lasts. I keep mine in my shower and use it every day or so to exfoliate my lips. It removes dead skin, but it also contains soothing oils to help hydrate lips and prep them for lipstick application.

Dior Crème de Rose Balm

Available Here

When I was looking for the link to this product, I realized they might this sitebe discontinuing it! I was only able to find it on and it’s going for twice the price on eBay. It has a cult following because of its creamy, soft texture and beautiful light pink color. It smells like a dream and it gently plumps lips while protecting them with SPF 10. In other words, stock up.

Lansinoh HPA Lanolin

Available Here

Bear with me here… This is nipple cream for breastfeeding mamas. I learned about this trick in the beauty program I was in. If you have cracked lips, there is nothing more soothing than lanolin. It’s natural, safe, and heals and protects like nothing else. I keep a tube of this in my bag at all times and another in my bathroom cabinet to apply before bed.

how to heal dry skin


Amopé Pedi Perfect

Available Here

I know these things seem like one of those As Seen on TV products, but they really work. I’ve linked the new version that can be used both wet and dry; the earlier version I have can only be used on dry skin. I suggest sitting in your shower or tub and exfoliating your feet and heels while they are dry once a week or so. This tool works better than any foot file or callus remover I’ve tried before. Even pedicures often don’t get my feet as soft as this does.

Kiehls Soy Milk & Honey Body Polish

Available Here – VIB Sale!

This body polish really is a body polish; it’s gentle, soothing formula differs from most harsh body scrubs on the market. Shea and jojoba butters and almond oil hydrate skin as you exfoliate, then honey and soy milk soothe and protect skin even after your shower.

L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil

Available Here – VIB Sale!

This product is one of those ‘game changers’ we fall in love with and repurchase every 3 months; it will change your life if you have dry skin! This gentle almond oil transforms into a creamy foam with water, making it the most soothing and hydrating body wash you’ve ever tried. But my favorite way to use this is as a shave cream; when I shave with it, my skin stays moisturized even after my shower. It’s incredible.

Note: It looks like Sephora only has the travel size in stock (perfect to try out) but if you’d like the full size, it’s available here.

Laura Mercier Crème Brûlée Crème Body Wash

Available Here

This is the more liquid, less moisturizing sister of the Honey Bath I’ve mentioned below. Both have the same incredible scent and both are hydrating. If you’re having difficulty deciding, think of this version for showers and the below version for baths and gifting to others.

Note: This is typically available at Sephora, but is currently sold out due to the VIB sale so I’ve linked at another store where it is available.

Laura Mercier Crème Brûlée Honey Bath

Available Here – VIB Sale!

My mom and I gift this product to each other every Christmas. It’s our favorite because the luxe, honey-like formula hydrates skin with the most delicious crème brûlée fragrance. Drizzle a little into your bath (featured in this bath caddy blog post) or use it as foaming body wash when you shower. Like I said, it also makes the perfect gift!

Laura Mercier Crème Brûlée Soufflé Body Crème

Available Here – VIB Sale!

If you’re already addicted to the decadent scent of Laura Mercier’s Crème Brûlée products, you need to add this thick, creamy body moisturizer to your collection. It’s perfect for dry skin and I like to use it on hands, elbows, knees, and feet in the summer. The scent blends beautifully with most fragrances and… As a bonus, men love it.

Clarins Moisture-Rich Body Lotion

Available Here – VIB Sale!

This silky body lotion is nourishing but isn’t as thick as the Laura Mercier version above, so it’s perfect for using every day. The delicately fresh scent is barely detectable, so it’s perfect for using with other fragrances. I found my jumbo version here.

Biossance 100% Squalane Oil

Available Here – VIB Sale!

Our body produces squalane naturally, but the amount decreases over time. Nourish your body with this plant-derived version. Sometimes I add a few drops to make my body cream less thick and more oily, sometimes I just apply this to extra-dry areas, and sometimes I apply this all over my body before bed. It’s a great go-anywhere product to add into your routine.

Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Creme

Available Here

This is the most healing product I’ve ever found for feet. It’s not really a cream, but is more of a thick honey texture. Once a week after I use my Pedi Perfect I apply a thick layer of this to my feet and then wear soft socks to bed. In the morning, I wake up with the softest feet ever. This is a game changer!

Lanolips Lano Rose Hand Cream

Available Here

This intense hand cream is made from a lanolin and rose oil blend that deeply moisturizes hands and leaves them soft and silky. I like to keep a tube in my handbag and one on my nightstand. Every night before bed I apply this to my hands and feet.

Included in VIB Sale

Hair Products

Skin Products

Body Products

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Spring Breakfast Table

March 31, 2018

Categories: Lifestyle

easter tablescape

joanna gaines target

magnolia spring 2018

spring tablescape

spring table styling

bunny egg cup

Bunny Serving Bowl.  Gold Speckled Eggs.  Bunny Egg Cups.  Pastel Napkins.  Woven Placemats.  Blue and White Plates.  Maison Louis Marie Candle.

Bunny Egg Cups on eBay.  Another Style of Bunny Egg Cups.

Cabinet, breakfast table, and chairs from Arhaus.

When I think of Easter, I often think about how special and beautiful my mother always makes the holiday. She makes our family’s recipe for dinner rolls, passed down from Welsh women one generation to the next; heat rising off them as they sit waiting in a bread basket. And she always has the most beautiful Easter baskets prepared. (Just like our stockings at Christmas, the adults are not forgotten!) In each Easter basket, my mother places a spring Steiff animal. Some years we’ve received baby chicks, lambs, or bunnies… The animals may vary, but we always look forward to finding them in our baskets Easter morning. This year, I was thrilled to incorporate some spring Steiff animals into our breakfast table decor. I can’t help thinking little ones would be delighted by them!

Our breakfast table is where we eat most of our meals, so I usually decorate a tablescape in our dining room instead. But I knew I wanted to center my tablescape around these charming bunny egg cups I recently picked up; they are so quaint I knew they belonged on our rustic little breakfast table. The egg cups are currently only available in store, but I found one set on eBay and I also discovered another style of bunny egg cups I love. If you don’t typically use egg cups, they’re perfect for holding a soft-boiled egg steady as you tap off the top and dip your spoon in. When I was a little girl, my mother would make me a soft-boiled egg (four-minute boil) then cut a slice of buttered toast into thin pieces for dipping into the runny egg. They call this dish “egg and soldiers” in the U.K.

What Easter traditions do you celebrate in your family?

“Egg and Soldiers” Recipe Here

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Aspen Travel Guide

March 30, 2018

Categories: Travel

aspen colorado

st regis aspen

birthday cake

st regis hotel room

st regis aspen patio

smores aspen

I’m a girl that loves snowy destinations. Especially here in Colorado; the sun is shining overhead, the ground is covered in fluffy mountain snow vs. the Midwestern ice slicks I grew up with, and there is a plethora of breathtaking snow-dusted views everywhere you look. This year, we only had a few snow days in Denver and I had been dying to visit Aspen after hearing so many glowing reviews from family and friends. So for my birthday, my husband planned the sweetest Aspen vacation. It had been over a year since we had vacationed for anything other than work, weddings, or to visit family, so we went all out and made it really special. Speaking of going all out… Another thing I particularly enjoy about wintry destinations is the ability to experience new restaurants guilt-free because I’m layered in scarves and sweaters. Let’s all raise a glass to those stretchy ski pants, shall we?!

Aspen is a tiny city in the Rocky Mountains that flourished with the Colorado silver mining rush in the 1880’s. Quaint little Victorian storefronts and houses still dot the picturesque town; the saloons and boarding houses having given way to designer boutiques and five-star restaurants. If you’re sensitive to altitude like I am, you may prefer 8k ft. high Aspen to other mountain towns at higher elevations. And unlike other mountain towns I’ve visited, there’s truly something for everyone in Aspen, even if you don’t like skiing.

After hearing how many celebrities frequent Aspen, I was concerned it would be too flashy and loud for my taste… Not the case. It’s definitely a luxurious spot to vacation, but it’s luxe in a casual way that also allows you to wear a cowboy hat and jeans to the best restaurants; relaxed in a way only the American West can pull off. Think Ralph Lauren style: cozy sweaters, lots of denim and leather, cashmere blankets, and vintage maps and Native American prints on the walls.

Below I’ve organized all my favorite stops, eats, and shops to help you out if you’re planning an Aspen getaway. (Trust me, you will after reading this!)

Where To Stay

If you haven’t spent much time at altitude, you may want to be a bit careful when traveling to the mountains. You may have a headache, feel queasy, and alcohol will affect you quickly. Be sure to stay hydrated and request a humidifier from the hotel ahead of time. Our hotel even refilled our water tank each day and night.

St. Regis Aspen

Website Here

We chose to stay at the St. Regis because of the resort atmosphere. Spacious rooms, plenty of outdoor space, and a luxe spa make this a great destination for those who like a large hotel property with spaces to explore. The on-property restaurants were delicious and each night we took advantage of the outdoor fireplaces with hot chocolate and s’mores, then soaked in the hot tubs surrounded by a patio with a heated floor. Even a week wasn’t enough; we wanted to move in!

Hotel Jerome

Website Here

My readers told me so many great things about this rumored-to-be-haunted property, we had to stop by and have lunch here one day. Although its an Auberge resort, the Hotel Jerome will be right up your alley if you’re into boutique hotels because of the intimate atmosphere and vintage touches. The interior is moody, romantic, and perfectly Aspen.

hotel jerome

aspen colorado hiking

dog sledding

dog sledding aspen

krabloonik Aspen

dog sledding colorado

snowshoeing colorado

haunted ghost town

pine creek cookhouse

What To Do

Exploring Aspen

Aspen Chamber Website

One of our favorite things to do each day was simply explore the charming village of Aspen. Grab comfy boots and a hot coffee and weave your way through quaint bookstores, browse antiques, and pop into art galleries. Into art? Take a peek at the Aspen Art Museum. Or catch a performance at Wheeler Opera House or Theatre Aspen. History buffs might enjoy the Wheeler Stallard Museum or the Holden Marolt Mining and Ranching Museum. The breathtaking Maroon Bells were closed during our stay, but are said to be the most-photographed peaks in North America.

Dog Sledding


My husband surprised me with a dog sledding experience at Krabloonik. Located in nearby Snowmass, guests get to take in stunning Colorado backcountry views while being pulled by a team of sled dogs. Speaking of the pups, arrive a bit early so you can have time to meet the pups. We went on the twilight ride just before sunset, stopping halfway for a cup of hot cocoa by a campfire in the woods. After the ride, you can purchase professional photos of your adventure and have dinner in the Krabloonik restaurant. I can’t speak for the restaurant because we went back to Aspen for dinner, but the dog sledding experience itself is well worth it.



Isn’t it the best when you try something new and end up loving it?! That’s how I felt about snowshoeing. Similar to hiking, you can choose the trails that correspond to your desired level of physical exertion. The snowshoes allow you to stay on top of the snow and experience some of the most breathtaking views. We went snowshoeing up to lunch at the Pine Creek Cookhouse. Our snowshoe experience began by exploring the Ashcroft ghost town. After a brisk uphill climb, then a leisurely twisting snow path with incredible views, we reached the mountainside restaurant where we had lunch as the snow began to fall outside. We took the easy path back down the mountain and made our way into Aspen before twilight.

french bistro aspen

best bread pudding

steakhouse no 316

Where To Eat

French Alpine Bistro


This place is seriously Instagram-worthy. Outdoor French bistro meets mountain town in the best way possible. It’s the perfect spot for lunch between activities or a cozy evening meal. They aren’t open for breakfast, but are known for their delicious crêpes!

Cache Cache


This was our first dinner spot in Aspen and I loved it. Cache Cache calls itself an “upscale French American bistro” and though I found the French component a bit sparse, it was delightfully delicious. I had the foie gras and rainbow trout and both were done to perfection; the foie gras was especially creamy and flavorful.

TIP:  In high altitude, I like to order a glass of rosé with ice cubes (wine connoisseurs feel free to cringe here) because I’ve found it’s the only way I won’t get a headache after even a half glass of wine.

White House Tavern


So many people recommended this restaurant to me prior to our trip and when we sat down for lunch it all made sense; White House Tavern is part of the Hillstone Restaurant Group. Hillstone and Cherry Creek Grill are probably our two favorite restaurants in Denver; they’re cozy and consistent and delicious. White House Tavern has a mix of both menus along with a few unique items set in a tiny, quaint Victorian house. If you’re from Denver and looking to try new places, it might be best to experience Hillstone or Cherry Creek Grill in Denver and try some unique-to-Aspen spots. But as always, the Hillstone Restaurant Group is consistent so you’ll never leave one of their restaurants disappointed.

Steakhouse No. 316


This was my favorite restaurant in Aspen. The interior feels like walking into an 1880’s saloon; it was dark and sexy and romantic. The food was honestly incredible; one of the best meals we’ve ever had. I started with the tuna tartare, had the Dover sole for my main, and we ended with the bread pudding. Best bread pudding I’ve had in my life. It’s worth just going for a coffee or glass of wine and that incredible bread pudding. We also noticed that the waiter kept checking on us from afar and left us to chat and enjoy our meal; that perfect balance is a true art. If you go to one restaurant in Aspen, let it be this one!



If you live in Denver and love sushi and seafood, you may have tried Matsuhisa in Cherry Creek. Chef Nobu Matsuhisa infuses creativity to Japanese cuisine; if you’ve never eaten at one of his restaurants, it’s worth a visit. The energy and vibe in Matsuhisa was more upbeat and exciting than other restaurants; this would be a nice spot for a girls’ night or for dinner before going out.

aspen shopping

paris underground aspen

shop til you drop

Where To Shop

Daniel’s Antiques


We spent over an hour in this shop, talking to the owner. This place is a fascinating little treasure trove of vintage pieces and one-of-a-kind antiques. There are WW2 binoculars and vintage Louis Vuitton luggage; just a great mix of pieces collectors will love.

Explore Booksellers


We were walking one day and stumbled across this little gem of a bookshop. If my husband weren’t with me I would have spent hours browsing the stacks. I found a few books and a beautifully scented candle; it wasn’t difficult to find something in this shop! I’ve heard the bistro above the bookshop is delicious; it focuses on nutrient-dense, seasonal foods.

Aspen Home Consignment


Another little gem we stumbled across! This little Victorian house is filled with beautiful consigned pieces, ranging from furniture to decor. You know I love the thrill of the hunt; scouring antique shops and estate sales for that perfect vintage item. I was happy to find a pair of framed original fashion sketches by Dior and Givenchy here at an absolute steal.

Paris Underground


This shop has beautiful home decor and its where I discovered my new favorite candle brand, Baobab. They are giant candles that smell absolutely incredible. My favorite scents are “Feathers” and “Women”.

Pitkin County Dry Goods


This moderately priced shop has a relaxed mix of casual clothing, shoes, and gifts. I found the softest long-sleeved ‘Aspen’ thermals here. It’s a great place to pick up a gift as well; I left with a charming canvas market tote and candles and fragrances from Maison Louis Marie.

Designer Boutiques

Aspen is known for the incredible high-end designers that line its snowy streets. It’s honestly so funny to see brands like Prada, Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, and Dior in such a tiny, quaint little town. We do have some designers in Denver, but what I really enjoyed in Aspen was the lack of crowds and the attention the sales associates could give each customer. Take a peek in feminine, classic Dior. Louis Vuitton is worth a browse because they had a larger selection than the Denver LV. Moncler is a treat to go in because their wintry pieces are so timeless and high quality.

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A Good, Long Soak

March 5, 2018

Categories: Beauty, Lifestyle

favorite beauty products

laura mercier creme brulee

best bubble bath

Do you remember when you were little and your mother telling you to come in from playing outside and take a bath sounded like the most dreadful thing you could imagine? And now (if you’re like me) you might be out somewhere lively and wishing you could magically teleport yourself back home and into the bath tub with a hair mask on your head?

The bath tub is my happy place; where I can relax and do a beauty treatment or two along the way. To encourage happy thoughts, I’ve surrounded myself with a framed picture of Paris, a wooden sign from our wedding ceremony, and a crystal jar stocked with bath bombs and bubble bars. In this post, I’m sharing my tried-and-true bath favorites I keep in this beautiful bath caddy with you. So get ready for a… Good, long soak.

1. Start With…

Aveda Shampure Composition Oil

(Available Here)

This beautiful oil contains an intoxicating blend of over twenty-five pure flower and plant essences including organic lavender, petitgrain, and ylang ylang. I like to put several drops in the water for a little extra moisture and a lot of calming aromatherapy. If I’m planning on washing my hair the next day, I’ll give myself a little scalp massage with this oil, rub it into the ends of my hair, and twist my hair up into a bun for an overnight hair treatment.

Laura Mercier Crème Brûlée Honey Bath

(Available Here)

I like to drizzle some of this luxurious honey bath in the water; it’s not really a bubble bath, but it does add a bit of suds and a little moisture too. I also use it for a deliciously-scented, luxe body wash mid-soak. My mother and I gift this product to one another all the time; it’s our favorite!

A Bath Bomb

(Available Here)

As I mentioned above, I keep a jar of bath bombs and bubble bars beside my bath tub. My favorites are from Lush Cosmetics; they come in the most gorgeous colors and are all handmade. We used to walk by the Lush store all the time when we lived in London and I remember being mesmerized by the bright piles of bath bombs and their scent that floated out of the store.

Do you like bubbles with your bath? Try this pretty pink Rose Jam Bubble Bar. Need extra moisture in the form of luxurious oil? Try this yummy Marshmallow Moment bath oil. Want a colorful bath with a romantic fragrance… And maybe a tiny floating rose blossom? Add the Sex Bomb bath bomb. Each time I use one of these, I feel so pampered; they make wonderful gifts as well!

If you’re more into bath soaks or bath salts with a bit less color and scent, try the bath salts from Fig+Yarrow here in Denver.

elemis cleansing balm

paris candle

loccitane facial products

best loccitane beauty products

2. Cleanse and Exfoliate

Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

(Available Here)

This buttery-smooth cleansing balm is so soft and hydrating on skin. It erases all traces of makeup, cleanses skin, and leaves a glowy complexion in its silky wake. Bonus? It comes with a gentle cleansing cloth too. I like using this as my first cleansing step to “take the day off”.

L’Occitane Reine Blanche Illuminating Scrub

(Available Here)

This scrub has the most perfect, creamy texture. It’s not too scratchy and is gentle enough to use daily, but is substantial enough to remove dead, dull skin. The result? Soft, illuminated, and brighter skin.

L’Occitane Peony Minute Mask

(Available Here)

This quick mask packs quite the punch. It reduces impurities, absorbs excess oil, and minimizes pores. Use it to give your skin a weekly detox and help makeup go on more smoothly.

L’Occitane Peony Cleansing Oil

(Another Favorite Here)

I prefer to use cleansing oil after a facial mask because I find that oils remove the mask without undoing the benefits the mask just gave to my skin. I can’t seem to find this peony cleansing oil anywhere, so I’ve linked another favorite cleansing oil of mine.

best facial scrub

biossance rose oil

best facial oils

3. Pamper Skin

Indie Lee Coconut Citrus Body Scrub

(Available Here)

The most scrumptiously-scented body scrub I have ever come across; I instantly fell in love with its fresh, energizing blend of lemongrass, coconut, jojoba, and vanilla. This gem of a product removes dry skin and then somehow melts to moisturize skin. A similar product made specifically for lips is this lip scrub.

Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil

(Available Here)

This is the product that introduced me to facial oils. A secret of French women for decades, oils hydrate and nourish the skin in a way other products simply cannot. After cleansing and masking, treat your skin to extra hydration by jade rolling (see below) this beautiful brightening and tightening oil into skin.

Jade Facial Roller

(Available Here)

Although jade rollers have been used in Asia for ages, they have only recently been embraced by the American beauty community. Rolling a cool, smooth stone like jade across the skin de-puffs and drains excess liquids, increases circulation, and rejuvenates facial muscles. I like jade rolling under my eyes in the mornings, but I’ve noticed massaging products into my skin at night helps to increase their absorption. Another tip? Tuck this baby into your bag with a small bottle of oil while traveling and jade roll mid-flight to prevent puffiness after landing.

bath essentials

products for relaxing bath

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Cozy and Home

March 1, 2018

Categories: Fashion

denver blogger

concept of home

madewell scarf wrap

madewell wrap

Plaid Wrap.  Denim Shirt.  Denim Flares.  Similar Denim Style.  Louis Vuitton Manhattan GM.

Hair, Tan, Nails c/o Glamour Bar Denver (Mention My Site for $50 Off Lashes)

Miranda L. Sober Photography

Cozy and home. Those words go so beautifully together, don’t they? I was thinking about cozy layers you could add easily to any outfit during this transitional month of March. And then my sweet little house sold this week; the house I lived in during college and law school, rented out to friends, and have been renting out ever since I left. About a million years ago, I wrote an article when I moved to Los Angeles and still felt homesick for my little townhouse and my friends in the Midwest. I discussed the concept of ‘home’ and what truly makes a place feel like we are home. In short, it’s the people around us. It’s the memories we make while in that place, the experiences we share with others.

I’ve seen friends posting about selling their houses and they often describe a bittersweet feeling; a tugging feeling that makes them hesitant to leave the place they lived when they first married, had their baby, or adopted their troublesome little pup. Now I understand that feeling. I’m so excited for the new owner to make memories of their own. But all the memories I’ve made in that place came rushing back to me this week. Sitting around the television in yoga pants with friends, crying over Blair and Chuck. Eating Lucky Charms at 3 AM while my friends and I studied for a morning Philosophy exam together. Dancing barefoot on the sofas with my roommates after a particularly fun night out. Crying over boys. Crying over getting into law school. Walking to the Saturday farmer’s market downtown. Meeting my future husband in the driveway behind our townhouses. Seeing my kitchen covered in case briefs; a depressing sight if you’ve never witnessed it. Deliriously staying up until 4 AM to watch the royal wedding with my best friends, burning my hand on the egg pan, and skipping my morning workout that day. Teaching myself to make YouTube videos from my bedroom; if you’ve ever seen any of my first ones, they’re awful. But making them gave me such joy. I hope the new owner makes memories that give them joy and make them feel hesitant to leave that house someday.

This wrap is kind of like coming home. It’s a cozy, comforting wrap that’s easy to wear; the arm holes help it stay on your shoulders or slouched off the shoulders around your elbows without falling off. You easily can add it over a tee and jeans or toss it over a fitted t-shirt dress. It’s one of the most versatile pieces in my closet. This bag is the original Louis Vuitton Manhattan; LV recently released a new Manhattan bag. I get so many compliments on this bag, but I have to say, all the hardware and pockets make it really heavy. I personally don’t mind a heavy handbag, but if you’re picky about this or have any shoulder issues, I would opt for another style.

Fit Details:  The wrap is one-size-fits-all. This denim shirt I’m wearing is my favorite; it runs true to size and isn’t too long, so it can easily be tucked into pants or a skirt. The denim I’m wearing is sold out (I found one last size here) but I’ve linked a similar pair I like and you should go up one size for both brands.

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Burnout and My Wellness Journey

February 26, 2018

Categories: Home, Lifestyle

tips for wellness

My Story.

My energy burnout happened so subtly and slowly I didn’t realize it was happening at all. Most importantly, I didn’t even realize that I was the very one creating this path for myself until it was too late and I was sick and had completely run out of energy. It took me a while to feel ready to share this, but I think it’s time we women begin sharing more of the real, raw things. Keep in mind this is my own story, which means your experiences may be very different. I think that has been one of the most difficult things for me to accept after speaking with counselors and friends about this topic. We all have different needs, wants, and capacities; we are all on our own journeys in this beautiful thing called life. But I’ve learned that if you don’t like how you’re feeling, only you can change it. I’m sharing my experience with you and below that, I’m sharing the ways I’ve turned my health and wellness around in the hope it may help some of you as well. My journey isn’t complete, but I’ve been enjoying diving into books, articles, and documentaries that are helping me create a more healthful, balanced lifestyle. I’m looking forward to sharing these with you in the year ahead.

I launched this site and went full-time as a blogger after our marriage in the spring of 2015 and a whirlwind summer of destination weddings and lots of travel. I worked my tail off getting TCG up and running. It’s the kind of manic devotion only fellow entrepreneurs will know. The kind you doggedly pursue until you’ve risked your health, happiness, and any semblance of a social life. By the spring of 2016, a digital marketing analyst had reached out and let me know that (with all its 12k followers at the time) TCG was selling as much product as brands with 60k followers or more. I was beginning to work with brands I’d followed for years, sitting front row at fashion shows, and penciling in events almost every night of the week. I didn’t say ‘no’ to anything, but that wasn’t unusual for me. I was always the girl in school who secretly completed all the parts of a group project just in case anyone forgot theirs; I’m a detail-obsessed perfectionist by nature.

Of course, while I was getting my brand off the ground I was also navigating a new marriage. The truth is, we don’t really know how to be married until we are and even after that, both parties have so much to learn and must discover how to grow together as partners. At the beginning of our marriage, I asked my husband if he wanted someone with a career or a traditional housewife. He replied with, “Well… I’d like both. I think.” (I mean, wouldn’t we all?! I’m imagining someone that goes from the boardroom to the bedroom faster than you can say ‘Christian Grey’ and also looks as rugged and wild as Jason Momoa.) As TCG began to grow, both my husband and I agreed that I needed to devote my full 8-hour days to running TCG in 2016. The real problem? I didn’t know how to run a small business and be the housewife he needed. So I tried to be perfect at both.Continue Reading

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Favorite Off-Shoulder Sweater Dresses

February 23, 2018

Categories: Fashion

off shoulder dress

best off shoulder sweater dresses

off shoulder sweater dress

Hair, Tan, Nails c/o Glamour Bar Denver

Miranda L. Sober Photography

Favorite Off-Shoulder Sweater Dresses

When I lived in the Midwest, the winters announced their presence around November with dark, dreary days and piles of snow and treacherous ice patches that didn’t leave until around March when the snow near sidewalks and streets had been tinged a depressing dark brown from dirt, sand, and car oil. Ever the determined sort, Midwesterners trudge through the snowy sludge and go about their business for months on end with minimal complaining. I’ve seen videos of Minnesotans cross country skiing to work atop feet of snow in the Minneapolis streets. I’ve witnessed Iowa farmers calmly shoveling their way through snow to take care of livestock every morning and evening. It’s just how we were raised; don’t complain too much, because there are fourteen days of beautiful spring weather ahead! (Before the sweltering, humid summer sets in.)

Imagine my surprise when I moved to Colorado, the state known for snow and skiing, and learned that Denver winters are usually mild with nonstop sunshine, temperatures that hover anywhere between 40°F and 70°F, and the rare monthly dumping of snow that melts the next day. “It’s so cold!” Coloradans will say, as they pull their parka tighter to shield themselves against the 35°F chill under the blazing Denver sun. Our average January temperature is 45°F. I’ve actually found myself missing the cold temperatures and snow this winter; I’m the type that loves burrowing in for a weekend next to the fire with a great book while the snow falls softly outside.

The past few years, Denver seems to reach its coldest in February and March, just when I’m trying to shoot Spring outfits. So because I’ve felt cheated out of my usual number of snow days and because it’s 32°F outside today, I am rebelling against the pressure to write about spring break ensembles and am writing this blog post as an ode to sweater dresses instead. These dresses are those versatile creatures that allow us to pile on furry vests, tights, and over-the-knee boots one chilly weekend in March and when the temperatures rise a few days later, they pair just as well with sunglasses, bare legs, and your favorite booties. Aside from versatility, I’ve found that men seem to especially like these dresses on women. After careful thought, I’ve decided it’s because the off-shoulder style appears as if it may fall off at any moment. (I’m sorry, but I’m always honest with you.) And as I mentioned in this blog post, I haven’t met a woman’s clavicle that isn’t beautiful.

So here’s to tricky weather, beautiful clavicles, and like our favorite groundhog, rebelling against Spring for a few more weeks.

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Transitional Off the Shoulder Sweaters

February 6, 2018

Categories: Fashion

off the shoulder cream sweater

best tops for flares

raspberry beret

how to style a beret

cream sweater flare jeans

Laulhère Beret.  Chelsea28 Sweater – Sold Out, See Selections Below.  Victoria Beckham Denim Flare.  Louis Vuitton Monogram Noé BB.

Off the shoulder. Yes, I’m still enjoying this trend. Why, you ask? Because everyone (and I do mean everyone) has great shoulders. Think about it; no one’s shoulders really age or gain weight or look awful. It’s a flattering body part that showcases a feminine clavicle, a beautiful necklace, or a new haircut. And you really can’t go wrong with an off-shoulder sweater like this during these tricky, transitional winter-spring months.

I’ve been thrilled that flared denim is back in the shops again; it’s the most flattering style for girls with curvy hips and thighs like me. Which brings me to another reason I’m snapping up all the off-shoulder sweaters recently. A wee little tip I learned in fashion school: off-shoulder tops accentuate shoulders, making the waist and hips appear smaller. So when off-shoulder sweaters like this are paired with flares, it creates a beautiful illusion; the shoulders and hemline appear largest and everything in between (waist/hips/thighs) seems smaller in comparison. For the most flattering cut, have jeans hemmed so they brush right at the knuckle of your toes in heels. I have yet to hem this pair I’m wearing; I usually wait until I see which shoes I wear a pair of denim with most before having them altered.

I had to have one of these Laulhère berets after seeing this segment about the quintessential French hat on CBS Sunday Morning. Laulhère is a French company that has been making berets for over 170 years; in fact, they’re the last French company hand-crafting berets. I was able to find my red beret (yes, it’s called ‘raspberry’) online, but it’s not easy to locate them stateside!

Fit Details:  Go up a full size in these jeans as they are very fitted! (Did we expect less from Victoria?!)

Pretty Little Off-The-Shoulder Sweaters

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Hello, 2018

January 19, 2018

Categories: Fashion, Lifestyle

rebecca taylor sweater

tweed donegal sweater

rebecca taylor style

womens tweed sweater

teal blue sweater

winter 2018 style

Sunnies.  Sweater.  Sweater in Pink.  Jeans.  Louis Vuitton Odeon Bag.  Booties.

Hair, Spray Tan, Nails c/o Glamour Bar Denver

Miranda L. Sober Photography

TCG in 2018

Coffee in hand, I sat down at my computer to put my 2018 goals into words. As I began to type, my mind kept drifting back to when I first began posting online years ago. I escaped the heavy subject matter of law school (at the time I was taking Child, Family, and State and felt particularly helpless) by turning to my phone and my makeup cabinet, putting rudimentary little makeup tutorials out into the abyss. I hoped I could help someone feel better about themselves in some small way; in a way I couldn’t help the people in the cases I read each night. It was truly my creative outlet and a place for my mid-twenties self to bloom and grow. I just never imagined people were looking for the exact same escape and that I would connect with so many of you.

Since that time, my goal was to create a little space to inspire and provide the kind of lighthearted escape I was searching for years ago. But that’s the funny thing about time; it passes and it changes us. When I think about the future of TCG in 2018 I can’t help but compare the things that inspire and excite me for the year ahead and the things that inspired and excited that girl making videos from her bedroom floor because they are so very different. My personal style has been honed and developed, my interests have changed, and my overall outlook on life has slowly grown and expanded. Even the little things are different. The girl making tutorials from her phone chose clothing and accessories over home decor every. single. time. And she could care less about skincare as long as she had the tan and makeup to cover any imperfections. When it came to food, she considered Lucky Charms and clementines a perfectly acceptable daily diet as long as it allowed her to save for a new dress and nights out with the girls.

I’m still dreamy, a romantic at heart, and love storytelling through my photography and writing more than anything else. But the things that used to set my heart aflutter aren’t the same and I increasingly look to new sources for inspiration. Suddenly I find myself forgoing most of the fast fashion trends to invest in special pieces for our home. I research the newest skincare products and techniques because I’m focused on creating a healthy, supple canvas for my makeup instead of just concealing any skin issues. I’ve been incorporating more wellness into my life.  And I love discovering new wine and restaurants in Denver, but I appreciate a cozy night in with friends just as much. The places I want to travel have less to do with sunbathing or shopping and more to do with exploring new places and seeking adventures. And giving back is more important to me than ever. So as I look to the future, I see this new outlook and inspiration coming through in my posts here at TCG. In short, TCG is growing and maturing with me.

I’d like to hear from you… What are the things that inspire you lately? What kind of content would you like to see from me? Style, beauty, fashion, home, travel? Are you interested in reading interviews with girl bosses? Guest posts from other specialists in their fields? If so, who do you want to hear from – a chef, a life coach, a skincare expert?

Personal Goals

Before I go into my personal goals for 2018, I want to share two pieces I read in December 2017 that inspired me, humbled me, and completely shaped my outlook going into the new year. Every now and then we need a beautiful little reminder that life is a precious gift and these both presented themselves to me within a week of one another; the universe sending me a message of what’s important. The first was a text message from my friend who had recently lost a parent. I have respected and looked up to this woman for years; she is an incredible friend, businesswoman, daughter, wife, and mother. Her message read as follows.

“This is totally none of my business, but if you and John are considering a family (if at all possible) let your Dad enjoy seeing you as a Mom and time with your kids. It really is what this is all about. And, I am so glad Kate has sweet memories with my Dad and that Dad was able to meet Alex.”

As I read it, I began to cry and I thought about this text message every day for at least three weeks after I received it. I shared with my friend the things that made me hesitant to start a family (things all women probably worry about such as progressing in one’s career, losing weight, finishing projects, etc.) and she gently reminded me that those things just don’t matter in the end. Because in the end, all we have is love… Love for our families, love for our friends, and love for ourselves. Love and witnessing love in all its various forms is truly the only thing that matters. It’s not about only romantic love, selfless love, parental love, unconditional love, or friendship. Bear with me and think about it for a moment; when we enjoy a truly incredible meal we’re witnessing the love that chef has for his craft and for the experience of dining itself. When we travel and see a breathtaking edifice or monument we are witnessing the love an architect had for his passion and the love so many people felt for their country. If you feel moved while watching a sunset you’re witnessing your love for nature and, if you believe in a higher power, our creator’s love for us. A few days later, I read the heart-wrenching letter from dying 27-year-old Holly Butcher to the world and it only reinforced this powerful message.

“You might have got caught in bad traffic today, or had a bad sleep because your beautiful babies kept you awake, or your hairdresser cut your hair too short. Or your new fake nails might have got a chip, your boobs are too small, or you have cellulite on your arse and your belly is wobbling. Let all that shit go… I swear you will not be thinking of those things when it is your time to go. It is all SO insignificant when you look at life as a whole. I’m watching my body waste away right before my eyes with nothing I can do about it and all I wish for now is that I could have just one more day with my partner and my dog. Just one more.”

“That’s the thing about life; it is fragile, precious, and unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right.”

Before this beautiful soul left the earth she had the rare opportunity to think about and process her final thoughts on life and what our human experience means. Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed. Notice a theme between two messages? Whether people are facing a loss or at the end of their time here on earth, it’s clear the most important things aren’t things at all. So, with my newest inspirations in mind and a fresh reminder about the importance of love and life, I put my personal goals for 2018 into words and I’m sharing them here with you.

Incorporate more wellness into my life, both physically and mentally. 

Wellness is something I began to explore this past year and I’ve found it to be incredible for my health, reducing stress levels and clearing my head. I’ve always felt that I could do everything, be everything to everyone but a few difficult times in the past year have shown me that each of us have different apogees for that point at which we can’t take on any more and instead we become, for lack of a better word, shitty people. “Reeeeally shittty,” as my favorite French friend would say. We can only take on so much pressure and commitments (I’m talking both personally and professionally) before things start to slide and we find ourselves going through the motions in life without really enjoying those little moments and putting forth our best work. Once I discovered my own personal “point of no return” I did everything I could to find ways to foster and maintain that balance in my life. Keep in mind this point may be different for every person and we cannot eschew responsibilities, but we can make small changes that lead to greater balance. For me, meditation and creating a calm physical space around me have been huge game changers. I know many of my readers are such girl bosses and amazing mamas, juggling so many roles, and I really think we deserve to give ourselves balance in 2018.

Want to know more about your strengths and weaknesses? I took this 16 Personalities Test recently and I love the way this test breaks down the results and analyzes both sides of personality, relationships, and work skills. My test results were “Protagonist” and it broke my weaknesses down in a better way than I could have self-assessed, allowing me to clearly focus on improvement tactics and techniques.

Give myself the gift of one hour per day to exercise.

I was thinking about my personal goals and intentions for 2018, reading a few of yours online, and suddenly it hit me. Why do we treat physical exercise as a punishment? “I have to go to the gym once a day,” read our New Year’s resolutions. Each year, we shackle these sanctions on and begrudgingly drag ourselves to whatever gym or workout class we deign to do until, a few weeks later, we give up on the motivation we felt January 1 and we abandon the self-imposed suffering altogether. But isn’t spending an hour of time focusing solely on improving our own physical health a luxury?! I recently spoke to an overwhelmed, touched-out, exhausted new mother and she commented, “Exercise? Who has time for that?!” And if you ask any injured or incapacitated person what they miss most, I’m certain the ability to walk or run or move normally will make it into their list. This year, I’m viewing exercise for what it is – not a sanction, but a long-term benefit to myself and my health. I am giving myself the gift of one hour per day, uninterrupted, guilt-free, to exercise. When you consider something an incentive versus an obligation, how does it affect your level of success?

Continue where I left off with my French lessons.

Assez dit, no? This one is self explanatory. I began Rosetta Stone from the comfort of my home/car/headphones three years ago and then I slowly stopped making time for it in my weekly schedule. I began sifting through my family ancestry during my post-Christmas blues and upon discovering Jean-Baptiste from Burgundy and Louise-Sophie from Champagne, I knew I needed to return to my French studies! I’m excited to dive in and learn more about these people and the places they came from.

Organize the environment around me; simplify and declutter.

My bad habit of holiday overpacking made me feel cluttered and chaotic as I stood staring amongst the gifts and laundry piles after unloading them from the car. I just wanted a fresh, clean slate to begin the new year. With Taylor Swift songs blasting from Spotify and my hair up on top of my head I set to work tearing through closets, dividing the contents between donation boxes and consignment boxes. I felt so great after my productive little rampage I made it one of my goals to continue through every part of the house (even my computer desktop, old camera cards, etc.) to organize and streamline in 2018. Someone once told me that a person’s home or environment reflects their state of mind. I think it’s true and I believe the two can even influence one another; our cluttery habits creating a disorganized mind.

Purchase fewer, better things.

I always try to highlight investment pieces on TCG; the pieces you can feel comfortable investing in now and wearing for years to come. Once you have some nice staple pieces to plan outfits around, you can add in a few trendy items to keep your look updated and fresh. Some examples? I’ve owned my pair of tan leather Tod’s loafers for eight years now and wear them as often now as I did in the beginning; they make any outfit look more polished and they’re perfect for travel and being comfy-casual. The leather is becoming a bit worn around the edges and the soles, but I seem to love them more with every scuff and scratch. This pair is the same style as mine, only in a beautiful soft suede. I also like this pair because the hardware gives it a more edgy look. Another great classic is the Mulberry Bayswater Bag, which is now on sale in the gorgeous, tan “Oak” color I own. Mulberry is a British brand that produces tasteful, timeless bags made from the most buttery-soft leather and beloved by classic style icons such as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan Markle. There’s something special about a piece of clothing or leather good that only gets better with age; you can look at that piece and smile, thinking of how you saved for it and all the memories attached to it since then.

Continue exploring a skincare routine that works.

I’ve been a skincare and beauty fanatic for years and I receive a lot of product from companies to try. In the fall, I made a little pact with myself to use all my skincare products and samples by doing a full skincare routine each night and morning until Christmas to see if I could notice any improvements in my skin. I stuck to the pact and I definitely did notice a difference. So I decided to continue with it. Going back to the wellness and the “gift of self-care” above, this is one of those little gifts of time I can give myself each day that makes a difference in the health of my skin (after all, our skin is an organ!) and my happiness and overall stress level. This year, I want to continue exploring the brands and products I use in order to create a streamlined skincare routine that works. One of my favorite skincare tools in the past year has been the NuFace device that lifts and tones skin, improving my natural facial contours and the elasticity of my skin. Like anything else, you have to use it consistently to see results, but the results are worth the minimal effort and time involved.

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