Differin Daily Refreshing Cleanser | HSI Professional Glider Flat Iron
Slip Marble Pillowcase | Tory Burch Alexa Stitch Camera Bag
Cuyana Classic Leather Tote | Naturalizer Joy Ankle Strap Sandal
Steve Madden Transport Strappy Sandal | Simple Flavor Vintage Midi Dress
Simple Modern 12 oz. Insulated Travel Mug
The Friendship List by Susan Mallery | Tools of Engagement by Tessa Bailey
Hello, blog friends. I hope you’ve all been safe and well since I last wrote to you. Rather than go into a life update post detailing my “new normal,” I decided to just go straight into a typical blog post (for me). We’re all dealing with what is happening in the world in our own ways and I just wanted to write about something a little more “pre-Pandemic” normal.
The last monthly favorites post I wrote was back in May, so I thought I’d share some of my favorites from June through August.
I was perusing CVS’s skincare aisle for a new morning cleanser when I learned that Differin had products other than their adapalene gel (which I’ve chosen to revert back to as my “nightly” skin treatment for acne). I picked up their daily refreshing cleanser on a whim as it claims to be effective for oily skin. This cleanser is very gentle and has a cooling effect, which is really nice for waking up in the morning.
I’ve been on the hunt for a new flat iron, as I’ve had my CHI for a good 6+ years and it was very well-loved (and quite grubby). I was prepared to invest in a more expensive flat iron, but then I came across the HSI Glider Flat Iron which is very affordable (just under $40) and had stellar reviews. I love how smoothly it glides over my hair (which is quite thick) and my hair always looks great even after not washing it for a day. Sometimes I re-straighten a few pieces of second-day hair, and it looks fresh again.
I switch my handbags very often and use a larger tote for work and a crossbody for going out. I own the Cuyana Classic Leather Tote in Caramel (with my monogram stamped on the front) and love using it as both a work bag and poolside/beach bag. It’s extremely floppy with almost no structure, so I inserted a base shaper from an old bag to make the base flat. The crossbody I have been grabbing the most is the Tory Burch Alexa Stitch Camera Bag in black–it looks great as a nicer bag for when I sing for funerals/weddings, and also as a casual bag on the weekends. But I did pick up another crossbody that I’m loving as well and plan to share in a “what’s in my bag” post real soon.
I love silk pillow cases because of how gentle they are on my skin and hair. I was looking for new ones as I had made a mistake in the washing of my last ones (fortunately, I’ve had them for 2+ years and they were on the more affordable end). I originally wanted Slip pillow cases in the past, but opted out for a cheaper brand. This time, I was excited to try them out and I regret nothing! I own one in the pink marble and white marble patterns, and both have zipper closures. They are machine washable! I recently cleaned them by turning them inside out, placing them in a delicates bag, and using the hand-wash cycle on my washing machine. The soap I used is The Laundress Delicate Wash.
I had quite a number of singing engagements this summer, despite the pandemic, and so it was important for me to find some pretty and affordable dresses. I came across these vintage-inspired midi dresses on Amazon and I loved the first one I purchased so much that I purchased a couple more in different colors. I have a few with 3/4 sleeves and one with short sleeves. Best part? They all have pockets! My only criticism of these dresses is that they don’t come in any solid colors, only floral patterns. I’d love to own one in black, navy, and red.
Of all the shoes I own, there were two pairs that I’ve worn pretty consistently this summer. The Naturalizer Joy sandal is, hands-down, the most comfortable dress-shoe I’ve ever owned and I have worn them for almost every special occasion I’ve sung for. I have them in the Barely Nude color which goes with everything I’ve been wearing. They have a block heel and slightly-raised platform without looking like stripper heels.
I am in love with the look of Valentino Rockstud shoes, but could never afford them. One of my co-workers was wearing a pair of black, studded sandals by Steve Madden and I was suprised because they looked just like the Valentino’s. She got hers on sale at DSW, so I couldn’t find the exact shoes, but then I found their Transport Strappy Sandals. I bought them in clear and I can’t stop wearing them. I was worried I wouldn’t get much use out of them because the studs are silver and I prefer gold hardware, but paired with the transparent straps, they are just the perfect summer shoe. *Note: they have no arch support and do emphasize how flat my feet are…but they are so cute, yall. Also, they seem to have a version with rounded studs, but mine are the pyramid studs.
If there’s anything I’m good at, it’s leaving my coffee mug in the Keurig and not remembering until I’m already at work. The Simple Modern 12 oz.travel mug has been such a game changer for me. I make my coffee in this mug right before I leave the house (so I won’t forget it), it keeps my drink nice and warm for hours, and the handle makes it easy to carry. I haven’t had any issues with spillage and once I finish my coffee, I just place it at the bottom of my bag. I use it pretty much every day now, even when I’m just staying home.
Reading has been especially difficult since I returned to work full-time, in building. I can’t seem to focus on any reading these days and have left a quite a number of books and audiobooks unfinished. Two books I somehow finished recently include Mallery’s The Friendship List and Bailey’s Tools of Engagement, book 3 in her Fix Her Up series. Both are wonderful beach reads, Mallery’s being extremely feel-good and Bailey’s being spicy and funny.
Let me know how you’re doing and feel free to share any of your favorites from this summer.