Back to the Bob

Happy Monday! It's been a bittersweet weekend over at our house -- on Thursday afternoon, I received a phone call from my mom to inform me that my grandma had passed away unexpectedly.

This was completely out of the blue, as my grandma was a healthy and active 74 year old. I think we are all still in shock since it was so unexpected -- especially since she was so young. Prayers for our family during this time would be greatly appreciated.

Moving on to the next day, on Friday I chopped off my hair! I went back to the inverted bob and I'm so happy with my decision. I've been alternating between this cut and medium length hair over and over again since 2009 and each time I go back to the bob, I remember how much I love it.

I end up growing it out after awhile because I miss being able to wear ponytails, but once it gets past my shoulders, I'm usually over it! I love long hair, just not on me! This short, sassy 'do just fits me better! My stylist (and friend!) Krista, curled it for me before I left the salon, but I'll be sure to snap of photo of it styled straight this week! 

On Friday evening, Andy and I headed out for a walk since it was so nice outside! Blue skies and lots of sunshine! 

Once we returned home, we had a mini "Christmas in the Summer" evening and ate sugar cookies while watching Christmas Vacation. Random, but super fun for something different! 

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The next morning, I met up with my friend Jen for a coffee date at our local Starbucks. Jen and I are in the same small group together (which starts up again in a few weeks -- yipee!), and it was so fun to catch up with her while sitting on the patio.

After leaving the coffee shop, I headed over to Ulta to pick up some new styling products for my short hair. I left with mousse, new hairspray, and a texturizing spray. I also picked up a new teasing comb -- I've used these in the past and they are the best!  

I also sent my friend Danielle a message for some recommendations because she's the queen of short hair, and I'm excited to try out those products as well! Once I nail down my new styling routine, I'll do a post on my favorite short hair products; in the meantime, here's a post about my long-hair routine! 

Side note, did you know that Batiste has a larger size of dry shampoo?! I thought the medium sized can was their largest size and was pleasantly surprised! I typically use a higher-quality dry shampoo such as this one for everyday styling (mainly to give my hair more texture / grip since it's so fine-textured), but if I just need a little dry shampoo before hitting the gym or something, I use a cheaper brand like Batiste.

After Ulta, I headed home to hit the gym with Andy. We both did our own workouts while we were there -- it was a lifting day for him and I caught up on texts, emails, etc. while on the elliptical.

I texted this quick pic to my stylist, Krista to show her my fun little 'do for the day! My hair's a little messy since it was a cardio day, but this tiny French braid (actually, I think it might be a Dutch braid since I braid on the outside rather than the inside) with a little messy bun kept my hair out of my eyes!

Once we wrapped up our workouts, we headed to the Arboretum to walk around since Andy hadn't been in awhile! I usually meet my aunt or sister at the arboretum, so it was fun to have Andy join me this time around.

Since Andy hadn't visited the Arboretum in awhile, I suggested we walk to the new honeybee and butterfly exhibit so he could check it out!

They have the cutest red barn next to the new exhibit, so we took a few photos of that as well! We ended up taking the little trolley back to the main garden center since we were hot and hungry by this point! We literally caught the trolley just in time! 

Later that evening, I walked to our local library to pick up a book I had on hold and also grabbed a few new ones. I checked out at 4:59pm and the library closes at 5pm -- living on the edge, I tell ya! 

Sunday was a rainy, gloomy day. Andy hit the gym and then went to hang out with a friend while I stayed home and read this book all afternoon before taking an unintentional nap on the couch. Yesterday's low-key afternoon was exactly what I needed. This book is SO good! I think it was my friend, Janae that had originally recommended it, but if you enjoy thrillers, definitely check it out! 

P.S. I'm linking up with another blogger today -- be sure to check out her site! 

What's your go-to hair product?
I need a new hair dryer -- any recommendations?

Getting Ready Before the Wedding

I missed you guys yesterday! Andy and I went out with my friend Colleen's family + the bridesmaids after Allie & Christian's wedding, and didn't get home until after midnight after Monday's wedding. I was gone all day yesterday, but I'm back in action today with a recap of the girls getting ready before Allie's wedding! 

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We all met at Root Salon in St. Paul around 9am for breakfast, hair, and makeup! The stylists laid out this cute little spread of pastries and mimosas for us.

Once everyone arrived, we all headed downstairs for updos -- how cool is the interior of this salon?! I loved the exposed brick walls! 

Allie and Colleen were up first, so the rest of us mixed up some mimosas and sat nearby to watch and chat with all of the girls. 

I loved Allie's bridal updo! She chose a fancy side pony to balance out her one-shouldered wedding dress and it turned out so well.

After her updo, Allie moved upstairs to makeup -- she looked absolutely stunning! 

Downstairs, the rest of us were getting all glammed up for the wedding! 

I loved this part of our day since it allowed us to spend more time together! I haven't seen these two girls in two years! 

Everyone looked absolutely gorgeous all done up with fancy hair and makeup! 

Once we were all prettied up, the reality of the day started to seep in! We were all so excited by this point! 

I just love this group of girls so much -- we all live in six different states but meeting up again felt like no time has passed between us. 

Once we wrapped up at the salon, we headed to a little cafe down the street for a quick lunch before heading over to the wedding location to change and get ready for pictures! 

Once we arrived at the wedding location, we quickly changed into our bridesmaids dresses, put on jewelry, and got ready to help Allie into her dress! Colleen brought her portable speaker and had a wedding day playlist going and it really helped set the mood! 

Allie's dress was so beautiful and it was so special to see her all dressed up and ready to go! 

One last touch-up before wedding party and family photos! 

My last picture with Allie as a single girl! She looked so beautiful for her wedding day! I'm so happy for her as she starts this next chapter of her life with Christian by her side.

Been to any weddings recently?
Favorite part about being in a wedding?

My 5 Favorite Natural Beauty Products

When it comes to beauty products and household items, I love using items with shorter ingredient lists whenever possible. Doing so reduces the number of chemicals in our home and keeps us feeling our best! I'm sharing my top 5 favorite natural beauty products below! 

I used to love an all-natural deodorant at Trader Joe's, but lately they haven't been carrying it. I picked this deodorant up on a whim at Whole Foods last winter and haven't looked back since. It goes on clear, doesn't leave any marks on my clothes, and it smells so good! 

Speaking of good scents, I love this line of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. The peppermint scent is so refreshing and leaves your skin feeling so tingly and clean! 

This lotion is a daily favorite -- especially during Minnesota's harsh winter months. The lemongrass scent is so fresh and invigorating when applied after your morning shower.

I have a little collection of these lip balms because I love having them nearby at all times. I keep them in my purse, on my nightstand, and next to my computer.

This common household product has a million uses, but I especially love using it as an eye makeup remover -- it wipes away waterproof mascara effortlessly.

What are some of your tried and true natural beauty products?
What's your favorite store to shop for natural products?

Nail Polish Necessities

Something that I do almost every week without fail is a manicure -- I just love having my nails painted and swapping out the color on the regular.

I used to feel discouraged because my nails never looked as nice as they did when I scheduled a professional manicure. However, one of my friends at Life Time introduced me to two products that have been a total game changer for me.

The first is this base coat, and the second is this top coat! This base coat will help any polish go on super smooth while the top coat helps the polish to dry to a super shiny finish. This combo lets me go at least a week with zero chips, which means I can enjoy the manicure much longer before having to redo it.

Now, before I paint my nails, I always clean up my cuticle area using this handy little kit. This kit contains everything you need to prep your nails and cuticles before applying polish. I've been using this set for years and love it so much! 

Now, for the actual polish, I'm very loyal to the Essie collection -- I love the quality and color selection and rarely stray to another brand. Below are a few of my favorite polishes that are in heavy rotation:

Muchi Muchi -- The perfect light pink that works year-round
Lounge Lover -- This coral-hued polish is such a fun spring / summer color
After School Boy Blazer -- This navy blue is perfect when paired with your fall wardrobe
Mint Candy Apple -- The name is a little unappetizing but this baby blue is one of my favorites
Marshmallow -- This is the best neutral because it's such a soft white!

When painting my nails, I always add the base coat, two coats of polish, and then the top coat! I typically paint my nails in the evening while watching a show and the whole thing takes me maybe 30 minutes from start to finish. 

My toes are another story -- I like to get a professional pedicure every so often because I find it very relaxing. I'll paint my toes as needed, but prefer to sit in a massage chair for an hour while someone else does them. ;)

What's your favorite color of nail polish?
How often do you paint your nails?