Friday, April 28, 2017

3 Ways I'm Preparing for My First Year of Law School

So, I can't remember if I updated you guys or not, but I got in to law school! And because I'm Type A and can't function without a plan, it's been killing me to have so much down time since I graduated in December. I have been in school my entire life, so I miss the business and the schedule of it and I'm feeling that excitement that comes before a new chapter, almost like starting college all over again!
Every time I go to an event for accepted students, they tell me to relax and enjoy this break before law school starts, but that's just not gonna happen. So if you're like me, I think you'll enjoy hearing about the ways I'm preparing and getting ready for my 1L year!
 
1 // School Supplies
I know this sounds crazy, but I've been doing a lot of research on what supplies I should go into law school with. Not like pens and pencils, but like school bag/backpack, laptop, and planner wise. I know that to some people these may seem like small things, but for me those are 3 major parts of my productivity. 
As for laptop, I currently have a MacBook Pro from 2011, but everyone I've talked to has said to make sure that I get a newer one that has more memory and holds a longer charge, so that's my number one priority before school starts. 
My second one is the school bag I'm going to use, because I want something functional and light but a little more grown up than my current neon North Face backpack. I recently purchased a Longchamp Le Pliage tote in black and I love it. It's nylon, so it's super easy to clean and can handle light rain without getting soaked, plus it's magical and can fit everything without looking stuffed or getting too heavy. Because my textbooks can stay in my locker, and I plan to get a really light laptop, I'm not really worried about it being too heavy on my shoulder. All in all, I highly recommend it and it comes in TONS of colors. 
Lastly, I can't wait until May 17th to get another Simplified Planner. I love how simple and clean the SPs are, because they have all the room I need without all of those extra features that I don't. Plus, they're 12 month planners now, so no more wasting those 5 months every time 17 month planners overlap. Plus, the covers are precious and can now be monogrammed...it's the little things y'all.
 
2 // Leisure Reading 
Another tip that I've gotten from everyone is to do my leisure reading now, because once law school starts I won't have time to read anything but cases. I've been trying to read as much as possible, especially at night because my Law and Order SVU habit has been giving me nightmares! 
If you're starting law school in the fall and want to get some "fun" reading done over the summer, or just want a few book recommendations, start with my current reading list!
 
3 // Stocking Up 
  One tip I hadn't heard but think is really helpful was to stock up on clothes, skincare, expensive makeup, etc while I'm still working, because you can't work your first year in law school. I'm stocking up on cute flats, a nice pair of jeans, tops I can wear with jeans of nice skirts, athletic wear, running shoes, etc. Any big tickets items that I won't have money for in the fall basically! I tried to think of things I wear day to day and make sure I have really good quality pieces that will last until I have a real job again! As long as you have business casual pieces that you can mix in with jeans and casual outfits you'll be good to go! 

I hope this helped a little if you're preparing for law school too! I know these things seem trivial, but for me, having these little bits figured out will help me handle the bigger things in the long run - like being broke and having way more work than I have time for. YAY!

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

What to Wear for Graduation + 3 Tips for a Perfect Graduation Day

Hi friends, happy Tuesday! I am so excited for today's post because this season of graduation and excitement for what is to come is so joyful to me! Whether it's high school, college, or grad school, graduation is such a time to celebrate because graduating is a huge accomplishment. 
 
Today I thought I'd share my favorite picks for a graduation dress. I kept everything under $150, but made sure there were plenty of color and fabric options so that no matter what, there's something perfect for your day! I wore white for both my high school and college graduation because it was light and went easily with my cap and gown, but I personally feel like any solid, classic shape will be perfect!

My 3 Tips for a stress free, fun-filled graduation day are:

 

1 // Prepare ahead of time.
Steam your gown and dress and lay everything out, from clothes, to jewelry, to shoes the night before. It's so much nicer to wake up and have everything ready to go then have to figure out what to wear and get it prepped. 
 
2 // Make a plan for the day and communicate it to family/friends. 
On my graduation day, I didn't graduate until 3 in the afternoon, so my family came in early and we had lunch before the ceremony. I had forgotten to make a reservation, but luckily I had factored in enough time that we were able to sit by the bar and enjoy a drink while we waited for the table. Obviously, not everyone will be as prompt or as prepared as you, so make sure when you schedule out whatever you're planning you add in time for traffic and little mishaps and you clearly communicate those plans. No one can read your mind, but most people are willing to do what you ask of them if you ask nicely!
 
3 // Relax and enjoy your day!
I know that everyone says this, and especially when you're Type A like me, it is very hard. But I tried to make a concerted effort to stop, take a couple of breaths, and just commit to memory the feeling of hearing my name and walking across the stage because it's something I want to remember and be proud of forever. I had a bit of trouble just letting go and not fretting about every single minute of the day and it was actually so much more fun that day. I told everyone what I wanted out of the day (lunch and my party that night) and thankfully everyone showed up when they were supposed to and helped to make it work, but really I just let things go! Graduation Day is all about celebrating with your family and friends, so as long as you can do that, try not to worry so much about the little details and a perfect timeline!
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Friday, April 21, 2017

My Everyday Makeup Routine

Good morning friends, happy Friday! I know I normally post on TTH, but I thought I'd give the Tuesday/Friday schedule a try so my schedule isn't so packed and I have more time to create quality content! Let me know what you think schedule (or content) wise below please, I am running low on post inspiration! WHEW, long winded side story aside, I thought I'd share my current everyday makeup routine with you guys because A. this is the week of routines since I shared my workout routine on Tuesday, and B. I haven't done one of these in a while, and I wanted to share lots of new things with you guys. 
I should clarify, I don't wear makeup everyday. Because I work with a 3 year old and a 1 year old, they don't really seem to care whether I look all put together or just roll out of bed, so I really tend to skip it during the week. But, when I go out on the weekends, I do like to feel my most confident, so that means at least a fresh complexion and some mascara. I tend to keep things pretty natural, but if you want some really excellent makeup inspo, head over to my sister's instagram. She does all the colorful, totally-out-of-my-comfort-zone but totally gorgeous stuff. With me, if I'm wearing eye shadow it's a big day! 

 My Everyday Makeup Routine

Base

I recently picked up this coconut smoothie moisturizing primer by First Aid Beauty and I am obsessed.  First off, it smells like the beach, or a really beachy drink. It's a very light pink cream that evens out and slightly brightens your skin tone while keeping you hydrated under your makeup. I will say that after about 8 hours my skin starts to dry out, but I'd say that 8 hours is still a good bit of time and it really helps my makeup to apply smoothly and not stick to any dry patches, so I'd recommend it if you have dry or sensitive skin like I do.

I blogged about my It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better foundation a little over a week ago, so I won't go into too much detail, but it's a winner in my book. Has SPF 50 which is huge for my pale, easily burnt skin, and it is natural without being too dewy or greasy. I usually stay away from full coverage because I don't want anything cakey, but this really does look natural, and you can make it even lighter if you apply it with a damp beauty blender. If you want to read my full review, you can here!

Last but not least, my tried and true Mac Studio Finish concealer in NC15. This stuff has people totally divided, because some people think it's too slippy and doesn't stay in place, but for someone with dry skin and under eyes, it's amazing. I have it in a lighter shade than my foundation, so it's very brightening, and it just gives the prettiest natural glowiness to my skin. It has to be powdered so it stays in place, and it does crease on my eyelids, but those are the only cons for me. I don't see myself ever using anything else, that's how much I love it.

I use Mac Mineralize Skin Finish in Light Plus to powder everything down and I love it. It's light, never cakey, and doesn't get darker once it's on my face. It takes away any shine my face might get during the day but still leaves my skin looking fresh and natural, never dried out or flat. 

Bronze/Blush/Highlight 

It should come as no surprise that I am still using my The Balm Desert bronzer. It's the perfect neutral shade for me - not too grey, not too red - and it gives me a very subtle sunkissed look. Because I don't tan easily, I like the added warmth to my face, but I never have to worry about it looking overdone or orange, which I love. I think this is perfect for people who are just learning about contouring and want to try it out or people like me who just want a natural, no fuss color!

I am SO excited to share this new blush color with y'all because it is amazing. It's from Too Faced and it's called "Baby Love". A Youtuber I follow recommended it and I tried it in store because of how good it looked on her. I normally go for brighter blushes, but I swear, something about this brings out my natural flush color and brightens my whole face without being overpowering. It has a slight shimmer running through it so it adds a bit of a glow, but in a very natural, rosy cheek way that I love. I think it would look great on pretty much everyone because it is very natural, plus I find it lasts all day on me, which many blushes I've tried don't.

Again, no surprise that I'm still using The Balm's Mary Lou-Manizer to highlight. It's light enough for my pale complexion, blends incredibly easily, and gives enough of a glow for me to feel "dressed up" without making me feel like a disco ball. I reviewed my favorite Balm products here if you want to see my other favs and read a more in depth review! All in all, love the brand because they make amazing products at really affordable prices. 

Eyes

I have very long, but also very straight eyelashes, and I promise, it's a blessing and a curse. When I was in high school I used any mascara I picked up and never really cared, but my eyelashes would just stick straight out. Now, I curl them about 3 times and only use Maybelline Lash Sensational waterproof, because that's the only thing that can even remotely help them hold a curl. I love this one because it adds tons of volume and length without clumping and doesn't flake off on my under eyes throughout the day. It is hard to get off, as any waterproof mascara is, but to me it's so worth it. I think it's about $6, and the wand is amazing, so you can't beat that!

 

Eyebrows

I have a love hate relationship with my brows, but ever since I've been using these two together I have really been enjoying filling in my brows and liking the way they look. I thankfully never really over plucked in middle/high school because I had no clue what I was doing, so my eyebrows are pretty thick, they just don't have much of a shape. I use the Ardell pencil, which has a slanted, wide tip, to add a bit of an arch and fill out the edges first, and then run the Maybelline brow gel over the top to darken them a bit and lock them into place. I know it sounds crazy, but if I don't gel them down I look a little like the Grinch at the end of the day, so I swear by this stuff. I have both in soft brown.
If I'm having a "no makeup" makeup day, I just throw on concealer, mascara, and the gel because it fills them out a bit but not too perfectly and just makes me feel more polished. I truly believe that eyebrows are the best way to frame your face and give it shape, so if you're looking to try out new things without spending tons of money or buying anything too complicated, these are for you!

 

Everyday Lip Color

I am not usually one for bright lipstick or sticky gloss, so I used to either throw on chapstick throughout the day or just skip lip color all together. That is all changing lately though as I'm trying out LipSense (more to come on that later) and I purchased this new lip balm, aptly named Bene-Balm. It's by Benefit, and they also make a liquid lip tint version in this same color. I originally tried the tint which I received as a sample, but when I saw this in store I had to pick it up. It's that perfect rosy color that's not too pink or too red, and it feels just like chapstick on your lips. I don't even use a mirror to apply it anymore because it's sheer enough to not look crazy if I overdo it a bit. I love the ease of it and I really like being able to add a bit of color without having to worry about it wearing off or getting on my teeth. 
 
I hope y'all enjoyed a peek into my makeup bag - please let me know if you have any recommendations for other products I should try out! I love reading your comments! Have a great weekend!
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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

My Current Workout Routine

Good morning friends! I hope all of you had a wonderful Easter weekend and are going into this week feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever's coming at you this week! I thought it might be fun today to talk about my workout routine. I'm finally feeling like I'm comfortable at the gym and like I have a good routine down when it comes to fitness. Nothing crazy, but I actually look forward to working out and I'm so happy that I've found something that works for me!


MWF
 When I was training for the 5k, I ran all of the time. Now that I'm just trying to get fit in general, I run when I'm in the mood, but I normally either do a spin class or weights/machines on my own on these days. I basically go from head to toe, so I do shoulders, chest, back, arms, abs, glutes, thighs, and then calves! It seems like it would take forever, but because I know my routine and know which machines I like it actually goes quite quickly. I love doing squats and sit ups, but I try to watch Youtube videos and look up different workouts so that I'm changing it up every now and then. I love Clean Eating Alice's instagram because she posts recipes, but also easy to follow workout videos. Sometimes I just find a spot at the gym and just do one of those! 
 
TTH
 I am so excited to fill y'all in on my newest craze that I'm so behind on! I tried my first barre class a couple of weeks ago and now I'm obsessed. If you haven't heard of barre before, it's a class based on ballet stances and small, repetitive movements with a little weight or resistance. It's low impact but really helps me tone muscles and burn a few hundred calories. I can't dance at all, much less hold any kind of rhythm while I'm working out, so the fact that barre was based on ballet really scared me at first, but it's so not intimidating like I thought. I haven't been able to touch my toes since I was in ekementary school, but during stretching in my third class I could reach them! After class I feel very lean and toned and I can't recommend it more!
 
Weekends
I used to be such a bum on weekends - sleeping late, eating like poo, and not doing much of anything. These days, I like to be a little more active just to make the most of my time. Don't get me wrong, I love lazy days as much as anyone, but I also love being able to take a walk on the lake with my family or go for a run without having to be anywhere at any specific time. Plus, I find if I do something a little more active than I'll also eat better and be more productive when it comes to getting ready for the week ahead. 

All in all, I just try to get moving for at least 30 minutes a day and switch up my routine from cardio, to HIIT, to weights. As long as you're doing something, you're making progress. When I started going to the gym I was so hard on myself with seeing progress and constantly compared myself to others. Now I just try to enjoy it and realize that every little bit is doing something good for my body, which is strong and healthy and can only get better, so if you're feeling discouraged, try and look at it that way!I hope sharing my routine helps you make one of your own!
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Thursday, April 6, 2017

What to Wear for Easter

Hi guys! Since Easter is only a week and a bit away, I thought that today I'd share my favorite looks for one of my favorite holidays! I tried to keep everything around $100, but there are really good gems around the $50 mark too. As much as I love pastels and seersucker, I try to go for options that can be worn tons, not just once, so these are my pics.
If you're going for a more casual "jeans and a cute top" look, I LOVE this off the shoulder top from Loft. It runs a bit big, so order one size down. It fits really well, is so different from other tops I've seen, and is very easy to move around in, which is rare for an OTS top. Paired with cropped white jeans and my favorite wedges, I think it'd make such a comfy, but cute outfit!

Sorry for the bad iPhone quality shot, but I wanted to show off the shirt!
If you are planning to dress up a little fancier, I highly recommend this blush lace dress (currently $25 off!) from Loft or this white lace bell sleeved dress from Target! I love and own both and personally can't decide which to choose! I think they're both great to have in your closet, and with the code DRESSY the white one comes in UNDER $25! Such a steal!

Hope this helps if you're still looking for that perfect Easter outfit! Let me know your favorites below!
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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

3 Ways I'm Getting Glowing Summer Skin

Good morning guys! I had such a fun, whirlwind of a weekend and I hope you guys did too! Today, since it is April now, I thought I'd share how I'm prepping my skin for summer and getting a good, healthy glow. If you've been reading Sarah Smile for a while, you'll know I have dry, sensitive skin. (If you're new here, hello!) 
I am very happy with my moisturizer, but I've been wanting to add an oil to my night time skincare routine. I also had been on the lookout for a moisturizing primer to keep my foundation from sticking to any dry patches! I'm pretty happy with the products I chose, so if you're interested - keep reading below! 

1. Exfoliate 

I mentioned this is my current skincare routine, but I am obsessed with exfoliating with this Boscia peel gel. I think the first, most important step to getting glowing, smooth skin is exfoliating. It basically gets rid of any built up dry skin and makes a clean base for any other skincare products you use. Because my skin is sensitive, I can't exfoliate with any harsh scrubs. I found this in Sephora last year and there really is nothing else like it. It has a gel texture and it chemically exfoliates your skin without over scrubbing or irritating. I absolutely love it and get much better results with this than any other scrub I've ever used, plus my face doesn't feel like I have brush burn! Win win.

2. Moisturize 

It's so important to moisturize your skin regularly, but especially after you exfoliate. Exfoliating helps the products you follow up with really sink in, so it's important that what goes on your skin next won't clog or irritate it. I found this Korres rose oil after a random search of the new arrivals at Sephora's website and Y'ALL, I am so glad I did. Rose is known for being good for sensitive skin, and this oil actually has rose petals in it, so you're really getting a good bang for your buck. It is also packed with Vitamin C, which helps to repair skin and keep it looking fresh and young. The oil is dry enough to sink in quickly and not feel wet all night, but definitely packs a huge hydrating punch! I apply this right after washing and exfoliate and follow it up with my tried and true Clinique moisturizer. The combination makes my skin feel calmed and baby smooth, even in the morning!

3. Prime and Perfect

After taking good care of my skin, I don't want to damage it with products that will dry it out or clog my pores. It's super important for me to have a hydrating primer and a foundation with SPF, because the sun is not my friend! I love First Aid Beauty as a brand as it is and I was totally sucked in by the name "Coconut Skin Smoothie." I mean, that just sounds delicious and hydrating! It has a strong smell, so if you're not into that then I'd avoid it, but I personally think it smells just like the beach and it really does keep my skin hydrated all day. My foundation used to gather around my nose and under my eyes, but with this is stays dewy, but not oily, all day long! 

I've heard so many people rave about It Cosmetics, but I'd just never actually picked anything by them up until now. I finally scooped up their color correcting foundation last month and I love it! The fact that it has SPF 50 really intrigued me, because that's very high for foundation, but also the anti-aging aspect, which means it is made to be very hydrating, but also fuller coverage - totally up my street! It looks very natural on my skin, stays all day, and doesn't dry my skin out. I wore it to a Mardi Gras parade and had a burnt scalp but no sun burn on my face, so I'd say that SPF really works! I think it will be great for the summer, because when applied lightly it almost looks like I have nothing on, just even skin!


If you're looking for a few new products to add into your routine or want to get dewy, fresh skin just in time for summer, I highly recommend these products! I'm loving using them and find that they've made a big difference in the overall look and application/wear time of my makeup. 
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