Dream Big & Buy The Shoes: May 2016

May 31, 2016

Caramel Latte Cupcakes

If you know me at all you know I'm O B S E S S E D with cupcakes and that may even be an understatement. What's perfect with cupcakes? Yes, coffee. Another mild obsession of mine. So why not try and combine the two?

starbucks cupcakes



You will need:
1 box of white or yellow cake mix
3 egg whites
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup water
1 Starbucks Via Caramel Latte packet
1/2 cup caramel sauce
Starbucks straws

To make:
Mix water with Starbucks Caramel Latte Via packet
Make cupcakes according to the directions on the box, but withhold the water and use the latte mixture in it's place
Bake and let cool
Cut a small opening in the top of each cupcake and remove
Squeeze or pour a small bit of caramel sauce in the middle of each cupcake
Place the top back on each cupcake
Top with icing
Cut Starbucks straw in thirds and stick one small piece in each cupcake
Drizzle more caramel sauce on each



Get a napkin, pour a cup of coffee and enjoy this delicious drizzled treat. Enjoy!

What's your favorite cupcake flavor?

                                                           Eat Drink and Be Mary


May 27, 2016

Gift Giving 101: An Easy Guide to Choosing the Perfect Gift

I don't know about you, but I LOVE giving gifts. The thought of shopping during the holiday season doesn't daunt me, it excites me. If I could be a personal shopper or gift giver, I totally would. In all reality, I know that it doesn't come easily or without stress for everyone. I'm here to offer some ways to help you throughout the process of gift giving from start to finish.


Start early.
-Take in to account when holidays or celebrations are coming. Father's Day is next month, but that doesn't mean you can't start shopping now. It's never too early to browse. I love getting ideas and browsing through websites online. One great place to shop is Uncommon Goods since they have awesome gifts year round. You can shop their Gifts for Men here to get started for Father's Day. 

Shop where there's a variety.
- I love stores or websites where I can purchase multiple gifts for a bunch of people on my list. Uncommon Goods is one of those places where there's an awesome variety. Whether it's a girly gift for a friend's birthday (shop those great options here)...hi birthstone wishing ball, I'm talking to you...or a unique housewarming gift for someone special, Uncommon Goods has you covered. I love funny gifts, yes...including doormats that state "Nice Underwear" and being able to shop for several people all in one stop makes gift giving super easy. I love that Uncommon Goods aims to feature so many different artists and creative people crafting projects by hand and working hard to make it in this world. I'm all about supporting someones dreams, and so is their company.


Do your homework.
-Take a look at their Pinterest boards. Anything Dad has loved lately? Have you seen your friend post about some great thing they recently spotted at the store? Take some time to see what they are currently enjoying or lusting after. The great thing about online shopping, like Uncommon Goods is that you can browse any time of the day or night, year round. I often get great ideas at weird hours, like late at night when I'm in bed. I find myself looking through websites and doing shopping at crazy hours. I have found some of the best birthday gifts online at Uncommon Goods. Check out their unique birthday gifts here. Know a wine fanatic? I do! How about gifting them these awesome food and drink pairing towels for the kitchen?


Keep a list of ideas.
- I have a notes section on my phone for gift ideas. When I see something that makes me think of someone, I add it to the list. If a friend or family member mentions something they love that they may not purchase for themselves, I pop the note in my phone. Keeping a running list not only makes you organized, it takes off the pressure of buying a ton of gifts all at once. Getting an idea for a gift is half the battle when it comes to gift giving. By jotting things down on a list you're always one step ahead. 

Make the presentation part of the gift.
-Want to step your gift giving up a notch? Find accent pieces that accompany the focus of your gift and make it in to one great presentation. Uncommon Goods has so many great gifts that add on to your primary piece and tie it all together. I love the selection of dish towels, barware, and gifts in a variety of price ranges. Gift giving doesn't have to be stressful when shopping is this fun. I put together a dish towel with this drink caddy to make the perfect pair in to a gift.
Think outside the (( gift )) box *wink wink*





Do you have any helpful tips when it comes to gift giving? What's your favorite place to shop for gifts?

I was given products from Uncommon Goods in exchange for a review. All opinions and comments are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that work with Dream Big & Buy the Shoes.


May 25, 2016

Thoughts From The Bathtub

This is just a typical night in my life. Read along for some raw thoughts straight outta the tub.

How do people relax in here?
I should have brought wine
No. Wine makes me sleepy then I may drown
I can't swim, wonder if I could learn in the bathtub
I should clean the bathtub and shower better
Wonder if I could make my own cleaner
I need to do a new craft project, it's been too long
Maybe I could make a cell phone holder for the tub
I should write this all down
Where's my phone?
Oh shoot, don't bring the phone in...you know what happened last time ((see caption below))


Wait, all this time wasted---you need to clean yourself
My razor is all the way up there
Standing up in the bathtub is weird, unless I'm getting out
Who needs to shave their legs anyways?
My loofah matches this hot pink bath oil
Who knew I liked hot pink so much
Wait, is this damn bath oil staining my hands pink?!
How in the HELL do people relax in here?

I'm OUT!


May 23, 2016

Beauty On A Budget // Face Primer

As Lindsay and I were discussing what we would cover next for our series, we discovered that one of us loves drugstore face primers and high end concealers and the other loves drugstore concealers and high end face primers...can you guess who's who?

Today we decided that each of us would cover what we loved and used the best in our respected budget friendly areas and allow you to visit the other's blog to see the thoughts and opinions on the other product.



To be honest, I've only been using a face primer for a few years, and boy I'm glad I started. My makeup covers so much better and without a doubt stays on that much better too.

face primers on a budget

Today I'll give a review on my three favorite primers that I've found that don't break the bank.

First up, NYX Pore Filler. Coming in at $13.99 it isn't the cheapest, but I feel that primers are a different beast in the beauty category. If you want something that works effectively, you sometimes need to shell out a little more money. While I notice that my makeup has a good base with this primer and it applies easier, I do not feel that it's a huge pore filler. I don't have the smallest pores, but I also don't feel that mine are awful. If you're looking for a good primer though, you can count on it with this one. I've also mentioned before that Ulta often does a buy one, get one 50% off with NYX products...so that's always a good time to add something like this to your beauty bag.

Next, a recent addition with the  Maybelline Instant Age Rewind  with a lower price tag of $8.99. I couldn't resist picking this up a few weeks ago on my latest Ulta run, but it can be found at several different drug stores which is nice. I am really loving this primer. I use about a penny sized drop and it covers my whole face well and gives the silkiest canvas to apply my liquid foundation without leaving me shiny halfway through the day. It really helps control my somewhat oily face and is a perfect base. You won't be disappointed with this purchase if you're looking for a basic primer.

Last but not least, the NYX Shine Killer.  This primer is also priced at $13.99 but is well worth it if you have issues with shine. This has worked especially well during the sticky summer months for my skin. It moisturizes and still leaves my makeup with a matte look on my face which is perfect. You don't need much at all. I've had it for several months and until I recently picked up the Maybelline primer had been using it almost every day.  

budget friendly face products


To be honest, I've only tried a few other primers that don't fit in to the Beauty On A Budget category, and of them all I would recommend Maybelline Instant Age Rewind as the number one choice if you're looking for a new product. I know everyone's skin is different, but with my combination skin it does work best so coming in at $8.99 it's worth a try for anyone.

Be sure to visit Lindsay today and check out what she's recommending in the category of concealers.

Do you have a favorite primer? What would you like to see Lindsay and I talk about next time for Beauty On A Budget?


May 20, 2016

The Time I Met 50 Cent

So every good celebrity story should start with a fun city, right?! Right. Well, none better than Las Vegas for mine.

Let's take it back to 2012!! It was Chuck & I first trip to Las Vegas together and we had found a ridiculously awesome Groupon for a stay at Hard Rock which included an all you can drink wristband at their main bar from 12pm- 12 am every day. You can imagine the fun that in itself brought.



It was the second to last night of our trip and we were down at the bar enjoying some drinks while we waited for our limo to take us to our dinner reservations and all of a sudden I see a TON of huge (I swear they were seven foot tall) men walking through the lobby. I said to Chuck "Someone famous is here." All these people coming in a herd wearing jackets that said "The Money Team" on the back and I'm thinking, what the heck is The Money Team? We get alerted that our limo has arrived and Chuck goes out front to let them know we are coming while I'm waiting for our friends to come. 
I'm standing there watching all these people walk through and at this point I am convinced someone important is here by the amount of security that is coming. All of a sudden I see none other than 50 Cent and I scream. I look ahead and Chuck is standing by a door with wide eyes and he says "Holy shit, I just held the door for 50 Cent."

At this point we are going to be late for our dinner reservations, but my trap queen soul is wanting to just forget dinner and run after 50. We get in the limo and immediately start searching things on our phone. The Money Team is Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s group and he had a fight that weekend, so our assumption is 50 was there to watch. The whole ride to dinner I am frrrreaking out about the fact that 50 Cent is somewhere in our hotel and start to think of the possibilities. Is he staying on our floor? There's no way...so, how do I gain access to the suites? What do I say when I go to hug him? Does he remember me from that concert at Penn State when I fell down the steps after a few too many drinks and one too many butt shakes? Will he rap me a verse?
Chuck had about enough of me babbling the whole ride, but I told him that when we got back to Hard Rock I was on the search for 50, I wasn't letting him leave.



We get back to the hotel and immediately I'm off...I go straight to the Front Desk and ask if they've seen him. I don't know why I thought they would tell me if they had, I'm a fool. So what do I do next? Wander through the slot machines, like he's going to be sitting down playing one. I finally get smart and think...maybe he's at a restaurant. So obviously I head to the most expensive restaurant, the steak joint...because if a man is going to eat, that's probably where he would be, right?! Wrong.

I come back to the main bar area...which if you've ever been to Hard Rock you know is a giant circle. The bar is a few steps up but the front lobby loops around in one big circular area. I'm standing by the bar when I look over to our favorite place to dine all week (and during my other trips to Vegas)...Mr. Lucky's. The set up of the restaurant is an open area with an exposed kitchen and from the lobby you can see every single table inside it. The restaurant is roped off and sure enough there is a herd of black jackets sitting up there eating. No shit, 50 Cent is sitting in a freaking diner at Hard Rock and no one even notices. NO ONE! I run over and pull my phone out and a very large member of his security team steps in front of me and asks me to not disrupt his dinner. Ok, I get it. But...I'm just trying to creep...let me get ONE picture.

Naturally he's surrounded by women. I'm talking about 20 women and a team of security, those stinking 7 foot tall men who won't let me take pictures. I realize that they aren't going to be okay with me taking a picture so I go back to the bar and wait. And wait. Finally I see people about to move and I get up and walk towards the restaurant. He walks out with his security team and I walk behind them trying to get pictures. I try to run in front and take a selfie with him and a large man stops me again. So as he walks away I scream "I love you 50!" and Curtis Jackson replied "I love you too girl!"...it was a moment I'll never forget. I about passed out.




We followed them outside of the Hard Rock and there were over six $100,000 cars lined up. 50 Cent got in one car, then the cars moved and rearranged their positions. People were loading bags in and out of different cars while a crowd started to form. So many people didn't even realize that 50 Cent was in one of them and were asking what was going on. We stood there until they finally all pulled away and then my life was complete. But really...thank you for loving me back 50 Cent, I can now leave a satisfied woman.



So that's it. No outstanding posed pictures (thanks Security)...but 50 Cent did admit his love for me, so I'll take it. Be sure to hop over to Macy's page and read all about her celebrity encounter.
Link up below...I can't wait to hear your stories!


Dream Big, And Buy The Shoes

May 18, 2016

Summer Essentials For Every Woman

With Summer quickly approaching, I always like to take inventory of what I have at home vs. what I will need for the next season. Think of it as switching your closets over, and taking a look at what's in your beauty bag, bathroom and more for Summer. I do it every year because to be honest, each one changes. Usually I'm more busy in the Summer...on the go between watching my Stepson the soccer field, weekend trips with my family to make more memories, or attending work events and family get together's. I need to be prepared for every occasion. Spending time outside is crucial for my summer fun. Since I live in the North East and experience a lot of cold weather, once that sunshine hits I'm all about soaking up the sun.


summer essentials


Evian face care
nordstrom.com



Lydell nyc jewelry
lastcall.com




S'Well Satin Bikini Pink Bottle- 17 oz.
lordandtaylor.com




Evian Facial Spray is ideal for getting rid of sweat, and helps prevent dry skin and breakouts. In the midst of a crazy, hot summer it keeps me feeling refreshed and calms me down. The mist is perfect because my skin absorbs it without ruining my makeup, better yet it gives my face a smooth natural finish. It's cooling and refreshing...so perfect, it's like a nice cold margarita for your face. 

Since receiving my Swell bottle for Valentine's Day, I don't leave home without it. The bottle keeps my water cold for 12 hours and fits perfectly in my purse as I tote it along for my long days. 
Other necessities in the heat include the most perfect hair ties from Sephora. I've bought them time after time for a few years. They're ideal for my thick, heavy hair because they actually don't give me a headache. 



One thing you will always find me with, no matter the season is some bigger than life earrings. Once my hair is pulled back off my face I fear I look like a teenage boy. I always have a pair of big, fun earrings on hand to compliment my face and outfit. Whether it's a pair of simple gold hoops or some with fringe or bold colors, I think earrings can change a whole look. 
Totes...you can find one in every nook and corner of our house. My car. The bedroom. The living room. I throw everything in them, from my Swell bottle to coupons and sunglasses and even a few groceries or a fresh bouquet after a trip to the store. I typically get mine from Forever 21 because they're inexpensive and they always have some fun ones to choose from.
Last but not least, a woman is never complete without her lip gloss. My favorite summer color as of last year is Bella from Stila. It's the perfect pop of pink and is bright and cheery. I promise you'll get a ton of compliments when you put it on, so don't miss a chance to shine. It's a great pair with a mist of the Evian Facial Spray and all the essentials fit perfectly in my tote!



Now, a chance for you to win over $75 worth of goodies brought to you by Evian--Good Luck!

Thank you BrandBacker for sponsoring part of today's post.


What is your number one Summer Essential?




May 17, 2016

Inspiration & Motivation: Dreamy Instagram Inspo

When I started this Dreamy Instagram Inspo series it came from an intent to share accounts I have found and love and showcase them telling why they inspire me. I want to motivate others to dream bigger, live beautiful lives, and share those moments with the world. I am really excited to share some straight up motivational Instagram accounts today...so grab your cup of caffeine, cozy up and take a look at these beautiful souls.



Being an inspirational author, she oozes amazing vibes. Cara makes me want to get up and go. Do amazing things. Be better. Work harder. I love her account and work ethic, that's it.



Looking for one place that showcases a bunch of awesome pictures? That's happy gram. They re-post such fun pictures from Insta accounts all over the world. Bright, bold, and beautiful is the name of the game here. Their pictures ALWAYS make me smile, and who doesn't love that?!

A photo posted by ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀๐Ÿ’•Only Happy๐Ÿ’• (@happy_gram) on


I don't know about you, but I love finding quotes that make me think deeper and dream bigger. This account is full of great quotes, pictures and articles...reminding us all that are dreams aren't out of reach. You KNOW that's something I can get behind.


Sarah // @iamsarahwebb

The awesome blogger behind Venus Trapped In Mars is full of life online and in her real life pictures. Her lively vibes mixed with interesting pictures bring in a ton of fun and makes me want to take better, brighter pictures. Not only are her pictures inspiring, but so is her design work--you gotta check her out.



D'ondra is the beautiful blogger from Unapologetically Mee who's words are just as inspiring as her Instagram. She has a way of making every day brighter and better just by being her soul- seeking self. You need to hit the follow button... smiles are sure to follow.

A photo posted by Dondra Howard (@unapol0getically_mee) on

I am always wanting to make your day better while sharing snippets of my life. Whether it's sharing a bit of the crazy moments, or my fun in the kitchen, favorite products or a beautiful sky...I want you to realize that every moment is a special one. I would love for you to follow along (( @emeliaanne_ )) and get to know me better.

A photo posted by emelia๐Ÿ’œ (@emeliaanne_) on

I hope you found some great new accounts to follow to inspire and motivate you today and every day. Be sure to check out the other features in my Dreamy Instagram Inspo Series:


If that isn't enough beautiful things for a Tuesday...how about a giveaway for an Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit & a $15 Sephora Gift Card?! I've teamed up with some lovely bloggers to kick off Lindsay's new "Treat Tuesday" series. Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below...Good Luck!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

May 16, 2016

101 in 1001: Update Two

If you're not familiar with the 101 in 1001 List, you can learn more in my original post and see what I accomplished after my first round ,but basically it's a list of things you want to accomplish and dreams you have...101 of them to be exact. From the time you post the list, you have 1001 days to cross them off and make things happen. 



One thing that helped me, was printing the list out so I can constantly look at it and get things accomplished. I have found that having lists in paper format REALLY help me in the areas of planning and staying motivated. 

I've updated my list by crossing things off and marking the date they happened and also created some links so you can check out my progress where applicable. Let's see what I've accomplished since the last time we checked in.

Blog

Update pages- February 2016, My About Me & Best Of pages have a fresh new vibe and a Shop page was also added in April 2016 for my Etsy Shop- "The Dreamy Details"
Ask to be a guest poster on a blog- April 2016, Alanna & Co.

Update old posts- February 2016,  I updated some graphics for these posts: My Nightly Skincare Routine & DIY Baby Soft Sprinkled Sugar Scrub and updated SEO on a handful of others
Culinary
Try at least 3 new foods-  March 2016 (1/3) I tried an avocado for the first time, and made a recipe with it that I'll share soon!

Bake a new cupcake flavor from scratch- March 2016, Brown Sugar Cupcakes

Health & Fitness
Try a green smoothie- May 2016

Professional Growth & Development
Market my talents and pursue a side business- February 2016, I opened an Etsy shop! The Dreamy Details is now in business. 

Design something for someone: a poster, invite, etc... - April/ May 2016, I am working on some things for a friend's shower. One of my best friends is the Maid of Honor and is putting together a beautiful bridal shower and I made some of the games and some things for the favors. I can't wait to show it all after the event!

I made another craft--a patterned dream board that is on display in a corner of our bedroom. It serves as great inspiration and showcases some of my prints from my Etsy shop.




For Others
Clean out closets and donate it all to someone I personally know who needs it- April 2016, I did a ton of spring cleaning and gave it all to a friend who recently moved

    So here's where we stand:

    Blog

    Do a blog photoshoot
    Introduce a sponsorship program  *January 2016
    Grow my blog to be able to work with larger partners such as BlogHer, Social Fabric & more
    Update pages (About Me, Best Of, Sponsor) *March 2016 Check them out here: 
    Meet another blogging friend in real life
    Update blog files on my laptop *February 2016
    Ask to be a guest poster on a blog *April 2016- Alanna & Company
    Make a vlog
    Invest in business cards
    Get published in a magazine *December 2015- Holl and Lane
    Get published in an online outlet *December 2015- Holl and Lane 
    Start a blog series  *January 2016- Dreamy Instagram Inspo
    Start a monthly service created around a blog niche
    Find a blogger in my city to connect with
    Collaborate with another blogger on a project *January 2016-Beauty On A Budget with Lindsay from Bourbon, Lipstick & Stilettos
    Take more photos for fashion & beauty posts
    Update old posts *in progress (this is A LOT of work!) So far in February 2016 I updated: Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers & Bacon Wrapped Smokies

    Culinary
    Create a recipe book of old family recipes
    Make homemade pasta
    Take a cooking class
    Host a dinner party
    Create my signature cocktail
    Try at least 3 new foods (1/3)
    Bake a new cupcake flavor from scratch  *Brown Sugar Cupcakes
    Visit 3 new restaurants and write about them
    Invent a new recipe  *December 2015 Chocolate Mint Christmas Dream
    Learn how to grill
    Eat from a food truck
    Make 100% homemade Thanksgiving dinner

    Health & Fitness
    Eliminate pop from my diet completely
    Try a green smoothie 
    Take a barre class
    Find a fitness routine that works for me & STICK TO IT
    Buy a bike
    Stay off electronics at night at least 20 minutes before bed
    Give myself 30 minutes of relaxation a day with no phone or computer
    Eat at least 1 fruit & 1 vegetable per day for 21 days straight (make it a HABIT
    Go social media free for a weekend

    Adventure
    Visit Napa & explore Wine Country
    Have an all girls weekend trip
    Travel to a brand new city
    Take Ethan to NYC
    Go on a Segway tour
    Ride in a hot air balloon
    Take a one year anniversary trip
    Go skydiving & hope my husband doesn't faint watching me
    See Britney Spears in Vegas, again
    See Janet Jackson in concert
    Frame a large map & track our adventures
    Surprise Chuck & Ethan with a trip
    Go zip lining
    Fly a kite
    Take a drive with no destination planned
    Go on another cruise (hopefully to the Caribbean)
    Go to a Steelers home opener game
    Attend a light up night event around the holidays
    Find a butterfly garden and visit one

    Professional Growth & Development
    Write a children's book
    Take on at least 1 "client" and plan an event 
    Take a photography class
    Finish a webinar, whether for my blog or personal growth
    Earn a promotion & raise *November 2015, February 2016
    Design something for someone- a poster, invite, etc. *April 2016
    Make 5 new crafts  (1/5) * 1- Valentine's Garland- February 2016 2- Patterned Dream Board - March 2016
    Market my talents and pursue a side business *February 2016-Etsy shop
    Start a poem journal

          Just for Emelia
    Have another spend freeze for at least one month
    Pay off all loans, except for my student loans (that's impossible for the next several years-ha!)
    Read for 30 minutes every day
    Get my wedding dress preserved
    Spend the afternoon at the library without worrying about time
    Get a new tattoo
    Create a special memorial event just for me to honor my mom
    Spend the morning at a coffee shop
    Get Britney Spears to tweet me back
    Find my signature lip color
    Get rid of the clothes I will never wear again *January 2016
    Get a custom sketch drawn by Brittany Fuson

    Home
    Make my own coffee table
    Organize addresses *January 2016- I used Postable and it's awesome
    Make or purchase a new headboard for our bed
    Have Christmas shopping done before October 1st
    Sell old wedding dรฉcor
    Host a themed party
    Turn some of Ethan’s old t-shirts I have saved in to a quilt
    Host a craft party
    Make over a piece of furniture
    Update pictures frames with new memories
    Buy our first home
    Get a picture of our own photography on a canvas for dรฉcor
    Find the perfect entertainment stand

    For Others
    Leave a 100% tip
    Pay it forward & do a random act of kindness for a stranger *December 2015- Starbucks drive thru
    Adopt a family for Thanksgiving
    Volunteer somewhere with both Chuck & Ethan
    Adopt a family for Christmas
    Make an Easter basket for a child in need
    Make personalized Christmas gifts
    Clean out closets and donate it all to someone I personally know who needs it *April 2016
    Take Ethan to the Lego store & let him spend as much time as he wants in there
    Take Ethan somewhere animal related for a behind the scenes look (zoo, park, etc)



    I'm happy that I've made a little progress in each area. I know the travel section will be worked on more this year, and I'm happy about that. We have some trips in store, and maybe I'll get to knock some areas off while on those adventures.  


    To Travel & Beyond


    If you don't have a 101 in 1001 list- what would you put on it? What should I try and knock out next?

May 14, 2016

Meet The May Dreamers & Sponsors

How are we already almost halfway through the year? I'm so excited for this month's sponsors because these two lovely ladies are on a mission to spread nothing but good vibes. Good vibes through sharing testimony and good vibes through eating good and still healthy. 



A stay at home mom with three children to whom she devotes everything and a food blogger with recipes that will wow you. Come get to know D'ondra and Kristyn a little better...you won't be disappointed.






Let's start out with something easy. I love cupcakes. What's your favorite treat?
I love homemade chocolate chip cookies.

What is your biggest dream? Don't be shy, you know we love to Dream Big in these parts.
My biggest dream is to own a clothing store.

Traveling gives me complete happiness. If I could play Oprah & send you on a trip, where would you be heading on a jet plane?
I would go to Paris or Italy. Right now they are tied for first so either one of them I would be happy about.

What's your favorite thing about your blog & why?
I love being able to share my testimony with others because I just might encourage someone to take the next step in faith to share their testimony with someone else and it have a ripple effect.

Must Read Post: Sacramento Faith Blogger

Follow D'ondra:  Facebook // Instagram // Twitter


Kristyn: Dash of Herbs


Let's start out with something easy. I love cupcakes. What's your favorite treat?
I love sweets and anything chocolate. Chocolate is my weakness and something that is so hard for me to say "no" to.

What is your biggest dream? Don't be shy, you know we love to Dream Big in these parts.
Turning my blog into a full time job is a wonderful dream. I don't know if/when that might happen, but I'm working as hard as I can to start realizing that dream.

Traveling gives me complete happiness. If I could play Oprah & send you on a trip, where would you be heading on a jet plane?
Costa Rica sounds fantastic. Or a trip to Eastern Europe. I have had a fascination with Eastern Europe for a long time.

What's your favorite thing about your blog & why?
I love that I can help people and still cook great tasting food. Being able to show people that healthy food doesn't mean you can't eat well is what my mission is. I'm here to prove that myth wrong!

Must Read Post: Veggie Fried Quinoa




Follow Kristyn: Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Bloglovin


Enjoy your weekend friends!


May 13, 2016

Beauty Regimen For Troubled Skin

Unfortunately, we're not all blessed with beautiful skin. I didn't suffer with acne problems until I was a senior in high school and I've had a very tough battle since then. Luckily, I have found a regiment that works best for my troubled skin.

valentia reviews

I shared my nightly skincare routine and with the mix of spa treatments and at home products I really kicked my troubled skin to the curb. I then found some new products and told you about those in my updated skincare routine and love what I've added to the mix.  I must add that cleaning your makeup brushes weekly is also key, and I tell you why here

Today I want to focus on what really helps someone with troubled skin and how you can maintain a fresh glow when using this handful of products.

Cleanser: I swear by my SkinCeuticals LHA Cleansing Gel. The best part of this product is how well it cleanses the skin with only a tiny bit of gel from the bottle. It deep cleans so well and I've sworn by it for over four years. I haven't found anything that compares, so I find it well worth the money.

Peel: I use an at home peel once every 7-10 days. Due to the strength of the product, I use it either a few days before or after I use the PMD but not ever in the same day or within 24 hours. I was very nervous at trying an at home peel, but if you follow directions and have experienced once in a spa or medical setting previously you should be fine. Peels can have a stinging sensation, which is why I advise to have a professional do one for you before attempting at home. After doing several peels,  I now leave mine on for about 10 minutes then rinse off with cool water. 

pmd review

Device: I use my PMD once a week which is an at home microdermabrasion tool that helps resurface the skin. I have noticed a great difference in my skin texture, limited blemishes and it helping with fine lines. If I skip a week, I definitely notice the difference in my skin. 

Mask: I use my Valentia Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask once a week, usually on Sunday nights when I do my at home pampering and paint my nails too. You only need a small amount of the mask that you apply to a dry face, then you let it sit for 15-20 minutes while it draws out all your impurities from deep in the skin. Some masks smell downright horrible, but not this one. I have found that a good exfoliating mask works best for troubled skin, and as you remove the mask with a damp cloth and warm water in a circular motion the natural fibers of the mask exfoliate your face. This mask leaves my face feeling so smooth and fresh, which is typical of the Valentia product line.

valentia masks


I have tested out several combinations, products, and various routines to determine what keeps my skin issues at bay. This has been a trial and error process, but I firmly believe with the strong variety of things I've found and staying in a dedicated skincare regimen the duo have changed my skin for the better. I would love to answer any questions for anyone needing help with your skincare regimen, as I know how hard it is to battle with problems.

Thank you BrandBacker for sponsoring part of today's post.

What products do you use regularly that work best for your skin type?

** And now, for an exciting announcement. Macy from To Travel and Beyond and I are hosting a Celebrity Story link-up next Friday May 20th. Come join us and share your encounters with a celebrity you met or ran in to or spotted....it can be an old story or one you've never told before. We can't wait to hear all about it!!

Dream Big, And Buy The Shoes