Beauty Regimen On A Budget

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Skin care has been on my radar more than ever, especially when it comes to my face. I'm noticing all the changes to my skin after pregnancy and stint as a postpartum mama, not to mention other factors like sun exposure and age. Not taking care of my skin isn't really an option, so I'm looking into new beauty regimens that best suit me and my lifestyle. We're talking quick, effective, and affordable!

My first go at a new beauty routine is to incorporate multiple different products to achieve the best results. I'm combining an exfoliating scrub, a deep cleanser for those break-out days, facial wipes for eye make-up removal, and a hydrating moisturizer to round it all out.

I'll only be using the Noxzema® Deep Cleansing Cream for the days when blemishes are troublesome. The St. Ives® Apricot Exfoliating Scrub will be a three-times-a-week routine in the shower. It will be best for sloughing off any dull skin and leaving my face feeling renewed and soft. The Simple® Cleansing Facial Wipes along with the Pond's® Skin Cream will be an every night routine as I take off my make-up from the day and hydrate my skin before bed. The facial wipes are amazing at removing mascara while being gentle on my eyelids and eyelashes. They are also great for taking on-the-go if you need a refresh. And if you're like me, your face loves a little moisturizer after taking everything off. So while I will use the cream before bed, I'll also use it after exfoliating too.

Best of all, these four products are all an easy find at Walmart, and they are BUDGET-FRIENDLY, y'all! Head HERE to get straight to a Walmart cart full of these items and check out in a flash! Or if heading into your local Walmart is more your speed, you can find them in the beauty aisles!

Hilton Head Pt. 1

Tuesday, August 22, 2017
The first Hill family vacation is in the books! I'll never understand how a week at the beach goes by so quickly, but y'all, I'm thankful for the time together. We headed out bright and early on a Saturday morning with my mom and sister for time in Hilton Head and a mid-week day trip to Savannah. Husband and I had been talking up the beach and ocean to Greer the week leading up to our departure, and she was SO excited to get there. We were certain she would be over the moon about all the water and the sand. We couldn't have been more wrong about that, and we were shocked by her reaction. 

It took a couple of days for her to warm up to the sand, as in she wouldn't stand on it at all in the beginning. And even then, when she finally gave it a chance, she insisted on wearing her water shoes. Thankfully, we had packed an outdoor blanket I had grabbed in the Target dollar section (it wasn't a dollar, I'm just saying) and she loved standing and playing on it. The material was perfect for sand and water, so I didn't stress about it getting soaked or sandy. And as far as the ocean, girlfriend was. not. having. it. No, m'am. But, two days before we left, the ocean settled into a very calm lull, and I walked right in without her resisting. She ended up loving it with no waves and a gentle bobbing sensation. I think she was pretty proud of herself for conquering that fear. We were proud too :) 

Like any beach vacation calls for, we made sure to indulge in fresh seafood throughout the week. Our first seafood was locally-caught shrimp. Husband manned the kitchen on this one, and I'm thankful he did. This gal doesn't de-vein shrimp, and I'm much happier to enjoy the finished result and not the prep on foods like this. Anyone else?? 

This perfectly depicts Greer's feelings toward the sand. One foot up and away, the other willing to test it out, until it actually comes to standing her up in it. Those first days she was much happier in the stroller than running around during our evening strolls. 

And do you spot the sweet surprise we enjoyed watching one evening after a walk?? There were about six dolphins in all, swimming the shoreline. I had just been wondering if we would see any this trip, and then there they were. Moments like those I can't help but think that God heard my inward thought and then answered. 

I think these are the neatest castles. And husband makes them so well. Every morning while we readied for the beach (you know sunscreen for everyone, a swim diaper and then another one because someone peed through the first one, a round-up of towels, and so on) Greer would yell out, "Castles! Ocean!" because this girl loved playing with her buckets and watching her daddy build her castles. Now that we're home, she's still yelling it. 

Greer's exact feelings about the sand. And you can see the pink outdoor play mat that saved the day for us! She was happy as a clam on it, with buckets full of water and shovels and shapes to play in the sand with. Yes, she didn't mind touching the sand with her hands, it was just something about standing on it. 

Most nights we made dinner in, but we headed out for a seafood medley at The Old Oyster Factory, and it was delicious. We ate outside on the deck with a view of the marsh because that's my favorite way to dine. And after our meal, we walked around to see more of the marsh. There were oyster shells everywhere and hundreds (probably more) of tiny crabs just barely bigger than my fingertip. 

This one melts me over and over again. My two favorite people in all the world with the sweetest and most perfect profiles. I could go on and on about them. And can I just say that this girl was in heaven having her daddy with her throughout the days all week long. Can we always have it this way?? 

So besides the beach, we also had a pool. And Greer was always asking for the pool, to swim after our mornings on the beach. We kindly obliged as it was the perfect way to cool off. Her very favorite part.....daddy's high-in-the-air tosses. Who wouldn't love that?

Easily my favorite picture from our vacation. Time has flown by since welcoming Greer into our family. She has changed so rapidly in the last twenty months and it has been amazing to watch. She's as smart as a tack, funny, and just darling. Sharing new experiences with her can bring its own challenges (because that's life with a toddler) but it's more joy than you can imagine too. I'll be sharing more of our vacation with part two. And our time in Savannah will be its own post as well! 

FriYAY! + Some Favorites

Friday, August 11, 2017

Oh my goodness this week flew! Anybody else? While it was a slow blogging week, it was a full and busy five days including two dinners with friends + family, filling my home with festive fall décor, shipping out the fall pre-orders of Twine & Cotton candles, and beach-prepping. Yes, we're beach bound in less than 24 hours, and I'm SO excited for vacation and uninterrupted family time. #amen

Today has consisted of one million and one loads of laundry, but I'm happy to report that there are fresh donuts sitting in my kitchen. So that makes up for all the detergent-adding, lent-cleaning, clothes-folding that I've been doing. Now that it's past 5:00 and husband is on his way home to us, we can officially kick this weekend/vacation off! Until he arrives, Greer and I are taking a little break while it drizzles away outside and the clouds create the best kind of overcast cozy. She's watching her favorite cartoon while cuddled in on my side and mama is blogging this post. I thought I would put a bow on this week with some of my highlights and favorites. 

  • Have you seen these Halloween costumes for littles? I can't even. Who is scheming about costumes for their little(s)/family. I need some good ideas!
  • I'm really wanting some (barely) heeled clogs for the fall. I've found this pair and this pair, and while one has the right heel, it's got the wrong price tag. Have you found any similar clogs? If so, you must share!
  • If you haven't made this salad yet, you need to add it to your weekend menu. It's too good not to try!
  • In pulling out my fall décor, I've discovered that Greer is just as obsessed with pumpkins as her mama. She wants them all, and I can't blame her. So do I :) Speaking of fall, did you see my latest post on Darling Do's Facebook page?? Who's with me?
  • I finally painted my nails with Winning Streak by Essie that I've mentioned several times. And I. Am. In. Love. Greer loved it too and asked for polish on her toes too. Now we're matching. It's so much fun being a girl mom.

And a little question for you mamas out there...this vacation will be Greer's longest car ride as a toddler and fingers are crossed that she does well. If you have any tips or advice for successfully traveling long-distance with your toddler, leave them for me! #mamaneedshelp

Have a lovely weekend, friends! xo

**Affiliate links were used in this post. Thank you as always for supporting the blog!

Autumn Cobb Salad

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

It started out as an overcast, rainy day in the mountains, but for now the sunshine has taken over. My windows are open, a soft breeze is twirling in, and the cicadas are busy buzzing. School started back today, my nephews began kindergarten, and my seasonal décor is out. Fall feels nearer than ever, and it is absolutely delightful.

The cooler temperatures that have rolled in are so pleasant, but I admit I'm shocked August is this mild. I'll take it, though. If you've been reading the blog over the years, you know I'm smitten with autumn. It's the season I thrive in because it's full of all of my favorite things. One of those things I'm so looking forward to is cozy foods in the coming months. So I'm transitioning a little bit from fall to summer now when it comes to our dinner menu. And I'm starting with this Autumn Cobb salad and a homemade Spiced Cider Vinaigrette. Y'all, it is perfection one-thousand times over! This time of year begs for a salad this scrumptious.

p.s. if you watched my instagram stories last week, this is the recipe I was whipping up in my kitchen! 

With the summer months being hot and humid, light meals are the best way to go. I took some inspiration from this recipe to make a Cobb salad that was full of all things fall, but also perfect for the last month of summer. 

  • What You'll Need
    • For The Salad
      • Spring salad mix
      • 3/4 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
      • 3/4 acorn squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
      • Olive oil
      • Kosher salt
      • 1 cup pecans
      • 1 egg white
      • 1/3 cup sugar + cinnamon mix
      • 4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled 
      • 1 chicken breast, baked and sliced 
      • 1-2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and sliced
      • 1 honey crisp apple, cored and thinly sliced 
      • 3 hardboiled eggs
      • Dried cranberries
    • For The Vinaigrette
      • 2/3 cup spiced apple cider (see below for how to make this if you don't have it on hand)
      • 2 TSP dijon mustard
      • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • What You'll Do
    • For The salad
      • Peel, de-seed, and cube the butternut squash and acorn squash. Line out on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Lightly drizzle olive oil and toss with your hands. Then sprinkle the kosher salt over top. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes.
      • To candy the pecans, whisk an egg white in a bowl, add the pecans, and the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Stir well. Spread over a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until the sugar looks crackled and hardened on top.
      • To prepare the salad, lay out the spring salad greens on the bottom of the plate. Make rows of the ingredients: squashes, bacon, chicken, hard boiled eggs, avocado, dried cranberries, candied pecans, and apple. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and serve right away. 
    • For The Vinaigrette
      • Whisk together the spiced apple cider, dijon mustard, and vegetable oil. Chill in the fridge unit you're ready to serve. Shake well when you are ready to use.

**Some notes for this salad. 

**It is certainly easy to make your own changes, substitute one ingredient for another, etc. I did various changes from my inspiration recipe to better fit my food preferences. 

**If you don't have spiced cider on hand, like myself, you can easily whip some up! If you're making your own. Use one cup of apple juice, a few shakes of cinnamon, a dash of ginger and nutmeg, and about 15 whole cloves. Bring the mixture to a boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Strain the whole cloves out, and your liquid will have reduced to 2/3 cup. 

**You can make the candied pecans ahead of time and store them in a ziplock bag in the pantry for a couple of weeks. 

It's as tasty as it is pretty, and as light as it filling. Such a good dish for August and the months ahead. If you give it a try, be sure to tell me your thoughts or how you tweaked it to make it your own!! I hope you enjoy :)