Fall/Winter Date Night Ideas – Coffee!

     

I think when people think of fall and winter date ideas they often end up with pumpkins patches, corn mazes, and pumping carving, but then Halloween passes, the ideas run out, we get too busy to even go on a date, and then it’s Christmas. And following Christmas, we go back to the same old dinner and a movie. This post is installment number one of a Fall/Winter date series I’m running on the blog until Thanksgiving, so grab your hubby, SO, or bestie and go have some fall themed fun!

Michael and I try to have a weekly date night and we have been epically failing at that lately. We really need a designated time to connect as a couple because distractions seem to seep into our couples time like laundry, working late, the Shiba antics….. We’re trying to make weekly date night a priority again and I love the fall so I’ve been trying to come up with some fun fall-esque dates. Whether we’re off to a restaurant with a seasonal menu, drinking a fall inspired cocktail, or seeking out our first peppermint mocha of the season, we’ve been trying to keep the Holiday vibes going strong in the date night category!

We both totally have a thing for pumpkin spiced latte’s. We’re basic and highly aware. So Starbucks is usually one of our regular fall locations for a Holiday drink (half the pumps please!). This week we left the pup for a few hours and headed over to the closest Starbucks to our apartment and discovered that it was SUPER fancy. WOWZA.

Apparently, 30 locations across the country have added a Reserve Bar to their stores and we totally lucked out by living 3 blocks from one. Never have I ever spent $30 on coffee and never will I ever stop ordering the vanilla ice cream with 2 shots of espresso. We are total coffee snobs and really only go to Sbux for holiday drinks, but we’ve been converted. The Starbucks Reserve Bar uses a higher grade of coffee beans than the rest of what is served in the store and you can really taste it. So 5 coffee’s later, I highly recommend taking yourself, your friend, or your significant other for a little treat at the Starbucks Reserve Bar. In my opinion, it is coffee meets mixology so it’s basically impossible not to like! Click here to see if there is one near you!

We tried:

Whiskey Barrel-Aged Cold Brew

Vanilla Ice Cream with Espresso

Microblend No. 21

Pumpkin Spiced Latte (Obvi)

Nitro Cascara Cloud

Let’s just say we stayed up extremely late on Wednesday night and would recommend getting at least a couple decaf coffee’s if you are planning on sharing 5 between the two of you 🙂

Happy Fall to all! Now go get treat yo self to a seasonal drink with your love for your next date at your local sbux!

xoxo, B

 

The Best Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I tend to be a spring and summer girl because I love the heat. Yes, I just said that – thank goodness I live in Texas! There is nothing sweeter to me than the warmth of the sun on my skin and happiness that the sunlight brings. But, that being said, I am loving fall right now. After being in San Diego for about a year, we sort of lost out on the seasons and I never realized how much I love the change until now. And especially the change of summer to fall. I love the crisp mornings, cozy sweaters, crunching leaves, and warming up on the couch with a cup of tea. There’s also this smell about fall that makes me feel so, so happy. Speaking of smells, have you guys purchased this candle from TJ’s yet??With this change of seasons all I can think about is coffee and baked goods – anyone else? By the time 2pm rolls around I’m thinking about my next caffeine jolt and a yummy snack to warm up from fall strolls with Babette. I’ve been baking a TON and I am excited to share this recipe with you guys today. (also, this is my favorite picture ever below)It is no secret that I love all things banana bread. I usually bake at least one batch a week partially because it makes our home smell amazing and partially because I have a serious sweet tooth. I realized recently when I was baking a loaf for a gift that I don’t really have a go to recipe for all occasions. What I mean by that is that when I bake myself a banana bread I often make one like this one that is only sweetened with bananas. However, when I’m baking a treat for someone else, I like to add a little brown sugar and butter into the mix to make things extra yummy.

So I decided I needed a go to banana bread that meets my need for a healthy snack slathered in peanut butter as well a goodie yummy enough to bring as a housewarming prezzie. And so, about 8 batches later, this bread was born!

It has a little bit of butter and sugar to really give it some umph, but most of the sweetness comes entirely from the bananas. If you’re anti sugar, feel free to try it minus the brown sugar and let me know how it goes! I really like this bread because it is dense enough to slice up. I hate when breads crumble on me because they are too difficult to eat and I like to eat some banana bread toast one in a while! My favorite way to enjoy this is crisped up in the oven so that the outside has a little crunch and the inside is doughy and melty. And I realllllly liked it topped with melty nut butter on it – or some salted buttaaaaaa.

Babette likes it cold, warm, toasted, and buttered….I hope you enjoy this on a crisp fall morning with your family and a big mug of hot coffee. Cheers!DRESS | SHOES | JEWELRY (birdsong10 for discount)

The Best Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Author: 
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: Baked Goods
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 loaf
 
Ingredients
  • 3 large (or 4 medium) ripe bananas
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mash banana, beat egg, and melt butter. Mix together with vanilla extract.
  3. Mix flour and baking soda in separate bowl.
  4. Stir brown sugar into wet mixture.
  5. Mix wet and dry ingredients.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips
  7. Grease bread pan with butter or oil of choice.
  8. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.

100% Pure Foundation Review

Hi friends! I hope I am finding all of you well. Thank you so sooooooo much for all of your sweet DM’s while I’ve been on a little break from writing. For any of you who don’t follow me on Instagram, we have had some trouble with our new baby shiba, but a few procedures and a surgery later, she is doing so so much better.

For those of you who have had young puppies, I’m sure you can agree with me when I say it’s a good intro to having an infant. And having a sick little infant doubles the neediness. I’ve been doing my best to get some posts written up, but for a couple weeks she was in a lot of pain and really needed all of my attention while she healed.

So thank you for your understanding, patience, and kind words while this space has been on hold. I’ve missed all of you and am glad to be back to normal.

I have finally got a foundation review for you guys on some of the formulas I’ve tried from 100% Pure. I thought i had made it live before my little hiatus, but I accidentally left it in private mode. Oops. Anyhow, I know ordering foundation online is so hard so I hope this little review of their products I have tried so far will be helpful!

If you’re new to the blog, I’ve been on a mission to switch my beauty products over to a completely natural beauty routine. 100% Pure has become my go to brand due to their high quality performance products and the fact that they color and pigment all of their makeup with fruit. I can read every ingredient on the bottles of these products which is kind of unheard of.

Foundation is such a personal thing because of all the different factors. Skin type, finish, coloring, coverage, and the list goes on from there. Just to preface my review of each of these, here is a little bit about my skin and what I look for in a foundation.

I have very dry skin so I’m always looking for a more hydrating formula, but I don’t like foundation that feels thick on my skin. Generally, I go for a matte look over a more luminous vibe with my makeup because I like to keep things looking really natural and not like I have a ton of makeup on. My preference is always that a foundation is buildable because for the most part I want to wear a sheer layer, but if I have a special occasion, I want to be able to add more to create a more “made-up” look, if that makes sense. So for me, I was looking for a foundation that is hydrating, matte, and buildable.

I actually started out by chatting with a customer service rep on the 100% Pure site. I explained my skin type, sent a picture of myself to them, and then they made some recommendations for me. I just want to add that they have a full return policy as long as the return is made within 30 days. So basically, you can use a product for a few weeks to see how you like it and then return it for a full refund if it isn’t right for you.

So far, these are the 3 types I’ve tried below along with their fabulous mattifying primer. If you are into a more luminous look, they have a luminous primer on their site as well.

Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer – I purchased this product in the shade alpine rose for those of you trying to decide on the color you want. The feel of this products is so, so nice as it has a cooling sensation going on. This is definitely a more sheer coverage product, so if you aren’t looking for sheer, this isn’t for you. I love it for summer because it has SPF 15 in it! I knew this was a dewy finish formula going into my purchase, but I went for it because it was highly recommended for someone with dry skin. While I loved the hydration, it was just a little too dewy for me. I also wasn’t quite as long-lasting as I would want, however, I know there are people who swear by this foundation and then finish it off with the bamboo blur powder to matte it out a bit and keep things in place.

If you like: sheer coverage, dewy finish, high moisture, SPF, this product is for you.  PS: they use a natural sun protectant formula if you’re concerned about that!

BB Cream – I purchased this BB cream in the 10 Luminous Shade. Again, I knew this one would be more luminous, but went for it in hopes of moisturizing my dry skin. This goes on thick and gives really good coverage. It’s definitely buildable. It honestly wasn’t quite the right shade for my skin tone which is one of the reasons I wasn’t in love, but it also has a shimmery finish along with the dewy vibe. I know the whole luminous thing is super in right now, so if you’re a fan of that, I think you will really like this foundation. I LOVE that it has SPF however.

If you like: full coverage, a dewy/shimmery finish, SPF, and staying power, this is a good product for you. 

Bamboo Blur Tinted Moisturizer – This moisturizer is extremely buildable and definitely full coverage. It has a matte finish (which I love) and really looks like my skin. At first I didn’t like this foundation because it dries really fast and didn’t provide the moisture my skin needs. I figured out that if I apply my moisturizer, then primer, and then this foundation that it goes on really beautifully. I like to do it in two sections since the formula dries more quickly and is harder to blend in if you let it sit. The ONLY thing I don’t love about this foundation is the lack of SPF. This foundation has pretty good staying power, but if you’re wanting something that will really set well, I would recommend purchasing the bamboo blur powder to set your makeup look. The photo below was taken with this foundation on 🙂

If you like: medium to full coverage, a matte finish, no SPF, and pretty good staying power, this is a good foundation for you. 

A quick note that the bamboo blur is ideal for dry skin types as there is no oil in it. If you like a matte finish and have dry skin, follow the moisture routine above so that you can use this with the same result.

If you have dry skin and like a dewy finish, I would go with the fruit pigmented tinted moisturizer or the BB cream.

Happy Shopping!

xoxo, B

How I Pack Light for our Weekend Getaways!

Hello there friends. M and I are gearing up for a weekend with some friends visiting from out of town. I feel like we’ve been traveling constantly of late and I’m ready to slow it down, unpack my suitcase, and settle in at home for a few weeks. I looooooove travel! But we’ve been gone every weekend for a whole month and I’m ready for some quiet time because everything feels totally out of place. Being a total homebody, some of my biggest pet peeves are getting behind on laundry and having an empty fridge……both of these things are occurring in my house right now and I feel like I can’t totally get things pulled together before we leave town again and they cycle starts over! Ahhh!

But with all of our traveling, I’ve been trying to keep things super, super easy when it come to packing. I’ve been wearing dresses constantly because it simplifies the whole “what do I wear” situation while we’re off adventuring and they take up less space. I don’t know how you guys feel about this stuff, but waiting for luggage, getting to the airport early enough to check the dang luggage, and schlepping it to and from my destination reaaaaally cramps my style, so I have officially converted to being a carry-on only traveler. I can hear the shock from here. I swear it’s still me.

And in my process of only packing carry-on’s, I’ve come to realize in my attempt to pack light that all the dresses I have ended up bringing with me are Stitch Fix so I thought I would share! The photos in this post are my fave SF pieces 🙂



I don’t know if any of you have ever tried Stitch Fix, but I did right before our wedding. I was on the hunt for white dresses to wear to showers and the like and was having trouble in those awkward winter months where the white, flowery, lacey items have been discontinued and replaced with darker hues for the winter. I don’t know if any of you read the blog Kath Eats, but Kath always talks about how much she loves Stitch Fix so finally I was like, what the heck, I’m just going to place an order and see what happens. To my complete surprise, I received my first package from my stylist, and not only did most of it fit like a glove, but she totally nailed my style. I ended up scheduling myself a monthly “fix” for the months leading up to our wedding to gather up a handful of pre-wedding festivity items! It’s been a couple years since my last fix and the pieces I ordered are still in amazing condition and have become staple pieces in my wardrobe. Just look at photos from our recent travels and you’ll see them all over Instagram!

I don’t really like subscription services. They always end up feeling like a bad deal to me, being more stuff than I need, not something I really want, etc. Which is one of the reasons I like Stitch Fix – you have the option to receive regular fixes on a monthly basis, or for people like me, you can just place an order whenever you’re in the mood, needing some fresh clothes, or have a special occasion coming up with no subscription obligation.

I just ordered a fresh fix for the first time since our engagement and the whole process still works the same way.

  • You fill out a little profile with sizing, style, and the price range you want to stay in on each item.
  • You receive a box of 5 items – pants, dresses, shoes, handbags, etc.
  • You try on everything at home and keep what you like and send back what you don’t with free shipping both ways.
  • You leave comments on your shipment with why you loved certain things or why you didn’t so that your stylist can nail down your body type and preferences for the next time around!

In order to schedule your fix, you pay a $20 styling fee to your stylist, but if you purchase one of the 5 items which I have never not bought at least one, it goes towards that item. So say you buy a $25 shirt, you’ll have already paid $20 toward your styling fee and the shirt will cost $5.

*plz enjoy when we tried to take photos of this SF dress, but I saw a dog*

Anyway, enough of my banter, but I can’t say enough good things. Stitch Fix is for both men or women, so if you’re trying to come up with a birthday present for your husband or wife, order them a fix and and have them keep what they like! I’ve done shipments where I’ve asked for all dresses or all pants and they have really listed to my preferences and what I’m after. I have a friend who swears by the pants her stylist sends her.

You can click the photo below to sign up for your first fix! And my secret is out…someone else picked out all of these cute dresses, but I sure do love them!

WARNING: Getting cute clothes in the mail is addicting and so is shopping from home 🙂

Hope everyone is having a fantastic week. Happy shopping!

xoxo, B

 

100% Pure Clean Beauty Finds – Eyes and Lips

Hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend! M & I spent a few days with my sweet fam in New York to celebrate my Gma’s birthday and now we are back in Dallas prepping for our new furchild to come home 🙂

This post has been a long time coming. To those of you who are newer here, I’ve been slowly trying to switch my beauty products over to clean ones and it has been quite the extensive hunt trying to find ones that perform well. Like a literal marathon (thank goodness for amazing return policies. I feel like I’ve finally found products that are actually fantastic so I’m really excited to share them with you here! As a little refresher to everyone who has been following along with my clean beauty hunt, I’ve been looking for products that:

  1. work as well as conventional beauty products
  2. are organic, have clean ingredients (aka no chemicals, silicons, etc), and are eco-friendly
  3. provide nourishment and health benefits to the skin

We don’t really think of our skin when we think about the internal makeup of our bodies, but our skin is actually the largest organ of the human body and it soaks up a great deal of what we feed it. 80% to be exact. As I started learning more and more about the importance of using safe ingredients on my skin, it really made me want to begin transitioning my makeup bag over to products that are healthy for my body as a whole. As I looked a little closer at the products I have been using, I discovered that many of the powders, foundations, and shadows I have been rubbing into my skin are chalked full of chemicals and toxins…..and truthfully, I don’t quite understand why there is so little awareness around this topic or how the FDA can possibly approve of these products. I’ve always been hyper-aware of what I was putting into my body, but never thought much about what I was putting on it, and I am so glad to be making this change.

So here we are. If you’re interested in switching over to clean beauty products, are passionate about the environment, love animals, or just love really good quality makeup, this post is for you!

As I’ve been trying out green beauty products, I’ve been hoping to find a brand that does everything well. I want to be able to find my go-to eyeshadow, mascara, blush, and lipstick all in the same place. When I found myself at the 100% Pure website I sort of thought to myself well this looks too good to be true. The packaging is gorgeous (I care about these silly things), the colors are beautiful, and the makeup itself is pigmented with…..fruit??? I can read every ingredient on my makeup bottles now and know exactly what they mean. Their brand motto is “better to wear than not to wear” and it really is true. This makeup feeds your skin while you’re wearing it and I have noticed a difference in skin hydration as well as my eyelash growth because of the nourishing things I’m putting on my face.

I’m splitting my finds into a few different posts because I want to give lots of details on each product and today we are starting with eyes and lips. So sit back and relax as I introduce you to my one stop shop for makeup that works like Urban Decay and is made with food (literally).

  1. Fruit Pigmented Ultra Lengthening Mascara in Black Tea – Lemme tell you right now, when you’re paying $26 for a mascara it better be real good, am I right? Mascara has been the hardest clean beauty product to find for me so far because I like pretty dramatic lashes. I prefer a look that lengthens my lashes rather than making them fuller, and in clean beauty, it’s hard to find a formula that elongates and separates. This mascara performs beautifully and is made with black tea, blackberries, and cocoa, so as an added bonus it smells incredible when you’re using/wearing it. 100% Pure makes a Dark Chocolate Mascara as well which smells incredible, but I generally prefer a black color on my lashes. With this mascara, I coat my upper lashes and lower lashes 3 times and give them each coat a few seconds to dry and set. ***Note: This mascara is not waterproof. If you are looking for fuller lashes that can withstand some tears, I recommend the Fruit Pigmented Maracuja Oil Mascara in Black Tea which is gorgeous and fills out the lashes, but it is just not quite as lengthening as I prefer.
  2. Creamy Long Last Liner in Dark Cacao – I’m not sure if I’ve ever loved a liner before even in conventional beauty. I find them to be pretty uncomfortable to put on and have trouble getting good control over the pencil. Ironically, this clean eyeliner is the best one I’ve ever used. It goes on so smoothly, looks very natural, and does not irritate my eyes at all. ***If you are looking for a waterproof liner, I recommend the Long Last Liquid Liner which performs beautifully, but is a little too bold for me. I prefer a natural, “barely there” kinda of thing most of the time, but for an evening out or a hollywood glam vibe, this stuff is seriously beautiful.
  3. Fruit Pigmented Lip Glaze in Cherry – So when I read lip glaze, I assumed it was going to be a more sheer coverage lip like the Ilia Lip Conditioners (which I love). These are actually totally different from those and I might even like them better?! The pigmentation on these is incredible, and I actually find their coverage to be pretty comparable to wearing a lipstick. This product is super buildable and because of that, its definitely the most multipurpose lip product that I own. My favorite way to wear it is with a layer of chapstick underneath and a sheer coat of color, but I could also wear this as a bold red lipstick for a fancy night out. Also, because it’s a bright color, it stains my lips which makes it super long wearing. I am buying Pomegranate next and I highly, highly recommend adding one of these to your makeup collection!
  4. Fruit Pigmented Pretty Naked Palette I – Being someone who prefers a pretty natural makeup look, I wanted to start my collection with some really neutral eyeshadows for every day wear. This palette includes blush, highlight, and 3 different eye shadow shades which both gave me the opportunity to try some other 100% Pure products and allows my makeup routine to be a no brainer so it was definitely a win for me. These colors are soft, sweet, and most importantly, the pigmentation is beautiful! I find that in really soft natural colors that this is kind of a rarity, but these colors go on smoothly and show up beautifully. ***I recommend grabbing one of the 100% Pure Primers to put on your eyes so that the colors will pop and stay on all day.

Yay! I hope this helps those of you who are wanting to make the switch. I’ll see you guys with a couple more posts on foundations, palettes, primers, and brows in the next week as well. I’ve tried a few different foundations from 100% Pure and I’ll be doing a little review of those to help navigate the decision making on those as well. Ordering foundation online is kinda tricky, but the good news is that this brand will take anything back within 30 days so you can try your makeup with no risk!

I had a couple requests for a makeup tutorial after my Ilia pew more products and I will work on getting one of those up! Hope this helps you navigate the natural beauty world a little bit. See you guys tomorrow 🙂

xoxo, B