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January 31, 2013

Winding Down...My Getting Ready for Bed Regimen


Getting ready for bed has quickly become one of my favorite parts of the day. It seems to be the most relaxing part of my day which I love. Coincidentally, as I write this, I have just finished my routine and am winding down about to fall into a deep slumber.

Do you have trouble sleeping? What is your bedtime routine? How do you wind down? I would love to hear about it so let me know in the comment section!

Sleep is literally my favorite thing in the world. I am one of those people that if I don't get 8 hours, I am in trouble. I get anxiety and get really cranky. (What am I going to do when I have kids?!) Sometimes I have insomnia so I decided to make myself do a routine every night so I can train my body to naturally know it is time to shut down.  Here is what works for me. I am going to throw my beauty routine in as well.

First things first...the dog goes out at 9pm. We have him on a schedule and it just seems to work. If he goes out at 9, he won't have to go out until 6:30 or 7:00 the next morning. I haven't set an alarm in I don't know how long. His "I have to poop" grunts next to our bed are what we wake up to. So glamourous I know.

I like to brush my teeth and floss first. I already mentioned what toothpaste I use in my last post here so if you feel the need to look that up, go for it. It is not exciting I promise. Next, I use my Almay Oil-free eye makeup remover with a nice, puffy cotton swab. Before I wash my face, I want to take my makeup off so my face wash can primarily focus on cleansing my face. Here is what I use and I absolutely LOVE them. I highly recommend them. They are the Say Yes to Cucumbers Face Cleanser/Makeup Remover Towelettes. You can get them at Target and I think they are only like $6.00. They give my face a clean and cooling feeling after I use them. So fresh! And I love the smell! Here is a picture in case you are a visual person:
After I have removed my makeup, I like to wash my face with warm water and a cleanser. But, here is my favorite part of this post. You are going to die when you find out what I use. 


Yep, all I use is a $1.99 bar of soap. But not just any soap...Dove really means it when they call it the "Beauty Bar." It is perfect. It leaves my face feeling so fresh, so smooth, and so moisturized. I haven't had one imperfection since I started using it 2 months ago and I go to bed with the most amazing feeling face. That sounds weird but I love the way my face feels and smells when I use it. I HIGHLY recommend it. Get it at any drugstore or market. Do it...you'll be like, "Taylor, you are right." And I'll be all like, "I know, dude."

Next, I use my toner that I mentioned in my last post and then it is time for moisture. I have been using the Clinique Youth Surge Night Age Decelerating Night Moisturizer for Combination Oily Skins. Sometimes I mix it with a few drops of tea tree oil if I feel like my skin could break out but I am pretty happy with it and probably won't change unless y'all have some suggestions that you think I wouldn't be able to live without. I'm not glued to this moisturizer and am open to other ideas for night creams. I also grabbed Clinique's All About Eyes Serum that is a roll on De-Puffing Eye Massage. I really like it because it has a cooling effect however, again, I'm not glued. I need to start using something that is great for dark circles so leave me some suggestions! =)

Now that I am beautified and ready to collect actual beauty sleep, I grab my Sleepytime Hot Tea. I have to tell you about the most amazing tea sweetener that I have been using for forever. I took a break from it after I moved back to Kansas City because we didn't have Trader Joe's for a while but now that we have one and I live 5 minutes from there, I use this:


You only need one teaspoon... but try it! Yummmm! 

Finally, it is time to pull the bed back and climb in. Cooper knows he is allowed to cuddle in bed at night for 30 minutes and then he gets back in his bed for the night. Here he is literally *right now* as I type this.


I keep telling myself I am going to start writing in my new 642 Things To Write About journal/book I got from Anthropologie. It is hilarious. One of the subjects is, "You are a serial killer. What is on your DVR list?" Pretty sure I am going to have to get creative with that one. There are actually normal subjects to write about too so I will probably gravitate towards those. 

Anyway, thanks for reading as always. Happy Thursday!

xoxo,

January 25, 2013

Up and At' Em...My Morning Regimen


Okay, so this is a weird post but oh well. I always like reading about what works for other ladies in the beauty department so I thought I would share mine. My morning routine varies if I decide to shower the night before or in the morning so in this post, we are going to pretend like I showered last night. :)

First things first. I am not one of those people that the second they wake up, they vertically pop right up and are ready to go. I need to lay there for at least 10 minutes and soak in the fact that I most likely have a freakishly long day ahead of me and I try to make a plan of how I am going to stay sane. Most of the time it works. Next, my lovely husband brings me a 'half a cup of joe'. He knows just how I like it. (I literally just sat here for 10 minutes trying to decide if I should throw a "that's what she said" in there for that last sentence. Sorry, I had to.) Anyway, I like a little bit of creamer and some maple syrup for sweetener. I know that sounds weird but you MUST try it. It is a yummy, maply, goodness. It's "amazeballs" as my mom says. She picked that word up from Giuliana Rancic. Anyway, back to the point...I can't drink a whole cup of coffee because "LUCKY ME!"... I will get a migraine.

Next, I always brush my teeth with the most amazing toothpaste ever. It literally is so good. I can't stand extremely minty toothpaste. I will gag. So, I like to use a toothpaste with baking soda and lots of it. It makes for some pearly whites. Get it at any drugstore or grocery store.
 
 

Face: I really like to exfoliate my skin in the morning because I feel like it makes my makeup go on really smooth. I bought the Clarisonic Mia a few years back and have been hooked ever since. I get it wet and drop a bit of Murad Age Reform Cleanser and let the Mia do all the work.

             

After cleansing, I tone and moisturize. I really don't like to spend a lot of money on facial products that don't stay on your face for very long. However, I have found the most amazing face lotion for day that I just have to share with you...and it is so cheap! The toner I use is just simple Olay Oil Minimizing Toner. The lotion I use is the bomb and I am going to attach a picture so you all can run out and try it. It is the Cetaphil DermaControl Oil Control Moisturizer SPF 30. It is formulated for acne prone skin which I don't really have that but I do tend to get oily in my t-zone and this formula goes on matte which is really awesome because it controls oil and shine. Plus, it is non-comedogenic, oil-free and fragrance-free so it is really great for those of you with sensitive skin. It is so gentle and literally prevents acne. And you can't beat the all in one with SPF 30. I heart it so much. Ch-ch-check it out.
 
     


Next, I spread some Dove Sensitive Skin Deodorant on and get dressed. I also use my trusty Curel Itch Defense Body Lotion. Can you tell that I have sensitive/itchy skin?

  

Finally, I attack my makeup and hair but those are completely difference posts so I will save that for another time. I hope y'all find some products in here that maybe you have been searching for or you think might do the trick for you like it does for me.

Have a wonderful day/weekend and look forward to my "getting ready for bed regimen" Monday! It is completely different with completely different products.

xoxo,


January 22, 2013

Washing Away the Line in the Sand


As I state in the "About" section of this blog, I am completely open in talking about my faith. However, I will never press my beliefs on anyone. Believe what you want. Worship how you want. That's what makes us unique. The conclusion I have come to is that no matter what religion we are or how many differences we may have between us, we all (hopefully) dance on one common ground...and that is loving and serving God. Whether you call him God, Elohim, Johovah, Yahweh, Allah, or Huwa, He is the creator and ruler of the universe and He stands for peace, love, and truth. Regardless of your particular religious affiliation, in the end, isn't that what we all want?

Yesterday, we celebrated a man who represented all of those things as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Martin Luther King Jr. was a fearless leader who fought segregation not just amongst our Nation but also our world. He fought against violence and evil.  He served others before himself. He died while fighting to wash away that line in the sand.

Whether you choose to believe it or not, sadly, that line in the sand still exists in our country. Between races, political parties, genders...you name it. We just can't seem to agree on anything. How in the world are we going to accomplish anything and live this life for God if we can't even come to a table and eat together?
"To many Americans, we feel like a house divided that cannot stand. We find ourselves desperately longing to find common ground. To find a common vision, to be one nation, indivisible with liberty and justice for everyone. In this city, and in this room, are the people who can help. This may be, this bringing together of our country, a more important issue than anything else we face: because until we resolve our issues here or at least find some unifying vision that brings us together, we’re going to find it very very difficult to solve any other problems we’re facing." -Pastor Adam Hamilton
Our country is crying for unity. We are crying for good and fighting evil at the same time. We must bravely come together in God's name and be strong.

Today, I had the great honor of watching the Senior Pastor of my hometown church give the Sermon at the 2013 Inaugural National Prayer Service. His message will be one of the history books. Pastor Adam Hamilton is a faithful, humble man, whom God used to speak to our country and our leaders at this challenging time. It was delivered with grace and humility and I hope you will take 15 minutes to watch it here. Regardless of how I feel or you feel about our government, it is important to pray for wisdom for our leaders so that we can continue to do God's good will on this land that we have been lent. It isn't ours so we have got to take care of it. I hope and I pray that we will remember Jesus' life and his teachings so we continue to resist the temptations of what could be wrong. I pray that our country will come together, stop fighting, and be proactive. In doing so, it is important to remember that He is always with us. He never leaves our side.

Pastor Adam, you thanked our leaders first before your message. I would like to end this message by thanking you. You are proof that one voice, with the love of God, can make a difference and reach so many.
"A compelling vision unifies us. It excites us, it leads people to a willingness to sacrifice, and imbues them with a sense of purpose."
 
I pray we can wash away that line in the sand.

"Let us build a house
where love can dwell
And all can safely live,
A place where
saints and children tell
How hearts learn to forgive.

Built of hopes and dreams and visions,
Rock of faith and vault of grace;
Here the love of Christ shall end divisions;

Let us build a house where prophets speak,
And words are strong and true,
Where all God's children dare to seek
To dream God's reign anew.

Here the cross shall stand as witness
And a symbol of God's grace;
Here as one we claim the faith of Jesus:

Let us build a house where love is found
In water, wine and wheat:
A banquet hall on holy ground,
Where peace and justice meet.

Here the love of God, through Jesus,
Is revealed in time and space;
As we share in Christ the feast that frees us:

All are welcome, all are welcome,
All are welcome in this place."
 

January 18, 2013

Blog Makeover

You may have already noticed by now, but my blog makeover is finally complete! Thank you to
 Kate @ 17th Avenue Designs.

So fresh and so clean, clean.
 



If any of you are looking to "spruce" up your blog, they have tons of templates to choose from, or you can design your own unique space. They are amazing to work with and their details are so detailed, elaborate and helpful when you are coding and updating. It was definitely a learning curve but I feel like I could conquer the world with my web developer skills now! ☺

So, thank you!


January 16, 2013

That Little Blue Button




You don't even have to say it. I have been horrible about posting regularly on my blog. I have reasons...I promise. I had so many cute outfits the past week that I really wanted to post but it is so incredibly cold out. All I have wanted to do is stay home and curl up under my really awesome Pottery Barn Faux Fur Blanket and nest.

Do you ever feel like after you decorate for a season (like Christmas) when it is time to take it down, you have to literally Spring clean your whole house? I do so thats what I did all weekend. When I went to bed Sunday, you could literally lick any part of the apartment because it was so clean. (I didn't just in case there were hidden flu bacterias.) Now, 3 days later...I feel like it needs to be cleaned again. That is the OCD in me. Sorry Tyler, you will have to live with this for the rest of your life.

Anyway, being that I have been busy cleaning during the weekend, work has been on my mind as well. It is the slow season, however, that is when I seem to feel the most overwhelmed and pressured... almost like the calm before the storm of events that I have ahead of me this coming year. I am looking forward to them though. I will try to be better about posting because several of you have asked when my next "outfit" post would be or even just a blog rant.

Until then, we have Instagram. I am seriously kicking myself in the butt with my own Emilio Pucci stilettos for not inventing this bad boy. (I could totally be lounging off the coast of Italy on my private helicopter paded yacht with some gelato in hand right now.) Lately, I have been so frustrated with Facebook. Every time I sign on, people are ranting about politics, news stations are breaking the latest news about the homocide off Troost, or friends are fighting and debating about latest social issues. It can be such a depressing place to visit. Where once I loved signing on and seeing a picture of my niece or nephews all the way in Arizona, or seeing a happy couple got engaged, married, or make a baby announcement, I am now seeing anger, rage, negativity and just straight up obsession over personal views and politics. I contemplated leaving Facebook, but I am not going to give up seeing the happy and exciting things that still exist. So...I just unfollowed the negativity. I decided the first time a 'friend' posts things I don't feel like seeing, I will just unfollow. Not unfriend...just unfollow. Doesn't mean I don't like them, I just don't care anymore and don't have the energy to get caught up in it. Easy as that. I really hope I don't offend anyone. I know I can't avoid it completely but I will try my best. And no...this is not me being naive to what is going on around me. I am fully aware and have educated myself. It is just me choosing to live a life of happiness and surrounding myself with positive people. I will live my life for God, not for my government. Just my two cents.  =)

This is why I love Instagram. The people I follow share really fun and neat things. Seriously, more than half of the blogs I follow, I have stumbled across through Instagram. I love my Instagram friends. Everyone is so nice. It is a place of encouragement and a place to be inspired and a place of color...not darkness (unless you use the filters Willow or Inkwell). Joking, Joking. So, if you haven't already, join! It is super fun. It's the new Facebook...Instahappy!

If you don't follow me and would like to, I am @THETAYLORDIARY so hit that blue follow button. Here are some things I have been up to lately. As always, thanks for reading.



The most amazing ice cream cone from St. Augustine, Florida


Just an outfit of the day from last week


The first real snow in Kansas City. I busted out my vintage snow lodge boots.


There are many ways to chew a bone, people.


Another OOTD


Yet another OOTD. I love pattern mixing.


How I store my nail polishes. So fun. Not to mention the awesome Anthropologie vase we got for our wedding from Kathleen!

Kansas City's Union Station
               

Wearing pastels in the Winter. Why not?
 





January 7, 2013

Monday Morsels


Monday Morsels...Anthro L<3ve


anthropologie



Anthropologie has always been my favorite. Every time I have an affair with another store, I feel guilty and immediately run back asking for forgiveness. Currently, I am sitting in my living room watching err blogging during the BCS National Championship. I am with 2 die hard Alabama fans and my husband, a die hard SEC fan. I, on the other hand, love necklaces, dresses and makeup so this is what I am doing to occupy my time. Here are a few of my favorite things at Athropologie right now!

1. Critter Cameo Coin Purse...Anything that has a fox on it...sign me up.
2. Silvered Slip-On Oxfords....I am loving silver and oxfords so the fact that I get 2 in 1 with these...yes please.
3. Josie Sweater Dress...Peter Pan collars and anything Navy I love! Navy is timeless and the collar of this dress is so delicate and understated.
4. J Brand Coated Skinnys...These jeans are made to look like leather. I haven't been able to find a pair of leather leggings that aren't cheap looking and thin so these are right up my alley. They are a nice mid-rise as well so they are more appropriate.
5. Stacked Spots Pullover...Anything that is striped and polka dots I'm going to love. Put the two together in one piece and sign me up immediately. 
6. Osona Collar...This necklace just speaks for itself. It is just amazing, demanding to be noticed. I love the dramatic colors. Perfect for pairing with a white buttoned up blouse and a pair of skinny jeans.


Okay, that's all. I guess I will watch football now...Go Mizzou?!

XOXO Taylor

January 6, 2013

Oxblood and Faux Fur


This weekend was surprisingly uneventful. I have been sick with a cold for the past week so I apologize for being away from my blog. Saturday, I slept in and woke up to my husband surprising me with breakfast in bed. It was wonderful. After resting most of the day, I felt very unproductive so I hopped up, picked up our place, and decided to make a yummy dinner and a confetti cake. It was delicious. Sunday morning we got up, went to church, came home and are getting ready for the work week ahead which includes, cleaning, laundry, and planning my menus. Fun fun! This was my animal inspired outfit. Oxblood is a new hot color for this winter and I decided to pair it with one of my favorite Christmas presents...the faux fur vest. It can be worn so many ways so I hope you enjoy! Looking forward to having friends over Monday night to watch the BCS National Championship complete with pizza and yummy appetizers. Have a good Sunday everyone!











Jeans: James Jeans "Humphrey" flare leg in "Ink"- Find them here!

Sweater: Target (No longer available)
Similar here!

Faux Fur Vest: Zara (girls department!)

Bag: Longchamp available at Nordstrom!

Boots: Sam Edelman available here!

Aviator Sunglasses: Anthropologie

Nail Polish: Essie in 'Plumberry'

Lip Gloss: Boxom Lips in 'Lana'

Gold watch: Michael Kors

Bracelets: Express (Old)

XOXO Taylor

January 1, 2013

Going Brogue...Minus the Bagpipes.

First of all, Happy New Year everyone! One of my New Year's resolutions is to include more of my sense of style into my blog. For those of you that know me, you know how much I love fashion. For those of you that don't...you are about to find out. I love the art of creating my own looks and expressing personality through style. If I had endless amounts of money, most of it would go towards clothing, shoes, jewelry, bags, and traveling. For now, I will focus on looks that anyone can create. I will not be featuring expensive, outlandish pieces. I have always loved the challenge of buying something from Target or TJ Maxx and sprucing it up with beautiful accessories, making the outfit look like a million bucks. A lot of things I feature will be old and not available for purchase but I will always provide other alternatives if you want to emulate a look I feature. This is due to the fact that I rarely get rid of clothing unless it is damaged beyond repair. For instance, this skirt I am featuring today is from 7 years ago. Highland heritage is back and is known as the traditional dress of Scotland. This includes tartan and plaid prints that are rich in color. I hope you enjoy my take on traditional Scottish flare with a classic twist....and my fun New Year's Eve outfit for dinner with friends.








Skirt: elevenses for Anthropologie (no longer available)
similar here or here!

Top: ASOS (no longer available) 
very similar here or here!

Tights: The Limited patterned tight in Geo Diamond
available in stores...on SALE!

Booties: Calvin Klein (no longer available)
similar here

Clutch: Express (no longer available)
similar here

Leather gloves: Ann Taylor Loft 

Pearl bracelets: Forever 21

Lipstick: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Black Cherry