Holiday Cards with Basic Invite
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Can you believe that it’s already the time of year to order your holiday cards? I made mine on Basic Invite this year and thought that the process was really seamless. I feel like whenever you try to create something with photos and text, it becomes a disaster but I found the process to be really easy. I also liked that they had plenty of ‘alternative’ options besides the traditional red and gold choices. I like to choose cards that are still ‘on brand’ with my style and I appreciated that I was able to do that. We’re not an ultra traditional couple so I was glad that we were able to create a card that didn’t feel super classic or traditional. They have almost an unlimited variety of color options, so that was super helpful! We are a mixed religion household so keeping it ‘neutral’ is important to us. That being said, Basic Invite has plenty of traditional options as well. They also have cards with beautiful foil details, which I LOVE. They also have cool retro Christmas cards and awesome holiday party invitations!

In the interest of keeping it real, I had a hard time when I saw my cards. I created our holiday cards the week before my dad died and when I came back to my apartment for the first time following his death, I had these waiting in the mail for me. It felt absurd to read the words ‘Joyful’ splashed across the top of my cards. It is the opposite of how I have been feeling ever since and I have felt weird about sending them out to friends and family with all that’s been going on. However, I decided to try and look at them as a reminder to choose joy whenever and wherever we can. There are so many reasons to let Joy escape our lives but we can’t let it fully do that. Even while living under the crazy weight of this grief, I know that I still need to find reasons to smile and laugh, even if they are just a tiny drop in the bucket of tears. I know that this holiday season will be extremely hard. I know that there will be a million reasons why I find it to be extremely painful. I also know that I need to open my eyes as wide as I can so that I can seek out any bits of joy that may be scattered around in the midst of the sorrow. When I can’t find it, I know that I will need to create it…even if its just in subtle ways like having a cozy night by the tree with my husband watching a movie. So, this card that I created may not currently speak my truth since I am not ‘Joyful’ but I will hang it up with the reminder to create any tiny shreds of joy that I can and I hope that you will find plenty of reasons to be joyful during the holiday season.

If you are looking to create awesome holiday cards or holiday party invitations, make sure to check out Basic Invite. You won’t be disappointed with the selection! They even offer an address capturing service to make the whole process easier on you. They are running a ton of promotions this holiday season so make sure to check the website for their current promotion. At this moment, they are offering 15% off everything with the code 15FF51. Happy Holidays, friends!


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This post is sponsored. However, all thought and opinions are my own.

NFL Gear
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One of my greatest life hacks: Buy t-shirts and loungewear with your guy’s favorite sports team on it and he’ll instantly think you look hot. Bonus points for all parties involved if you don’t wear a bra. I’m not about to buy tacky ra-ra sports gear though so I am always selective with what I buy. This is my favorite retailer for both men and women’s sports gear that’s actually cool. The only downfall is that Jay and I have a couple of very similar Eagles shirts so we have to make sure that we don’t twin. Although, I’m down to twin because corny stuff just doesn’t embarrass me but someone just isn’t as cool or down ;)

Last night we went to the Eagles versus Giants game where the Eagles game through with a win! It was Jay’s birthday present and I loved seeing him light up over watching the game in real life. We are Penn Staters and are insanely impressed by Saquon Barkeley (I don’t have the best knowledge of football and he blows me away still). It was pretty ideal to see Saquon tear it up but still have the Eagles win.

Here are some of my favorite women’s and men’s NFL items this season. They sell items for teams beyond those pictured in the image shown.

Women’s Clothing


Men’s Clothing

Celebrate National Spread Joy Day with Knack
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Who else is feeling burnt out from the constant negative news? I dread reading it every day because there is just so much to be sad about in the world. That’s why I love also spending time each day focusing on happy things that are going on in the world! Knack, a really cool online retailer, is doing just that with a new national holiday. The National Spread Joy Day is this Thursday, October 11th!

You can read more about National Spread Joy Day here. Basically, its a really fun holiday where you are encouraged to gift a friend, stranger, WHOEVER a gift box from them. Its all about paying it forward and making other people happy! It's the day to fight back against negativity with positive counter-programming. Knack will give away 1,000 free gifts online worth over $80 each on that day to anyone willing to let them widely publish their gift message as inspiration to others on October 11th. You can go here and send one to someone that you want to make happy!

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This post is sponsored. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

My Workspace and Tips for Working From Home
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Who else works from home? It definitely has its share of advantages and disadvantages. The top advantages for me include no commute time, having access to your kitchen, being able to wear sweatpants and most importantly, being able to lay down flat on my couch while working. It is challenging to stay completely focused on work, set boundaries for your work day, and some other things as well when you work from home. I have found that having a designated work space is so helpful for me! I am sharing my work space in today’s post as well as linking the items at the bottom of the post. Full discloser..I removed my printer, printer paper, and books before taking these photos because printers are ugly haha. I have a pile of cook books and travel magazines at the corner of my desk as well.

If you also WTH, please share your top tips in the comments!

My Tips for Working From Home:

  • Have a designated work space! I lay down while I work the majority of the time because of my back injuries but its still so crucial that I have a desk to organize everything at! I live in a 1 bedroom apartment and while I would LOVE to have an office, its just not realistic. I made sure that I still set up a significant work space (with shelves and drawers for storage), even though its right in my living room. I also don’t have a kitchen table (no space) so having a desk to do work was vital. It took me forever to find one that I loved and fit right in the exact amount of space that I have and I was thrilled when my hard work and research paid off. It’s a children’s desk (that I got on sale) and works perfectly for me because it also matches my coffee table. My desk items are linked at the bottom of this post.

  • Keep your work space clear and non-cluttered. Even if your work space is your living room, keep it clean so that your mind can focus better. If everything is a mess around me, my brain feels scattered.

  • Put on a talk show or podcast in the background while you eat your lunch. Working from home can get isolating and lonely and I think that engaging your mind in something other than work for a short lunch break is necessary to stay (slightly) sane haha.

  • Pile all of your chores into one portion of the day. I don’t know about you but I find that the most distracting thing is doing chores. There are things all around me to get done. Since I feel better after I check a lot of chores off of my to do list (plus its better for my back to do physical things early in the day), I try to get them over with in the morning. I even prep dinner in the morning!

  • Set boundaries for working hours. This is a hard one for me! I am still really struggling with it and need to get better at it. I generally am trying to stop my work day when Jay gets home from work, which is usually pretty late anyways. I think that this is the hardest part of working from home because there aren’t clear enough boundaries and it feels like your work seeps into all aspects of your life.

  • Get out of the house! Get out of the house at one point during the day for sanity purposes. I also find it helpful to go to another space to work at least once a week (I got to my lounge in my building but you could go to a coffee shop). I would do this more frequently because I find that I’m more productive but I need to work laying down a lot.

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Desk

Chair

Rug

Bins

Candles

*Both lamps are no longer for sale but here is a similar one!

*I got the decorative key and glass jars from a boutique in my hometown and can’t link them, sorry!

My Achilles Heal
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After every weekend I spend with my niece & nephew, I fall into a pit of increased pain that pulls open the wound of my fears for the future. I have made true peace with all that I’ve been through in the past; my accident, my surgeries... But my fear of how I can mother through this pain is my Achilles heal. The thing that I have ALWAYS wanted most in life is to be a great mother. I think that I’ve wanted babies since I was a baby myself. It’s the thing that I have always felt destined to do more than anything. And I just know how hard this pain I live in will make it. All of my best assets for parenthood will be rung through this mucky water of pain. You see, I’m a very patient and sunny person and I dig deep to keep that the case (even while in pain) but something happens in your brain that just makes it (and a million other things) SO much harder. I’ve already given up my dreams of working with kids in a career but I couldn’t even fathom giving up the dreams of having my own. I know that I’ll figure it out and do the best that I can when the time comes but damn, it’s heart wrenching. You see, if it takes me days to get back to my baseline pain level from a weekend with 2 kids AND 2 other adults, how can I do it every single day (and on my own). I want to give a shoutout to all of the parents who have illnesses and injuries that make just getting out of bed feel like an impossible task some days...you are truly my heroes! I know that one day I will dig deep and just do my best just like you bravely do ❤️#FromCarlysHeart

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Shopbop Sale Fall 2018
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Shopbop is having a great sale where new arrivals and awesome Fall items are included! You can get 20% off orders under $500 and 25% off orders of $500 or more. Use the code STOCKUP18 at checkout. The sale ends on September 29th at 11:59pm. This dress has been a favorite year after year so I wanted to let you guys know that its included in the sale and restocked! Happy Shopping!

Clothing

Shoes & Accessories

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Wellness Pain Treatments
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You may know that I deal with chronic pain on a daily basis following injuries that I sustained after being hit by a car in 2012. My primary sources of pain are my lower lumbar and SI joint. However, I also have pain issues and limitations in my right knee, pelvis and side/waist. My injuries and issues are so layered and complex (there’s the baseline issue and then issues from surgeries I’ve had like scar tissue build up, etc that pile on) so I won’t go into them all. My pain is mainly deep in my joints but I also have pain/issues with muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and scar tissue. Unfortunately, a lot of my life revolves around keeping my pain as under control as I can. I work really, really hard at doing everything that I can think of to help my pain levels. I always say that I will take any relief; even if its only a small percentage of relief, that percentage can be stacked with another percentage and add up. Anything is better than nothing. I (and really I should say we because my husband is such a great partner and is unfortunately impacted by everything), modify and adapt our lives a great deal to accommodate my pain and injuries (MUCH more than it seems to the outside world). I could go on an on about every little angle that my legs need to be at to relieve pain in my spine but instead, I’m here to focus on some tips that I think can be applicable to anyone with aches and pains. I want to mention that I have a whole slew of products that I suggest for post-op that I may do a post about if its relevant to people/you guys want it so please let me know.

These wellness focused “treatments” and products are things that I’ve found to be helpful over the years. I think that most of them can apply to anyone with aches and pains, even those that follow a workout with just normal soreness. In fact, the less severe the ache is, the more effective I think that these things would be. For example, I have to take a really high dose of CBD to notice a tiny, tiny dot of difference but I know friends of mine who say that a small amount really helps them. I find it very challenging to travel without these products (half of my suitcase is pain treatment items) and I find it so difficult to sleep out places because I am so reliant on my mattress, my special pillows, and just all of these products to help keep my pain at the ‘baseline’ average (which isn’t nearly what I wish it was).

The bummer about all of this is that it is not covered by insurance. I can get my insurance company to cover opioids and while I think that they would be more effective in making me feel less pain in a given moment, they have SO many negative side effects and are highly addictive so I don’t take them (except for immediately post op, depending on the surgery). The whole system is backwards and it’s mega upsetting. I can get ‘poison’ for free and yet have to pay an arm and a leg out of pocket for wholistic treatments. Similarly, there are no ‘middle ground’ doctors in my network that can help me create a treatment plan that falls somewhere in between Eastern and Western medicine. I have pieced advice together from all my pain management doctor, bone doctor, dietician, and acupuncturist. However, most of this comes from my own research and trial and error. However, I am not a doctor so I recommend speaking with your own doctor before trying these things.

Wellness Supplements

Castor oil : I put essential oils (mentioning my favorite ones for pain below) into a little bowl with castor oil and mix it. Then, I massage the castor oil in everywhere that I have pain (basically everywhere from the middle of my body down). I used to be diligent about then applying a heating pad (that you put in the microwave) to the areas that I have scar tissue but I fell off the habit and should get back to it because its supposed to be more effective.

CBD: I use all formats depending on the situation/what I have on hand (except I’ve never used the spray). I have to take a really high dosage to notice it make my muscles relax at all, which is unfortunate because it gets really expensive. If anyone has a brand that they recommend as being really strong for the cost and is a quality product please let me know.

Epsom salt: I use epsom salt in baths along with essential oils. I try to take an epsom soak at least a couple of times a week (it would be better if I did it every day). I highly recommend this for anyone who exercises regularly too.

Essential oils: I have been using essential oils for a few years now but over the past year I made a more concrete commitment to furthering my knowledge of them. I still have learning to do but I have found that they serve so many purposes. I have also noticed a difference in purchasing quality products from Young Living. I think that a little bit goes much further than the cheaper products I’ve purchased in the past and I generally feel more secure when I use them because I trust the brand more. I diffuse them, put them in baths, and apply them to my skin (with a carrier oil). I can do a whole separate blog post on these if anyone is interested but I will say that my ‘go tos’ for pain are: Valor, Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, Lavender, Cedarwood, Frankincense, and Relieve It.

Chelated iron: With the suggestion from a dietician and my bone doctor, I started taking Chelated iron and it has made such a difference for me. I have this throbbing pain that goes from my hips down the back of my legs and through my feet and its like a constant pulse. It makes it really hard to sleep. It’s like that feeling when you need to elevate your legs but it happens all the time. Since taking the iron, that feeling has lessened (but not gone away by ANY means). The chelated iron is much kinder to your stomach than regular iron.

Flaxseed oil: I’ve been taking this for years for inflammation and for the arthritis in my joints. I try to include it in my diet as well but at least I know I’m definitely intaking it every day.

Turmeric: I take this for inflammation and arthritis as well. I try to include it in my diet as well but at least I know I’m definitely intaking it every day.

Vitamin D & Calcium: I don’t directly take these for pain. I take these because I developed Osteopenia (low bone density) after my accident and have continued to show low bone density on my scans ever since, even though all of my blood word and diet is within normal range. They believe that this is because I have been non weight bearing on and off for so many years with all of the surgery I get/have had and how much I have to lay around every day due to pain. Even though the range for my diet is normal, we are trying to boost my levels of these things above the normal range to help my bones.

Vegan collagen: for bones & beauty  

Treatments:

Barre: I went to PT for years and it was great…I learned a lot and it helped me a lot. It got to a point where it felt like I was being ‘babied’ and like I knew what they were teaching me enough to take it off site. I started barre years ago (and have done it on and off depending on restrictions following surgeries). It is a great exercise for me because it is low impact, strength building, and I can modify when I need to. It also involves a lot of stretching!

Mayo facial release massage therapy: I aim to get a mayo facial release massage once a week. I go to Massage Envy because the member prices are great. My biggest advice is to keep trying different people there until you find the right person who is the right fit for you. Its scary for me to try new people because I have been hurt many times by massage therapists (by accident). Plus, I know that the therapist that I see knows my injuries and spends all of the time focusing on them in the right way. This type of massage is not relaxing or ‘enjoyable’ per say but I find it to be incredibly enjoyable because it provides me relief in that moment especially.

Dry needling: This is a new treatment that I started. It is a form of acupuncture where they place the needle in deeper, kind of dig it around, and then pull it out right away. It’s like trigger point release therapy. If I find it to be helpful long term, I will do a post solely dedicated to it. I was really sore after getting it the first time (like sore to the lightest touch), which made me really excited that it’s doing something.

Stretching: I am an avid stretcher and huge believer in stretching. I stretch every single day, often multiple times a day. If I’m standing by a wall, I will start stretching my calves even. When you are hurt and especially if you are overcompensating (even if you try your hardest not to), other parts of your body will ache that aren’t even hurt. I strongly believe that everyone should be stretching. It’s my life line. You will see my stretching in a restaurant or the weirdest places because it provides me with a second of relief that I need. My favorite tools to stretch with are this Magic circle  and this Foam roller.

Products That Are Life Savers:

Casper mattress : I don’t know if a day goes by that I say that I’m not grateful for my Casper mattress. It has changed my life! It somehow is exactly what I need for it to be and I can’t even believe it. If I sleep in any mattress besides a Casper now, I find it to be almost intolerable. Laying flat in my Casper, with my special pillows helps me recover more so than anything else that I do.

Body pillow: I need for my spine to be aligned and can’t have it twisting in or collapsing so a body pillow is a necessity. I actually have a cheap one but this memory foam one is on my wish list majorly because the matching regular pillow has been a life saver for me.

Temper-pedic pillow : This pillow is NOT delicious…it does not feel all cozy and amazing to lay on. However, it helps keep my spine in line in the way that I perfectly set it up (it takes me hours to get comfortable and fall asleep because pain and sleep don’t go hand in hand yet I NEED sleep to reduce pain so I’m grateful for anything that helps). It’s great for side sleeping and sleeping on your back.

Compression socks: My genius husband recently had this idea to help my leg and feet cramps and aches (come from my SI issues and nerve issues). They aren’t comfortable but they have been helping. I’m trying to wear them for a great deal of the day.

Dehumidifier : Another genius idea by my husband! My joint pain gets so much worse when it rains or when its really dense in the air (I think my husband was sick of me playing weather woman and predicting the rain haha). I recently learned that when you have holes in your joints (I have multiple from past surgeries and then removal of hardware), you feel it even more because your body ‘fills’ those holes with moisture to match the outside world. Let me tell you, the pressure is intense! It makes it even harder for me to sleep when it rains so we put one of these in our bedroom and one in the main area of our apartment. Obviously, these aren’t great for your skin care routine or for breathing but if you’re suffering from the rain like me, I highly recommend it.

Heating pad : For muscle tension

Gel ice pack: The CVS gel cold compresses are like gold because you can place them under your back and lay flat on them.

Essential oil diffusers: I have one on my nightstand and one in my kitchen/living area.

Ultrasound machine: I purchased this to help break up scar tissue but really haven’t utilized it enough because I can’t do it by myself and really, how much can I ask Jay to do when he gets home late from work?! I want to try to do it more though.

Kitchen mat: Game changer for anyone with a bad knee, bad joints or just anyone that cooks! I can’t tolerate standing on the hard ground at all so I always wear “indoor sneakers” but standing still is really hard for me regardless and this mat really helps. Its not the most attractive thing but I could NEVER live without it. I want one in my bathroom as well because I really struggle with standing up to get ready for bed each night but its just not the best idea with the amount of space we have. This mat is worth the investment, trust me!

House shoes: Like I said, my joints can’t stand standing on the ground. I need a slip on ‘sneaker’ of sort that I can slide on without having to bend over to put them on but still won’t put me at risk for falling or tripping (aka have a back to them). I put these on just to get up to walk from the couch to the bathroom because I can’t tolerate it that much. Any layer of cushion is much appreciated, even if they are SO ugly! I want to try Dansko shoes next, which medical professionals wear and are also ugly. I never want to spend a lot of money on these because I wear them so much that I wear through them quickly but I am open to any other better suggestions for these!

Anti Inflammatory Foods:

I want to first say that while I try my best to avoid these foods during the week, I am not perfect. I also do not avoid all of them on the weekends because food brings me a lot of happiness and there is A LOT to be said for things that bring you happiness, even with so many limitations. I have been a vegetarian since I was 10 years old AND I have been a healthy person in general. My motives for eating how I do are rooted in MANY things, and pain is one of them. I try to avoid these foods that cause inflammation as best as possible during the week. Cutting dairy (really just cheese) out of my weeknight diet has been the most challenging thing of all. Here are the foods that I generally try to avoid:

Meat

Dairy  

Processed foods with additives  

Processed sugar  

Refined carbohydrates  

Eggs

Some Things I’ve Tried But Didn’t Work FOR ME:

Regular Accupuncture: I did’t see results but would be willing to try it again if it didn’t cost so much money out of pocket. I believe SO much that acupuncture DOES work though for so many people so definitely try it!

Hypnotherapy: I did’t see results but would be willing to try it again if it didn’t cost so much money out of pocket.

Chiropractor: It isn’t safe for my spinal injuries.

Cyrotherapy: If you’re into paying for cold torture, do it haha. I’m sure it’s helpful for people but I tensed my muscles so much.  

Stim: It’s fine but just doesn’t do much for me.

Lidocaine patches: Too surface level for my injuries it seems

Magnesium: It made me feel shaky and faint, which are feelings that I really don’t enjoy (they trigger anxiety and I’m prone to it), but I’m intrigued to try again maybe if I wasn’t alone or something.

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Currently Entertained By...

I thought that I'd share what I'm currently loving listening to, reading and watching. I'm sharing my favorite podcast, book series, music album, and TV show of the moment (aka last couple of months). If you watch/listen/read any of them, let me know what you think! I feel like we're all always looking for a solid recommendation and here are mine:

What I'm Listening to:

Podcast: I've been loving Armchair Expert podcast by Dax Shepard. I've always been a fan of his but now am even more so. I love people and getting to know them and their stories. Howard Stern interviews have always been favorites of mine because they really don't have a large agenda and are more so about getting to know someone and their story. Human nature, how we all cope, love, and things like that are my JAM and Dax is in touch with a lot of that and really highlights it in his podcast. I listen to it on the Podcasts application that came on my Iphone (make sure to download episodes while you have WIFI). I will listen to an episode over the course of a couple of days, broken up into little segments. I listen as I'm folding laundry, applying lotion after I shower, cooking dinner, running errands, driving, etc. It's such a great way to stay entertained and engaged during all of the mundane tasks. Plus, for someone who works from home, it helps me feel less isolated during the day (sad but true). My favorite episodes were: Mila Kunis, Mae Whitman, Anna Faris and Jimmy Kimmel. If you're a Parenthood fan (like me), then you will appreciate all of his cast mates interviews! He also does one with his wife, Kristin Bell, which was cool. I've honestly loved all of the ones that I've listened to but that's my highlight reel.

Music: My album of the summer has been Come Tomorrow by Dave Matthews Band. I was raised on DMB and have been a fan since I learned how to talk/sing. My mom is a huge Dave Matthews fan and always incorporated his music into our lives. She was so passionate and would rewind songs and say "did you hear how much he loves her by the tone of his voice?" "did you hear that line, let me play it for you again." Now, I annoy Jay by doing the same things. I have had tears in my eyes more times than I can count from his songs. So many summers of my life are marked by his albums. The songs from them can transport me back in time in an instant. It's so cool how music can mark the timeline of your life like that. I remember the couple of songs that I was obsessed with the summer before my senior year of high school for example and it always puts me back to that moment when I listen to them. I attended his concert every year from the time that I was 11 or so and those also marked the summers in my mind. I've only gone to 1 since my accident and it was so hard on my back that I haven't gone back since but its something that I truly miss SO much. I want to try and find a way to make it work somehow in the future because it feeds my soul. If you haven't listened to this new album, you definitely should! I love the first song to his daughter(s). I also love Can't Stop, That Girl is You, Here on Out, Virginia in the Rain, and When I'm Weary. I really wanted to name them all but controlled myself haha. 

What I'm Reading:

I read the Cold Fury Hockey Series this summer and really liked it. Each book is about a different player on the Cold Fury professional hockey team. I downloaded all of the books as a package on my kindle. They are quick and easy reads that keep you engaged the whole time. I love reading a series because I feel like otherwise you fall in love with characters and then they are just gone from your life. With this series, I was able to keep those characters around because the next book would be about their friends or siblings and the characters from the previous books would make appearances and you'd get updates on what's going on with them. I read for relaxation and to escape so I typically don't read thought provoking books (I'm more likely to listen to those on an Audible or listen to podcasts). Instead, I want to read to escape and turn my mind off (and prepare to sleep). I personally love romance novels but I know they aren't for everyone (especially if you're prude haha). If you're on board with love stories, in this case about professional hockey players, then definitely check it out! 

What I'm Watching:

I feel like we always watch less TV in the summer. We're not really binging a show or setting aside the time to do so. We probably have been watching 1 episode of GOT a week (still catching up) and 1 other episode a week. We've been liking watching My Next Guest Needs No Introduction by David Letterman on Netflix. They are stand alone episodes so it's perfect to watch one here and there when you aren't sitting down in front of the TV frequently. Like the Armchair Expert podcast, he doesn't have much of an agenda of what he has to talk about as the guests aren't really coming on the show with the intention to promote something. I don't think that Letterman is as interesting of an interviewee as Dax because he doesn't divulge much about himself and his own feelings on topics and really just redirects every question that he's asked. Still, he's a legend and is funny. His guests are awesome. My favorite episodes were Jay Z and Obama's. If you like interviews that "go there" then definitely check this out.

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Sweater Season 2018
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LDW has come and gone and that means that Fall is here/right around the corner. It's time to get our cozy wear ready for action. Sweaters are about to become a necessity. If they're necessary, they better be darn cute as well! I rounded up all of my favorites that are currently for sale.

The sweater that I'm wearing is cozy and warm but also breathable, which is perfect. It definitely has that oversized fit to it. I wore my true size (XS) but if its not tucked in it looks too big so I'd size down unless you want it really oversized. I wore a bodysuit under it but you could also wear a bandeau if it was really oversized on you. I bought a size Small (the size that I normally wear in body suits and one piece bathing suits) and it's perfect. It's nice quality, soft and has cool sleeves. The necklace that I'm wearing is cool and comes in a silver and rose gold color as well. It's perfect with sweaters! The jeans I'm wearing run true to size and have that 'mom' fit to them. They are super cheap (less than $30) and are soft and nice but definitely won't be jeans that hold their form for a ton of wears without washing. They're fun 'knock around' jeans but not a staple that will hold up for a long time in your wardrobe or that you'll want to wear out on a Saturday night per say. The booties really elevate any outfit! The studs are such a fun twist! They run a little big so I'd size down half a size if you have a narrow foot but if you don't then order your true size. All items I'm wearing are linked at the bottom of this post. 

Roll your sleeves up and let's get to my favorite sweater round up...

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Labor Day 2018 Sales
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Mrs. Cozy here with the last blog post of the summer. The bad news is that summer is closing out. The pain is lessened a little by all of the great Labor Day sales. I linked to all of my favorite retailers that have great sales. I also rounded up some of my favorite items from some of the sales with the images you can click. Have a great Labor Day, friends!


Macy’s: Take an extra 20% off the Macy’s Labor Day Sale with code WKND, plus free shipping starting at $49; Ends 9/3

Jcrew: 40% off entire purchase

Ulta: Get a 20% coupon with qualifying purchases with code 679729; Ends 9/1


Urban Outfitters: Get 30% off sale items; Ends 9/3

Sephora Summer Sale-Clean Beauty
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The Sephora sale is currently going on and I used it as an opportunity to further 'clean up' my beauty products! Over the past 4 years, I've been really cleaning up everything in my home to make sure that I am using products with as many safe ingredients as possible. That includes my beauty products, of course. It's a long transition to get all the way there or at least it has been for me. I think that there's a steep learning curve to figure out what works well and what is worth the price versus what isn't. My skin is also pretty reactive to trying new products so I am always wary. I LOVE that Sephora came out with a 'Clean' stamp on products that meet their guidelines. It's making it all so much easier and seamless. However, it was a bit of a disappointment to not see some products like I have and use (like a bunch of Tarte products) getting their stamp of approval for being clean because I intentionally bought them for that reason. Lesson learned though! I was really happy to find out the the perfume that I've been using for 10 years (yes, 10) made the 'clean' cut! I am refilling some products that I currently am running low on for the sale and buying a couple others to stock up on for when I run out of my currents. Here's some notable things that I just ordered and then below are images that you can click on with those items + items that I already have and love. 

I didn't order much makeup because I want to finish what I currently have in my drawers but I did get this lipstick because I'm running really low on lipsticks that I like. I've been dying to try Drunk Elephant products but I haven't wanted to bite the bullet on the price tag. I've heard that it's so worth it and the ingredients are really clean so after a year of dying to try it, I ordered this drunk elephant set of "littles." I figured that by buying the mini versions of things, I can try multiple products of theirs and see what I like. I have been wanting to add a Vitamin C serum to my routine so hopefully I'll love this one. I also ordered a big version of their baby face mask because I heard that it makes your skin softer than anything. I am waiting until summer is over before I try it though because I don't want to put "raw" skin in any sun. Another thing that I got and am OBSESSED WITH is this deodorant. Seriously, it's a game changer. I think I am going to do a whole blog post on my transition to more natural deodorant because I have so much to say but BUY THIS ONE! I got it and just ordered another 3 to stock up while its on sale! 

Everything is on sale at Sephora until September 3rd for everyone. The discount that you’re eligible for depends on your Beauty Insider Status. Rouge members get 20% off, VIB get 15% off & Beauty Insiders get 10% off. They have 3 day free shipping for orders over $50 so everything arrives really fast! 

Skincare

Body

Post Travel Skincare Routine
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Anyone else's skin suffer when they travel? Mine always breaks out a little, gets really dry and is just so blah looking. I went straight from Virtuoso Travel Week conference in Las Vegas to Austin for a bachelorette party last week and my skin tells the tale (if only you could see how my back feels haha). I think that the fact that they are both really dry destinations didn't help my cause. I can't drink alcohol (for medical reasons) so I can't even imagine how much harsher the travel would be with drinking. This skincare routine would be even more helpful if you drink!

I am also trying to be good about drinking enough water and even bought some PH water with electrolytes to rehydrate. The other thing that I try to do after traveling is lay off the makeup. I am not going to put on makeup for like a week after traveling. I also won't put heat to my hair for a week and will just let it air dry. I am also using this hair mask after conditioning my hair for a few days. 

In the morning, I did this face mask the first day back. Then, I've been using this mask as moisturizer basically (as long as I'm not going in the sun at all, in which case I need to wear something with SPF). I use my regular daytime eye cream too. 

In the evening, I'm doing this little "peel" and then using my usual facial oil and night time eye cream. I'm being diligent about using the Jade roller every night after applying the oil to really help it soak in (I truthfully only use it 1-2x per week on a regular basis). The roller is also helping with some puffiness in my eyes. 

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