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How to Get A Good Night's Rest & My Nightly Routine

A good night's rest is so important to feeling your best, achieving success, and simply living well. Too many of us just don't get good quality sleep, and then we wonder why we feel like we're walking around in a fog or hit that afternoon slump. I've found it easy to slip into the habit of staying up to burn the midnight oil or to scroll on social media before bed, but when I'm deliberate about creating and sticking to a routine, I always feel incredibly better. Consistency is so essential to creating a successful life. Here's a few things that are a part of my evening routine:

  • Start by lighting a candle. There's something about changing the lighting in my room to a softer glow that helps me to make the switch from daytime productivity to a slower, more relaxed pace. 
  • Making a cup of tea is a great way to unwind; I love having peppermint or chamomile in the evenings. Sipping it out of a fun mug is an added bonus! I've linked my latest favorite below!
  • Put away technology---yes, this includes both my computer and my phone. It can be so easy to mindlessly scroll, and before you know it, time gets away from you! Also, our screens emit a high level of blue light, which is great during the day because blue light is a natural stimulant to increase activity and alertness. Unfortunately, many of us expose our eyes to lots of blue light before falling asleep and then wonder why we can't seem to quiet our minds. By staying off technology before bed, we allow our minds and bodies to prepare for rest. In order for this to really work, I try to stay off technology for at least 30-60 min before bed. (I know it's hard, but so worth it!! Trust me!)
  • Plan for the next day. Mornings are always far less rushed and more productive when I have taken the time to plan for the next day. To do this, I often begin by looking over my planner, making any note of meetings, events, or things I will need to prepare for. In addition, I've started laying out my workout outfit and choosing my clothes for the day. If you find it hard to hit the gym or head out for a run in the morning, this step will greatly increase your ability to get out and do it! 
  • Skincare routine. After I've prepared things for the next day, I wash my face, brush my teeth, and then smooth on a moisturizer and eye cream. Lately, I've also been using a lash serum and a lip conditioner before bed, and I've been pretty pleased with the results. It's never too early to begin taking good care of your skin, and this step also impacts your overall wellbeing. When you care for your body, it will be far easier to achieve better sleep and increased wellness.
  • Journal. Journaling is such a wonderful habit to add to your life! Whether it is a recap of the day, a bullet point or two, or a list of things you're grateful for, it's such a healthy way to process elements of your life in a way that you can go back and review. I remember consistently keeping journals all through my high school and college years, and those are some of my favorite ones to go back and reread from time to time to see what I've learned and how I've grown since then! It doesn't have to be a novel, just write a few sentences to reflect and calm your mind.
  • Read. I love to end my evenings on a positive, encouraging note, and reading a few chapters of a personal development book is my favorite way to do that. Currently, I've been reading The Magic of Thinking Big as well as Louie Giglio's newest, Goliath Must Fall. Both are fantastic, practical and inspiring. In addition to reading a good book, I also review my goals. This helps to solidify their existence in my mind and life. (Need some help writing successful, achievable goals? Read this and this.)
  • Get a good mattress. Finally it's time for some sweet dreams, but before you shut out the lights, make sure you have a great mattress! It's pretty challenging to sleep well when you're uncomfortable, and a good night's rest often starts with a comfortable place to fall asleep. Leesa has some great options, and in addition to donating one for every 10 they sell, they've also partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant a tree for every mattress sold! How cool is that? I love companies that are committed to giving back to their communities and world. Find out more about how to get your own Leesa mattress and their social initiatives here!
While you'll have to find the nighttime habits that work best for you, hopefully you've gotten a few ideas to add to your evening routine! I often think about evenings as the set up for a wonderful next day. When we plan for success, it will follow. I encourage you to set up a routine and be consistent. Here's to many sweet dreams ahead! 

Thanks to Leesa for partnering on this post.

Motivation Monday

 It's time for a check-in. How are you doing? What goals are you working on currently?

I recently took some time to do a self-evaluation of my progress and goals from the last few months. This process is such a necessary part of achievement for me, and I often find that if I am not consistent with this self-accountability, the results of my productivity reflect it. Part of this process is focused on environment, specifically, the words I allow to encourage and inspire me, and I wanted to share a few of the ideas and quotes that have been motivating me lately. Words are powerful, and often we don't give a second thought to the ones we use and listen to. Part of the challenge for me, and you also if you choose, is to be mindful of what we feed our minds. What makes up the environment in which we operate on a daily basis? Does it include words that inspire, invigorate, and empower us to achieve great things? Do you use words that build yourself up internally? How about the words you use toward others--are they encouraging, positive, and life-giving? If not, what changes need to be made in order for us to both live in and create an environment that includes words that create positive growth and success? Here's a few questions that I used to help start the conversation in my own life.

What is inspiring you this month? 
What does your internal and external dialogue sound like? Do I need to make any changes?
How are you doing on your progress toward your goals?

Palm Print

I love all things tropical, especially during summer months, and this playful palm leaf print is perfect for a hot day. The weekend was filled with lots of time outside, and when the temperature heats up, I reach for lightweight, breathable pieces. Print and texture are a fun combination, and I loved how the eyelet skort paired with the breezy tank added interest to an otherwise simple look. Lace up sandals have been a popular trend for both spring and summer. I've enjoyed wearing these gold ones that work as a sophisticated neutral to pair with just about everything in my closet! ;) 

Simple Summer Entertaining

Summer entertaining is simply the best. For me, it's all about easy set up and fuss-free clean up, fresh fruits and local ingredients with a bit of a tropical twist. A pretty banana leaf-printed table linen was the inspiration behind this fun tablescape that's perfect for enjoying good food and great company long into the summer evening. When entertaining outdoors, I like to use pieces that don't require a lot of extra cleanup afterwards. I'd much prefer to enjoy time with my guests than having to spend all the time in the kitchen trying to get things rinsed and dried. The cute, printed white plates are actually disposable, and I was able to find napkins in the same print to make the set up feel more cohesive. I added individual pineapple appetizer dishes for serving fresh fruit for guests to enjoy prior to the entree and used my favorite gold flatware. One thing that really adds warmth to a table is the use of natural elements, whether that's florals, shells, branches, or wooden pieces, having some sort of piece just makes a tablescape seem natural and unstuffy. This multi-tone, wooden serving board was something I found on a trip to Maui, and I added some hand-painted utensils that are great for serving salad or a pasta dish family style. Finally, a dash of golden yellow helped to brighten up the soft green and turquoise color palate, while a cluster of candles brings an added (and literal) glow to the scene long after the sun sets. Cheers to many more patio parties and fun-filled days of summer! How are you celebrating this season?

Hosting your own summer celebration? Here's a few of my picks:

Want more entertaining posts? Click here to attend some of my other soirees! 

My Haircare Routine

Ok, so this post has been a long time coming, but the wait is over, yay! Continuing with last week's beauty theme, I decided to finally do a q&a post answering some of the frequently asked questions I get about my hair. If there's anything that I didn't answer in this post, leave it in the comments below, or send me a message on social media, and I'll be happy to answer it! Ok, let's dive in...

Where do you get your hair done?
I love the team at Nuovo Salon, and get my cut and color done there. My stylist is Scott, and he's one of the best in the industry! When looking for a good stylist, be sure to mention what your typical routine is like, your hair needs (volume, texture, moisture, etc.), and what you're looking for in a good cut or color. Read all about my salon experience at Nuovo here.

How do you curl your hair?
My favorite way to curl my hair is to use a clipless 1" barrel wand (regular, not tapered). I start by putting half of my hair up, and will take 1-2" sections of hair and wrap them around the wand, away from the face. If I'm going for more of a wave, I'll leave out the last 1/2" of hair to keep it straight, giving it a beachy look, rather than a more glamorous style curl. Once the bottom layer is done, I section the top layer off into 4 sections, leaving the front pieces for last since I don't do those in as tight of a curl. The important thing to remember is to not let the pieces immediately drop off the wand when you release. I usually hold the curl in my hand for a few seconds after taking it off the wand to allow it to start cooling in the shape. This technique helps keep my curls in tact for hours. Once everything has been curled, I'll decide to either flip my head over to loosen up the curl or run a wide-toothed comb through them. A quick dab of dry oil on the ends, a spritz of shine spray, and a light mist of hairspray helps to keep them in place.

What hair dryer and brushes do you use?
I've used many different dryers, some high end, and others from the drugstore, but I keep coming back to this one from Revlon. It's super simple, has a retractable cord which is great for storing when not in use, and I always use the additional attachment that it comes with. My hair's texture is very curly, so I dry it using a big round brush to give it smoothness and manageable volume. Typically, I let my hair air-dry for about 15 minutes before I start working on it with a dryer. Before I dry my hair, I always use this leave-in conditioner, a little heat protectant, and run this tangle-taming brush through it. If my hair needs a little extra smoothness, I use this and this from the Aveda line that helps to keep things from getting frizzy or wild.

Do you get highlights or base color? What color is your natural hair?
I don't get a base color, but I do get highlights! My hair is naturally blonde, but over time it's gotten darker, so I keep my natural color as the base and get a partial highlight to keep things looking light and bright!

What shampoo & conditioner do you use?
I love Aveda products and use both the Blue Malva and Color Conserve lines. They keep my hair looking and feeling healthy and strong, and as a bonus they smell SO good. If you are a blonde, Blue Malva will be your best friend! I highly recommend it! Typically, I'll use the Blue Malva once a week, just to keep the color in check and avoid any brassiness, and the other times I'll stick with Color Conserve.

What dry shampoo do you recommend for light hair that doesn't look super chalky?
Dry shampoo is the best, especially when you've got limited time in the morning, or want a quick refresh after a workout. After trying a few, my favorite is by Batiste. It is lightweight and doesn't leave behind a chalky residue on your strands. The tropical scent has a slight hint of coconut and isn't overpowering. To salvage my blowout after a workout, the trick is to quickly dry any sections that may need it, section the hair off, spray dry shampoo on the roots, and leave it for about 5 minutes before using your fingers to massage it into the hair. Do a simple brush through the strands to finish blending it and voila!

As I mentioned, if there's any additional questions, leave them in the comments or send me a message on social media! I've linked all the products I love and use below for you! Here's to good hair days ahead! ;)

Summer Cut & Color

One of the most frequent questions I get asked is, "Where do you go to get your hair done??" For many years growing up I disliked my hair, but now, thanks to my wonderful stylist, Scott, and the team at Nuovo Salon, I love it. It's amazing to see how having a great cut and color can really add such confidence! Recently, Nuovo invited me to come in for a fresh cut, color and makeup session for summer, so I wanted to bring you along for the experience! The attention to detail, impeccable service, and overall standard of excellence in the salon is evident from the minute you walk in the door, and I always leave feeling beautiful.

When I first started coming to see Scott back in 2011, I had recently dyed my hair a deep shade of brunette (yikes), and was looking for the best stylists/colorists in town to help get my hair looking healthy and back to blonde again. I had gone to Nuovo salons before, knowing they were some of the best in the business, and after being booked with Scott, I knew this was going to be a perfect fit. We have a great time coming up with a new vision for my cut and color each visit, and I always love the results! It can be a challenge to find someone who understands both your vision and your hair's needs. When you find a stylist that not only brings talent, but true artistry, knowledge, and passion to their work, you know they're a keeper. Over the years I've recommended so many of my friends to Nuovo who now love their stylist and hair.

Lately, I've been wanting to switch things up a little, so this time we took some length off the ends and added in a little more playful texture around the crown. He balayaged (hand-painted) some pieces around my hairline to give me a beautiful custom, sunkissed look. I love being a light, bright shade of blonde, and my hair tends to be naturally thick, curly and dry, so when you add in color treatment on top of that, it is important to protect the hair from damage as much as possible. Scott uses Olaplex on my hair in order to obtain the beautiful color without damage, and I also get shine and moisture treatments to keep my strands looking and feeling healthy.

Speaking of health and wellness, I love the organic and all natural Aveda products that Nuovo uses, and the salon is on the cutting edge of environmental respect and care through it's reuse, recycling and water purification systems. It's the attention to these kinds of important details that make such a difference in experience. For my makeup application, I got a pretty, fresh-faced look for summer and loved the all natural cosmetics that felt and looked so great on my skin. If you're local, I highly suggest booking an appointment with the Nuovo team for your next salon experience; you'll be absolutely delighted with the results!

p.s. I'll be sharing some of my styling secrets & haircare routine on the blog next week! Stay tuned...

Thanks to Nuovo Salon Group for partnering on this post.

Motivation Monday

Happy Monday! Here's a few things that are inspiring me lately! Here's to a wonderful, successful, and productive week ahead. What inspires you? 
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