Sunday, May 20, 2018

Wedding Guest Attire: 6 No Fail Tips For Dressing The Part









We are about to attend our third wedding in one months time! So, I felt like today's topic was very fitting seeing as wedding season is in full swing! Finding something to wear to a wedding can be a daunting task. Most of us don't just have a wide selection of cocktail dresses sitting around in our closet, so that means you are more than likely out shopping for options and texting your bff's to see what they're wearing. It's an even tougher task when the dress code is vague. And, if you're in the same phase of life as us - everybody is getting married. I think we attended a whopping nine weddings last year, plus our own! That's nine dresses I had to figure out because almost all of the weddings had the same, or similar guests in attendance and no specific theme. Holy stressful! So if you're in the same boat as me, hang tight because today I'm walking you through 6 no fail tips for always dressing the part.  

1. First things first, figure out what time of day the wedding is taking place. Often times day time weddings can be a little more casual in the sense that a floral maxi dress is acceptable, while evening weddings typically require cocktail dresses. 

2. Figure out the location of the wedding. Piggybacking off the above stated tip, if you're still unsure of what type of outfit to wear - the location can tell a lot about dress code. If it's an outdoor wedding in a garden at 2:00 PM, a floral maxi dress is a perfect option. If it's an indoor wedding in a church at 6 PM, a midi length cocktail dress is appropriate. 

3. Never wear black or white to a wedding. Yea, yea - I know the whole don't wear black rule is phasing out amongst our generation, but what us millennials fail to remember is that weddings have guests of all ages, and many times our elders who are family members of the bride and groom can be offended by those wearing black. Believe me when I say, I've heard plenty of women whisper "I thought you weren't supposed to wear black to a wedding" to their neighbor as someone strolls past them to their seat at the ceremony. There are exceptions to this of course, for instance if the wedding is labeled "black tie" then this does not apply, but since we are talking about weddings with vague dress codes this is relevant. If you just rule both of these colors out, no one can ever say anything about it. Safe bet! 

4. Err on the side of conservatism. I always opt for a dress that's at least knee length, if not longer. The dress pictured above is a "midi" length dress which is always a good length for a wedding no matter what the dress code is. Weddings are not the time or place to flaunt those toned legs you've been working so hard on in the gym. Believe me girl I get it, they look goooddd in that mini - but there will always be somebody judging you for wearing that to a wedding (or house of worship for that matter), so general rule of thumb: If you're questioning the length in the dressing room, rule it out. 

5. If you can, find out what color the bridesmaids are wearing and avoid it. It's always a little awkward showing up in a dress that's the same color as the bridesmaids. You end up looking like the third wheel friend who wanted to be in the wedding but didn't get asked. I know that's probably not the case, but you get what I mean - it's just awkward. 

6. Find a pair of neutral heels that are comfortable and go with everything. This is one of my favorite tips. If you're already buying multiple dresses, it's annoying to have to buy multiple pairs of shoes too. It's also not so classy to be running around the wedding barefoot when your feet hurt. I know we all do it, but if you can avoid having to do that - you're always winning. I found these little block heeled sandals and wear them with every guest of the wedding dress I have! They're neutral, beyond comfortable, the heel height is conservative, and they are good quality which means you'll get longevity out of them. I never have to take them off at any wedding we attend! 

It's also worth mentioning if you find a dress you like that comes in multiple colors like this one (comes in 10 colors), it's perfectly okay to wear it again in a different color to the next wedding! Talk about easy and no one will notice! I'm actually thinking about ordering this version of the dress above for our next event! 

PS: If you're looking for options on what to wear to your next wedding, I've done the work for you and put together a whole page of appropriate options for you here.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Memorial Day Outfit + Diced Sweet Potato Recipe










Memorial Day is right around the corner, eeekk! I always love this holiday. We typically spend tons of time on the water for Memorial Day Weekend, and this year we will be returning to Charleston for another wedding! Being festive is one of the most fun things about the holidays, so I thought this would be the perfect outfit to celebrate the weekends festivities in. Red, white, and denim! From the lake, to a BBQ, or under the fireworks - you can't go wrong with this little ensemble. It's perfect for all occasions and best of all, it's affordable. Both the top and shorts are under $100. Plus, how cute are the ties at the shoulders on the top?! They play off the sweet ruffles on the shorts perfectly. I'm wearing a small in both the top and shorts for reference and I'm linking a few other MDW options in the widget below! 

A few of you had questions on when my work clothes would go up on @shopcheekybeen recently. I'm wrapping up transitioning all of my clients from my corporate job to my replacement this week and hope to start uploading them this weekend! I've supported these people for five years now, so I'm sad to part ways with some of them, but lawdddd I feel so much better in this new phase of life already! Lots of people have commented on how relaxed, and not stressed I look and it's honestly such a breath of fresh air! I can finally breathe again. 

On that note, I've spent a lot more time cooking and eating healthy and you all mentioned you wanted to see some of my recipes! So, below you'll find the recipe for cubed sweet potatoes! They're so easy to make and such a fantastic substitute for your typical non-nutritious starch. I try to only eat carbs once a day, so I eat them with lunch a lot - but they're so delicious you could honestly eat them with every meal.

CUBED SWEET POTATOES

1 package of already cubed sweet potatoes from Whole Foods or Fresh Market
2 tablespoons Avocado Oil (I use Primal Kitchens)
Himalayan Sea Salt 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pour contents of cubed sweet potatoes in a bowl. Pour 2 tablespoons Avocado Oil (or more if needed) over potatoes and toss until all potatoes are coated in oil. Sprinkle Himalayan Sea Salt over potatoes and toss. Grab a cookie sheet and spray with nonstick spray. Spread potatoes out on cookie sheet evenly and place in oven for 35-45 min depending on oven. I check mine around the 30 minute mark and toss them before putting back in oven so they brown evenly! Voila, all done and ready to eat!

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Tropical Romper in Charleston










Good morning! I wore this little romper in Charleston a couple weekends ago. I love how bright and fun the pattern is! I feel like when you walk past someone with it on, you can't help but think "happy"! But then again, all bright colors represent that to me - hence why you see a lot of that in my feed and on my blog. Someone once asked me, "if you were blind, how would you describe the color yellow?" This was probably the most interesting and thought provoking question anyone has ever asked me. But, it made me realize that bright colors represent warmth and happiness to me. Just a little food for thought on this Monday morning! Anyway, if you're headed on vacation this summer - you need this in your suitcase. It's perfect for lunch or dinner out at a resort and comes in a couple prints which you can find here. I'm wearing a size small, and it runs true to size! You can get 20% off of it by using code "BVEVANESSA" on this site but sizes are limited so I linked to it where it's fully stocked in the rest of the post!

I hope all you mamas out there had a great Mothers Day! If you're not a mama, I hope you got to enjoy some time with yours. My parents live across the country from us, so we FaceTimed over breakfast yesterday! It's tough being so far from home on holidays like that. I wish I had the opportunity to just hop over for dinner, a glass of wine, or walks with the pups. Cherish those special moments girls, because they don't last forever!

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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Striped Romper in Charleston










Striped Romper // Black Woven Maison Bag // Strappy Sandals old similar here // Earrings // Watch // David Yurman Bangles

I swear I have new favorite outfits weekly, haha! But if this isn't a favorite of mine, then I don't know what is! I had my eye on it online for awhile, but I get in the habit of over buying clothes so I held off for as long as I could - which obviously wasn't that long. Oops! I'm also realizing now that I don't need work clothes anymore, that I actually need more everyday options. My closet is stacked full of corporate attire, which I plan on selling on @shopcheekybeen soon - so stay tuned for that! Anyway, we had a welcome party to go to the night before a wedding we were attending for a friend of ours, so I opted to wear it there! It's one of those outfits that you just feel so good in. It's fun, it's flirty, it's flattering etc. All the favorite f's! It fits true to size (wearing a small), and really is perfect for any occasion. I imagine I'll be brunching in it on repeat this summer. PS: How beautiful is this background!? 

I hope you guys are having a good week so far. I've been feeling a little discouraged with Instagram and social media in general. With all the algorithm changes, it seems really difficult to get my pictures to keep showing up in your feeds. I'm always a really positive person, but when you're working harder than ever to create good content only for it to tank, it's a tough pill to swallow sometimes. So, if you're in the mood to help a sister out - please continue to like my photos even though you don't receive the liketoknow.it email anymore! It let's my photos continue to show up in your feeds, which in turn helps me know y'all still enjoy what you're seeing! 

And on that note, I'm headed to the gym to get my day started with a dose of motivation! Happy Hump day girls! For more outfits from my Charleston trip, see here. 

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Monday, May 7, 2018

Kelly Green Striped Set








I mean, could this set be any cuter?! I wore this around Charleston last weekend while we were there for a wedding and loved it for a few reasons. Sets are so easy, ya'll! They completely take the thought out of getting ready, and honestly - some days I need that. If you're familiar with Charleston, then you know it's always hotter than the blazes down there this time year! So, I'm always looking for things that are cute, but keep me cool while we are out and about. Lord knows I don't like to get ready only to end up sweating an hour later (comfort over everything)! Needless to say, the material this set is made out of is lightweight and super breathable which is perfect for any location mid summer! Plus, you can never go wrong with poms poms and ruffles - they win me over every time. PS: Here's a tip for you guys, if you use code "candy" at checkout on this outfit, it will take 10% off. Happy shopping!

Speaking of weddings, we had another wedding we attended this weekend. Thankfully this one was local so we didn't have to travel anywhere! We've attended so many over the last year, that I'm thinking about doing another "what to wear to a wedding" post soon! Stay tuned! Hope ya'll had a great Cinco De Mayo weekend!

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Skincare: 7 Steps to Healthier, More Beautiful Skin

















Confession: I never truly cared about skincare until about a year ago. Sure, I washed my face daily and always used moisturizer, but that was really the extent of my "skincare" routine. I was always more of a makeup girl if you know what I mean (love a good eye shadow palette). Thankfully I'm blessed with clear skin. However, now that I'm in my late 20's I'm noticing fine lines, wrinkles, pores, and blemishes more than ever. Insert immediate panic mode. Wrinkles?! Say it aint so! Unfortunately that's life sister! So it was time to jump on the skincare train, and I was on the hunt for the best possible products. Like most people, I tried out various brands that people recommended but nothing really caught my attention until I was introduced to Beauty Counter. I was on a trip in Mexico with a group of bloggers, and one of the girls brought up the topic of parabens and toxins in skincare. I named off a few things I was using regularly, and she basically told me what I was putting on my skin everyday was awful for me. Well, that was alarming! I've always been somewhat of a health junky, and the fact that I was putting toxins and parabens all over my face daily was terrifying.  I mean that sounds just as bad as smoking doesn't it?! Both sides of my family have cancer and diseases that run deep, so I am at risk for those myself and always try to be health conscious for that reason. I eat mostly organic foods, workout 5+ times a week, have never smoked, and overall I just try to be mindful of what type of life I'm living. Now, it's easy to say "okay, I'll make the switch to safer products for that reason." But what if the products don't work or aren't that great? Then ultimately you'd probably end up going back to what works right? At least that's what I would do. I decided to give Beauty Counter products a try and to my surprise they do actually work! And they work really well. The beauty behind this (see what I did there?), is that I have the luxury of having a platform like this to spread the word! So, that's what I'm doing today. I'm not here to tell you to immediately change all of your products to safer products, or to tell you that I use all BC products (because I don't), but more of less to educate you on some of my favorites! The way I see it, every step you take in removing something that isn't good for you from your life, is one step in the right direction. It's not realistic to say throw everything away immediately and never look back, because let's be honest, I love my eye shadows and I'm not ready to give those up haha. However, the simple fact that I made some significant changes in skincare and makeup products feels really good! Plus, I'm obsessed with them so that's an added bonus. Let's get started! 

You should always layer your skincare products from thinnest to thickest for maximum results, so you'll see this is the order I go in when applying my routine. 

1. Makeup wipes // If you're a makeup wipe fan, these are amazing! I've been using the Neutrogena makeup wipes my whole life and still love those (especially when traveling or on the run), but if you're looking for a safer option these are fantastic and get the job done equally. I like to use one of these before washing my face to help get all of my makeup off, however, if you're using the cleanser (next step), you really don't have to use these as that helps remove makeup in one swoop. If I'm in a hurry and don't have time to do the whole routine (aka I'm rushing to the gym) I'll just run one of these over my face and complete the rest of the routine later!

2. Cleanser // This is hands down the best cleanser I have ever used and I've tried tons, y'all! I recommend this to everyone. It comes in both a cream cleanser and an exfoliator and I use both. I typically use the cream cleanser daily, and the exfoliator once a week. As I mentioned above, both of these take your makeup off completely so it also serves as a makeup remover while cleansing your face. It doesn't leave my skin dried out, and the exfoliator isn't too rough to where it agitates my skin. Everybody who has ordered this, has raved about it 

3. Toner // I use these rejuvenating toner pads next. They have a mixed fruit acid complex and vitamin C in them to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and they also tighten my pores nicely. I swipe these over my skin after the cleanser and you can cut them in half if you're using both sides for longevity. 

4. Mist // Again, this is another favorite product of mine! I use the No. 3 Balancing Facial Mist and it is life changing! I actually let a friend borrow it recently and I truly missed it. I use this to prep my skin before makeup and to help restore moisture. However, it can also be used to set makeup! It is formulated with charcoal powder and clay so it helps reduce any redness, absorbs excess oil, and refines skin texture. They make several different kinds of mist depending on your skin needs which you can find here

5. Serum // I layer this anti-aging rejuvenating serum under my moisturizer to help with hydration, skin tone, and wrinkles. It's not greasy at all, lightweight, and has proven significant increases in firmness of my skin! I love this stuff. 

6. Moisturizer // Okay, so while I didn't have an actual routine until about a year ago - I did always moisturize! Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! It's hands down the best thing you can do for your skin. I actually don't use a Beauty Counter moisturizer. I have super dry skin, and haven't been able to find one for my face that I like a lot. So I just use Jergens Natural Glow daily. I do however, love the body butter and body lotion from Beauty Counter.

7. Oil // Another product I love! Prior to trying Beauty Counters oil, I always used Kiehls Midnight Recovery, which I still really like but Beauty Counters oil is extremely comparable, provides the same results, and it's toxin and paraben free. So I made the switch here! When I first thought of putting oil on my face, I thought it was crazy. Surely it would make me oily, no? Nope! It doesn't. It actually has a reverse effect, and is one of the best things for my skin! I put a few drops of the number 3 balancing oil on my face at night, however, you can use it during the day too! Since I do this at night, I put it on alone - I don't need a moisturizer for this because this actually makes my skin feel silky smooth and like a babies butt. So I don't need it! If you are using it during the day though, I would recommend layering it under your moisturizer for maximum results! Your skin will feel nourished like you've never experienced before, trust me. 

That's it! I know it seems like a lot, but it honestly takes less than 5 minutes and it will make your skin glow beautifully in addition to slowing down the aging process! If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me, and if you're feeling extra adventurous - give this mask a try, it's life changing! I also wanted to add that if you're planning on spending over $100 I recommend signing up for the Band of Beauty Membership. It's $29/year, you get a free full size body scrub (which is to die for), free shipping on orders over $100 and a 15% product credit on every purchase, so the benefits far outweigh the $29 cost! PS: Any of these items also make a great Mothers Day gift! 

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