Health en Vogue: At-home facials

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Who doesn’t love a little self-pampering?! It’s time to put your skin first. Today, I’m sharing three of my favorite DIY at-home facial recipes and products.

These facials are best to do before getting your beauty rest at night. Also, be sure to gently exfoliate and cleanse your skin before applying a mask. This will allow your skin to absorb the ingredients more effectively – and you’ll achieve better results by starting with clean, makeup-free skin. :-)

Without further ado, here are my at-home facial faves…

Healthy skin essentials. Clockwise from top: honey, baking soda, Now European Clay Powder, and brown sugar.
Healthy skin essentials. Clockwise from top: honey, baking soda, Now European Clay Powder, and brown sugar.

1. Brown sugar + honey: A couple spoonfuls of brown sugar with a few swirls of honey mixed together makes the perfect (and delicious!) exfoliating-moisturizing mask. This recipe is great if you need a quick pick-me-up during the week. I recommend letting the mask do its work for about 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing off. Simple and sweet!

2. Baking soda + water: Mix regular ole baking soda with a couple splashes of water until it forms a thick paste. Then, apply to your face and let the mask dry until it begins to flake off. Now rinse! This mixture works really well if your skin is oily or blemish-prone. If you like a routine, try applying it once a week to achieve clearer skin in no time. (My hair stylist shared this recipe with me, and I am happy to report that it honestly works!)

3. Now European Clay PowderThis is my favorite at-home facial product, like, ever – and has been for years. Like all my favorites here, there are only two ingredients. Similar to the baking soda mask, you’ll mix the clay powder with water until it becomes a paste. I typically leave this mask on for about 15 to 20 minutes until it is hard. The clay works to draw out impurities and excess oil from your skin as it dries. Once rinsed off, your skin will feel SO so soft and your pores nearly disappear. Natural health at its best!

Lacoste bath robe - Macy's
Lacoste bath robe – Macy’s

I have one common rule for facial after-care: moisturize your skin. A dab of moisturizer is the perfect ending to any facial treatment.

I hope you enjoy these DIY at-home facials – perfect for saving a little money or a girls’ night in (wine is allowed!). :-)

Here’s to you and your healthy skin,


s h o p   t h e   l o o k

1. Burts Bees Citrus Facial Scrub 2 oz • $12.99 2. Philosophy 'purity Made Simple' One-Step Facial Cleanser • philosophy • $11–36 3. NOW European Clay Powder • NOW • $6.99 4. Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Relief Creme/2.5 oz • Clinique • $39.50–52.50
1. Burts Bees Citrus Facial Scrub 2 oz • $12.99
2. Philosophy ‘purity Made Simple’ One-Step Facial Cleanser • philosophy • $11–36
3. NOW European Clay Powder • NOW • $6.99
4. Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Relief Creme/2.5 oz • Clinique • $39.50–52.50
1. Unisex Herringbone Weave Bathrobe • $75–76 2. Contrasting Bath Robe • $45 3. Microfleece Bathrobe • Melange Home • $24 4. Sorbet Short Bathrobe, Coral • $78
1. Unisex Herringbone Weave Bathrobe • $75–76
2. Contrasting Bath Robe • $45
3. Microfleece Bathrobe • Melange Home • $24
4. Sorbet Short Bathrobe, Coral • $78

Style Speaks: Meet Julia Rose Flaherty

Photo by Olivia Locascio, courtesy of Julia Rose Flaherty
Photo by Olivia Locascio, courtesy of Julia Rose Flaherty

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate to have a virtual chat with blogger Julia Rose Flaherty of Miss Trend She. Julia founded Miss Trend She in 2013, graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2015, and currently resides on the East coast working in the fashion industry. 

We talked blogging, fashion, life lessons and more. Meet Julia…

Fashion Speech: Describe your personal style. What does it say about you?

Julia Rose Flaherty: I’m in a really weird phase with my own personal style. I’m in a very transitional phase of my life, so I’m really coming into my own across the board. As far as my personal style goes, I would say, stay tuned! We’ll see where it goes from here. I always wear black. I’m a practical person, so I buy pieces that I know will last. At this point in my life, I’m all about saving and being cautious about where I spend and what I spend my money on. It is possible to wear great fashion on a budget, but that’s a whole other conversation…

Fashion Speech: As a twenty-something who still feels fresh out of college, I can totally relate to that sentiment! What’s your favorite store to shop at for discounted fashion?

Photo by Allison Kelley, courtesy of Julia Rose Flaherty
Photo by Allison Kelley, courtesy of Julia Rose Flaherty

Julia Rose Flaherty: I buy from for discounted fashion! It’s convenient, and there’s usually a deal, like free shipping or “x”% off when you spend “x” amount. I go to H&M because I know I’m getting quality apparel for a fair price. If it’s not quality, it’s not a deal. I always think about longevity with my clothing, especially when it comes to basics, which you can never have too many of.

Fashion Speech: Speaking of shopping, what are your three fall must-haves this year?

Julia Rose Flaherty: My three fall must-haves are a faux leather jacket, pair of solid black high waist leggings – because you can pair them with anything and everything – and, of course, a pair of distressed fall boots. I’m really excited about colors that are popular this season. I’m all about olive-colored apparel. I can’t way to include more styles in this color to my closet this season!

1. Nicole By Nicole Miller Long-Sleeve Faux-Leather Jacket • Nicole Miller • $49.99 2. DKNY Leggings • DKNY • $97 3. Me Too Notion Distressed Leather Boots • Me Too • $69.99
1. Nicole By Nicole Miller Long-Sleeve Faux-Leather Jacket • Nicole Miller • $49.99
2. DKNY Leggings • DKNY • $97
3. Me Too Notion Distressed Leather Boots • Me Too • $69.99

FS: Great must-haves to shop for! Who is your favorite designer or brand and why?

JRF: That’s a toughy! I’m more about brands than designers right now… I’ve been browsing Kate Spade and Ann Taylor’s websites a lot more now, since moving to the East coast and transitioning into the work world. I can’t pick a designer right now… I want to break into the New York scene more this month and discover up-and-comers. There is so much talent on the East coast.

FS: Let’s talk blogging. Why did you create Miss Trend She?

JRF: I created Miss Trend She as a hobby, a way to get my writing out there. I have always wanted to work for a magazine publication, so Miss Trend She was an easy way for me to create my own “magazine” sort of blog. I specialize in profile feature interviews. I really enjoy networking and getting to know the people I interview. I am still on a talking basis with many of my interviewees. The people I talk to have unique passions and hobbies to share with the world, often times. I want to support their creative efforts through storytelling. Miss Trend She’s goal is to send affirming messages to and from creative communities.

“You can do anything – that’s something else people need to know. Write down your goals and go for them. They won’t happen if you don’t try to make them happen. And, in trying, don’t just try – do. The only person who can truly hold you back in your own life is you.”

FS: What do you love the most about blogging? Do you have a favorite post?

JRF: A favorite post?! Oh my gosh. I don’t think I’ve ever been asked this. I would have to say my first post about Paul Brockmann is my favorite. He is a Guiness world-record holder. He owns 55,000 dresses, and he has the largest collection of vintage designer dresses. I didn’t think he’d contact me. I read his story on L.A. Weekly’s website. My initial thought in reaching out to him was: Why would he contact me? But, I’m an optimist, and quickly changed my mind. I thought: Why not? Since working with him, I’ve written several articles – one per month for a time – about his collection, progress in finding a buyer, and attitude toward life. He’s an extraordinary man! I got to attend his documentary premiere in L.A. this past February. Who would have thought? I feel grateful to know and work with Paul.

FS: It’s so neat to learn about the relationships you’ve built through Miss Trend She. Who or what inspires you the most?

JRF: People inspire me the most, but not just any kind of person – good people who have a clear purpose, direction and passion. These are the kind of people you question exist when you’re experiencing your worst times… Good people inspire me. No one is perfect, and usually this type of person admits to their imperfections. I am inspired by people who affirm and inspire others and people who are selfless, strong and forward-moving. I am attracted to people who seem to have figured “it” out. Even if they haven’t, they usually fool me.

For example, Ricardo Vargas is someone I’ve interviewed for my blog. He’s a well-known fitness instructor who also goes by Fit Like Ric. He was recently up for the title of LA’s Hottest Trainer by He was not named winner, but accepted his loss so graciously. He appreciates everyone. You don’t meet or interview a person like that often. In fact, I don’t even think he saw it as a loss. He hasn’t confirmed that with me, but his spirit is very pure. He inspires people daily, not for fame or praise, simply because he wants to. He loves it. People who are genuine, happy and know their purpose – they inspire me constantly.

FS: I think it’s safe to say you, yourself, are an inspiration to aspiring bloggers and young adults dreaming of living on the East coast. :-) As a college graduate, what is the biggest difference between “adulting” and college life?

JRF: EVERYTHING. People will tell you you’re on your own in college, but it’s not close to the truth compared to “adult” life. It’s very different. You’re managing yourself 24/7. Everything’s on you. There’s never been as much responsibility, but, truth be told, youth is wasted on the young. I always envisioned having my own apartment and taking care of myself and moving to the East coast, and here I am. I always wanted to be an adult. I’m lucky I’m realizing it when I’m still young – that it’s important to have fun with your friends and “play hard.” Mostly, I’ve always been a serious person. I’ve always been hard on myself and work-focused, but I’m learning to relax more about my life. Everything will be okay, and anything could happen – so it will. That’s my advice to anyone moving forward – that hard times are inevitable in any phase in life, but you will overcome and be a better person for progressing. And when you do fail, learn from your mistakes – fail forward. Forgive yourself and be a friend to yourself.

Photo by Julia Rose Flaherty
Photo by Julia Rose Flaherty

FS: That is great advice! How do you spend any free time?

JRF: Haha, free time? I have little of it, so I relax in my free time to stay on track with my health. Feeling relaxed and healthy is important to me in my free time. I enjoy binge-watching Gossip Girl. I just got done binge-watching Parenthood on Netflix – loved it! So, of course, I’m onto a new series. In coming months I hope to make it to New York City on the weekends more to keep meeting more people and discovering hot-spots. It’s my goal. I also enjoy working out to Tracy Anderson’s Metamorphosis DVDs. Of course, blogging is my passion. I spend free time doing that, too.

FS: What is one of the most important lessons you’ve learned so far in life?

JRF: I could go on and on, and I have so much to learn still! When you’re not learning, you’re not growing. In the past few months, especially, I’ve learned a lot about myself and more about the world. One lesson that people of any age, but especially recent graduates, need to know is how to value yourself. You can’t undermine your own value. While being humble is attractive, it’s okay to say we’re good at something and stand up for that. Be your own ally! You have to be a member of your own team to win “the game,” whatever game you may be playing. This game shouldn’t be a battle with others, but a progression toward your goals. I hate saying win. I don’t know if that’s the right word. You can do anything – that’s something else people need to know. Write down your goals and go for them. They won’t happen if you don’t try to make them happen. And, in trying, don’t just try – do. The only person who can truly hold you back in your own life is you.

I am inspired by people who affirm and inspire others and people who are selfless, strong and forward-moving.”

FS: Again, amazing advice for anyone, anywhere, at any age. :-) Transitioning here, let’s do a round of favorite things!

Who is a favorite blogger(s) you’re loving right now?

JRF: I’m always loving what Emily Schuman from Cupcakes and Cashmere is doing. She has a delicate elegance about her. She knows what she’s doing with her blog; she has a clear vision – a very admirable person. She recently launched her own clothing line, too. I would love to do that one day! What a dream come true that would be. I would love Miss Trend She to get at Schuman’s Cupcakes and Cashmere level. Of course, I also love Julia Engel from Gal Meets Glam. Her Instagram account is flawless. There’s never a picture I don’t like.

What is your favorite fashion magazine or blog you subscribe to?

JRF: I’m all about Nylon magazine. Also, Lucky Shops is a favorite. I really love how Eva Chen has transformed Lucky magazine into a completely online source for fashion. If you haven’t checked it out recently, I highly advise you do. In addition, I like Lucky Shops because they encourage bloggers to submit posts to blogging challenges to be featured on certain pages of the site. Chen’s one of those people who knows what she’s doing. I admire her tremendously. #EvaChenPose! What I like about Nylon is it’s ethereal value. It’s alternative, it’s fashion, it’s on-point – it’s a publication I read through with rose-colored glasses, so to speak, because I have nothing bad to say about it. It’s very modern and has a strong voice. It’s a publication with its own character – that’s what I like most about it.

What is your favorite quote relating to fashion?

JRF: I recently found a quote from Coco Chanel that goes, “Fashion has two purposes: Comfort and Love.” CHANEL is one of my favorite brands. I’ve watched several documentaries about Coco Chanel. I’m very inspired by her story. She was an underdog, and now her name is one of the most well-known in the fashion world, or world in general even. To me, this quote says simplicity is valued and intricate design is valued, and they can have a happy marriage. This quote means hope. It’s encouraging, and it’s about being creative and being open to one’s own ideas – pursuing one’s own ideas. Perhaps I’m thinking too much about it, and I probably am, but what it means to me is just as truthful as what it means to someone else.

FS: Interviews are something I love to do because you can learn so much about an individual! One final question – How does style speak in your life?

JRF: Fashion and style are different. Fashion is part of my everyday life as an employee at two sister fashion companies. However, my personal style is something I share internally and externally. I hope to display class in my style. Style is a reflection of personality to me. I hope mine says “I care.” I care about taking care of myself, I care about the things I do, and I care about my own mission day to day. I would like more opportunities to be creative with fashion – and that will come – but for now, basics are essential. I think in the near future I’ll be more clever! New York City inspires me to do that. I love New York. I always knew I was meant to be living on the East coast, and I am so grateful to be living my own truth.

Photo by Olivia, courtesy of Julia Rose Flaherty
Photo by Olivia Locascio, courtesy of Julia Rose Flaherty

Thank you to Julia for sharing her thoughts on fashion and so much more! I hope you enjoyed our exchange as much as I did. :-)

If you’re not already, I encourage you to follow Julia and Miss Trend She…







Happy #FollowFriday all!

Until next time,

Feels like fall

Taken in Stevens Point, Wis. 2014
Taken in Stevens Point, Wis. circa 2014

In Central Wisconsin it is finally fall—you can feel it, hear it, see it, taste it and smell it—and this is why:

It’s fall because you can feel the wind kiss your face as you walk with a friend in the evening; you can hear it in Ed Sheeran’s “Autumn Leaves;” you can see fall in the plaid shirts, herringbone vests and riding boots fashionistas don; you can taste it in a homemade apple pie or juicy caramel apple; you can smell fall as you breathe in the fresh air and changing leaves; you can taste fall in an elusive Pumpkin Spice Latte from your neighborhood Starbucks; you can see it in the smiles of football fans; you can hear fall as leaves crunch under your feet; and you can feel it in your soul as you step outside and into the cool air that gives you goosebumps on your neck, bringing a new sense of purpose and determination into the days and weeks ahead of us until winter—yes! cheery, frigid, quiet, long and snowy winter—is upon Central Wisconsin, where we’ll soon ring in 2016.


There’s beauty in the little things Vintage, Express and Anthropologie.

Tiny jewelry with big style impact is trending, and I’m happy to join this beautiful bandwagon.

I’m sharing a few of my favorite tiny pieces with you – perfect for kicking any outfit up a notch or just adding a dash of beauty to your day.

Tiny Treasures Claire’s and Express. Vintage. Vintage.

Continue reading

Let’s eat: Everything Oatmeal

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A warm breakfast is perfect for a chilly fall day (and it smells great, too). One of my favorite, healthy weekday breakfasts is oatmeal. Warm, filling, healthy, quick – what more could a girl want at 6 a.m. on a Monday?

No matter what time you roll out of bed each day, Everything Oatmeal is a healthy go-to recipe you’re sure to love this fall. Here’s how it’s made…

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  • Oats
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Almonds
  • Soy milk


  • Peanut butter
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Dark chocolate

Continue reading

The perfect pair: Functional, fashionable fall/winter footwear

Feet, say hello to Hunter.

The story of how I came to purchase “adult” footwear for fall and winter in Wisconsin, and why I gave up on other brands. My quest for the perfect pair of fall/winter boots is over… 

When it comes to fall and winter footwear in Wisconsin, and on college campuses especially, UGG Australia boots have been one of the most popular brands of the 21st century. I had long-loved the cozy, comfy UGG style. (Not to mention how those fuzzy things kept your feet super warm all day long during cold, dark winter days.) I wore knock-offs through high school, since $200-ish boots didn’t exactly fit into the budget of a girl working at the city pool in the summer.

When I went to college, I decided an upgrade was in order, and (thanks to a pricey Christmas present from mom and dad) received a pair of Emu Australia boots my freshman year. Now, allow me to explain that at this stage in the evolution of my personal style, I viewed Emu boots as a more fashionable version of UGGs. (Never mind that UGGs and Emus are basically the same.) I wanted something a bit different, yet still following the trend. It’s also very important to note that Emu boots were marketed as waterproof, which is an important purchasing consideration to make if you live in Wisconsin.

With my newfound glory comfily on my feet, I felt great. Seriously though, my Emu boots were amazing! I loved those darn boots, and they made it through three Wisconsin winters, which is an accomplishment in itself if you know anything about footwear in the Midwest. I was so happy with these boots that I thought I would forever be an Emu-wearing twenty-something. Thankfully, the fashion gods had other plans… Continue reading

DIY of the month: repurposed ladders

This ladder towel rack fits perfectly in our apartment's bathroom.
This ladder towel rack fits perfectly in our apartment’s bathroom.

See this beauty above? I had been pursuing ladders for weeks, (what an interesting life I have) when I finally stumbled upon this gorgeous pine wood ladder. At a garage sale, the ladder was already stained this dark tone and ready to go. It must have been fate because this is exactly what I was picturing, as I planned to purchase a ladder for the bathroom to store extra towels.

Before I repurposed this beautiful ladder.
Before I repurposed the ladder in our bathroom.

For $50 USD this ladder was mine, and I really didn’t have to do too much to it! I figured it was a fair price, considering the time and money I would have had to spend staining it this color. Easiest DIY, ever.

But, if you’re looking to create your own ladder towel rack at home – or to repurpose one as a shelf (keep reading!) I’ve got some tips to share… Continue reading

Take it easy

Source: via CC0
Source: via CC0

Keeping with this month’s theme of “easy” fashion and healthy habits, I thought, who doesn’t like easy hair?

August is for relaxing, and what’s better than an easy, simple, hair style – especially during a hurried work week or after sleeping in on the weekend? Meet: easy waves, the simple summer style perfect for all occasions of the month. Whether you’re headed to the beach, a wedding, a night out, or a day at work – this style fits the bill for just about any activity you can name. Continue reading