What I've Been Reading Lately

Bed | Nightstand | Lamp | Marble Tray | Zebra tray | Books here, here and here
This past month's reads have been a mixed bag. Some books were by my favorite authors so I knew I would love them, a few were entertaining and a couple were just not that good. #brutalhonesty Here are all the books I've recently read (and click here for all of my past book reviews):

1. Winter Garden - I am a huge Kristin Hannah fan and loved The Nightingale and The Great Alone, so I knew I was going to love this book. And I did. To be honest, it wasn't as good as her two other books I have read, but still an absolutely beautiful novel. Meredith and Nina are sisters that live two very different lives, but are forced to come together after the death of their father to help care for their mother. But that care isn't easy because their mother doesn't welcome their attention. Their father's dying wish was for them to get to know their mother's life story so they could better understand her. And once they finally know her entire story, it changes all of their lives forever.

2. My Favorite Half-Night Stand - A cute, feel-good romantic novel with super lovable characters. It was a bit slow at the start, but once I got into the story I loved it! Millie and Reid are friends as well as co-workers that begin to have feelings for one another. In an effort to try and decide if they really should be together, they both fill out online dating profiles to see what else is out there. The story has some cute twists and turns and is an easy read.

3. My Absolute Darling - While I enjoyed many of the books I read these past few weeks, this was an absolute no. I simply could not get into it and ultimately had to quit halfway through. I was so disappointed because it had won so many awards so I had really high hopes.

4. A Million Junes - I loved so much about this book, but there is a supernatural/magic aspect to the story that can get a bit annoying at times. June and Saul are teenagers from the same town, but their families do NOT get along and both have been forbidden to ever be near each other. When they meet at a local fair one night, they try to stay away but slowly feel drawn towards one another. They set off to find out why their families don't get along and what caused the riff hundreds of years ago.

5. The Thousandth Floor - This is a young adult read about a futuristic society in NYC in the year 2118. I normally like young adult novels, but this was just ok in my opinion. It's a trilogy and after reading this one, I sadly won't be reading any of the other books in the series.

6. Daisy Jones & the Six - When I saw that this was the same author that wrote one of my favorite books of all time, I knew I had to read this as well. Taylor Jenkins Reid does an amazing job at giving her books such emotional depth and I feel so many things while reading them. This particular book was not as good as The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, but nonetheless I loved it. It's about a fictitious rock band that became famous in the 70's and all the trials and tribulations that they went through. It's a different kind of story setup because it's written as interviews of all the band members years later, which can be a bit hard to follow because there are so many different characters. However, I quickly learned their names and didn't have any issue following the story.

7. An Unwanted Guest - I LOVE thrillers and mystery novels, but this one felt a little bit like I was reading a game of Clue. Do you guys remember that board game? It is one of my favorites to play, but not necessarily to read. The story takes place at a quaint Inn in the Catskills and guests become stranded there after a bad ice storm closes the roads and disables all the power. One of the guests is murdered that first night and subsequently 4 other guests get killed over the next two days. Because they have no power or way to contact the police, everyone is scared that they will be next. I did finish the book because I wanted to know who was the killer, but there are much better thriller books out there to read that will keep your attention.


Spring Shoe Round-Up At All Price Points

Nude wedge sandal | Hot pink sandals | Espadrilles | Raffia slide sandals | Bow pointy toe mule | High heel sandals | Rose gold pleated metallic sandals | Nude strappy sandals | High heel mules | Striped kitten heel sandals | Snakeskin slides | Yellow platform sandals | Raffia mules | White woven sandals | Pink bow sandals | Calf hair slide sandals | Wooden heels
I do love a good boot in the fall but they can't compare to all the fun sandals that come out for spring and summer! I have had a few requests over the past few weeks for a spring shoe round-up and have found a ton of great fun styles at all price points! Some are neutral but it's nice to have a pop of color from time to time. 
Which ones are your favorite?  


Spring Maxi Dresses

Dress - Rachel Roy | Bag - Reformation (similar here) | Shoes - Joie (similar) | Sunglasses - Le Specs | Bracelet - Miansai

Next to fall and all the beautiful foliage, I love taking pictures in spring! All of the trees and flowers blooming make everything look so amazing. This maxi dress is stunning by itself but with all the cherry blossoms, daffodils and tulips around, it looks even better. I don't always love maxi dresses because they can be too long or have too much fabric, but this silhouette was absolutely spectacular. The elastic detail at the waist gives some shape and the skirt portion is actually quite slim so it really looks flattering and elongating. 

If you missed it, I took Miles to a petting zoo farm yesterday for Easter and his outfit was absolutely adorable. I knew he would be running around but I still wanted to dress him up and I figured I can always wash anything that gets dirty. Surprisingly he didn't get any major stains on him and we had so much fun so I call that a success! 

Shop more maxi dresses:


Old Navy Try-On Session + Haul Details

Pants | Tank (old) | Sandals (old)
Jumpsuit | Wedges | Strapless bra

Dress | Jacket | Wedges

Top | Jeans (old)

Top | Skirt

Dress | Belt (old) | Wedges

Top | Jeans

Tee | Jeans | Shoes (old)

Tee | Joggers | Sneakers (old) 
I ordered a bunch of spring pieces from Old Navy and thought I would do an insta-stories try-on haul and then link all the items in this blog post. I will save the try-on session to my highlights on Instagram so you can go back and see me talk through each piece I bought. I will also give a quick blurb below about each item, sizing and if it was a hit or not for me.

1. Linen jogger pants - These run true to size for me and the fit is so comfortable! I actually wore another pair of these while pregnant and still love them after I was pregnant.

2. Jumpsuit - This fits a tad bit snug in the chest so if you are busty, then I would size up. I adore the color and the back has elastic which makes it nice and fitted.

3. Dress - A striped t-shirt dress is one of my favorite items to run around in and this style and length is perfect to do "mom" things in. It runs very big so I would size down (I am wearing an XS Petite).

4. Blouse - Nothing more classic than a linen black top and I really love the fit of this. It runs very big so I would size down one or two sizes.

5. Flutter sleeve tank - The sleeves on this tank sold me immediately and the color looks even better in person! Definitely runs big so size down.

6. Denim shirt dress - I adore this dress with or without a belt and would be perfect for the summer. If you are busty, I would take your normal size but if not, then I would size down.

7. Floral detailed top - Since I work from home, I love comfortable and cute tops like this for being at home and running errands. This one runs big so I would size down.

8. Boyfriend jeans - These were sadly a big no for me and were not flattering at all.

9. Joggers - The rainbow detail sucked me in and surprisingly these are quite slim and flattering. They run true to size for me.

Shop all the pieces from my haul:


A Black Wrap Dress for Work

Dress - Asos | Shoes - Gianvito Rossi (budget option here) | Bag - Gucci | Bracelet - Giles & Brother | Sunglasses - Le Specs

Though I want to put away all my black clothes now that winter is over, a simple black wrap dress is great for every season. I thought the kimono sleeves would be too dramatic but surprisingly they work well with the belted waist and deep v-neck. Sandals would be great with this dress but I love how the leopard pumps look even more. I try to find skirts above the knee most of the time because I am only 5'4", but the slim fit of the dress actually made me look taller which is a bonus! 

Shop more black dresses for work:


My Cleanser Collection

My entire cleanser collection is in today's video. Enjoy and don't forget to subscribe!

The products mentioned in the video:

Alpha H Liquid Gold (this exfoliating toner is a must have!)
Drunk Elephant Brand Review Video
Jordan Samuel After Show Balm Cleanser (it's not listed on his site anymore)


Miles 17 Month Update + Schedule

Maree outfit details: Jacket | Shirt | Jeans | Bag | Sneakers (similar) | Sunglasses (similar)
Miles outfit details: Vest (similar) | Shirt (similar) | Pants (similar) | Shoes | Hat | Stroller

Just looking at these pictures of Miles, I can't believe how big he has gotten in the past 6 months. He looks like a little boy to me now instead of a baby. *insert crying emoji* I don't want him to grow up but at the same time, I love watching him reach new milestones. His energy and joy for life is infectious and I adore seeing him explore the world. My last update for him was when he had just turned a year and I shared my top 20 first year baby essentials. He is now 17 months and while some things have definitely changed, his schedule for the most part has stayed the same. We started sleep training when he was 2 months old (this was the book we used which was truly amazing) and keep him on a schedule every day.

The best part about having him on a schedule is that when we deviate from it, it's not a big deal and he easily falls back into his routine the next day. Miles for the most part is a happy little guy but is definitely entering toddlerhood. He is more stubborn and will cry if he doesn't get his way, but thankfully can be redirected almost immediately so it doesn't last long. A majority of his teeth have come in at this point, with only a few remaining. We can always tell if he is teething because he doesn't act like himself, is hard to entertain and fusses almost all day long.

When it comes to sleeping, he is still going strong from 7pm to 7/7:30 a.m. which he has been doing since he was 3 months old (that book really worked for us). We began putting him down awake as an infant so he could put himself to sleep and that habit has really paid off. He will sometimes play and babble in his crib for a full 30-45 minutes after putting him down before he finally falls asleep. We started letting him have a few stuffed animals in the crib when he was a year old so he will play with those until he falls asleep.

His favorite thing in the world is to go out anywhere. Grocery stores, restaurants, malls, parks - you name it, he loves it. He is quite social and loves to people watch. He will be in the worst mood at home fussing non-stop, but as soon as I take him out he immediately calms down and has a good time. When I was a new mom I was so nervous to take him places because I was afraid he would cry or fuss and it can be overwhelming when you aren't used to dealing with it. But my friend told me to take him places for 10-15 minutes at a time just to get comfortable with the whole process. I would often take him to Target and do nothing else besides walk the aisles for 10 minutes. I didn't need to buy anything, I simply wanted to work on not being afraid. Slowly but surely I became more confident and now I love taking him with me because he enjoys it so much.

Eating has been an up and down process because he will like something one day and the next not want it. #toddlers For now, some of his favorites are banana pancakes (they are only 3 ingredients: oats, egg and banana), avocados (he will eat an entire one in a day!), cheese sticks, Dr. Praeger's spinach littles, raspberries and cheerios. He eats more than that but those are things that he very rarely will turn down. He's finally able to use a fork and spoon (I bought him this set) quite well and it's so cute to watch him eat with them. He's babbling up a storm and says a few words like bird, bath, dada, mama and juice (well he makes a juice-like sound LOL) to name a few. 

Here's a look at his current schedule - it will change occasionally but for the most part he thrives on structure so we stick to this daily:
  • 7:30 a.m. - Wake up, change diaper, have 8 oz. bottle of milk
  • 8:15/8:30 a.m. - Breakfast - Here are a few things we tend to feed him: banana pancakes, french toast with ezekiel bread, mini pancakes, cheerios, Kodiak protein pancakess and turkey sausage 
  • 10:00 a.m. - Nap (anytime he is not napping or eating, he is playing or out with us)
  • 11:30/12 p.m. - Wake up from nap, change diaper, 8 oz. bottle of milk
  • 12:45/1 p.m. - Lunch 
  • 3:00 p.m. - Nap (some days he skips this nap if he just won't settle down or isn't that tired)
  • 4:30 p.m. - Wake up from nap
  • 5:30 p.m. - Dinner
  • 6:30 p.m. - Bath and storytime
  • 7:00 p.m. - Bedtime
You can find all my past posts on Miles and my favorites for his clothes, toys, newborn essentials, etc here. I also thought I would put some of my daily essentials for him in the widget below.

Shop some of the things we use daily for Miles:


NARS 20th Anniversary Orgasm Collection - Review & Swatches

NARS Orgasm blush just celebrated its 20th anniversary (that's hard to believe actually), and a new limited edition Orgasm collection was launched. The collection includes a liquid highlighter, the Endless Orgasm cream palette with 6 shades to use on the face or eyes, an oil-infused lip tint and an Orgasm blush in limited edition packaging. I absolutely loved the packaging on all the products and if you are one to collect pieces from memorable makeup launches, I definitely think this is a collection not to miss.
I've recently been loving every single launch NARS has been putting out and find them all to be super wearable. Even though I am a huge fan of Orgasm blush and have been wearing it for years, this collection overall was just ok in my opinion. I don't wear a ton of cream products so that is probably why it didn't appeal to me as much as it would others. The liquid highlighter was pretty but too dark to be placed on my cheekbones and too shiny to wear on my cheeks because they tend to get oily especially in the summer. The formula felt nice and smooth but the shade wasn't right for me.
Left to right: Endless Orgasm palette, Liquid Highlighter, Orgasm Blush
The Endless Orgasm palette was great in theory, but too shiny to be used on my cheeks (which get oily during the day) and I found they creased too much when worn on my eyelids. For those with dry skin, this palette would be beautiful and the formula is creamy and blends easily. The oil-infused lip tint really impressed me because the formula feels like a smooth lip oil without any stickiness. The color looks best on my bare lips rather than layered over anything else because the iridescent particles change whatever color lipstick I'm wearing. As always, I love the Orgasm blush and recommend it to everyone because the shade looks beautiful on almost every skin tone. Overall, this collection wasn't a hit for me personally, but think it could be perfect for those that prefer more cream or liquid formulas. The shimmer in both the palette and liquid highlighter was not too bold and would be suitable for daytime or evening.
*pr samples included

Have you tried anything from this collection? What are your thoughts?

Shop more new NARS launches:

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