by Heather

Favorite Summer Makeup

August 19, 2014 in Fashion by Heather

Summer Makeup Favorites | My Life Well Loved

Alabama heat is no joke! It has felt like spring for most of the summer, but now that the true to form humidity and soaring temperatures are coming to fruition, it’s the perfect time to showcase my Favorite Summer Makeup. These products have been my saving grace this summer for some color and to cover any unwanted blemishes.

Makeup has always been a fascination for me. I remember watching my mom complete her cat eye before going out on the town with my dad and watching as she put fuchsia lipstick on her pouty lips and thinking how “cool” it was. I couldn’t wait until one day I could transform my look the way she did. I’ve gone from experimenting with matching my eye shadow to my outfit in 7th grade (yes, I was that girl) to learning how to maximize my products to highlight my unique features. I’ve come a long way but am always eager and excited to learn new tips and tricks!

Summer Makeup Favorites | My Life Well Loved

Since I’ve got such a busy schedule, I usually don’t get to touch up my makeup throughout the day. My makeup has to be simple, give me what I want and last a long time to get the Heather seal of approval. All these products have stood the test of time and truly give me something that I feel I can’t do without during the summer months.

Pictured above are my facial products. These products have been in my makeup bag all summer long and have been really fun to experiment with.

Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation: I am very picky about my face products. I like this one because it’s a mineral foundation which my facialist from The Esthetic Loft recommended. I don’t have time or the energy in the summer for thick, cakey makeup so I like how this one can glide on with the enclosed sponge in less than 2 minutes flat. It’s also build-able  for coverage as needed. Formulated with kaolin, it absorbs excess oil to control shine and help prevent sebum-related breakouts. Antioxidant-rich vitamin E and green tea leaf extract protect and nourish as silica provides a smooth application, leaving skin with a silky-soft finish.

L’Oreal True Match All-Over Mineral Glow: This is a perfect portable (brush included) highlighter that my friend Erin turned me onto. I use it to highlight right under my eyes, down the bridge of my nose and around my forehead. It gives a little bit more softness to my matte face and gives more dimension without taking too much time or energy.

bareMinerals Warm Radiance Bronzer: Hello, sunshine! Bronzer is my be all and end all for the summer months. If I had to get by on bronzer and mascara for the summer I could. I love the look of sun-kissed skin and warmth radiating from your cheeks! I don’t use this bronzer exclusively, it is what I had leftover from years past, but I am bound and determined to use up some of my old makeup I had forgotten I had. I really love the cheap Rimmel bronzer you can find at any drug store as well!

Estee Lauder Melon Shimmer Lipstick: Color me bold! This shade has been an absolute delight this summer. I got it in a free gift with purchase, but otherwise I don’t know if I would have stepped out on a limb and bought it. This color is daring, summery, peachy and fun! You can see it in this style post I did a few weeks back. I get compliments on this color a lot, so something tells me at the end of summer I’ll be sad to put it away till next spring.

Summer Make Up for the Eyes

Eye Products:

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara: Again, this product came from my free Esteee Lauder gift. I LOVE a good splurge mascara when I get a Sephora gift card from a friend or a freebie but have a hard time splurging. This tube lasted me most the summer, but now I’m back to my drugstore staple, L’Oreal Voluminous mascara in black. Both of these mascaras get me the full, voluminous and long look that is a must for flirty eyes!

Bobbi Brown Under Eye Corrector: This little miracle product may have to get it’s own post one day. I cannot rave enough about it. I splurge on this little miracle pot and am about to order my third corrector! Thanks to the ever fabulous Sydney for recommending this to me. Simply layer with concealer over the top to wave goodbye to those after effects of late summer nights!

Bobbi Brown Limited Edition Nectar & Nude Eye Palette: This Christmas gift is still a staple 8 months later! I adore all the looks you can create with this palette and I’m always in for a shimmery bronze eye look. It screams beachy babe to me.

Mary Kay Eye Brow Pencil: This gives subtle definition to your eye’s frames. Taking a few extra moments to add in eye brow pencil takes your look from so-so to instant glam! This trick has become one of my new favorites in the past couple of years. You can order it through Mary Kay or get this similar Rimmel one for a fraction of the cost.

What are your must have summer beauty products?

**Thanks to Magen Davis Photography for all images.

by Heather

Cranberry Walnut Brussel Sprouts

August 15, 2014 in Clean Eating, Recipes by Heather

Make Today LovelyHello there! My name is Molly-Brown from www.maketodaylovely.com. I am so happy to meet all of you, and thank you to my wonderful friend, Heather, for having me to her blog! I am a twenty something nursing student, and I currently reside in sweet home Alabama. I chose to blog because I wanted to bring a little brightness to my readers’ day by sharing everything that I find lovely. I believe in enjoying every moment, and Make Today Lovely allows me to share those special moments with all of you in hopes of inspiring your own zest for life. I never want the little things to pass without me noticing their true beauty. Through my blog this ordinary beauty is brought  to your day through style and good taste. Come by and visit Make Today Lovely to take a break from everything that is strictly business, and enjoy yourself through fabulous clothes, delicious food, and lovely sights. Make Today Lovely is a way for me to express my creative side in hopes of bringing smiles and joy to my readers. You can find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.
Brussel Sprouts with Cranberries and WalnutsBrussel sprouts have always had a negative connotation. They are that one vegetable that most people always feed to the dog under the table, or scrape into the garbage after dinner. But take my advice and have no fear of this stereotypically described distasteful food. I have recently found an obsession with this green legume. They are crunchy and salty like french fries, and make a great side for lunch, dinner, or even a savory healthy snack. I have a simple recipe, courtesy of Food Network, that will make you fall in love with brussel sprouts just like I did. Its so easy, and I hope it will spur some creativity to try some other new vegetables.
 Brussel Sprouts with Cranberries and Walnuts
Cranberry Walnut Brussel Sprouts
Ingredients:
fresh brussel sprouts
3 tablespoon of olive oil
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
Instructions:
Cut the ends of the brussel sprouts and remove the outer leaves. Mix together the brussel sprouts, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cook on a sheet pan for 35-40 min at 400 degrees until crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake from time to time while cooking to brown the sprouts evenly. Salt to taste and serve immediately.
Quick Tip:
To make this side more lovely, add some fresh walnuts and cranberries with about 10 min left to cook for a little more flavor.
by Heather

DIY Kitchen Wedding Shower

August 14, 2014 in Lifestyle by Heather

Hi guys! This is Megan from In This Wonderful Life, Every Day Cheer and Heart & Home :) I’m flattered that Heather invited me to do a guest post on her blog today while she’s vacationing in Tampa!

Over the past ten years I’ve attended a ton of showers as well as helped host quite a few! I love all the details! My hands have been quite full for three or four years with my twins, so while I’ve not been the brains behind much of the creativity, I’ve loved seeing and taking part in some of it! This DIY Kitchen Wedding Shower was one of my recent favorites.

The gift tree had spoons, oven mitts and other kitchen utensils on it, which was so cute! We all wrote a few words on the spoons for the bride-to-be :)
We were given a recipe card in our invitation to fill a recipe box. What a great idea! Now, she can keep these recipes from all her friends and family that attended her shower.This shower luncheon had some DIY decorations. My favorite is the mixer & blender with flowers. What a perfect centerpiece for a kitchen shower!The little personal touches make the shower so sweet and sincere: the rolling pin and apron at the bride-to-be’s seat, moss letters and several other things.
The favors were delicious sugar cooks that were mixers & blenders, along with a sugar cookie recipe. Darling.

 

Thanks so much for checking out my DIY Kitchen Wedding Shower post! I’m going to have Heather guest post on my blog soon! You can follow along with me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and sometimes Twitter :)

by Heather

3 Things I Like My Husband to Do for Date Nights

August 13, 2014 in Date Nights by Heather

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SmoothSummer#CollectiveBias

Ways to Make Date Night Special

Date nights are critical for us. Between my busy schedule at work, Pure Barre, social media clients and blogging and the hub’s full time school and work, it is hard to squeeze in time together. So, when we do, we like to be very intentional about it. I’m so thankful I have a husband who takes the time to make me feel special and cherished. Some of the things Eric does to make me feel special for our date nights include shaving, getting my door, tuning into only me, and planning ahead. I am incredibly blessed and thankful to call him my husband of almost 6 years!

These are the main three things he does to make me feel special for a date night:

Ways to Make Date Night Special | My Life Well Loved1. Plan ahead. He looks at his calendar and asks about mine to see when we could go out. He plans it out a few days in advance and makes sure to check out the menu at the restaurant we’re going to, or checks the weather for a hike and makes sure we both have that time blocked out for each other.

Ways to Make Date Night Special | My Life Well Loved

Ways to Make Date Night Special | My Life Well Loved

2. Shave. It may seem silly but I love it when Eric shaves for me and takes the time to let me know he cares how he looks for me on our date nights. We have always prioritized working out and looking good for one another, so when he shaves and dresses nicely for a date night, it further proves he cares about impressing me.

3. Unplug. On date nights, we notice that a lot of couples end up staring at their phones over dinner. We are not ok with this and really try to keep our phones away so we are not distracted with text messages, emails, or tweets coming in. It’s so refreshing to just concentrate on the one important person with you at that moment.

These three things that Eric does for our date nights make me feel appreciated, loved, and cared for. He also gets my door for me, makes sure to hold my hand and affirms me in physical touches as well as quality time which are by far my winning love languages.

Gillette Flexball Razor
I’m so thankful to Gillette Flexball for sponsoring this post. Eric tested out the new razor after I picked it up from Walmart and you can see the video below to see what he thought! Ever since I was little, I’ve always liked the look of a smooth face for a man. You can ask my parents who had to listen to me gripe about every man I saw walk by with a beard…

In fact, you can imagine my glee when I found:

 Krystal’s Kitsch’s board Smooth Faces of Summer on Pinterest.

Hello, smooth faces of handsome men! What does your man do to make you feel special for date nights or days?

**Thanks to Magen Davis Photography for all photos!

by Heather

Wardrobe Pick Me Up

August 12, 2014 in Fashion by Heather

Wardrobe Pick Me UpHello My Life Well Loved readers, I am Buffy York and I write a lifestyle blog called The Style Gathering. I live in Birmingham, Alabama with my husband and 4 children and we are all counting down the days until the college football season starts. Roll Tide Y’all! I met Heather four years ago when I started taking Pure Barre classes and found her energy and positive attitude to be so appealing. Several months ago when I decided to start my own blog Heather was one of the first people I called for her expertise, and last week when she asked me to be a guest blogger on My Life Well Loved, I was honored and jumped at the chance. Thank you Heather. I hope your readers enjoy…..

Wardrobe Pick Me Up: My Life Well Loved

Wardrobe Pick Me Up: My Life Well Loved

Wardrobe Pick Me Up | My Life Well Loved

Wardrobe Pick Me Up | My Life Well Loved

It is absolutely ridiculous that I stress out about what I am going to wear on any given occasion, but I do. Last month, I was invited to the Belk Fall Fashion Preview with their VP of trend merchandising, Arlene Goldstein, and my normal stress out over what to wear escalated to a full blown freak out. These moments usually set in motion a series of events that go something like this. I call my friend and say “What in the world am I going to wear?” and she says “What were you thinking?” After that several iphone pics of outfit options are texted back and forth, I head over to her house with an armload of clothes, she opens a bottle of wine and starts pulling things out of her closet and we put together an outfit. This happens alot and the bonus is that she has a “skinny mirror” in her bathroom so I leave with a little pep in my step.

Moments like this and the upcoming change of seasons and the fact that I want to fire everything in my closet got me to thinking about how to get the most out of my current wardrobe without dropping a load of cash. There are several ways to go about this but here are a few ways that have worked for me and you may find useful.

BORROW CLOTHES
Double your wardrobe by having access to a friend’s closet. This clearly works out well for me. In the photographs above I am wearing the outfit my friend and I put together to wear to the Belk Fashion Preview. The BB Dakota leather shorts and Namrata Joshipura jacket I purchased from Laura Kathryn are mine and the Haute Hippie camel silk tank belongs to my friend. She and I have an awesome arrangement but here are a few things to consider, borrowing etiquette if you will, before you borrow or lend. First, these arrangements should be two-way streets. If you are going to borrow expect to lend. I actually love seeing my clothes on my friend. It gives me a renewed interest in articles of clothing that may have lost their luster in my eyes. Have you ever broken up with a boyfriend and then see him out with another girl? You think “Wait, did I miss something here?” Same emotions apply to clothes. Something else to think about is who you want to swap with, I only swap back and forth with one friend. She and I have similar taste and body types and we buy clothes in the same price range. Next thing, always return clothes in better condition than you borrowed them, and if you ruin a piece of clothing be prepared to make it right. This will ensure that you get to borrow again. Lastly, I don’t borrow shoes or fine jewelry. Number one, my friend buys very expensive shoes, like one’s with red soles, and shoes are too easily ruined and number two, jewelry is too easily lost.

HIRE A CLOSET CONSULTANT
I totally understand if you do not want to borrow or lend out your wardrobe and another relatively inexpensive way to get a new outlook on your closet is to hire a consultant. Typically their services can be tailored to meet your needs from just and hour or two of putting together outfits from your current wardrobe to personal shopping. Two years ago I hired my friend Kerri Bunn to come in and help me. At the time I was working full-time and I needed some go to outfits for work and life. I was sick of standing in my closet, that housed many a clothing item, and not being able to figure out what to wear. Kerri came in and assessed what I owned, she put together many different looks complete with shoes and accessories and we took pictures with my phone to reference later. She even completely reinvented a 10-year-old jacket that I was about to give-away and I have probably worn it 30 times since. In addition to Kerri Bunn, Birmingham has several other stylists such as Tracy James of Chic Made Simple and Megan LaRussa Chenoweth of Southern Femme, each with different levels of wardrobe consulting. If you prefer not to spend any money just get a friend whose style you like to come over and revamp your looks for free.

ORGANIZE A CLOTHES SWAP PARTY
I have participated in one of these with a group of my friends and it really is very fun. Get a group of women together and tell them to bring their unwanted somewhat current clothes in good condition and cash to a designated friend’s house. The clothes should be clean, on hangers and priced in $5 increments with their name on the price tag. One person is the “banker” and after shopping each others clothes the banker writes down what each person owes and gives credit to the original owner. After the party is over and all the tallys have been made each person either pays what they owe or they receive cash if they sell more than they buy. These clothes swaps can be done in many different formats so make sure you set your guidelines and everyone understands what is expected before the party.

These are just a few ways that I have found to freshen up my wardrobe without breaking the bank. What are some of the tricks that work for you? What is your wardrobe pick me up? Heather and I would love to hear from you. Post a comment below or email me at buffy@thestylegathering.com.

Wearing: Haute Hippie silk tank | Namrata Joshipura blazer (old) similar here here here | BB Dakota leather shorts | Steve Madden block heel (on sale) | Gigi New York clutch | Shalla Wista Studio nameplate necklace and lightening bolt necklace | Gorjana cuff | Stella and Dot bangle | Kate Spade iPhone case

by Heather

Pure Barre Fitness Technique Video

August 11, 2014 in Healthy Living by Heather

Pure Barre is sweeping the nation and the celebrity circuit by storm! Many of you have found my blog because of Pure Barre and I’m so thankful to have you here. If you don’t know what the Pure Barre Fitness Technique is, this video will explain a little bit more about it as will my 10 Tips for Your First Pure Barre Class. Pure Barre is a mixture between ballet, pilates and yoga in a 55 minute class. It is a very athletic approach to ballet and no dance experience is needed. Each class is set to driving and fun music that will keep your heart rate up and your mind engaged so you are actually having FUN while working out! Imagine that…

This technique is known to slim out your thighs, tone up your arms, and whittle in your waistline as well as lifting your “seat.” The benefits can be seen physically as well as felt emotionally and mentally.

Pure Barre TechniqueThanks again to Ivette with All about Bham for teaming up with me to do some healthy inspired videos like our previous Cinnamon Peanut Butter Protein Treat. We’re excited to bring another segment to you soon highlighting Pure Barre Fitness in Fashion!

If you’ve tried Pure Barre, what is your favorite part about the technique?

by Heather

Tips for Dressing from Day to Night

August 7, 2014 in Fashion by Heather

Tips for Dressing from Day to Night: My Life Well LovedGo, go, go is the theme of our society. It can be hard to pull that off stylishly and thoughtfully so I’m here to help with some tips for dressing from day to night. 90% of the time I run from work to a workout, date night, or dinner with friends and effortlessly staying chic is not always the easiest thing to do. Let’s dive into a few tips and tricks for pulling it off Princess Kate Middleton style, shall we?

In Birmingham, it goes without saying that it’s usually hot and muggy at this time of year, however in the office it can be freezing thanks to frigid AC units trying to battle the heat. A great way to transition a look from day to night is to wear layers so you’re comfortable during the day and can jazz it up in the evening!

Day look:

View More: http://magendavisphotography.pass.us/daytonight

View More: http://magendavisphotography.pass.us/daytonight

View More: http://magendavisphotography.pass.us/daytonight

Day to Night Look | My Life Well Loved

Night Look:

Day to Night Look | My Life Well Loved

Day to Night Look | My Life Well Loved

Day to Night Look | My Life Well Loved

Day to Night Look | My Life Well Loved

Best Tips for Dressing from Day to Night:

  • Dress in layers. Wear a cardigan to cover your arms and make your dress more demure for the office. But, at night, let those shoulders show!
  • Flats to heels. Wear your comfy flats at the office, but pack a 1-2 punch with your strappy summer heels when the clock strikes 5:00.
  • Jewelry. Go from a simple silver or gold chain with little embellishments to a full on statement necklace to up the ante in the twilight hours. I also broke out my go-to stacks of bracelets and the ever edgy hand chain!
  • Wear slimming shape wear and comfortable undergarments (I chose Maidenform Smooth Body Full Slip & the strapless bra) that make your transition seamless without lots of time-consuming changing.
  • The eyes have it. Wear minimal eye makeup during the day such as mascara and liner, but break out the smoky eye look with a few simple swipes of shadow in the evening.
  • Mane event. Your hairstyle goes a long way in showing what kind of mood and how much effort you put in. I know my husband usually likes my hair pulled back, so I swept it into a low bun for a date night look.

The main takeaway is to make it as easy as possible when you plan your outfit for the day by incorporating simple things like packing different shoes and jewelry in your purse. Everything else you can simply shed or transition with a few swipes of shadow or hair pins. The best part about this whole transition? You don’t have to change undergarments or clothes! Maidenform makes it really easy with their convertible bras, full body slips, and thigh slimmers. What a great trick to have up your sleeves!

What’s your day to night tricks?

Shop the Look: Dress: Old Navy | Cardigan: Forever 21 (Similar) | Flats: Zulilly (Similar) | Heels: Target (Similar)| Necklace: Stella & Dot Knockoff (Similar) | Hand Chain: Rose Golde

*Thanks so much to Maidenform for sponsoring this post. AND Thanks to Magen Davis Photography for all the lovely shots!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Maidenform. The opinions and text are all mine.

by Heather

Dressy Summer Sass

August 5, 2014 in Fashion by Heather

J Crew Gold Stripe Dress

A dress should make you feel ladylike, classy, refined and ready to dance! When you’re looking for a sassy, dressed up look it can be hard to find the perfect dress that fits all the criteria you have in mind. When I found this dress I knew it was perfect for the dressy spring event I had and I’d wear it to weddings and showers 10x over.

You know that feeling you get when you slip into something that fits you like a glove? It’s magical. That’s how I felt in this dress. It needed a classic black heel and just a pop of color and understated accents to complete the look. I love how this dress is business on the top and a little bit of festive glitter on the bottom. Honestly, when I wore it I felt a little bit like Jackie O. or Audrey Hepburn. Here’s to hoping you’ve found that perfect dress this summer!

J Crew Gold Stripe Dress

J Crew Gold Striped Dress

Perfect Dressy Look

Stacks of bracelets

Cute Outfit

Style

J Crew Gold Dress My Life Well Loved

J Crew Gold Dress My Life Well Loved

J Crew Gold Dress My Life Well Loved

I think it’s pretty evident from these pictures that this J Crew gold striped dress makes me happy. Perhaps it is the glitter… I feel like a princess who has the perks of laid back pockets in her dress. I completed this look with a swept loose bun to stick with the timeless chic feel. What dress do you have that makes you feel special?

Shop the look: Dress: J Crew | Shoes: Target (Similar) | Necklace: Hyla DeWitt (Similar) | Stackable Bracelets: E McGarrah Designs & Stella & Dot (Similar) | Yellow Bracelet: Loft (Similar)

by Heather

My Morning Routine

August 3, 2014 in Lifestyle by Heather


My Morning RoutineWhat does your ideal morning look like? Mornings are the time of the day when everything is fresh, possibilities are endless and your to-do list and organizational skills are sharpest. Morning sunshine beckons you out of bed, promising a bright and positive day and while all of us can’t be morning people, it is true that if the first thought in your head in the morning is positive, you tend to have a better day. Isn’t it amazing how powerful our minds are in that way!

I wish I could say I was a morning person, but alas, I am not. My ideal morning starts a little later than most and involves coffee with Coffee Mate Vanilla, plenty of time to apply makeup, accessorize, and do my devotional. When my morning runs like that, I feel at peace, rested and recharged for the day ahead.

My Morning RoutineMy morning routine looks like this:

9:45 am: Wake up & Check in on the world (scroll through social media, emails, any breaking news via phone)

10:00 am: Get up and start coffee pot

10:01 am: Eat something to kick-start my metabolism (normally a banana with peanut putter)

10:10 am: Pour coffee in cute mug that makes me smile and fill with enough Coffee-Mate vanilla to make others ask me if I like any coffee in my creamer.

10:15 am: Do devotional while enjoying coffee

10:30 am: Check in on all social media accounts for blogging/business consulting clients and my job

11:00 am: Start getting ready (Shower, apply sunless tanner, makeup, style hair)

11:50 am: Pick out accessories for outfit

11:55 am: Hit the road for Pure Barre workout, lunch or pool day with a friend, or do a lunch date with the hubs.

Clearly, this ideal day happens on a Saturday. Unfortunately, on weekday mornings I find myself running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to get myself prepared and out the door. I may share my typical weekday morning in another post, but that would be more of a comedy routine than inspiring.

morning routine made prettyLuckily, I’ve got Coffee-Mate vanilla to help me breeze through my mornings and wake up! I’ve been loyally using vanilla creamer since high school and it is still my favorite! Vanilla provides a sensorial experience. Its subtle flavor and aroma are the perfect complement to the boldness of coffee. Vanilla is comforting and familiar to me but it is also upbeat and exciting. I’m going to take back vanilla every morning and claim my anything-but-boring morning routine that is made sweeter thanks to this classic taste.

Show us how much you love Classic Vanilla. Snap a photo of your own vanilla moment and share it with the hashtag #TakeBackVanilla (on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram) for a chance to have your photo featured on Coffee-mate’s social channels.

**ALL PHOTOS via Magen Davis Photography.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

by Heather

3 Ways to Relax

July 31, 2014 in Healthy Living by Heather

Ways to unwind and bless others. Relax...When Tommy Bahama invited me to help spread their campaign #GoRelax in honor of National Relaxation Day coming up on August 15, it was the perfect opportunity to share with you my favorite ways to relax. When your cell phone is constantly vibrating with texts, emails, calls and Instagram notifications day and night, it can be a bit overwhelming. You find yourself multi-tasking at answering emails while watching TV or texting while catching up with a friend, and before you know it, it seems like the whole day was technological blur. Does this sound familiar?

Instead of that chaotic feeling, I’m asking you to spend today unwinding with me. Imagine yourself on a beach, reading, relaxing and letting your mind wander. Listen to music or just sit and spend time by yourself without your phone to allow your mind a moment to unwind for the day. It is the little luxuries in life like these that we need to take time to enjoy. Not only will it renew your mind and body but it can help lower your blood pressure and help lead to a longer, healthier life.

I’ve felt very convicted lately about needing to tune out the noise, to re-center my focus to love God and love people and put all other things behind these priorities in my life. Unfortunately in a social media driven world, it’s even easier to become me-focused. Here’s a list of things I’ve come up with to help me relax and spend time nurturing relationships with friends, family and my Savior.

3 Ways to Relax:

1. Write cards. As you may have seen in a recent post, I love sending and receiving cards. I used to carry cards and envelopes around with me everywhere so when I had extra time I could write a note to brighten someone’s day. As smart phones make it easier for me to occupy my every spare moment, that habit has gone by the wayside. As of today, I will put cards back in my purse and take the time to write when I’m in waiting rooms or have down time between appointments.

2. Prayer and time in the Bible. Isn’t it amazing how God has an uncanny ability to quiet your soul like no one else can? I love the unmistakeable peace of God’s presence when I take the time to soak in His greatness and listen. So often, we want to talk the whole time in our prayers, but often God calls us to listen for our next step, so He can guide us. This relationship with God is one that needs to be nurtured and grown just like any other relationship. We need to spend the time to get to know our Heavenly Father even better. This is a daily walk I’m continuing to pursue, because like most southern women, I LOVE to talk and sometimes it can be hard to “Be Still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

3. Being outside. Whether I’m laying by the pool or the beach, if I’m by the water, I’m a happy girl. Some of my favorite ways to unwind are to be outdoors. Sometimes that means basking in the sun with friends at the pool and other times it means going on a run or walk by myself without any music. The few times I do go for a run without music makes me feel so in tune with my thoughts, and gives me more time to pray. I’m a big believer in Vitamin D from the sun and enjoying the beauty God has created all around us. (Wear your sunscreen, of course, my beauties!)

tommy bahamaIf you need some additional ways to relax, Tommy Bahama is hosting the “Summer of Go” sweepstakes where you can enter to win various travel packages {each week!} or the grand prize of a Hawaiian vacation! For details on the weekly prizes and the grand prize head on over to their landing page. Go enter now! No purchase necessary. Tommy Bahama will also have several events and promotions on National Relaxation Day at all of their Tommy Bahama Island Locations (this is a store and restaurant combined) so if you are near one, pencil it on your calendar to stop by!

Since this post is sponsored by Tommy Bahama, if you’ll do me a favor and click over to their site from HERE to check them out I’d really appreciate it because you’re showing them you found out about their promotion through my blog! Thank you for supporting the brands that make My Life Well Loved happen. All opinions and expression are 100% my own.

Images: 1/2/3