Self Date Sunday: A Recipe for Clear Skin

This weekend I treated myself and my face to some serious love. With the changing season’s my skin has gone from dry as a bone to confused about humidity within minutes, and it’s turned into a slight break-out city as a result.  This week I’m going to tell you all about my favorite products for smooth skin no matter the season!

After a Saturday night out, I started my Sunday morning a little slow. I cleaned my face with a Neutrogena Naturals face wipe (c/o Influenster), saving water and using their eco friendly product to remove last night’s make up and eye gunk. I know, I really should have done it last night but ya know, margaritas. I know you know. The best part about using facial wipes, besides their added moisturizers, is saving water. Did you know that everyday you wash your face with regular soap and water you’re letting nearly 5 gallons of water go down the train?? This Earth month I’ve partnered with Neutrogena in their #WipeForWater campaign, pledging to utilize their wipes over a face cloth and soap and water. I gotta say, it’s been a good feeling to save water and have a clean smooth face! I pledged to clean my face for 7 days, how many can you do!? Sign up and join the cause at http://www.WipeForWater.com

Next up, it’s facial time. And guys, let me tell you about my all time favorite at-home facial. The Origins’ Charcoal facial cleanser is the best. Something about putting on all that dark chalky charcoal, letting it sit until it gets hard, then cleaning it away to reveal blackheads gone is just. AH. It makes my little heart sing.

After my once a week facial  it’s time for my daily cleanser. I’ve written about Neutrogena’s Oil Free Acne cleanser before, literally years ago, and it’s still my go-to. Every morning I wash my face with this cleanser in the shower (better than using it over the sink, splashing water all over myself like a doof in cleanser commercials) and I gotta say I don’t want to know where I would be without this one.

So these are my go-to favorites for clear skin. How do you keep your skin clear during the changing seasons? Have you tried any of these products? What have you done to preserve water and the environment this month? Share how you’re doing your part with #WipeForWater on InstaGram and Twitter!

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Experience: Aquila Game Reserve

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/cd/ba/d7/cdbad79c55eeff056fd3c0ea249ea321.jpgHow have you all been enjoying my posts from my trip to South Africa so far? Envious yet!? :P

Okay, so time to talk about my personal FAVORITE part of the trip. Everyone, and I don’t think anyone is excluded, dreams of going on an African Safari. It’s a bucket list staple so we ofcourse had to find the best way to do it on our trip. We researched and hunted and read reviews…Z wanted to go to Krueger National Park, the largest park in South Africa, where we would have to drive out into the wilderness and do some gritty camping (bugs, tents, extra things to bring). We opted to do our safari in the Karoo national park and desert, where there are an infinite amount of game reserve’s ranging from a full on wild experience to the rehabilition centers where you take lions and cheetahs on walks and feed and ride elephants. Being environmentally concious and inclined towards positive animal welfare we wanted to choose a more natural reserve. Aquila’s luxury accommodation’s made it the winning ticket.

aquila

We drove two hours from Cape Town, through gorgeous mountains and wineries, avoiding wild baboons, and arrive to be greeted with fresh champagne and lunch. We relaxed poolside before heading out to our first game drive. It was a beautiful day and all the animals seemed to agree; we saw elephants, giraffes, zebras, rhinos, springbok, ostriches, elans, wildabeast, lions…the list goes on, but the gist of it is that our expert tour guide (who has worked there for over 9 years) was able to find us all the wildlife efficiently and safely (though some rhinos did like to follow us rather closely). It was magnificent to see wildlife being wild; rhinos fighting elephants, lions eating a zebra, and hippos bathing in mud.

After a long four hours of exploring (and that tasty stop for champers and photo ops) we headed to our cabin and back to the main lodge for dinner. We had an individual cabin to ourselves complete with a patio, chairs, outdoor shower, and large soaking tub. Perfect for post-dinner romantic relaxing with a bottle of wine before calling it a night.

Day two had us up before the sun to catch the gorgeous sunrise as the animals awaken. We woke up to a Cape Buffalo outside of the fence to our cabin; cuh-razy. Though we missed most animals due to them probably still sleeping we saw cheetahs,buffalo, wildabeast, ostriches and…a leopard! We had a full breakfast and lounged around the luxury setting before heading on our way.

I’m so so happy we chose the Aquila Game Reserve for our African Safari. Our tour guide Timothy was so knowledgeable yet casual and was able to ensure we got the most of our experience. The lodging was cozy and exceptional, and I loved that it was a short two hour drive from Cape Town. If you’re headed to Africa (and I advise South Africa), I urge you to go to Aquila. And request Timothy if you can!

What do you think of my experience? Are you thinking about a trip to Africa?! Let me know what you think in the comments!

Disclaimer: I was comp’d a two day, one night stay at the Aquila Game Reserve. All photos and opinions expressed are my own.

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Spring Home Wishlist

Notting Hill is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in central London. It is a cosmopolitan district known as the location for the annual Notting Hill Carnival, and for being home to the Portobello Road Market.This past winter we decided to forego any home improvements. It was cold, we’d already spent 4+ months working HARD on our new home and wanted to give ourselves (and our wallets) a break. After leaving for South Africa in snow and coming back to full-on spring complete with cherry blossoms in bloom, we realized we were ready to dive in headfirst to the home stuff again!

If you follow me on Twitter or InstaGram you’ll have already seen that we’ve been hard at work. In a mission to beat JetLag we wandered Ikea until closing time, sleepily indulging ourselves into anything green and “easy to care for”, and that was just the beginning. Our deck that was built last fall is barren, so we’re hunting for the perfect outdoor furnishings. We want to bring some of the in-home color outdoors, starting with red adirondack chairs and bringing in some toning neutral with a classic lattice outdoor rug. Next up, I’m ready to get my green thumb on; fresh herbs and veggies need to get in my cooking! I saw The Home Depot currently has starter trees to grow on your patio in the nice season that can be brought inside when the weather gets cold; perfect for our four seasoned home!

Spring Things

As for the yard (holy toledo this city girl has a yard!?) Z is hellbent on getting a classic picnic table, while I’m drawn to string lights for setting the ambiance for many backyard barbecues and margarita parties to come. To round out the yard I’m loving some fresh outdoor table settings; a fruity or veggie table runner is kitschy, while modern plating pulls it in for a more youthful flair. I have this vision of white plates dipped in gold, and I’m thinking they’ll have to be a DIY project similar to this one by Sarah Hearts.

Lastly, our welcome mat from when we first bought our home did not weather the winter well. I’m wanting something fun for spring, and lucky for me my girl Chela Mitchell has some great ones available, including this “My Other House is a Yacht”!

what are you doing to prepare for spring? What are you favorite picks for outdoor entertaining!? Seriously, share with me, inspire me! And be sure to follow me as I’ll be posting more home updates soon (after more South Africa snaps!)

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Oh, Baby, Every Morning There are Mountains To Climb

When we were young, we used to live so close to it
And we were scared and we were beautiful
And when I peered over the edge and seen death, if we are always the same


Before I delve into all the photos from my African safari and the amazing wildlife and scenery I saw during my stay at the Aquila Game Reserve I’m going to share with you one outfit post. After reading up on proper safari attire, Z and I opted for neutral earthy tones to wear to best blend in with the surroundings of the Karoo. The layers provided us with the perfect coverage for the 4 hour drive, including a stop for some bubbling champagne and enjoying the views overlooking a clearing of zebras and rhinos. Can we say amazing once in a lifetime experience #takemeback !?

Let me know what you think of our looks, and be sure you’re following me to see more of my trip to South Africa!


On Me:
Free People trousers (similar here)
The Hanger top
Banana Republic Sweater
Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars
Anthropologie sunglasses

On Z:
Khakis by ASOS (shop styles here)
Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars
Ray Ban sunglasses

when I get up, this is what I see
Welcome to reality

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I’ve Got That Red Lip Classic Thing That You Like

Cape Town, South Africa has rapidly become one of my favorite cities. With that infamous Mediterranean climate, famed mountains, a plethora of unique wildlife, and some of the world’s most gorgeous beaches it’s hard to find another city to compete. Before I delve into a recap of my trip here’s a look at another outfit I wore. I wore this flirty polka dot dress to lunch at The Roundhouse, a picnic themed restaurant on the side of a mountain, then to relax along the beach of Camps Bay sipping South African wine and enjoying the spectacular views [with the love of my life].

polka dot dress by White House/Black Market

Red tote c/o Linell Ellis

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This is Something Bigger Than Us and Beyond Bliss

Tell me something I need to know
Then take my breath and never let it go
If you just let me invade your space
I’ll take the pleasure, take it with the pain

My first outfit post from my trip to South Africa! I wore this on our first night out to a burger joint in the upscale Randburg neighborhood of Johannesburg. The airy temperatures are my perfect dream; sunny days lending way to chilly nights that require a light jacket for layering. I think I’m learning that I was born for a mediterranean climate…and I’m dreading heading back to the states for “sprinter”. Until then, this is the first of many looks coming to you full of sun-drenched looks to help us into the coming season.backless

Top c/o Olive and Oak
Uniqlo pants
Zara mules
vintage bag

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Packing Essentials

As you’re reading this I’m far away from land; flying over the African continent as I make my way to South Africa for a glorious two weeks with my boyfriend to celebrate our anniversary. Here’s a peak into some of what I packed for the trip! (because I know y’all love a good flatlay)

The Carry On:

In the Suitcase:

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