This is going to be a pretty brief post again. If you follow me on social media, then you may have already seen my post the other night about me being ill. I have managed to get both Sinusitis and the Flu at the same time, and I have been pretty out of it. I am starting to feel minutely better, but it will most likely be a few days before I am really better.
I of course missed posting the subscription box reviews I had for Thursday and today. And if you have been with me for at least a year or more, you know I take a couple of weeks vacation from the blog to work on my home and Poshmark every year after Christmas. I had planned on taking three this year because of a lot of changes that need to be made before my niece moves in this summer. But due to being sick it looks like that may be extended. I am just going to officially call it, and say that my vacation has started.
I will be posting on social media some during this time, I won’t be completely abandoning everything. I will be back to the sometime mid January. I was hoping for the 13th, but it really will depend on how long it takes me to recover from being sick.
Good news for those of you who have been missing fashion posts, I do have several planned for January and February. I am hoping some of the home changes we are making will make it easier to keep them coming on a more regular basis. I will also have those last couple of box reviews for you as well as some shampoo reviews and some new things I am working on.
In the mean time, I want to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Vacation was a bit of a struggle, and I didn’t get as many pictures taken as I had intended, but I did get did get some pictures of a few outfits. So I put a plus size vacation clothing look book together for you. Not everything is going to still be available from the original seller, but we will talk about that more as we come to it.
Our trip included stops in the following:
New Orleans, Louisiana
Orange Beach, Alabama
So I tried to pack a wardrobe that was stylish, comfortable, and cool. I included a couple of nicer outfits for dinner at nicer restaurants we had planned. But overwhelmingly I packed clothing that would keep me cool because everyone kept telling me how hot it was going to be. Ironically, as it turned, it was hotter where I live than at any of the place we visited. But I am still happy with what I packed.
This was from the first full day I was in New Orleans. It’s also probably the most put together I looked during my whole trip at any of the stops we made. I mean I actually did my hair this day, and my accessories go with my outfit. On vacation for me that is my typical, but this vacation was anything but typical.
The dress is from Torrid. It is their Olive V-Neck Tiered Challis Mini Dress. That particular dress is not available at the moment, but you never know with Torrid. They often bring items back. Or alternatively they do have similar items. Currently the dress closest in style to what I am wearing is their Olive Tie Sleeve Gauze Skater Dress. But there is only a few sizes left online as I type this, so if you want it grab it before its gone. My dress is a size 2, which is pretty much my standard size at Torrid in most things.
The purse is from Multi Sac Handbags, it is one of the purses they sent me last year. If you want to hear know more about why I like Multi Sac and how I ended up with them sending me some purses, you can read about it in the Giveaway I did with Multisac last year. This bag I have here is their Lorraine Crossbody in two-tone vinyl(faux leather). This color combo is Pony and Coffee. I can’t find this color on their website, so I linked to the black version. But you can most likely find this color combo in one of the stores they sell in.
One of the last days we were in New Orleans we took a bus tour and then walked through the Market. So I made sure to wear something breezy and comfortable.
This dress is from ASOS Curve, but I didn’t buy it from ASOS. I had seen it on their website some time ago and they were already sold out of anything close to my size. I ended up finding it on Poshmark last fall, and I bought it to wear this summer. I have talked about Poshmark here on the blog before, I really think it’s a great way to find deals and items you missed out on when they were in the store. I typically size down to an 18 at ASOS, but I asked a few questions from the seller and found out this ran a bit small. The one I am wearing is a size 22. It was a bit big and I probably would have been okay with a 20, but I think this worked well enough.
I both sell and buy on Poshmark as do a lot of bloggers. If you want to check out what I have up for sale on my Poshmark closet you can click here, or it is always linked in the main menu at the top of every page. You can find a lot of great deals, and some not so great deals, on a wide variety of brands including ASOS Curve (This link should take you to all the ASOS Curve available on Poshmark). Most items are either new or gently used. If you don’t already have an account on Poshmark, then by using this link you can get a $5 off your first purchase. If it asks you for a code use KARENMSMITH77.
With the dress I have paired with it the same handbag as above. My shoes are from the Avenue. They are their Farrah Braided Gladiator Wedge Sandal. They come in two colors, black or brown. They are on clearance now, and not many sizes left, but if they have your size these are selling for a steal. To finish it off I have on a pair of 50mm silver hoop earrings.
This was taken at our last stop in Helen, Georgia. So it was kind of backlit and my husband forgot to put the backlighting setting on, but I thought the picture looked kind of cool anyway. So I decided to share my picture but I will also share the stock photo below so you can see the details of the print.
I didn’t really add anything other than shoes to this dress. The day that I wore this we were mainly out taking some short walks around a lake and grabbing lunch at a small store. Not really the kind of area or kind of activities you get really dressed up for. The shoes I have on were super comfortable, like straight out of the box they were comfortable. They are also from the Avenue. It is their Fran Braided Slingback Wedge Sandal in Bronze. It is also available in black, but since this shoe is on clearance sizes are limited as I am writing this.
If you see this and think I was stuck on dresses and cold shoulders, you’re not entirely wrong. But I did have more variety than this in my wardrobe, however my energy and a lot of rain conspired against me when it came to taking pictures of those other outfits. I do feel though that these three outfits give a good overview of my vacation style. And really I think I always love dresses and cold shoulders.
Tell me in the comments what your vacation style is.
For the fourth and final week of August I was on vacation. I have been struggling with my health for a while, and just packing was a bit of an ordeal. So I decided to pack a little different from typical for me, and that included my skin care.
I decided the best strategy for me was to pack what was going to be both most compact and easiest to make sure I had everything. So I went with a selection of 3 in 1 masks to take with me. I did take a few more than I needed. I needed enough for a week and three days, I probably took enough for almost two weeks. I liked the idea of having options.
Two of the masks I already had in my collection, I believe they came in one of the many beauty subscription boxes I have tried. The rest I ordered off of Amazon in order to receive them in time for the trip.
Top middle I already had as well. It is a two in one mask from Wellage, specifically their Vitablue Injection Mask. It comes with an ampoule and a sheet mask. I got mine in a subscription box, though I do not remember which one. I have linked to Amazon because once again that is the only place I see them currently available out of the places I buy from.
Top right I purchased on Amazon. It is the Mediheal 3 Step R:NA Toning Sheet Mask Pack. It is available for purchase as a single or in a ten piece set. This set includes a pre-moistened cleansing gauze, a sheet mask, and a face cream. I did not see this one available at any of my other usual places to buy sheet masks.
Bottom left is a box of ten I bought on Amazon. It is the Americano 3-Step Facial Sheet from Skin7Teen. This set says it includes 1 toner and 1 ampoule, though I think they are essentially the same thing. And of course it includes a sheet mask. The toner and ampoule are for different areas of your face, so this can be very customizable. I personally did not use them in the spots the directions said because my oily areas and my dry areas are different from typically talked about. I have not seen this mask anywhere else I shop, though I think Beauteque sometimes has this brand.
And finally bottom right we have the last set I bought on Amazon. Each of the masks are different, but all are from the same brand. This is the Missha 3-Step Sheet Mask Set. You get five different masks with the set. You get one each of Brightening, Hydrating, Lifting, Nutrition, and Purifying. Just as the masks are different, what comes with them is too. Some of them have Peeling Gel Cleanser, a Toner, and a Sheet Mask. And the rest come with a Toner, a Sheet Mask, and a Face Cream. You can purchase these individually on YesStyle, but it is a much better value to purchase these in a set.
In addition to the sheet masks I took, I also had with me some items to supplement my skin care routine. I took mainly sample sizes along with a couple of travel size items. I took about four sample size packets of the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser along with my Clarisonic Mia 2. Each packet of the cleanser is good for about 4 to 6 face washes. I typically use this with my Clarisonic for both cleansing and exfoliation in the shower a few times a week. But I used it for cleaning my face both morning and night, with and without the Clarisonic on this trip.
Most of you know I have been away on vacation, and the last few posts were pre-scheduled to post while I was gone. I simultaneously was, and still am, dealing with some extra health issues. I still don’t have answers about everything regarding my health, but I will cover that more fully in another post soon.
My last post that went up was the summary of what sheet masks I used in the third week of August. I will have a week four posted soon, but it will be quite different. Rather than my typical day to day post of what I used, I will instead be sharing en mass what masks I got specifically to take with me for travel. If you want to see specific sheet masks I used the rest of the month you can find those in my Instagram feed.
This past month was a personal challenge to help jump start getting my skin care back on track. I may occasionally do a monthly personal challenge again that I share. But most months I think I will be doing about half of the sheet masks I used last month. So rather than sharing a weekly summary I will be doing a monthly summary.
Just like my travel has sort inspired a travel related skin care post, I will have quite a few travel centric post including a post about some of the outfits I took with me and some ways to make life easier if you are traveling with health issue. I have been toying around for the last couple of years with the idea of adding a travel section to the blog, and I am pretty sure I will be doing that now. But I would love to hear any feed back you may have about that.
I am working with my doctors, and while it is taking longer than hoped to feel better, I still have hope that I will be back to my regular energy levels soon. I did take this past week off with no posts scheduled. This post will start me back to the posting schedule I have been using the last couple of months, which ends being about one and a half posts a week. I am super hopeful that by October to be back up to two posts a week. So I am hoping to be able to have time to work some product reviews in as well.
I also am already gearing up for the Holiday season in a way. One of the things I do every year here on the blog is review subscription boxes. I usually start in late September/early October and go till a couple of weeks before Christmas. I love subscription boxes and I think that they make great gifts, especially for people who are into something maybe you don’t know much about or anyone who just loves getting surprises. I have already got a couple of new ones planned, but I would also love to hear if any of you want a review of one specifically. So tell me in the comments what subscription box you want to see reviewed this year.
This is a few days late, but July 24th was International Self Care Day. And even though I am late, I still wanted to take some time and talk about things I am going to be doing for self-care and why.
I think I have been saying a lot since the beginning of this year how I am not feeling well and how bad my skin has been. They are really connected, because while I haven’t felt well my habits I had built-in taking care of my skin had fallen to the side. While I had pushed to at least do the basics of skin care, I haven’t been doing everything that I really need to. I just have not had the energy and at times haven’t cared enough because of everything else that was going on.
But I realize I have to care more about it. I have to put more effort into self-care. And with as bad as I have been feeling, that isn’t just going to be skin care I need to put some serious effort into. My health is really suffering right now, so I need some major self-care in all areas of my life.
I have already done some thing like getting back on a high-powered vitamin D. I do tend to run vitamin D deficient, and I had run out of what I was taking. So I decided to go back to the liquid vitamin D from Buried Treasure I had taken prior to that. I think it worked the best for me. I also have finally gotten in with new doctors. And I have gotten myself a membership with Massage Envy. Each of these have helped in minute ways. And I plan on trying to incorporate more self-care over time.
Now, I had previously mentioned that my husband and I would be taking an extended vacation for our anniversary at the end of August. I want to try to create a healthier skin care routine for myself before I leave for vacation. I would love to have my skin back in shape so I can freely wear makeup during my trip without worrying if it will look bad on the dry patches. Its our anniversary, so obviously I want to look extra nice when we go out for dinners and the such.
There is some debate on how to go about creating healthy habits. The majority seem to say you create a healthy habit by being repetitive, but by how long is even up for debate. For a long time people have been saying that it takes 21 days to form a habit. But recent research has shown that it way more complicated that just saying it takes 21 days, and it probably varies by person and type of habit. So I may not have an actual “habit” per say by the time I go on vacation, but I think that any effort put into self-care right now is for the better.
I will be trying to share some of the skin care items I am using each day on social media as well as some of the other self-care things I am doing if you are interested in following along with that. I also will be sharing some pictures of our trip at the end of the month.
As a side note, due to still not feeling 100% and all of the business from vacation plans and a lot of doctors appointments right now, it may be a while before I can get back to the three blog posts a week I was doing at one time. But right now I feel confident I at least can hold it steady at the 1 to 2 post a week range. And since my hair is still recovering from the last shampoo and conditioner review I did, it will be after my vacation before I pick those back up. So it will be sometime in September.
I know that a fair amount of my readers also deal with chronic pain and chronic health conditions. Tell me in the comments below what you do for self-care. What keeps you sane?
As you know I went on a girlfriends vacation back in May. I have a few different outfits to do posts about, but have been such a slacker over the summer. And now time has rolled around and I am about to go on vacation with my husband to New York. Bad blogger, bad, bad. LOL
So I wanted to make sure I took some initiative and at least got one more outfit post up before I leave. And who knows, maybe I will be able to get even more up before Thursday.
My friend Jenny’s family had a condo on Lido Beach in Sarasota Florida. This is just a comfy casual look I put on for one of the days we were going to dinner after a day at the beach.
The dress was so comfortable. This dress does seem to require either a plunge bra or a cami underneath. I paired it with a simple silver and amethyst necklace and a pair of flip flops from Flojos.
The dress is from Lane Bryant. Its their Lattice shoulder maxi dress. They still have some on their website in a size 14/16, but you may be able to find other sizes in your local store.
I also wanted to try some new things with my hair while I was vacation, so in this picture I tried one of the varieties of bump its on the market. I bought mine on eBay, and I think I was quite happy with the effect. If you are interested in achieving the look, you can find the product here.