Pamper Your Skin for Spring

Thanks to Biore for sponsoring this post. All views are mine.

Spring skincare

Spring is coming which means we can finally get away from that dull, dry skin. What a relief! When temps get a touch nicer, I always feel like revamping my life including my beauty routine. Here are some ways to get your skin feeling fresh as a flower.

These are some of the pretty spring flowers I see on my daily walks. Take a walk with me through this post and we’ll visit some new skincare products along the way!


I notice that while I’m at home I sometimes get so busy working on projects that I forget to drink water. This can leave skin dry and lifeless, so figure out ways to fit in an extra 8 oz. during the day.

Use charcoal in your routine

Charcoal has been creeping into beauty products lately, and with good reason. Its clarifying properties are fabulous for drawing impurities from the skin. Both products in this post include charcoal.

Try a mask

Once or twice a week you can pamper your skin with a mask to combat blackheads and blocked pores! Bioré Self Heating One Minute Mask comes in a box with individual packets for easy use. It heats up gently to purify pores better than a basic cleanser in just one HOT minute! It really only takes one minute–leaving more time to go smell the flowers (with a nose full of clean pores, of course).

Bioré Deep Cleansing Charcoal Pore Strips  work in a similar fashion, with individually wrapped strips that you place on wet skin and leave on for 10 minutes. Follow me on Instagram and check out my Instagram stories to see them in action.

Get ’em at Target and Amazon. 

Dog Breed Reveal Party

If you have a dog, you’re probably VERY familiar with the question, “Oh, what kind of dog is that?” If you know what breed or mix your pup is, it’s a pretty straightforward answer. If you don’t know for sure, it can be tricky. I’ve tried saying everything from, “Well, we think maybe he’s a…” to “He’s a brown dog.” At one point it was a joke that he was a Miniature Direwolf.

For Christmas, I received the Wisdom Panel DNA kit, so the question was finally going to be answered!

Dog Breed Reveal Party

When the results came back, a little party was in order. (Yes, I am that person.) I created a board with dog breed stickers, and everyone submitted their breed guesses. The Best in Show award went to the person who had the closest guess.

We didn’t go overboard with dog-themed food, though I briefly thought about making Chex Mix Puppy Chow before I ran out of time making two flavors of cupcakes.

We decorated with dog-themed items. These dog-in-sweater pillows came from Sierra Trading Post, one of the stores on my dog-friendly shopping list.

Find similar throw pillows at the retailers affiliate linked here:

Wisdom Panel Dog DNA Kit Results

For a little background, Perry came from the St. Paul Animal Humane Society at the end of 2009. He was in an unwanted litter surrendered by the owner, and thought to be a Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix. He was the last of his litter to go home, and I’ve often wondered how similar his littermates look to him, and what breeds their mom and dad really were.

The results are in! And…the Animal Humane Society wasn’t wrong!

50% Mixed Breed – including evidence of Terrier, Herding and Middle East/African groups

25% Chihuahua

12.5% Pug

12.5% French Bulldog

Those last two I never saw coming! Do you think he resembles those breeds? Here’s what he looks like, from one of the many times he has starred in my Instagram feed.

I still have questions–the DNA results don’t explain how incredibly fast he is on his long legs. Everyone always thought he was part Italian Greyhound.

Overall, I am happy I chose to do the test. Now we have a little better idea, but I’m still not really any closer to knowing how to answer people who ask what kind of dog he is! Maybe “He’s a brown dog,” isn’t such a bad response after all.

Visit Historic Virginia City, Nevada

A historic city near Reno and Tahoe

While in Reno, some locals told me about the perfect place to satisfy my craving for old cities, ruins and ghost towns. Just a half hour’s drive from Reno, Virginia City is a historic town that welcomes tourists all year long.

Things to Do in Virginia City

Walk down the historic main street, which is full of plenty of shops, restaurants and museums to keep you busy for an afternoon. You’ll learn about the history of mining towns like Virginia City that were built up to mine for silver. In addition to plentiful tourist souvenir shops, there are fine art galleries, jewelers and shops selling locally made goods. As noted in my dog-friendly post, dogs are allowed everywhere, except maybe the churches. Pet-friendly includes more than dogs–I saw someone enjoying Virginia City with their pet pig.

To visit Virginia City, I wore a wool cape that I’d just found at the Goodwill Outlet in Reno for $9! I hadn’t been to a Goodwill since I got this skirt for Tech Fashion Week, but the store provided for me once again–this time to keep me warm in the chilly mountain air.

The Historic Nevada City Cemetery

If you think cemeteries are creepy and scary, maybe the rest of this post isn’t for you…but no trip to Virginia City is complete without stopping by the vast cemetery on the edge of town. It’s totally worth it just for the amazing view.

The walk through the cemetery itself is worthwhile, too. This was once considered the most picturesque cemetery in America, full of carefully tended flower gardens. It’s more ruined now, but still beautiful in a wild west way. You can even rent it for a wedding, if you’d like to be able to tell people you got married in a cemetery!

Some of the old plots are so old they are marked with carved wood, not stone. The interesting thing about this place is that there are grave markers from the 1800s intermixed with recent headstones. History weaves itself into the very fabric of this town. If you’re in Reno/Tahoe, consider a little side trip to Virginia City!

The Secret Ingredient Your Succulents Need

Succulent Care Tips

How do I keep succulents alive? Help, my succulent is dying! As a succulent garden hobbyist, I get asked questions like these a lot. My own interest in succulents began with one of my very first blog posts, and it intensified when I started my own succulent garden last year. I can’t stop sharing these beauties on Instagram!

Once you start growing succulents, it’s hard to stop! I just bought four tiny cuttings from a neighbor this week. But even though succulents are easy to grow, they aren’t foolproof. Do you have ailing succulents? It’s a myth that you can’t kill a succulent. In fact, it’s unfortunately much easier than you think.

I’ve killed them by underwatering and by overwatering. That’s the tricky part! So first, make sure the issue isn’t either of those things – this post has some advice on that. Sometimes they’ll perk right up with a little water — or try moving them to a sunnier location. If none of those things have helped, keep reading to find out how to fix the soil. It’s so disappointing when a beloved plant fails to thrive, so I want to help you reach succulent success.

Save your ailing succulents

When I was in Oregon for Thanksgiving, my entire family went to the Holiday Market, which is the Eugene Saturday Market that moves indoors for the winter. There are craft booths, music, food and a farmer’s market section. And just to show how popular this market is, I ran into a friend there who was in town visiting family. It’s not a small town, either. So as far as I can tell, the entire city of Eugene was attending the Saturday Market that day because 100% of the people I know in the city were there.

In the farmer’s market section is actually where I learned about this secret ingredient! A vendor was selling succulents and bags of ground up pumice for succulent soil. I bought a small amount of the pumice stone, and more succulents just because. Like I said, it’s hard to stop.

Keep succulents alive with one secret soil ingredient

I don’t know how I went this long without knowing about it, but it turns out that ground pumice is THE key to getting healthy succulents! The plants need well-draining soil, and 1/4 inch size pumice rock amends the soil in the ideal way. The common brand of succulent potting mix, Miracle Gro, does NOT include pumice. It’s also unlikely that pumice is in the soil when you buy a succulent from a store. If you have succulents that aren’t thriving, poor soil might be the culprit. So mix 1/2 pumice and 1/2 soil to make a mixture that your succulents will thrive in. If you want to keep your succulents alive and thriving, I can’t recommend this enough! After I ran out of the pumice from the farmer’s market, I bought a bag at my local garden shop. Of course, you can get it on Amazon either mixed into potting soil or on its own (these are affiliate links).

If you do add pumice to your succulents, do let me know if they perk up! I’ve noticed improvement in succulents within a week of adding pumice. This is an important ingredient to keep succulents alive and I hope it works for you too.

Mad for Blackwatch Plaid

Blackwatch plaid in styleIs blackwatch plaid in style? It’s a classic! It was especially popular this fall, but since I’m just getting around to posting about it now, there are currently tons of deals on blackwatch apparel. As far as I’m concerned it will never go out of style.

I was using blackwatch ribbon last year for Eco-friendly gift wrapping, I wore it this year to match Perry in this zip up vest, and I’ll surely be incorporating it in decor and style for years to come. As usual, I want to be transparent that the links in this post give me a very small (paper doll-sized) commission if you click a link or make a purchase.

When I saw Vineyard Vines had a blackwatch vest for sale I was interested–until I found a cheaper version for less than $20 and went that route instead. Plus, there was a matching blackwatch dog vest for Perry for 7.99! I’ve never actually matched outfits with my dog before and I was reluctant to do it because it’s a little bit too Elle Woods for me. Isn’t shopping with my dog enough? But I couldn’t pass up this opportunity for a matching plaid dog jacket, so here we are.

Deals and sales on blackwatch plaid styles

Here are the best in blackwatch plaid apparel sales that I’ve rounded up for you. Vineyard Vines and J.Crew are both clearancing out winter styles, including blackwatch items at great prices — extra 50% off final sale items right now.

Blackwatch plaid style for men

And men, I haven’t forgotten about you! Is blackwatch plaid in style for guys? Always! Here are some places to find your own deals on blackwatch plaid apparel.

Do you agree that blackwatch plaid is a classic?


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