Friday, October 31, 2014

Great Heights: Fall Boot Guide

'Tis the season for boots. And this year in particular I am loving ALL THE BOOTS! From flat booties, heeled booties, lace up booties, tall flat boots, heeled tall boots, knee high boots, and even over the knee boots… the boot game is on point right now! 

As far as brands go, I am loving EVERYTHING from Freebird and Frye! Both feature updated classics that I can imagine going with my outfits from now until Spring.

Below are my favorite style boots … how's a girl to decide? I am really looking for a stylish pair of flat black booties -- suggestions?
What boot style is on your MUST HAVE list this season?
1 Stuart Weitzman "Lowland" boot (my dream!) // 2 Sam Edelman "Jenkins" boots (a affordable version of the Stuart Weitzman boots) // 3 Tory Burch over the knee "Simone" boots // 4 Splendid "Delaney" boots // 5 Michael Kors "Jessa Tassel Wrap" boot (love the boho glam factor!) // 6 Free People "Royal Rush Wrap" Boot // 7 Freebird "Coal" lace up tall boots (coming to my door soon!) // 8 Frye "Melissa" boot // 9 KG Kurt Geiger "Warrior" boot (would be such a fierce mix with feminine dresses) // 10 Ash "Famous" cutout booties // 11 Ash suede "Spiral" booties // 12 Tibi embossed "Carson" booties // 13 Sam Edelman "Petty" bootie // 14 Tory Burch "Simone" flat boots // 15 Matiko "Sharon" low wedge bootie 

www.myhereandnowlife.com occasionally receives vendor/brand sponsorships for mentioning their products and services.

Murad #BetterEveryDay

Excited to be sharing an update on my Murad skin care journey. I have been religiously using these products for 2 months, & have to say that my roller coaster skin issues are finally evening out!

By "roller coaster" I mean that I often did enjoy clear skin (yay!), but then I would get lazy, & my skin would turn into a grease pit of pimples (that I would shamefully attack with not many other resources at my disposal). I couldn't find anything that was easy to consistently use while giving me the flexible I needed for my lifestyle. Until now.
1. Skin Smoothing Polish 2. Acne Clearing Solution 3. Anti-Aging Moisturizer 4. Daily Cleansing Foam (not pictured, I forgot to take it out of the shower during photoshoot time, I have to always have it close by!)

{Everyday products} This is my go to line up, the products I use in my morning & evening routine. I use the daily cleansing foam everyday (didn't see that one coming did you!?), & mix it up with the skin smoothing polish every couple of days (about 2 times a week). I love how these products leave my skin feeling balanced. My skin trends towards greasier than not, so I am always looking for a grease eliminating, non-drying solution. This is it!
1. Blackhead Remover 2. Pore Refining Sealer (sold as a duo)

{Extra Time on a Week Night} If I have extra time at night after washing my face, I add in these two steps. I would say that my biggest skin complaint is blackheads (the worst decision I ever made was looking in a magnifying mirror! #yuck), & these two products are helping me eliminate the frustrating black dots around my nose & chin. I typically apply these products 2 times a week (during the week & as a Friday night treat). I love how the Step 1 product feels on my skin! (*I dropped the container and cracked the lid, so that crack on the lid is a result of my clumsiness, not the usual state of the product).

{Specialty Products} These are my weekend pampering session products. The things I reach for when I want to address a more specific skin issue. I was a SUPER horrible pimple picker during my teenage years, so thankfully those acne scar discolorations are starting to fade with the Age Spot Serum

I usually go make-up free on the weekends, & like to take this opportunity to get some exfoliation & what I call "skin breathing" time… letting everything return to its natural state! The Transforming Powder is a magical exfoliator that renews my skin to a baby soft state!

And my weekly (usually Saturday afternoon) treat - the Clarifying Mask. Again back to my oil-prone skin, this mask resets everything, setting my skin up for a clear & bright week!
Overall, I love the Murad family of products because of the thoughtfulness they work into everything they put out & the idea that their skin care solutions are 1 part of an overall heathy lifestyle, including clean eating, lots of water & sleep!

Looking to change up your skin care routine?
Find the Murad products that are right for you with their Personalized Skin Care Evaluation.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: The First Look

Back with Wedding Wednesday programming, this week I'm sharing out our "First Look".

Tyler & I decided to do a "First Look" for several reasons. Mostly because we were just so excited to see each other, & also to fix some of the logistics of the day (the timing of our ceremony with the sunlight meant that the time we could spend taking photos outside after the "I Do's" would be very brief). The biggest reason? We are both BIG criers, & I wanted to get the majority of my tears out with enough time to re-powder my face before walking down the aisle (so vain, I know!)

We elected to read the traditional vows during our ceremony, but wrote personalized messages to each other to read during our First Look. Cue the waterworks. I walked around the clump of trees to see where Tyler was standing and burst into tears. The anticipation of the day, the weight of the moment (FOR-EV-ER), the culmination of millions of tiny details, it all came flowing up & I literally thought my heart would burst with so much love.

After we read our messages to each other & took some time to soak up the silence of just the two of us, I freshened my make-up & we continued on with the majority of the bride & groom portraits. It was so lovely to have this time, just the two of us, before we were tired & hungry. I honestly don't think we would have gotten pictures that captured the excitement we held for our pending union if we didn't do them before the ceremony!

I understand why people would choose to wait until the aisle to see each other. But for us, our vision, our day, the First Look was one of our favorite parts & I am certainly glad that we did it!
Did you have a First Look? Or are you planning one?
It is just a trend? Or a wedding event that is here to stay?
What is your favorite First Look moment?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

blanket love

{ What I Wore to coffee & errands: scarf ℅ Aerie // jean jacket ℅ Paige Denim // J.Crew white denim + baseball tee // Converse sneakers // Michael Kors packpack ℅ Dillard's Green Hills }

All Photos | Kate Davis Photo
Photo Location: DCXV mural in 12 South
Nashville is holding out on full blown Fall. Over the weekend I could have easily sat by the pool in my swimsuit (would have been nice if I wasn't grading a 5 foot stack of papers instead!)
So in order to ease my way in, I am mixing up my own transitional style. White jeans, gray accents, & a blanket scarf? Sounds good to me!

Speaking of this blanket scarf - it IS the size of a blanket, & might be the most fabulous scarf I have ever worn!
Nashville ladies, don't forget about the amazing selection of bags & watches available at Dillard's now (& always!). They have an incredible selection of watches, including stunners from Michael Kors & Kate Spade & all my favorite Fall bags!

Monday, October 27, 2014

twin set

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Living Proof. I received product samples to facilitate my review and to thank me for my participation.

Continuing to figure out the style that works for my new teacher lifestyle. It definitely is a balance between feeling good in what I wear, & not losing sleep over the latest stain on my favorite shirt (kids are dirty, & don't ever give them scissors or glue!)
I am finding that there are certain pieces that work for me, & from this foundation I have created my "teacher capsule wardrobe".

I have also learned that there is not much better than a new cardigan & clean hair. 
{ Blue Sweater outfit: J.Crew Factory "Clare" cardigan // dress ℅ Of Mercer // Old Navy ballet flats // vintage necklace (thanks Mom!) }

All Photos | Kate Davis Photo

{ Pink sweater outfit: J.Crew Factory "Clare" cardigan // J.Crew Factory cropped black "Winnie" pants // Ann Taylor leopard shell // necklace ℅ Daisy Gem // Sole Society wedges (the most comfortable wedges ever!) }

I do seriously intend to eventually have this cardigan in ALL THE COLORS! It pairs so perfectly well with my beloved Of Mercer dress (previously seen in the capsule wardrobe series here) and skinny cropped pants (spotted in this teacher outfit as well).
I am also happy to report that after using the Living Proof PhD products for the past couple of weeks, my head of hair is changed! I've been a dedicated user of the PhD 5-in-1 styling treatment for several years now (it's magical!)  but hadn't ever bought into the idea of really dishing out for the shampoo/conditioner. I mean, how different could it be from the drugstore shampoo I was already using (just whatever my husband had picked up at the grocery store)??

Well, mark this down as yet another occasion I will have to eat my words… it is a world of difference!  And the price isn't that much of a hindrance anymore now that I realize how LITTLE shampoo I actually need to get my hair incredibly clean & healthy.
Being a first year teacher (& having NO CLUE what I'm doing), means that I have very few precious moments to spend doing my hair (the rest of the time is spent trying to figure out how to teach 7th graders Science!). So now with the Living Proof products, the biggest change I have seen is my hair routine. My new hair care schedule is something like this: wash hair on Sunday night. Wear hair down Monday. Wear hair in a pony on Tuesday. Spray on the dry shampoo and wrap hair into a bun on Wednesdays. Wash hair on Wednesday night. Wear hair down Thursday. Wear hair in a pony Friday. Take an hour long shower on Friday & celebrate the weekend!

Before the Living Proof products I was having to wash my hair EVERYDAY. And by the end of 1 day, it was a greasy mess. Now I can go 3 days & still feel like my hair looks presentable every day (with a little dry shampoo to freshen things up between washes).

I never thought this would be possible for me. I always figured I was just destined to a life of greasy hair. Thank goodness I was wrong. Thank you Living Proof Perfect hair day!

Saying goodbye to the greasy teacher bun & hello to more clean hair days thanks to Living Proof!
What product do you want to purchase in every color?

Have you had any hair care breakthroughs recently? Anyone else who was/is a slave to washing their hair everyday? Or are you a magical person who is a once a week washer??

**Now through November 8th, with an order of $20 or more, you can enter the code NOV2014 to get a free Perfect hair Day (PhD) 5-in-1 Styling Treatment in travel size. With this order you will also receive free samples and free shipping!

Friday, October 24, 2014

must haves in the mail

I just love getting mail. And since I work 6a - 6p & the mail room at my apartment complex is only open from 8a - 5p, when I DO finally find time to pick up my mail, it is literally like Christmas morning. A new delivery I have added to my snail mail game? The POPSUGAR Must Have box

This subscription box service is so fun because you don't really know what you are going to get, but you do know that it will always be GOOD!
This month they dished up fun socks from Happy Socks, a new eye pencil from Butter London (love the subtle gray shade!), new acrylic frame from Isaac Jacobs International, super cute chalkboard candle from Mine Design, Dean & DeLuca pumpkin spice malt balls*, halloween nail decals by Nailed Kit, & yummy soap from K. Hall Designs.

*not pictured because we ate them immediately upon opening the box (#badblogger)… & they were delish!
My friend Kate (& blog photog) recently came over & commented that my tchotchke game was on point… I couldn't help but giggle because I DO love a good doo-dad & since we moved they are all living in one centralized place on these wire Target shelves. The plan was to disperse them all throughout the house, but now I am kind of in love with the tchotchke display en masse. And now how great does the chalkboard candle and acrylic frame look added to the mix? I think they will fit right in!
Cozy night of pampering coming right up!
These socks are crazy good, & I can't wait to hear what my students think about my new nail action!
Do you like getting mail?
You are going to love the Must Have Box & right now they are offering you $10 off a 3 month subscription with code OCT10SELECT (take advantage until it expires on 11/2) 
*makes a great anytime or holiday gift too!

POPSUGAR provided me with a complimentary POPSUGAR Must Have box. The opinions I have shared about the box are my own and POPSUGAR did not tell me what to say or how to say it.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

rack it up

{ What I Wore to work: J.Crew white button down // dress ℅ Of Mercer // scarf (shop all scarves) & clutch (shop all clutches) ℅ Nordstrom Rack // Vince Camuto booties, shop all booties (purchased with a gift card provided by Nordstrom Rack) }

All Photos | Kate Davis Photo
Nashville FINALLY has a Nordstrom Rack & I couldn't be more excited!

I loved attending the store pre-opening party & scooped up these simply chic booties without thinking twice. How effortlessly they pair with everything from dresses to jeans to leggings with oversized sweaters only confirms the fact that sometimes an impulse buy is a GOOD call.
The 5 installment of my teacher capsule wardrobe. Still loving button downs under dresses, but this time around, enjoying mixing it up even more with a easy to wear infinity scarf. Not sure how much longer I can get away going without tights, so trying to warm up with layers that don't include cut-me-in-half tights!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Photography

Thank you for being as excited as I was about our Style Me Pretty feature! Now, back to the Wedding Wednesday programming. Today we are talking all things wedding photography. If you have any wedding photography related questions let me know in the comments!

When looking for a photographer I didn't really have much background information to go on. So I do what most adults do… I took to the internets! A quick Google search for "Nashville Wedding Photographers" brought up local photogs with prices that ranged from $1,500 to $10,000 to "investment". I knew that our wedding budget couldn't handle those who were asking for an "investment", & if I had told Tyler that a photographer could charge $10,000 he would have cried. So I called/emailed the mid-range vendors ($2,000 - $5,000) to get the scoop.
I email interviewed a few & quickly crossed most off the list of potentials - too many exceptions, too much money, already booked on our date, etc.

We ended up sitting down in person with 2 photographers, & just felt a click with Jessica of Jessica Ranae Photography. Her prices were right, she offered all the amenities we were looking for with out any extras we didn't want to pay for, & she was just a joyful human that we knew we would enjoy working with throughout the whole process.

Jessica ended up doing our engagement photos (2 different shoots, over 2 different days in 2 locations, one with both pugs!), & was with us the ENTIRE day of our wedding (9a - 11p). Before the wedding she sent us a lovely package with a personalized hanger (as seen in our photos) & the 5 Love Languages book. After the wedding she sent us a gorgeous package with special prints, thumb drives with all the prints & a copy of our full rights for photos (to take to photo printing places if needed, which has already come in handy). During it all, Jessica was easy to get ahold of, extremely up front/straight forward. 

As I didn't have a wedding planner (just a day of coordinator), Jessica was also indispensable in figuring out much of our wedding schedule leading up to the big day (so much stress eliminated thanks to her calm & reassuring presence!) She was flat out amazing!
Looking for your own wedding photographer? 
Things to consider:
- Cost (Remember to think about the base price + photo prices + day of tips + any extras)
- What your package includes (engagement photos? number of locations? hour limit?)
- What you actually want. Don't want bridal portraits, don't pay for a package that includes them. Looking for 2 shooters, make sure your photographer offers it!

Look for:
- Full rights over pictures (so you can print them how you want, when you want)
- Unlimited time on the day of (some photographers I looked at had a 4 hour limit, can you imagine hitting your time limit & your photographer missing your epic exit? Or having to decide to dish out major bucks just for them to capture your get-away-car moment? No thank you!)
- Someone you enjoy working with. You are going to spend MANY hours together, as magical as you imagine the big day, taking photos gets tiring, you need a positive person who you truly like.)

Jessica is no longer a Nashville photographer, but you lucky brides-to-be in The Twin Cities of Saint Paul, MN & surrounding areas be sure to look her up!