A New Season

New seasons bring new weather, new smells, new textures, new feelings and new experiences. Fall is the season I welcome the most because it means it's ushering in a season of beauty here in Arizona. It's kind of like what spring feels like for the rest of the United States. Fall here is when we no longer sweat and never have to wear jackets. It's the season where we can start being outside for the next six months and breathe in the fresh air. Sweaters and boots are the most we put on to bundle up, and we are set. I'm excited to share with you a peek at LILLA P. 's fall arrivals because their sweaters are all I will need this year.

I raved about LILLA P. this past spring as being an amazing company for basics. Their fall line doesn't disappoint with basics like stylish jogger pants, long-sleeve t's, and sweaters. However, I really love their fall collection this year because there are hints of fashion trends tastefully executed among the timeless styles. 

For example, this loose knit wine colored sweater is simple, but the cut-out shoulders incorporate a big fashion trend in an understated way. This sweater would sell just fine without the cut-outs, but I'm glad they are there because it brings some femininity to the top. 

Denim skirts are going to be huge this fall. I love that LILLA P. made a chambray flutter skirt as a nod to the trend, but added femininity to the fall staple with a flutter design. This skirt is the perfect length (I'm 5'7"). I am wearing a medium, and I'm a size 4. 

Be sure to check out the rest of LILLA P's beautiful fall collection for those seasonal staples that carefully balance classic and trendy. They won't disappoint. 

Photos by Rennai Hoefer; product given as payment.

Best Cleansers

The amount of facial cleansers I have tried over the years has to be in the hundreds. When I was a teenager I was looking for the magic cure for acne, and now as a 33 year old woman I'm looking for the fountain of youth. Okay, maybe it's not time for that quite yet, but I'm definitely looking for a cleanser to be gentle to my skin, take off the makeup and brighten my skin's appearance. 

In my recent review of Dermalogica, I shared I have started on a quest to take better care of my skin. I tried Rodan + Fields as well, and even though I found satisfaction in them both, I couldn't help, but wonder would I still like something better? So, I tried out a few more. Here are my thoughts:

Pharmagel Hydra-Cleanse: This is a very gentle cleanser that takes off your makeup extremely well. My skin really liked this product. My only beef with this product is the smell. It has an old lady smell to it, but I would buy it again regardless because I liked it so much.

Pharmagel Ezyme Ex-cell: This daily scrub was less abrasive than Rodan + Fields, but, unfortunately, it still was too harsh for my sensitive skin. I would rather use the Dermalogica exfoliant over this one.

Skin Fix Foaming Oil Cleanser - I love this gentle cleanser on my skin. It smells great and makes my skin feel soft afterwards, but the only problem is that because it's oil based you can't use it with lash extensions. If I decide to get mine off I will definitely use this. Plus, it's accessible at Target.

Skin Fix Gentle Foaming Clay Cleanser - This definitely exfoliated my skin in a more gentle way. I can't say I saw a huge difference, but I think alternating between the oil cleanser and this cleanser is a great daily beauty routine for me. This is probably what I will stick with for now because it's affordable and accessible. 

CLE Melting Cleanser - This cleanser has the best smell! It's so fresh and clean. It definitely does a great job removing makeup. The gentle non-foam formula is good for sensitive skin. The only downside is that is that it's not accessible as grabbing it at Target. My skin also felt so clean it had that rubbery feeling. I would recommend applying a strong moisturizer afterwards. 

Photos by Rennai Hoefer; product was given for review.

Modern Nursery Decor From Walmart

This post is sponsored by Walmart and contains affiliate links. 

Designing a nursery is like creating a room for a surprise guest and yourself at the same time. Often times I find myself a bit more experimental with decor in a nursery space because you don't have to worry about rooms flowing together and the durability of furniture (minus the crib). I focus on whether the space will be an enjoyable spot for mom and baby to bond and sleep. I partnered with Walmart to share with you a modern nursery design using some of their beautiful and affordable products. 

We bought our crib from Walmart five years ago. It has hosted countless dreams of both our kiddos and provided safety at the same time. If I were to select a new crib for my little ones I would pick this light wood Babyletto Gelato 4-in-1 Convertible Crib. Paired with this bold blue and white rug creates a beautiful contrast that's gender neutral as well. 

Black and white will never go out of style. It's modern and classic, and this black and white crib bedding by Babyletto, with neutral, functional decor items such as storage baskets, wood blocks, sheepskin pillows and a macrame planter creates a simple and functional space for mom and baby.

Every baby room needs a rocker, and I loved that I saw such an iconic design on Walmart.com. If I saw this adorable sheep sitting in it I definitely would have to take a load off. I use my rocker every day with Levi, and he is two years old next month. I think finding the right chair for your space is a necessity. Walmart has a great selection. 

Grab all of the items below, and be sure to check out Walmart.com for other decor items for your baby.

Home Depot Family Room Reveal

I couldn’t be more excited to finally reveal our family room makeover with The Home Depot. I have been working on this space the past couple of months, and it has become my favorite room in our home, which is great because it’s our most used room.

We moved in two years ago, painted everything white, changed our flooring, and then I left this room undecorated until now because life with a newborn and a three year-old called for “easy.” To me, easy meant that kid-prone disasters would be easy to clean up and I wouldn’t care if things looked pretty for entertaining because any company we had liked chicken nuggets and tater-tots. (If you want to see how ugly it was from the start click here).

But now that two years have passed, the kids are bigger, and our home has come together, it was time to organize the cluttered mess of the family room. The Home Depot has an incredible selection of home decor online, and they wanted to help me create a space that exudes style and at the same time allows us to be a family in it (i.e. a stylish room that can withstand popcorn crumbs, water spills and the occasional flips over the sofa).

When I started choosing my furniture there were so many beautiful things to choose from that I found myself overwhelmed at first. To narrow down exactly what I was looking for, I went back to the feeling I want my family to experience when they are in the space. Identifying the emotions will help you narrow the color palette, textiles and functionality of the space.  I wanted to create a calming, comfortable, friendly space. So, I went with a neutral palette with pops of soft blues and pinks and natural textures like wood, jute and linen.

Since the floor plan is open and you can see the kid play area, kitchen, dining room and even the formal living room from the family room, I took some cues from those spaces and incorporated them into our family room to achieve cohesion. The pink from our dining room rug is found in the pink pillows. The blue rug and couch in our kitchen and living room is found in our mid-century style blue accent chairs and dip-dyed tapestry. The linen club chairs are a theme from the linen dining room chairs, and they are so comfortable. And, of course, being a plant lady in the other rooms in our home, I also brought plenty of plants into this space too. The Home Depot had the prettiest, tallest fiddled fig tree. I was also pleased to find modern hanging planters for succulents and cacti too.

You’ll notice that I ended up choosing the mid-century style brass light from my previous post. I really liked this mid-century modern (MCM) direction the room was taking after I selected the light and accent chairs. I spotted a mid-century style, gray polyester sofa and a beautiful, wood sideboard. The fabric for the couch is durable for kids and the sideboard makes for great storage for games and toys. Everything else fell in place after that. To see a full list of everything I selected and more of why I chohttp://blog.homedepot.com/family-room-makeover-mid-century-modern/se each item, please visit the full reveal on The Home Depot’s blog. The before and after photos are INSANE!/p>

Photos by Lauren J. Photography; This post contains affiliate links. This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. All thoughts expressed are my own.


At the start of this year, the extent of my skincare routine was wiping my face with a makeup remover cloth and applying a daily SPF. Thats it. When I did the Rodan + Fields challenge a bit ago it was simply because someone sent me some product to try, and so I did. I wasn't results driven. I was just curious. After having success with brighter skin, it made me wonder what else was out there. 

A friend of mine who had once worked for Dermalogica told me she swore by this line. I had heard of it before from an aesthetician, but I didn't really know much about it. She sent me a box of goodies, and so I gave them a whirl to see if I liked this line compared to Rodan + Fields. 

I'm happy to report that I have found some products that I can't live without not because of dramatic results but because they are much more gentle on my skin. Truthfully, huge anti-aging results aren't going to come with your daily skincare routine unless you are using bleaching creams, retinol and abrasive products. I'm not really looking for that. I'm just looking to keep my skin healthly and fresh. 

Dermalogica's precleanse is AMAZING! It look forward to rubbing it all over my face and neck every day. It's the answer to a better makeup remover that not only smells divine, but gently removes eye makeup and foundation. Simply rub it into your skin and then dampen your hands and slowly rinse it off. Then you wash your face with a gentle cleanser. 

I personally love the Dermalogica Mircofoliant. It's the first exfoliating product for my face that doesn't irritate my skin afterwards. It's SOOO gentle, and exactly what I would look for in daily exfoliation. Rodan + Fields exfoliator was way too rough for me to use daily. If you have sensitive skin like me, I would give this a whirl. The only downside is that it doesn't smell the greatest. 

Lastly, the Phyto Replenish Oil is MAGIC! In Arizona my skin gets so dry. Having Sjorgren's disease doesn't help either since one of the side effects is dry skin. This oil gives me the dewy skin I have always wanted. I just apply three drops to my day and nighttime moisturizer for additional moisture and it does wonders. It smells amazing too!

I did try some other products like their eye cream, gentle cleanser and moisturizer, but I can't say they were standout products to me. Nothing bad to say about them, but they definitely are much to write about either.  Be sure to check out some of my other beauty posts below for my experiences.