I took my very first Pure Barre class in May 2014 and I got my butt KICKED. When I think back on that very first class I am still amazed that I made it through the entire class. Pure Barre is both mentally and physically challenging because your mind literally SCREAMS for you to quit. My first dozen or so classes were absolutely horrible. In fact I still have terrible classes where my mind will swear it is never coming back. But when it is all over I can’t wait to do it all again because I feel amazing. I have NEVER kept up with a fitness regimen like I have kept up with pure barre. I have always been a quitter.
On the left is my “before” from my very first class. On the right was a photo I took in July.
This is me in december getting ready for an 80s themed class. (I promise I did not wear my Christmas socks to class) And here I am at my 100th (well 103) class! I am still amazed I have made it this far. Right now I am even doing a 20 classes in 31 days challenge. I know I am still a work in progress but I have seen some amazing changes in my body and improvements in my health.
The first product I was sent for free to review, it is actually very different than anything I have tried. It is called Phyto-C Icy Blue Mist, and it is meant to be used after working out to rehydrate your skin. I am a SWEAT MONSTER after pure barre classes so this was intriguing to me. I definitely think it is refreshing, BUT it has menthol in it so it stings my eyes when I spray it on my face. I prefer to spray it on a cotton ball and then apply it to my face.
Another product I was sent to review is also by Phyto-C and it is called Velvet Gel. I like this serum. It is good for my mid-20s skin because it contains some retinol as well as moisturizers and other ingredients for cellular renewal. However, I can only use this at night because I have always been blessed with rosy skin, and in addition to the pink color it also has vasodilators so it makes my skin too red for daytime wear.
My favorite everyday winter moisturizer is HANDS DOWN embryolisse. I don’t know what is in this magical potion, and I am not even sure I want to know. All I know is that I AM HOOKED. I use my real techniques stippling brush to apply this when my skin feels parched, and my makeup glides on over it like a dream. It also doesn’t irritate my skin. I cannot recommend this miracle potion enough!
When my skin is extra dry/irritated from retin-a or other prescription acne treatments I somehow have to use I turn to La Roche-Posay Cicaplast. This is a dermal recovery accelerator and really helps your skin heal from harsh treatments it also provides a wonderful barrier between you and the cold. It is full of zinc which is supposedly what makes it so magical.
Last, but not least I wanted to share the readily available drugstore cleanser I have been using lately. I purchased Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Foaming Cleanser when I was trying to find something that would clean my face without causing other problems. I really love how clean this cleanser leaves my face without causing excessive dryness. It also is wonderful for removing makeup, I even use it to take my eye makeup off. If you aren’t used to high glycerine cleansers it might take a little getting used to but apparently glycerine gives me happy skin.
*I was send both phyto-c products for free for review, I received no other compensation.
I hope everyone is having an excellent Christmas week! I am off from work and have been spending a lot of time at my parent’s house with Margot. I have gotten a couple questions from people asking how/if they could donate to help with her medical treatment. To help with her medical bills (and please please please do not feel obligated to do so) go to www.dreamrescue.org and click on the “donate via paypal” button in the upper right corner. Then if you choose to donate just put “Margot” in the comments section. Even $1 helps believe it or not, and the BEST part is that ALL donations to the wonderful dream rescue are tax deductible! Merry Christmas and thank you for taking the time to read this post.
Hey friends! I got a little crazy impulsive on Thursday and saw a very sad looking dachshund on a local animal shelter’s facebook page. Even sadder was the little dog was in urgent danger due to her being “nippy”, therefore they had her “for rescue only.” I really did not even think and said “If she needs a foster to get her out of the shelter please let me know.” Things moved CRAZY quick and then next thing I knew I was driving Friday evening after work to Decatur to pick up a dog I had never met, and that this dog was coming home with me. I know this sounds insane and I prayed and prayed that this would go well, and this dog would be nice and would get along well with my cats. This might sound silly but I felt a sense of peace and I knew this was going to be ok. I am so blessed the shelter contacted DREAM Dachshund rescue who accepted Margot into their program.
My heart melted and I knew I had done the right thing when I saw this little face at the Vet.
Margot was really sick after receiving her shots at the vet but she seems to be settling in.
Fortunately, Margot is starting to get her spunk back. Poor baby was abandoned at an apartment when her family moved away and left her! Who could possibly do that to this sweet face?! Also, she is the SWEETEST dog! I will be sure to keep everyone posted from “Gracie Beth’s home for wayward pets” haha.
Hey friends! Since I bought a house and have two kitties to feed now I have cut back on my spending significantly. However, I found some really cute and affordable bargains on Black Friday.
Old Navy Red Tartan Flannel Shirt
I was pleasantly surprised to discover this Old Navy top is a true Christmasy tartan. They run a little generous and I am going to love pairing it with my assortment of vests. I can only wear pants to work so I needed to add some more winter tops to my collection.
These were 50% off on black friday, so they were like $12.50 so I went ahead and picked up the Navy Tartan as well. I would never pair either of these with the weird grey jeans they have shown hah!
I am absolutely obsessed with herringbone so I jumped when I saw this sweatshirt with herringbone sleeves at Target. It was 40% off on black Friday so I believe it ended up being around $12. I wore it yesterday. I would recommend sizing up because I believe it runs snug. I also got a cute metallic-y gold long sleeve tissue tee at target but I cannot find it anywhere online. I feel like it will be cute with plaid pants and perhaps a furry vest!
Here I am wearing it on Saturday! It is so cozy. Izzy insisted upon sitting on my chest while I was trying to watch Tennessee-Vandy. So glad we pulled that one out!
Anyone who has seen Publix’s Thanksgiving themed commercial will probably recognize these salt and pepper shakers. It sounds really silly but I was actually a little sad I hadn’t been able to find myself a set now that I have my own home. I walked into Publix after running about 50 other errands on Wednesday and BOOM there were my pilgrims! It was fate hah!
I wanted to contribute to Thanksgiving since I didn’t host so I brought the pies. I made my great-grandmother’s pumpkin pie as well as a chocolate bourbon pecan pie. My phone kept trying to change that to ORGAN pie when I texted people. ACK! Anyways, I couldn’t figure out how to transport them until I remembered I have these adorable Lilly Pulitzer bins. They are so PERFECT for transporting pies!
I call my parent’s dogs my “puppy siblings” and I was really excited to spend the day with my littlest puppy sibling, izzy. She was pretty excited to wear the new polka dot fleece vest I bought her!
Lastly, here is my full Thanksgiving outfit. The vest and shirt are no longer available, but they are both J Crew. My shoes are Tory Burch Revas, and my jeans are my new favorites and are from target!
I hope everyone is currently surviving Black Friday! I have heard it has even crept across the pond to Britain!
My grandmother was from Scotland, and my granny was of Scottish decent so I credit them both for my lifelong love of all things tartan. For me tartan and the holidays go hand in hand. Here are some of my favorite picks for this Holiday season.
Lands End Stewart Dress Tartan Pant
I actually ordered the pants from Lands End today since they are on sale with free shipping. I sized up because no one looks good in too small tartan pants! Eek! I am hoping all my work at pure barre will make them look ok.
Beaded chevron popover in black watch plaid
I will be honest and confess I wasn’t really a fan of this popover when I first saw photos of it, however it has grown on me. I like that it is casual and dressy at the same time. I worry since I am chesty though that on me the chevron beading would just be like “yo look at my boobs.” If I had any desire to purchase this I would do so soon because I anticipate it will likely sell out soon. J Crew items have a tendancy to do so.
Lands End Tartan Vest
Back to Lands end because I am seriously obsessed with this tartan vest. I would absolutely NOT wear it with the pants haha!
Vineyard Vines Mistletoe Plaid Shep Shirt
For the past two years Vineyard Vines has absolutely killed it with Holiday tartans. This year is no exception. I purchased last year’s holiday shep shirt and I hope to be able to purchase one of the two cute options they have this year. This tartal also comes in a super cute ruffle shirt!
I am sure there will more tartan for me to cover before the 2014 Holiday season comes to a close.
I thought I would share some of my “thrifted” home decor. Since I am just starting out I thought I would share some of the furnishings I have purchased for my home on a super limited budget. I am slowly but surely making my house into a home. Obviously I had to live in a house that had very little furniture for a while but I am really happy that I am able to piece everything together without breaking the bank. I also love that the majority of my items have some “history.”
I have wanted a bench for my foyer since I moved in but I haven’t been able to find a piece I liked that was affordable. We have a local chain of antique malls here in the Northeast ATL suburbs called “The Green Bean Exchange” and I stumbled upon this green bench and fell in love. It was super affordable and I love the rustic vibe!
You might recognize my bed from Ikea, however I actually scored this off of Craigslist! My mom was a tropper and went and picked it up for me because her car is larger than mine. I Love how it looks older than it is. You can’t really buy antique queen sized beds so I love the old look with the modern convenience of the queen size. My bedside table to the left of the bed was a score from the Green Bean Exchange. I really love the blue/grey color.
Living in Forsyth, County GA I was very blessed that we have such an amazing Humane society that the community supports. One of the great things about the humane society is their thrift store! I bought my sofa there and love the broken in leather look. It was a STEAL and they even delivered it to me!
This photo is my kitchen table on display at the Queen of Hearts Antique Mall. This is another one of my favorite treasure troves here in ATL. The top of the table is absolutely gorgeous maple and it came with two lovely leaves. I make sure it is protected with tablecloths and I bought some mismatched windsor chairs at GOODWILL of all places. I have been having so much fun decorating. My coffee table and the two chairs pictured in this photo are also some of my finds. I bought the two chairs off of craigslist and I am obsessed with the fact that the slipcovers are removable and can be bleached. I bought this pottery barn coffee table off of a local garage sale page on facebook for 1/10th of the pottery barn price.
Hey everyone! Some of you may know me some of you may not. My name is Gracie Beth and I am a 25 year old sales engineer. I am a graduate of the University of Tennessee, GO VOLS! I recently bought a house in Cumming, GA and I am out on my own for the first time. Follow me on my adventure!