In 2018, I experienced lots of big life changes, one of the biggest changes has been going from working in an office every day to working from home. I’ve since moved all of my cute pencil skirts and button-down shirts to the back of the closet and now have a very, very casual work wardrobe. If I wanted to walk around all day in pajamas, I could, but I really don’t enjoy looking like a hot mess all day every day. In an effort to not look like a slob every day, I always make sure that I slip into a good pair of jeans while I am working from home.
A few years ago I discovered high waisted jeans and I have not looked back. High waisted jeans are my JAM! Seriously, what’s not to love? They suck you in where you need it and create the illusion of longer legs. I have a very long torso and short legs so high waisted jeans are everything I need.
Not only do I find high waisted jeans flattering but they stay in place and I never have to worry about bending over. Feeling appropriate in low rise jeans can be quite the obstacle.
Blue Jean Baby, LA Lady
The first pair of high waisted jeans that I purchased were the Levi’s 721, a great introductory pair. They are comfortable, affordable and just the right amount of stretch.
I am not much of a designer girl so, for the most part, all of my listed jeans are nondesigner. Recently, I rediscovered Abercrombie jeans and they are EVERYTHING. I went to high school in the mid-2000’s so shopping at Abercrombie and Fitch was a must! In the years following high school I parted ways with Abercrombie, it wasn’t until recently that I purchased a pair of their high rise jeans and fell madly in love with their denim.
I seriously live in high rise skinny jeans, I am a big fan of a good dark wash but really love a moderately distressed jean. With all of this high rise jean wearing I’ve become quite the connoisseur, so today I am sharing the best high waisted skinny jeans.
The Best High Waisted Jeans
I’ve read that high rise jeans will no longer be the popular style in the next few years but I promise my closet will be filled with high waisted jeans forever.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, I decided to do something completely out of the realm of my normal fashion and beauty blog content and share something very close to my heart. In the spirit of all things love, I wanted to share the story of how Mike and I met and how we began dating, it’s a long one so buckle up. I didn’t tell my husband I was writing this so SURPRISE Mike!
It all started in the summer of 2007, in the middle of nowhere New Hampshire. Neither of us are from New Hampshire so it’s kind of a random place to begin this story but that’s what makes it so unique. That summer Mike was working at an all-boys summer camp, and I was working at an all-girls summer camp. At the time, these camps were brother-sister camps so the two camps got together frequently for counselor training, activities, socials, all the fun traditional summer camp things.
Mike and I were spending our summers working at our camps waterfront so we arrived a week early to participate in lifeguard training. I always tell people we met in a swimming pool because technically that is where this all began but if I am going to be completely honest, I don’t remember meeting Mike in the swimming pool. The lifeguard training was pretty intense, a lot of girls didn’t make it past the first hour so the ratio of men to women ended up being about 2 to 1. Not only were there more boys than girls but the boys camp employed tons of hot, super loud, in your face Australian boys so I don’t even slightly remember meeting my super quiet, now husband.
While I do not remember meeting Mike in the pool, I very vividly remember chatting with him later that evening in the staff lounge. I remember this meeting clear as day, I was sitting on the computer scrolling through Facebook, so 2007, and he walked up to me and said, “Who are you creeping?”. Now looking back at it, I can’t believe that my sweet, super shy husband would talk to any girl, but I am glad he did. We began chatting and like true millennials, immediately added each other on Facebook.
During the remainder of camp, we saw each other a handful of times, we occasionally messaged on facebook and maybe sent one another 20 – 25 text messages. I left that summer meeting lots of great people and if I am going to be really honest, my friendship with Mike was not something that stuck out to me as anything more than a good summer friendship.
Over the next three years while we finished, myself in California and Mike in Colorado we texted a lot and every once in a while Mike would have too much to drink and get the courage to call me. I have this really great picture of myself and my two friends, Jackie and Liz on Halloween and in the picture I am talking on the phone to Mike. Again, it was one of those nights were maybe there was a bit too much to drink involved.
During these college years we were genuinely good friends, it was never a romantic relationship, just a really good friendship.
Then 2010 rolled around and I was ready to graduate college. Mike still had one semester left but took a summer internship in California. I had a job offer in Maine and at the last minute decided not to take the opportunity, instead was going to move back home with my parents and find a job in California. It’s like true fate that I decided to spend that summer at my parent’s house because Mike’s internship was only about an hour away from my childhood home. At first, I really regretted not taking that position in Maine but now looking back there is absolutely a reason why I passed on that position.
From Friend To Boyfriend
The day of my college graduation party, June 5th, 2010, wa also the day that Mike was driving from Colorado to California to begin his internship. I invited him to my graduation party which was a very casual pool party at my parents house. I didn’t really explain to him the amount of people that would be there or any of those things, I just invited him to come. To my surprise, after a long day of driving, he showed up. It was a little weird to me that after only meeting a few times, he agreed to come to the party, but I am so glad he did.
The day after the party he asked if he could take me out and I, of course, said yes, I was so excited to finally spend time with him after all these years. It was that weekend that I quickly realized that maybe this is more than just friends.
The following weekend was my sweet nephew Hunter’s 1st birthday so Mike was going to come to his party. After the party, Mike was going camping and asked if I wanted to join. It was a beachside camping spot that I really loved so my answer was very easily yes. We were going to spend our third time seeing each other in years going camping, just the two of us, again all so weird but it just seemed right.
That night while we were at our campsite we drank Diet Coke and Captain Morgan and played rummy (the cocktails might have changed but this is still one of our favorite things to do together). While we were camping, I asked him if this was just a summer thing and he said it doesn’t have to be and that was it, he was officially my boyfriend. So after not seeing him for 3 years, and only hanging out with him 3 times, he became my boyfriend. I can’t believe I am sharing all of this because this sounds like we are absolute crazy people, I don’t know, everything just seemed so right.
My favorite part of this story is we met on June 13th, 2007 and we began dating on June 13th, 2010. It’s funny how life works. That summer we spent every weekend together, we went to baseball games, we went camping, we went to Yosemite, we had the best summer.
I want this to be the part of the story where I say when you know you know, but that summer I didn’t know what would happen when he moved back to Colorado. That night while we were camping did I think I would end up here married to Mike with two cats and such a happy life, absolutely not. I really believed that he would be my boyfriend for that summer and then he would go back to Colorado finish school and that would just be the end of it. Now that I am typing that out it sounds so harsh but honestly, that is just how I thought life worked.
In June of this year, we will have been dating for 9 years and married for 1 and a half. I am so glad I took those chances and invited him to my graduation party and went camping with him, if it wasn’t for those moments who knows what life would look like today.
Next month is our 3 year engagement anniversary so I am going to share everything I learned in all of those years of dating and our very us engagement story.
Guys -I’ve had the best week ever! It’s only Wednesday but it’s been a REALLY GOOD WEEK. Best week ever may be an exaturation but none the less its been a darn good week.
My week started with one of my bravo dreams coming true. I went to a recording of Watch What Happens Live and it was everything I wanted and more. Being in the same room as Andy Cohen gave me LIFE.
If you have been following my Instagram stories I am so sure you are tired of hearing about my Watch What Happens Live experience but it was SO AMAZING. The only down side to the experience was it was a celebrity night and not a housewife wife so there was not one second of Bravo talk, Boo!
So, I started my week with Andy Cohen and I am ending my week wine tasting in the central coast of California. Hello, Bravo and wine, BEST WEEK EVER!
In prep for my weekend of wine tasting on the central coast, I had to buy a few new outfits, right? and lucky for me, it’s my favorite time of year when retailers have the BEST SALES. January is the month that retailers deeply discount all of their inventory to deplete the Christmas stock and prepare for summer shipments. Moral of the story: shop more in January.
Best Of American Eagle Sale
Traditionally, I don’t shop at American Eagle. If I am going to be real honest I feel like I have aged out of the store. But one of my favorite bloggers posted about an amazing American Eagle sale and it sparked my interest. I immediately went to American Eagle’s website and was shocked by the adorable sweaters and super affordable booties.
All of the American Eagle pieces I purchased are under $40! Yes, that includes my faux leather jacket and those booties at the bottom, too! Deals, deals, deals!
If you wanted to see more of these American Eagle pieces, I posted a try on session on my Instagram story highlights. I’ve been shopping a lot this month, so I’ve shared tons of fun try on sessions on Instagram.
Okay, I’ll admit it, that title is misleading. Do I know what the most popular fashion pieces from all over the world were for 2018? No. Do I know what the most popular pieces on my blog, Pinterest and Instagram were? ABSOLUTELY!
The biggest adventure of 2018 was right here, my blog, Hat On The Map. Blogging has been something my husband has encouraged for many years but it wasn’t until this year that I had the courage and confidence to pursue this dream. In 2018, I took the time to really invest my energy into making my blog dream a reality.
When I began blogging and putting my life and style out there on Instagram, I was scared. I was nervous about what my friends and acquaintances would think but let me tell you the response I received from my friends, family and strangers has been incredible.
Thanks to my blog, I am now able to regularly share all of the items I am excited about. From beauty and makeup to my favorite groceries, y’all have followed along every step of the way. The best part is, not only have you guys followed along but you have fallen in love with these items as well.
I have rounded up the most popular items from my blog, Pinterest and Instagram and am so excited to share these items with you once more.
The Most Popular Items for 2018
The below items are the most clicked on pieces from my Pinterest, blog, and Instagram. In staying true to my attainable fashion brand, everything listed can be purchased for under $50. I don’t think anyone will be surprised by this fact but 7 out of 10 of these items were purchased from Amazon. So, here we go.
I wrote a blog post a few months back about Estee Lauder Double Wear Makeup Dupes (you can read that post here) and to no surprise, it was my most popular blog post. The dupe I sang the most praise for was the one I wear almost everyday, the Revlon Colorstay Foundation and in turn the most popular makeup item on my blog or Instagram.
This skirt is seriously the most flattering skirt I have ever owned, no joke. In the past month this skirt has been featured on about half of my Instagram posts, so when I say I am obsessed I am not kidding.
I am currently loving off the shoulder sweaters, maybe I was supposed to grow up in the 1980s. This was the perfect sweater to get me through the holiday season and the perfect shade of maroon to transition to January in.
I have lived in these slippers the past two weeks. Embarrassingly enough, I even wore these through the Orlando airport after one of our red-eye flights. Whatever, I love comfort.
What was your absolute favorite item that you purchased in 2018? Beyond this above list, I think my favorite item are these sequin joggers! Comfort and sequins, yes yes yes!
Thanks for following along and supporting this blogging journey of mine. I am so very thankful for every individual who has cheered me along on this scary but very exciting blogging journey. I am so excited to see what 2019 has in store.
Earlier this year, I started doing a monthly Amazon fashion haul and it has been such a hit! I search Amazon up and down and purchase about 10 pieces of the best quality, affordable pieces from Amazon. Well, my December Amazon haul might have been my favorite haul thus far. This order has brought my favorite new winter fashion staples.
Can searching for fashion on Amazon be a chore? Yes, you must search and search some more but Amazon has some really cute items! I am able to find the exact pieces all the popular online boutiques have but on Amazon. The best part is, these pieces are much more affordable on Amazon.
The theme of the December Amazon haul is “cute outfits for a fun night out with your friends from high school”. Who doesn’t want to look their best when they run into the cute boy you sat behind in geometry? During the holiday season, there are always so many casual meet-ups and a new, cute outfit is exactly what is needed for those nights out.
I am going to be honest, I am not one of those girls that enjoys getting dressed up and going out for Valentine’s Day. I find all the restaurants overcrowded, overpriced, and it’s just not my thing. With all of that being said, I am still a huge fan of Valentine’s Day! HUGE! I love any day where you get to wear pink and hearts and glitter and eat lots of chocolate!
Romantic love always takes the spotlight of Valentine’s Day but I think it’s a great time to celebrate all of the love in your life. My friends and I always do a big Galentine’s Day sleepover and it is my all time favorite tradition. Do y’all celebrate Valentine’s Day with your best friends or your parents, or siblings? I really love the idea of celebrating all the love in my life on Valentine’s Day.
This year for Valentine’s Day my husband and I will be at home celebrating the holiday with our sweet angel cats. My idea of a perfect Valentine’s Night is a steak dinner, a big glass of spicy red wine (if you think spicy is a weird word to describe wine then I have some wine that I need to introduce you to) and ending the evening by playing dominos while watching a movie. Oh maybe even a big dessert, yes, that sounds like the perfect evening.
Since I won’t be putting on a fancy dress and celebrating Valentine’s Day that way, I have rounded up all of my favorite Valentine’s Day clothes that will for sure get you excited to celebrate all things love at home!
Casual Valentine’s Day Outfits
What does your perfect Valentine’s Day look like? Are you like me and love a night in or would you much rather have a nice night out?
I have dry skin; itchy, uncomfortable, dry skin, and these skin issues only escalate in the winter. The weather where I live is not actual winter weather and yet my skin is a mess in the cooler months. Not only do I have dry itchy skin but I also get really bad eczema around my eyes. When I have an eczema flare up it’s so painful and makes it impossible for a flawless face of makeup.
My skin is so dry and sensitive so I am always on the hunt for new products. While hunting for new skincare products I target products that are fragrance-free, help dry skin and prevent all signs of aging on my face. I try to do a lot of preventive skincare in hopes of minimizing my reactive skincare. In fact, I have been using preventative skin care products since I was 15! A few preventative steps I take: I use sunscreen every day, drink tons of water and never, ever, ever sleep with makeup on.
In the spirit of being completely transparent, I have not yet had any injectables. I always said when I hit 30 I was going to start botox and well I just hit 30, so a trip to the dermatologist is in the near future. Once I jump on the botox train, I will document every aspect of it. I only mention this because a lot of bloggers began botox around 23 so even with a great skincare routine, our skin looks very different.
Skin Care Routine For Dry Skin
I constantly get asked on Instagram my skincare routine so its time I share my exact skincare products and routine. I am ALWAYS on the hunt for skin care products that are affordable and help with dry skin and eczema. My skincare routine is pretty locked down right now so I wanted to share the exact steps I take. After tons of trial and error, I have finally discovered a skincare routine that works for my dry, sensitive skin.
Daily Skin Care
Face Wash – Using Baby Shampoo for face wash is a very new addition to my life but I swear by it. If you are struggling with overly sensitive skin or eczema then you need to incorporate baby shampoo into your skincare routine. I’ve started washing my face with baby shampoo and it has transformed my skin. I talked about my eczema issues on my Instagram stories and a dermatologist reached out and suggested Baby Shampoo as my face wash and WHOA! life has been changed. Not only is it great for sensitive skin but it’s also a really great makeup remover.
Okay, this these next steps are super important; once I wash my face I layer these products on from heaviest to lightest. I start with my daily face moisturizer, hydrating serum then rosehip oil. Layering the products like this helps lock in the moisture for the entire day. I repeat the face wash and layering steps morning and night, the only difference is in the evening I use a heavier face cream better suited for overnight repair.
I still get eczema flare-ups on my face and when I do I use the Aveeno Maximum Strength Formula Anti Itch Cream. To effectively use any sort of eczema cream you must put it on as soon as you get out of the shower, in order to really absorb the benefits of the cream, your skin must be damp.
Weekly Skin Care
On top of my daily products, I always map out at least one night a week to incorporate a much more intense skincare routine. You will need about 30 minutes to complete this and I would suggest doing this close to bedtime.
I start by washing all of my make up off and then follow all of the steps of the Smooth and Radiant Face Peels. When I am done with that I put the Aveda hydrating mask on and then top that mask with an additional sheet mask. I always have a stash of sheet masks, I like to use moisturizing sheet masks that contain hyaluronic acid. I leave the sheet mask on for the recommended time normally around 15 – 20 minutes, once I remove the sheet mask I rub the Aveda mask into my skin as much as possible and sleep like that.
This is the holy grail of products. I am not kidding, ask anyone who has used it and they will agree. It’s a bit on the pricey side but oh so worth it!!!! It legitimately erases fine lines in front of your eyes. If that sounds too good to be true, its absolutely true. The directions say to use this product every day, I can’t afford that so I use it once a week. This sounds like this is sponsored and boy do I wish it was, this stuff is my all time favorite skin care product. The best thing about these peels is they are suitable for all skin types.
Aveda Hydrating Mask– This mask is a necessity in the winter. Not only is it super moisturizing but also very brightening. I wear it before bed and then in the morning I wake up and my skin is glowing.
Sheet Masks That I Love
A very important note for anyone with dry, sensitive skin – never, ever use products with any added fragrance. I know that sounds ridiculous but products with added scent really aggravate sensitive skin.
Now that I shared my go-to beauty products and routine I would love to hear what you are doing to help your skin get through these winter months. Are there any must-have products that I need to try?
Do y’all love everything goat cheese as much as I do? If so, this recipe is a must! By making slits in the chicken and stuffing with spinach and goat cheese, you’ll get the most delicious, cheesy chicken. This low carb recipe is a crowd pleaser!
My husband HATES goat cheese, has a very serious hatred for the cheese. Anytime someone brings up goat cheese he immediately says, goat cheese tastes like goats! It doesn’t, he’s wrong, it’s the most delicious cheese but I guess we are allowed to have our food preferences. These past few weeks my husband has been working very late and we have been on our own for dinner, so you know what that means?! goat cheese for every meal!
We just returned home from the perfect weekend of wine tasting on the central coast, it was so much fun! But let me tell you what, we indulged! In 24 hours, we had pizza, donuts and lots of wine, those things are not in my normal low carb diet, but gosh was it delicious! Now that we are back home, its time to get back to my healthy meals full of protein and veggies.
Spinach and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken:
3 cups fresh spinach
½ cup crumbled goat cheese
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp garlic
⅓ cup shredded parmesean cheese
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with foil, set aside.
Cook the fresh spinach until it becomes slightly wilted, then goat cheese and a pinch of red pepper flakes and cooking until the goat cheese melts.
Cut slits down the middle of the chicken (I used tenders because that’s what I had at home, but I suggest using chicken breast). This part can be tricky because it’s important that you do not cut the chicken all the through.
Stuff each piece of chicken with the spinach and goat cheese mixture.
Season with salt, pepper, and garlic.
Add a little parmesan cheese and pop them in the oven at 350 degrees. At about 15 minutes, switch the oven to broil and continue to cook the chicken for about 10 minutes until the tops of the chicken are brown and bubbly.
Side Note: Taking pictures of food is HARD!
This stuffed chicken recipe is low carb and keto friendly. I am going to pair my chicken with some roasted veggies for the perfect low carb meal. This stuffed chicken recipe is a perfect work night dinner; Super simple, quick, easy and so delicious! Hope you enjoy this meal as much as I do!