The flowers have bloomed, the temperatures have risen, it is officially spring! I love spring and I especially love the cute new fashion that comes along with spring. This spring I am all heart eyes for all the sneakers, I love them. Specifically white sneakers. They are casual, comfortable and look great with shorts, jeans, or dresses.
When most people think of new spring shoes they normally think of sandals or open toe heels but there are plenty of occasions where a tennis shoe is most appropriate. Like if you are exploring a new city and plan on walking all day, a sneaker is the best option or if you are attending a festival in the middle of the desert, a sneaker is absolutely the best option!
I just realized that I use the words sneaker/ tennis shoe interchangeably. Am I the only one who does this? There are tons of words that I picked up from my time in the south that I did not use growing up in California, and I think sneaker might be one of those words.
Now that I live in Palm Springs, tennis shoe season is year round. The seasons in Palm Springs look like this: sweater weather, windy but warm, so hot you can’t go outside and absolutely perfect. Those are the four seasons. The good news is cute little white sneakers are perfect for all four of those seasons.
Okay, let’s get to my absolute favorite white sneakers
People are turned off by white sneakers because they get dirty much faster than their colored counterparts. When I purchase white sneakers, I immediately scotch guard the shoes and this little trick keeps white shoes clean and crisp for a very long time. If you have any secrets to keeping your white tennis shoes clean and white for a long time, I would love to hear them!
March was a very exciting month for Hat On The Map! On the first day of March, I hit 10K on Instagram! I can’t explain how excited I was!!! So so so very thankful for all of my new Instagram friends! Social media can be a scary place but Instagram has introduced me to some wonderful people and for that I am so VERY thankful!
At the end of every month, I love to look back and figure out what items you guys LOVED and which items that you guys maybe weren’t as excited about. Doing this every month really helps me decide what content to share for the next month. Do you guys like roundup posts? Please let me know! I love all the feedback from you guys.
This month, I learned that my audience LOVESSSSS my amazon finds. Like really really really loves! 9 out of 10 of my most popular items were from Amazon. I mean duh, everyone loves Amazon!
Normally I save my most popular items for my Instagram stories but I think this information is definitely worthy of its own blog post, right?!?
While it is only March, the temperatures are quickly rising and all I can think about is heading to the beach or a nice relaxing day by the pool. Living in Palm Springs, a beautiful, relaxing pool is not very hard to find, so in that sense, I am very lucky! I figured I’d share some of my beach bag essentials…or in my case, pool essentials.
While you’re basking in the sun by the ocean or pool, sunscreen is obviously the most important accessory. Besides the basics like a hat, fun sandals, and sunglasses, there are a few beauty essentials that are non-negotiable must-haves to get me through a long relaxing day by the water!
I am so ready for a relaxing day in the sun with a refreshing drink, or two, and so is my beach bag full of all of my favorite sun essentials!
Before I even start on what’s in my beach bag, let me tell you my number one beauty secret, sunscreen. I never leave my house without sunscreen on my face, ever. If you are not using sunscreen every day, start today, you will thank me in 20 years.
What’s In My Beach Bag…
A beach bag because well duh. I’ve linked my favorite beach bags here, here and here.
Quality sunscreen like Sun Bum SPF50 Sunscreen Lotion ($16): because sunscreen is the number one must have for any beach day. One of the most important aspects of sunscreen is reapplying it. Yes, reapplying sunscreen can be a pain in the butt but it is SO IMPORTANT. Spray sunscreen is a great option for reapplication, one of my favorites is L’Oréal Advanced Suncare Dry Oil Spray SPF 50+ ($13).
Facial Moisturizer with SPF: most sunscreens can be applied to your face with no issue. But why not place special attention to your face like you do every day when you put face moisturizer on? Your face and neck deserve special attention especially if you have dry, sensitive skin like me. I love UV Expert Aquagel Sunscreen ($39) it’s so perfect for my skin type and it doubles as a primer! Win-win!
Invisibobble Hair Ring ($9): the perfect hair accessory easy to remove and it leaves your hair with no trace and no tangles!
Sunglasses: Because protecting your eyes from the sun is a must! My favorite affordable sunglasses are linked here, here and here.
Supergoop! Lip Balm SPF 30 ($9): Not only should you be slathering your body with sunscreen but don’t forget to protect your lips! This balm will protect your lips from the sun and also moisturize your lips all day long.
A Really Cute Swimsuit: I’ve linked a few of my favorites here, here and here. I also linked all of my favorite amazon swimsuits here.
After Sun Lotion: because a long day in the sun and in and out of the water takes a toll on your skin. Soothe your skin with a body lotion like COOLA Radical Recovery After-Sun Lotion that defends against environmental offenders and helps calm sunburn.
Cute Sandals: wearing heels or wedges to the beach or pool seems excessive to me. I’m always going to be in cute, fun sandals like these or these.
A Hat: even if you are slathering on facial sunscreen nonstop, a hat should be used as an extra layer of defense to protect your face, eyes, and scalp. You can find my favorites here, here and here.
Before I leave, I need to share a beach related secret. I was raised in California and my husband, Mike, was raised on the east coast of Florida. And yet, we both agree that our favorite beaches in the continental United States are the beaches of the gulf coast of Alabama. I know its hard to believe but I’m very serious about my love for the gulf coast. If you ever get a chance head to Orange Beach or Gulf Shores, you’ll be so happy that you did!
Now that that secret is out, where is your favorite beach?!
There is a short list of things that I really love to talk about; affordable fashion, my cats, reality TV, traveling abroad and my favorite podcasts. I am constantly sharing on Instagram which podcasts I am listening to but I thought it was time that I dedicate a series of blog posts to one of my favorite subjects, podcasts!
I love all kinds of podcasts; pop culture, news, politics, business, basically any category you could name, I love it. There is one category of podcasts that I am especially drawn to and that is all things true crime. OOOhhhweeeeeee, I LOVE a true crime podcast! I am always listening to podcasts, when I am driving, working, working out, curling my hair, cooking dinner, ALWAYS!
My love for true crime podcasts started with the rest of the world when season 1 of Serial premiered in 2014. I was working in Santa Monica at the time and I would spend my entire lunch walking around Clover Park so I could listen to every last detail of every episode. I was so obsessed with Serial that I would listen multiple times a week and it would never get old to me, I would eat every last detail up.
I love every true crime podcast, I go hard for My Favorite Murder because DUH!! but y’all already know everything about Karen and Georgia. So today, I am sharing my favorite true crime podcasts that have premiered in the last 12 months. Let me tell you, there have been some of the best-produced podcasts this past year.
Before listening to this podcast I had NO idea who Steve McNair was (he played in the NFL) and yet I was immediately drawn to this case. This series reinvestigates the murder of Steve McNair and puts crucial details in a brand new light.
This is the only non – murder podcast that made the list but it is still a true crime must listen! If you don’t know who Elizabeth Holmes is, google fast! The Dropout covers the rise and fall of Elizabeth’s company, Theranos. This podcast was a perfect listen for my husband and I because it was just enough drama for me and no one was murdered, which is important for him.
This story and investigation left me completely SHOOK. An investigation into the death of two women and their 6 adopted children. This podcast really helped remind me that social media is JUST a highlight reel!
A deep dive into the disappearance of 19 year old Erin Corwin; this podcast has it all young love, an affair, a murder, and an arrest! If you love stories with an actual resolution, than this is for you!
It’s no secret that I am long past the age of Spring Break but that doesn’t stop me from regularly skimming the internet putting together spring break outfits and daydreaming about exotic vacation. Growing up, Spring Break meant to me that it was the first time we were taking the boat out for the year and then when college rolled around, I got myself into a fair amount of trouble in warm cities. Needless to say, I’ve always loved Spring Break.
While I have no official Spring Vacation planned, I am still very excited about warmer weather and cute spring fashion trends.
Luckily, I do not have to travel far for warm, spring break weather. My hometown, Palm Springs, is a town of endless sunshine and a very popular spring break destination. So I am just going to pretend that I am packing for a week-long staycation in Palm Springs. Below are the items I would be packing for my adult spring break.
This is my absolute favorite spring fashion trend, its so easy and looks so put together!
High Rise Jeans
My #1 closet staple, a must in every suitcase I pack.
Fun Statement Earrings
Nothing spruces up an outfit more than a pair of bold, bright earrings.
Tie Front Tops
I absolute love a tie front top with a high rise jean, so cute!
I love a block heel! So comfortable but still nicely dress up an outfit.
Dresses that can be worn to the pool and then dressed up for dinner are a must.
After a long day of being in the pool the last thing you want to do is worry about washing and styling your hair, add a cute little scarf to a ponytail and you are good to go!
Tons Of Fun Swimsuits
Because you can’t go on Spring Break without a few new, fun swimsuits!
Add a straw purse to your outfit and instantly you are on vacation.
Bust out all of the fun sunglasses, I mean it is Spring Break after all.
Tell me where you are going on your spring break! I would love to vicarously live through you!
The other day I had this great idea to do a Palm Springs inspired Amazon spring fashion haul, when the order came in all I wanted to do was take my fashion finds and go on an exotic vacation to a tropical island. So think of this haul less as Palm Springs and more Hawaiian spring break.
I was on the search for fun colors, bold prints and lightweight material and ended up with some great pieces. Amazon can be a tricky place for clothes shopping but over the past year I have really gained a great understanding of how to find the best items on Amazon. For additional Amazon shopping tips, I blogged about it here.
I posted a try-on session on my Instagram Stories with most of these items, so if you are interested in more a more detailed look at any of the below items you will find those specifics there.
Spring Fashion Finds
Okay now lets get to the most imprtant part of this post, Swimsuits! I have so many swimsuits! I am kind of a swimsuit hoarder. During the cooler months, my husband and I get in the jaquzzi 2 – 3 times a week and in the summer we are in our pool about 5 – 6 times a week. We are water people!
High waisted swimsuits and One Piece Swimsuits are really trending this year and I am so excited about that! I love one piece swimsuits, I am one of those people who love to be active in the water and need something that I feel will keep me covered at all costs.
I really need to take myself on a grown up spring break. If you are going on an exciting spring vacation, please tell me about it below.
As you probably already know, skincare is something I feel passionate about (very passionate) ! I am always reading about new, innovative skincare products and techniques but at the same time I am very picky about the products that I use because I have such sensitive skin! I work hard to avoid the hype & marketing gimmicks and try to choose my skincare products based on ingredients that are well-researched and proven to make a difference, while also staying within budget.
When I am searching for skincare products I look for products that will help combat fine lines and give me skin that glows like JLo’s. I mean isn’t that what we all want?!
Today I have roundup the best skincare saviors that are easily available on Amazon prime. I have personally tested all of these, so I can say with complete confidence that I love them! What’s even better is that they are under $25! Okay let’s get to the important stuff.
The Best Skincare Products On Amazon For Under $25
Beyond just my normal creams and serums there are a few tools and techniques that I swear by to give me the best complexion. Let’s talk about those tools and techniques real fast:
Chemical Face Peel – An at home chemical face peel will help eliminate fine lines and dark spots while simultaneously remove dead skin cells to provide a glowing complexion.
Shaving Your Face – I have been doing this for years and swear by it (I have linked my favorite tool abov). It helps to exfoliate your skin and gives a great base for flawless makeup application. If you don’t believe me, read what Cosmopolitan has to say about it here.
Ice Roller – Goodbye Puffiness! If you are like me and struggle with puffiness on your face than an ice roller is a must! Apparently doing this is also supposed to help with migraines but I can’t speak on that.
What are your favorite skincare products to buy on Amazon?
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.