in Beauty

A Well Oiled Life

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It wasn’t until I became a momma that I really started to think about the products I used & put into my body. I discovered essential oils when I was pregnant, & from then on, my eyes were opened to all the damn chemicals in e r y t h a n g! I knew my body was absorbing every substance I applied but I was ignorant to what they could in fact do to my body.

I now try my HARDEST to pay attention to everything I use but, sadly, it can get exhausting. For instance, I raved about some new nail polish I found at the drugstore yesterday – the colors are so good. BUT, the first ingredient? Formaldehyde. If you aren’t familiar with formaldehyde, take a second to educate yourself and check this out. Big ol’ bleh! 

Growing up, oils & incense were the norm – my house always reeked of sage (I say reeked because my dad drowned us in this scent). My dad has always used essential oils as cologne, but it took me 25+ years to realize that there are benefits to these oils. Honestly, I thought he just liked smelling like the wilderness (he will take that as a compliment). My popps uses frankincense essential oil on the reg – which can benefit the immune system in tremendous ways, huge plus for a guy fighting MS! I just discovered frankincense on my most recent trip out west (where my parents reside) and I ended up coming down with some sort of bug. I decided not to freak out & go to the doctor for an antibiotic – one that they might not even give me – and I stuck to oils, teas, fresh air, hot showers & rest. Kicked that bug by my own damn self! I used frankincense on my feet at night, eucalyptus oil in the diffuser and I like to think it helped a lot. Now, I’m not saying oils can cure all that ails you; but I’m saying they are worth a try & have been workin’ wonders for me.

This flu season did feel like the worst ever; just like the winter seemed like the longest ever. And with an infant, germs seem so much more relevant than they ever have before. Another oil that I learned to love is a blend by doTERRA – doTERRA’s Breathe Respiratory blend. It smells wonderful, and it’s not too strong. All you have to do is open that little bottle, take a deep breath & let the oil do the rest. It has such a calming effect (as does Lavender!). If you want to get really wild, you can even drop a couple drops into your diffuser while you sleep and that my friends is the. good. stuff.

Not only have I fallen for oils, but I’ve also recently brought yoga back into my life. For some lazy ass reason I took a break once I got pregnant – I mean yeah, I couldn’t get down on all fours anymore but I could’ve been doing some sun salutations… Anyways, now at night even if I’m just doing a five-minute stretch before bed, I’ll rub some oils on my feet, back of my neck and behind my ears to help me relax. It’s pretty wild what scent can do for your state of mind – it truly is invigorating. Of course, a couple deep breaths and a child who sleeps through the night really helps me relax too. My favorite oils for this kind of night include lavender & peppermint. Peppermint oil is also great for headaches… which I tend to have the next morning if my darling little sweetie pants didn’t feel like sleeping through the night. All you have to do is rub a little peppermint oil on your temples & don’t forget those deep breaths, people!

Now let’s say that my darling little sweetie pants does sleep through the night? And I wake up feeling like a human, I’ll drop one or two grapefruit oil drops onto my wrists. Grapefruit oil is known for its mood uplifting tendencies – and a plus? It smells marvelous.

Confession: I have only used essential oils as perfume since Bryce was about a month old. It was my husband & I’s first date night post birth & I put on perfume before we went out. Bryce wouldn’t come to me – he screamed when I got near him. So it scarred me and possibly him. Yeah, I’m dramatic and mom guilt is real. So ever since, I’ve used oil blends. They really do the trick for perfume! Plus you can customize them to the scent that you love!

My oil journey is just beginning but I’m really loving where it is taking me. PLEASE share your favorite oil blends, brands & tips with me. I am immensely intrigued by what oils YOU love!

xo,
Kate
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in Beauty

Beautycounter Product Review

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It’s no secret that Kate and I are obsessed with skincare and beauty; but what I think we haven’t highlighted is that we are also on a mission to find products where the quality of ingredients are held to a higher standard, but is also just plain safe. We were somewhat familiar with Beautycounter, but wanted to know more – so when Kate and I were invited to a Beautycounter Social, we had to be there!

Prior to trying some of the Beautycounter products, our hostess, Sarah, threw some fast facts at us – and can I just say, by the end of the presentation our jaws were on the floor. We could not believe how far behind the United States is in passing federal laws regulating the cosmetic industry. For example, the European Union has banned over 1,300 ingredients over the last two decades. The United States? Eleven. ELEVEN. Can you believe that!? It is frightening to think about the crap that we freely put on, even inside, our bodies! Anyway, let’s move on from this “we’re doomed” talk.

Right away, Kate and I were drawn to a couple products and decided to purchase:

I, personally, was running low on face cleanser and an everyday foundation, so I added the following to my order as well:

And because we joined as VIPs, we each received the Nourishing Cream Cleanser (a $28 value) for free.

Cleansing Balm

Kate and I LOVE this cleansing balm. This stuff works wonders in removing even the toughest waterproof mascara. The balm leaves our skin feeling clean and moisturized. What we love even more is this balm is a “multitasker.” When our skin is feeling dry, we like smooth a thin layer of the balm on our face as an overnight mask. When we wake up, our skin looks plump and feels hydrated. I don’t know about you, but this winter season has completely taken a toll on our hands and cuticles. No matter how often we apply lotion, minutes later, we need more! This balm does wonders in keeping our hands and cuticles moisturized.

kimandkateblog cleansing balm

Verdict: While we both enjoy this cleansing balm, the $80 price point has us pumping the brakes a bit. The balm is definitely a splurge, and is something we plan to repurchase again when we have a few extra bucks in our pockets. It seems a jar of organic, cold pressed coconut oil could also accomplish the similar (not fully the same) results.

Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion

Finding a moisturizer for skin that can be dry & oily all in the same day is near impossible. We were beginning to think the hunt for a moisturizer for our combination skin would never end – BUT IT HAS! Kate suffers from cystic breakouts that can leave her skin extremely dry and flaky at times, but with Countermatch – she has seen zero flaking!! A little goes a long way – we’ve seen this to be true with all Beautycounter products.

My face tends to be on the oily side, and some moisturizers I’ve used in the past just adds to the pools of oil on my face. I find that this moisturizer is super light, non-greasy, and absorbs quickly into my skin. While, we cannot scientifically prove whether this moisturizer actively adjusts to our skin’s hydration levels as Beautycounter claims – all we can say is that it just works for us. With that…

Verdict: Kate and I are obsessed with this lotion and plan to repurchase again and again. We love it that much! As for the price, we find the cost comparable to those on the market.

Rejuvenating Face Cleanser

Even though Beautycounter says it isn’t necessary to use a cleanser after the cleansing balm, I do each time. I love completely erasing the day off my face. Since my skin is on the oily side, I find that residual cleansing balm doesn’t actually help my skin – except for nights I use Retin-A.

With that, I have been enjoying the Rejuvenating Face Cleanser… a lot. It’s a gel based cleanser, and for my oily skin, I really feel that it’s helping improve my complexion – leaving my skin brighter and clearer. I don’t attribute the cleanser being the sole product responsible for clearing or brightening my skin, but it’s certainly helping. My only gripe with this product is the packaging. I really hate the twist off cap – I would so much prefer the bottle to snap open/shut. Also, the bottle is made out of material that allows dirt/makeup to stick. Pet peeve. I find myself cleaning the bottle off every so often because it just gets so dang grimy. Definitely first world problems; but if I’m dishing out $43 for the product, I expect some sort of luxe and easy access to the product.

Verdict: I really like this cleanser, and plan on repurchasing. However, since I received a bottle of the Nourishing Cream Cleanser, I plan on purchasing the Rejuvenating Face Cleanser afterward! Hopefully by then, a new packaging will be available!

Tint Skin Hydrating Foundation

This has been my go-to foundation on days I go into the office or run errands. The foundation offers light to medium coverage, and gives off a dewy, natural finish. I know what you’re thinking – “but Kim, you have oily skin!” As with all my foundations, I just set the tint skin with a setting powder – my current fave is the Dermablend Loose Setting Powder. This keeps the oil at bay and makes your pores nonexistent! Anyway, I do end up looking dewy by the end of the day – but not like I rubbed my face in olive oil. I also noticed that Beautycounter offers their Tint Skin in a broad range of colors – from super fair to very deep. I thought this was important to note as they seem to be more inclusive than other well known brands.

Verdict: I like this foundation. Is it life changing? No. Will I repurchase? Yes, but not right away. I have a few more on my list I’d like to try. I think if you’re in the market for an everyday foundation that is light weight and have normal to dry skin – this foundation is for you.

Nourishing Cream Cleanser

Kate almost exclusively uses the Obagi CLENZIderm M.D. Daily Foaming Cleanser to keep her cystic acne at bay. However, she finds that the Obagi cleanser can be a bit drying. To help her skin recover, she uses the Beautycounter cleanser 2-3 times a week. The cleanser is calming and hydrating, and provides the TLC that she so often needs.

Verdict: This bottle was free this time around; but at only $28, this will definitely be a cleanser that Kate will keep on rotation.

We hope you enjoyed this review!

If any of the items piqued your interest – click over to our friend, and Beautycounter consultant, Sarah’s Beautycounter page. She can answer any of the questions you have about any of the Beautycounter products.

Have you tried Beautycounter? Tell us about the products you love!

xo,
Kim
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Kate and I have a major problem – neither of us can get a consistent night’s sleep! Our brains cannot and will not shut off. We’re exhausted and sleep deprived most days. However, for the past few months, Kate and I have been exchanging tips that seem to help us get to sleep and stay asleep. We thought we would share our sleep tips with you all because it seems that we are not alone!

First things first: your bedroom should be used for two things, and two things only – SLEEP and SEX. Any other activity other than sleep or sex in your bedroom can literally rewire your brain making sleep more challenging.

Create the Ambiance
  • Your bed should be comfortable. We know this is obvious, but you’d be shocked as to how many people settle for uncomfortable beds! It’s no wonder why people can’t get to sleep or wake up in pain.
  • Your bedroom should be the “perfect” temperature – not too hot, not too cold; think: Goldilocks effect.
  • Cater to your “scent”ses. We LOVE essential oils, and we have a slight obsession with our diffusers. An hour or so before crawling into bed, we put a couple drops of lavender oil and turn the diffuser on. The scent of of the lavender immediately puts us in a relaxed mood, and prepares us for sleep! Here are a couple diffusers we like: Ellia Voyage Portable Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser or SpaRoom® EnlightenTM Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser. These are also perfect for your little one’s room, especially those that are a humidifier AND diffuser all in one, like this! We also really enjoy the brand Aura Cacia for the essential oils – you can find it almost any where Target, Walgreens, and even Whole Foods!
  • Your bedroom should be dark – not just from outside sources (like the moon or street lamps), I’m talking the glow from whatever in your room is charging, or even your clock! Kate and I live for our eye masks; like this one: Free People Starry Eyed Mask. We put this on once we’ve accomplished all nighttime tasks! Having an eye mask on helps us stop ourselves from doing anything other than sleep!
Disconnect

We’re all guilty of this – winding down, snuggling into bed, and either watching tv or fiddling on our phones checking all forms of social media and email. Stop this. This is far too much stimulation for your brain during a time where it should be winding down and shutting off. Sadly, this is the most difficult thing to put into practice. Our top tip is to make your phone inaccessible. Charge your phone across the room, or even better – in a completely different room altogether. Also, no television – it just doesn’t belong in your room. Period.

Another Reason to Exercise

Kate and I found that the days we worked out, we slept better. We thought this was just a fluke, but then we looked it up. Apparently, early morning and afternoon workouts may help reset the body’s sleep wake cycle by raising the body temperature and then lowering it a few hours later, triggering sleepiness. Huh, who knew!? Not only that, but exercise also reduces stress and tires you out. So make time for this – this is one activity that takes care of you mind, body, and soul.

Silence isn’t Golden

Okay, so complete silence freaks us out. Being able to hear every bump in the night is the actual worst – I can’t tell you how often I hear a bump and immediately think I am going to die or become possessed. Anyway, it isn’t healthy and it impedes on the whole sleep thing. When I moved in with my boyfriend – he did this. Complete silence. Ew. Anyway, we exclusively sleep with an air purifying fan tower running – like these: Winix Large Air Purifier or Lasko Oscillating Fan Tower. White noise should allow you to rest easy just a bit more.

Write it Down

When your brain just won’t let go of a thought or idea… This happens to Kate and I all the time! So to appease the nagging thought – we keep a notebook and pen on our nightstand. That way, we can write it down, and let the thought go for the night. We do this knowing we can always address and run with the idea tomorrow – but ya can’t if you are sluggish from lack of sleep!

Try a Sleep Mask

Kate & I are those girls that will throw a mask on when we are stressed & exhausted, we like to believe they fix everything. At least they really do help to solve our skin problems. Give something like Nyakio’s Chamomile Soothing Sleep Mask a try and feel fresh faced in the morning! The hydration you’ll feel is unreal. This is our go to for radiant skin that doesn’t take months to achieve.

Just Breathe

So you’re still tossing and turning, and your brain still will not cooperate and let you sleep. Try a deep breathing exercise. Take a second to focus on your breathing. Hold your breath for two seconds and then breathe out for two seconds. Repeat this process until you reach a five second hold/release and start all over again. Eventually, you’ll be sent to dreamland.

We hope these tips and tricks to a better night’s sleep help you.
They’ve been working for us lately, and we surely hope it stays that way!
What do you do to get a good night’s sleep!? We’d LOVE to know!

xo,
Kim
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in Travel

Travel Tips with Baby

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I decided to fly solo with my ten-month-old little guy, Bryce, from BWI to ABQ. A 4 1/2 hour flight that was jam-packed and happened to have major turbulence. Thanks to a few mommy bloggers & friends, I received some kick ass advice that helped tremendously. Sadly, I don’t really have any tips for you once you arrive at your destination… when you happen to be sleep deprived, stressed and you have no clue what time it is.

But here is my M U S T  K N O W list for flying with an infant (trying to help in the little ways I can):

1. Bring a stroller. I’m not telling you to check a stroller along with your other bags right when you arrive at the airport; I’m telling you to take your stroller with you through TSA and to your gate. I would’ve lost my shit, pulled a few muscles and again, lost my shit – if I didn’t receive this advice. Stroller too bulky? Invest in one like The Mountain Buggy Nano. It’s liberating, especially if you have some flights in your future! The Mountain Buggy Nano folds up so easy and has a shoulder strap. I was able to hold Bryce and the diaper bag all while folding up the stroller with one hand. Plus it fits in the top compartment of the plane. Yup, small enough to count as a carryon! Be sure to be smart about the diaper bag you bring as well. As much as I wanted to carry my dainty-everyday Kate Spade backpack, I knew it would not hold all of Bryce’s necessities so I borrowed my husbands Tactical Baby Gear backpack & it had just enough room for everything I knew I would need and more.

2.  Be prepared. I was and still am, terrified of a blowout on the plane. In my carryon, I packed two outfits for Bryce & one for me. Simple lightweight pieces like leggings & an oversized tee work perfectly so you don’t take up more room in your bag especially when you know that you might not need this pieces. When it comes to feeding (if you aren’t nursing), be sure to have bottles ready. I don’t even mean the formula in the dispenser & the water in the bottle – I mean have a small cooler like this one and make your bottles beforehand. Since my flight was at capacity it was quite difficult to make Bryce a bottle. He also ate twice on the plane so I’d say bring an extra too, I was thinking he would only drink one. Thankfully, there was a lovely woman sitting next to me who asked to help when I was making his bottles (she could see the struggle) but still, it was tough – SO crowded and such a wiggly Bryce.

3. Be organized. I have always flown with a wristlet (this one has been my go-to) but knowing that I need three hands on a regular basis, I opted for a fanny pack – this Herschel Supply Co. Fifteen Belt Bag is SO GOOD and affordable. Wearing a fanny pack was such a good decision, I kept it simple by only keeping my phone, ID, bank card and boarding pass in it.

These are my top tips! I am flying home in a week so if you have anything else I should know PLEASE comment below and fill me in! I’d love to have a few more under my belt.

Safe Travels, Lovebugs!

xo,
Kate (and Bryce)

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in Beauty

Dry Shampoo Rundown

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It’s true. Kim and I have tried all of the dry shampoo pictured – all nine of them. Four out of the nine are products we would recommend over and over. This journey of finding the best dry shampoo for us has been long and exhausting (I’m serious) – very happy to say that it is over.

Okay, I’ll get to the good stuff. Here are the dry shampoo that worked for us:

Batiste Hint of Color $5.99

MONAT The Champ Conditioning Dry Shampoo $34

Eleni & Chris Dry Texturizing Shampoo $27

KLORANE Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk  $20

Surprising?! Well, we’ve pretty much learned that you get what you pay for in M O S T circumstances. The budget friendly find that I wish I would have tried first (apparently it’s the world’s best known dry shampoo brand) is Batiste Hair’s Hint of Color. Being a brunette, residue from dry shampoo has always been the biggest issue for me; so finding a dry shampoo that enhances your hair color is the best thing ever… for dirty hair that is. Not only does Batiste have the budget friendly answer for brunettes but the brand also offers a hint of color for blondes. At only SIX DOLLARS, it’s a risk you’ll feel great about taking! Who am I kidding? It’s not at all a risk. Then we have MONAT’s The Champ Conditioning Dry Shampoo. This is the shampoo to use if you know you are going to hit snooze more than once in the morning. The Champ works wonders if you apply it before bed (it’s magic). The thing we really love about The Champ is that it is super lightweight AND there isn’t any residue. None. So when you wake up in the morning and your hair isn’t greasy? A win for sure. You can actually just blow dry your roots for a lil’ extra volume – if you need it.

Onto the next gold medalist – Eleni & Chris Dry Texturing Shampoo (sorry, I miss the Olympics). This shampoo is the one for you; if you are a blonde, white-haired, grey-haired, lime green haired, lavender haired (there are a lot of crazy hair trends out there)! The o n l y issue that I have faced as a brunette with this product is the residue, you really have to work it in, which is why it would work like a charm for those with lighter colored hair. As a mom, I don’t always have the time. But it’s one of my favorites because it adds SO much texture & volume. And it’s a dream come true for someone who has fine and thin hair!

Kim and I both have an irrational fear of aerosol cans exploding in our carry-ons mid-flight; so we were happy to find that another fave, the KLORANE’s Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk offers a non-aerosol version. Making it perfect for travel and keeping our anxieties contained. An added bonus? It works! This dry shampoo is a loose powder and it truly keeps sweat and oil at bay –  even during and after a workout!

Now, the problem with the ones that don’t work? The gist of it is that we’ve found we need to use so much, so often. That goes for Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Not Your Mother’s Plump For Joy Body Building Dr and Herbal Essences Bio Renew Revitalize Cucumber & Green Tea Dry Shampoo. As for Living Proof Perfect Hair Day – we were kind of surprised because we’ve heard SO many people rave about it! The issue? It makes your hair feel like you sprayed your entire head with a super strong hold hairspray. And no matter how little you spray – you’ll find that the powder sits on your scalp, making it somewhat irritating! Not what we are going for.

It seems like most of the women in our lives are always looking for that perfect dry shampoo; and we hope this helped! Do you have a dry shampoo you love?? Let us know!

xo,
Kate
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in Beauty

Face Masks We LOVE

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As I sit here with GlamGlow’s SUPERMUD Clearing Treatment on my this-time-of-the-month-chin breakouts, I can’t help but wonder – what would I do without face masks?!

With face masks running the beauty market, Kim & I thought it would be helpful to share our favorite face masks so you don’t have to go searching for the good ones. Yup, we did the dirty work for you. Pun intended. Like, I literally have mud on my face.

#1 Let’s start off with one of the most unique beauty brands out there, Drunk Elephant. We love this brand because of its high quality. Also, we are total suckers for cute packaging. Now, the packaging does not have anything to do with why this mask is one of our favorites but it’s always nice to have pretty little containers fill your vanity. The T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial improves skin texture & gives you that radiant skin you’ve been yearning for.

#2 Mario Badescu is a name that you may be familiar with as Badescu began his skin revolution in the city we all know & love, New York. This brand is known for their gentle regimens that work wonders for all skin types. The Silver Powder is a treatment WAY different from the others. Working best on congested skin (blackheads blackheads blackheads), you dampen a cotton ball & dredge it into the Silver Powder then apply on your problem areas. Or all over, like I do. I know, it sounds really weird – like am I baking chicken or am I putting on a face mask? BUT for stubborn blackheads, this is my go-to!

#3 Eleni & Chris is a brand we recently have been familiarized with & we quickly fell hard for everything from their dry shampoo to face masks – their sheet masks in particular. Some sheet masks we’ve tried tend to be flimsy & constantly remind you of why they were $1 at CVS (no shame in the budget game!) but for a sheet mask that feels luxurious and works like a charm? Give Eleni & Chris a try! They offer a Detox, Glow, & Hydration. A sure winner for every skin type.

#4 GlamGlow SUPERMUD Clarifying Treatment is hands down the best clarifying spot treatments I have ever used. In all my years of trying to zap pesky breakouts, this one does the work the best. Sadly, it’s a little on the pricey side so I don’t always have it on hand but when I do, I know my hormonal breakouts will be short-lived.

#5 I’ve shared this mask before and I’ll share it again because this Luxurious 24k Gold Bio-collagen face mask truly is the best when it comes to needing a boost. Literally a boost, your skins elasticity will improve almost immediately. Yeah, you may look like a gremlin or someone out of Wrong Turn (horrible freaking movie) why you have the mask on BUT when you wake up the next morning, you’ll be glowing. This mask makes your skin youthful, radiant, dewey & smooth within your first use.

#6 Indian Healing Clay. What doesn’t this mask do? It purifies, shrinks pores & dries out any breakouts. You simply mix the clay with apple cider vinegar, apply to your face & wait a few minutes… before you know it – the mask begins to work – your face will literally pulsate. Once you rinse the mask off, you’ll have flush skin that has never felt cleaner!

Let us know if the comments below if you love any of these masks too!

OR if you can recommend a mask you think we’d love!

xo,
Kate
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I’m going to let you all in a little secret – for YEARS, I curled my hair with a “curling wand” that I “Macgyver’d,” by simply unscrewing the clip that had loosened. Actually, the whole barrel was loose, but I kept using it anyway. Embarrassing – but it got the job done. For the longest time, I saw my favorite bloggers post about T3 curling irons. I always thought they were beautiful, but just couldn’t bear to dish out the money. However, when I saw the T3 Micro Whirl Trio Set, I thought to myself – “maybe it’s about damn time for an upgrade.”

I mean, the T3 Micro Whirl Trio design is just stunning – the white barrels with the rose gold accents can make any countertop look pretty. With all the hype and the sheer beauty of these wands, you can imagine just how excited I was when this set arrived at my doorstep!

What you receive in the set:
  • 1.25″ – .75″ tapered barrel
  • 1.5″ straight barrel
  • 1″ straight barrel
  • storage tote
  • heat-resistant glove
What look each barrel can achieve:
  • The 1.25″-.75″ tapered barrel is best for: (1) beachy waves, (2) textured waves and curls, (3) loose tousled curls, or (4) natural looking waves.
  • The 1.5″ straight barrel is best for: (1) red carpet glamour waves, (2) full-bodied waves, or (3) volume with bend or flipped ends.
  • The 1″ straight barrel is best for: (1) uniform spiral curls, (2) perfect mermaid waves, or (3) defined waves and curls.

kimandkateblog t3micro

Each barrel can easily inserted in the base and locked into place. There are five heat settings ranging from 260-410 degrees; easily adjustable for any hair type and texture. I keep mine on the third setting since my hair is fine and has a natural curl.

The barrels are made out of tourmaline and ceramic. Meaning, the barrels emit ions that leave curls looking smooth and shiny. T3 Micro has developed Singlepass technology allowing each barrel to deliver even and consistent heat allowing your curls to stay! No need to redo your curls later in the day. Say whaaat!? And if you’re anything like me – you often wonder if you left your curling wand plugged into the wall. Well, have no fear, there is a built-in one hour auto-off. Whew.

Final thoughts:

I have used my set consistently over the last month, and let me just say – the hype is REAL. I prefer to use the tapered wand because I love the textured, beachy waves look – but have used them all. I am SO impressed with the curls and the staying power. The first few times, I didn’t use hair spray at all – and the curls remained for most of the day. I don’t know what it is, but the Singlepass technology truly works and I am incredibly impressed. Depending on the barrel, I can even go a couple of days without re-curling. However, the real MVP is the tapered barrel – my curls stay as long as 3-4 days. No joke.

kiandkateblog tapered wand

In my opinion, the T3 Micro Whirl Trio Set is a serious must have! There is a reason this particular set has won Allure magazine’s “Best of Beauty” Award three years in a row. Luckily for you, I found two discount codes that will earn you $50 off or 15% off your entire purchase.

Use coupon code: Save50 for $50 off your purchase through 2/19/2018.

Use coupon code: Hairstyle15 to save 15% off your purchase through 4/1/2018

Believe me when I say, you will LOVE this set.

Have you tried this set before? What’s your favorite barrel?

More into straight hair? Check out our review on the Amika Polished Perfection Straightening Brush.

xo,
Kim
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in Fitness, Food

Territory Foods Review

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Kate and I have been stepping up our fitness and health game in the last couple months. And we are happy to report, we are seeing progress and feeling GOOD! We’ve been working out everyday and eating healthy. However, there is one thing I cannot for the life of me do and really dislike, and that is: meal planning. This is where Territory Foods comes into the picture.

I work from home three times a week and go into the office Tuesdays and Wednesdays; and on days I go into the office, I almost ALWAYS forget or neglect to pack a lunch. So when I saw that one of my favorite Baltimore foodie bloggers posted an Instagram story about Territory Foods, I thought to myself that this just might be a solution!

A little background on Territory Foods:

Territory Foods is a healthy meal delivery service that focuses on providing prepared meals with locally sourced ingredients. Meals are prepared by local chefs with a variety of culinary backgrounds. Currently, Territory Foods is serving four regional areas in the United States : San Francisco, Southern California, Dallas/Fort Worth, and the DMV. Territory Foods offers TWELVE dietary templates from Whole30 to Paleo to Vegetarian to New and Expecting Moms – whatever your dietary preference, Territory Foods has likely got ya covered!

They offer three meal sizes and meal types:

Boost $9.95/meal, Standard $12.95/meal, and XL $15.95/meal; and
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

Meals can be delivered to your home for $7.95, or you can pick up at a designated location for free.

My order:

I opted for lunch and dinner meals, as I usually have breakfast covered with my favorite protein smoothie and coffee. During my first week, I ordered six meals – a lot, but I was able to snag a credit – so I went a little crazy. Because Territory Foods allows you to edit your plan – I opted for three meals during my second and third week, and changed my dietary plan from Paleo to Whole30.

My thoughts:

I know $12 a meal sounds like a lot. But I’ve factored in the reality that my office only offers vending machines, and that purchasing lunch at a nearby restaurant is equivalent or more cost-wise. I figured indulging on a healthy, ready prepped meal is well worth it. As I mentioned, I dislike meal planning – the whole prepping and cooking is fine with me, but I cannot eat the same meals everyday for an entire week. I get sick of it and food ends up going to waste – money wasted. One of the reasons I really enjoy Territory Foods meals is the variety in types of meals offered – I’ve had Ethiopian, Mediterranean, and Asian within the last couple weeks. And the options change each week! You can also put your meals on pause, if you simply aren’t into the meals offered or will be heading out of town.

Overall, the meals have been delicious. There was only one meal where I took one bite and had to force myself to finish because it simply was not good. One of the features of the website allows customers to rate each meal, and I’ll be doing so accordingly.

I also felt that the Standard meal size was just perfect for someone my size. Standard meal sizes range from 400-650 calories per meal. Even after a workout, and I’m feeling completely famished – I feel fully satiated after eating one of these meals.

Final thoughts:

Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking and making healthy meals; but with my busy work schedule, and shockingly active social life, Territory Foods has been a lifesaver. I would definitely recommend Territory Foods – if you’re busy or just crave a variety in meals, Territory Foods is a great option.

If you’ve been jonesing to give this a try – it’s your lucky day – I have a $25 credit for ya! I would love to hear your thoughts if you  end up trying it. I have a feeling you’ll enjoy it just as much as I do. Love this, but need a little motivation to workout? Read our blog post on How to Commit and Stay Motivated to Working Out.

xo,
Kim
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in Style

Real vs. Dupe: Bag Edition

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real-vs-dupe-bag-edition

On a whim (what’s new), I decided to sell some of my diaper bags & a majority of my handbags because I NEED CHANGE & I NEED IT NOW (shoutout to ADD!). So with a little cash in my pocket I went looking for new bags. Of course I fell hard for a beautiful $1800 Gucci backpack, I mean it is everything I’ve ever dreamed of AND it would go with any and every outfit, BUT I really want to pay my mortgage this month & not have my husband divorce me over a bag. So I’m doing what any reasonable adult would do and look for something similar at a fraction of the price. I mean, it can’t be that hard.. can it (insert huge freakin’ sigh)?

So after looking and looking and looking, I finally found a few bags that are worth sharing.

The rundown:

Gucci Signature Leather Backpack $1,790 vs. Gucci Dupe: Dream Control Quilted Textured Vegan Leather Mid Size Backpack $34.95

CELINE Micro Luggage bag $2,900 vs. CELINE Dupe: Ainifeel Women’s Genuine Leather Smile Top Handle Handbag $119

Burberry Medium Camberley Colorblock Leather & House Check Top Handle Satchel $1,595 vs. Burberry Dupe: FASH Limited Cross Body Style Satchel Bag $25.59

Saint Laurent Toy LouLou Calfskin Leather Crossbody Bag $1,190 vs. Saint Laurent Dupe: A New Day Women’s Quilted Crossbody Bag $29.99



What do you think? I’m really loving the dupes – with the right outfit, I can still look glam without breaking the bank. My husband can rest easy knowing the mortgage will be paid, and his wife, me, will be happy! 🙂

xo,
Kate
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in Beauty, DIY

Our Favorite Beauty Hacks

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It’s 2018, and one thing hasn’t changed – we want to look our best and not break the bank. Beauty is a multi-billion dollar industry – there is a product for anything you can dream up. We want to share with you our favorite beauty hacks that will stretch your dollar and allow you to use the products you own to their fullest potential!

  1. I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of challenges when it comes to curling your eyelashes – you just want them curled and to stay curled! We got ya covered! When curling your lashes, instead of holding your eyelash curler the traditional way – lift the curler so the handle is parallel to the floor. Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze for about 10 seconds for each eye and this will give your eyelashes more lift AND more curl. Follow up by using a waterproof mascara. The curl will stay all day long! In the market for an eyelash curler? The Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler is our favorite!
  2. Know you are going to have a rushed morning? Apply your dry shampoo before you go to bed! Your dry shampoo will have plenty of time to absorb all of your hair’s natural oils & you’ll wake up looking like you just washed and styled your hair!
  3. So maybe you are out of dry shampoo altogether?! No worries! Grab some bronzer, your Kabuki brush and buff those roots! A blonde? Use your powder foundation instead. Just a little goes a long way!
  4. Advil & that pesky painful zit. Grab yourself a liquid Advil capsule & cut it open. Then snip the top right off with your handy dandy scissors, grab a Q-tip & apply the Advil liquid to the inflamed area. Be sure to give yourself about twenty minutes for the liquid to dry and once it does, you’ll notice the redness and the pain of the pimple has diminished. Proceed with applying make up or go bare faced because you’re a confident, beautiful woman, and no zit is going to stop you from facing the world.
  5. Suffering from ‘cake face’? For the smoothest skin, add a drop of Nyakio Maracuja & Yangu soothing oil (or any oil you have on hand) to your foundation, mix it together & then apply to your face! You’ll see the difference in your skin immediately. We love this beauty hack for the winter months!
  6. Three words: Monistat Chafing Gel. Yup – you read that correctly. Not only is this stuff AMAZING for chafing relief on areas like inner thighs (this is always in our purse during the summer months), but this is also great as a face primer for make up when you’re in a pinch. A two-in-one product! This is a significantly cheaper dupe for the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer. The main ingredient, dimethicone, is also often the main ingredient in other face primers. This allows for a smooth finish – filling in pores and the like. This hack is better suited for people with oily skin.
  7. Of course, you forgot shaving cream on your Target list. I mean, it had to be something, right?! Well just use your conditioner instead. Use a quarter size amount & treat it just like shaving cream, your legs have never been softer! We may even use conditioner instead of shaving cream… on the reg.
  8. Okay, so you wake up with puffiness under your eyes because you spent the whole night watching a This is Us marathon. We’ve been there. Before you start getting ready for your day, soak a couple green tea bags in hot water for about two minutes. Take the bags out, squeezing the excess water out and pop them in the fridge. Prior to applying your make up, take the green tea bags, and place them under your eyes for 10 minutes – if you have longer, even better. The caffeine and tannins will help shrink the blood vessels just under the skin which, in turn, reduces swelling and puffiness under the eyes. We hear that model use this beauty hack just before a photoshoot or runway show.
  9. Ain’t nothin’ sweeter than raw honey. You can use raw honey for two things: blemishes and dry skin. For those pesky blemishes, apply a small amount of honey onto the pimple and cover it with a bandaid. Go to sleep and when you wake the next morning, you should see that the pimple has reduced significantly – all thanks to the anti-inflammatory effects of honey. Since honey is a natural humectant, a honey mask will do wonders for dry skin. Slather a thin layer of raw honey on your face, then allow it to sit on your face for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with warm water. You’ll see that your skin is plump and hydrated.
  10. Organic raw apple cider vinegar is one of those items in our pantry that we use to boost weight loss, clean with, and even settle sour stomachs. But one of our favorite ways to use apple cider vinegar is as a facial toner and is great for all skin types! Apple cider vinegar toner balances the natural pH of the skin and removes dead skin cells, exfoliating to reveal healthy, vibrant skin. For normal to dry skin: mix one part apple cider vinegar with two parts filtered water. For oily skin: mix one part apple cider vinegar with one part filtered water. For sensitive skin: mix one part apple cider vinegar to three to four parts filtered water. Store the mixture in a glass or plastic bottle. The smell is something you may need to get used to – but the benefits to your skin are life changing!
  11. Coconut oil is another multipurpose staple in our homes – we use it for hair masks, body moisturizer, and even use it as massage oil or a lubricant during sensual moments with our men. Yes, we went there. However, our favorite way to use coconut oil is for removing makeup. Take a dime size amount of coconut oil and begin to massage on your face. The heat from your skin and fingers will melt the coconut oil if it’s in a hardened state. Coconut oil does wonders in breaking up stubborn waterproof mascara and removing the rest of your makeup. Take a warm, wet muslin cloth and wipe off the residue or simply use warm water. Coconut oil is SO versatile, and we love it so much that we could write a whole blog post about it!

And there ya have it – our F A V O R I T E beauty hacks! Let us know if you try any of these hacks.
We would love to hear your results!

xo,
Kim & Kate
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