Fall Vici Haul

Happy Monday, y’all!

I’m sorry it’s been so long, but we’ve been dealing with a few medical issues with Baby K the last month. That’s a story for another time though. Today, I’m talking about one of my favorite places to shop and the pieces I’ve gotten in the last few weeks!

If you’ve not heard of them before, Vici is based online and out of their three physical locations. They always have great quality pieces that are on trend, as well as staples that can be worn for years to come!

First up are these Name Of The Game Mid Rise Skinny jeans. The jeans have the perfect amount of stretch and are so flattering on! You can dress them up for a night out or down for running errands around town. You can never go wrong with a good pair of jeans, and these have quickly become my favorite pair!
Wearing a size 25

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The Restoration Knit Lounge Tank is soft and stretchy in all the right ways. I have it in black and love it for lounging around the house! It also comes in a pretty cream color!
Wearing a size Small

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The Moraga Pocketed Aztec Cardigan is the stuff of dreams, y’all! It’s so soft and plush to keep me cozy and warm on cold fall days! This Aztec print isn’t something I had in my closet previously, but once I saw this, I knew I had to have it!
Wearing a size Small

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Last but certainly not least, is The Coziest Yet Pocketed Cardigan! I went back and forth on ordering this one, but am so glad I took the plunge! I love the relaxed oversize fit of this, and so does Baby K! When we’re lounging around the house together, I probably have this on since we both love that it feels like a big fuzzy blanket! It looks great with leggings for a loungewear look or with jeans and cute booties to dress it up a bit!
Wearing One Size

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If an item is sold out in your size, don’t forget to sign up for the email notification for it! This will let you know if more become available or if a Pre-order is posted.

What pieces are you loving for this #sweaterweather? Let me know!

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Love the Mama Too

As I sit here looking at him while he naps, I can’t help but be so thankful for him and all of the people that have poured into our little family!

Babies are such a wonderful gift. Most people you know want to come love on your little addition, but sometimes the mamas can get lost in it all.

Ask her how she’s doing and really listen. God knows she’d probably appreciate someone asking about her before the baby!

Bring or send her a favorite meal or snacks. When the decision comes down to eating or trying to get some sleep, I can almost guarantee that sleep will win out.

Take the baby for an hour or two without asking. Help is always appreciated, but if the new mama in your life is anything like me, asking for it is hard!

When you bring something for the new little one, bring something for her too; a candle she loves, a nice lotion and body wash, coffee (I’m mostly made up of coffee these days). Just a little something that says you were thinking of her too!

I know it can be easy to be sucked in by the cuteness of a new baby, but it’s just as easy for a new mama to lose herself in it all too.

Next time you go visit a new baby, don’t forget to love on the mama too!

XOXO,
Leah

Life Update: Why I’ve Been MIA

If you follow me over on Instagram, you’ll know that life has gotten pretty busy for me and my husband this last month; we welcomed our baby boy into the world on July 9th!

While we are both over the moon that we have been trusted with this sweet little love, the struggle has been real as far as sleep is concerned! After months and months of waiting for the day that we would finally get to hold him in our arms, it is still so hard to believe that he is here.

Keeping that in mind, I think we’re finally starting to get into a rhythm, or as much of one as a family with a newborn can be in!

I’d love to know what y’all would like to see more of in the weeks and months to come; Recipes, product reviews, fashion, lifestyle… Let me know in the comments or send me an email!

As always, thanks for following along for the ride with me!

XOXO,
Leah

Testing It Out: Tula Glow & Get It Cooling & Brightening Eye Balm

Happy Monday, Y’all!

Today, I wanted to tell you all about another product I’ve been testing out lately and loving; the Glow & Get It Cooling & Brightening Eye Balm by Tula!

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Generally speaking, my skin looks and feels it’s best when I’ve had plenty of water and sleep, but as we all known, life happens. Sometimes that means I need a little extra help, but I still try to only focus on a few products.

On their website, Tula claims that this product “Instantly cools, hydrates, and brightens the look of undereye dark circles. Tightens & hydrates the look of lines & wrinkles. Wear under or on top of makeup for a natural dewy glow.”

I was definitely skeptical at first when I ordered this product! I had heard so many of my favorite bloggers hyping it up for months, but couldn’t help to wonder if it really worked or not.

After almost three months of putting it to the test in this hot and humid North Carolina weather, I am so happy to have nothing but good things to report back!

This is my new go to product! I love that it comes in stick form and is easy to throw into my bag when I’m on the go. It gives a nice and healthy look to around my eye area without being shimmery like a highlight. Think more natural and glowing from within!

Living in the South, I am no stranger to heat, so the fact that this is cooling is always nice! I’ve noticed that my dark circles and undereye puffiness are both gone within minutes of applying this which is a huge plus when I’m trying to get makeup on and out the door.

Speaking of makeup, this product can be applied over a full face! I’m not sure how, but whenever I do use it on top of makeup, it never seems to get smudged or removed!

I love that it’s also packed full of ingredients that help hydrate my skin and lock in moisture! If all of that wasn’t good enough, this product is cruelty free and free from things like fragrance, parabens, and alcohol!

Over the last few months of using the Glow & Get It Cooling & Brightening Eye Balm, I have definitely noticed a difference in my undereye area! Not only do I no longer look tired (even when I am!), but I can really see the transformation in how radiant my skin looks now.

I highly recommend this and can’t wait to try more out from Tula!

XOXO,
Leah

Testing It Out: St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse

If you follow me over on Instagram (@alongftride), you might remember that, a few months back, I shared that I was trying out a new self-tanner; St. Tropez. Well, today I’m sharing all the details about it!

Like I said, I’ve been using the St. Tropez Self Tan Dark Bronzing Mousse for a few months now. There’s just something about being tan that makes me feel my best!

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As a former pageant girl, I love a good spray tan, but sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day to go to a tanning salon for an appointment. This product helps give me that glow right at home and for a fraction of the cost!

I always start by using a good exfoliant, especially around my elbows, knees, wrists, and ankles. My favorite is a homemade body scrub that has ground coffee, brown sugar, and coconut oil in it! (Recipe will be coming soon!)

If you’re more on the pale side, I would recommend that you start out with the Classic Bronzing Mousse since dark may be too dark for you. What I do like about this is that it is buildable to a degree!

In the winter and spring months, the Dark color is perfect for me since I am naturally tan with being Asian, but I will probably make the switch over to the Extra Dark color.

To apply, I do use the St. Tropez applicator mitt since it came with my self-tanner, but any mitt should do the trick! I use three pumps of the product per leg and two per arm. My stomach, chest, neck, face, and back definitely depend on the day as far as how many pumps I use!

I just pump the product directly onto the mitt and apply it to my skin in circular motions. I do use this on my face most times. So far (fingers crossed) I haven’t noticed any irritation or breakouts which is always a plus! Since my back isn’t always visible, sometimes I’ll just skip it altogether, but I recruit my husband to help if I do!

It does have a faint scent to it. While it doesn’t bother me, it is something to be aware of! I also don’t love that it goes on a bit sticky until fully dry. This is normally around 30 minutes, but I have noticed that having the ceiling fan on high helps cut down on that time a little!

What product would you like me to try out next?

XOXO,
Leah

Parmesan and Cheddar Crisps

Happy Monday, y’all!

After several weeks of computer issues, I think I’ve finally gotten it back up and running (fingers crossed)!

Especially in the summer, I love a good crunchy and salty snack to go with a nice cold drink! Popcorn, chips, pretzels, you name it!

With my love of cheese, my latest addiction has been really any kind of cheese crisp, but buying them can get a little on the pricey side. Enter this recipe I whipped up one night, and boom! An easy and way cheaper version of my most craved snack!

What You’ll Need

• 2 Cups Shredded Parmesan Cheese
• ½ Cup Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese
• Salt and Pepper to Taste
• Parchment Paper

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You’ll want to preheat your oven to 350°.

Next you’re going to line your baking sheet with parchment paper. This will help your crisps not stick and make clean up that much easier!

In a bowl, mix the two shredded cheese s together until well combined.

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Now you’ll drop heaping tablespoons of the mixture onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet. They don’t spread out too much when in the oven, so I put four mounds in each row.

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Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper right after you take them out of the oven so the seasoning sticks best!

Let sit until cool to the touch and then you’re all set to enjoy your homemade Parmesan and cheddar crisps!

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While yummy on their own, there are also tons of ways to jazz them up; turkey and avocado, in place of tortilla chips for nachos, with eggs and bacon…

What’s your go to snack right now?

XOXO,
Leah

How I Prepare For Guests: T-48 Hours

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We all know that feeling of still having a million things we’d like to get done before guests come to stay. I’m currently right in the middle of it!

Every time, I always wonder to myself what I can leave until the last 48 hours beforehand. Have you ever done that too? After many times hosting, these are the 10 things I’ve learned can wait until almost the last second to do:

1. Putting fresh towels out. If there’s a clean towel left unattended for too long, my pup will find it! She loves smelling fresh laundry, so I’ve learned it’s best to wait until right before guests arrive to put these out!

2. Vacuuming. Did I mention I have a puppy? With a big back yard to play in and spring in full swing, it seems like she’s always tracking something into the house. Laminate floors are not too forgiving either. Needless to say, I may or may not be putting the vacuum away as you pull up to our house.

3. Lighting candles. I love how inviting a good smelling candle can make a house, but I’ve also been in homes before where you can tell the candles have been burning for days. For our home, I’ve found that the perfect compromise is lighting the candles an hour or two before guests arrive. This way you can still smell the scent, but it’s not too overpowering!

4. Stocking the fridge with the fresh stuff. It’s no secret that fresh fruits and veggies don’t last forever. That’s why I wait until a day or two before to stock up on the fresh goodies; fruit, veggies, dips, etc. This way, they’re good and ready to snack on, but not pushing their expiration or sell by date!

5. All of the pretty flowers. I think a pretty bouquet of flowers really adds an extra touch to a guest room or kitchen table. Not only are they pretty, but they smell good too! Just like fresh produce though, flowers don’t last forever. Whenever I go out for the fresh food, I make a point of it to pick up some fresh flowers too!

6. Cleaning the kitchen, living room, etc. This is not to say I don’t clean, because I do at least once a week. I do however wait to give every day spaces like the kitchen and living room until the day of before I go through one more time. Life is never 100% neat and tidy and neither are the spaces we live in on a daily basis!

7. Laundry. I like to have as little in the dirty clothes hamper as I can when we have guests. This way my husband and I know we have plenty of clean options for whatever we end up doing. There’s almost nothing worse than getting ready to go out and realizing that part of the outfit you had in mind is dirty!

8. Any kind of baking or cooking. I always like being able to offer guests something homemade; bread, cookies, muffins, etc. It’s a nice little extra touch since when we do have guests it involves a full day of travel to get here. Since there aren’t any preservatives, it’s best not to make them too far in advance. It also helps makes the whole house smell so yummy!

9. Stocking the coffee and tea bar. Our coffee and tea bar gets used on a daily basis and even more so when we have guests! I always wait until the day of to restock and top things like sugar off. That way, it’s fully loaded for guests to use. I also make sure to have a little dish with peppermints nearby in case it’s a grab and go kind of morning for coffee!

10. Make the bed(s). Last but certainly not least, is making and freshening up the bed or beds depending on how many guests are coming. This always involves clean sheets, fluffing up the pillows and smoothing out the comforter. I normally finish it off with a cozy blanket on the end to help make the room feel warm and inviting!

What are the things you leave until the last 48 hours to do before guests arrive? Let me know in the comments below!

XOXO,
Leah