Getting the Perfect Summer Glow

Getting the Perfect Summer Glow

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     I've been so excited to write this post for awhile now because I'm such a fan.  I got my first spray tan a few weeks ago and instantly realized I had seriously been missing out!  I was always so scared to try it because I had only heard horror stories of people turning orange.  I researched it a lot and realized that nowadays it's a lot easier to look natural & honestly I just didn't want to be pale on spring break.  I'm now about to get my third and thought I'd share my experiences :) 


Dress (similar) | Shoes | Bag

     Before I went for the first time I read the instructions on what to do and found I needed to shower, exfoliate & shave before going, but not apply any lotion or deodorant.  I did that all the night before my appointment.  The morning of the tan I wore a strapless bra, thong, running shorts, loose t-shirt & flip flops.  I was really intimidated when I was told to remove my clothes and put the hair net/foot pads on.  I left my thong on just to see the difference in color & the woman who did the spraying came back in.  She put lotion on my hands to keep them from being extra dark and started spraying.  It was awkward at first but this is literally their job, they really don't care about looking at you other than to tan you.  I asked her not to spray my face since my make up is so fair and the whole process took less than 10 minutes.  The spray is a little chilly, but totally bearable.  It's worth noting that bringing a bra was pointless because I didn't put it back on after so I wouldn't get marks.  I waited the recommended 8 hours to shower & I really loved the color it cured to (it was super dark while it was curing and I was really scared but after the shower it was the perfect color!).  I'll be honest that this tan didn't last long because I really didn't keep up with lotioning like I should have, but even with that it stayed about 5 days!

     The second time I went I did all the same things except the morning of the tan, rather than the night before.  I also opted to just wear a t-shirt dress, thong & flip flops this time.  The process was the exact same, except I forgot to mention I didn't want my face done and it was too late once I realized it.  After having my face done now I see it is kind of a lot for me and I'll be sure to opt out of it next time.  This tan was the day before my sorority's senior photos so I really tried to take extra care with it.  I waited the 8 hours required before shower and religiously put on lotion every morning and night to hopefully lengthen the lifetime of the tan.  The new dilemma I had this round was I workout every day when I'm home, an issue I didn't have on spring break.  I researched some more and found that you can definitely still work out with a tan, you just have to care for it a little more.  I've been trying to wear seamless leggings and put extra lotion on under my sports bra before each workout.  I really think lots of lotion has been a game changer because my tan is still super even basically everyone except my armpits, which I knew would be nearly impossible to avoid.  

Before:


 After:

  
     I love the convenience of being able to get a quick tan and not have to plan ahead to lay out.  It also has given me a huge confidence boost, especially when I had to wear a white dress for photos.  I can't wait for my next one in May!  If you're on the fence about it, definitely give it a try, and if you're local visit Beach Bunnie!  But also don't wait to do it right before a huge event if it's your first time, give some leeway in case it doesn't turn out how you'd hoped. 

XOXO, Cierra
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Styling Spring Espadrilles

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     Spring is finally here & with it is all of the fun new trends! My favorite one that's stuck around since last spring is espadrilles.  You literally can't go wrong with them; they're comfy, cute, & come in so many different styles! Plus, right now my favorite espadrille brand Marc Fisher is having a major sale!!!  I have three pairs that are crazy comfortable & so adorable.  This is a super rare sale, 20% off the whole site with code SS18 until April 23rd, so act fast to get your perfect Spring & Summer additions!!!  





     I also thought I would show you all how I've been styling my favorite pairs recently!  I like to mix in distressed denim, patterns, sundresses & graphic tees, along with fun statement earrings to create different looks.  The espadrilles I have are all super neutral so I can add in other trendy things with them and they don't take all the attention.



Top (similar, similar) | Shorts (similar) | Sunnies | Shoes




Top | Jeans | Shoes (similar) | BagSunnies


Shoes | Dress (similar) | Purse | Earrings


Top (similar) | Jeans | Shoes | Earrings

XOXO, Cierra
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Crock Pot BBQ Chicken

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     Crock Pots are my favorite cooking item now that I live on my own.  I don't really enjoy making whole meals from scratch and usually end up with pasta or tuna because it's quick and I'm tired, but Crock Pots make it way easier to cook up something yummy without a lot of effort!  



     This week I made BBQ chicken and it is the best because it literally requires two ingredients.  I added a quarter of a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's Hickory & Brown Sugar BBQ sauce to the Crock Pot, added three frozen chicken breasts (lying as flatly across the bottom as they could), then poured another quarter of the bottle of BBQ sauce over the chicken.  THAT'S IT!!!  I turned it on low and left it cooking from 7pm to 10am the following day.


     After it has fully cooked it should be super easy to pull apart with a fork.  The last thing I do is take all the chicken out and shred it with two forks and separate it out to be refrigerated or frozen (since I only cook for me I usually freeze about 3/4 of it to eat later on).  When I'm ready to eat it I like to add shredded cheese, peas, and black beans, all on little street taco tortillas.  The best part is it makes so much and the chicken lasts about 2 weeks in the fridge and a really long time in the freezer.  Pinterest has a huge assortment of other super easy recipes too if you're in the mood for something else :)    



XOXO, Cierra
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6 Things I Wish I Had Known Before My First Cruise

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     Hi everyone!  This spring break I did something I've never done before, I went on a cruise!  We did the Carnival 4-day Mexico cruise to Catalina Island and Ensenada.  I was super excited to go and relax for a few days, but wasn't really sure what to expect.  My parents had been on a cruise a few years prior and my friend I went with has been on a few as well so they gave me some tips.  I also googled and Pinterested a lot before I left.  However, even the most preparation can't make everything perfect, so here's what I wish I had known before now that I have gone!

1.  Everything you read about over packing is real.  I read so many blogs and my mom told me not to over pack and I really tried not to, yet somehow I brought probably twice as much stuff as I needed.  I only really ended up wearing a few casual outfits, like one nice dinner outfit, pajamas, and one bikini.  Everything else is just wasted space, seriously!


2. You probably won't actually get that lost.  I know for me this was a big concern because the ship seems so large and confusing, but I promise you get the hang of the basic places by the end of the first day.  Even if you do end up lost, just think of it as a nice little tour and maybe you'll find something you didn't know was there. 


3. The drink package is well worth its cost.  I was hesitant to get it, but while I may be bias as a 21 year old college student, I thought that having 15 drinks a day and not having them all already paid for was extremely convenient.  For reference, we both went through all 15 drinks each day.


4. Along with drinks, I was surprised by the food.  It's actually awesome and the selection is incredible.  While I may have eaten the tacos everyday for lunch, don't be afraid to try new things!  I had my first taste of escargot at dinner because why not, and I actually loved it!


5.  Not having phone service is not the worst thing to happen to you.  I thought I would be really upset to not have my phone working for part of the trip, but honestly it was so refreshing.  I spent more time just enjoying being with the people I was with and less time on Insta.  


6. Time goes by super fast.  Before you know it you have all these new friends and know where everything is, and it's the last day.  So make sure to get out and about, meet people, and enjoy your time!
  
XOXO, Cierra
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Spring Bar Cart

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     Hi everyone, Happy Spring!! This is one of my favorite times of the year.  In Arizona, Spring comes and goes pretty quickly, but that doesn't make it any less fun to celebrate it!  Along with Spring starting, Easter is right around the corner.  Generally, decoration wise, when someone thinks of these two things they usually think pastel colors and candy.  This is exactly what this month's bar cart features!




     This is probably the second cutest cart I've done, right behind February's cart, hopefully you think so too!  My favorite aspect is the peeps vase, and this is super easy to do.  There's actually a big shot glass in the vase holding the flowers with water and the peeps are on the outside edge of the shot glass in the actual vase so they don't get wet :)  


     I also found these cute little nests at Joann's to add a more natural look (they're doing 20% off any purchase right now!), along with a cute banner, fun sign and graphic napkins for a little sparkle.  Of course I also had to get the Easter M&Ms mix to add into the candy dish (it's definitely my favorite mix solely because of the colors).    


XOXO, Cierra

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Currently Listening To

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     So, recently I decided to give Podcasts a try.  I've heard a lot about different ones people listen to, but I never thought it was something I would like.  I decided to give it a shot since I was pretty tired of my Spotify playlists, but also don't like walking between my classes without head phones in.  Turns out, I actually love them!!  It's like listening to the funny segments on radio shows, except you can pick what you're interested in.

     I started out listening to two, now I'm up to five favorites!  I sneak them in when I'm walking and when I'm working out, they're so easy to get wrapped up in that it makes the time fly.  So without further ado, here are my favorites currently:

1. Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen: Since I don't get BravoTV in my apartment, I've been having serious withdrawals from my shows.  This podcast is perfect for this because I can keep up with each Bravo show, each week, for free! 


2. Duolingo Spanish Podcast: I finished my minor in Spanish last semester, so now I'm not taking anymore language classes.  I was so used to having them and being able to practice, this podcast helps to replace that in hopes that I won't lose all the things I learned.  It tells stories and news articles in Spanish, with the option to follow along in English.


3. Anna Farris is Unqualified: I have always loved Anna Farris, I mean House Bunny and Mom are hilarious.  There's not really a theme to this podcast but she has other celebrities on and just discusses whatever, in the funniest way possible of course. 


4. Straight up with Stassi: Another one I found simply because of who it's about, Stassi was on Vanderpump Rules and always was one of my favs.  She's sassy and has no issues letting people know her opinion on the weekly events.


5. Betch Slapped: This one is fun for keeping up on trends and pop-culture, while simultaneously judging everything.  It's very sassy and not censored, but always a good laugh.


Any podcasts you're loving right now, or not your thing?
XOXO, Cierra
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Currently Reading

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     Ever since I was little I've always enjoyed reading, I read the whole Twilight and Hunger Games series in a few days in middle school, but being in college has kept me super busy and I let my reading take a back burner.  This year I've taken a lot more time to catch up on books I've wanted to read.  

     I enjoy most genres; biographies, mystery, self-help, fiction, comedies, etc.  But if I don't like a book while I'm reading it, it takes forever for me to finish it (I never stop midway through).  Some of the one's I've read so far I didn't like to start, but then I got super into them, and others I finished in a day.  So I'm going to stick with those types of categories and list them out that way.



Books I Read in One Day
  • Dirty Rush by Taylor Bell: My first read of the year!  This book, along with the following two, were suggested to me by a friend.  Turns out she know what she was talking about because this book was hilarious.  If you know about, or have partaken in, Greek life you'll especially enjoy it, but no it's not always like Bell depicts it!    
  • White Girl Problems by Babe Walker: This book was also hilarious and super relatable as a young woman.  Babe struggles through what everyone does, with just a lot more money and designer clothes.  
  • Psychos by Babe Walker: This is the sequel to White Girl Problems (eep there's a third, too!) and honestly once you read the first one you won't be able to stop so you should probably buy them all at once.  I'm working on the third as I type this.

Books I Liked but Took Longer to Read
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: This book is set in Europe at the start of WWII and focuses on a young girl.  I have always been really fascinated with this time period and will pick up basically any book set in it.  This book took me over a year to get into just because there is a lot of background info given to set up the plot, but once I got past that I really loved this book and was sad to finish it.  It definitely had a lot of sad parts, but there are also funny and cheerful parts.  
  • Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls: My mom recommended this book to me after she read it, and it's been made into a movie, so I gave it a shot.  This also took me a few days to get into, but again after that it was a really enjoyable read.  The antics of this family are so funny and they just keep going throughout the whole book.  
  • Wild by Cheryl Strayed: I picked this book up after I saw the movie previews and it's not a typical book I would read just since it's very outdoorsy.  However, it also has other aspects of personal growth, self-empowerment, and comedy.  It was an easy read and actually made me really really interested the PCT hike.  
Books I'm Reading Next

What are you currently reading?? I always love new suggestions :)
XOXO, Cierra     
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Happy National Margarita Day!

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     It has come to my attention that National Margarita Day is February 22nd (it's actually a real thing).  While I have never celebrated this holiday before, I'm pretty sure it'll soon be one of my favorites.  Flashback to awhile ago when I thought I hated tequila, margaritas, and everything closely related any of that (so sad, I know).  Little did I know that they would soon be my go-to drink, right behind vodka sodas.  To celebrate National Margarita Day, I put together a list of my fav recipes I've tried so you can whip them up & celebrate too!  Add some chips and dip in cute bowls like my margarita glass plates, fun margarita glasses, and drink umbrellas to create your own little fiesta!



  •  My absolute fav recipe is the Black Grape Marg I posted awhile back.  It is so refreshing, and even a little healthy!

  • Next, Prickly Pear Margs are a staple in the Southwest, they're sweet and tangy.  You'll need prickly pear syrup to make them, but that's what makes them so much more unique since that's not a common flavor in drinks!

  • Mangoritas, do I really need to add anything to this? They're like a vacation in a glass.

  •  Rodeo-Rita.  You probably have no idea what this is an maybe you think it even sounds a little tacky, fine you can think that but hear me out.  This marg is made with Pendleton Whisky instead of tequila, and while that does sound odd, IT IS SO GOOD.  I discovered this when I was in Vegas for the National Finals Rodeo and it was all I drank the rest of the weekend.

  • Last, strawberry-peach frozen margaritas.  I'm so excited to make these when it warms up and sip them by the pool.  They taste like a tequila smoothie, in the best way possible, and since they don't use a mix they're even a little healthy.
How will you be celebrating??
XOXO, Cierra
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Carry-On Must Haves

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     Recently I've been travelling more than I normally do during the semester for veterinary school interviews!  In January it was Columbus, Ohio and this weekend it's Ewing, Virginia!  It's been super exciting, but having to pack and do my school stuff at the same time has been a little stressful.  What has been the most helpful is leaving my carry-on tote packed with the essentials so I don't have to worry about forgetting anything in that realm.  Basically every trip I take, I bring the same things to make the flight easy breezy.  



     I usually only travel with a tote (this Kate Spade Cameron Street tote is the perfect size!!) and a small roller bag, so the tote is always loaded to the brim.  First and foremost, I bring lots of snacks like peanut butter crackers and Bel-Vita bars.  These are perfect for traveling because they're small and non-perishable, but still keep you full if you can't grab real food without being super unhealthy.     Another must-have is a notebook and pen because you really never know when you might need to jot something down or leave a note.  This set is small and so cute to keep in your purse, I got a different color combo and love them!  You can't forget the everyday things like sunglasses, your wallet, a book, a water bottle, and your charger too.

 
     I also always carry Evian mist, Visine eye drops, Kleenex, Tisserand's Energy essential oil (incredible for a quick pick me up), and a mini Vaseline tub.  Evian mist prevents your face from the normal dryness that occurs when you're flying, Visine refreshes dry and tired eyes, and Vaseline is the only thing that keeps my lips from being super chapped.  


     Lastly, my go-to lipstick, lotion, a nail file, and hand sanitizer also make it into the bag.  I make sure to keep all the toiletry type items in a little separate bag in case there's any spills my book and wallet won't be ruined.     

Any fun trips coming up for you??
XOXO, Cierra
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Masks for Every Occasion

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     With the weather warming up, my skin has been all over the place adjusting from the dryness of winter and desperately in need of some attention.  I found this "Meet Your Mask" kit of 5 different masks from Peter Thomas Roth at Sephora and have been testing them all out to give you guys some feedback!  In my last skin-related post I focused on my day-to-day routine and moisturizers if you're more interested in that.  With that being said; here's how the set worked out!  I started out trying each one for ten minutes, but as I realized which ones worked better for me I tended to grab them more often so I have more to say about those ones.  



     My favorite two in the set were the Cucumber Gel Mask Extreme De-Tox Hydrator and the Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask, for two very different reasons.  The green one is awesome on dry skin!  I used it whenever my skin felt really tight or I had been out in the sun a lot.  It is made with cucumber and aloe so it's extremely hydrating, there's no strong scent, and it makes your skin feel smooth after with less redness.  The only downside was I expected it to go on green and it actually goes on clear, which is less exciting.  The black one is worked wonders on any zits I had pop up!  A few times I used it I left it on for ten minutes as any other mask and it made my skin feel really clean.  Other times I used it as a spot treatment over night directly on the pimple and by the next morning it was almost gone!!  This is also the only one that goes on not clear so it really makes you feel like you're doing a mask.  



      The others I tried were still really good, just if I were to buy full size ones it would be of those two.  The Blue Marine Algae Intense Hydrating Mask is also great for dry skin, I would have listed this one as equal to the green one except I gave it to my mom to use.  It also goes on clear, doesn't have a scent, and made my skin feel very smooth after.  

     The Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Gel Mask was also nice.  I didn't notice a huge different in my skin, but it still was refreshing.  It does have a heavy rose scent however, and is a little thicker.  

     The 24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Mask was what I was most excited about, but it did not turn out to be as great as I had hoped.  It goes on very thickly, with a little gold shine to it.  It is not scented, but it is sticky and stayed sticky the whole time it was on.  My face felt nice after, but not any more so than any other mask I've done.  

    The Pumpkin Enzyme Enzymatic Dermal Resurfacer Mask is the only mask I didn't test.  This was because it contains alpha hydroxy acid which increases sun sensitivity a lot.  Since my normal face wash and toner already increases my sun sensitivity and I'm outside everyday I didn't want to add to it.  This mask would be ideal if you have a very basic skin care routine and not sensitive skin.  Don't forget to wear sunscreen 24/7 for a few weeks after though!  



     Overall, this set is awesome regardless of your skin type.  None of the masks made me break-out and even though I liked some better than others, I'll definitely get use out of all of them!


What's your fav mask??
XOXO, Cierra      
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February Bar Cart

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     I got a little over excited and changed up the bar cart early this month because I just couldn't wait for all the cute things I had saved for this one!  It's Valentine's Day themed with all the pink and red one little cart can handle.  



      I snagged some awesome finds at Target's dollar section this week like the wine bag, hand towels and heart plate, but I linked similar options.  The rest I've picked up over the past year.  





     I also added these fabulous three see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil little flying pigs from Fry's Food Store that may stick around even after this month.  



     The last thing I added was a new design to our pantry door.  It was painted with chalkboard paint when I moved in and I love using it for decor!  Pinterest has the cutest chalk art ideas, some harder than others, but this one was super simple.  


     If you're looking for some additions to your decor this month here's some similar wine glasses, garland, vases, stirrers, straws, wine stoppers, and napkins!!  

XOXO, Cierra

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