My Favorite Salons and Spas


Happy Friday friends! Today I wanted to give you a brief rundown of where I go for beauty services.  Some of these salons are national chains so if you don’t live in my area you can look for a franchise where you live.  I’ve definitely had some terrible salon experiences in the past and it makes finding a place that you love that much more special.  The top things I look for at a salon are cleanliness, friendly staff, and use of higher end products.  In my opinion the phrase “you get what you pay for” could not ring truer when talking about beauty services.  I’ve learned I would rather space out my services longer and go to nicer places than have subpar experiences on a more frequent basis.


I’ve been going to Randolph’s salon in Rochester for the last 3, maybe 4 years for my hair services.  My stylist there is Jillian and she was initially recommended to me because of her Redken certifications as a blonde specialist.  I’m super picky about the color of my highlights, I don’t like brass but I also don’t like super cool blonde either.  Jillian has always done a great job listening to my requests and offering suggestions.  I don’t do anything super crazy or high maintenance with my haircuts but she always does a nice job and takes her time. The salon is super clean, open and airy.  Side note, I’ve also taken my daughters there for formal hairstyles when they were flower girls and the prices were pretty reasonable.


Of all the services you can get, manicures and facials are the ones with the higher risk of infection and for that reason I’ve been very picky about where I go.  For the last year I have been going to PAINT in Downtown Rochester for my manicures.  One of the things I love about PAINT is it’s a no drill, no fume salon.  You won’t walk in and be greeted by a cloud of someone’s nail shavings- seriously so gross!! You also won’t leave with a headache from product fumes.  Their polish is water-based, 5-free, vegan and cruelty free.  As popular as dip manicures are, there is no way to keep that a sanitary service if you are dipping into a color someone else has used so they do not offer that style of manicure.  When you receive a pedicure there the bowls are non jetted.  While a jetted tub might feel relaxing, those jets are difficult to properly clean and harbor lots of bacteria.  As someone who has personally had to deal with post-service infections and their serious nature I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this salon.  I do my own nails quite often but if I’m going to treat myself this salon is my only choice these days. This was the salon I went to when I had my gel manicure that lasted a month (Rachel is my nail tech)!  They know what they are doing and most importantly they don’t rush you out the door.  They do recommend an appointment for that reason, although they do take walk ins. If you aren’t local, PAINT is franchised and you may be able to find a location near you.  You can search for one here:


I’m going to be honest, I don’t treat myself nearly enough to these types of little luxuries.  Most of the time if I get a massage it’s while we are on vacation.  One of the best spa massages I ever had was at the Aulani Disney resort in Hawaii.  They had a whole therapy pool session that was complimentary and I really could have stayed there all day.  As for facials, the last two I had were done at a Woodhouse Spa location which is a national franchise.  I had an illuminating facial at their Nashville location and at my home spa in Rochester Hills.  These facials are super relaxing and I really enjoy that the aesthetician describes what she is doing in each step of the treatment. When it comes to facials the biggest choice you have is whether to go to a dermatology associated office or a more spa like setting.  I have had both and I will say Woodhouse gives an excellent medical grade facial without the sterile office setting feel.  I think you get the best of both worlds! You can search for a Woodhouse location near you here:

Thank you for reading, I’d love to hear what makes the salons you go to your favorites as well!



Sugar…I get it now.


Photo by Pixabay on

Ok, I’m going to start this post by saying I obviously have a degree to practice medicine as a PA, not a dietician license.  There is no preaching of any sort going on here, I’m just sharing this information based on my experience in the last month having cut out sugar from my diet.  I hesitate to call this change a keto diet because I feel that implies I have been eating bacon and steaks all day every day which I’m definitely not.  What I have done is made a conscious effort to avoid all refined and most natural sugars/carbs.  No pasta, bread, baked goods, potatoes, rice, and high glycemic index fruits. And no mochas or lattes or craft beer…

Let me start by saying I can’t emphasize enough that genetics plays a huge role in how/why we gain or maintain our weight.  For some, genetics lets them eat any darn thing they want and not gain a pound.  My DNA happens to code for sluggish thyroids and diabetes in many of my family members.  For a long time I was able to get away with eating anything I wanted, in the last 3 years though my DNA started to get the best of me. Sure I could stand to lose about 10 pounds but that’s not the reason I decided to cut the sugar.  I cut the sugar because it was exceedingly clear to me that I was on a never ending rollercoaster of cravings.  I would eat and three hours later feel sweaty and shaky (aka reactive hypoglycemia) and then need to eat again.  I would try to snack on protein but it seemed if I had already started the day with any carbs the protein snack wouldn’t help all that much. I cut the sugar so I would feel better, period.

My husband is doing the no sugar thing with me and the first week was really tough.  Detoxing from sugar gives you a hangover of sorts called “keto flu”.  You feel mildly dehydrated (the ketosis makes you lose water weight which is why you will lose a few pounds pretty quickly) and I was crabby and not all that nice to be around if I’m being honest.  During the first week, I literally let myself eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted if I was hungry as long as it was on the diet.  The staples so far have included nuts/peanut butter, avocados, cheese/ cottage cheese, carb balance tortillas – we’ll eat half of one, turkey jerky, lean lunchmeats and smoked salmon, frozen salmon burgers, tuna, salad, zucchini noodles with protein, eggs, and some berries.  I think the eggs and nuts, particularly almonds,  are what we both are eating a significant amount more of than ever before.  For dinners, we’ve subbed most starchy sides for some kind of cauliflower version.  We eat a lot of spinach that we saute or put in salads and usually have a roasted vegetable with dinner. We do eat red meat on occasion, but really no more so than what we have in the past. My husband is thrilled he can have a little whiskey on the rocks every night and it’s zero carbs, I’ll have a bud select 55 if I really want a drink. When a serious sweet tooth craving hits I came up with a great recipe for sugar free chocolate chip peanut butter cookies which I shared below.  We are not doing any other extra keto type supplements or drinks that are popular in the health food stores- in my opinion if you stick to the diet they aren’t necessary.

So a month in and I can say without question, I’m off the sugar rollercoaster and feeling better.  I rarely experience hunger because I’m snacking regularly on protein throughout the day. We are eating out a lot less, on occasion I’ll treat myself to a salad bowl at Chipotle with all the carb free fixings but even that has only been once or twice.  I’ve lost a few pounds which is nice but more than that I just have less cravings and crashes and I’m overall so pleased! I don’t plan to limit the fruits forever and I will at some point introduce back some chickpea pasta and sweet potatoes but for now I want to do this at least a few more months to allow my system to recalibrate.

If anyone has any questions or wants more detailed recipe recommendations for starting out please feel free to comment or email me!  I’d be happy to share more details with you.  You can find my recipe for sugar free chocolate chip peanut butter cookies below.  A couple ingredients will want to have on had are monkfruit sweetener and almond flour.



1 cup of finely ground almond flour

4 tbsp. sugar free chocolate chips or cacao nibs

2 tbsp. monkfruit sweetener

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp baking soda

2 TBSP natural peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 tsp milk of choice


Preheat oven to 325 degress. Mix dry ingredients very well.  Add in extract, peanut butter, milk and stir to form dough.  Makes 10 small cookies, bake for 10-12 minutes, allow to cool 10 minutes on baking sheet before moving.  They are delicate and need to cool completely before handling.

Enjoy!! I will be making these on the regular as it is just enough to curb my sweet tooth but still stick to a low carb diet.




Transitioning Your Makeup for Summer

Are you someone who finds yourself buying all new cosmetics when summer comes around?  If so, this post is for you!  I’m going to explain how to transition what you’ve been using in the winter months to help you get the most out of your products for summer. The key to summer makeup is always making sure you have on SPF, keeping your make up from melting off your face in the heat, and having a keen eye to make sure your foundation matches whatever tan you develop once you’ve been out in the sun. *This post contains affiliate links

Tip #1 Mix it up!

I feel like sometimes we forget how valuable it can be to mix products and come up with our own formulations to satisfy our makeup and skincare needs.  Brands will want you to think you need the latest and greatest super product that contains antioxidants, spf, hyaluronic acid, holy water (OK just kidding!)  But my point is a lot of times, we have all this stuff on hand and you just gotta get the right recipe down.  For example, some of my foundations lack a strong spf so for summer I will be mixing them with this Neutrogena oil free facial sunscreen: Along these lines, once your face starts to develop a summer tan you don’t necessarily need to go out and purchase a darker foundation.  My trick is to use a tiny amount of a much darker concealer to deepen the color of your liquid foundation before applying.  This ELF one is a great option and is so affordable: You can also purchase kits like this one from Ulta with products to help obtain the perfect color match using foundations you already have on hand:

Tip #2 Make it last!

Chances are even if you have dry skin you deal with some amount of makeup melt during the summer.  You don’t necessarily need to purchase a matte foundation but if you need an affordable option I like this Maybelline matte and poreless:  . There are two products that will allow to continue to use your current foundation and these are primers and setting sprays.  Primers can be divided into two categories – those that help your makeup up stay bulletproof and those that smooth the skin surface and fill in large pores and wrinkles.  So be careful when picking a primer for summer, the skin smoothing ones are usually somewhat hydrating and won’t really help all that much when make up is sliding off your face in 90 degree heat!  I recommend this primer for summer:   Usually you won’t need a separate primer for your eyes, but if you are someone with oily lids I recommend giving these MAC paint pots a try for summer, sometimes when it’s super hot out this is all I use on my eyes: Another must have for me during summer is a good setting spray, I don’t always need them in the winter but if I’m going to be outside in the summer they are essential.  I recommend the Urban Decay All Nighter: or this drugstore option from Makeup Revolution:

Tip#3 Correct the red!

One last simple tip for summer makeup… invest in a green primer to color correct redness from sunburns or flushed skin in the heat.  I was amazed at how well this worked when we were on our last beach vacation.  Some good options are this one from NYX:   or this ELF color correcting stick:

Hope you enjoyed these tips and tricks for your summer makeup routine!  Hopefully instead of buying all new products for the season these suggestions will help you make use of what you already know and love!



Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother's Day

Hi friends!  I realize the blog has been a been on the quiet side lately and I promise to work harder on posting more content here.  I came up with this Mother’s Day Gift Guide for those of you looking for ideas!  These are all things on my wish list! The products here range anywhere from $25-$200 as I wanted to cover a wide range of budgets.  If you are a last minute shopper like I tend to be, this is a great guide sure to cover everyone from your mom, mother-in-law and even yourself! (Hint hint hubby!!)

  1. Gibson romper:
  2. Charlotte Tilburry Highlighter Palette:
  3. Wanderess Fever Palette:
  4. St. Tropez Self Tan Starter Kit:
  5. Capri Blue Watercolor Candle:
  6. UGG Lolla Silk Robe:
  7. Aerin Aegea Blossom fragrance:
  8. Gold initial pendant:
  9. Sole Society Emery Backpack:

Valentine’s Day Makeup Look

It’s no secret I love a glowy natural makeup look!  I used some of my go-to products and this look really only took 10 minutes.  It’s perfect for a fancy candlelit dinner, a night at the movies, or just feeling a little more glam if you are staying in for the night. *post contains affiliate links  


  1. Foundation:
  2. Eyeshadow:
  3. Eyeliner:
  4. Concealer:
  5. Brow Fill:
  6. Bronzer:
  7. Highlight:
  8. Blush:
  9. Lip Gloss:
  10. Mascara:

For detailed instructions on the eye makeup see below:

Start by applying shade 1 all over lid and browbone.  Take shade 2 and blend well into crease.  Blend shade 3 onto outer half of lid. Using a small brush and a small amount of product place shade 4 and 5 in a V shape on outer corners of lid. Using a large fluffy brush (I like mine to be a bit damp) blend shade 6 from inner corner to middle eye on your lids.  Line upper eyelid with eyeliner, I recommend tightlining (line from under your lashes, not above!) to give eyes a wider more awake look.

Kendra Scott earrings linked here:

Thank you so much for checking out this Valentine’s Day inspired look!



Holy Grail skincare products plus…the skincare step you might be missing

close view of womans face

I took a recent poll on Instagram asking my followers to share their holy grail skincare products.  I consider a holy grail product something you’ve used for years and repurchased several times.  For me, there are really only a few skincare products that I haven’t abandoned to try the latest and greatest!  I wanted to share everyone else’s picks here because no one here was paid to say a thing and there were some really great products mentioned that covered a wide range of price points.  So here’s what made the list, read on to find out what mine is and why it may be something you need to add into your regular routine.

1) Clarisonic brush, shared by @living_for_sunshine. Sally swears by it and says it’s crucial for removing all your makeup.

2) Laniege Water Sleeping Mask, shared by @ohheybrianna. Brianna says it totally transforms skin overnight.  I personally love this one too and it smells amazing!

3) Aquaphor ointment, shared by @glamsquadmom. Vicky says her whole family uses it in the winter for every skincare concern.  I would have to agree this is a great overall moisturizer for sensitive skin.

4) Creme de la Mar, shared by @daily_splendor. I have yet to splurge on this one but Danielle reports that it is totally worth the splurge and I’m sure it is!

5) No7 Micropaste, shared by @meganlawless. Megan purchases this at Target, I have used several of the No 7 products myself and been pretty happy with this affordable line!

6) Cetaphil face wash, shared by @alexamorelli. Alexa says this wash clears any breakouts without drying her skin.

7) Drunk Elephant TLC Sukari Babyfacial Mask, shared by Ashley from @aofalltrades. I have yet to try the Drunk Elephant line of products but have heard nothing but good things!

8) YSL Touche Eclat radiant touch, shared by @katnye. Kat says this is the one and only concealer needed to brighten those undereye circles that come with #momlife!

And now to share my Holy Grail skincare product and why you might want to add this into your routine.  I’m a big believer in toners as a step to completely clean your skin and by restoring pH balance it helps get your glowing complexion back after washing your face.  It also helps with shrinking youy pores and certain toners have moisturizing properties.  Other toners work well for acne prone or oily skin.  My favorite toner that you can purchase at Target and most drugstores is Thayer’s Rosewater Toner.  It is super affordable, works well and for this reason, I won’t be searching for a new toner anytime soon! You can find it online here (affiliate link):


Special thanks to those who shared their products for this post!  I enjoyed sharing them and will do more of these kinds of posts in the future!!




Best Products of 2018

Happy New YEAR!! With 2018 coming to a close I always try to take stock of what I have on hand and do a mini purge of products I’m not reaching for.  As a beauty blogger, I have a lot of stuff and it gets overwhelming so a clean up once in awhile is a necessity.  It also gives me a chance to appreciate the new stuff that I’ve loved and can’t see myself without!  While these products may not be new to the beauty market, they were new to me this year and I compiled my top 10 products that have made my A list for 2018.  *post contains affiliate links

1) EVA NYC Hair Mask- the best bang for your buck if you need regular deep conditioning.  It works so well on my colored and frequently heat styled hair!  And you cannot beat the price for the amount of product you get!  Shop it here:

2) Wander Off Duty Eyeshadow Palette- In the last year I’ve been doing a lot more warm toned eye looks.  These shadows are a great consistency, blend well and have minimal to no fall out.  I’ve been super pleased with a lot of the Wander products I’ve tried but I love this one because it’s grab and go for travel! Shop it here:

3) StriVectin S.T.A.R. Retinol Oil- A few months ago I went back to using retinols regularly and once my skin got used to them I decided to up the strength of the retinol I was using with this oil.  This oil is super nourishing and doesn’t dry my skin out at all.  I’ve been using it day and night, with SPF during the day of course and it has already significantly proven it’s antiaging benefits! Shop it here:

4) Dashing Diva press on nails- OK, I know I might get some strange looks for this one.  But guys these stayed for over a week despite multiple work outs, dish washing, and mom life.  They are the real deal and press on nails have come a long way since I last tried them in the 80s.  For $6 you can’t beat a 3 minute manicure that looks this good! Shop them here:

5) Bliss Make Up Melt Wash- Definitely something I’ll be repurchasing when this bottle runs out. I love that this gently removes my make up and cleanses my face without drying out my skin at all.  It is on par with the Purity wash from Philosophy at a fraction of the price.  Shop it here:

6) Ardell Magnetic Accents- I’ll admit these take a lot of trial and error, but once you get the hang of them they become and easy way to add a little glam to your makeup looks. Shop them here:

7) Babe Lash serum- I’ve used this growth serum for about 8 weeks now and I’m loving my results.  It is super quick and easy, if you are looking for longer lashes without the inconvenience of extensions I highly recommend giving this a try!  Shop it here:

8) It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye- I seriously wish I had tried this one sooner, but better late then never.  This stuff has a cult following for a reason!  A little goes a long way, full coverage with no creasing, this stuff has a permanent space in my makeup bag!  Shop it here:

9) Glameselle matte liquid lipsticks – this is a new company and the creator of these lipsticks is local to me.  I’ll be honest in that I’ve had a go to matte lipstick formula I’ve loved for years, so this product had to do some heavy lifting to win me over. This formula seriously goes on like butter and does not dry my lips out in the least. It’s definitely in my regular lipstick rotation!  Find them here:

10) Laniege Lip Mask- This little pot of magic is on my nightstand and I can’t fall asleep without it now. Saving my lips this winter for sure!  Find it here: