Tag Archives: party

Housewarming Party Pro Tips

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Housewarming Party Pro Tips

Hello! Johnny and I have been working hard to get our new apartment in order after our big move with a housewarming/birthaversary party as our goal at the end of the month. With the party in mind, it has encouraged us to pick up the pace with our unpacking to get our place in as good of order as we can for when our guests show up. Here are some of my pro tips to help you prepare for a housewarming party that I have been following closely:

Preparing The Home:

Moving is incredibly stressful and a big bash afterwards is the best reward! While your new digs don’t have to be completely perfect, there are some things that need to be in order before your party:

Make use of closet space: Some things simply can’t be unpacked yet due to needing additional furniture, which is definitely the case for me and Johnny. Make good use of your closet space and place these items accordingly so they’re not taking up room around the house. Out of sight, out of mind!

Get rid of packing supplies: One thing that is taking up lots of room in our new apartment is empty boxes! Do not fall for the trap of “I might need them eventually” because I promise you will be able to acquire more. Post on social media if anyone else might need them or get them to your nearest recycling center. I am lucky enough that one of my best friends is moving so she is getting all of our packing supplies as we continue to unpack.

Have plenty of seating areas: As I said before, the place doesn’t need to be just right for your party and things can be stowed away for the time being in rooms that guests won’t be in, like bedrooms or offices. However, plenty of seating areas is a must for your guests. Arrange your chairs and couches so everyone has a comfortable place to be.

Invites:

I sent out a Facebook invite well in advance so that I know how much food I will have to prepare and order (Which we will discuss more in the next header). In the invites, I let our guests know that in the afternoon, it will be mainly family coming by and if you want to rage, then arrive in the evening. That way, your invitees will know which time slot better applies to them.

Food & Drinks:

While you don’t need a ten course meal for your party, food and drinks are an obvious must. I have been scouring Pinterest for yummy dips and finger foods to make and then Johnny and I will just order a couple of pizzas. As far as drinks go, do make sure you have nonalcoholic options too if you plan on having booze. Mocktails, pop, water, and juice are a necessity if you have friends and family who don’t indulge in the drink! I plan on making up some mocktails as well as a party punch for the guests who are so inclined.

Entertainment:

Parties where everyone sits around and talks are fine but everyone likes games! Have an area with some table top or video games set up for your guests to play. Classic games are sure to go over well like Uno, Catch Phrase, or the Five Second Rule. If you have games that others haven’t heard of, just make sure you’re around to explain the rules to make the gaming experience more fun. And, of course, don’t forget to have some great music playing but not too loudly!

Our party has Johnny and I working double time after our move and I am so not mad about it. The place is looking wonderful and I can’t wait to celebrate! 😀

What are some of your party planning pro tips? How did you reward yourself after a big move or life event? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Creating The Perfect Backyard Dining Area

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Creating The Perfect Backyard Dining Area

The optimists among us are already thinking about the end of winter and the start of the warmer months of the year. While there’s nothing wrong with curling up with some hot cocoa and looking at the snow or frost from inside your home, there’s something about enjoying your backyard that makes summer special.

If you want to transform your backyard into the perfect place for party hosting or outdoor dining, then now is the time to start planning. Here are some great ways to create a perfect place to eat together in the great outdoors.

Section Your Backyard:

If you have a large backyard, then you have plenty of options for creating a place to eat and hang out. Chances are, you won’t need the whole area for your dining needs but you at least need a place to sit and eat, and if you plan to grill your food, somewhere to cook it.

It’s also beneficial to plan an area for outdoor activities. If you’re inviting family and children, then the kids will want to run around and play. Leave a section of your lawn free for games, and consider adding a paddling pool for particularly hot days. This way, everyone can enjoy themselves while beating the heat.

Shelter and Foundation:

If you want to sit and eat, then you’ll need to think about your chosen dining area. A picnic is more flexible, as you can simply lay out a blanket on a flat part of your lawn and settle down. Most events, however, require more solid seating.

This means that you need to create flat and solid ground to comfortably eat. Stone tiles or a patio area is perfect for this, as the tiles won’t be damaged in the same way as your lawn. Some people also like wooden decking. This will also look attractive and make partitioning your backyard easier.

If you’re grilling outside, then make sure that the flat space is fire proof. Wooden decking is fine to sit on, but it can be a bit risky if you drop some hot charcoal onto it. Stick with stone or brick paving.

As well as a solid foundation, you should consider adding some shelter to your dining area. This gives sun shy guests a place to hide in the shade. A parasol can keep away the sun, but some more solid shelter will be better in difficult weather. Slidetrack blinds are even better, as they protect you from the sides as well. Even if the weather turns bad, you don’t have to cancel early.

Outdoor Furniture and Decor:

Eating outside is far more comfortable if you have a nice table set to eat from. A picnic blanket is a lot of fun, but it isn’t practical for everyone. It also makes it harder to serve your food. Outdoor furniture can also be attractive and stylish but you will want to find pieces that can withstand the climate outside. Don’t forget twinkle lights and solar light accents throughout the yard for some lovely ambiance as the sun sets.

Even though there’s snow on the ground, it’s never too early to think about summertime fun in your own backyard!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Hosting The Perfect Brunch Party

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Hosting The Perfect Brunch Party

Brunch parties are an excellent way to bring your friends together for any type of social event, whether it is a bachelorette party, baby shower, or just a general get together. When it comes to brunch, you do not have to plan an elaborate setup for a fun gathering because it’s a much more laid back event. Here, we look at how to host the perfect brunch party:

Think about who you are inviting and your budget:

It is important to work out the kinks in the plan before inviting everyone to your brunch of the century via group text. Decide how many people you can comfortably seat and go from there because this will help you plan your budget accordingly. Figuring out the amount of money you intend to spend on food for a brunch is your next task. Having a rough idea of your spending limit in advance will help you plan a menu with a reasonable budget.

Plan your menu:

It is time to start thinking about brunch menus after you have a guest list and a ballpark budget in mind. In order to please everyone in attendance, it is critical to include a variety of foods, both sweet and savory, on your menu. Creating your meal can be accomplished in many different ways including:

  • The first alternative is to prepare a number of little plates, similar to those served at a tapas restaurant. This allows you to experiment with all of the recipes you have saved on Instagram and Pinterest throughout the years.
  • Traditional meals can also be served with just one main dish and a few side dishes. With this method, you do not need as many components, which saves time and money.
  • In order to make a brunch truly memorable, you will want to serve dishes that highlight your culinary prowess and leave your guests clamoring for the recipe, such as this shrimp and grits recipe.

Don’t forget the cocktails:

Brunch drinks like mimosas, Bloody Marys, and sangria go well with the meal. Offering a selection of alcoholic beverages will help your guests relax and unwind. The longer a drink like sangria sits, the better it tastes. You do not have to worry about being a bartender because you can make them a few days ahead of time.

Nonalcoholic components can still be mixed in advance if you are making bubbly drinks like mimosas. All you will need to do is pour the champagne and mix it well before guests arrive. Make sure you have a selection of virgin mocktails for guests who would like a nonalcoholic option.

Lay the table the night before:

If you are hosting a brunch for a large group, it is a good idea to set up the table the night before. Putting out food and decorations may not seem like a big deal, but if you are a perfectionist, you could spend hours nitpicking. Take your time and create the party layout you have envisioned. The mood can be ruined if you are not thrilled with your setting because you had to rush.

Good food, yummy drinks, and great company will make your next brunch get together the best ever!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

 

Preparing Your Backyard For Parties

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Preparing Your Backyard For Parties

After being tucked away from the cold this winter, it’s only natural to be daydreaming about warm weather, outdoor activities, and parties hosted from your own backyard. Not only are outdoor get togethers a lot of fun but they are much safer from a COVID perspective too. If you have hosting an outdoor gathering on the mind, think about the following as you make your preparations:

Set The Space:

If you don’t already have a patio in the backyard for lawn furniture, this could be a great project to undertake. Stone or terracotta tiles set in a pleasing arrangement can provide the perfect space to set up an outdoor dining arrangement for your cookouts. If you’re not keen on doing this yourself, there are sure to be lots of local professionals who can make this happen. Getting the driveway interlocking services will greatly elevate the curb appeal. It’s a win/win situation!

Outdoor Activities:

Enjoying the great outdoors with your friends is a good way to get active so take advantage of it! Badminton, volleyball, cornhole, croquet, and bocce ball are all sure to be a hit. Hosting tournaments for some friendly competition will definitely get you moving! If you and your guests have green thumbs, you could have a literal garden party and plant flowers or veggies together. Don’t forget the lemonade and finger food to snack on.

Add A Fire Pit:

Your new patio will also be a nice space to set up a fire pit for an evening get together. Roasting marshmallows and hot dogs while the sun sets is always fun and will provide a touch of warmth during those chilly summer nights. A fire pit can also serve you well in the wintertime too to sip hot chocolate and munch gingerbread cookies around.

Keep Pests At Bay:

There is nothing worse than getting bit up by mosquitos during an outdoor gathering so a supply of citronella candles will go a long way. You also might want to consider calling in local experts if you have a lot of burrow holes on your lawn. You don’t want anyone tripping and spraining an ankle during your volleyball tournament!

Spring and summer activities are not as far off as we might think! Put your daydreaming of fun in the sun to good use by preparing your backyard soon.

Lil Red Loves: Game Night

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Lil Red Loves: Game Night

Hello! Prior to the pandemic, you could usually catch Johnny and I hanging out at our favorite bar called the Zephyr on a Friday or Saturday night. Now, I can’t tell you the last time we have been to a bar so it is all about nights in when we want to hang out with our friends. Johnny and I have always been avid gamers and we have a huge collection of board games and a variety of gaming systems including a Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Nintendo 64, GameCube, and Wii. With this expansive collection, game nights are now the move for our weekend activities.

While you don’t need much to make a game night a success, here are a few tips that I have found effective to make your evening even better:

Ready The Room:

Prior to hosting a game night, please do a deep clean of your space! Lol, this should go without saying but it is so true. You want your space to be the perfect set up for people to relax and have fun which means clearing clutter, taking out the trash, and doing the dreaded cleaning of your bathroom. Have fresh hand towels at the ready, light some candles or fairy lights, and prep your space to be the ultimate chill zone. (Keep in mind that if you are partaking in dranks, a guest room and comfy couches are a must so no one risks the safety of themselves and others to drive home.)

Location Is Everything:

Normally, Johnny and I will alternate which home we are having our game night at and this always works out well for us. However, if you are having multiple people over, a small apartment like mine might not cut it so that’s something to think about. If you are having guests from several different areas over, it’s best to choose a home that is it at the center of all of yours so no one has to drive super far.

Food & Drinks:

I absolutely love cooking for people so for mine and Johnny’s game nights, our friends will alternate between who is cooking dinner. This doesn’t need to be a fancy five star meal but just something tasty that everyone can enjoy. For example, I made a big pot of homemade mac n’ cheese for one of our game nights while our guests brought sides of salad and garlic bread. That being said, there is nothing wrong with ordering Chinese takeout or pizza if you want a quick and easy meal! (Also, make sure you are attentive to any of your guests with dietary needs or preferences. Last game night, our friends brought veggie burgers for their favorite Lil Red vegetarian!)

If your game night is one that tends to run longer, don’t forget the snacks. You can get creative with themed snacks like decorated cookies or cupcakes that look like the mushrooms in Mario games but a bowl of chips will also be just fine. Fruit salad, a sundae bar, and a Chex or trail mix station can also be a big hit.

For drinks, it is important to think about all of your guests because some might not drink alcohol. Always have your Britta pitcher full or water bottles at the ready as well as a variety of different sodas and juices. If you are partaking in dranks, there is nothing wrong with a good old fashioned White Claw lol but you can also play bartender and make a signature drink. How about a pitcher of Sangria or white wine spritzers? Every game night house could have a different signature drink!

Playlist Perfect:

Any good game night will have some music playing in the background. For this, Johnny and I have our record player but we also have a Bluetooth speaker which we love. Remember, you don’t want the music to be too loud to disturb your neighbors or that you have to yell to talk to your friends. Just something quiet that everyone can agree on to add to the party ambiance.

Games Galore:

Now, most importantly, are the games! Are you having video gamers over? Mario Party and Super Smash Bros. will be a huge success. Board game lovers? How about a night based off of classics like Monopoly and Sorry or a co op game to solve together? Word game fans? Scrabble or Catch Phrase will go over well! Card game aficionados? Try a Magic The Gathering tournament or a casino night.

You know your guests best so it is up to you to choose the perfect selection of games to keep your evening rolling. A good rule of thumb is to avoid overly involved games that are difficult to explain or have a ton of rules. You want to play things that are easy to catch on to for maximum enjoyment for everyone. There are also some party games that can truly become annoying if you are playing with a group of people who have a ton of inside jokes that everyone might not be in on, so definitely be mindful of that.

With the tips above and your own special take on a game filled evening, your game nights will turn into an event that your friends will spend the week looking forward to. Play well and have fun!

What are your favorite games? What are your tips for hosting game nights? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

New Wine & Lilac Nails

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New Wine & Lilac Nails

Hello!! This past Monday, I had a pretty difficult day at work and was so happy to have been able to spend some time at Elysian Nails getting pampered afterwards. To me, there is nothing better than sitting back and relaxing at the hair or nail salon and my fill couldn’t have come at a better time. As always, I left Elysian feeling like a million bucks with these pretty in purple nails:

When it comes to clothing and colors in general, I am not a huge fan of purple. Not that I don’t appreciate its beauty – it just doesn’t look good on me lol! However, I was feeling inspired by the oxblood nail polish that my friend, Danielle, gave me and was in the mood to try something different. The first polish that caught my eye was the deep wine color and I said “why not?”. For the accent color, choosing the lilac hue was an easy decision because I knew that it would look good and didn’t feel like thinking any more than I had to!

My favorite nail tech no longer works at Elysian, which makes me so sad but, luckily, I think I found a new go to gal with this past fill. My new tech completed my fill in roughly forty minutes and no sooner than I sat down, it felt like I was already done… It was great! 😀

Even though this was a super fast fill, my nails looked absolutely perfect and I loved the color combination that I selected. In fact, I already plan on going a similar route at my next appointment with a dark and light shade of the same color. I’m thinking a dark and light grey next. ❤

What color of nail polish are you rocking? How do you relax after a difficult day? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Revival Of The Billiard & Leisure Room   

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The Revival Of The Billiard & Leisure Room   

From the Great Gatsby to Agatha Christie’s crime novels, the most famous novels that defined the 1920s painted a world of entertainment. The U.S. experienced a long period of prohibition between 1920 and 1933. However, the Volstead Act was tricky to enforce, so it’s fair to say that the prohibition didn’t put an end to social hobbies and leisure activities. Homes from the 1920s often contain a stylish hobby space, where party-goers met to play cards, have a pool game, read books, or talk about everyday life around a glass of booze and some tobacco. The original gaming cave existed already one hundred years ago!

Why is it so appealing?

The 1920s were a period dedicated to free-spirited individuals. After the first trauma of the First World War, the 1920s marked a turning point in the world’s mindset. Worldviews changed and, as a result, new lifestyles appeared. For a start, the war enabled women to play a more active role in society. When women started to earn an income, they also discovered the joy of spending their money freely. The inimitable Flappers were born. They loved amusement. They loved games. They celebrated their freedom with songs, dances, and cultural exchanges, along with young men. It’s hard to think of the 1920s without thinking of the independent women of the time, who were not afraid to participate in every aspect of society, including games. Billiard and leisure rooms welcomed both genders in a great get-together party.

Stage the room:

What would a modern, 1920s-inspired leisure room look like? It would be a lovely idea to refer back to the original leisure room by adding subtle Art Deco touches. Art Deco brings back to life all of the glamour of the Roaring 20s, combining bold geometric shapes and luxurious colors. Exuberance with a deep sense of streamlined symmetry rules this unique style that can elevate any room.

You don’t need to build a historic decor from scratch. But you can inject a soft Art Deco feel through simple decorative accents and focal points, from huge geometric frames to glam lighting. You can bring the room together through modern features that can seamlessly blend with the freedom-loving 1920s, such as statement window frames using the Renewal by Andersen custom windows services or gold and animal patterns for your rugs and textiles.

^^^ Unsplash Image

Make it your hobby room:

Now it’s time to give your leisure room a purpose. Granted, a beautiful wooden pool table would be the ideal addition to the space. But not everyone has got a room big enough to host a billiard table comfortably. The good news, though, is that 1920s parties included a lot of self-exploring hobbies that could be done freely from home. Artistic hobbies, such as canvas painting and sculpting, grew in popularity during the Roaring 1920s. The truth is, that these hobbies are just as relevant today. Most of us rediscovered the soothing benefits of painting during the pandemic. When it comes to sculpting, you might prefer a modern and stackable approach, such as using LEGO bricks which let you build anything you can think of without causing a huge mess!

Make it convivial:

If you are not familiar with 1920s party food, you are in for a treat. Appetizers were highly popular during this period, so you can find plenty of inspiration to create a style platter of snacks. Deviled eggs, olive platters, cheese platters, and mixed nuts are also a winning combo. They’re ideal for sharing with friends, and at the same time, they don’t interrupt your hobbies. You can enjoy a cubed cheese skewer with one hand and still carry on with your LEGO construction with the other. Finger food is instantly friendlier and more enjoyable.

Embrace modern gadgets and textures:

Can a 1920s inspired room introduce modern tech without missing the point? The answer is yes. The 1920s were all about embracing modern shapes and technology. The epitome of the period is skyscraper architecture, which was so popular that interior designers also used to refer to the stylized shape of skyscrapers. Therefore, it makes sense to bring some of the most popular technology and trends of the 2020s into your leisure room. From a smart hub to energy-efficient solutions, modern gadgets belong in your stylish get-together room.

The free-spirited 20s are back, and they are here to stay! After a traumatic pandemic experience, it’s time to tap into the mental strength and free-thinking joy of the 1920s. We deserve to have fun again, and nobody managed it better than the Flappers. So get your imaginary Charleston outfit on and create a room that marries style, modernism, freedom, and feel-good hobbies. May the best Flapper win!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

 

 

 

New Cobalt Blue & Hot Pink Nails

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New Cobalt Blue & Hot Pink Nails

Hello! I was wayyy overdue for a fill at Elysian Nails because of my uber busy work schedule and was so happy to have some pampering time this past week. While I was excited to go, I can’t say I was thrilled because my absolute favorite nail tech I’ve ever had no longer works there. I miss her and our fabulous convos immensely, however, I am very happy with the end results from a tech I have never worked with before. Check it out:

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Prior to getting my nails done, I always try and think of the color combination that I would like so that I’m not standing at the nail polish wall for ten minutes straight! For some reason, all I could think about was the commercials for the Malibu Barbie play sets with her hot pink car driving past the ocean. So, despite having turquoise nails last time around, hot pink and cobalt blue it was.

These nails just scream fun in the sun to me and I could sure use it as it has been super stormy in my neck of the woods. When I look at my nails, I am taken back to lounging in the pool and soaking up some rays even when it is thunder storming like crazy!

I sure wish that my go to gal was the one doing this fill because one of my favorite things about going to the salon is the girl talk. All of the nail techs at Elysian are crazy talented, though, so I always know that I am in good hands no matter what. ❤

What color of nail polish do you have on? Which colors remind you of summer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Chilling Out

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Chilling Out

Hello! These past few weekends for Johnny and I have been nice and relaxing which is a welcome change of pace after several super busy weekends in a row. I definitely know that I was feeling the effects of being on the move nonstop because I felt so exhausted throughout my work week. My job is quite mentally demanding so this on top of tired made me feel drained.

While I love going out and about with Johnny, a lot of my favorite things can be done just Chilling Out in our apartment. Like the following:

Pampering Party:

Pampering myself after a long day at work always makes me feel better. This means bubble baths, face masks, getting my nails done, and painting my toe nails. Johnny also loves to have his nails painted so I’ll usually do his fingers and toes too while the nail polish is out. Nothing pleases me more than an evening at the nail salon or testing out a new skin care product and it is a great midweek refresher until the weekend rolls around. A Pampering Party is my favorite form of self care and it gives me something to look forward to for once I get home.

Fun & Games:

Super intense video games are not relaxing to me in the slightest even though I love them. However, Pokemon Snap and Animal Crossing never fail to put me in the chill zone. Both games for the Nintendo Switch are insanely cute, laid back, and fairly mindless. They are also games that Johnny and I enjoy a lot so we play them often when we need some time to unwind. Our new hobby has been listening to The Last Podcast On The Left together and we will normally play Pokemon Snap or Animal Crossing while we have an episode on.

Soak Up The Sun:

I have been making great use of the pool at my apartment community this summer and it feels nice to be in the water and catch some rays in the evening. It is also the best time to go since it is not as crowded which makes it even more relaxing! Our apartment gets incredibly hot in the summer so I love having a pool two minutes away to cool off in. It’s hard to get in a chill set of mind when you’re sweating profusely lol!

Book Club:

Despite pretty much only reading horror and thriller novels, reading always helps me to relax and I try to finish a book at least every three weeks. Right now, I have been working on Candide by Voltaire which I have really been enjoying. Next on deck is a suspense novel by Megan Miranda called Such A Quiet Place. Nothing is better than settling in with a good book and I get transported to the chill zone as soon as I read one page.

It’s important to know what helps you to relax when you are feeling tired or stressed and the above are all surefire ways to unwind for me. Talk about an instant chill pill!

How do you like to relax? What makes you feel stressed? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Face Mask Festivities: The Body Shop’s Japanese Matcha Tea Pollution Clearing Mask Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: The Body Shop’s Japanese Matcha Tea Pollution Clearing Mask Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Face Mask Festivities! It has been a while since I tried out a new face mask and I feel like I haven’t written a review for one in forever. For a hot minute, I was trying out at least one new sheet mask per week but I fell out of it so I was very excited when my mom surprised me with a face mask from The Body Shop when she was doing some shopping at TJMaxx. It is always such fun for me to try out a new product and, although the Matcha Tea Pollution Clearing Mask left a lot to be desired, I still felt so pampered afterwards all the same. Let’s discuss:

Because there is no Body Shop in my area, I have fallen behind on all of their product lines and didn’t even know their Japanese Matcha Tea line existed. Other than a few random online orders, I pretty much exclusively will get TBS products at TJMaxx and I love when I am able to find their skin and bath and body care for a fraction of the price. My mom was so sweet to get the Pollution Clearing Mask for me and, as always, she is the queen of Sweet Surprises!

Over this past weekend, I tried out my new face mask and my first impression of it when I opened the jar was that it looked like mint chocolate chip ice cream, lol. It also smelled just like a fresh cup of green tea, which was really nice. The mask had a creamy texture, which made its application super easy and I left it on for ten minutes, as recommended.

When using a new face mask, I never expect too much in terms of the results so that I am never disappointed. While I did notice that my skin looked a bit brighter and felt slightly smoother, I was not blown away after washing the mask off. Had this been an actual TBS purchase, this would have been a bigger blow because their face masks are not cheap and I would never recommend paying full price for it. However, if you happen to see it at a discount store like TJs, it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try.

Despite not seeing groundbreaking results, there is something to be said about the wonderful quality of The Body Shop’s products and I did enjoy using the Japanese Matcha Tea mask. I also loved being able to break out my Ralph Lauren robe from my brother and his family for the ultimate spa experience. The Pollution Clearing mask was mild enough that you can use it fairly often throughout the week, which is what I plan on doing, and I will be looking forward to more pampering in my future!

What is your favorite line from The Body Shop? Where do you get the best deals on skin care? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah