2020 Goals and Why Blogging Has Taken a Backseat


It’s been a little more than a year since I started my blog.   I got into it after seeing the success of “influencers” on Instagram:  Young women who were posting about beauty, fashion and everyday life. It looked like fun. I have always considered myself to be fashionable despite not having deep pockets, and was the go-to for my friends and sorority sisters for make-up advice and assistance. Plus I have always liked to write.   I was in desperate need of a hobby- there was a deployment pending and I needed a positive way to fill my time. I figured, why not give blogging a try!

The first couple months of blogging were great.  I had a full closet of clothes to choose from, a tropical vacation on the horizon, and my husband/photographer at my side encouraging me every step of the way. We were able to hunt for new places to take pictures and explore our city together, making it that much more fun, like mini dates. When Jake left for the Middle East in late June, my life drastically changed. I moved to a new state and set up a new home.  I started a new job that I eventually quit (because it was awful), then I started another new job. I have been hit with many curve balls during this time apart from my hubby, and have experienced a roller-coaster of emotions all while balancing our household. Through all of this I have tried to keep up with Instagram posts and blogs, but I was failing miserably. I was no longer putting out content that I was excited about.  Rather, I just was trying to get something out…just to say I posted something. I was beating myself up and comparing myself to other bloggers with thousands of followers who consistently were posting, on stories, sharing sales and giveaways and blogs, and always looking flawless. As a perfectionist I was so upset with myself. I always– no matter how unrealistic it may be, want to be perfect, and will make myself sick worrying about perfection. My page wasn’t perfect. I was so disappointed in myself. I wanted to balance it all and do it all. I expected myself to be superwoman, but due to all of the upheaval in my life I was extremely anxious and exhausted.  Correction:  I AM extremely anxious and exhausted. It is a constant state I cannot seem to shake. I am at the point in Jake’s deployment where I am just done; absolutely worn out. On my days off I want to wear sweats and not do my hair and go to the grocery store and clean my house without feeling like I have to go take pictures. I was putting too much pressure on myself and came to the realization that I wasn’t having fun with my hobby any more.

I was pushing myself so hard, trying to be at the same level as these professional bloggers who have been doing this for years…bloggers who have managers, PR companies, and brands that pay them to wear their clothes and promote their products. Bloggers who can afford to frequently go on extravagant trips with their husbands and girlfriends. I had to have a “Come to Jesus” moment and remind myself that this is not my job. I have a satisfying and demanding full-time job. I don’t work from home.   I do have a budget, and I cannot constantly buy new outfits. I had to remind myself that I started my blog and IG page as a fun, positive hobby. I had to reexamine my expectations and needed to get back to that original mindset.

So, with that (very) long-winded explanation, my goal for 2020 is to get back to a healthy outlook.  As this deployment draws closer to the end, I am really starting to feel the effects of the months of stress and constant anxiety. I have not given myself very much grace nor much time to breathe. I want to focus 2020 on self-care and curating a healthy lifestyle with less stress. Honestly, I am not sure how I am going to accomplish this quite yet, but I do know that blogging and IG will have to take a bit of a backseat until my husband returns. I want to get back to sharing content that I’m excited about, and share things that truly inspire me and that I have a passion for. That might mean a little less fashion and more beauty, product reviews, and home décor. Who knows?! I am looking forward to finding out!

I want to genuinely thank all who have been supportive through this crazy year of ups and downs. I know there is a good chance that I will lose followers, but it has never been about numbers for me. Please understand that I am not going to stop blogging or posting on Instagram, just taking a moment to catch my breath and take some of the pressure off in the hopes of bringing you all better content.  Thank you to those who are still along for the ride – Cheers to 2020!

XOXO, Cait B.

Dreaming of a White Christmas with SmileBrilliant!

Beauty, giveaway, Lifestyle

Holy cow guys…how is it NOVEMBER!? Has 2019 been the fastest year EVER for anyone else? I cannot believe it is already that crazy time of year with the holidays fast smile3approaching.  I have always loved the lead up to Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.  I love the hustle and bustle of shopping for presents, planning menus for gatherings, and of course putting together the perfect outfits for all of the holiday events.  With all the happy chaos it is so easy to forget about your most important accessory for the season; your smile! With all the pictures and photo-ops during the holidays you have to be prepared with those perfect pearly whites!

If you are like me, whitening my teeth is usually the last thing on my to-do list. I have been known to run into the drug store days (sometimes hours) before an event trying to get that last-minute white. It can be such a mess, trying to get those dang strips to stay in place while you multitask, before you know it you are drooling down your ah-dorable holiday dress….not really the look you were going for, right? Well, not this year! I have teamed up with SmileBrilliant to achieve the perfect ‘snowy’ white smile for the holiday smile1season, and into 2020!

Like I said, I have tried whitening strips and store-bought tooth whitening trays in the past. I have even dabbled in whitening toothpastes, all with okay results. The problem is that the results never last, always made my teeth hurt, and were inconvenient and messy. With all the years of bad tooth whitening experiences, I was a little skeptical to try ANOTHER whitening product.  I spoke with one of SmileBrilliant’s consultants to discuss my concerns and get my questions answered, and Sophia was great!  She spoke with me about teeth whitening myths as well as my dental and whitening history, and was so patient with me. After speaking with her we developed a plan that included the whitening product as well as a desensitizing gel. I loved this. Having a consult with someone so knowledgeable made me much more confident and comfortable. This already was so much better than the store bought brands I had tried previously–they cared about my teeth and my results!

Following my consultation I was sent a kit with trays to make my molds, yes, you read that right! They actually use molds of your own teeth to make sure you whiten properly and evenly.  The kit came with super easy-to-follow instructions and even extra “molding” materials, just in case you did make a mistake. Talk about service! Once the molds were sent it only took a couple days to get my completed trays back in the mail- then it was time to get whitening!

SmileBrilliant has made tooth whitening such an easy and personalized process.  The kitsmile5 came with step- by-step instructions with pictures…exactly what a girl like me needs! The trays fit perfectly, but I will say the first couple of rounds were a little bit painful. I grew up on well water, so I did not have fluoride in my water supply. Despite having good routine dental care, my teeth have always been sensitive due to my enamel. I followed the instructions and used the desensitizing gel after each use, which did help a little.  After a couple of consecutive days of whitening, I switched to every other day which really helped my sensitivity. Despite changing the frequency I still saw great results!  Since the trays were exact replicas of my teeth, there was no excessive drooling or mess and it made multitasking so easy. I was never worried about the trays slipping off my teeth like the strips. My favorite time to whiten is when I’m bingeing some Netflix, walking Tilly, or just getting ready for work.  I actually have worn them out running some simple errands, and it was great to whiten while getting stuff done instead of being tied to my bathroom!

I am so thrilled with SmileBrilliant, and I continue to see results and feel even more beautiful and confident in my smile!  I don’t know about you, but I am ready to take on those holiday parties and photo-ops! No? You say you are not ready for all the pictures? No worries, SmileBrilliant and I have got ya covered! We have teamed up to give you the best whitening experience.  One lucky follower will win a T3 Sensitive System kit valued at $149! Click here to get all the info and to enter the giveaway! Make sure you are also following me on Instagram @thebedazzledb!



You can also use code thebedazzledb15 for 15% off store wide at SmileBrilliant!Good luck to all who enter; I cannot wait to see your beautiful, brilliant smiles!

(The winner will be notified via email and announced on Instagram)

XOXO, Cait B.


Getting Around Anxiety


*Disclaimer, this is not like my usual posts. I wanted to get a little deeper with you all. Stay tuned for more posts on our usual lighthearted content.

For the longest time, for almost as long as I can remember–I have suffered from anxiety. The first time I remember it happening was in first grade. Ryan Jensen’s boy/girl Halloween party. I remember being excited but hesitant since there were going to be boys there who were not my cousins. I was in my angel costume, my roll-on glitter on my cheeks and my Dr Pepper Bonnie Bell chap-stick on my lips, but suddenly I was panicked. I was breaking out in a cold sweat and was sick to my stomach. I felt scared. At the age of six I had no idea what was wrong. All I knew was that I felt sick. I guess my terror was pretty obvious because my mom recognized something was wrong as we pulled up to Ryan’s house; I was quite tearful and white as a sheet. She was concerned enough that she called Ryan’s mom to let her know I would not be coming to the party after all.  She gave me ginger ale and saltines, but that was not what miraculously cured my stomachache. As soon as she hung up with phone with Ryan’s mom I felt like a weight was lifted. Although I was kind of sad that I was missing out, my six-year old mind was relieved. Again, at this point I had no idea what this was. I did not have the name for this uncomfortable “feeling” until I was in high school. I thought I just had a sensitive stomach. Once I did figure out I suffered from anxiety, it was a journey of research and self-understanding.

A huge contributor to my anxiety was my shyness and my need to be perfect all the time. I know, I know…there is no such thing as perfect.  Rationally, I am aware of this, but try to convince my brain of that. Unfortunately, there is no rationality when it comes to mental illness. I always strive for perfection in everything I do, to the point that I would make myself sick and spread myself too thin. If I did something not quite so perfect, like not getting a good grade on a test, I would privately fall apart and be so disappointed and embarrassed with myself. My anxiety and introverted-ness ruined many of my childhood friendships and relationships which was a devastating blow for me. I questioned myself and my self-worth. I couldn’t find the words to express why I did not want to go to parties with them and drink for fear that I would lose control and ruin my ‘perfect persona.’ I had no way to make people understand or make them realize I had no control over my emotions and could not simply “turn off” my worrying. I could not explain why I was this way, it made me feel like something was wrong with me, and did not know how to fix it.

It was the most frustrating time in my life, and I felt like I was failing. Yes, I had some friends and a loving family. I did very well in school, had gotten into my first choice college. I enjoyed dance and theatre and I was good at it. I had no reason to be anxious, but I was, and was not dealing with it well. I felt like I was always playing a role, just faking it to get by. I think I was pretty good at hiding it. No one except my mom and dad were truly aware of how much I was struggling because they would hear me cry in my room when I had a panic attack and would come sit with me, hearing me vent about nonsense. When it was finally time to leave for college, I was miserable. Change was so hard for me because I could not prepare. I hated feeling awkward and shy around my roommates and feeling like I did not know what I was doing, which went against the perfectionist within me. I felt embarrassed all the time and was paranoid that I was making a fool out of myself. I lacked confidence in everything I did. I tried so hard to make myself feel better. I took psychology classes to try to understand anxiety and I joined a sorority to help with my shyness and to make friends. These were good decisions, but they did not fix the problem. And that was it. My epiphany: I had been trying too hard to “fix“ myself. I looked at my anxiety like it was wrong and let it rule me in a way where it was in charge of my life. I needed to work with my anxiety; not ignore it or try to make it go away completely. Embracing that was the first step.

Every day is still a work in progress, but I am dealing with it. I still lack confidence and feel overwhelmed and panicked when I feel like I’m losing control or cannot handle a situation. Although each day brings its own obstacles, I do not let anxiety get in my way. I ignore the “perfectionist” “control freak” and “too quiet” labels and try to work with my Type A personality.

I have tried many things to deal with my anxiety including counseling, medication, exercise and meditation. Many of these did not work for me. I faked it during counseling. I put up a wall and pretended to be perfect. I never got comfortable enough to be real with the therapist. Meditation and exercise was only a distraction. I would not think about my anxiety while doing the activity, but as soon as I was done the intrusive thoughts would come back. Medication does help, but it does not provide total relief for me. The things that have helped include having trusted people in my life who I feel comfortable talking to. This was my mom and husband. They may not fully understand my meltdowns, but they listen and they do not try to fix me. My dog Tilly has also helped me. I do not live in the same state as my parents and when my husband has to travel for work, he often cannot have his phone. Tilly makes me feel less abandoned. She is always there and I can always talk to her.

The other thing that I do is journal, which is kind of what led me here – to this blog. Anxiety is a constant stream of thoughts and worries that never go away. Journaling keeps me from overthinking and stewing on my issues. Writing helps me organize my thoughts and get them out of my head. It many sound a little silly, but I also read quotes about anxiety and depression. It grounds me and helps me realize I am not alone. SO many other people are dealing with this as well! Finally, the last thing that helps me is telling myself I am good enough and that perfection is not needed. This mantra does not always work, but saying something over and over can be calming. I wish dealing with anxiety was simple and straight forward, but as I have said, it is hard to reason with mental illness.

This is obviously not my normal blog post, but this is my life. My anxiety and perfectionism does affect my style, make-up, and lifestyle. I want to be honest with my followers. I find that many bloggers only touch on surface level topics or ignore ‘real life.’ I will always be honest about my mental health and struggles with anxiety, depression and body image. As Jake’s deployment nears, I can feel myself becoming more stressed and anxious. It is hard to feel like I have no control over what is going on or what is going to happen. There will be so much change. I hope to continue to be open about this.

If you are struggling with any form of mental illness, remember you are not alone. As someone who has studied mental health while I was working on both of my degrees, it is important to remember that everyone who suffers from anxiety is different. This is just my personal story. My coping strategies may not work for you- don’t get discouraged. It took me years to get a handle on my anxiety, and I still have issues! Find your way of working with your illness, and do not give up.

This post is in no way sponsored, but if you are feeling down and need someone to talk to, try an online chat with a therapist. Many like http://www.betterhelp.com are free! I hope this post not only gives you more insight into me, but also helps those who are struggling feel more supported.

XOXO,  Cait B.


Mother’s Day Gift Guide ’19


Mother’s Day is officially a week away! Have you found the perfect gift for the mom in your life? If not, do not panic! I have compiled a list of gifts anyone would absolutely love. Rather they be a mom, sister, aunt, grandma, new mom, dog mom, I have got you covered! There are a variety of gifts and price points to suit just about every moms taste!

If the mom in your life is not very materialistic, think about an experience- a wine tasting, spa day or just a mani/pedi outing is always a big hit! Although a gift is great, don’t forget that most moms would be happy with just a card or a call on the phone on their special day!

XOXO, Cait B

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Part I: Fitness Background


A couple weeks ago I started a fitness program. I plan to write a series of blogs about my fitness background and how I have felt going through the process. This is just the first blog of the series; stay tuned for more!

Part I: Background

Fitness has always been intimidating to me. I was your normal kid, involved in all of the co-ed sports teams you can imagine:  from soccer and t-ball, to swimming and ice skating, you name it, I probably tried it. I also took tap/ballet classes starting when I was three, and finally really committed to dance when I was about 8. Basically, I was a pretty active kid.

I danced until I graduated high school. I was a member of a semi-professional ballet company and also attended additional classes such as lyrical and jazz, so I was dancing 5-6 times a week for hours. With all the time I spent dancing at the studio, I never had to worry about “working out” to stay in shape. When I finally hung up my pointe shoes after high school, I still wasn’t faced with much of a challenge. The university I attended is located on the rolling hills of the Palouse in eastern Washington state where you would get a work out just walking to class up all of the hills. Many students joked that they developed “cougar calves” just by walking around campus, so the “freshman 15” did not really phase me. It was not until I moved to South Dakota that I really started noticing a problem with my weight and lack of fitness.

Moving to the Midwest was a big change. First of all, I was starting nursing school. Most people who attend nursing school have a 2-year practicum split up by a summer break. Since I already had a bachelor’s degree, I opted to attend an accelerated program that compressed the 2-year practicum into 11 months with no breaks. Now, standard 2-year nursing programs are very stressful, so imagine doing it all in less than a year! On top of the intensity of the accelerated program, I was in a new place and I did not know a soul. I also moved to South Dakota in the dead of winter and if you are familiar with the Dakota’s you know that means it is cold. Not just cold, but below zero, freezing, frigid, Arctic cold!  All of these factors mixed with the fact that I had never needed to or really knew how to work out added up. Due to stress, not eating right, and virtually having a sedentary lifestyle for a year (because you really can’t go outside for fear of hypothermia) did not help my physical fitness!  Although I successfully graduated with my Bachelor of Nursing, I also ended up gaining about 20 pounds during my short stint in South Dakota.

I was so discouraged and disappointed in myself, having put my physical fitness on hold while in school, but I felt like I did not know what to do. Like I said, I didn’t know how to go to the gym, and I was so intimidated to go and try to figure out the machines, only to embarrass myself or injure myself. Jake tried to help me–he would try to give me work outs routines to follow but he didn’t really understand that I was a beginner and was so out of shape.  Exercises that he thought were “easy” were so difficult for me, which made me even more ashamed. I recoiled. I hid behind oversized clothes and cried my eyes out sitting on my closet floor so upset that I couldn’t wear the same shorts from last summer. I was beating myself up, feeling helpless.

I tried several different diets: Weight Watchers was great…for about two months. I lost some weight but immediately gained it all back when there was stress at work or if we took a long-weekend away. I felt stuck in a vicious cycle of eating right, just to have one bad day and then instead of getting back on track, throwing all my efforts away and saying “screw it” as I reached for another cookie.

This went on for about a year.  I wasn’t gaining weight, but I also wasn’t losing it. Just one long, demoralizing plateau. Looking back, I think I had just given up and was trying to accept that my physical condition and poor body image were my new reality.  I had such low self-esteem despite the facade that everyone else saw.  I was so, SO depressed.  I decided in December 2018 to turn to blogging because not only do I love to write, but also because blogging/Instagram forces you to take pictures. I was forcing myself to see what I really looked like on a daily basis which was hard and WAAAYYY out of my comfort zone, but it was part of accepting this “new” larger version of myself.  But a funny thing happened…

As I started posting more pictures I did become more confident and accepted that this was “as good” as it was going to get. I have also connected with other women my size, but also with women who had been my size, who have similar lifestyles and were able to make positive changes. I was fascinated with their success:  How were they able to find the time to fit in fitness?  How were they able to stay committed?  What was their diet, and were they miserable just eating lettuce all the time?  There must have been a beacon on my head, as I started getting contacted by all of these “coaches” asking me to join their fitness groups. It was a little overwhelming, and slightly insulting- sometimes it felt like, “okay cool, I really do look as bad as I feel.”  One day I received a casual message from a follower and we just started talking. It was natural and I felt like she actually understood how hard my journey was. She made it less about joining her team and more about investing in myself and my health, which I honestly had never really done. The program she suggested was only 20 minutes in length (6 days a week), which was the first workout EVER that I felt I could actually fit into my very busy lifestyle and I didn’t have to leave the comfort of my living room to accomplish it.  I would have access to an “on-demand” program so I could just follow along and not have to figure out how to ‘gym.’  This all sounded great, but I hesitated when it came to the price. $160 seemed like so much to spend on myself, but she made some good points: First, the $160 was for a year-long membership. It breaks down to about $4 a week or about 44 cents per day. That is far less than a normal gym membership. Two, was I saying that I was not worth $160? Was my health and well-being not worth $160? That struck a chord with me. In the long run $160 is not very much, and I would probably spend that much (or more) on clothes! It was eye-opening. Next thing I knew I was signing up and buying my step-deck at Walmart. I had finally invested in myself.

So. Here we are. I finished the first session of Beach Body Transform:20 program…keep any eye out for my next blog in this series that dives into the workout and how I got through the program!


Part II coming soon! Anyone else starting or in the midst of your fitness journey? What is your motivation?

XOXO, Cait B.

20 Questions


I lived in a tiny town in South Dakota for a year while completing my nursing degree. Upon acceptance into the accelerated nursing program at South Dakota State faq9University, I was really not enthusiastic about the idea of moving to Aberdeen, South Dakota.  However, the program at SDSU was very highly rated and the cost was fantastic.  Next thing I knew, I was (somewhat begrudgingly) on my way to the Great Plains. I told myself “It’s only 11 months…you can do it.” Looking back, I would not change my experience for the world. I met the most amazing people and really got out of my comfort zone. I did not know a soul in Aberdeen when I arrived, but I branched out and succeeded. Although I do not miss -37 degree (wind chill -59 degree) weather, I would very happily go back to SD.

I was a principal dancer in a semi-professional ballet company. I started dancing when I was 3 and virtually never stopped until I went to college. I danced every style FAQ2under the sun. Some of my most cherished memories come from being on stage performing.


I met my husband on a blind date. My husband was a rugby player at Washington State FAQ3University (WSU).  A mutual friend who was also on the rugby team set us up and we have been together ever since. I will never forget our first date:  We went to dinner but we were laughing and talking so much that we actually forgot to eat the food that was in front of us. Our waitress thought something was wrong! We boxed up our leftovers and the rest was history.

I love a good adrenaline rush. I have always liked trying new things. I have been faq11bungee jumping, I have white-water rafted and zip-lined multiple times, and I am always up for a crazy roller coaster! I love the rush you get and the stories you have to tell after these experiences.

I am pretty shy and introverted until you really get to know me. I do not tend to let people in easily, and I definitely need my space at times. Unfortunately, being so reserved (and my chronic RBF) has made me come off as intimidating at times (I’m not intimidating…trust me!!)faq10

I am super close to my parents. My mom is easily my best friend and I am so thankful for her and for the relationship we have. My parents are my biggest supporters…always have been; always will be!

I was in a sorority at WSU! GO COUGS! Due to my shyness I never thought going GreekFAQ5 was going to be right for me, but I was definitely wrong. My life would be so different if I hadn’t joined my house. I never would have been matched up with my hubby and I never would have met the girls I now call my sisters and life-long friends. Any guesses as to what house?

I LOVE HALLOWEEN. Halloween will always be my favorite holiday. My favorite movie to this day is Tim Burton’s A Nightmare Before Christmas! As a kid I loved putting together costumes and accessories, and FAQ7experimenting with makeup. Now that I am an adult, I still love handing out candy, dressing up and decorating. Luckily, I have met my match in Jake who is equally obsessed with Halloween!

I am interested in SFX makeup. SFX is special effects makeup. I fell in love with SFX after watching shows like FaceOff and YouTubers like @mykie FAQ8create amazing creatures. I now have my own SFX kit and I love to play around with new concepts and designs. Keep a look out in October for simple tutorials, or maybe even sooner!

The UK would be my dream vacation. I have always wanted to go to Ireland and Scotland. I have a bucket list of places I want to go, but some place with a lot of history, especially history I can link to my own FAQ16personal upbringing would be such an experience! Plus add in a pub? I’m sold!

Favorite Food. This one is so tough–I rarely discriminate against food, but I think a good BadDaddysburger and fries is one of the best things you can eat! Simple but SO delicious. One of my favorite places in the Raleigh area is Bad Daddy’s. Their white truffle fry sauce is to die for…just don’t count the calories!faq13

I’m 5’2″. Where my shorties at?

I am very patriotic. I have always loved America (duh), but being an Army wife has given me such a different perspective. I am so unbelievably proud of my husband. It makes me so emotional to even think about him and those who sacrifice themselves for us every day.faq12

I am deathly allergic to shrimp and lobster. No Surf –N-Turf for me!  Luckily, I have never been a big fan of seafood beyond a Mickey D’s Filet O’ Fish or can of tuna.

Instagrams I’m currently crushing on. Currently I am loving @tezza. Her book Insta Style is such an inspiration. She has such an eye for photography and fashion, plus I am a little jealous of all the places she travels! I’m also a big fan of @bresheppard ‘s everyday easy laid-back style and @laurawgodfrey because she makes affordable fashion so cute! For make-up inspiration I turn to @tannermman who is another North Carolina blogger.

I’m not a big drinker! I very rarely drink alcohol, but when I do I always go with vodka, rum, or a hard cider (but would rather have a Shirley Temple)! I am also not a coffee FAQ6drinker and rarely drink hot drinks (I’m weird, right!?) You can almost bet on it that I will choose an iced drink over a hot one, even if it’s snowing out.  If I have to pick a Starbucks drink I will usually go with a Chai Frappe or latte, or a Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher.

I have never dyed my hair. Not even a highlight has touched this FAQ15head! Growing up I hated being a natural red-head, but now I embrace my strawberry-blonde locks and would not change my color for the world.

I have very eclectic music taste. If you were to look in my music library you would be met with a mix of alternative, top 40, musical soundtracks, rock, and everything in between! I love music for the lyrics and the way they make me feel. Because of dance, music was the way I expressed myself. I will always have a connection to it.FAQ1

I did musical theater. Yes. I was a drama kid. I was actually nominated for a 5th Avenue Theater Award which is a state wide award ceremony, like the Tony’s, but for high school kids. I was nominated for the role Babette, the feather duster in Beauty and the Beast as “Best Supporting Female.” I did not win, but it was pretty cool to be recognized as one of the top 5 in the state of Washington!

I love LOVE dogs. My dream job would be to own a dog sanctuary and just love and faq14snuggle pups all day. I would love to give every dog the love they deserve. I am very passionate about rescuing and adopting dogs. I love my dog Tilly more than words can say. I treat her as if she was my own child. She was adopted from our local animal shelter at 9 weeks old after being rescued from a hoarding situation. I know once we have a larger home we will be getting more fur-babies.


I hope this give you a little more insight about who I am!

What else would you like to know?

XOXO, Cait B.

Facing Foundation


It seems as though I have been searching for a good foundation for years. I’ll start using one then switch to another in the hope of finding something better.  It’s kind of a vicious cycle! If you have been keeping up with my blog and posts you already know that I have very dry and sensitive skin, so finding a good foundation can be very challenging. I have to find a good balance between coverage, one that isn’t too oily so that my skin doesn’t break out, and one that is not too drying that will emphasize the dryness I already have. Plus it cannot be too pricey. I know, I’m needy!

I recently decided to take a trip to Ulta to try to find something that checks all of my boxes. I love Ulta for this experiment because you can generally get free samples or cheaper sample sizes to try before you buy.  Their beauty advisors will also color match you for free, which makes this process so much easier. I specifically asked the beauty advisor to direct me to some foundation options for very dry skin.

I decided to try six foundations for this experiment. Before using I performed my normal skincare routine that includes exfoliating 2-3 times a week and using a rich moisturizer each night. I also used the same face primer (bareMinerals Good Hydrations Silky Face Primer) with each of the foundation products to provide a similar base and equal playing field. 

First up is Clinique Even Better foundation. I have never really used Clinique products, but have always heard good things so I was excited to try it. I was color matched to the shade “CN 0.75 Custard.” When I got home I was a little sad to find that this shade was still a little too yellow for my skin, but it was the lightest color they had that wasn’t white (#gingerproblems).  I applied the foundation and frankly, I was foundation7pretty disappointed. I found it to be quite greasy and it did not go onto my skin very smoothly. I attempted applying with a sponge, a silicone applicator, and clean fingers and just could not get it right. I tried wearing it anyways, but was disappointed to find that what I did manage to apply did not last long. For these reasons I personally am not a fan of this foundation. ($29.00 at Ulta)

Next up is bareMinerals Complexion Rescue tinted moisturizer-hydrating gel in shade “Opal.” This is also the lightest color you can purchase from the bareMinerals line.  Incidentally, this “foundation” is what actually started me on this quest for the perfect foundation. I have always had good results with bareMinerals products, but this one had to be the exception.  Originally, I was pointed to this product because it is supposed to contain moisturizer, is light-weight, AND long lasting. No, no, foundation10and NO. This foundation did not cover well at all and was not very buildable. It seemed to just sit on top of my skin which emphasized my dry and flaky spots even more. This foundation actually seemed to dry my skin out!  The color was also a little too orange for me. Although I really like many other bareMinerals products, I’m going to have to do a hard-pass on this particular product.  ($32.00 at Ulta)

 Since this was the only bad experience I have had with bareMinerals, I decided to give their barePRO Performance Wear Liquid Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 20 in shade “Fair 01” a chance. This one is MUCH better. I would not say that it has been great for my dry skin, but it definitely has not made it foundation6worse. This foundation does provide more coverage and is a little bit heavier.  For this reason I would not use it as a daily foundation but I think this would be great for a night out or special occasion. I noted that by the end of the day the product did settle into the pores and creases on my face.  A full size bottle of this foundation at Ulta is $34.00.

The next product I tried is Benefit’s Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation SPF 15 in Shade “1- Fair Cool.” It is the winner! I purchased the sample (travel size version) of this foundation at Ulta for $10. I found that this product is lightweight, but also super buildable. It contains shea extract which helps to smooth and protect skin. It is more matte, and offers medium coverage. I applied this foundation4foundation with clean fingers, as I found it got a little streaky with other applicators. I didn’t need to use a whole lot of this make up; the travel size has (so far) lasted me over a month! The full size bottle at Ulta is $29.00.

I really wanted to try Tarte Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Hydrating Foundation because I have heard such good things about it, but my Ulta store did not have this product in my shade. I hope to try it soon, and I will let y’all know what I think of it when I do! If you are interested in giving it a go, it is $39.00 at Ulta.

For my wedding I wore MAC Studio Fix foundation in shade “NC10″ (which can be found at Sephora or a MAC counter/store. (Mac Artists will also color match you free of charge!) It worked really well for me foundation11and had great long lasting coverage. I made it through pictures, the ceremony, and all of the dancing without it fading. I will say it was not wonderful for my dry skin, but it did hide imperfections very well. This would be another good alternative for a long lasting, full coverage foundation. It is $30.00 at the MAC store. 

As for drug store finds, in the past I have been very satisfied with L’Oréal True Match Super -Blendable Foundation. I wear the shade “N1”. I used to only wear this foundation, and I loved it until my skin started getting super dry. Although it is said to be a hydrating formula, my skin needed some more TLC. foundation9This would work well for anyone who classified their skin as normal, oily, or (kinda) dry, just not like the Sahara Desert dry, like me. It does provide medium coverage and is buildable. I also really like it because it is free of oil and fragrance, which can irritate my skin. It also come in 45 shades, and uses warm, neutral and cool descriptors to better match your skin’s natural undertone. If you are looking for a less expensive option, I definitely recommend this one. Runs $10.99 at Ulta, but can also be found at virtually any drug store. 

If you are not really into liquid foundations, I have two options for powders that I really like. I rarely use powders in the winter, as they just don’t set well on my dehydrated skin, but I love these products in the foundation5summer as light-weight options. My all-time favorite powder is bareMinerals Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 in “Fair 01.” This make-up is now available in 30 shades and is super blendable and buildable. A little of this loose powder definitely goes a long way! Of all the powders that I have ever used, this one is the best for dry skin. Although it may not go on as smoothly as a liquid foundation, it does not highlight the dryness. It is of course, mineral based too, so it never bothers my skin, but makes it look more healthy and luminous. It is $31.00 at Ulta.

My favorite drugstore powder is Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Powder in “Fair Ivory.” This is a pressed powder that works exactly as the name says. It definitely reduces the look of pores and makes foundation8redness and shine more matte. It is pretty light, but can definitely be buildable if you are needing more coverage. The best part about this product is that it is only $7.99! It also comes in a translucent powder that would work great as a setting powder.

As a side note, I avoid really creamy, stick foundations because I literally grew up plastering my face with grease-paint and cream ‘pancake’ foundations for dance and theater. They ALWAYS made me break out. They are another option, especially if you are looking for fuller coverage that will last all day and night, and probably through the next morning. 

SO here’s the catch:  Everyone’s skin is different. You might have oily skin, normal skin, or dry skin like me, or even combination skin, so there is a good chance that you will have a different experience with products than I did. You may love Clinique and absolutely loath Benefit…the real point is that you can try these different products without shelling out too much cash by testing samples and shades. To me, finding the right foundation is key for a successful make-up look because, duh, it is the foundation, the base for all of your make-up. Yes, you might end up “trying on” every formula there is, but when you find it, you will know and it will be SO worth it! 


What are your favorite foundations and dupes? Do you have a foundation that you use year round, or a different one for winter and summer? Let me know if you try any of these and what you think, good and bad!  🙂

XOXO, Cait B.

Snake Print


So Many 80’s and 90’s trends are coming back into style, and I cannot be happier! One of my favorite trends that does not seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, is faux snake skin! So many brands are using this print and I am so in love! It is right up there with leopard and is easily becoming a closet staple. I am also really liking the snake skin fad because lately it can be found in a black/white/gray or a tan/brown color pallets, making it a perfect neutral or accent. I have compiled my favorite faux snake skin items from some of my favorite boutiques below!

snakeshirt  snakeknot  snakecami  snakekimono  snakedressjb  snakemaxi  snakolive2  snakedresslily  snakeskirtvici  snakepant  snakescrunchie      snakepurse    SnakeEarring     snake belt   snakepurse2 snakevand snakeslide snakedswsandle snakemulesnakeheel snakeheeldsw snakeespidrille snakebootie  snakeboot


These are just some of the adorable snake print items from these awesome boutiques! Be sure to click on the name of the boutique below to see all their snake print goodies!

Impressions Online Boutique     Pink Lily Boutique    Olive+Pepper    VICI Dolls

Josie’s Boutique        DSW          Amazon


‘You have a PIZZA my heart’


Is it just me or did January last for about a year? Finally, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.  Jake and I generally keep things pretty low key on V-Day:  we typically exchange cards, I usually get some beautiful flowers, and we usually go out to dinner. Neither of us are very materialistic and we prefer to celebrate the day by doing something together rather than exchanging extravagant gifts. The only “excessive” Valentine’s Day we have had was the year we went to Disneyland before Jake went to basic training (again), and that was more because the dates happened to line up! With Valentine’s Day being on Thursday this year, we are planning to keep it pretty mellow. Whether you are looking for a romantic night in, or looking for a more romantic night without spending too much money, I have one of our go-to date-night-in meals!

Jake and I tend to make dinner together pretty much every night. If you are like us, you will want to make your Valentine’s dinner a little more special. You can do this in one of two ways: You could decide to make a more high-end dinner and select filet mignon, lobster or other aphrodisiacs along with rich side dishes. You can light candles and set mood music….if that’s your thing. To be honest, that kind of dining is not up our alley. If we wanted high-end, we would go out! The other option is to make a meal together that is more interactive! One of our favorites is homemade pizza. Your date can start at the grocery store where you pick out your sauces and toppings for your pizzas. You can also purchase pre-made dough or make your own (click here to see the recipe we use.) Once you are home you can get to cooking. It can be so much fun to clear off your counter and cover it with flour as you roll out your dough. We have been known to try to toss ours only to have it fall on the floor (maybe make some extra dough).  A little bit of mess makes it more fun and light-hearted in my opinion! Instead of making individual pizzas you can also make one pizza together. Take turns adding toppings and making it your own. While your pizza is in the oven you can toss together a quick Caesar salad and open a bottle of wine, then Bon Appetite! This is a fun and interactive way to spend time together on Valentine’s Day.

For one of our anniversaries we went to the Melting Pot and had the best time. The Melting Pot can definitely be a little pricey, but don’t fret…you can still have a cozy fondue night in! All you need is a slow cooker. At the grocery store they do have fondue mix that you can purchase, or you can make it from scratch! Pinterest has so many great savory and sweet fondue recipes to try! If you are in a time crunch and don’t have the time to make your own, you can also purchase a variety of chocolate chips or chocolate melting disks. Milk, Dark, White and Butterscotch, and Peanut Butter chips will do the trick! You will need a clean Mason jar for each flavor (you can find these at craft and grocery stores if you do not have any on hand). Start by filling your slow cooker up with just enough water to cover the jars about half way. Fill your jars about 3/4 of the way with your chocolate chips (or chips of choice) then place jars in water. Let them start to melt on low heat while you stir occasionally. It will take about 30 minutes for them to melt completely. Once they are melted turn off your slow cooker but leave the jars in the water to keep them warm. That its! Gather up your dippers (bite size fruit, marshmallows, mini doughnut holes, brownie bites, cookies, Rice Krispy Treats, etc.) and have a ball dipping and feeding each other! Make sure to purchase fondue forks if you do not already have them, or you can use long bamboo skewers.


If you’re not into fondue, your dessert can really be anything you want it to be! There can be something so romantic about a delicious chocolate cake or light and fluffy mousse. Break out the whipped cream and maraschino cherries and everyone is going to be happy!

What are planning to do for Valentine’s Day? Big plans or laying low? What kind of Valentine’s Day traditions do you and your honey have?

XOXO, Cait B.

Galentine’s Day 2019




Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and so is Galentine’s Day! For those of you who are out of the loop, Galentine’s Day originated on Amy Poehler’s TV comedy Parks and Rec. It falls on February 13th and celebrates the platonic love that girlfriends share. As Amy’s character Leslie says on the show, “Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.” Since then, Galentine’s Day has been adopted by many and we cannot thank Leslie Knope (and the genius of Amy Poehler) enough!

As Galentine’s Day approaches you may be wondering what you should do with your gal pals.  I have some ideas for things to do and how to celebrate your besties with some adorable gifts!

Girl-Time Ideas:GalDay1

Brunch and Bubbly: You can always go traditional and grab breakfast with your girls.  Add in some mimosas or a Bloody Mary or two and get the party started!

Spa Night: You can have a spa weekend with your ladies or simply make a date for manicures and pedicures. You could also stay in for a spa night at home; just break out the peel-off masks, nail polish, and N’SYNC CDs and have yourself an old fashioned girls night.

Dress Up & Dine Out: There is something so fun about dressing up and going out to a nice restaurant with your friends. Indulge in amazing food, dessert and great conversation!

Movie Marathon: Another great one if you are watching your budget! Order some pizza or take-out and stay in with your girls to watch all the chick-flicks your boyfriends or hubbies detest!

Take a Class or Participate in an Activity: Attend a “corks and canvas” painting class or a group yoga class with your ladies.  Hit up happy hour afterward for apps and cocktails! Some of my girlfriends and I loved going to hockey games together back in Seattle. (There are usually great deals for classes on Groupon!)

Gifts for your Girlies:

Fuzzy Socks or Slippers: Let your lady friends kick their feet up in some new cozy socks or slippers. I personally cannot have enough of either of these!

Sugar Scrub: Sugar scrubs are a great way to pamper your friends. You can buy these at the store or make you own. Pinterest has a load of sugar scrub recipes that are simple (and inexpensive) to make.

Valentine’s Day Clothing: Valentine’s Day shirts always put everyone in the holiday spirit, plus who doesn’t love pink and red!? The Pink Lily Boutique has an adorable Valentine’s Day collection; I’ve definitely already bought mine! Target also always has cute tops for every holiday.


Initial Necklaces: These necklaces are so on trend right now AND they have a personal touch! You can find affordable versions of these on Amazon.

Cute Mug or Wine Glass: There is always a wine-o or coffee lover in every group of friends. A cute mug or decorative wine glass filled with candies or a mini bottle is always a cute gift!

Makeup Gift Set: Perfect for your glam girlfriend.  Ulta is a great place to look for pre-made giftsets or you can pick and choose mini items and make your own!  I’m currently crushing on the TooFaced Sugar Cookie Purse Palette.

Best Friend Jewelry: If you are wanting to do something special for your bestie, your person, or your (other) soulmate, look into best friend jewelry. Alex and Ani has an adorable best friend charm bracelet currently on sale for $28–that is 50% off so snag it while you can! I also love Dogeared necklaces; they have su


Now you are all set to celebrate your love for all of your closest gal pals.  I hope this post gives you some ideas for your Galentine’s Day or inspires you to begin celebrating this special day.  Do you have any traditions with your girlfriends for Galentine’s Day? Have you ever celebrated it or do you plan to this year?

XOXO, Cait B.