Mrs. Current Favorites // Toiletries

June 8, 2015


When it comes to toiletries, I'm a one-bottle-at-a-time kind of girl. I hate having ten different gooey bottles lining the walls of my shower, or a lotion for every season of the year. Why? Because it takes up precious space (do we ever have enough room in our bathroom cabinets/closets?), it makes getting ready complicated, and it's ugly. I'd much rather have one of each thing that I really love!

Here are my rules for keeping toiletries simple, because lets face it, it's a struggle!
1) Use it till it's gone (even if I don't love it)
2) Toss it!! Seriously if you're worried about being green, be more thoughtful with your purchases, and maybe next time you'll think twice about buying that bottle of lotion cause it looks cute or you might use it on Saturday nights when you want to feel pampered. Wouldn't using an amazing lotion you love everyday be more pampering? Also wouldn't perfectly organized bathroom toiletries be even more pampering!? HHMMM??
3) Combine/consolidate things. (something my smartie pants sister suggested) If you have two half-bottles of shampoo just combine them, or lotion or body wash, etc.

Now, I can't say I've tried a TON of different products and narrowed it down to these as the best of the best! But I do really like/love these currently and although it may change, most of these items have been mainstays for a year or more!

Body Wash - Dr. Bonner's Lavender Castile Liquid Soap  it's super gentle and the scents are so simple that Craig and I can both use the same bottle. Side note, the Almond one is also amazing, and the Peppermint one will make you feel like you're on fire downstairs, so if you're into that kind of thing, be my guest.

Face Wash - Baking Soda OMG I've been using this as a face wash for years and my skin has never been better! I put it in a jar in the cabinet with a tablespoon and scoop it in my hand right before stepping into the shower, add a tiny splash of water and then massage it all over your face and rinse!

Makeup Removing Wipes - I'm kind of lazy when it comes to washing my face. I don't like doing it over the sink cause it makes a mess as water runs down your elbows and puddles around your feet and all over the counter. Instead, I use baking soda on my face when I shower and face wipes at night if I still have makeup on before bed. I keep them stowed in a decorative box on my bedside table, so no matter how exhausted and lazy I feel, I have no excuse not to reach over those six inches and grab a towelette and clean my face. I love Burt's Bees Sensitive Facial Cleansing Towelettes 

Deodorant - I must confess that joining the "all natural doesn't prevent sweat cause that's natural but helps with odor" crew of deodorants wasn't easy, it took time. You're body adjusts to whatever we give it, so a pit that's use to having external sweat prevention is a bit over-active because your body tries to create balance. So when that external sweat inhibitor is taken away, suddenly your body is still gonna over-produce sweat for a while.......like a month or more. Which can feel like a year. But it's worth it to be more natural and not use something that isn't good for you. And I will have you know that now, after my body has adjusted, I barely sweat! My current favorite deodorant is Tom's Original Care Deodorant. 

Toothpaste - I have struggled with ulcers in my mouth as long as I can remember. I would have at least 3-4 every month, they are so painful! So when I heard my mother-in-law say that she heard that the whitening chemicals in tooth whitening toothpaste could cause mouth ulcers, I immediately switched to a natural toothpaste to see if it could be true. For me it has dramatically reduced mouth ulcers, I may have one a month. I use Tom's Wicked Fresh Toothpaste.

Lotion - Smells like lemons and isn't greasy! J.R. Watkins Lotion

Hair Texturizer/Dry Shampoo - Big Sexy Hair Powder Play is amazing because it adds texture to super silky strands so they have more body, and it gives you that sexy messy look!

Perfume - Perfume is personal, but my favorite is Burberry London, I love it because it's soft and strong.

Heat Protectant - If you're like me and use heat tools, or if you have dry or frizzy hair, this stuff is awesome! Never use on your roots, but it is great to use a small amount on the lengths of your hair, dry or wet. Rusk Thermal Serum

Sculpting Paste - This Got2b in Play sculpting paste is great to finish any tousled look. It's also really effective at smoothing out flyaways.

Shaving Cream - Most of the time I'm too lazy and I just use my soap, but I love this shaving cream. It's actually for men, so I sorta stole it from Craig (well we share unbeknownst to him). Cremo Shave Cream

Face Moisturizer - I've used Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Moisturizer since college and it's great, so gentle.

Glossing Cream - Fekkai Glossing Cream is worth every penny, and usually the travel size bottle will last forever because it only takes a pea sized amount. It's super moisturizing and great for finishing your look or taming frizzies.

Hair Spray -  Big Sexy Hair Spray and Play is great because it holds really well but isn't too stiff.






Mrs. Style// Shirt Dress

June 8, 2015




This time of year I find myself wanting pieces that I can just throw on with a pair of sandals. So when I ran across this dress on the sale rack at Urban Outfitters it fit the bill perfectly. It also doubles as a great swim cover up! You just can't beat a simple shirt dress as a wardrobe staple. Since this one is out of stock, I found a similar one here .






Mrs. Style // Soft Blues

May 13, 2015


I'm all about some jean on jean! This super soft chambray shirt and distressed boyfriend jean are the perfect spring chill outfit.


Shirt // Forever21
Jeans // H+M
Necklace // Emma Jane Designs





photos // Claire Baugh

Mr. + Mrs. Work and Play

May 6, 2015



Working from home is lounging in cozy pjs, mugs of warm coffee steaming in the sunlight, gobs of inspiration and oodles of time! Yes! No.
Okay so it is like that some of the time, and we are so super blessed to get to do it, but it's crazy challenging to stay motivated and find balance. In the process of working through our struggles we've learned a ton about how to create a healthy work/life balance. So whether you own your own business or not, work from home or in an office, we want to share with y'all our 7 rules for finding balance and some important questions to ask yourself to start on the path of enjoying your life during downtime, while still being super productive when working!





FINDING BALANCE

In the first few years of our photography business when Craig and I noticed we were staying stressed most of the time, we realized one of the major reasons was because we were ALWAYS a cell phone "ding" away from working. We concluded that we were letting our business run us rather than the other way around. I am all about getting back to our clients A.S.A.P. but constantly checking our email, and always being on call was driving us bananas! So we started making rules.


THE 7 RULES


1) Set business hours for yourself.
You need a set time to be "Closed" so you can enjoy the rest of your life. Do you want to work with clients that call you at 9pm? Or a boss or co-worker that thinks that's okay? You control when you're available --no one else! Always being available is draining, and you run the risk of burn out.

2) Take it out of your brain and put it on paper.
At the end of each work day, before you're "Closed" make a short "To Do" list for the next day so you know what needs to get done. This list needs to be priority based and short. Do you're self a favor and remember you're time and energy are limited so pinpoint what will make the biggest impact on your day and do those first. No more running through things while trying to go to sleep!! And if you do suddenly find yourself doing this grab your phone or a piece of paper and write down everything you're thinking about so you can free your mind and SLEEP! It's important.

3) Don't check your email more than TWICE a day!
Seriously, is this really an emergency or a fabricated one by the person who emailed/contacted you? Get some stuff done on YOUR "To Do" list fist before you invite in distractions or other "To Dos"! 

4) Don't check your email first.
Do the critical things on your priority list first then see what other people want you to do with your time.

5) Get it in writing.
Chatting with clients or coworkers on the phone and in meetings is a great way to get to know them and bond, but it's not the best way to actually make a plan. If a client/coworker/boss calls you and gives you a bunch of details you need to remember you're most likely going forget them (or you're not near a pen, and if you do write it down you run the risk of spilling coffee on, or losing said note). Instead I ask people to shoot me an email with the details. This way things are clear concise and you can look back on them if need be. Also it is more respectful of both parties time, because you can check it when it's convenient for you.

6) Set your smart phone so it will not alert you constantly.
It's hard to not look when you hear that notification, but do you really need to know the exact second someone emails you? Always?! In your personal life maybe but not in business with few exceptions. You can set your phone to receive messages twice a day, and it's good to let clients and co-workers know that it's best to contact you via email.

7) Don't answer the phone if you don't know who is calling.
Now this might sound crazy especially if you're in a service based industry like photography or a realtor, but this is something I herd Tim Ferriss say and it is so true!! Being taken off guard puts you in a poor negotiating position. If the person calling really wants/needs to speak with you there is no harm in letting it go to voicemail. This way you save both parties time by calling them back with all the answers to their questions. Most of the time if said caller doesn't leave a voicemail then it's most likely not important. Honestly this was one rule I was most hesitant about for fear that I would miss a client that might like to book a shoot, and what if they didn't want to leave a VM or thought I didn't care about them!! But I quickly realized that people will gladly leave a VMs or email me. I haven't lost anything but only gained peace of mind and the ability to save us both time by being prepared for the conversation.




QUESTIONS

It's important to know what works best for you when it comes to your schedule and being productive, so here's some major questions to ask yourself.

When am I most productive, energetic and clear minded?
If you're clearer in the morning say between 8am-10am, then get up in time to start your work day by 8am. Alternately if your a night owl and think best at 9pm then don't plan to be up early. If you can work your schedule out to get the most out of your productive time.

When am I least productive, tired, foggy and lazy?
Do yourself a favor and don't plan anything that requires you to get things done during this time. Pay close attention to your ebbs and flows throughout the day. It's important to not force yourself if you can to work during a time when you'll just be waisting it checking Instagram because you're tired and can't focus! For example I know I'm not productive between 3pm-5pm, I'm okay if I'm at a shoot physically working but definitely no good during this time when it comes to desk work. I tend to be slightly grumpy due to fatigue and feel useless. So rather than fight against myself I usually try and do something more physical than mental during that time like be at a photoshoot, or do a couple chores I've been putting off, or go on a short walk (the former is the best).

What meal is most important to me?
ALL OF THEM, duh! For example if you love breakfast, as we do, then whatever time you carve out for it needs to give you plenty of time to prepare and enjoy eating it. In this case it wouldn't be smart start your day so late that you can't enjoy breakfast and have to just stuff something in your mouth while doing other things. Boo! Let yourself enjoy the simple things in life OKAY!?
Craig and I usually don't want to take a lot of time preparing lunch so typically it's something simple and easy like leftovers or a sandwich. Supper is always different depending on the day we've had, sometimes it's cook, and savor over candle light and sometimes it's whatever is easiest while watching TV. Just customize your day to fit how and when you like to eat. Don't lie to yourself and say it's not important!

What environment is most conducive to my work?
Beach side anyone?!
(Nope do yourself a favor and separate work and play! Actually get shizz done so you can truly enjoy playtime!)
Think about how you work, what you do, and what you need readily available and organized so you can make the most of your work time. If you need people and stimulation go to a park or coffee shop, if you need peace and quiet carve out a good spot at home for that, or work at the library.  Make a place and space that works for you so you can be productive. Craig and I do our best to have specific areas in our home just for work that we can physically walk away from when the work time is over.



The common thread in all of this is to take the time.... the time to ask yourself questions to get to know yourself better, the time to pay attention to what you REALLY want, the time to find what motivates you, and what brings you down. Do you want to live to work, or work to live? If your answer is the former then it's important to find what works for you, and remind yourself that you don't have to do things the way everyone else does them. You're only trapped if you let yourself be! You have the power to make your life what you want and need it to be!
Please leave a comment below and let us know if these tips help y'all, and what advice y'all have for finding work/life balance!



RESOURCES!

Here are some great books, podcasts and websites we love that get us super inspired!

FOUR HOUR WORK WEEK  - Life changing book!

TIM FERRISS PODCAST  - So much good info on how to be more productive and live a better life!

THE ART OF MANLINESS PODCAST  - Seriously, not just for guys! We both love listening to these podcasts!!

THE WAR OF ART  - Not just for artists!

THE CREATIVE HABIT - One of the books that inspired me to keep looking for something more in life!


Mrs. Style // White Moment

April 29, 2015



There's nothing more spring-chic than an all white outfit! This one is relaxed enough to wear almost anywhere and comprised of simple wardrobe staples. This outfit is under $85 because I'm a big fan of looking great and being budget friendly! Plus, I bet you guys have some of these items in your wardrobe already.






Tank Top// Target
Jeans// ASOS
Blazer // H+M
Necklace // Forever21



Photos// Claire Baugh

Mr. + Mrs. Biscuit

April 24, 2015

photo// Jesi Godwin


Seriously what's better than biscuits?? Craig and I love cooking and he especially likes to make biscuits (shut-up, I know I'm lucky). We also got extra inspired when we read the biscuit recipe in chef Sean Brock's amazing cookbook Heritage
I have a gluten and dairy sensitivity, so unfortunately I got only a small bite, but for the rest of you guys it's amazing. Two things that went wrong for us that you want to avoid.....also please don't laugh.
1) Just buy a biscuit cutter, it's silly we don't have one, but seriously, who thinks of that when they run to the store! We used a knife. 2) When you go "Oh no I don't have unsalted butter! I'll just use regular salted butter but skip the salt in the rest of the recipe!" NOPE NOPE NOPE. A not properly salted biscuit isn't that tasty!

 photo// Jesi Godwin


photo// Jesi Godwin

photo// Jesi Godwin

Ingredients:
3/4 cup Rendered Fresh Lard
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
12 ounces very cold whole-milk buttermilk


 photo// Jesi Godwin

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Freeze lard and butter for 20 minutes, grate them and return to freezer.


This was taken right before the grater broke in half...don't buy a cheapy plastic grater.


photo// Jesi Godwin

photo// Claire Baugh

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and mix well. Work the frozen lard and butter into flour with your fingers until pieces of butter and lard are about the size of peas.
Add the buttermilk and stir until the dough comes together.

photo// Jesi Godwin

photo// Jesi Godwin


photo// Claire Baugh

photo// Claire Baugh


photo// Jesi Godwin

photo// Jesi Godwin

Put the dough on a floured workspace, roll to 1/2 inch thick. Cut out the biscuits and place them on baking sheet with parchment paper. Biscuits should barely touch.
Bake for 15 to 22 minutes or until golden brown.

photo// Jesi Godwin

photo// Jesi Godwin

photo// Jesi Godwin
photo// Jesi Godwin

photo// Claire Baugh

photo// Claire Baugh

photo// Claire Baugh

photo// Claire Baugh

Be sweet to yourself this weekend, go make some biscuits!

Mrs. Less Is More

April 20, 2015


My style approach has drastically changed in the past year or so as a result of embracing a more minimalist lifestyle. The changes have come slowly, but each step Craig and I take in that direction makes us feel liberated. So, when I applied the minimalist approach to my closet, I saw that - like most people - I had a TON of clothes that I didn't wear. They either didn't fit properly (or at all), I didn't like them, or they didn't work with my lifestyle.

If you're like me and struggle with keeping things simple, this post is for you.

Here's how I whittled my closet down to just two rolling racks and why it has changed my life.






DON'T GET ORNERY
Have you ever felt jealous of how guys get ready super fast, and are able to have more time to relax, or do stuff while you're angrily trying on six different outfits?! Yeah, this practically solves that problem... no lie! I have found the key that magically unlocks the door to being that cool, chill girl you've always wanted to be.

Save yourself time, money, energy and most of all, keep from getting in a tizzy err' day!
Most of us minimize the impact our getting ready process has on our day and our mood. It's usually how we start our day and end it, when we're most tired and emotionally vulnerable. My clothes weren't adding something good to my life, so I needed a change.

My closet mocked me - like I was the one that needed a transformation, not the other way around. I had ALL THIS STUFF, but nothing to wear. I realized that I had been shopping for the life I wanted, rather than the life I had.



JUST LET GO
The idea of plentitude is a basic human desire. There is nothing that we love more than a stock pile of things. "More is more!", they say. But we live in a world where most anything is at our fingertips and most of us have never missed a meal, or a shower, or slept out in the cold - unless we went camping and forgot our tents. This constant need to shop for clothes is a knee-jerk reaction for some of us that then forms into a habit, a hobby, or a pastime. Although sometimes it is rewarding and fun to shop, it is also exhausting, time consuming and expensive. If you're like me, and your time and money are scarce, then let go of this urge to have a giant closet full of clothes. Let's simplify things.

Ideas you should let go of:
- More is more
- My closet has so much in it, which makes me feel rich and impresses my friends
- Shopping is entertainment (unless you have tons of disposable income)
- I cannot wear something twice in the same week
- If my wardrobe is small, then I won't have what I need, and I'll feel meager
- This is on sale, so I should get it!

Think quality over quantity. If you own a couple of white t-shirts, then own the best white t-shirts you can afford. Purchase a few pairs of jeans that are AWESOME, rather than ten sucky pairs.


FAUX-DROBE
It sounds counterintuitive to get rid of stuff when your main problem is that you have nothing to wear, but it works because you get rid of the noise - the over stimulation of your current closet situation so that you can think straight. Clear out the junk! Breathe!

You may say "But if I get rid of everything I don't wear, then I'll have almost nothing left!!" Exactly. You already don't have anything to wear, so why not get rid of the stand-ins - the faux wardrobe you have, and make something that actually works. By narrowing down, you learn more about what you truly like to wear on a day-to-day. You may find (as I did) that your closet doesn't represent what you really like.


KNOW THYSELF
A good way to get started is to pull out things that you know you never wear, or you don't like. Put them in large trash bags to donate - or consign, but remember, the easier you make this on yourself, the more likely you are to actually do it. Then, with the things that you're on the fence about, try them on, take a cell phone picture of yourself in it. Ask yourself, "when was the last time I wore this?" If that still doesn't help you reach a conclusion, take a post it note, write today's date on it and pin it on the garment. If you haven't worn it in a month, then most likely it's time to let it go. This applies to seasonally relevant items. Store the other items somewhere, or put them in the back of your closet out of your way until that next season rolls around.

Once you've narrowed things, start asking yourself questions like: What are my favorite fabrics? Which cuts do I love/hate? What colors do I love to wear?


photos//Claire Baugh

For me, it is definitely still a work in progress, but now I shop for clothes with purpose, which saves me so much time and money. Money that I can use for things that I love to do or help me reach a goal. Time, because I get ready way faster so I have more time to enjoy my life. Find freedom in simplicity and don't be surprised if this approach spills over into every other aspect of your life.

My current fav places to shop:
H+M, Urban Outfitters, Zara, ASOS, Target, Thrift Shops, Old Navy




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