Make the Most of Your Summer!
Welcome to summer! Are you glad that it’s June? My kids are out of school, and others still have a little ways to go but I’m excited it’s summer and the weather is warmer. Today I wanted to share with you five things that I love for summer. They don’t necessarily have to. do with style or fashion, but they are favorites worth sharing.
This article and the video below are taken from the Stunning Style Weekly Style Snack! Join us Wednesdays at 1pm ET on the Stunning Style Facebook page or the FREE Capsule Wardrobes for Classic Style Facebook Group.
Bioderma Micellar water
Removing makeup before bed is so important to your skin, and I’ve always struggled with my face feeling clean. Even after I wash my face, when I use the toner, more dirt comes off on the cotton pad. I’ve been hearing about double cleansing, and all kinds of tricks to get the skin clean, so I’m not the only one who struggles with this.
I recently heard about micellar water as a cleanser, and I decided to give it a try because Micelles have an ‘tail’ that’s attracted to oil and traps dirt, oil, and makeup and the ‘head’ is attracted to water and allows the micelles to dissolve impurities so they can easily be wiped away.
It’s also extremely gentle, hydrating, and great for sensitive skin, all of which I need. I was shocked at how well it cleaned my skin and removed makeup, particularly eye makeup and Lipsense! I have tried so many different ways to remove eye makeup over the years, and this is definitely my favorite and the gentlest. The only thing it’s not great at removing is waterproof mascara.
I’ve been experimenting with how I use it to see what formula I like best. To remove eye makeup, I soak a cotton pad, press and hold for a few seconds, and then wipe. For my face I use a second pad to remove the makeup. It really depends on how much makeup I’m wearing, but it can take one or two to get it off. Sometimes I use it before I wash my face to remove the makeup or after to get the remnants. In the morning I use it to gently remove the products I put on the night before without stripping my skin, and then I can put on my morning skincare products.
Bioderma is the original micellar water, and has the best reviews, so I use that one.
Do you use micellar water? What’s your favorite way to use it?
Garden Answer YouTube channel
If you don’t know this about me, my favorite hobby is gardening. Digging, planting, mulching, designing, and sitting in my gardens rank right up at the top of my list of favorite things to do. Add visiting other gardens, talking about gardens, dreaming up new gardens, and watching YouTube videos about gardening to the rest of the list.
Last year I discovered this channel, and it’s my new gardening crack. I have binge watched more videos than I can count, watching some of them MULTIPLE TIMES, and shared it with many of my garden-loving friends. Now they are hooked!
We bought our dream house almost two years ago, but it didn’t come with a dream yard. The landscaping had been neglected during the year and a half renovation, and all that was left was a combination of what whatever hadn’t died and whatever had spread invasively (I’m looking at you, monkey grass!).
I was dying to get out there and plant! But with a cross-country move, getting 6 kids settled, finding furniture, and running a business, it had to wait. Last summer I started working away at it slowly. For Mother’s Day, my family helped me plant the courtyard beds, and then I did the foundation plants in the 3 beds in the front yard. This spring I filled things in a bit more, and I have more projects in mind.
As I’ve been planning and researching ideas, the Garden Answer YouTube channel is exactly what I was looking for! She is my gardening Magic 8 ball! “Laura, what should I do with the horseshoe-shaped island bed at the front?” I give my phone a little shake, and she has the answer!
“Laura, I need a low-growing evergreen shrub I can use to create a hedge that tolerates both full sun and full shade.” I searched Garden Answer shade, and in the very first video, there was my answer!
As I continue to plan additional landscape improvements, I know I can find inspiration on her channel! If you check out her channel, be sure and tell her Stunning Style says hi!
Here are some of my favorite videos from her YouTube:
One of the worst things you can do to your undergarments (or most clothes, really) is to put them in the dryer. We’ve all seen the movie clips of a woman’s bathroom covered in her delicates hung up to dry, but there are tidier and nicer ways to dry your dainties.
In my laundry room I have one of these and I use it to dry my underwear, bras, tights, swimsuits, and anything else delicate that won’t really work on a hanger. It’s compact and efficient. Even if you still need to use your shower rod to hang this hanger on, it’s easy to put up and take down quickly.
In the summer it’s especially handy because of all the wet swimsuits. I’m ordering some small ones for the bathrooms because it’s an easy place for everyone to hang their wet swim wear, and (hopefully) that means the kids don’t leave them in wet piles on the floor, knock the towels off the racks or hooks to hang up their suits, and it’s not hanging on a hook up against the wall trapping the moisture. If you live in a humid climate, you know how important it is to keep things dry. This can hang on their shower rod.
Summer Reading with My Kids
Summer reading by the pool is one thing I look forward to the most, and I always have a stack to read. One of my favorite things to do is read book series with my kids. It gives us things to talk about, a way to connect, and inside jokes. I started reading series with my kids when I introduced them to Harry Potter (and I’m reading it now with my youngest), but now that they are older, we read the books separately then discuss.
It’s been such a fun way to connect with my kids, especially now that most of them are teenagers. It gives me insight into their lives, their interests, and it’s something we have in common. It’s one way I can help them feel loved and seen as individuals. I rotate whose books I’m reading so everyone gets a turn.
If your kids are adults or you don’t have kids, it’s still a fun way to connect with other adults and have something in common with them. It’s also a great idea for grandkids.
This last year I read the Way of Kings series by Brandon Sanderson with my boys. If you love fantasy, this series is incredible. The books are long and so creative. There is a lot of world building in book one, so it can take a while to get into. I ended up listening to them on audible because I was struggling to find time to sit and read last year.
I’m currently reading the Shadow Hunter series by Cassandra Clare with my daughter. It’s a little teen angsty, the main characters are 17-ish, and the series covers characters in several time periods, but it’s a good guilty pleasure read.
Next up is the Mistborn series, also by Brandon Sanderson, and it eventually will connect with the Way of Kings series, but my boys love this series and can’t wait for me to read it.
One tip on the paper copies of the books. Don’t buy the mass market paperbacks. The pages fall out of the books, the ink smudges, and the print is so tiny and crammed together it’s really hard to read. They are very inexpensive, but not worth it, in my opinion.
I shared last year my favorite way to read by the pool is with my Kindle Paperwhite, and you can read more about why it’s my favorite e-reader (including it’s waterproof!) here.
When I’m gardening, driving, cleaning, getting ready, etc., I like to listen to them on Audible.
The Heart of a Woman Retreat
The underlying thought that plagues most people, particularly women, is “I’m not enough and also too much.” We receive this message everywhere from the time we are small. Do more, be more, strive more, but don’t shine or be special or draw attention to yourself.
As women we are praised for working and giving until it hurts, until we are dry, but that leaves us dead inside. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve hated the book, “The Giving Tree”. It sums up perfectly what we, as women, are encouraged to do.
We are also taught to tear ourselves down to make others feel better. Don’t like yourself or be proud of yourself or others will feel bad about themselves. It sounds ridiculous saying it out loud, but it’s there.
Last October, and again in May, I attended The Heart of a Woman retreat, and it was life-changing. It’s all about how much God loves us, how precious we are to Him, and that each of us has something special to offer. There wasn’t a single mention of things I should do more of or do better. I was there to bask in His love for me as an individual. I gained so many things from each time I went, but one of the most important things I learned is about being enough.
First, I am always enough in God’s eyes. No matter what I do, He will never love me more or less. I don’t have to earn His love. He loves me because He loves me. That’s it. Second, it’s not my job to be enough for anyone else, that’s His job, and I could never fill it, nor do I have to try. Third, in those moments I am showing up for someone else, I am enough through Him. I do my best and He does the rest.
Never in my life have I felt like I was enough for anyone! While I need reminders in between retreats, it was the first time I ever felt peace in my efforts at anything!
The retreat is held twice a year, in October and May. It’s non-denominational and run by a non-profit organization. You can learn more about it here.
I hope you are already enjoying your summer and that these recommendations help you make the most of it!
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