Sweet Things on Sunday

*This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you purchase anything through them.

It’s been well documented that nothing makes me cringe more than the phrase “self care routine”. More often than not, people are asking “what products do you use?” Don’t get me wrong, self care is my jam! It’s something I love learning about and a space where I love to grow. That being said, though, washing my face isn’t the beginning and end of self care.
Having and adhering to routine is a huge part my self care, though. That’s what makes me feel well cared for. And since I love hearing about other people’s evening routines, I thought I’d tell you about mine.


First I push my hair back with these headbands because while bangs are s’cute! They’re also a pain in the neck. I like these headbands because of the way they’re folded over in the back it keeps them flat–I don’t know how to explain it. They just work for my lumpy head.

Then I remove my makeup with either a wipe like these (I’m not brand loyal here) or a cotton pad soaked in witch hazel.

When it comes to washing my face, these Olay Daily Facials have swooped in and made me so happy. I like the “daily hydrating clean” version. I’m not sponsored by Olay but I would totally jump on that partnership. I only have a limited number of washcloths in my house and I don’t have a washing machine–so these Daily Facials have changed the game for me! I love it. They’re dry paper towels, more or less, that you get wet under water and then rub all over your face! Only way more luxe than that. They smell great and leave my skin plump and clean and I love them. I understand that this isn’t the most waste-free option but it’s working for me right now. And they’re perfect for travel since you don’t have to dispense face wash into a small little bottle in order to get on the plane.

A few times a week I like to exfoliate. Right now I’m using this one by Mario Badescu and it’s pretty good but this one, “Brighten Up” by Vasanti is my ultimate favorite, best of the best, and it lasts forever. (Use my link to sign up for Birchbox if you wanna.)

This is my favorite toner! Look, I don’t know how to tell if a toner is working but I don’t think it’s not working and when I run out, I’ll definitely buy more of this. I like the way it feels and smells. I like the price point and I really love that it’s in a spray-bottle.
I also have been really loving this rosewater spray by Mario Badescu for when it’s super hot outside. It’s a nice mid-day pick me up but this is about my night time routine.

Right now, after I tone, I’m using two products from The Ordinary: Niacinamide which is a blemish formula and Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil to moisturize. I like them okay, I guess? The Rose Hip Seed Oil kind of smells like sunflower seeds. When they’re out, I’ll definitely try something else (I ordered a serum sampler from Birchbox that is full of a lot of different ones I’ve been dying to try).
Honestly, I feel kind of weird about giving my money to The Ordinary. After following them on Social Media for the past few months, it feels like I’m helping to fund someone’s very public mental breakdown TBH. But also, the prices are so good so I don’t blame anyone for buying from them.

Finally, when I brush my teeth, I also brush my lips to exfoliate and then apply Dr. Lipp Miracle Balm which is, apparently also for chapped nipples for nursing mothers? Or… I don’t know… runners? Anyway, it’s SO GOOD and a little bit goes a long way. I just have a tiny sample size that is .10 oz and I’ve been using it nightly for a whole month. I can only imagine that a full size tube would last for years if you only used it on your lips. But in the winter time I’ll definitely be using it on chapped fingers and knuckles.
Anyway, I apply this to my lips at night and I can’t get over how sexy my pout looks in the morning. For real.

A reader, Gabrielle, sent me this gratitude journal and I’ve actually incorporated it into my night time routine. I love ending my day on a grateful note–searching for the positive in the day. And I like how there’s a different question every day instead of a generic, “what are you thankful for?” I think I might put some of these on my Christmas list.


What about you? Any products you love? Do you have an ole reliable nighttime routine that gets you into a sleepy place? Tell us all about it.

XOXO, Lib

 

Feature Photo by Anna Sastre on Unsplash

Size 24+ Swimwear for Women and Femmes on a Budget

I got emotional in Target today.

I was looking for a swim top and I came up with nothing. Of the four plus sized suits available in the store (hidden amongst dozens and dozens of “straight sized” suits) only two of them were two-pieces and among those, only one of them was almost my size. I didn’t mean to start crying. I didn’t want to start crying, but I did.

I couldn’t help but think of my friends who wear a larger size than I do. My body generally tops out at what’s available in most brick and mortar stores and it’s not like I have the largest body ever. I know a lot of people who wear a larger size than I do. And what’s available for them? If even I can’t find anything? What about them? I wasn’t crying because I felt like my body wasn’t good enough (those days are over). But I weep for my friends who are denied basic life-joys like swimming in a pool just because the world refuses to accommodate them.

So, Chefs, what I present to you today is a roundup of size 24+ swimwear for less than $50 (I wanted to make it under $30 but that was proving to be impossible). Please enjoy. 

m_5aecbf843a112ecddd4d9040First of all, I feel like Lane Bryant has knocked it out of the park with swimwear this year. Everywhere else you look, you still have to wade through lots and lots of suits that have been sold, unchanged, since the 1990’s. Lots of ugly tropical prints and “flattering” ruffles, skirting, blouson… AKA: extra fabric. Lots and lots of extra fabric all in the name of “flattering”. But Lane Bryant is killing it!! I can’t believe that I lived to see the day that a suit like this one is available in size Fat! The only complaint that I have is that unless you grab something on super sale (right now, their clearance is buy one get one free), they’re far from an accessible budget. Also, they only carry up to a size 26. It’s 2018 and a plus-size staple like Lane Bryant should be the first in line to add more inclusive sizes but they’re getting left in the dust. So if you wear between a 14-26 and you’ve got the budget: get to Lane Bryant! But if you don’t fit into those narrow parameters, here’s what I’ve found for us:

This red triangle bikini top with string bikini bottoms totals at around $42. It goes up to a size 28 (though IMO most things in the ASOS Curve section runs a little large so may even fit a size 30).

This tie-shoulder, hot pink bikini top from Target is sooooo cute!! It goes up to 26 for $20. The bottoms, though, are kind of a gamble as the sizing is a weird 24/26 and $17. Still, though, a complete set for less than $40 is pretty hard to come by.

I really did love this burgundy one-piece at Target. It only goes up to a size 26 and it’s $32 but if it’s exactly what you’re looking for, go for it!

Simply Be Bespoke Fit Swimsuit in teal (also available in a tropical print). It’s around $20ish and goes up to a 28.

The next six are from Full Beauty, which has proven to be a bit of a gold mine as far as size-inclusivity goes: Chlorine Resistant Chase Purple Princess Seam Top (currently on clearance for less than $20). This one looks super sporty.

 Aquabelle Xtra Life Lycra Bike Shorts–these are the bottoms that I have and they go up to a size 34. (Combined with the purple top above, that’s a whole suit for less than $50!)

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I love the look of this black and white bikini top–would looks so good with those bike shorts mentioned above. This goes up to a size 28.

Here’s a black, v-neck, one-piece swimsuit that goes up to a size 34 and is available for around $32.

Full beauty has another sporty looking one-piece for $32, also goes up to a size 34.

I love the black version of this one-piece by Jessica London. It goes up to a size 34 and costs around $34.

This navy-printed one piece from Yours Clothing is only available in a few sizes right now but if you’re a size 32 or 34, you’re in luck! It’s $36 right now!

Orange_Tropical_Floral_Print_Bikini_Top_With_Ruched_Cups_150023_5015Yours Clothing also has this gorgeous, orange halter bikini top and while I try to stay away from halter tops (they put too much pressure on my neck), I can’t ignore this one. It’s too fun. It reminds me of what the teenagers would wear to the pool when I was a kid in the 90’s. And here’s a pair of board shorts to add which will land you just at the $50 budget.

The following don’t technically fit the parameters of a full suit for less then $50 but they’re close-ish:

Modcloth: These red-striped swim bottoms are available up to a size 34 for around $30 on Clearance. The top is also available for the same price and in the same sizes. So, the whole suit is more than $50.

This black and white scalloped “midkini” top that I love is $30 (goes up to a 30/ 6x) and there are plenty of bottoms available to the same size for around the same price. (I saw this suit on Mary Lambert on Instagram and was overwhelmed with feelings)

And here’s a swimsuit that I love from Venus that doesn’t follow any of the rules. It only goes up to a size 24 and it’s ~$70 but I love the sand and black color combo and the deep v so much. Feels v Fat Bond Girl to me.

In the end, after all of this research, I still haven’t found a swim-top that feels like my style, is my size, and doesn’t cost more than my budget will allow. So maybe I just might not go swimming this year… again… I don’t think the McPherson public pool will allow a skinny dip no matter how much I want it. But I hope that if you’ve been looking, this will help to point you in a direction.

XOXO Lib
(PS: none of these links are affiliate links, I just really wanted to do this work for you to help you out.)

 

A Post About My Heart and Soul and Money

It’s important for me that you know that I never sit down here to write to you without doing some real work, first. This is a job. I feel like I’m working for you and I’m working for me and I’m doing what it takes to feed my soul. And when I’m feeding my soul… maybe my soul helps to feed you a little bit. That’s my goal. That’s what my intuition is telling me is happening.

Most of the time that work involves seeming like I’m doing nothing. If I come up with an idea and I’m still thinking about it the next day, it’s a contender for a blog post. If, after that next day, I’m still mentally discovering new things about that topic, I’ll sit down and write out a bit of a draft to see if I can actually take it anywhere.

That’s where I’m at right now. I have been thinking for the past week or so about telling you that I’m always giving you the soft parts of me even when it might not always seem like it.

Even when I’m just doing a roundup of the things that happened last month. Or when I’m posting a Meet Me Monday interview. Or when I’m writing a book review. I’ve never written to you without unzipping myself and laying a piece of myself out there for scrutiny. I do that on purpose.


So, the reason that I wanted to tell you about that is because I want to talk about something that people don’t talk about often: money and how I make it. I went and got some new blog sponsorship. If you look down at the side bar of my site, you’ll see some ads there. I try to make sure that I only team up with brands that I think you’ll actually resonate with, buy from or care about. I’m always looking for new companies and if you have some favorites that you want me to know about, let me know because I want to provide you with things you’ll actually use.

After I write out a draft, I’ll let it sit for a little bit. I’ll come back to it the next day or a few days later. I’ll either edit the crap out of it–carving away at it like a sculptor until I’m standing here completely in love with what has showed up… or I’ll feel like what I wrote, originally, is exactly what I want to say. And I’ll just hit publish and wait for the praise, and money to come rushing in to me (just kidding, that has never happened).

More often than not, I’ll see that there’s really nothing of much use here, today, and this won’t be published at all. But it wasn’t a waste because every minute spent working on this frees up space and air to create something that is waiting to get born. It’s all a part of the gestation process and I’m not mad at it. I trust the process. I’ve been doing this long enough to know what I need and what I’m capable of.

The thing is, though… I often wonder if anyone knows how hard I and others like me work and how much effort goes into this job. I’m not saying that because I feel like I’m not getting the recognition I deserve or anything. That’s not the point of this post at all. It’s just that sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know so just in case, here’s what goes into creating content. And not just here on the blog but on my Instagram, Facebook, and Facebook group, too. Everyone says that bloggers should have an email list with exclusive content just for list subscribers but I don’t know, man. I don’t know if I have the emotional energy to create another thing. And I’m not sure I’m even mastering what I’m doing as it is. Not only that but who in their right mind wants to sign up for another email list?

That’s why I have these ads along the side of my page. So that, by chance, you might want to go place an order from someone and then, six months later, I’ll get a deposit in my account which equals, usually, about 8% of whatever you spent on that other website. It’s a very round-about way of making any money but it’s what’s available.
The Amazon affiliate program is better because more people shop with Amazon and they pay out more often (once a month) but I feel icky putting Amazon links into my posts. I really don’t believe in Amazon but it feels like if I want to make any money (usually only enough to buy a latte while I’m working on a blog post at the coffee shop), this is the route that I have to take. And I want to get paid because if I don’t get paid, I’m going to have to go back to working for someone else. I’m nervous to do that, though, because history tells me that when I do that, I get sick and I don’t thrive and I never have the energy to create. I’m afraid that if I do that, I won’t be able to write or paint and it might kill me. I know that sounds dramatic and maybe it is. It probably is. So, anyway, what I’m saying is that I’ve got to get paid and the only way to get paid is by schlepping goods from companies that don’t hate the very most and feeling a little bit icky about it.

But, I kind of feel like, there’s got to be a better way. Right? Like, is it completely unreasonable to break the mold a little bit?

I have an idea. I have a few ideas, so hear me out. I decided, you know, what if instead of posting a bunch of links that I hope you might maybe buy from, I’ll just put a link up there on the right side of the screen (on a desktop, if you’re on a phone, it’ll be at the bottom of this post) where you can help me out if you want to and if you don’t, that’s okay. Don’t feel like you have to. I just wanted to be straight forward with you and allow you to make your support as easy as humanly possible. This isn’t me asking for money. This is me making it easier for you to support one of the artists that you believe in. And if there are other artists that you want to support, hey just ask them for their paypal information. I promise you, they’ll be delighted. Consider it like a tip jar of sorts. I got this idea from Staci Jackson at My Friend Staci. She has a tip link on her site as well.

Also, I have an online shop in the works. I’m going to be selling postcards and prints of some of my work. That’s coming in the next several weeks and I promise to keep you updated as that comes about.

Thanks for always being great and for hearing me out when I come to you to talk about stuff like money.

XOXO,
Lib

What I Love About Noonday + Giveaway!

I was introduced to Noonday Collection a few years ago and immediately fell in love with the company. Even I–I who hates direct sales parties, hosted my own Noonday brunch and invited my favorite local people to eat sticky buns and look through jewelry with me. That’s how much I love Noonday. It’s strong, you guys.
I’m even hosting one, now! But who has time for an in-person trunk show? It’s all online and if you want to shop through it, click here. That party will run through March 2 if you want a lil sumthin’ sumthin’ for you or a loved one.

So when Alana Murphy approached me and asked if I’d want to host a giveaway so that my readers could get their hands on a beautiful piece from the new Storyline Collection, I was immediately on board.

You know that in this family, we champion women and so does Noonday. When you shop through Noonday, you’re providing work and livable wages so that artists all over the world can raise their families and change their communities. Women are not only able to put food on the table but also employ others in their communities. Lives are changing is what I’m saying. It’s cool.

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Image Description: A selfie featuring Libby and her partner on vacation. Libby is wearing her favorite, gold, Noonday Collection necklace.

In addition to being a world-changing company, Noonday also just makes some very legit, beautiful jewelry and accessories. I don’t own that much jewelry but when I do wear it, I find myself reaching time and time again for my Noonday pieces. I have the Small Cow Horn Hoops (which go with exactly everything in my closet–even basic t-shirts) as well as the Edgewise earrings (which are so subtle and pretty). I also have a favorite necklace which I’m not finding on the website. This leads me to recognize that it’s been way too long and I need to place an order soon. I really, really want this Editor necklace and one day I’ll save up for a bag (having seen them in person, I promise you, they’re worth saving up for).

 

But wait–it gets cooler because for the Spring 2018 Collection (which launches today!), Noonday is teaming up with The Starfish Project. If you haven’t heard, The Starfish Project is an organization that exists to care for people who have been affected by Human Trafficking. They care for both the immediate need, by offering shelter and safety, and in the long-term by providing counseling as well as education and even employment.

By teaming up, together, Noonday Collection and The Starfish Project have created the Storyline Collection. The Spring 2018 Collection drops today! So head over to check it out. You’re going to need to do that anyway to enter the giveaway.

And if you want more than the Belonging Necklace we’re giving away, I’ve got a party open! You don’t even have to leave the house to participate Use this link to go through and place an order and you’ll be added to my trunk show (which is open until March 2, 2018).

OH YEAH! GIVEAWAY TIME!

To celebrate the launch of this new collab between Noonday and The Starfish Project,  Noonday Ambassador Alana Murphy is giving away one Belonging Necklace from the new Storyline Collection.

Use this link to get to the Raffelcopter where you’ll be directed to answer a question in order to enter the giveaway. There are options to get more entries. Those options involve visiting our Facebook pages (and while you’re there, give us a follow so you can learn about new exciting things happening in our spaces) but even if you don’t have Facebook, you can still enter the giveaway.
The giveaway will be open for one week and the winner will be contacted shortly after it closes.

Good luck! And have an incredible week.

XOXO, Lib (and Alana)

April Things

Full disclosure: some of these links may click through an affiliate site and while it won’t cost you anything extra, I may get paid if you make a purchase. Thank you for supporting brands that help support me. If you’d rather not use affiliate links, that’s okay. Don’t feel pressured.

I started Dia&Co this month! I got my first shipment, and did an unboxing on my Instagram stories (and if I do say so myself, you guys loved it). It was so fun and I had no idea that I liked being on camera that much. I’ll film all of my unboxings from now on just because it’s fun and because you guys seem to really love it, too.  I’m here to serve you.
Use my affiliate link and you might get a little something something for signing up (though I make no promises on that because I’m a little unclear on what your benefits would be–just keeping it real, you guys).

I picked up this book. I grabbed it from Bluebird Books in Hutchinson because I was looking for a spring-y memoir. And also because I am a huge sucker for those little book-review cards that they scatter around the store to tell you “someone who works here has read this and they love it”!
Also, reminder, the Virtual Book Club is reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn! We’re spreading it out over two months, though, because we didn’t realize how long it is and how busy we all are.

I realize that Easter is over but check out Tieghan’s GORGEOUS Easter brunch menu. I love her site so much–she makes everything look easy and so, so drool-worthy.

Try Amazon Music Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial What are you listening to? I’m into this brand new Father John Misty album, Pure Comedy. Also I’m jamming on the new John Mayer album as I write this.

Rhubarb is in season! I’m making a batch of rhubarb liqueur right now. Just chop up a bunch of rhubarb, fill a large jar and then add 2 cups of powdered sugar and 500 ml cheap vodka. Keep it on the counter. Shake it every day for 4 weeks and then you’ve got yourself a delicious mixer. I thought about adding ginger in there with it but decided to keep it pure. I’m going to be adding it to ginger beer though, for sure. Maybe a rhubarb mule type situation? What would you do? I can’t wait to play around with it.
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Kalene did an incredible two-week series called Doers and Makers. My favorite part was all the writing she did and the way that she connected the work other people are doing to what’s going on in her own life. It was so personal and so exciting. She collected all of her writing and photos (and a write up about me, even!) in one place right here.
Also, earlier this week she did a huge giveaway that featured a painting done by yours truly. I’ve been getting a few commissions for paintings, lately, and it’s really exciting to me.

Fat Girl Flow is showing us that plus size people can rock miniskirts.

Tsh Oxenreider has a brand new book out (I loved Tales from a Blue Bike)

And finally: I’ve been trying to make sure that I’m advertising with more fair-trade and ethically practicing businesses. So take a look at my side bar and go check out some cool websites. I’m super pumped about GlobeIn. I think that it’s a great place for wedding gifts–since we’ve officially entered wedding season. Plus: a subscription service!

What’s new with you this month? I want to hear all about it. Do you have a bunch of weddings to attend this spring/ summer?

XOXO, Lib

Things I’ve written this month:
You Don’t Need More Balance in Your Life
Digging for Truth in Rubble
I’ve Found My Why

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