Dating Series Part 1 – Online Dating Tips

It can be tough to meet people when you’re dating in your late 20s and early 30s. Trust me, I have experienced this first hand. I try and get out and do things in the real world, but I have found that the easiest way to meet potential dates is to employ one or more of the many available dating apps. I’m still searching for my dream man, but I have had lots (and lots and lots) of first dates. I’ll meet my person eventually, plus I’m starting to get a hang of this dating thing. Here are some things I’ve learned along the way.

Tip 1: Get Started – Download Some Dating Apps!

There are a LOT of dating apps out there. These are ones that I’ve used or had friends/family use and been successful:

Has an interesting format – you pick statements you’d like to complete on your profile, which can be anything from “Secrets only my pet knows about me” to “I geek out on…” to “I’m overly competitive about”, which is pretty fun. I also like that it takes away the pressure of trying to come up with a bio! You add pictures, and then people can like or comment on your questions/answers and your photos. From there you can decide if you want to message them. You can message anyone at any time, and they can do the same for you.

One of my absolute favorite couples in life met this way! I tried it, but personally didn’t love it because there is a lot of back and forth before you actually get to talk to a person. If you’re nervous about online dating, this might be the perfect way to ease into it.

The first site I tried. I know several people who met their spouse this way! One of the good sites you can use without a cell phone. It can be a bit overwhelming, as it is another one where anyone can message you at anytime. There can be a lot to sort through.

I’ve had the most luck with this site. Most of the men I’ve talked to on Bumble seem to be looking for something serious. I like this one because men can’t message you unless you match with them. This is nice because you don’t have a ton of messages from random people to sort through. The other interesting thing about Bumble is that women have to make the first move, by sending the initial message. Which brings me to my second tip:

Tip 2: Be Creative With Your Initial Message

“Hey how are you” might work at a bar, but most of the time in an online dating app it is going to be buried in alllll the other messages. You’ve got to stand out! On Bumble, I’ll try and open with a question that is engaging. I’ll look at their photos and ask about specific ones, for example “Where were you in the picture where you’re doing ______; it looks incredible” or “I see you recently traveled to ______, what was the best part of your trip?” or “I see you like to find different restaurants, what is your favorite one in ________(city)?” You get the idea! Make the question personal. If their pictures don’t give me any direction for a conversation starter, I’ll usually ask someone “What is your most unpopular opinion?” It is a fun topic and you get to learn interesting things about people pretty often! It can start a friendly debate sometimes too, which is fun. Give it a try.

Tip 3: Creating Your Best Profile – What Pictures to Use/Bio to Write?

When I’m trying to put together a profile, I plan out what I want someone to know about me by viewing it. I recommend you sit down and write out your 5 absolute favorite things in your life. Things you can not be without! Let’s say your 5 are: traveling, yoga, museums, family, and swing dancing.  If I want someone who is family oriented, for example, I will mention in my profile “Love spending time with my family” or something to that effect.  One guy said “the bad jokes are my second favorite thing about being a Dad” which was a cute way to share he has kids. I make sure to somehow share each of my favorite things, whether it’s in a picture, (like doing yoga at an exotic location -yoga+travel = bonus pic!) or a picture of me at a social dance. Hopefully someone who shares your interest will see it, and match up with you! Personally, I wouldn’t go selfie or filter crazy.  If you need new pictures, enlist a friend and go on an adventure -they can take some of you being your awesome self.  Be purposeful with what you share.

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How to Get Out of Debt – Money Series Part 1

A fashion/beauty blogger talking about money?! Whaaat? It’s true! As much as I love clothing and makeup, I like having little/no debt much more. That is part of the reason I only post a LookBook once per season – I wear the same things often, mixing and matching so I don’t break the bank.

In my experience, slow and steady wins the race when it comes to getting out of debt!  It is possible, you just need a plan that you stick to.  I paid off my debt while paying tuition for school.  It was tough, but worth it.  There are many different strategies, so I would encourage you to do your own research to find what works best for you.  My recommendations to becoming debt free:

Step 1Get Organized! 

Log into your online banking and get an idea of where your money is going! Make a list of all your bills/recurring expenses. I usually list them by due date (1st, 3rd, etc). Your list may look something like this:

Rent – 1st – $1000
Car Payment – 3rd – $300
Car Insurance – 4th – $150
Consumers Energy – 4th – $35
AT&T – 9th – $100
Verizon – 17th – $90
Gym – 31st – $40

I recommend this bill pay checklist that I absolutely love:  I use it monthly to keep track of my automatic payments.  If you haven’t already set up automatic payments for your recurring bills, do it today!

Also, go back as far as you can stand (at least 2-3 months) and calculate how much you spend each month on gas, groceries, eating out, and any other miscellaneous expenses.  To do this, I utilize online banking. Next, add everything up!  The number you end up with your total expenses for the month. You also want to calculate your monthly net take-home pay, which is how much money you have in each paycheck after taxes, money for retirement, and healthcare all come out. Hopefully you’ve got some money left once you’ve paid all your bills! If not, check back for Part 2 in my finance series about ways to find extra money in your budget.

Now that you’ve calculated how much money you are paying out each month, it is time to make a budget and stick to it!  When I first started budgeting, I read Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey; I found it beyond beneficial. I also used his envelope system, more about that here.  Many churches offer Financial Peace University, so if you’re interested you can search for it at local churches.  Set your budget in each area of your spending, and keep with it.

Step 2: Start paying off debt!

Dave Ramsey talks about the debt snowball effect.
You list all your debt, in order from smallest to largest. For example:
1. Credit Card – $300
2. Lasik – $3400
3. Car – $10000

You pay off your lowest debt first while making minimum payments on the other debts. Once the lowest is paid off, you add what you were paying into that debt plus the payment for the next lowest debt, thus you start knocking off debt one by one.  The exception to this would be if you have an account with a high interest rate – work on knocking that one out early.  It is very satisfying to watch things fall off your credit report.  I utilize Credit Karma to keep an eye on everything. It is also rewarding to watch your credit score increase!

Step 3: Work your budget to find extra money.

Start packing your lunch every day/stop eating out so often. Make coffee at home instead of stopping at Starbucks. You can find a Groupon for just about everything! Check out a more complete list in Part 3 of my finance series, coming in the next week.

Step 4: Don’t incur any more debt.

Once your do start paying things off, don’t add any more.  I know, I know… easy to say, not so easy to do.  Just stay tough.  I only buy things if I have the cash to pay it off immediately.  I’ve paid my car off and I’m doing everything I can to drive it for as long as possible. Be smart, continue to budget. Once you free some money up, start building your savings!

Hopefully this can help get you started. Do your own research, and find out what is best for you. Little money emergencies will undoubtedly pop up and knock you back, but don’t give up!  Have you discovered any budgeting/saving tips?  Leave a comment below!

Passion Planner 2018 – Get Organized!

Happy New Year!  To kick off my blog posts for the year, I wanted to start by sharing my Passion Planner.  I know this is much different from what I usually post, but hear me out!  When I get unorganized and busy, my my beauty routine always gets pushed aside.  I always look and feel my best if the rest of my life is together! Organization is key.

I have a paper planner every year; I really enjoy writing things down so I refuse to have everything in my phone or in computer calendar. This year’s Passion Planner is the first one I have had, and I am absolutely loving it.


Miguel helped me film my YouTube video intro, check out the full video for a more in-depth tour of my planner!


The Passion Planner has instructions to help get your goals down on paper, and tips to break them down into measurable, tangible goals.


Here is a month view in the planner.  I used washi tape to decorate, and to block off my workouts to help me keep track of my schedule.  I also used washi tape to cover the edge of the page for each month to make the pages easier to find.


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Headband Day #headbandsofhope


Hi everyone!  Today is a very special day – Headband Day 2017!

For every new Instagram follower today, Headbands of Hope will donate a headband to a child with cancer.  What are you waiting for?!  Follow Headbands of Hope by clicking here.

In her words, Jessica Ekstrom- CEO & Founder explains,

“I founded Headbands of Hope, a brand that donates a headband to a child with cancer for every piece sold. The company believes that a simple accessory can improve a child’s confidence, bringing out both inner and outer beauty. To date, Headbands of Hope has donated nearly 100,000 headbands to cancer patients in children’s hospitals and childhood cancer organizations across the country, reaching every single hospital in America”.

What a beautiful mission!  Check their site out here.

Stay tuned, as a Headband Hero I will be sharing a promo code for $5 off the purchase of a headband.  In the photo, I am wearing the Embree Knotted ❤




Day to Night Styling

Hey, everyone!  Today’s post will touch on how to use accessories to take a dress from day to night.  The dress I’m wearing is the Ruched Body-Con Tank Dress from Leith.  I was looking for a dress for a specific event that I could dress up or down, and my beautiful friend Christina told me about this one *love you, Chrissy!*.

When looking for a dress you can take from day to night with a few accessory changes, I usually look for one that is a bit on the simple side.   Choosing the right jacket, jewelry, and shoes is what takes your look from casual to glam and back again.  For day, I have worn this dress with a denim jacket or vest, fun/bright necklace, and sandals or my white Chuck Taylors.  For night, I pair it with a statement necklace, XOXO jacket/blazer (purchased last year, here it is if you’re curious), and heels!

If you’re looking for statement jewelry, I have lots of luck at Francesca’s, Nordstrom Rack, and Target.


1504205587234Another example:



Again, same dress, just using different accessories for a completely different look!  Have fun; experiment and see what you like best.

Thanks so much for reading!  Keep up with me by subscribing to my blog, and follow me on Instagram and Facebook.






Holy Grail Beauty – Updated

#hellosexy Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment


This is hands down the best mask I’ve ever tried (and I’ve tried a LOT)!  My skin can be pretty temperamental, but this skin treatment is everything!  Literally after one use, I see an improvement in my skin.  I would highly recommend this to anyone who fights breakouts.  The full product is quite pricey, but this #hellosexy pack of single-use kits is a great way to check it out.

Moisturizer: Murad Oil-Control Mattifier SPF 15 PA++

I need a moisturizer that will keep me matte throughout the day, and this moisturizer does just that!

Foundation:  L’Oréal TRUE MATCH™ Super Blendable Makeup


No matter how many high-end foundations I keep trying, I always come back to True Match!  It really does blend beautifully, and their wide range of shades means you can find a perfect match for your skin like I did.

Brows: NYX Micro Brow Pencil and Benefit Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel


These two products do a great job at filling in my brows!  I typically use the pencil first, brushing through my brows to make it as natural-looking as possible.  Next I use the brow gel to pump up my brows (they’re pretty sparse); this product combo is just perfect!  It looks very natural and stays all day, even through workouts.

Eyeshadow Primer: Benefit Stay Don’t Strayshadowprimer

Using shadow primer is a total game-changer!  Not only does it make shadows last longer, on days when I put on minimal makeup for work, it is perfect for giving my lids a wash of color and making me look fresh and awake.  Most days I’ll swipe this on and define my crease with a bit of bronzer, and I’m good to go!

Eyeshadow: Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette and Maybelline The Blushed Nudes Eyeshadow Palette


The Naked eyeshadow palette is worth all of the hype.  ALL OF IT!  It has neutral shadows in different finishes (matte, shimmer, satin, sparkle), and it is really all you need.  You can create endless day and night looks, including the most gorgeous smokey eye looks.  The shadows are highly pigmented and stay put for hours and hours.  The Blushed Nudes palette from Maybelline is a really great (and much more affordable) option if you aren’t looking to splurge.

Liner: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner


Hands-down my favorite liquid liner.  The brush tip lets you make a really precise line. Even for someone who isn’t a winged liner pro yet, you will look super fab with this stuff.  Let me tell you: it. does. not. budge.  In my younger years I’d use this, go out and dance until the club closed, sleep in my makeup (I know, SO BAD), and I’d wake up to perfect liner!!!  A-ma-zing.

Lash Curler: Sephora Collection Show Curl XL Lash Curler


This curler is a bit wider than most, and it gives me the perfect curl every time!  My eyes are a bit hooded, and this really opens them up.  I usually hit the eyelash curler with my hairdryer for just a few seconds before curling my lashes; it will give you a curl that lasts all day.  Just be careful you don’t get it too hot- you literally only need to have the air on it for 3 or 4 seconds.

Mascara: Jordana Best Last Extreme Volumizing Mascara and Cover Girl Clump Crusher


I’ve tried everything from $1 mascara to $40 mascara, and I’d have to say that these two are my favorite!  Both are very affordable (Jordana is under $4 at Walgreens, CoverGirl $7.99 at Ulta).  The Jordana mascara gives amazing seperation and length without clumping or flaking.  The CoverGirl mascara also defines and lengthens lashes, providing a very natural look – my everyday choice.

Lashes: Ardell Natural Demi Wispies


These are perfect if you want to go for a “are they fake or not?” look.  Really pretty and natural-looking, not too heavy!  I don’t wear falsies too often, but these are my go-to.

Nails: Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

The BEST!  I typically do my nails at home, I’m not especially good at it but my friends always ask where I got them done; that’s how good this stuff is.  It dries really quick and gives your nails a beautiful shine.

Juicy Couture – Viva La Juicy


Love, love, love this perfume.  Don’t ask questions.  Just smell it next time you go to the perfume counter, you’re welcome.

Shaving: Kiss My Face Moisture Shave and Gillette Fusion ProGlide Manual Razor


If you’re wondering why I included what I use to shave in this post, it’s because this is the one thing I will not experiment with anymore.  After much trial and error, this shave lotion and razor is the only combination that works, and works really well at that.  Everything else I use gives me awful razor burn.  If you have trouble with shaving, give this a try!

Let me know what you think of these beauty products – and if I left your favorite off the list.

xoxo, Katie

4 Tricks to Make Your Eyes Look Bigger

Curl lashes
Step 1: Curl lashes

1. Curl your lashes!

  • Curling your lashes instantly opens your eyes, making them appear larger.  You can also hit your eyelash curler with hot air from your hair dryer for a few seconds before using, to really get curl that lasts.
Step 2: Tightline Upper Lash Line and Apply Mascara

2. Tightline and apply mascara

  • Tightline your upper lash line using a black eyeliner.  This step defines your eyes, and makes your lashes appear fuller.
  • Add a few coats of your favorite mascara.  I’ve been loving Covergirl Clump Crusher
Nude liner
Step 3: Apply Nude Eyeliner to Lower Waterline

3. Line lower waterline with nude eyeliner

  • For some makeup looks, you line the lower waterline with black pencil.  This can be beautiful when you’re going for a really smokey look!  For smaller eyes (like mine), this doesn’t give me a wide-eye look at all.  Instead, line your waterline with a nude pencil to really open them up and appear larger.  I used a nude Makeup forever Aqua XL Eye Pencil Waterproof Eyeliner,  I’ve also used NYX Wonder Pencil.
Step 4: Highlight Brow Bone and Inner Corner of Eye

4. Highlight!

  • Adding highlight to your brow bone and the inner corner of your eye is one last trick to open your eyes and make them appear larger!  These steps together all take about 5 minutes!

For a simple, fast eye makeup routine – I’ll do these easy steps and also prime my lids and add a sweep of bronzer in my crease for definition.

Hope these tips helped!  Let me know in the comments what you think, or if you have any eye makeup tricks you swear by ❤

Wardrobe Essential: Little Black Dress

Every girl needs a Little Black Dress (LBD) in her closet.  I love them because they are timeless, and can be easily dressed up or down.  You can wear a LBD to many different events such as date night, interviews, and holiday parties.  You don’t have to break the bank, either!  I have found LBDs for well under $20 at both T.J. Maxx and the clearance rack at Banana Republic.

There’s a LBD for every occasion and to flatter every body shape!

Please let me know if you have questions about anything I’m wearing. Thank you so much for reading! Be sure to follow me or subscribe via email for upcoming fashion posts.  You can check out my Fall Lookbook here, cooler weather is just around the corner ❤

xoxo, Katie

P.S. If you missed it, this is the same dress: daytonight

My next fashion post will show how I accessorize to take an outfit (like a LBD) from day to night.   See you all soon!



Smokey Eye Look Using One Shadow! -Updated With Video

My favorite smokey eye look. This is really simple to do, it actually only uses one eye shadow!  This one-shadow look is great for hooded eyes like mine; I don’t have much lid space for too many shadows at once.  I used the Maybelline Eye Studio 24 hr Color Tattoo Eyeshadow in the shade Bad to the Bronze.  (The metallic look of this shadow allows it to look like you have on more than one once you blend it out).  I have several of these Color Tattoo shadows because they are so easy to use.  In this image, Bad to the Bronze is the bottom shade.

Here is my fast, easy (5 steps), beautiful smokey eye look!

Step 1: Prime Lids




You can use any primer you’d like, my favorite is the Benefit Stay Don’t Stray in the shade light/medium.  You don’t have to use primer, but it definitely makes a difference in how long your eyeshadow stays put!  There are many options for eyeshadow primer as far as price; and now just about every brand makes their own.




Step 2: Tightline Upper Lid/Apply Eyeshadow

Use your favorite khol pencil or eyeliner to tightline your upper eyelid.  To do this, gently lift your eyelid up so you can see where your lashes meet your eyelid and apply the eyeliner there.  If you’re still unsure about this, do a quick Google search 🙂 This makes lashes appear thicker, and it does not take away eyelid space (great for hooded eyes)!  You can line your lower lash line if you’d like, but personally I skip that step since it makes my eyes look smaller.  Next, use your finger to apply eyeshadow to your eyelid to just above your crease.  You can pat the eyeshadow on your lid to make it more pigmented, and drag it up slightly from there.  This part can be pretty messy since it is going to get blended out!


Step 3: Blend, Blend, Blend…Then Blend Some More


Use a blending brush to blend out the line at your crease, up and out.  Blending is very important for this look, especially if you don’t want any harsh lines.  The idea is to get the eyeshadow to fade out.  Blend, blend, blend!  Put your brush in the outer corner of your eyelid crease like it is here, and use windshield-wiper motions to go along your crease and soften the edge of the shadow.   For hooded eyes like mine: blend with your eye open!  This way you can see the part of your lid you will actually still see with your eye open, and you can blend the shadow up past that point.

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Holiday Hair


Happy December, everyone!   Welcome back ❤

I am so happy December is here!  To start off this month of blog posts, I have an easy, loose-curl holiday hairstyle that will be perfect for parties or weddings. There are always so many events to attend this time of year, I’m always on the lookout for new hairstyles.

You Will Need:

  • Curling Iron – I use a 1 1/4 inch Hot Tools Curling Iron
  • Clip (to section hair)
  • Brush/Paddle Brush – My favorite is the Denman Large Paddle Brush
  • Texturizing Spray –  L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni Art Wild Stylers Next Day Hair Dry Finishing Spray
  • Heat Protectant – Chi 44 Iron Guard Thermal Protection Spray
  • Bobby Pins
  • Hair Ribbon or Headband

Step 1: Section Hair



Step 2: Apply Heat Guard, Take Small Sections of Hair, and Curl Them Away From Your Face


Step 3: Spray With Flexible Hold Hairspray – DO NOT brush/disrupt the curls yet!


Step 4a: Do NOT Inhale Hairspray.  Tastes Awful.


Step 5: Take Down Another Section of Hair


Next, repeat Steps 2&3: Spray the new section of hair with heat guard, curl small sections away from your face, spray curls with hairspray.  Once that section is done, take down the next section and repeat the process until all hair is curled.


*If You Want to Keep Length: Gently Tug Down On Curls While Still Hot*


Step 6: Once All Hair is Curled:

  • Wait Until Curls Are Completely Cool

  • Brush Out Hair


Step 7: Style/Add Texture


I lift sections of hair and spray the texture spray to break the curls up a bit/give some definition.

That’s it!  Pretty, relaxed curls! From here, you can style your hair however you’d like.

You can tuck hair behind your ear, or pin up one or both sides!


I’m Going Through a Ribbon-Bow Phase

I got this black ribbon off a shopping bag (Banana Republic, maybe?!).  Any headband would work just fine for this, as well.

Throw on a fun party dress, some lipstick, and add some accessories!   Ready to go!


Thank you so much for reading, let me know what you think about this look! Be sure to check out the video for more in-depth instruction.