Hello, Skirt Season! How to Have Smooth Legs All Summer

How to have smooth legs all summer via @poorandpretty

After a few rainy days in April, spring seems to have passed right by, and we’ve been launched into an early summer. (We’ve had at least four 80º days in Connecticut the past week!) This is just fine by me because I get to break out my skirts and shorts! I love my legs and I love showing them off, so I’m psyched to team up with Schick® and Skintimate® during their Rock Your Legs promotion to celebrate the steps we take every day as women. 

Skirt Season Leg Love - polka dot dress via @poorandpretty

When skirt season rolls around, I’m happy to make my razor work double-time. Honestly, shaving is relaxing for me. I don’t mind spending a little extra time in the shower or bath because when I get out, I’m putting my best leg forward. ;)

Here’s what I’m using to have smooth, confident legs all summer:

Summer Leg Beauty Essentials - Schick Skintimate Naked Bee via @poorandpretty

1. Skintimate® Strawberry Tangerine Twist® Women’s Shave Gel. This smells incredible! It smells like strawberry Kool-Aid, freshly squeezed orange juice, and Japanese gummy candies all rolled into one. You don’t need much and it leaves your legs feeling super smooth and smelling wonderful.

2. Schick Hydro Silk® Disposables. I like my razors without (too many) frills. As of late, I’ve mostly used Stan’s leftover Dollar Shave Club razors because I’m too lazy (and cheap) to buy my own. But this little lady is pretty awesome. It’s got five blades surrounded by a water-activated moisturizing serum made with shea butter. It curves gently and pivots in a way Stan’s razor doesn’t, plus it has a grippy handle and a cap that isn’t terrifying to put on. Seriously, does anyone else feel like they’re going to slice their fingers off any time they replace the cap on a disposable razor? Well anyway, this one has a nice, non-scary, easy-to-slip-on cap. 

 3. The Naked Bee Vitamin C Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 30. I’m a mix of Danish, Swedish, Irish, Italian, and a tiny bit Native American, but my legs scream 100% Scandinavian. As soon as sunlight hits them, they start to burn. So I have to make sure I’m wearing sunscreen in the summer. This is the only one I’ll use because it’s non-toxic, doesn’t leave white streaks like most natural sunscreens, absorbs well, isn’t greasy, and smells amazing. In short: it’s perfect.

Shaving Razors from Schick via @poorandpretty

Schick also sent me a few other razors to test out — a Schick Intuition Revitalizing Moisture Razor (left, orange) and their new Schick Hydrosilk TrimStyle. I’ve used (and loved!) the Schick Intuition before, which has 4 blades surrounded by soap so it lathers while you shave, eliminating the need for shaving cream. For this reason, it’s great for traveling. The Schick Hydrosilk TrimStyle is also pretty sweet — it’s got a regular razor on one end and a bikini trimmer on the other. As I said before, I tend to prefer no-frills razors, but I know this will come in handy once our pool opens up.

Skirt Season Leg Love - stripe skirt yoga tree pose via @poorandpretty

So whether you’re doing a few tree poses in yoga class (or in the backyard), dancing the night away, soaking in some sun, or simply sitting in the grass taking photos of your legs and getting weird looks from your neighbors (that’s me!), rock your legs this summer and always. Stand tall, girl!

Embrace the Paste - Leg Love @poorandpretty

How will you #rockyourlegs?

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P.S. Schick is sponsoring Pitch Perfect 2, which I can’t wait to see! There are so many hilarious rockin’ women in that movie. Schick is currently running a promotion with Ahold (Stop & Shop, Giant, and Martin’s) for a FREE movie ticket to see Pitch Perfect 2. Just purchase two Schick women’s shave items ($10 minimum value), and you’ll receive a print out at the register to redeem a code for your free movie ticket. The promotion runs through May 23, 2015.

All Pitch Perfect 2 Limited Edition Shave products will be available beginning April 2015 at drug and grocery stores nationwide.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Schick® . The opinions and text are all mine.

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Color Love: Freesia

Color-Love-Freesia-feature-via@poorandpretty

Yellow is such an energizing color. Now that the daffodils have sprung and the sun is out, we’re seeing a lot of it!

Color-Love-Freesia-via@poorandpretty

1. Jeepers Peepers Riley Round Sunglasses via ASOS. // 2. Babytoes Cactus 5-Free Nail Polish by Priti NYC. // 3. Floral Chiffon Twist Scarf by American Apparel. // 4. Floral Lace Shift Dress by eShakti. // 5. Pineapple Candle via Nordstrom. // 6. It’s High Time Short in Yellow via ModCloth. // 7. Carrot Soap handmade by Treefort Naturals.

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Sprucing Up Our Bedroom with a Bench

Sauder Cottage Road Bench via @poorandpretty

Bedroom with Sauder Cottage Road Bench via @poorandpretty

Stan and I have been talking about designing our bedroom for over a year now, and I’m getting antsy. If it were up to me (and if this wasn’t a crazy idea), we would have been flooring and painting in the middle of winter. But because I realized this was a crazy idea, I contented myself with doing a little pre-spring cleaning and re-arranging. I didn’t do this with shelves or boxes. I did it with a bench.

Bedroom Before Sauder Cottage Road Bench via @poorandpretty

You see, Stan and I still kind of live like college students. Our furniture is mis-matched hand-me-downs, and none of the rooms look curated or put together. What kills me the most is our laundry situation. We keep dirty laundry in baskets on the floor of our bedroom. When we’re really lazy, we keep the clean laundry in baskets on the floor too, and jokingly call it “the floordrobe.” It just looks so bad!

Sauder Cottage Road Bench via @poorandpretty

So when Sauder (rhymes with “chowder”) asked me to participate in their Put Together Design Challenge, I leapt at the chance. Finally! A real piece of furniture that I could style like a real adult! We don’t have an entryway, so our new Cottage Road Bench went straight to the bedroom. It was super easy to assemble — no crazy undecipherable Ikea-esque instructions. Now, dirty laundry goes in one basket, tucked away neatly under the bench. And I’ve instituted a new rule for clean laundry: it must be put away within two days of washing it.

Bedroom with Sauder Cottage Road Bench clothing detail via @poorandpretty

The bench also acts as a space for me to lay out my outfits for the next day, which keeps me organized and eliminates that frenzied morning I-have-nothing-to-wear feeling.

Bedroom with Cottage Road Bench reed diffuser detail via @poorandpretty

Plus, I put a pretty reed diffuser (which will soon need refilling) on it to keep the room smelling fresh and lovely. The scent is Bella Sucre by Voluspa — I love their fragrances!

Sauder Cottage Road Bench as photography backdrop via @poorandpretty

Because our front bedroom gets really great sunlight, I’ve also begun using the bench as a photography backdrop. 

Sauder Cottage Road Bench as photography backdrop closeup  via @poorandpretty

You might remember this photo from my recent For the Makers catch-up post.

Putting on shoes on my Sauder Cottage Road Bench via @poorandpretty

And of course, I sit on the bench too! Especially when I’m getting dressed or slipping on my shoes.

Sami sitting on Cottage Road Bench via @poorandpretty

It’s not a total room (re)design, but it’ll hold me over for now. At least our bedroom finally looks “put together!” :) Check out even more room inspiration in Sauder’s Put Together Lookbook.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sauder. The opinions and text are all mine. You can read more about my sponsorship and affiliate link policies here. 

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Remembering Vivi, the Greatest Aunt

Vivi_feature

Vivi

It’s never easy to let someone go, no matter how long you’ve had them. On Monday, my family said goodbye to my Great Aunt Vivi, and I’ve been battling with my grief and bouts of deep sadness ever since. At 1:00 this morning, I cried on the phone with my Aunt Kathy, who put it best: “She wasn’t just an aunt. She was another grandmother to you.” And she’s right. This feels like losing my Nana all over again. Vivi has been the matriarch of our family since Nana’s passing in 1998, but she was a mother and grandmother to us long before then. One blog post couldn’t possibly convey my love for her, but I’d like to at least try. So today, I’m raising a glass, sharing a few memories, and toasting to a life well and fully lived.

Erickson sisters

You may remember this photo from my Nana Tribute a few years ago. Nana (my paternal grandmother) is on the left, looking at her older sisters Ginny (middle) and Vivi (right). Vivi was the eldest of her sisters, and the last of her generation.

Joe + Viv

Viv was quick-witted and always said exactly what was on her mind. She and her husband Joe (who passed away in 2007) were the most hilarious couple I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. One of my favorite Joe and Viv-isms is a story Joe would tell about how Vivi farted loudly in bed one night and Joe said, “I don’t know how I’m going to explain to the cleaners how I got shit on the outside of my pants!” Ha!!! :)

Though they had no children, Joe and Viv loved all of their 17 nieces and nephews, 32 great nieces and nephews, and 23 great great nieces and nephews (wow!) as their own.

South of the Border

They had a special spot in their heart for my Dad — the youngest of his siblings — and later, Suzi and I. Above, Vivi is flanked by Suzi (right) and I (left) at South of the Border in South Carolina on our way to Disney World in 1992 or 1993. Joe and Viv didn’t like to fly, so they drove us down to Florida and back. They loved recounting the story of how Suzi and I thoroughly trashed the backseat of Joe’s Cadillac so that when we got home he traded it in for a new one.

McDonalds at Viv + Joe's

I loved visiting Viv and Joe’s house. They had a few toys and office supplies to keep me busy, but I mostly liked shining up the chandelier in their dining room (what a weird kid!) or putting on all of Vivi’s necklaces and clip-on earrings (she never pierced her ears) or pretending to sell them to Viv and Joe. Going to Viv & Joe’s almost always meant having McDonald’s, which was a treat for us as kids. I used to stay home “sick” from school sometimes so I could watch movies with my Nana, and Viv and Joe would always come by around lunch time with McDonald’s. It’s no wonder I played hooky so often! I was totally spoiled.

Christmas 1997

And speaking of being spoiled, Vivi would take me shopping every year for pretty dresses for Easter and Christmas, and sometimes back-to-school clothes. The dress above (I think this is Christmas 1997) is almost certainly a Vivi-purchased dress. Nana is leaning over to inspect a present on the left and my stepbrother Zach is admiring my skirt (or trying to make his way to the Hot Wheels). When Viv took me shopping, Joe would drive us to the mall and as we went off to Lord & Taylor (Viv’s favorite store), he would plop down in the chairs in the middle of the mall and take a nap. We’d wake him up when it was time to leave or grab lunch.

Vivi + Stan

I apologize for the grainy quality of this photo — my photography skills have improved a lot since this was taken in 2009! Vivi never commented on my boyfriends much, until I brought Stan home. She loved Stan. She would always make sure he sat next to her, and she’d hold his hand the whole time they were together, and she’d tell him over and over again: “I never thought anybody was good enough for Sami, except you.” ♥ She’d totally hit on him, too! But, then again, after Joe passed away, Vivi would vocally fantasize about being with a certain local Catholic priest too, so her love knew no boundaries. The below sound clip is proof:

My Dad, cousin Steven, and I are discussing the guest list for Vivi’s 90th birthday party, and he’s on the list! (By the way, one of her favorite movies was The Thorn Birds…)

The same day we recorded the above, Vivi questioned our motives for visiting her, the proceeded to gush about me, then my Dad:

The “big fat Italian” she refers to so lovingly would be Joe. Real nice, right? ;)

Vivi had an excellent memory, and was a great storyteller. Over the past few years, I recorded a few snippets like the two above, and I have another one I’d like to share, but it may be disturbing to young audiences. Vivi’s claim to fame is her excerpt in Steward O’Nan’s 2008 book The Circus Fire: A True Story of an American Tragedy, a study of the Hartford circus fire on July 6, 1944. Here’s Vivi’s story:

The file is large, so it may take some time to load, and there’s some distracting background noise later in the file.

Stan and I visited Vivi for the last time this past Saturday. It was hard to say goodbye, but I leaned in close to her “good ear” and told her I loved her. She wasn’t very responsive, but I know she heard me, she knew I loved her, and I always will.

Christmas 2013

“The ones that love us never really leave us.” ~Sirius Black, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (I love this quote from the movie). Vivi will live on in us through her stories, wit, and love.

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Maker Takes: Catching up with For The Makers

Maker Takes Bali Hai feature via @poorandpretty

You guys. I haven’t posted a Maker Takes recap since September — yikes!! My For The Makers monthly DIY boxes have been stacking up, and while I’ve cracked a few of them open to make Christmas gifts, I’m sad to say they’ve mostly collected dust. Over the past few weeks, I’ve opened them up and created at least one project from each box. We’ll start with the most recent collection: Bali Hai.

Maker Takes Bali Hai supplies via @poorandpretty

The tropical-inspired Bali Hai collection is full of bright colors and dazzling fake gemstones, so it felt like a warm ray of sunshine — a light at the end of the New England winter tunnel.

For the Makers - Bali Hai

Even though I love the theme, I deviated quite a bit from the Bali Hai tutorials. I chose not to use rhinestones on my Oyster Bay Ring (above left is FTM’s version), and used supplies from the Sugarcane Necklace and Nui Pocket Mirror to make a small string bracelet instead:

Maker Takes Bali Hai via @poorandpretty

I also glitterized my Nui Pocket Mirror instead of gluing giant gemstones to it.

For the Makers Bali Hai - Glitter Pocket Mirror via @poorandpretty

It was pretty simple: lay the open pocket mirror flat on a piece of paper, spread a thin layer of Mod Podge over the lid, sprinkle glitter over it and let it dry. Once dry, shake off the excess glitter, then spread another later of Mod Podge over it to seal it in. Pour the excess glitter back into its container. :)

Maker Takes Bali Hai finished projects via @poorandpretty

The only project I wasn’t thrilled about was the Kora Kona Blush. I used all of the hibiscus and beet root powder and it barely gives me any color. Maybe I mixed it with too much of the white arrowroot powder? I don’t know. It looks pretty dark in the bottle, but it doesn’t function well as a blush. I’ll save it for tinting lip balms or something!

Maker Takes catching up via @poorandpretty

As for my catch-up crafts, I made the Clique Shoe Clips from the High Gloss Collection (you might remember them from my Monarch outfit), a modified version of the Velvetine Headband from the Havisham Collection, the Noma Bracelet and Jensen Necklace (hey, that’s my last name!) from the Leif Collection. I totally deviated from the from The Stargazer Collection‘s Stellar Embroidery, but there weren’t very many ways of making the simple Miró Necklace from the Untitled Collection.

Sauder Cottage Road Bench as photography backdrop closeup  via @poorandpretty

I really love the pastel and neutral hues of the Scandinavian-inspired Leif Collection. I’ve been rocking my Jensen Necklace and Noma Bracelet all spring, willing sunny skies and warmer weather.

Maker Takes Havisham - Velvetine Headband  via @poorandpretty

I used a few fake gems from previous projects to bedazzle my Velvetine Headband. It’s very pretty, but becomes uncomfortable after a few hours of wearing it. I suspect this is because the velvet is only on the outside of the headband, not wrapped around the inside, so the metal is resting right against my head. My handmade yarn-wrapped headbands are much more comfortable.

Maker Takes Love Embroidery via @poorandpretty

I reeeally love how my embroidery came out. I taught myself how to do a heavy chain stitch from this Needle n’ Thread article, and used the hoop and fabric from The Stargazer Collection and leftover thread from the Brit + Co. and Timex watch embroidery kit. Very simple, very pretty. It will hang nicely in our bedroom when we finally get around to painting and finishing it!

What projects have you been working on lately? Need a monthly reminder to craft? Sign up for a For the Makers subscription here.

Full disclosure: This post is not sponsored by For the Makers, but if you sign up for a subscription using the link above, I will receive a small discount off of my next box. (Second image is from For the Makers.)

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