With Thanksgiving a day away it’s time to pamper the special people in your life. I am putting together a few gift ideas to show them how grateful you are for them.

I’ve curated a collection of items that can be gifted to any gal in your life. Speaking for a lot of ladies, a couple minutes to pamper myself goes a long way. These items help make daily rituals just a bit more luxurious. Gift her some ‘me’ time.


I’ve recently discovered the amazing products Beauty Counter has to offer. Through Instagram I connected with Sherry of OC Holistic Beauty. I’ve since fallen in love with their products and their message of using natural ingredients. Three of my favorite products are the Charcoal Mask, Balancing Oil, and Cleansing Balm. Incorporating these items into my weekly beauty ritual has been easy and amazing. Along with the Beauty Counter products I’ve been using a safer deodorant, straying from toxins. Thanks to my sister for introducing me to Schmidt’s Lavender Deodorant. These products have had such a wonderful impact on my life and I know any lady would love to give them a try.





I threw in a few of my tried and true favorites, Mistral Soaps are hands down the best smelling, most luxurious soaps. I stock up at Anthropologie every year. Along with Smith’s Minted Rose Lip Balm, a few sweet Rosé gummies from Sugarfina and a Anthropologie magazine. Treating myself to an evening with a bath, charcoal mask, and these goodies is heavenly.

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you’re interested in learning more about Beauty Counter products, I highly recommend reaching out to Sherry, she’s wonderful!




Growing up my mother rarely wore make up. Being a P.E. teacher and coach it wasn’t something she would regularly wear. Plus, she has beautiful skin and is naturally beautiful, so that helps. As a result, I never had anyone who really introduced me to makeup. I had a few friends that were allowed to wear it and in junior high I was granted permission to try it. I think I started with black eyeliner and sparkles. Basically my face had rookie mistake all over it. So I ditched it. I would wear some powdered foundation, or MAC studio (screams 90’s right?) or BB cream and occasionally toss in some blush and mascara. But I was an athlete and still never really knew what I was doing. So I really never took the time to educate myself or see what worked for me.

Fast forward fifteen years later and I still don’t know what I am doing. Watching all these women contour and highlight. Yeah, no. I am still working on getting the right shade for my skin. It doesn’t help that I have extremely sensitive skin so the idea of adding a ton of makeup to my face is not appealing. But of course, I am interested in the make up world, intrigued by what people can create. It is a form of art, just not an art that I am accomplished at.

On a whim I entered Anne Sage’s Stowaway kit giveaway. Not thinking I would ever win, I thought I would give it a shot. I have long admired Stowaway’s minimalist design and cute shades. Just admired it from afar.

STOWAWAY COSMETICS on EMILY ALDER | learning to navigate the world of make up with very little experince but loving the products and design |

Well as the silly way the world works, I won. Yep, I won a whole make up kit full of stuff I wasn’t sure I would know what to do with.


Before I attempt to take decent photos of myself after doing my own makeup I thought I would share the down low on Stowaway Cosmetics.

Their philosophy “Our product formulas are simple, refined, and hardworking, eliminating any guesswork and offering just beautiful solutions. They are packaged in a thoughtful, minimalist, and portable way—because you are busy and are doing big things. Stowaway knows that if you’re on-the-move, your beauty products are too. Stowaway is a cosmetics brand built on the philosophy that makeup should be designed to go wherever women go. Finally, the makeup you love in the sizes you can carry.”



For my next overshare, I do my makeup in the car… when I actually take the time to do it. I carry my most used products in my purse and will sit in my car in the garage or at my destination location and take a few minutes to throw on some BB cream and powdered foundation. So the idea that I can keep all of these products in my purse and be ready to have them on the go is great.

Their kit includes their radiant complexion balm, creaseless concealer, cheek + lip rouge, creme lipstick, effortless eyeliner, and extreme lash mascara. The balm and concealer both coming in a variety of skin tones, the rouge and lipstick in fun different colors, and a choice of black or brown for eyeliner. You can put your own kit together HERE. I went with light for the balm/concealer, cantaloupe rouge, cranberry lipstick, and black liner.




So far, I am really happy with the products. The BB cream and concealer are smooth, not greasy, and feels light. I was a little skeptical at first, but have come to really love the BB cream. The lipstick is as described, creme, I love the richness of the cranberry color. It is a bit formal for me so I haven’t used much.  The mascara is nice, I would say pretty standard black mascara. It doesn’t irritate my eyes which is great, but I have only worn it twice. The liner is pretty epic. Coming from someone who hasn’t purchased or used liner more that 10 times in the past 5 years. It goes on really smooth and is easy to “line”.


I am still working on how to use everything and create a look that fits me best. I will definitely try to follow wup with a face picture. Gotta work on it.

Click here to get started on your own kit and if you have any makeup tips for beginners I am all ears!

Thanks Anne Sage + Stowaway Cosmetics xo



It’s been quiet around here, I know. *slightly defeated shoulder shrug*

We got hit with a nasty cold a couple of weeks back. Did you experience it? It was spreading like wildfire and made everyone miserable. We recovered just before Spring Break, phew. Traveling long distances with the twins has been tough, as it often can be with young ones, and our littles definitely didn’t make it easy for us. BUT, I think we are over the hump. We went on our annual spring break road trip up the California coast to the Bay. This years trip was a huge success! We even left the stroller at home, which is huge for us. Matt and I were pinching ourselves at the ease of the entire trip considering how much we did. It was a total whirlwind. I plan to share all the details next week but if you want a sneak peek you can see some of our adventure here and here.

I’ve got a few projects that I am itching to share and a super cool giveaway! I just need to get a few more things together until I can share everything with you.

In the meantime, I am in full force re-designing our living room and a friends bathroom remodel. Both projects are heavily inspired by where we live, the beach. I’ve been looking for tons of inspiration and unique products. A favorite spot to hit up is One Kings Lane. Not only do they have a plethora of items, but some seriously amazing finds. Here are a few coastal inspired things I am hoping to incorporate in our home.


Sigh, that color palette. Is it summer yet? 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8