My SheIn Picks

As a follow up to my review of SheIn, here are some pictures of the things I ordered as well as a few links to some other things I spotted that look really cute. As always, be sure to read the reviews and check the measurements but definitely give some consideration to some of these trendier tops – it is a fun way to stay current without making a big investment.

I’m notoriously bad at selfies and they make me uncomfortable but I do want you to see that these are cute, wearable tops. Forgive the quality!!!

I bought this in a small and it was very oversized. I paid an extra $10 to take it in. I love it¬†because it’s such a fun, statement top!
Reviews said this top was made of a funny-ish material. It doesn’t bother me at all. Happy with this purchase.
I bought this top (and so did my sister) because I loved it. Realized later, it was intended to be a dupe of a high end version from Tuckernuck!
Close up – good quality. I sized up to a small because I was worried about the length. It’s big but I think it works ūüôā

Candids from the times I actually wore tops out (it’s been too cold so far for the ones above!)

This top is 100% me and I got quite a lot of compliments the day I wore it. I love it with the yellow jeans but it would look great with white or dark denim.
Dinner date outfit

And now for a few things I found on the site that I love and think is worth a look!

This top is adorable and only $9 with quite a lot of great reviews

Green Striped Top

pom dress.png
I wish I needed a pink dress because this one is so¬†precious. I’ve seen it on and it’s just as cute as it looks in pictures!

Pink Pom Pom Dress

oxford Coldshoulder
This top will likely¬†be a one season wear, but at $12, I’m ok with that!

Blue Cold Shoulder 

SS offshoulder
Super Cute. Grab it!

Blue Stripe Off the Shoulder

My favorite purchase so far!

Blue contrast Bell Sleeve

I love the knotted front and the embroidery on this blouse.

Embroidered Top

The perfect layering cami and the perfect shade of pink.

Pink Eyelash Lace Cami

I have the bell-sleeved version of this top (shown above.) I got stopped on the street when I wore it do dinner the other night because it looked so cute. Easy to dress up or down.

Applique Top

I love this classic white cover up. Looks high end to me!

White Cover Up

For less than $20, this is just fun!

Tassels Cover Up

As a reminder, here are some coupon codes. Let me know if you go for anything!

Pre-Summer Cheer

Get $5 off over $55          CODE: HOO5
Get $15 off over $105      CODE: HOO15
Get $40 off over $200      CODE: HOO40

Deal or no deal?

Today I’m so excited to share with you one of my best budget shopping secrets! If you shop online at all, you have probably seen ads pop up for cute looking clothes that cost next to nothing. If your skeptical radar goes up, it’s for good reason. Most of these companies are based in China and accuracy in photos, quality of clothes and sizing are often way off. In other words, you are probably¬†getting what you pay for.

However, I actually have had some good luck with one particular site.¬†I’m sure that it’s no surprise that I read and follow fashion blogs and have for years. After seeing Ashley, a cute Texas blogger, show adorable look after look from¬†Shein, I finally decided to order a few things myself and was so pleased with what I got. I ordered 4 tops for right around $50. In the end I paid another $10 to take one of the tops in because it was just way too big, but I felt like it was worth the little extra investment if it meant that I would wear it!

The top above was my favorite score from the bunch and below are my suggestions for shopping this site. If you follow these tips, I bet you will have good luck too!

Read the reviews – this tip¬†is critical! No one is more honest than a super happy, or super annoyed customer. I have found that the best reviews include pictures and size descriptions of the person sharing their opinions. I only bought one shirt without a review and I was very nervous about it (thankfully, following the other tips below worked out and it ended up being my favorite purchase.) People are generally descriptive about the quality of the material, the fit in the arms, bodice, length, etc… and their pictures are extremely helpful.

Take Measurements¬†– most items are sized S-L, with the occasional XS and XL. Obviously, there will be variety in that range so I strongly encourage you to read the measurements shared and compare them to your own. I ended up going up a size in one top because the length suggested it was border line cropped. It was the right call and I’m so glad to have that extra length, even if the top is a bit roomier than normal.

Pay Attention to Material – Prepare to be disappointed if you don’t do your homework on this one! A lot of tops that look really great in a photo might be 100% polyester, or made¬†with some other synthetic fiber that is itchy, stiff or difficult to clean. Most reviewers will point this out, but read the detailed description just in case. I ordered one top that a few reviewers warned was made from a cheaper material so when it arrived, I was not surprised. There were enough positive reviews about the overall look that I decided it was worth the risk, especially since it was a very trendy piece that might only be worn this season.

Be Realistic –¬†My most important tip is to remember that if you are paying $10 for a top, expect that it might not give you the mileage you are used to. Launder it with care and be ok with it only lasting one season. If you go into the purchase fully aware, you might be surprised at how much wear you get out of it, rather than disappointed if it frays or fades after a machine washing. Overall, shopping sites like this allows you¬†to try trendier looks without a huge investment.

Let me know if you give it a try, or if you have found other deeply discounted sites with good luck! And I have a coupon for you guys for SheIn. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing some of my favorites from them!

Pre-Summer Cheer

Get $5 off over $55          CODE: HOO5
Get $15 off over $105      CODE: HOO15
Get $40 off over $200      CODE: HOO40


Fish Tacos

Today I’m sharing one of my all time favorite recipes for fish tacos. I¬†discovered it several years ago from¬†Cooking Light and it remains one of our favorite dishes.

I double the Crema because it’s always a hit and we still run out every time! This is one of those recipes I’ve made so many times I usually don’t even pull up the ingredient list anymore. And I don’t stress if I don’t have coriander or another spice on hand, it still comes out delicious.

We usually serve ours up with black beans and rice and fresh salsa. If the kids are feeling picky (often!) we will shred some¬†cheese and make bean/cheese quesadillas for them. It’s an easy substitute without feeling like a short-order cook!

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (I’ve subbed shallots before with good results)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise (I go with Light)
3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced

(prepare above ingredients by mixing in a bowl)

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 pounds red snapper fillets (I usually use Haddock, an easily sourced, inexpensive white fish here in New England)
Cooking spray
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
2 cups shredded cabbage

For the tacos, combine the spices¬†in a small bowl; sprinkle spices over both sides of fish. Place fish on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425¬į for 9 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Place fish in a bowl¬†and¬†break into pieces with a fork.

Heat tortillas according to package directions. Divide fish evenly among tortillas; top each with 1/4 cup cabbage and 1 tablespoon (or more!) of crema.

This is a really healthy, filling dish Рperfect for a fresh start kind of week. Let me know if you give it a try!

Start Monday Fresh

In Maine, we are coming off of our Spring Break week. My family hunkered down at home this year but I know many of my friends were able to get away and enjoy warmer climates or visit family farther away.

Whether you stayed home or ventured off, I feel like coming back from a vacation (or even a staycation!) provides a¬†good opportunity to give yourself a fresh start with your diet and exercise. I know when I travel, I give myself a little grace to indulge in more treats and skip workouts in favor of enjoying as much as I can of wherever I am and whomever I’m with.

But I always come home ready to get back into the routine of healthy eating and regular exercise. If you are looking for a fresh start, or perhaps just feeling the desire to renew some new year’s commitments that have been neglected, I want to encourage you to use today as your fresh start day! Below are a few tips for getting yourself back on track and setting yourself up for success:

  • Keep a Food Journal¬†–¬†Food journals are a great way to motivate you toward making clean and healthy food choices¬†and to keep yourself accountable. I know when I’ve tried to lose weight I have found it so helpful to use online food diaries like My Fitness Pal to help me track my food (and water) in take. But¬†just putting pen to paper works too. It’s a simple way to force you to consider your food choices and also to help you see where you may be missing out in your diet (be it fruits, veggies, protein, fiber, etc…)
  • Have a Water Bottle handy at all times – Drink, drink, drink!!! So often, we mistake thirst for hunger. If you keep a water bottle with you, it’s a constant reminder to hydrate. Sometimes, when I think I’m hungry I’ll down an entire bottle and wait 10 minutes to see how I feel before I run to the pantry. I bought this particularly water bottle¬†last fall that helps me by tracking the number of times I refill the bottle. And of course, I love my monogrammed Swell bottle for when I’m feeling fancy ūüėȬ†My trainer told me once when your exercising and looking to lose weight it’s a good goal to drink about a gallon of water a day!
  • Phone a friend – No really, call up a friend! Having accountability is so helpful when you are trying to create or re-establish healthy habits. Ask for support, be it meeting you at the gym or for a walk, or as a weekly check in on your nutrition goals. Chances are you have a friend going through the same thing and will happily partner with you on your journey. I find it especially encouraging to work out with someone when the motivation is low. The time flies and I have benefitted from both the exercise and the fellowship. It’s always a win.
  • Establish¬†a Goal – Now, my husband would argue with me that goals are superfluous when it comes to healthy living but I just have to say that I totally disagree! I personally think that goals, especially short-term ones are helpful in keeping you on track and motivating you to stay the course, especially when you feel like the end result you are going for is so far away. If you are hoping to run a 1/2 marathon, sign up for a 5K to get you going. If you are trying to lose 20 pounds, give yourself a small reward after the first 5 pounds are gone. Hitting small goals gives you a sense of accomplishment that will spur you on to the next goal!
  • Mix things Up – Finally, don’t be afraid to mix things up. Especially if you feel like you’ve hit a wall in your progress. If you have already been making great food choices and the scale isn’t moving, try Intermittent Fasting. If you normally run for exercise, try swimming or a group exercise class. Sometimes, just mixing things up a bit can be what you need to get over the hump.

Obviously, I’m not sharing anything groundbreaking here, but I hope it encourages you if you are looking to get back on track. Tomorrow, I’ll share one of my favorite recipes I rely on when I’m trying to eat as clean and healthy as I can!

Drugstore Favorites

I have declared my allegiance to¬†a number of beauty products ranging from Lancome to Bobbi Brown but I have never hidden my love for the drugstore gem when it comes to beauty products. If I can find a dupe of a more expensive version that makes me just as happy, why would I spend the extra money? Today I’m highlighting a few of my very favorite drugstore finds that I am devoted to!

Maybelline Define a Line Eye Liner РI bought this eye liner (in brownish-black) on a whim when my beloved Chanel eye pencil finally ran out. With four kids and a tighter budget, I just could not justify paying Chanel prices and after striking out with a few duds, I feel like I hit the jack pot with this eye liner. I can tell no difference between my former high end version and I will certainly never go back.

Wet n Wild Lip Liner – I read about this lip liner when I was perusing a magazine article featuring beauty secrets from stylists to the stars. Apparently this liner in the color Brandywine has a bit of a cult following and is said to always be in the best¬†makeup artists’ bag. Of course I had to get it and I think I see why ¬†it’s so popular. It is a great base for almost any color and stands on its own as well with a bit of gloss. For under $5, I’d call this investment a no brainer!

Cover Girl Eye Shadow Palette – I never miss a day of reading The Stripe, one of my favorite blogs and she recommended this eye shadow palette last fall. I jumped right on it¬†and have loved it! Paired with my Truffle Eye shadow stick from Bobbi Brown, it makes both an everyday or evening eye easy and impactful. I love the gold tones in the “Nudes” version for my blonde hair and blue eyes but they make a Roses (pretty pinks) and Jewel (bolder) Palette which¬†are also great.

Maybelline Make-up Primer¬†– I bought this also after hearing that it’s a popular dupe for the super popular SmashBox face primer. Honestly, I had never used a makeup primer and wasn’t really looking for one. I was buying another one of my Maybelline eye liners (see above!) and the drugstore had one of those popular buy one get one 50% off sales they often do. Not wanting to miss out on a deal, ¬†I quickly googled to see what other Maybelline products makeup artists love to use. This one popped up so I figured it was worth a try.

Goodness gracious¬†I love it! I didn’t know how badly I needed a primer until I started using this one. It really does prime your face so well by smoothing and evening your skin tone. I always feel like my makeup looks so much prettier if I don’t skip this step!

Burt’s Bees¬†Moisturizing Lip Shimmer – I grab one of these every few months. I keep at least one in my purse and gym bag and¬†a few¬†in my makeup drawer at home. My lips get so dry living here in Maine and this lip shimmer is the perfect balm to both moisturize and give a hint of sheer color to my lips. I’m partial to Peony but have and love several colors!

Essie Nail Polish¬†– Last month I found my summer go to color in Muchi Muchi. To me, it’s the perfect pink, with a little more color than¬†Ballet Slippers, which is an all time classic and favorite for me (Fiji and French Affair almost went into my cart and are very similar but I’m glad I went with Muchi Muchi!)

These days I just can’t justify regular manicures and pedicures, for both time and budget reasons. Having a color around that I love makes it easier to let that go and still look and feel polished (ha!) And when I do go, it’s nice to have the color for touch ups if I¬†get a chip.

I honestly have so many drugstore loves – I’m constantly trying to get as much bang as I can for the budget and finding things I love at drugstore prices has really helped. I’ll try and share them more regularly. What are your favorites – I want to know!