August 26, 2016

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Last Minute Summer Bucket List Items

Hey everyone! I'm Emma and today I'll be sharing with you my very first post on this blog. Let's just jump right into it:)

Seeing as the school year is right around the corner, it is now or never to live your summer to the fullest. Chances are, ten years from now, you won't remember anything from your summer if you just sat around on your phone and checked instagram for the 100th time that day (yes, I have been there). While having a few lazy days here and there never hurt anyone, sometimes it's nice to change things up a little bit. I compiled a list of ideas for you guys to check off your summer bucket list. Hopefully school hasn't already begun for you, but if it has, you can still have a good time and not let the burden of the school year drag you down.

1. Sleep Under the Stars: Lizzie and I really enjoy doing this, it is so cool and makes you really appreciate the beauty surrounding you. We even saw two shooting stars once! We usually carry a twin mattress out to our truck and sleep in the truck bed, but a tent with the cover off will work too. If you live in the city, you could go to a campground with your friends. Anything works as long as you're enjoying the stars and sounds of nature. There's even an app called Skyview Free that teaches you the names of the stars you're looking at!

2. Have a Water Fight: All you need for this idea is some friends and water balloons and/or the handy dandy garden hose to spray all who come into your vicinity. We got our water balloons super cheap at a dollar store for literally a dollar. Also, a fun twist on a water balloon fight is to add dye to the balloons, that way when they break open, they release a burst of color (just make sure you're wearing clothes you don't care about too much). Or better yet, you could wear a white shirt and let it get drenched in color.

3. Watch the Sunrise/Sunset: This one is pretty self-explanatory (not like the other ones weren't...) Anyways, I personally LOVE watching the sun slowly sink beneath the horizon and see the colors shift from bright yellow, to corally pink, and blueish purple. Plus, while you're enjoying the beauty, you can get a ton of cool pictures! My obsession (which if you follow my instagram, you'd already know) is taking pictures of a silhouette with the sunset glowing in the background. You could just have a sibling strike a pose or even an animal sitting as your silhouette. Something I haven't tried yet, but have been meaning to do, is to take a time lapse of the sun setting. I think that would be pretty neat.
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4. Have a Spa Day: Treat yo' self. Whether you just do a face mask, or go all out with a manicure, pedicure, and bubble bath, it is good to treat yourself now and then. Having a spa day doesn't mean you have to go to an actual spa. You can do all of the things you want at home which will save money and you could even have a movie playing in the background as you're painting your nails and letting your face mask soak in (which is always a plus).

5. Go Swimming: This one is pretty typical but it is a MUST in summer. I could be wrong, but chances are you can find some way to get yourself to water. You could go to a local hotel, friend's house, lake, or even the ocean if you are lucky enough to live near one! You can work on your doggy paddle while getting your tan on (or burn in my case). Swimming is great exercise and an excellent way to cool off. Plus, lakes tend to be warmer this late in summer because they have had three long months of the sun beating down on them.
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6. Have a Bonfire and S'mores: Bonfires + S'mores + Family/Friends= BEST NIGHT EVER!! Seriously though, invite your relatives and your friends together for a night filled with fire watching, marshmallow roasting, and campfire stories. It is a good way to have a get-together and not have to be the center of attention, because the fire will take care of that for you. If you don't have a fire pit, maybe you know somebody who does, and hopefully they will be kind enough to allow you to use it:) AND what would a bonfire be without s'mores? They are basically a necessity. While we're talking about s'mores, I feel the need to let you in on one of my favorite s'mores desserts. I love the Betty Crocker Hershey's S'mores bars, they come in a box in the baking aisle at the grocery store. I could seriously eat the whole pan in one sitting, and they are super easy to make. So if you are looking for a new twist on your ordinary s'mores, then definitely check this dessert out!
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Hopefully this list inspired you to get out and get moving and not let any more of your precious summer slip through your fingers. If you can think of any other ideas that everyone should check off their summer bucket list, then please feel free to leave a comment letting me know! I hope you all enjoyed my very first post and I can guarantee that you'll love to read all about Lizzie's post next week. Be sure to tell your friends about our blog if you enjoyed!

Until next time,

August 19, 2016

Intro+ Week of back to school ideas

Hi everyone! Welcome to the very first post on With love,Midwest! I’m Maddy, and I originally had a blog that’s format got expired, andwas given another chance to recreate my blog! But this time, I am not doing italone. This time, I have both of my cousins to co-write! You guys will be luckyenough to read their posts in the next weeks. We are weekend posters, sobe sure to check out this blog Friday through Sunday for updates! And finally,the moment we have all been waiting for, let’s hop into the first post!  For this post, we had all decided to go witha back to school theme. We are almost at that time of year where we are goingto be getting up early, spending hours on homework, and rushing around in themorning. So I thought why not give you some ideas?  In this post, you’ll be seeing an easy weekfull of back to school lunches, an easy and simple makeup routine that I do to feelready to conquer the world, and clothing ideas for the first week back atschool!

So let’s start off with nearly everyone’s favorite subject:food. I’m a proud supporter of meal-prep, so these are going to be meal prep(or semi- meal prep) friendly recipes that stray far from PB&J.I am one whois always thinking of a lunch that is anythingbesides a sandwich. So, an easy and fast thing that I like to do is to have apita and hummus. This is an easy meal prep idea, since all you have to do iscut the pita how you want to, and add the amount of hummus that you want to. Ialso add some carrots and freeze dried fruit to this lunch. This second idea isone of my favorites. I may not be a huge sandwich fan, but I definitely am abig fan of wraps. I always start off a good wrap with the Tumaro’s Low-in-CarbMulti grain wraps. These wraps are an excellent wrap for any type of wrap, andare a lot healthier than the traditional flour tortilla that is used in mostwraps. My favorite wrap starts off with herb cream cheese and Dijon mustard, andthen gets completed with turkey, lacey Swiss cheese, and spinach. Wraps arevery quick and easy, but I wouldn’t make wraps as meal prep because thetortilla part of the wrap can get soggy over time. So if I do make a wrap, Imake it in the morning before I go to school. For the meal prep part of thislunch, I normally pack ahead sugar snap peas, and I also pre-pack some Quakerrice crisps.

After that long paragraph, let’s talk about makeup.Personally, I am getting up around 5:30 A.M. to be at school around 7:15. At5:30, I don’t exactly resemble myself. So, to get myself to feeling and lookingperkier in the morning, this is what I do. After washing my face, I ALWAYS usetoner and moisturizer to bring some type of balance back to my skin. I have afairly oily T-Zone, so whenever and however I do my makeup, step one is primingwith the Benefit Porefessional. After that, I go in with my favorite BB- cream,which is the Physicians Formula Super BB. I have sensitive skin, so mostfoundations, BB- creams, etc. don’t react very well to my skin and ultimatelygive me a bad case of hives or a pretty bad breakout of acne. PhysiciansFormula is one of my favorites because their face products don’t irritate myskin in any ways. To put on this BB- Cream I use the Sigma F-868 flat angledkabuki brush to apply this to my face. On a normal basis, I skip concealer, butif I am having some dark circles under my eyes. A tip from one person who hassensitive skin to another: try your best not to layer up on foundations andconcealers- from my experience; I have experienced some of the works breakoutswhen wearing multiple layers on my skin. After I have applied the BB- creamevenly on my face and neck, I powder in my T- Zone and under my eyes using theNeutrogena Shine Control Powder with a Sigma F-86 tapered kabuki brush. I amnot a big fan of bronzer, with the tone of my skin; it looks more natural forme to use a peach colored blush in the areas where I get sun. One brand that Ihave had good history with is Too Faced, so to add color back to my face, I usetheir Sweethearts Perfecting Flush Blush in the color Peach Beach (I think theyjust wanted to make a tongue twister out of this product to be completelyhonest). I apply this blush using a Real Techniques Blush brush. Next, I moveon to my eyes. To cut down on carrying a bunch of products in my makeup bag, Iapply the same blush I used before into my crease; focusing a bit more on theouter corners of my eyes to make them look wider and more awake, using theSigma E- 45 tapered blending brush. My eyebrows are pretty full as it is, so onan everyday basis I just shape them using the Benefit GimmeBrow. Next I curl mylashes and apply a couple coats of my favorite mascara, which happens to be theBenefit Roller Lash. I like to focus my mascara closer to the base of my lashesto give them a full look and to brighten up my eyes even more. For a finishingtouch, I like to apply the Tarte Glossy Lip Paint in the color Goals. I just HADto get this color after seeing a Youtuber named Patrick Starr use thiscolor on Colleen Ballinger. This may sound like a lot, but it only takes alittle bit of time in the morning, depending on how tired you are ;-).





 Last but not least, we have clothes. It’s easiest for me tostick to basics, and then style them up from there. So, for this first outfit,I decided on wearing a loose peplum style top from Urban Outfitters. I added apair of skinny jeans to finish the outfit. To add my own touch to this outfit,I added a pair of Pearl earrings and my favorite (and only) pair ofBirkenstocks. This next outfit is just a little bit on the dressier side of howI would wear things. I got this Grey dress from the store Dry Goods, and pairedit with a super light chambray shirt from Gap and a pair of white converse. Toadd a little bit more, I added a watch from the brand BP, which can be boughtat Nordstrom, and a pair of earrings that I got at Banana Republic. The finaloutfit I paired is this ADORABLE lace tank that I purchased from Dry Goods thatI layered over a bralette from Aerie, along with a pair of jeans that I rolledup just above the ankle. For shoes, I decided to go with a pair of sandals fromSteve Madden that I had purchased at DSW. To accessorize I added the same pearlearrings that was featured in the first outfit.







So that is it for the first post on With love, Midwest!Leave a response below, and tell us if you have any recommendations orrequests! I will catch up with you all later!


-         Maddy