by gillian claire

2.08.2017

My Favorite Winter Skincare Products

*This post is in partnership with Belli Skincare. I only work with brands that I truly love! Thanks for reading along!*

During the winter months, I am doubly obsessed with taking care of my skin! In Colorado the air this season is dry  and cold  and it makes me want to just pour moisture into my skin any way that I can! Does that even make sense? I want to share with you some of my favorite skincare products that I've come to love this winter!

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The theme to my skincare this winter has been gentle + hydrating. I have had a rough time with my skin in the past few years. It's like I'm seriously going through puberty or something 15 years late! I use some different face washes at night to help with that issue but anything else I put on my skin I want to be soothing and gentle. Ok, let's get into my favorites.

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I was so excited to finally get my hands on this brand after hearing so many good things! The Belli skincare line is created and safe for pregnant + nursing mothers which is such a neat idea! All of their products are allergy tested, free of parabens, gluten, phthalates, artificial dyes + fragrances and goes through a unique safety screening process. I love the idea behind the Belli brand and this eye brightening cream appealed to me right away with it's claim to "revive tired eyes". I stare at my computer screen all day for work and I love using this luxurious cream in the morning and night to soothe my eyes!


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Again with the moisture thing. I actually recently picked this up because I needed a new sunscreen lotion to put on under my makeup and I love it. It goes on really wet feeling but dries quickly making me feel like my face just absorbed a ton of moisture. If you ladies aren't wearing a sunscreen everyday; you need to start doing this TODAY!

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So I've been doing some research on how to deal with the skin issues I've been having and I came across a YouTuber who believes that you should wash your face THREE times at night after wearing makeup to relieve the impurities. It sounds a little crazy maybe but I'm pretty into the idea. I decided to pick up this e.l.f. cleanser at Target because it was cheap and I loved that it says "infused with Purified Water to help hydrate the skin." Yeah, I realize that marketing people love me for falling for these claims. I'm easy.

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One more eye product because seriously, the eyes can not get enough pampering in my opinion. I was surprised that this product has kind of a gold sheen to it when it's put on the skin. I usually go way overboard with my skincare products so I looked a little crazy the first time I applied it. But if you use just a little of this stuff under makeup, it gives a nice little highlighted glow around the eyes. I'm a fan.
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What products have you all been loving and using this winter? Please share your favorites with me; I'm always looking for new skincare product to try!

2.06.2017

Toddler Boy Valentine's Day Style!






This is Asher's last year wearing toddler size clothes and it breaks my heart a little! I am all about Valentine's day themed everything and wanted to pop in to share some of my favorite little boy finds this year! 
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P.S. All of the Valentine's clothes are 40% off right now at Gymboree + Crazy8!
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Have you found any cute little boy Valentine's clothes this year? 
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*This post includes affiliate links. Thanks for reading along!*





2.02.2017

cleaning my floors with Bona!

This post is sponsored by Bona, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

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Grab this $3 off coupon so that you can try out Bona cleaning products for yourself!
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     I don't know about you guys, but I feel like my house gets destroyed  during the winter months! It's dark and gray and my kids are stuck inside all day long. My house is little  y'all and lately I have started to feel like the walls are closing in on me!

     Last week I did some deep cleaning and it was a serious breath of fresh air! I was so excited to incorporate my partnership with Bona and their hardwood floor cleaning products into my cleaning frenzy and make my entryway feel a little less grimy and gross! My kids are constantly coming in and out of the house dragging their snowy slushy boots and selves all over the entryway and our hardwood floors needed some help.

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     Ash said he didn't want to be part of my photoshoot until I whipped out this mop and then he was all over it. We always call Asher our, "little helper" because he truly loves to clean and help out. It's pretty adorable, and convenient!

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     To tackle cleaning my hardwood floors; I used the Bona Floor Mop with their PowerPlus Microfiber Deep Clean Pad + PowerPlus Hardwood Floor Deep Cleaner. I love that Bona offers these microfiber deep clean pads. They stick onto the velcro of the floor mop really easily and then you can just toss them in the wash when you're finished! I'm all about reusable and earth friendly cleaning products!

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     The PowerPlus line from Bona is created to get into the grooves and creases of your hardwood floors. Our entryway and kitchen look so much better now. I am hooked on these products and it's especially nice that both of my kids seem so into this new mop. I have a feeling they will be getting quite a few mopping duties assigned before winter is over; which in Colorado could be a while...

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How do you cope with the messiness of winter? Share your tips with me below + be sure to grab a
$3 off coupon so that you can get a great deal on your first Bona purchase
the next time you're at the store!
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1.20.2017

A Year of Color: Black + *White*

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     Creatively, I have found that I have to exist in spurts. I need time away from certain things to regroup and feel inspired. The artistic part of me is never turned off, but it has to reset and live in phases. The past year has been a year of resting from my camera. That's not to say that I haven't picked it up here and there, but I haven't had many big projects or shoots that I've planned out and put my soul into. The year before last I was going to school and putting my heart into a lot of projects and ideas and so this past year has been one for rest.
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     Now I feel ready to maybe pick up my camera again and see what happens. When I saw that some bloggers I know were doing "The Year of Color" link-up, it really inspired me. I figured that maybe I could use the prompts as a little personal project for myself. I love the idea of open ended photo projects and while the intention behind their project isn't purely photography based, it's how I think I will try to interpret it.
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     This month's color is white. I don't immediately think of white as being my favorite color but I think that deep down it might be. I am always drawn to white and white space. When I was studying art in college, people would repetitively point out that my art: photography, painting, drawing, printmaking, any work that I've done, has a theme of white. Light and airy and clean always appeals to me. When I edit photos, I often reprocess them a few times before they feel "white" and "bright" enough. I had a painting teacher ask me why I liked white so much and I realized that it's a color that calms me. I feel like I've had much chaos in my life and white, somehow draws me to peace. Art is very therapeutic to me.
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     I just found out about this Color of the Year link up so I didn't have time to go out and use my camera just yet. So I rounded up some of my favorite black and white images to put together here hoping that looking through them would give me a little inspiration to go out and shoot something soon.
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How does white make you feel?
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Be sure to check out the wonderful bloggers behind this link up and join in as well! You can add your first post anytime this month!
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1.12.2017

iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 7 review + unboxing!

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     Oh hey, I finally got a new phone! I've been using my iPhone 6 with a completely shattered screen for a long time now so it was about time to upgrade. ( Shattered phone not pictured: sorry that you don't get to see that hot mess! ) I thought I'd do a little unboxing and comparison post for those of you who are maybe considering upgrading soon as well!
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     Of course, I picked the rose gold. I have to say now I have my hands on it though that this color is a little more "rose" than rose gold to me. I would probably just call this color metallic pink instead but it's very pretty regardless. Shown above is all of what came in the box: phone, new charger and a new set of headphones; always appreciated because I lose these things like mad.
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     One new feature of the iPhone 7 is that it no longer has the headphone jack. I guess Apple is assuming that wireless headphones are the way of the future. I've also read that they did away with the headphone jack in order to make the phone water resistant.  I wasn't sure how I felt about this feature but the iPhone did come with a pair of headphones that fit into the charging jack which is genius. It also comes with an adapter that you can use to make a regular pair of headphones work in the charging jack. The only problem is that you can't charge the phone while using these headphones. This is sometimes a pain for me on the treadmill at the gym but wireless headphones would definitely solve that problem. 
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The iPhone 7's rear camera is a lot bigger (and better) than the camera on the iPhone 6 which was a huge pull for me in getting this phone. The biggest pull was that this phone made my plan cheaper since Sprint was having a special offer, ha! The main reason that I even care about having a smartphone is for the camera. I love using my iPhone camera and I'm obsessed with Instagram so it was definitely time for me to upgrade. If you want the highest quality iPhone camera out there, go for the iPhone 7 Plus which has the portrait mode feature. I honestly didn't realize that the iPhone 7 didn't have portrait mode but I'm still happy with this upgrade for now.
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     So now it's time for a little comparison between the iPhone 6 (shown here in gold) and the iPhone 7! I never did get the iPhone 6s and I know that the jump from the iPhone 6s to the 7 isn't as drastic but there are quite a few differences between the 6 and 7 and even significant changes from the 6s to the 7. As you can see, the phones are practically the same exact size and look almost identical. From the back of the phone you can see that the biggest differences are the camera size as well as the fact that the iPhone 7 did away with the visible antenna lines.
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     The front of these phones look exactly the same but there is a huge difference in the home button. With the iPhone 7 they did away entirely with the moveable, clickable home button and the home button is now completely touch activated. It's kind of freaky because the button still feels "clickable" using vibrations. This blows my mind a little bit. Taking away the moveable parts makes the iPhone 7 a little sturdier; I know this firsthand because on my previous iPhone 6, I lost the home button entirely and was using assistive touch for a couple months. 
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I also have to mention again that the iPhone 7 is water resistant! From someone who has ruined several phones due to water damage, this is an awesome feature! Don't worry I'm still sticking a waterproof case on this bad boy so that I'm doubly protected! (I'm really rough on phones if you haven't noticed!)
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Here's a little closeup of the camera comparison and a few specs:
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iPhone 6 - rear camera: 8 megapixel sensor / f2.4 aperature
front facing camera: 1.2 megapixel sensor / f2.4 aperature
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iPhone 7: rear camera: 12 megapixel sensor / f1.8 aperture
 front facing camera: 7 megapixel sensor / f2.2 aperture
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Above, you can see the changes that the iPhone 7 made to the bottom of the phone by removing the headphone jack and replacing it with dual speakers. The dual speakers are supposed to add to the audio of the iPhone 7, which is a nice thought but I haven't noticed a huge difference.  The iPhone 7 uses the same size charger as the iPhone 6 which is awesome because now for once I actually have two working chargers laying around my house!
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There's my run down on the new iPhone 7. Overall I don't have any complaints!
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Have you guys upgraded to the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus yet? I'd love to hear your thoughts below!
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12.28.2016

New Year's Giveaway!

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I'm so excited to be hosting my second annual New Year's Giveaway on my blog! 
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     I've had so many amazing opportunities through photography/Instagram/blogging and now my VA business and it wouldn't be possible without all of the wonderful people I've connected with along the way! I love using this end of the year giveaway to give back to one of my followers. 
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     Last year I based the giveaway around some of my favorite companies that I worked with throughout the year and it was mostly geared towards moms + kids. This year, I'm doing an all girls giveaway to celebrate my female followers + friends who have stuck by me this year! I've only partnered with shops that I already followed and absolutely admire on Instagram! I'm actually really jealous putting this together because I want to win everything for myself now... ;)
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The giveaway is taking place on Instagram (so click over and enter there!) but I'm sharing a little bit about each shop involved with you here!
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Planners 4 All
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I don't know what it is about paper products and planners but I really never get sick of seeing them come across my Instagram feed! Tiffany is such a sweet gal and one thing that is unique about her planner business is that she also makes planners for kids! I love seeing all of the new, fun + colorful designs that Tiffany comes up with! Planners 4 All is giving away one adult 2017 planner of choice that can be personalized or monogrammed!
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Feather and Wild
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I am in loovvve with the hippy-dippy vibe of all of the products at Feather and Wild. I pretty much want everything in their shop. I only recently began to learn the story behind this handprinted clothing shop which consists of a husband and wife team ( and their 5 adorable kiddos )! You can learn more about their story here. Feather and Wild is giving away one of their gorgeous Manifest sweatshirts.
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Sweet Journey Shop
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Melanie is the face behind the Sweet Journey Shop and she is also a blogger at Life's Sweet Words and an avid RV traveler! I love Melanie's sweet and adventurous spirit. I still dream of traveling more in my life so she is definitely an inspiration to me! I fell in love with her mugs when I started seeing them pop up on Instagram. Sweet Journey Shop is giving away one "Adventure Fuel" mug. 
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Koala and Rawr Soaps
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Koala and Rawr is the cutest shop that creates beautiful soap masterpieces! One neat thing that they offer are custom photo soaps! Wouldn't they make the coolest party favor ever? My favorite though are these pyramid soaps. The best part is that there is jewelry hiding inside! Koala and Rawr is giving away one Triceratops Horn Soap. (with a jewelry surprise inside!)
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Shop Ava to Zoe
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I've recently connected with Janette on Instagram and she is a super talented blogger as well as the shop owner behind Shop Ava to Zoe. She creates gorgeous hand stamped leather goods. I love the hip and modern feel behind her shop and I can't wait to see what new products she comes up with this year! Shop Ava to Zoe is giving away two custom hand stamped leather keychains.
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Julia Paris Jewelry
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Julia Paris Jewelry creates handcrafted jewelry which she describes as, "minimal and modern with a touch of bohemian chic." I absolutely love her style and all of the gorgeous and timeless pieces she creates! I feel like everyone could find something they love in this shop. Julia Paris Jewelry is giving away a set of silver hexagon rings.
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I'm so excited to gift one of my followers all of these gorgeous prizes!
You all are the best and I'm so thankful that you've stuck around for another year at By Gillian Claire.
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Head over to Instagram to enter to win! Best of luck and best wishes in 2017.
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12.21.2016

romey turns 9.


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words can't even touch how i feel about my first baby, roman, turing 9 years old today. when he was born, i was practically a baby myself and how lucky i am now to have grown through these years with him by my side. i call him "moon" and he calls me his "star" and it's a universe that i'm pretty damn proud to be a part of. 
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just some words i shared on instagram on roman's birthday 12/6 
during his birthday week i tearfully went through these old photos of him, thinking deeply about this beautiful boy and what he means to me.
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happy 9th birthday romey, i can't wait to see what another year brings. <3
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