what i wore: off the shoulder dress under $70

I love this dress! I would be telling you a story if I said I hadn't worn it three times in the last five days. Hey, I've been in different places seeing different people, so let's let this slide, ok? It's as easy and effortless as can be, which is really all you can ask for in a summer dress. Hey, it's also under $70! And for any new moms who are nursing, this is truly the best dress to wear for easy accessibility. This might be too much information, but you really don't even need a bra with this dress. It's thick and double layered. A summer wardrobe staple. 

I linked all product details below, but wanted to share a discount code with you for Daniel Wellington watches—the one I'm wearing is the Dapper Durham 34mm. You can save 15% off your order with code HOLYCITYCHIC.

Also, my clutch is 60% off right now! It easily converts into a crossbody. Such a steal right now considering the amazing quality!

dress: Tulum Off The Shoulder  (under $70!)
sandals: Sam Edelman Gemma Lace Up Sandals  
clutch: GiGi NY Carly Convertible Clutch (60% off! Also becomes a crossbody!)
sunglasses: Karen Walker The One
watch: Daniel Wellington Dapper Durham 34mm (save 15% off with code HOLYCITYCHIC)
bracelets, here and here: Vahan
necklace: Ellie Bing

p.s. I filmed a makeup tutorial yesterday featuring this exact makeup look. Coming soon! Also, don't forget about the big Beautycounter giveaway! Also, if you make a $75+ purchase in Beautycounter products today, you get a free mascara ($29 value)!


my beauty favorites + giveaway + beautycounter promo

Where do I start? There's a lot of exciting things going on, like free gifts and giveaways, so keep reading until the end and follow closely! First I'm going to talk about some favorites, then I'm going to talk about a Beautycounter special that's going on, and then let's talk giveaway! And if you're unfamiliar with Beautycounter, you may want to start off with this post first, which is all about why I switched to safer.


It's been almost a year since I've started using Beautycounter products, so I really feel like I've honed in on my absolute favorites. There's really little from the line that I don't like, but I've finally discovered the products that I for sure do not want to be without. 

  • Tint Skin Foundation: This isn't the most high coverage foundation, but you can layer it up for more coverage. I love it because it it doesn't ever look cakey, doesn't settle into fine lines, and it never looks greasy on my face. It's one of Lauren Conrad's favorite daily products! I also feel like this is important if you're only buying a few Beautycounter products because this is coated over your entire face (or most of it), so it needs to be safe! Many foundations contain Polyethylene glycol, which is a PEG and is often contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, which are both carcinogens.
  • Touchup Concealer Pen: This is great because it's an actual concealer, rather than just a highlighter like a lot of pens seem to be. I use "Light" on my face + undereye, then go back in with "Fair" to lightly highlight under the eyes, down the bridge of my nose, around my nostrils, and in between my eyebrows.
  • Retractable Complexion Brush: The best way to apply the foundation!
  • Color Pinch Cream Blusher: In "Caramel," specifically. I just love this stuff because of how natural it looks and how easily it blends. You can even put a little bit on the eyelids as an eyeshadow base.
  • Lip Sheer: These are a huge favorite for me, but I think my all time favorite shade is Twig. It's the best natural shade. I know we basically eat lipstick throughout the day as it wears, so it's very important for me that my lip products are safe! 
  • Matte Bronzer #1: Contain Porcelain Flower Extract (a Thai bloom known for its antioxidant benefits) to help moisturize the skin so it looks radiant.
  • Mattify Skin Finishing Powder: Gives skin a satin finish and never leaves a white residue! 

Beautycounter is currently switching Eyebrow Pencil and Eyeliner manufacturers, so I'm sorry I pictured those two! They will be back soon though! 

I think the skincare is the real shining star of Beautycounter. I love, love, love it!! Here's what I use every day.
  • Nourishing Rosewater Mist: I fell in love with this stuff over the summer. It's a great midday refresher and I also use it as a toner in the mornings before I put on my moisturizer. 
  • Nourishing Cream Cleanser/Routine Clean: So gentle and leaves skin hydrated! Cleanse twice in a row if wearing makeup (this goes for any skincare). Many facial cleansers use common cleansing agent sodium laurel sulfate, which can cause irritation and trigger allergies. It is often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane - a cancer-causing chemical. Routine Clean uses sugar-derived cleanser decyl glucoside instead.
  • Nourishing Cream Exfoliator/Gentle Exfoliator: Gives a light exfoliation with jojoba beads. I use this every morning!
  • Nourishing Day Cream: Absorbs quickly and leaves skin so balanced, not greasy. It's a mix of organic coconut oil, safflower oil, aloe, and antioxidant-rich acai. If you were only going to buy one moisturizer, this should be it! You can mix in some Lustro Oil drops with it at night to make it more hydrating. But if you can buy the Nourishing Night Cream, then that's the ultimate to mix with the oil!
  • Nourishing Night Cream: Just like the above, but it's a more moisturizing formula. I mix in three drops of Oil #3 with this every night. 
  • Lustro Oil #3, now known as Balancing Face Oil: (Find out how to get this free below!) The lustro oils are a facial in a bottle. As I said above, just mix in a few drops with your moisturizer. I just do this at night. Oil #1 is to soothe irritated skin, Oil #2 is to brighten dull, aging skin, and Oil #3 is to balance dry or oily skin—and this one is best for acne!
  • Rejuvenating Eye Cream, formerly known as the Vibrant Eye Perfector: This is the one Countertime product I am putting in this "must haves" list. It has caffeine and wild algae to reduce puffiness and darkness. Super hydrating, but not greasy! Vibrant Eye Perfector does not include parabens, which are common cosmetic preservatives that can disrupt hormone function, which is in turn linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. There are several different kinds of parabens (ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben).

 — BODY —
  • Wash Everyday Body Wash: Cleanses skin without stripping it of natural moisture. Even Brandon uses it! Many other body washes contain sodium laureth sulfate — a common ingredient used in bath products that is often contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, a known carcinogen.
  • Clean Everyday Shampoo/Daily Shampoo: This will clean your hair, make it smell amazing, and it will leave great moisture in it without making it feel heavy. Brandon uses this, too. :)
  • Hydrate Everyday Body Lotion: I just love this stuff. The smell is so nice, but never overpowering. It makes my skin feel hydrated on it's own, not like it has been slathered with lotion. It's free of sulfates and penetration enhancers, which are often found in body lotions. But instead of hydrating, they can irritate skin and increase the amount of toxic chemicals absorbed into the bloodstream. 
  • Body Oil: I love mixing in a few pumps of this with my body moisturizer. It contains tons of incredibly nourishing ingredients. Also a great cuticle oil or to tame hair flyaways! 
  • Citrus Mimosa Hand Cream: I keep this in my nightstand to use before bed and one in my bag at all times! I can't stand a sticky hand cream and this is not like that at all. 


The "Band of Beauty" is a membership program that Beautycounter offers—and it's a really good deal. It's currently $25 per year (but going up to $29 on September 1st) and includes the following:

Earn 15% product credit with every order.

Free shipping on orders over $100.

Special offers exclusively for members.

...and until 9/1, anyone who joins will get an awesome free gift below, but only while supplies last, I'm told.

So basically, you are just spending $25 to join and will get a $48 gift in return! Plus 15% back in product credit and free shipping!!

BUT THERE'S MORE: As a member, you will also receive the #3 face oil for orders over $150! So that's free shipping, free gift set, free face oil, AND 15% of the subtotal amount in product credit. 

And 8/23 and 24th, anyone who orders over $75 gets a free mascara! $29 value.


I'm giving away TWO complete sets like the one pictured below! So that means two people will win each of these products:

Gentle Exfoliator Polishing Cream 
Vibrant Eye Perfector
Every Night PM Hydrating Cream
Radiance Firming Complex
($202 value per prize!)

How to enter? The first set is going to be given away to a random instagram commenter, so find this picture on my Instagram and enter there! The second set is going to be given away to anyone who makes a Beautycounter purchase through me in August! (I'll be able to see names and will just choose one at random at the end of the month.) Anyone who joins the Band of Beauty program (what I just talked about above) will get an extra entry. Don't worry, I'll keep track of the entries. :)

Woo! That was a lot of info. If you followed me until the end... praise hands! If you want to see other posts I've shared about Beautycounter, including tutorials, you can see those here.


kitchen reveal

This has been a long time coming, but our kitchen is all finished! First, let's take a look back at what it looked like when we moved in.

Woah, I think I had blocked this kitchen out of my mind and I forgot just how much help it really needed! 

We moved into this house mid-December 2015 and by February, we knew it was time to get the ball rolling on the kitchen reno. We worked with Cabinets.com and came up with a new layout that made sense for us. We wanted the sink to be moved under the window (a new, double the size window!) and wanted a custom range hood to be a focal point, so we moved the range to where the sink is shown above. After a few other slight revisions, we nailed down the plans with our cabinet designer and placed our order! There are tons of cabinet types and finishes at cabinets.com, but we knew from the very beginning that we wanted a white shaker style. Our new cabinets shown below are called Deerfield Shaker II Maple Bright White.

Before we move on, if you haven't seen the first two kitchen updates I posted, you should definitely check those out first! It's really neat to see the whole process all come to life. 

Update #1 shows all the demolition and the selection process of our counters and other finishes. 
Update #2 shows the flooring updates and more about the cabinets and their installation! 

So in summary, we went from this:

to this...
to this...

The cabinet above is our pantry, microwave cabinet, and the drawers are for various kitchen tools. Since our kitchen is not wide enough for an island, we wanted to create an area for seating of some type, so that's why we made this little breakfast bar area with stools.

You can see above how we replaced the old, small window with one about double the width. I can't tell you how much of a difference that made! Let there be light! 
Got to have that Beautycounter Hand Wash. ;)

Our sink is the Nantucket Sinks Hyannis 30. It's made of Italian Fireclay and I can't tell you how beautiful it is in person. It's completely solid and polished beautifully. It's pretty much the prettiest thing in the kitchen, if you ask me.



cabinets: Cabinets.com
counters: Honed Carrara Marble from Vitoria International, fabricated by tile & stone
light above sink: Visual Comfort E.F. Chapman Boston Functional Single Library in Antique Nickel from Lighting Commerce
range/oven: Whirlpool Gold 5 Burner Gas Range and Oven
faucet: Elements of Design
pot filler: Elements of Design
rug: persian rug via Fletcher's Finds


weekly roundup + kitchen reveal?

So, would you guys really hate me if I waited until Monday to share our kitchen reveal? What if I pinky swear to do it then? I took the photos this week and was planning on posting today, but I just haven't finished editing and picking my favorites. I had a little unintended break in my week since my birthday was on Wednesday. Guess I gave myself a day off (or two if we're honest—I've been completely sucked into the Olympics) and it just put me behind! 

My parents came into town for my birthday and stayed the night with us while Brandon and I had our first date night since Watson was born. (Woah! I never thought it would take four months for that to happen because we are people who really make an effort for lots of date nights, but when they say babies change your world, "they" aren't kidding!) We went out for sushi at O-Ku and drinks at The Darling. O-Ku was amazing per usual... I'd highly recommend starting with the rock shrimp salad—we always share that. And you can't beat a glass of wine at the bar at The Darling. I can't wait to go back for dinner there because the menu looks awesome. A simple, fresh take on seafood comfort food. I mean, you can't possibly hate a fancy King Street dig that has a fried shrimp basket on the menu for dinner! That's my kind of place. 

a roundup of links for the week...

Have you checked out the new BURU White Label? This is the collection Watson and I modeled for a few weeks ago. Morgan curated an amazing line and the prices are so great. My favorites: this dress, this tunic, these pants, these culottes.

In case you wanted to know how Julianne Hough got that bod.

I just love these beauty minutes.

One white fringed pillow that takes the W.

15 Trader Joe's essentials for summer.

A pretty great bathroom.

The white Adidas trend. They take me back to childhood and I just can't do it. But these. Those are some sneaks I'd like to get my hands on.

Bring more joy into your home. I believe there's a lot of truth to this! 


scenes around the store: celadon

Did some shopping at my favorite place, Celadon, while on the hunt for the perfect dining room table. Snapped a few pictures along the way of pieces that caught my eye and thought it would be fun to share them! Literally 95% of the photos on my phone are either of things I see and like while out shopping or of Watson. These first pictures are in their retail store in Mount Pleasant.

Napkins and dish cloths in the cutest prints.

Brandon and I really fell in love with this counter-height table below. I kept thinking what an awesome island it would be in a kitchen that doesn't have a ton of space! Wish we had a spot for it. It's hugely marked down right now, too.

Love this precious tub. I don't think I'd be able to decide whether to use it as a planter or to use it for get togethers and fill it with ice and drinks.

Stacks of wooden fish, like in Watson's nursery.

Click below to see all the pictures!


© 2010-2015 Megan Stokes. All Rights Reserved. | Blog Design By Brittany Douglas