Friday, July 21, 2017

Five on Friday - Volume 3

1- The Lululemon "Define" jacket

I'll be honest - I don't get the Lululemon hype. I understand that their clothes are of higher quality, but I know of several brands that I believe are totally comparable for half of the price. However, this jacket is killer. Chris bought it for me as a birthday gift, and I'm in love. The seams perfectly shape the body, and it is just beyond flattering. The second I put the jacket on all of my friends reacted with - "Damn, you look good in that jacket." I can't speak to the wear of the jacket with washes as it is brand new, but just know that it is a stunning jacket on the body.

2 - Tone It Up daily workouts

My workout routine ebbs and flows - sometimes I'm committed and other times I just can't get myself to do it. To remedy this cycle, I signed up for a Spartan Sprint. My friends have been doing these events as a way to stay in shape and keep in touch, but I have sat each one out because I am not in good enough shape. Anyways, long story short - the Tone It Up daily workout is a great place to start when building my daily workout. The website has a page which shows 5 daily moves (and it's free!) targeting different muscle groups each day. It gives me a place to start when I'm standing in my apartment gym and have no idea what to do.

3 - Amazon Prime day

I bought all of the things! Some of my favorite purchases were my Kindle Paperwhite, Harmony Hub, and Adventure collection book set.

My little technology hub
I've been anti Kindle for a while, but I have to say - I was wrong. Having a Kindle has made reading an easier activity. I've only owned this for 3 days, but I've already finished 2 books just via the convenience of having several options at my fingertips.

The Harmony Hub is a really cool device that Chris suggested we purchase. It makes our Google home WAY more functional, by allowing us to connect it with our lighting, television, and sound bar. It allows you to create awesome shortcuts that otherwise would require several verbal cues on the Google home. For example, now we can say "Hey Google, turn on Project Runway" and our Roku, sound bar, and television turn on AND THEN it auto selects Hulu and the episode of Project Runway that we are watching. My personal favorite shortcut we've created is "Hey Google, it's party time" and our favorite playlist turns on along with fun lighting from the Phillips Hue bulbs.

Lastly, we got a great deal on this beautiful set of books. It matches our apartment decor beautifully and would be a great gift for any book loving child or adult.

4 - Dear White People on Netflix

I think this show is a must watch for everyone. It has great messaging without beating you over the head with it. The show revolves around a group of black students on a primarily white Ivy League campus. Each episode focuses on a particular character and delves into the different complexities of being a black student. It is a quick paced show as each episode only runs a half hour long. I will say, the first 3 or so episodes are slow. If you're unsure about this - please give it a shot. It's entertaining, beautifully shot, and one way to start getting yourself "woke."

5 - Loreal Colorista

Guys. I did it. I've wanted pink hair for ages, so I finally did something about it. I picked up the super temporary Colorista dye from Loreal and it worked great! I love it so much that I may try another color and then bite the bullet on a professional job. Why not have fun colored hair if you want it? This color was made for light blonde hair, and my hair is dark blonde bordering brunette, so the color isn't exactly as vibrant as I want it to be. However, that isn't to be unexpected because my hair is clearly darker than the box suggests. What color should I try next - mermaid teal?

What are your favorite things at the moment? It can be a feeling, an event, a food, a product, or anything that strikes your fancy!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

5 miracle makeup products I can't live without

Recently, I've been very into minimizing my beauty collection. I had way too many products, some that I didn't love, and my morning routine was just too stressful. Why have many products that I don't love instead of having few products that I adore? Additionally, I'm a low maintenance kind of gal. I want products that perform miracles with minimal effort. So behold - my miracle makeup products that I just can't live without!

Monday, May 1, 2017

20 things I learned in 20 months of teaching

I've almost been a teacher for 20 months. It's hard to believe that I'm coming to a close on my 2nd year in this profession. Below are 20 things I've learned over the past 20 months.

Monday, January 2, 2017

A lovely day at the skating rink and the cutest Kate Spade earmuffs

Happy New Year, everyone! I'm planning to post more recaps and goals later on this week, but I just couldn't hold back with sharing the photos we captured on our last trip to the skating rink AND the adorable earmuffs that I wore that day.

One of the gifts my mom brought me for Christmas was these Kate Spade earmuffs, scarf, and gloves. The scarf and gloves are darling (seriously, the gloves have a little rhinestone ring on one of the fingers), but the earmuffs truly take the cake.

It is no secret that I love hairbows, but sometimes it just isn't appropriate to wear a bow in your hair at all times. These earmuffs are the perfect way for me to incorporate a bow into any winter look!

Sometimes, winter fashion can feel a little blah. That's why I think it is important to incorporate some winter wear pieces that keep you warm AND make you feel like a million bucks!

PS - You can find a very similar Kate Spade style here or the exact style here.

Click to keep reading! xo

Friday, December 30, 2016

The stories we all talked about in 2016

How does one even begin to describe 2016. The world definitely got shaken up a little, or a lot. Lets take some time to take a walk down (recent) memory lane and recap the events and themes that gripped 2016. Shall we?

Before we begin, I always add that these are the events that stood out to me. I'm an American who consumes primarily American news. I'm sure there are stories you'd add or even remove if this were your list. Let's talk about those in the comments below! Until then, please reflect with me on the biggest stories of 2016. 

My 2016 in a nutshell - Parts 3 and 4

I already covered parts 1 and 2 on the blog. Parts 3 and 4 feel so recent. The second half of 2016 flew! I started my 2nd year of teaching (score)! And boy, everything feels so much easier this time around. I enjoyed the best teacher summer anyone could ask for by taking a road trip across the country and spending tons of time at the lake (score)! Finally, Chris and I spent our first Christmas together with our own tree and everything (score)!

Below is a month by month break down, illustrated by Instagram.


July was my first full month off of school, but it didn't slow down any. We moved from Hyde Park to Streeterville and took a massive road trip across the country.

We started July at our buddy's lake house. What a perfect place to spend 4th of July!

A photo posted by Heather Otto (@xoheatherotto) on

Long story short, we embarked on an impromptu road trip after 4th of July weekend. That road trip took us from Chicago to Posey Lake to Ohio to DC to Philadelphia to Hershey to Pittsburg to Ann Arbor back to Chicago. To top it off, we had just moved into our apartment before we left and came home to an unpacked apartment. Phew!

A photo posted by Heather Otto (@xoheatherotto) on

A photo posted by Heather Otto (@xoheatherotto) on

A photo posted by Heather Otto (@xoheatherotto) on

Thursday, December 29, 2016

My 2016 in a nutshell - Parts 1 and 2

What a year! 2016 has been a whirlwind to say the least. Though 2016 wasn't so kind to us politically and culturally, it is still important to reflect on your own personal accomplishments, landmarks, and growth throughout the year. So what happened in the winter and spring of 2016? Well, I finished my first year of teaching (score)! Chris moved to Chicago, and we moved in together (score)! My friendships here blossomed (score)!

Below is a month by month breakdown for the first 6 months of 2016.


I started off the year in the best way possible - with a trip to Disney World! I had never been, and Chris surprised me with a trip for Christmas. Disney World was just as magical (if not more magical) than everyone said it would be. Now, I can't stop thinking about when I can return!

A photo posted by Heather Otto (@xoheatherotto) on

A photo posted by Heather Otto (@xoheatherotto) on

A photo posted by Heather Otto (@xoheatherotto) on

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