Texas Travel | Texas Tulip Fields

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There’s a little piece of Holland in Texas and in late February! Texas has so many beautiful wild flowers in the spring but just outside of San Antonio and Dallas, you’ll find beautiful Texas Tulip Fields. The season is short, so I wanted to make sure to get this post up, in case you are interested in going.

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I went to La Vernia, TX, northeast of San Antonio during the last weekend in February. The tulips were beautiful. If you are trying to capture some great pictures, I would suggest going earlier in the season. By the time I went, a lot were picked over. The season is now closed at this location. I was able to go at the tail end.

Admission: Parking is Free, $5 per person to get in and $2.50 per tulip

For more info, check them out here.

They will wrap the tulips and add a jelly to the bottoms to preserve them. When you get home, just rise off the jelly and cut the tips. Our tulips lasted about a week with very little care.

This is definitely worth checking out in my opinion. The earlier in the season, the better. The Pilot Point, TX location just north of Dallas is open until the end of March from 10 AM to 8 PM. Perfect for spring break! Happy Spring!

XO, Em

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Lake Travis Film Festival

This past weekend, I was able to attend the Lake Travis Film Festival. This being its inaugural year, I had no idea what to expect. It was a FANTASTIC experience, to say the least. This was a four day film festival held just outside of Austin, TX, in the Lakeway and Bee Caves areas. Some of the projects showcased were short films, feature films, student films, documentaries and music videos.

The Lakeway Resort and Spa was the location for the first day. If you are in the Austin area, I HIGHLY recommend you go check out their picturesque views.

The first film that was previewed was Class Act: Dance Hall Divas. This is “a documentary film that chronicles nine women embracing the power of dancing, sisterhood and sequins in their golden years”. The vivacious women are 70-93 years old. Age is just a number to these gals. Empowering women is something that I am extremely passionate about. While I am usually talking about body positivity, the Dance Hall Divas helped me realize you are only as old as you feel!

The third night of the festival was award night at the beautiful Sonesta Bee Caves Hotel! Boo was my date (of course!), we got all dolled up for the event. It was very casual. No assigned seating so we found a table and got to know our neighbors. To my left, were Perla and Buddy – a husband and wife team whose film “Chispa” was nominated to win in the Short Screenplay category. GUESS WHAT?! They WON!! Click here to check out their multi-media production company.

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The last day was Industry Day. It was a free day and open to the public (a badge was required the rest of the days). This day was held at Star Hill Ranch. It looked like an old western town. Film screenings, special events, stunts, drinks, Q & A’s, exhibitions and food trucks were just some of the activities you got to enjoy.

Thank you to the Lake Travis Film Festival for inviting me out! Getting to know so many Texas (and some international) creatives was so special. LTFF is actually a non-profit organization with an eye for showcasing Texas and global filmmakers.

XO, Em

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Texas Travel | Tiny House Getaway

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Anyone else like camping, or should I say GLAMPING? Last week Boo, Bruno and I went on a Valentine’s Day getaway to a cabin in the woods. It’s so hard to disconnect from texts, calls, emails, work… So we thought this would be the perfect way to spend Valentine’s day.

Thank you to Getaway for hosting us! To check them out click here and use the code LUXNPUPS25 to save $25 when booking.

At first, all we knew is that the location would be in the middle of the nowhere, about 3 hours away from home. Once we booked, we received an email with directions. We were so excited for this little getaway. The fact that we would be able to bring our pups was a MAJOR plus.

The day of, we packed food, drinks and an overnight bag and off we went! I also downloaded a map of the location just in case we lost reception. Even the drive was so relaxing. Being in Texas, it was 3 hours of farms and cute cows. Getting closer to the location, we noticed the trees where much taller, we were literally in the middle of nowhere.

Once you get to the site, you are surrounded by these big, beautiful trees. We found our cabin called “Mark”, which we had been assigned to in the days leading up to our getaway. It was the cutest cabin I had ever seen! Outside there’s a fire pit and seating. You will need to bring your own wood fire. It’s perfect for making s’mores.

Once we unpacked and got settled in, we started cooking. I grabbed our phones, put them into “Do Not Disturb” mode and locked them up in a box that Getaway provides. We wanted to completely disconnect and spend time with each other.

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We ate, played games and talked for hours. It felt so wonderful to just chat and laugh with my wife. Even when we do that at home, we are never fully disconnect from the outside world.

Who doesn’t like to getaway from time to time? Travelling can be expensive but something like a staycation or a mini road trip can be just as fun and more affordable! Looking forward to any trip can help get you through a busy work week.

You don’t have to be in Texas to enjoy a retreat to one of the cabins. Getaway is found in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Cleveland + Pittsburgh, Portland and D.C. Don’t forget to use the code LUXNPUPS25 to save, if you decide to book.

Happy planning!

XO, Em

Skincare for Dry Skin

No makeup was worn in these pictures, only skincare

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Last year, after our trip to Colorado, my skin was extremely dry. To the point it felt scaly. It was so rough and flaky. I immediately made an appointment with my esthetician (now employer).

The weather in Texas is not only warmer but also a lot more humid than the Rocky Mountains. So, naturally my skin freaked! This year, I was prepared and determined to keep my skin in tact. Today, I’m sharing the products I took with me on our trip to make sure my skin stayed hydrated and healthy!

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make sure to click on the images above, to be taken to the exact product

Routine

Cleanser – Indie Lee Brightening

This is a lightweight gel cleanser that truly does brighten your complexion over time. The strawberry seed oil helps hydrate. It can also act as an exfoliant if left on for 5 mins to help rid of any dead skin cells. It also removes stubborn eye makeup.

Toner – Indie Lee CoQ-10

Not only is this going to balance your skin’s pH levels but the hyaluronic acid & aloe vera are going to hydrate.

Serum – Glossier Super Bounce

To be 100% honest – this serum is just okay. I brought it because I was testing it out. I prefer Raeka Beauty‘s 24 karat Gold Serum. Also rich in hyaluronic acid.

Moisturizer (morning only) – Indie Lee Active Oil-Free

Super lightweight. Love this for day time because it absorbs quickly. Highly recommend for all skin types.

Night Time

After I would cleanse and tone I would apply these two products that I believe saved my skin!

Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Mask

Game changer!!! I applied a thin layer of this evenly, all over my face nightly. This contains 1000 micro & macro molecular sizes of hyaluronic acid and replenishes any lost moisture. Sometimes I would apply the smallest amount to dryer areas in the morning.

Tata Harper Retinoic Nutrient Facial Oil

As if the mask wasn’t enough, I added this beautiful oil over top. It smells like a spa. I LOVE this oil.

Also Queens, I drank plenty of WATER! Please do not skip that step. This routine is great for dry skin types. I’ve had oily skin & hormonal acne as well, so if you need recommendations for that, let me know! I hope you find this helpful, especially this time of the year.

XO, Em

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Amazon Gift Guide Under $50 + $1000 Amazon giveaway

Dress | Cardigan | Sunglasses

Favorite Amazon dress & sunnies

With Christmas exactly 3 WEEKS AWAY, I’m sharing my Amazon favorites as a gift guide. All products are under $50 and all but the handbag are available on Prime.

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Click on the images above to be taken to the items

Clear PVC Handbag – $32.99

I’m am still loving the clear bag trend. This one has been super popular and is great to take into stadiums.

Bagail Packing Cubes – $24

These have been a huge game changer for me. They compress clothing so well! So helpful for saving precious luggage space.

Glass Tumbler w/Silicone Sleeve – $12.99

I love to use reusable cups as much as possible, especially glass. I love this one because it has a sleeve just in case you drop it.

Travel Makeup Case – $33

While this is genius for travel, it’s also great for home. Keeps everything organized and the compartments are adjustable.

Nest Holiday Candle – $42

I LOVE the scent of this candle. The scent is warm, almost like mulled spices.

Studded Jelly Sandals – $9

These are a great dupe for my Valentino Rock studs. I know it’s winter but I wear my sandals soooo much. These are definitely a great gift!

Revlon Hair Dryer – $41

Not only does this give you a great blow out but you can easily use this to refresh second day hair (or third day hair, I don’t judge lol).

Silicone Wine Glass Holder – $15

How cool is this??? Take a bubble bath and enjoy your fave glass of wine or mocktail! I think this is such a great idea.

We’re making a list and checking it twice! I’ve teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers to give YOU a chance to win:

a $1,000 Amazon or VISA Gift Card,

just in time to complete your holiday wish list!

Simply enter below by completing the rafflecopter.  You’ll receive one entry per completion.  This giveaway is open to the U.S. and Canada only and runs until 12/11.

Winner will be announced here. Good Luck!

Void where prohibited.  By entering the giveaway you acknowledge that you are agreeing to complete each task, which involves following, liking and subscribing to newsletter’s.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nordstrom Beauty Gift Guide + GIVEAWAY

First and foremost, I want to wish you and your family a happy Thanksgiving!

For my first gift guide this year, I wanted to share some of my favorite luxury beauty and nontoxic skincare products. Nordstrom’s has so many great holiday sets. I’m sharing 15 sets ranging from $15 – $115.

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you can click on the product image above to be taken directly to it!

Tata Harper Hyaluronic Duo – $115

With the colder months, comes dry skin. This duo will leaving you GLOWING! It’s so hydrating!

Diorshow Catwalk Look Set – $29.50

There’s nothing quite like a red lip for the holidays. This set has a great red lipstick and the perfect volumizing mascara to keep the focus on the red lip.

YSL Nude Lip Trio – $79

Maybe red is too bold. This set offers three nude lippies to compliment any look.

Oribe Dry Styling Trio – $75

I love these products!! They give great volume and hold the hair in place. It’s like if dry shampoo & hair spray had a baby.

Patchology Eye Gels – $15

While you’re doing your hair but before your makeup, give your eyes some love. These patches are great for depuffing.

Tata Harper Glow Getter – $48

Heading out to any holiday party or event? Apply this cleanser to get rid of dead skin & layer the mask over top. Leave on for 5 mins and viola! Radiant skin!

Urban Decay Naked Heat – $54

I was gifted this set earlier this year and love it so much! You can create so many looks. There’s also a mini version.

Chanel Manicure Set – $110

This is such a lux manicure set. Comes with the perfect nude, top coat & hand lotion.

YSL Lipgloss Trio – $60

Can you tell, I love YSL lippies. They smell so yummy! This gloss trio is great when you just want to throw something on.

Indie Lee Discover Kit – $29

Indie Lee is such a great skincare brand. This set contains the Brightening Cleanser, that really does brighten your skin.

Slipsilk Hair Ties – $25

These aren’t just your ordinary hair ties, they are lux, silk ties. They feel great and won’t tug on your hair.

Chanel Eyelash Curler – $30

Give a little Chanel without breaking the bank. I love giving (and receiving) Chanel Beauty tools. They are so chic.

YSL Holiday Essentials Set – $55

Gold skin primer, lipstick & mascara, what more do you need?

Caudalie Essentials Set – $49

This is great for any skin type and for anyone wanting a self care moment.

Tom Ford Eyeshadow and Lip Duo – $88

This eyeshadow quad is gorgeous! You could create a smokey eye or something subtle. Pair it with a one of two nude lippies.

We’re making a list and checking it twice!
I’ve teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers
to give YOU a chance to win:
a $1,000 Amazon or VISA Gift Card,
just in time to complete your holiday wish list!

Simply enter below by completing the rafflecopter. You’ll receive one entry per completion. This giveaway is open to the U.S. and Canada only and runs until 12/11.
Winner will be announced here. Good Luck!

Void where prohibited. By entering the giveaway you acknowledge that you are agreeing to complete each task,which involves following, liking and subscribing to newsletter’s.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blogger Tips ♥ Two Year Blog Anniversary

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Exact Dress ⊥ Photography by Erin Dudley

It’s been so long since I sat down in front of my laptop to create a blog post, but SHE IS BACK QUEEN!!!

Two years ago I was sitting on the floor in my living room with my boy, Bruno, and changed my IG handle to LUXANDPUPS. Finally after along time of debating whether or not to start a blog, I did. By no means am I saying I am the best blogger or “influencer” (yuck I hate that term lol) but I have learned a few things along the way. I want to share a few things that have stood out and have helped me thus far.

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Be particular about your collaborations

Even from the very beginning, I told myself that I wouldn’t just take on any collaboration that came my way. While it is tempting, especially at the beginning, to collaborate with every company that emails you, take a step back to see if this fit into your blog. Is this product or campaign something that you relate to or are passionate about. This also leads me to my second point.

It’s okay to say no

If this campaign doesn’t align with your blog’s mission, it’s okay to say no. I was rejecting about 99% of email that came through at the beginning. I would politely respond letting them know that, right now, isn’t a good time for xyz reason. I feel like my blog’s mission is a little clearer now, so companies that fall within my niches, reach out more often.

Define your mission

Now, I hear it ALL THE TIME – fine your niche, have a niche. While it is important to know what you will be talking about, I also do not think you have to have a specific niche. Which goes against everything ‘social media strategist’ say. I love being able to talk about being curvy, empowering women, nontoxic skincare, luxury purses, being gay, and a dog mom. This is my blog. I do think it’s important to find a way to tie every topic together and be relatable. So my blog has a mission, not a niche.

Respond to every email

Once those collaborations start coming through, make sure to respond to them, even if it is to decline. You never know, even if you decline now, there might be an opportunity to collab in the future. If you move forward with working with a company, respond to their emails as quickly as possible. I try to respond by the end-of-day.

Get out there and make blogger friends

I have been so lucky to have made friends with some really amazing bloggers. They not only allow me to bounce ideas off of them, but we share contacts or motivate each other to know our worth. It’s so important that we stick together and help out when we can. It’s all about community over competition for me.

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There you have it folks. These are just a few things that I have learned in my short two years of blogging. I would love to know if there are any tips you have for me or other bloggers that might be starting off. Thanks so much for being a part of my life! I cannot explain how grateful I am to have met so many wonderful people on the internet.

XO, Em

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Leopard Print Outfits

Leopard print is a neutral, right? Please tell me I am not the only one that thinks so. Animal print is everywhere right now but I actually consider it a timeless trend. There are so many ways to incorporate leopard print into your wardrobe. Today, I’m sharing a few of my recent favorite looks. I’ll also share some pieces that can take you into fall – although, in Texas, we still have another 3 months of summer

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Dress | Shoes | Sunnies | Similar Purse

Plus size Queens – this one is for you!! I love how flattering this dress is. It comes in other colors also. I ordered another one in black (of course lol). It is extremely flattering. The length is perfect and I even love that the sleeve lands right above the elbow. I got so many compliments from gay men in this outfit lol!! Thanks, Queens.

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Dress | Purse | Affordable Purse | LV  BootsAffordable Boots

I have never worn boots with a dress – aside from the time I wore cowboy boots with a bride’s maid dress. I stepped out of my comfort zone but I felt GREAT!!!! This lightweight dress is a great casual option for the summer. Comes in sizes XS – XXL – yay for size inclusivity!!

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Tank | Skirt | Similar Skirt | Shoes | Similar Bag | Sunnies | Lippie

This is my favorite outfit at the moment. It’s so comfortable and flattering. The skirt comes in black – which I am ordering ASAP. It’s lightweight, as well. This is my favorite tank & it comes in so many colors. If you are not into tanks – this same brand makes a great short sleeve tee and long sleeve tee. I also got a lot of compliments on this look, this time from women lol.

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Some of you are going to be moving into colder weather soon – I envy you. These outfits can easily transition into fall by pairs with a cool (faux) leather jacket or cardigan. Or maybe you can to add a touch of animal print to an outfit you already have in your closet.

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These are just three of my favorite looks. There are so many gorgeous ways to style animal print. Let me know if you have worn this trend and how you’re rocking it!

XO, Em

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2019

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The Nordstrom anniversary sale is here! I look forward to this sale all year. If you are not familiar with this event, this is where NEW items go on MEGA discount.  I want to share a few things that I have my eyes on. First, let’s go over important info & a few dates.

Early Access is from Friday, July 12th – July 18 (sale begins 7/12 at 11:30 CST online) – this is for Nordstrom Card Holders.

Public Access July 19th – August 4th – Sale is open to everyone. Prices will go to full price on August 5th.

To shop early access you do need to have a Nordstrom card. I am not telling you to run out and get the card. Please do your research and do what is best for you. If you know you want to get the card, you can do that here.

Things sell out fast. By the time the sale is open to the public, a lot will be gone BUT some item get restocked. Some of my fave brands to look out for are: Leith, Halogen, Caslon, Okay, enough reading… On to a little peak at the goods!!

Clothing

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Basics

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Random Favorites

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Shoes

I’ll add more as I see them appear on Nordstrom’s website.

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