Life with Jude: Summer Updates

Good afternoon and how the heck are you?? I have not been as diligent about updating the blog, I know, but I have just been too busy loving the time with my son, husband, and family. I commend all of you that do keep up with such, and if you want to keep up with us more frequently head on over to Instagram and follow along: @dinos.and.dogwood.


I am currently obsessed with photographing Jude in front of fun murals and textured walls, so expect to see much more of this!

Family wise, we have had quite the busy summer so far, and are looking forward to all we have planned to come. We try to take Jude to do something as a family every weekend, even it’s just a small, new experience for him. We spent the weekend on the Eastern Shore for some quiet beach time, we visited an Alpaca farm where the owner hand spins her own yarn, we’ve visited Busch Gardens (although lately it’s either been too hot or rainy to go), and we’ve stopped by several other local hangs to just do the things. We have also started painting rocks, and let me say, Jude has quite the artistic touch!



I love that as parents we get to make our son take all of the more cheesy, staged vacy photos like we were once made to take.


Jude might have been less than thrilled about taking this photo, and shortly after he attemped to grab the alpaca by the face; the alpaca thus became less than thrilled.


We don’t all three often appear in photos like this, unless they are professionally taken, so when a kind man leaving our fave restaurant on the shore offered to take this I couldn’t say no.

If you follow along with any of our social media platforms then you know that as a family we are quite obsessed with dinosaurs (if the name + handle didn’t give it away). We went to a small dino expo back in March when my aunt and uncle gifted Jude tickets for his 2nd birthday. (We always love experience gifts!) When we found out that Jurassic Quest was coming to a venue near us we knew that it was going to be a must. We had an amazing family day (minus my brother-in-law who is admirably serving our country), and I loved watching Jude, as well as my niece and nephew,  get excited and explore and play.


Jude loves being outside, maybe even a little too much! He is constantly looking for means to get someone to take him out whether it’s day or night, rain or shine. I love his curious, playful spirit as it is the perfect companion to his loving, kind nature. We are thriving off of experiences as a family. Even if it’s something that my husband and I have experienced before, it becomes new again seeing our son experience it and get excited. Naturally, we have our trying toddler days so let’s not chalk it all up to cotton candy and moonbeams, but realizing that being this little boy’s mom is my jam is perhaps the greatest thing on the planet!


I love that living on the coast, by the water, gives us this backdrop to raise this little guy.

From first dentist appointments to first rides on the teacups, and everything in between, I have felt extra pressure to work every opportunity that comes my way to support these adventures. Justin is as busy as ever with his career, and while I have the blessing to be home with Jude I do still work to keep hustle strong! I am still an independtly contracted editor, but with summer being my slow season as far as that goes I have been putting a lot of effort into my online store, which you can link to in the menu above. If you’ve visited you’ve seen that it is currently full of witty and subversive cross stitch designs, but I already have been expanding with a line of hand lettered tote bags, key chains, wall hangings, and a few more gems, that should be making their way up there in the coming weeks!

To top it all off I am also just out of my first month in direct sales for the It Works global brand. To all of you skeptics I have to say, reconsider. I have been using the products on and off for a while, but after losing 30 pounds in the last three months I knew I had found something golden. If anyone is ever interested in what I am doing and using, or wants recommendations on a product or regimen that would work for them, please reach out! I want anyone and everyone to find the sweet spot like I have. It’s never too late to get fit and healthy! After seeing how strong and capable my body was in giving birth to Jude, I knew that I was going to make changes for myself and for my family, so the journey continues on that front!

If you’ve been wondering, what about the makeup?, let’s touch on that too. Do I still do makeup and styling? Yes. Do I do it full-time? No. I love all of my clients and peers, but my weeks are dedicated to Jude and other boss-babe areas. I do book weddings and photo shoots on the weekend, on a first come first serve basis. In fact, just this past month I worked with a dear model friend of mine to collaborate a series of hair and makeup looks for a photo shoot of promo images for an up and coming jewelry line, Ally Bling Couture. The photos from that amazing collaboration should be available soon, and I can’t wait to share them with you!

I know there are a million things I haven’t mentioned or updated, but when in the toddler whirlwind of life you are along for the ride in all capacities! I wish each of you a blessed summer and many memorable adventures as we too plan for our next holiday! Stay tuned here for more celebrity fashion posts and reviews on brands such as Urban Decays and Marc Jacobs. For now, we break for lunch! Let us know in the comments what you are up to this summer!!



Sofia Carson: Black, White + Wicked

Admittedly, I loved the first Descendents movie on Disney, so I am ready (along with my sister and niece) for tomorrow television release of Descendents 2. To celebrate the premiere I thought I would share this look that Sofia Carson, who plays Evie (daughter of The Evil Queen), wore at ‘Despierta America’ in Miami a couple of days ago:

She attended the event in this black and white pencil dress by David Koma (Spring 2017 collection), looking as chic and youthful as ever. The white pencil dress featured unique loop button details in contrasting black, as well as a black belt cinching in her narrow waist.

Sofia kept the accessories at a bare minimum, opting to pair the look with a pair of chunky black heels. Her hair was styled long, sleek, and glossy with a side part, and her makeup was fairly neutral with a dewy complexion.

Tune in tomorrow night for the premiere of Descendents 2 on the Disney channel.

Bella Hadid: Sheer and There. 

When Bella Hadid attended the Dior Exhibition Launch on Monday, July 3, at the Musee Des Artes Decoratifs in Paris, she arrived in a look that was so on trend that it passed being extra and circled back to crush-worthy:

Dressed all in Dior, Bella wore a sheer tulle dress, with metallic dot embellishments, over high-waisted logo trimmed briefs and bralette. The dress overlay features additional details of assymetry at the neckline, a whispy-trailing hem, and subtle bell-sleeves. The black and white designer undergarments complimented the black tulle, and looked super chic and on trend.

She paired her it-girl look with black pumps and a mini bag with top handles; hair styled in a classic twist, and fresh makeup. We can expect to see the logo undergarments making a continued run on the red carpet, and tulle is as classic as ever on the runway and in street style. I am really applauding this look on Bella for making me fall in love with something more unexpected.

Lily James: Baby Driver Baby Blues

Lily James is one of my red carpet faves, especially since her style greatly elevated after her starring role in the live-action remake of Cinderella. Her current role in Baby Driver brought her to the red carpet for the film’s European premiere in this baby blue gown by Burberry:

The fitted gown featured all over crystal floral embellishments, an alluring thigh-high slit, and black straps that cascaded down her back:

Lily kept her jewelry thoughtful and paired the look with a pair of strappy black heels to offer a grounding contrast to that Cinderella-blue. Her hair remained down is loosely styled waves, and her makeup was soft and natural, marking her as a picture of elegance.

Vanessa Hudgens: ao X Cuervo

We just got back from our mini vacay today, which I may pop onto the blog later this week, so to ease into this thing while I’m being all low-key I thought I would throw some celeb fashion up in here. I saw this look that Vanessa Hudgens wore to the launch party for alice + olivia X Jose Cuervo, which took place on June 22and thought it was certainly something special that needed a shoutout:

Vanessa kept things poignant and chic by pairing key pieces together to make a radiant overall impression. Her white slip dress was paired with a lime green Alice + Olivia kaftan; margarita vibes all day! Here accessories featured a neutral Giuseppe Zanotti clutch, Jennifer Fisher flat plate hoop earrings, and nude strappy sandals. The a+o kaftan is definitely the star here, especially with Vanessa’s casual chic styling of it.

She completes her pool party getup with soft waves in her bob, a glowing complexion, and diva shades to boot. Such a great look for poolsides and rooftops, and definitely one to draw inspo from this season.

Summer Favorite: Ultra Matte Liquid Lipsticks

I think we can all agree that summer is a completely different ballgame beauty wise. We want to look natural and put together, but we also want lasting makeup that we can wear all day and it won’t sweat off or fade fast. One product I love year round, but especially in the summer, are these Ultra Matte Liquid Lipsticks by Colourpop:

They come in over 50 shades and are super affordable at 6$ each, regular price. I’ve pictured a few of my favorites here, and will swatch the below; everthing from the subtle everyday to the more daring! They go on smooth and dry to a beautiful matte finish that is long-lasting and transfer proof! Of course, for optimal results you will want to make sure your lips are primed and exfoliated, and lined for best finish. If you aren’t feeling so matte one day you can simply top with your favorite gloss to give some shine. A huge bonus? Coloupop is a cruelty-free brand, bunny approved!

Visit to see the complete color collection and order for yourself!!

Review: LUSH Tooth Fairy Tooth Powder


Has anyone else ever heard of tooth powder?? Apparently it’s been around for quite some time, but it was completely foreign to me until I stumbled across it whilst perusing the LUSH website. One, it’s called Tooth Fairy, and yes, there are little sparkles in the tooth powder that give it that glittering shimmer fairy dust feel. Two, they actually describe it as sweet strawberry fairy dust, so I needed to know more about this, especially since it was reviewed quite highly.

WHAT IS IT? Well, it’s a powder alternative to standard tooth pastes and gels made from a kaolin clay-based powder. The powder is flavored with strawberry and lemon and then sweetened with xylitol and stevia, so you get a slightly sweet and clean aftertaste versus a minty one you would get with regular toothpaste.

HOW DOES IT WORK? You simply wet your toothbrush as usual and dab it into the powder and then brush!


WHAT’S IT LIKE? This is probably the question I’ve been asked most.  The feel is definitely different, but not off putting. Have you ever brushed your teeth with plain baking soda before? The feel is similar to that, but you get that slightly sweet strawberry taste. You won’t miss the foaming qualities either because the powder also works into a foam as you brush. The biggest difference to me was the after feel and taste. When you brush your teeth with regular toothpaste you get that powerful mint taste that is pretty synonymous with fresh breath and what have you. With the tooth powder, as I mentioned, you get a sweeter aftertaste, but it isn’t necessarily a turn off; just takes some getting used to.  Your mouth still definitely feels clean, and you can run your tongue over your teeth and feel that clean sensation.

I will admit, it is a different experience you would have to be open to if you have long been using traditional toothpaste. Since my initial trial of this I have been mixing it into the routine with my regular toothpaste, using it about 50/50 with my usual routine products. Since you only need to use such a very small amount with every brushing, the $9,95 price tag for the 1.2 oz tub is actually a great deal. Some extra benefits? You do get some whitening properties, which are much more gentle than other whitening products on the market. Also, you get all the good stuff that LUSH normally brings to the table with their cruelty-free image, and the tooth powder is also a vegan product. If you are interested in trying this stuff out for yourself you should visit your local LUSH store or check them out online for more details.

Jaimie Alexander: 2017 CFDA Awards

Please tell me I am not the only one that has been disappointed with celebrity fashion lately. I feel like too often it takes a less than impressive turn, especially when trends are too enmeshed with one another or looks are intentionally assembled to be questionable but attention earning. This past Monday night the 2017 CFDA Fashion Awards took place in the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC, and one look that grabbed my attention in a good way was this dress on Jaimie Alexander:

Jaime wore this metallic studded gown by Marc Bouwer, which carried both strong and feminine vibes throughout the night. The metallic studs gave an armor-esque feel to the statuesque silhouette, while the deep cut-outs on the back and bodice added vixen-chic elements. The high neck, capped sleeves, and front center slit are additional contrasting elements that make the look so appealing from both the front and back. 

Jaimie completed the evening’s look with Giuseppe Zanotti shoes, a Judith Leiber couture clutch, and Jennifer Meyer drop earrings. Her hair was softly upstyled and her sultry and smoky eye makeup was partnered with a nude lip, pulling everything together in a beautiful, cohesive way.

*photos via Getty Images*

Top 5: Nicole Kidman Cannes Fashion 

There’s been so many great looks at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and while going through all the red carpet looks I noticed that Nicole Kidman was consistently nailing it, as per usual. Can we just take a moment or two and appreciate some of these amazing looks soe’s worn thus far:

At last Sunday’s premier of “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” wearing a sparling silver Rodarte gown with baby pink ruffle details and coordinating silver heels by Christian Louboutin.

Wearing a luscious look by Calvin Klein by Appointment, featuring a black satin bodice and white tulle skirt.  Her red lips were a perfect contrasting complement to the red carpet look.

The visual interest and texture of this Dior Haute Couture gown is simply stunning. This peacock inspired look, complete with multiple strap details, definitely brought quite an extraordinary appeal to the photo call for “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” on Monday.


Nicole bought some serious vixen vibes at the photo call for “Top of the Lake: China Girl” on Tuesday. This assymetrical black dress by Versace was feminine, chic, and flirty, perfectly accessorized with black ankle strap heels and minimal jewelry.






How beautiful is the bold print on this patterned gown by Armani Prive?! Nicole bought some boho vibes to the Cannes 70th Anniversary film screening, complete with choker and carefree summer hair.

There are a few more days left in this year’s festival, so that’s plenty of time for more beautiful and showstopping looks to grace the red carpet. Who has been wearing your favorite looks this year? Are there any films you are particularly excited about seeing for yourself??
*photos via Getty Images*


Elle Fanning: Cannes Couture

It’s easy to go over the top, I imagine, when getting glammed up to make an impression on the red carpet; however, the looks I gravitate towards are the ones that bring those unique creative moments to otherwise chic and glamorous looks. Take this Vivienne Westwood gown that Elle Fanning wore to the Cannes premiere of Ismael’s Ghosts; it is beautiful and feminine with perfect notes of whimsy:

The ivory gown is pin-tucked and rouched in all the right places, baring her shoulders and cinching in her petite waist. The voluminous train brings home the win here with its array of floral and other assorted doodles, bringing both pops of color and a clever charm to the look.

Elle kept accessories to a bare minimum, opting for only some sparkling rings to complement her look. Her blonde hair was swept up in a top knot, and her winged liner and red lips perfectly rounded out this    statement red carpet look.