As ya'll know, I've been exploring cleaner beauty products that I can incorporate into my routines to help eliminate daily exposure to toxic chemicals and endocrine disruptors. Self tanner had been a staple in my routine as it gives you a nice glow, covers up tan lines and helps prevent you from damaging your own skin from the sun. It was hard however to find one with a clean ingredient list.

So, I've been on the hunt for a product I can feel confident in both for how it performs and what ingredients it contains. I'm happy to say Golden Star Beauty self tanner dry oil and self tanner facial serum has really impressed me. The tanner is made with organic jojoba oil, avocado oil, macadamia oil, evening primrose oil, and hyaluronic acid. It's paraben-free, cruelty-free and vegan... and actually works well! My only reservation is that fragrance is an ingredient which has the potential to mask potentially toxic chemicals that are not mandated to be listed. The product itself however, does not have a strong smell like most self tanners do.

The products I had used previously were foam and I applied them with a mitt. Golden Star Beauty does have this product as well but I wanted to try the dry oil because I'm honestly tired of our white Pottery Barn sheets turning orange when I self tan and I thought a dry oil sounded like it wouldn't rub off as easily.... and I was right. I actually didn't have a problem with the dry oil rubbing off on our sheets but I still wore black clothing after putting it on to play it safe!

To prep my skin, I first dry brushed, showered, used my homemade body scrub as an exfoliant and then shaved before completely drying off. Directions and recipe to that scrub and process can be found here. I then prepped areas of my skin that I didn't want to absorb too much oil like my elbows, hands/wrists, feet and knees with this lotion. Lastly, I sprayed the dry oil onto sections of my body and rubbed it in fully. I waited about 15-20 minutes before putting any clothes on and let my tan develop over the next 8 hours while I slept.

I will say I was nervous to apply the facial serum because I have very sensitive skin and I can develop blemishes pretty quickly. But this serum proved to be one that didn't irritate the skin! I washed my face with this foaming cleanser and exfoliated with this brush and then applied the serum to my entire face except for under my eyes and my eye lids -- I just prefer to have lighter under eye areas! I topped it with moisturizer and then let my tan develop over the next 8 hours while I slept. In the morning, I washed my face like normal and applied my make up like I normally would.

These pictures are after just one application. You can however, apply the oil over several days to deepen your tan. One application was perfect for my fair-skinned self!

If you would like to try these products out for yourself you may shop them here or on Amazon and use code GBWWCO10 for 10% off!

I'll also be linking my summer swimmie and pool accessories below.

Here's to clean, safe summer sun tans!


Well + Worthy Co.

For our first wedding anniversary, Carson and I decided to pack our bags and head west to the mountains of South Lake Tahoe. Although our plans were pushed back quite a few times, we finally made it and it was well worth the wait! I'm sharing our favorites from the places we ate to the adventures we had and the places I think you would love to see!

Places to Eat

We're huge coffee shop people, especially when it comes to vacation, so we're sharing two of our favorites that both gave off the best Mountain vibes.

Clydes Coffee Roasting Co.

This quaint coffee shop sits at the bottom of heavenly mountain and is complete with a fireplace and morning baked goods. Our order: sugar free vanilla iced latte, Nitro Cold brew, and an almond cinnamon twist.

Revive Coffee and Wine

If you couldn't tell by the name of this shop, I was a huge fan. I mean coffee and wine- you can't go wrong! But thats not all they had. The shop rested in a plot of pines and had ample outdoor seating. We tried our hand at tight rope walking which Carson excelled at to no ones surprise! Our drink orders remained the same but we added a couple morning sandwiches to the mix!

This coffee shop rests just within walking distance from El Dorado beach so one morning we ran the beach and rim of the lake before getting our coffee and the other morning we decided to get our coffee and go down to the beach to watch the waves and sunrise. It's breathtaking and worth the early wake up call.

Our lunches were usually intermixed between activities but we found some local places we were big fans of.

Base Camp Pizza

We liked this place so much, we went back for a second visit before we left! If you're into pizza, this is the place for you! They have traditional and non-traditional flavors but we stuck to the classic four cheese and pepperoni and cheese pizza - classic but delicious.

Ten Crows BBQ

This BBQ joint is located on the corner of the main strip of South Lake Tahoe and has live music playing at all hours. This restaurant wouldn't necessarily be my first choice but marriage is all about compromises and Carson enjoyed himself! I will say the morning leading up to this lunch was filled with 30+ miles of mountain biking so I didn't care what lunch was at that point! Pictured above is the Chimichuri Tri Dip sandwich with a side of Mac & Cheese.

Because this was our anniversary trip we wanted to treat ourselves to a couple of nice dinners and were able to do just that along with gorgeous views!

Riva Grill on the Lake

This restaurant sat right on the edge of the Lake and over the marina of boats and water toys that we had enjoyed earlier that day. The restaurant had outdoor patio seating and live music which added to the atmosphere.

The restaurant served house made red pepper hummus with bread sticks as an appetizer which definitely won me over and I opted to have the cashew crusted salmon over sweet potatoes while Carson enjoyed the Ribeye with asparagus. The food here was great and offered at an affordable price!

Edgewood Resort Restaurant

Okay, first let me just take a moment to say Edgewood Resort is absolutely stunning. I would love to come back to SLT and stay here but this time around it just wasn't in the budget. I would say it would make for the perfect domestic honeymoon location!

Anyways, the resort rests within a golf course right along the lake that also has a private beach and pool. You need to be on a list to get into the resort so reserving a spot at one of their restaurants is a sure way to take in the beautiful property!

This restaurant is their highest end and is located in an epicurean amphitheater that overlooks Lake Tahoe. If you're going to really treat yourself, this is the place to do it!

Sharing my meal below: Cesar salad and filet with micro veggies. The restaurant brought us dessert in honor of our anniversary and this vanilla bean ice cream was dreamy!

Brooks Bar at Edgewood

We loved Edgewood so much we needed to find a way back there and the Brooks Bar served as a perfect opportunity! This restaurant is located just off the pro shop and has indoor and outdoor seating that looks out over the course and Lake partially. No matter where you are on this property, there really isn't a bad view.

This menu provided many more options at more affordable prices which was why we decided it was our best dinner- or at least a close second to Riva Grill. And although it was the middle of summer we both ordered the cup of chili as an appetizer and still talk about it! It was so good and I highly recommend it. The rest of our dinner is pictured below.

Although the food was great, we really enjoyed the activities and time spent together in this beautiful place! This is certainly a place you could be as active or relaxed as you want to be but we certainly took full advantage of all the opportunities!

Must do Activities

Van Sickle Bi State Park Hike

I love hiking for the way it allows you to see a place literally from the ground up and gets you into nature and out of your daily emails, text messages and stress. So I was so excited to discover that Lake Tahoe has tons of trails to hike and we found one I highly recommend.

Van Sickle Bi state park is a hike of various length depending on how far you want to go but we decided we'd hike 3.5 miles in and turn around and hike 3.5 miles out. It weaves up heavenly mountain and offers viewpoints to look out over the lake all throughout the hike. We also found 4 different "water falls" along the hike which were filled with the most pure, ice cold water. I would recommend this hike to anyone going for the views, easy accessibility, and little slice of heaven.

Jet Skiing

If you really want to see just how beautiful the lake is, you have to get on it! If you know me, you know I refuse to get in water I can't see through. This lake posed no problem! You could literally see all the way down to the bottom in areas that were 20 feet deep. So, we decided that we would get out on the lake by going jet skiing and in my husband's typical style, we took the class Z supercharged jet ski for a spin. The experience and the views were incomparable. We rode over to Emerald Bay, splashed in the waves made by boats passing and truly soaked in God's creation. There's nothing like nature! We got our jet skis from Tahoe Sports and had a great experience!

After our ride we enjoyed popsicles from the cutest little stand that's local to the area. The popsicles were made with organic cane sugar, natural flavors and crisp Tahoe mountain water. They were so good! I got the lemon lavender flavor and Carson had the strawberry!

Mountain Biking

So this activity ended up being both my husband and I's favorite one! Despite a fall I had early on, we rode for 5 hours and had honestly the best time! I will preface this activity with a few words of caution: A helmet should be worn at all times while biking. The trails we rode are meant for those who consider themselves moderate to advanced athletes. Buy insurance on the bike for the day as most of these bikes are surprisingly worth a ton of money.

Carson and I downloaded an app called "Trailforks" that helped us navigate the trails on the mountains, know where we were at all times, and helped quantify the level of difficulty each trail would be. We chose to start on Powerline trail and bridged over the cold creek which both proved to be not for the faint of heart! I've taken numerous cycling classes and none compared to the level of difficulty biking up a mountain includes-shocker! But it was worth every bead of sweat and lactic acid molecule in my body. For those of you who prefer a little less sweat but still prefer the views, check out pop beach which has paved trails.

For a great experience regardless of where you ride, check out Over the Edge Bike rentals. Its a bike and coffee shop with personnel who are as nice as they are helpful when it comes to being fit for helmets, bikes, and recommending trails.

Look at these views!

This vacation was definitely one full of activity but just as much as we wanted to be active and explore the mountains, we also wanted to take full advantage of vacation and the ability to relax. We did so by visiting some of the most beautiful places and simply sitting and taking in the views. You'll definitely want to add these destinations to your list.

Places to See:

El Dorado Beach

We loved this little beach for sunsets, sunrises, and peace and quiet in the early hours of the morning. I wouldn't suggest this beach for a beach day however- its small and meant to be an easy access point for paddle boarding, putting in your boat or going for a swim. It is however perfect for a short visit to soak in the beauty. Carson and I chose to come here almost every morning whether it was after a run or after our morning coffee.

Emerald Bay

We explored this bay when we went jet skiing and knew we wanted to get back to the area to see it from the top! We drove about 15 miles north and the entire way up to the top of the mountains we couldn't help but stare in awe out of the windows. There is a destination at the top of Emerald Bay where you can park your car and look out over the bay. Many other visitors were taking the opportunity to start their hikes at one of the many trailheads that start at the top of the mountain and wind down to the bottom. This was really one of the most beautiful sights of our trip and thats saying a lot considering all of Lake Tahoe is breath taking.

Edgewood Resort

I know i've talked about this once already but its worth mentioning again. If you decide not to stay here but are still in the area, book a reservation at one of the restaurants and take advantage of the views and the private beach! After each one of our dinners, we took a glass of wine down to the beach and watched the sunset. Its beautiful, quiet and little slice of paradise. I'll let the pictures do the talking.

I hope you've enjoyed the recap of our South Lake Tahoe trip! It was a trip to remember and a destination we will surely be visiting again! If you end up visiting and going to any of the places we did, I would love to hear about your experience!


Well + Worthy Co

Everything worn on the trip has been linked below so you too can snag these items for your next adventure or date night!

What I wore to the beach:

What I wore hiking/ biking/ walking:

What I wore to travel in:

What I wore on date night:

The pink dress is not able to be linked but was bought at Alter'd State and is on sale now!

The last year as a midwife has convinced me of just how important sleep is for our physical body, our mental capacity, our emotional stability and honestly just our overall well being. I'm now even more convinced in the last 2 months after investing in a Whoop and receiving biofeedback every morning on the quality of sleep I'm getting. See, all sleep is not created equally. And I didn't know that prior to getting the Whoop... eight hours was eight hours right? Wrong.

To put it simply, there are three main categories of sleep. Light sleep, Deep sleep, and REM sleep. Light sleep is the phase of sleep where you can be easily woken up and for the majority of people, it takes up nearly half your night's slumber. Deep sleep is the portion of sleep where your physical body is repaired. Cellular repair occurs and hormones are regulated during this time. REM sleep, also called rapid eye movement sleep is the stage of sleep when your brain is repaired and ideas and skills are put into memory.

Here's a healthy breakdown of the percentage of each category of sleep you should be aiming for:

Graphics taken from Whoop website

For obvious reasons, it's important that our body receives adequate amounts of all three of the levels of sleep and not simply just a certain amount of hours. So how do you go about maximizing the quality of your sleep? It starts with the actions you do in the day and hours leading up to bedtime.

Get links to my nightstand decor here

My 10 Tips for improving the quality of your sleep

1. Conscience Caffeine Intake

By no means am I saying cut caffeine out of your diet completely. (Trust me, ya girl loves her iced coffee!) But become more conscience of the time of the day your're consuming caffeine because it affects the body in a stimulating way through the sympathetic nervous system. The exact opposite way your body is able to sleep and repair through the parasympathetic nervous system. As a rule of thumb, I cut myself off from caffeine after noon, but you know your body best!

2. Establish Sleep Consistency

If your job is anything like mine, this aspect is a little challenging. However, if you have a predictable schedule, sleep consistency -meaning going to sleep and waking up at the same time- has been proven to be very beneficial in the quality of sleep you get.

3. Establish a Nighttime Routine

A night time routine is helpful to signal your body it's time for sleep. It's even more helpful if it's one that facilitates sleep. Incorporate some of the tips below into your bed time routine every night to help facilitate and ease the process of falling asleep.

4. Stop Screen Time 30 Minutes Prior to Bed

Blue light that's emitted from our phones and computers isn't only unhealthy for our eyes (its been shown to lead to macular degeneration), it also suppresses levels of melatonin in our brain (the naturally occurring chemical that is released at night that calms our bodies and helps us fall asleep). *P.s. This is why melatonin supplements can be beneficial for those of you who struggle with insomnia.

If you are a person who has to look at their phone/computer all day long for work, I highly recommend investing in blue-light blocking glasses. These will not only protect your eyes but also prevent you from developing migraines and insomnia when it's time to get to sleep.

My favorite are Felix Greys but I have an amazon Dupe that work just as well!

5. Reserve your bed for sleeping

This may seem obvious but reserving your bed for sleep helps your body to recognize what it's responsible for when it gets there. I often times used to study/do work in my bed and then I couldn't fall asleep because I wasn't able to shut my mind off when trying to fall asleep after just having been in a working mindset in the same exact spot. Additionally, invest in sheets and bedding that you enjoy. My Slip pillowcase is by far my favorite thing not only for the benefits it has on my skin and hair but the fact that it always remains cool and helps me to sleep better.

Get my pillowcase and the rest of our bedding here:

6. Stretch + Meditate prior to bed

I cannot recommend these two practices enough. Stretching, especially your back, hamstrings, and side body is so restorative for your body's muscles and also helps to release any tension that has built up during the day. It's a great precedent for relaxing the muscles in the same way you want to relax your mind through meditation. My husband and I listen to the Headspace App quite often before going to bed to achieve relaxation of the mind.

*P.s. for any fellow nurse practitioners you can enter your NPI number for a free year's worth of the subscription!

7. Use a weighted blanket

I didn't necessarily see the benefit of this until I got one and experienced it for myself. The science behind the benefits of a weight blanket are as follows. The weight of the blanket pushes on touch receptors creating a feeling of being held down in a secure way (known as deep touch pressure). This feeling stimulates serotonin to be released within the brain which is a chemical that has pleasure and calming effects and is also necessary for the regulation of sleep. I didn't even necessarily buy a blanket that was marketed for this use but I use this Pottery Barn blanket that does the trick.

8. Make use of a sleeping mask

If you're unable to create a completely dark environment, the use of a sleep mask can be helpful to close out any lights. In our room, we have black out curtains and also utilize sleep masks. My husband jokes that he's going into the cockpit overnight because it definitely looks like he's wearing a fighter pilot helmet, but it gets the job done. You can get his rendition or mine which is way cuter, here:

9. Use a white noise machine if all else fails

These aren't just for kids! If you live in a busy city or have loud neighbors, you may want to get a white noise machine. You don't even necessarily have to get one as they have apps on your phone that supply the same noise but it can be distracting if text messages or alerts are coming through at the same time. For all of you who also work wonky hours, a sleep machine can be beneficial when trying to fall asleep when the rest of the world is awake (and loud!)

10. Get moving during the day

Your body will sleep on a 24 hour cycle because it needs it and we all have circadian rhythms within us, but it will sleep even better if you have given it a reason to be tired. Moving at least 30 minutes a day is great for your body, mind and your sleep.

I hope these tips help you fall asleep, stay asleep and improve the quality of your sleep! I share these tips from my own personal experience backed by scientific data. For me, I like knowing the why behind somethings efficacy and I hope that by sharing it with you, you can make informed decisions about your sleep and improve your overall wellbeing!

Sweet dreams,


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