5 Favorite Winter Essentials for Dry Skin

Even though Southern California isn’t the driest of winter airs, we’ve lived in some low humidity cities where winter is really harsh on your skin (especially when we lived in Utah!) I feel like my skin is naturally dry but I’ve found a few things that definitely help my skin and overall health in dry weather. Here are my top 5 winter essentials:

winter essentials for dry skin

  1. ¬†Humidifier– We actually have 2 of this same humidifier! I use one in my room in the winter (or if I’m sick) and we’ll use the second one in the kids’ bedrooms if they¬†get sick. I feel like I can breathe better at night and feel more rested in the morning. I like this one because it’s small, the cord is a¬†good length (it’s about 5 feet long), it’s easy to fill and clean and you can adjust the level of humidity.
  2. Gold Bond Rough & Bumpy lotion¬†– this lotion is awesome. It’s made for skin that is extra dry and I use it daily on my upper arms which for some reason are more dry than the rest of my skin. I saw¬†good results in the first week of using it! My skin is much less bumpy and dry.
  3. ¬†Saline salt nasal spray – this helps with dry nasal membranes. It’s not by prescription, non habit-forming and great to use for nasal congestion. It’s not medicated and easy to spray in your nose. It also doesn’t taste weird like how some medicated nasal sprays can drip into your throat. I buy this at any¬†grocery or drug store and it’s only a few dollars.
  4. ¬†Vicks Vaporub¬†– ¬†I’ve written about this product before and how¬†great it is for a sore throat! There are actually lots of uses for Vicks Rub but my primary use is if I feel a sore throat coming, I’ll rub it on (the outside) of my throat before¬†going to bed. It doesn’t cure an illness but alleviates the symptoms.
  5. ¬†Hydro Flask– I’ve also talked a lot about this bottle because it’s honestly one of my favorite things to have cold water all day! I especially love this bottle because it doesn’t collect condensation so I can bring it in a bag and not worry about other items¬†getting wet. I have the wide mouth spout version which I prefer, they make a variety of sizes and mouth openings. Hydration is super important all the time but especially in the winter and can help with dry skin, illness, etc.

*related: 7 Ways to Fight a Cold , more on my Hydro Flask love

*semi related: follow along via Bloglovin’

Fiesta Friday: links I love and things to celebrate

things to celebrate happy weekend links

I might be living under a rock but I just found out what¬†skin essence¬†is last week – has anyone tried one?! There seems to be a lot of types with varying functions including hydration, creating a more even skin tone, etc. I’m interested in¬†this one from The Body Shop, the benefits seems nice of course and I’ve used Body Shop products in the past (like their¬†Tea Tree Oil Facial Wash¬†which I love!)

How to have an awesome weekend WITHOUT spending any money!

One of my favorite quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.:




New year, new you: smile brilliant

2016 is winding down and it’s been a crazy year -from the Cubs breaking the curse and winning the World Series to the presidential election upset! It was an exciting year for us as we moved from Utah to Texas to California, sold our first home, bought and sold our second home and feel like we’ve been packing and unpacking all year ūüėČ The holiday season is always a fun time to reflect on the year and anticipate the excitement that will come in the new year. With the new year, why not a new you and a new smile?! I’m excited to introduce an awesome product that will¬†give you a brand new and confident smile!

smile brilliant at home teeth whitening trays affordable

Smile Brilliant is a teeth whitening product like no other. I’ve used a few different whitening products and whitening strips but was so impressed with the results from Smile Brilliant. The process is simple and the time you invest will pay off.

smilebrilliant smilebrilliant at home teeth whitening trays

  • The company sends trays and material to make your dental impressions.
  • Mail back your impressions in a pre-paid envelope and in about a week you will receive your custom fit trays.
  • Brush your teeth with water, squeeze (from the syringe that comes with the package) the whitening¬†gel into the tray and leave on your teeth anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours. On average I left my trays on for an hour and 15 minutes.
  • Remove the trays and rinse them with water, brush your teeth with toothpaste.
  • Apply the desensitizing¬†gel to the trays and leave the trays on your teeth for 10-15 minutes. After you are not supposed to eat or drink for at least 30 minutes. I always used my whitening trays before bed so it was never an issue.

smilebrilliant teeth whitening at home¬†My teeth are naturally sensitive so I used the whitening trays every other day for the recommended times and still¬†got awesome results. These trays are easy to use, painless, don’t taste weird and come with all the instructions in the box. If you invest the time, you will¬†get¬†great results too!

I loved that the trays were made to fit my teeth so the¬†gel didn’t ooze out. With previous whitening products I’ve tried, the product slips out and is often swallowed. ¬†I loved that I could whiten my teeth in my pajamas in my home without going to the dentist’s office and while still¬†getting the same results!

Smile Brilliant has generously offered to giveaway a custom teeth whitening kit! Enter here.

You can also save 5% by using the code: jamtart

If you’re interested in reading more about the process, click here and here is a video showing the process. If you have any questions about the product or process please let me know or you can read these FAQs.

The giveaway ends in two weeks. This post is sponsored by Smile Brilliant.
Tooth Discoloration

Jen’s favorite things

There are a few products that I love so much and wish this could be like Oprah’s favorite things where she actually¬†gives out the product,¬†guess this recommendation list is the next best thing ūüėČ


Charcoal face mask – Clinique claims this product will refine your pores and it actually does! You use it only 1-2 times a week (to prevent over-drying) and I love how fresh and clean my face feels afterwards.

Hydro Flask water bottle – keeps water cold all day without leaking condensation. I love the flip lid on this bottle with a wide-mouth opening that clips shut and doesn’t leak. I seriously take this bottle everywhere, it’s definitely helping ¬†me with my health¬†goal to drink more water.

Baker’s Twine¬†– I bought a bulk pack with 6 different colors a few years ago from a daily deals site and love the twine for wrapping presents, treat bags, crafts, etc.

Steam Pocket Mop– we¬†got this floor steamer when we moved to Draper and had new, beautiful laminate flooring. It’s super easy to use and maintain. I love the smell and feeling of freshly steamed floors.

Brow pencil – by Anastasia – I’ve posted about this before but after using a few other brow fillers (crayons, powder, etc) this one is by far my favorite. It’s easy to apply and¬†get a natural look.

Running shorts – these fit¬†great with a semi-high waistband that doesn’t ride up or slip. The 4-way stretch allows for maximum flexibility and it has a small zip pocket in the back. They are so comfortable to run and exercise in!

Eyebrow pencil: current product love

I’ve used a few different brow fillers – both pencil and powder – and have found one I’m currently loving! It’s the Anastasia brand Brow Wiz pencil¬†($21). It has a crayon on one ends that¬†glides and fills in very naturally and a brush on the opposite end.

I love that the crayon is retractable (so no sharpening) and how smooth in fills in sparse areas. It’s easy to use and comes in 10 shades (I¬†got the ‘ebony’ shade).

Brow pencil- current product love

eyebrow crayon anastasia brow wiz


Fiesta Friday

things to celebrate happy weekend links

When we lived in Virginia, our street name was Cotswolds Hill Lane – having not known what the Cotswolds were then, they’ve since been added to my list of places to travel – check them out here with Julia’s travel post, so¬†gorgeous!

This is literally my favorite facial product right now! I’ve definitely seen the claimed results of refined pores and a clean, detoxified feeling on your skin.

I recently discovered an awesome travel blog from the beautiful Emi, who documented these amazing pregnancy photos on her trips!

Have a great weekend! XO