Skin Care Giveaway: Hyaluronic Acid Cream from Renew Essentials

Hey gang, today I have an awesome skin care giveaway for you! This month’s featured sponsor, Renew Essentials will generously send one Brighter Sides reader a 4-month supply of Hyaluronic Acid Cream, a day/night moisturizer for healthy skin. That’s 2 jars of Hyaluronic Acid Cream, nearly an $80 value. Give one to a friend, or keep them both for yourself, we won’t judge!

What is Hyaluronic Acid, you ask? It’s a substance that your body naturally creates, and it’s wonderful at helping to boost moisture and help new cells turn over, revealing fresher, younger skin!


Renew Essentials’ Hyaluronic Acid Cream is also vegan and cruelty-free, gluten-free, paraben-free, and non-comedogenic (it won’t clog your pores). You can read more here.

Ready to get your hands on this moisturizer and start seeing healthier skin? Entering is easy! All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post with your name and email address, so that we can contact you if you’re the winner! This giveaway is open only to US residents.

I’ll also give an additional entry to followers of Brighter Sides! After you’ve left a comment with your name and email, follow @KelsiBSides on Instagram, then leave an additional comment with your name, and Instagram username so I can find you! If you already follow me, that’s great! Go ahead and leave that comment with your name, email and handle! (Please note, follows must be from your main account. Follows that come from accounts set up solely to enter giveaways will be discarded.)

This giveaway will run from March 27th through April 3rd. All entries must be posted by midnight PST on Friday April 3rd, 2015. Giveaway open only to people residing in the United States.

P.S. You might also like these posts:
My Skincare Routine
10 Of My Favorite Makeup Products Now
How To Clean And Maintain Your Blow Dryer

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By Kelsi Eldredge

Day Trip From Seattle To Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks Sign

A couple months ago, Aaron and I started binge watching Twin Peaks on Netflix. We may have been about 25 years late to get on the bandwagon, but after hearing about it for so long (I remember when it was originally on the air! Though at 5-6 years old, I would have been WAY too young to watch it at the time) we decided it was better late than never. After the first episode, we were hooked. The whole first season was pretty amazing, as was the first half of the second season. The storyline was interesting, most of the characters were great (Though I have never been able to stand James Hurley, egh.), and there were so many quotable lines. It’s no wonder that it’s such a well-loved show. Unfortunately, the second half of the second season was all but unwatchable – the storyline started taking turns that seemed pointless, female characters were overly sexualized, and male characters who had been thoughtful and considerate humans devolved into gross, leering misogynists. Even our beloved Agent Cooper displayed some loathsome behavior that contradicted his actions from the first season. I will say that Catherine remained a badass, and David Duchovney’s character, though flawed, remained pretty on-point. But we stuck it out to the end, and the last episode of the series nearly made up for it. It was bizarre and wonderful and left me asking “WTF?”

Since a lot of the exterior shots from Twin Peaks were filmed right here in Washington, and just a stone’s throw away, we decided that we ought to take a day trip from Seattle to do some sightseeing! So we picked a sunny day at the end of February (sadly, we missed the anniversary of when Agent Cooper arrived in Twin Peaks on the show by about a week) and drove east!

Day Trip From Seattle to Snoqualmie Point Park - Twin Peaks Location

Our first stop was Snoqalmie Point Park for a picnic! This is the park where Donna, James, and Laura had the picnic that was famously captured on video by “a woman hiker” at the very beginning of the series. It was a little chilly out, but the view was gorgeous. From a little lookout point, you could see the mountains, including Twin Peaks Ridge in the background, which I didn’t know was an actual place.

After we had our lunch and a walk around the park, we headed to Snoqualmie Falls, the site of “The Great Northern” which is featured in the opening to the show, as well as lots of exterior shots throughout the series. Here’s a photo I took of the hotel and the falls from the same viewpoint used in the show!

Day Trip From Seattle to Snoqualmie Falls - Twin Peaks Location - The Great Northern

And here’s a photo that Aaron took of me, standing in front of the falls. It was really gorgeous there, though much more crowded than we had anticipated! It turns out we headed there on President’s Day, which we didn’t take into consideration. I guess everyone who wasn’t working that day thought it would be a nice time to visit the falls, too!

At Snoqualmie Falls

Our last stop before going home was at the famous “RR” diner, most recently, Twede’s Cafe. The site of Coop’s favorite cherry pie, and a damn fine cup of coffee. Sadly, the interior looks quite different now than it did when they shot the pilot episode, due to a fire, which caused the building to be gutted and remodeled. Personally, I liked the look that the diner had originally.

Day Trip From Seattle to Twede's Cafe - Twin Peaks Location - RR

After happily filling our bellies with pie and coffee, and taking a few photos (and probably looking like major tourists to the locals) we headed back home to Seattle! Unfortunately, that location of “owl cave” is in California, as were some of the forest shots. That was a place I would have liked to have gone, too! All in all, it was a lovely day trip, and one that I would recommend to fans of the show, especially if you live nearby and are looking to make a day trip from Seattle!

Day Trip From Seattle to Twede's Cafe - Twin Peaks Location RR Diner

We missed our opportunity to shoot any video this time, but here is a neat cover of the Twin Peaks theme song that Aaron did on banjo, guitar, and glockenspiel.

P.S. You might also like these posts:
Day Trip From Seattle to Snoqualmie River for a Snow Day!
Dog Vacay Review and Our Wonderful Mini Vacay
Yosemite Nat’l Park With Jessa From Caked Blog

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By Kelsi Eldredge

Outfit Of The Day: Le Tote Review and $25 Off!

This post contains some affiliate links. I make a small amount of money when purchases are made after clicking links, which helps to keep the blog running!

Last month I posted my first outfit photos in over a year! I mentioned that I got rid of the majority of my clothing when I moved back to Seattle, and I’ve gained a few pounds since then, so a lot of what I do still own doesn’t fit properly. This has made my wardrobe selection really limited. I feel like I wear the same few things over and over. Even if I try to style pieces using different accessories each time (which my collection of is also pretty small) it gets boring really quickly. I don’t have room in my apartment/closet for a ton of new clothes (have I mentioned that I live in the apartment equivalent of a “tiny house“? It’s 195 square feet!) and since I am planning on losing the weight I gained so I can fit into the stuff I already own and love, I don’t want to go out and buy a bunch of new stuff, only to turn around and get rid of it when it doesn’t fit.

Le Tote subscription box review and $25 off!

Well, I think I’ve stumbled across the perfect solution to wardrobe boredom. Le Tote. (I’m about to rave about this company, and I just want you to know that it’s not even sponsored or anything – I pay full price for my totes. I just totally love it, so excuse all the mush!) I’ve seen Le Tote described as Netflix for clothing, and that’s pretty accurate. Here’s how it works. You sign up for a monthly subscription to Le Tote, fill out a style profile, and add items from their collection to your virtual closet. They’ll send you a box with 3 pieces of clothing and 2 accessories. (I love that with Le Tote, in contrast to other, similar companies, you get multiple pieces of clothing AND accessories, not just one or the other!)

Le Tote subscription box review and $25 off!

You wear the pieces for as long as you want – day, a week, a month, it doesn’t matter – and then drop them in the pre-paid return envelope and send them on their way! As soon as the package is scanned at the post office, Le Tote will start putting together a new tote for you and mail it off to you (2-day priority shipping!) You can receive multiple totes in a month if you decide to only wear your items a couple of times and return it for a new one, and the cost stays the same – it’s a flat subscription rate, regardless of how many totes you receive.

Le Tote subscription box review and $25 off!

And if something arrives in your tote that you can’t bare to part with, you don’t have to! Just keep the stuff you love and send the rest back. They’ll add the purchase amount to your bill automatically, and since the items are pre-worn, the purchase price for items is way below regular retail. Oh, and one more perk: they do the laundry! This is especially nice for city dwellers like me, who don’t have washers and dryers in our units. Laundry is such a hassle for me – it’s my most dreaded chore.

Le Tote subscription box review and $25 off!

I also had a friend who said she was going to try it out this summer because there’s a wedding she’s going to attend and she didn’t want to buy a new dress that she probably wouldn’t wear again. I think that’s brilliant. Wedding season is coming up, and I feel like this would be a perfect way to be able to wear different things to multiple occasions without having to buy a bunch of new stuff for each one. If you want to make sure you get something suitable for a special event in your next tote, all you have to do is drop them a line and give them a little advance notice!

Le Tote subscription box review and $25 off!

I absolutely adore this dress from my first tote by BB Dakota. It’s not often that I can find a dress that fits so well! If you’re large on the top, like I am, you probably know the struggle – find something that fits in the chest, and it’s often going to make you look either pregnant, or 20 lbs heavier than you are. Both of which are fine in their own right, but no one wants to be asked when the baby is due when they aren’t pregnant. This dress was a little shorter than I normally like, but it fit so well and was so pretty that I didn’t care! It was tight enough to hold all of the squishy bits in, but not so tight that it was uncomfortable. The ring is also from Le Tote, and while I loved the faux turquoise (turquoise is one of my favorite stones), it was a little too big for my fingers, even though it was adjustable. My fingers are really tiny! I sent both pieces back in my tote, but I think I am actually going to buy the dress from them now, because I regret not keeping it.

Le Tote subscription box review and $25 off!

If you’d like to try out Le Tote for yourself, please use >>my referral link!<< You'll get $25 off your first tote, and I'll get a $25 credit for my next one - we both win! A subscription is normally $49/mo, but you'll get your first tote for $24 with that link, and you can pause or cancel your subscription any time!

Outfit Details:
DressLe Tote (here, similar)
Tights – Target (on clearance for $5 right now!)
Boots – Dr. Martens (similar)
Sunglasses – Target (similar, similar)
Necklace – Amanda Bradway
Bracelet – thrifted (similar, similar)
Ring – Le Tote (similar, similar)

Have you used Le Tote or are you planning to try it out now? If you give it a go, I hope you love it as much as I do!

Photos by Aaron Shay

P.S. You might also like these posts:
4 Ways To Wear A Scarf
Outfit Of The Day: Pattern Mixing and Blogger Meetup

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By Kelsi Eldredge

TILT – Things I Love Thursday, March 12th, 2015

It’s been a little while, and I thought it was about time for a new Things I Love Thursday. Stuff around here has been pretty ordinary, lately. And I mean that in the best way. Nothing too dramatic or stressful has happened in a long time, and I’ve been able to just enjoy the pace. Here are some things that have made me happy recently.

– The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. This show is fantastic; it’s one of the funniest shows I’ve seen in a long time. It’s starring Ellie Kemper (I knew her as Erin from The Office), who plays a young woman who has just been rescued from a doomsday cult where she spent the past 15 years living communally in an underground bunker. We follow her as she makes her way in New York with a middle-school education and a void of knowledge about anything that has happened since the turn of the century. After watching the first episode, I was totally hooked and binge watched the rest of it. It’s a Netflix original, so that’s the only place you can (legally) watch it, but if you’re looking for a new show, I totally recommend it! Also, I’ve had the theme song stuck in my head for about 12 hours and I’m not even mad.
kimmy schmidt

This post by Hilary from the blog Cutie Cameras, about taking time for yourself – this is something that I struggle with, since I am naturally an introvert. I think we’re all so busy nowadays that we feel like if we aren’t busy every moment, then we’re being lazy, or selfish, or we’re missing out on something. This is a good reminder that it’s important to take time out for yourself. (Also, I met Hilary last month, and she’s a totally sweet, funny, fashionable lady – you should definitely check out her blog!)

– I’ve been updating vintage jewelry shop, Trash Treasury a lot more lately! I just added new sections for earrings and clearance jewelry, and I’ve got lots more stuff to list. I’m setting a goal of listing 100 pieces by the end of April, so if you haven’t checked it out yet, go see what I have going on! (be sure to favorite my shop or like my Facebook page for TTV to stay updated on new listings!)

– I’ve been watching all of the episodes of X-files, since finishing Twin Peaks. I haven’t seen this show since it was originally on the air, but I was a big fan of it as a kid. It’s funny how my perspective has changed though. I used to think that Mulder was really cool and always right and that Scully was such a boring stick in the mud. Now I’m watching it like, “Wow, Mulder. You’re really jumping to a lot of conclusions here. You should probably listen to Scully for once if you don’t want to get fired and/or die.” Whatever she says is always on point. As I was browsing the art on Society6 the other day, I came across this perfect illustration of Scully by heymonster.
dana scully by heymonster

– And last, but the opposite of least, Aaron and I just celebrated the fact that it’s been a year since we met! I really want to write a long, mushy essay about how great he is, and how great the past year has been, but it would gross you out and so I’ll spare you. He knows how I feel, so that’s all that matters. Here’s a photo he took of me while we were at brunch, where I am smiling a REAL SMILE, which never happens in photos… so that says it all.
kelsi and aaron's anniversary

I hope you’ve all been doing well, too. Feel free to share any thoughts or your own things you love in the comments!

P.S. You might also like these posts:
Outfit of the Day: Pattern Mixing and Blogger Meetup
Snow Day at Snoqualmie River
Free Printable Motivational Art

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By Kelsi Eldredge

4 Tips To Help You Grow Out Your Hair – Guest Article On Skirt Collective

13598908924_653f90b344_bPhoto: Flicker/Cristiana Gasparotto
I have a guest article over at Skirt Collective today, with 4 tips to help you grow out your hair. Here’s an excerpt:

“Hair is FUN. It may be our greatest accessory. You can change the color, style, and length over the years to dramatically alter your appearance. While it’s quick and easy ask your hairstylist to cut some new bangs or just chop it all off and rock a pixie cut for instant style gratification, waiting for it to grow out is a lot more frustrating – but it doesn’t have to be painful. If you’ve decided now is the time, and you’re committed to gaining some more length, these 4 tips will help ease you into long hair territory!”
Read the rest of my article at Skirt Collective!

P.S. You might also like:
Bad Hair Day? Here Are 5 Things You’re Doing Wrong
How To Trim Your Own Bangs
Dandruff vs. Dry Scalp: What’s The Difference?

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By Kelsi Eldredge