I know that sponsored posts get a bad reputation in blogger world and I get it – some bloggers make a bad name for the rest of us by taking just about any opportunity that comes their way. I won’t lie – when I first started blogging seven years ago, seeing the sponsored post opportunities motivated me for the wrong reasons and I took some opportunities I probably shouldn’t have. They were a bit of a stretch in some ways and I regret doing them 100%. Over the past couple years, I have been really intentional about the brands I work with and the products I endorse, because I want this blog and online space to be one that isn’t saturated with sponsored content. As I looked over the branded posts I’ve done over the last 2 years, I wanted to provide a little update on the products and brands and how I’m feeling about them now. I’ve also included an update about non-sponsored products I’ve talked about at the very end. If this is something you’re curious about, stick around 🙂
An Update On Sponsored Posts, Brands I’ve Talked About + How I Feel Now
Stok Cold Brew Coffee – Since 2018 started, Dane and I have tried to cut back on our coffee consumption (I talked about it a little bit in this fitness update), so we definitely don’t STOK up like we used to. Ha – sorry, I can never resist a bad pun. That considered, we do buy it from time to time to have as a treat and if I’m offered it at a friend or family member’s house, I probably won’t say no, but we don’t buy 2-3 bottles at a time like we once did.
Kate Spade KEDS Sneakers – I have long loved Kate Spade, so when this partnership was presented to me, I absolutely couldn’t say no. These sneakers are still some of my favorites in my closet and I even wore them to a pop-up store event I hosted last Christmas at the Kate Spade Ala Moana store. I paired them with a cocktail dress and the sparkly sneakers were the perfect touch of pizzaz.
Curél® HYDRA THERAPY WET SKIN MOISTURIZER – Let me be perfectly clear – I really do love this product and it works, which is why I did not 1, but 3 posts on it last summer! I just finished up my last bottle of it a few weeks ago and went to buy another. For whatever reason, right before I checked out I thought to scan it on the “Think Dirty” app on my phone, assuming that it would be pretty clean. AGH! It’s really “dirty” and ranked an 8 for toxins…yikes! That’s too high for me and since I was already out of it, I made the conscious decision to put the new bottle back on the shelf and leave it at the store.
Excedrin Migraine – I’m happy to report that I do still have this in my medicine cabinet, but I haven’t had to use it lately, which – ALL OF THE ROUNDS OF APPLAUSE. For any fellow migraine sufferers, you know that this is huge news. I know there are a lot of mixed views on essential oils (Essential Oils + How I Use Them), but I have found a lot of relief if I’m able to use peppermint oil at the onset. You can learn more about my introduction to peppermint essential oil for migraines from a few years ago, but I’m happy to report that it’s still a go-to. Now, if I wake up with one in the middle of the night – all bets are off. I go straight for my prescription migraine medication, because I know that I’ve already missed the window of opportunity on the oil being as effective as I need it to be. I feel like I could go on and on about migraines here, but I’ll leave it at that for now! LOL
Silk Coconut Milk – It’s safe to say that Silk Almond + Coconut milk are regulars in our house. This is a brand I’m consistently excited to work with, because writing about their products comes so easily to me. Whether I’m making my coffee in the morning or creating a dairy free version of a recipe, Silk is my go-to.
DiscountGlasses.com – To be totally transparent, I lost the sunglasses I received from them, which is a bummer, because they were cute! That said, I am such a loyalist to my polarized Ray-Bans, especially given the amount of time we are in/around water here in Hawaii.
Mixbook – I worked with Mixbook right after I returned home from the BlogHer conference on some beautiful Christmas cards. I loved their work and they had fast delivery, friendly customer service and great designs to choose from. Last year, I shared an easy holiday craft tutorial on their blog around the holidays, but I haven’t ordered anything since. To be fair, I haven’t printed anything at all recently, so that could partially be the reason!
Minted – The tropical gallery wall I put together with Minted is definitely one of my top projects I did in the short time we owned our house. While we haven’t gone over-the-top in decorating our current rental, but that tropical gallery wall has found a spot right outside our kitchen! It’s safe to say Minted is still a go-to for us when it comes to framed prints. We are in love!
Halo Top – This was such a fun post to put together and admittedly – their flavors are really delicious! But when I stopped eating dairy consistently, I kind of put Halo Top at the back of my mind. My friend texted me the other day to tell me that they had some new dairy free flavors so I plan on testing them out. I haven’t seen them in the stores here in Hawaii lately, but I know that their dairy versions are tasty, so I would have no issue splurging on the dairy free version!
Wayfair – Wayfair remains one of my very favorite places for home decor and accessories. They helped give our master bedroom a makeover in our current rental and it’s such an oasis — we absolutely love it! The quality of their products is high and I have a feeling I’ll love them for a very long time.
The following are products I’ve talked about and loved (when posting), but weren’t sponsored or endorsed at all by the brand. I wanted to give an update on how I feel about them now, if any of you wondered how I still felt about them…
FALK Salt + Siete Chips – My friend Heather introduced me to theses brands and it’s safe to say I’ve been eating better ever since. I blogged about both in this Loving Lately post. FALK Salt is available on Amazon in several flavors and it’s flake salt, which if you’ve never had it, is delicious. I use the garlic in so many recipes (avocado toast, spaghetti sauce, burrito bowls to name a few), but I think the vanilla would be so good on top of chocolate chip cookies.
Tarte Concealer + Foundation – You might remember how I talked about the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea foundation + concealer in my post about how a trip to Sephora gave me confidence. I used the product for about a month and honestly – it looked wonderful, was a good price point and was not messy. It covers nicely, isn’t terribly heavy and lasted in hot, hot weather — all super winning characteristics in my makeup book! But then I started to notice a rash on the upper right hand side of my cheek and I couldn’t get it to go away. At first I thought it was dry skin, so I moisturized the heck out of that area. Then I started developing cystic acne in that area. I was like “what the heck?!”. After a little bit of trial and error and in talking with my dermatologist, I realized that my skin just wasn’t having that makeup. The rash had disappeared almost entirely and I was heading out to happy hour so I thought “oh I’ll just use it and I’m sure it will be fine.” Nope. That dang rash came right back overnight and I’m still battling to get rid of it again. It could just be my skin – who knows. In the interim, I have defaulted to an old favorite Osmosis. It’s a natural, mineral makeup that was first introduced to me by my mom many, many years ago and it always looks so good. Truthfully, I don’t know why I stopped using it. I think maybe because I ran out? Right now it works and until I can get my skin cleared up, I’ve been going mostly makeup free, which is honestly kind of refreshing!
Native Shoes – I ordered my first pair of slip-on sneakers after Erica blogged about them this spring + shared that she knows multiple adults who wear (and love) them. I was sold on the waterproof factor given where we live, plus being able to wear them for travel since they’re so easy to clean. At the price point, they really can’t be beat. I’m happy to say I wore them all through Italy, on our spring trip to Tahiti and countless times around town here in Hawaii and they look just as good as the day I got them. They are comfy, breathable and clean up SO WELL. You can wipe them off with a wet cloth, really scrub out any lingering scuffs with a magic eraser or throw them in your dishwasher on the quick cycle, which is my personal favorite when I’m also trying to clean my baseball hats. They are, without a doubt, a go-to for me.
Whew! I feel like this post was long, but worth talking about all the companies I’ve worked with and what I continue to love. When I did my reader survey, I got feedback that most of you disliked sponsored posts (I get it), but I genuinely try to only partner with brands I’m already using and loving, or ones that fit naturally into our life. So let’s chat – do you use or love any of these products? Do you love them?