A Little Rocksbox Lovin’ 

Hey, YOU! Have you heard about Rocksbox? I’m about to give you a brief overview about just how awesome it is so spare me a few minutes, okay?

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My first Rocksbox! Sophie Harper crystal earrings, Kate Spade cuff, and Kendra Scott necklace.

Rocksbox is a $21 a month subscription that sends you three pieces of jewelry. From there, you can decide if you like the pieces or not. If you fall in love, you keep said item and alert them on your account and then pay for it. However, if you decide you don’t like one or two or perhaps all three of the jewelry pieces you simply put them back in the box and pop it back in the mail with the pre-paid shipping label. BOOM. So how do they decipher what to place into that box and send you? You create a “wish list” on your account by favoriting earrings, rings, necklaces, and bracelets that you like (they suggest that you add 30 or more on your first visit). They carry brands like Kate Spade, Kendra Scott, Sophie Harper, Ava Rose, and Perry Street.

Here are some of my favorites currently on  my wishlist…

Use the code “tiannavanderheixoxo” to get your first month completely free! Give it a try and let me know what you think. // SIGN UP HERE: Rocksbox

Stay stylish my friends,

XO

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Let’s Skip the Pumpkin Carving

I know what you’re thinking, “What? Are you serious?” Growing up, we carved pumpkins as a family on an annual basis. I remember plastic tarps being laid down, guts being scattered across the floor and inevitably me asking for help with a much too difficult design I chose to tackle. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not against carving pumpkins, I absolutely love it (and the freshly baked, seasoned seeds that follow). In fact, all throughout college I made it a point to buy a pumpkin and carve it, even if my roommates didn’t join me because truthfully it didn’t feel like Halloween unless it was done.Let me preface the rest of this post by saying I’m not telling you to skip carving entirely, that would be horrible and a little saddening. All I’m saying is there are countless creative ways you can decorate your pumpkins to ensure they sustain a little longer during the month of October without turning grey and smelly. Here are some of my favorite painted and decorated pumpkins you just might want to try your hand at:

  • Floral painted designs. Let your girly, beautiful side flourish (no pun intended) as you shake up the norm and add extra color and zest to your fall decorations.

  • Donut’cha love a yummy pumpkin? White pumpkins are practically everywhere you look. They make for a nice, crisp statement that carries over long after Halloween has passed (perfect for Thanksgiving). However, they’re also the ideal blank canvas for you to paint…how delicious do these look?

Pumpkin Donute

  • What teal pumpkins stand for and why you need one on your porch this Halloween. For kids that have a food allergy, Halloween may not be as exciting as it seems to everyone else. Painting a pumpkin teal and leaving it on your porch is a sign that you have non-food treats such as bubbles, stickers, glow sticks, whistles, spider rings, etc. Will you join the #TealPumpkinProject? P.S. The gold sequined “boo” seen below can be shaped and attached using a hot glue gun!
  • Stenciled Festively for the Season. Leaf stencils are available at any craft store (Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Joann Fabrics, etc.) and even Walmart near the craft supplies. What I love most about this option is the fact that you can utilize so many different colors of paints: gold sparkle, yellow, red, white, silver, you choose! A combination of reds, yellows, and golds always makes for a pretty outcome and again, it’s perfect for Halloween and Thanksgiving!
  • Chalk up your message. All you need is a spray can of chalkboard paint, chalk, and perhaps a stencil depending on your design. You can paint the entire pumpkin black and write a message on it or you can outline a festive face and add details with chalk.

Chalk

  • The brighter, the better. Do you have young children? This is the perfect, fun, not horribly messy pumpkin activity for you. Have them pick out a variety of crayon colors and unwrap them. Then glue them to the rivets along the stem of the pumpkin and utilize a hairdryer to get them to melt down. You can do this with a standard orange pumpkin, a white one, or an orange pumpkin painted white if you want a larger one and can’t seem to find one.

Crayon

  • You can’t go wrong with gold and blush. I’ve addressed it in a recent Instagram post and I’ll state it again, I used to hate pink. But lately I’ve come to love all things pink; especially the blush and rose gold hues. I absolutely love these white pumpkins with a little glitz and gold paired with the flowers—so feminine and fun!

XO

How to Rejuvenate Your Hair at Home

How can you replenish your dry, split strands of hair? That’s the million dollar question.

The reality of the matter is you don’t have to pay $100 or more for a salon protein treatment if you’ve taking regular care of your luscious locks. As someone who has extremely thin, fine hair, I can tell you it takes a beating and can be difficult to keep up with. For me, personally enduring years of teasing it and clipping and yanking crowns out of my curled, hair sprayed waves to more recently it taking a daily beating from “on-air” hair it’s been necessary for me to find daily ways to rehydrate my hair at home. From oils, to new shampoos and conditioners, to masks –here’s some of my favorite at-home remedies:

  • Hask At-Home Masks – My personal favorite is the Argan Oil one pictured below! A friend and hairstylist of mine said, “The only thing I can really suggest for you is doing at home mask treatments.” Boom, done. These masks are highly concentrated in protein and help to revive dull hair. I’ve used this one a handful of times now and it leaves my hair feeling soft and moisturized. Just apply the mask as you would conditioner to towel dried hair and leave in for ten minutes before washing it out (I typically clip my hair up on top of my head). I purchase these at Walmart, but they’re available at Ulta or Target for $1.99-$2.99 a packet.

  • Keratin Shampoo and Conditioner – I recently switched up my shampoo and conditioner routines and have fallen in love with this combination! The HASK Keratin Shampoo and Conditioner is infused with Hydrolyzed Keratin which works to reduce frizz and revitalize your locks. It’s $5.99 a bottle at Ulta, also available at Walmart!
  • Hair Oil Treatments – My mom has a tiny bottle of ‘Rosemary Treatment Oil’ that can be used on your skin or hair. Once every couple of weeks I’ve been drenching my hair in it and brushing it out before pulling it up into a bun with a scrunchie before I go to sleep. WOW! I can’t tell you it helps SO much in replenishing my dried out, damaged hair. Here are some products to try…

ARGAN

Kenra

Help your hair stay soft my friends,

XO

Have any products you love?  Comment below, I’d love to hear your input!

Always Follow Your Gut

Friday, September 1 was my very last day as a Multi-Media Journalist for WXOW News 19 in La Crosse.  After two years of working in the broadcasting industry in the City of La Crosse, a community I’m extremely proud to be an alumnus of, I decided a change of pace was necessary.  There were parts of being a reporter that I loved and others that challenged my mentality and pulled at my heartstrings, but I’ll save that for another time.  The fact of the matter is that for quite some time my gut had been telling me there was something else out there, something I needed to pursue.  It was that internal instinct that was trying to send a message that took me far too long to interpret.  As my contract terms at work came to an end, I knew what I needed to do despite constant pushback and commentary about my career the past twenty-four (plus) months.  In hopes of bringing some clarity from my long Facebook post, I am pursuing job opportunities in other fields.  This was a personal choice that took a great deal of time, reflection, and consideration.  I am eager to begin a new chapter, whenever and wherever that may be; one with more flexible hours, time off on the holidays to spend quality time with those I care about most, and a creative atmosphere to challenge my interests.

Change is a scary thing my friends, especially when the future is unknown, but that’s okay.  Want to know what else you should go forward with and embrace?  Flowing sleeved, tiered t-shirt dresses!  Oh, did I mention a more laid back dress code in a work environment is also something on the list?  As much as pageants have prepared me to get ‘camera ready’ in a hurry, the everyday grind of being on television certainly takes a toll on your hair and skin (and yes, most anchors and reporters do their own hair and makeup…sorry to disappoint you).As I go forward with change, a shift in seasons is also before as the warm days quickly dwindle.  I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love the fall months, it’s my favorite time of the year.  The perfect weather for jeans and a t-shirt and perhaps a light sweater.  Baseball caps, football, the crisp air…I could go on and on, but don’t worry I’ll save that for an ‘all things fall’ post as to not bore you before you get to read my outfit details.  This grey cotton L.N.V dress is flowing, comfy, and trendy; but what I love most is how basic it is with just a hint of flare on the sleeves.

  • Earrings are SurgarFix BaubleBar from Target, shop similar styles: Target

While I can’t seem to find this exact dress I purchased from TJ Maxx for less than $20, I’ve linked some similar styles below I know you’ll love.

  • Tiered Fluted Sleeve Marled Tee Dress from Shein, $17.00 – How some people might be obsessed with black and see it as their staple wardrobe color, that’s how I feel about grey.  I love free flowing cotton dresses in the summer, but they’re especially nice as we transition into fall; even better that this one in particular has long sleeves! 

Stay stylish, comfy, and trust your gut my friends,

XO

Oktoberfest in La Crosse, Much More Than A Festival

I arrived at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in August of 2011, eager but looking forward to one day transferring to the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  I had always wanted to be a Wisconsin Badger, but due to curriculum availability, professor relations, and the price of tuition I stayed at La Crosse, nonetheless questioning my purpose in the city.

That question was answered on Saturday, September, 22  2012 when I was blessed with the chance to represent the city and Oktoberfest U.S.A. as Miss La Crosse/Oktoberfest 2012.  Fest was the following weekend and I was quickly thrown into a crazy, fast paced schedule-meeting tons of new people (thank goodness for name buttons) and being escorted from event to event all while balancing my studies as a college sophomore.  Fast forward to now, working in my professional career as a news reporter for News 19 in La Crosse, I’ve encountered a number of people who’ve expressed a dislike for Oktoberfest every year (usually with them not knowing I’m a former Miss).  Of course, I love to question them and figure out why they’re displeased with the event.  People have told me they avoid the grounds, don’t like their children to be around the “party” scene, and hate the “chaotic” traffic it draws to the area.  From an insider’s perspective I can tell you that while this perception holds some (very little) truth, there are many other positive aspects of Oktoberfest in La Crosse and quite frankly long-lasting benefits to the community that reach much further than a three day festival.  Don’t believe me?  Let me enlighten you…

  1. Family and Friends: All of the workers both paid and unpaid, royal family members (Did you know there’s a royal family?  Because some people don’t.  I’ll get to that shortly.), and Grenadier Corps are believe it or not, normal people who live, work, and play in La Crosse.  Many of them have families of their own and children that they choose to surround by the gemütlichkeit of fest.  Why?  Because they know the long lasting, positive impact that the festival and organization as a whole create.
  2. Embracing Our Roots:  Oktoberfest in La Crosse officially began in 1961, but the ideas and planning commenced much sooner.  In 1960 civic leaders from the area agreed that a community wide event was needed since they had been without one since 1921.  Deciding ultimately on the fall because it’s the time when the leaves change and it marks the end of harvest, an ideal time for a little relief and community fun.  Oktoberfest U.S.A. got it’s start on 6th and State Streets where the First Federal Bank once stood, it was the site of the carnival games and rides.  The very first Maple Leaf got it’s start going down Main Street, before it began growing and was moved to the Northside. Now it makes its way down Copeland Avenue to Downtown La Crosse.

  1. Tourism Revenue:   In 2014 Oktoberfest was part of three studies that analyzed the economic impact of the festival for the area.  The studies were conducted by the Economics Department at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and West Salem High School’s DECA.  In sum, they discovered that the celebration generates roughly $15 million and creates 200 jobs.  High school students found that out of 413 random individuals interviewed along the two parade routes, residents from 70 different zip codes were identified spanning communities in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and of course, Wisconsin!  READ MORE HERE: Oktoberfest Impact Study
  2. A Year of Service:  To those directly involved with the festival, it’s a 365 days a year job.  Family members, the Grenadier Corps, and volunteers travel to countless parades during the spring, summer, and into the fall showing their support for other communities, showcasing Wisconsin’s rich German heritage, and of course increasing excitement for fest.  They also have a rigorous volunteer schedule.  Whether it’s large community events, visiting a local nursing home, taking part in a school function, cleaning up a local highway, or assisting in a fundraising effort of some sort they are some of the most compassionate people you will ever meet.
  3. Royal Family, Ambassadors:  The royal family consists of a Festmaster (equatable to a king) and his Frau, a Mrs. Oktoberfest, Torchlight Parade Marshal, Maple Leaf Parade Marshal, Miss La Crosse/Oktoberfest, and Special Fester.  The Festmaster, Mrs. O and parade marshals are all chosen based on a community nomination process and are candidates who lead with a servant’s heart on a daily basis, giving back to the community in various facets.  The Miss La Crosse/Oktoberfest title is part of the Miss Wisconsin and Miss America Organizations and although it’s a scholarship program which entails a pageant, the titleholder spends her year volunteering her time with a mission to make a positive impact.  Finally, the Special Fester is a young student in the area who has a disability.  This position is also chosen on a nomination basis and many of the past representatives and their families credit the organization with helping them come out of their shell and open up as a person.

Five and half years have passed since I served as an ambassador for La Crosse and Oktoberfest and I would not change my decision to stay in this beautiful city for anything.  It was the selfless volunteers with the Grenadier Corps, my personal Oktoberfest Royal Family, past family members, and my volunteerism in the community that without me even realizing it, helped influence me to change my career path from one I was forcing myself down, to one that I love.  It was my involvement with the program that led me to an internship due to mutual connections.  That internship position in turn led me to meeting one of my very best friends that God so graciously allowed my heart to open up to.  Not to mention, countless relationships and opportunies I would have never had the chance to experience had it not been for Oktoberfest.  

Prost to the Mississippi River’s incredible West Coast! If you didn’t know a lot about the heart and sweat behind the festival itself, I hope this message changed your viewpoint.  The next time you’re contemplating saying something negative about one minuscule part the atmosphere Fest creates I hope you remember just how positive the celebration is economically speaking for the City of La Crosse.  And I truly hope you make plans to come out and enjoy Oktoberfest, September 28 through October first.

MORE INFORMATION: Oktoberfest U.S.A.

The Perfect Presents for the Future Mrs.

Leading up to the big day, you want to ensure that bride in your life feels extra special.  Whether it’s a sister, extended family member, or friend you want to ensure she feels as pampered and glamorous as you would want to feel in the days leading up to and especially the night before your wedding, right? (Rhetorical question guys).  I’ve shared with you some bridal shower decoration tips and low key Bachelorette party items to purchase, now let’s talk pre-wedding day goodies you can’t pass up.


SEE: Gifts for the Bride in Your Life


I’ll be honest, this is only the second wedding I’ve stood up in.  The first one was for a dear friend of mine and now, I’m the Maid of Honor to my older sister (yikes is right).  It’s a much more stressful process than I ever imagined being directly involved in the planning process and details.  However, I found that keeping an electronic list on my “AnyList” App on my iPhone that covers both wedding tasks and items that need to be purchased has helped me stay focused in the weeks leading up to the wedding day.  It gave me gratification to see what I accomplished and was a constant reminder of what I still needed to see through.  One element of that list was gifts for the bride.  I decided to put together a basket to give her after the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding, constantly asking myself, “If I was in her position what would I want?”  Here are some things that were included in that gift that are extremely versatile for the future Mrs. in your life…

A Simplistic Mrs. Necklace

Side note:  Be sure to know the bride’s taste before you dive into buying these cute gifts.  What am I talking about?  Well, for example, I ordered my sister this necklace in silver because I know she’s not a fan of gold (at all).  Whereas I would prefer the gold because I’m obsessed with it and can’t get enough gold accessories and furniture.Matching Shirts for the Bride and Groom

These v-neck and standard t-shirt shirts come in four colors: charcoal, black, heather gray and white.  I ordered the ones pictured from M&E’s Collection on Etsy, they’re the heather gray option.  I was pleasantly surprised when they arrived.  They’re lightweight, soft, and simple — perfect present for the bride and groom, but in my opinion it’s not newlywed overkill.  #ScoreA Customized Satin Robe

Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to embrace their new name and sport their love for their new hubby with a comfy, sexy robe?

Rustic Personalized Wedding Hanger

Future Mrs. Sash, great for a Bachelorette Party, Bridal Shower, or in this case, Pre-Wedding Festivities

Aside from the plethora of customized Mrs. items there are to choose from, nothing beats those personal, favorite items that are needed on the eve or day of the wedding.  I snagged this white “Mrs.” canvas basket at Walmart and decided to fill it with helpful items including: ibuprofen, tums, mini bottles of the  bride’s favorite alcohol, oil blotting sheets, and Peach-O’s (the bride’s favorite candy) among other items.  Some other useful things you may want to include in a basket for the bride in your life include: bobby pins, hair ties, mints or gum, and notes.  I had each of my grandparents and parents write letters and/or notes sharing marriage advice and reflective memories about th bride for her to read the night before her wedding and she absolutely loved it-highly recommend!

Still looking for some items for her or perhaps yourself if you’re the bride, no need to fret!  Here are some more of my favorite items that just never quite made their way to my cart, but were certainly pinned and saved just in case.

TOTE1

TOTE2

 

Why You Need Kleenex Facial Cleansing Products

First off, they’re made in Wisconsin, what more could you ask for?  Didn’t know that? Yes, it’s true Kleenex products are based in Neenah, pretty neat, right?  It’s a brand we all know and love; after all…be honest you don’t call other “tissue” brands tissue, you most likely say “Can you please hand me a Kleene?” Without even realizing it and now they have new products for you to obsess over.

Moment of truth...I’m always a little skeptical when it comes to facial cleansers and products because my skin is extremely sensitive (it’s a redhead thing).  However, I was pleasantly surprised by all of the Kleenex Cleansing Products and how refreshed my skin felt after using them.  Here’s a break down of the items…

Eye Makeup Removers

There’s 60 small, palm sized micro-fine textured pads in the standard container.  Better yet?  They’re an oil free remover that’s strategically shaped to control around your eyes and help remove all your eyeshadow, liner, and mascara.  All you need to do is wipe across your eyes a couple of times and flip it over to the reveal the fresh surface for the other eye.  While I don’t use waterproof eye makeup, I still feel as though there’s constantly reminantsafter  “removing” my makeup; with these I felt bare and clean.  Thumbs up in my book!

Facial Cleansing Wipes

Yes, yes, and yes!  These pre-moisturized wipes are based with water and aloe to remove impurities (and excess makeup) while moisturizing your precious face.  The simple instructions have you use the entire wipe to cleanse your forehead and cheeks, folding that in half for your nose and mouth, and then in half a second time to cover the remaining surfaces and your eyes.  I put the “purse pack” in my purse (naturally) and pulled them out on a drive back from Madison and was able to easily take off my make-up.  I would highly recommend them!

Kleenex Exfoliating Cushions

The packaging says “Radiant, smoother skin with just one use,” and they aren’t kidding.  These dual-sided, multi-layered cleansers are heaven sent.  Each pad is infused with a pro-vitamin complex that helps to cleanse your skin, while smoothing and brightening it.  Immediately after I used one my face felt refreshed and my skin felt firmer.

Final review?  I love the new cleansing products from Kleenex and have no reservations that you will as well, check them out friends!

XO