Weekend Recap

by Brooke Kiernan McCallion


^^^ Right after work on Friday, we went to Hominy for dinner. I've started to eat more fish and this tilefish was SO good! Topped with an avocado crab salad, plus lima beans + french fries. ^^^

^^^ We got their chocolate pudding (my FAVORITE dessert in Charleston) to go and ate it by candlelight! ^^^


^^^ I fell asleep on the couch at 8:30 PM on Friday (!!!) because I was so exhausted from the week. We both woke up early on Saturday (hi, 6:30 AM) and Logan went surfing. I walked Charlie to the farmer's market and got so many goods! ^^^

^^^ We went to the beach in the afternoon and it was so perfect! Wearing my fave crochet bikini + straw hat. And of course, lots of physical sunscreen! ^^^

^^^ Later in the evening, we ate pizza then went on a walk around Colonial Lake. They did such a good job on the renovation!! Really feels like a park vs. a concrete pool :D ^^^


^^^ A little later, I met my friend Hannah at Bin 152, which is the quaintest wine bar. We sipped wine and laughed A LOT! ^^^ 

^^^ On Sunday, we all did our respective cardio (Logan - surf, Me - run, Charlie - walk and eat all trash on ground) ^^^

^^^ We ran many errands and cleaned our place all day! There's no better feeling than a clean home, full fridge, CHILLED WINE + APPS. PS: loved both of these bottles! ^^^

^^^ We went on an evening bike ride because it felt so amazing outside. ^^^

^^^ The golden hour South of Broad is beeeeautiful. ^^^

^^^ Finding the best hydrangea bushes is my new fave pastime. ^^^

^^^ We got home and I roasted potatoes + seared salmon for dinner. If anyone has any good salmon tips, please let me know! I've never cooked fish before and could definitely use some help! xxxx ^^^

Weekend Links

by Brooke Kiernan McCallion

As I was browsing They All Hate Us for a stylish photo for this post, I came across my old photo! I vaguely remember doing this and I wonder how they found it! I took this at Sutro Baths in San Francisco one summer when all the pretty wild flowers were in bloom. Then I probably stayed up late playing on Illustrator and threw some type on it because I thought it looked cool (: I'm glad my two fave style icons approve! 

Anyways, I hope you all have a great weekend! I plan on browsing new arrivals, lounging on my couch, deep cleaning my apt (gets so dirty during the week!), taking Charlie on long walks, drinking a cold beer(s), maybe trying the new Butcher & Bee, and who knows what else! xx



• My mom (#Pearl) has been making this sandwich for as long as I can remember!

• FINALLY tried this mask. My face was glowing the next day!

• This healthified banana bread looks delicious!

• This tweet continues to make me LOL.

• The difference between high performers vs. workaholics.



• SALE ALERT: Revolve's Memorial Day Sale is ALIVE! I'm eyeing this top, these shorts, that dress, those sandals!

• SALE ALERT: 25% off your order at J.Crew with code SUMMER. This top is a yes.

• This embroidered dress is high up on my wishlist.

• Love this blush skirt! I'd wear it with tan lace up sandals and a white tee.

• THIS FOR THAT: This dress ($480) vs. this amazing H&M dress ($129)

Annie Grotophorst

by Brooke Kiernan McCallion

Today I am so excited to highlight my coworker, Annie! Annie is an amazing illustrator and all around creative person. Everything she draws is so cute and accurate, and it's impressive how natural it is for her! Around Mother's Day, I was brainstorming a gift for Pearl and decided I didn't want to buy something that she could get herself (t-shirt, jewelry, etc). I asked Annie if she would illustrate Pearl and my favorite things (first photo below). Annie first sketched out the imagery with pencil then went over it with pen and watercolor. I love how it turned out and Pearl does too!

Annie is great at drawing portraits, houses, pets... really anything! She has an Etsy shop and has also illustrated many things for our clients at work. She drew the cutest illustrations for goat.sheep.cow.Smith Spencer, and Maty's Healthy Products, to name a few!

In the midst of graduations, summer birthdays, and Father's Day coming up, Annie is offering 10% off your order with the code SIMPLYB10 from now 'til May 27th! Give a gift or get something special for yourself. I plan on going to her for all my future presents because a one-of-a-kind illustration is so special and unique to receive! Request a custom order through Etsy HERE!

And last but not least, get to know Annie better with a lil Q + A!

How did you learn to illustrate? Have you always been creative?

I've been drawing things forever. My grandma is an artist and my mom worked at the National Gallery of Art most of my childhood, so I've always been around art. I doodled all the time as a kid, I took art classes all through school, and I was always the go-to of my friends when somebody needed help with something creative. I started my Etsy shop in April 2015 as a way to make a little extra money and it's been going strong since then!


What do you like to draw the most?

My favorite thing to draw is anything new! I love it when people come to me with ideas for things and let me kind of just go with it and figure out the best way to accomplish what they were hoping for. I've done illustrated quotes from TV, drawn tattoos for people, created really cool custom maps, and so much more. Besides those custom ideas, I think my favorite thing to paint is dogs! I love trying to capture the attitude of a particular pet.


Are there any stories behind your illustrations?

I mailed Nick Offerman that little meat painting last spring to get my boyfriend an autograph as a little birthday present (we love Parks and Rec) and he sent back his autograph and also a really sweet note thanking me for my painting! I painted Jenny Slate's dogs from a photo I saw on her insta this winter that was just too cute. I grammed it and tagged her and she freaked out and gave me her address so I could mail it to her! And lastly, I went to see TJ Miller's standup here in April and I realized I should make him a little drawing of the "Incubator" from Silicon Valley, in case we could get backstage to meet him. We ended up being able to sneak backstage and met him and his wife and I gave him the drawing and he was so sweet and so touched and was like "Can I give this to Mike Judge???" so that was insanely cool. 

Wellness Wednesday: Sunscreen

by Brooke Kiernan McCallion

For the past couple of months, wellness has been my favorite topic to research and discuss. There's so many practices, products, exercises, and things that fit within the topic and I love to learn about how I can live a healthier happier life. Today I am starting a new series called WELLNESS WEDNESDAY and I am so excited to document all my thoughts + findings!


my "why"

The first topic I wanted to discuss is sunscreen! Sun protection was the catalyst of my switch to safer products. Last summer, I made a promise to myself that I would no longer bake in the sun and purposely try to get super tan. I decided to be #paleandproud and practice sun safety. This all started when my favorite Australian sisters (Elle + Lucie) lost their mom to skin cancer. They were the closest trifecta and their mom knew she didn't have much time left on Earth. She documented an outfit a day and yes, while I only know them through Instagram, I was so emotional when she passed. They were all so close and I can't imagine their heartbreak. Her passing seriously changed my life and ways!

physical and chemical sunscreens

Practicing sun safety is really important and at first, I just stopped tanning as much and lathered myself in SPF. What I didn't realize is that my sunscreen was filled with hormone disruptors and allergens. It's important to know that there are two different types of sunscreens: physical and chemical.

Physical sunscreens act as a shield. They sit on top of your skin and block the sun's rays. The active ingredients are minerals called zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the energy of UV rays. They sink into the top layer of your skin and absorb the sun's rays. Chemical sunscreen is usually made up of 2-6 chemicals/active ingredients. The most common chemicals are oxybenzone and octinoxate.


What's the concern with chemical sunscreens?

Chemical sunscreens have been linked to hormone disruption. They mimic naturally occurring hormones (ie: estrogen) and interfere the way hormones are made or controlled. For example, by altering their metabolism in the liver. Chemical sunscreens have also been linked to skin allergies, reproductive toxicity, and the ability to penetrate the skin and enter the blood stream. The scariest part is that oxybenzone and octinoxate are detected in nearly every American and found in breast milk, meaning that developing fetus and newborns may be exposed to these chemicals. 

My Favorite Physical Sunscreens

1. Tinted moisturizer: I love Beautycounter's Dew Skin, which has SPF 20. I wear this to work everyday and it gives the perfect amount of coverage and a dewy finish.

2. Face sunscreen: Beautycounter's Stick Sunscreen is a new fave! It's so easy to apply before (literally) running out the door in the morning. 

3. Face sunscreen: Pacific makes an awesome Everyday Sheer Coverage with SPF 20. It doesn't have as much coverage as the Dew Skin, but I wear it under makeup or if I don't want to apply makeup. I just use a pump of it and apply with my fingers.

4. Body sunscreen: Beautycounter's All Over Sunscreen is hands down the best body sunscreen I've tried so far. Physical sunscreen can be notorious for not spreading easily or blending well due to the zinc oxide, which is a thick white mineral. Logan and I embraced looking like zombies at the beach until we tried this! This blends in perfectly and smells so good.

PS: I am always looking for new safe products to try! Let me know if you have a favorite sunscreen, tinted moisturizer, etc!


Sun Safety Tips + Resources

Don't be fooled by high SPF. 20-30 SPF is all you need with physical sunscreen. Just remember to reapply!

Always go with non-nano zinc. Nano zinc means the particles are SO SMALL that they can enter your blood stream, which defeats the purpose of physical sunscreen sitting on top of your skin.

Look at the inactive ingredients, too! Preservatives can be dirty and harmful. Make sure you read and research the inactive ingredients in physical sunscreens. I downloaded the EWG's app and will sit in an aisle and look up every product to get its safety rating!

Read reviews! There are so many awesome brands and safe beauty bloggers who have reviewed physical sunscreens. Jessica of Bare Beauty (who lives in Charleston) writes a Sunscreen Stars post every year. She inspired me to get the Pacific Sheer Coverage + Beautycounter All Over Protection, before I even joined Beautycounter! I also always check out the EWG's guide to sunscreens and loved Follian's ultimate guide to safe sunscreens.