30 June 2014

Currently Craving | Black & White | Rack It Up! Edition

Okay, okay so when I am not craving black and white is the better question. While this color palette isn't a new thing, the way I have been shopping for my classic black and white pieces is. 

I want to introduce you all to Rack It Up. Created by two brilliant entrepreneurs Bri & Ali; this site does it all for you. Along with being the perfect way to store your wish list items all in one place; the best part of the site is it's incredible feature that notifies you when your item goes on sale. When you rack an item up it allows you to select the exact color, size, and the best part - what price point you want to pay for the item. Once your item hits the price you want it at, Rack It Up sends you a friendly notification to let you know that your item is on sale or promo. Gone are the days of scouring through emails, checking sites constantly, and being disappointed to find out that you caught the sale a little too late and your size is gone. 

Head over to Rack It Up to create your own account and start saving. Be sure to follow along with my closet as well!

27 June 2014

Happy Weekend | Flower Friday

Happy Friday readers! While this week had many highs it was also a lot more stressful than I had anticipated it being. Tuesday was a particularly crazy day at my office and left me feeling pretty drained. I knew exactly the thing I needed after getting home from work though...a night sans any electronics. I have been following Hannah Maggs for a while now and absolutely adore her beauty channel and her little family. Last Sunday she introduced the idea of having "blackout nights" [aka nights without any sort of technology]. After my stress filled work day, I was so on board with testing her theory and decided to put away my phone, turn off my computer, and relax. I read, painted my nails, took a bath, and didn't get a blog post together [oops! now you know why Currently Loving didn't go up this week.] I didn't "blackout" the whole night because after a few hours I realized I hadn't told my mother my plan and knew that she was probably in a panic over my phone going to voicemail. 

All in all, it was the best decision I made all week and absolutely plan to have more nights like it. Do you ever unplug and go back to the "old days" before Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram? 

26 June 2014

Champagne Mojito

When it comes to cocktails and drinks I love nothing more than a good glass of champagne or a refreshing mojito. Since a mojito uses club soda to add a little fizz and carbonation to the drink I decided to see what it would taste like to use champagne instead. This is definitely a pretty strong cocktail option so please, as always drink responsibly. Do you like to experiment & mix cocktails? If so, leave me a comment with your favorite drink below!

You'll Need:

1 spoon of white sugar
2 ounces of white rum 
Handful of fresh mint leaves
2  whole limes (one for muddling - one for garnishing)
Champagne (I found mine at Whole Foods)
Ice cubs

Bar tools:

(1) Tool to muddle
(2) Shaker (mine is no longer available but this is it's replacement)
(3) Shot glass for measuring
(4) Champagne flute (I love this Crate & Barrel option - they are so elegant!)

To Make:

Muddle sugar and lime in the bottom of your shaker
Add a handful of mint leaves and continue to muddle until you smell the mint
Add 2 ounces of rum and ice and shake until mixed well [10 times is good]
Strain into chilled champagne flute 
Top with champagne and garnish

24 June 2014

One Year Of Blogging Giveaway!

Essie Polish, Urban Jungle | H&M Gold Bobby Pins | Jack Black Lip Therapy | Benefit They're Real Mascara

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I wanted a way to say thank you to all of the people who have read, followed, commented, and liked my blog this past year. Since beauty products are one of my favorite things to share with you all, I thought that giving away a few of my absolute favorite items would be perfect. Below you will find the links and information on how to enter. The giveaway will be open until next Monday evening at 11:59pm. I will announce the winner next Wednesday morning during my Currently Loving post. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*All products have been purchased by me and this is not a sponsored post. At this time, I am only able to ship to US states.

23 June 2014

One Year Of Blogging!

Skirt, borrowed from Ashlyn | Top, Zara [Similar] | Marc Jacobs Sunglass | Zara Heels | Kate Spade NY Watch 

Exactly one year ago today I sat at my laptop in my new little studio apartment contemplating if I should hit the publish button - I almost didn't, and boy am I sure glad I did. [You can click HERE to read that post.] I had spent the weekend (like many before) by myself, exploring the city, but this time I had pulled out my camera and sat down to google "how to make a blog".

It's amazing all that can happen in a year. This time around I spent the same weekend with two amazing friends that I would have never met had I decided not to push publish. It was a weekend filled with collaborating, good meals together, attending events, and of course shopping. A year ago I had about forty some Instagram followers, today that number is over 2,500 which blows my mind. It is amazing how many people I have connected with, share passions with, and learn from. It's amazing how many people want to read what I have to say as well. 

The photos that go along with this post are an homage to everything that started this blog. The skirt (borrowed from Ashlyn - thank you!) is a tribute to Carrie Bradshaw and her infamous opening credits outfit. Without Sex & the City this blog wouldn't have a name. The pink peonies, are a throwback to this very first "real" post I announced. 

It is incredible how the words that started this blog a year ago still ring so true...

"Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous." - Carrie Bradshaw (Sex & The City, Season 6 "An American Girl in Paris: Part Deux")

This blog has opened me up to new and exotic things, brought up lots of questions, taken me many unexpected places, brought me back to old familiar places, and most importantly taught me so much about myself. And that of course, is just fabulous

I want to thank each and every one of you who reads, comments, likes, follows, and more. Connecting with you all is the main driving point behind this blog. Be sure to check back tomorrow. I am going to be doing a little giveaway with some of my favorite things as a very small way to say thank you.


Photos c/o Ashlyn 
Makeup c/o Samantha McDonald

20 June 2014

Happy Weekend | Flower Friday

Another Friday has rolled around and I'm over here with another bunch of Peonies. I know I mentioned last week that I would have a new flower but I couldn't pass up this gorgeous color. I'm really excited to spend the weekend catching up on things at home and getting things done.

How are you spending your weekend?

19 June 2014

#motd | An Instagram Recap

I often spend blog posts chatting about what is new/exciting and what I have recently discovered in the makeup and beauty world; but lately I've really loved sharing my daily beauty products and routines on Instagram. The products above are ones that are staples in my routine, old classics I've rediscovered, and occasionally a new product thrown in [I'm talking to you Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil & Elizabeth & James Nirvana]. But most of the new and fun stuff I'm saving for bigger posts and monthly favorites. 

I find people's daily beauty products and favorite items super interesting; so I hope some of you do as well! For more photos be sure to follow along on Instagram!

Products Shown:

Photo 1
H&M Rings & Bobby Pins [Bobby Pins in store]

Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 4

18 June 2014

Currently Craving | Neutrals + Coral

Lately I have been even more into black and white (is that possible?!) and love the idea of adding a pop of coral to my neutral look. When I was in Sephora last, lusting over blushes I chatted with one of the employees told me that coral was super in for summer at the moment, thus setting me into a coral craze. Above are some of my favorite pieces (a few of them I may have already snagged) that I've found when online browsing. 

1] Ray Ban Oversized Wayfarers: I've worn the exact same pair of sunnies for years now. They've also popped up numerous times on this little blog [see HERE, HERE, & HERE to name a few]. I'm totally due for a new pair and I love the classic shape of these wayfarers but their oversized frame makes them seem fresh. 

2] Zara Crop Top: Like everyone else I'm loving crop tops at the moment. I am particularly fond of versions that are slightly longer and looser. Aka I can get away with wearing more items with them.

3] Zara Crochet Shorts: So for those of you who follow my Instagram you will have already seen these on my body. I couldn't help it. I've been lusting after these bad boys for weeks and when I stumbled into Zara in New York the other week and they were the very last pair left in the store [and in my size] there was no way I was leaving them behind.

4] Essie Polish Urban Jungle: Also another that I scooped up after this post was created and before it launched on the blog. My current favorite nude. It's not white, it's not pink, it is somewhere in the middle...almost a nice bone color.

5] NARS Blush in Torrid: This was actually the blush that started the coral obsession. Blush is the one makeup category I haven't expanded much into and I'm dying to add this guy to my collection. 

6] Chanel Lipstick La Favorite: You just can't go wrong with Chanel. They always get it right and this gorgeous coral is no exception.

What have you been loving and craving lately? I'd love to hear in the comments below!

17 June 2014

A Few Little Summer Pieces

You know those purchases that are totally spur of the moment, maybe a good idea, maybe not a good idea, but you do it anyway - even when you told yourself you were not shopping? Most of the time those tend to become my all time favorite pieces. I often see things shopping, leave without them, and go home to think about if I actually want the item. The practical, money caution person in me loves this. The shopaholic in me, doesn't. I think that's why the splurge purchases can seem so fun. Enough rambling though, the whole point of that long intro was to say that this cobalt blue top was a total spur of the moment decision. It is probably the most flattering bikini top I've owned and I am so happy I left H&M with it. I'm heading to the beach in a few weeks and can't wait to sport my new top, trusty sunnies, and some SPF of course.

Do you shop spur of the moment or do you plan your purchases out like I tend to do?

16 June 2014

A Little Indoor Garden

It's no secret that love flowers and fresh blooms. If I didn't live in a teeny, tiny studio I would absolutely have a little yard with a little garden. I would love to have peony bushes, tulips, hydrangeas, and even a little veggie/herb garden. Since I definitely don't have the outdoor space at the moment I have settled for a nice little bunch of succulents and some lavender in pots. I picked mine up from the cutest little stand at the DuPont Farmer's Market one Sunday and got to planting (and making a right mess in my apartment as you can see from photos one and two.) Sadly, I don't have a very good track record for keeping green things alive (hence why I get fresh cut blooms each week). So, here's hoping these little guys stay around for a while; they do make my apartment feel nice and fresh.

Do any of you have little indoor gardens? If so, what do you love to plant inside?

13 June 2014

Happy Weekend | Flower Friday

Yes...I know...I'm sure you are tired of seeing Peonies but I couldn't resist. They just look so lovely at the Farmer's Market I couldn't resist snapping a few photos and picking some up. I promise next week I'll share a new flower (maybe)!

I'm ready to spend this weekend out lounging by the pool and catching up on some reading (and of course working on blog posts!) What are your weekend plans? Will you be relaxing or on the go?

ps : It's Friday the 13th which I totally believe is good luck! Are you superstitious? Do you think it's good or bad luck?

12 June 2014

Blueberry + Lavender Smoothie

I had a decent amount of lavender left over the other week from my lavender + basil lemonade and wanted to make something else with it! I dug around my fridge and pulled out some blueberries and yogurt and decided to whip up a smoothie. One thing I do wish is that I had added more blueberries. (Not only would it have enhanced the taste but it would have made the color of the smoothie so gorgeous!) Maybe I'll try out a round two. I noticed a lot of people used banana in their versions so it might be nice to test out that option as well.

You'll Need:
1/2 cup of Yogurt (I prefer vanilla)
1 tablespoon of Honey
1 cup of Blueberries*
1 teaspoon of Lavender
3/4 cup of Almond Milk
Handful of ice Ice

Throw everything into your blender and mix until the lavender and blueberries are puréed.
*I used just a handful of blueberries this time and didn't get quite as much flavor and color as I would have loved. Next time I'm going to try using 1 cup or as many as will fit into my blender :)

11 June 2014

Currently Loving

Another Wednesday has rolled around so here is another Currently Loving post! This one is filled with hot pink and purple. Girly overload!

1] Paper Source Neon Pink Notebook: I have been searching for a neon pink notebook since last fall probably. Yes, I know, I am crazy because it is something as silly as a notebook...but I was so excited to stumble upon this one at Paper Source. 

2] Paper Source Gold Confetti Foil Thank You Cards: How adorable are these?! I'm pretty sure they are normally used for weddings, but they are gold and adorable and I had to have them.

3] Essie Polish [Neon Collection] Sittin' Pretty: My wonderful co-worker scooped up this polish for me for my birthday to add to my growing "Neon Collection" from Essie. I love the light (but still a pop of color) purple for summer. I paired this one with a shiny, dark pedicure.

4] Kate Spade New York Tassle Key Ring [Not online - Similar HERE]: I have needed a key ring for ages. Like it was ridiculous how many times my keys used to fall off my old one. This hot pink one was a much needed little present from my mother.

5] Kate Spade New York Acrylic Straws: My dear friend Nicole scooped these up for me for my birthday! I had been looking at them for ages!

What are you currently loving this week? Are you loving bright fuchsias and purples lately as well?

10 June 2014

A Day With A Makeup Artist | Samantha McDonald

A few weeks back I had the pleasure of working with my dear friend and incredible makeup artist Samantha McDonald. Sam reached out to me with the idea of collaborating and playing around with a few makeup looks to show my readers; and of course I was game. Sam is a huge fan of Makeup Forever, Bobbi Brown, and Urban Decay. Those three brands were some of her most used on both my  looks. 

Well, hello internet...here is my totally bare face. We decided to go for a daytime look first and then play around with product to create a unique look for evening. Sam usually uses Makeup Forever foundation, but for my skin we found that Clinique was the best fit. We kept my eyes light, using Urban Decay shadows (Sam is partial to the color Smog), and the infamous gel liner from Bobbi Brown. My favorite part of having my makeup done has to be the eyebrows (and of course the fake lashes since I'm rubbish at applying them myself). 

Sam at work on my skin and transitioning me from day to night. I learned that an orange base (from Makeup Forever) works wonders on canceling out the specific color of my under eye circles. 

A very different look for evening for me! I told Sam to have at it and add a pop of color to my usually neutral/cat eye look. The teal-blue worked so well with my brown eyes. It really totally changed the color of my eyes. 

Thanks Sam & Ashlyn for an awesome Saturday playing in makeup! 
To see more of Sam's work head HERE
Photos c/o Ashlyn

06 June 2014

Happy Weekend | Flower Friday

Happy Friday readers! Today I am off to New York to celebrate a very dear friend's birthday. We will be splitting time between the city and the shore and I absolutely cannot wait to catch up with good friends and hopefully get a tan! The flowers above were a gorgeous (and random) little bunch I spotted at the farmer's market the other week. They were just too pretty to not snag a photo of. Of course, I was drawn instantly to them because of the pink peonies but I also loved the contrast of the bright yellow against the soft pink. 

I hope all of you have a lovely weekend and be sure to share with me what your plans are in the comments below!

ps : I'm not sure what the yellow flower is in this photo, so if any of you know tell me in the comments as well!

05 June 2014

Simple Summer Salad

So it feels like ages since I've done a recipe post! Last weekend at home was nice and relaxing and I had time to grocery shop and make things! This salad is super simple but absolutely my favorite lunch at the moment. It is light and perfect for summer!

What you'll need:
Feta Cheese
Shaved almonds
Olive oil
Balsamic Vinegar

To make:
Wash up your fruit and slice up the strawberries. Combine spinach, strawberries, blueberries, feta, and almonds into a bowl. Toss the mixture and set aside. Combine olive oil and vinegar together and shake vigorously. [To me this was a trial and error process, I started out with more oil and slowly added the vinegar in until it was the flavor I desired.] Pour dressing over the salad and toss. 

Side note - I actually threw leftovers of this in a little tupperware and took to work the next day. Surprisingly everything was crisp and fresh the following day!

What combos do you love on your salads? Are you a fan of adding fresh fruit to your salad?

04 June 2014

Currently Loving | Orange Harp

Today I am partnering up with the ladies of Orange Harp! An app designed to connect shoppers with socially conscious and environmentally aware brands and products. As a designer this is something I can totally get behind. The app is the first of it's kind and is incredibly beautiful! Kacie and Anbu were kind enough to send me a few products from their gorgeous app [not only do these ladies love great products they also love sleek design!] to test out and share with you all. 

As you know I am a nail polish freak so I was excited to find a brand on the Orange Harp app. Sheswai Nail Lacquer was developed by manicurist Debbie Leavitt. The brand combines glamour with as Debbie puts it, a rootsy feel. The polishes are totally free of formaldehyde, toluene, and dbp's-something so important in keeping your nails healthy. [Especially if you paint them as much as I do!] Not only are the polishes good for you a portion of her profits are donated to support sustainable foundations. The polish itself went on really nicely. Not too thick, not too thin and made it through a week of working and blogging. 

Portland Bee Balm was an extra little surprise Kacie sent my way and boy do I love it. I have been grabbing for it constantly. I love to throw it on in the morning while I'm getting ready to prep my lips for gloss or lipstick and also at night before I go to bed. The texture is so nice. This product is actually a little extra you get when you order some of the Dandelion Chocolate.

The third item is a Pura Chai Vanilla Soap which smells so good I just about want to eat it! With ingredients that are inspired by created Christy's international travels, she has developed beautiful products that are sourced directly from nature and made almost one hundred percent from natural US products. Just like Sheswai her products also donate proceeds to benefit many different foundations.

A little more about Orange Harp...

Our mission is to make it easy for people to connect with socially-conscious makers, discover incredible products at great prices, and make a social change. We decided to approach this with mobile technology and beautiful design. We’ve built a curated marketplace for fashion, accessories, and personal care. We handpick brands based on their dedication to making conscious products and their contribution to the community and the planet. With a fun, easy to use, and insightful app, we empower consumers to connect with the brand’s mission, explore their work, and buy their products.

Be sure to check out their website and head over to the app store to download their app!
ps : It's free :)

*All products reviewed in this post are c/o Orange Harp. However, I only love sharing products that I have tried and truly like. All opinions are my own.
Photos 2-5 c/o Ashlyn

03 June 2014

OOTD : When Life Gives You Lemons...

Ann Taylor Lemon Sweater | LOFT Shorts [Similar] | Kate Spade NY Watch | H&M Panama Hat [Similar] | Zara Sandals

Lately I've been trying to branch out from my standard black and white wardrobe; and the second I saw this lemon sweater on the front table of Ann Taylor I knew it would be the perfect way transition.  Not only is it very different than most of my other clothing, it's the perfect summery stand out piece. I've been wearing it mainly with white bottoms but the other weekend I threw it on with my trusty Loft shorts and panama hat for an easy Saturday afternoon with Ashlyn working on blog projects and enjoying the weather. 

Photos c/o Ashlyn
Makeup c/o Samantha McDonald

02 June 2014

May Beauty Favorites

So one of my favorite videos that all of the YouTube Beauty Bloggers do is the "monthly favorites", where they share a few of the products they have been loving and using each month. Since I am still too much of a nervous wreck to sit and make a video; I figured I would do a post of my monthly favorites instead :)

1] Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette : This is a familiar one to those of you who read regularly. Arielle snagged this cult favorite for me for my birthday and it has been on heavy rotation since. I love that I can create a really lovely eyeshadow look with this palette that still works in conjunction with my standard cat eye. It has also become my go-to palette for filling my eyebrows in. 

2] Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief : Hands down my favorite product this month. The gel-like (and oil free) formula is unlike any other moisturizer I have used before. It is gentle on my skin, doesn't make me feel greasy, and leaves me super hydrated -I could go on for days about this product. [ps: It is excellent to use before a flight!]

3] Clinique Chubby Stick in Whoppin' Watermelon : Another Clinique product! I haven't been one to use much Clinique, but lately they are really grabbing my attention when browsing the makeup counters. This chubby stick is similar to the Revlon ones, but in my opinion has an even better/smoother formula. Also, the color Whoppin' Watermelon is the perfect pinkish-nude for my skin tone. It adds just a little pop of color without being too much. 

4] Essie Too Taboo : This color is everything I've ever been looking for in a bright pink/fuchsia. I never thought I would be grabbing colors from the "Neon Collection" but I am seriously sold. You can see the color on HERE

5] Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation : Another brand that I almost always pass by and have been super impressed with lately. I popped into Blue Mercury to have a quick browse and get some opinions on foundations [I feel like I am in a never ending search for foundation] and left with this Estée Lauder gem. Its formula is right in-between; it isn't too watery and it isn't too thick. It feels super smooth and is right in-between a matte finish and a dewey finish. I really like this because I don't feel too dry and I don't feel like I'm super glossy. I also feel like the branding and packaging is really luxurious. [The smell also reminds me of my grandmother in the best way possible - she has drawers filled with Estée Lauder products.]

6] Not Your Mother's Dry Shampoo  : I have to admit this was a random grab at CVS one evening. I've always been curious to try the "Not Your Mother's" line and hadn't had dry shampoo in my house since a little sample I got in a Birchbox. I have been using this stuff so much lately. I love to spray it in on mornings when I am wearing my hair up. I feel like it gives the perfect texture and volume to my hair when I want to create that perfect just thrown up bun or ponytail. 

Phew! This was a long post! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read my rambling thoughts on beauty products :) Make sure to tell me what products you are loving and have tried over the past few weeks in the comments below.