31 July 2014

Watermelon Spritzer | Cocktail & Mocktail

Last weekend Bri & I tried our hands at making cocktails with fresh watermelon, and the results were fantastic! The drink was summery and fairly healthy (well in the land of cocktails at least!) due to ingredients being minimal mostly comprised of fresh watermelon. We decided to puree a diced up watermelon as our base and then started mixing. This drink also works really well sans the rum and makes the perfect summer "mocktail".

You'll Need:
A whole watermelon
Fresca (or any light soda)
Fresh Mint*
Rum (we used Malibu to give it a fun flavor but regular clear rum works too)

To Make:
Dice up your watermelon (leaving some for garnish!)
Puree your diced watermelon and set aside
Pour in your rum first, followed by the puree
Top your drink with the soda
Garnish with extra watermelon

*Muddling some mint into the drink also taste really good we added the mint in for flavor and removed most of the leaves to ensure our drink looked nice and pretty!

Be sure to share your favorite cocktail below!

30 July 2014

Currently Loving | #GIRLBOSS

So like most every other blogger out there I too picked up Sophia Amoruso's hit book #GIRLBOSS. After hearing rave reviews from Ashlyn & Suzie of Hello October, I knew it was definitely worth snagging it at the hardcover price point. This post wasn't actually planned in advance, actually I took this photo yesterday evening, and only snagged the book on Monday. But late Monday night when I finally had a few minutes to spare; I sat down and started reading. I stayed up, eyes glued to the pages until 1:30am. I haven't finished the book yet of course but after it's initial wow factor it was something I immediately wanted to share with you all. 

Have any of you read #GIRLBOSS? Are you planning to snag it? 
Also, what type of books do you love to read? 

29 July 2014

OOTD : Hot Child, Summer in the City

Maxi Dress [SIMILAR] | Hat [SIMILAR] | Barrington, St. Anne Tote c/o | Bangled Cuff c/o | Rings H&M

When the temperatures spike there is nothing I love more than throwing on an easy dress. Maxi dresses are my favorite way to look polished and still stay comfy on those warm summer days. I stole this one from my mother's closet and find that it works perfectly to cover up my bikini on pool days, looks pulled together to run to the farmer's market, and transitions seamlessly into nighttime. I paired the dress with my favorite panama hat and my Barrington, St. Anne Tote. This Barrington tote is the ideal summer bag. Big enough for a farmer's market haul and perfect for a day at the beach or the pool!

Photos c/o Briana Pashcow 

28 July 2014

Three Easy Summer Hairstyles

Banded Headbands c/o

When these adorable skinny glitter headbands landed on my doorstep thanks to Banded [a fantastic company who donates three meals to a child in Uganda for each headband they sell); I knew immediately they would be used a considerable amount in my every day hairstyling. All three styles I have been wearing are super easy, look polished, and don't even require bobby pins or hairspray. (Well for me they don't, different hair types & lengths may require a pin here or there!) I find that throwing these headbands in works perfectly with second day hair and makes my morning ten times easier. The best part about Banded? These are the first headbands like this that actually stay in my hair and never hurt/give me a headache. 

Below are some images to help show how I created each look. I really wish I was able to do this in video format (seeing as video is ten times easier to understand with hairstyles); but at the moment I do not have specific equipment I need to be able to film more than about 3 seconds. 

For any of the looks I started with this Toni & Guy Dry Shampoo. I really like the texture of this one and find that dry shampoo helps to give the grip and texture I need while styling. 

Okay, so this one is ridiculously simple. But it is also the base for the second hairstyle. I like the look of placing the headband over top my hair instead of just pushing my hair back with it. This gives a different feel and allows fringe or front pieces to stay out of the headband. The way that it sits on the head also tends to give a nice bit of volume in the back.

This look is the one I really wish I was able to provide video for. This is beyond simple, but harder to convey in just photographs. I tried to include a few different shots so hopefully it makes sense! If you have any questions though, please shoot me an email or comment below! 

Placing the headband over the hair like in the first style is how to begin this look. I then start rolling the hair that frames my face and tucking it into the band. I do my left and right side first, and then begin working on the back. No pins are needed for this look it is simply rolling and tucking the hair into the headband. 

This is by far my favorite style to do with the headbands, and one I wear the most to work. I get so many compliments on the style, and questions as to how I put my hair up. It truly looks way more complicated than it is.

This is me pretending to be Brigitte Bardot (haha - kidding). This look is also crazy simple and uses the headband in the traditional way of styling. However, the step I like to add is backcombing my hair a bit to add some volume. This makes it feel a little more sixties mod and less like I'm going to workout!

This is the first time I've attempted a post like this and I really enjoyed working on it. It was a definitely a (good) challenge working with my tripod and self timer. Let me know your thoughts below on how you like posts done in this format. And definitely let me know which look you like best and your favorite ways to style your hair!

25 July 2014

Happy Weekend | Flower Friday

Happy Friday everyone! This is a very good Friday for two reasons. 1] An actual "Flower Friday" post! 2] I'm staying at home this weekend. For the past three months I have been gone pretty much every weekend but two. It has been crazy, super fun, but slightly stressful at times. I'm excited to not be traveling for a while; I can actually keep fresh flowers in the house (and photograph them), and get lots of things checked off my to-do list. This weekend along with organizing and getting things done; I also plan on relaxing and spending some fun pool time with Bri from over at Rack It Up!

What are your plans for this weekend? Will you be off adventuring somewhere or keeping it low-key at home?

24 July 2014

About Town | ((305)) Fitness

Photograph c/o ((305)) Fitness

It has been a while since I have shared an "about town" post and this one is for my fellow DC (or New York) residents! A couple nights ago I had the pleasure of attending one of the cardio dance workouts at the new ((305)) Fitness studio in DC. I heard about ((305)) from my dear friend Brittney, who also happens to be one of their top instructors. ((305)) (which is named after Miami's area code) was created by Sadie Kurzban and combines aerobic and anaerobic training, high intensity sprints, cardio endurance, and muscular toning. All of this is cleverly disguised though as the best dance party you'll attend. I have been dying to take a class for months after hearing Brittney speak about it (and seeing their awesome promo video - link HERE); so when ((305)) opened their DC doors just about two weeks ago I knew I needed to sign up ASAP! 

The class was unlike any other I've attended before-this is definitely not your regular old zumba class. After Brittney's introduction, the live DJ (live DJ, need I say more?) began pumping out party jams and we began jumping. Brittney's energy is incredible and boy did her class kick my butt! The best part was every time I felt like I was about to give up; Brittney switched up the routine which kept me pushing harder to keep going. Halfway through we totally changed it up and did a section to tone our bodies and work on our arms. This was the perfect amount of time to rest from cardio and re-energize before we went back to dancing. 

After having a rather tough day at work, this class was absolutely the best way to de-stress, focus on the present, and be surrounded by positive energy. I can officially say that I am totally hooked on ((305)) and you can find me in class at least once a week from here on out. 

Where to find ((305)) Fitness

ps : Sign-ups go live every Monday at 10am. Be sure to be there ready to click the sign up button though! Those spots go fast. Two weeks in town and they are already selling out classes, so amazing!

Thanks Brittney (and 305) for an awesome workout!

22 July 2014

Beach Makeup Essentials

Okay, so I realize that a few of these items (okay like half the items) are repeats from yesterday, but I find that seeing a repeat of items on a blogger's page really means they are worthwhile to buy. I wanted to share today’s post with all of you to give you inspiration for a simple and easy look you can wear on holiday or any day of the summer. When the temperatures get really high I definitely am not a fan of wearing a ton of makeup. (See last years post declaring the same statement HERE.) I have been relying on the same combo recently, especially now that I have a nice little post holiday glow. Even if you haven’t been on holiday this combo will help give you that appearance!

First I mix a pea sized amount of my Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua with a drop of my NARS illuminator (full review of the illuminator to come) on my brush and begin buffing into the skin. I use a stippling or buffing brush and apply all over my face for a sheer, glowy, even base. [I like the Real Techniques brushes best.]

I picked up the Rimmel “Wake Me Up” concealer while at the beach. [Side story, I have been searching for this concealer for months and came to the conclusion that it was only available in the UK. Then while standing in the makeup aisle of the local K-Mart on the Outer Banks I spotted the orange top and could not believe my luck. I have no idea why I was able to find it there but I am thankful I stumbled upon it.] Anyways, rambly story aside it is definitely worth the hype that British beauty bloggers have given it and I have been using it to cover my rudolph nose. I tried so hard to not burn and somehow my nose still got some burn!

I’ve been loving my Chanel Rouge Coco Shine recently too since it keeps my lips nice and moisturized/hydrated in the heat and gives a slight bit of color. A similar (and more affordable) lip product to the Chanel is the Clinique Chubby Stick in Whoppin’ Watermelon

I finish off the look by swiping some of the illuminator over my eyelids and on my cupids bow. Not pictured but I also add a little NARS Laguna bronzer for definition and fill in my eyebrows using my Naked Basics palette and the MAC 208 brush

What summer routine have you been using? Do you prefer less makeup in the summer months or do you still love a full face?

21 July 2014

New Kids On The Block | A Summer Beauty Haul

In the words of the lovely Amelia Liana I have been feeling rather spendy the past few weeks. While there are a few higher ticket items included in this haul, they definitely weren’t purchased all at once but over a few weeks! If any of you follow my Instagram then some of these items will definitely look familiar as I have been testing them out and using them as much as possible before writing reviews on them.

1] Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua: After seeing this in multiple YouTube tutorials/hauls/favorites I was dying to get my hands on it. I normally opt for a foundation that is somewhere in between matte and dewy with more of a powder finish so this particular formula was a little different for me. It is a fantastic summer base that leaves the skin glowing without looking sweaty; and it is sheer enough to not totally cover up the color left behind from holiday. Like any product from Chanel it goes on easy and blends seamlessly. 

2] Benefit “They’re Real” Push Up Liner: This one is a mixed review from me. While I love the fact that I can finally apply a gel liner sans pot and brush (I just cannot seem to master that technique); I do find that the Benefit version tends to get a little clumpy rather easily. As long as I have the extra time to clean the tip in between swipes I absolutely love the liner. The finish is absolutely fantastic (it is a super dark, matte finish which is quite different from the usually “wet” look my Maybelline gives) and the applicator itself gives a different wing than I get with my Maybelline. I find it is perfect for a night out when I have a little extra time, but not so great when I’m running out the door rushing to work.

3] NARS Blush in Liberte: For the longest time I used one NARS blush pretty much every single day and occasionally mixed it up with my Josie Maran cheek gelée. Lately though I’ve been craving something less pink and more coral. Liberte is a gorgeous orangey/coral which I find mixes perfectly with bronzer and looks great on tanned summer skin. The pop of pink I normally wear is perfect for that winter flush that comes with cold weather; but the coral gives the look of just coming back from holiday. 

4] Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Romance: I’ve heard a lot about these lipsticks and when I was picking up my Vitalumiere Aqua I decided to throw this one in as well. It is hands down the creamiest, balmiest lipstick in my collection and gives a lovely pink tint on the lips. It is a great change of pace from my usual matte lipsticks that can settling into all the cracks on your lips.

5] Too Faced “Better Than Sex” Mascara: Well, if that isn’t a name to live up to I don’t know what is. While I don’t quite equate this mascara to having sex I think it does a pretty fantastic job of making my eyelashes look super voluminous and long. I have pretty spidery lashes so anything that adds thickness gets an A+ in my book. I also really appreciate that while it is a close runner up to the Benefit “They’re Real” it also seems to be way more gentle on my eyes. I got this as a sample with my Sephora points and can confidently say that after wearing it every single day since I received it I will be buying the larger size for sure. 

6] Garnier Skin Renew Under Eye Roller: Raise your hands if you’re like me and had no idea Garnier made anything other than hair care products! I was surprised to come across these skin products (thanks to blogger Stephanie Toms) and decided to give this under eye roller a try. To my surprise I really, really liked it. The metal roller ball gives a wonderful cooling sensation (which is great early in the morning before work), I like that it has caffeine included, and the sheer coverage is a nice light concealer that doesn’t crease or look cakey. I definitely have had to use a second concealer on top to combat those really bad under eye days but the product certainly does a nice job on it’s own. 

Have you been feeling spendy lately? What products have you picked up recently?

11 July 2014

Happy Weekend | Vacation Time!

H&M Panama Hat [SIMILAR] | H&M Bikini Top & Bottom [SIMILAR] | Neutrogena Sunscreen 

Happy Friday readers! Today I am extra excited to see the weekend rolling around. Not only is it going to be the start of my vacation, but I also get a chance to meet up with Lucy from We Resolve in person! Lucy and her husband Nate live just outside of London, and are currently traveling the States. They arrive in DC this morning and we are planning to grab a quick bite and chat for a while. I love when internet friends finally get to become real life friends!

As you can probably guess from my post I will be spending my vacation at the beach. Since I will be relaxing and spending time with family; I've decided next week will be the perfect time to take a little blog break. I'll still be posting over on Instagram so be sure to follow along there, and I'll be back bright and early the Monday after my vacation (so definitely stop by the blog then). 

Do you have any exciting weekend activities planned? Be sure to let me know what you are up to in the comments below!

09 July 2014

#motd | An Instagram Recap No. 2

Happy Wednesday everyone! Maybe it's just me, but this week is absolutely flying by. I feel like there aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done! Enough of that though, here is a little recap of some of my current favorite makeup looks from Instagram. Since Instagram doesn't link to items I figured it might be helpful to share the looks on here with proper links so that anyone interested can find the right product :)

Products Shown:

Photo 1
H&M rings

Photo 2

Photo 3
H&M rings & eyelash curler

Photo 4

08 July 2014

Summer Skincare Routine

With the sticky hot summer days ahead of us I decided there was no better time to invest in some good skincare products and to share them with you guys! After a really bad breakout due to an oil based cleanser a few months ago I've really been working to give my skin lots of TLC and attention. Recently, I began realizing that my current cleanser really wasn't taking all of the product off of my face - which is definitely a big problem. A couple of people recommended the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser which I had been wanting to try for a while; but I was also given a recommendation to try No7's version which is a great dupe and much easier to get ahold of. I am thoroughly impressed with the No7 cleanser. Since it uses a muslin cloth to remove the makeup you truly can see when there is no makeup left on your skin. The creamy product is applied dried and does an excellent job of getting off the toughest makeup. I'm not a fan of splashing my face with water in the sink (I know, I'm weird) so being able to remove my makeup without doing that works really well for my routine. 

On to exfoliating! I absolutely still love my Lush Angels On Bare Skin and use that every morning but I wanted an additional exfoliant that wasn't harsh but a little more of a deep cleanse than Angels On Bare Skin. Just by chance I found the Clinique 7 Day Scrub. I was given it as a sample product back in May after purchasing my beloved Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief and fell in love. After using up my sample I knew I needed the full size. I use it about three times a week in the shower after my No7 cleanser and really feel like it helps breakouts and those areas of my face (aka my t-zone) that really need a good scrub. I don't scrub vigorously but I gently massage this into my skin for a good five minutes. (The harder you scrub the more you damage your skin! Be kind to it!) The name "7 Day Scrub" alludes to it being a product you can use every day (which you totally can) but since I already use a gentle exfoliator in the morning I opt to use this one a couple times a week. 

Have any of you used either one of these products? Do you have some great skincare favorites that you can't live without?

07 July 2014

June Beauty Favorites

So a I'm a few days late (better late than never though!), but here are some of the products I've been absolutely loving for the month of June. 

1] Paul Mitchell Instant Moisture Daily Shampoo: I've heard many good things about this shampoo and snagged it back in May. After using it for a few weeks I still definitely love it. It keeps my hair soft but doesn't make it overly greasy. Definitely a win, win for me since a lot of extra moisturizing products can leave me feeling as though I have greasy hair before the day ends.

2] Essie Urban Jungle: This has been the bottle of polish I have been reaching for over and over for the last month. I even included it in my one year of blogging giveaway. It is a great neutral without being shocking white or baby pink. The color tends to come out as more of a creamy, bone color which feels nice and fresh. 

3] Bobbi Brown 'Sparkle' Eyeshadow in Cement: This eyeshadow has been a staple in my makeup look now for a solid month after I saw my friend Nicole wearing it for a night out. It took me ages to track it down. (I even purchased the regular Bobbi Brown Cement Eyeshadow which is a matte finish by accident first - make sure you check the label for "sparkle" if you are looking for this little guy.) The finish isn't pigmented with much brown but it gives the prettiest shimmer over top of my everyday shadow routine. 

4] Lush Ocean Salt Scrub: This has been on my "Lush wish list" for quite some time now and my sweet friend sent it my way as birthday present. It has been perfect for summer to scrub off the gross feeling a hot city can leave on your skin. I opt not to use it on my face since it is a harsher exfoliant but I love how it makes my arms and legs feel. (Best part, it smells just like the beach since it has sea salt in it.)

5] Elizabeth and James Nirvana White: For over eight years I have worn one fragrance and one fragrance only...Chanel Chance Eau Fraîche. Back in the beginning of June Sephora offered the Nirvana White as a sample products you could get with points. I decided to snag it and see how I might like something different. I surprisingly love it, and get so many compliments on it. Unlike my woody Chanel fragrance, Nirvana White is more floral but definitely still fresh and great for warm summer days.

6] Gold H&M Rings: Unfortunately, I don't have a link to these little guys but I've seen them in H&M stores everywhere. They come in a pack of about twenty and range in size from full rings to midi rings. They are about four or five dollars and I've worn them probably every day in June!

What products have you been using and loving? Leave me a comment below, I'm always looking for new things to try.

04 July 2014

Happy Weekend | Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July to all of my American readers! Since it's the Fourth I decided to skip out on flower friday and share this pretty red, white and blue breakfast I've been snacking on this week. It is so easy to layer up (vanilla, granola, strawberries, and blueberries) and a perfect little festive treat for the holiday. I headed up to New York last night so I'll be spending the long weekend in Manhattan with good friends. I'm not bringing my camera but I'm sure I'll be snapping some Instagram photos so be sure to follow along there :)

What do you have planned for the Fourth? Will you be on a beach or on dry land like me?

ps: Happy 238th birthday America! 

03 July 2014

Fourth of July Cocktail

This cocktail is one I whipped up the other weekend when I was looking for something fresh, light, and summery. It just so happened to work perfectly for the Fourth so I added a skewer of blueberries (even though the drink does not have blueberries in it - I just wanted to add a festive blue touch) and my cute little Fourth of July straws! Voila, instantly festive and super easy!


Strawberry Simple Syrup 
Vodka or Gin
Club soda
Holiday garnish
Crushed Ice

To Make

Combine one parts sugar and one parts water and bring to a boil
Add half a small carton of strawberries to your mixture and boil until white 
(Note, I added more sugar to taste and some food coloring to saturate the red.)
Add one part of clear liquor of your choice - I prefer Vodka
Top with club soda
Garnish accordingly 

Do any of you have any festive Fourth of July cocktails or recipes? If so, share them below! 
ps : My straws are from Target :)

02 July 2014

Currently Loving | Alice McQueen Consignment

Some of my favorite shoes: Diane Von Furstenberg, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Jimmy Choo

My favorite spot in the store, the shoe wall!

Today's Currently Loving post is both a currently loving and an about town post all in one. Alice McQueen Consignment is a brand new Richmond based shop; and I was fortunate enough to spend last Saturday with the two fabulous ladies behind the store. We spent the morning chatting, shopping, and of course snapping photos! The store is blogger heaven with all the gorgeous white finishes and beautiful items! I have never been in a consignment store quite like Alice McQueen. The owner Mimi has an incredible eye for snagging gorgeous (and basically never worn) designer pieces. The clean and sleek store is the perfect backdrop for her gorgeous items. I left with an amazing Steven Alan dress & DVF top that I cannot wait to style and share with you all! 

I also asked Mimi to share a few words about her store and how it came to be!

"Alice McQueen Consignment is the brainchild of Mimi Tanaka, 23, a Richmond native and daughter of 40-year Richmond business owner, Yoshi Tanaka. After graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Business in 2012, Mimi decided she wanted to follow her father's footsteps into the world of entrepreneurship while focusing on her love for fashion. She envisioned an inviting, high-end consignment boutique where women felt as comfortable as if they were shopping in their best friend's closet. In bringing her vision to life, Mimi enlisted life-long friend and marketing professional, Hope Frank. Hope recently moved back to Richmond from Chicago where she spent two years at Ogilvy & Mather working on integrated marketing, advertising and social media strategy for global clients. The two have been friends since attending The Steward School together."

One Year of Blogging Giveaway Winner!

Congrats to Alexandra Smith for being selected as the winner of my giveaway! I want to thank all of you for your sweet comments, likes, and simply following along this past year and especially on my one year post and the giveaway post.

Thanks to everyone who entered as well!

01 July 2014

OOTD : Fourth Of July Style

Ann Taylor Striped Tee | Zara Maxi Skirt [SIMILAR] | Enit Clutch c/o | Kate Spade NY Watch | H&M Rings 

This year I won't be spending the Fourth seaside, instead I'll be spending it running around Manhattan. And since I won't be in a swimsuit for the day; I decided to put together a "chic" but still holiday appropriate look for Friday. I live in striped shirts, so keeping with my standard uniform I decided to stray from my usual black and white and go for a patriotic red instead. I kept the rest of my look simple and neutral with this amazing Zara maxi skirt. It's light weight and so, so soft -nothing beats that! Gold accessories and my favorite Enit clutch finish off my look.

Will you be going all out dressing up for the Fourth or keeping your outfit simple like mine?

Photos c/o Ashlyn