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5 Classics every girl should own

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

 It is so easy for me to get swept up in buying the season's latest trends, only for them to go out of style by the next year. It's time for me to invest in pieces that will stand the test of time, classics that I can wear over and over. These pieces do not come cheap, but then again, good classics never do. It might take you a bit of time to save up for each, but remember you're saving for great pieces that will truly last.

Pearls are classic accessory that should adorn every girl's neck at one point. I have a beautiful single strand set of pearls given to me by my mom and I love to put them on to instantly class up any outfit.

I love throwing a blazer over any dress to give it a bit of class and sophistication. 

Every girls needs a LBD in her closet. It is a quintessential classic piece that every girl

Every time I see a classic trench coat, the Breakfast at Tiffany's rain scene pops into my head. 

I have a myriad of pairs of black flats and all I can say is that they go with everything. 

Have any classic pieces of your own? Share them with me in the comments below!

Sunday Sun

Monday, September 29, 2014

 I love walking about the city after a leisurely brunch. Sunday was a gorgeous Fall day for that. I grabbed a burger with my boyfriend at a cute local spot, grabbed a coffee at Sightglass and we proceeded to take the long way back home. It was sunny and warm, but there was a fantastic Fall breeze so I wore my new 3/4 sleeve blouse from J.Crew Factory. It is pretty darn cosy-comfy and has a cute silk peter pan collar with a black lining. I needed a bit of color amidst the black and grey so I added some cute red wedges from Kenneth Cole. I can't wait for the weather to turn chillier because I have a million pairs of tights that I could pair with this outfit!
The polish on my nails is Essie's Dressed to Kilt. It might not look it in this light, but the color is a dark and gorgeously creamy red that totally matches the Kenneth Cole red wedges!
I love the Peter Pan collar on this shirt. It gives the plain sweater a bit of sophistication. I also adore the Nars velvet matte lip pencil i'm wearing. I think Nars Cruella is the perfect shade of red for me which, for a redhead, can be hard to find.
Blouse // Skirt  (old Express, similar) // Shoes (old Kenneth Cole, similar) // Lipstick // Sunglasses

How was your weekend? Get up to anything fun? Share with me in the comments below!

Fall Playlist

Sunday, September 28, 2014

This playlist is perfect for working at your desk while you listen to the wind whistle outside and watch the leaves fall. This is definitely a mellow playlist, but I think it is perfect for me while I try to get things done. It definitely helps me keep focused on what needs to get done. Enjoy!

What are you listening to at the moment? 

Weekend Wear

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Say hello to the weekend! This weekend, for me, is going to involve a lot of running about town. My next couple of weekends are jam-packed with events, trips and outings so this weekend is all about making sure I get to do any and everything I need to do before then. With all that running about, I need to be comfortable so cute flats are paramount and these Kate Spade raccoon flats are just about the cutest thing I've ever seen. The blue top and rose gold accessories give me that necessary pop of color! 

Have exciting weekend plans of your own? Share them with me in the comments below!

Friday Funny:Jimmy Fallon LipSync

Friday, September 26, 2014

I find that Fridays can sometimes feel much longer than other days, especially when you're just waiting for it to be over so that your exciting weekend plans can begin. To hurry things along or simply entertain yourself while I work through my day, I like to perk myself up with some entertaining youtube clips. My favorites for this week has been watching and re-watching the Jimmy Fallon Lip Sync battles. My ultimate favorite has to be Emma Stone because she's pretty much amazing at life, but all of these will have you giggling in your seat!

Happy Friday!

Fall Polish Favorites

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fall is all about the changing of the seasons, which means the changing up of the polishes. I've put away the bright pinks, pale blues, and neon oranges associated with the warm Summer sun. Lately, I've even gotten into the habit of changing up my polish every week, which means every Saturday, I make a quick trip to my local Walgreens or Sephora to grab a new color to try. I've been loving Essie's new fall polishes, especially the creamy taupe of 'Take it Outside' and the deep red of 'Dressed to Kilt'. I also pulled out my old Essie favorites; Wicked, a deep and dark creamy red and After School Boy Blazer, an academy blue black, which has to be one of my all time favorite polishes for Fall & Winter (#navyornothing). I'm also excited to test out some new shades from the Ciatè Haute House collection. I have to admit that half the reason I bought the collection was because of the adorable little box it came in. Seriously, Ciatè has such cute packaging. I can't wait to try out these gorgeous shades as the weather gets chillier!

Have a favorite polish for Fall? Share it with me in the comments!

5 ways to Snack Better

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I'm a total snacker! With a constantly busy schedule, it's hard for me to sit down and eat three complete meals a day. So, instead, I snack. Snacking can actually be really great for you. It can keep your energy up, keep your metabolism running and keep you in a better mood. Here are a few tips that I've learned for smart snacking done the right way! 

1. Control the portions - It's so easy to lose yourself in a bag of chips, a bowl of popcorn, a seemingly endless container of something and forget to realize that you are no longer hungry. Large bags of anything can present a problem, even large bags of healthy snacks. Everything in moderation is the key. Graze is the perfect solution for that! Graze sends you 4 portion controlled snacks weekly or bi-weekly that are determined by your food preferences. With so many healthy and tasty choices, I get so excited to see my graze box on the doorstep. They are the perfect portion size snacks to keep in my desk.

2. Enjoy a small treat - Depriving yourself of all treats all the time is not helpful, at least not for me. It usually ends up with me going on an treat bender, eating my weight in donuts or macaroons or cake or pie. To avoid this, I let myself enjoy small treats whenever I feel that they are necessary. If I want a donut, how about I only eat a small piece. If I want macaroons, how about I only get one. Letting myself enjoy small treats whenever I need helps me avoid the big treat benders!

3. Make healthier snacks available - If all your office has is chips and candy, you're only going to eat chips and candy. Make sure you have healthier options too! Our office has chips and candy, but they also order NatureBox snacks that come once a month. We get 5 different bags of healthy and delicious snacks sent to us each month. It makes opening up the snack drawer a lot easier when I know I can grab the healthier version of a snack I love. Two of my favorite NatureBox snacks right now are the Asiago & Cheddar Cheese Crisps and the Cashew Crumble.

4. Take a break when you snack - Do you know how easy it is to overeat because you're too busy staring at your television, computer or pouring over a notebook to even realize that you're full? How about taking a 10 minute break from all three when you need a snack. Not only will it prevent you from over-snacking, but sometimes it's just nice to take 10 minutes to yourself during your busy day.

5. If craving this, then grab that - Cravings are hard to ignore, but it's a major lesson in self-control when you learn how to manage them without totally giving in every time. One way is to find suitable substitutes for the thing you're craving. It's definitely a lot of trial and error to find out what constitutes a suitable alternative for you. For those craving sugar, fruit is a healthy alternative. It gives you the sugar and sweetness you want, without breaking the health bank. If you're like me though, a piece of fruit isn't really enough to squash that craving. If I'm eating fruit, I'll add some honey or fruit yogurt or when fruit isn't enough, I'll go Cashew Crumble. The Naturebox Cashew Crumble is a perfect sugar substitute for me. It combines cookie bits with cashews, giving me a little of what I'm craving and a little of what's good for me. Also, it's totally delicious! Find your suitable substitutes for all your cravings and make them your new normals.

Have a great snacking tip of your own? Share them with me in the comments!

Fall is in the Air

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fall is officially here and I've picked up a few cold weather wardrobe essentials to keep me cosy in the colder months. One of my favorites has been the Warmspun Swingy Elbow-Patch sweaters from J.Crew Factory. With the 30% off sale going on right now, it's the perfect time to stock up for Fall. I have never owned a sweater with an Elbow-Patch before. I actually used to make fun of my boyfriend for wearing sweaters with elbow patches and now I seem silly because I just adore mine (he now enjoys mocking me for it). It's so cosy and the elbow patches add a bit of flair to an otherwise plain sweater. I paired it with another J.Crew Factory essential, the Flared Skirt in Baroque Blue. I always like a pop of color somewhere in my outfits and the brightl Blue skirt certainly gave me that pop. 
The cream colored sweater with a dark brown leather elbow patches.
I love the combination of bright red hair paired against the blue skirt and creamy sweater.
Flared Skirt // Warmspun Swingy with Elbow-Patch Sweater // Sole Society Flats (old, but check out their fall collection of flats) // White Button Down // Dooney & Burke purse (similar)

What is your favorite Fall essential? Share them with me in the comments below!

The start of Fall means...

This week marks the beginning of Fall, a season I am ridiculously excited for. Falling leaves, cold breezes, dark polishes, Halloween candy, thick scarves, everything signals change and the start of something new. The start of Fall means a lot of things to me, including the return of many Fall favorites. Here are some of the things I am most excited to see return this Fall.

Pumpkin Spice Lattes - The delicious taste of Pumpkin is back in my coffee and in my tea and I'm all excited for the change. I love Pumpkin everything and that first taste of Pumpkin in my coffee is the official start of Fall for me.

Halloween Decorations - There is little that I love more than decorating for the holidays and decorating for Halloween is no different. I love to string up the fake cobwebs and litter them with fake little black spiders. There are pumpkins everywhere in my apartment and one of these years, I will get one of those blow up lawn decorations to display that I have always lusted after during many a Fall Coscto run.

Cosy Sweaters - Fall means the return of one of my all time favorites, the cosy sweater. When the weather turns chilly, I love pulling out my pile of comfy sweaters in varying colors. I'm usually wearing one over every single outfit in my closet and each of them is like a warm hug.

Thick Socks - For the days when you know that it is just too cold to get out of bed, the solution is to immediately throw on the thickest pair of socks you have and let your toes get cosy. I feel warmer all over when my feet are cosy and I like to 'risky business' it around the apartment sliding to and from rooms in a happy Fall daze.

Fall Boots - I'm all about two kinds of shoes in Fall. Fall flats & Fall boots and I'll have to admit my favorite is definitely a good pair of Fall boots. Every year, I buy a pair of Fall boots that are cute and inexpensive, but quality wise, barely last the season. This year, I'm determined to invest in a really good pair of Fall boots that will carry me through the Fall seasons ahead and always be in style. It's my new Fall mission.

Apple Picking - Apples! Apple picking, Apple cider, Apple pie, Apple muffins, Apple strudel, Baked Apples, everything Apples! Fall is all about Apples and I am more than happy to oblige. I have made many a delicious baked good using apples in past Fall seasons, but this year I am planning on heading to an orchard to take in the brisk air and to hand select my own apples.

Have a Fall favorite of your own that you can't wait to see back in rotation? Share them with me in the comments below!

Birchbox Customer Appreciation

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Friday morning at my office and the doorbell rings. In comes a very nice girl in a Birchbox tee. She's carrying a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a bunch of pink and white balloons, and a Birchbox tote bag filled with goodies for me?! This month marks the fourth anniversary of Birchbox and to say thank you to all of their subscribers, they threw their first ever Customer Appreciation Day. Birchbox made surprise deliveries to offices and houses across the country. They also called hundreds of subscribers to tell them how much they were appreciated and to let them know a special package was en route to say thanks! If you were near New York, you could even go to Birchbox Soho and build your own box for free! 
The best part of their Customer Appreciation Day was not the presents, although I was beyond excited to get them and I'm so not giving them back. It was the mere fact that they wanted to do anything at all.  They wanted to create a entire event dedicated to showcasing how much they appreciate their subscribers sticking by them for the past four years. It was an day packed with sweet ideas and thoughtful gestures that made me so happy to be a member of the Birchbox community. 
Look at this incredible flower arrangement. Those Birchbox gals have some great taste!
Some of my readers were curious to know what was in my goodie bag so here it is! The first box that I opened in my goodie bag was the Birchbox for CEW Prestige Headliners box. I am so excited to have gotten this box in my goodie bag. I love using my full sized COOLA Radical Recovery After Sun Lotion as a nighttime moisturizer. It has done great things for my skin. The only problem is that it's a full 6oz and there is no way I can bring it on a plane. I'm so happy to have this little travel sized cutie for my October trip to Michigan. Some of the other great products included in this box were a nighttime miracle moisturizer, a glossing hair cream, a light face oil, a creamy nail polish, a toe separator and even a little handheld mirror. So many fun products that I get to play around with!
The goodie bag also contained the limited edition Modern Mermaid box. Shimmery shades, salty beach waves and waterproof liners make this box perfect for a little mermaid lover like myself.
 Also among the Birchbox goodies was the Smashbox Full Exposure Palette. I'm so excited to get to try out this palette. It has some perfect shades for Fall. Shimmers and mattes so that I can use for both work and play! 
I also pulled out a box containing the Jouer Leopard 'IT' Bag. I don't actually own ANYTHING leopard print so I am happy to have this little bag be the first of many new pieces in my accessories collection.
Three essentials were packed into this little bag. A beautiful dark brown and gold shimmery liner, a creamy pink lipstick and a dark mascara. Great products for an easy and put together look!
One of my favorite items in the bag was the Good Morning Gorgeous Birchbox tee. It is oversized, incredibly comfy and I can never say no to something that greets me every morning by telling me I'm gorgeous. I think I will be sporting this tee quite a lot. All of my Birchbox goodies came in this mint and cream Birchbox tote, which is a perfect tote for a jaunt to the store or a quick day trip.
Did I mention the flowers because, well the flowers, they're just gorgeous. 

I wanted to say a big, big, big thank you to Birchbox for my Friday delivery. I was having a bit of a rough week and I didn't imagine that I would be one of the lucky subscribers to be picked for a little something special. Seriously guys, It totally made my week! You rock!

Weekend Wear

Saturday, September 20, 2014

 I really need to buckle down and get some work done this weekend. I have a lot of tasks and deadlines coming up and I feel all in a tizzy and very unorganized. So I'm going to sit down, get organized and get things accomplished! I work best when I feel super comfortable and being super comfortable to me means dressing low key. The flannel shirt is the perfect top for that. It keeps you warm if it gets a bit chilly, but the arms can easily be rolled up if it gets a tad hot. The boyfriend jeans are great for a quick coffee run or for the long working hours typing away on my computer. I always need a pop of color in my outfits and I think the shoes the fold over clutch do a great job of providing that fun bit of brightness. I also love the tortoise shell details on the necklace and earrings as a way to bring out a bit of sass and personality. 

Got a lot of work of your own to catch up on? Off for a fun weekend jaunt? Share your weekend plans with me in the comments below!

Let's Whip Something Up

Friday, September 19, 2014

I more of a baker than a chef, but when the mood strikes or when I find a recipe on Pinterest that I just have to try, you'll find me in the kitchen measuring things out like I totally know what I'm doing. 9 times out of 10, I don't. Cooking for me is all about experimentation and a lot of trial and error. I have to be okay that something I try probably won't look as good as the picture, but I made it so I'm always a little bit proud. As for inspiration, I  love scrolling through pages on Pinterest, but to switch it up, I like to flip through some of my favorite cookbooks. Each is wondrous in their own way and they contain some of absolute favorite recipes. Here are a few of those favorite recipes from my favorite cookbooks. 

Any favorite cookbooks that I should check out? Share them with me in the comments below!

Birchbox Unboxing-September 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

This month, Birchbox did a fun fashion inspired collaboration with Fashionista, a fashion savvy news site. You got the choice of getting the normal birchbox or choosing the curated Fashionista box. Although I knew it would spoil the surprise, I opted for the Fashionista box. It had some great products and a bunch I haven't tried so it will be fun to test out all these new items. I really loved that they partnered with Fashionista during NYC Fashion Week. It definitely seemed like they packed the box with some Fashion Week essentials! 
Birchbox Take: This cleansing and conditioning foam is made without parabens or surfactants, so it's easy on your hair. It's good to use on all hair types, especially coarse hair, and continues to work even once your hair is clean and soft, adding additional hold and control during styling.  
My Take: I love the Macadamia line of products. They smell deliciously nutty and make your hair super soft. I haven't tried this yet, but I heard from another birchbox subscriber to use this sparingly as it is extremely effective and if you use too much, your hair can look a giant poodle. 
NAOBAY Body Radiance Lotion
Birchbox Take: Olive oil, shea butter, and avocado oil deliver serious moisture, while aloe vera soothes and protects skin. More than 98 percent of ingredients in this creamy lotion are natural, and over 19 percent are organic-and like all of Naobay products, it's free of GMOs and made without paragons, formaldehyde, petrochemical, synthetic dyes, and a host of other chemicals that research suggest may come with health risks.
My Take: I got a sample of this in an earlier birchbox and it was definitely a product I didn't mind getting another of. It has a lovely citrus scent and is the perfect size to throw in my purse to keep moisturized throughout the day when I am out and about.
Birchbox Take: This mascara draws on tech from haircare: Its glazing formula softly sculpts and hold lashes in place all day long. The natural cotton fibers in this formula add thickness and length while the bullet-shaped brush carefully coats and curls each lash. Nutrients in the formula leave lashes softer and shinier after use. 
My Take: I thought that this mascara was good, but not great. It looked really natural on and didn't clump too much, but it's still not as amazing as my Dior blackout mascara. However, I do like the consistency and it is the perfect size to throw in my mini makeup bag for end of the day, transitioning from work to play.
Birchbox Take: A gentle face mask that draws out dirt and oil like a magnet, clearing blackheads and tightening pores. Proven blemish-busters salicylic and glycol acid work to de-gunk pores, while ejitsu rose tightens them after the fact.
My Take: I really enjoy the feeling of this face mask. I've only been using it as a spot treatment on my nose area but it seems to be working. I can't wait to see what it can do in the long term. Bye bye big pores!
Cynthia Rowley Beauty Eyeliner
Birchbox Take: These luxe, creamy liners deliver bold color that lasts and lasts. Choose from five wearable shades: Black, Silver Charcoal, Sky Blue, and Violet. Vegan, cruelty-free, and paraben-free, these liners feature Cynthia Rowley's signature gold foil design.
My Take: This was probably my least favorite product in the box this month. I will say this, it did go on super creamy and delivered a really bold pop of silver. Unfortunately, I'm definitely not a girl who can pull off silver eyeliner. I promise I will find another use for this product. Eyeliner tattoos perhaps?

What do you guys think of the Birchbox samples this month? Did you get the Fashionista box too?

modcloth fall picks

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11

A few months back, I made some Summer purchases on the cutest vintagey site, Modcloth. This purchase included the cutest Air Balloon print dress. Sadly, the dress was a little too tight in the chest for my comfort and needed to be returned. On the upside, Modcloth does a great job with returns and I decided to make my return in the form of Modcloth credit. As I was perusing their new arrivals to pick out something to spend my credit on, I saw a ton of super cute Fall arrivals that I just had to share. Here are some my top contenders!

5 ways to turn around a bad day

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Some days, everything seems to be pulling against you. You trip down the stairs and skin your knee. You're late for your bus and there isn't another one coming for 30 minutes. It starts to rain and you didn't bring an umbrella. Everything you do at work turns out wrong and you feel utterly useless. These are the worst of the worst kind of days, the days that make you just want to curl up in bed and close your eyes until it's tomorrow. Although, I can't make it tomorrow whenever I please; sadly I don't have the time turner from Harry Potter, I have found a few ways to make that bad day a slightly better one. 

1. Curl up with your favorite blankie. Don't lie, most of us have one. Our favorite, most comforting fuzzy little blankie that seems to make everything feel okay. I don't care if it's not time to get in bed. Hop right in and cuddle up with your favorite blankie and let yourself feel comforted. Things can only get better after cuddling up with my favorite fuzzy fleece blanket. 

2. Phone a Friend. Or your mom, or your boyfriend, girlfriend, sister, brother, dad, etc. You might not want to talk to anybody, your day has just been that bad, but it really is a huge help! A five minute chat with my mom seems to make every issue I've ever had seem really minute. She knows exactly what to say and when she tells me that 'everything is going to be okay', I truly believe her. A quick chat with another person reminds you that you are not alone in your truly terrible, completely awful, no good, bad day. We have ALL been there. 

3. Grab a Donut or your favorite treat. Hey, Hey, Hey, you deserve it! Every once in a while, you deserve a treat and when you're having a really awful, completely terrible, no good bad day, you deserve an even BIGGER treat. Two of my favorite bad day treats are donuts & macarons. I don't eat either very often so it always make me feel a bit better to grab an assortment of my favorite treats in delicious flavors.  

4. Pick up your favorite book. Sometimes, reading the news or a heavy book is just not something my brain can process. This is only tripled on one of those truly awful, no good, bad days. All I want to do is grab one of my favorite guilty pleasure book series and enjoy some chapters of light reading. And that is exactly what I do. One of my favorites is the Gossip Girl book series. I love diving into the story and remembering all the characters I had forgotten. It does a great job of helping me forget about my bad day, as I read all about Blair Waldorf & Dan Humphrey. If you have a favorite book series that you know is a bit of guilty pleasure, grab it and start reading. No Guilt needed. You deserve to take a brain break!

5. Watch your favorite guilty pleasure tv show. So, I have a confession. I love abc family's Young & Hungry. It is my current, ultimate, guilty pleasure show. Generally, I save it to watch by myself, when my boyfriend is in taking a shower. It is such a cute show and I am totally rooting for Gabby and Josh to get together. On my really awful, completely terrible, no good bad days, I throw 'saving episodes' to the wind and watch all the episodes from the beginning. Giggling at all the silly scenes and oohing and ahhing at all the romance seems to do a good job of making me forget my really awful, completely terrible, no good bad day. So, pull up your favorite guilty pleasure show and make a marathon out of it! 

Have any tips of your own for cheering up a really bad day? Share them with me in the comments below!

Working Out in Style

Monday, September 15, 2014

Working out has a ton of benefits. It keeps you fit, releases 'feel happy' endorphins and can do a great job of helping you clear your head when you're stressed. The only problem with me and working out is the issue of motivation. It can be really hard for me to get motivated to get up everyday and get dressed to go for a early morning jog or a late evening trip to the gym. It just always seems like I have a million other things to do and I can be so exhausted after a long day at work that going to the gym or for a jog is the last thing I ever want to do. However, a big workout incentive for me is the chance for me to wear some of my super cute workout gear! The only time I really get to show off these cute clothing items is when I'm out for a jog or hitting the gym so it's the perfect incentive. Here are some of my favorites for working out in style.

Fashionable Fall Boots

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Boots, Boots, Boots! I'm so excited for Fall because Fall means comfy sweaters, cute jeans and Fall boots. Each year, I've grabbed a cheap, but very cute pair of boots, knowing they would only last one season. This year I've decided, I'm fed up with one season boots! I'm investing in a good pair of boots that'll last much longer than one season. Here are some of my top contenders.

Weekend Wear

Saturday, September 13, 2014

This weekend, I'm really excited for Brunch. It sounds silly, but It's one of my absolutely favorite parts of each weekend. I love, love, love picking out a new spot to check out, catching up with my friends, and getting to discover a part of the city. After brunch (always eating way too much deliciousness), I like to walk around exploring the neighborhood. And walking demands comfy shoes and easy-going attire. This outfit is perfect for that. The flats make it oh so comfy and the swishy skirt is a perfect length for hot or cold weather. I especially love the rose gold jewelry from Bauble Bar (hello beautiful monogrammed bracelet, I would like to own you!) and the Kate Spade Grove Court purse, which gives the outfit a great pop of color. 

Any exciting weekend plans? Share what you are up to in the comments below!

Brendy Beauty Box Giveaway

Friday, September 12, 2014

My first ever giveaway and I am so excited! I decided a while back that for my first giveaway, I really wanted to create my own Brendy Beauty box. I have been a part of a bunch of subscription boxes in the past and some of my favorites were boxes that had been curated by an individual. It ranged from their favorites to must-haves. I liked that the boxes contained a variety of products and didn't just focus on beauty or fashion.

This giveaway is a curated collection of 6 items focused around a theme of a Pamper evening, which is one of my favorite things to do!

Bliss Incredi-Peel - An at home Spa Treatment that creates an 'overnight facial' effect.
David's Tea Midsummer Night's Dream & Tea Sachets - One of my favorite loose leaf teas with sachets so you can have it anywhere.
The Infernal Devices: The Clockwork Prince - Every good pamper evening needs a good book and I absolutely love this series.
Essie Nail Polish in Wicked - A gorgeous polish and one of my favorites for Fall.
Snappea Crisps - One of my favorite healthier snacks.
Lush Gift Card - Bath Bombs & Bubble Bars are a pre-requisite for any pamper evening. (Amount $10)

Enter to win using the Rafflecopter widget below:

Disclaimer: Because of the super high cost of shipping, this giveaway is only open to U.S. residents. Sorry to any international readers, I promise to expand my giveaways in the future! The giveaway will end on September 26. 

My Favorite Things: Skincare

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I have a bit of problem skin. It is both sensitive and acne prone, two things that are usually really hard to deal with when it comes to your skin. Thankfully, I have found some products that do a good job of keeping those problems in check!
1. Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser - I got this in a Birchbox a good long while ago and I didn't expect it to live up to the hype. Boy, was I wrong. This has to be one of my favorite face washes ever! It smells divine and, in combination with the muslin cloth, it does an amazing job of cleansing my skin. I have sensitive, acne prone skin and I was worried that daily exfoliation might do some damage, but it turns out that it's the perfect form of daily light exfoliation that keeps my skin fresh and clean. It even does a great job of picking up trace amounts of makeup from the spots of my face that I missed with my makeup wipe. If you have not picked up a bottle of this cleanser, I highly suggest you do so!

2. Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm - I got a small sample of this in a goody bag from a Sephora VIB Rouge event a while back. I always find that eye creams are a generally miss for me because I never really see a good amount of difference in my under eye area. I'm too young for serious wrinkles and nothing I've tried really helps the slight darkness if I haven't gotten a good night's rest or the puffiness that always seems to appear. I was actually pleasantly surprised by this eye balm, as it actually reduced my dark circles by a considerable amount. After couple weeks of use, (love that a tiny container of eye balm can last such a long time!) I found that it did a great job daily of minimizing the puffiness and dark circles associated with a restless night. It's definitely one of my skincare favorites and something I will be purchasing in a larger size once my little pot runs out. 

3. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+ - I have gone and come back to this moisturizer a million times and I have found it on my favorites list again for Fall. It always does a great job of balancing out my skin. It does the most important job of moisturizing the dry areas on my face and NOT over-moisturizing my oilier areas. It's the perfect moisturizer to use between Summer and Fall as the change in the season always wreaks a bit of havoc on my skin. 

4. Avène Rètrinal+0.05 Cream - I have only just discovered this product recently through the monthly subscription box, BeautyDNA. I always love seeing what products the smartie beauty product algorithm has picked out for me each month. This product is a Rètrinal cream that is meant to reduce wrinkles and brighten the skin. I don't have a lot of wrinkles on my face, but I do have two lines on my forehead that always seem to give me a bit of trouble. This product does a wonderful job at diminishing those lines so that now they are barely noticeable. I can't wait to see what it can do after a couple months of use. 

5. Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask - This mask is definitely a cult and Brendy Beauty favorite! I always keep a bottle of this mask handy for any day where I feel like my skin is a total mess. It does a great job of decongesting the skin and pulls out all the gunk that has been accumulated in a day of running around the city. This mask has become a necessary component in any Brendy Beauty pamper evening!

6. Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash - Another Origins product that I just adore is this Frothy Face Wash. When they say it's a frothy face wash, they MEAN it's frothy. This product lathers up really well and does a stupendous job of making your skin feel squeaky clean afterward. This, in combination with my Clarisonic, does an amazing job of giving your face a good and proper cleaning. 

Have any skincare favorites of your own? Share them with me in the comments below!

J Crew Fall Picks

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I get overly excited when it comes to going through new arrivals on my favorite clothing sites. It was no different when I discovered J.Crew's Fall arrivals. So many warm sweaters, hooded coats and comfy shoes. I am so ready to put away my skimpy dresses, shorts and iced coffees in favor of a pumpkin spiced something and wearing my favorite sweaters and tights. Check out some of my favorite Fall picks from J.Crew's new Fall arrivals!

Autumn Lipsticks

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

After months of wearing my bright pinks, tinted balms and colorful glosses, it's time to switch out those shades for deeply pigmented reds, mauves and berries. It's time to pull out all the lovely darker shades that are synonymous with the changing of the seasons. It's time to round up and show off some of my favorite Autumn Lipsticks.

1. Nars Scarlet Empress - As I mentioned in my Fall Beauty wish list post, Nars Scarlet Empress was my favorite go-to lipstick last Fall and I see it being a favorite shade this year too. The description says it's a semi-matte blue red, but I would describe it more as a buildable berry. It makes for a great transition lipstick, from wearing it to the office to building it up in darker layers for going out later that night. Either way, it's a perfect lipstick for the Autumn season!

2. Mac Plumful - This is definitely a more demure shade of lipstick. It is perfect for those not looking to be too drastic, but still want a pop of color on their lips. It's one of Mac's Lustre Lipstick so it has a bit of soft sheen. It's a very pinky berry shade that is totally wearable and great for the everyday. 

3. Revlon Colorburst Matte Lip Balm in Sultry - This lipstick is one of my favorite Fall finds year. I am always a bit hesitant when it comes to drugstore brands because you usually don't have the ability to test them out in the store, but these had testers for all of the shades and I had a little too much fun swatching all of the shades on the back of my hand (I was covered in pinks, reds, plums and purples).  I would describe this shade as a dusty rose in color. It's beautifully pigmented and with all the shea, cocoa and mango butter in it, it does a good job of not drying out my lips. I also love that it doesn't require a sharpener and I can just twist it up whenever it gets too low! A great shade of lipstick for Autumn. 

4. Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella - This is my perfect, all around, go-to red lipstick. It's completely matte and has a bit of a creamy finish. These pencils are SO pigmented, but I've learned to expect nothing less from Nars. Sephora describes Cruella as a scarlet red and it's definitely on point. As a redhead, I tend to shy away from red lipsticks, but this is among the two red shades that I love to wear throughout the Fall & Winter.

5. Mac Russian Red - This is my second favorite red lipstick. Mac's Russian Red is a true red lipstick. The color is super pigmented and can take some getting used to, but once you do, you will think you were crazy for ever doubting its beautiful color. I like to wear this shade to Fall parties for a bold, 'look at me' lip.

6. Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss in 107 - This is my newest obsession in lipstick loves. I know this has been a cult favorite for awhile, but it took me awhile to jump on the bandwagon and try it. This is the loveliest shade of berry/wine/deep plum and has a SUPER long wear time. I can eat, drink, put on lip balm, accidentally lick my lips and this lipstick is still carrying on like nothing happened. They are not joking when they say it has a lasting finish. It does fade after a good long while, but it fades to a cute light pink shade. It has a delicious berry scent associated with it and for only about $6, it's a total steal. Seriously, go pick it up now!

Have any favorite Autumn Lipsticks of your own? Share them with me in the comments below!

5 Ways to Sleep Better

Monday, September 8, 2014

I tend to have a super busy schedule and my mind is always running with a million different ideas, projects, plans and meetings. This can make it hard to get a good night's sleep. After many tried and failed attempts, I have found a few tips I use to get a good night's rest. 

1. Create a bedtime routine. I like to create a routine around going to bed. I try to make the routine as consistent as possible. After going through the same motions night after night, your body starts to learn when it's time to wind down and get ready for bed. I like to do my skincare routine, have a cup of herbal tea and read a couple chapters of a book before bed. It slowly winds my mind down to get me ready for bed. 

2. Set a happier alarm. I hate the buzzing sound of an alarm. You are being jerked awake by an unpleasant noise, begging to be silenced. Changing your alarm to something more soothing makes it easier to adjust to being woken up. It definitely helps prevent me from hitting the snooze button, at least more than once. I like to use a clip of Brooke Waggoner's 'Fresh Pair of Eyes' as my alarm to quietly wake me up in the mornings.

3. Dim the screens of your devices. This should be a big no brainer, but technology can be your enemy when it comes to getting a good night's sleep. For me, ditching the devices can be hard to do since I always sleep with an iPad nearby with Netflix playing to help me drift off to dreamland. To prevent it from keeping me awake, I dim the iPad to its lowest brightness setting. This helps me drift to sleep without the bright blue screen keeping me awake.

4. Spray your pillow with a soothing scent. On nights where I am particularly stressed or anxious, I like to spray my pillow with a soothing pillow mist from Bath & Body Works. My favorite scent, Honey Vanilla Dream pillow mist, is sadly discontinued, but they have some other great ones too. The scent is so calming and breathing deeply clears my mind and makes for a really restful night.

5. Try to stay out of your own head. This is the hardest one for me to adhere to. Trying to go to sleep, but being unable to, I end up running through tomorrow's to do list in my head. I get myself all riled up, which is not conducive to a good night's sleep. A great way to avoid this is to get yourself in a comfortable position and really focus on how you feel. I like to think about how I'm in my comfiest pajamas and finally resting after a long day with my comfy pillow and bed. 

Twenty little Facts About Me

Sunday, September 7, 2014

I thought it would be fun to share a couple things about myself. If you feel like it, share some little facts about yourself in the comments below. I'd love to hear more about you!
One - I almost always have a book in my purse even if I know that, realistically, I will have zero time to read.

Two - I can't fall asleep without listening to some kind of background noise so I usually fall asleep listening to Netflix on my iPad or listening to an audiobook. I find listening to Jim Dale reading the Harry Potters books or listening to Downton Abbey to be particular favorites. I don't know why, but I find british voices to be really soothing.

Three - I dislike the dentist, the doctor, anyone who pokes and prods me and I try to avoid going at all costs. 

Four - I have never dyed or highlighted my hair.

Five - Scary movies always give me nightmares, even now.  When I was younger, I used to line the side of my bed with stuffed animals thinking they would protect me from the movie monsters.

Six - I really love getting mail. I also really love sending mail so my friends tend to get a lot of handwritten cards randomly. 

Seven - I really love the rain and big storms.

Eight - I didn't have my first kiss until I was 16. 

Nine - My best thinking time is when I take a long bath. It's my favorite time to go over things in my head.

Ten - My favorite part of dinner is always dessert.

Eleven - I had three stitches in my head when I was 3 because I ran into the corner of a brick wall. I didn't tell anyone about it all day. My mom only noticed when she came to pick me up from preschool. She was trying to move my front bangs and discovered that they were actually dried into the cut. Safe to say, everyone had a little panic over that.

Twelve - From when I was born until the age of one, my hair stuck straight up all on its own and could not be pushed down, even with gel.

Thirteen - My favorite number is 13 because I was born on Friday the 13th. 

Fourteen - My comfiest outfit is an Adult onesie pj from Nick & Nora. It's what I immediately throw on whenever I'm home from a hard day or feeling ill.

Fifteen - When I really need to focus and work, I'll close all the curtains until it is really dark and play Sounds of Nature - Thunderstorms. I do not know why, but it seems to work really well to get me motivated. 

Sixteen - I will never be too old for Disneyland.

Seventeen - I am left handed and I find that it's a little bonding moment for me to find others who are also left handed.

Eighteen - I make really good Mac n' Cheese, like really good. 

Nineteen - I can't sleep unless I know all the doors in the house are locked. In college, I used to text my roommate to ask if she could go check for me. She always laughed about it.

Twenty - Holidays are my absolutely favorite times of year. I love decorating and finding reasons to celebrate!

Weekend Wear

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Summer weather is just about gone, which means Fall is quickly upon us. I am quite excited to pull out my longer dresses and booties and put away my short skirts and sandals. This weekend, for me, is going to be all about kicking back and relaxing. I have had a very packed schedule recently and I can't wait to take the time to take a beat and catch my breath. After attending the Kate Spade fall preview event last week, I have become enamored with their accessories. Belts, Scarves, Jewelry & Hats, Kate Spade has you covered for dressing in style. I have especially been loving their cute bow accessories, each giving a piece of Kate Spade sparkle to any everyday outfit. I love this Boden Ponte dress for its length and material. It would keep me comfy, cute & warm all day long. I also feel that I can never go wrong with Sole Society's shoes and purses. They carry all the chicness of a designer brand without carrying the heavy price tag. I can't wait to check out their riding boots for Fall!

What are you up to this weekend? Doing anything especially fun? Share your plans with me in the comments below!

Currently, I'm loving...

Friday, September 5, 2014

Pressed Juicery's Alkalizer - A delicious favorite juice of mine. To me, it tastes like a spicy apple cider. It definitely does a great job of perking me up in the middle of the day! Thanks Pressed Juicery for making this delicious concoction year round. 

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner - This has become my ultimate favorite eyeliner. Every time I stray to another liner, I always find myself coming back to this one. It goes on so smoothly and creates the cutest kitten eye for my everyday look. 

Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation - I have been loving my CoverFX mineral foundation. I've been using it in conjunction with my Dr. Jart+ BB cream. It layers really well over the BB cream and provides great sheer coverage. It is even great to reapply during the day on my shiny areas. It does not cake up at all! 

Kate Spade Notebooks - These notebooks have been amazing for keeping myself organized. I love to sit down in the morning and write out my daily to-do lists. It feels so gratifying to be able to check things off my list and having it all written down takes a lot of stress off my mind.

Essie Dress to Kilt Polish - This is a gorgeous shade of red that is perfect for Fall! It's so glossy and bright, it makes me excited to see my nails everyday.

Air Wick Wax Melts - Air Wick recently came out with wax melts in a bunch of tasty new scents! I was actually sent a few from Air Wick to test out and I was really pleased. My favorite scent has been Isle Royale Sugar Maple and Hazelnut Crisp. Surprisingly, none of the candles I own smell like maple or  hazelnut so I have been loving melting this. I really like to light it in the morning, while I hurry around and get ready for work. 

Taylor Swift's 'Shake it Off' - It is impossible to hear this song and not start dancing in your seat. I like to play this on my way to work to get myself pumped up for the day. 

Outlander - OMG, I have been loving this show. Based off the series of books, Outlander focuses on World War II nurse Clarie Beauchamp as she finds herself transported back in time to Scotland in 1743. It is so addicting!

Boden Clothing Fall Picks

Thursday, September 4, 2014

 As soon as I saw this adorable Gingham shirt dress on a fellow blogger, I knew two things. One, I must have it and two, that I had quite possibly found a new online clothing shop to love. I was right! Boden Clothing is a British Style clothing company, whose website I have been stalking continuously for the past few months, loving every page of their cute styles. After checking out their new arrivals for Fall, I found so many new pieces to covet that I felt it was only fair that I share my favorites with you. I was especially loving the shades of green and leopard print. Do you know I actually do not own ANYTHING in leopard print. Shocking, I know! This must be rectified soon!

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