So I know summer is officially over, but no one seems to have told San Francisco. The days have been warm and the skies have been super sunny, but hey, I'm not complaining. It's the perfect excuse to pull out any last minute warm weather items and get as much use out of them as I can. That definitely includes this lemon yellow bow back dress from Nordstroms!
Now I know that it's crazy early to be thinking about the holidays, but I'm a girl who likes to be prepared. That means stocking up on all the necessary gifts, and an extra few for those I forget about, ahead of time and never having to deal with the last minute freak out with forgetting a gift. Sephora seems to be WAY ahead of the game here releasing a whole slew of amazing gift sets and kits, perfect for every beauty lover in your life. Seriously, some of these kits are so tempting, I'm thinking of buying a few extra for myself!
The Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream ornament is so cute, but I would be tempted by anything that's miniature and hangs on a Christmas tree. Plus, it's my absolute favorite when it comes to moisturizers. I'm also super tempted by the Philosophy Christmas Cookbook Set. It comes with four mini bottle of delicious holidays scents from pumpkin icing to cinnamon buns. Every shower would make me excited to celebrate the season! If you're someone who likes to be totally stocked up on holiday gifts, check out some of my favorites below and get to shopping.
Fall weather is definitely coming, and while it hasn't hit the bay area just yet, I'm definitely planning on some chilly weather in the very near future. Karl the Fog is creeping up on the San Francisco coast and I can't wait for the cool weather to roll in so I can pull out my boots and coziest leggings.
While the weather is still a bit warm, I'm planning ahead to make sure I've got everything I need to keep me warm when it's starts to get cold. This means LOTS and LOTS of flannel shirts. It's the perfect cosy staple shirt for those fall and winter mornings when you don't want to get out of bed and you can't find anything to wear in your wardrobe. I definitely have had my fair share of those. Check out some of my favorite fall flannel favorites below and start stocking up!
This week marks the official start of fall, which also means it's the official start of Pumpkin flavored everything! I love Pumpkin so I really couldn't be more excited and I kicked off the season by making some super delicious Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread. Seriously good.
It was the inaugural use of the KitchenAid Stand Mixer that I just got with my boyfriend, Jean-Pierre. It's one of the first official things we've gotten together as a 'we' product so I was pretty excited that it turned out to be something as awesome at the stand mixer. I already know that I will be using it a ton in fall to make all of my favorite desserts so I figured starting off with something pumpkin-y was just the ticket.
The proverbial before the over shot! Definitely had to stop myself from licking the bowl.
The after shot. Oooey, gooey chocolate and delicious pumpkin. Click through below to check out the whole recipe. It's definitely something you should think about making this fall!
I spent all of last weekend in Seattle, celebrating my sister and her nuptials! I haven't been to Seattle in forever so I wasn't really sure what to expect weather-wise. I've heard that they have a lot of rain so I pretty much packed for all contingencies. Thankfully, we landed to warm and sunny weather and actually ended up bumping into two of my cousins which made for a quick ride to the hotel! We stayed at the Hotel Ballard, which was located in this cute little hamlet in Seattle. It was packed with tasty coffee shops, lunch spots and even had an awesome farmer's market!
For the day of the wedding, the bride put together little packages for all of her bridesmaid which included a pair of monogrammed seersucker shorts and matching navy blue tanks to wear throughout the day. With all the hair and makeup and random tasks we had to get through, it was the best thing ever not to worry about what to wear in the morning. The shorts were also super cute! You know I can never say no to a cute monogram.
The location for the wedding was outdoors facing this beautiful waterfront area full of greenery and palm trees!
Right before we all took our places, my sister gave a toast to all of her bridesmaids, about how happy she was that we could all be there. We had to stop her from crying a few times. We couldn't let her ruin her makeup on her big day! The wedding was huge success and we all stayed out pretty late enjoying the festivities. As for the tossing of the bouquet, there's a hilarious video of my other sister and I basically avoiding it all costs. We think we're a little too young for everyone to be thinking marriage.
Our hotel room actually had this amazing little deck that we opened up on both days we were there so we could take in the fresh air and beautiful area surrounding us. It actually started raining on our last day, which I absolutely loved. It was sunny and hot for the wedding, but the last day made it feel like fall was actually here. Note: it's been super hot and sunny in San Francisco and I'm just itching for some rainy fall weather to actually happen so I got very giddy when I saw falling golden leaves and rain in Seattle. Yup, I'm a weirdo.
The Seahawks were playing on Sunday before we left and everyone everywhere seemed to be all decked out in Seahawks gear. I've never seen an area so into their football team. We went into a nearby restaurant to grab a late lunch and even the small hipster bar was filled with Seahawks fans watching the game on a projector by the bar. As soon as the game was over, the whole bar cleared out and it was only us and the bartenders. Crazy!
Obviously, we had to do the proverbial walk around Pike's Place. Weird frizzy rain wouldn't keep us from watching them chuck fish back and forth!
We also got to check out the flower area. OMG. Seattle, you have the most amazing floral arrangements I have ever seen and so ridiculously inexpensive. Most bouquets I saw were $5 and the most expensive I ever encountered was $15. That's crazy! You couldn't get beautiful flowers like those for $5 in San Francisco. Someone tell me, what's their secret?
Ever been to Seattle before? What was your favorite spot? Share with me in the comments below!
This month was all about customer favorites. Birchbox went back into all their products to find those highest rated with the most reviews and they definitely pulled out a few of my favorite products. This is the first month I've ever opted for one of their totally curated boxes before and you'll see why below. I had a few favorite products that I was just dying to get my hands on in travel size. But first, let me show you what I got in my box!
What's in my box:
- Harvey Prince Hello Perfume
- Marcelle Mini Waterproof Eyeliner in Mulberry
- Beauty Protector Protect Shampoo & Conditioner
- Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish
This was actually one of the products that I was most excited about trying. It's gotten killer reviews on Birchbox.com and with all the traveling I do, travel size is a must. I really can't wait to try out the shampoo and conditioner on my next weekend getaway.
Seriously, this may be the only reason I was dead set on getting this particular box. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish cleanser and muslin cloth set. It seems to be the only cleanser that can get my skin super clean without irritating or over-drying it. Seriously, if you haven't tried it, stop what you're doing right now and go get a bottle. Seriously, it's that good. My skin has never been this clear! The only issue is that the larger bottle isn't exactly travel friendly and I've had to go without it the last couple of weekends away. I'm so glad now that I have this small bottle for all my upcoming trips!
What were you most excited to get in your Birchbox this month?
Last Friday, I got to spend the day flexing my creative muscles at Brit + Co's third annual Re:Make conference. The conference showcased how the combination of technology and creativity are changing our daily lives.
Since starting at Brit + Co a few months ago, I've spent a lot of time thinking about creativity. Specifically, my creativity. I've debated whether I had any in me anymore. That sounds a little melodramatic, but for a lot of us, creativity just isn't on the daily schedule. We don't have the time and I think the worst part is, we just don't feel like we can be creative.
I watched this video during my first week of work and I think it just hit me the hardest. I was terrified of trying anything creative, fearing the judgement that would come after. I didn't want someone to wander up on my 'creative outlet' and tell me I'm not really an artist or writer or dancer. I always associated creativity with amazing talent and I've never felt like I had that. The funny thing is that I never had those feelings as a kid. I never feared judgement for anything I did and I had no problem filling the front of the fridge with my masterpieces or belting out a song in front of my dad's video camera. Somewhere along the way, I became insecure about being creative.
They say the first step of fixing any problem is realizing that there is one and that's where I started. I realized I had a massive hang up associated with being creative and that I needed to do something about it. Thankfully, I work in a place that is so chock full of creative individuals that I never need to search far for all types of inspiration. The ladies that I work with show me each and every day how valued creativity is and how it really can be anything big or small. Whether they're coming up with the most creative DIY projects I've ever seen or writing clever copy for a new editorial post. It feels like they just pump creativity in the air. Little by little, I've been getting better at taking the time to be creative and not worry about anyone else's judgement. I felt like that the Re:Make conference day was like a supercharged day in the Brit + Co office. A day so packed with creative people, you couldn't help but feel inspired. Creativity is catching!
As one of the Brit + Co staff, we all pitched in to help make the conference and the festival a success. I think one of the things I enjoyed most was the crazy positive attitude everyone exuded. Even though we all had been working insane hours and running around like crazy people, everyone had a smile on their face and was always willing to lend a helping hand. I think it was because we believed so strongly in what we were trying to achieve that it all felt worth it.
It didn't hurt that it was an incredibly gorgeous day in San Francisco and the conference was held in Fort Mason, right by the water!
During the conference lunch break, I helped organize a blogger luncheon with Brit + Co's founder, Brit Morin, and renowned DIY blogger Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day. The girls got to do a Q&A session with both amazing ladies and hear about how they get past harsh criticism, judgement and creative road blocks. If only all lunch days could be like this!
Awesome companies turned out to showcase their love of creativity and technology. From Hershey's 3D chocolate printer, yes it exists, to Google showing off their Made With Code partnership with Zac Posen featuring a dress 'made with code' that was actually in his show at NYFW!
I think I left the conference with a deeper commitment to making the time to do the creative things I love and the understanding that I shouldn't really let my inner doubt get in the way. Sounds profound, but in the end it's just about knowing that #iamcreative. Now, excuse me while I go enjoy watching The Office and filling an entire notebook with random sketches.
My oldest sister is getting married this weekend in Seattle! The color scheme she chose for all the bridesmaid was Misty Rose. The color is from a collection of dresses from J.Crew's Wedding collection. Along with the dress, the bride-to-be is a HUGE fan of Tieks so every girl in her wedding party got a pair of Nude Patent Tieks to wear to the wedding.
Clearly, I need to plan my makeup and accessories accordingly. This past weekend, while getting my brows done at Benefit, I played around with their lipsticks and found a color that would go perfectly with light pink shade of the dress. Benefit's Talk Flirty Hydra Smooth Lipstick feels more like a balm than a lipstick, which means no worrying about it drying out or smudging off as easily. I also plan on packing a pair of tan wedges, just in case I want to switch it up and give myself a bit of height at the reception. And a place to keep all my touchup essentials in, I'm bringing my Kate Spade Cobble Hill Mini Carson. Along with a few other touch-up necessities, I've got everything I need for this wedding.
I have been noticing lately that my desk at home looks a little blah. Since I moved in with my boyfriend, I slowly starting setting up a small home office. He has his side and I have mine, but thus far my side hasn't been decorated to my liking. It's the perfect excuse to do some office shopping. And no, I'm not talking about pencils and binders. I'm talking prints and pretty things.
Check out some of the pieces that I have been looking at to decorate my desk and the walls of my home office:
There is nothing quite as awful as being in the middle of working on something important and having the internet go out all of a sudden. This is exactly happened at my office last week. Without a lot of warning, Comcast had to cut the internet to our whole block to fix an electrical issue they were having. And just like that, the whole office went into a little bit of chaos.
There isn't a lot you can actually get done without wifi. We learned that the hard way and all started making immediate plans for how to get back online. It clearly wasn't going to get done at the office so we made our way to coffee shops, other offices or, like me, headed home to work from there. As soon as I got back to my apartment, I grabbed a quick bite to go at my little coffee shop next door and settled down to business.
It was crazy, but after that, I got an insane amount of work done in a short span of time. I'm not sure if it was because of my comfy seat on the couch, the netflix that was playing in the background or the comfortable feeling of just being home, but I sailed through my tasks for the day and even got a bunch done for the rest of the week.
It got me thinking about where/how people work best? Is it with music? At a desk? On the couch? In bed? For me, I prefer the couch and a whole lot of background noise. I can work with music, but for some reason I prefer to listen to old episodes of The Office or Scrubs or something I have seen a million times over. I never need to watch it, but listening to it just keeps me in the zone. Also, I just can't work in bed. I get too cozy and immediately want to take a nap, but somehow the couch doesn't do that. I set myself up with my laptop, a little tray for my coffee and a pillow and I can get a crazy amount of work done in a short amount of time. I don't know what it is, but I just get in the work zone during those days. While most of my days are better spent at the office, once in a while, a work from home day is great for getting through an intense workload in a comfy space.
Where do you work best? Share with me in the comments below!
Hip, hip, hooray! It's almost Labor Day! Although Labor Day weekend can be a little bumming since it marks the official end of summer, it can also be a great way to end summer with one last epic hurray.
Whether you're planning a weekend away or a staycation at home, make sure you're full prepped to end your summer in the best way possible. Here a few items you should definitely think of packing for your Labor Day weekend.
I definitely like a good party as much as the next person, but the morning after headache and stomach has me truly regretting that extra drink. While this isn't an occurrence that happens all that often, when it does, it truly sucks. After awhile though, you get the hang of your best go-to remedies to handle the hangover. Here are a few of my favorites.
Macaroni & Cheese - You may not want to eat when you're hungover, but you definitely need to. Mac and cheese is great because it's a soft consistency, won't do any extra harm and it tastes good warm and cold. One of the first things when I wake up with a hangover is make a big batch so I can eat on and off throughout the day. Carbs are necessary to soak up all that stuff you decided to drink the night before. Even if you're on a low carb diet, this is the one instance where Carbs are GOOD!
La Croix Sparkling Water - Now everyone may have their own preference on this one, but obviously drinking water is a must for a hangover. For me, it always has to be a bubbly or sparkly water. I have tried basically every bubbly water out there and my favorite has to be La Croix. They have the perfect amount of bubbles in every can and a bunch of different flavors so you will never get bored.
Sleep - Another duh plan is to try going back to sleep. A lack of sleep can dramatically worsen your hangover and chances are you can probably sleep through the worst of it. So, take the day off from everything, grab a comfy pillow and sleep the day away.
Lord of the Rings Trilogy - Similar to the one above, it can be hard to fall asleep whenever you want to, especially when you're hungover. For me, my ultimate go-to is to put on the Lord of the Rings, yup the entire trilogy. I can put it on as background noise and wake up and fall asleep watching it. I've seen it so many times that I never need to worry about missing a piece and it's such a long series that it will carry you throughout the whole day.
Advil - I usually make sure to keep a bottle of advil next to my bed after a night out, to make sure I can avoid the headache when I wake up. I take one or two right before I go to bed and ta-da no headache the next morning.
Pedialyte - Skip the gatorade and any power drink in favor of this. Pedialyte is especially meant for kids, to replace electrolytes when they're sick, but it works just as well for adults. It gets you back to full hydration in no time at all. You may think it's weird, but it totally works!