Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Spring Fashion Tips for the Non-Girly

I've always loved the "toughness" of fall fashion and it's my favorite season to shop & dress. So when spring comes around I find myself groaning at all the pastels and florals on the rack. These are some tips I use, and hopefully you find helpful, to toughen up that spring wardrobe.

Tip 1: Take advantage of floral prints by wearing them on jeans. Jeans are going to be less girly by nature so this floral look isn't as cutesy if the pattern were on a dress or skirt. I got this pair of jeggings from Asos, similar here.

Tip 2: Pair a spring pattern with combat boots. In this picture I embodied said tip and the prior tip in one outfit but you could also pair combat boots with a dress or skirt. Boots are by Ecote, similar here.

Tip 3: Pair a bomber/biker jacket with it. This tulip shaped, floral dress is as girly as they come, but I like to put a black bomber jacket over it to help toughen up the look. You can find a similar jacket here or here.

Tip 4: Don't want to wear florals or pastels at all? Simply trade in some darker hued pieces of your wardrobe that still carry the heaviness of winter for nude colors. I bought these nude flats to swap out with my (many pairs of) black shoes for a lighter, spring look.

Hope this helps all you tough gals have an easier transition to Spring!


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Twenty Something Woes/Quarter Life Crisis

Source: Theactivetimes.com 

I remember, as a kid/teenager, hearing adults say on multiple occasions that they hated their twenties. And they would go on to say their thirties and forties have or had been the best years of their lives. I always scoffed at this; how are your twenties not grand? I imagined a life where possibility knew no bounds, where you still have your youth but live for the first time truly as an adult.

The "quarter life crisis" is something that I have seen get a lot of recognition recently. And while it kind of makes me roll my eyes, I get it. Possibility may know no bounds but your finances do. If you're like me you might feel stuck doing something you don't love out of necessity. Money doesn't define happiness but I feel stuck in a daily grind lifestyle where I don't get to do the things I love like travel, shop, ride horses, etc. because I cannot afford to. Any extra cash goes into that "6 month income" backup fund. And really, how many of us have 6 months of their income in savings? As soon as I make a dent toward that direction I have to spend some of it on, well, unforeseen expenses.

I don't want, and I'm not trying, to dwell on the have nots. I do have a job that allows me to afford a home and my car and other basic needs. But I still want to feel the hope, freedom and youth of being in my twenties and I feel like I've been losing that. I want to settle down but I don't want to settle. I want to travel but I want to save. I want a stable job but I want to do something I'm passionate about (enter this blog, which I created as an outlet for myself to escape monotony and delve more into my wants, if you will).

So are our twenties just another awkward phase? Do adult youth and hardship go hand in hand? Does it get better when you get married or have money or are you still perpetually looking for more? I have been engaged but didn't go through with it because of that restless feeling in me to keep going, keep searching. Which I am doing, and through the struggles I know I've become more independent and stronger than I'd imagined I could be. I hope if you feel any of these feelings you also keep exploring and eventually find some peace.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Hooded Eye Tips

Hooded eyes, a blessing or curse? On the one hand, people often compliment my "bedroom eyes". And on the other hand, if I'm not conscious about opening my eyes wider I tend to look high in photographs.

But for me the biggest downside is eyeliner transfer. If you have hooded eyes you know what's up. You applied your eyeliner in the morning and it looked fab, but you use the restroom midday and have black smudges all over your brow bone. So the last time I went to Ulta I was on a mission to buy an eyeliner that promised wonderful, no transfer, no smudge results. Enter ...

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

The Pros:
-This stuff does not move once dry, and dry time is under a minute.
-The black is really BLACK and gives you a very sultry look
-It has a precision tip that makes application easy

The Cons:
-It applies a little thin for my taste, so I have to apply a layer, let it dry, apply again, etc. until I get the desired line thickness I like.
-I don't know how waterproof it is, it does come off in the shower so don't expect to wear this in the water and have it stay looking flawless

Overall this is the best eyeliner I've found so far for hooded eyes. I'm not constantly checking the mirror anymore to see where on my face the eyeliner may have gone!

Some other tips for eyeliner transfer:

-Use an eye shadow primer (even if you don't plan to use eye shadow) on your lids and brow bone
-Additionally, apply your foundation or concealer over the primer
-Carry Q-tips! They are great erasers should your eyeliner continue to leave black transfer smudges

I hope you found this helpful!


This is a non-sponsored post and all products shown were bought by me

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

50% Off Asos Picks

In case you hadn't heard, Asos is having an up to 50% off sale. These are in my shopping cart

Heeled Sandals

Leather Skirt

Foil Print Dress

Chain Neck Crop Top

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring Cleaning Series, Day One: The Bathroom

This is a series I'm going to be doing over the course of spring, a way of keeping myself accountable on my path to an organized life and sharing some tips and tricks with you guys!

By rule of thumb I consider myself pretty good at keeping a bathroom clean. But organized & de-cluttered, not so much. Enter a little spring cleaning ambition and the following rules ...

1. Create a place for cosmetics: I hate having products on the counter but I realized there were some things I just needed easier access to and a catch all for the counter top seemed like the logical way to go. It creates much needed storage space while still looking neat and organized. It's also nice to have a place for your makeup brushes so they aren't getting messy and ruined by being mixed with your other products.

Then the area inside my drawer was a disaster; I could never find what I needed without wasting time rummaging around, spilling or breaking other products in the process. So I bought two acrylic storage pieces and now all of my cosmetics that get used regularly are visible and separated by type. Any other products I own but use rarely are tucked away in a cosmetic bag out of sight and are no longer in the way. I also encourage you to throw out some of your makeup. If it's old or you haven't used it in a year, toss it. I got all three of these acrylic storage baskets from Target.

2. Go Through Your Medicine Cabinet: Does showing my medicine cabinet to the world make me brave? Maybe not since this is the after photo. I bet you have at least five things in yours that you can throw away right now. Some probably don't even make sense. For example I had LASIK eye surgery over a year ago and still had bottles and bottles of contact solution and old, dried out lenses. So go, now! Get rid of the old/nasty/space wasting junk in your medicine cabinet.

3. Only keep products in your shower that are used at least weekly: Shown above is what I was able to minimize my shower products to. It's very refreshing to get in the shower and not be overwhelmed by stacks of shampoos, soaps, face washes etc. that you don't use. Keep anything you don't need weekly in storage under the sink, so it's there to grab when you need it but it's not cluttering your shower space. I also like to use a suction basket to keep all my products off the shower floor.

4. Consider hanging storage: And finally, this last step is optional but I highly recommend. I keep lotions, fragrance beads, and a hand towel on this shelf and towel rack. Any product you want to keep out but not cluttering your counter space can be kept on a hanging shelf like this.

I hope you found part one of my spring cleaning series useful! I'm not sure what part of my home will be tackled next but stay tuned.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Happy Spring!

Yesterday was the first day of spring and I'm excited for all of it (minus allergies): the warm weather, spring fashion, blooming trees. But can we stay in spring and not have to face the hot, long days of summer please?

Quick preview: one of the pieces of jewelry I cannot wait to wear in the coming months. 


This necklace epitomizes spring with flowers, pastel colors and a bright gold, collar backing. I wish I could tell you where it is from, but a friend gave it to me and she couldn't remember the name of the store.

What are you excited to wear this spring?


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Quick Hairstyle Post

This is one of my favorite go-to, easy hair styles on days when I am hurried to get out the door or just don't feel like fussing with it. I like to do this on day two or three after I have curled my hair so it still has some wave in it.

Step 1: Pull your hair back into a low ponytail.

Step 2: Separate your hair into two sections above the ponytail holder

Step 3: Pull the tail end of your ponytail over and through the space where you have separated your hair, and you have ...

You may have seen this one before, but it's a quick style I go to in a pinch that looks more complicated than it really is, so I thought I'd share this routine.

Have a lovely Thursday!


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

To Bronze or Not to Bronze?

Bronzer: a cosmetic item used to give skin a sun kissed glow. Or if you're extremely fair skinned, a cosmetic item to avoid like the plague. 

At least, that used to be my feeling toward any powder/liquid/cream toting to give you the appearance of tanned skin. My face has never tanned in the sun and never will, so I've spent many mornings slapping on an SPF, foundation, blush, and calling it a day. And honestly it wasn't until pictures of Kim Kardashian's makeup regime was blasted on the internet that I gave defining my face a thought.

Photo source: reveal.co.uk

I didn't quite attempt this in my top photo (do I dare!?) but I have been defining my cheekbones lately and really like the results. Bronzers can be misleading can't they? I'm not trying to "look tan" or get a "sun-kissed glow" but, oh, I can use bronzer to define my face and look slimmer? That I can get on board with, because I'm honestly never going to look like I just got back from Hawaii. 

So I implore any fair skinned ladies who have never tried bronzer to broaden your makeup horizons. I am currently using Physicians Formula Season-to-Season Bronzer in light-medium. It's more expensive than your typical drug store product but I like that it includes four different shades so you can always get your desired color. 

Whatever you choose, good luck!


Monday, March 17, 2014

Dreary Monday

Hello from Florida on this dark and rainy Monday. If you're introverted like me, you probably don't mind this weather. I love days that come with a built in excuse to stay put and engage in your favorite rainy day activities.

I do have my limits though, on day 3 of weather like this (a common extended rainy period in Florida) I start to get antsy for sun and outdoor time again.

So I'm also reflecting on what direction I want to take this blog in. Aside from doing lifestyle posts, I live for fashion and envy the well done daily outfit posts out there. I don't have anyone around to take pictures for me so I'm trying to decide what format to best display my style in photos. If you've encountered this and have any suggestions please let me know. My other forte is home decor and I am hoping to finish designing my sunroom this week so I can do a complete blog on it.

Hope you are enjoying your Monday!


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Lana in Orlando

My friend and I got tickets to see Lana Del Rey at Hard Rock in Orlando on April 28th! She recently extended her North American tour and I am so excited we finally get to see her live. Now that I have tickets comes the hard part, choosing a Lana-esque outfit. I recently bought a skater skirt and eagle necklace from Topshop that I've decided to wear.

I'm thinking pair these with a cropped white sweater and platforms or flats? Please feel free to weigh in below, and let me know if you have seen or will be seeing Lana this year!


Image sources: Vulture.com & Topshop.com

Friday, March 14, 2014

Late Night Lust - Asos

It's a chronic condition; sometimes late at night I browse clothing retailers online, add an outfit to my cart, then realize I'm not in the position to spend money on clothes that month and abort mission. Tonight I am lusting from Asos ...

This ribbed skater skirt in white paired with

black cropped sweater, and completing the outfit

And off to my wishlist they go. What's in your cart but not in your closet?


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Muted Nails


I'm a bit of a bright nail color rebel, even in spring. This color is Essie's Master Plan and it is a soft, sophisticated, gray varnish. It reminds of a lighter version of Chincilly, which is why I think Master Plan is a good gray polish if you want to wear one in spring because it's less cold & industrial looking than others in that color family. I actually went off nail polish for almost a year with the fanciful idea that I was going to grow long, strong, natural nails. But that never happened and I was tired of sacrificing manicures for the idea.

Essie's Master Plan

Anyone else have any out of the ordinary go to spring colors?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Chateau Chic? The Parisian Dresser

My dresser is the first thing I see in the morning so it's an area I've maintained to help me feel relaxed as I wake up. I actually got this dresser set (the 2nd piece is reflected in the mirror) from an ad on craigslist! I was told it was very old but I don't know its age specifically. Delving a little into the things on my dresser I love the most ... 

"Antiqued" table top clock is from Pier 1. The soap holder I bought from a gift shop at Versailles. If you ever visit Paris, I encourage you to take the quick train ride to visit the Palace. That was the highlight of my French vacation a few years ago.

Closer photo of one of my many souvenirs from France

And finally I got these postcards from the showing of Anna Karenina in Salt Lake City that I keep slipped into the mirror. You will come to know well that Leo Tolstoy is one of my favorite writers (I did name my dog after him!)

"There are as many loves as there are hearts" Tolstoy

Going to leave you with a few photos from my excursion in Versailles


In the halls

Gold Fountain


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Happy Hair

For the first time in a while, I am becoming happy with my hair. Years of bleaching and heat made it very dry, frizzy and scary. But I've been on a new routine for about 6 months and it has made a huge difference. As follows ...

1) Stop coloring. And that included coloring to try to match my natural color. I decided I was going to grow it out no matter how bad or ugly it looked. Thankfully, ombre is trending! A lot of people ask if I had a my hair professionally "ombred". Nope, just roots and regrowth.

2) Cleansing Conditioner. I'm about halfway through my first bottle of Wen and the results were beyond expectation. Harsh shampoos with sulfates precluding me from having super soft hair - no more. I also only wash my hair a couple of times a week.

3) Minimal heat tools. I always air dry and then will curl my hair starting about 5 inches down from my roots. The first day looks like (above), day 2 settles into soft waves (no additional styling required) and day 3 may require a few touch ups or I pull my hair into a braid or bun. Usually after this I will end up washing my hair and repeating above. Once in a great while I straighten my hair but mostly try to avoid this since I notice it does the most damage to my hair.

And that's the hair routine. I also had chopped it off to my shoulders a few months ago to get rid of the damaged ends and am currently trying to regrow it into a long healthy mane following those steps. Any other hair tips I must know about?


Monday, March 10, 2014

Baroque on a Budget - The Dining Room

Welcome to my dining room, or nook as it may be. I wanted to create something baroque and extravagant for little cost (with the exception of an item or two). Starting with the cheapest but most time consuming piece of the puzzle ... The Stenciling

I ordered a damask stencil online and completed this project myself. It is definitely a DIY anyone can do; though I would recommended only doing one wall, as an accent, since a) the pattern could be too overwhelming if you do an entire room and b) it is a simple but time consuming project. I absolutely love the end result.

Materials used: A stencil, painter's tape (you want to tape the stencil to the wall before you paint over it), paint, roller frame, roller cover. This is optional but I kept around wet wipes for any errors made along the way.

These chairs were such a great find. I bought them at a local consignment shop from a lady who reclaims vintage furniture by painting & reupholstering. As a big fan of vintage, saving money, and the DIY this is something I want to start doing myself down the road. When buying furniture I always recommend shopping thrift or consignment shops first - you'll find more unique and cheaper options. Anyone who does furniture reclaiming, link me to your projects!

Note of caution: be careful when ordering items online described as "antique white" or "cream" if you don't want a yellow tinted piece. This wood bench is beautiful, but you can see the difference in color between the photo in the link and my actual photo of the bench. I've been meaning to sand & repaint it to more of a cream/white color to match my chairs but haven't just yet.

I got this mirrored panel as a gift and it took me forever to figure out where it should go. I originally wanted to put it in my bedroom but it didn't seem to go as a stand alone piece. Then I was afraid if I hung it next to the damask stenciling it would look tacky, but when I finally did it I found they really complimented each other. The damask reflects off the mirrored panels, making it look even prettier in person. Sometimes when you put two things together you don't think will work, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

And finally I tried to keep the tabletop accessories simple. Taper holders and taper candles purchased from Pier 1 and the pop of red in these Parisian inspired placemats helps breakup the monochromatic whites and creams.

Just to point it out, I do have a new blog title! Let me know if you like.