Friday, October 28, 2016

Easy DIY Couple's Costume: Bob Ross and His Happy Tree

I think we can all agree that Halloween is the best holiday. Period. I live for hanging copious amounts of spooky decor around my apartment, and eating loads of sugary junk. Like I said, it's the best. And, perhaps the best part of all: choosing a costume. Andy and I have talked about this Bob Ross-inspired get-up for the last three years, but I usually end up working on Halloween, where my solo tree garb just wouldn't really make sense . But this year, we freaking did it. 
     This costume was so easy to pull together, and could definitely be done in time for any of you in need of a last-minute option. The only thing Andy had to invest in was this glorious wig. He made a pallet with some supplies he had on hand, smeared some paint on it, and he was set. For my tree costume, I cut leaf-shaped pieces out of  some green and brown felt and hand-sewed two or three of them together at a time to create various textures. I then sewed the "bunches" of leaves onto the sleeves and other parts of my thrifted shirt. I decided to line the collar with single cut-outs, as well. I could have been done there, and been just as happy, but I decided to hot-glue my remaining felt pieces to a cheapo headband for another accessory. I paired it with a brown skirt, which was also a thrift store find, and tights to complete the look. And, voila! Bob Ross and his happy little tree.
    Stay spooky, and have an awesome Halloween!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Wear It for You

"I could never pull that off." 
"I wish I could wear something like that."
I can't tell you how many times I have heard various women in my life make these statements, as if there is an archetype of style standards set for them that they cannot deviate from. Where are thoughts like this born? Could it be from various fashion magazines telling us how to dress for our body type, what hair cut fits the shape of our face, the makeup that works with our skin tone. Why is it that we see certain things as off limits to ourselves, even though we admire them on others? This is something that I've been chewing on lately, with the general feeling of boredom that always seems to be present with my appearance. I've been noticing myself drift away from some of my favorite pieces (such as hats, heels, bright lipsticks, etc.) in fear that I look as if I'm playing dress up; that something may not look as good on me as someone else with the better body/higher confidence/clearer skin. That's exactly what I felt like when I put the outfit on that I'm wearing above. Like, the flowy shirt made me look pregnant (which I'm not, of course) and boxy. That the hat drew too much attention. That the heels looked stupid on my already tall frame. BUT, WHO THE F CARES!? Why do we create these internal battles? The women I love most are confident and unapologetically themselves. That's what I want to be. I figure that an outfit is as good of place as any to start. So, I put on the shirt, the hat, and the heels. And, I have to say that I looked damn good, felt pretty okay.
Moral of the story: wear whatever you want, whenever you want. Whether you are seventeen or seventy-two. Whether you are pear, apple, carrot, or, broccoli shaped; just put it on and rock the hell out of it. 

Outfit Details:
Hat- H&M
Top- Urban Outfitters
Denim- Gabriel Brothers
Heels- Forver 21
Bag- Old Navy
Sunnies- T.J. Maxx

Friday, April 15, 2016

Minimal Makeup Must-Haves

Since my skin has started to clear up, I've been feeling more and more confident to wear products with less coverage. I have been loving the simplicity of wearing minimal makeup, and it's a look I find myself gravitating towards more often than not. So, I thought I'd share my favorite barely-there make-up products!

I've been starting my routine with a base from Bare Minerals. The Complexion Rescue tinted gel cream applies so beautifully, as it hydrates and evens skin tone. I love it because it gives off a radiant finish that makes my skin look healthier, even if I have a spot or two peeking through. I like to set that with the One Heck of a Blot powder from Soap and Glory, which is probably the best translucent powder I've ever tried. After that, it's on to blush. And, when I'm taking a minimalist approach, I always reach for Exposed by Tarte, which is a nude pink with a slight brownish undertone that helps sculpt the face. For eyes, I am loving the L'oreal Color Riche shadow in Sunset Sienne. This muted  gold tone gives a subtle amount of shimmer while not overpowering the lid. I finish the look with L'oreal's Telescopic Mascara in brown and a tinted brow gel from Maybelline. Usually, I'll call it a day after that, but if I want a "your lips but better" look, I'll throw on NYX Butter Gloss in tiramisu. It's the perfect tawny brown color with enough pink in it to keep it wearable with a natural makeup look. 
I think the combination of these products is perfect for everyday wear, when you're looking for something quick and fool-proof. What are some of your favorite "no makeup" makeup products?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Four Ways to Style Short Hair

     I've always been fairly fickle with my hair. It's been long, short, dark blue, and bright purple. I've had bangs, layers, and everything in between. But, up until about a year and a half ago, I was set on keeping it my long and flowy locks just as they were. But, the universe had other plans, and I received THE WORST CUT EVER, causing me to take the plunge into the world of short hair. Now that I have an amazing stylist who I trust wholeheartedly (bless you, Tori) and a better grasp on how to manage short hair, I honestly can't imagine ever growing it back out.
     Short hair, to me, is not only easier to style, but it just looks and feels healthier. I always had crazy dry and split ends, and having a shorter style has been like I reset button for me. Some people might think that you can't do as much with a shorter style, but I find it so versatile and fun to play around with. So, I wanted to share a few of the different ways I like to style my short hair. Let's get into it!
Loose and Wavy// This is my favorite way to style my locks. I have very thick, wavy hair so I find that this look works best for me. I typically don't blow dry my hair, but if I do, I'll spray in sea salt spray (like this one or this one) beforehand so that my hair has grip. Then, I'll just use my styling wand to get a more uniform wave. I got this one at T.J. Maxx for under $25! I find that alternating between curling towards your face, then away will give you the most natural-looking results. After my hair is curled, I'll apply a texturing spray for extra hold, volume, and, of course, texture. These are some of my favorites: 1, 2, 3, 4. Finally, I just run my fingers through my hair, and finish with hair spray. 
The Top Knot// This is a style that I rock mostly around the house or out running errands, because I have a five-finger forehead that the world is not ready for. But, nevertheless, its a style that I quite like. I only wash my hair a couple of times a week, so this look is likely to start with dry shampoo (like this, or this) sprayed into the roots, and "massaged" into the scalp to absorb oil. Then, I simply secure the top section of my hair into a loose bun and tuck any loose ends in with bobby pins. Easy as pie.
Up-Do Tuck// This is one that I wear at work on days that I just need my hair to be off of my neck and ears. This one holds best under second or third day hair conditions, so I start with dry shampoo. I then spritz my ends with sea salt spray before gathering all of the hair that will actually fit back into a low "pony tail". I then tuck that pony tail under, and use the hair tie as a way to secure bobby pins into the base of my head. (Is any of this making sense?) Basically, just tuck what hair or loose ends that won't fit into the pony tail with pins and hair spray the heck out of it. I find that it not only gets your hair off of your neck or shoulders, but gives the illusion of longer hair worn in an up-do. Tricky, tricky.
Sleek and Straight// For no other reason than laziness, I hardly ever straighten my hair. But, I find, especially after a fresh cut, that it looks really sleek and modern with short hair. I use a heat protecting spray (like this or this) at the ends of my hair before straightening with the same old straightener my sister bought me in high school. I finish with a light amount of texture spray, so that my hair doesn't look too flat, and voila! 
Repeat after me: short hair is fun! I am constantly finding new ways to liven up my new(ish) do, whether it be with color or a simple new style. I feel more like myself with this cut, and I don't see it changing anytime soon. What is your favorite of the four I've shared above? Have I convinced any of you to take the plunge into short hair? Leave a comment below with your go-to hair style, short or long.
Thanks for reading!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Vegetarian Lemon and Broccoli Pasta

As soon as I stumbled upon this recipe, I knew I had to test it out. Pasta is my life, especially when it's soaked in lemon and butter. And, this beautiful dish only takes approximately 20 minutes from start to finish. have I convinced you to give it a go yet? Here's what you'll need to make this this simple, but oh-so-delicious meal:
3 quarts (12 cups) water
1 tablespoon salt
1 and 1/2 to 2 pounds of freshly cut broccoli florets
1 pound rotini pasta
The juice and zest from 1 large lemon (or two smaller ones like I used)
3-4 cups fresh baby spinach
4 tablespoons butter
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup Parmesan cheese (plus more to garnish)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
lemon wedges to garnish
Bring 3 quarts of water to boil in a large pot. Add in the rotini and boil on high for 4 minutes. Next, add in your broccoli and continue to cook on a rapid boil for another 3 minutes. Drain pasta and broccoli, and return to pot. Stir in olive oil, lemon zest, and spinach. Cover and set aside to allow spinach to wilt. In a smaller saucepan, cook butter, garlic, and red pepper flakes over medium heat until fragrant. You want the butter to brown slightly, without burning so make sure you watch your heat level and stir frequently. Add in the lemon juice before coating your pasta with the mixture. Once the pasta is covered in the lemony, buttery goodness, add in your Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. Plate the pasta, garnishing with lemon wedges and extra cheese (of course!).
This meal is perfect for weeknights, when you want something quick and filling. You have your veggies and pasta all in one, so it requires no side dishes or extra fuss. The spice from the red pepper, alongside the lemon and creamy Parmesan marry together so well to bring you a really balanced and satisfying flavor. To sum it up for you: IT'S JUST REALLY FREAKING GOOD. I hope you've enjoyed this post, and please do let me know if you give this one a try. What are your go-to simple meals for a busy weekday?

(This recipe was adapted from The Food Charlatan

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Pizza Queen

This outfit is full of recent scores that I simply cannot get enough of. I mean, a pizza shirt, the perfect thrifted denim jacket, AND THESE DAMN LEOPARD PRINT BOOTS JUST STOP IT. I have had my eyes on these boots for ages, and saw that they finally went on sale. So, I immediately threw caution to the wind (aka bought shoes online), and made them mine. It's by far the best thing I have ever done, and a true defining moment in my life. (Too much?) Let this be known to any and all loved ones: I want to be buried in these freaking shoes. Alright, sorry. But, seriously...they're great. I played around with a boyish, casual look in my last outfit post, but this is my absolute go-to, dressed down ensemble; my uniform of sorts. I am clicky ankle boots and black jeans, loose tees and sunglasses. What pieces define your style? And, what items are you most excited about scoring?
Until next time,

Outfit Details:
Sunglasses- T.J. Maxx
Jean Jacket-Vintage
T-shirt and Bag- Old Navy
Jeans- Gabriel Brothers
Boots- H&M

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Birchbox VS Ipsy: March 2016

Getting my Birchbox and Ipsy subscriptions is such a treat each month, so I thought I'd share what I received for the month of March. I like doing this to really show the value of both subscriptions, hopefully making it easier for anyone of the fence about joining in. Both packages were so bright and Springy, as were the products inside. So, let's get into it!
I was really impressed with Birchbox this month. It's rare that I love every single product included in the box, but that was exactly the case this time around. Starting with skincare, my box included a clarifying cleanser from NER:D. This cleanser is light, creamy in texture, and seems really suitable for sensitive skin. I felt as though it really refreshed and cleansed my skin without stripping it of any moisture. Next up was this crazy-hydrating lip balm from Dr. Lipp. It claims to be a "miracle balm" that you can use on anything from your hands to lips; even as a highlighter or eyebrow gel. I have been using this on my lips before bed, and I've noticed they are much softer and moisturized by morning. Moving onto makeup, I was so stoked to finally get the chance to try something from Cargo; a brand I've been browsing for a while now. I received a beautiful eye shadow duo that is perfect for everyday wear. It has a really nice champagne color and a shimmery bronze, both of which are so blend-able and pigmented.
Birchbox allows members to participate in "Sample Choice", meaning you get to chose one of the samples that will be included in your box. My pick for March went to the Parlor volumizing and texturizing shampoo and matching conditioner paquet. This set was just what my hair needed! Since cutting my hair short, I sometimes notice that it completely falls flat after washing it, requiring me to load up on sea salt or texture sprays. However, this combination cleaned my hair while leaving it a bit of give/texture to hold styling better. I will most definitely be getting the full sizes of each! Last, but certainly not least, I was sent two perfume samples from Pinrose. My attention immediately went to the beautiful packaging, but quickly shifted to the smell of these individually wrapped perfume toilettes. "Moonlight Gypsy" (my favorite of the two) was a sultry mix of earthy and citrus notes, while "Pillowtalk Poet" had a woodsy, powdery fragrance. Both scents lasted all day long, and as someone who is perpetually worried that she's wearing too much perfume, the individual wipes were perfect; I imagine they would be great from traveling, too!
While I was less enthused about Ipsy this month, there were some good products to be had. My bag included mostly makeup items, which I'm generally thrilled about. But, I have to say that I wasn't overwhelmed by any of these. First, I got this pink, shimmery eye shadow from Manna Kadar Cosmetics. Maybe it was just because I absolutely loved my Cargo duo from Birchbox, but this shadow did nothing for me. It was far too shimmery for my liking and I felt like the color would be better suited for blush than eye shadow. Next was a liquid liner by Illamasqua, a brand that I have always wanted to try. This liner has a really precise, fine tip that I imagine would give a more learned eye-liner aficionado a perfect wing. I, however, suck at liquid liner, so this one will get passed on to a friend. I was mildly annoyed to get another liner, as I have received one in almost every bag I have ever gotten; I even updated my profile to help prevent getting more for a while. But, I digress. 
I did get on quite nicely with the ModelCo lip lacquer that was included in my bag. The formula was hydrating and applied smoothly, and the peachy-pink tone is beautiful for Spring. It also smelled like watermelon which gave me major Lip Smacker flashbacks. I always like getting beauty tools in my bag, so I enjoyed this eye shadow brush from Beau Gachis Paris. I think it will be especially good for packing on loose pigment. Lastly, I got a rather large sample of blow dry cream from Marc Anthony, which I will admit has not been used. The product description says it will help nourish your hair, and keep it straight and smooth for up to three days. I am nervous to use this one because I generally embrace my sometimes-greasy, wavy mane by dousing it in dry shampoo and running a styling wand through it. So, it just seems like the opposite of something I would get good use out of. If you got it in your bag this month, I'd love to hear what you thought of it!
So, there you have it! Birchbox was the clear winner for me this month, but I'd love to hear which was your favorite. Are there any other subscription boxes I should check out? What products did you love (or hate) this month? 
Until next time,

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