Monday, December 19, 2016

December Favorites

This month, I've rounded up my favorite scents, hair products, and some other goodies for my favorites. Several of these, including the Redken hair treatment and the Clearasil face wash, I have been using and repurchasing for years. The DW Home candle was a new purchase, that I have been coveting for months; I'm so glad I caved and finally brought it home! 

1. Dove Hairspray HERE
Every time I use this, people tell me, without fail, how great my hair smells. It doesn't leave a sticky film like some products and it holds for hours!

2. Redken Hair Butter HERE
This was first recommended to me in college by my hair stylist. I have been using and repurchasing it ever since. Redken has recently changed the name, but the treatment is the same. 

3. VS "Incredible" Scent HERE
Stumbled upon this one by accident - Remember when Victoria's Secret used to send the "Free Item" cards in the mail? Whether it was their newest undies, or scent, I immediately went to the mall and got my freebie. This was one of the scents they gave away; I loved it so much that I have three bottles now! I keep one in my car, one on my vanity, and one in my toiletry travel bag. 

4. OPI Nail Polish HERE and HERE
This color is great for fall, winter, and early spring. It is a deep reddish maroon, with a hint of sparkle in it. Lincoln Park After Dark is another one of my favorites, but sometimes I need something that is a little brighter, as LPAD comes out almost black.

5. TIGI Bed Head Conditioner HERE
I have repurchased this several times, and sometimes I even get lucky and find it on sale at Target. I use it as more of a leave-in conditioner; I alternate between this and the Redken Hair Butter that I previously mentioned. 

6. DW Home Candle HERE
I saw this candle when I lived in Charlotte, NC, but never pulled the trigger to bring it home. After months of passing it in stores, I went ahead and bought it last week. These can be found in so many different places including TJMaxx, Marshalls, and Walmart. They can also be ordered online. The next scent I want to bring home is this one

7. Clearasil Face Wash HERE
This face wash is one of my common repurchases because even though it has scrubbing beads in it, it is still gentle on my skin. It smells good and my face always feels refreshed and super clean after I use it, especially after I've had a full face of make-up on all day!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

What's in My Carry On? Travel Essentials

My dad and I will be leaving New York on Friday night and staying in Orange, California for two nights before we scoop up my brother and fly to Auckland, New Zealand. The flight to Los Angeles is about 6 hours - a relatively short flight, for most of which I will probably watch a movie or edit videos. Check out my YouTube channel!
Inside my Neverfull, I have a few necessities: iPhone, MacBook, Nikon CoolPix, and all chargers, sweatshirt, fuzzy socks, lip balm, hand sanitizer, passport, wallet, headphones. All of these items are linked below! Since many of these items are small and the Neverfull is rather large, I use my Prada cosmetic case to help organize. I got mine on sale in Saks Fifth Avenue a few years ago, but have linked similar ones, with different price points, HERE and HERE.
PRADA | *see above* 

The next leg of our travel is closer to 14 hours. On most of these longer flights, I sleep as much as possible, sometimes even passing up on meal(s) served. I'll be bringing my Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM (above) as my personal item and my TUMI V3 (below) as my carry on. For someone who travels often, investing in quality luggage was important for me.

No matter where I'm headed, I always bring a change of clothes in my overhead carry-on. I have been on several trips where my luggage has been lost (including my bridesmaid dress in 2014.) I'm always cold, so layers are a priority, no matter where I'm headed. Find all of these items below!


Another item I make sure to keep close is whatever jewelry I plan on wearing during the trip(s). As sad as it is, I have had more than one friend have her checked luggage rummaged through resulting in stolen items. I use this case by Kate Spade because it has several different compartments which are great for organization and avoiding tangling.

Make-up is the final item that I take in my carry on. None of my liquids are over TSA regulation size, but you should always check your labels first. This Kate Spade travel train case keeps all of my make-up separated in different compartments so I can easily find everything I need.

What are some of your carry on essentials?

I'd love to read your comments and questions! Comment below or send me an email:

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Stripes and a Cozy Vest - What I Wore Wednesday

       I recently purchased this Patagonia Los Gatos vest. I have had my eye on it for the past two winters and finally found a reason to purchase it! One of the days that we are in New Zealand, we will be on a glacier. Amongst several other items, the itinerary recommends layering with a polyester vest….BAM! My sunglasses are Ray-Ban Aviators New Classic 59mm with a mirror blue lens. 

       The jeans are the PAIGE Verdugo. I am constantly carrying on about how much I adore PAIGE Denim. I love their jeans because they hold their shape really well and I do not find myself pulling them up constantly. The wash on this pair is very flattering and the distressed look adds a little edginess to the preppier top half of the outfit.
       My booties are the same mentioned in this post – purchased during Nordstrom’s N Sale in July. They are a tan suede and slip on and off without a zipper. I’ve worn them with shorts, leggings, and jeans. They’re super comfy and can be dressed up or down.
       As always, I’m wearing my Michael Kors watch, mentioned in this post. For this look, I kept it simple by adding a Lokai bracelet and the David Yurman X Station to the stack.

When I make decisions on purchasing rather expensive clothing items (anything over $100,) I take several things into consideration. (That blog post is currently in the works.) Purchasing this vest was an easy “yes,” in my book. Patagonia is known for the quality of its materials, I will definitely get my money’s worth as this vest is super versatile, can be worn during several seasons and will help me stay warm on that glacier! Also, I have waited to see if something else would catch my eye, but I keep coming back to it. SOLD!

The striped 3/4 length shirt is from J.Crew; it's super soft and great for layering! I bought it over the summer and have worn it at least once a week since the beginning of fall. 

       Content questions or requests? Leave a comment or email me – I’d love to hear from you! 
Check out my YouTube channel for more Vlogmas and travel adventures! 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Stocking Stuffers for Her

Even though I don't celebrate Christmas, one of my favorite things to look at in other people's home are their stockings hanging over the fireplace. It is such a Christmas-y thing to do and what's even better are the items found inside on Christmas morning. I've rounded up the top items that my girlfriends have requested for their stocking stuffers this year. Here you go!

What are some items that you hope to receive in your stocking this Christmas?


Check me out during VLOGMAS 2016!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Fashion Friday - Maroon Sweater and Brown Booties

I love everything about this outfit, including how versatile it is during this weird transitional weather we have been having. This J.Crew sweater is the perfect thickness, and the booties are super comfortable. I own so many pairs of ripped jeans that I had trouble picking just one pair for this outfit. 

I've said before that Paige Denim is my holy grail when it comes to jeans, however, Joe's come in as a close second. This pair has gotten a lot of love during the cooler months.
It took me a couple seasons to get on the "bootie wagon," and I'm so glad I finally did! These booties by Steven Madden (Madden Girl) are comfy and cute! The lace up detail in the back gives them a little something special, and they are a perfect neutral to pair with a pop of color.
I bought this Gucci belt last summer in Positano, Italy and wear it with anything and everything. My watch, as I mentioned in an earlier post, is no longer available, but its updated twin, is here

These cute beaded bracelets were purchased at a mom and pop store in Naples, Florida but tons of companies make them, including this one
*Make sure to use the code "10each" at checkout for a discount on three or more!

Lastly, is my Tiffany & Co. bead bracelet. I'd bet the cost of this bracelet that every single one of my girlfriends owns one. I've had this one almost 10 years and I love it! It can be dressed up or down and is great for everyday wear.

What are some of your favorite accessories this season?


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Everyday Affordable Make Up Routine

I have received several emails asking about my every day make up regimen.  As a teacher, money was usually tight, and over the years, I tried to find the best “bang for my buck” with drugstore make-up and other non-essentials. I watched tutorials, read blogs, and did my own trial and error at home. There are constantly new formulas being advertised, but I’ve found some great tried and true products that I am consistently repurchasing. The best part, is that my face takes less than 5 minutes from start to finish.
I start with either this NYC Primer or this NYC BB Cream as a base. When I feel like my skin is behaving, I only use the primer, however, if I want extra coverage, but don’t want to use too much foundation, I use the BB cream. I suppose you could even use both, it’s solely personal preference. 

This Maybelline Fit Me foundation stays all day and doesn’t feel caked onto my face. CoverGirl offers a ton of great concealers, and I have found that this one is light, doesn't crease, and does wonders for tired under-eyes. 

I stumbled upon these NYX matte eye shadows a couple months ago, and have been using them daily since. I use the shade "Lap Dance," as a base and then cover my lid with "Blame it On Midnight." These shades, and several others can be found at ULTA, as well as Bed, Bath, and Beyond. For both of these steps, I am using the e.l.f eyeshadow brushes, pictured below. I got mine at Target.  I use the blending side of the MODA EZGlam brush, to add more of "Blame it On Midnight" into my crease.

I am a big fan of NYC make-up products, including this translucent face powder. I use a nice fluffy kabuki brush like this one, and apply the powder.  

When it comes to eyelashes, I have thought for years what it would be like to get falsies; who am I kidding? I don't have the money for that upkeep! A good ol' fashioned eye lash curler, and some great mascara like these Maybelline ones are all you need! The eye lash curler is super affordable (less than $5.00)  and has lasted me years. Maybelline mascara has had my heart since high school. This one, I tried on a whim, and really love it! 
Another beauty luxury I wish I had money for is microblading; it is the newest technique for filling in over plucked and/or under grown brows. There is an article written by Elle Magazine, here.  Since I don't have the money for this procedure, I searched high and low for a brow powder or gel that would do my brows justice without making them look drawn on. The Ardell Brow Pomade in Blonde is by far my favorite. 
The last thing I do to finish my face, is use this Lancome Subtil Oil Free Blush, in the color 128 Blushing Tresor. It is the most expensive of my makeup products, but I've had it for months and haven't hit pan yet. I was given a sample of this in Nordstrom a couple of years ago, and loved it so much that I keep repurchasing it. My skin tone changes during the colder months, as I am not getting any sun. This is a shade that I love in the winter because it compliments my rather pale complexion. 
What are some of your favorite money saving make-up brands?