February 27, 2014

Head-To-Toe-Chic: Date Night Essentials

first date outfit


In lieu of an outfit post (I'm lagging, I know! More to come soon, as I know you all are just hanging off your seats waiting to see what I'm wearing next... :P) I'm linking up with Glossy Blonde and My New Favorite Outfit on their new Head-To-Toe-Chic link up! 

This week it's all about date night essentials, but before I go into more detail I have to share something I just realized. Steve and I rarely have date nights (we've pretty much been together since 2005!)-- we usually stay in, or maybe go to a quick, casual dinner and come home-- we're so boring! I'm making it a goal to put more date night's into our life this year-- try new restaurants in the area, actually use the movie tickets we've had on the fridge for 1+ years. I told you, we're lame-o's. 

Anyway, on to date night! When we actually DO go out, these are some of my musts:

1. Paige Denim Skyline Skinny Jeans: My absolute favorite pair of jeans, in a dark wash, they go with basically any kind of top and shoes but are especially perfect with my sheer black button down and BCBG booties.

2. Rebecca Minkoff Mini MAC: A small bag or clutch is always a good idea, I don't want to be toting around a huge bag, and they can fit all the necessary essentials-- P-MILK: Phone, Money, ID, Lipgloss & Keys... plus some gum or mints, and a compact. Anyone else drooling over this pretty peachy blush tone?

3. Love Knot Ring, Ariel Gordon Jewelry: Knot rings are the perfect jewelry that says I'm in love without being as cliché as a heart. Disclaimer: I totally have heart rings.

4. Stella, Stella McCartney: Rollerball fragrances (especially this one, I absolutely love the soft rosey scent!) are perfect to throw in your bag for on-the-go and especially for date night when you need a little freshening up after dinner. Smelling like the sushi you just ate is NOT a good thing. Bonus points if it's a scent he picked out for you.

5. Smashbox Blush Rush in Flush: I'm not one to wear a ton of blush, I like soft, natural looking blushes so this pinky-peach shade is great for adding that perfect hint of flush.

What are some of your date night essentials?

February 26, 2014

Four Favorites: Drugstore Beauty Buys

four favorites
This week, I'm rounding up four of my drugstore beauty favorites, including a new favorite, Not Your Mother's Knotty to Nice Conditioning Detangler. I received this is my winter Allure Beauty Box and have been using it since receiving it and although my hair is only shoulder length and not too knotty, I like how it easily smooths out hair and the scent is great. If your prone to tangles, definitely give this one a try.

I recently also started using Rimmel London's Scandaleyes Kohl Eyeliner, another Allure Beauty Box item, and absolutely love it! it's comparable to the MAC kohl liner I have been using, in fact, I actually think it's better (the price definitely is!)-- great staying power, easy glide-on application, and it's black BLACK. Love!

Speaking of black BLACK eye products, I have decided that I am going to go back to my standby drugstore favorite mascara, L'Oreal's Voluminous Carbon Black. For half, even a third of the price of prestige mascara, I can get the same effect from this one. The volume and fullness it gives my lashes is outstanding, along with the drama of the true black color.

Another standby favorite is Japonesque's Parian Spirit Brush Cleaner; I can be lazy about giving my brushes a good cleaning and this is easy to spritz on, dab on a paper towel to get makeup and grime off, and I'm good to go. It has a clean, citrus scent (if you haven't noticed I'm all about good-smelling products!) and can be easily taken on the go or stashed in makeup kits.

Share with me! What are some of your recent favorite drugstore beauty buys?


Also linking up with Random Wednesday and Friday's Fab Favorites

February 24, 2014

Cleaning Out My Closet

consignment store

I don't know about you, but for me, it feels good to clean out my stuff and part ways with things I no longer use or wear. Once or twice a year, I open my closets and begin pulling out tops, shoes, dresses, purses, jewelry-- anything and everything that needs to be gotten rid of. I smoosh everything into bags and drop them off at Goodwill or another donation site.

My thought-pattern: If I haven't worn it in over a year, or if it looks cheap/dingy, it's out. Out with the old, make room for the new! 

On Sunday, I took a bag full of items to Buffalo Exchange in Downtown Fullerton to see if I could trade in some of my better items for cash. I was first introduced to Buffalo Exchange several years ago by the adorable Rachel of RachMartino while interning together at mark. in New York. No joke, that girl lived at Buffalo Exchange in Brooklyn!

Image via

Image via
If you aren't familiar with Buffalo Exchange, you can buy, sell, and even trade your fashion items, even menswear. BE is different from Goodwill and other thrifts as their buyers are very picky on what they will accept, but if you have some designer, trendy, or vintage items, it's worth taking them in and seeing what you can get! If you choose trade you'll get a higher credit back than with cash (I only got $22 back), which can be used to purchase items in store and get that closet filled back up. While browsing, I came across items from Free People, J. Crew, Topshop and more!

Likewise, you can sign up and list your sell-able items on Poshmark, an online community, and genius site, where you can shop others' closets. 

Have you cleaned out your closet lately?

Also linking up with Little Friday and FundayMonday


February 22, 2014

National Margarita Day Recipe Roundup

Happy National Margarita Day! I've never been a huge fan of tequila (bad incident when I was 16), but I'm always down for a yummy, ice-cold margarita! In honor of National Margarita Day, I'm sharing 10 fresh takes on the traditional margarita... before grabbing my own!

Jalepeño Margarita
Skinny Blackberry Margarita

Beer-arita
Mango Margarita

Cranberry Ginger Vanilla Margarita

Spicy Grapefruit Margarita

Pomegranate Margarita

Skinny Margarita

Blood Orange Margarita

Ginger Mint Margarita

For more good libations and sip-spirations, check out my Sippin' board on Pinterest. Cheers!


February 21, 2014

Garden Variety Juice

veggie juice


Happy Friday, all! I'm back with another juice recipe, this one I am calling Garden Variety because it has a mix of veggies and fruits. Don't be scared by the veggies in this one, it's actually fairly sweet and has a great taste. Hope you like it!

juice cleanse

Garden Variety Juice
Ingredients:
1 bunch Kale, rib removed
1/2 bag Spinach
1/2 cup Lettuce 
2 Carrots
2 Apples, cut and cored (I used 1 Gala and 1 Granny Smith)
1 Cucumber
2-3 sprigs Mint
Juice from half a lemon

Cut veggies and fruits as required for juicer. Juice all together, adding the juice of half a lemon. Store up to 3-4 days in lidded container in refrigerator.

Make it a smoothie! Add 1 banana, 1-2 tablespoons of chia and/or flax seeds, and about 1/3 cup of Greek yogurt to 1 - 1 1/2 cups of juice. Blend with ice.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend-- cheers to healthy drinking!

February 20, 2014

TAYA Amazon White Clay Hair Product Review + Giveaway


Things have been a little hectic this week and I decided to change things up from the regular ol’ Thursday outfit post… but trust me, you’ll be glad I did!

A couple of weeks ago, TAYA reached out asking if I would like the opportunity to try their new Amazon White Clay Thickening hair care line. I have fine, fairly straight hair (meaning no body whatsoever) so of course I jumped at the chance! For the last few weeks I have been using the shampoo, conditioner and a few of the styling products and have overall had a great experience in using the line.

While using these products, my hair has actually felt thicker, smoother, and softer. I especially enjoyed using the leave-in mist and hair sprays, and all the products have a natural, botanical smell, which kept my hair smelling fresh. Each of the products in this line are formulated with Amazon white clay, extracts of croton lechleri resin, and raw avocado oil, all which help to add richness and volume to dull, fine hair.

A little background on the star ingredients: Amazon white clay is rich with minerals such as calcium, potassium, and iron and is most often used in skin care and some cosmetics brands have been including it as well. Croton lechleri resin is antioxidant rich and is extracted from the sangre de grado tree (meaning “dragon’s blood”) in the Amazon and has been mainly used as a medicinal herb. Raw avocado oil is easily absorbed into the hair and scalp, excellent at nourishing dry, brittle hair.

Here’s the scoop on each of the products:


AMAZON WHITE CLAY THICKENING SHAMPOO ($20) – It didn’t take much of this low-lathering shampoo for me to cover my hair, and my hair felt clean and fresh after using.

The only downside I've had with any of the products is with the shampoo, as it leaves my roots feeling greasy. I have somewhat dry hair and can typically go two, even three, days without washing my hair and without it starting to look greasy. While using Taya’s shampoo I could only go one day. I switched back to using my regular shampoo and continued using the conditioner on my ends and styling products and that has worked out fine. I looked at a few other reviews and didn’t see anyone having any similar issues so it might be the way my oils are reacting with the product.

AMAZON WHITE CLAY THICKENING CONDITIONER ($22) – Again, it didn’t take much conditioner to cover my ends. I would leave it on while I washed up and after rinsing my hair feels so silky soft, thicker, and had the same fresh botanical scent as the shampoo.


AMAZON WHITE CLAY THICKENING LEAVE-IN MIST ($22) – This would be my favorite product from the line, I’m a sucker for leave-ins! I sprayed this on my ends and left my hair to air dry some time before heat drying.  Not sure how much this aided to any thickening but again, but I haven’t noticed many split ends since using and I love the scent so I’m happy to keep spritzing away!

AMAZON WHITE CLAY HAIR SPRAY ($24)- This medium-hold hair spray comes in a bottle with a pump spray and is perfect for the days when you want hair to look finished but don’t need much hold. I liked that it didn’t leave my hair feeling crunchy—who wants crunchy hair??

AMAZON WHITE CLAY THICKENING STYLING CREAM ($22) – I only used the cream a couple of times, I don’t like or need to use a lot of styling products but I did apply to the ends of my hair to keep them hydrated before heat styling. If you don’t want to use hair spray, the styling cream works great to tame pesky flyaways as well.


AMAZON WHITE CLAY THICKENING HAIR SPRAY ($24) – For the days I needed more hold, I used the thickening hair spray. I loved that it was fast-drying, had a firm hold, was long-lasting and again, didn’t leave my hair feeling crunchy.

I did not get around to trying the AMAZON WHITE CLAY THICKENING WHIPPED CLAY ($24) or the AMAZON WHITE CLAY & ACACIA COLLAGEN HAIR ($24) as again, I don’t like using too many styling products. The hair plumper is a mousse, helping to add volume while giving hair hold, and the whipped clay is more of a whipped styling cream.

I recommend TAYA's Amazon White Clay line for those with fine, thin hair or for those looking to hydrate their dry, damaged locks. If the price points seem to high for your budget, TAYA does offer a Discovery Kit priced at $20 which includes travel-sized shampoo, conditioner, thickening hair spray, and leave-in mist. TAYA products can be purchased through TAYA's website as well as through HSN. When you sign up for TAYA's email list, you will recieve a  FREE packet of the Amazon White Clay Thickening Creme! Register on their website by clicking "Join the community."

Great news! The team over at TAYA has been awesome enough to send one (1) reader a prize package of all, yes ALL, the products I’ve mentioned in my review—that’s a $180+ prize value!

Giveaway is open to US only, ends March 1, 2014. Enter below:


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thank you to TAYA for sponsoring this giveaway and for sending me the products to review!

Items in this review were provided to me for review purposes via TAYA, however opinions expressed are solely my own. No monetary compensation was provided for this review.


February 19, 2014

Four Favorites: Girly Things

girly


I am a girly-girl through and through. Pink, floral, cutesy, anything you would remotely describe as 'girly' I am 99.9% sure I would like. This week, I wanted to highlight a few girly things I'm currently loving including a book highlighting 29 fashion illustrators-- how perfect would this be for the coffee table? Speaking of art, I absolutely love Stephanie Sterjovski's prints and am loving how simple and cute this one is. Oh, and I can't forget how adorable this winking necklace is! 

To me, macarons are a girly dessert-- they're delicate, cute, and are available in different flavors and colors. I've been wanting to make my own macarons but many recipes I found seem pretty advanced and intense; however, a couple of months ago I came across this recipe from one of my favorite food blogs, Picky Palate, that seems easy enough. I'll give it a try soon and let you know how it goes :P

What are you loving this week?



February 14, 2014

Chocolate Lava Cake

Easy chocolate molten lava cake


Happy Valentine's Day! Today being the day of love, sweets, and chocolate, I wanted to share a yummy... and easy!... recipe for a chocolate lava (or molten) cake. I've always loved having these cakes as dessert at restaurants-- slicing into the cooked outer cake and letting the oooey gooey, chocolatey insides run out. I figured these had to be difficult to make but I came across a recipe this weekend that just screamed, "I CAN do this!"

A delicious, decadent treat for your Valentine, these little cakes are perfect to serve up with ice cream or a dollop of vanilla whipped cream. 

Chocolate Lava Cake (Adapted from Tasty Kitchen)
Ingredients
4 squares Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate (I used 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips)
1/2 cup Butter
1 cup Powdered Sugar (plus more for sprinkling)
2 whole Eggs
2 Egg Yolks
6 tbsp Flour
Whipped cream (I add vanilla and sugar-- Vanilla Whipped Cream)

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Spray 4 ramekins or custard cups with baking spray and place onto baking sheet.

Microwave the chocolate and butter in on high for about 1 minute, until butter is melted. Whisk together until chocolate is melted. Stir in the powdered sugar and mix well. 

Whisk in 2 eggs and the 2 egg yolks. To separate egg yolks from the whites, crack open egg evenly in half and transfer the yolk between the two shell halves, allowing the white to drip away. You may have to do this about 3 times. Add flour and stir completely.

Transfer mixture evenly to your greased ramekins. Bake about 13-14 minutes until  the sides are firm and center is soft. Let stand 1 minute. You can serve them in the ramekins, or run a knife gently along the sides; place a plate over the top and flip upside down, allowing the cake to fall out on the plate. Garnish with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and whipped cream. 

Wishing you a sweet Valentine's Day!

easy chocolate lava cake


February 13, 2014

Pink + Hearts: Valentine's Day Outfit

polka dot sweater

polka dot sweater

polka dot sweater

polka dot sweater

Sweater: Forever21 (similar) | Crop Jeans: Habitual | Booties: Katie & Kelly (similar) | Necklace: Stella & Dot | Assorted Rings: Forever 21 

I know I'm a day early, but we're taking off tomorrow to go camping so I won't be able to wear a cute Valentine's Day outfit. I had come across this cute polka dot sweater last year, I am absolutely in love with the coral-pink color-- perfect for V-Day.

PS- It's upwards of 70-degrees out here in Los Angeles today-- so NOT sweater weather!


Thanks again to Bailey over at Poprocks&Peacoats for taking the photos! 

February 12, 2014

Valentine's Day Favorites



This week's Four Favorites are all about Valentine's Day, of course! 

1. Chocolates: Every year my dad buys chocolates for my mom, my sister, and myself-- I always get Hershey's Kisses, which are my favorite! 

2. Valentine's Day-inspired jewelry: To top off my Valentine's day outfits, dainty Valentine-inspired jewelry pieces are a must! My top picks include: Dogeared 'Hugs & Kisses' XO Necklace, Maya Brenner 'Love' Bracelet, and Stella & Dot On the Mark Necklace

3. Flowers: Last year Steve had a bouquet of Valentine's Day roses sent to the office-- such a sweet surprise. Red roses, mixed wildflowers, pretty tulips-- I'm not too picky when it comes to flowers, I'll take them all!

4. Cutesy Cards: V-day just isn't complete without giving cutesy cards, I especially love the pretty cards from Rifle Paper Co.

What are some of your Valentine's Day favorites?


Also linking up with Random Wednesday and Friday's Fab Favorites


February 11, 2014

Good HUES-Day: Pink + Red


pink and red

I made it a goal this week to wear pink and/or red everyday this week and so far, I'm doing pretty good. Aside from white, black, and neutrals, my closet has a lot of pink... I could probably go another week just wearing various shades of pink.

Keeping up with this week's Valentine's Day theme, today I couldn't go without rounding up a few pink & red picks:


Have you been dressing in theme this week or do you stay away from anything Valentine's Day associated? :P

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