May 30, 2014

Sunset Blues + Friday's Fab Favorites Link-Up





Blue Dress Shirt: Forever21 | Skinny Jeans: Paige | Slip-Ons: Vans | Fedora: mark. (similar) | Sunglasses: LC Lauren Conrad for Kohls

Happy Friday! I wanted to share one of my favorites and wardrobe staples-- a classic blue button down dress shirt. I love how versatile the shirt is-- wear it open and casual over a tank and shorts, buttoned up with cropped skinny jeans as I have, or pair with slacks or a skirt and blazer for work. Apparently it even doubles as a wipe for sunglasses... oops! Seriously though, get this shirt in your closet stat.

I'm excited to be co-hosting Friday's Fab Favorites link-up today with Dimitra of If the Stiletto Fits. Our host, Lauren of Style Elixir, is absolutely gorgeous with amazing style, not to mention one of my personal favorite bloggers-- there's definitely been an outfit (or two or three) of hers that I've recreated! Please head over to each of their blogs and give them a follow and join the link up below:


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Style Elixir (follow here!) | A Good Hue (follow here!) | If The Stiletto Fits (follow here!)
Friday's Fab Favorites Link Up:
1. Please follow your Host Style Elixir (via Bloglovin' or Instagram) and your fabulous Co-Hosts...
Amanda from A Good Hue (follow via Bloglovin')
Dimitra from If The Stiletto Fits (follow via Bloglovin')
2. Link up anything... it could be one of your previous posts that you like, or a post about your favorite things!
3. Please include a link back to this post within your post (because it's such a nice thing to do!)
4. Now simply add your link below! We hope you all enjoy meeting other bloggers and discovering some new things.
5. If you would like to Co-Host Friday's Fab Favorites, email stylelixir@gmail.com for more details!

Style Elixir
Join The Link Up Now!




May 29, 2014

Recipe: Vega Chocolate Banana Protein Smoothie (Vegan)

Chocolate Banana Smoothie

Protein shakes have never really been my thing—they taste funky, and have a gritty, thick feel. After taking a reformer Pilates class at Formu+LA in Manhattan Beach last year, I ordered their chocolate protein smoothie to give it a try after the class (I absolutely LOVE that they have a cold-pressed juice bar in the studio!), plus, I knew by the end of the class I’d be starving but wouldn’t want to eat anything heavy after working out. I’m glad I did for two reasons: 1. The class totally kicked by butt—I was sore for two days afterwards!—and 2. The protein shake was REALLY good and didn’t even taste like the protein shakes I knew and hated.

The shakes they made included Vega, a vegan plant-based whole food-derived protein powder. I didn’t even know that existed—I only knew of whey, soy and hemp. Vega's Chocolate Protein Smoothie is all natural, created with whole foods with ingredients such as pea and hemp seed proteins, broccoli, spinach, kale and alfalfa powders, and more. Equivalent to two servings of veggies, each serving contains 15g protein, 90 calories, as well as vitamins. Vega offers something for everybody with different smoothie flavors (vanilla, tropical, berry, natural, and chocolate), sport performance powders and Vega One All-In-One Nutritional  Shakes. You can even get them to-go in single serve packets.

These days, I take a weekly mat Pilates (no reformers any time soon, thankyouverymuch!) and afterwards I drink this shake as my meal replacement. It is SO good, I actually look forward to drinking it!

(FYI- This post is in no way sponsored by Vega, I just really like their powder and want to share my discovery.)

Chocolate Banana Shake

Vegan Chocolate Banana Protein Smoothie
Ingredients:
1 Banana, peeled (frozen would be even better!)
¼ cup Raw Cashews*  (or substitute raw almond butter or raw peanut butter for a nuttier flavor)
½ - 1 cup Almond Milk
1 scoop Vega Chocolate Protein Smoothie 
1 TBSP Chia Seeds
1 TBSP Flax Seeds
3-5 Ice Cubes

Add all ingredients to blender and blend on high for about 30 seconds or until all ingredients are incorporated. Looking to pack even more health into this smoothie? Add a handful of spinach—because the protein powder is plant-based, the spinach will blend well with the flavors and you’ll still get the chocolate-y banana taste.

*Tip: I typically soak my cashews in water overnight or for a few hours to soften them up. Also, if you want to add in even MORE protein and make it smoother (and non-vegan), you can add a couple tablespoons of Greek yogurt.

Enjoy!


May 28, 2014

May Healthy Living Favorites



Um you guys, May is almost finished, which means it’s almost June (yay, I know my months!) and that means SUMMER! Before this starts sounding like a bad Rebecca Black parody I better get to today’s post. This Four Favorites Wednesday I am linking up my May Health Favorites:

I recently started taking a mat Pilates class Wednesday nights (I tried reformers once and it kicked my butt) and really enjoy it! No matter what type of exercise class you’re thinking about taking—yoga, spin, kickboxing—I recommend checking out to see if there are any Groupon or Living Social deals in your area. It’s a great way to try out a new program and see if it’s one you want to stick with. (Image via)

When going to class, I usually wear a pair of yoga capris and throw a tank top on over a sports top I’ve had for ages. Comfort is key but hey, don’t judge me if I still want to look good working out. Kohl's has some very cute, and ON-SALE, options for the workout.

I’ve been using this adorable pink blender for several weeks now; I mean how cute is it?!? While it’s no match for my NutriBullet, it still does a pretty good job at quickly blending up my everyday smoothies. For around $20, the Elite Cuisine Personal Drink Mixer is such a good deal. Plus, it’s pink and so cute, did I mention that?

Speaking of smoothies, I recently started using Vega, a plant-based vegan protein powder. I’ve never been a fan of protein powders and drinks, they taste funky, have a chalky feel… I’m just not a fan. Vega’s powders do not have the typical protein powder taste at all and in fact, taste really good, plus they have 15g of protein per serving. Stay tuned, I’ll be posting a recipe later this week featuring Vega—it’s so yummy and the perfect post-workout drink/meal replacement!

Do you have any health-related tips to pass along? Share!


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


May 27, 2014

Summer Ready Skin... in Three Steps!

Self tanning

Happy day after Memorial Day! Out here in the West Coast, Memorial Day marks the beginning of beach season, vacation time, pool parties, basically anything and everything you can (must?) wear a swim suit to. Meaning lots of skin showing: sleek, bronzy tan glowing skin. However, before getting to the point of showing off that sleek bronzy-ness, skin needs to be prepped. Keep reading for my three simple steps to getting skin ready for summer:

STEP 1: First things first (especially if your legs have been hiding under pants!), grab that razor, slap on some shaving cream and give those legs a good shave. Reduce cuts and nicks by changing out your blade often when it dulls and by keeping skin lathered with shaving cream (in a pinch, conditioner works well too!). Or wax, if you’re into that. While you’re at the waxing salon don’t forget about the downstairs area and clean up those bikini lines ;)

STEP 2: Before applying any type of self-tanning products, be sure to exfoliate skin as this will create a smoother surface for the self-tanner as well as help it last longer and moisturize skin better. You want to slough off dead skin cells, clean out pores, and soften any dry patches to smooth out skin. If you’re planning on applying self-tanner to your face, use a gentle exfoliator (try Beautisol's Citrus Face Exfoliant) as to not irritate skin.  Exfoliate regularly, up to twice a week, to keep skin glowing all through the summer.

STEP 3: For me, applying a self-tanning mousse works best (I have posted about my self-tanner favorites and top picks for self-tanners), especially when using a tanning mitt. Tanning application mitts allow you to easily blend for an even tan.  Plus, hands stay clean! I never apply self-tanner to my face as I opt to use bronzer instead (I use a deeper shade during summer months), but if so you can pick up a tanner that is formulated for use on the face.  If you have dry skin, most especially on knee caps and elbows, be sure to use a moisturizing lotion days prior to applying tan to get an even, non-splotchy coverage.

To keep my tan lasting, I apply a gradual tan moisturizer on top. If you’re fair-skinned, you may want to skip the self-tanner and go straight for the gradual moisturizer. For best results, wait several minutes before putting on clothing or a swim suit over the product. 

Keep skin glowing and looking healthy by keeping skin protected: limit time spent in the sun and apply sunblock and products formulated with SPF that protect against UVA and UVB rays. Several years ago I had a suspicious looking mole removed; the doctor told me if I had left it, in less than ten years it would turn into a form of skin cancer. I know make sure to cover up accordingly and am constantly reapplying sunscreen if I am out in the sun. Skin protection is no joke.  (PSA over!)

Happy self-tanning :)

May 24, 2014

Saturday Style: Memorial Weekend

Memorial Day outfit

Head out to your Memorial weekend festivities in a pretty floral swim suit, bright dress or romper and of course your favorite accessories-- fedora and fun heart-shapped sunnies!

Wishing everyone a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend!

May 23, 2014

Review: Beautisol Exscrub Me? Citrus Face Exfoliant #FaceExfoliant




Beautisol’s Exscrub Me? Citrus Face Exfoliant is very much similar to a sugar scrub, a fine exfoliator with tiny coral jojoba microbeads that gently remove dead skin, giving the face a deep cleaning and leaving skin soft and smooth. The exfoliator is infused with certified organic citrus ingredients, including lemon, orange peel and grapefruit extracts, which provides skin with a refreshed feeling.


Since using the product, I have not experienced any negative effects or skin irritation from this scrub; the product leaves my face feeling smooth, clean, and fresh with a soft scent of citrus. I especially love how fine the exfoliant is, that it does not irritate my chin breakouts, and that it contains Jojoba, which can actually help with acne by clearing out pores and helping to moisturize dry skin. A little bit goes a long way, so one tube will last several months if using maximum recommended twice a week (over-exfoliation could potentially dry out and irritate skin).





This is the perfect scrub to use before applying any self-tanning face products, such as Beautisol’s Need I Glow More? Face Self-Tanning Lotion, or if you’re like me and just wanting to give your face a gentle exfoliation and cleansing. At $17 for 2 fl. oz. it’s a little on the pricey side for an exfoliator to me, but the product is quality—free of parabens, free of sodium laurel/ laureth sulphate (SLS; commonly found as a lathering agent in shampoos in cleansers and can cause skin irritation)— is vegan, and also cruelty free! It is definitely a product I would purchase again… especially with the deal offered below!


Beautisol was created by fellow beauty blogger, iFabbo founder, aesthetician, and self-tanning enthusiast Sinead Norenius (you may know her from SelfTanningQueen.com)  to provide quality, environmentally conscious, and cruelty free self-tanning and sun care products all while giving customers a voice in creating the products. Beautisol can be purchased through their website and you can also catch the brand on HSN.

Interested in trying Beautisol’s Exscrub Me? Citrus Face Exfoliant? Buy 1 Get 1 FREE when you use coupon code BOGO2014 at Beautisol.com. Valid until June 31, 2014.

*I was provided product to review by iFabbo, however opinions expressed are solely my own. No monetary compensation was provided for this review.


May 22, 2014

Tote-ally Crazy for DAAME

Daame laptop totes, A Good Hue

Hey guys! I wanted to share a new brand I was recently introduced to, DAAME, who creates the gorgeous and functional 13” Laptop Naked Totes above. A few weeks ago I purchased a MacBook Pro and am in need of a good, stylish case for it. Have you seen some of the cases on the market? Not cute (or the total opposite: too cutesy), too bulky, no straps, not practical… the list goes on! What I love about these chic totes is how perfectly functional it is for on-the-go and for work, both protecting the laptop while still adding a stylish element to outfits. The totes would also make great gifts for grads, or for the girl who just scored that new job or internship!

The DAAME founders, Milee and Denise, both share a love of designing and creating quality, functional accessories for women in a sustainable manner that basically help to simplify life.  Crafted in the U.S. (the brand is based here in Los Angeles!), the totes are made of high quality Italian leather with a padded compartment for your laptop. Internally, the Naked bag is outfitted with a padded compartment for laptops. Currently the 13” Laptop Naked Totes are available for pre-order in three shades for spring/summer: Tan, Red/Orange, and Navy (my fav!)  Best part? Shipping is FREE! To order, visit DAAME.com

Daame laptop totes, A Good Hue
Navy Naked Laptop Tote

Daame laptop totes, A Good Hue
Interior View

Along with placing an importance on sustainable manufacturing practices, DAAME also gives back. For every purchase, DAAME gives 5% of all profits to partners, such as Outliers International, who is dedicated to providing safety and education for girls in need in Pakistan to help improve the quality of life for girls and of society as a whole. Girl power!

Daame laptop totes, A Good Hue

Here’s the lowdown, I’m trying to win a bag from DAAME to feature here on A Good Hue and need your help! Please visit DAAME.com today through May 28th and sign up for their newsletter (must use my unique URL here), to give me an entry. Also, while you’re on their site, be sure to click over to their Facebook page and give them a ‘LIKE’—be sure to post a comment saying that A Good Hue sent you!

Don’t worry, there’s something in it for you too: DAAME is graciously offering a $15 credit to readers who sign up for their newsletter! Totes awesome, right? 


May 21, 2014

Four Favorites: Memorial Day

It’s hard to believe that Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, is just around the corner. I’m not even sure what I’ll be doing this weekend—probably whatever random activity pops up- pool, cruising around the harbor, maybe even some R&R at the beach. To celebrate and get in the summer mood, I’m rounding up a few of my Memorial Day must-haves for today’s Four Favorites:

1. A cute swim suit is a must for the beach, pool parties and BBQs that will be going on all summer long. Can you believe I haven’t even bought a new one for this year? Shocker! I may have to pick up this floral top and striped bottom mix-and-match suit from J.Crew.

2. Sunglasses are not only the summer accessory but much like you need to protect your skin from the sun, peepers need to stay protected as well. This season I have been loving this style from Quay.

3. Sunscreen, iPhone, book, change of clothes—bags can get pretty packed during holiday weekend trips to the beach or pool and who wants to lug around more than one? Keep everything in one place and still look chic with this amazing summery tote from DAILYLOOK.

4. Last but definitely not least is celebrating (safely and responsibly if consuming alcohol) and staying cool with a delicious drink. Get out of your comfort zone by mixing up this Pink Grapefruit Mojito. Staying sober? Try this one instead!

How are you celebrating Memorial Day? Head on over to Fancy Things and Let It Be Beautiful and link up your Memorial Day favorites!





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



Currently Obsessed: Floral Shorts + Color Brigade Linkup





Floral Shorts: Brandy Melville for PacSun (in stores) | Cardigan: H&M | Panama Hat: Urban Outfitters (similar) | Wedges: mark. (similar) | Sunglasses: Anthropologie | Turquoise Ring: Amrita Singh

I have been obsessing over floral shorts for the last few weeks but hadn't been having luck finding the right pair. The fit wouldn't be right or my chicken legs looked like they were lost in a sea of floral madness. Last weekend I decided to randomly pop into PacSun to finally use a gift card I had for years. No joke, the guy ringing me up remarked 'I haven't seen this style card in years-- this thing is old school!' Any way, lo and behold I found the perfect pair of floral shorts from PacSun's new collection from Brandy Melville. Love at first sight!

Speaking of new obsessions, I am super excited to be co-hosting the Color Brigade linkup today with one of my new favorite blogs, Cute & Little. Kileen's outfits are always absolutely amazing (um, can I have her closet pretty please?!?) and always perfectly styled. Take a trip over to her blog, link up your post, and grab her banner:

cute and little fashion blog Color Brigade







Link up using the linky above and be sure to link your post back to Cute & Little's Color Brigade Linkup.

Also linking up with:



May 20, 2014

Good HUES-Day: Turquoise + Tangerine

Dimensional Diva Dress, ModCloth | Leather Flip Flops, Gap | Cropped Tee, TOPSHOP | Earphones, Skullcandy | Phone Case, Forever21kate spade new york henry Lane Emmy Satchel Bag | Butter London Nail Lacquer in Silly Billy | Watch, Michael Kors | Keds

A roommate I had a few years ago loved this particular combo or turquoise and orange-y tangerine. I can see why-- the colors are bright, happy, and remind me of summer. What are some of your favorite color combos?



May 19, 2014

Skin Care Regimen: Late Twenties



I realized the importance of good skin care early on in high school when I began wearing daily moisturizer, cleansing my face every morning. It soon lead me to using eye cream, exfoliator and products with SPF.

It wasn't until until my mid-twenties when I started experiencing breakouts on my chin, and while I'm still clearing it up today, it took me to 29 to find products and a skin care regimen that works for my skin type (went from normal-dry to combination). My advice is to start a skin care regimen early, especially when it comes to cleansing (and being sure to remove makeup EVERY night-- that was one of my downfalls), moisturizing and protecting skin with sunblock and products with SPF. Here's products in my regimen that I have been using and find to work:

1. While I do get breakouts, I do have tiny, tight pores... and I want to keep it that way. For the last several months I have been using Neutrogena's Pore Refining Daily Cleanser, which has been great at keeping pores clean and tight.

2. I only recently started using Garnier's Clean+ Balancing Daily Exfoliator, which offers a refreshing burst of citrus and soft exfoliation.

3. To really get my skin clean, I have also been using Olay's Professional Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System, which is a budget-friendly cleansing brush. Seriously, I am addicted to this thing! It' soft enough that it doesn't irritate my acne, which was surprising to me as I thought it would.

4. I'll use makeup wipes for those nights when I'm just too lazy to wash my face-- I'll admit it, bad habits are hard to break!

5. Out of all the different moisturizers I've used, I always turn back to my standby, Philosophy's Hope In A Jar. This moisturizer is gentle, non-oily, and leaves my skin feeling soft. Since this one does not contain SPF, I wear a tinted moisturizer with SPF over it.

6. If I know I'll be outside all day, sunblock is a must! However, I hate putting oily, greasy body sunblock on my face and use a sunscreen that is specifically formulated for the face. This past year I have been using Neutrogena's Clear Face Liquid-Lotion Sunblock.

7. For pesky zits that pop up, I stop them early with Neutrogena's Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel, which has been amazing at drying up zits and preventing them from growing larger.

What are some of your must-have skin care products?


May 17, 2014

Saturday Style: Weekend Getaway


Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Bikini Top: TOPSHOP | Panama Hat: NastyGal | St. Tropez Tan Enhancing Body Lotion | Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen | Floral Flounce Shorts: Forever 21 | Striped Tote: Sole Society (similar tote I purchased) | Apple iPad Mini | Oxford Shoes: ModCloth

 This post originally appeared as a guest post on Life's A Party Dress Like It! a couple weeks ago. If you haven't checked out Paige's blog, please do so! She has such upbeat and fun posts, great outfits and hosts a fabulous linkup every week-- Stylish Tuesday, make sure to link up with her!

* * *

When getting out of town for the weekend in spring or summer, I can usually be found around the pool or laying on the beach so I tend to pack my tote with magazines, a few good reads, snacks and my iPad. A cute casual outfit is a must and you can usually find me in a bikini top with a tee or oversized shirt thrown over. I mean, how adorable are these shorts?!?

While I love getting some sun and color, I have to keep my skin protected. Out comes a pair of cool shades, my beloved panama hat (I'm loving this similar style from NastyGal!) and of course sunscreen. I hate feeling greasy or like I'm wearing sunscreen so I love the formula of Neutrogena's Ultra Sheer sunscreens; I keep my tan lasting with a self-tanning moisturizer.

What essentials do you bring along on weekend getaways? Share!


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