Monday, December 31, 2012

My 2013 Resolutions

I actually completed most of my 2012 resolutions! Although I did a better job on some more than others (drank lots of water and took fashion risks, but did an okay job at utilizing what I have already in my closet), I think 2012 was a pretty good year.

You can see which resolutions I finished and which I didn't...

2012 Resolutions
Blog daily  ☑
Finish my novel
Hang out with friends more often  ☑
Read at least one novel a month ☑
Laugh more ☑
Smile more ☑
Dance more
Talk to people more ☑
Take more risks ☑
Stop wasting money
Continue saving to repay loan ☑
Drink more tea and water ☑
Eat healthier ☑
Exercise more ☑
Take more fashion risks ☑
Wear dresses more often ☑
Wear heels more often ☑
Learn to use what I have in my closet ☑
Exfoliate more often
Find the perfect red shade of lipstick ☑
Clean my make up brushes every week
Wear my hair down more often ☑

Book Goals
Read 25 books this year ☑
I only have a few resolutions this year, but for me they're pretty significant:

2013 Resolutions

Be braver / tougher
I'm a shy girl, so I need to stand up for myself more.
I need to learn to not back down so easily.
Take risks
Go places I've never gone before, do things on my own,
talk to people more, and in general try new things.
I would like to keep only the things I use often / really, really love.
It will help for when I move to my own place (hopefully at the beginning of 2014).
Finish my novel
This thing needs to be written. Now.
Especially since it's my thesis. And I want it to be published one day.

What are your 2013 resolutions?

P.S. -- I'll be doing the January Photo A Day Challenge! I'm going to post my pictures on Instagram, so follow me if you want to see my pictures!
January 2013 - photo a day challenge

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Friday, December 28, 2012

My Everyday Make Up Picks

My beauty routine doesn't change much from day to day. It's pretty much been the same for years, though new products are rotated in now and then, and sometimes I'll try new beauty trends (lately it's been bronze eyeshadow, thick eyeliner, a dark lip, and nail art). Almost everyday I use primer, eyeshadow, eyeliner, moisturizer, concealer, sometimes foundation, blush, chapstick or tinted balm, and a quick spritz of perfume.
My Everday Make Up Picks
{Click above for item info}

My everyday beauty look has also been pretty consistent -- dewy skin, nude or taupe eyeshadow, swipe of black eyeliner, pink cheeks and lips, and I always come back to red (or purple) nail polish. Sometimes I'll add mascara, a red lip or a smokey eye. At the moment, the fresh-faced, rosy-cheeked, wide-eyed look is working for me, but I'm always willing to try new things.

What's your everyday beauty look?
What products do you always go back to?

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Inspired By: December Best Selling Book Covers

It's the last Inspired By post of the year! I haven't read the books below, but Insurgent is definitely at the top of my list since I read Divergent (the first in the series) in only three days! I would also like to read The Age of Miracles; if you can't tell, I'm a sucker for anything fantasy / sci-fi.

Inspired By: Insurgent Book Cover
{Click above for item info}

Written by Veronica Roth, this dystopian novel is the second in the series, after Divergent, which follows Tris Prior, who lives in a city divided into five factions. Tris grew up in the Abnegation faction, but in the previous novel chose to join a new faction, knowing that it would forever change her life. Now Tris is on the run and must accept the fact that she is Divergent. To dress like Tris, wear a green sweater dress with tights and black booties, or a gray slouchy sweater, green jeans, and knee-high gray boots.

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon

The Round House
Inspired By: The Round House Book Cover
Written by Louise Erdrich, The Round House is a family drama about life on a reservation in North Dakota in 1988. When Geraldine Coutts is attacked, she is reluctant to reveal the details of what happened to the police, her husband, or her 13-year-old son, Joe. As his mother becomes increasingly traumatized, Joe sets out to find answers with his friends at the Round House, a sacred place of worship. Dress like the cover, by sticking to a gray striped shirt with orange jeans, patterned scarf, and gray flats, or an orange blouse with a gray sweater, gray skirt, and oxfords.  

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon

The Age of Miracles
Inspired By: The Age of Miracles Book Cover
Written by Karen Thompson Walker, Julia, a teenager in California, and her family wake up to find out that the Earth's rotation has begun to slow. Days and nights get longer, gravity is affected, and the environment changes, and yet Julia's normal, everyday life continues as the world is thrown into disarray. To look like the cover, put on a navy polka dot dress, orange bow belt, and colorful oxfords, or for a more casual day don a polka dot sheer blouse, loose green sweater, jeans, and bright polka dot flats.

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon

The End of Your Life Book Club
Inspired By: The End of Your Life Book Club Cover
Written by Will Schwalbe, The End of Your Life Book Club is a true story about him and his mother, who start a book club (though they are the only two members) after his mother is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which is almost always fatal. Over the next two years, Will and his mother, Mary Ann, read books and delve into all sorts of topics, which brings them closer together.  Dress like the simple cover by wearing all black with a red sweater and nude flats, or a red dress with a nude sweater and nude heels. And don't forget your book clutch!

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon

P.S. -- Check out November's Best Selling Books!

Which is your fave?

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

On Blogging, Style & Bravery

Having a blog this past year has made me more adventurous with my style choices. Only a year ago my outfits consisted mainly of cardigans, blue jeans, and flats or Converse. But now that I take pictures of my outfits on a weekly basis, pay more attention to trends and fashion, and know that people read my blog, I've gotten a lot braver.

I feel more comfortable wearing hats, fun jewelry, blazers, peplum shirts, dresses, skirts, colored jeans, prints, booties, loafers, and heels. I used to see trends and want to try them, but think that I wouldn't be able to pull it off. I thought people would somehow know that this piece of clothing isn't my usual style and judge me, but no one knows (or cares) what I wear on a daily basis, no one is judging me for wearing a polka dot top or fuschia-colored jeans. And if they are judging me, then they're clearly not people I want to know anyway.
Now if I want to try out a new trend, I just go for it! If I want to wear a peter pan collared shirt or a maxi skirt or booties, then I will. Knowing that I have confidence in my outfit choices makes me even more confident in what I'm wearing.
So I'm glad that I've been trying new things that still stick to my personal style. I'm young; I should try new things, right? That's not to say I still don't wear cardigans, jeans and flats because those things are still "me" and are a part of my style, but I'm trying to wear them in a fun, updated way (ie. floral cardigan, colored jeans, and studded flats). And let's be honest, no one is going to take away my cardigans.
Here's to another year of evolving style, having fun with fashion, and being even more adventurous!

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Outfit: Layers of Colors

Even during the winter, or rather especially during the winter, I crave lots of color. Winter becomes a haze of white snow and gray skies, so during these frigid months pops of bright color with a few neutrals always revives my outfits and my outlook (no winter blues here!).

I guess I lied when I said I only owned one orange piece of clothing. Now I own two since my dad bought me this colorblock shirt for Hanukkah.

Jacket // Old Navy
Shirt // Old Navy
Jeans // Forever 21
Scarf // Pashmina
Booties // DSW
Bag // Alloy
Tag // Of The Fountain
Lipbalm // Maybelline's Baby Lips in Pink Punch

Merry, merry Christmas!

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Words & Wisdom {Writing}

I need to do A LOT of writing this winter break (as mentioned here)! So far I only have 92 pages of my novel written and I'm still only in the beginning / almost middle of the story. I don't like talking about the plot too much, but it combines murder mystery, alternate history, and religion (and lack thereof).
I saved the following quotes and pictures so that I can feel inspired, and so that it will hopefully guilt me to write...

Wish me luck!

P.S. -- I saw this on Sidewalk Ready:

On Monday, December 24th at 5:00pm, please light a candle (or use a flameless battery-operated candle) for the victims and their families of Sandy Hook, Newtown, Connecticut and place it at the end of your driveway and it let burn through the night. As you do this, please reflect on what has happened, on your families and friends, and on what we cand o as a community to protect each other. This is not limited to one town, state, or even country. Please, wherever you are in the world, share this with your friends and participate. Your support is incredible.


(Images via Bookoisseur)

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Review: CoverGirl's Blast Flipsticks

*I'm a Bzz Agent and receive free products in order to spread the word and give my honest opinion. If this is something you would like to do, join here.*

CoverGirl's Blast Flipsticks are a clever idea -- you get two lipsticks in one tube! The idea is that it can be taken from day to night by adding the shimmery shade to the creamy shade. I was really excited to try this because I love CoverGirl's Lip Perfection lipsticks, which are moisturizing and come in both shimmery and matte shades, so I was slightly disappointed with the Blast Flipsticks.
{Vixen, Stunner, & Minx}
The shades I received are Vixen (burgandy and pearlescent pink), Stunner (bright coral pink and gold), and Minx (deep brown and bronze). I like Vixen's colors because it suits my complexion, while the Stunner is too bright and Minx is too dark. The main problem I have with the Blast Flipsticks is that both sides (and all the shades available) are shimmery. Yes, one is creamier than the other, but both have shimmer in them. Personally, I like to wear matte or glossy lipstick, but I don't like rather large flakes of shimmer, which all of them have.

Right now, there are only thirteen shades, so I hope CoverGirl adds Flipsticks that are either both matte, both glossy, or have one matte side and one glossy side, but NO SHIMMER! They're excluding a whole group of women by only having glittery lipsticks available.

My other problem with the Blast Flipsticks is that they are very drying. I had to put moisturizer on before and after applying, even with the creamy side. It's not a huge problem since a lot of lipsticks are drying, but since their Lip Perfection lipsticks are moisturizing I figured these ones would be, too.
 Vixen's pearl pink & berry
 Stunner's flaky gold & bright pink & both together
Minx's mocha & both together
I forgot to take a picture of just the bronze; it's sheer like the gold
but more metallic overall rather than having just flecks of shimmer.
Overall, there is a nice range of colors in the Blast Flipstick line going from nude to light pink to bright pink to berry to purple and brown, so there is a shade for everyone, but I don't think I'll be purchasing it on my own unless matte and glossy shades are added.
What do you think? Have you tried CoverGirl's Blast Flipsticks?
What do you think of them?

If you belong to a company or small business that would like me to review a product, head on over to my contact page for more information. I've been reviewing products on BzzAgent since 2009.

(Images via BzzAgent or CoverGirl)

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Inspired By: Les Miserables

I'm so excited to see Les Miserables! The film looks so well done (look at all those costumes and the scenery!) and I can't wait to listen to the actors sing and hear the new song, and see this dramatic tale unfold. I'm hoping I can see it on Christmas day!

Jean Valjean & Javert
Inspired By: Les Miserables -- Jean & Javert
{Click above for item info}

Jean Valjean (played by Hugh Jackman) is the main character of Victor Hugo's novel and the musical. Paroled from prison nineteen years after stealing bread, he changes his identity to Monsieur Madeleine to live an honest life, and eventually becomes a wealthy man after building two factories. He becomes a father-figure to Fantine's daughter, Cosette. On the opposite side of the law is Javert, a police inspector, who follows the law blindly and wants Jean Valjean behind bars. To dress like these 19th century men, don your a fedora, trench coat, tailored pants, and oxfords, or military jacket, metallic polka dot shirt, black jeans, and ankle boots.

Inspired By: Les Miserables -- Fantine
Played by Anne Hathaway, Fantine works at Jean Valjean's factory, but she is fired when the other workers discover that she had a child out of wedlock. To get money to pay the Thénardiers, innkeepers who "care" for Cosette (but really they abuse her and make her work), Fantine has to resort to being a prostitute. Dress like the strong but disheartened Fantine by wearing a colorblock dress with a hooded anorak and oxfords, or a pink dress, locket necklace, brown sweater, polka dot tights, and boots.

Inspired By: Les Miserables -- Cosette
Fantine's beautiful daughter, Cosette (played by Amanda Seyfried), lives with the Thénardiers for five years, but is rescued by Jean Valjean after *SPOILER* Fantine dies. She is his adopted daughter, is educated in Paris, and falls in love with Marius. To dress like Cosette on a casual day, wear a floral dress with a lace-covered cardigan, burgandy cable knit tights, and heeled booties. For a formal occassion, strut in a nude lace dress, nude heels, and lovely floral headband.  

Inspired By: Les Miserables -- Eponine
Éponine (played by Samantha Barks, who played Éponine in the London production and the 25th anniversary concert) is the Thénardiers' oldest daughter, who was spoiled by her parents as a child but ends up on the streets as a teenager. For money, she is an accomplice in her father's crimes. She is in love with Marius. Wear a thick green sweater, burgandy skirt, thigh high socks, and boots, or a mint blouse with an olive green infinity scarf, jeans, and captoe flats to emulate Éponine.

Are you going to see Les Miserables?

(Stills via Yahoo)

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

DIY: Paper Winter Wonderland

When I saw this cute window sticker set on Pinterest, I knew I wanted to make something similar using paper. I like the idea of having a little snowy town on my window to add a festive flair to my front door. You can add whatever types of buildings you want, or even add people sledding or parked cars or Santa's sleigh on a rooftop. Plus this DIY is so easy to do and doesn't take up much time.
1. Choose a window and then measure it by holding up pieces of paper side by side. Mark how much paper you need. I needed two and half pieces of paper, but every window is different.
2. In pencil, sketch buildings, trees, the ground, a snowman, or whatever you choose to add to your winter scene. Don't forget to add some windows! 

3. With your scissors, cut out the buildings and trees as straight as you can.
4. Cut out the windows using an x-acto knife. Be sure to have a cutting board or cardboard underneath. I used the back of a notebook.
5. Tape the pieces of paper together using regular tape and then tape them to your window using double stick tape (you can see the tape up close but not from afar), and then you're done!

How cute is this little winter wonderland scene?

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