Saturday, August 31, 2013

LookAddict Article

I mentioned it yesterday, but I wanted to let you all know that I wrote an article for LookAddict
about how to transition your summer clothing into fall!

You can read it here!
I would love to know what you think!

Happy Saturday!

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Friday, August 30, 2013

Favorite Things

Can you tell I'm ready for fall and for school? Even though it's been eighty degrees, I've been wearing these booties with dresses and skirts (which you'll see come Tuesday). I also went school shopping with my friend Avra since she's about to start grad school for forensic linguistics. Pretty amazing, right? 

While in Staples, I picked up these colorful pens to edit my own and other people's stories and a tiny monthly planner to help me with blog posts when life gets hectic. I've also been loving this necklace from Motherland that I won via giveaway, Bite lipsick, this colorful tray from Lulu & Georgia that I got via giveaway, and using a calligraphy pen when I write letters.

I wrote an article for Look Addict about transitioning summer clothing into fall!
EK Tools calligraphy pen from Target, & pens and At-A-Glance organizer from Staples}

A few fun links:
♥ My friend Brittany had a story published by Defenestration! Read it because it's hilarious!

 I can't get over how amazing this Supernatural-themed dress and photo shoot!! (You can also buy the fabric!)

 What to do if you want to wear a backless dress and you've got, um, big girls. This is pure genius!

 Love these pictures of people in NYC in 1969.

 6 things you never knew about Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

 How to turn your life into Amelie's life. This is perfection! (P.S. -- I heard Amelie the Musical is coming to Broadway! So psyched!)

 The Greatest Vines! This made me laugh so hard!

 Disney Princess for equal pay!

 Love this: "When something goes wrong in your life, just yell, 'Plot twist!' and move on." (via Pinterest)

 Fashion loves: cute bucket bag, floral scarf, flippy skirt, I heart travel dress, chunky heel booties, heart elbow patch cardigan, and printed poet shirt.

 Sponsor love: Starburst Pendant Necklace from Jewelissima. Kristin of My Life as a Teacup recently blogged about loving different books for different reasons. I 100% agree with her that it's so hard to pick only one favorite novel! Also, check out my swap sponsors: Introvert's Introduction, Catching Cody K, Tiffany KhylaBeyond the Aisle, Becoming Fab, and Rowdy Fairy.

Last chance to enter to win all sorts of wonderful goodies!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Inspired By: August Best Selling Books

I got a lot of reading done this month!

I read The Fort by Aric Davis, which was an interesting murder mystery that was not only in the minds of three boys who saw the killer and the kidnapped girl in the woods, but also in the killer's mind. It was creepy and weirdly exhilarating. However, it was unbelievable that the parents would suspect that their children were lying about seeing the killer, but the suspense made up for it. (I won this book via a giveaway on Kristin's blog. Read her review here.)

I enjoyed reading Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling. I had to read this because I love everything about Mindy Kaling; her show, her humor, her awesome Instagram (it's like getting a peek into her life). The book was funny and poked fun at her childhood and love life without being depressing. 

I also read Matched by Ally Condie, which was surprisingly better than I expected. As a YA romance I thought it was going to be overly-cute, but the story actually made me think about what people are willing to do for each other, and the romance wasn't superficial (in fact I thought the relationship between Cassia and Ky felt realistic in the circumstances). Most of all I liked that Cassia wasn't a pining girly girl; her progression from girl who follows the Society to free-thinker was believable. 

I read Morning Light by Holland Kane (read review here) and Heirs & Spares by J.L. Spohr (review to come). 

The Cuckoo's Calling
Inspired By: The Cuckoo's Calling
Written by Robert Galbraith (AKA JK. Rowling), this novel is about Cormoran Strike, a man who fought in Afghanistan and who is now a private investigator in debt. When a man walks into his office, saying that his famous supermodel sister was actually murdered and didn't commit suicide, Strike can't turn it down. Soon he's plunged into a world of wealth, beautiful people, and enticement. 

For a party girl look, dance in a tight yellow dress, gold bracelets, and black ankle-strap heels. Or go for a daytime look that can be worn at work or in class: pair a brown moto jacket with a yellow dress, buckle booties, and bright pink clutch. 

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon

Orange Is The New Black
Inspired By: Orange is the New Black
Written by Piper Kerman, this non-fiction hilarious and heartbreaking book is now a popular Netflix series (it's so amazing go watch it!). Ten years ago, Piper delivered a suitcase of drug money, but now the past has caught up with her and she must face fifteen months in a federal correctional facility. She has to navigate a world of body searches and enforced rules.

For a comfy look, wear a lace orange sweater, black jeans, black flats, and a white necklace. Or wear a polka dot t-shirt, orange cut-off shorts, and black sandals. Don't forget your orange pencils for the letters you can write in prison. 

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon

The Infatuations
Inspired By: The Infatuations
Written by Javier Marias, this novel follows Maria Dolz, who visits the same Madrid cafe every morning and sees this one couple there everyday, but on this day the man is fatally stabbed in the street and Maria goes home with the widow to console her. While at the woman's home, she falls in love with a man who sheds light on the crime. This murder mystery is told through Maria's eyes as a metaphysical tale that deals with love, death, chance, and coincidence. 

Wear a button up blouse, black pencil skirt, black peter pan collar blouse, beige belt, and black wedges to the office. Or don a pretty pale dress with black wedges (I have these and they're so comfy!), a black crossbody, and coral drop earrings.  

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon

Night Film
Inspired By: Night Film
Written by Marisha Pessl, this literary thriller begins on a damp October night when young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in Manhattan. Veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath digs into Ashley's life, even though her death was ruled a suicide, and realizes that her father is a legendary horror film director who has been a recluse for other thirty years.

When the weather cools, wear a orange blazer, skull print tank, distressed jeans, black short boots, and camera earrings. Since it's still hot outside, try an orange sleeveless top, jean shorts, a blue ombre scarf, and cut-out booties.  

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon

Which book do you want to read?

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Back to School Wishlist

It's my last first day of school today! I only have one class a week (a novel workshop) and then meetings with my thesis adviser to work on my novel. I've made a lot of changes to the story this summer, so I'm excited and nervous to see what everyone thinks. I'll let you know how it goes.

P.S. -- Check out my guest post on My Life as a Teacup!
Back to School Wishlist
{Click for item info}

Back to School Wishlist:
Recycled Spiral Notebook -- Target has some really cute notebooks right now! Love these too!
Rose Boyfriend Cardigan -- Seriously, how cute is this cardigan?! (Not available online anymore)
XOXO Sticky Notes -- I love using sticky notes
Buddy Sticky Notes -- These little guys are too cute
American Eagle Jeans -- I can't get over how amazing their jeans are
The 7-Year Pen -- I already have one (thanks, Brittany!) but this pen is so great I had to share!
Aeropostale Ankle Bootie -- Who doesn't love getting a new pair of shoes for school?
Billabong Pencil Pouch -- Need a cute place to store all my pens
Polka Dot Circle Scarf -- To spice up an outfit or to keep warm when fall arrives
Jeweled Owl Keychain -- A pretty addition to my key fob
Feed USA Water Bottle -- It's a cute way to stay hydrated!

What's on your wishlist right now?

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Outfit: Tough Pink

I wanted to toughen up this pink and red outfit that I wore to work, so I put on this silver spike necklace from eFoxCity. For something that has spikes, it's rather dainty and light-weight. Luckily, the necklace lays flat, so there was no uncomfortable poking. However, when I wasn't wearing it my brothers insisted on stabbing each other (and me) with it. The spikes are actually really pointy! I could probably use this necklace as a weapon!

With school almost back in season, why not buy a few fashionable women's blouses? If you have a boyfriend or husband, eFoxCity has wholesale men's hoodies. If you're daughter is about to get married, they also have mother of the bride dresses in beautiful cuts and colors.

P.S. -- Sorry my clothes are so wrinkly in these pictures. It's amazing what sitting in one place all day can do to your clothes.

Check out my guest post on Letters from a Mermaid!

Top: Walmart (old) | Skirt & Belt: Forever 21 {similar} | Shoes: Carlos Santana via DSW
Necklace: c/o eFoxCity | Bracelet: Charlotte Russe | Lipstick: Maybelline Color Whisper

Last chance to enter to win a Diamond Candle!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Sponsor Spotlight: My Life as a Teacup

Happy Monday, everyone! Kristin of My Life as a Teacup is taking over my blog today!
She's talking about literary crushes because who doesn't have a few, right?

P.S. -- Check out my sponsor spotlight on Kristin's blog!

Ah, literary crushes. Everyone has one, that character that makes your heart flutter and keeps you up at night, trying to devise a way to jump into a novel a la Blue's Clues. The more you start thinking about your list, the more you start wondering what criteria you should use to weigh your crush-worthy candidates. Should they be marriage material? Purely swoon-worthy? I settled on the simple "makes you hide behind your book casting shifty eyes around the room to see who's spotted you giggling and blushing like a madwoman".

I'll spare you the obvious - Mr. Darcy - and the obscure crushes that even I can't explain (I may or may not have an inexplicable love for The Scar's Uther Doul. Just me? Okay.). My only rule for the following list is no dipping into pop culture; these crushes must remain strictly literary. Or else it would probably definitely be 17 12,000 times longer. 

Henry Tilney (Northanger Abbey) Mr. Darcy might be the Austen hottie of choice, but Henry Tilney seems much more pleasant and funnier. He's witty, flirty, charming, and kind; and he has no qualms about professing his enjoyment of novels.

Did I mention sassy? Go ahead, Google "Henry Tilney sass". I dare you.

Mercutio (Romeo and Juliet) Frankly, I think Romeo is a whiny prat. He's obsessive, and a biiiiit unstable. Mercutio, on the other hand, is witty and fun, and a good friend as well. He may not be the most rational when it comes to controlling one's temper, which, y'know, can get you killed, but I'd still pick Mercutio over Romeo any day.

George Weasley (Harry Potter series) Apparently I really have a thing for men with a sense of humour, and the Weasley twins have got a great personality to match. They're great fun, care immensely for their family (even if they do tease and torment them at times), and can bust a move (Exhibit A: The Yule Ball). And yes, I specified one twin of the Weasley duo. As much as I like funny, I'm a serious gal and George seems like the tamer of the two, a bit more mellow; I dig that.

Edward Fairfax Rochester (Jane Eyre) The epitome of dark, brooding, Byronic heroes, Mr. Rochester is a total babe. He's also kind of an ass at times, but that doesn't stop my heart palpitations. I'm willing to put his questionable decisions aside if he continues to be ridiculously passionate and somehow charming.

Ser Jorah Mormont (A Song of Ice and Fire) Part of me feels perpetually bad that he keeps getting friend-zoned by Daenerys, but honestly, who could resist the sensible council and genuine care that Ser Jorah Mormont exudes? Dedicated, loyal, and sends stacks of books as a wedding present? Be still my heart.

Aragorn (Lord of the Rings) Chicks dig an air of mystery, am I right? And Strider, er, I mean Aragorn, had me from the Prancing Pony (which is in Bree, which also happens to be the name of a very delicious cheese that I love - Brie! Coincidence? I think not!). Skilled warrior, just king, and all-around freaking awesome? Yeah, I'm swooning (still).

Be sure to head over to Kristin's blog and tell her I sent you!

Last day to enter The Tiny Heart's giveaway!
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Friday, August 23, 2013

Ipsy Glam Bag (August 2013) + $150 Amazon Giveaway! [CLOSED]

Although I really like the beauty products I got in this month's Ipsy Glam Bag, I saw a preview with the new Urban Decay Revolution lipstick and was excited to get one. Unfortunately, I didn't receive one in my bag. Go figure. 

But I did get a bunch of products that I know I'll use. This month's theme is Glamour Academy because school is almost in session and of course we all want to look good. 

For the month of August, I received:
Pixi's Lash Boost Mascara (full size $17)
Chella's Dazzling Dark Brown Eyebrow Color (full size $18)
Pacifica's Alight Mulit-Mineral BB Cream (full size $16, sample $5ish)
Noya's Natual Cherry Lip Balm (full size $4)
Michael Todd's Jojoba Charcoal Facial Scrub (full size $18, sample $6ish)

This month's bag was worth around $50! I'm not 100% sure if I got the full size of the Pixi mascara, but it doesn't have any volume measurements on the product or on the website, so I'm just going to say I did. 

Pixi's Lash Boost Mascara

I generally don't wear mascara ever. I know, shocker. But luckily I was blessed with thick and long lashes, so when I do wear mascara I look like I have doll's lashes. Maybe that's appealing to some people, but not to me. However, I really love the wand on this mascara and it doesn't add too much mascara to my eyelashes. And damn is this stuff waterproof. When I tested it on my arm, it wouldn't budge when I tried to scrub it off, but it did come off with my Almay make up remover pads

Chella's Dazzling Dark Brown Eyebrow Color 

I actually thought this was an eyeliner at first because of the dark color. It's a little dark for my eyebrows, but if I put it on lightly it looks great. I think I'm going to use this as both an eyeliner and an eyebrow pencil because why not? Also, it stays in place really well.

Pacifica's Alight Mulit-Mineral BB Cream

This BB cream is supposed to be a one-color-for-everyone kind of thing, but it's a little dark / orange on me. It has a subtle sparkle, but a lot of subtle sparkle, so I wouldn't put this all over my face. I will however be using this as a highlighter on my cheeks. I also like that this product is 100% vegan, cruelty-free, and made in the U.S.

Noya's Natual Cherry Lip Balm 

Oh man do I love lip balm. I bring one with me wherever I go and keep one on my bedside table at all times. While I love that this is all-natural, preservative-free, kosher, and made in the U.S., the cherry flavor reminds me of medicine. It's not a strong flavor or scent at all, but I don't think I would reach for this lip balm unless I had to. It is very nourishing though, so I'm thinking of trying one of the other flavors, like Classic or Spearmint, since they're $3.99. 

Michael Todd's Jojoba Charcoal Facial Scrub 

I'm super excited about this product. I absolutely love using scrubs on my face to get rid of the dead skin and make my face feel extra soft. Although I look like a zombie wearing it, it smells fresh and citrusy, and it made my skin feel nourished and soft. I will definitely be using this on a weekly basis. 

Don't forget to enter all the giveaways going on right now!
Welcome to the Amazon Giveaway! One lucky reader will win a $150 Amazon Gift Card which you can use to purchase… well, just about anything.
Prize: $150 Amazon Gift Card
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Besides the mandatory blog comment entry, all other entries are optional. Oh My Gosh Beck! is responsible for prize fulfillment. Giveaway ends 9/10 and is open worldwide.
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Which of these products do you use and/or want to try?

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Inspired By: City of Bones + Sponsor: Jewelissima

Set in contemporary NYC, an ordinary girl named Clary Fray  discovers she is a descendant of Shadowhunters, half-angel warriors who protect our world from demons and creatures of the night. After Clary's mother is kidnapped, Clary joins forces with the Shadowhunters and realizes there's more to our world than she realized. 

Despite the beautiful language and intriguing story the book left me disappointed, but I'm still interested in seeing the movie and how it translates into the big screen. 

Clary Fray
Inspired By: City of Bones (Clary Fray)

Clary (Lily Collins) is an teenage girl whose life in New York City is ordinary until she sees something she shouldn't be able to one night while out at a night club with her best friend, Simon. She was raised by her artist mother and Clary herself is an artist, drawing her emotions in a book. 

For a day out in New York City, layer with a blue anorak, red plaid shirt, graphic tee, jeans, pink stud earrings, and pink Converse. Or if you want to look more bad-ass, go for a black lace dress, quilted leather jacket, knee high boots, and a cool clutch.   

Jace Wayland
Inspired By: City of Bones (Jace Wayland)
Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower) is the mysterious Shadowhunter Clary sees kill a demon at the night club. He is loyal and witty, was orphaned at a young age, and is the best Shadowhunter his age. Go for an all-black look with a black t-shirt, moto vest, jeans, and shorts boots. Or for a lighter look, wear a lacey blue button up, distressed jeans, blue sneakers, and gold jewelry. 

Simon Lewis
Inspired By: City of Bones (Simon Lewis)
Simon (Robert Sheehan) has been best friends with Clary for ten years. Kind and loyal Simon has been in love with Clary for years, but she is of course completely oblivious to the fact. Simon also strongly dislikes Jace.  For a professorial look, wear a beige blazer, pink tee, jeans, studded watch, and floral sneakers. Or instead wear a chambray dress, blue cardigan, blue ring, and gray sneakers. 

Isabelle and Alec Lightwood
Inspired By: City of Bones (Isabelle & Alec Lightwood)
Isabelle and Alec Lightwood (Jemima West and Kevin Zegers) are siblings who have grown up learning how to be Shadowhunters with Jace and who have fought alongside him. The siblings are uncertain of Clary and don't like her at first, wary of how it might change their dynamic.

To dress like Isabelle, go for a faux-leather front shirt, black jeans, a layered necklace, and black wedge boots. Or you can dress like Alec by wearing a lace top, moto vest, cargo pants, and lace-panel boots.

Have you read the book?
Will you be seeing the movie?

I would like to introduce you to my new sponsor:
Jewelissima is a new jewelry website based in Florida that offers cute, trendy, and affordable fashion. If you want to try out a new trend but don’t want to break the bank, then definitely checkout Jewelissima. We have colorful statement necklaces, sparkly drop earrings, and cute midi rings.

I (Rachel) was raised in NYC, went to FIT, and worked as a fashion designer for many companies. I worked in California and Italy, love to travel, art, and classical music. I'm fluent in French and Italian. I got six married six years ago and moved to Florida. My husband is from Norway, so we wanted a nicer climate. I worked at Chico's as a textile artist for a few years before my health made it impossible to continue working, so I started Jewelissima. I love jewelry, but clothes are my real passion, so I'll be adding clothes soon. 

Not only is all the jewelry affordable, but you get 20% offyour first order when you sign up on their website, to be used on your entire order, and shipping the U.S. is completely free. Soon we'll be adding a loyalty program where you can earn points to be redeemed on future purchases. We are adding clothing next week so make sure you stop by to see that! 

Twice a week Jewelissima has a Facebook sale, which is every Wednesday and Thursday at 8pm EST. These are limited quantity sale items that are not available on the website. To purchase, just comment "SOLD" on items you want and enter your email address. All item ship free of charge within 24 hours.

Hop on over and check them out!

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

DIY: Embroidered Sneakers + $40 Target Giveaway!

I recently saw this DIY at Free People's blog and wanted to do my own spin on it. I think it's so creative and a great way to update a pair of plain sneakers. Who wants plain sneakers when you can have awesome ones? 

1. All you need are a pair of sneakers, craft or embroidery floss, a needle, and scissors.

2. If you want to plan out where to put your triangles (or circles or lines or whatever you prefer) you could lightly draw outlines with a white pencil or seamstress chalk, but I just winged it. 

3. I started with the back of my low top Converse sneakers. I wanted to go down the whole back with triangles, but the back of the shoe was too thick, so I did only one. Then I decided to take Free People's DIY a step further by putting triangles on either side of my sneakers. 

4. There's really no trick to sewing the triangles; you'll get better at doing them as you go on. Just have fun and know it doesn't have to be perfect, and that the sneakers don't have to be mirror images of each other. 

5. When you're satisfied with how your sneakers look, put them on and take 'em for a spin!

Are you going to try this DIY?

I have a Target giveaway going on right now with The Tiny Heart!!
I know, so many giveaways! 
Brought to you by:

Angela of Head to Toe Chic
Jewel of Style Optimist
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Outfit: Repeats + Giveaway

I wear (most) of clothing I buy so often that you can tell they've been loved: rips, pilling, small stains, and wrinkles. However, since I only take outfit pictures once a week, sometimes you guys only see the new things since I'm excited to wear it and want to show it off. But trust me when I say that the clothing you see on this blog gets worn to death.
Cardigan: Target | Dress: Forever 21 {similar, similar} | Shoes: Kohls {same in silver}
Bag: Old Navy {similar} | Belt: thrifted | Bracelet: gift 

Check out this amazing giveaway from Letters of a Mermaid!

Hello, everyone!

August is exciting because:
1) I go back to school on the 25th
2) The 21st is my birthday 
3) You guys get to enjoy this AWESOME giveaway which some of my favorite sponsors have joined
in to make happen!

First of all, thank you to AMY O jewelry and Country Club Prep for sponsoring this!
I have the most dedicated and awesome Letters from a Mermaid readers, 
and you deserve to be spoiled!

Sara from Sincerely, Sara will also be helping sponsor this giveaway!
Check her out! She's an AWESOME and inspiring creative writer!
One lucky Letters from a Mermaid reader will be receiving $30 to Country Club Prep
and also the beautiful seafoam Hamptons Weekend Bib.  
I am so excited for one of you lucky readers to be pampered by winning this giveaway!

It runs from August 20th to September first, so you have plenty of time 
to enter. Remember to check back daily because a lot of these entries can be done each day!

Good luck, everyone!


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