Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Outfit: #HeartThis ♥

Despite the fact that I'm terrible at owning white t-shirts as stated in my last outfit post, I saw this one by Luciana of Hashtag Heart This and immediately loved it. It's simple but girly because of the font and has a great message of "hearting" (aka supporting) things, people, and places that you love.

Since April is a rainy month (and has not disappointed on that front), I've been getting a lot of use out of this anorak that I got last year. I love those items that you come back to every year because they're just so great. This jacket is one of them. It's a lovely shade of purple and it's useful because the hood is ginormous!

Jacket // Target (old)
Cardigan // old
T-shirt // #HeartThis tee 
Shoes // Betsy Johnson via T.J. Maxx
Bag // Old Navy
Ring // Forever 21
Glasses // Bonlook
Lipstick // Maybelline's Color Whisper in Pink Possibilities

Do you #HeartThis outfit?

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Inspiration: Bright Colors & A Blogger Book Swap: 5 Books Every Young Woman Should Read

Every time spring and summer rolls around, my love of bright colors and neons come back in full force {see this DIY and this one}. As you can see from this outfit, I love adding neon touches and I can't wait to wear my new bright-colored clothing (which you'll see in a new buys post this friday).

Looking at the picture below, you can see that I'm very into bright pink and yellow right now. While my love of pink is unwavering, yellow is a color that I used to despise. Before I thought yellow was boring and unflattering, but now I'm rethinking this vibrant color. It seems bright, cheerful, and warmer hues of the color are super flattering. Are you into bright colors?

I found out who my book swap partner is for the Preview to Summer: A Blogger Book Swap! It's Helen of Eat. Enjoy. Live! So excited to be partnered with her! We've been emailing and getting to know each other a little better! I can't wait to find the perfect book or two to send her, and see what I get in return!

ONE | Divergent by Veronica Roth

I read this book recently thinking that it would just be another dystopian-adventure novel, and while it is that at it's core, the theme of fear is prevalent throughout. It really made me think during and for several days afterwards about what my fears are, how having fears makes you human, and that overcoming them makes you stronger. Not only is a fun read, but it makes you think, too.

TWO | The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Katniss Everdeen is a badass. There's no denying it. She's smart, compassionate, stands up for herself, stands up for who and what she believes, knows how to protect herself, doesn't care what (most) people think, and lets herself get angry. Sometimes it's nice to have a reminder that inside all of us there's a badass chick.

THREE | Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Or really anything by Jane Austen. We all deserve to find love and be loved. It might take some time to get there or to find the right person, but we should never give up on love. And we should never let anyone tell us that we don't deserve a love like Elizabeth and Darcy's, or Emma and Knightley's, or Anne and Wentworth's.

FOUR | The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

I remember finding this book hard to read because of the subject matter. Offred is a handmaid who is serving the Commander and his wife, and has to hope that the Commander makes her pregnant because her value is marked by her fertility. No one should ever feel degraded or belittled like Offred in any circumstance. And sometimes it's better to risk everything in order to be happy and feel free.

FIVE | Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewette

This is a collection of short stories written in 1896 about friendship between women. There's really no plot or climax or crazy, never-would-have-seen-that-coming ending. It's just simple, conversations between close friends. Each character has been changed by their struggles, the weather, and the isolation of the fishing villages that they live in. It's a beautiful series of character sketches that can teach us a lot about friendship and the hardships of life.

What books do you think young women should read?

(via Pinterest)

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Favorite Things

 Maybelline's Color Whisper in Pink Possibilities & Tazo Passion Tea from Starbucks

I love this lipstick if you couldn't tell from me wearing it all the time
and I can't wait to enjoy this tea on ice this summer!

Yummy rice crackers, Bath & Body Works Cranberry Pear Bellini Candle & Blistex Lip Balm

This candle smells soooo good!

A few fun links:

How secure is your password? Mine would take 26 million years to crack!

A great post from Love Maegen about sponsored posts and product placement in blogs.

A thought-provoking post on photography as art from Introvert's Introduction.

I'm having fun Snapchatting with my friend Avra.

New favorite apps: 360 Panorama, PopAGraph, and Typic.

I can't stop listening to Paramore's new album, especially the song Still Into You!

14 Swedish words we should incorporate into English.

On friendship and what a true friend is by Garance Dore. (I'm so lucky to have such awesome friends! Hey there, Jackie, Avra, Brittany, and Rachel!) 

Have a great weekend!


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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Inspired By: April's Best Selling Book Covers

This past month I read The Night Circus, which is about two young magicians who have been trained to duel, but unbeknownst to them the one who wins is the only one who will survive. I absolutely loved this novel; the writing is vivid and moody, the plot is enchanting and unique, and the characters feel so real that you can't help but root for them.
For class, I read Manchild in the Promised Land, which is an autobiography about Claude Brown's experience as a streetwise young criminal in Harlem in the 1940s and 50s. I really enjoyed it because the writing is flows easily because it's like stream of consciousness and he's unapologetic about the crimes he committed.
Now onto this month's best sellers...

Life After Life
Inspired By: Life After Life Cover
Written by Kate Atkinson, this novel is about Ursula Todd, who on a cold night in 1910 is born only to die and be reborn again. Her life is highly unusual because she apparantly has an infinite number of lives and will continue to die repeatedly in various ways.
For an office look, wear a gray and green floral dress, red flower necklace, red belt, gray pumps, and red clutch. Or go casual in a red cardigan, floral crop top, jean shorts, floral ring, and sandals.

Buy the Book: B&N | Amazon

Manuscript Found in Accra
Inspired By: Manuscript Found in Accra Cover
Written by Paulo Coelho, in this novel it is 1099 and Jerusalem awaits the invasion of crusaders. A mysterious man named the Copt has summoned the townspeople of every faith, gender, and age to address their fears. They contemplate defeat, struggle, their enemies, loyalty, solitude, and what the future holds. Now, centuries later, this man's words show what humans have endured throughout time.  
To look like the cover, wear a beige top, cranberry-colored jeans, a red necklace, and black ankle-strap heels. Or for a girly and casual look put on a beige cardigan, striped red dress, beige flats, and cute foldover clutch.

Buy the Book: B&N | Amazon

Inspired By: You Cover
Written by Austin Grossman, when Russell joins Black Arts games, the brainchild of two designers who used to be his closest friends, he reunites with an eccentric crew of nerdy hackers. While searching for the answers about how his friend, Simon, died, Black Arts' next game is threatened by a computer glitch and soon Russell discovers that there's more at stake than the company's bottom line.
To dress nerdy cool, try a striped top, distressed black jeans, 8-bit watch, 8-bit heart patch, notebook laptop case, and black Converse. Or look nerdy chic in a black moto jacket, blue scoop neck top, robot print skirt, 8-bit heart, and spiked flats.

Buy the Book: B&N | Amazon  

Z: A Novel About Zelda Fitzgerald
Inspired By: Z Cover
Written by Therese Ann Fowler, this book tells the story of Zelda Sayre, a beautiful Southern belle, who meets F. Scott Fitzgerald, a young lieutenant, in 1918 at a country dance. She falls for him despite his unsuitability since he's not wealthy, but he insists that his writing will bring them fame and fortune, and after his first novel This Side of Paradise gets published they are married and swept up in a whirlwind of success and celebrity.
With The Great Gatsby film coming out May 10th, dress like you belong in the Jazz Age by wearing a gray hat, black and white striped blazer, white lace dress, pearl-trim sunnies, pearl necklace, and T-strap heels. Or if you want to look like a flapper, don a cloche, sequin-adorned dress, pearl necklace, bow clutch, and nude bow heels.

Buy the Book: B&N | Amazon

What outfits do you like best?
What novels did you read this month?


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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

DIY: Nail Polish Striped iPhone Case

I've had a clear, neon pink iPod Touch case for months, but never wanted to use it because it seemed rather plain and boring. So when I saw this DIY on A Beautiful Mess I knew I had to try it.
It's so easy and took maybe twenty minutes to complete. All you need is a clear case and your favorite nail polish colors!

Just paint the nail polish onto the case in any order your heart desires. It doesn't have to be perfectly straight; in fact, I think it's unperfect-ness adds to the charm. I went over each color two or three times depending on the thickness of the polish.  
After the nail polish stripes dried, I went over the whole case with a thick coat of clear polish.
I love my new sparkly and super colorful case! It's so pretty!
What do you think?
Are you going to make one?

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Outfit: Black & White

I've been really intrigued by the black and white trend lately. On other people it looks wonderfully classic and chic (Sarah of Coming Unstitched and Cee of Coco and Vera pull it off expertly), so of course I wanted to try it out. However, wasn't sure I would be able to do it since I own lots of black, but hardly anything that's white because I'm usually doomed to spill something on myself the moment white fabric touches my body.

While I love the striking constrast of the black lace skirt against the white polka dot top, for spring I had to include some bright neon into this outfit in the form of a pink bag and DIY belt. I couldn't completely forgo color.

Top // old {similar, similar & similar}
Belt // DIY {similar & similar}
Skirt // Forever 21 {similar & similar}
Flats // Payless {similar}
Watch // Forever 21
Ring // Forever 21
Bag // eBay {similar, similar, slurge}
Glasses // Bonlook
Lipstick // Maybelline's Color Whisper in Pink Possibilities

How do you wear black and white?

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Inspiration: Summer Hair

I've kept my brunette locks pretty much the same for years. This summer, I'm thinking of changing it up. Nothing dramatic, just lightening my hair a little. Possibly giving it a brighter, more golden hue for summer. My hair lightens up in the summer sun, but I figure I'd help give it a helping hand.
The only thing is I haven't dyed my hair in forever, so if you have any tips on doing it at home I'd love to hear them!

Are you changing your hair this summer?

(via Pinterest)

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Blogger Book Swap: Three Favorite Books Link-Up

As a part of the Preview to Summer: A Blogger Book Swap, we're all talking about our top three favorite books and linking up on I Believe In Story (if you want to see other people's top three).
ONE | Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
My first love will always be the Harry Potter books because they're what made me want to get into writing in the first place. However, my favorite of all of them is Prisoner of Azkaban; I love the suspense in this one, the betrayal, the time travel, that Hermione punches Malfoy in the face, and that no matter how many times I read it, I want to read it again.
TWO | Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I was never into romance until one day I saw the 2005 Pride & Prejudice movie and then immediately had to read the book. I started it that night and fell in love with these wonderful, strong-willed characters and the romantic story. I think the novel gets better the more I read it because every time I notice something different and get better at deciphering the language.
THREE | The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Granted I just finished reading this, but I absolutely loved it. The story is so unique and captivating, the characters make you want to root for them, the circus setting is just plain awesome, and the writing is vivid and lovely and just as magical as the story. I can't wait to read it again in the future.
What are your top three favorite novels?

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Review: Garnier's B.B. Cream

**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.** 

B.B creams, which stands for beauty balm, have been popping up all over the beauty market. These beauty creams are supposed to rejuvinate your skin and make your complexion look fresh and bright. Garnier's B.B. Cream Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector is no different. This cream has SPF 20, it's oil-free, contains the mineral perlite which absorbs twice its weight in oil and water (super absorbant!), and it's non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic (it won't clog pores or cause breakouts).
In plain English, this B.B. cream renews, brightens, evens, hydrates, and protects your skin! It has a light-weight finish and keeps skin shine-free all day.

I've been using Garnier's B.B. cream in Light / Medium for a few weeks now and I think it's a fantastic product. To give you a little background my skin is super oily, especially in my T-zone (forehead, nose, chin), so I was a little hesitant about it's staying power and the fact that it claimed to keep skin shine-free and matte all day. Well, I've been applying this every morning with a beauty blender and it really is true to it's word -- it kept (most) of my face shine-free all day! I say most because my nose still got oily, but I think that's only because of my glasses.

This product feels super hydrating on my skin and it blends smoothly. I like that it has SPF, so that I don't have to think about it. The cream is very pigmented in the bottle, but it goes on somewhat sheer; it's not as thick as foundation. I think this is a good thing because it's buildable. You can add more cream to places you think need it (for me that's under my eyes, nose, and chin).

It noticably brightened my complexion and made my face less red overall. The cream didn't completely cover my pimples, but it did reduce a lot the redness. In the picture above you can see that the pimple on my cheek is a lot less red.

Even though the cream is hydrating and soft like a moisturizer, it did make the small dry patches on my face more noticable, and I needed to add moisturizer in those areas afterwards. Unfortunately, I have to do this a lot with most foundations or tinted moisturizers.

Overall, I think this is a great B.B. cream if you have combination to oily skin and want to brighten, even, protect, and mattify your skin. It creates a flawless finish and reduces redness. It's perfect for those days when you want a little bit of coverage, or for the summer months when you want a light application and want to keep oil in check. I would give this product an A-!

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.

Do you use B.B. creams?
Which one do you use?

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Inspired By: Amelie

Amelie is a whimsical French film about an imaginative and introverted young woman named Amelie, who is a waitress at CafĂ© des 2 Moulins (French for "Two Windmills") in the Montmartre area of Paris (it's a real cafe by the way). After discovering a box hidden forty years ago with childhood memorabilia inside and bringing it back to it's owner, Amelie decides to devote her life to bringing happiness to those around her. 

I love this film! If you haven't seen it, you have to right now. It's so cute and quirky and every time I watch it puts a smile on my face. 

Inspired By: Amelie

Amelie (Audrey Tautou) is an eccentric waitress, who likes to let her imagination run wild and who gave up on romance after a few disappointing relationships. One day while making the people around her happy, Amelie notices Nino and realizes that he's just as quirky as she is. To dress like Amelie, wear a red dress with bicycles on it, spoon and fork earrings (since she likes cracking the top of creme brulee), red lip gloss, and nude flats. Or instead put on a polka dot top, mint cardigan, yellow jeans, nude wedges, and a tea cup ring. 

Inspired By: Nino (Amelie)
Nino (Mathieu Kassovitz) is a quirky young man who likes collecting the discarded passport photographs of strangers left around and underneath photo booths. He keeps all the pictures he finds in a large photo album, but accidentally drops it in the street one day. Amelie picks it up, discovers his name, and sees all the pictures. Dress like Nino by wearing a brown jacket, orange sheer blouse, distressed jeans, and orange sneakers, or by wearing a polka dot top, brown jeans, and bright cut-out flats. And don't forget your photo album!

The Masked Woman
Inspired By: The Masked Woman (Amelie)
After looking through Nino's photo album, Amelie decides to return it to him, but plays a little game of cat and mouse with him first. She takes mysterious, masked pictures of herself, tears it apart, and leaves it under a photo booth for Nino to find. This little journey brings them closer together. If you want to be a woman of mystery, then try all black -- hat, dress, boots, and long, gold necklace. Or go with a black peter pan collar shirt, jeans, booties, beret, and gold LOVE ring. 

The Traveling Gnome
Inspired By: The Traveling Gnome (Amelie)
After Amelie's mother's death, her father lives an increasingly lonely and isolated life tending to his garden. Amelie wants her father to follow his dream of traveling the world, so she steals the gnome he keeps in the garden and gives it to a flight attendant friend, who takes pictures of the gnome in front of famous landmarks. If you're going on an adventure yourself, then wear a green jacket, green short-sleeve sweater, pale pink jeans, orange beanie, and Converse. Or go for an emerald green shirt, jean shorts, polka dot headband, and sandals.
Have you seen Amelie?
If you have, don't you just love it?

(via 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, )

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