Friday, May 30, 2014

Favorite Things

{Express structured sweater (via giveaway), Yellow Box sandals, Olive Natural lip balm
& purple chevron tumbler (via gift swap)}

I love this gray structured sweater (see it worn here and here) because it's the perfect thing to throw on when I want to class up an ordinary outfit for work. Easy peasy. I don't wear these sandals to work, but these are great to wear on the weekends (see them worn here). 

I'll review this Nivea firming lotion later when I review all of my Influenster Spring VoxBox products, but I just want to say that this lotion smells wonderful. I'm not sure how to describe the scent, but it's subtle and nice. Also, the Clean & Clear Morning Burst moisturizer smells awesome (kind of fruity and fresh) and it's perfect for those with oily skin like me because it's a gel and oil-free. 

This purple tumbler is my new lifesaver! It holds 22 oz. of water and since it has a straw, I find it so easy to get my daily intake of water. I find myself drinking so much water nowadays. 

This video on gender marketing is funny and informative!

A few fun links:

♥ Life is too short to...

♥ The Power of Kindness. This is a great article / animated video on remembering to be kind and how failures of kindness can be our biggest regrets. 

♥ 9 ways to keep creativity flowing!

♥ 30 things to start doing for yourself.

♥ "Frozen" director's inspiring advice for grads.

♥ 10 tips for job hunting. (Good luck!)

♥ I found this etiquette map so interesting!

♥ Morgan Freeman on helium = hilarious!

♥ Sponsor love: 

What were your favorites this month?

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Inspired By: May's Best Selling Books

I read two books this past month that I really enjoyed! The first is Dorothy Must Die, which about a young woman named Amy who gets swept via tornado to Oz. There she learns that Oz is not how she thought it would be because Dorothy has taken over, and it's Amy's job to kill her. 

The second book is Adulting: How to Become a Grown Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps. Now that I'm an adult, I figured I should read a book on how to become one, and this book is great! It's a good mix of informative and funny. 

All the Light We Cannot See
All the Light We Cannot See
Written by Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See is about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths cross in occupied France during World War II. Marie Laure flees with her father to Saint-Malo when the Germans occupy Paris. Meanwhile, Werner joins Hitler Youth because of his talent for building radios and he becomes a tracker of the Resistance, and eventually meets Marie Laure. 

Go for a 1940s schoolgirl-ish look by wearing a sky blue blouse, a blue pleated skirt, a compass necklace, black loafers, and stacked rings. Or wear a dove gray bow dress, blue earrings, gray "gem" ring, and white heeled sandals. 

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

The Art of Neil Gaiman
The Art of Neil Gaiman
Written by Hayley Campbell, this book is about the famous novelist, comic writer, scriptwriter, and poet Neil Gaiman. The Art of Neil Gaiman is the first book to tell the full story of his creative life with peeks into his life through never-before-seen manuscripts, notes, drawings, and photographs. 

Since Gaiman himself wears lots of black and his stories tend to be dark, I went with all-black outfits. Wear a leather-piping gray jacket, a black fit and flare dress, quote ring, and black booties. Or for a professional look, go for a sheer polka dot top, black slacks, sunburst necklace, and black wedges. 

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

Written by Sophia Amoruso, #GIRLBOSS is about Sophie Amoruso's journey from petty thievery to founder, CEO, and creative director of Nasty Gal, the $100 million dollar store. In her book, she chronicles her life while also showing women how to channel their passion and hard work, and how to keep their insecurities from getting in the way. 

Wear this fun party or date night look: a v-neck black dress, a pink floral necklace, a Fearless ring, coral-pink heels, and pink lipstick. Or emulate Sophia on the cover by wearing a tight black dress, a black floral necklace, a gold and black watch, and burgundy booties. 

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

The One 
The One
Written by Kiera Cass, The One is the third and last in The Selection series about America Singer, the ordinary girl who was picked to enter the competition to be the next princess of Illea. The whole time she's struggled between her first love, Aspen, and her growing attraction to Prince Maxon, but now she's made her choice and she's ready to fight for it. 

Based on the cover, wear a pretty white lace dress, a pink ring, a silver rhinestone necklace, and heeled gold and nude sandals. Or instead go a little more casual in a white polka dot dress, a nude bow belt, clear drop earrings, a floral bracelet, and black and nude sandals. 

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

Will you be reading any of these?
Have you read these books?

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My Summer Reading List

I didn't end up reading all of the books on my winter reading list (I read four, only got halfway through one before giving up, and still want to read the other three), but I figured I would show you want I really want to read this summer while I'm on my lunch break, chilling at the pool, or relaxing before going to bed. 

Also, so far I've read 15 books this year! I'm almost halfway through my goal of reading 32 books!

The books I want to read this summer:
 Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo
 Hollow City (Miss Peregine's Peculiar Children #2) by Ransom Riggs
 Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman
 The Riverman by Aaron Starmer
 The School for Good and Evil 2: A World Without Princes by Soman Chainani
 Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff
 Romance is my Day Job by Patience Bloom
 Add More ~ing to Your Life by Gabrielle Bernstein

P.S. -- Friend me on Goodreads!

Any book recommendations for me?
What have you read recently?

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Outfit: Sometimes Simple Is Best

Sometimes simple is best. Especially when you have to pick an outfit for work and you still feel like you're asleep and you can't have coffee to wake up because it gives you a stomach ache and blue with gray is a nice color combo. So this is what I came up with for work one day. It's not one of my favorite outfits ever, but it's put together enough and still cute. 

And if you can't tell, I also got a haircut. I only wanted two inches cut off so I could still braid my hair when it got hot, but the guy cutting my hair apparently doesn't know that wavy hair bounces back up after it dries, so he ended up snipping off like four inches. Luckily, I like to see the best in any situation, so at least it's a good length for summer. 
Top: Express (via giveaway) (it's on sale!) | Skirt: American Apparel | Booties: DSW
Lipstick: Revlon Balm Stain in Cherish | Glasses: Bonlook

What do you wear when you're too tired to think?

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Life Lately {Work, Ladurée & Bloggers} + A $250 Giveaway!

May has been a crazy good month! I got into the swing of a new job, attended fun work events, beautiful flowers started blooming, the weather warmed up, and I got to know some lovely bloggers at Ladurée while eating French macarons. 
(Nicolette, me, Meagan, Alexandra, Alex)
(Simone, Nicolette, me, Alexandra, Monica)
(All of our stylish shoes!) (Last three pictures by Monica)

Brought donuts to work on my first day || Pretty Julep nail polish || Smoothies with my mom
Beautiful flowers blooming near my apartment
At work || New sandals from Yellow Box || We had tacos and margaritas at work!
Read Adulting and I loved it ||  What I wore to work || Ate macarons at Ladurée 
Macarons are coming home with me! || Me at Ladurée || Pretty macarons
Got a signed book and wine from a work event || With my dog || Influenster Spring VoxBox

It was wonderful meeting more New York and New Jersey bloggers! Monica, who put this all together, and Alex, who has her own beauty line, are the two bloggers I've met before, and they're the sweetest people. Monica even made us all personalized mini mason jars (which you can see at the bottom of this post)! I love mine so much! 

The new bloggers I met are Nicolette, who is so friendly and cute, Simone, who has the fiercest style and she's so nice, Meagan, a fashion illustrator who oozes cool, and Alexandra, a stylish Texas girl who makes her own scarves. It was great chatting with them about blogging and life, and I wish I could've talked to all of them more to get to know them better. 

We're planning to meet up again for a picnic in Central Park and I'm looking forward to it!

♥ ♥ 

Enter to win a $250 Loft gift card!
In celebration of Marissa of The Modern Austen's two year blogiversary, 
a whole bunch of bloggers have teamed up to giveaway $250 to Loft! 
You won't want to miss this! 

The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. only. 
What wonderful things happened to you in May?

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Marion Claire Stationery

I think it's amazing what you can accomplish when you have a dream and the drive to fulfill it! We all have goals we want to achieve in our lifetimes, so it's wonderful when you see someone you're close to, an acquaintance, or even a complete stranger work hard to make that dream come true. 

Maybe your dream is a work-in-progress like me and my novel, but doesn't mean you can't help someone else's become a reality. That's one of the reasons I love Kickstarter and Indiegogo. You can help fund someone to make them that much closer to their ultimate goal. 

My friend Chelsea of Chels & The City has always dreamed of having her own stationery business, and I think it's amazing that she's being proactive and chasing her dream!
Hers what Chelsea told me about why she's always wanted her own stationery business:
For as long as I can remember, I have loved creating greeting cards and wanted to start my own business. When my grandma died in 2003, it was the first time I realized that some greeting cards just miss the mark. While I know my family appreciated all of the support from friends, I was a teenager at the time and just wanted one of those cards to tell it like it is.  
That's when I decided one day I'd be the designer of cards that give it to you straight. May 1, 2014 was that day. I launched Marion Claire Stationery, named after and inspired by my grandmothers, Marion Martin and Patricia Claire Oliver, in hopes of making this life-long dream come true and as a way to honor my grandmothers. I like to think that my cards are the perfect blend of heart and sass, which are two of the most memorable qualities both of these, greatly missed, women had. Through this business, I hope I can continue to create cards with heart and sass that meet the needs of my customers. Hopefully my cards will help to create memories and cherish milestones for those who buy and receive them.  
I'm a firm believer that it doesn't take much to make someone's day and sending a greeting card is the perfect and easiest way to do so. I hope that you'll join me in this journey by supporting my indiegogo campaign so that I can start producing these cards. However, if you cannot support finically, I hope that you will share my story and link to Marion Claire's campaign page. I truly appreciate every bit of support and look forward to going on this journey with you.
Help Chelsea make her dream come true by contributing to her Indiegogo campaign! If you contribute $10 or more, she'll send you a card on your next birthday! So sweet, right? You can also help by spreading the word about her new business and Indiegogo campaign!

What's one lifelong dream you would love to accomplish?

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Inspired By: Maleficent

If you didn't know already, I'm a huge Disney fan! I loved watching the movies growing up (Aladdin, Cinderella, Mulan) and I still watch them whenever a new one comes out (like Tangled or Frozen). When I heard that Disney was releasing a movie from the point of view of Sleeping Beauty's villain, Maleficent, I knew it was something I had to see. It's a dark, twisted take on a tale that we all know, and I can't wait to get my hands on my ticket!

The film comes out on Friday, May 30th.


Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) has been called one of the most sinister Disney villains and for good reason (who places a curse on an innocent baby?), but in this film we get to see how and why Maleficent became the evil woman we all know. As the saying goes, "Evil isn't born. It's made." Someone close to her betrayed her, thereby turning her pure heart cold. 

For a bit of sex appeal, wear a little black cropped sweater, a textured black dress, a feather ear cuff, and tall dark olive-colored wedges. Go for a rock-meets-glam look by wearing a spiked headband (like Maleficent's horns), a black dress with ruffles at the bottom, red lipstick, and strappy black heels. 

Aurora (Elle Fanning) is the young princess who is cursed by Maleficent as a baby to one day prick her finger on a spindle and fall into a deep sleep, but she's taken away from the palace to live with three fairies, who call her Briar Rose. She's raised to be a kind young woman, who has a bond with the animals in the forest, but Maleficent has other plans for her. 

For a modern, casual look, wear an olive cardigan, light blue maxi dress, green belt, gold cuff, and strappy pointed flats. Or try something a little more dressed up: a sky blue high-low dress, blue necklace, brown belt, stone cuff, rose ring, and emerald bow wedges. 

The fairies (though in the new movie they're pixies) are friends of the King and Queen. After Maleficent curses Princess Aurora, the baby is sent to live with the three fairies, Knotgrass (Imelda Staunton), Thistlewit (Juno Temple), and Flittle (Lesley Manville) until after her sixteenth birthday, which is when they know she'll be save. 

Wear this fun and feminine outfit: a floral headband, a yellow flower necklace, a lace and mint green dress, and nude bow heels. For a fairy-like look, put on a silver beaded headband, a blue floral necklace, a white lace dress, a silver cuff, and blue gladiator sandals. 

Will you be seeing Maleficent
Did you love Sleeping Beauty growing up too?

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Ipsy Glam Bag {May 2014} + Sponsor: Bookworms in Dresses

My May Ipsy Glam Bag arrived! This month's theme is Fresh Picks, so all of the products are all-natural and most of them are 100% vegan. Anyway, how cute is the bag? It has a natural look and feel to it, and has cute green leaves all over the front. 

What I got in this month's bag:
♥ EVA NYC's Therapy Session Hair Mask (full size $12)
♥ Hang Ten's Classic Sport SPF 50 (full size $13, sample $3)
♥ Pacifica's Mineral Eye Shadow Duo in #2 (Moonbeam & Unicorn) (duos not sold)
♥ Derma E's Microdermabrasion Scrub (full size $32, sample $16)
♥ Olive Natural Beauty's The Olive Lip Balm in Refreshing Rosemary (full size $6)

This bag was worth about $37!

Eva NYC's Therapy Session Hair Mask

This hair mask is amazing! I'm sold! It smells sweet and kind of nutty, and it contains keravis protein and argan oil, which deeply conditions, repairs, and strengthens. I've used plenty of hair masks and conditioners that claim to do all sorts of miraculous things, but then leave my hair soft but still frizzy. This Eva NYC mask felt silky on my hair when it was on in the shower, and even after I washed it off my hair felt luxurious and frizz-free! I'll definitely be buying this! I bought a 500 mL container of it since I got a 65% off code from Ipsy!

Hang Ten's Classic Sport SPF 50

Am I the only one who loves the smell of sunscreen? It just smells so good! Anyway, this natural sunscreen has UVA/UVB protection, SPF 50, it's water resistant for 80 minutes, and it's made in the U.S. It's not greasy and doesn't have a synthetic fragrance, but somehow still wonderful. 

Pacifica's Mineral Eye Shadow Duo in #2 (Moonbeam & Unicorn)

I like that this eye shadow is 10% vegan and cruelty-free, and that a portion of the proceeds supports clean water, but it's not the most amazing eye shadows in the world. The purple is a nice dusty, blue-toned color, and the white is a lovely opalescent white with gold shimmer. They're very pretty, but they're not super pigmented. 

Derma E's Microdermabrasion Scrub

This scrub pretty much feels exactly the same as a product I got in last month's bag, the Dr. Brandt exfoliant. They both are a white cream exfoliant that feels like tiny beads of sand on my skin, they both smell like lemon, and they both exfoliate very well. The Derma E, however, is much cheaper if you're looking for a good scrub. 

Olive Natural Beauty's The Olive Lip Balm

This is my favorite product of the bunch! I love trying new lip balms and this one didn't disappoint. I like that it has certified organic ingredients, that it's made in the U.S., and has rosemary in it. It really is nourishing and doesn't feel greasy or too thick. It also smells like rosemary, which is a huge plus. It's pricey for a lip balm ($6), but I would definitely get it again as a mini splurge item.

♥ ♥ 
Let me reintroduce you to a friend of mine, Jess of Bookworms in Dresses!
Hello! I'm Jess from Bookworms in Dresses! I tend to blog about books that I'm reading, places I'm traveling or have traveled, and sometimes clothes, cooking, and crafts. I guess you could consider me to be a lifestyle blog! I love hearing about books that people are reading, so feel free to start a conversation with me! 

Jess makes the most amazing sketches and illustations! 
You can also get a custom mini you!

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Outfit: Understated with Yellow Box

Can you ever have enough sandals? I say no. During the summer months, I wear my sandals to death, so I was happy to join Yellow Box's blogger program (Thanks Monica for helping out with this!) and receive a pair of sandals. I wanted a pair that was understated but interesting, and I think these sandals are just that -- the front is metallic, the middle is white snake print, and the back has metallic studs. Great everyday sandals that are very comfortable.

I may not be a grad student anymore but that doesn't mean I want to spend a fortune on shoes, and I know you guys don't want to either, so I'm pleased to say that Yellow Box's shoes are very reasonably priced, so you don't have go broke looking good. Plus, they're having some great sales right now!

I also have to mention this beautiful necklace. If you remember from my Mother's Day post, I mentioned the gift I got for my mom from Corina's shop. I got my mom a gold-tipped prism necklace and got a silver-edged one for me. This necklace is so unique and lightweight and I can't stop wearing it. Corina is working on her new collection, and I can't wait to see what she creates. 

P.S. -- Want to join their blogger program? Sign up here!

Dress: Target | Belt: thrifted | Sandals: ℅ Yellow Box
Necklace: Cocorrina | Bag: Target | Nail Polish: Zoya's Giovanna

**I received sandals from Yellow Box for free. All opinions are my own.**
What type of sandals do you like?

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