Fashion Friday: Cara Delevingne Inspired Look

30 July 2015

Cara Delevingne

Cara Delevingne is one of biggest names in fashion right now. She somehow fuses proper British staples with playful street style to create a look that is all her own. One of the things I love most about Cara is that she isn't afraid of fashion - she embraces prints and accessories, and she is a master of layering.

For a Cara Delevingne inspired look, I think it's essential to start with a pair of great jeans. Luckily, denim is having a major fashion moment, so it's not to hard to find great jeans that make a statement - either through patchwork or appliqué.

To make a unique pair of jeans more wearable, go with a no-fail white button-down blouse. I also think a fun color-blocked sweater is a great piece for layering on top of a collared shirt.

No Cara Delevingne look would be complete without her signature stylish backpack (Mulberry's Cara Delevingne Bag) and a pair of black of boots. I love these chunky-heeled Hunter boots.

For accessories, go with a statement ear cuff or earrings, and pile on delicate rings. And of course, for makeup, you must go for a fierce brow and black eyeliner. Cara wouldn't have it any other way.

The absolutely essential ingredients to a Cara Delevingne inspired look? A hint of mischief in the eyes and confidence in your step.

Do you love Cara as much as I do? What other celebrities are inspiring your fashion choices at the moment?


July 2015 Favorites

29 July 2015

This July has been a busy but fun month. From family birthdays and parties, to a concert, to cleaning out closets and job searching, July has been a good balance of lazy days and productive days. 

Here are some of my favorite products and bright things from this past month: 
Makeup: Most days I'm either make-up free or wearing minimal coverage. I love Maybelline's Age Rewind Eraser Eye (in Fair) for light concealing under the eye and a little on some redness around my nose. This concealer is very light feeling on the skin, perfect for warm days. 

Skin Care: I've been using Vaseline on my lips day and night to keep them moisturized. The Rosy Lips shade is great smelling and does add a slight pink tint. 

Scent: When it's hot outside, I'm hesitant to wear heavy scents or lotions that are sticky feeling. The Bath and Body Works Fragrance Mists are the perfect solution: each one is a subtle scent and the mist is refreshing and not too heavy. I've been enjoying the Sun scent in particular, but I think the product itself is great no matter which scent you buy. 

TV/Movies: This month I've been watching Friends and Felicity - they both make me want to move to New York and wear oversized khakis! If, like me, you love late 90s/early 2000s fashion and romantic shows, you'd probably love both of these shows. 

Music: Train's new album Bulletproof Picasso was on repeat in my house all this month. I went to their concert this past weekend with family and it was so fun to see them perform live. Train's music is so upbeat and summery - perfect for the outdoor venue we went to, listening under the stars in the summer breeze. 

Food: Tillamook Malted Moo Shake Ice Cream. It's delicious. If you like Whoppers you've got to try this ice cream. 

Event: I can't help it - I love following what's up with my favorite royal families. From Princess Charlotte's christening to the marriage of Pierre Casiraghi to Beatrice Borromeo there was a good deal of royal fashion and fun to keep up with this month. 

What were your favorite things this July? The summer months seem to fly by, so it's fun to look back over the bright things. 


20 Creative Ways to Stay Inspired, Motivated, and Productive

26 July 2015

Whether you're facing a full week of days in the office, an at-home organization project, or errands that you've been putting off, here are twenty creative ways to stay inspired, motivated, and productive:
  1. Go on Pinterest. If you don't have an account, you're missing out. Pinterest is a gold mine of DIY projects, recipes, inspirational images, and generally cute stuff.
  2. Read. Taking a break from your project will clear your head and allow you to approach it with a fresh mindset. You might also be inspired by an image or quote you find in the text.
  3. Create an energetic playlist and do a little dance. Find your "happy songs" and put them all in one place.
  4. Stare out the window or go for a walk. Nature and people watching are sure to give you some great ideas for your project, and the fresh air will help you de-stress.
  5. Pull out all those old magazines. Trends may change and things may look outdated, but you might find some inspiration in the pages of months past.
  6. Get organized. Sometimes, you need to add an extra step in before you tackle a project. Listing out all the tasks that you need to accomplish will help you feel like the project is more manageable. Plus, there is no greater feeling than checking off check boxes. 
  7. Take a bath. There's something about warm water and bubbles that allows you to focus more intently on your thoughts and ideas. Bring in a notebook for when inspiration strikes.
  8. Light a candle. It's crazy how something so small can make such a big difference, but the simple act of lighting a candle signifies that you will stay in one place until the project gets done. Plus, delicious smells. 
  9. Dress up. I don't mean a dress and heels. When you're stuck at home working on a project, it can feel good to spend sometime making yourself feel ready for the day by showing, dressing, and getting your hair out of your face. 
  10. Take time to organize your space. A cluttered workspace can be distracting and overwhelming. Spend a few minutes tidying up to keep focused on the task at hand.
  11. Eat. Drink. Snack. For difficult projects, treat yourself to your favorite drinks and snacks. Anything to keep yourself on track!
  12. Turn off your phone and computer until you need it. Sometimes pen and paper is the best way to get all your thoughts out. Plus, you can easily organize your ideas visually.
  13. Exercise. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but giving a workout your all can make you feel like you can accomplish anything.
  14. Chat with a friend and share what you're struggling with. Maybe all you need is to explain why you're uninspired or unmotivated, and you'll find it.
  15. Take a minute to reevaluate. Remind yourself why you're doing the project in the first place.
  16. Find a new scene. Try working at the library, a coffeeshop, or a park. 
  17. Try to find something exciting about the project. Whether it's an opportunity to use those colored pens you love, or to make a cute bookmark, or to learn something new, there's always a more positive way you can frame it.
  18. Write out your feelings. Maybe there's an underlying issue or something else that's distracting you.
  19. Search for quotes about motivation and success and write them on sticky notes. Place them where you'll see them.
  20. Remind yourself that you can do it. Because you can!
How do you stay inspired, motivated, and productive?


Fashion Friday: How To Style A Denim Jacket

24 July 2015

How To Style Denim Jackets

Today's #fashionfriday post is all about how I would style a denim jacket in the summer. I recently received a hand-me-down Gap denim jacket from my mom, and I was trying to figure out what I could pair it with. Denim jackets tend to be a little stiff, so I think they look best when layered over soft fabrics that flow and aren't form fitted. I'm also a big fan of denim-on-denim, as long as the two shades are noticeably different.

In this set, I've paired a denim jacket with white jeans and a striped top for a casual day look, and with a color-blocked dress for a bright night look. I love how denim jackets automatically add an effortless vibe to any outfit - whether it's jeans and a t-shirt or a pretty shift dress. And if you really want to embrace the effortless look, roll up the sleeves and leave the buttons undone.

I love all things denim, so I'm excited about the new possibilities that a denim jacket creates in my wardrobe!

How do you like to wear your denim jacket?


5 Under $5 - Drugstore Makeup

22 July 2015

When it comes to makeup, I'm all about affordable drugstore products. I only own a handful of high-end products because I believe - with a little bit of research and trial-and-error - you can find great products at the drugstore.

Each of the products mentioned in this post are under $5, and yet I've found that each is comparable to high end products. 

Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder in 001 Transparent - From what I can tell, this product is one of the most-used setting powders in the beauty industry. Just a light dusting with this powder will set your makeup and take away excess shine. You can build it up to a truly matte finish, but I prefer to keep my skin dewy and apply just a light layer to the places that need it most - the nose, under-eye, and forehead.

NYX Ultra Pearl Mania Loose Pearl Eye Shadow - These loose pigments are amazing quality for the price. Available in many shades (all pearl finishes), these pigments are great basics to have in your collection. They're perfect for dusting all over the lid for a simple and shimmery eye shadow look.

NYC Color Wheel Mosaic Face Powder in 723A Pink Cheek Glow -  This blush is a beautiful pink shade that is perfect for all seasons. Compared to high-blushes, this one might not be as pigmented, but I actually think that's good in a blush. I can lightly brush it on for a subtle tint, or I can build it up for a cheery pop of pink. 

Rimmel London Scandaleyes Eye Shadow Paint in Chestnut Taupe - This eyeshadow is the most beautiful shimmery taupe shade. Called a "paint", this product comes in a tube with a lip-gloss like applicator. You just brush it on the eye and blend, and it sets to a rich, creamy finish. 

Wet n Wild Color Icon Bronzer in 739 Ticket to Brazil - All my fellow pale-skinned ladies listen up: this bronzer is the product you've been waiting for. Unlike other drugstore bronzers that come in one shade that is often too dark, this bronzer is a light shade that's perfect for subtle bronzing on pale skin. Just be aware that it smells like sunscreen due to its SPF of 15. I like the smell, but I know not everyone does.

What are your favorite drugstore products under five dollars? 


Nail Polish Organization & Essentials

20 July 2015

Today's post is all about nail polish - how I organize my collection, and what I think are the essentials for a pretty at-home manicure. I've never been particularly obsessed with nail polish, but I do like to have painted nails.  

I like to keep everything I need in a shower caddy - it's portable and it keeps everything organized and easy to find. I like being able to take everything with me to the tv room or outside, or wherever I want to paint my nails. Also, I store the caddy in my closet to save space in my dressing table. The only negative is that it collects quite a bit of dust. But luckily, everything is easy to clean with a damp cloth.

My at-home manicure essentials:
  1. Nail Polish Remover - an essential! I like to keep this medium-sized bottle in my caddy and refill it from a larger bottle I keep in the bathroom. I use the Target brand Strengthening Nail Polish Remover. Underneath the bottle, I keep a few cotton pads.
  2. Nail Files & Cuticle Pushers - pretty self explanatory! 
  3. Nail Clippers, Toe Separaters, and Cuticle Creme - again, these tools kind of explain themselves! 
  4. Nail Polish - some of my favorite brands are Wet & Wild, Revlon, and Sally Hansen.
  5. Manicure Ideas - I've pulled these little booklets out of magazines. They're great for inspiration when you're feeling bored with your polishes. 
And that's it! This organizing solution has worked for me for years. It's convenient to have everything in one place, and to have everything visible. 

How do you store/organize your nail polish collection? What are your manicure essentials?


Fashion Friday: How to Style Culottes

17 July 2015

Current Trend: Culottes

Current Trend: Culottes by haleympettit featuring a crop tank top

It's a skirt! It's pants! No... It's culottes! Culottes are one of my favorite current trends - they're sophisticated, but they're also incredibly comfortable. The style of a skirt, but with the ease of a pair of pants. 

With their signature wide leg that hits mid-calf, culottes can be a little tricky to style - you don't want too much volume anywhere else. But the great news is that culottes can work for many body types. With a high waist, culottes are great for elongating the legs and emphasizing the waist. 

Here are some tips for how to wear culottes this summer:

  1. Choose a pair that's black, navy, or white. They go with basically anything, and will slim more than a printed or bright colored pair.
  2. Choose a top that will further emphasize the waist - either a fitted crop, a tie-front blouse, or something flowy you can tuck in. You want the waist to always be defined.
  3. Pair with shoes that will further elongate the leg - like a heeled sandal - or that will provide fun contrast - like a tennis shoe. Flats or sandals will work too, depending on where the culottes hit your leg.
If you're into the culotte trend, but aren't sure if it's for you, I hope this post encourages you to rock a pair this season. I like to think of trends as inspiration - an ever changing book of new ideas for how to dress. Trends aren't rules that have to be followed. So have fun with them!

Will you be rocking a pair of culottes this season? What are your favorite current trends?


Why I Started A Blog

14 July 2015

After blogging for a few months, I figure it is time I share why I started this blog. The simple answer is: I love reading blogs. I could spend hours scrolling through my Bloglovin' feed, checking out the latest posts about beauty, fashion, health, design, career tips, and travel. More than my particular interest in any of these topics, is my love for writing and art. Blogging is a great platform for people who love to combine well-written text with beautiful images.

When I graduated from college, I finally started thinking seriously about creating my own blog. More than anything, it gave me the opportunity of having a project - but one that was for my own enjoyment, not for a grade! During school I spent a lot of time writing (which I loved!), but I wanted to do something that would let me also express my love for art, design, and photography. And even though my photography skills are seriously lacking, I like the challenge of finding new compositions and editing techniques to keep things exciting.

This blog may seem a bit all over the place in terms of content, but everything I post is about something I enjoy - whether it be a makeup look, an organizing project, or a book review. It's an honest look into the bright things of my life, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.


My Favorite Summer Lip Colors

08 July 2015

summer lip colors

In the summer months, I love to pull out my bright lipsticks. From almost-neon corals to rich berry shades, I love the simplicity and statement of a bright lip.

The Revlon Colorburst Balm Stains are a great option for summer days because they feel like a balm but fade to a stain. If you're like me, you don't like to reapply your lipstick multiple times throughout the day. These Balm Stains are perfect for days when you want to throw on a bright pop of color and then not think too much about it. They fade to a subtle stain that isn't streaky or patchy. The shade Rendezvous is a bright coral-orange shade, and Lovesick is a gorgeous pink-purple, both great shades for adding a pop of color to an otherwise neutral makeup look or outfit.

The Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Sweet Tart is also a great product for summer. It is very moisturizing, and adds a sheer wash of color to the lips. Sweet Tart is a peppy pink shade that can be layered and built up to a richer, hot pink color.

E.l.f.'s Lip Balm in Berry is a lovely shade for summer nights. It can be built up to a rich berry tone, or lightly applied for a natural your-lips-but-better shade. It also smells amazing - I can't quite describe it, but it's somewhere between coconut and vanilla. Yum!

What are your favorite summer lip colors? Or do you prefer to go natural?


My Favorite Beach Reads

05 July 2015

There's something about the beach that just calls for a fun, romantic book. Whether you're lounging in the sun and sipping on a cool drink, or curled up in towels behind a wind screen, a good book is a necessity. These are just a few books that I think would be great beach reads:

This book has everything you'd want from a beach read: romance, humor, heart, and a good deal of self discovery. This book is the first in the series about Belly and her relationship with Conrad and Jeremy - two very different brothers. You can probably guess that there's a bit of a love triangle, but Jenny Han also writes beautifully about family relationships and coming of age. Also, the setting is a seaside town, so the beach parties and sunrises will fit right in with your own surroundings.

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
This book is a beautiful story of - you guessed it - second chances. Set in a lakeside town, this book has all the charm of a small town, plus all the inevitable drama. One thing I love about this book is that it is partly told through flashback, as the main character relives her past summers. Although there is a sad element to this book, Morgan Matson also draws out the hope and sense of belonging that comes from family relationships and close friendships.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
This book is for beach readers looking for something with a little drama and mystery - it had my jaw open in shock! This book also takes place in a small beach community, and explores the relationships between families and friends. Along with the engrossing plot, the characters are richly portrayed and the language is beautiful. If you love the YA genre but want something a little different,  I think you'll love this suspenseful read.

Now, this book doesn't exactly take place at a beach, or during the summer, but it will have you laughing out loud. This is the first in the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series, a series I read over one summer and thoroughly enjoyed. Georgia Nicolson is a hilarious teen who never fails to get herself into embarrassing situations. Written in a diary format, these books are perfect for traveling and beach reading because there are many places to stop, and easy places to pick it back up. If you love anything British and everything girly, you'll love this series. 

What are your favorite beach reads? Are there any series you can't put down?


*cover images are from each publisher's website, linked to the title

Ikea Magazine Storage

02 July 2015

 Anyone who knows me well can tell you that I have a bit of an obsession with magazines. I just love them! I love the essays, the photos, the illustration, the typography, the page design, the features... the list goes on! I also have a bit of a problem - I can't bear to throw them away! Not right now anyway. So I had to come up with a storage solution that helped to conceal some of my magazine boxes and shield some dust.

I went into Ikea on a mission: I knew I wanted three of their cheap Lack Tables. These side tables sell for $8-$10 so they're definitely not the highest quality furniture out there. But they work for me! I chose the faux-birch effect because I already have a lot of white furniture in my room, and I knew I would be placing them by my white dressing table and underneath a mounted white shelf.

I had already purchased the white & birch crates from Target to hold my records, so I love the way everything ties together. The tables don't hold very much weight - I think up to 50lbs or so - so I've kept the decor light: I placed my record player on one, and on another I've put a crate with library books and a vase of flowers.

I love the way that these small tables took an empty space and turned it into a functional place. As you can see, I can fit two rows of magazine boxes underneath! (Yes. That's how many magazines I've collected. Guilty.) It was a quick & inexpensive solution that I am continuing to enjoy as I switch up the decor.

How do you store/organize your magazines? Or do you tear out your favorite pages?