Flat Black Ankle Boots

I had a gift card to Barney’s and was almost positive I’d redeem it for work tops, which I desperately need (post on this coming tomorrow). I ultimately ended up purchasing my new favorite shoes of all time.

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Barneys New York CO-OP Round Toe Slip-On Shoe Boot $350

They are comfortable enough to run around in all day and can easily be worn with practically any outfit you put together – dress pants, jeans, dresses, etc. Expect me to be wearing these the next time you see me.

Less expensive options:

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Reiss Lara Black Flat Suede Ankle Boots $285

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See by Chloe Mini Flat Pixie Boots $355.49 $167.76

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Steve Madden ‘Prizzze’ Boot $99.95

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Chinese Laundry Britt Boots $89 $49.99

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Pacsun Qupid Tinsley Booties $39.50

Splurging On Sheets

I have used my childhood sheets ever since I moved to L.A. five and a half years ago. I’m definitely at the stage of my life where I can justify a worth while purchase every now and then because I know I’ll take care of them and make them last… unlike when I moved to L.A., where priorities were staying out until 3 a.m. and learning the verses to every top 40 song on the radio.

I still listen to 102.7 with Ryan Seacrest, but the days of crashing on my best friend’s couch have unfortunately come to an end.

Jumping to the point, these sheets are amazing (I have them in Mercury):

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Macy’s Hotel Collection Bedding, 800 Thread Count Egyptian Cotton Sheets $220 Fitted Sheet, $220 Flat Sheet, $120 Pillowcases

I don’t like Flat Sheets, so went with this blanket instead, which I LOVE (in white):

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Macy’s Hotel Collection Cotton Blanket $135 $80.99 (on sale)

*All prices for Queen size bedding

Nespresso: Delonghi Lattissima Plus

I sometimes wonder where my love of coffee came from. I certainly wanted it before I had ever tasted it, probably because I thought it looked so chic when my Mom would wake up early and sip from an oversized mug every morning. My Dad used to tell me I couldn’t have it until I was 16, mainly because it “stunts your growth”, which was an argument that didn’t go far, as he was talking to a thirteen year old who was the tallest in her class… and taller than most boys her age, as well as boys three years older than her. In fact, stunting my growth sounded like the exact thing I needed.

Long story short, on my sixteenth birthday, my Dad and I woke up early to enjoy a Starbucks drink of my choice before school. He drove me there, like he did everyday, beaming with excitement. We walked in the door and the barista blurted out, “Morning, Taylor! Want the regular?”. My Dad is still recuperating from the disappointment I caused him that day.

Flash forward to this Christmas, when I received the coveted Nespresso Delonghi Lattissima Plus. Hands down – changed my life. Not only in the improving my morning routine kind of way, but also in the ‘Oh My God – I’m on my fifth latte and can’t stop’ kinda situation. I’m learning to control it. In any case, it’s a great buy.

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Nespresso Delonghi Lattissima Plus $399.95

I’ve been enjoying coffee’s, latte’s and espresso’s with these clear mugs:

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Crate & Barrel Cafe Mug $3.95

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Crate & Barrel 12 oz. Tumbler $9.95

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Crate & Barrel Espresso Cup $7.50

Influenster’s Holiday VoxBox

For the past month, I’ve been reviewing products sent to me from Influenster, a site anyone can join in order to be considered for their seasonal “VoxBox” based on your social presence. I was excited to be included in their Holiday giveaway and would definitely encourage anyone interested to give it a try – it can’t hurt!  Although, you should know that in order to be considered for any future boxes, there are thing (fun things) you have to do in order to stay qualified. I like these because most of the beauty subscriptions I get are limiting in the sense that they only work with certain vendors and they are obviously mostly hair/skin products, whereas Influenster works with a lot of lifestyle brands as well. Check out my reviews below!

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HOLIDAY VOX BOX:

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NYC New York Liquid Color Lipshine $2.49

I received this sample in ‘Nude York City’, a fairly deep neutral color that borderlines on brown.  The shade wasn’t right for me and the smell brought me back to my sixth grade obsession with lip smackers, but for $2.49, it’s totally worth stocking up on some bolder colors for lipstick topcoat.  I like ‘Fashion Avenue Fuchsia’ and ‘Prospect Pink’.

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Kiss Nail Dress $6.99

*Use code voxboxhol for 50% off and free shipping

I love an accent nail and there’s no easier way to get it than using a nail sticker.  I got the leopard pattern, but love some of their more feminine prints like the flowers and gold embellishments. They come with 28 strips, so they last a while, especially if you’re not applying them to all 10 fingers.

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Goody Quikstyle Brush $11.99

My favorite item in the box! My hair is really temperamental and because it’s so thick and curly, most products that promote faster drying time double the volume of my hair and leave me with a frizzy mess. I was SO pleasantly surprised to see that this brush didn’t and actually did take the excess moisture out of my hair without any negative side affects. I like using it right out of the shower and then air drying or using it while blow drying (takes about 10 mins less time than usual), followed by straightening.

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Quaker Real Medley Oatmeal + $24.74/12 pack

I’m usually rushing in the morning, so I’m always eager to try something that starts my day off right, meaning healthy and delicious. These are SO easy to make – you fill with water and microwave for 45 seconds, then stir and let sit for 1 minute and have real chunks of fruit/oats in them. I tried ‘Cherry Pistachio’ and since I’m not really a fan of either of those, I didn’t love it, however their other flavors sound really good (Apple Walnut, Peach Almond, Summer Berry), so I’m definitely buying again!

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Montagne Jeunesse Fruit Smoothie Face Mask $1.50

I was really optimistic about this sample. Maybe because the thought of finding a mask for under $2 would be thrilling, but I didn’t have a good experience with it. The smell was a little artificial and although I liked the thickness and hold after 10 minutes, I took the mask off to find a bright red face. I usually don’t have strange reactions to these types of things, so it was a little alarming. Some of their other masks, containing avocado and less harsh ingredients may be in my future, but I definitely won’t try the brand again without testing it on a small area first.

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SoleSociety approx $50-100 depending on style

*Use code influenster25 for $25 off 1st purchase through Jan 31st

I have mixed feeling about this site. Mostly because I don’t really trust the fit and materials. I think you can score every once and a while, but you have to know, most of the time, you get what you pay for. I wouldn’t buy a solid leather or patent leather from this site without really examining and looking for reviews on those particular shoes because they can definitely come looking cheap, but I think if you’re careful and pick something without studs (they’ll probably fall off), $25 isn’t bad for a pair of flats or simple booties.

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EBOOST $28/20 packets

I really don’t like most powdered energy supplements, but definitely realize flavor has a lot to do with it.  I tested Pink Lemonade and thought it tasted more like medicine (Airbourne specifically) than a refreshing drink. I tried adding more water, but couldn’t even get through half of it. Other flavors are Orange and Acai Pomegranate.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Holiday Hysteria

I remember being consumed with the idea of Santa when I was younger.  Obsessed with him.  I mean, this guy didn’t even really know me… I stopped buying into that ‘good girl’/’bad girl’ threat at the age of four when I stole a classmate’s fruit roll up, lied about it and still got Christmas presents that December.  The physical reaction that took place on Christmas mornings for me were like what I only assume dropping Acid in a room full of cash, while simultaneously being cheered on by your closest friends and family would be and just like a drug, it happens in stages.

First?  Anticipation.  The nights leading up to Xmas day were filled with angst and high hopes and around the 20th, sh*t got real.  Sweating, the shakes, scenarios running through my head… I needed it.  I needed it to be the 25th.  This hit a high point at the end of Christmas Eve dinner when I knew it was really in sight.  We got the goods.  To describe the night’s of 12/24 between the years of approx. 1992-1999 would basically be similar to a multiple personality, caged animal with a bad case of tourettes breaking out in random laughs, cries and keywords from my Christmas list.. “KABOODLE!!!?!?!??”, “TOMAGATCHI!?!??”, “CASH REGISTER!!!?!?”.  I really don’t have any recollection after this, so I can only assume my parents had to step in and slip me some kind of sleep aid and for that, I am eternally grateful.

I wake up, deceived.  HOW did this happen?  I fell asleep.. impossible.  No time for thoughts – C$H$R$I$T$M$A$S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Later in life, I learned the only way to describe this moment is…

mind_blown

taken from here

The sad reality is that this process, although traumatic, is magic and as we get older, it fades.  You learn that not everything you believed in was true (in my case, I found out when my Jewish best friend asked me when I found out that my idol, my beloved, my rockstar, Santa Claus didn’t really exist.  I responded confidentently and carefree, “HA, seriously.. I’ve known for ages………  I must be going now”, quickly turned my back and cried the entire way home).  But, then you fill the void with the memory of innocence and with appreciation for your parents going through all kinds of trouble to make the day as mind blowing as it was… I mean, my Dad once drove three hours north to meet a woman in a parking lot in the freezing cold to exchange a sold-out-everywhere Furby for more cash than than that loud, needy toy (that doesn’t turn off, by the way) was ever worth.  And yes, I still love Christmas.  Some part of me reverts back to that selfish, bratty, unappreciative eight year old every year and the spirit of children lives on.

*Reference to drugs was used for humor’s sake.  Don’t do drugs.  Just love Christmas.

Top Items On My List (in no particular order)

1

Prada 0PR 23OS Sunglasses $245

2

Proenza Schouler PS1 Wallet $165

3

Gorjana Alphabet Coin Bracelet $60

4

Vince Camuto ‘Tipper’ Boot $179

5

Lulu Guiness Blush-Perspex Lips Clutch $390

 

6

 

Etsy’s Naomilingerie Black Satin and Cotton Cat Eye Mask $23.07

 

 

 

7

 

 

Nixon Time Teller Watch $99.99

 

 

1

 

 

Coach Legacy Leather Large Wristlet $108

 

 

2

 

 

Urban Decay Naked2 Palette $50

 

 

1

 

 

Rebecca Taylor Giselle Leopard Zip-Around Wallet $78

 

 

2

 

 

Too Faced 3 Way Lash Lining Tool $22

 

 

3

 

 

T by Alexander Wang Inverted Pleated Dress $129

 

 

4

 

 

 

Nars Night Flight Nail Polish $18

 

 

 

5

 

 

Current Elliott Stiletto Jean in Day Glow Pink $65

 

 

6

 

 

Boutaugh Bow Tie in Pink $68

 

 

7

 

 

J Crew Vintage Short Sleeve Pajama Set $78

 

 

8

 

 

Anthropologie Kismet Knit Turban $48

 

 

9

 

 

Ka’Oir Wifey Lipstick $15.99

 

 

10

 

 

MAC Pro Lip Palette $40

 

 

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Kate Spade Colorblocked Silicone iPhone 4 Case $35

 

 

2

 

 

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray $19.50-39

 

 

3

 

 

Nespresso Latissima Plus $399

 

 

4

 

 

Sephora by OPI Gelshine At Home Gel Colour System $159

 

 

5

 

 

Jiffy Steamer $58.12

 

 

6

 

 

Frends Taylor Rose Gold Headphones $199

 

 

7

 

 

 

Ciate Mother of Pearl Caviar Manicure $27.95

 

 

 

9

 

 

Nikon 1 J1 10MP Digital Camera $399.99

 

 

10

 

 

Current Elliott Stiletto Jean in Camel Leopard $198

 

 

11

 

The Little Dictionary of Fashion $19.95

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Paige Denim Edgemont Ultra Skinny Jeans in Cheer $167.30

Unreal Stila Sale

Drop everything you are doing you’re doing right now and go onto Stila’s website.  They are having a blowout warehouse sale like I’ve never seen!  I use their foundation (normally $36) and coverup regularly (normally $20), which is on sale for $8 and $5.50!!

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I bought the following four products (was tempted by much, much more) and here are my reviews on these new steals:

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Natural Finish Oil-Free Makeup $8

I like to blend this with a lighter weight foundation, but use it regularly and definitely recommend it for full face coverage.

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Cover-Up Stick $5.50

Hands down my favorite Stila product.  I’ve been using this for years because it covers up unexpectant blemishes flawlessly.

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All Over Glimmer Powder $10

I was in desperate need of powder and am so happy I didn’t shell out $35 for one at Sephora before I found this.  It has more shimmer than most loose powder, but I like the glow it produces.  Definitely worth more than the cost.

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Lip Enamel in Joy Red $7

 

I had never tried Stila’s lip enamel before, but have been meaning to pick up one in ‘Giggles’, an amazing bright pink color (find it here).  When I saw this deep red, I had to get it even though I’m normally skeptical when it comes to a gloss for something I normally want an opaque look for.  I was pleasantly surprised to try it and find the consistency is thicker than you’d imagine and produces amazing, long lasting color.

 

Total: $30.50!!!!  That’s less than I normally would be paying for just the foundation or powder – so exciting!

Check out the sale for yourself by clicking here.

 

 

 

Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint

I’ve been a huge advocate for the BB Cream craze, mostly because it combines a lot of steps that normally require separate products, however I do find that sometimes I want a little more coverage (although not wanting a face product to be too heavy).  My new favorite product that solves all these problems is Jouer’s Luminizing Moisture Tint $38.

I use it in ‘Golden’ for the perfect base before applying the rest of my makeup.  It’s really light weight, but strong and really gives you the perfect palette to go from day to night.  You only need a little, so the $38 should go a long way.

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Oops… I Forgot _______ (Insert Celebration/Holiday/Get Together Here)

Listen – I’m busy.  Not busy enough to ignore things on my daily checklist for weeks (akhem… blogging), but c’mon – I really have been busy.  Summer has ended and even though I probably enjoy Fall the most as far as weather and really like dressing the part, some part of me subconsciously reverts back to pre-teendom, moping around the house (or I should say – around my small, 1 bedroom apartment), cursing the world that Summer is over.

I remember one particular night before School started – when I’d be making the leap from Middle to Upper School (Junior High to High School for you cooler kids).  I was positive things would finally change for me…  I’d go to parties, I’d be skinnier, I’d wear amazing outfits.  Two months into 9th Grade, I began to fear for this dream as I sat alone in my room, eating ice cream… in my uniform.  That’s when I realized I’d never be a freshman, I was a ninth grader and for those of you who don’t understand the difference, consider yourself lucky to have had a better experience than I did.

This would lead to lots of tears, total confusion while watching Dawson’s Creek (I spent hours plotting how I could be more like Michelle Williams as Jen Lindley, when my life looked much more like the Grandmother she lived with), and a little later in life – a full out rebellious attempt (I literally couldn’t even pull off the real thing).  I moved to California and tried to convince everyone that I was a bad, out of control, nonconformist.  The only problem was – I cried all the time, totally misjudged how black and purple hair would suit my fair skin (yes I use fair – pale is just harsh), and had struggled with severe anxiety my whole life.  I call my parents every day, I have personal relationships with every doctor, specialist and vet (all which have received panicked voicemails at all hours of the night graphically explaining what normally ends up being a mosquito bite), AND I fold at even the chance at confrontation (I once got into a small, verbal fight at a bar with a girl and then after telling my friends I was going to the bathroom, chased after her down the street and apologized – true and very ridiculous story I’ll save for another time).

SO, in the spirit of embracing the person you so desperately try not to be, but know you always will, I thought it would be useful to come up with a list of things that you should probably just buy now, because if you’re anything like me, you’re losing your mind and forget birthdays/cards/etc all the time.  End scene.  (P.S.  After re-reading this entry, I realize I will probably lose viewers.)

Purchases That Will Save You In A Pinch:

Oops… I Forgot A Birthday

Olive & Cocoa Birthday Cake Tapers $28

Olive & Cocoa Chapeau de Fete $44-64

Save On Crafts Sinamay Jute Wine Bags $18/12

The Twinery {I Dream In Twine} Sampler Pack $32

World Market Sock Monkey Kraft Wrap $4.99

Gift Couture Cheeseburger Wrapping Paper $25

Oops… I Forgot I Need To Bring A Gift To Something I Didn’t Want To Go To In The First Place

Pigeon Toe Optimist Tumbler $48

Amazon S’More To Love STL-600 S’More Maker $19.99

Jonathan Adler Enamel Cake Server $58

Etsy’s Primele Custom Return Address Stamp $35

Oops… I Forgot A Card

Crane & Co Letterpress All Occasion Gift Set $35

Etsy’s Pounouheartsyou Greeting Card Set of Five $20

Target Mara-Mi Flat Panel Diecut Note Card Set $12.99

Russell + Hazel Quips + Queries Cards $12

Oops… I Forgot To Be Prepared

Safety Girl Kit Original $21.99

Urban Outfitters Festival Essentials Kit $9.99

Neiman Marcus “Kelly Stripe” Travel Accessories $58

Autobarn 100 Piece Roadside Emergency Safety Kit $32.95

Quake Kare Emergency Survival Kit $49.95

Can’t Live Without Makeup: Daily Essentials

This Summer was filled with back to back commitments.  I’ve managed to fill in every spare second with visits with close friends and trying out new local restaurants.  What I haven’t been great with, however, is ear-marked!  No worries though, long flights and non wi-fi locations have left me with piles of magazines with turned down pages and as we head to Fall, I’ll be preparing posts in advance to be sure you’re getting your daily fill!

All the travel also forced me to minimize my daily essentials to only what I absolutely need, which is always a challenge for me.  I listed below some of my favorite products, and although I definitely like to switch things up, I know I’ll be ok if these items are packed in my purse!

Can’t Live Without Makeup (in order of how I apply):

Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream $38

Smashbox Photofinish Luminizing Facial Primer $38

Laura Mercier Moisture Supreme Foundation $43

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit $33

*I like how this one has two colors – not all skin tone is the same and it’s also useful when you’ve gotten some Sun or in my case a faux tan 😉

Korres Wild Rose Mineral Foundation $28

Smashbox Fusion Soft Lights $30

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush $25

Stila Eyeshadow Trio $28

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner $15

Benefit Cosmetics BADgal Lash Mascara $19

LORAC Cream Lipstick $19

Tory Burch Dash Large Brigitte Cosmetic Case $75