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…


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)


Prada 0PR 23OS Sunglasses $245


Proenza Schouler PS1 Wallet $165


Gorjana Alphabet Coin Bracelet $60


Vince Camuto ‘Tipper’ Boot $179


Lulu Guiness Blush-Perspex Lips Clutch $390




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







Nixon Time Teller Watch $99.99






Coach Legacy Leather Large Wristlet $108






Urban Decay Naked2 Palette $50






Rebecca Taylor Giselle Leopard Zip-Around Wallet $78






Too Faced 3 Way Lash Lining Tool $22






T by Alexander Wang Inverted Pleated Dress $129







Nars Night Flight Nail Polish $18







Current Elliott Stiletto Jean in Day Glow Pink $65






Boutaugh Bow Tie in Pink $68






J Crew Vintage Short Sleeve Pajama Set $78






Anthropologie Kismet Knit Turban $48






Ka’Oir Wifey Lipstick $15.99






MAC Pro Lip Palette $40



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Kate Spade Colorblocked Silicone iPhone 4 Case $35






Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray $19.50-39






Nespresso Latissima Plus $399






Sephora by OPI Gelshine At Home Gel Colour System $159






Jiffy Steamer $58.12






Frends Taylor Rose Gold Headphones $199







Ciate Mother of Pearl Caviar Manicure $27.95







Nikon 1 J1 10MP Digital Camera $399.99






Current Elliott Stiletto Jean in Camel Leopard $198





The Little Dictionary of Fashion $19.95


Paige Denim Edgemont Ultra Skinny Jeans in Cheer $167.30

I’ll Only Go Curly With This From Now On…

Everyone knows I have a love/hate relationship with my curls.  I’ve spent hours, weeks, months, and what seems like years in front of a mirror on the verge of tears, dripping in sweat, with burning hot hair tools in my hand trying to straighten my natural curly locks.  I’ll really know I’ve made it when I can afford to have it done in the mornings (#dreamworld) and not have to tame what is comparable to a wild beast.

There are days, however, that a good air dry and comb through leaves me with a head of curls that aren’t so unmanageable and I decide to bare the outdoors as my natural self… well, at least from the scalp up.  I’ve tried almost every product and some definitely help.  I love Morroconoil Frizz Control ($32) and use it almost every day before I comb my hair after getting out of the shower.

I recently picked up a bottle of Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray ($4.79), which has a lot of mixed reviews around the web, but it’s cheap, so I thought I would give it a try (and full disclosure – I was $5 away from getting free shipping with an online order).  What I was looking for was a product I could use on my dry hair the day after I wear it curly.  I don’t think I’ve ever been lucky enough to score two good curly hair days in a row.

The thing is, I understand why people don’t like this.  The complaints are mostly that it leaves hair dry and “dirty feeling”.  This is a texturizing spray and is supposed to make your hair look like you’ve spent all day at the beach.  It gives you that unkempt, effortless look, which I happen to really like – it also smells like vacation, so I’m willing to overlook the downfalls.  I suggest starting with a modest amount and layering on if you feel you need it, but also (if you’re trying to create waves/more defined curls) spraying it on and twisting sections around with your fingers to get better definition.  It will feel a little dry, but only because the product contains a lot of salt, which holds the waves in.

Hair Accessories

Summer promises lots of events to attend.  In preparation, I always keep my eye out for accessories that enhance a basic solid dress or something that allows me to reinvent things I’ve already worn.  There are so many great hair accessories available that scale from subtle to conversational.  A simple beachy wave or an undone high bun and one of these added touches is my favorite way to conquer effortless Summer hair.

Hair Accessories I’m Gushing Over:

Tigerlilly Olive Comb $40

Ban.Do Mini Ban.Do Heart $10

Jennifer Behr Multichain Headwrap $98

TheHoneyComb Cherry Blossom Headband $55

Free People Mixed Thread Hair Wraps $14

Tigerlilly Sinara Comb $60

Deepa Gurnani Crystal & Pearl Headband $44

Tigerlilly Tuesday Headband $120

Ban.Do Chiffon Pom Pom Duet Set $25

Jennifer Behr Rosita Tiny Crystal Scallop Headwrap $168

Free People Flower Braid Halo $58

Tigerlilly Bianca Headband $140

Ban.Do Contrast Headwrap $35

Tigerlilly Delfin Headband $200

Forever 21 Beaded Feather Bobby Pin $4.80

Deepa Gurnani Floral Crystal Embellished Comb $105

GiantDwarf Constellation Crown $98

Forever 21 Two-Tone Braided Headwrap $2.80

Jennifer Behr Fluoro Plastic Orchid Comb $198

Free People Tonal Ribbon Flower Headdress $48

May Beauty Box 5 Review

This month’s Beauty Box 5 was not my favorite.  So far, Birchbox and Testtube are front runners in my opinion, but it was still fun to try out some new products.

Tree Hut Brazilian Nut Shea Body Butter in Hawaiian Kukui $15/3 7 oz bottles (received 2 oz):  This is ok.  It contains lot of beneficial vitamins and is a nice consistency, but the smell isn’t my favorite.  It’s a bit pungent.  It leaves skin feeling nourished, however, so I’ll probably keep use it a few times, but do not plan on buying the full size version.

Evie Evan Purity Masque $10/.5 oz (received full size):  I was really curious about this one because even though I don’t use mask’s regularly, I’ve been looking for a good one.  The problem is (and I know this sounds crazy) sometimes I get really claustrophobic with these things.  As it starts to tighten, I swear to you I begin to panic and have to talk myself out of jumping in the shower.  This product is TIGHT.  It literally pulls your face if you make any kind of expression.  On the other hand, after I made it through the required 10 minutes, I rinsed it off to find smooth skin with visibly reduced pore sizes.  It did make my face a little dry though.  Overall, not bad.  Not sure it’s exactly what I’m looking for.

Comodynes Self-Tanning Natural & Uniform Color Towelette $9.75/8 pack (received 1):  Very similar to Tan Towels, which I LOVE.  This one worked really well and was easy to use.  I would definitely buy this again.

It’s A 10 Miracle Hair Mask $23/8 oz (received 1 small packet):  I was pleasantly surprised with this one.  I tried it after shampooing and left it in for about five minutes.  It promises to detangle and it definitely delivers.  My hair felt fresh, smooth and shiny after one use.  Best of all – combing out my typical knotted mane was a breeze!  Good find.

It’s A 10 Miracle Styling Serum $18.70/4 oz (received 1 small packet):  I used this gel on both wet and dry hair.  The good part is that it didn’t come out crunchy or sticky, which is what I was worried about.  The bad part – it didn’t really do anything at all.  Nothing noticeable happened besides maybe minor frizz control.  It’s not something I’d buy.

Merlot Grape Seed Moisturizer $16/4 oz (received 3 1 time use packets):  The main benefit of this product is reducing the signs of aging.  I used it for a couple days and felt it was ok, but not great.  It wasn’t very nourishing as my skin still felt a bit dry after using it.  I think there are better anti-aging creams on the market.

My New Favorite Hair Product

Hairspray has its strengths and I’ll always have it on hand, but to be honest, I’ve never been too much of a fan.  I like to use a touch of it on a bun or to secure curls (after straightening, then curling), but think there’s a very fine line between using enough to keep the hold and putting on too much.  I’m always very cautious when someone else is doing my hair, making sure they don’t use what sometimes seems like the whole can because I’m just not a person who can pull off the ‘really slicked back’ look.

I like movement and texture.  I prefer styles that appear effortless, beachy and undone, however I’ve always struggled to accomplish the look without some way to secure the end result.  WELL, I seriously have found the answer.  I cannot stress enough how absolutely OBSESSED I am with Unite Expanda Dust $18.99. photo taken from

You tap the powder into your hand and run your fingers through the pieces you want to stay put.  Or, apply it directly to your roots to get volume.  It almost creates a ‘teased’ effect.  Before I got this, I would try baby powder to make my hair look a bit windblown after straightening, but it wasn’t strong enough to survive the whole night… or even the next whole hour.  This stuff is STRONG.  It will feel a bit sticky, but allows you to create so many looks (that I never thought I could accomplish on my own).  Use it for when you put your hair up, use it for when your hair is down… since I’ve bought it, I’ve used it almost every day.  It adds so much body, but in a way that allows you to play with it to really get what you want.  FINALLY.  I’m telling you – buy this.

Hair Tools

I remember the first hair tool I ever had.  It was a hand-me-down Conair straightener that had definitely seen better days.  I spend my childhood so envious of girls with pin straight hair and didn’t understand how I got stuck with what I had.  The problem wasn’t that I hated curls, it was that I hated frizz – and volume – and knotty, matted hair that took hours to comb through and seemed to have a personality of its own.

I spent hours holding my beloved Conair to my roots and slowly moving down to the ends of my long hair.  I literally would hold the straightener on my hair until the steam coming from the device was so intense I thought my hair would fall out.  What resulted was usually something that looked like a teased lion, but I held hope – that one day there would be tools to help me accomplish what I wanted.

And that day came.  For someone with unruly hair, buying quality tools is essential to getting looks you want.  My curls have grown on me over time, but only because I now always have options and these tools are the reason…



GHD Classic 1 in Styler $185, BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium 1 1/4 Ionic Straightener $139.99


CHI Croc Flat Iron $99.95, HANA Professional Flat Iron $129.98


Sedu Pro Ironic Ceramic Tourmaline Flat Iron $129.99, Remington Frizz Therapy Straightener $44.93

Curling Irons:


Hot Tools Gold Curling Iron $29.99, Naluwaver $179.99


Remington CI95AC Ceramic Curling Wand $21.24, Sultra ‘The Bombshell’ Iron $130


Hot Tools Ceramix TI Tourmaline Curling Iron $44.99, T3 SinglePass Whirl Styling Wand $130

Hot Rollers:


T3 Voluminous Hot Rollers Set $99, Calista Tools ION Hot Rollers $99


Conair Infiniti Pro Argan Oil Hot Rollers $39.99, Caruso Professional ProSet Steam Hairsetter $42.99


BaByliss Pro BABHS40 Ceramic and Ionix Rollers $119.99, T3 Voluminous Hot Rollers 1.75 Inch $20

Blow Dryers:


Fetish Plus $249.95 (known as the quietest dryer ever), Twin Turbo 3200 $144.99


Ultra CHI Red Pro Dryer $99.95, Parlux 3200 Compact Dryer $119.79


T3 Featherweight Luxe $250, Solano 232K Dryer $83.95

Beauty Buff’s Beware…

…because you are about to add an expense to your monthly budget.  I have found something so exciting for Beauty lovers that if even 1 of you do not know about it, this post will be worth it.  I had heard of Beauty Subscriptions, but for whatever (insane) reason, I was frustrated that they are mostly popular/available abroad.  It was hard to find any I was interested in that shipped within the U.S.  The idea behind them is to pay roughly $10-15/month (normally) or $25-40 every three months and have 3-5 samples of a new product sent to your home once a month.

I love getting packages and when I see mail that is not a bill, it’s like a little thrill, so this for me is like a pint sized Christmas I get to experience every 30 days.  Not only is it great because you can try a huge variety of products (some of which you’d probably not try if you had to buy the full size), but also because I’ve found you can actually spend less money on hair/beauty supplies by subscribing to one or two.  So far, I have only tried BeautyBox 5 (most of the good providers either are still working on shipping to the U.S. or have a wait list, so sign up for as many as you are interested in and then pick the ones you want when they are able to accommodate your orders).  Although I am definitely still a fan, I initially didn’t customize my order (they have options to put in your hair/eye color, skin type, etc) to see what their standard shipment was, but I think this was a mistake.  My first shipment was very much geared towards “anyone’s” features and I think I’d prefer something more particular to me, so I’ve since changed my profile.  That being said, it’s still a really fun service and something I am really excited about for $12/month or $30/3 months.

My First BeautyBox 5 Shipment:

Left Picture (top, bottom): side of BeautyBox 5 shipment, box opened up with samples in a bag

Right Picture (top row left to right, bottom row left to right): Freeman Pink Grapefruit Facial Exfoliating Scrub ($3.99/bottle), Pur-Lisse Essential Daily Moisturizer ($55/1.7 oz), La Fresh Waterproof Makeup Remover Wipe ($9.99/24 wipes), BeautyBox 5 Card, Doctor T’s Supergoop! Sunscreen Swipe ($34/40 swipes), True Natural Advanced Lift and Firm Serum ($69/.5 fl oz)

Overall, I was hoping there would be more makeup samples, as opposed to this one, which was focused more on skin care, but I was surprised that I enjoyed these products more than I thought I would.  Also, now that I’ve customized my profile, I have a feeling the samples will get more diverse and there are certainly other subscribers that focus 100% on makeup/nails, etc.  I did a brief synopsis of each product below, but considering had I bought all these products at a store the total would be $171.89, I can see why people are so crazy about these monthly indulgences!

Freeman Pink Grapefruit Exfoliating Scrub:  Very vibrant fragrance!  I would definitely buy this to use for an early morning to wake me up.  The scrub is hearty enough to make me feel like it is getting rid of dead skin, but not too abrasive, which I like.

Pur-Lisse Essential Daily Moisturizer:  My skin feels really healthy after I apply it and it is extremely light, but you can definitely smell the SPF in it.  It has an SPF 30 (which is a total plus!) but it does appear a bit greasy like I’m putting on straight sun-tan lotion.  I would use this on vacation, but don’t see myself buying it for everyday.

La Fresh Waterproof Makeup Remover Wipe:  I love makeup remover wipes and use them all the time, but I normally buy the cheap grocery store brand or for a few extra dollars, Neutrogena.  They are ceratinly more effective than the store brand’s and leave my face feeling fresh.  I still have to rub my eye a few times to get all the makeup off, but can accomplish it with one wipe.  They’re pretty much on par with Neutrogena for me.

Doctor T’s Supergoop! Sunscreen Swipe:  I really liked this sample.  I’m fair skinned, so sun protection is important to me (even though it should be important to all of us!).  Personally, I would still use a lotion on my face, but would absolutely buy a pack of these for the Summer to protect my body from the Sun.  They’re easy to use, no fuss and I managed to get through a pool day without a burn while using the swipe.

True Natural Advanced Lift and Firm Serum:  This one was my favorite.  I’m starting to get into preventative tactics to keep my skin (especially my face) firm.  What I liked most about this product is that you can actually feel it working.  I applied a small amount and within 15 seconds I felt like I had put on a light mask.  It’s not too tight where you feel like you can’t make facial expressions, but more-so just a hint of resistance to make you feel it is effective.  It also made my skin really soft after I followed it with moisturizer.

Other Beauty Box Providers I’m Excited About:

BirchBox ($10/month, some brands include Nars, Stila, Kiehls, has a subscriber for Men, currently has a wait-list)

Julep ($19.99/month, formaldehyde free nail polish/products, available right now)

MyGlam ($10/month, some brands include Urban Decay, Tarte, NYX, currently has a wait-list)

GlossyBox ($?/month- not available yet, some brands include O.P.I., Bobbi Brown, Chloe, Shu Uemura, coming soon to the U.S.)

TestTube ($29.95 + shipping/quarter gets you four shipments of bigger products- usually 6 full size products + a magazine, some brands include Korres, Moroccan Oil, Smashbox, available right now)

Glymm ($?/month- not available yet, some brands include Butter, Anastasia, YSL, coming soon to the U.S.)

LooseButton ($12/month, some brands include Dermalogica, Benefit, Laura Mercier, currently has a wait-list)

BeautyArmy ($12/month, some brands include StriVectin, RapidLash, Joico, currently has a wait-list)

A Couple Gift Sets for Men:

HisKit ($12/month, has samples of grooming products, tech stuff, small wardrobe staples like socks, etc, currently has a wait-list)

MaleBox (coming soon, sign up to be notified when they are available to ship)

And One for Dog’s Too:

BarkBox ($25/month, usually comes with a toy, treats, fun product like printed doggie bags and shampoo, available right now)

*Know that there are many more of these (all kinds too) available to the public, but after doing a lot of research, I’ve found these work with the best products.  It is definitely worth keeping your eyes out though.

*Photos taken from websites

My Favorite Online Shopping Spots

I do a lot of online shopping.  It’s super convenient and I like to be able to scour different sites to make sure I’m getting the best deals and sort through sales without feeling like I’m digging for gold amongst designer thirsty style enthusiasts in my way.  There are also a lot of free shipping incentives, along with discounted departments every day.  The easiest way to find out about deals and savings?  Sign up for the website’s daily email.  Yes, this can be incredibly annoying and as someone who wakes up each day with a minimum of 50 new emails all saying, “Indulge on _____ today, you deserve it!”, I get it.  That person definitely does not know my life.  If she did, she’d probably say “OK, Taylor, you can probably pass on your fourth pair of strappy sandals, don’t you think?”.  BUT, if you can develop a level of self control, it’s a great way to look out for things you are looking for.

I narrowed down my long list of online shopping sources below to include my very favorites.

Department Stores/Specialty Stores:

Designer Websites:

Online Retailers:

Specifically Shoes:




Look for Less Spots:

Sale Sites/Daily Mailers: (I belong to all of the off price sites, but I find Gilt features the best products for the best prices) (Neiman Marcus Off Price) (Sign up for their deal of the day) (You can sign up for their clothing and home goods mailers) (Home Goods)

Beauty/Hair: (great deals!)

Home Goods/Office Supplies: (artificial flowers)

Tech Stuff: (love their mouse-pads)

My New Favorite Hair Tool

I went to an all girls school before college so most of us spent Monday-Friday in the hairstyle I would later learn (in the real world) is preserved for girls at clubs after 2 am – essentially where you just throw your hair on top of your head and call it a bun. Being born with naturally thick and curly locks, I was always enamored with those with tame, beachy waves or pin straight hair. Yes, I understand that my hair can accomplish a lot of different looks, whereas it’s harder to make curls stick for someone who doesn’t have it, but you know what else my hair can do? Grow three inches (vertically) at the sign of moisture, randomly decide ‘I’m done being straight’ in the middle of a night out after you’ve spent an hour blow drying and 45 minutes flat ironing or go beyond tangled into full on matted after a casual day at the beach.

Needless to say, I’m always looking for ways to manage my hair. I’ve tried what seems like millions of products and tools and although most of the time I feel like they’re not very effective, every once and a while I find something that really helps. I recently heard about some special combs sold on that are infused with things like Argan Oil (also known as Moroccan Oil – a treatment that swears to add shine and de-frizz) and Keratin (a smoother). They gradually release the products into your hair while combing and because the combs are under $12 and the brushes under $25, I decided it was worth a try.

I decided to start with the No-Frizz Pocket Comb ($7) and the ArganPlus Shaper ($9). These little guys are actually baked with oils that apply essential ingredients t0 deflect bacteria and add shine without looking greasy, all while smoothing out fly-aways. The packaging says they can be used on either wet or dry hair, but for the best results, use it after you straighten, blow-dry (with a diffuser for curly girls) or air dry. I’ve been keeping the pocket comb in my purse, using it to touch up mid-day and use the argan comb after I style/dry my hair in the morning and have honestly noticed a difference. My curls are more defined and my hair actually feels stronger/healthier. I’m loving these right now and can’t believe they supposedly last for a year – check out the different styles and shapes here and here.

*Rickys re-stocks often, but if the one you want is sold out, they can also be purchased on, just type “RickyCare” into the search bar

Other combs/brushes I’ve been wanting to try:

Goody Quik Style Paddle Brush from Target (photo taken from website) $11.99

Goody Quik Style Detangling Shower Comb from Target (photo taken from website) $5.29

*use both of these products in the shower after you condition your hair

Braun Satin Ion Brush from (photo taken from website) $42.99

Tangle Teezer Detangling Brush from (photo taken from website) $9.75

Boar Round Brush for blow-drying from Sephora (photo taken from website) $29

Philip B Hairbrush Cleaner from (photo taken from website) $15