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

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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

Bubble Bath

Summer is supposed to be about relaxation and taking time to have some fun.  Somehow, ever since the first day kids were rejoicing that school was out, I’ve been trying to stay afloat and juggling more work commitments than ever before.  I’ve managed to spend a couple evenings here and there doing things I’ve wanted, but for the most part, this Summer is far from indulgent.

The other day I happened to have an hour to myself and although I am absolutely a shower person, I decided to force myself to use my bath for the first time since the lease was signed.  I lit candles, I played music and even turned my phone on silent!  With bubbles flowing, 20 minutes of soaking felt like luxury.

My 7 Favorite Bubble Baths:

Soap & Glory Calm One Calm All Bubble Bath $14

*Most standard and all around best one in my opinion.

 

Johnson’s Baby Bedtime Bubble Bath & Wash $4.99

*WARNING: You may fall asleep in the tub.  You should probably tell someone you are taking a bedtime bath before using.

Philosophy Cinnamon Buns $16

*WARNING: You may instinctively start shoveling the bubbles into your mouth with the warm, gooey scent of Cinnamon Buns.

*DISCLAIMER: This products tastes nothing like Cinnamon Buns.  It tastes horrible… I’ve heard.

   

Lush Bubble Bar – The Comforter $9.95

*Really good for when you want to relax, but don’t want to be put to sleep.

      

Lush Bubble Bar – Turbo Bubble $6.95

*This makes your bath GLITTER!!!!!!!  That makes me happy just reading it.

         

Lush Bubble Bar – Sunny Side $6.95

*This makes your bath GOLD!!  I mean, this is good stuff.

    

Aveeno Active Naturals Stress Relief Foaming Bath $5.59

*Love it after a long day of work.

 

My Last BeautyBox5 Review

That’s right.  I threw in the towel.  Not because I think BeautyBox5 is bad, but like I’ve said before, I definitely think it is important to test out different beauty subscriptions so you can find the right one for you (we all have different needs and preferences… and this one just isn’t exactly my style.  So from now on, I’ll only receive monthly boxes from Birchbox, Glossy Box and Test Tube.

It’s actually funny that my last BeautyBox5 was my favorite.  It featured some great products, but nothing that compared to what the others were sending (for me), so I decided to stick to my gut and respectfully discontinue my subscription.

June BeautyBox5 Review:
*in order of best to worst

Everyday Minerals Blush in ‘Girl Friday’ $6.99/mini jar (received full size) – There’s no doubt I have a thing for blush.  What I love even more is layering different colors.  Powders make this really easy.  The ‘Girl Friday’ color is really nice because it’s a little deeper than my normal range of colors that I buy, which makes accomplishing a more dramatic look easier.  Everyday Minerals is a company I’ve liked for a while now.  They have beautiful colors and they are light enough where you can play with them and not look crazy, but instead layer for a darker color, giving you more control.

The All Natural Face Vegan Mineral Eyeshadow in Just Peachy $3.99/5 gram jar (received full size) – I definitely unfairly pre-judged this one.  I’ve had really bad experiences with vegan cosmetics before where I’ve seriously felt like I was using something so ridiculous like grains of salt on my eyelids and have even broken out from a similar product, BUT I have to say I love this color and I’ve been using it daily.  The color is very subtle and layers really nicely.  It’s the perfect symmetry of orange and pink, which was missing from my collection and will be very useful for Summer.  I’ve even been using it on my cheeks!

Comodynes Easy Peeling New Face Effect $12.99/8 sheets (received 1 sheet) – I was really intrigued with this and have actually decided I would buy this again.  I love exfoliating and appreciate the soft skin it leaves behind.  What I don’t like about exfoliating is that often times it’s really messy.  Because this is a sheet that you rub over your face, it eliminates the mess, which is great!  What I will say about this is that it is really rough.  It felt very abrasive, which I couldn’t decide if I loved (because it was doing its’ job) or hated (because it kind of hurt).  My skin did feel really soft though about 15 minutes after use, so I’m eager to see what would happen if I used it weekly… it was hard to judge with just 1 sheet.

Blinc Eyeliner $25/.21 oz (received small sample tube) – The positives of this eyeliner are that it definitely lasts a long time and goes on dark, but there are a few reasons I wouldn’t buy this product again.  For one thing, you have to be patient when you apply it.  Wait for it to dry or else you’ll undoubtedly make a mess of your makeup, which is probably more an issue on my part leaving only the very least amount of time to apply makeup in the morning and even 30 extra seconds seems impossible.  Also, the brush is very flexible.  When I’m putting on dark liquid liner, it’s helpful to have a stronger wand that won’t accidentally flop over and create a vertical line making you look ridiculous and usually causing you to start your eye makeup all over again.  Lastly, and this one isn’t necessarily 100% negative, when you do take it off, it almost peels off in little pieces, much like paint.  The reason this bothers me is that I inevitably miss some in the inner part of my eye and wake up with stringy black leftover makeup in my eyes, which is not the way I like to start my day.

Blum Naturals Oil Absorbing Facial Tissues $3.90/50 sheets (received full size) – I’m pretty sure the last time I used an oil absorbing sheet was in high school when Jennifer Love Hewitt was doing the Neutrogena commercials and those little blue oil sheets seemed cool.  Although I admit I initially bought them purely because I had a serious obsession with the movie Can’t Hardly Wait, what I loved about them (although kinda gross) was that there was visual confirmation that they were working.  The oil became apparent as you slid it across your face and it felt like it was working.  This product doesn’t do that.  For me, it just felt like I was rubbing tissue paper all over my face, but it could just be the fact that I don’t have particularly oily skin (I actually am usually looking to help with dryness).

 

The New Movie Night

This past weekend marked the first full weekend of Summer and if it is any indication of what’s to come, then the upcoming months will be packed in with fun projects, lots of work and time with friends.  I feel like every minute was taken and the rush was exhausting, but productive and exciting too.

Saturday night after a full day of work I rushed over to Santa Monica High School to meet up with friends to watch The Big Lebowski (can’t believe I had never seen it!) outdoors at the school’s amphitheater.  I had heard of these events, but never attended.  It was a great way to mix up a movie night, especially with the variety of food trucks that were there for everyone’s enjoyment!  Only suggestion?  Bring a beach chair and a blanket… it gets cold.

photo from here

If you’re in L.A., check out this website to see where you can catch the next outdoor film.  Happy Summer!

 

Summer Dresses Under $100

Everyone knows I love a good deal.  I’m talking any sort of discount whatsoever… $1 off, throw in a free gift, some sort of upgrade… it makes me giddy inside.  There’s a constant battle of splurging vs. saving in my head and I probably think about my purchases (both past and future) every 5 minutes.  I knew I had it bad when I once saw a sign while passing Old Navy at age 13 for .34 cent shirts.  I swear to you I remember nothing – like a total black out.  I came to, hours later, in my closet sifting through about 15 of the same exact shirt in every color they had.  I mean, I cleared out the racks.  Upside?  I still only spent about $6.  Low?  The shirt was horrible… like, really, really ugly.

There’s something about a deal that condones the purchase.  It’s a trap.  But, I’ve realized at the time it was so I’d have something to back up my argument when my Dad would get my Visa Buxx card statement (a pre-set limit debit card made for teenagers to teach them how to manage money which I BEGGED my parents for).  Being able to say, “YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND.  This was a once and a lifetime opportunity!  It would have been stupid NOT to have bought it!!” was just so much easier than flat out breaking the ‘no more clothes’ rule.  It got so bad that I used to buy things, hide the bags at my friends houses and then smuggle them into my house days later when my parents weren’t home… but that’s another story for another day.

In all reality, I’m still using the sale signs as a crutch for my chronic buyer’s remorse and the proof is that I wanted a really expensive pair of jeans last year so I flagged the website to let me know if any discounts/savings were happening.  A week later I got an email from them saying, “Free Shipping Until Midnight”.  Deal was done.  I saved $5.  Problem.

Summer Dresses Under $100 (Better Than The Alternative!):

           

Motel Rosie Dress $63

              

ASOS Midi Slip Dress in Floral Print $40.60

                         

Funktional Tunnel Midi Dress $98

                      

DV by Dolce Vita Cullen Shirt Dress $68

                        

Zara Linear Dress $79.90

                          

Joie A La Plage Mayan Printed Collie Dress $98

                          

Velvet Keenan Dress $68.60

                   

MM Couture by Miss Me Printed Strapless Dress with Tie Waist $94

          

Sam & Lavi Dextra Shift Dress $98

                  

MINKPINK Wishful Thinking Sundress $83

              

Zara Lace Print Dress $89.90

               

ASOS Skater Dress in Heart Print $24.86

              

Backstage Nikki Dress $70

           

Zara Silk Tunic with Lace at the Sides $89.90

            

River Island Chelsea Girl Spot Lace Dress $41.43

          

Indah Yang Cold Shoulder Tunic $54

       

Hive & Honey Floral Blousant Dress $39.99

            

C&C California Smock Tank Dress $98

          

ASOS Animal Print Swing Dress $46.40

       

Forever 21 Sheer Floral Dress $17.80

             

ASOS Bandeau Dress with Strawberry Print $40.60

                  

TopShop Fluro Dip Hem Dress $96

               

Michael Stars Belted V Neck Cami Dress $59.99

           

Forever 21 Vibrant Tribal Dress $19.80

                        

River Island Denim Shirt Dress $49.71

                 

Zara Printed Dress $79.90

                    

Asos Knitted Shift Dress $52.20

                         

TopShop Crochet Shirtdress $80

              

Forever 21 Dotted Peter Pan Dress $19.80

A D.I.Y. I Can Handle: Candle Centerpieces

We’ve discussed here how my D.I.Y. skills are not up to par, but I try… which most of the time ends in embarrassment.  One of my goals for this year was to be a little more thrifty and to work on taking projects into my own hands.  After a few failed attempts, I’ve decided to start small.

When I found this image on Martha Stewart’s website, I instantly knew it would be the inspiration for the next outdoor Summer BBQ.  It’s inexpensive and easy!

Make Your Own:

streamers ($.79/80′ roll) – buy 4 colors in similar hues

candles ($3.99/12)

double-stick tape ($1.66)

candle holders ($3.99-$13.99 each)

**I think it could look even better with these birch tea candle holders! Love these!! ($12/set of 3 assorted)

Summer Scarves

There are times when I love trying on what seems like my whole wardrobe, testing combinations to find the perfect outfit for an event, and then there’s my normal reality when I have 15 minutes to pick out what I’m wearing.  For those days, I usually go simple (printed pants or jeans with a solid top).  I always like to top it off with something more noticeable though, like a big statement necklace, an embellished headband or my latest addiction – summer scarves.

There are so many ways to wear them (around neck or head are my favs) and they can instantly amp up what would be a pretty plain look.

Summer Scarves:

Urban Outfitters BDG Pop Stripe Scarf $24

Modcloth Mint To Be Scarf $17.99

Les Nouvelles Askilio Scarf by Malene Birger $150

Zappos Echo Design Polka Dot Wrapping $34.99

Urban Outfitters Kimchi Blue Crosshatch Printed Eternity Scarf $29

J. Crew Lemlem Hilansha Gauze Scarf $125

Marc by Marc Jacobs Jacobson Stripe Scarf $178

Etsy ESEHandMade White Shawl Scarf $13.50

Boutique To You Wildfox Starshine Scarf $64

Shopbop Theodora & Playa Scarf $175

Forever 21 Bold Stripe Scarf $9.80

Urban Outfitters Deena & Ozzy Shredded Square Scarf $29

Scarves Dot Net Tess Striped Loop Scarf $12.71

Diesel 2-SLOO Scarf $88

Lori’s Shoes Bohemian Blossom Scarf $22.95

Tee-Zone Plush Love Scarf $86

French Connection Union Scarf $88

Urban Outfitters Studded Scarf $39

Gypsy 05 Joni Scarf $50

Shopbop Brightly Twisted Scarf $98

Madewell Seastripe Sarong $41.60

Forever 21 Geo Rainbow Pom Pom Scarf $10.80

Asos Heart Print Snood $16.57

Madewell Spot Dot Scarf $49.50

 

Summer Skirts

I’ve mentioned before that Summer dressing, to me, should be easy and effortless, but still polished.  There’s nothing better than being able to pair a great pair of pants or a bright silk skirt with your favorite tee or tank top.  It’s the perfect balance of appearing casual, yet like you still care about your appearance.

Lately I’ve been stocking up on skirts of different lengths in preparation for warm months.  I’m going for bold colors, interesting prints and fun hemlines to wear with my best simple solid colored tanks, layered with denim shirts or a light sweater.

Summer Skirts That Transition From Spring To Summer:

Monrow Tucked Skirt $98

Lucca Couture Pleated Floral Skirt $64

Helmut Lang Wrap Skirt $185

Motel Ditsy Floral Skater Skirt $60.88

Michelle Jonas Long Hippie Skirt $299

Gypsy Junkie Studio Skirt $43

Rebecca Minkoff Femi Skirt $228

Pim + Larkin Striped Tie Skirt $44

Club Monaco Alice Skirt $149.50

Guess by Marciano Tipton Tribal Maxi Skirt $138

Antipodium Checker Skirt $154.50

Brandy Melville Cameron Hi Low Skirt $57

C & C California Zephyr Tie Dye Tube Skirt/Dress $54.60

Stem ‘Tube’ Midi Pencil Skirt $34.90

Daftbird Angle Maxi Skirt $99

Blu Moon Bias Hi Low Skirt $120

Plastic Island Chiara Skirt $74

Michael Stars Highline Stripe Maxi Skirt $98

Charlotte Russe High Waisted Stripe Skirt $24.99

Trouve Colorblock Skirt $78

Sanctuary St. Lucia Skirt $128

ASOS Collection Skater Skirt in Large Spot $48.71

French Connection Southern Summer Skirt $147.99

ASOS Collection Flippy Skirt in Animal Print $52.19

Patterson J. Kincaid Nixie Long Skirt $74

West Coast Wardrobe Scuba Skirt $36

Something Else by Natalie Wood Metamorphis Maxi Skirt $156

ASOS Collection Cotton Skater Skirt in Paisley Print $66.10

Forever 21 Maxi Length Lace Skirt $29.80

Marc by Marc Jacobs ‘Night Bird’ Silk Taffeta Skirt $348

Torn by Ronny Kobo Ronnie Skirt $168

Patterson J. Kincaid Ziggy Skirt $168

Kate Spade New York ‘Melody’ Print Silk Skirt $219.90