New Year Haircut Itch!

As the new year is quickly approaching, I can't help but feel my annual "new year - new me" itch forming.  This year, it is manifesting itself particularly strongly with my hair.  I have super thick, long, wavy hair, but recently I have been tempted to try out a shorter cut. Here are some looks I have been ogling on Pinterest. 

I think I may decide to chop it off, but I'm not sure yet.  What do you think??


My On-The-Go Beauty Essentials!

Hi Everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. I apologize that it has been a whole week since my last post-- with my parents' move, things got a little bit crazy!

Today, I thought I would share my go-to beauty picks that I most always have in my travel makeup bag.  Even though I love makeup, I don't like wearing a lot of it in my day to day life, only using what I consider to be the essentials on a daily basis.  I am a firm believer in the less stuff you put on your face, the better it is for your skin (minus moisturizer and cleanser of course!). Because I travel so much, I love having products that can be easily packed and that I can always count on.

My skin is very fair, and usually on the "normal" spectrum, although I do deal with the occasional breakout or dry skin outbreak.  I am not a big fan of liquid makeups because for whatever reason they seem to make my skin look very oily, often leading to breakouts.

From L-R Back to Front:  Lipstick: Dior Lip Glow || Dry Shampoo: Detox Dry Bar || Concealer: Josie Maran Argan Creamy Concealer Crayon in Light 1 || Highlighter: Benefit Watts Up! || Primer: Bare Minerals Prime Time || Blush: Nars Orgasm || Under-eye Concealer: Bare Minerals Well Rested || Foundation: Bare Minerals Light W15 || Eyeliner: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Intense Black || Mascara: Benefit Bad Gal Lash

Bare Mineral's Prime Time makes my makeup stay on all day long without feeling thick or pasty. It is super breathable and sheer, which I love.

Nars Orgasm is by far my favorite blush ever. It instantly adds color to the apples of my cheeks without looking overpowering, giving me a nice glow. Because it has flecks of metallics in it, it reflects light well and adds a bit of dimension without being sparkly or shimmery.  Also, everyone I have ever seen wear it (diverse skin tones) has looked fantastic in it. 

Dior Lip Glow is the lip product I reach for every day without fail. It adds natural looking color and moisture that lasts. Because the light pink color of it is rather sheer, it plays up the natural color of your lips or the lipstick you may put underneath it. 

Benefit's Watts Up! is the best highlighter that I have tried because it is so easy to use and will stay on all day long. I swipe some down the bridge of my nose and across my cheekbones to create a fresh, dewy look.  I also put some (using my fingertip and smudging out with the attached blender) on my brow bone to visually open up my eye. 
I use Josie Maran's Argan Oil Creamy Concealer Crayon to cover up any particularly pesky blemishes. It blends in easily and is also moisturizing. 

Stila's Intense Black Eyeliner Pen is my foolproof eyeliner. It lasts all day long, is a rich black color, and is SO easy to use. The tip is pretty firm, making it simple to do a quick application without making a mistake. 

Benefit's Bad gal Lash is my most used mascara because it is super black and does not dry out easily. One tube lasts me twice as long as my other favorite - Covergirl Lashblast. 

Finally, Detox Dry Shampoo from drybar is one of my absolute favorite things because it instantly makes my hair look refreshed and voluminous.  It helps me to go longer between washes and is perfect for travel.  Whenever I am having a bad hair day, I spray some on my roots and voila! Instant hair! This dry shampoo is a bit hard to find, but it is sold at some Sephoras and online at

I hope you guys enjoy my on-the-go picks! Let me know what your personal favorites are!


Next Chapter!

Today marks a big day for me, something new that I have never experienced before. For people who grew up moving a lot, it may not seem like that big of a deal, but for me its pretty huge.
I was born in Charlotte NC in the early 90's, at a hospital about 3 blocks away from the house I leave behind today--  over 21 years later, my parents are officially moving away from the place I have always consistently been able to point to on a map and call HOME.

I've known this was coming for a long time, and even though I left Charlotte when I graduated from high school, there is something so comforting about a familiar spot, a pesky creak in the floor that you unconsciously anticipate as you walk up the stairs, a place where you can drive without even thinking about where you are going because you know every turn completely by heart, the experience of catching yourself smiling when you pass by the place that you first met your high school sweetheart.

Thinking about all these things made me sad at first, but the more I consider the change I will make today when I step on my flight to meet my parents in Texas,  I realize more than ever, as much as I will always love Charlotte, it wasn't her that was home, it was the people.

Taking a step out of my comfort zone teaches me the saying "home is where the heart is" is indisputably true.  Places can come and go, locations can change, but it is the people I can count on.

With this, I am overjoyed, thrilled, and thankful for everyone in my life and for our adventures to come.

Thanks for the memories! Now I'm ready to go make some new ones. 


Quiet Moments!

During periods of stress in my life, I find it more important than ever to appreciate quiet moments, and be especially thankful for the little things I sometimes forget to remind myself of. 
 Open your curtains... take a few deep breaths... put your feet up... and fix yourself a warm drink. 
There is so much to be thankful for!  

Peace, Love & Joy!


Great Gifts under $25!

Here are some great picks for gifting on a budget: 

1. Jonathan Adler Stacking Dish 24$ // 2. Blue Agate Bookend 19$ // 3.Monogram Glass Plate 12$ // 4. My Agenda mini 25$ // 4. Merry Cherry Duo 20$ // 5. Thermal Pajamas 18.69$ // 6. 'R & B' Mini Nail Laquer Duet 24$ 

1. This dish comes in a few colors- I love it! Perfect on top of a dresser, entryway, or in a bathroom.

2. I love decorating with agate, and these bookends start at a great price. Perfect for any book lovers or decor enthusiasts you may know!

3. Personalized and cute, this plate is perfect for a stocking stuffer (just make sure it is wrapped carefully!!).

4. myAdgendas are the BEST planners ever, and these mini ones are a great size for people on the go. I highly recommend them.

5. Philosophy makes the cutest sets, and this duo smells amazing.

6. These target pajamas are cute and incredibly comfortable- I own them in every color! If you know anyone who loves to lounge, definitely put these on your list.

7. This Nordstrom exclusive comes with an included glitter pouch!

Happy Gifting!



I love this time of the year so much! It can be stressful with so much going on, but it is also such a hopeful time because there is truly so much to look forward to.  Right now, I am pushing through my work with the excitement and joy of knowing that when I am done I will get to celebrate with my loved ones!

I love this print from Etsy-- you can do what you set your mind to, you just need to believe!

Have a great Tuesday night!

What to Wear to a Debutante Ball!

This weekend, one of my best friends had her Debutante Ball.  She looked beautiful and we had so much fun!!
Most people I know (especially people who are not originally from the south) are always perplexed by the event and have no idea what to wear to one, or even what to expect.

So, as this was my third "ball," I have now proclaimed myself as an authority on what to wear to such an event... not sure if I am allowed to do that, but I am doing it anyway.

For the night before party -- usually a dance of some kind or a rehersal dinner like before a wedding-- I wore an Alice and Olivia dress called the "Fern Novelty Slip Dress" that I found in NYC at a sample sale.  Here it is pictured on a beautiful model and on me:

This was a great dress for the occasion because it was dressy (cocktail attire) but still fun and good to dance in.

The ball itself is a bit more tricky to dress for. I don't have a personal collection of evening dresses on hand, and the only really nice long dresses I have are from my Junior and Senior proms. As much as I loved those dresses, they had their time. 
I knew I wanted to wear something that was appropriate for the winter season, and wanted to get a dress I can wear again for any kind of black tie/formal event. Therefore- I headed straight to my favorite color to wear- black. 
Adrianna Papell Nordstrom (Also available in White!)
I found this dress at Nordstrom and loved wearing it.  It is simple and so detailed at the same time. The skirt has tulle rosettes sewn into it and there is an awesome belt that goes around the smallest part of the waist that I find to be flattering on most everyone. There are even optional straps! 
If you don't like going sleeveless, all you need is a wrap and you're set!

Here are some major don'ts if you ever find yourself invited to a debutante ball:
1. Do not wear a short dress to the ball, it has to be long.
2. Do not wear white or beige because people will mistake you for being a debutante
3. Do not wear uncomfortable shoes if you plan on dancing 

That's all for now!

PS: Does it HAVE to be Monday tomorrow??


Today I broke my cardinal rule of Thanksgiving outfits: always wear something flowy and forgiving.
For some reason, when I woke up, I rejected my free flowing outfit that I picked out a month ago, instead opting for a pretty tight (but very stretchy) dress from Anne Taylor.  I have no real reason for that decision, I just woke up feeling completely not in the mood to wear what I thought I would. Does that ever happen to you?
I love this dress, and even though by the end of the night and a serving of thirds (from the dessert table) I was a bit concerned about my very visible "food baby," it was comfy and warm all day long!
To compensate (or at least try to) for the potential post-turkey and pumpkin pie issues of this outfit, I wore this large Cardigan from SheInside that has become one of my favorite pieces. It is really a hybrid between a coat and a sweater, as it does have a bit of weight to it.  If you have never checked out SheInside before, you should. They have TONS of awesome pieces for really reasonable prices.  

I also wore my Dolce Vita wedge booties that are super comfortable and come in great neutral colors. I love them so much I am tempted to order this similar pair from Nordstrom (Nordstrom is having awesome Black Friday sales by the way...)
I also wore something that I thought was very appropriate for the holiday: this headpiece from anthropologie:
Normally I am not into hair accessories at all because my hair is super thick and unruly- any attempts I make to jazz it up in any way are usually futile. Needless to say, this was a bit wild for me. But, I thought this looked ok today; it made me feel very festive. Maybe you will see it again next Thanksgiving.
Mom & Sister
All day long I have been trying to make a mental list of things I am thankful for, and I am realizing that it is basically impossible for me to do that because the list would go on for infinity & beyond. 
That being said, here are some things I am particularly thankful for today (in no particular order)

Free Speech
Roof over my head
The Future
The Past
The Present
A warm bed
.... and all of you!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Pre-Thanksgiving Style!

Hi friends! Happy Thanksgiving Eve! I cannot believe that Thanksgiving is tomorrow.  I hope you have all had safe travels home or to family members/friend's homes. If you are leaving tomorrow (like me!) have a safe trip.

I love this time of the year (November & December) because it is most usually filled with time spent with family and close friends. For me, this means getting to spend time with my beautiful older sister, Kathleen, who is in Medical School, and always extremely busy working hard!

Tonight, she let me style her for a casual dinner out with friends from high school.  I would describe her style as very eclectic, so I wanted to pick some items with fun textures, reflective of her own personal style.

We started with this pair of wedges from francesca's that she recently purchased and we both love. 

Using the lace pattern in the leather wedges as a jumping off point, I chose a lace dress from forever21, and then a flowy, red, knit sweater with cable detail in the back to layer over it.  The look is finished off with a pair of gold earrings from Stella and Dot, slate grey tights, and metallic clutch from Elaine Turner.



Great Gifts Under $50!

Hi everyone! I hope that you have all had great weekends. Mine was wonderful and went by so fast... I am in Florida visiting Ben and the time has just flown by. 
Thinking about how fast time moves gives me a bit of anxiety about my upcoming Christmas shopping (which I have hardly started)! It will be time for Christmas and Hanukah before we know it, scary and super exciting at the same time!

Here are some of my favorite gifts this year for less than $50. They are mostly for women, but my next gift guide will hopefully be some gift ideas for men! Enjoy and let me know what your favorites are!

1. This powder from Bobbi Brown looks great on everyone, adding a bit of shimmer and sparkle to any look. I put some on my cheekbones and down the bridge of my nose and love the way it catches the light.

2. I love Alex and Ani's bangles, and many of them are under $50! They expand so are easy to put on and fit many wrist sizes. Something I love about this gift is that it is a bit more personal; you can select a charm that is particularly applicable to the recipient of your gift. See some of my favorites on my personal wish list on Pinterest.

3. Obsessed with this C.Wonder cake stand! I use cake stands for many things that have nothing to do with dessert, including a stand for my makeup and a platform to put candles on.

4. This gadget from Belkin allows you to turn on/off lights with your smartphone or iPad! All you need is wireless internet. This would be great for nights when you don't want to get out of bed to turn of the lamp you turned on six hours ago, or when you are away from home to keep potential burglars away.

5. These Happy Socks are so cute and I love that they come in a set of four. They also have the same style of set for men.

6. This tray from J.Crew is so cute and a great price.  People could use it for earrings, or a catchall for other small objects.

7. Baggu bags are wonderful, and this Duck Bag is great for toting around anything you could ever need. It is lightweight, durable, and comes in tons of colors/patterns.

8. This set of three ties from The Tie Bar is a great gift as they are handsome looking ties that would be a great addition to any guy's wardrobe.

9. These Acrylic Boxes are perfect for stylish desktop organization, makeup organization, or even a place to stow pretty baubles.


Gift Guide 1: Cozy Comforts

Hi guys! So today marks the first post in a series of "gift guide" posts I will be doing through early December. I decided to start off with "Cozy Comforts" because I am inspired by the chill in the air this weekend!
My next one will be gifts under 50$.
Let me know if there are any categories of gifts you would like to see featured in the coming days. 

From Top Left to Bottom Right

1. I love giving (and receiving) any kind of photo book, but Artifact Uprising makes incredible ones that literally turn your memories into art. If you have never made a photo book before, they are super easy to make and order. All you have to do is upload your pictures to the website and design whatever layout you want. 

2. I love robes in general, but I decided to feature this one from Juicy Couture because I like the length of it and think the subtle ruffles are cute. It also has a nice weight to it, not to heavy or thin.

3. I am a huge fan of Sundance Catalog and this pullover would go with so many outfits (over sweaters, on top of leggings/skinny jeans, etc). You can't go wrong with cashmere!

4. Speaking of cashmere, I love these Mark and Graham slippers. You can also get them monogramed for no additional charge-- comfy and thoughtful!

5. As a huge Elaine Turner fan, I think this bag is fabulous. It zips up for on-the-go convenience, and the one strap makes it easy to cary. The rose gold adds an effortless elegance. 

6. Jonathan Adler makes hands down the best candles ever. This one is no exception and makes a fantastic gift for anyone on your list!

6. We can't forget puppies list!! I chose this C. Wonder bed because it has great comfort for your pup (or cat?), but is really stylish at the same time with the lucite frame.

7. This tea set from West Elm makes me want to cuddle up and sip tea with my friends while watching Harry Potter...

8. These UGG Australia leggings (NOT shearling lined) are so soft and would serve as great PJ's, but honestly I think I would wear them out in public. They are stretchy and cozy!

Let me know what you think and have a great Saturday! 


CUTE Holiday Sweaters!!

Hi Everyone! Happy Wednesday- we are getting closer to the weekend :)

I recently purchased two sweaters from Lauren Conrad's collection for Kohl's that I just love. I don't  have much experience with Kohls because we do not really have many around here, but when I saw on LC's website that she was selling a collection, I thought I would check it out. Fortunately, I was not disappointed!  I remember watching Lauren on Laguna Beach (seems like forever ago...) and then on the Hills and have always thought she has really cute style.

The two sweaters I ordered are the blue Penguin Sweater and the blue fuzzy Heart Sweater. They are both on sale, which makes me incredibly happy!  I picked these two specifically because I am always on the search for festive clothes for the holiday season, and thought these had just enough cheer to make them perfect for upcoming nights by the fire & Christmas tree drinking hot chocolate. There are lots of other holiday appropriate options on the website.

The fuzzy heart sweater is super fuzzy and warm, but it does not shed at all.  It is soft and not scratchy.

I love this penguin sweater!!! The color is perfect for winter, and the penguin is wearing a tiny bedazzled bow tie. This could be a fantastic alternative to the "ugly Christmas sweater"... a holiday sweater that is actually cute! 

I orded them both in a size up from what I would usually wear because I plan on layering long sleeves underneath them when it gets really cold.  The sleeves are slightly long because of this, but it really doesn't bother me to just roll them up. 

Happy Shopping!

PS: I also love the Dot Sweater and Ooh La La Sweater!

Outfit of the Day

Hi guys! I hope you have had great weekends so far. Tonight, I went out to a nice dinner with three of my close friends. It has gotten colder here, so I needed to wear a semi-casual outfit that would look cute and also keep me warm. Of course, I immediately turned to my pink cardigan from Calypso St. Barth that my mom gave to me two years ago. This is probably my favorite sweater because it is a lightweight cashmere that is simultaneously warm and not heavy. Also, it's my favorite color: Pink!

I paired it with a pink leather belt with a bow on it from Forever 21. I love Forever 21 for budget friendly pieces that serve as fantastic accents to any outfit!

I wore those two pieces over a black dress from H&M (from a few years ago), a pair of black leggings, and boots from Corso Como. These are my favorite boots because they are incredibly comfortable and go with so many of my outfits (they also have memory foam soles!!). I have had them for three years now and they look as good as new!

I also wore one of my favorite necklaces, a Tiffany heart Key that was a gift from Ben.
Finally, I finished off the look with this Marc By Marc Jacobs tote that was a gift from my mom. I love the hot pink color!
Let me know what you think! Happy saturday night!


Nail-Polish, Red Cups, and Blackfish

Hi Everyone! It has been (almost) two weeks since my last post... (un?) fortunately my Senior year of college has been much more busy than I anticipated!
So here is a crash course of what I have been up to recently. Get ready for picture overlaod:

1. Halloween: I had the amazing opportunity to go to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party in Disney World's Magic Kingdom.  I dressed up in a make-shift Minnie Mouse costume and the whole night was amazing. It was probably the best Disney experience I have had; the decorations were incredible and everyone was in costume!
Then, I came back to North Carolina for actual Halloween, where I did not dress up, and the night of Halloween I desperately sifted through my closet searching for anything orange I could possibly wear. I ended up wearing all black and used my ONE orange article of clothing - this Kate Spade bag. I was surprised this was the only orange object I own!

Finally, I forced my boxer Bella to pose in front of some festive pumpkins. 

2. I learned how to make the world's tastiest cake. My boyfriend's grandmother is an incredible cook and makes this legendary cake that has the creamiest home-made chocolate frosting. It was just an honor to observe it being made... I suspect my attempts to replicate it will never measure up to hers!

4. I got this amazing Essie nail polish called the For the Twill of It. It was a Halloween gift from Ben's mom and I love it.  In some lights it looks purple and in others it looks like a gun metal grey- awesome.

5. Then, November 1st rolled around and Starbucks red-cups came around!!! Hurray!!! I love this time of the year because every time I get coffee I am remembered to be in a good mood by the festive red cups. I know it may sound silly- but it is totally true!

6. I watched the Incredible documentary, Blackfish. This documentary is so eye-opening, shocking, and a must see. Basically, it is about Orca Whales in Sea World, but touches on so many issues of the inhumane treatment of animals and ethics in general.  It is now on iTunes! Watch it now!!

7. I wore a lot of sweaters and scarves. It has started to get really cold here (really cold is 40's to me) and so I have been transitioning in my fall wardrobe. I am a huge fan of layers so It is exciting to get to wear them now. 

8. I started to get my Christmas stuff out!!! Hurray!!! I've already gotten comments from people that I am doing this way too early but I would rather get started now and have things done to enjoy them when it gets closer to the time to celebrate the season.

Thats all for now! I hope you had great weeks and you have an even better weekend!


A Bad Case of the Mondays

After an incredible vacation weekend with my boyfriend in sunny Florida, I returned home early this morning to a cold and rainy North Carolina. On the plane ride I home, I waited 45 minutes in the security line, I spilled coffee all over myself, and sat next to a crying toddler, all before 8 am.
Needless to say, when I got back home and was forced to change into something actually clean to wear for the day, all I wanted to do was put on a cozy sweater and stretchy pants to pull me from my slump- so thats what I did!

This extra cozy and comfy sweater is actually a maternity sweater... whoops! I saw it online and even though I knew it was maternity, I got it anyway because it just looked too irresistible ( I am a sucker for anything with hearts on it).  Regardless, I think it still fits well and is just a little extra roomy.  It is from New Look, and if you, too, enjoy wearing baggy clothing from time to time, maybe you should give it a try! I don't feel strange at all wearing it, just cozy!

These are J.Brand jeans I got forever ago, but after some extensive web searching I found a Similar pair on (On Sale too!!!).  I think they are actually exactly the same, just a slightly different color. Anyway, I LOVE these pants as they are so comfortable and I think the ombre coloring adds some extra interest.  J.Brand is by far my favorite brand of jeans- if you have never tried them before you should!

 I usually always buy mine at consignment stores because most have so many designer jean brands that it is pretty much unnecessary to ever buy a pair for full price.  If you live in the NC area, make the trip to Charlotte because consignment store  J.T. Posh always has an incredible selection.

I hope you are all off to great weeks!!