Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Blanket Scarf

With the cooler weather coming in, it's starting to feel like winter will be here soon. This time of year I get excited about breaking out my scarves as they instantly change the look of any outfit. Remember the third piece rule? Blanket scarves have been around for a few years now but I hadn't added one to my collection yet. Although I think most of us would agree they seem intimidating at first since there's so much fabric to fold. I did a blog post on scarf folding back in 2014, but this is a whole new ball game. KellyintheCity has an excellent diagram on multiple ways to tie a blanket scarf, I use the Classic method. I keep seeing on pinterest that the go to accessory for the season is the comfy blanket scarf so I've rounded up a list below of some affordable ones you can add to your closet. I got mine from the Accessory Concierge but I don't see it anymore on their website. This will make a great gift for friends and family as well.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Personal Development Books

The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations by Oprah Winfrey; 2017, 240 pages
Super Soul Sunday is Oprah's new television show. Organized into 10 chapters - each one representing a powerful step in Oprah's own spiritual journey featuring selections from the most meaningful conversations between Oprah and some of today’s most-admired thought-leaders. Visionaries like Tony Robbins, Arianna Huffington, and Shonda Rhimes share their lessons in finding purpose through mindfulness and intention. World renowned authors and teachers like Eckhart Tolle, Thich Nhat Hahn, Marianne Williamson and Wayne Dyer, explain our complex relationship with the ego and the healing powers of love and connection; and award-winning and bestselling writers like Cheryl Strayed, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Elizabeth Lesser explore the beauty of forgiveness and spirituality. I listened to the audiobook which includes a entire conversations between Oprah and each leading thinkers as they engaged the whole world in a brilliant conversation. It's a very thought provoking book!

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works by Dan Harris; 2014, 256 pages
After Nightline anchor Dan Harris had a panic attack on live television, on Good Morning America at the time, he decided he needed to do something about the voice in his head. He started practicing meditation as he found it increased calm, focus, and happiness. It's a very compelling introduction to meditation.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson; 2016, 224 pages

This book encourages you to embrace conflict, to be comfortable feeling uncomfortable, and to be confident in finding out what you truly believe in, then standing up for it. This is a brilliant handbook on how to do well in life.
Then Mark moves on the importance of feeling pain and having problems. These are necessary aspects for growth. You cannot ever get anywhere without failing. Life is essentially an endless series of problems. The solution to one problem is merely the creation of another. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“To be happy we need something to solve. Happiness is therefore a form of action; “Travel is a fantastic self-development tool, because it extricates you from the values of your culture and shows you that another society can live with entirely different values and still function and not hate themselves. This exposure to different cultural values and metrics then forces you to reexamine what seems obvious in your own life and to consider that perhaps it’s not necessarily the best way to live."

 "We don’t always control what happens to us. But we always control how we interpret what happens to us, as well as how we respond."

"It turns out that adversity and failure are actually useful and even necessary for developing strong-minded and successful adults."

"But a true and accurate measurement of one’s self-worth is how people feel about the negative aspects of themselves.”

"We are so materially well off, yet so psychologically tormented in so many low-level and shallow ways. People relinquish all responsibility, demanding that society cater to their feelings and sensibilities."

Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find -- and Keep -- Love by Amir Levine, Rachel Heller; 2010, 304 pages
The book reveals how an understanding of how attachment theory can help us find and sustain love and the impact that our early relationships with our parents has on the people we become. The author describes how attachment theory can be applied to romantic relationships. There are three types of attachment: secure, anxious, and avoidant. According to the authors, 50% of the population is securely attached, 25% is anxious, and 25% avoidant.

 *ANXIOUS people are often preoccupied with their relationships and tend to worry about their partner's ability to love them back. The premise is that your childhood, but also any experience you had afterwards with intimate relationships, lead to certain attachment patterns.

*AVOIDANT people equate intimacy with a loss of independence and constantly try to minimize closeness.

*SECURE people feel comfortable with intimacy and are usually warm and loving.

 The book provides a lot of examples and checklists and inventories so that you can figure out what's going on in your relationship, how you might be exacerbating the problems, and give suggestions about how you could respond instead. And that was a real eye opener!

The author said, “We hope that you will use the relationship wisdom distilled in this book, from more than two decades of research, to find happiness in your romantic connections and to soar in all aspects of your life. If you follow the attachment principles we have outlined, you will be actively giving yourself the best shot at finding—and keeping—a deeply gratifying love."

The Big Leap - Gay Hendricks; 2009, 224 pages
The book explains how to eliminate the barriers to success by overcoming false fears and beliefs. According to Hendricks, we subconsciously set upper limits for ourselves. We believe that things can only be so good, and then only for so long. When circumstances get too good for too long, we start to believe that we don't deserve them, or they won't last, so we subconsciously upset our own apple carts.  The foundation of the book is the fact that we are all born to win, but when we get a feel for winning, we back down and go back to our comfort zone. Hendricks also offers some ideas of how we can operate in our genius zone more often. Essentially, the book helps you learn how to jump from mediocrity to excellence. Here are a few quotes I liked from the book: "Worrying is usually a sign that we’re Upper-Limiting. It is useful only if it concerns a topic we can actually do something about, and if it leads to our taking immediate and positive action."
"Money arguments never have anything to do with money, they are always about something deeper in relationships."
"In my life I’ve discovered that if I cling to the notion that something’s not possible, I’m arguing in favor of limitation. And if I argue for my limitations, I get to keep them."
"Criticism and blame are addictions. They are costly addictions, because they are the number-one destroyer of intimacy in close relationships."
"Make a careful study of your worry habits, when people drop their addition to worry, I see a lot of lives change."

Related posts:
Playing Big as a Woman
No Excuses! The Power of Self-Discipline
The Gratitude Diaries
The Magic of Thinking Big

Monday, November 27, 2017

Red Booties for Fall

Red boots are everywhere right now and I think they add a fun unexpected twist to outfits. I prefer the darker burgundy shade of red, I think it's a more versatile color. I went with the lowest heel I could find so they could be comfortable enough to wear for hours. I also ordered the wide size,  I've never needed that before, but thought it would be great for thick winter socks. All the boots below come in red.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017



Who says sweatpants have to be boring and grey? I want to share some stylish loungewear I like. I have the top three items as I love GAP's featherweight crewneck tee! I bought a few some years ago and they've held up really well so I picked up a couple new colors this year. See a theme here with my color palette? I love purple! These shirts are so soft and perfect to sleep in or lounge in at home. And they're only $15! Best of all Gap is having a 40% off everything sale with the promo code HAPPY.

I also got the Softspun marled joggers from the GAP which are made of a super soft plush fabric which are definitely very comfy and stylish to lounge in. I like to look put together even when I'm netflix and chill and home, so I'm dressed nice enough in case I have a pop in from a neighbor or friend.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Stylish Walking Shoes

Here's my pick of the most stylish shoes for your commute. If you either walk to work or take a walk during your lunch break, I think you'll like my sneaker style crush list. My absolute favorite on the list, is the Michael Kors Allie sneaker (left). It was love at first site when I saw it! The shoe is made of different fabric textures, charcoal flannel, shiny and metallic. I've never had a black sneaker before, but these would go great with my black slacks. The shoe also comes in a navy velvet (pictured above). Millennial pink workout clothes were a big trend this summer, now rose gold is on the scene for winter. Muted purples are popular as well as dark burgundy.

Monday, November 6, 2017

What to Buy at the Sephora Sale

It's the time of year when the entire store goes 20% off for VIB Members! That's if you spent a minimum of $350 at Sephora in the past year. The sale is from Nov 10 - 15. If you're a VIB member, you can use the code "20FORVIB" for 20 percent off. I wanted to help you get your cart ready now so you can place your order quickly before things sell out.  First check the sale section as that will be an additional 20% off sale prices! Sephora has a lot of holiday gift sets which are a great way to try a brand by buying a set of samples sized products. During the sale I always buy the higher priced items on my wishlist that I was hesitant to splurge on before. It was fun to look at what I had on my wishlist last year as I've bought everything except the first two items.

Clockwise from top:

Sephora Beauty Masks A multibranded, curated assortment of Sephora’s bestselling masks with innovative formulas for a range of skin concerns that includes boscia,  Dr. Brandt, GLAMGLOW,  REN, Sephora Collection Pearl Face Mask, Tarte Pack Your Bags 911 Undereye Rescue Patches and Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask for $22.

ALTERNA HAIRCARE Caviar Repair RX Re-Texturizing Protein Cream A deeply restorative, luxe leave-in treatment for coarse, porous, or severely damaged hair. I tried a sample of this and my hair looked amazing after I blow-dried it.

OUAI Hair Oil A multitasking oil that smooths frizz for high-gloss, super smooth finish made with -Ama Oil, Borage Oil, Baobab Seed Oil and African Galanga Root Extract.

OUAI Treatment Mask A restorative healing mask that’s formulated to leave strands incredibly soft and smooth after just one treatment made with Tamarind Seed Extract, Smart Keratin, and Artichoke Leaf Extract.

Luna Sleeping Night Oil A next-generation retinol oil that boosts the look and feel of skin plumpness, while visibly improving the signs of premature aging, including fine lines, uneven texture, age spots, dryness, and dullness. Made with Trans-retinoic Acid Ester, Blue Tansy and German Chamomile, and Chia Seed Oil. I got a sample of this and it has a learning curve to not apply too much or else your face ends up looking like a blue smurf. lol

COVER FX Custom Enhancer Drops A formula of ultra-concentrated, illuminating and bronzing drops to customize your ideal glow with a liquid metal or sunkissed finish.  Use it alone for a light reflective strobing or bronzing effect even on top of powder, or add them to your favorite liquid foundation for an all-over glow. Here's a close up of the shade I have - Moonlight which is a soft, silver glow.

DR. DENNIS GROSS Alpha Beta® Peel Extra Strength Daily Peel The patented two-step formula contains seven acids, is easy and safe to use at home, and does not require any recovery time. Step one is packed with rejuvenating, powerful, yet gentle exfoliating acids. Step two controls the alpha hydroxy acid activity, delivers anti-aging actives, nourishes, and keeps skin balanced, smooth, and radiant.

GLAMGLOW GLOWSTARTER™ Mega Illuminating Moisturizer A hydrating, super-charged cream with iridescent illuminating pearl particles to blur, reflect, and enhance your complexion for an instant luminous finish. I have the nude glow color, I love this stuff!

Sephora Airbrush Sponge The official BeautyBlender sponge is $20, so when I lost mine and saw that Sephora made the same thing on sale for $5 I had to get it! It's a great makeup application sponge. To clean it use dish soap mixed with olive oil and together it will get out all the makeup stuck on it.

HUDA BEAUTY Contour & Strobe Lip Set A limited-edition gift set that makes it easy to create Huda’s signature contoured lip look. Huda is one of Instagram's highest paid influencers who started off as a beauty blogger, then selling lashes, and this year just released her own line of makeup. Her lip glosses all smell amazing! She grew up in America to Iraqi parents and has lived in Dubai for the past 10 years.

If you're in the mood to do a pumpkin mask you can use my DIY recipe or buy one of these masks:
Pumpkin Enzyme Mask
Pumpkin Sleeping Pack
Pumpkin 24K Gold Sheet Mask

Rihanna released her own line of makeup for Sephora this fall featuring 40 shades of foundation, the 8 darkest shades sold out immediately. I read an article about how many millions of dollars its grossed in just two months increasing Rihanna's empire and net worth. I liked her collections at MAC in the past, but nothing from her collection at Sephora appealed to me and I tried on everything in the store the first day it arrived.

Sephora just started carrying the Moon Juice line last week. The Brain Dust one is a powder blend of super herbs and super mushrooms to help sharpen focus and concentration, increase mental clarity, and promote a positive mind and mood. I've been thinking about giving it a try.

A read this article that said a woman is suing Sephora for getting herpes from a lipstick. Now I test a lot of lipsticks in the store directly on my lips. However, I always find the alcohol spray and wipe off the top layer before using it. When I sample lip glosses I get the sample applicator to use. I assumed all people did this? Now I wonder if I should start watching what other customers do. I feel swatching the lipstick on my hand wouldn't really show how it would look on my lips. According to the article:

So how could lipstick give a woman herpes? Warren illustrated: “A person would have to have an active cold sore and come along and use lipstick. Then you would have to come with badly chapped lips and use that same lipstick within two minutes”—the virus gets weaker and disappears with exposure—“and you’d have to get quite a bit.” That’s because your body is trained to fight off small doses of the herpes virus; it would take a heavier dose of herpes to travel from the lipstick to chapped lips and into the system for a person to contract the virus.
Here's my most recent lipstick purchase which was the result of trying on multiple shades in the store over 2 visits when I saw these lines released new collections. I call these colors burnt orange, my favorite lip shade, but the manufacturers label them as brown.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Matte in Staunch (muted burnt orange with matte finish)

Urban Decay Vice in Backseat (sienna in a creamy, rich opaque color)

Finally, Sephora also has an advent calendar with 24 palace doors, which always sells out! I always get a chocolate advent calendar from Trader Joe's. Here's a list of beauty brands that should have an advent calendar again this year.

Related posts:
5 Best Plum Lipsticks for Fall
Do you want to transform your skin?
Winter Skin Care Savers

Thursday, November 2, 2017

8 Best Nail Polish Colors for Fall

Fall is all about wearing deeper colors on your nails. My favorite brand of nail polish is Zoya because its toxic free and they always have deals. Burnt orange is my absolute favorite color to wear in the fall! Here are my top three oranges:

Zoya Autumn is a dark orange/reddish sparkly color.

Zoya Austine is a gold metallic frost with fine silver shimmer. It's the perfect penny color!

 Nadia is a sparkling, gingery gold metallic

For a purple I recommend Isadora, a rich, shimmery plum.

Or Jana which is a lilac grey.

For a rich medium red, I recommend Rekha.
If you're looking for the perfect dark navy blue I recommend either Sailor or Ryan. Both are opaque colors and Sailor is a bit lighter than Ryan.

Related Links:
Nail Polish Organization
Top 5 favorite summer nail polish colors
Dip Powder Nails: Alternative to Gel Manicures

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