Happy New Year!

Cheers to Sparkling Bright in 2014!
Best Song Ever - Ringtone Tribute to One Direction by 2013 Ringtone Legends on Grooveshark

Wanted to share some NYE traditions from around the globe. Eating beans on NYE is popular in many places: in the South of the US they eat black eyed peas, in Japan they eat black soybeans, and in Italy and Brazil they eat lentils. The idea is that it gives you prosperity for the new year. Ecuadorians burn pictures from the past year or realistic looking scarecrows to purge negativity. People in Turkey believe that if they do good deeds for others it will bring greater happiness for them in the new year. In Denmark they throw plates at their friends doors, the more broken plates you have the more friends you have. In Spain they eat 12 grapes (of luck) when the clock hits midnight. In Greece, they make special bread that is baked with a coin inside it.  The person who has the piece of bread with the coin receives good luck for a year.

When I was a kid I used to love watching the ball drop on TV in NYC with all the confetti! This year I'll be rocking an amazing cocktail dress with purple sequins of course. Whatever your traditions are I hope you sparkle louder on New Years!




2013 Year in Review

I wanted to post a recap of some of my favorite posts of the year. I did a mini recap for my 200th post, but here are some other favorite posts of mine. I feel I've accomplished a lot this year documenting my life and just things I like on this blog. If you enjoy reading my blog make sure you follow me on bloglovin so you get an email in your inbox when I post a new post. It's a great way to follow all your favorite blogs in one combined daily email.

Fashion posts

Warm accessories                                    Military chic                                 The white blazer
Style Posts

Shades of grey                                              Raingear                                    Street Style
Organization

Shoe closet                                                 Jewelry storage                        Nail polish display
Travel

Packing Tips                                             Plane snacks                 Panama rainforest (wild monkey attack)

My Favorite Lipsticks

       Riri Woo                                             Fix a broken lipstick                        Nars Blonde Venus



If you're hosting a NYE party tomorrow here's an appetizer idea.




Sephora Wish List


If you didn't get any beauty products in your Christmas stocking this year and you need some ideas on what to spend your Christmas gift cards on, here are a few items that I have been coveting lately at Sephora that you might like too.

  1. Even though I'm a MAC cosmetics addict, I've seen lot of people wearing the Urban Decay Naked Palette. And while I normally shy away from brown eye shadow, preferring bright colors, I really like the looks I'm seeing from this palette.

  2. I experimented with the Oil Cleansing method for all of a week, it would be nice to get it all conveniently packed in a bottle by Boscia. 

  3. My lips have been super dry this month, I keep hearing people say how Fresh Sugar is the best stuff ever for lips so I've been wanting to give it a try.

  4. My hairdresser uses Invisible Oil when he blow dries my hair so it's been something I've been wanting to add to my hair routine

  5. He also recommended I try Dior blue mascara, seems like a fun idea.

  6. I read in the December issue of Allure magazine that this time of year you should use the best richest cream on your skin. For the face it recommended Origins A Perfect World Age-Defense Moisturizer with White Tea SPF 40. 

  7. Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder is a skin mattifier to remove excess surface oil.

  8. I like light pink/mauve shades of nail polish so this Marc Jacobs shade really caught my eye. 

#YouSparkle

I was incredibly honored to be part of a photoshoot with a bunch of lovely ladies: Hannah (lovealwayshannah) an Event Planner,  Ella (Start Close In Styling)  a Stylist who will help you restyle clothes you already have and all photographs are by Lauren (Lauren Modny Photography).   

Ella came up with these amazing theme ideas for the shoot.  She really inspired me to really style my outfits with belts and sweaters to have a more polished look. She's available for virtual styling of your closet for $50. Lauren just made us feel very relaxed and comfortable during the shoot. The other models Ashlynn and Sharlett were beautiful and such naturals in front of the camera and fun to work with! 

This is Ella's fireplace, not only does she have an eye for piecing outfits together, she has amazing interior design talents. She also had all the jewelry donated for the shoot.

Hannah has an incredible eye for detail and design, she styled this table below which looked like a page out of a Crate and Barrel catalog! I've also been to her house and I just love her use of mason jars, milk glass vases, and decorative vases (some in the above photo). She even arranged her bookshelf by color!  If you're looking for a talented event planner who will help you create a "personalized look" for your event then check out her  portfolio! 





Serious looks for the Real Housewives of .....


Isn't funny how our complexions look the same on our feet? lol





Merry Christmas!

Justin Timberlake on SNL

Favorite Christmas Songs


My family spent a Christmas in Cancun when I was a child and I remember being on boat where they played Feliz Navidad, so since then that's always been one of my favorite Christmas songs. Spotify tracked the most popular Christmas songs played and Mariah Carey - All I want for Christmas was number 2 while Michael Buble dominated the rest of the top 5 list. 

My favorite line Mariah's "Baby Please Come Home" is:
They're singing "Deck The Halls"
But it's not like Christmas at all
'Cause I remember when you were here
And all the fun we had last year
Kelly Clarkson and Mary J. Blige both released great Christmas albums this year, because sure to check them out.



Gingerbread Soap

Want a calorie free way to enjoy this?


Let me introduce to the best smelling soap ever! The Body Shop's Gingerbread soap is my fave for December! I didn't finish a whole bottle so last year I kept the other half for this year. 



Check out the world's largest gingerbread house!



Peppermint Hot Chocolate


I don't drink hot chocolate often, it's an indulgence for me, but when I do I'm a hot chocolate snob. I really like Williams and Sonoma's peppermint hot chocolate because it's made with shavings of premium chocolate rather than cocoa powder. You melt it in hot milk and it's just rich and smooth chocolaty deliciousness! If you've never had peppermint hot chocolate, then you need to upgrade from plain! I dip vegan marshmallows into it. This would be a perfect accompaniment when you watch the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

For a healthy alternative try this recipe:

By the way did you know today is National Free Shipping Day? Over 1000 stores are participating! 



Healthy Egg Nog

I mixed my Vanilla Shakeology with Califa Holiday Nog for a festive shake! You could also make french toast with this!


Vanilla Nog
  • 1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology
  • 1 cup Califia Farms Holiday Nog
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg  (benefits of nutmeg)
  • Coconut Water Ice 
  • 1/2 tb coconut oil (optional)
Enjoy!
Give Shakeology a try.


For another delicious holiday recipe check out Snickerdoodle Shakeology.


Winter Bucket List

Joy to the World by Mariah Carey on Grooveshark I spent last week in San Francisco expecting to escape the cold here but to no avail, it was a chilly 50 degrees there! Now that I'm back home I feel I can finally get ready for Christmas! With that comes my winter bucket list! I grew up always having an artificial Christmas tree because it's environmentally friendly plus inexpensive, you use the same tree every year. Now a days artificial trees look almost real and come with the lights already on them to simplify your decorating. To get the Christmas tree scent I use Yankee Candle wall plugs in and this reed diffuser which has the "fresh forest scent of balsam, aromatic cedar wood and juniper".


Tis the Season to Look Hot
For the past three years I've participated in Santarchy. It's a free event that takes place in major cities all over the world involving 100s of people dressed up as Santa running around town as a group amusing passersby. lol  We sing carols and people bring cookies to share. Then end the day bar-hopping or we go to the zoo to see the lights at night. Everyone's super friendly and it's just a jolly old time! This year I dressed up as an elf again

When I was a child I used to take ballet lessons that's why I enjoy seeing the Nutcracker ballet. If you live in San Diego I hope you were lucky enough to see the Men's Chorus version of it. lol I talked about my favorite German Christmas wine Nurnberger Gluhwein here. The next two days I'll talk about healthy eggnog and peppermint hot chocolate.




Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

I'm sitting on a plane right now using wifi on my tablet coming from a business trip in San Francisco but wanted to talk about one of my favorite childhood movies.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
I loved the original version of this movie when I was a kid and couldn't wait for this new version to come out a few years ago so I could see how delicious they would make the chocolate factory look.
The first time I saw this movie I didn't like the Oompa Loomps, but this time around I did find them funny. The movie is not just a modern version of the old, there are many plot changes. The whole movie is hilarious and Johnny Depp did an excellent job playing his electric character. If you like to watch feel good movies around the holidays you should rent this. If you read my cell phone case post last week you recognized the lucky chocolate bar from this movie:





Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bar


Have you had Starbuck's Cranberry Bliss bar? It's a must have this time of year. It's a "blondie cake base, topped with sweet cream cheese icing, tart dried cranberries and white orange drizzle."Yeah not a healthy option at all but sure was a hit when I bought my version to work. Here's a skinny version of the recipe.




Christmas Nail Art Ideas

With so much to think about during this busy time of year (decorating, cookies, ice-skating, peppermint hot chocolate, etc) you can’t forget what your nails will be wearing to all your festive occasions, they have to look super awesome too! Last year I dressed up as an Elf and painted my nails like candy canes!


I tend to follow color rules and December is when I wear my reds. But I also think there's nothing more glamorous than a woman with red nails, even if they're short, because I think it's always so elegant and pretty. But to find a red you love and that suits your skin tone can become a bit of a task. If you're still on the hunt for that perfect holiday red, look no more! These two cool colors will brighten up any winter day with their vibrant color. Sooki (cool cherry red) & Rekha (medium blood red) and flatter anyone with tanned skin and are my favorite reds and the only ones I wear.

But if you want to be different, while everyone is wearing red polish, you can try rocking a gold color that is just as festive! Ziv is an opaque gold foil with glitter accents. I have that on my toes right now.
Or wear a Christmas tree green with this amazing metallic emerald green color called Giovanna, part of  Zoya's new Fall Cashmere line.

While shopping at Target I picked up a new color, my first time trying the Essie line with a color named D'Oeuvres which is described as a "delightful confection of platinum gold with a touch of iridescent silver glitter". I was surprised it retails more than Zoya. Here's a picture from Essie's website to show you just how sparkling the glitter looks, definitely a must have for this season. I'll be breaking out this amazing color for my work holiday party this year where we play the Just Dance video game!




If you need a color that reminds you of sugar plum fairies, look no further than this combo of Charity and Faye (one of my favorite colors, it's a purple with gold sparkle). For even more sparkle add on some larger gold glitter nail polish.



Let me know in the comments below what polish you will be rocking this holiday season!