June Beauty Favorites

On this last day of June, I wanted to share my June Beauty Favorites!

Summer Beach Reads 2015

Next week starts the month of July and I hope you're enjoying relaxing happy summer days. I plan on slowing down next month and enjoying more books by the pool. If you don't have any vacation plans you can always travel by book while enjoying your sunny life of leisure with an icy-cold treat. I've finished the first three books and am now starting on the last two, just in time for the movie release.

The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World by Jennifer Baggett, Holly Corbett, Amanda Pressner 542 pages; 2010 

 The Lost Girls are three twentysomething Manhattanites who ditch their high pressure magazine jobs to backpack around the world for a year, leaving their boyfriends behind. Each chapter is told from a different girl's perspective. As they journey 60,000 miles across four continents and more than a dozen countries, Jen, Holly,and Amanda step far outside of their comfort zones, embracing every adventure and experience the world has to offer—shooting blowguns with Yagua elders in the Amazon, learning capoeira on the beaches of Brazil, volunteering with preteen girls at a school in rural Kenya, hiking with Hmong villagers in Vietnam, driving through Australia in a psychedelic camper van and training to become a yoga teacher in India. Along the way, the Lost Girls find not only themselves but also a lifelong friendship. Theirs is a story of a bond forged by sharing beds and backpacks, enduring exotic illnesses, fending off aggressive street vendors, trekking across rivers and over mountains, and standing by one another through heartaches, whirlwind romances, and dancing til dawn at nightclubs. The girls are also honest in their faults. It was a fun, interesting and inspiring read. 

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter 337 pages, 2012 
The story begins in the early 1960’s in a remote fishing village just beyond Italy’s fashionable Cinque Terre. Young Pasquale, fresh out of college, has come back home to run his family’s small hotel. A beautiful American actress named Dee arrives as a guest. She was originally in Rome for the filming of Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Though Pasquale’s English is not great, and he’s also a bit shy, his earnest good intent makes an impression.  We then cut to contemporary America – Hollywood. Claire is a film-loving assistant at Michael Deane’s studio. Deane began his career as a production assistant for Cleopatra, later became a big-time producer, then fell off the pace awhile before getting his groove back via reality TV. Claire is about to give up when two visitors show up. One is a young writer hoping to pitch his sensationally bleak movie idea and the other is an older Italian gentleman there to see Michael. The third story line in the book is the one of an American writer who visits Pasquale’s hotel annually with the intention of writing a book, but in practice to drink wine. He did manage a chapter, though, and the truth is it’s very good. As the book goes back and forth between story lines you eventually see all they all piece together. 

House of Hilton by Jerry Oppenheimer 304 pages, 2006
This juicy tell-all is the unauthorized story of the Hilton family. If you want to know how Paris Hilton became who she is, you have to know where she came from. The cast of characters includes Paris’s maternal grandmother who married 4 times,   Paris’s mother, Kathy Hilton, groomed by her mother to be a star and marry rich. The book reveals that Kathy Hilton is described as pushy, arrogant, condescending and social ladder climber, basically an older version of her daughter. Kathy was quoted in the NYPost threatening anyone that contributed to this book, which only advertised the book in production and got the author more sources. Conrad, Paris' great-grandfather who built the hotel empire, set it up so that none of his relatives could get discounts staying at Hilton hotels, but Kathy threw her name around anyway. Hotel staff dish on the lack of parental care the young girls had running around the hotel and Paris' pet ferret that she carried around in her Prada bag. If you watch the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" it dishes on Kim and explains so much. I'm ashamed by how much I enjoyed this book, it’s a really good trashy beach read, I couldn't put it down as it was an entertaining read!

Oh You Pretty Things by Shanna Mahin 368 pages, 2015
Jess Dunne is third-generation Hollywood, but her star on the boulevard has yet to materialize. Sure, she’s got a Santa Monica address and a working actress roommate, but with her nowhere barista job in a town that acknowledges zeroes only as a dress size, she’s a dead girl walking. As a personal assistant for a famous (and secretly agoraphobic) film composer, Jess’s workdays are now filled with shopping for luxury goods and cooking in his perfectly designed kitchen. Jess kills at cooking, a talent that only serves her intensifying urge to dig in to Los Angeles’s celebrity buffet. Enter Jess’s narcissistic mother who projects her unrealized dreams as a failed actress and deepest class shames onto her daughter. Jess is kind of a mess. Actually a hot mess. She always seems either completely insecure or wildly overconfident. She quits jobs before she has other jobs lined up. She mouths off to her bosses, sometimes for imaginary slights rather than real ones.  Shanna Mahin's sarcastic and humorous voice in this LA setting, highlighting (and surely mocking) the obsessive nature of celebrities and their fans alike.

Paper Towns by John Green 
305 pages, published in 2008 and coming out as a movie on July 24. It debuted at #5 on the New York Times bestseller list and right now is #19 amazon where the kindle version is only $4.

Quentin Jacobsen, 17, has been in love with his next-door neighbor, Margo Roth Spiegelman, for his entire life. A leader at their Central Florida high school, she has carefully cultivated her bad ass image. Quentin is one of the smart kids. His parents are therapists and he is, above all things, "goddamned well adjusted." He takes a rare risk when Margo appears at his window in the middle of the night. They drive around righting wrongs via her brilliant, elaborate pranks. Then she runs away (again). 

If you need some more book recommendations check out last summer's reading list. 

Jurassic World

A friend of mine had a Jurassic viewing party. First we went to her house to watch the first movie – Jurassic Park. Then we went to the movie theater to see Jurassic World which set a new record for highest-grossing box-office opening weekend of all time making $100 million dollars each weekend. Starbucks even made it to Jurassic World. There was more product placement than actual dinosaurs from the Mercedes, to the Beats by Dre headphones, Pandora and Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville. Can’t forget the man who made sure to save himself and his margaritas when all hell broke loose! lol

I’m glad I watched the first movie because I don’t remember seeing it some 20 years ago. It won three Oscars and started Samuel L. Jackson, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, and Wayne Newton (Seinfeld's Newman). The new movie (not directed by Steven Spielberg) seemed just like the first movie remixed, same premise of two kids surviving an attack from the world’s deadliest predator and saved by the hot Chris Pratt. While the female lead character tries to out run the dinosaur in heels. Well I did notice this time around they sprinkled in a lot of black people which the old was devoid of. If you’re thinking about seeing this movie, I’d say wait to catch it on video.

Blogger's Scene Summer Cocktail Party

This was my fifth blogger scene event that Ashley and Natalie&Erika host. It was at the new Vida rooftop pool in Yards Park. Picture cabanas, blueberry cocktails and sexy men in the pool! I was beyond thrilled to see they were giving out gift bags from my favorite jewelry designer Kendra Scott! I also got a manicure from Beauty in a Beat. I was so impressed that they had tons of awesome giveaways. And while I never win anything, I was surprised this time to win one giveaway for a lip scrub and lipstick from Makeup Meltdown which makes custom lipstick colors and discontinued lipstick matching.  I learned a lot from the great panel from local bloggers who gave tips and advice on blogging. One of the panelist is an amazing makeup artist and youtube vlogger Claire who gave me a great tip on what highlighter to buy. I connected with other bloggers I've met at past events and it's always a great chance to meet new bloggers and find out about awesome blogs to read!

Jen's Bridal Shower

I recently hosted a bridal shower for my friend Jen whom I've known for 6 years. It brought her friends together to one place to share fun stories and we all had a fabulous time.  I made it a gold theme since that's the colors her bridemaids will be wearing. The other bridemaids and I made the brunch spread of quiche, fruit, bagels, cupcakes and my french toast casserole.

The drink station included a delicious mimosa made of fresh strawberry puree and we kept the champagne continuously flowing! I added glitter to the champagne bottles for a fun look, instructions here. The other container is passion iced tea.

I surprised the bride by creating a video of her fiance answering the same questions I asked of her to see if their answers matched and that got a lot of laughs!

The bride to be got her makeup professionally done and looked glowing and had a wonderful time.

If you saw Kevin Hart's movie The Wedding Ringer and wish there was really something for women, well you're in luck there is! lol You can get a bridesmaid for hire, story here.

How to Style Coral Shorts

I really wanted a pair of linen shorts and the ones at the LOFT came in this pretty cinnamon color. But once I got them home I didn't know what to wear them with so I looked on pinterest and got a lot of inspirational ideas.  To my surprise I found that a dark blue looks really nice with it. Also a lace white tank makes for an interesting outfit. Or a flowy black tank. So you don't have to stick with a boring white or black t-shirt to wear with these shorts. I created some outfits out of my closet using the stylebook app, but I linked below some items still in the stores that you can get.

Old Navy Summer

Old Navy has some cute clothes out for summer! They have your classic hat styles covered - the Panama hat and the Floppy Straw Hat which comes in two colors. And the best part is that they come in two sizes because one size does not fit all heads! They have a cute Jersey Tube Jumpsuit, Cami Romper and pull on Linen Shorts which all are must haves! There's lots of bright colored dresses to chose from. For your Fourth of July there's the classic flag tank. Check out their swim cover-ups as well. All at affordable prices!

Strawberry Picking

Summer weekends are the best aren't they? I swear I'm running from one place to the next. On Saturday morning a went strawberry picking. I was super excited as this was my first time ever doing this! I've only gone apple picking, vegetable picking and to the pumpkin patch. We got to the farm around 9am but still it was hot and the picking required a lot of sweat and bending over. The small berries are hidden under the plants which required lots of walking down a row and squatting to retrieve them.

The farm also had peonies for sale.

The car ride home smelled delicious with all the strawberries in the back seat.

All the work required that we go to brunch and I tried out a popular French restaurant I've never been to before. Afterwards I met up with a couple friends and spent the afternoon at the pool.

When I got home I made some strawberry popsicles - recipe here. Then went to a rooftop party.

Sunday I started on a new project at home, will tell you about that later. This year my goal has to been to sign up for different boutique fitness studios every month to keep my workouts different. So for the month of June I will be taking pilates classes on the reformer machine.