Top 5 favorite summer nail polish colors

This weekend was the official summer kickoff for me. I went to an annual Caribbean Wine Festival, my 9th year going! I had a blast dancing and drinking all the delicious sweet wines in every flavor.  Spent the rest of the weekend at my pool.

My theme song for this summer is Taylor Swift - "Wildest Dreams"

He said, "Let's get out of this town,
Drive out of the city, away from the crowds."
I thought heaven can't help me now.
Nothing lasts forever, but this is gonna take me down

I love pastel pink nail polish because I think it looks so pretty on my tan skin. The colors you'll see me wearing a lot of are from left to right:

CND Vinylux weekly polish Cakepop which is the non-gel version of my favorite gel color

Essie Mint Apple Candy - mint is my new favorite color (see this post)

Essie Fiji - an opaque, creamy pastel pink

Essie Tart Deco - a bright coral color which is out of the norm for me but I got it on a pedicure during my trip to Los Angeles 

Zoya Dot - an opaque, pink petal cream

What are you favorite shades to wear in the summer time? You can see the rest of my nail polish posts here and how I store my nail polish here. I'm working on my bucket list for this summer, here are my previous ones:

Summer Bucketlist

Creating Success Through Personal Style

Design Your Life : Creating Success Through Personal Style is the name of Rachel Roy's new book. It's a fashion guide and biography (without pics) offering Rachel’s real life experiences and fashion advice to help women develop personal style and manifest a life with intention.

You might recognize the name if you've been following the internet rumors from Beyonce's lemonade. This 5'10 Californian of half Dutch-half Indian heritage has styled many celebrity clients including Kim Kardashian and her dresses have been seen on Michelle Obama. Her fashion line can be found at Macy's including a plus size collection. I loved her personal mantras in her book, I got so many great practical tips! It reminded me of Nicky Hilton's book where I wasn't a fan of either before I read the books, but if you're trying to transform your personal style you should definitely pick up their books. Rachel's 200 page book is crammed with helpful tips  for women to use as they build a closet full of clothes (or maximize the one they already have) on the way to becoming the best version of themselves. 

Here are five of my favorites tips:

1. Confidence Makes Your Look Good
I truly believe in what Rachel says that, "clothing and personal style can affect how you feel about yourself and therefore how you treat yourself, thus fashion plays a major role in self-esteem and the type of energy one gives out.We do better when we look better because we feel better. Confidence makes everyone look and feel savvy, powerful and alluring beyond words. How we dress affects the way we believe in ourselves and hold ourselves and as a result profoundly impacts how others believe in us as well. So especially dress the part at work."

What she's saying is that it's not that you need to own a lot of clothes or expensive clothes, but rather you need to know how to dress to flatter your body shape and how to accessorize your outfit. When I look at pictures of myself 10 years ago I thought I was fashionable then, but really my outfits were so plain. And even now while I feel I have mastered the evening look, I don't quite have my casual weekend look down. I only started wearing fashion scarves a couples years ago and still rarely do it. Rachel says, "scarves can instantly up the sophistication factor or completely change the look of any outfit." I feel I need help establishing a distinct personal style to help me look my best because I know I feel better about myself when I have the confidence that I have it all together. I'describe my style as effortlessly chic, simple, beautiful, feminine, and a sophisticated working woman.

One of Roy's favorite outfits to wear is a suit which she wore to Kim Kardashian's wedding. You'll have to read her book to find out why she walked a red carpet in her pajamas. lol She says that everyone needs to own a jumpsuit and leather leggings as they look great on everyone and doesn't go out of style. 

2. A Vision Board Can Help You Identify Your Personal Style
Like me, Rachel is really into vision boards, see mine hereShe says, "it gives you goals to work towards every day with a constant visual reminder of your aspirations which are motivating like the law of attraction. Our goals and confidence are expressed not only in what we say but also in our posture and clothing choices and jewelry choices." I also have pinterest boards for fall, summer and work outfits. It helps me shop my closet for ideas with old pieces to see how things can mix and match. 

3. Dress Your Best on Weekends
Nikki and Rachel both say to never run to the grocery store looking sloppy. Rachel suggests you put together a couple go to weekend outfits for the days you have to run errands and don't want to think about what to wear. By dressing the way you want to be thought of and treated, you're inviting that respect and admiration into your life. It's true, fair or not, you are treated how you look.  Rachel says, "when you feel comfortable, you project confidence. When you leave your house I'm a firm believer that it's important to present the sharpest, brightest, best version of yourself - whether you're shopping for groceries, it doesn't matter. Always channel your highest version of yourself.   With a little thought, you can put together a few exquisite weekend uniforms that are flattering and comfy on your day off." 

I never wear flip flops I think they're so unfashionable and Rachel does too. She says, "unless you're getting a pedi leave the flip flops at home. Get some laceless slip-on sneakers. They are modern and youthful and make comfort look as it should:easy." So I went out and bought myself a pair of European rose gold sneakers. 

4. Dress Up for Casual Get-Togethers

When I throw parties in my home I love setting the mood with decor and themed food. I take a lot of time creating my idea for the party, even if it's an intimate get-together. Thus, I dress up and politely suggest to my friends they should too. lol Well I loved reading Rachel saying, "when invited to someone's home or party, I consider dressing respectfully to be just as important as bringing the host a gift. I always consider all the energy of the host put into planning the festivities and I try to match that effort into my attire. I take to heart that the host spent time preparing a space or a meal, or creating an experience for me, and I want to reciprocate the effort and energy in every way I can. One way to try to match that is by putting through into how I present myself. I personally like having the option of being slightly overdressed versus being underdressed, because I'm more likely to project confidence and poise when I err on the side of formal as opposed to casual."

5. Items You Need In Your Closet
Rachel recommends using a clothing steamer over an iron. I have a steamer that I take with me on vacation but never thought to use at home. Rachel says, "When steamed, clothes look the way they're meant to because they hang the way they're meant to drape on your body as opposed to being flattened and pressed against an ironing board. Backstage at runway shows we use steamers as do retail stores."

 Rachel recommends to save and invest in timeless well-made accessories as  it will make you feel your best when balanced with your outfits. You're wearing your personality. I threw out half of my costume necklaces with my recent closet purge. Rachel says, "Accessories are the details that truly convey that a woman cares deeply about how she is perceived and who she wants to be." 

On the topic of sunglasses, Rachel says, "There's nothing cooler than a pair of sleek aviator shades. They are undeniably fashion consistent and flatter everyone." I bought a pair of purple RayBans on my last trip to New York.  "Designer labels and perfectly tailored pieces look exquisite on the outside but their real value is their ability evoke the wearers sense of self-worth and spirit." With that in mind, I invested in my first designer dress, an orange sheath by Diane Von Furstenberg.

"If you can't be better than your competition, just dress better." - Anna Wintour 

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Play! by Sephora Subscription Box Review

Can I tell you that I love subscription beauty boxes! Paying a nominal fee and getting luxury sample sizes in the mail is a nice surprise!  Sephora recently started it's first monthly beauty box only available in a few markets and there's a waitlist for it. For $10 a month you get six sample sized products and a large booklet containing product info. In the past I've gotten Ipsy boxes, the Allure Box, and Birchbox but ultimately ended all of those as they weren't a good fit for me. I love shopping at Sephora, in fact check out my Sephora wishlists here and here, so I figured I would love this monthly box of products by brands I know and can easily find in their store. This month they included all of the samples in this adorable drawstring bag. The booklet indicated that this month's theme focused on products with natural ingredients. 

Shop My Closet

Last week I did a major closet purge read about it here: 6 Easy Ways to Declutter Your Home. I had a week inbetween jobs and really enjoyed my staycation waking up without an alarm but still keeping my workout schedule. Then last weekend was jam packed with fun events! Friday I went to a rooftop happy hour when the weather was perfect. Saturday was the European Union open house tour and I visited the embassies of Ireland, Latvia, Romania, Croatia, and Poland. After all that walking I came home and took a nap. Then went to an afternoon birthday party that went late into the night at multiple locations. Sunday evening met up with friends for drinks. Then on Monday an old friend from Australia that I went to Spain  with was in town for just one day so we went out late that evening.

Anyway after doing a major closet purge I started researching my local thrift stores and found out there's a lot of rules to selling, you have to make an appointment to do so, they only take summer clothes right now, and most said they don't take Bebe clothes which a had quite a few pieces from. For every birthday and NYE the last few years I've won a dress once that I will never wear again. So I listed all my Bebe dresses on a site called Tradesy. Their buying and selling process is super easy! You can shop my closet here. Happy shopping!

How to Style Mint Pants

Mint is my new favorite color. I painted my bathroom this color and I love nail polish in this shade (Zoya Neely).  I'm starting to embrace clothing in mint. I purchased a pair mint chinos from the Limited and have been looking for ideas on how to style it. You can also find a pair at Old Navy and the LOFT but don't see the color online. I think it will be a great clothing piece for spring and summer outfits. I've found that mint can be very versatile, you don't just have to pair it with a black or white top. You can also mix florals, stripes, purple or navy with mint pants.

Celebrity Book Club

Here are six books written recently by celebrities. My last book post was coincidently on books written by supermodels. 

Has anyone seen my pants? Colonna, Sarah, 2015, 288 pages
Sarah is best known from Chelsea Lately and also does standup comedy. In fact, after reading this book I took a couple of my girlfriends to see her show when she came to town and she didn't disappoint. The book is a look at Sarah's single life as a woman in her late thirties. Although financially secure, having great friends, and a great job, Sarah seems to have a problem when it comes to male companions. This is a book that looks at the funny side of relationships and the search for the one true companion. The book is super funny, witty and enjoyable to read, hence I finished it in a weekend. I could relate to the part where she constantly has to remind restaurant servers that she's single, you know because it's so imperative that they remove the other place setting if no one else is joining you. Spoiler:
She's getting married to a Seahawk!

6 Easy Ways to Declutter Your Home

I got a new job and had a week in between them for a staycation. On Monday my mom surprised me and treated me to a facial. The rest of the week I exercised daily, read books, and cleaned my entire condo.
It's hard to start cleaning up clutter, but once you get started it happens so quickly!  Last year I talked about the teachings of Japanese cleaning guru Marie Kondo who wrote a housekeeping manual called  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. She inspired me to start folding my clothes vertically and get a better handle on keeping my home clean. While I haven't rebounded per say, I just had a temporary clutter issue caused by not putting things back in their place on a daily basis.

I read her newest book Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up as a refresher course to get me back on track. Kondo says that, "Living in a clean and tidy space automatically improves your self-image and you'll find it hard to stand anything else. It can have a dramatic impact on your life. When you get down to business, it's amazing what a transformation can take place in just two days. You can do it very quickly once you set your mind to it." She advises to not buy any storage containers, she courages you to get rid of things instead of hiding them.  Here are six rules from her book:

1. Reduce the Amount of Clothes You Own
Kondo recommends you do a "joy check" on your clothes, put them on and ask yourself will you really wear them again. If no, thank the clothes for the wonderful memories they gave you. In my closet I found a lot of clothes still in dry cleaning plastic bags that got lost in my closet.  I started with skirts and shorts and now there's actually space between them in my closet which I never had before! I thought the tops would take me forever and I was really dreading it, but it breezed by pretty quick. I have a large bag to sell at my local thrift store. I got rid of all of my clubbing tops that I haven't worn in 10 years. I got rid of a lot of sequin dresses but kept the 5 sequin shirts I own. I got rid of all the clothes from Forever 21, H&M, Express, and BeBe as I've outgrown those stores. I got rid of all of my birthday dresses because let's be real, those were one time occasion dresses. Per Kondo's recommendation, I retired senior members of my bra collection. And I got rid of  most of my necklaces. Then I tidy up the top shelves in my closet, folded the sweaters nice and neat to pack them away.

2. Declutter your Office of Paper 
I have honestly never done this and had piles of paper at my computer desk. Kondo recommends to tidy by category (such as papers) instead of by room. The reason why is that "tidying by room doesn't work because people think they have tidied up when in fact they have only shuffled their things from one location to another. You can clear your mind simply by discarding all unnecessary papers. Keep the desk area relatively clear." I gathered all the loose papers I had in every room and threw most of them away and filed the rest.

3. The Bathroom Is The Most Public Space In Your House
Wow isn't that the truth, you don't want to feel embarrassed if a guest opens a cabinet. Kondo says, "Toilet related storage is where appearances matters most" and recommends storing everything in baskets.
I scrubbed the tile around my bathtub with bleach and threw away some old cosmetics. I'm going to make a better effort at putting away toiletries after I finish using them. Kondo says, "The toilet is your home's "detox area, thus it's important to keep the energy flowing through, so keep it uncluttered. Cleanliness is crucial. The ideal bathroom will have a fresh natural aroma." You can see how I organized my medicine cabinet here.

4. Make Your Kitchen Orderly 
I did a major kitchen organization last year so I'm already following her recommendations. Kondo recommends that dishtowels should be folded and stored upright. I keep mine in a shoebox which allows me to see how many I have as I change mine seasonally. She talks about storing plastic bags folded to reduce bulk. I threw away a dozen reusable bags that I don't use. As instructed, I already keep all my plastic wrap, aluminum foil, parchment paper upright under the sink. Kondo says that "cleaning supplies are only of value if they are used. If you have any in your closet that have not even been opened, open them up and use them completely to do a thorough cleaning of all the storage spaces in your home." That was eye opening for me because under my sink is a graveyard of speciality cleaning supplies that I can't even remember what I bought them for. So instead I cleaned the outside of my stainless steel fridge. A couple recommendations I couldn't follow were to throw away all my cookie cutters that I never use. And she says not to keep soap and sponges around the sink because they create water stains.

5. Make Your Entryway Tidy 
The first crucial impression of your home starts from your entryway. Kondo says, "I can tell the state of a person's closets the instant I set food in a doorway. Any home with a cluttered entranceway is bound to be cluttered throughout. It's preferable to keep as little as possible in the entranceway." She recommends to hide messy piles with baskets and boxes and dress up your entryway with something special." Here's my previous post on my entryway  and my something special is art work I've painted myself.

6. Get Rid of Your Purses and Books
Kondo got me here when she asked, "Are you still hanging on to handbags that you once used every day but have since replaced with similar ones? This is very common. For clothing accessories accept the fact that you will never use them again and bid them farewell." While I couldn't get rid of my purses, I did clean my favorite summer purple Coach signature purse I've had for 10 years that was so dirty!  As for books Kondo says, "Once a book has been read, it has already been "experienced." Take every book off the shelf and pile it on the floor. Don't start reading them." Luckily for me I borrow all the books I read from the library.

I've been using the Stylebook app for a couple years now which makes closet purging so easy! See it keeps track of what I wear and what I'm not wearing. Here's what I wore last month. I had to check my calendar to see why I wasn't wearing clothes on April 17 and 24. lol Turns out on the 17th I went bike riding with friends in Great Falls park so I was in activewear all day. And the 24th was a stay home and chill day. I do no clothing repeats in a month to make sure I wear my closet. It also makes shopping easy because I can check my closet from my phone to see if I really need a pink sweater or how many do I already own.

"The relationship I have with my closet has always depended greatly on the condition I keep it in. It's so easy to let things get out of control, to shut the door and hide the mess. I know that when my closet is chaotic I feel less confident in its contents. That dreaded feeling of "I have nothing to wear" usually stems from the anxiety created by an unorganized scene.  When I stay on top of this, I'm able to find what I need, look the way I want to look, and project the image of that woman I aspire to be." - Rachel Roy

         Shoe closet                                            Jewelry storage                        Nail polish display

Target Finds 2016

I stopped by Target on Friday and wanted to share some of the new finds I saw there. First up office supplies in gorgeous colored hues!

I've talked about my favorite green cleaning company Mrs. Meyers before, well Target had her new scents Peony and Lilac. I bought both! 

Target also had Method (also a green company) hand soaps and dish soaps in this pretty designed bottle.

As a fitness enthusiast and non-plastic bottle user, I'm always interested in alternative materials for water bottles. See my water bottle collection here.

I've been wanting to get myself a rose gold S'well water bottle but the $42 price tag has stopped me.
See the S'well bottles are made of stainless steel that keeps your drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours. Target has partnered with S'well  for a new collab called S'ip by S'well for $25.

When I took Barre classes the popular water bottle sold and used at the studio were bkr glass bottles which retail for $35, well Target has identical plastic bottles for a fraction of the price.

I love throwing parties and having pretty tableware so I was impressed Target was carrying such pretty plates!

When Target announced it was doing a collab with Marimekko, I thought for sure it would sell out like it's collab with Lilly Pulitzer, so I was shocked to see fully stocked shelves with their clothing! I still use the Marimekko towels I bought from Crate and Barrel 9 years ago.

If you want to get your hat game on for summer, Target has both Panama hats and floppy hats.

I loved this yellow plaid shirt !  

Need a blouse for work, they got you covered there! 

In the food section, I spotted Hint water which is fruit-infused water has zero calories, no sweeteners, and no artificial flavors. This was the first time I'd seen their sparkling water line so I picked up some to try. 

I've been consuming non-dairy milk since high school. A friend of my turned me on to this cashew milk which I couldn't find in Safeway or Whole Foods so I was super excited to see it at Target!

Target also had all the new Amy's frozen meal flavors. Amy's makes vegetarian frozen meals and snacks. From their new line, I recommend the Artichoke & Parmesan Swirls, Broccoli Cheddar Frozen Soup, Chinese Noodles & Veggies in a cashew cream sauce. My all time favorite is their Country Cheddar Bowl which is priced cheaper at Target than Safeway or Whole Foods.

Target also had my favorite Barefoot Wine in every flavor and alcohol-free wine.

Bronze Summer Glow

Are you looking for a natural, nude, and bronze summer glow? Here are some products that will give you that bronzey summer glow we're all looking for!

I have naturally pale, beige skin with pink undertones but I prefer my look when I have a tan. Right now I'm using a prescription Retin A product to renew my skin and increase collagen production which means I have to stay out of the sun. Hence, I went to Sephora to see what I could pick up to give me that bronze glow.