Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Ghostbuster Afterlife was the first movie I've watched in the theaters in two years. If you were a fan of the original movies from the 80s, this was a good follow up and heartfelt reboot. This film connects to the previous films which you have to have seen to understand all the Easter eggs. The premise of the movie is a single mom and her two kids move to a small town to live in the farmhouse their grandfather left them. They soon discover that he was the original Ghostbuster Egon Spengler played by Harold Ramis who has now passed but this movie is a tribute to him. 

Black Friday / Cyber Monday Sales

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving! This year I cooked the whole meal myself for my family using What's Gaby's Cooking recipes. I took the whole week off from work which has been nice after a weekend trip to NYC. I heard from someone that the mall was empty on Black Friday. I think everyone prefers to shop online now, especially with so many stores starting their Black Friday sale the week beforehand. I wanted to share some of the best Black Friday (through the weekend) sales from my favorite retailers. I find that often they will have a separate Black Friday sale and then a surprise Cyber Monday sale. Time to get shopping!

Shoe Repair

I wrote a post on 15 Shoe Repair Hacks You Should Know but I've learned something new that I wanted to share. It's good to know tips to care for your favorite shoes so you don't have to buy new ones.  The most important tip from that list is you should own a shoe stretcher

These are my favorite shoes for fall that I've been wearing everyday. Pointy shoes do come with some pitfalls so here are some tips to making them look a little less worn out. 

Fashion Trends to Look More Stylish This Fall

Fall is my favorite season to dress for with all of the layers and rich colors. First thing I do when we enter fall mode is to switch my closet over, then I change my perfume selections, new blog post coming up on that but I've already posted the top picks for men's fall cologne. Next I change my lip color from nudes to copper and I love wearing copper nail polish in fall! Wondering where to begin to change your wardrobe for the changing season?  I'm going to share all the fashion trends that are wearable and will make you look vibrant this season. Spoiler alert: the colors of the season are brown and green. 

What's in my shopping cart for the Sephora Sale

Starting tomorrow VIB members can shop for 15% off at Sephora and 30% off the Sephora Collection. I only shop at Sephora when they have sales so I'm always tweaking my cart for months on end until the sale hits. Fragrances are pricey, but make a great Christmas gift so I highly recommend making your purchase during Sephora's sale and take advantage of the extra savings. If you purchase a Sephora Favorites Perfume Sampler you get a certificate to redeem for a full size product of your favorite featured fragrance at no extra cost. Now would be the prefect time to pick up a Kilian fragrance while it's on sale.  I like Love Don't Be Shy (Rhianna's signature perfume) and Angel's Share which is unisex. I've shared my fragrance recommendations for men as well. 

Aperol Spritz Mocktail

This year for Sober October I wanted to see if I could find an alcohol free Aperol Spritz that is delicious and I did! Every year I do a sober month or two and this is my 6th year doing it. I feel it helps out not only my body but also my mind.  Alcohol consumption is second nature in our culture. People get surprised to hear you're not drinking and start asking all sorts intrusive questions thinking you're an alcoholic when you're not.  I think it's good to do 30 day alcohol free challenges every so often. Cutting out alcohol really helps clear the mind and prevents late night munchies. 

Alcohol does not help you get better sleep and you wake up more anxious. Even though alcohol makes you fall asleep, it wakes you up a few hours later in the middle of the night.  Did you know the longest you can go into deep sleep after drinking alcohol is 5 hours?

I really love a dry month as a reset for my spending and health habits. My mother always says its cheaper to drink at home. lol  At this point in my life I'm not looking to cut it out completely forever but I never regret cutting it out of my life for periods of time. I posted more alcohol free beverage reviews in this post. 

Peloton Review

Fitness is a big part of who I am. I exercise 6 days a week and when the endorphins hit I feel amazing! At any clothing size, I feel exercise has given my body a nice shape and sculpted arms. I've heard several times now from nurses that they have observed that people who exercise regularly recover faster after hospitalization than those who don't. Thus, I believe movement is medicine. Now that I'm celebrating 100 rides on the Peloton bike I want to share my review and whether or not it's worth investing in one.

{photo credit: IG sassyredlipstick}

Fall 2021 Nail Polish Trends

When the leaves start to turn, you often change out your nail polish colors to match the colors of fall. This year I've noticed that rich brown nail polish is trending. I think chocolate brown nail polish is so pretty and unique! I love to wear burnt orange and purple nail polish in autumn. In my Fall Fashion Trends I talked about what colors are on trend for fashion this fall, and this year its is a mix of the traditional deep rich colors of fall but also some pastels. Below are my twelve favorite colors to wear from Essie, OPI and Zoya.

5 Best Fall Colognes for Men

With the change in weather and cooler temperatures, he's going to want to transition from his fresh summer scents to colognes that evoke the aroma of autumn. A few of the colognes on this list have cardamom as a scent note which is a spice frequently used in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking. I love cardamom and use it in any pumpkin recipe, desserts, oatmeal, Indian curry and chai. It's also an ingredient in Trader Joe's pumpkin pie spice mix. It's hard to describe what it tastes like but it's in the same spice family as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, turmeric and cloves; its a warm spice with a vibrant, rich aromatic flavor. Here's your fall fragrance lineup.

Fall Fashion Trends

I don't know about anyone else but I have been ready for fall! I love fall fashion! Fall is my favorite season for the colors, the cozy mood, everything is perfect! Fall is the season to feel and look elegant with luxe fabrics and jewel colors.  Fall is a little bit dressier to me, it feels more buttoned up and formal for get togethers. Fall is the time people really make a shift with their wardrobe. You get to bring out your perfect pair of boots. Fall is the perfect season for dressing as it's so fun and you can make anything work by just adding some layers and jewelry. In this post I'm going to talk about the most wearable fall trends for 2021.  

Luxury Handbags for Less

photo credit: IG Polene_Paris

I wanted to share some gorgeous handbags by lesser known brands that are absolutely stunning! The craftsmanship and design of these bags are so gorgeous!  Not everyone can afford a Chanel or a YSL bag, so I have a list of unique bags that really stand out. If you want a bag that everyone looks at and admires the unique cut, design, lines and color, I got you covered! 

Which Brand Makes the Best Pajamas?

I love beautiful sleepwear! When I get ready for bed my pajamas make me feel happy.  I like to look presentable always, at home in my loungewear and pajamas; when I travel; and when I go to the gym. At this point we're staying home longer these days, so it's a good idea to invest in chic home clothes so level-up your pajamas. I don't know who came up with the idea to wear your most ragged clothes at home? My motto is: aim to look good all the time - then it becomes an expectation for the way you want to live. That means having nice loungewear for at home, nice pajama sets, and not walking your dog in your pajamas. I've created lots of fashion posts for what to wear in public but what about at home? I love to wear pajama sets because I can always be sure it looks presentable. It's fun to update your sleepwear so I want to share some great choices for you!

My Favorite Sunscreen: Supergoop

If you want to avoid having to get botox, always put on the SPF to prevent sun damage. I've religiously worn sunblock daily since college. I'm not the best at wearing hats since most hats feel tight on my head so I have to be diligent about my SPF. When I was a teen I was all about the 8 SPF from Hawaiian Tropic but now I'm grownup and using 40+ SPF. When you have melatonin rich skin you need a sunscreen that is brown skin friendly and will not leave a white cast on your skin.  I tried Coola sunscreen on my face but it left a white cast.  I used to use Neutrogena for my body but they just recalled it, but you can get your money back from filling out a form on their website. My favorite brand is Supergoop  for my face for a few years now. They are a bit pricey but they have a sale twice a year on their website or you can get it at Sephora when they have their twice a year sale. Or you can use your FSA dollars and buy supergoop from the Fsastore. 

Summer Reading List 2021

If you have some trips to the beach planned (or just your pool) here's what I've read lately that I highly recommend.  The last couple years I've come up with a good system for how I pick books to read:  every year Goodreads, a website I use to keep track of all the books I read (I read 26 books last year and 20 so far this year). They do a Best Books of the year awards voted on by readers in December. The books are separated into categories and I will read the top rated books in Fiction, Mystery and Historical Fiction. I also read all of Reese Witherspoon's bookclub picks. By doing this I'm reading books I wouldn't have picked myself, but every single one has turned out interesting and worth the read. This year she is picking only new releases. The first week of July I took a staycation and spent a lot of time in my pool reading books. 

2021 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony

The Tokyo Olympics were delayed a year because of covid but I couldn't wait to watch it! The opening ceremony aired twice on TV, live early in the morning on Friday and then during primetime, yet viewership was down 37%. There were protestors outside the stadium because they felt it shouldn't have been held considering covid cases are up in Japan. Fans were not allowed in the stands.  Jill Biden flew to Tokyo to cheer on Team USA. Olympic athletes were not allowed to bring their babies if they were breastfeeding and a death and blind swimmer was not allowed to bring her personal care assistant so she had to resign from the games.  

Summer Nail Polish

When you look down at your hands, the shade you're wearing always makes you feel happy. I've been a nail polish addict for years, I love painting my nails, I love having my nails look nice. I have seasonal rules for what colors to wear so during the summer months I like different things than what I like during the fall and winter. These are my top 5  picks for summer  that are mood-boosting colors.

One thing I notice about the woman who always looks wonderful, she always has fabulous looking nails. It's the first thing I notice about anyone. I've been embracing natural nails because during this pandemic I don't really want to go to a nail salon every few weeks. I think many people underestimate the power of nails, they make you feel better and boost your confidence. I am worthy of pretty nails.

They are the finishing touch to making me look chic and put together. I believe in investing in your appearance because when you look good, you feel good. It's improves your self-confidence.  Natural manicured nails always look chic and expensive. I follow trends to push me out of my comfort zone like this gradient color look. So I'm not always wearing the same colors and that makes me feel fresh and modern.  When I do go back to having gel nails, first thing on my list is getting lemon nail art! 

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2021

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is here! It's their biggest sale of the year. Depending on your Nordstrom status, you can shop on different days. I personally will start shopping on July 16th but the sale is open to the public on July 28th.  But, they are allowing you to add things to your wishlist now. I'm sharing with you my favorite picks that I already own or are on my wishlist. They have amazing deals as it's mostly brand new items on sale before they go to regular price and things do sell out! This is my favorite shopping event of the year!  Last year I bought some sneakers, a cardigan, sweaters, and more. I shop this sale every year because I always find great pieces. This is also a good time to stock up on beauty items that you'll use throughout the whole year. I need to replace my towels.  The clothes this year is more trendier items than the usual fall basics of previous sales, so they have switched it up and doing something different this year. I know the pandemic may have changed some of your spending habits, so take your time and only choose things that you will wear/use repeatedly. 

Fashion Books

I recently read three books about fashion that were incredibly insightful and informative! The first book was my favorite. If you've read my recent fashion posts, you'll see a theme here in that these authors say the same things I've been saying. At the bottom of this post are links to other books I've read about fashion. 

My Summer Skincare Essentials

I want to share my current beauty routine for the summer.  In the summer we need to change our skincare routine because being outside in the hot temperatures can lead to unwelcome problems. Since I'm working from home, and am outside a lot less, I've noticed my skin feels normal and unproblematic. If you're outside sweating a lot, your body is going to crave water; and without replenishing it the skin's moisture will be dry. The solution is to drink a lot of water and using products with oils and glycerin that will lock in the moisture into your skin.

I see skincare as a major investment, as your face is the first thing people see.  I've gotten compliments on my skin lately from a few people so I thought I'd share what I have been using.  You'll see that I don't use a cream moisturizer so I think the essences and oils are what is keeping my skin soft. I drink 8 glasses of water everyday, I know because I have a half gallon water bottle.  I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. I go to the farmers market every Saturday and make a batch of salads from that. I take a B vitamin which helps your body produce new skin cells, retain moisture, have softer skin and reduce the skins of aging. B vitamins are also good for your hair and nails. 

I’m a Sephora junkie, but I only shop during their 15% off sale a couple times a year. My goal has always been to create empty bottles, so everything you see listed on my previous beauty posts were used  until the bottle was empty. I don't need to purchase skin care products that often. I think quality skincare products are an investment in your skin's health. Good skin means you don't need as much makeup for your daily life.

15 Shoe Repair Hacks You Should Know

I wanted to share some shoe repair solutions that are super useful to know! You know that feeling when you buy a pair of new shoes but they need to be broken in before you can wear them. Here are 15 tips that will make your shoes easier to wear. The picture above is from my shoe closet, I had shelves built into a small closet so I could have storage for my shoes. My boots are on the ground. 

Top Summer Fragrances for Men

Since my 10 Best Colognes for Men post went viral, I wanted to make a separate list of top summer fragrances for men. In the summertime when you're sweating and it's very hot outside  you want a fragrance that's a little bit more on the fresher side. I included a few aquatic scents which are fragrances with an aquatic vibe coming from sea salt notes and greenery.  Wearing a fragrance is always a finishing touch for a lasting impression, which is harder to make with your casual clothes in the summer. Not so if you have a great scent that is lighter, brighter and fresher. When purchasing cologne know the difference in concentrations; the eau de toilette may be cheaper but doesn't last long. Always store your fragrance bottles in a cool dry place, not in your bathroom.  To make your fragrance last longer, apply unscented lotion to your skin before applying your cologne.

Must Try Summer Fragrances

In the summer, I wear scents that are light and fresh in the following olfactory categories: zesty citrus, breezy beachy, or green scents which are all going to be lightweight.  In the summer you should avoid heavy and gourmand scents.  Just like you swap out your dark nail polish for lighter shades in the summer, swap out your perfume for something brighter and sunnier. You want to pick scents that make you feel clean on a really hot day.  A summer scent  is often overlooked, but very important as it can literally make any outfit and a first impression. I can't stress this enough on my blog. Here's why it's so important, after people see your outfit they then smell you as you get closer, so it hits another one of their senses.  

My Favorite Amazon Purchases

I bought a lot of stuff this year from amazon and wanted to share my favorites with you. I'm probably the only person out here without prime but I feel I get my orders within a week of ordering and free shipping, I just have to make sure my order is at least $25. Here's a list of my favorite amazon finds I ordered in the first half of 2021. Amazon has become one of my favorite places to shop during the pandemic.  

Finding Your Personal Style

When you know your personal style you're going to have a nice cohesive wardrobe and you will save money because you won't buy things you don't like. It will also save you time figuring out what to wear and give you a sense of self-confidence. You get stuck in a cycle of shopping because you feel you have nothing to wear because you're not refining your style, instead just adding to it. Personal style is important because style is a way for you to communicate to the world who you are. It's not superficial, it's about feeling great and comfortable with who you really are and being the best version of yourself. You feel powerful when you wear your favorite items. I am aware that on some level there is a frivolity to it but on the other hand its such a vital and important role in your life. When you look good, then that translates to feeling good. It is one of those things that I think we think is frivolous but at the end of the day how you feel is incredibly important to your day. 

Summer Capsule Wardrobe

I came up with 6 key pieces for summer that are a mix of new items and older pieces that will form the basis of my summer capsule wardrobe. Now that I'm tiptoeing into post lockdown life, and will be going out more, these are the items I'm most excited to wear. If you have a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear and struggle to get dressed day to day, then it's time to edit your closet down to essentials. If you pinpoint the articles of clothing you wear the most and the pieces that make you feel your best, then you can remix them regularly. You don't have to have a minimal wardrobe but think of a seasonal capsule wardrobe as paring down what's in your closet. Nothing is more uncomfortable than being out and about and not feeling your best in clothes. We forget about what's in our closet and what we used to love. I think it's important to declutter your closet then create a seasonal capsule of items to wear. 

10 Best Colognes for Men

{photo credit: IG:}

Consider this your Father's Day Gift Guide - Fragrance Edition. I divided this list up by season. In the winter time is when he will wear his powerhouse fragrances that smell woody, smoky and spicy. But in the heat of the summer, he's going to want to wear a lighter citrus or aquatic scent.  Wearing a fragrance in the wrong season could have disappointing performance as some perfumes work better with certain temperatures. Winter make perfumes softer so that's when you can wear bold scents.  It's good to have a broad range of fragrances for different occasions just like you have different types of outfits for casual, sexy and professional occasions.  All of these sophisticated fragrances will definitely boost the swag of your man. Having a signature scent helps one to feel more put together, it's the whole package and has a big impact on one's overall look and style.

Choosing Neutral Basics

We often overlook how important basic pieces are in our closet and what an integral role they play. Basics are the foundation of your wardrobe. You'll need basic tees to pair with all your colorful pieces yet people neglect having quality basics.  Your basics will stay for awhile so I do think it's important to invest a little bit more money in your basics so you really have those pieces that you will love to wear and are excited to wear; and the fit is impeccable and the quality is wonderful. I have been slowly changing the color palette of my wardrobe and acquiring some soft neutral colors like muted brown. Neutrals are timeless. A good white tee is a must have in your wardrobe. I like a high neckline with cap sleeves. Find a style that flatters you.  I can't stress how important this is for your overall wardrobe.

Summer Handbags - Designer Dupes

Wearing the wrong handbag with your summery outfit can ruin your look and be a big fashion mistake. So retire your big heavy black bags for the summer, they don't go with your light summery dress. White bags are on trend and are going hard this summer. Chains are also a big trend on bags so you will see a lot of that. Here is a list of 10 designer dupes for under $70. 

Spring Cleaning

Even though I have worked from home for a year now, being home more did not equate to a more organized home. I think because I only had a few visitors and those were close people I didn't feel the need to have a perfect looking home for. This Spring I'm feeling more energized to do some home projects. At the beginning of quarantine I rearranged my living room furniture so I could do zoom zumba classes 3x a week and then my dining table became my office. I really want to tidy up those spaces. My biggest project that I've put off for years is reorganizing my closet. I'm starting with reducing the amount of clothes I own. 

My Favorite Bras

The search is over, I found the most comfortable wireless bras! Choosing the right bra is an area that a lot of women tend to go wrong. I'm a C cup and have always worn a bra 24/7. I sleep in it and don't feel it. Unlike a pair of socks which I always am distracted by the elastic cutting in tight over my ankle. For me it would feel weird to not to wear a bra at home. I read that most women are wearing the wrong size bra; and that's why they feel uncomfortable to you. You're probably still wearing the same band size you were in high school. I highly recommend getting professionally bra fitted at Nordstrom or a Soma boutique. They are specially trained to do this. 

5 Best T-Shirts for Women

Tees are a wardrobe staple that in theory should be the easiest fashion item to buy. Yet, it can be difficult to find that one tee that is flattering on you that you want to buy in every color. I wanted to share some of my favorite tees I've been wearing this year as I work from home. Then I also wanted share some more tailored stylish tees that look effortless. If you're looking to refresh your tee wardrobe this summer, I got you covered. Below are my perfect tees that look stylish and are organized by style. 

Mother's Day Perfume Gift Ideas

By now you guys know how much I love talking about fragrances. My mom is the most important person to me, she's my best friend, my biggest admirer and supporter. She's amazing but she's not into perfumes so I love gifting her fragrances that I think would be right for her. These are fragrances that remind me of mothers in the sense that I picture them on a woman that's nurturing, that makes you feel safe and gives you that certain feeling.  Mother's Day is the perfect occasion to give perfume as gifts as the world of perfume is hard to navigate and to know what's good and what's bad. These are my recommendations of very popular fragrances that are super feminine, elevated, sophisticated and worth your money. I think these 9 fragrances are perfect gifts for Mother's Day and something my mother would wear. My heart goes out to those of you who no longer have a mother. 

Shoe Trends for Spring/Summer

This is a continuation of my last post How to Look Expensive on a Budget. The two places you should invest in are your shoes and bags.  A great pair of shoes make an outfit. I heard someone say that she makes shoe contact before she makes eye contact. So a nice pair of shoes goes a long way. Paired with a nice handbag no one is going to care what you’re wearing. Pointy shoes will make you look more high end. Somehow it elongates your body and makes you look taller and leaner.  It's very modern and on trend. Neutral colored shoes gives you the most elevated look.  Nudes and neutrals look fresh, think coffee and cream shades, hence why nude heels are on trend. Choose timeless styles for investment pieces in shoes as it will uplift your whole look. If you can, try to match your shoes with your bag.

How to Look Expensive on a Budget

DC is starting to feel like spring and I’m vaxxed up and ready to hang outside with my other vaccinated friends. Which means I have to retire the loungewear I've been wearing at home and start thinking about what I want to wear to hang with friends. I want to look polished, put together and feel my best. You don't have to have a lot of money to do that. Make use of what you already have in your closet, take inventory, see what still fits and looks flattering. Then put together a few outfits following the rules I'm going to lay out here with eight tips. This will be a two part blog post. 

What Fragrances to buy from the Sephora Sale

Sephora Spring Savings Event starts Friday for Rouge members and April 13th for VIB members.  I absolutely love fragrances and my love for fragrances is growing more and more each day. I'm a fan of switching up your fragrance wardrobe depending on the season. I really enjoy wearing fresh florals during the springtime. Come summer, I wear scents that are lighter and fresher to feel clean on a really hot day. Also keep in mind that a lot of scents will burn off fast because your body heat is making them burn so quickly. 

My fragrance wishlist is never going to end. Once you're in this fragrance game, you're in it for life as you're never really done. There's no exit plan or strategy to get out of this! And it's an expensive hobby.  I'm definitely a fan of buying the smallest size a perfume comes in as I feel I will never get through a whole perfume bottle and it's good to sample before committing to a full size bottle. Above is pictured some of my larger samples. I think people who smell good are automatically more attractive. Have you thought about what fragrance you're going to wear when we come out of lockdown?  If you looking for some new fragrances that leave a stunning scent trail and turn heads, here are my recommendations on what to pick up while it's discounted.

 "The way you smell can make as much as an impression as the way you look." - Tom Ford

How to Make Your Perfume Last Longer

Perfumes make me smile, they make me happy and brighten up my day when I smell them. I feel you're not fully dressed without perfume. Do you have a favorite perfume but can't smell it a couple hours later? Well I got you covered! Most of my perfumes are from niche brands (not from fashion houses) because I don't want to smell like everybody else, but those also tend to be a bit pricier. So if I'm going to spend all that money on a perfume, I want everyone to smell me! And  I want to make sure when I go out for date night that my perfume projects. 

Aluminum-Free Deodorants

I switched to natural deodorant a year and a half ago and it seems more and more people are making the switch. If you've been thinking more about what you put into your body, the pandemic is the best time to make the switch so you can detox at home. I want to share four new brands I've discovered as there are so many new brands on the market. 

Fragrance Wardrobe: What Perfumes I Wear

Perfume can be the finishing touch that pulls your look together and gives you confidence just from the scent you are wearing. But finding the right scent for you is like finding your dream partner. Perfume shopping can be a bit overwhelming, trying on so many scents and none fitting right. The possibilities are endless with what type of perfume you can wear which is why I could never commit to one signature scent to wear daily. I only lightly dabbled in perfume before the pandemic, but now I really got into it!  I've been enjoying wearing perfume everyday to work from home. It's fun picking out what fragrance I'm in the mood for that day, it makes me free great regardless if I'm not leaving my home. 

Blue Apron Review

This review is for the vegetarian offerings of Blue Apron and I will say it's my 2nd favorite delivery meal kit option after Purple Carrot. Blue Apron has a fancy grilled cheese sandwich once a month which is the main reason I keep the box. I don't buy bread because I wouldn't be responsible with it and eat it way too fast. lol So it's very rare I eat a grilled cheese sandwich. Blue Apron's grilled cheese are always made with some kind of white cheese and then another ingredient inside the sandwich  (like mango chutney, mushrooms or caramelized onion) and served with a side salad of lettuce (something else I never buy). Normally I would still be hungry after a grilled cheese so having that side salad is perfect.