Most Popular Posts of 2023

I haven't done one of these posts in a few years, so I've rounded up my most popular posts of the year.  I went through my stats to see which posts had the most clicks and brought the most eyes to my blog. Here's what people came here to see most this year! I always think it's fun and interesting to see what makes this list. If you enjoy reading my blog make sure you follow me (and all your other favorite blogs) on bloglovin where you get a daily email in your inbox with a round up of new posts. It was down for a year but now it's back up and running. You can save my travel posts on pinterest for future reference. I publish new posts every Friday at 7am. 

6 Best Nude Lip Glosses

The perfect nude lip gloss is something very hard to find for all of us. And what works for me might not work for you, it all depends on your skin tone. I don't tan my face so I would describe my skin color as light medium, that's the shade before tan on foundations. As a general rule, in order to make any nude lip gloss work, you have to create contrast around your lips. Use a lip liner that is 2 shades darker than your skin tone. Otherwise it looks way too pale on your face. Before I do that, I put a little concealer under my bottom lip so that skin is the perfect bright canvas to contrast against the lip color. Nude lips look best with some makeup as you need some other color on your face. My lips are naturally very pink so I like colors that are close to my natural color but more enhanced. I love to wear bold eye looks so pairing a nude lip with it makes perfect sense so my lipstick is not competing with my dramatic eye look.

The Power of the Statement Ring

My mother bought this huge citrine ring in Thailand when I was a kid and wore it all the time for evening occasions. The ring was a showstopper whenever she wore it. She also had bracelets she brought on her international travels and beautiful earrings to complete the look. My mother has always had over the top jewelry for her everyday life. I too have always enjoyed a statement ring, but I would say in the last few years my jewelry collection has transformed from costumey pieces to more refined pieces. 

Like my mother, women who have great personal style don’t save their nice items for special occasions, they use them everyday and make them part of their personal style. So this is your message to wear your beautiful jewelry often.  What’s the point of them sitting in your jewelry box? These are items that can help define your style and level up a basic outfit.  

Stylish women spend time curating their collection of jewelry so that it really makes their heart sing. They may have a favorite jewelry piece or one they really searched  around for, but usually have these special pieces that are unique to them that also help create a really unique personal style. They wear often so you associate that piece with them; it can be a special ring that they wear daily. It’s what they are known for; and when you see them you think wow, she has such cool style because her jewelry pulls her whole look together.

My Favorite Amazon Purchases of 2023

I placed 70 orders with amazon this year! I don't have prime so when they raised the minimum shipping requirement to $35 for free shipping, I've purchased less often. Now that 2023 is coming to a close, I had to put together my favorite Amazon purchases from this year! These are all items that I have absolutely loved and definitely recommend.

How To Style a Velvet Blazer

The Velvet Blazer is not just for holiday parties, you can wear it as outerwear in fall. It's a piece that has both substance and style. It's super soft and elevates any outfit I wear. You don't have to worry about it going on style, velvet is always on trend. It's such luxe fabric and I plan on wearing it all season long. A velvet blazer can take any outfit and give it that luxe elevated look. You can dress up any of your casual outfits and you will look chic and modern.  If you don't have one, you need to get one immediately and I've listed the best ones to get! This is the one statement piece you'll need to stand out! 

The Best Bars in Las Vegas

Here are six beautifully aesthetic bars that you should hit up for an elevated experience in Sin City. I like to go to bars that will look pretty in my Instagram pictures and have interesting cocktails. I want  atmosphere and a wow factor. When I travel I always create a bucketlist of drinks and meals I have to have. In Vegas if you can't finish your drink at a bar, you can ask for it to go and they will transfer it to a plastic cup! lol If you want to drink your way through Vegas with some incredible cocktails, here's your list of where to go!

Caesars Palace Hotel Review

Las Vegas has some of the biggest hotels in the world and I spent 5 nights at Caesars Palace, location of  iconic Vegas movie - The Hangover. Caesars makes you feel as if you are walking into Ancient Greece with its opulent sculptures, art, and architecture but also has all the modern upgrades. The hotel is made up for six, yes six towers of guest rooms on its property! So it will be confusing to find your room when you first arrive since they don't give you a map. Plus multiple restaurants, seven pools, a Roman bath house, a huge shopping complex, and a nightclub. I'm going to give you the full run down of my experience staying there. This is was my third visit to Vegas, the last two times I stayed at Treasure Island and Mandalay Bay. Make sure you also check out my post What's New in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Travel Guide

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas! Nicknamed Sin City because it's Disneyland for adults, the entertainment capital of the world, it has no shortage of things to do that don't include gambling. If you're in Vegas you have to go to a Cirque du Soleil show! There's also magic shows, burlesque, comedy shows, music residencies, pool parties, escape rooms, exhibits, world renown restaurants, speakeasy's, rooftop bars, zipline, you can ride a gondola or ferris wheel, try indoor skydiving, visit the sphere and hike canyons nearby. Can't make it to Venice or Paris, Vegas has you covered! 

Natural Makeup Look for Glowy Skin

My goal when doing my makeup is to have a glow from within radiance on my skin. I want skin that looks like skin with added luminosity. I want a dewy natural look that doesn't hide freckles, not too flat, and has an effortless, glowy, skin look. I like high shine eyeshadows that brighten eyes. Spotlighting the center of your eyelid with shimmer shadow, not glitter, is huge right now and goes so well with this fresh skin aesthetic. Very sheer foundation looks are all the rage as well as everyone loves skin that looks natural which means your skincare has to be good.  

I've never had a minimal effort makeup routine, but it looks minimal effort! lol If you were looking for a 5 step makeup routine, this isn't it. lol  I don't think the average person really understands how much makeup and layering us makeup addicts are really using. This is what makes your makeup lasts all night and look like celebrity makeup in photos. I've been watching makeup tutorials on youtube for over a decade yet when I look at my pictures from 10 years ago I think where is my blush, why don't I see it? I know I was wearing it! lol If you're doing one wash of makeup and wondering why it's not looking like a celebrity makeup artists makeup, its because you're not layering. The one layer, light handed, is not going to cut it. I'm going to spill all my secrets below. 

After I wrote this post I realized all these products are expensive, but I have to tell you I've tried and tested out so many makeup products, these just happen to be the ones that performed well that I ended up liking. I really do save my makeup purchases for the Sephora sale in spring and fall, and then all the beauty brands have their annual sale in July. There's no reason to pay full price for makeup, I don't. 

The most important part about makeup is having a proper blend so makeup artists are always recommending to put liquid products on the back of your hand then transferring it to your face. That way, only a little is being applied at a time, because you can always add more, but it's hard to take away if you applied too much. That way you can buff it into the skin first while it's still wet, not getting too much product on your skin; this is important for foundation, undereye concealer and contour. Too many people put too much undereye concealer on and that's why it creases. Blending out your makeup is the most important application step. 

Sephora Holiday 2023 Savings Event

Sephora has had a lot of sales this year! In July was National Lipstick day where most lip products were 50% off! In August they had a surprise 20% coupon you could only get from employees. Then in September they had one day 50% off deals for select products. And next in October they had one day 50% off deals for hair products. End of October brings us to their annual Holiday 2023 Savings Event. After this, they will have a Black Friday sale as well. Here's what's in my cart or what I already own that I recommend you buy. 

The Complete Guide to Press-On Nails

You can see from my collection that you can easily keep up with the latest nail trends without going to the salon. I think that's what makes press-on nails so fun is to get the pointy nails with designs - something special because you can always paint your own nails a plain color. Press-on nails have come such a long way! I never in a million years did I think I would wear this, they look real and last 2 weeks. I'm totally surprised. My nails grow longer when I wear press-on nails. My preferred shape is either Short Oval or Medium Pointed Almond but if the nail comes in a square, they can all be filed down with a regular nail file to the desired length and shape you want. I couldn't justify spending so much money on nails at the salon and time when my nails were getting so damaged. In the beginning as I was learning how to use them, yes sometimes press-on nails do pop off  but I just keep glue in my purse. The longer the press on nails the more flimsy it will be so stick with shorter ones. I'll go through all the brands I tried and give my review of each one but first let me tell you what's trending for nails this season. 

All Time Favorite Blushes

Blush is my favorite makeup item to wear. It makes a huge difference to give you that sunkiss burnt vibes for a healthy glow.  I'm drawn to beige blush shades because it gives you a natural flush of color and won't compete with a bold eye color. I'm personally not a fan of pink blush on my tan skin because my skin doesn't "blush" when I go to the gym, it never naturally gets bright pink. When I'm tan I love to wear orange blush, that's my vacation vibe and look. Blush is my obsession,  I feel I try to keep most categories in my makeup collection as curated as I can, but something about blush I love it so much that this is the category that’s just a little out of hand. Here's a roundup of my favorite blushes. I know I don't need 13 blushes when it takes 1 year to go through one, but I will never hit pan on a blush. The Sephora sale is coming in two weeks so save this list of my recommendations of what to pick up. 

I use this acrylic organizer for my powder blushes but my cream blushes don't fit in here.  I’m excited to walk you through the ones that are my favorite. 

Taking Action on Your Weight Loss

I've lost 25 lbs and I can't wait to tell you how! My weight has been creeping up the past 6 years and I was tired of buying new pants every year and just wanted to be able to wear the same pair of shorts for three years in a row.  I eventually realized that the reason I hadn’t been able to lose weight is a lack of consistency in meal planning. I have a love hate relationship with meal planning, sometimes I’m into it but then I lack motivation and I will just wing it and engage in overeating. I’ve always had a good relationship with exercise and enjoy it and that is something I consistently do. But I knew I needed to prioritize getting my calorie deficit down and upping my protein count so I can feel full longer and build more muscle. It took me a little over three months to achieve this result. 

12 Fragrances to get Cozy with this Fall

With the cooler air, the leaves will be turning soon, we're drinking apple cider and eating pumpkin flavored everything. I'm excited for fall to drink hot chocolate, go apple picking, Halloween, Thanksgiving food, boot season and to sit by a cozy fireplace. This is the season that I keep my windows open at home for fresh breezes. So now that fall is here you can swap out your light summer scents and arrange your vanity with your warmer scents.  In the fall you want to opt for scents that are richer, spicy (cinnamon), creamy (vanilla), sultry amber,  woody and maybe even boozy. 

For me fragrance is about aligning my inner vibe so I'm projecting my aura outward. Whatever I want to feel, I pick a fragrance that amplifies that vibe for me. Your fragrance has to match your essence and style. It has to make your eyes sparkle and fit you. I'm too excited for fall because I'm ready to pull out the big guns and break out my fall fragrances! I'm all about to be smelling sexy and cozy. I can't wait!  Let's see what I got lined up for you because I'm loving this fall selection roundup of fragrances that capture the essence of sweater weather and evoke feelings of coziness with the notes of fall. 

10 Things To See in Cape Town

This was my second trip to South Africa, the first time was in high school with my mother and this time was a solo trip. Cape Town is located on the SW coast of South Africa, on a peninsula, and nicknamed the Mother City. It's located beneath Table Mountain and known for its beautiful harbor and beaches. I was terrified about safety before I left but was relaxed by the end of my trip so overall it was a positive experience. I had a guide that helped me feel safe and told me where to go. Don't wear a ton of jewelry, flash your iphone and walk around at night. Expect to eat a lot of passion fruit and guava and drink local wine.  The reason I was there was such a short time was because I was in transit to visit Namibia for 2 weeks. I definitely want to go back as Cape Town felt like the Los Angeles of South Africa in terms of size and everything being spread out, affluent neighborhoods with beautiful real estate, the abundance of  palm trees surrounded by the ocean. However Cape Town has a population of 3.5 million while Los Angeles' is 13.5 million.

Cool Girl Fall Fashion Trends 2023

Fall is my favorite season for fashion. The layering excites me because I can be creative with how I piece things together. But layering well takes planning if you want your transitional outfits to look effortless. I recommend taking the time to curate your personal style and to make sure your closet makes you feel inspired like you have lots of options. I've talked about on this blog about how important it is to have really high quality basics in your wardrobe. I really believe they are the foundations of any wardrobe, you can literally create any outfit and make it look chic and really put together if you have strong basics. I will list some key wardrobe staples for fall that you can wear year after year.  Adding accessories like jewelry are the finishing details that help to elevate an outfit so I've shared some trending earrings.  I'm also going to share what's on trend this season, how to add texture to create for an eye catching outfits, how to shop for jeans and blazers, and what colors to wear this season. You'll recognize the boots above from this post.

Silver on Trend


Metallics are back on trend and here's how you can wear them. This trend has been all over the fashion runways and is something really cool to try out in your wardrobe. You don't have to save your metallics for New Years Eve, you can wear them year round! I guarantee you if you get these metallic jeans you will stand out in a crowd. The best way to style metallic jeans is to dress them down with something casual like a white t-shirt or sweater to balance them out. The juxtaposition gives your outfit a lot of interest. Keep your metallics to one piece in an outfit. Metallic handbags are fun mirrored addition to any outfit and will be timeless. Metallic shoes can also go with any outfit and give it a touch of pop color. Silver earrings is the easiest way to incorporate this trend and bold earrings are on trend this season. 

Airport Travel Outfits

Here are my recommendations for chic airport outfits. When choosing what to wear when traveling I look for comfort, practicality and fashionable. Dressing nice and remaining comfortable isn't as difficult as it sounds. One rule I have about flying is to always have my body covered, I don't want my skin to touch the seat. They aren't cleaned often enough and I've heard horror stories of what people have had to sit on or force to miss their full flight. Thus, I always wear long sleeves and long pants, airplanes are freezing anyway and I need to stay warm. You want to wear comfortable clothes as you don't know how long you will be traveling for, if your plane is delayed and you just want to be comfy sitting in your seat. I never wear sandals, I always have socks just for the TSA because I'm not putting the same socks back inside my shoes after walking on the floor. You also have to think about using the lavatory on the plane, you don't want anything you're wearing to touch the unsanitary floor. Sandals invite liquids to splash on your feet. By the way did you know that you can keep your jewelry on when you go through TSA body scanner. Here are four chic airplane outfits.

22 Pairs of Chic White Sneakers for Fall

When my Vejas died,  I've been without a low profile everyday white sneaker for 8 months now because I wanted to wait until I found the perfect replacement. I've been looking for a unique, stylish shoe, that you can actually walk in. I've found that most of these white leather sneakers have no cushiony insoles. I walk hours in my shoes so I need them to actually be functional, comfortable  and stylish. White sneakers have been on trend for the last few years as an every day shoe and to wear with dresses as long as they are a low profile leather one. But be sure to keep them clean, I have a shoe cleaning kit. I bought 4 sneakers from this list and returned 3, find out which one. 

Fall Wish List

With Labor Day Sales starting to trickle in, I wanted to share what's on my wish list for fall fashion. When I had my seasonal color analysis done I was told that I was a dark winter  and thus bright jewel tones are considered much better for my skin. Purple is my favorite color but I've found it's a rare color to find in clothing stores, but this season I'm finally seeing clothes in bright dark purple which is my color! I only wear purple eyeliner with my brown eyes because its so complimentary. I'm super excited to see these jewel tones in stores and need to buy them.

Layering necklaces has been on trend and I want to level up my jewelry. I bought two necklaces from BaubleBar last year whose chain turned silver within less than three months. So I know I need to invest in better quality jewelry so that it will last longer. I want some quality pieces that I can wear every week and really get my cost per wear. 

I don’t do the stilettos very well anymore but I love these booties with skinny heels which is a big trend. I think pointed  booties are so chic and easiest thing to level up your look and these are timeless and will last for some years. 

Morning Skincare Routine

Here are the products I'm currently using and this has given me the best skin of my life! I exercise 5x days a week so I have a lot of sweat on my face which results in texture or tiny bumps from the bacteria. I also deal with some hyperpigmentation. Otherwise my skin type is normal, no acne and I rarely moisturize, I think it's because I drink a lot of water. Step 1 is the cleanser, then an essence, a spray, a light liquid, 2 serums, eye cream and sunscreen and yes I do all of this everyday. I use a fan in between layers to help my skin dry faster.

I work from home so the sunscreen is only applied if I go outside. The only makeup I wear to my zoom office is under eye concealer and eyeliner which was the opposite of when I worked in an office, then I only wore mascara. But for zoom calls, I feel I'm not in the best lighting and there's shadows on my face and that's why I wear concealer under my eyes even though I don't feel I particularly have dark under eyes. Once you put concealer on, you have to add some life to your face with eyeliner. 

When I do a full face makeup on the weekend, I don't do the last two serums because that makes my makeup pill.

Truvani Plant Based Protein Powder

Part of my weight loss plan was to increase my protein macros. I read that if you're lifting weights you want to eat a certain amount of protein to preserve your muscle mass so you don't slow down your metabolic rate plus eating protein throughout the day makes weight loss easier because it helps with hunger and  fullness aka managing your appetite. I did not replace any meals with a protein shake, but I thought since lifting heavy weights 5x a week is such an intrical part of my workout regime it would be good to add a protein shake as a snack. I don't drink it daily, but a few times a week and it tastes really good. It was important for me to find a plant based protein powder that has clean ingredients. Truvani only has 6 ingredients in their protein powders! Just be aware that shipping is very slow and their marketing practices can be annoying.

Press-on Toenails

I bought press-on nails during the pandemic, they lasted 1 day, tore up my nails and didn't look real. A month ago somehow I managed to break my big toe nail in half horizontally, no clue how the injury happened, maybe I hit my foot on something at home. One day I looked down and had a split straight across the middle. I googled solutions and some people online said to glue it and get dip powder on top. But then podiatrists online said no way! So I kept nail polish on the broken nail and hoped for the best. It hung in there for 10 weeks until it would no longer stay flush with the rest of my nail. I thought uh-oh it's going to break off, what am I going to do, I'm going to have half a toe nail in the middle sandal season! Don't worry there will be no photos of my toe in this post! lol Then I remembered I still had that pack of press-on nails I bought during the pandemic, I bought a mani and pedi set.

Summer Reading for the Travel Lover

I created a niche summer reading list from books set in Italy, France and Spain. There's nine books on the list with four being new releases this year. If you're feeling left out that you're not having a European summer and wishing you were jetsetting in Italy, I got you covered! These books belong in everyone's pool bag this summer! 

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2023

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is back! The three-week sales event starts on July 17 and ends on August 6.  Nordstrom credit card holders will get early access to the sale but with a tiered access starting on July 11. Check your account, make sure your Nordstrom card is in your account, for some reason my card seems to disappear every year and I have to reupload it. You’ll also earn Rewards points while you shop, every 2,000 points gets you a $20 Nordstrom Note to use online or in-stores. Cardholders get free alterations to clothes bought at Nordstrom. You can start adding items to your wishlist now so you can quickly add them to your cart when the sale is live because things do sell out fast! They have amazing deals as it's mostly brand new items on sale before they go to regular price.  I shop this sale every year because I always find some great deals. This is also a good time to stock up on beauty items that you'll use throughout the whole year.  I've combed through the sale to find the best pieces so you don't have to!

9 Travel-Sized Perfumes for Your Next Trip

I've heard people complain of packing liquids in their suitcase and TSA opens it but doesn't close it up right and everything leaks. I keep all my liquids in my carry-on. You're allowed to bring 3.4 ounce (100 ml) bottles in your carry-on. Buying travel sized perfume is also a great way to try out a new perfume instead of buying the full sized bottle. It's great for using at home too because you can keep in your purse for touch ups throughout the day. I also having a signature scent for a vacation to remember that destination by. 

Quiet Luxury - Designer Belts

Quiet luxury is new age minimalism where you focus on buying investment pieces that you can wear for a long time. The Gucci belt that all the influencers were wearing a few years ago got oversaturated since everyone had it, so now it looks dated and the logo takes away from your outfit. There's been a shift to not show big logos on your clothes because as they say true wealth whispers in their elegance. I want to share some chic designer belts that don't have loud logos on them that you would only recognize if you know, you know. I love how luxury belts have buckles that are more refined and they fit with the leather part of the belt perfectly. Any dress that comes with a fabric belt, you should replace that belt with a leather belt to elevate the look. Belts give you the ability to pull looks together; thus expanding your belt collection is another way to expand the ways that you can style outfits. 

A Guide to Cartagena

Cartagena, Colombia is one of the most beautiful colonial cities in Latin America. It's a colorful, tropical city with so much to do, see and eat. I went for 4 days last November which I thought was plenty of time. I enjoyed Cartagena so much I could see me buying a condo there to retire. Suffice to say, I loved Cartagena! This old, historic city creates a colorful backdrop for vivid photos. The buildings are painted a wide array of colors and had bright bougainvillea vines passing through some of them. The colonial architecture was gorgeous from the ornate churches to the unique door knockers.  I spend my days just walking around aimlessly and went to a few rooftop terraces for a breeze. Cartagena is a walled city because its surrounded by a walled fortification built in the 1600s to protect from pirate attacks. Today the city walls are a UNESCO heritage site. The walls stretch for 6.8 miles around the old city. Cartagena was considered one of the most important ports of America throughout the entire Spanish colonial period. It's definitely a city worth putting on your list to visit!

What's New in Las Vegas

I'm visiting Las Vegas later this year and I'm doing research since I haven't been in a decade and I can't believe how many new changes there are! After I return I'll post a full trip report of where I ate and what shows I saw. Also, I have a friend going to Vegas after me for the Formula 1 race so that piqued my interest too and I had to research that as well. I have learned so much super interesting info about what's new in Vegas  that I wanted to share with you in case you're planning a trip there too. 

Reviewing the Best Low Cal Ice Cream

I've done a handful of posts on low cal ice cream but then took a break from Halo Top for a couple years as I was bored with the flavors but they have finally expanded to more unique flavors. Then new  brands have hit the market and are changing the frozen dessert game by taking what we think of as delicious ice cream and making it better nutrition wise. I have a whole new line up for you that I'm super excited to share! 

Summer 2023 Fashion Trends

If you're wondering what all the fashion girlies are wearing this summer, I'd say think French summer style. I've got your list of key items which include lots of flowy linen pants (both the pull on with drawstrings and the new tailored version), the satin skirt, silk pants, tailored shorts, the naked sandal, chunky earrings, straw hat,  open button ups, larger and wider silhouettes, monochrome white looks, two piece sets, and so much crochet. We are ditching the mirror lens sunglasses and focusing on more rectangular shaped ones. 

I'm going to post some outfit inspiration for the type of vibe for the linen pants and button up situation that is light and airy and looks very Saint-Tropez or Positano vacation dream. I need to be frocking in the south of France right now! I think you'll find all of these to be really easy and effortless but still feels put together.

High Protein Breakfast

I've been eating this on repeat and it's been a fantastic recipe that gives you everything you need to build a high protein meal. Eating high protein meals can help you lose weight as it keeps you full longer. I've recently started a weight loss journey and I'm already down 8 lbs in one month by eating this breakfast Mon-Fri every week. 

The Best Travel Essentials for Your Next Trip

I just got back from two weeks in Namibia and I wanted to share some of my must have travel essentials and general travel tips after a 15 hour flight to Cape Town. In the notes section on my phone I keep a file called "Things I Forget to Pack" and every vacation I add to it. It's so useful to refer to every time I pack for the next vacation. For instance I never chew gum at home, but that's vital for a plane ride and when I see that on my list I remember to buy gum for my flight. I also keep a notes file in my phone of travel quotes so I have interesting captions for my IG photos for when I'm at a loss. I also have a picture of my passport in my phone in case I lose it.

Never exchange money at the airport kiosk, it always has the worst rate. I exchange money at Citibank before I leave the USA. You order the money at the teller and it comes the next day but they don't carry every currency. In that case look for an ATM when you arrive in the country. But I really like to have cash when I arrive so I can go straight to a taxi and avoid lines. Also talk to your taxi drivers, you never know what interesting info they may share. Who do you think takes my airport departure photo when I travel alone? lol 

How To Get Rid of Hyperpigmentation

I recently went to Namibia and while it was never hotter than 80 degrees, the sun was always shining. I only used a 30 SPF that I didn't reapply during the day since I was wearing makeup and didn't always wear a hat. Sunscreen is your best tool in reducing sun damage so I didn't do a good job in protecting myself.  Reversing sun damage is a very slow process to get rid of so don't expect immediate improvement as you need to be patient.  You can't expect one ingredient to do it all. You want to make sure you have a team of ingredients working together. 

The acids in the products listed below speed up cellular turnover and remove dead skin cells that have damage. They help to repair some of the damage by UVA light and regulate the melanin production in your skin and speed up cellular turnover. Kojic Acid is  made from a fungus and is great in inhibiting those enzymes that produce melanin. Alpha Arbutin comes from the dried leaves of blueberries leaves. Vitamin C can minimizes the amount of hyperpigmentation and brightens the skin. AHA works to speed up cellular turnover and get that old dead skin layer off so that these other products can work better. Prescription tretinoin helps to improve discoloration and minimize fine lines and aging.

My Sephora Shopping List

The Sephora Savings Event starts this weekend! This is my beauty shopping superbowl! I have not bought anything from Sephora this year in anticipation of this sale, do you know how hard that is? I've just been tweaking my cart for months. I'm so excited that the day is finally coming upon us! Here are some of the products I have in my cart that I have tested a few times in the store and done tons of research on. If you get these five items, you have a complete face look that goes perfectly together. Also check the links at the bottom of the post for more sephora recs. Shipping times will be slower but Sephora has an option where you can order online for in store pickup and they have your order packed and ready for pickup. Use code SAVENOW. 

Hermes Oran Sandal Dupes

Even though these shoes were first released 24 years ago, I've noticed them trending the last few years. It comes in 40 different styles and a range of different colors. They retail from $630-1200 depending on the style.  They're a very comfortable shoe, the biggest issue is deciding what color to get? I see most people wearing them in brown, but I'm eyeing purple for my next pair. See I started off with a gold pair, then got a green pair and finally a white pair. You don't have to be rich to buy these as I got a bunch of dupes for you! 

Effortless Spring Style

(links updated 2024)

Spring feels like a fresh start and reset, especially when you declutter your closet. I'm sharing what is trending for fashion this year that you'll need in your spring closet to update your style to be more modern. Being truly stylish is having that closet where you always feel like you made an effort for any occasion. I want to look cute for me, because when I feel like I look horrible, then I feel terrible, and my energy drops. Here are some ways to look more fashion forward while refreshing your closet.  I like to look like a woman who has an effortless look without displaying designer logos. If you want to elevate your style and look on trend, here are some tips for a minimal, classic, chic style. 

6 Canned Mocktails You Need to Try

Over the last few years I've tried many different alcohol alternatives during Dry January and have created a roundup of my favorites! You can enjoy a drink minus the buzz on weeknights with these delicious drinks. I recommend keeping them on hand to have better options for your dinner guests who don't drink alcohol. I serve these in fun cocktail glasses to make the drink festive. I promise you won't miss the booze with these! 

10-Year Blog Anniversary!

My blog is now 10 years old!  I would like to take a little time to reflect on its journey. It's truly genuinely my passion to share the ideas that I love, must buy products, interesting books, fashion trends and anything useful that I run across because I'm hoping it will add value to your life.

I love photography and enjoyed scouting locations for photoshoots back in the day. In the early days of blogging I remember going to blogger meetups and meeting other local bloggers, I even had a business card for my blog then. Back in the day people used to leave lots of comments on blog posts so it was a much more social venue. Now I'm starting to see bloggers abandon their blogs to focus on other avenues like IG, tiktok and youtube. I want to thank those of you who still come to my blog every week as I feel like blogs are falling out of favor and nobody is reading them anymore. I've been doing a lot of work on the back end of this blog to make it better. At the beginning of the year I tried publishing more often but that didn't result in people returning more often so I'm going back to publishing less often. I've been thinking about starting an email newsletter so you can be notified about new posts since bloglovin went out of business. 

My Travel Bucketlist 2023

I’ve been to 81 countries and I’m happiest when I’m heading out on an adventure into the unknown. I think you should search relentlessly until you find what lights you up inside, what makes you smile your most genuine and happy smile and then never, ever let it go. For me, that’s travel and I’ve always prioritized it in my budget. My last couple international trips have been solo trips and I truly believe that cool energy brings cool people into your life. When you're fearless and open to anything it attracts the best things possible. When you get outside of your bubble and travel alone magical things start to happen because there's nothing to interrupt the flow, thus you bump into people more easily. As a solo traveler you're able to follow intuition about what to do and where to go next. I try to see all situations in a positive light rather than in a negative way. Good energy attracts good energy!

Writing down my travel bucketlist is a reminder of everywhere I want to go but the only problem is that this travel bucketlist grows faster than I can tick off the destinations. While I have been to many places there are so many places left to travel. At the bottom of this post I’ve linked my previous travel bucketlists so it’s fun to see what I have accomplished and what is still on the list. You can use the Travel drop down menu at the top of my blog to see all of my travel posts. I continue to play the points game with travel credit cards so I can spend less while I travel more. Here's my top 10 list!

Project Pan 2023: 10 Makeup Products to Finish this Year

Project Pan is a challenge to finish makeup/skincare/ haircare products to get your money's worth. You know how if you use enough blush or eyeshadow you eventually "hit pan" and see the metal in the middle. This way you're not letting things go to waste and expire. It teaches you how long it takes you to go through an item and this will help to mold your shopping habits. For instance, you don't need to buy another blush when you already own 10 when you know it would take a whole year to go through a blush. This project should not be a punishment, rather it's an experiment for 12 months to get the full value and enjoyment out of things you already own. 

Nashville Travel Guide

Nashville is nicknamed the Music City and it's a big city with a small town feel. It has an emerging food scene and is a top destination for bachelorette parties. It's a very photographic city with its beautiful murals, parks, and historical buildings. Bar hopping on the lower broad at the honky tonks give off a Vegas feel with  the iconic neon signs at night. The music scene is diverse as you'll see live musicians playing classic country tunes, bluegrass, and rock music. Nashville is both the capitol of the state and the center for the country music industry. I was there in November and to my surprise Nashville has four distinct seasons, so it gets as cold as DC in the wintertime. Reese Witherspoon opened up her own clothing store in 2015 called Draper James which sells beautiful dresses in classic southern style and extended sizing. Here are some must see spots in Nashville! 

How My Dry January Went

Dry January is more and more popular these days! Dry January is good for social drinkers to create new habits. I found a ton of non-alcoholic alternatives to drink last month and want to share my discoveries in this post. Last month I felt I could take booze or leave it, I didn't think about it at all.  Turning down alcohol in social settings was empowering, I celebrated both my birthday and company holiday party during this month. Taking a 30-day break from alcohol, such as during Dry January can create a bunch of benefits, including developing a more mindful relationship with alcohol. Even though people say they lose weight by not drinking, I did not. Some people say they get better sleep during Dry January because while alcohol makes you sleepy, it interrupts your sleep cycle so you don't get a good nights sleep and will possibly wake up in the middle of the night. Another benefit is you may feel less anxious and handle stress better. Excessive alcohol consumption causes gut microbiome imbalance and impairs your immune system and ability to recover from illnesses. Alcohol dehydrates your body and skin so abstaining from alcohol may give you clearer and less red skin. Hence it's key to do this for a consecutive 30 days to get the full benefits.

My Favorite Products for Dry or Damaged Hair

I've been a blonde for 12 years so I'm constantly working on perfecting a healthy hair routine and these are my holy grail products to strengthen and moisturize my hair. I have 3c hair texture that is bleached and super dry. I experimented with airdrying my hair for a few months wondering if the lack of heat styling would make it healthier but that just made it extremely dry and brittle. My hairdresser told me on Sunday that I have healthy hair and I thought that was the biggest compliment ever! These are the products of someone who regularly blow-dries her hair every week (I wash and blow-dry once a week.) When my hair is blow out you can see how shiny it is.

This year I’m switching up my color to try the new hair trend of Lived-in-Blonde which is a subtle look where similar shades to your natural color are weaved into your hair, so your hair looks grown out but polished. The finished look is multi-dimensional with multiple tones that are beautifully blended. It’s a great low maintenance way to have healthy looking blonde hair. These are products I have been obsessed with for a while and my hair looks amazing afterwards, soft and smooth and sealed.

I know a lot of these products are pricey, but Sephora has quarterly sales, just keep the products you want in your cart and in a few months a sale will pop up. Last September Sephora had an Oh Hair Yeah! Sale with everything 15% off and daily deals that were 50% off. In fact I've noticed they are copying Ulta's sale model of daily 50% off deals of select products they announce in advance. 

Having the right products is super important but if you don't know how to use them, you won't get the best results. I will occasionally re-read the instructions on products I use to ensure I'm using them properly. I know there are a lot of products on this list, but they have all been thoroughly researched by me, recommended by experts, tested by me for the last year. The top three innovative products from this list are: K18, Living Proof Triple Bond Complex Leave-in Hair Treatment, and  Pureology Color Fanatic Multi-Tasking Leave-In Conditioner. These three cult hair products are seriously good!  You won't see your hair's true potential unless you treat it right. 

My 400th Peloton ride!


I wrote a review of everything you need to know about Peloton in this post, so now I want to update you after taking 400 rides, although this photo was taken when I marked the 200-ride milestone. I've been working from home for three years now and my 12pm ride has been a regular part of my day since I got my bike. Last year I logged 8K miles! Exercise improves mood, and health is wealth! Research has proven that exercise makes for younger looking skin as it increases blood flow and that helps with improving skin tone so you look more youthful and drains fluid so you look less puffy. Exercise also helps to lower the effects of stress and helps you sleep better.   I love the joy of movement. I've always had a good relationship with exercise and enjoy it. I  crave my peloton rides and look forward to it every day.  The serotonin we get from moving our bodies is absolutely amazing.  I make exercise non-negotiable and work out 5x a week at home and on Saturdays do something outside like a long walk to the grocery store and/or a virtual zumba class. 

3 Memoirs Written by Men

On Black Friday I purchased an annual Audiobooks subscription for $137 so $11.42 a month when if I were to purchase a single audiobook it would be  $20-36. For comparison Audible Premium is $15 a month, only with premium can you get new releases or books people have actually heard of. Sometimes the line at the library is so long and they take back the audiobook when your time is up so I thought it would be easier for me to get a membership and this way I'm guaranteed to read/listen 12 books this year. I listen to books while I walk down the street.  I think I will only do this for memoirs because for fictional books I really need to sit down and read to get a grasp for all the characters involved. On my wishlist to read this year are the following memoirs by Pamela Anderson, Paulina Porizkova, and Anne Heche. Last year I listened to Viola Davis' memoir which I highly recommend! 

Best Long-Lasting Lipstick

I was looking for a wallet friendly formula for my mom whose lipstick always disappears as soon after she puts it on. If you’re looking for a budge proof lipstick that will actually stay on your lips, I’ve put together a list of 3 lipsticks that will stay on all day. I bought these at Ulta but you should also be able to find them at CVS. All three of these set within minutes so they won’t rub off, then they fade slowly over time. I tested these lipsticks by wearing them all day on my lips even though I looked funny working from home on zoom with lipstick on. I ate, drank and exercised as usual during the day. To remove them at the end of the day I used a sugar based lip scrub then conditioned my lips with a balm as they are a little difficult to get off. If you’re looking for an alternative to the sold out Rhode peptide lip treatment, try out Ole Henriksen or Paula's Choice.