Monday, April 29, 2013

Nautical and Neon


If you were to look into my closet, you would see a large section of stripped tops. "But horizontal stripes make you look wide"... not true! It's all about what else you wear with stripes. I've noticed it's easier to pull off horizontal stripes if you're top has an interesting element to it because that element is what the eyes are drawn to, in this case, the thick, neon pink stripe along the hem. Therefore, the focus is on the eye catching element, rather than 'widening stripes'. Have no fear in the stripes!

The stripes look black in photographs, but in person they are navy. White and navy stripes always strike me as a nautical, but paired with the thick pink stripes at the hem and sleeves, it gives you a nice contrast.


nice in navy // pretty in pink


top: winners [similar here] // pants: zara // boots: aldo // necklace: forever 21

On a side note, I feel like my hair is getting so long! I need to do an updated hair care routine which will be coming very soon. Stay tuned!

[heartifb - show us your stripes!]

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Finds 7 // an update

 
-follow me in instagram -

Happy Friday! Words can not explain how happy and relieved I am to be finished my second year of University. To be honest, I don't feel like University is for me and I'm still trying to convince my parents to let me have the year off next year because I want some time to figure it out. It's tough to convince them, but I still have a few months to go. Did any of you go to college/university and hate it?

Since I'm done school now and I don't have a full time job, I have a lot more free time. With that, I'm looking forward to spend more time blogging and making youtube videos. I love reading blogs and finding new interesting people to stalk (ha!) so it's only natural if I focus more on blogging and video making. I want to do more outfit posts, trendy look, DIYs, baking, beauty and even home interior things. If there is anything you would like to see, just leave it in the comments below. Even if I can't reply to them all, I do read them all and I'm very grateful for all of you - your comments make my day! :)

As per Friday tradition, here as some of the things I'm loving:

I want to make these gold bookends!
An interesting video on spotting fake Louis Vuitton handbags.
I've always wanted to create a gallery wall in my bedroom.
White and black cords are so ugly, but I love this DIY to make them more fun.
Looks I'm loving lately - ombre and denim // more pink ombre //
A DIY on layered scalloped nails - very pretty!
Lemon poppy seed cakes with cashew icing in cute bundt pan form - yum! 
This skirt screams summer time and surfing.
Thrift shopping with $10 turns into a gorgeous piece of furniture!


What are you loving at the moment?


Monday, April 22, 2013

monochrome // 2 ways


Interesting fact: I didn't know what monochrome meant until I started hearing about spring 2013 trends. I always thought it meant a few colors, but I have no idea where that thought came from since 'mono' means 'one'. Fail. If you didn't know either... it's the whole black and white look that we have going on. From basics, to patterns and more, I wanted to create some of my own looks using Polyvore.

look #1 // I wanted to keep it casual and playful yet trendy at the same time. To do this, I kept the top/bottoms black and white, but added the Aztec printed leggings for an interesting element. To contrast away from the black and white, I completed the look with a few pops of mint and grapefruit.

top: eLUXE / TOPSHOP - leggings: NEWLOOK / Pacsun
sunglasses: zeroUV - iphone case: Lineglory - lipstick: YSL / Maybelline
bag: Les Nouvelles - flats: Lanvin / ModCloth

look #2 // I like to think this look is more fashion forward than #1 because of the leather shorts (that I can't find ANYWHERE) and the transparent handbag. It's more of a matured look, perhaps because of less color. The neutrals are key to balance the black and white ensemble, with a pop of cranberry red on the nails.

hat: Aritzia - top: Aritzia / TOPSHOP - shorts: Wilfred / River Island
shoes: Matt Bernson / Stella McCartney - sunglasses: Ray-Ban 
purse: Valentino - nail polish: TOPSHOP - Essie
bracelet: Gorjana - Boticca - necklace: J.Crew - ASOS

If you're interested in any of the pieces from either look, I've provided links for you to check out, as well as some alternative, perhaps more accessible, pieces.

Q: Which look do you gravitate towards?
Look 2 is definitely more my style - neutrals all the way! 




Monday, April 15, 2013

Current Favorites: Cosmetics & More


Back: Lindt White Chocolate Eggs (in a nest), Sweet Pea candle from B&BW
Pink Chiffon fragrance mist from B&BW, LaCoupe dry shampoo
Shea lotion by Garnier Body

Front: Tutti-Frutti lip butter from Revlon, Pink Lingerie lipstick from YSL
Nearly Naked Foundation from Revlon, Lapiz of Luxury nail polish from Essie
The Rocket mascara from Maybelline 

One great thing about the internet is having product reviews at the tip of your fingertips, just a few clicks away, because you're able to discover new products that wouldn't usually turn to. The products I've decided to share with you today are many of my spring cosmetic favorites that I'm currently loving thanks to positive reviews online, as well as some randoms, too. You may recognize a few products from my Spring Haul.

So, let's talk about the products!

Lindy White Chocolate Eggs - Lindt chocolate is so, so smooth when it melts on the tongue. Sure it's full of unhealthy sugar, but the taste of these Easter egg chocolates is just divine and dangerously addicting. I even incorporated the white chocolate eggs into a cookie recipe and they worked perfectly in place of chocolate chips.

Sweet Pea 3 Wick Candle from Bath and Body Works - I love the Sweet Pea scent because it's subtle, light, not too overwhelming like some other fragrances may be. It's a great spring scent because it has a light floral note. As you can see, I've burned through almost the entire candle! [I couldn't find the candle online so I'm not sure if it's available in store, but there are many other Sweet Pea scented products that you can try out].

Pink Chiffon fragrance mist from Bath and Body Works - I don't usually commit to large body mists because I get bored of scents easily, so this travel size of Pink Chiffon is perfect at only 3 fl. oz.  From the website, the top notes are: Mandarin, Sparkling Red Pear, Peach Nectar, Wild Berries with hints of Apple Blossom and Water Lily (to name a few). You might assume this scent would be overwhelming with so many notes, however, together they create a girly, gentle floral scent that is wearable in the daytime and evening.

LaCoupe Volume Refresh Dry Shampoo - I was a little skeptical upon picking up a new dry shampoo because I've been using baby powder religiously, but the online reviews sucked me in. I have naturally thin hair so volume is hard to add, and definitely hard to maintain. However, after spraying this dry shampoo into my hair and teasing it all around, it added lot's of volume, as you can see in this picture below:

  

I'm second on the left, and honestly... I can't stop looking at how big my hair looks [it's full of secrets]. I still had to brush through a little bit to smooth it out, but it honestly added a great amount of volume, especially to the roots. Finally, since it's dry shampoo, it takes away natural grease from your roots. Who doesn't need that one second day hair?

Garnier's Intensive 7 Days Repairing Lotion with Shea Butter - I suffer from dry skin, especially on my hands, because I wash my hands way too many times in a day (germs...ew), and fail to moisturize after, but that's what a good repairing lotion is for! Shea butter is the star here because it contains essential nutrients that help repair and nourish your skin [especially after those tough, cold winter months]. Since it is a fast absorbing lotion, it won't leave your hands greasy all day either.  


Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in 'Tutti Frutti' - I'm not too adventurous when it comes to buying bright lipsticks, however, there has been a lot of hype around the Revlon Lip Butters and I'm a sucker for a smooth lip product, perhaps smooth like butter! That's exactly how these Lip Butters feel on your lips - smooth, moisturizing, also coming in a huge color range, making it easier to find the perfect shade for you. But bright orange.. isn't that a little crazy? Well, once applied to the lips, it's more of a sheer coral, with a bit of shine to it. These factors make it a wearable and not a 'hey, look at me' product, adding a natural, healthy shine to your lips - perfect for spring and summer!

After picking a bold lipstick, one must balance it out with a gentle pink color, right? 


Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Lipstick in 'Pink Lingerie' - I bought this lipstick back in September, and I still have at least 2/3 of it left. I like to use my YSL lipstick on special occasions since it is a more expensive product, however, I'm going to tell you why I believe it's worth it. When applied to your lips, it leaves a silky, smooth touch, giving you a light, creamy, pastel pink shade that is quite pigmented and moisturizing, too. The SPF15 factor is a great bonus for the spring/summer months. Lastly, how cute it the packaging? I love being able to see the color through the luxurious, golden tube.
Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation in the shade 110 Ivory - This is only the second liquid foundation I've tried and I'm lucky to be so successful with it. This foundation formula provides a light, natural coverage on my skin tone. However, many people with oily skin claimed this foundation left a bit too much shine on their face, so if your skin is oily, you might want to pass on this one. I set it with my MAC Mineralized Skin Finish powder and it provides a nice coverage through the day. 

'Lapiz of Luxury' nail polish by Essie - I'm a sucker for a cute nail polish color! This one is described as a dreamy ocean blue. It's richer than a pastel color so it's not just a great spring color but great for other seasons, too. I'm a huge fan of the Essie formula because it doesn't chip as easily, especially when paired with a base and top coat, it has a lasting power of days.



The Rocket Volum' Express mascara from Maybelline - If you've seen the commercials, you'll probably recall Maybelline claming, 'Now, the most explosive, beautiful lashes ever! Our patented supersonic brush with micro bristles loads on big, sleek volume instantly.' I can definitely agree with that statement because my naturally short lashes are nicely volumized and separated at the same time, with no clumps left behind. 


phewf.. that turned out to be much longer than expected!  
Let me know if you've tried any of these products out. 
Do you have any spring cosmetic favorites of the moment?

Monday, April 08, 2013

Emerald Attire


Did you know emerald was announced to be 'The color of 2013'? I think I only own a few emerald pieces in my wardrobe, and the one I'm wearing today happens to be from my favorite store - Zara! As far as I can remember, this top was the first purchase I made at Zara. You can definitely say I've been hooked ever since. It was back in the summer of 2011 - you might recall seeing it here if you've been following my blog since then.  

In an attempt to develop a more 'mature' wardrobe, I choose this top because of the peephole neckline and semi-structured shoulders. I completed this outfit with a black, light high waisted skirt (made with a chiffon material - very comfortable). The neckline pleats provide structure to my top that balance with the flowy, chiffon layers on my skirt.

 As for accessories, it's all about the studs. I incorporated this clutch  into a casual outfit (here), which shows just how versatile it it. Jewelry was simple, since the studs are predominant. Finally, for makeup, a smokey eye is my go to fancy look, made even more fancy with a sock bun - the lazy girls fancy up-do.



[let's pretend the string from the inside doesn't show in every photo...]



- what she wore [you can too!] -
top: zara (similar here / here)
skirt: aritzia (similar here / here)
clutch: zara (similar here / here)
heels: town shoes (similar here / here)
necklace: michael's (similar here / here)

I also made a video for my youtube channel that you can watch below.


Q: Are you embracing the emerald trend this season?

bloglovin - pinterest - tumblr - instagram 



 

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Easter Cookies


Don't tell me you've already finished all of your Easter chocolates... or do... like I did, and then went out and bought more so I had something to bake with today. Guilty. But who can blame me/you? I'm a sucker for seasonal chocolates. Mini Eggs come at me. Before I make you hungry, let me share my recipe with you!


Robin's Eggs are one of my favorite Easter treats because of the light wafer ball in the middle that melts on your tongue once you bite through the candy coated, chocolate shell.  Lindt makes one of the smoothest white chocolates I've ever tried. They both come in egg shapes which makes them easier to chop up. The chocolate is easy to chop through, because it's as smooth as butter, but since the Robin Eggs have a crispy shell, it's best to chop them individually because they might end up flying everywhere.


Experimenting with two textures: crunchy and sweet. The best of both worlds.

 

For extra soft and puffy cookies, chill the dough beforehand for at least 30 minutes.


I like to roll the dough into balls, so they are all relatively the same size. As they bake, the dough gets flatter (as with most cookies).   


Now, let's get to the details! I used a recipe that I'm loyal to, because it's hard to mess up and I'm sure most of you have these ingredients on hand already since it doesn't contain any crazy ingredients. The original recipe comes from Sally's Baking Addiction and let me tell you... Sally knows her stuff! Another time I tried her recipe was posted here in my Valentine's Cookies. These may look a bit thicker than before, which I'm certain is from using just a touch too much of flour. However, they are still very soft and chewy!


This recipe yields approximately 2.5  dozen cookies.

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup (or 1.5 sticks) softened unsalted butter 
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of Robin's Eggs
  • 1 cup chopped white chocolate
Instructions 
  1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. 
  2. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Mix in egg and vanilla, meanwhile scraping down the sides of your bowl every so often. On low speed, mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in Robin's Eggs and white chocolate. Dough will be thick and sticky.
  3. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes, but longer is better. 
  4. Preheat oven to 350F. 
  5. Drop balls of dough onto your cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, at about 1 tablespoon per cookie. Bake them for 9 minutes until the edges are golden brown, but no more than 10. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 3 minutes and carefully remove with a spatula onto a flat surface or a cooling rack. 
Tips
  • Cookies will remain fresh in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
  • Allow the cookie sheets to cool completely before adding more dough.
  • Cookie dough can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Feel free to substitute other ingredients for the eggs/white chocolate, such as regular chocolate chips, chopped nuts, dried fruit, etc. 

And there you have it - a delicious, soft and chewy cookie with bites of crispy 'eggs' and smooth white chocolate. Textures galore!

Q: What are your favorite Easter treats?