3 Tips to Slay Your Winter Style!

Images by Ten Aldane

Images by Ten Aldane

Does it feel like winter will never end? It's only January so we've got a few more weeks (ok fine more than a few) of chilly temps before we can finally celebrate Spring. Winter style can be a challenge, trying to stay fashionable without putting yourself at risk for hypothermia.

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Here are just a few of my tips for slaying the winter season!

1. Layer smartly

I'm a huge fan of Uniqlo's HEATTECH collection.  The smart fabric keeps you warm and toasty without adding bulk. They have everything from tanks, long-sleeve T's, tights and leggings for men and women so start building a collection!

2. Splurge on good boots and gloves.

You have on multiple layers on your body but only one on your hands so make it a good one. I love anything cashmere lined and touch screen fingers are a must. My go to boots are Sorel, they are amazing quality and pretty much as stylish as snow boots can get. 

Sorel Winter Snow Boots

3. Top it off!

Never leave home without a hat! You need it to keep warm and protect your strands. I usually protective style through winter with wigs to keep my natural curls safe from damage, breakage and dryness. But however you wear your hair, make sure your head and ears stay covered. Use the opportunity to finish the look with a can't miss me hat! 

Winter Style in New York
Flatiron Building New York City

How do you guys keep your style on point when the temps are brutal? Or do you just say screw it and wait for Spring?

4 Steps to Crushing Your 2018 Goals

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TheWooOfPoo #CollectiveBias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TheWooOfPoo #CollectiveBias

We’re about a week into 2018! Hopefully you have recovered from the festivities and have a fresh perspective on what you hope to accomplish this year.  While I hate the term resolutions, I think that a new year is an important time to set smart, strategic goals that you can be held accountable for as the year progresses.   Here is my road-map to setting actionable goals for my blog staying on track! Hopefully this helps inspire your journey to success this year!

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1. Get Inspired!

There is nothing like a good book to help psyche you into action. I just finished reading The WOO of POO: Change Your Life In The Time You Take a Sh*t. If you aren’t familiar with Suzy Batiz or her company, Poo~Pourri, you are seriously missing out! The WOO of POO Before-You-Go® Toilet Spray is a game-changer! Just spray it in the bowl before you go and it forms a protective barrier that traps odor under the surface. So instead of smelling your roomie or lover’s poo, you just get a whiff of natural essential oils.

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I’ve been a long term user of Poo~Pourri and have to say it has saved lives and relationships! So when I heard about Suzy’s book on Amazon I had to give it a read. The book is full of tidbits from Suzy and team on how they built a crazy idea into a multi-million dollar business. Add it to your reading list for some inspiration as you think about the goals you are setting and develop a roadmap to achieve them.

2. Stay Inspired

One of the first things mentioned in The WOO of POO is believing in magic. There are times when it feels like you are drowning in a sea of competition. And in the blogging world there is always someone with more followers, more engagement, or who you think is cuter or more stylish than you. Instead of letting the stink of potential failure keep you down, remember how unique your voice is and what you bring to the table. If you get lost along the way, there are several handy exercises in the book that can help you along the way. One of my biggest goals for the year is expanding my reach as a blogger, and sometimes it seems like an impossible journey, especially with all the changes to the Instagram algorithm. But then I remember when I started this journey, when I went from 200 followers to breaking my first 1000 and finally being where I am now. While I may not have exploded, I am growing at a steady pace, am proud of that, and am grateful to all of you who support my content.  

3. Stay on top of my growth

Even though I wish I could snap my fingers and have a million followers, exponential growth does come at a price. Suzy and the Poo~Pourri team learned that when their company exploded after a viral video, and they almost went out of business. I still balance many responsibilities outside of blogging, between work, family, friends and a social life. I’m def not ready to manage a crazy editorial calender and blogging schedule, so I try to keep that in mind as I manage my growth.

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4.  Get Epic

Standing out in the bloggersphere is a challenge and one that I am trying my best to tackle! I'm planning to take my content to the next level by getting more creative and innovative every step of the way! Hopefully 2018 the best year for my business so far, and that it will only get better! 

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Let me know what you are hoping to accomplish this year and beyond, and how you plan to accomplish those goals! And check out The WOO of POO: Change Your Life In The Time You Take a Sh*t.on Amazon!

My 2018 Style Resolutions

Images by AV Photography

Images by AV Photography

We’re about a week into the new year and since I don’t really make resolutions I’m not sweating my progress so far! One thing I do every year is set some new fashion and style goals that I hope will inspire me and keep my style updated. Here are my Style Resolutions for 2018!

New York Street Style

I still won’t dress my age

I’ve got a birthday coming up in a few months, and I’m not spilling the number because that ain’t ya business! Some would say it’s time for my fashion choices to grow up a little, but I will continue to wear things that inspire, excite, and reflect my spirit and who I am. So my go-to pieces, whether they be leather skinnies, oversized knits, or tiny crop-tops and anything backless will all remain in rotation

Winter Beauty Ideas

I will get more wear out of my wild, fun shoe collection

After spending years in footwear I’ve got a pretty impressive collection. But this year I found myself cycling in flat booties and Adidas kicks regularly, instead of one of the many pairs of high quality killer heels I own.  I guess I got stuck in a comfort rut! And while that is always key, I want to make sure I bring back some of my quirky, sexy heels into rotation.

I (might) wear less makeup on a daily

Makeup is a big part of my life, and I love my daily beat. It’s fun to try new looks and experiment creatively, but since my skin has gotten so much better, I feel like it’s time to adjust the routine. Maybe part of my 2018 style adventure will entail getting the world (and myself) reacquainted with my bare, or barely touched face.

All Black Winter Look

I’ll shop my closet more

Instead of giving into the tempatation of new goodies every season, I’ll find new ways to wear old favorites and make them feel fresh again. It will be a challenge to my creativity, but my wallet and the environment will thank me!

What are your style goals for 2018?

5 Travel Tips for a Lake Tahoe Adventure

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I’m freshly back from a relaxing, rejuvenating New Years Trip to Lake Tahoe. I haven’t ever really done a mountain vacation, so jumped at the chance to spend a few days in this naturally stunning destination. If you are curious about making the trek, here are a few things to keep in mind!

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If you are flying from the East Coast it will feel like a never ending journey.

To get there from New York, you have to fly into Reno then either drive or take a shuttle bus, which adds another hour to an hour and a half to the travel time. Plus consider that direct flights into Reno are pretty few and far between. I’m pretty used to long flights, but for some reason this felt like a totally different ball game.

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But once you get here, the trip is so worth it

Lake Tahoe is a massive body of water, spanning the border between Nevada and California. The sight of the crystal clear blue water meeting snow-capped mountains, surrounded by a forest of sky-high pine trees is a sight I will never forget.  Winter usually gets really heavy snowfall, so it’s a great destination for skiing and other winter sports. However this year was unseasonably warm, so while we didn’t get the amazing white fluffy snow I was hoping for, it was nice enough to wander around outside enjoying the views and crisp, clean mountain air. Plus the highlight was getting out on the lake on Viator's Emerald Bay Cruise. The ship is stunning, bar well-stocked, and views are incredible. Plus you get the chance to learn all about the lake's history since the tour is narrated. 

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Just plan carefully, because it ain’t cheap!

I love travel and try to find deals as much as possible, but I have to saw I did not find Lake Tahoe to be a very budget friendly destination. Ski and snowboarding can cost a pretty penny, and even other tours like scenic lake cruises and guided hikes were super pricey. I will say that it’s worth planning to splurge a little when you plan your trip.  There is so much beauty to be seen, but unfortunately it will cost you. We balanced the budget by cooking most meals since our lodge had a full kitchen, and that added a really nice cozy, homey vibe to the trip.  Depending on where you are staying, there are plenty of grocery stores and markets that you can shop at, but the best discovery ever was Express Lane Delivery. Just place an order online, send them a grocery list, and you’ll arrive with a perfectly stocked fridge! Because let’s be real, do you really want to have to grocery shop on vacay?

A car is nice to have, but not necessary

Driving is pretty much the bane of my existence, and my travel buddy wasn’t a big fan either. Luckily our location was walking distance from a main stripe of bars, shops and an adorable holiday village. Plus between reliable taxis and Uber and Lyft service we didn’t even miss having one when it came to venturing to other parts of town! It would have been cool to randomly drive around the lake and explore more on our own, but we were able to get to all our main stops seamlessly. A lot of the ski resorts are far out of the way, but most offer free shuttle service so you can easily get there and back. All in all we spent about $110 total on the round trip shuttle from the airport and getting around , so way less than it would cost for a rental, gas and parking.

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Its great for big groups or a small one!

I was with one buddy and we had a blast, but Lake Tahoe would be just as awesome with your whole squad or even your significant other.  Most of the activities are pretty outdoorsy, so as long as you are with a group that can get into that kind of stuff you are sure to have a blast!

Let me know if you’ve been to Lake Tahoe and what you thought. And shoot me any questions if you are starting to plan a trip!

 

My 2018 Travel Resolutions

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A new year is upon us and I'm ready to make the most of it! I've had an amazing year of travel, going to England, Rome, Paris, Cartagena (twice!), Cuba, and several domestic destinations! In every place I learned something grew in some way, and took home a part of the culture that will forever be a part of me. I've been reflecting on all of the amazing experiences I've been so blessed to have, and thinking about all the adventures that are coming up. While I'm not one for resolutions, the year has me thinking about my 2018 travel goals. Here are a few that are top of mind! 

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Explore More Domestic Destinations

I'm writing from beautiful Lake Tahoe, spent weekends in Hawaii, LA, and partnered with the Poconos Tourism Board highlighting one of my family's go-to destinations. Even though I love jetting off to new, exotic locales, there is so much beauty in this country that deserves to be seen. My goal is to spend as many little weekends as possible exploring my backyard. 

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Find Balance

Traveling is always a balancing act between trying to enjoy the moment and experience as much as possible. Add the third layer of maintaining a healthy, active social media presence and it gets pretty complicated! While this while probably always be a goal, I will continue to try to find the balance between those 3 elements. 

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Help Others Travel

I've been quietly working on a group travel angle of my business and am really excited about the progress I'll be making in 2018! Stay tuned for updates on some projects I'm super excited to share with you all soon! 

What goals are you setting for 2018 and beyond? Let me know what you plan to achieve and how things are progressing along the way!

The 1 Instagram Ready Knit You Need!

Images by AV Photography

Images by AV Photography

Baby it's cold outside! 

It's suddenly gone from light winter temps to arctic cold here in NYC, so the struggle to look cute and stylish without completely freezing is so real! I usually hate winter shopping just because all I want to do is throw on layers of cashmere and stay indoors as much as possible. However since work and social responsibilities keep me from turning into a complete hermit, I try to find the most stylish warm weather gear possible. 

Handmade Pom Pom Knit Cardigan Sweater

I'd been stalking Mum's Handmade since I saw their beautiful knit sweaters on Instagram of course. These sweaters were made for the gram! In photos they are oversized, cozy, endlessly chic, and luxurious. In person they do not disappoint! 

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I mean look at these details! The pom pom sleeves are so cute you can't take your eyes off them. People literally stopped me several times in the street to ask about this sweater and if me or a family member had knit it. I know nothing about knitting, but a lot of people could easily tell it was handmade. It took a few weeks to get mine because they are all made to order then shipped internationally, but the wait was more than worth it!

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The hardest part was choosing between the warm-up cardigan and the new cuddle-up sweater, then of course the color. I went with the pink because I've been living for this color. But I'm also eyeing the black, white and red. Ugh tough decisions! If you are as obsessed with this sweater as I am, and are ready to treat yourself, go ahead and make the splurge. It's pricey but def worth it! 

3 Can't Miss Activities for the Ultimate NYC Christmas Staycation

Images by AV Photography 

Images by AV Photography 

Christmas is just 3 days away guys! Since I'm a local I usually don't have to travel around the holidays. Instead of stressful, drama filled travel, staying local helps me have some downtime to really appreciate and enjoy my city.

Christmas Rockefeller Center NYC

New York is always amazing, but there really is something magical about the holiday season here. Since I have a friend in town visiting this week, I'm getting a great excuse to indulge in all the classic NYC activities that tourists do when they come into town.

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Here are a few that I'm most excited about!

The Holiday Train Show at New York Botanical Garden

I'm a member of the garden so visit several times a year, but one of the most unique events is the annual holiday train show. The lines get intense, but I have to say it's worth it! Even though the show is in the conservatory, the line runs outside, so layer up because you may be waiting awhile

Drinks at Bar SixtyFive

If you want the views that you get from Top of the Rock without the crowds and lines, head up for a drink at Bar SixtyFive. Reservations are encouraged but not required and the place is pretty swanky so dress appropriately. It's expensive but the drinks and apps are amazing, and the view can't be beat. 

Taking in the holiday window displays

In my day to day, I'm rushing through the streets trying to get where I'm going in time. But during the holidays the city streets are gorgeous, and the department stores up 5th Avenue have the most amazing window displays. Spend some time strolling the blocks taking in the unique, creative displays, and maybe pop-in for a last minute gift for a friend (or yourself). 

Christmas and Holiday Beauty Ideas

Let me know your favorite thing about Christmas in NY (or in your city)!

The Easy-Glam Look You Need for any Holiday Party!

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The holidays are the time to bring on the glam! Whatever reservations you had about dressing up and going all out need to get thrown out the window. I love playing with different makeup looks, interesting colors and textures, and of course, long, big hair! 

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It's always a struggle finding an outfit that is unique and eyecatching, but will still keep you from freezing in the chilly December temps. I love a festive fun dress for a holiday party, especially in winter friendly fabrics like cashmere and velvet. So when I found this stunning velvet kimono dress I was instantly in love! It's not your typical holiday dress, but will definitely have all eyes on you! 

I decided to double down on the drama with a huge, fluffy faux fur coat. It's warm and cozy and ensures you won't be missed! I also love the subtle 70's effect of the look. 

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Now all you need to do is grab an equally stylish friend and get ready to hit the town! 

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And let's talk beauty for a sec! I went with a headful of big barrel curls, a shimmery smokey eye and nude cream lipstick. I didn't want to play with too much color and risk competing with the look, so I decided to just keep the colors simple and the technique classic. Overall, I feel super glam, and even though the look is eye-catching, it was a cinch to put together! 

What are your tips for staying glam during the holidays? 

 

Last Minute Gift Ideas with No Shipping or Shopping Needed!

IMAGES BY OLIVIA KANG

IMAGES BY OLIVIA KANG

Today is December 18th, which means Christmas is just 1 week away! If you were an early bird, you got all of your shopping out of the way by Black Friday. But if you, like me, were seriously slacking, you still have quite a bit of shopping left to do while stores are overcrowded and most websites will no longer guarantee delivery by the holiday. If you are in that jam, here are a few last minute gift ideas you can grab for pretty much anyone on your list, without worrying about shipping!

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A virtual assistant

Everyone would appreciate having someone around to help them get things done. While you may not be able to send them a personal assistant IRL, virtual assistants can be amazing! Check out packages from Task Bullet and Zirtual, they are affordable and easily accessible from anywhere with internet access. 

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Spa or Beauty Gift Certificates

If there is a beauty lover in your life, or just someone who goes for the regular massage, look into a gift certificate to a spa or salon in their area. Red and White Spa is one of my faves in the city, and they have amazing Christmas specials that you can book or gift. I'm also stalking Noel New York's Instagram for their daily deals, so I can save some coin when I update my hairstyle next season. Check out options in each person's area and see what you can find!

A Online Language Course

Whether you know someone brushing up on a language before a trip or who just wants to learn something new, an online language course is unexpected, easy to use, and great for adults or kids on your list. I've got my eye on Babbel for a friend going to Spain this summer!

A Foodie Friendly Subscription Box 

From Blue Apron to Hello Fresh, the options are endless! There are food subscription boxes for everyone from the indulgent foodie to the die-hard paleo dieter. Who wouldn't love the gift of an amazing meal that they can whip up in no time? 

Good luck with your last minute shopping! Let me know if you have any great ideas for last minute gifts I missed!

Borrowing from the Boys

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December dressing means time to mix festive elements with cozy pieces. You can start to layer creatively and mix and match for the most stylish results. You guys know my style ranges from girly glam to slightly edgy, so I love playing with combining unexpected elements when getting dressed. 

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When I saw this stunning slip dress I had to immediately add to cart! I nabbed it in Anthropologie's big sale, and of course it sold out! The fabric is so chic, and it's a nice heavy weight, not too delicate or flimsy. It def looks more like a dress than lingerie which is exactly what you want in a slip dress. It does run a little big, but I kind of like the loose fit. Since it's such a slinky, sexy fabric, I like the effect of the extra fabric so it's not too tight. 

But of course I had to give it a little edge, so I stole my boyfriend's classic Levi's trucker coat! It's the perfect, oversized fit and the medium wash denim instantly ups the cool factor.

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I've worn the coat a few times and am starting to get obsessed. I don't think it's heavy enough for the dead of winter, but for chilly (not freezing) days it's pretty perfect. I love how I styled it with a cocktail dress, but have also worn it with jeans and a sweater. He kinda wants the jacket back, but um, idk yet! 

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And let me know what you think of these pics since I shot them all myself! I've been playing with self-portraits and I think these turned out pretty good. 

The Best Black Art from Art Basel Miami Beach

Me with work by Laolu Senbanjo, shot by Julius July

Me with work by Laolu Senbanjo, shot by Julius July

I'm fresh off another amazing year at Art Basel Miami Beach! I can't seem to get enough of the art, the scene, and of course the weather. But Art Basel Miami Beach is more than just a good excuse to get out of the cold New York weather. Art means something to me, and I love being able to find pieces that I connect with. One trend I noticed this season was the rising presence of black artists and work inspired by our culture. Here are a few standout pieces that inspired me this season.

Please note, I do not know if all of these artists actually identify as black, so I am referencing themes in their work! 

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The Boy with the Blue Tongue and The Wrestler and the Palm Trees by Ernst Coppejans

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The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Monique Eller

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Sankofa Super Future by Shani Crowe and Max Sansing

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Girl from Congo by Johan Andersson

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Wailing Wailing by Arinze Stanley

If you were at Basel let me know what you thought this season! And chime in if you have any other artists on your radar I should check out! 

My Fave Holiday Beauty Sets to Gift (Or Keep)!

Holiday Gift Ideas

The first part of my gift guide should have given you some inspiration to start your shopping! If you have a beauty lover on your list, here are a few ideas I love from some of my favorite new brands.

Willing Beauty Hy5 Regimen

Willing Beauty HY+5 Set

The Willing Beauty team gifted me their HY+5 regimen and I'm absolutely obsessed! The age-defying routine moisturizes, restores your complexion, and protects against damage from environmental aggressors. Plus it was founded by a powerhouse mother-daughter duo, so your dollars are supporting an amazing family run business. I've been using it for a few weeks and my skin is definitely softer, smoother, and more radiant. 

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Maple Holistics Shampoo & Conditioner Set

If you or someone on your list loves natural hair products, definitely check out Maple Holistics. They have a wide array of shampoo and conditioner sets that are designed for different hair types and concerns, and all their products are all natural, made in the USA, sulfate free, and cruelty free. The team sent me their tea tree shampoo, which I love for my scalp, and their argan oil shampoo & conditioner set, and almond oil. The products are super gentle and moisturizing, and keep me hair soft and tangle free! If you are shopping for friends or family, make sure to grab a few of their free samples for yourself! 

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Bliss Fat Girl Slim Set

You guys know I swear by this stuff. Some people think it's a myth, but regular use has really made a dramatic difference in keeping the cellulite away. I also just started using their tummy toning product for good measure. I don't have any issues in that area, but I grabbed it on sale at Kohl's and figured it couldn't hurt. Buy them individually or as a set to test it out. But maybe keep this for yourself or someone you know uses firming products! 

Let me know what gifts are on your list this season!

Net Neutrality - What it Means and What You Can Do

Image by WIni Lao

Image by WIni Lao

I got a few questions about my Instagram post on net neutrality, so I wanted to take the time to post a quick blog post on what this issue is and why it matters. There are tons of articles about this from various tech experts, so if you want more information I'll include a few relevant links throughout. 

So What is Net Neutrality?

Net neutrality is the idea that all web traffic should be treated equally. Basically, an internet service provider can't charge you more to access certain sites or web based services. Because the internet has become an essential part of everyday life, President Obama took steps to have the web treated as a public utility, thus introducing more regulation to protect consumers. Those protections are now at risk. The FCC has a new Trump appointed head that wants to eliminate net neutrality, allowing Internet Service Providers to charge you more to access certain sites. 

How Will This Affect Me?

In so many ways, but here are a few. Do you enjoy using What's App to text, call, and video chat with loved ones abroad? Imagine that capability disappearing overnight, unless you want to pay premium pricing for it. Cancelled your cable since you watch everything on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime? Imagine your internet service provider blocking or slowing all of your streaming, to force you into paying for a cable package. How many hours a day do you spend on Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook? Imagine those connections being slowed to a crawl. And think about all the blogs (like this one!!), emerging social platforms, and web based apps you've never heard of that are in the works. Now imagine those never seeing the light of day because the founders can't pay for premium pricing so their websites. If you need a visual example, these photos of service in New Zealand and Portugal pretty much sum up how your internet packages could look. 

What Can I do About It?

Consumers need to band together to make our voices heard! The FCC votes on the measure on 12/14, and there are a few actions you can take to voice your opposition. Call your representative, join a protest in your city, and tell your friends to do the same! A lot of people are unaware of how important this issue is and we need to help spread the word as much as possible and a lot of people are completely unaware. Let's act now and make our voices heard!

Holiday Perfect Hair with Divatress!

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This post is sponsored by Divatress. All opinions are mine. 

The holidays are a great time to spice up your look! I don't know about you, but my schedule is pretty much an endless rotation of events, parties and social gatherings. Frequent styling can stress out your strands and put you at risk of damage, but you still have to be ready to slay. When I want to freshen up my look for an event without an extensive styling process, my go-to hair secret isn't a product; it's a wig! They are an easy way to try a new look with no risk of damage to your natural hair from heat styling or color. 

If you aren't ready to fully wig-out, half wigs are the perfect choice. You pop it onto your crown blend with your natural hair, then go! They are super easy and can look a lot more natural than a full wig because they blend with your natural hairline. Divatress has a great assortment of half-wigs that can add length, volume, texture, or be worked into a fabulous updo. Here are a few of my favorite styles, from classic and chic to fun and sexy!

So cute right? And with the super affordable pricing, why not grab a few?

Let me know your tips for slaying the holiday season! 

 

3 of My Black Friday Must-Haves

How I like to shop - in bed!

How I like to shop - in bed!

The shopping event of the year is just around the corner! Black Friday is basically THE time to shop, for pretty much anything. Stock up on everything from Christmas gifts to things you've been coveting for yourself, to even household basics. The deals are aggressive and they seem to start earlier and earlier in the week as well. I've been browsing my fave sites and saving coveted items so I know exactly what to add to cart once the sales commence. Check out what I'll be looking to buy this Black Friday.

Fitness Classes

If you follow me on Snapchat, you know that I frequent Body & Pole, and their Black Friday deals are the time to stock up on class packs that will last a few months. If you've ever been curious about pole or aerial arts, consider buying a 5 class pack. That's enough to give you a sampling of what the studio offers - between pole, aerial hoop, aerial silk, and a variety of movement based fitness classes. I've been training there for years and owe my abs and upper body strength to those workouts! I'm also checking out boutique yoga studios like Y7 in case they have any sales on classes. 

Technology

Since I'm trying to up my blogging game, I'm ready to dive in and get a camera that can shoot as well as record, so I can work on creating more video content. I've been stalking the Canon G7X for sometime, so I'm hoping to see some Black Friday deals that will put a dent in that $650 price tag. 

Gift Cards

Believe it or not, you can usually find Black Friday discounts on gift cards at select retailers or small businesses. If you aren't sure what you want or need in the moment, a gift card is great way to get a discount but not give into impulsive purchases. And these aren't limited only to your big box retailers! Salons and spas often have specials that you can purchase in advance then make reservations for whenever you need treatment.

So what is on your Black Friday shopping list? Let me know what you've been coveting!

Photo-Shoot Fresh! How I Get Camera Ready for a Blog Shoot

Image by Wini Lao

Image by Wini Lao

Say cheese!

One of the biggest parts of blogging is spending so much time in front of the camera. I do at least 2 shoots a month to have plenty of content in rotation, so I had to nail a routine to stay camera ready. Here are my tips for staying productive and ready to slay any shoot! 

Prep starts the night before

I usually shoot on either Saturday or Sunday mornings, so the night before is when the process really starts. I love at home manicures so I make sure I get my nails together, and always do a face mask. My favorite of late is the Hydroxatone Deep Moisture Sheet Mask. They are inexpensive but get your face glowing, which is essential every day, but especially when you are going to be on camera. I also occasionally use a white strip to keep my smile popping, and I pull all my looks and accessories out for easy packing. 

Steam, Organize & Pack

Depending on the season and how many l looks I have, I pack either a shopping or garment bag or a carry-on suitcase. I've been using the suitcase more now because Fall/Winter looks are bulkier and I don't want to kill my back.  Look 1 is always the one that is likely to get more wrinkled if I put it in a suitcase or bag, and the others I pack, usually in order of which one will be next. 

Be ready to change on the move

You guys know I love my portable pop-up tent! It's also easier to change Fall looks on the go since you can layer leggings and a tank under your top or bottom so you aren't getting fully disrobed on the street.  I also like to keep tissues around to change lipstick and hair accessories in case I want to go from hair down to back or up.  A little bit of variety is key!

Fellow bloggers, let me know your tips for slaying all your shoots! 

 

Holiday Gift Guide Part 1

Making my list, checking it twice!

Making my list, checking it twice!

Since Black Friday is right around the corner, it's time to get ready for holiday shopping! The sales and deals are going to be unreal, and some retailers have already started their promotions! Since it's had to navigate the storm of shopping and sales, here are a few loose ideas to get you inspired! 

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Cozy Things

It's the season for cozying up! You can't go wrong with cozy, comfy goodies, like a warm knit hat or fluffy cashmere sweater. Scarves, gloves, and earmuffs are also great accessories to keep in mind. Go classic or fashion forward with the items you choose, they are sure to be a hit!

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Health & Fitness Things

There is a fitness junkie on everyone's list, so give them what they want! A stylish water bottle, superfood packets to throw in their smoothie, and stylish headphones are all necessities.  I am also crushing on Willing Beauty's products! They sent me a package to review and I'm in love.  Their Get Set Tinted Primer is a great item for your health-conscious friend who loves her skin to have a soft natural glow without dealing with foundation. 

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Trendsetting Beauty Things

Let's be real, every girl loves Sephora, even the ones that claim they aren't really into expensive beauty products. But there are plenty of goodies at all price points - from $5 lip and eye masks to $200 eyeshadow palettes. If Natasha Denona is out of budget, you'll still have plenty of options for the beauty lover on your list. And whatever you do, grab a Fenty Trophy Wife highlighter if you can! 

Stay tuned for my gift guide part 2, with even more gift ideas! 

Fall in Full Swing!

Images by Wini Lao

Images by Wini Lao

The city is stunning this time of year. Central Park is full of gorgeous Fall color, with the leaves in all their golden glory. There is a chill in the air, but it's far from cold, just enough for you start layering creatively and maybe breaking out some tights and boots! 

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Since I love monochromatic dressing, and millenial pink is the color of the season, this outfit combo was a no brainer! The pale pink hue is pretty much universally flattering and works just as well for Fall as it did for Summer. This cozy coat was a steal from Macy's, and will probably get cheaper in a few weeks before selling out. Paired with a vintage Karen Millen tulle skirt and a soft fluffy cashmere sweater, you are good to go in style! 

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Now that you've got your look on point, here are some of my favorite things to do on a beautiful Fall day in the city!

Wander through Central Park

As you can see from the photos, Central Park is stunning this time of year. And since there is still plenty of sun and the temps are not too bad, enjoy some time outdoors taking in the scenery. 

Check out the seasonal updates in your fave restaurants

The rooftop garden at Eataly has now been converted to Baita,  a cozy lodge inspired by the Italian Alps. The McKittrick Hotel will be opening The Lodge any day now, a cozy new update to the summery Gallow Green. Check out some of your favorite spots to see what seasonal updates they have

Catch up on museum hopping

Summer in the city makes you want to be out all day everyday. When things cool down a bit, check out your favorite museums and galleries for new exhibits. Experiencing art is the perfect way to spend a day if you don't want to be outside all day. 

What are some of your favorite ways to spend a Fall day in the city? 

3 Last Minute Trip Ideas if You Need a Vacation!

Image by Wini Lao

Image by Wini Lao

Who is ready to get away? This time of year a lot of us are preoccupied with holiday travel, but I still think it's a great time for a little vacation, alone or with a few friends!

Even though Thanksgiving is right around the corner, there are still plenty of travel deals and steals to be found. I get fare sale alerts in my email daily and now is the perfect time of year to check out so many locales, domestic and around the world. If you, like me, are staying local for the holidays, you can still take advantage of the time off for a last minute getaway. Here are some of the best options I've found, based on weather, cost, and how friendly it is for a solo trip in case you can't find a travel buddy. 

Europe


Flights to Europe are super cheap right now, with fares under $400 round-trip from the US! According to Scott’s Cheap Flights, travelers can book trips hot spots across Italy (Venice, Rome, Pisa, Genoa, Naples, Milan, Bologna, and Florence); France (Bordeaux, Lyon, Nice, Paris, Toulouse); and a few other cities, like Amsterdam, Lugano, and Madrid. Try using Google Flights to simultaneously search multiple European airports and dates to find the best combination.

Caribbean

Flights have dropped dramatically to the Caribbean after a devastating hurricane season. However there are still lots of options that weren’t affected at all, but still have amazing flight deals. TravelPirates found flights to the Cayman Islands for $64 one-way from Fort Lauderdale ( about $300 less than the average last year). Fort Lauderdale to Aruba is under $200, down from $308. There was even a deal for Martinique to JFK for just $188 round trip! Be a little flexible on dates to get the best deals!

USA

I have been trying to make a point to do more domestic travel. There are so many parts of the country I’m dying to explore. I found a great deal to Lake Tahoe for December and Charleston is a stunning destination anytime of year, but extra special in the Fall. If you’ve been meaning to travel more of the USA, now is a great time to snag a last-minute short-haul flight for the weekend! 

If you are planning a trip and want help with a customized itinerary, contact me for how I can help you build the trip of your dreams! 

An Affordable Take on The Trend of the Season

Images by Wini Lao

Images by Wini Lao

It’s only the second day of the week and I’m seriously on the struggle bus! As much as I love this time of year it can get super intense managing so many personal and professional obligations. Sometimes you just need to take a day to yourself to decompress, refocus, and reset. On days like that, I like to block off time in my calendar and hole up at a stylish, quiet coffee shop.  Even though you are still wired, there is something about the change of scenery that can help you relax and get refreshed so you are ready to take on a new day or week!

Coffee Shop Style

Even when I’m taking a day to myself, I still try not to let my style slack. After all, you are just as comfortable in a stylish Fall friendly maxi dress as you could be in anything else! This flowy knit is perfect for Fall, but still basically feels like pajamas.  Since the chilly weather is starting to set in, I paired it with one of the season’s trendiest items, an embroidered moto jacket. This is another one from Candie’s at Kohl’s but it has a much higher end feel. Even though only a hint of my shoes are showing, they still had to be cute! I went with these Victorian inspired lace-up shoes with a chunky heel for extra comfort. Look complete!

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Embroidered Moto Jacket Detail

If you love this look shop the story below! And let me know how you stay sane when life starts to get extra.