Customizing My Closet with Whitmor!

The move is all done and I’m finally feeling good about the new place! After getting all the furniture in and perfecting the decor I’m moving on to the finishing touches. My closet has been barely functional since I kinda just threw everything in there while focusing on the rest of the apartment. But it’s finally time to get it together! I partnered with Whitmor to give my closet an upgrade and make it equally organized and stylish.

closet organization tips from a fashion blogger

Since we have a 2 bedroom we decided it made no sense to share closets, so we each have our own walk-in closet. Here is the space before, after I unpacked all my clothes and accessories.

closet before 1.jpg
closet before 2.jpg

Total mess! I desparately needed a streamlined storage system, especially for my bags and shoes. Whitmor sent me a selection of goodies from their Amazon shop to help get the space in shape. Check out the after below!

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whitmor closet storage.jpg
whitmor shoe shelf.jpg
whitmor shelving unit.jpg

Everything is so much cleaner and organized. I can easily access the shoes I wear most frequently on the shoe rack, and my bags and accessories are organized, visible and accessible the hanging storage cube.

The best part is the products are super affordable and can get to you in 2 days or less with Amazon Prime! Shop the gallery below for the products I used and a few other favorites from Whitmor!


I Moved to LA for Love. This is What It's Really Like

Beverly Hills Hotel

I’ve been in my new home in LA for a few weeks and it’s been great! The stress of a cross-country move has settled down and I’m finally starting to get out and explore the city. I’ve been sharing some of my favorite pics of LA and my new apartment, but haven’t yet shared the reason behind the big move yet.

Traveling in Los Angeles
Summer Beauty
Exploring Los Angeles

After spending 2 years in a long-distance relationship, we finally had the chance to move in together, but that meant moving to LA for his next job opportunity. We both had our hearts set on him moving back to NYC since that was home for both of us. But life had other plans. I knew I loved LA and had visited several times, but I never imagined myself quitting my job and giving up everything for a boy. I had built my career and close friendships all around New York, and I felt judged at every turn for my decision. I had already made a big global move for grad school, but moving for a relationship was different. We’ve all heard stories about the silly girl that gave up everything to follow a boy that ended up breaking her heart, and my friends and family worried I’d end up like that.

However I’ve learned how to drown out other people’s voices so I can listen to my own. My voice and my heart were telling me this was the right decision, the only decision. Making a big life decision is never easy, but it’s especially harder when so much of that decision is wrapped up in another person. If you’ve moved for a relationship or are thinking about it, know that it can be equally joyous and overwhelming, fun and frightening. If your partner is worth it (which they better be if you are moving for them!) they will recognize and appreciate the sacrifice you are making for them. Remember that no one’s opinions or thoughts matter as much as your own. If you ever feel like you are a bad feminist for the choice you make, remember that feminism is all about a women’s right to make her own choices.

And make sure wherever you go for whatever reason, you find a way to make it your own!

Everything You Need to Know About Moving for Love

#NYCStories: What Life in NYC Has Taught Me

New York City Glam

I started posting a series on Instagram sharing some of my favorite NYC Stories. Growing up in this city has shaped me in ways I’m slowly becoming more and more aware of as I get older and travel more. If you don’t live in NY, living here is like no place else. If you are planning a move or even a trip, here are some things you need to know to make the most of your experience!

Advenures in NYC
The Plaza Hotel NYC
The Plaza Hotel NYC
The Plaza NYC

NYC Life & Travel are Expensive

If you’ve never been here before, the prices wil be shocking! Growing up in the city made me a little more used to seeing extreme prices at every turn. That skill comes in really handy when traveling because I rarely get sticker shock (except for in Switzerland, where the combination of pricing and exchange rate is insane). Save up and prepare yourself and your wallet for outlandish rent, overpriced restaurants, $15 cocktails, and a view that can bring tears to your eyes.

You’ll Make a Lot of Friends But Only Have a Few Friends

Living here means you are constantly surrounded by people. The opportunities to socialize are endless and you’ll be able to meet new people at every turn. However I’ve learned that true friendships and authentic bonds are few and far between. In retrospect I wish I had devoted more time to those relationships, but it seemed we often took for granted that we could see each other any time. Have all the fun you can with all the right people, but make sure you find ways to prioritize the relationships that really count.

Street Food Is Always a Good Idea

From the halal stands to the gyro carts, NY street food is legendary. If you are germophobic or nervous about eating off a truck, start working on that before you land in the Big Apple! Of course the city is known for it’s concentration of incredible high-end restaurants, but considering the need to respect your wallet as discussed above, make sure you explore the low-cost options that can be just as delicious!

The Options Are Endless and the Familiar is Comforting

The city that never sleeps is also the city of endless options. There is so much amazing everything - restaurants, museums, lounges, and the list goes on. Anything your heart desires, you will find and it will be good! Even though we are spoiled for choice, you’ll see that New Yorkers often frequent the same spots! You might think we bounce around to a new place every night, but the fact is we all have our neighborhood bar or go to restaurant that we hit up a few times a week. If you visit NYC or make it your home, find the balance between visiting your faves on a regular basis and exploring something new when you can.

tips for living in nyc

If you are planning to move or visit NYC, let me know your questions in the comments!

3 Key Pieces to Make Summer Dressing A Breeze!

Summer Outfit Ideas

We’re just about a week away from the unofficial start of summer! Memorial Day weekend is about to kick off and since it’s time to spend more time having fun in the sun, I wanted to share my quick and easy #OOTD formula to make getting ready a breeze! If you consider yourself a lazy dresser but want to play with separates instead of throwing on a tired sundress, stay tuned for one of my go to outfit combinations!

summer ootd goals
easy summer outfit ideas
red top mom jeans ootd
summer dressing outfit ideas

Even though my boyfriend despises them, I am absolutely obsessed with mom jeans! They are so comfy and chic, and give you an instant cool girl vibe. I rock them with everything from crop tops and bodysuits in spring and summer, and sweaters and blazers for cooler months. My favorite pairs are in medium wash denim and a pale blue that is perfect for summer. Add a feminine printed blouse and you are ready to go!

I’ve also been really into clear plastic totes! It sounds crazy but they are surprisngly chic. It also gives me a chance to get more of my pretty clutches into regular rotation since I stash anything I don’t want fully visible in one of them then pop it in the tote. Plus they are super affordable, with mine going for under $30 on Amazon!

Let me know your go-to pieces for summer and how you style them! And shop the story below!

3 key pieces for summer dressing

3 Affordable Fashion Sites to Shop for Summer!

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affordable fast fashion sites.jpg
spring cherry blossoms.jpg

Guess what guys! I did my first podcast! Yes, yours truly made a guest appearance on the Starengu podcast this week. We discussed my favorite in flight beauty rituals and how I juggle my demanding day job with my side hustle as a blogger/influencer. And of course we chatted a bit about shopping and fashion. I love curating a wardrobe that is timeless and adaptable. However I do like to sprinkle in trendy pieces seasonally for quick easy updates.

Since it was so great discussing on the podcast, I decided to give you guys a bit more info on some of my favorite and most affordable fast fashion sites. Check out my top 4 below!

Shein

Shein is a classic Instagram fashion site with thousands of items at prices as low as $5! Sizing can be hit or miss, but I've found that with careful measurements and maybe a quick stop at your local tailor you can make a cheapie dress look like a million (ok fine maybe a hundred) bucks! I’ve shopped the site several times and am rarely disappointed.

Just don't even think about retuning,  the cost and time it will take to ship isnt worth it. Sell on Poshmark or give to a friend and move on.

Also at checkout you'll have the option to pay a small fee to insure your package, which I suggest you do. If you don't take the insurance you are on your own in case the package gets lost or stolen. Its usually under $3 depending on the order total so a small price to pay for peace of mind. 

Amazon

Amazon has a crazy wide selection of affordable, fashionable items and most are super cheap and include prime shipping. Just be prepared to browse patiently because the search results are extensive and navigation isn't the easiest. But I've found everything from stylish, sexy swimwear to dresses,  and even the perfect clear plastic tote. If you are nervous about fit/sizing just turn on the free returns filter as you start browsing. 

Showpo

I worked with Showpo earlier this year and they are a great fashion find! The Australian retailer sells a huge assortment of products at low prices and with fast shipping. Everything I got looked just as expected and is surprisingly great quality considering their low prices. Plus the shipping is pretty fast and returns are allowed, but for store credit only and shipping is on you, so shop carefully!

Let me know yor fave fast fashion sites, and don’t forget to tune into the Starengu podcast to hear the full interview!

fast fashion shopping guide



Not the Met Gala but Still Fun! Black Tie Galas You Can Actually Get into

Met Gala Red Carpet Fashion

Today is a national fashion holiday – the Met Gala! Every fashionista is ready to pull up a chair and stay glued to their phones and social media for a first look at what everyone will be wearing on the red carpet. I’ve never been huge on awards shows, but I love the Met Gala! The looks are always so much more creative and inspiring than your typical red carpet, and I love seeing how celebs interpret the theme each year. This year’s theme is Camp: Notes on Fashion, so I’m expecting to see a whole lot of TOO MUCH on the red carpet tonight and I’m hoping my favorite celebs take risks and have fun. 

 Obviously, I’m not attending the Met Gala tonight, but I do love going to the occasional gala or black-tie function. It’s always great to get uber glam and go out to show support of a cause, but the ticket prices can be astronomical! Because I’m all about living your most glam, but affordable life, I scoured the internet for the best galas with tickets you can actually afford! They are still not cheap tickets, but some start as low as $100, which is just a little bit more than dinner/drinks out in the city or a new Zara dress. Check out the list below and save this post for future reference! 

Met Gala Red Carpet Style
Met Museum NYC
Ready for the Met Gala

 Black Tie Events Coming Up This Month

 

Harlem Nights 2019 - Harlem Rotary & Active Plus Gala

May 10, Tickets for $100-$130

 The Rotary Club of Harlem is one of 35,000+ clubs that work together to promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, sanitation, and hygiene, save mothers and children, support education and grow local economies.Their annual gala is inspired by the classic film, Harlem Nights so get ready to bring your 1920’s glam! Get tickets here

 Navigating the Future: City Living NY's Annual Fundraiser

May 14, Tickets for $100

CITY LIVING NY’s mission is to empower youth aging out of foster care to successfully transition into adulthood by providing concrete resources, tools, and support services. This gala honors the work of those who made their missions possible and raises funds for their 2019-2020 service year. Get your tickets here. 

Tomorrow's Smile Today Gala 

May 16, Tickets for $100

 Tomorrow's Smile Today is a registered non-profit organization founded to provide education, information, and treatment to under-served populations worldwide and here in the United States. This year’s gala will focus on their recent work in Kenya and will provide supporters with more information about their Summer 2019 missions. Get your tickets here.

 

Galas and Events to Save for Next Year

 

These are events I’ve been to myself, but the dates have passed. Pin the graphic below and reference this post when it’s time to buy tickets!

 The Guggenheim Museum Young Collectors Party

The art museums flagship event is a blast! The YCC is a group of young professionals who enjoy private programs led by curators, a dedicated calendar of events, and invitations to parties and opening receptions. This is their annual formal event and tickets usually run between $200-250. Check out the Guggenheim’s Instagram for scenes from this year’s event and follow their social or website to find out about 2019 tickets! 

The Museum of the City of New York Harlem Whiskey Renaissance

The Museum of the City of New York is one of my favorites. It’s all about celebrating the history and culture of NY. They have several galas and events through the year, but one not to miss is the Harlem Whiskey RenaissanceGala. The party has a lighter tone than some ofhte more traditional benefits and fundraisers, as it celebrates whiskey and its storied past as the drink of choice for artisans and intellectuals during the Harlem Renaissance. Plus I see a discount on Pulsd for this event every year, giving you about half off the already affordable tickets! 

Let me know what summer events you can’t wait to attend, and of course your favorite looks on the Met Gala red carpet! 

getting into a gala

 

 

How to Wear Stripes for Summer and My Fave Styles Under $50

Striped Dresses for Spring
Striped Trend for Summer
How to Wear Stripes for Summer
Summer Beauty Inspiration

Happy May! We are one step closer to summer and I can’t wait for the season’s long sun-drenched days. This summer I’m looking forward to plenty of beach days, rooftop dinners, and of course, pool parties! 

To get ready for the most fun season of the year, I’ve been thinking about how to spice up my wardrobe. I can’t spend a ton because I’m in the midst of redecorating, but I want to make some small wardrobe updates this season and find new trends to rock. Obviously, florals are everywhere for Spring & Summer, but I wanted to add a few unexpected pieces into the rotation. 

If you’ve had mixed feelings about stripes give them a second chance! The pattern can be as bold or subtle as you want and is just as flattering whether you rock it on a dress, a top, or accessories. Go bright with assorted colors or play with neutrals, like this brown and cream striped number I got at Macys. The chiffon fabric is easy breezy, and I love that the long sleeves give you just a bit of coverage in case the temperature drops after sunset. Plus the sash belt adds just a bit of extra romance to the look. 

I wore it with a pair of clunky flatforms to contrast the feminine style of the dress, but it would be just as chic with sneakers or block heeled sandals. I also love a classic cabana striped top, and the print is great on a scarf or summer tote. If you are feeling adventurous you can mix and match stripes with another print, like a plaid or floral. Just keep the color palette and scale of the print in mind!  

Since I never spend a lot on trendy items or summer clothing, I dug around the internet and found some of the cutest striped pieces all under $50. Just don’t wear them all together! 

Striped Dresses Under $50
How to wear stripes for summer

 

All the Spring Must-Have Beauty Buys in the 2019 VIB Sale!

Spring Beauty Shopping.jpeg

Ready for some serious shopping? The Spring Sephora VIB sale kicks off this week and I am so excited! Sephora discounts are few and far between, so this is when I stock up on my favorite products, try new goodies that are hitting the shelves, and get ready to step up my beauty game for the new season. 

There are 2 tiers to the sale; VIB Rouge Members save 20% on their purchases between 4/26-5/1 and VIB Members save 15% between 5/2-5/6. It’s not a huge percentage off but considering the fact that Sephora pretty much never discounts store-wide now is the time to shop and save. 

Here are some of the goods I’ll be adding to cart this VIB sale!

Sephora VIB Sale Shopping Guide

Must-Try Face Makeup for the Perfect Summer Skin

This season’s skin is all about a natural glow! I’ll be trying the new Fenty Beauty Bronzers for sure, since pretty much everything else in the product line is incredible. Plus I’ve had the Becca Shimmering Skin Highlighter on my list for a while, so will get one or 2 of these, plus this brand new Nars liquid highlighter for when I want an all-over glow! And when we inch closer to summer I’ll be trading my usual foundation for a lighter weight tinted moisturizer. 

Bold, Colorful Makeup for Fun Trendy Spring Looks

One of my most-used palettes last season was the Too Faced Natural Love palette, so I’m excited to test the newest version, Too Faced Natural Lust! I’m also obsessed with the new ABH Riviera palette and will be finishing all my summer looks with either a pop color eye or bold lip.

Body Care Products for a Head to Toe Glow

Since warm weather means exposing more skin, don’t forget about the rest of your body! The Fenty Beauty Body Lava is back in some hot new shades, and I’ll be updating my anti-cellulite routine with some new firming creams and masks. Plus a body scrub is an essential for the season, and I’ll be going for one like this Laura Mercier, that is super gently and luxurious. 

Skin-Care Essentials for Glowing Skin All Spring Summer

And don’t forget the skin care essentials! I live for these Sephora Collection sleeping masks and eye masks so will be stocking up on both! And I desperately need to replace my Clarisonic brush heads so will buy a few of those, or maybe this set of head to toe body buffers! And of course, makeup remover wipes because you can never have enough of those! 

Let me know what you are adding to cart and what beauty trends you are most excited about! 

3 Spring Décor Trends to Shop Now

Home Decor Inspiration

I’m nesting pretty bad these days! Since I’ll be in my new place in just a few short weeks I can’t stop looking at stylish home décor and pinning all my ideas! I’m trying to not too shop too much right now, since I still need to move and get accurate measurements of each space, so for now I’m just planning carefully and organizing my shopping lists. There are a few décor trends I’ve been really getting into so definitely will be working into new place after the move. Keep reading to see 3 of my top home décor trends that I’ll be incorporating into the new place!

Spring Decorating Trends

 

Luxe Bathroom Accessories

Self-care is everything these days, so I want to make sure I create a spa like experience at home. There are a few easy updates you can make to get that ambiance, even in a rental! I’m definitely going to be switching out the standard showerheads for a waterfall attachment and adding some removeable wallpaper in a glam print or color. I can’t go as feminine as I would like to because gotta keep the boy in mind, but I definitely want to add lots of soft textures with plush towels and a shaggy bathmat and vanity style lighting to glam it up! 

 

Statement Lighting to Complete the Room 

Lighting is an essential and I love going bold with floor and table lamps. Hudson Valley Lighting sent me the stunning Hurley lamp which I can’t wait to set up in my new living room. It features a luxe gold base and off-white silk shade that is timeless, classic, and perfectly glam! Considering the price tag it is definitely an investment piece, but one that will last for years and look stylish in your current home and any future one! Hudson Valley Lighting also operates the Mitzi brand, which is just as stylish and way more affordable. 

 

If your apartment has pre-installed overhead lighting, check with your management if you can swap out the fixtures for something more stylish. As long as you store the original fixture safely and can replace it when you move out, you may be able to make the upgrade. If not think about changing the light bulbs to something softer and more serene. 

 

Swing Chairs for a Bohemian Vibe

I’m not super boho with my taste, but I like having just a hint of it. I’ve been really into swing chairs, especially since installing a hammock in an apartment isn’t exactly practical! They just instantly give you a relaxed, summer vibe, that’s just a touch hippie chic. They are pretty trendy right now, so I wouldn’t splurge on one but there are plenty of options you can find for under $100. 

 

If you are redecorating for Spring, make sure you check out Hudson Valley Lighting  for some high-end lighting inspo! And shop my round-up of stylish and affordable home upgrades below!

Everything to Do in NY This Spring!!

where to see cherry blossoms in ny.jpeg

Spring has officially been here for a few weeks, but it’s finally starting to feel like it! The weather is warming up and the days are getting longer, so it’s time to get out and start enjoying the new season. NYC is beautiful this time of year and the energy is so refreshing after what felt like a winter that would never end! Spring is a pretty short-lived season, so get out and make the most of it while you can! 

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new york botanical garden orchid show.jpeg

Check out the Cherry Blossoms and all the Spring Blooms

Cherry blossoms are blooming everywhere right now! The ones in Central Park are full and fluffy, and the blooms at New York Botanical Garden and Brooklyn Botanical Garden are nearing peak bloom. Some people consider Sakura Matsuri the can’t miss cherry blossom moment of the season, but it’s insanely crowded. I prefer to visit on an off day when I can really take my time wandering the garden and enjoying the view, without the hundreds of people. 

NYBG is also home to stunning fields of daffodils and azaleas that are about halfway to peak bloom right now. Keep your eyes on their bloom tracker to best time your visit. And definitely don’t miss the Orchid Show, that is running until April 28th! 

 

Get Reservations at all the Rooftops and Gardens

Dining al fresco is so necessary but getting coveted tables for you and the squad can be tricky! I usually start booking reservations a few weeks in advance, then making plans with friends as I go. Waiting until the last-minute means missing out on prime outdoor seating during the most popular hours. A lot of places do take walk-ins, but I prefer not to be at the mercy of a wait list that can easily be an hour long! Plan a head or pick less popular times to make sure you can have the perfect Spring dining experience while the season lasts. My favorites are Lauduree, Public Kitchen, Jimmy for drinks and Serra at Eataly

 

Visit New Exhibits at all the City’s Museums

A museum day is one of my favorite things to do, especially on days where the weather is not quite nice enough to be outside. The iconic Costume Institute at the Met Museum opens May 9th and Brooklyn Museum has an incredible Frida Kahlo exhibit on now through May 12th. That one requires timed entry passes and they are selling out fast, so make sure you sign up asap! And on May 3rdthey open Nobody Promised You Tomorrow, a collection of work from 22 LGBTQ artists 50 years after Stonewall. 

 

Update Your Wardobe with Some Spring Shopping

Let your closet get a little taste of fresh air with some affordable fashion finds! Check out all your favorite retailers for Spring sales not to miss. You will need some new sundresses, flirty tops, comfy sandals, and standout accessories to get through the season! 

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The Grown Woman's Guide to Festival Style

Festival Season Style Inspiration

Festival season is here! If you aren’t flying off to live your best life at Coachella, at least you can add some festival inspired style to your Spring wardrobe. Most of the festival trends are pretty out there, and hard to pull off if you aren’t a lanky twenty-something year old. I love the festival season trends and try to interpret them in a way that is easy and appropriate for the normal, everyday life of an average woman. Here are a few ways to get a festival inspired look for a grown woman life!

Festival Season Fashion Trends
Festival Hair and Makeup Ideas

 Try a Fun New Hairstyle

 I’ve been rocking these DIY passion twists and they are all the rage! This look is probably one of the biggest natural hair trends I’ve seen this season, and they give you the perfect sophsticated bohemian guide. Check out my quick tutorial if you want to try to do it yourself, or find a salon that offers the style on Style Seat! They are so cute and can be styled long and loose or in fun, oversized buns and updos. I also love playing with different cornrow styles, and the easiest way to spice up your look is throwing on a cute wig! Whether in a bold color or new curl pattern, you can experiement with your look each season without compromising the health of your natural hair.

Go Bolder with Makeup

 Spring makeup can be very fresh faced, dewy, soft and romantic. When going to a festival inspired look, you definitely need to take it up a notch! Think about more intense shimmer or even glitters for your going out looks, and bold lip color like neon orange or hot pink. I also love layering on highlighter in shades of pink, champagne, or even purple! If your outfit is on the simpler side, a bolder makeup look is a great way to make a statement.

Update Some Go-To Pieces in Your Wardrobe 

Festival style is fun, so just pick a few key pieces that hit some of the trends to get the look! Think fringe, crochet, and bohemian patterns in clothing, block heel booties with Western flair, and plenty of accessories.  These are some of my favorite pieces that subtly hit the festival trend, while still being appropriate for every day adult life!

Let me know what festivals you’ll be heading to this Spring and Summer, and of course what you’ll be wearing!

Festival Fashion Tips

3 Ways to Upgrade Your Home for Spring!

this post is bought to you in collaboration with Art to Frames

this post is bought to you in collaboration with Art to Frames

Spring is the perfect time to breath some new life into your home! I’m not a fan of Spring cleaning because obviously it’s the worst but it is a necessary evil! After you get your place nice and tidy it’s time to start working on the fun part – redecorating! 

I’ve been in my current apartment for almost 5 years now and have been itching to spice it up for a while. I didn’t want to go crazy because I’m moving somewhere new soon so wanted to think of fun, affordable ways to create a little more ambiance at home. Here are a few of my tips for easy, affordable redecorating for Spring! 

3 Ways to Update Your Home for Spring

Get some new greenery

There is no faster, cheaper way to bring new life into your home! I love picking up big leafy potted plants in colorful planters or chic baskets. I usually grab them at my local Home Depot since you can see and feel them in person, but there are also some really eye-catching ones I saw on Amazon! I have a few saved to purchase when I’m in my new place so I’ll let you know how that goes! Even though I’m terrible with plants and can never keep them alive long, I love keeping them around. I also pick up a cheap and cheerful bouquet on my regular Whole Foods or Trader Joes run for extra color around the place

Show your walls some love

Bare white walls in an apartment are a big no no! I’m a huge fan of paint, peel and stick wallpaper, and hanging art to add some personality to the room. I have a few pieces I’ve picked up over the years, and the latest is one my boyfriend actually picked out. Pretty cool right?

Custom Frame From Art to Frames

I wanted to give our new pet a very chic, timeless frame with a little pop of color to compliment the edgy street art vibe. Art to Frame gifted me this gorgeous Bright Gold With Compo Picture Frame 

The details are stunning and I added a double mat in classic white with a hint of hot pink to tie back to the colors in the painting. The finished piece is now an eye-catching addition to my entryway! 

 The team also included a classic black collage frame Collage Frame that can either sit on a table top of be hung. I haven’t decided where it’s going or what images to use, so let me know how you would style a frame like this!

And check out Art to Frames for easy custom framing! The quality and service are top-notch and their selection is amazing! The options are all stunning it’s hard to pick just one! Plus the site let’s you easily get a preview of how your piece will look in the frame of your choice, and add additional stylish details like classic or fancy cut mats. Save 15% on your purchase with my code, KELLY15.

Gold Art Frames
Easy to Hang Wall Art

Upgrade your throw pillows and blankets

Purchasing new pieces of furniture requires some degree of planning, but textiles are an easy way to transform the look of a room on a whim. If you are bored with your couch but not ready to replace it, just swap out the pillows! My favorite place to get fancy pillows at bargain prices is TJ Maxx.  They have a great selection of home textiles at a fraction of retail prices and even though I hate shopping in store it’s worth it, especially for home goods! I update my pillows and throw blankets seasonally – going for chunky knits, rich velvets, and metallics around the holidays, and fun summery prints this time of year. 

Budget Friendly Redecorating Tips

Stay tuned for more about my adventures in moving and decorating my new place and thanks again to Art to Frames for collaborating with me on this post! 

4 Ways to Save on Summer Travel!

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Spring is the perfect time to plan a trip or take a last-minute getaway! Its early enough to catch a deal for a summer trip and the weather has warmed up in a lot of places so you'll have plenty of options. Here are my tips for planning a bucket list worthy trip on a budget!

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affordable travel tips.jpeg

Be flexible on location

If you aren’t set on a specific destination you can easily find deals because you'll have so many options. You can look for flight deals or hotel specials and end up somewhere amazing for a bargain. It’s especially easy to save when you are going to a destination in the off season, which may be even more fun because it will be less flooded with tourists! You may have had your heart set on Paris in the summer but may be able to get that Parisian feel in another European destination. 

 

Look for deals in unexpected places 

If you are a seasoned traveler, you already are on the most popular deals and steals email lists. If you are looking for even more discounts or ways to sweeten the deal before buying, check out cash back sites like Ebates. Yes, you can earn cash back on your travel purchases! I’m also a big fan of browsing Amex Offers and members only deals in their travel section. They may not be big discounts, but you can often find things like free room upgrades or perks that will make your stay a special one. 

 

Plan based on a favorable currency exchange

Make your money go even farther by picking a destination with a favorable currency exchange! I recently went to Toronto for work and stayed at the super stylish Bisha Hotel, a boutique hotel with incredible ambiance. The exchange rate worked in my favor, saving on everything from the hotel, to meals, transportation and even shopping! If you really want to stretch your dollar, think about destinations in South America, Africa, or even Asia, and avoid Europe, especially Switzerland!

 

Go with a group

As much as I enjoy solo travel, costs can add up pretty quickly when you don’t have anyone to split things with. If you can round up 3 or 4 friends, you will save a ton sharing costs for accommodations, which is usually the biggest expense.  When I went to Colombia with a group of 8 we were able to get an incredible luxury villa that ended up costing around $100 a night each! Plus there were plenty of less fancy options for a fraction of that cost. Round up your squad and get to searching! 

 

Let me know what vacation destinations you have in mind this year! And follow me on Instagram to stay tuned to all my summer travel! 

 

4 Ways to Save on Summer Travel

4 Ways to Get Summer Ready from Head to Toe!

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We’re basically 6 weeks away from summer! Everyone talks about getting your body in shape for summer, and for some people that means losing weight and getting more fit. But you also can’t neglect just taking better care of your skin since so much of it is on display! Whatever you are doing in terms of diet and exercise is one thing, but in this post I’m going to share a few of my tips for getting your skin ready to glow all season long. Stay tuned for some of my favorite products to use for each summer skin situation. 

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Getting Rid of Cellulite

Cellulite is pretty common and if you want to embrace it and rock your dimples, more power to you! However I have never been a fan of mine so have a pretty regular cellulite prevention routine that keeps the dimples away. I use a skin-smoothing and firming cream twice daily, and every few weeks incorporate an intensive firming mask on my butt and thighs. Most treatments take 4 to 6 weeks to show results, so get started now and you will be ready by Memorial Day

 

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Preventing Body Acne and Breakouts

All the extra sweat and sun can sometimes lead to more body breakouts. Keep things clear by adding a body wash and lotion that have exfoliating acids in them. I love the Paula’s Choice Skin Revealing Body Lotion and Weightless Body Treatment. They feature BHA and AHA that gently exfoliate and help remove the appearance of bumps and redness. They also make a great Acne Body Spray that you can spritz on anywhere for added body acne prevention

 

Sunscreen That Works for Darker Skin Tones

Sunscreen is an essential, but a lot of them leave a weird grey cast on skin, especially when you have a darker skin tone. I just started trying Black Girl Sunscreen, a natural, vegan sunscreen that goes on sheer without the yucky white residue. I’m also a big fan of Supergoop products, especially their mousse formula! 

 

Keeping Your Feet Sandal Ready

I usually do an intense foot peel to shed off all the winter skin and get my feet ready for sandal season. Baby Foot is my favorite but be warned – it’s not pretty! It takes about a week and a half to fully process and your feet will be pretty gross until the shedding is complete. But it’s worth it for how soft and amazing your feet are afterward.  I do these pretty much 2 to 3 times a year. But if you want to try one, definitely start it now! You will need to keep your feet covered the whole time it’s processing, so do it while you can still wear socks and booties!

 

Let me know what you guys are most excited about for summer and how you are getting ready! 

head to toe beauty tips for summer

 

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6 Ways to Get Ready for Spring

Birthday Celebration

April is the best month! Not just because it’s my birthday month, although that’s a good part of the reason why! Spring is in the air, the city starts waking up, and flowers start blossoming everywhere you look. Here are a few ways I get ready for my birthday and to kick off the Spring season!

Birthday Celebration Ideas
Birthday Celebration Ideas
6 ways to get ready for Spring

If You Haven’t Already, File Your Taxes!

You know what time it is! 2019 taxes are due April 15th this year, so don’t mess around! I usually do them in March because it takes a while to get all my paperwork from assorted blog campaigns together to file. I also like filing in March because I usually get my refund right around my birthday, so it’s always a nice little treat! Obviously I save the majority of it, but I do leave a little bit for me to plan something fun. Which brings me to my next point . . .

Schedule Your Spring Beauty Treatments

There are a lot of treatments I do on a regular basis to keep things in check! Laser hair removal is a big one, and you need to get those touch ups before summer so you don’t risk discoloration due to sun exposure. I always get my touch-ups in April so I have plenty of time to heal and protect my skin before sundress/bikini season kicks off.

I’m not big on facials, but I do indulge them occasionally. Chemical peels are my preferred choice, and I always get them from a dermatologist, NOT a day spa. Not knocking spas as they can be an amazing experience, but when it comes to strong chemicals being applied to my face with the goal of actually burning off the top layer of skin, I want that administered by a licensed medical professional! My go to dermatologist in the city is Dr. Carlos Charles at Derma di Colore, who has been keeping my skin glowing for years. I also love Dr. Sinha at Pearlman Aesthetic Surgery!

I definitely prefer massages to facials, so I make it a point to get one every year the week of my birthday. I actually get them every 3 or 4 months, but usually they are pretty intense massages, aimed at working out tension and helping me recover from my strength building workouts. The birthday massage is designed to be a relaxing one, that just lets me get pampered!

Plan a Party or Social Event

I usually have multiple events the week of my birthday because, well why not! I’m so lucky to have a lot of friends and any excuse to get them all together and eat cake and pop champagne is much appreciated. I made my reservations for brunch and dinner a few weeks ago, so just putting the finishing touches on some small details. If you don’t like planning birthdays or have a group of friends that would love to plan it for you, definitely take advantage! I just tend to take matters into my own hands when it comes to the birthday, and my friends usually love what I come up with so the trend just stuck. This year will be way more low-key than last year’s pajama party, since I’m super busy, but I’m so excited! The next thing to do is take advantage of my Rent the Runway birthday rental and pick out an amazing look! Did you know you get a free birthday rental with an RTR Pro membership? Check out their site for more details!

Try a New Hair Style

New season, new look right? I start playing with my hair more for Spring and Summer, trying out lighter colors, playing with more fun wigs, or trying trendy braided styles. The energy of the season just lends itself to experimenting with a new look! I’m going to be testing out the new passion twists that are all the rage, so stay tuned to my Instagram to see how this look turns out!

Clean out Your Closet for Spring

It’s time to transition your wardrobe from winter to Spring, and before you can take advantage of all the Spring sales, you’ve got to make room in your closet for the new additions! I always go through my closet and audit everything that needs to go and decide whether to sell it on Poshmark or one of the resale stores like Crossroads or donate it to Goodwill. I also usually pull out a few pieces that I want to keep but need some extra love, like fixing minor tears, treating stains, getting shoes polished, etc. Once you know what you are keeping for the new season, you can carefully shop around to round out your looks and options!

Plan a Summer Trip

Give yourself something to look forward to! Summer is a great time to travel, and if you want to find a deal now is the time to start looking. Coordinate with your friends or significant other on a dream destination or affordable little weekends. If you aren’t sure where to go, sign up for fare sale alerts and emails on most of the big booking sites. They will let you know about flash sales and discounted travel that will help give you ideas to start planning!

Let me know how you get ready for Spring and what you are most excited about this season!

fashion and beauty tips for Spring

3 Spring Trends! Get the Looks Under $100

Spring in NYC

Spring is officially here, even though it doesn’t exactly feel like it in NY! I’m sure things will pick up in the next few weeks, but I’m not waiting for the warm weather to get my wardrobe ready. You guys know I’m not a big shopper, and since I didn’t get almost anything new last Spring, my closet is looking a little dusty. Here are a few trends, I’m super excited about for Spring, and don’t worry – none of them include florals! 

Striped Dress Trend for Spring

The Stripe Trend for Spring

Stripes are the new floral this season. Wear bold ones, or neutral like this midi dress from Shop Red Dress. They are just as cute whether they are vertical or horizontal, so work them into your looks with dresses, shirts, and even bottoms or accessories

Striped Ruffle Mini Dress

 

Girly Dresses for Spring

Feminine Detailed Dresses for Spring

Girly is back again, and I’m here for it! Think sweet ruffles, bow detailing, and soft, feminine colors for Spring. Pair a dress that is shorter or has a sexier fit with sneakers or penny loafers to lend a more casual vibe. 

hair accessories spring trend

 

Hair Accessories Spring Trend

I’ve noticed the hair accessories trend sweeping the blogs and runways so I’m testing it out! I usually keep my hair styles pretty simple, but this season is a fun time to test out a new look. Think bold hair clips, cute headscarves, and piled up bobby pins. 

 

Denim Dress Trend

New Denim Trend for Spring 

Denim is a wardrobe staple, but this season I’ve been playing with more interesting ways to wear it. I fashioned this dress from an oversized trucker jacket and love it! It’s great for days when it’s just a little too chilly and a jacket is necessary. You can get the look with any oversized, boyfriend cut jacket, and just add your favorite belt. 

3 spring trends under $100



Let me know what trends you are most excited about and shop the story below! 

Spring Trend Style Guide

 

 

30 Day Keto Update - Results and 7 FAQ's!

keto diet 30 day challenge

If you’ve been paying attention to my Instagram stories, you’ve probably seen me mention starting the keto diet and amping up my workouts. I wanted to give you guys some background on why I started, my results after being on the keto diet for 30 days, some frequently asked questions about maintaining the keto lifestyle, and some of my favorite keto recipes that are helping me stay in shape! Get ready for a long post because we are diving in!

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What is the Keto Diet

In short it’s a diet that focuses on fat first, and virtually eliminates carbs from your diet in an effort to get your body to burn fat as it’s primary fuel source. I’m not going to go into all the details of the diet because there are A LOT so I’d encourage you to do research 

 Why I Started the Keto Diet

Even though I’ve always been in relatively good shape and maintain a regular workout schedule, I noticed that my weight had been slowly creeping up over the years. It was a tiny bit at a time, but I noticed it sticking, especially after I started traveling more and getting into a new relationship which meant lots of time indulging! I had been yo-yo dieting, losing weight fast when I wanted to shape up for a trip or through the summer, then packing it back on pretty much as soon as I started eating normal. I did juice cleanses back to back, which have a place in your regimen but are not a sustainable way to maintain weight. At my most extreme I was calorie counting with My Fitness Pal and logging less than 1,000 calories a day! It was tough, ineffective, and I was miserable.

I noticed a lot of friends, acquaintances and coworkers mentioning being on keto and loving the diet and results, so I started observing how they ate and what they thought about keto as a lifestyle. I wish I could say I carefully prepared to start the diet, but I actually dove in and quit carbs cold turkey while on a trip to LA! I instantly noticed how carbs are EVERYWHERE and how intense it would be to really track them. But I also enjoyed being able to eat foods I loved that I had deprived myself of when on my strict, low-fat diets. I ate real bacon, full-fat dairy, a whole avocado a day, and snacked on nuts. While at a Mexican restaurant one night in LA, I didn’t even miss skipping tacos and ate a huge bowl of carnitas and sautéed veggies! Overall even though I wasn’t eating any carbs or sugar, I stopped missing them after a few days and instantly felt happier! 

Have you seen results from the keto diet?

My results have been amazing! On my other diets I would barely lose a pound a week, and often it was water weight. In one month on keto I lost 6 pounds and 3.5% body fat! Yes, I lost that much weight eating bacon, cheese, and burgers! I expect to plateau pretty soon, especially because I’m already pretty close to my goal weight, but I’m so happy with the results. 

fat loss on the keto diet

Did you have any weird side effects from the keto diet?

If you Google keto side effects, you will find a LONG list of side effects, everything from bad breath, keto crotch, fatigue, dehydration and constipation. I did not experience any of these! I changed my supplements which helped keep things balanced, so I take omega 3’s, fiber, and magnesium. I also manage my sodium intake by drinking bone broth or salt water and the only time I got a keto related headache was after cheating aggressively and slamming a piece of birthday cake. Which brings me to the next question!

Can you have cheat days on the keto diet

In short no! If you are in ketosis and cheat, you will immediately be knocked out of that metabolic state. Yes, you can recover and get back in, but for best results you really need to stay consistent. My goal was to go 45 days without cheating, but I only made it 30! I do plan to have a few cheat days around my birthday and a trip in June, but for the most part I plan on making keto a consistent lifestyle choice and permanent way of eating. 

 

Keto Diet What Can You Eat

So what can you eat on keto?

Staples on my grocery list every week are ground turkey, different types of cheeses, deli meat and nuts for snacks, salmon, leafy greens, zucchini or zoodles, eggs and avocado. I intermittent fast 5 days a week so don’t really do breakfast. Generally speaking I’m not a fan of processed foods or carb/sugar substitutes, so I focus on foods that are nutrient rich, satisfying and naturally high in fat and low in carbs. Some of my favorite recipes are Bolognese sauce with zucchini noodles, bacon and cheddar frittatas, roasted salmon with avocado salad, and a big, cheesy, messy lasagna with zucchini cut into planks instead of pasta.  Typically, lunch is a big salad with leafy greens, a whole avocado, some protein, and olive oil, blue cheese or ranch dressing since I love them and they are high in fat but low in sugar. And when I have time I experiment with recipes as long as they don’t call for ingredients that are weird or overly artificial. Last Sunday was classic fried chicken but using almond flour instead of white flour, and keto “ice cream.”


Does the keto diet interfere with your social life?

Keto really hasn’t interfered with my social life at all, but you do need to exercise discipline when dining in a group. It’s tough when sharing apps or small plates, or when you are dying to pick at your friend’s fries! Usually when dining out I’ll look for fish and veggies, steak or a burger with no bun, or something like that. There are usually plenty of options to choose from. Drinking a lot is discouraged on keto, but I’m not giving up everything! My new go to drinks are vodka sodas, tequila and fresh lime juice, or whiskey on the rocks. I also have taken to keeping little packets of stevia on me, so I can add a sprinkle to a drink and make it taste more like a cocktail without adding sugar. 

 

As much as I love this diet, it’s definitely not for everyone and everyone experiences it differently. Make sure you do your research on what the keto life is really like and if it’s for you. And if you have more questions or want to learn more about my keto meals in real time, follow me on Instagram

Keto Diet for Beginners

3 Spring Beauty Trends To Try Now

Pink makeup trends for spring
glam makeup trends for spring
makeup trends to try for Spring

It’s almost the first day of Spring!

Even though I haven’t done much shopping, I’m thinking more about freshening up my makeup routine for the new season. I’ll be playing with more color, soft neutrals with a romantic touch, and going with more natural glam looks for every day. Here are a few trends I’m working into my beauty rotation

Natural Eyelashes

I loooove falsh eyelashes and my favorite pairs are on the dramatic side. However I’ve been toning them down lately and wearing them less. I still get a flirty feminine look from layering on mascara carefully, scraping off excess product along the tube before each coat so it doesn’t clump. But it is kind of refreshing playing with a more natural, fresh faced look.

Monochromatic Makeup

Monochromtic dressing has been a fashion staple for awhile, so why not copy the same trend in your makeup. I love layering varying shades of soft pink between eyes, cheeks, and lips. Pop in some gold or champagne highlighter to round out the look and add a soft glow.

Neon Lips

I love rocking bold color, but the hues that I’m getting excited about our over the top. Keep them matte since a neon gloss will start to look costumey. And keep the application perfectly precise! The last thing you want is neon smeared all over your face. Use a brush to keep the edges clean and use concealor and powder to set the area around your lips and keep the color in place.

What are you most excited about for Spring? Let me know what trends you’ll be rocking!

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Oldies But Goodies - 5 Pieces I Wear on Repeat That Still Spark Joy

pink tulle skirt

As a fashion blogger, you are expected to have a revolving wardrobe of brand new on trend pieces to show off every season. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you may have noticed that I don’t post about shopping too often - simply because I hate it! Seriously, I am not a fan of shopping. It takes a lot to get me excited about shopping for new items, and these days I’ve been more focused on spending on travel and exercise, less on clothes. With the exception of a few Savage x Fenty orders, I haven’t almost anything new for Spring yet!

I’ve been doing some KonMari style home reorganization and that got me thinking of some of my favorite pieces that I wear on repeat. Here are some pics of me rocking some old gems that still spark joy! Hopefully this post encourages you to shop your closet and play with fun new ways to rock your favorite oldies but goodies.

Red Knit Skirt

This Alexander Wang knit skirt is so me! It fits perfectly, is sporty and sexy and looks just as great with heels as it does with sneakers. It’s also special to me because it’s the first time I walked into Barney’s and bought something for myself full price. No looking for dupes or scouring the web for discount codes. I don’t splurge on material goods often, but it was kind of a pat on my back for how hard I had been hustling.

Mums Handmade Knit Sweater

This Mum’s Handmade sweater had been on my list for ages! I got one of their amazing pink cardigans over a year ago, and got this baby when they had a summer sale. The knits are pricey and knockoffs are plentiful, but once you see it you will be amazed. It’s the perfect piece that is both trendy and classic, and will last for years with proper care.

Sergio Rossi Furry Shoes

Have you ever seen shoes like this??? These are from my days at Sergio Rossi when we got a glorious product allowance. I definitely don’t wear them a lot because they are sooo extra but they are the most unique thing I own and will be in my closet forever.

Pink Tulle Skirt and Black Blazer

And finally my pink tulle and chiffon skirt and black tuxedo jacket. I picked up the skirt on the High Street in London back in like 2010! And it still looks as good as it did the day I fell in love with it. The jacket is from the H&M/Isabel Marant collab from 2013. It’s so cool and classic and a piece that is still in heavy rotation.

Take a look at your closet and think about the pieces that mean the most to you and new ways to style them! Not only is it friendly to the environment and your wallet, it’s pretty damn fun!

Shopping Your Closet to Spark Joy

Why I Stopped Working with Photographers

What’s the main tool every blogger needs - photos obviously! In order to create content and maintain your schedule you need a reliable way to get photos for your blog and social media posts. I’ve been blogging for about 3 years now and over the past year I have seriously reduced my reliance on professional photographers to generate content. In this post I outline all the reasons why my content strategy shifted, the pros and cons of working with a professional photographer, and how I maintain my content. Keep scrolling, and check out the photos chosen for this post. They are some of my favorites that I created and edited on my own!

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Portrait Photography Tips
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I decided to reduce how much I work with professional photographers for several reasons, but it really all boiled down to one thing - wanting to have more control over my content. I looked at the influencers I admire most, like Asiyami Gold, Mossonyi, Tezza, and Tina from Of Leather and Lace. One thing they all have in common is they are all content creators. Even when they are not taking the photo, they have full creative control over every element of the photo and the final editing process. If you can’t create content without having a pro photographer at your disposal, your creative will always be limited.

Plus the only way to truly maintain a consistent aesthetic is to be in control of all of your visuals. For example, below is a side by side of my feed now, vs in a month when I created and edited all my own images, without using any professional photographers.

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The left is all original work, shot mostly with friends or other blogger girls and edited by me for consistency. And on the right is my most recent look. As you can see, things got a little disjointed! I worked with a few different street style photographers for pictures in between shows, then peppered in some original work for a sponsored project, and then pics from my trip to LA. I’m hoping to get my look back on track in the next few weeks, so will be going back to more of my own work.

The only way to really keep a consistent look and work with a pro is if you always use the same one. Plenty of influencers have a photographer on retainer, which can get expensive! If it’s not in the budget and an Insta-Hubby isn’t an option, take it into your own hands by working with friends or other bloggers in the same situation.

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Creating your own content becomes especially important when you begin doing more brand work. Negotiating sponsored posts with brands can mean they also want rights to use the photos, which technically the photographer would have the copyright to. If you want to truly own your photos and be able to license them to brand partners, you need to either have your photographer sign off on that, or you need to own that content!

I anticipate this year I will create about 65% of my content on my own - enlisting a pro really only on travel when my friends pics may not cut it, or when the wardrobe/location calls for one. And even then I plan on being super vigilant about color, lighting, editing, etc to make sure the my visuals stay consistent no matter who is taking the final shot.

If you are a blogger let me know how you handle getting pictures, and if you plan on taking more content creation into your own hands. And for those who want to take the DIY approach, check out my post on mastering the self-portrait!

content creation tips for bloggers
Working with Blogger Photographers