3 Lessons I Learned in 2018

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It's the last day of 2018! Before I get glammed up to party the night away,  I wanted to take some time to reflect on the year, the progress I have made, and the challenges and goals I'm laying forth for myself in 2019. I've never been one for resolutions, but I am excited about some major changes on the horizon that I hope will make my life as enriched as it was in 2018. Here are some of the things I've learned and moments I'm most proud of this year. 

3 Lessons Learned in 2019

I started to harness my own creativity

Being a content creator is fun, yet challenging. When I first started,  I relied heavily on professional photographers to create content,  but this year I pivoted and took most of my content creation into my own hands. I got better at composition, editing, art direction and location scouting. I'm going to plan a whole post about my new content strategy and why I work with pros less,  but right now I'm relishing in knowing that I challenged myself creatively and can get even better as I grow in 2019


I learned to reprioritize my finances,  and stick to it

I've known for awhile that I need to save more,  but more fun things always got in the way.  There was always a trip I wanted to take, a group dinner I wanted to go on, something I wanted to buy. I'm fortunate enough to be financially stable and have enough disposable income to live comfortably but I realized I was being far too comfortable and not saving enough.  My emergency fund had been steady, but not growing and my 2019 life plans will require some serious spending on things that are absolutely worth it. I spent the last few months of 2018 making sacrifices to catch up - automating more of my savings, cutting back on dinners out and saying no to A LOT of travel. It was hard but it's time to start adulting and really getting serious about saving for my future. 2019 may end up being the year of no when it comes to travel and social plans, and I'm starting to get ok with that. 

I tried to be more body positive and learned it didn't work for me

My body has changed a lot the past few years but I noticed it even more in 2018. Since this was the year of body positivity, I tried to embrace being a few pounds bigger and not being perfectly toned.  The change was surely a combination of getting older, travelling more, spending time and sharing meals with the bf, and spending less money on my fancy boutique fitness classes. I went back and forth with feeling confident and insecure, dieting aggressively to drop pounds quickly, then of course putting them back on as soon as I started eating more normal. I told myself I was still in great shape and that being a little curvier for several good reasons was fine,  but I really never believed it. Some people do believe you should never worry about your looks,  but I've always thought that if you don’t like something about yourself you should change it. So I will be recommitting to the body I want to get back and taking healthy but disciplined steps to get there. 


Let me know what you guys learned in 2018 and what you hope to accomplish in the year to come.  Wishing you all the happiest New Year!

2019 goal setting



3 Must Try Beauty Trends for New Years Eve

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How is everyone recovering from Christmas? Hopefully you unwrapped lots of amazing presents and had a blast celebrating with friends and family. And now that Christmas is over, its time to focus on getting ready for New Years! I feel like everyone has mixed feelings about New Years Eve - whether it’s worth celebrating or just a waste of energy, if you should go out or do a low key house party, etc. Personally I’m down for either a glam night out or staying in with friends watching the ball drop, just depends on what the squad and bae want to do.

This year I will be doing something pretty exciting, and have the perfect look all picked out! I just need to figure out how to beat the face! Since New Year’s is a holiday where you can really go all out with your look, here are some beauty trends I’ve been thinking about trying for the last party of 2018.

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Glitter Lips Beauty Trend

Glittery eyes have been over and done! Even though they are still beautiful, the newest way to wear glitter is on the lips! Give your pout some bling with a kit from Stay Golden, the brand behind the glittery lips blowing up your Instagram feed! It may not be the best look for a dinner party, but judging from reviews you can make it through a night of drinking without losing your shine.

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Colorful Graphic Winged Eyeliner

Winged eyeliner is such a classic look, so put a fun spin on it! Get dramatic with the length and width of your line, add a splash of color, or even play with contrasting colors to add depth and dimension. Granted, I have NEVER been able to master a good cat eye, but practice makes perfect. You can also work with stencils or tools like the Beauty Blender Liner Designer, and use concealer to clean up and even out your lines.

Rainbow Unicorn Highlighter

Colorful Highlighter

I first tried purple highlighter at Afropunk and I am sold! The look was fresh and unique, but not as scary and Halloween ish as it sounds. I’ve used a pale shimmer from Anastasia Beverly Hills and am currently loving the Fenty Beauty Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter in all colors but especially Mimosa Sunrise/Sangria Sunset.

Let me know what look you end up trying for New Years! And shop the story below!



Must Try Beauty Trends

Keeping that Glow! Get Unready with Me and Aveeno MaxGlow!

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

Miceller Water Cleansing Routine

Hope you all are ready for Christmas! I’m sure you will be spending the next few days grabbing last minute gifts, finishing decorating and wrapping everything, and if you are hosting,  prepping for the big party. Crazy stressful right? It’s so hard to juggle everything this time of year, stay balanced, and not lose your mind in the process. Plus the holiday season also demands that you always look glam and put together, which just adds another level of pressure! As much as I enjoy hair, makeup, and fun outfits, sometimes you just NEED a bare face and sweat pants. One way I stay sane and squeeze in self-care is to find an off night, or even an early evening, where I stay home and show my skin some extra TLC. Here are a few steps I take to get unready and pamper myself during the stressful holiday season. 

Skin Care Routine with Miceller Water

Hover over the image above for product information and to purcahase at CVS

Aveeno Positively Radiant Beauty Products

The first thing to go is whatever sparkly, tight, layered thing I had on, kick off the heels and cozy up in a warm, fluffy bathrobe. Sometimes I’ll treat my hair to an overnight oil treatment for extra moisture, sleeping with it covered by a plastic cap and satin bonnet.

Then it’s time to get all the holiday makeup off! I’ve been using the Aveeno Positively Radiant Micellar Gel Cleanser. I love micellar cleansers as a first step in my getting unready routine, since they gently remove makeup without stripping the skin. Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Micellar Gel Cleanser is formulated with a moisture-rich soy and kiwi complex and it  helps skin feel hydrated, soft, and enhances your skin’s natural radiance. More than just a cleansing and moisturizing routine The AVEENO® POSITIVELY RADIANT® Collection is designed to enhance your natural radiance and give you a lit-from-within glow. Each soy enriched product targets tone and texture.

I also love using face masks, and do one at least once or twice a week. When you don’t have time to put one on then sit and wait, sleeping masks are perfect. Who wouldn’t want to put one on before bed and wake up glowing?

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Aveeno’s Maxglow No Mess Sleep Mask is a new one I’ve been testing out. This nighttime face mask helps even skin tone and texture for soft, luminous skin when you wake. Plus the tube includes a paddle applicator so that your hands stay clean for an easy, mess-free application. Then just rinse off in the morning for radiant, glowing skin. Don’t worry about it making a mess when you sleep, the mask will stay on your face and not end up all over your pillows. After I apply it, I like to tuck myself in, turn that phone on silent and spend some time reading or just reflecting on my day.  I think it’s important to unplug and not spend the last moments of your day staring at a phone screen.

 Since this time of year doesn’t allow much time for personal shopping, the most convenient beauty destination to pick up these products is your local CVS. CVS is actually one of the largest beauty retailers in the United States, so it makes staying on top of your beauty needs easier than ever. Make sure you check out the AVEENO® POSITIVELY RADIANT® Collection  if you want to enhance your natural radiance and give you a lit-from-within glow.  

And since saving money around the holidays is essential, make sure you take advantage of the Buy One Get 50% off Select Aveeno at CVS until 12/30. Wishing you all a happy, glowing holiday! 
Holiday Season Beauty and Skin Care Guide


6 Ways to Practice Self-Care During the Holidays

Cozy At Home Holiday Season

Is anyone else starting to feel the holiday stress? I’ve had a CRAZY couple of weeks between travel, my day job, wrapping up holiday campaigns, securing new business for Q1, and my social life, which these days includes catching up with friends and prepping to host this Christmas. I have a post planned for managing it all without losing it, so look out for that next month, because I’m seriously trying to figure it out! November and December are pretty much the time where we are all going out more, spending more, eating more (and usually less healthy stuff) and sleeping less.

My friends always say I am pretty good about taking care of myself, and being selfish when need be, so I’m trying to remind myself of how I do that. Self-care is pretty buzzy these days, but it’s crucial to stay balanced and centered. When it feels like the world is pulling you a hundred different directions, you need to find time to take care of yourself. I’m not sure about “having it all” but here are a few ways I practice self-care during the holiday season.

Self Care Guide

 

Stay on top of your daily routine

We all have little things we do to start and end our day, but when schedules get crazy it’s hard to let that fall to the wayside. But don’t! When you get out of your flow that only makes things more intense, and it’s harder to get back into it once you’ve been off for awhile. 

 

Know when to say no

Yes there are holiday parties every night, or friends or loved ones who want to catch up for dinner, or trips you could go, etc. It’s hard to RSVP no, but sometimes you just have to take care of yourself. Sleep in instead of going to brunch, catch a workout you love instead of a boozy night out, or just lay around in your coziest PJs as long as you need to. I have had days where getting out of bed was physically not an option, so I cancelled my day and took the time needed to rest. The next day I was infinitely better, and ready to get back on track. When you need to hit pause, just do it! Your loved ones will understand. 

 

Don’t give into FOMO

Millennials are plagued by FOMO! However I’ve realized that when you need to skip social plans to take care of yourself or prioritize your to-do list, the fear of missing out can easily fade away. Just remember that you chose to be exactly where you are for reasons that were important to you. Plus, if you were out doing whatever it was that’s in the back of your mind you’d be having FOMO about missing your couch! 

 

Take time for your health

Sometimes self-care means laying at home, taking a hot bath or indulging in some of your favorite comfort foods and a glass (or half-a bottle) of wine. Other times it means putting in work to get reenergized and ready to take on the challenges. One of the main ways I stay sane is my regular workouts. I get in at least 3, but usually 4 or 5 a week! No matter how busy I am or how gross the weather is, because I know that workout time is an investment in myself, my health, and my body. Of course there are days where dragging myself to the gym is the last thing I want to do, but when I get there I never regret it. But if I skip a workout I always have regret the next day. So whether it’s fitness, meditation, or just some gentle stretching while YouTube is on in the background, find something that will be your thing and make time for it on a regular basis. 

 

Respect your budget 

November and December are also times where there is increased pressure to spend, on shopping, gifts, and socializing. By October I pretty much know how much I’m going to spend between holiday shopping, stuff for myself, entertaining costs, and socializing. Then I FIRMLY stick to those numbers, and am never shy about saying I need to prioritize my budget when saying no to things. Keeping up with the Joneses needs to be a thing of the past and anyone in your life who cares about you would not pressure you to spend frivolously.  There should be absolutely no stigma about living within your means!

 

Protect Your Sleep

I can’t stress this enough! Protect your sleep as vigorously as you may need to, It is paramount to your overall health and well-being. I always make an effort to be in bed unwinding about 30 minutes before I need to actually be falling asleep. That means the alarm is set, phone silenced, and I’m reading a good book and finishing my nightcap (usually a bourbon neat – I’m not a tea person). If you can’t stand the thought of fully silencing your phone, at least dim your screen and turn on the blue-light fliter, which is easier on the eyes before you go to bed. 

 

Let me know how you guys practice self-care through the craziness this time of year!

All that Glitters! Bringing the Sparkle for this Holiday Season!

Holiday Dressing Ideas
Holiday Glam Beauty Ideas
Holiday Hair and Beauty
Holiday Season in NYC

Sequins? For holiday? Groundbreaking!

Obviously we all know the holiday season is the time for glitz and glamour and to bring all your sparkle, but seriously! Why not bring ALL THE SPARKLE! It’s the only time of year you can get away with dressing this obnoxiously, so don’t worry about being restrained. Go all out now and save your basics for January. Blazer dresses were a major trend for Fall, and I’m still loving it now!  Mixing two trends can be frowned upon, this one somehow combines the blazer dress trend and the holiday sequins trend and makes it work.  I got it from Rent the Runway, which is my hero this time of year because my Unlimited membership keeps me covered for all the events and parties that pop up. If you have been on the fence about membership, I’ll be posting more about it in a few weeks, but depending on your social schedule this month you should consider taking advantage!

But back to this dress! It’s definitely one to keep all eyes on you, and I love the loose silhouette. It hides all the sins from holiday eating and you can dance all night in it. I paired it with a pair of thigh high boots because it’s just too chilly for tights and heels these days, but if it were just a bit warmer it would look great with high heeled booties as well.  I finished the look with equally glam makeup – a soft smoky eye and deep red lip.

If you are still looking for the perfect standout dresses for whatever your holiday season may bring, shop some of my faves below!

How to Dress for the Holidays

Let me know what you guys have planned to celebrate the season and what you end up wearing to each. And if you want more tips for holiday makeup, check out this post here!

Cyber Week Sales You Can't Miss

Cyber Week Shopping Tips

Happy Thanksgiving guys! I’m getting ready to start stuffing my face, but before I do, I had to share some can’t miss deals you need to start shopping. This is the best time of year to save big on everything from holiday presents, your favorite things to stock up on, and even travel deals for your next vacation! If you are ready to do some serious shopping, here are my favorite sales for Cyber Week!

Fashion Sales and Deals

BB Dakota

Take 50% off Fall 2018 Black Styles starting Friday, 11/23, and starting Monday, 11/26 shop Fall 2018 Outerwear at 50% off. Use code THANKS50 at checkout for both!

Fashion Nova

How’s up to 80% site wide sound? Get some amazing discounts on already affordable items with code BLACK40.

Topshop

Take up to 50% off selected lines, prices already marked down on site!

Revolve

Influencer fave Revolve is also having 50% off select items! Some stuff can still be a bit pricey, so if you are anything like me, sort by price before diving in!

Nordstrom

Black Friday is the best time to shop Nordstrom, maybe even better than the Anniversary Sale! They are offering up to 60% off across categories, including Women’s, Men’s Kid’s and Home!

Cyber Week Beauty Sales

Beauty and Skincare Sales

Nars

One of my go to brands is having a 20% off sitewide sale, including exclusives you won’t see anywhere else! This is the only time of year Nars offers discounts, so stock up while you can!

Ulta

A slew of Black Friday deals, from $10 mascaras $15 palettes, and 40% off beauty faves from Anastasia Beverly Hills!

Sephora

They just wrapped their VIB Sale, but are still offering up to 50% off items in their Beauty Sale section! Take a look, especially if you missed out on the VIB discounts!

Hum Nutrition

My go-to vitamin brand for pretty much anything is offering 50% off site wide with code HUMDAY18. I take about 6 of their vitamins on a daily basis so will be stocking up on my faves!

DevaCurl

Give your strands some TLC with Devacurl! I love their product line and they are currently offering Buy 2 get 1 Free on select products. Not the best deal, but they are pretty pricey and don’t discount often, so take what you can get!

Cyber Week Shopping Sales


Holiday Travel Deals and Steal

Delta

Yes airlines have sales too! Delta is hands-down one of the best and on their limited edition Black Friday sale International Flights are on sale in a big way! I’ve seen fares from several major US cities to European destinations like Paris, Portugal, and the UK. Get to browsing and be prepared to get creative with your dates!

Priceline

The discount travel site is offering a slew of Black Friday hotel discounts for email subscribers, with Express Deal coupons for up to 50% in savings on hotels. Get on their email list so you don’t miss out!

Cathay Pacific

A flight to Asia for $600! Yes please. Cathay Pacific’s Black Friday sale is on, with up to 60% off flights to several Asian destinations.

IHG Hotels

IHG Hotel group is offering 25% off the best available rates on over 5,000 properties in their network, plus additional perks and bonus points for loyalty members. So if you aren’t planning a vacation, now is a good time to start!

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Let me know what you guys are most excited about buying!

3 Ways to Spend Valentine's Day and What to Wear for Each!

Did you know Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays?  Other than having an excuse to get dressed up and eat candy, there is just something special about the spirit of love that’s in the air. Personally I think the holiday is just as fun if you are coupled up or single. 

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Whether you spend it with your significant other or group of besties, there are plenty of options for what to do, and of course what to wear.

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Here are a few looks I love for whatever plans the holiday may bring!

 

Red Hot Date

If you’ve got an evening planned that calls for bombshell vibes, you can’t go wrong with a little red dress or bodycon number. Just make sure to wear a long coat and/or tights since it is still February and we don’t want anyone freezing!

For Girls Night Out (or in!)

If you and the squad are planning dinner or drinks out, go for something trendy and fun. I love a red on red ensemble, like a cozy sweater and slim fitting pants, or a fun jumpsuit or party dress.

 Hosting at Home

There’s also nothing wrong with keeping it a low-key night at home! Whether you are alone catching up on Netflix, or having some friends over for a low-key get together, chic loungewear is always in order.

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?

How to Be Moe Fashionable

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!

Lake Tahoe Travel Tips

 

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!

2019 Travel Advice
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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? 

 

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!

Affordable Holiday Gift Ideas

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! 

Getting Ready to Get Holiday Glam!

Image by Jordan Edwards

Image by Jordan Edwards

Is it just me, or does it feel like as soon as Halloween is over, the Holiday season kicks into high gear? Gift guides are everywhere, new products are launching in stores and online, and retailer discounts get down right aggressive. And of course there's the parties! Every couple of days there is another occasion challenging you to bring your A-game and get glam. Check out my tips for getting glam in a cinch without breaking the bank!

YouTube is Your Friend

In your free time, pop on a makeup tutorial so you'll always have ideas and techniques in your arsenal.  Some of my faves are Makeup by Shayla and Jackie Aina, but find girls (or guys!) who have a style that resonates with you. 

Enlist the Pros

Sephora has a team of qualified makeup artists ready to beat your face pretty much any time of day, at any location! If you are VIB Rouge the service is free, or just spend $50 in product for a complimentary makeover. I always suggest making an appointment, but walk-ins are welcome. 

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Shop Your Vanity

We shop our closets for new looks, so why not our vanities! Assuming all your goods are clean, safe, and not past their expiration date, pull out some of the colors or products you don't use in your daily routine. I love this blue liquid lipstick or pink shimmer shadow for an unexpected pop of color. Plus it never hurts to challenge your creativity and put together new look!

Pop on a Wig

Ready for an eye catching new look in 5 minute? Try on a wig! Have some fun with a look that is different than your natural do, with none of the risk or commitment. If you are new to wig shopping, check out this post with some tips for choosing and customizing one! 

Hope this helps you guys slay the holiday season! Let me know your tips for keeping your style 100!

 

Valentine’s Day Looks I Love!

Valentine's Day Outfit Ideas

Love is in the air. Whether you may be single or in a serious relationship, Valentine’s Day is always a good time to show some love to the special people in your life. Plus it’s a great excuse to get all dolled up for a fun, romantic night out. Here are some of my favorite looks to celebrate the special day.

Stone Cold Fox Christy Gown

Slay in this sexy, sleek gown. The burgundy silk gown with front slit is simple, elegant and stunning. If dinner or dancing somewhere swanky is the plan, this dress will have you looking and feeling like the belle of the ball.

YFB Clothing Adele Dress

This twisted wrap front dress is perfect for a 70’s glam vibe. The shimmery fabric and deep v-neck are showstopping and the length is made for twirling around on the dance floor. Just keep things from spilling over with a bit of strategically applied fashion tape!

Vava by Joy Han Engleberta Dress

If you are going for a softer romantic vibe, you’ll love this off-the-shoulder dress with embroidered sleeves. The bold red is the perfect hue for Valentine’s Day, and the colorful details call to mind a beautiful, tropical vacation. Plus the silhouette is fun, unique, and universally flattering.

Word is Bondage Sleeveless Red Jumpsuit

For the daring girls only. This bodycon bandage jumpsuit in hot red will show off your curves like nothing else. This is the option if you want to keep all eyes on you! This one of a kind style is best paired with simple, clean, shoes and accessories so let the jumpsuit do the talking!

Material Girl Graphic Bomber Jacket

When you gotta let them know! This trendy bomber will be a hit for a Galentine’s Night Out with your besties. Keep the boys away with the cheeky Heartbreaker graphic on the back of the jacket. With jeans, high heeled booties and a bold red lipstick you’ll be ready to, well, break hearts.

Red Vinyl Jaime Jeans

Party like a rock star in these standout vinyl jeans! The hot red hue just screams I’m with the band. Whether your plans are to go to a concert or cocktails at a hip new bar, these jeans will have you looking like you just walked off a stage. Keep the rest of the look simple with a basic tee and simple booties

Giant Tutu Tulle Skirt

Embrace your ballerina dreams with this fun, fluffy tulle skirt. The soft red color is edgier than pink and incredibly delicate and romantic. With a simple silk tank or classic white t-shirt you’ll be date night ready! If you are feeling a little more hipster, try it with sneakers instead of heels for an unexpected cool girl vibe.

I originally wrote this post in collaboration with Party Mean

Going Golden

Here's to being the best dressed at the holiday party! This season is all about bringing the glam, but trying to stay warm. This dress does the trick! It's custom Chloe and Reese, one of their signature silhouettes done in this amazing Italian wool. 

I dressed it down a bit with my cozy shearling coat, but instead of wearing basic booties, finished the look with these gold strappy sandals. 

Photos by Jordan Edwards

Photos by Jordan Edwards

How amazing are these shoes! I love the crackled detail and metallic finish. They are too good to save for summer, and when paired with black tights, there is no need to! This look is definitely giving me major holiday vibes. 

Tune in all week as I share my favorite looks for Christmas and New Years Eve!